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What’s Cookin’ – Chicken Parmesan and Double Chocolate Cream Pie

We had our weekly family dinner Thursday night and everyone ate too much. This is another easy, delicious recipe that takes very few ingredients.

Chicken Parmesan

Serves 8

8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

2 eggs, beaten

2 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs

1 26 oz. jar of spaghetti sauce

1-1/2 cups grated mozzarella cheese

12 to 16 oz. fettuccine noodles or your favorite pasta

Directions:

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 9 x 13″ baking dish with olive oil. Rinse chicken breasts. Put beaten egg in one dish, bread crumbs in another. Dip chicken breast in egg (both sides), then in bread crumbs (both sides), coating well, then lay in dish.

Bake uncovered for 25 minutes. Spoon spaghetti sauce over chicken. Put 1/2 cup of hot water in bottom of spaghetti sauce jar and shake it up to get every last drop. Then pour over chicken as well. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Put back in the oven uncovered for another 15 minutes.

In the meantime, start your pasta water boiling. I time the pasta so that it finishes about 5 minutes after I pull the chicken from the oven. Just cover it with foil to hold the heat. Put a nice serving of pasta on the plate and lay a chicken breast over it. Spoon a little of the sauce over it as well.

It’s amazing what you find when you root around in your cupboards. When I was looking for my pasta maker this last week, I found a mini food processor attachment that goes on my Oster blender. I’ve been thinking I wanted to get one and here I’ve had it for years. I use my blender all the time, but forgot about the attachment buried in the back of the cupboard.

And the point of this is, I used the mini food processor to make my own bread crumbs for the chicken dish. We have a bread basket that is always full of drying up ends of the loaf. I took those and some too crusty French bread and ran it all through the processor with some Italian seasoning. Ended up with several containers of wonderfully Italian scented bread crumbs to use. Geez, I feel bad now about all the bread I’ve thrown out over the years.

Something else new I tried for last night is Paula Deen’s Double Chocolate Cream Pie. When I asked YD’s BF recently what his favorite kind of pie is, chocolate cream was at the top of the list. This is definitely not a low fat recipe, but it sure is delicious. As Paula said to Oprah, “I’m your cook, not your doctor!” And easy to make. I loved the real sweetened whipped cream spread over the top. We eat a lot of fat free Cool Whip (because I’m lazy and I like it) but every now and again, I’ll make a batch of the real stuff. I figured since we were already going big with 3 eggs, whole milk and 2 kinds of chocolate, what the heck? I had gotten this recipe from a website, but can’t find it now so here it is …

Paula Deen’s Double Chocolate Cream Pie

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup baking cocoa

1/4 cup corn starch

pinch of salt

3 cups whole milk

3 egg yolks

1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 9″ deep dish pie crust, baked and cooled

sweetened whipped cream (optional)

chopped toasted pecans (optional)

Directions:

In a heavy-bottomed 1-quart saucepan, combine the sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt. Stir with a spoon to mix. Combine the milk and egg yolks and whisk until well-blended. Slowly begin adding the milk and egg mixture to the chocolate mixture, blending well with a metal spoon. Cook the mixture over medium heat until it thickens, stirring constantly (about 5 minutes). When it is quite thick, add the vanilla and chocolate chips. Stir until completely blended. Pour into the pie crust, allow to cool, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Top with the whipped cream and pecans before you serve.

A couple of notes: I used a wooden spoon, even though it says a metal spoon. Mine took quite a bit longer than 5 minutes to thicken, which is probably the difference between cooking on a gas stove versus my smooth top electric. Whatever … it was ridiculously good!

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What’s Cookin’ – Hawaiian Salad

Mom, apparently you should have published a cookbook because it seems so many of my favorite recipes that we make over and over are from your kitchen.

We are having a few people over for a barbeque on Sunday. We’ll be doing burgers, brats, pasta salad, pico de gallo, chips. As I’m running through this with hubby he asks, “Aren’t you going to make Hawaiian Salad?” This is another one of his all-time favorites and I usually have to make two bowls — one for company and one to hide away just for him. I have seen him eat right out of the serving bowl with a large serving spoon. Sorry, honey, but it’s so cute!

Hawaiian Salad

This salad could not be easier to make and it’s fast. This is the kind of thing you can put together quickly if company is on the way over. You just need these ingredients:

 

Hawaiian Salad

2 – 20 oz. cans Dole Pineapple Tidbits (drained)

4 – 11 oz. cans mandarin oranges (drained)

2 cups mini marshmallows

1 cup unsweetened flake coconut

8 oz. fat free sour cream

Mix it all together in a big serving bowl and chill. You can certainly adjust the amounts if you like more coconut, etc.

 

This salad is especially refreshing when it’s hot outside, but we eat it all year long.

Hope everyone has a safe and happy Labor Day weekend!

What’s Cookin’ – Caramel Peach Crunch

This is one of my favorite desserts that mom made when I was growing up. I’ve made some minor revisions to the recipe over the years, but it is still a family favorite. Hubby is especially fond of this dish so I like to make Caramel Peach Crunch for “his” special days like Father’s Day and his birthday.

Caramel Peach Crunch

Caramel Peach Crunch

Caramel Peach Crunch

Ingredients:

3 – 29 oz. cans sliced peaches, drained

1/2 cup flour

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 cup uncooked rolled oats

1/2 cup butter, melted

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray a 9×13″  baking dish or cake pan with cooking spray. Arrange peach slices in the dish. Mix together all dry ingredients, then add melted butter and blend well. Sprinkle the oats mixture over the peaches and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Serves 8-10, depending on how big you cut the pieces.

It’s great served warm with vanilla bean ice cream. Or refrigerate and eat cold for breakfast.