Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Citrus Chicken Tortilla Wraps

Well, Christmas has passed and, as is likely the case in most households, we are pushing for healthier eating! There's something so refreshing about a crisp, crunchy, colorful meal after the holidays! So, I put my creative mind to work (haha) and came up with this yummy tortilla wrap! I did use a marinade recipe as a guide, but like I usually do, I changed it up a bit! Here's how it went:

zest of 1 orange plus the juice
teaspoonish of sugar
1 clove minced garlic
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/4ish cup soy sauce
(as you can see, I didn't exactly follow a recipe)
boneless, skinless chicken breasts (although, chicken thighs would probably taste good as well)

-Flatten the chicken and cut each one in 2 to 3 parts (I fed 11 people with just 4 chicken breasts)
-place chicken in marinade, cover and refridgerate all day
-grill chicken, let rest, and slice into strips

In the meantime...
Citrus Cilantro Rice
-using the liquid to rice ratio for basmati rice, I created this yummy, fragrant, and colorful rice to add to our wraps.
Chicken broth and orange juice as the liquid
zest of 1 orange
finely diced onion
chopped cilantro

Sautee onion until soft. Add liquid and zest and bring to a boil. Add rice, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Halfway through cooking time, add chopped cilantro, stir, cover, and complete the cooking.
Orange Cilantro Vinaigrette
Juice of 1 orange
Extra virgin olive oil
chopped cilantro
red wine vinegar
(I usually use the ratio of 1 vinegar to 3 oils, but sometimes it doesn't work out, so I adjust with more of either one until it tastes right! Which is how this vinaigrette ended up with red wine vinegar!)

Wrap Assembly
Warm small sized tortillas on a medium heat burner for a smoky taste. Layer on basmati rice, black beans, chicken, green cabbage, red bell pepper, cilantro, and red onion. Drizzle with orange cilantro vinaigrette. Fold up and enjoy this crunchy, fresh, healthy meal!! A perfect follow-up to the heavy, creamy, comfort foods of the season!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Pumpkin Pancakes

I had some leftover pumpkin and my family loves pancakes, so I decided to try out pumpkin pancakes. I must say, they were quite delicious. I don't usually care for pancakes, but with some fresh whipped cream, maple syrup, and a dash of nutmeg...YUM!!!

Pumpkin Pancakes

3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt and cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice and ginger
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix together the dry ingredients then add the remaining wet ingredients. Cook on a heated griddle or fry pan that's been lightly sprayed or oiled. Enjoy with your favorite toppings!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Perfect Holiday Pastries

For Thanksgiving breakfast, we had two of my favorite holiday items...Pumpkin Coffee Cake and Cranberry Orange Scones. These flavors are perfect for the holidays and go wonderfully with any item on the table or just a good cup of coffee! We also enjoyed many other tasty dishes, but I'll get to those another day :-)
Cranberry Orange Scones
2 cups flour
7 tsp sugar
1 tbls orange zest
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup cold butter
1 cup Craisins (dried cranberries)
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 half-n-half
1 egg
1 tbls milk
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tbls orange juice
orange zest
Combine flour, sugar, orange zest, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a separate bowl, combine cranberries, orange juice, cream, and egg. Add this to the flour mixture and stir until a soft dough forms.
On a floured surface, gently knead 6-8 times then pat dough into a circle or rectangle, depending on what size you want your scones. Cut into triangles or wedges, and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush scones with milk, then sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 400 for 12-15 minutes. Cool, then add glaze.
We ate these with regular orange marmalade and they were so yummy! Definitely a favorite. The only thing I did differently was the orange zest in the glaze!
Maple Glazed Pumpkin Coffee Cake
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar (I always use golden)
2 eggs
1 cup pureed pumpkin
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
orange zest (my addition)
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbls sour cream
1 tbls maple syrup
1 tbls orange juice (instead of lemon)
orange zest (my addition)
Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice and salt. Beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time. Add pumpkin, syrup, orange zest, and vanilla; mix on low until combined. Add dry ingredients and fold in with a spatula. Pour into a greased 6 1/2 cup capacity ring mold. (Honestly, I don't know the capacity of the one I used, so I'm sure as long as it's big enough to hold the cake, it'll work.) Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes then invert onto a wire rack placed over wax paper. The directions say to glaze the cake while it's warm, but I prefer to do it after it cooled completely. It seems to stick better that way.
As you can see, orange is a popular flavor in my house right now. I discovered this recipe last year and just made some changes to it this year. It's quite yummy and I'm sure it'll be around for awhile!
Hope you enjoy :-))

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Cranberry Coconut Bars

Wow, what a whirlwind of cooking and baking I just completed...now it's time to get those recipes up! Thanksgiving breakfast was a success! I think everyone left with happy tummies and just a few leftovers to deal with. There are several recipes I want to share, but I'll have to post them just one or two at a time...too much for one post! Here though, is a recipe I found from someone else's blog (Thanks Wonder Woman), but of course, I didn't have all the ingredients so I had to improvise. I'm calling them Cranberry Coconut Bars because, what would a baked good be from my Krazy Kitchen without some coconut???

Cranberry Coconut Bars

1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup coconut (my substitution because I did not have almond meal)
1 cup cold butter
1 egg
1/4 tsp cinnamon (which I added to the cranberry mixture instead of the crust)
zest of 1 orange (my addition)
juice of 1/2 an orange
4 cups fresh cranberries (I only had 1 package, so I improvised and used 2 cups Craisins as well)
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbls cornstarch

Mix together sugar, flour, coconut, salt and baking powder in a food processor or use a pastry cutter until crumbly. Add the egg and mix until it all comes together. Pat half the mixture into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan, or line the pan with foil that's been sprayed with non-stick spray. I used the flat bottom of a glass to help pat the mixture down.

Next, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, orange juice, orange zest, and cinnamon. Add the cranberries. Sprinkle mixture evenly over bottom crust. Crumble the remaining dough over the top.

Bake at 375 for 45-55 minutes, until top is golden brown. Cool completely and chill in the refridgerator until ready to cut. Store in the refridgerator.

I will definitely be making these again before Christmas, but I may try adding coconut to the cranberry mixture or perhaps almond extract? We shall see...:-)