Chicken Breasts ‘n Rice with Roasted Red Peppers, Mushrooms and White Wine

Easy prep, then pop in the oven for 1 hour. Viola – dinner!!

When I was a young mother I discovered an I Hate to Cook Book by Peg Bracken at our local library. The author supposedly ‘hated to cook’, so her recipes are all easy to make – but delicious at the same time.  And that’s how I found the original recipe for this dish.

Years later I printed a cookbook for my twin sons and included the recipe, reminding them how it used to be my ‘go to recipe’ whenever we had company because I could do all the prep work, then clean up the the kitchen while the chicken and rice was cooking. (Some of you may remember me mentioning what a truly messy cook I am.)

The version I prepared today was based upon any ‘goodies’ I happened to have on hand.  I decided against black olives but decided for Baby Bella Mushrooms, roasted red peppers and white wine.  I think you’ll enjoy it. And, you may want to order a copy of the original I Hate to Cook Book!

Oven at 350 F            Bake (covered tightly) for 1 hour       Serves 5 – 6

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 chicken breasts – cut in half to equal 6 pieces   ++ I highly rec. using bone-in chicken breasts with the skin. Or… even part of the skin.  The flavor is just so much richer!!    ; o )
  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1 (8 oz) package Baby Bella sliced mushrooms
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup jarred roasted red pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup white wine  ++  I used Pinot Grigio 
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups long grain rice
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken bouillon,  boiling   ++  You can add more salt and a chicken bouillon cube if you wish.
  • paprika
  • 1 Tbs. butter

Cut three chicken breasts in half to equal six pieces. ++  If using bone-in chicken breasts, you can leave on the skin if you wish.  Set breasts aside.

Put 1 Tbs. butter in a medium skillet. Add 1/3 cup chopped onion. Cook over medium heat until softened. Add 1 (8 oz) package Baby Bella sliced mushrooms and 1 large clove minced garlic.  Cook until mushrooms are wilted.  Add 1/3 cup chopped jarred roasted red pepper, 1/3 cup white wine, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat.

Bring 3 1/2 cups chicken bouillon to a boil.  Spread 1 1/2 cups long grain rice on the bottom of a 10″ x 13″ casserole. Place cooked veggies on top of rice, trying to spread veggies somewhat evenly.  Place six (halved) chicken breasts on top of the veggies and rice.

Pour boiling chicken bouillon over everything.  Sprinkle some paprika over chicken breasts and dot with 1 Tbs. butter.  Cover tightly with foil.  Bake at 350F for an hour.  Enjoy!  

Prepare Ahead Green Beans with Browned Butter and Sesame Seeds

You may want to serve Green Beans with Browned Butter and Sesame Seeds

 

 

Celebrating Christmas after December 25th & a Recipe for ‘Ham and Cheddar Balls with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce’

Tonight is New Year’s Eve but my extended family and I celebrated Christmas yesterday – and a merry time it was!

snowmen-at-twilight-myyellowfarmhouse-com
Snowmen at Twilight – My Yellow Farmhouse

Christmas Traditions – making buttery sugar cookies with new & old cookies cutters.  (The angel and poinsettia cookie cutters were my mother’s.)  

Christmas, even though celebrated after December 25th, still felt like Christmas to me and my extended family two days ago. There were happy, excited children, brightly wrapped presents, rum-spiked eggnog and lots of food and Christmas cookies – plus love, laughter and Bing Crosby singing Christmas Carols.    ; o )

I kept the menu for our ‘Christmas Meal’ simple and did much of the cooking the day before.  I baked three French Canadian Meat Pies, ‘spiral cut’and roasted the ham and prepared Make-Ahead Loaded Mashed Potatoes. I served only one vegetable – Wilted Spinach with Olive Oil and Pine Nuts, which takes only minutes to prepare.

To nosh on while we opened presents I made a platter featuring good old deviled eggs, various types of olives, and sliced tomatoes & fresh mozzarella drizzled with balsamic vinegar. I also served a few old favorites like one we like to call Vito’s Dip, and Ham and Cheddar Balls with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce.  (I think my twin brother ate half the Ham and Cheddar Cheese Balls because he loves them and I hadn’t make them in years.)

