Thursday, November 20, 2008

Chicken Tikka Masala

My sister found this recipe on LOVE it. We did change the amount of salt as the way it was written would be sure to give us cankles for days.

You can use more or less jalapenos to adjust the heat. Plus I don't like cilantro (hello, tastes like soap) so I leave that out. I usually just cook the chicken on a broiling pan in the oven instead of grilling, because I am lazy, and it always turns out great.

1 cup plain yogurt
1 Tbs lemon juice
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbs minced fresh ginger
1 tsp salt, or to taste
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
4 long skewers

1 Tbs butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
1 tsp salt, or to taste
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


1. In a large bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, ginger, and salt. Stir in chicken, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
2. Preheat a grill for high heat.
3. Lightly oil the grill grate. Thread chicken onto skewers, and discard marinade. Grill until juices run clear, about 5 minutes on each side.
4. Melt butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and jalapeno for 1 minute. Season with 2 teaspoons cumin, paprika, and salt. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Add grilled chicken, and simmer for 10 minutes. Garnish with fresh cilantro.

Chicken Piccata

Moh loves this dish, loves it! The original recipe called for half the amount of sauce, but we like to eat it with a little linguine or angel hair, so I doubled the sauce amount.

Chicken Piccata


4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, pounded thin (I like to buy the chicken cutlets, cause I'm lazy like that)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 Tbs butter
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs capers (optional, I don't use)

Combine flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish.
Coat each breast with flour mixture and shake off excess.
In a skillet over medium heat, melt the butter.
Add the chicken breasts and sauté (turning once) for 5 minutes or until cooked through.
Remove chicken from skillet.
In same skillet, combine the chicken broth, wine, and lemon juice.
Boil sauce, reducing it by one third.
Top chicken with sauce.
Sprinkle with capers.

Hot Dog Chili

When I asked my mother for the family's hot dog chili recipe, this is what she gave me. It sounded too generic and plain, but it really is great. Everyone who tries it says it reminds them of hot dog sales from their childhood!


1 lb ground chuck
1 small onion chopped
1 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon chili powder


Place ground chuck and onion in a medium saucepan and cover with water.
Cook over high, stirring to break up the meat. Cook until the beef is no longer pink.
Drain the meat mixture and then return to the saucepan.
Add ketchup and chili powder (more if desired) to the meat.
Cook over low heat until the chili is warmed through.

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Anyone who knows me at all knows that I am not a veggie fan. At all. So, it's kind of a shock that this is one of my favorite dips. I'm sure it has nothing to do with all the cheese. The recipe is borrowed from a poster on recipezaar.

Spinach Artichoke Dip


2 cups parmesan cheese
1 (10 ounce) box frozen spinach, thawed
1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained (I like using a jar of the marinated artichoke hearts, drained. I also chop them in smaller pieces)
2/3 cup sour cream
1 cup cream cheese
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons garlic, minced


Preheat oven to 375°F.
Mix together Parmesan cheese, spinach, and artichoke hearts.
Combine remaining ingredients and mix with spinach mixture.
Bake for 20-30 minutes.

I eat this with the gold tostitos, but you can also use crackers.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Secret Pumpkin Pie recipe

The women on my mom's side of the family have always made the best pumpkin pies (well except for my Aunt Darlene, but that's ANOTHER story). They all obviously used the exact same recipe and had always referred to it as the "secret family recipe".

Now pumpkin pie is one of my all-time favorite foods. I will even eat it for breakfast the morning after Thanksgiving, it's best that way, ice cold from the fridge. I'm a pie purist too, while the rest of the family uses Cool Whip, I enjoy it plain the way nature intended. Mmmm...

My first Thanksgiving living on my own, I decide to make my own pie. I called my Aunt Carol and asked for the secret recipe. She said sure, no problem, but that I HAD to make sure I used Libby's pumpkin, no other would do. Luckily I had a can of Libby's so I was ready to go and I told her that. She said really? Right in front of you? Turn it over.

The family's secret family recipe was the one from the back of the can. Oh, but wait, they use pumpkin pie spice instead of the separate spices! My Aunt was still laughing at me when I hung up on her.

