Monday, October 3, 2011

Chicken, Apple, and Potato Bake

Don't you just love mornings where you stick your arm out the door to see what the weather is like and it's just chilly enough outside to need a light sweater? I know I do. It has been a wonderful week of sunny days and cooler temps here and it has really put me in the mood for a nice fall dinner. Like this Chicken, Apple and Potato Bake, for example. It's apple season and this recipe is a great way to use them. This meal is really easy to put together and you have several options for the types of ingredients you use. I chose chicken breast, Fuji apples, and red potatoes, but it would be just as well with chicken thighs, granny smith apples, and Yukon gold potatoes. You can use whatever you have on hand or whichever ingredients are your favorite. Serve this with your favorite green veggie and you're all set for a great meal on a chilly fall evening. Enjoy!

Chicken, Apple, and Potato Bake
Adapted from: Carrie Leber

3 cups chicken broth
1 cup apple juice
1 3/4 pounds Red Potatoes (or Yukon Gold), cut into quarters
2 Large Fuji apples (or other apple), cored, cut into quarters
5 tablespoons butter
4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
6 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
3 teaspoons parsley

1. Combine first chicken broth and apple juice in a large pot and bring to boil.  Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer.
2. Add potatoes and apples to pot.  Cover; simmer until very tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.  Using slotted spoon, transfer potatoes and apples to large bowl; add 3 tablespoons butter and toss with with salt and pepper. Pour broth mixture from pot into medium bowl; reserve pot. Transfer potato and apple mixture to a greased 9x13 casserole dish.
3. Preheat oven to 350F. Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper and 4 teaspoons thyme, and 2 teaspoons parsley. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in reserved pot over medium-high heat. Brown all of the chicken on both sides and place in the casserole dish.
4. Return broth mixture to same pot; Boil over medium-high heat until sauce is reduced to 1 1/4 cups, scraping up browned bits, about 3-5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and additional thyme and parsley. Spoon over chicken.
5. Bake uncovered until potatoes are crisp and chicken is cooked through, about 30-35 minutes.

Serves 4

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Snickerdoodle Cookies

I have another sweet treat for you! I know, where's the real food, right? Lately I have been trying out a lot of new recipes. Some have been winners, others...not so much. I have quite a few more new recipes on my list to try out, so I will definitely be sharing those with you soon, I promise!
I made these cookies for Ryan to bring to work with him. He's a police officer, and let me tell you those guys love it when I send cookies. Apparently they go great with the gallons of coffee they all drink every night. These were the first snickerdoodles I had ever made and they were so simple it's almost ridiculous. They came out perfectly, soft and chewy and cinnamon-y. I made sure to keep a few for myself, but just a few, they aren't exactly "diet" cookies after all. But if you're feeling indulgent or you need an easy cookie to make for a bake sale or school function, you should definitely go with these cookies. And stay tuned for some new savory recipes coming soon!

Snickerdoodle Cookies
Cookie Dough:
1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
tsp salt
1 ½ cups sugar
2 ½ cups flour
2 tsp cream of tartar

Cinnamon-Sugar Mix:
4 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Cream the butter and the sugar.
2. Mix in the rest of the ingredients and roll the cookie dough into balls.
3. Roll the balls in the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
4. Place the rolled balls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Leave as balls because they will flatten as they bake.
5.Bake the cookies at for 10 to 15 minutes. The bottoms should be light golden. Let cool on pan for 5 minutes. Move to a cooling rack to finish cooling. They will set as they cool.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Applesauce Spice Bars

I love Fall. It is my most favorite season. I love the colors, the flavors, and of course the cooler weather. Sadly, this wonderful season only lasts about a month here in Texas. We usually go from super hot to super cold with just that very short break in the middle which we all refer to as Fall. The super hot temps that we have had this summer are finally dropping, so I decided it was time to get a head start on some of those Fall flavors. These Applesauce Spice Bars were just perfect and so easy to make. Go ahead and celebrate the cooler weather with this easy dessert. If you have survived the type of summer heat that I have this year, you definitely deserve it.

Applesauce Spice Bars
Adapted from:

1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup applesauce
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons margarine, melted
1-2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together the butter, brown sugar and egg until smooth. Stir in applesauce. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon; stir into the applesauce mixture until well blended. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
3. Bake for 20-25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are golden. Cool in the pan over a wire rack.
4. In a small bowl, mix together the confectioners' sugar and margarine. Stir in vanilla and milk until smooth. Spread over cooled bars before cutting into squares.