Below my directions for making Ham and Cheddar Balls you’ll find links to Grammy Brouillette’s French Canadian Meat Pies, Make Ahead Loaded Mashed Potatoes and a link to Fabulous Foods.com‘s directions for how to cut and bake a spiral ham.

small red heart

Ham and Cheddar Balls with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

 

Oven at 350F          Bake for 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups biscuit mix – such as Bisquick   ++  If Bisquick isn’t available, check online for directions to make your own.  It’s easy!
  • 1 1/2 cups diced ham
  • 4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (16 oz.)
  • 1/2 grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp. brown mustard    ++  I use GREY POUPON’S ‘Country Mustard’
  • 2/3 cup milk

Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 Tbs. brown mustard
  • 1 – 2 Tbs. honey

METHOD

Lightly grease a cookie sheet ..  OR  ..  line cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, using a large serving spoon, mix all ingredients until well blended.

Form dough into 1″ balls. Place balls 2″ apart on cookie sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes.  Balls will be lightly browned

While balls are baking, prepare sauce.  In a small serving bowl mix 3/4 cup mayonnaise, 3 Tbs. brown mustard and 1 2 Tbs. honey until blended.

++  ‘Ham and Cheese Balls may be baked the day before, placed in a big ziplock bag, refrigerated and reheated on a cookie sheet for a 6 – 7 minutes at 350F.

Recipe adapted from Bisquick brand’s Holiday Ham Balls.

Directions for preparing Grammy Brouillette’s French Canadian Meat Pies

Recipe for ‘Make Ahead Loaded Mashed Potatoes’

slow-cooker-loaded-mashed-potatoes-myyellowfarmhouse-com

Fabulous Foods tells you everything you need to know to spiral and cook a ham.  My ham sure didn’t look quite as ‘pretty’ as this one, but it was delicious!

http://www.fabulousfoods.com/articles/957827/how-to-spiral-carve-ham

spiral-cut-ham-courtesy-of-farmpac
Photo courtesy of FARMPAC.

christmas-2016-myyellowfarmhouse-com

Quick and Delicious Popover Pizza – a.k.a. Upsidedown Pizza

Back in 1999, when I was such a neophyte with computers that I didn’t even know how to use spell check, I made a cookbook containing many of my twin sons’ favorite recipes. The cookbook, aptly named The Roy Family’s Favorite Recipes, was a big hit with my guys and they  still use it, and a subsequent Christmas cookbook, fairly often.

Popover Pizza was always a big favorite of my sons’ – and their friends.  If you happen to have leftover meatballs and sauce, prepare the Popover Pizza with that. Don’t happen to have leftovers?  All you’ll need is a pound of ground beef, a jar of prepared spaghetti sauce and an onion. Plus a few spices like oregano – whatever you’d like.

The meat and sauce are spread on the bottom of 9′ x  13′ pan, lots of shredded mozzarella cheese is sprinkled on top, then the popover batter is poured over the mozzarella, followed by a sprinkling of shredded Parmesan.  Pop the Popover Pizza into the oven for 30 – 45 minutes, or until the the popover ‘crust’ is puffed and  lightly browned. Et voila, dinner is served.

PS  – As I type this I’m staying with two of my grandchildren while my son M. and his wife are vacationing in Spain. Yesterday I broke out my son’s copy of The Roy Family’s Favorite Recipes and made Popover Pizza.  Judging from the stains and drips on the page, it seems Popover Pizza is  big hit with the new generation of Roys as well.  Enjoy!!

Follow this link to ‘Forget Takeout Pizza – Thirty Minute Pizza with Homemade Crust

thirty-minute-pizza-meatball-version-myyellowfarmhouse-com

small red heart

Oven at 400F         Buttered 9′ x 13′ pan            Bake for 35 – 45 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 – 3 cups leftover meatballs and sauce     ++  chop meatballs into chunks
  •      Don’t have leftover meatballs and sauce?
  •                1 lb. ground beef
  •                1 small onion, chopped
  •                1 jar purchased spaghetti sauce
  •                1 /2 tsp. dried oregano, basil or Italian herbs
  • 2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup milk     ++ Full fat or 2% is best
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 grated Parmesan cheese

METHOD

Butter a 9′ x 13′ pan

– If you have leftover sauce and meatballs, spread 2 – 3 cups of sauce and chopped up meatballs on bottom pan.

– No Leftovers?  —  Fry 1 lb. ground beef and one onion, chopped, in a large skillet. Remove any fat from pan and discard.  Add one jar spaghetti sauce, some herbs, such as 1 /2 tsp. dried oregano, basil or Italian herbs –  any herbs and spices you wish.   Simmer sauce, uncovered, for 10 minutes to 15 minutes – stirring occasionally.  Spread beef and sauce mixture on bottom of pan.