The Brammer Family Secret Pumpkin Pie Recipe (thanks Libby's)


3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice (can use more, it's a personal thing)
2 large eggs
1 can (15 oz.) LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin (not the pie mix!)
1 can (12 fl. oz.) Evaporated Milk
1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell (I use the Pillsbury ready made pie crust)

Mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.

Pour into pie shell.

Bake in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Black Bean soup

I used to make black bean soup from the recipe on the back of the Progresso black beans can. However, I am currently unable to find a can of Progresso black beans and I didn't copy the recipe.

I did a google search and the following is what I found. I think that is right, but I am pretty sure that I chopped the celery and carrots really fine and I didn't use the salsa OR the corn. 'Cause I think corn in stuff is yuck. To me. I have issues.

Oh and an immersion blender is your friend. It is much easier to use (and clean) than a blender for blending the beans.

Update: Found the recipe and yes, it is the same. W00t!


1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium stalk celery, chopped (1/2 cup)
2 medium carrots, chopped (1 cup)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp chili powder (I used 1 Tbsp)
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp pepper
3 cans (14 oz each) chicken broth 4 cans (15 oz each) black beans, drained, rinsed
1 can (15.25 oz) whole kernel sweet corn, drained
1 jar (16 oz) mild picante or salsa

1. In 4-qt saucepan or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook onion, celery, carrots and garlic in oil 5 min, stirring occasionally. Add chili powder, cumin and pepper, cook 1 min. Stir in broth, 2 cans of the black beans and the corn. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally.
2. Meanwhile, place remaining 2 cans black beans and the picante in blender or food processor. Cover and blend on high speed until smooth. Stir into boiling soup mixture.
3. Reduce heat to medium; simmer 15 min. Serve with chopped cilantro, if desired.

6 servings

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Farfalle Ai Porri E Salsicce - (Farfalle with Sausage And Leeks)

I made this recipe in an Italian sauces cooking class that my friend Mel and I took. I love taking cooking classes and I wish I had the time and money to take more. Moh loves this recipe, mainly for the Italian sausage.

One tip, make sure you clean the leeks really well as they are full of grit. I rinse them and then slice into thin rings (discard the end and most of the green part). I then put the pieces in a salad spinner, rinse well and then spin away the water (or dry with paper towels or something if you don't have a spinner).

Farfalle Ai Porri E Salsicce - (Farfalle with Sausage And Leeks)

2 lg Leeks
1 lb Farfalle
2 tb Olive oil
2 Sweet Italian sausages
1 ts Minced shallot
2 tb Unsalted butter
1 c Blanched young peas
1 c Chicken stock
Salt to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper
1/2 c Freshly-grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, trim the leeks discarding the top 1/3 of the rough green portion, and slice in 1/2-inch rounds. Rinse in several changes of cold water to remove all soil and grit; drain well. Add farfalle to boiling water, stirring occasionally. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil, add the leeks and sausages, and saute over moderately-high heat, stirring about 5 minutes. Add the shallot and cook while stirring for 1 minute. Add half of the butter, the peas and stock and simmer gently 5 minutes. Season to taste. When farfalle are al dente, drain well; add the sauce, and toss well to coat the pasta. Add cheese, toss well and serve with additional cheese on the side. This recipe yields 6 servings

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

White Chicken Chili

I love this recipe. My friend made it for me one Halloween and it became one of my go to meals. I'll share her "secret" recipe with you now...

Buy two cans of Busch's great northern beans. Follow the recipe on the back of the can. Ta da!

Just in case you don't have Busch's beans...

White Chicken Chili

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 can (4-ounces) chopped green chilies, drained
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 cans (16 ounces) BUSH'S BEST Great Northern Beans
1 can (14.5 ounces) chicken broth
1 ½ cups finely chopped cooked chicken breast
Shredded Monterey Jack cheese (optional)
Sour cream (optional)
Salsa (optional)

In large skillet, cook onion in oil for 4 minutes or until transparent. Add chilies, flour and cumin; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add beans and chicken broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 10 minutes or until thickened. Add chicken; cook until hot.

Garnish with cheese, sour cream and salsa, if desired.