Monday, July 26, 2010

Super-Quick Salsa Chicken (recipe from: Betty Crocker Magazine Aug/Sept 2010)

-1 c. white rice
-2 c. water
-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (1 1/4 lb)
-2 T. olive oil
-1/2 t. salt
-1/4 t. pepper
-1 medium zucchini, chopped (2 c.)
-1 c. salsa (I used my peach salsa b/c that's what I had on hand...see previous recipe)
-1 can corn
-1/4 c. sour cream***
-2 T. chopped fresh cilantro
***I made a cilantro-ranch dressing instead of using sour cream. (mix about 1/2 c. nonfat ranch with the 2 T. cilantro)


1. Cook rice in water as directed on package. Meanwhile, between pieces of waxed paper, place chicken smooth side down and gently pound with flat side of meat mallet or rolling pin until about 1/4 inch thick.

2. In 12-inch skillet, heat 1 T. oil over med-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Cook chicken in oil 6-10 min, turning once, until golden brown on outside and no longer pink in center. Remove chicken from skillet; cover to keep warm.

3. In same skillet, heat remaining 1 T. oil. Cook zucchini in oil 3 min, stirring occasionally. Stir in salsa and corn. Reduce heat to medium; cook 2 minutes longer or until thoroughly heated.

4. Serve chicken over rice; top with vegetable mixture, sour cream (or dressing) and cilantro.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Peach Salsa

This is a recipe based on one I first made from my Betty Crocker cookbook (which is where the pic comes from). It's made to go with cornmeal breaded chicken, but we also like to make a big bowl just to eat/use as salsa (hence, this recipe is about 1.5-2x the original). A couple words of warning: 1. It's very addictive! 2. It's best if you can find peaches that are ripe enough to be sweet, but still firm and 3. It really can only be made right when peaches are in season, so for all you fellow Midwesterners, enjoy it while you can!

-4 1/2 cups peaches, pealed and chopped (6-7 medium peaches)
-2 1/2 cups tomato, chopped (~2 large tomatoes)
-3/4 to 1 bunch green onions, chopped
-1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro (can also use dried, but I recommend at least getting the cilantro in the tubes - found in the produce section, near fresh herbs in containers)
-1/4 c. + 2 T. vegetable oil
-1/4c. cider vinegar
-1/2 t. salt


1. Chop peaches, tomato, and green onions. This is made to be a chunkier salsa, so it can be coarsely chopped.

2. Add oil and vinegar, stir to combine. Add chopped cilantro and salt to taste.

3. Refrigerate until chilled. Enjoy with tortilla chips or in your favorite summer recipes.

Monday, July 12, 2010

4th of July Lemon Cream Cake

A variation of a lemon sheet cake my Grandma makes, this cake was originally the creation of Shawna and mine the night before my housewarming party. This particular one was made at my Grandma's house in Nebraska for our 4th of July celebration.

-1 box lemon cake mix (and ingredients listed on box)
-1 can lemon pie filling
-1 carton instant lemon pudding mix
-flour (to increase density of the cake)
-1-8oz. block cream cheese, softened
-1 c. butter, softened
-5 c. powdered sugar
-1 T. vanilla extract
-blueberries and strawberries, for garnish (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom and sides of 2 9-inch cake pans with shortening, dust with flour.

2. Prepare cake as directed on box. (I usually add at least a cup of flour to boxed cakes, so they are more dense) Add lemon pudding mix and about 1/3 of the can of lemon pie filling. Divide batter between the two pans and bake according to package directions. (~30 minutes)

3. Cool cakes in pans on wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove cakes from pans, cool completely.

4. Meanwhile, make the icing. Soften cream cheese and butter either by letting sit at room temperature, or in the microwave. Blend with mixer until smooth. Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing until incorporated. Add vanilla last. Reserve about 3/4 c. of the icing to make the filling.

5. For the filling, fold remaining lemon pie filling into ~3/4 c. cream cheese icing until well mixed. Assemble cake with lemon filling between the two layers and icing over the top and sides. Decorate as desired. Refrigerate until serving.

(My mom used the cake tops and leftover icing/filling to make her own version)