Sprinkle two cups shredded Mozzarella cheese over meat and sauce.

  Popover Topping

In a medium bowl beat -on high – 1 cup milk, 2 large eggs and 1 Tbs. olive oil until foamy, about a minute.  Add 1 cup all-purpose flour and 1/2 tsp salt   Beat on high until mixture is thoroughly blended. Slowly pour batter over mozzarella cheese.  Sprinkle with 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan.

Bake at 400F for between 35- 45 minutes.  The meat and sauce with be bubbling and the popover topping should be lightly browned and puffy.  If you check and the popover topping isn’t puffy and lightly browned, just bake it a bit longer.  ++  The amount of time needed will depend upon your oven – and your pan. If using a glass pan, you will probably need the full 45 minutes simply because glass doesn’t conduct heat in the same way as metal.  (I’m making a note to myself to tell my son that!)   

6 - Popover Pizza a.k.a. Upside-Down Pizza - myyellowfarmhouse.com

Coconut Joy Cheesecake Bars with Chocolate Wafer Crust

Believe it or not, I’ve never made a cheesecake… ever!  My sister-in-law Doris makes a killer cheesecake, so I get my ‘cheesecake thrills’ whenever we’re all together.  But when I saw this recipe, I knew just had to make it.  I’m so glad I did because these cheesecake bars taste like a candy bar in cheesecake form.

My Very First Cheesecake Ever is in the oven right now.  It’s gonna be interesting to see if it comes out a bit lopsided.  The kitchen floors here in My Yellow Farmhouse are old and slant down a bit, especially right in the corner where the stove resides.  My Man of All Work (my brother-in-law Mike) did his best to level out the floor, but since I moved here I’ve never baked a cake that was absolutely level.  ++  The cheesecake actually came out level – hurrah!

I recommend baking these cheesecake bars the night before, or early in the morning of the day you plan to serve it because once the cheesecake is cooled completely, it’s refrigerated for 4 hours.  Then a simple creamy chocolatey topping is prepared using chocolate chips and Cool Whip, then toasted almonds and coconut are sprinkled on top.  Yummy!

INGREDIENTS

Chocolate Wafer Crust

  • 1 ¼ cups finely crushed chocolate wafer cookies   ++   About 25 – I used Nabisco ‘Famous Chocolate Wafers. 
  • 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup melted butter

Cheesecake Filling

  • 4 packages (8 oz.) cream cheese – SOFTENED
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ tsp. vanilla  AND  ½ tsp. almond flavoring
  • ½ cup coconut milk   ++ Due to my broken ankle I accidentally ordered an Almond Milk/Coconut Milk blend to be delivered via Pea Pod …. luckily, it worked great!!
  • 4 eggs

Creamy Chocolatey Topping with Toasted Almonds and Coconut

  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips  ++  I used mini-chocolate chips.  
  • 1 (8 0z.) container of FROZEN whipped topping, such as Cool Whip
  • 2 drops almond extract
  • 1 cup flaked sweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds  – OR – 1/2 cup almond pieces  ++ I had whole almonds, so I put some in a food bag & ‘smacked them down’ a bit.  ; o )

small red heart

       Line a 10″ x 9″ pan with aluminum foil          Bake at 325F  for 45 minutes

Once cheesecake is fully cooked, turn off oven – leaving door open –  and let cheesecake sit in oven for 20 minutes.

METHOD

In a small bowl, thoroughly mix 1 ¼ cups finely crushed chocolate waferS, 2 Tbs. granulated sugar and ¼ cup melted butter.  Using your fingers, press chocolate wafer mixture into bottom of a 13 x 9” pan, which you’ve covered with aluminum foil – edges hanging over.  ++ This will help will when removing the cheesecake bars.

In a medium bowl, using mixer, thoroughly blend 4 packages (8 oz.) SOFTENED cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, ½ tsp. vanilla  AND  ½ tsp. almond flavoring.  Slowly add in 1/2 cup coconut milk.  ++ Or.. Almond Milk/Coconut Milk Blend.  Add 4 eggs – one at a time, mixing on low until well blended.  Pour over chocolate wafer crust.

Bake at 325F for 45 minutes – or until center is almost set.  Turn off oven.  Open door and leave cheesecake in oven for 20 minutes.  ++ If you’re like me and you’ve never made a cheesecake before, you’ll be pleased to see that, after 20 minutes sitting in the still-warm oven, the center will be fully set!!  Remove cheesecake from oven, place on a cooling rack and cooled completely.   Refrigerate 4 hours – or overnight.

The Finishing Touches — microwave 2 oz. chocolate chips and 1 cup FROZEN whipped topping (such as Cool Whip) in a medium bowl – on high – for 1 minute.  Stir and heat on high for another minute.  ++ The whipped topping will melt down… don’t worry. That’s the way it should be!  Add in 2 drops almond extract. Whisk hot mixture until chocolate chips are completely melted, then mix a bit more until you get a nice dark chocolate color.  Pour over cheesecake and spread evenly. Sprinkle on  1 cup flaked coconut and 1/2 cup almond bits – or sliced almonds. Cut into squares and refrigerate until its time to serve.   Enjoy!

 

Coconut Joy Cheesecake Bars with Chocolate Cookie Crust - myyellowfarmhouse.com
Coconut Joy Cheesecake Bars with Chocolate Cookie Crust

Tired of Thin Layer Cakes – Here’s a Trick to Fix That! Yellow Layer Cake with Mini Chocolate Chips and English Toffee Bits

I don’t know about other parts of the world, but the cake mixes in the States have been getting smaller and smaller – which is so wrong.  I’d rather pay a bit more and have a nice, fat layer cake..  We have no control over what the stupid cake mix companies do, but luckily there’s a few things you can add to be sure your layer cakes come out bigger.  (You may decide it’s just easier to make a cake from scratch – and that works too!)

BREAKING DEVELOPMENT  – –  I broke my ankle last night… Not a bad break, luckily, but still inconvenient.  And – get this – I’m having a party today because one of my twin sons and his family will be visiting from the Philadelphia area.

I’ve been cooking, and cleaning, for the last few days. Yesterday my other son and I put out all the outdoor furniture… and dragged out all the cushions and lanterns etc.  I was so pleased when I finished washing the final table and chairs… But cruel fate intervened… As I stepped down from our deck (to dump out the bucket of water) my foot caught on a huge, thick stepping stone… Over I went, like Jill of Jack & Jill fame, bucket, gloves and sponges flying all over.

And I heard my ankle break.  I crawled to where I thought I’d left my phone…. then remembered I’d brought it to the porch… so I crawled some more.  In any event, my brother-in-law and a neighbor got in me the car… but not until I directed them to find my comb, get my make-up kit and bring me clean clothes.  Being men… they started getting impatient – but I was married for almost 40 years… so I’m used to it!

Luckily, the cake (which is for my granddaughter’s birthday) was baked before I fell – so I got up early this morning so I could frost it and post the recipe.   ; o )

UPDATE — My Granddaughter was very happy with her birthday cake.  And the party was a great success as well !!

small red heart

Directions for a ‘Bigger and Better’ Layer Cake with Mini Chocolate Chips and English Toffee Bits  

Oven at 350F        Bake for 30 – 35 minutes      Two greased 9” round cake pans

Dry Ingredients for ‘Add-In’ Batter

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar or granulated sugar   ++  I used brown
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 pinches salt

In a medium bowl mix together flour, sugar baking powder and salt with a fork

Liquid Ingredients for ‘Add-In’ Batter

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 egg

Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients. Beat with mixer for about 30 seconds until well blended.  Set bowl aside.

  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup English Toffee Bits  ++  I used ‘Heath’ Brand 
  • 1 Tbs. all purpose flour

Mix 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, 1/2 cup English Toffee Bits and 1 Tbs. flour in a small bowl.  Set aside.

  • 1 yellow cake mix, prepared according to package directions    ++  I used Duncan Hines Butter Yellow – ‘Classic’

Once cake mix is prepared, pour in ‘Add-On’ batter.  Beat with mixer for about 30 seconds until well blended.  Gently mix in mini chocolate chips, English Toffee Pieces and flour mixture.

Divide batter equally between two greased 9” round cake pans.  Bake at 350F for 30 – 35 minutes – or until toothpick or sharp knife inserted in center comes out clean.   ++  Because of the ‘Add-In’ batter, your layers may take 3 – 5 minutes more time than usual.  

Cool cakes on wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove cake from pans and cool completely before frosting.

Due to my broken ankle – and the fact that I have no crutches because the ER ran out of ‘short people crutches’, I frosted my cake with purchased frosting BUT soon I’ll post my recipe for a really delicious homemade chocolate frosting ‘to die for’.   Enjoy!!

P.S.  My son who lives locally is arriving in a few minutes with some crutches – HURRAH!! And I am not cancelling the party …however, I won’t be the one bringing out trays of food.. not for several weeks.

1 - Morgan's Birthday Cake - My Yellow Farmhouse

Add-In Batter – Ready to Go

2 - Morgan's Birthday Cake - My Yellow Farmhouse
Add-In Batter & Cake Mix Batter Mixed – Chocolate Chips and English Toffee Added
3 = Morgan's Birthday Cake - My Yellow Farmhouse
Divide Batter Equally Between 2 Greased 9″ Pans
Morgan's birthday cake - My Yellow Farmhouse
I Like to Level the Layers Using a Sharp Knife

Tired of Thin Layer Cakes - Here's a Trick to Fix That!  Yellow Layer Cake with Mini Chocolate Chips and English Toffee - My Yellow 

 

Parmesan and Basil Spiral Dinner Rolls – Short on Time? Buy Prepared Dough!

Parmesan and Basil Dinner Rolls - myyellowfarmhouse.com (6)

Parmesan and Basil Dinner Rolls would be a delicious addition to any meal but, at least for me, these babies are the perfect accompaniment for spaghetti and meatballs or lasagna … actually, pretty much anything Italian.

I used my bread machine, which makes a 2 lb. loaf, to prepare the dough for these rolls. Since I only needed half the dough to make 12 rolls, I used the rest to bake a loaf of bread. Of course, you could use the dough to prepare 24 Parmesan and Basil Rolls instead of 12!

Yesterday I lost a life-long friend to pancreatic cancer.  Angela adored bread, in any form.  My dear friend, I dedicate today’s post to you. And I like to imagine you and your mom busy preparing the best lasagna heaven has ever seen.

small red heart

++  You can purchase 1 lb. of bread dough, prepare the dough the ‘old fashioned way’ or use a bread machine, set on the ‘dough’ setting – it’s up to you.

This bread machine recipe makes a 2 lb. loaf.  One lb. makes 12 rolls plus one bread.  Or, if you chose, you could make 24 ‘Parmesan and Basil Rolls’.  For 24 rolls, you’ll need two 8 1/2″ – 9″ round cake pans.

DOUGH INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ¼ cup lukewarm milk
  • ¼ cup lukewarm water
  • 2 Tbs. butter or olive oil
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1 Tbs. AND 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 ¼ tsp. bread machine (quick rise) yeast

Add ingredients and set bread machine for ‘dough’.  Should take about 2 hours.

FILLING INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbs. softened butter
  • 2 Tbs. mayonnaise
  • ¼ tsp. dried Italian seasonings – or oregano
  • ¾ tsp. minced fresh basil leaves
  • 2 – 3 fresh garlic cloves, crushed     OPTIONAL

TO SPRINKLE ON TOP OF ROLLS AT END OF BAKING

  • 1 heaping Tbs. grated Parmesan

METHOD      

Oven at 375F      8 1/2″ to 9″ round cake pan     Bake rolls for approximately 25 minutes

Mix 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, 2 Tbs. softened butter, 2 Tbs. mayonnaise and herbs in a small bowl.  Set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll 1 lb. (16 oz.) bread dough into a 12” by 14” rectangle.

+  If using frozen bread dough, allow it to thaw and warm up a bit so dough will be easier to roll.

 ++  Dough may have the tendency to spring back – just let it rest for a minute and then ‘give it another go’.  Also, don’t be afraid to take a bit of dough from one place and stick it onto another place in order to get the rectangular shape.  

Spread Parmesan/butter/mayonnaise/spice mixture evenly on the 12″ x 14″ rectangle.  ++ I like to drop small amounts all over – I think it makes it easier to spread the filling.

Starting at the 12” end, roll up dough and cut into 12 equal sections.

Place sections in an 8½” to 9” round cake pan.  (Pan does NOT have to be greased.)  Cover pan with a dish (tea) towel and allow dough to rise until almost double – between 40 minutes to over an hour.

++  I recommend placing the dough in the oven to rise, and I place a 10” x 13” pan filled with hot water on the lowest shelf because the hot water helps the dough rise evenly – and usually faster.  

Once rolls are risen, remove from oven and set oven temperature to 375F.Bake rolls for 20 minutes – remove from oven and sprinkle on 1 heaping Tbs. grated Parmesan.  Bake 4 – 5 minutes more.

Allow rolls to cool for a minute or two, then remove from pan with a spatula.  Enjoy! 

 Parmesan and Basil Dinner Rolls - myyellowfarmhouse.com (7)