Italian Chicken Marinade

Italian Chicken Marinade | marissabaker.wordpress.comI ran out of the Italian dressing that I use as a marinade, so I decided to try making my own. I’d been thinking about it since reading the ingredients label on the dressing, which I think had more corn syrup in it than vinegar. Bleh.

I’ve tried this recipe out on chicken twice so far — once smothering the marinated pieces in tomato sauce and cheese and once baked on it’s own to accompany a potato side dish. It tasted good both ways. Let me know what you think if you try it in another dish or on a salad!

Italian Chicken Marinade

Italian Chicken Marinade | marissabaker.wordpress.com
spice mix

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon basil

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon parsley

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon lemon juice

3 Tablespoons olive oil

3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar

Italian Chicken Marinade | marissabaker.wordpress.com
whisk, whisk, whisk!

Combine all dry ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk in lemon juice, olive oil, and vinegar. Pour over chicken and marinade for at least 20 minutes.

Italian Chicken Marinade | marissabaker.wordpress.com
makes plenty of marinade for 10 to 15 chicken tenders.
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Chicken and Broccoli Shells

Chicken and Broccoli Shells | marissabaker.wordpress.comThis recipe is one of the answers to the question, “What do you do with broccoli heads the size of bowling balls?” Seriously, that’s how big these things are. I’ve never seen broccoli grow this large. We weren’t able to use it all before they started to bloom, but the plants we cut are already producing side-shoot broccoli heads. If you’ve grown broccoli, you know the second heads are significantly smaller than the first ones. For these plants, that means they are size of broccoli you see in the grocery store.

Chicken and Broccoli Shells

2 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut in 1″ cubes

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1 1⁄2 cups chopped broccoli, fresh or frozen

2 cups chicken broth

1 can (10.5 ounces) cream of chicken soup

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups small shell pasta, uncooked

1 cup (4 ounces) cheddar cheese, shredded

Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink. Add broccoli, broth, soup, pepper, garlic and pasta. Bring to a boil.

Chicken and Broccoli Shells | marissabaker.wordpress.com

Reduce heat to lowest setting, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until pasta is tender. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Check near the end of cooking and add a small amount of water, if needed. Stir in cheese during last two minutes of cooking.

Chicken and Broccoli Shells | marissabaker.wordpress.com

Creamy Pesto Chicken

Creamy Pesto Chicken | marissabaker.wordpress.com

I made pesto a little while ago to go with some bread. Now we’re out of bread and I’m left with almost a full batch of pesto. Whatever should I do with it all? Here’s one answer (also yet another way to use the monster heads of broccoli out in the garden).

I’m sure it would taste even better with fresh pesto but, alas, I didn’t get my herb garden planted and I have no basil. Instead, I used a recipe I pulled off the Internet some years ago for dried basil pesto. It’s not as good, but it works in a pinch. If you haven’t any other pesto you like to use, scroll down to the end for that recipe.

Creamy Pesto Chicken

Creamy Pesto Chicken | marissabaker.wordpress.com1 pound chicken breast, thinly sliced

1 Tablespoon olive oil

2 to 3 cups rotini or bow-tie pasta

2 cups broccoli florets

1 can cream of chicken soup or substitute

1/3 cup pesto

1/2 cup milk

Cook pasta with broccoli until al dente according to package directions. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in skillet. Cook chicken until no pink remains.

Creamy Pesto Chicken | marissabaker.wordpress.com

Add cream of chicken soup, pesto, and milk to the skillet with the chicken. Bring to a boil and cook on low for 5 minutes. Add cooked pasta and heat through before serving.

Creamy Pesto Chicken | marissabaker.wordpress.com

Dried Basil Pesto

Homemade pesto from dried basil | marissabaker.wordpress.com
up close with the pesto

1/2 cup dried basil

1/4 cup walnuts

3 cloves garlic

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1/2 – 3/4 cups olive oil

Pulse first four ingredients in food processor until walnuts are chopped. Add olive oil and run blender for about 30 seconds. Chill until ready to use.

Quick Pepper-Chicken Stir Fry

Quick Pepper-Chicken Stir Fry | marissabaker.wordpress.comThe garden has started supplying us with giant bowls of lettuce, more beans than we know what to do with, crunchy green cabbages, baskets full of sugar snap peas, and the first zucchini of the summer. That means two things around here — salads and stir fries.

Quick Pepper-Chicken Stir Fry | marissabaker.wordpress.com
cabbage, zucchini, and peas are all from our garden

Couple days ago I wanted to do a stir fry with chicken as a the main dish, rather than stir fry as a side, but didn’t feel like something as sweet as my Sesame Stir Fry or a recipe which required quite so much time/effort to cook the chicken as the Simple Chicken Stir Fry. So I made something up. It’s an easy recipe — just throw the chicken and marinade ingredients together, mix up some sauce, cook the chicken, add vegetables, and then pour the sauce on at the last minute. I ground some peppercorns over it to make it look pretty and so I could call it pepper chicken. Enjoy!

Quick Pepper-Chicken Stir Fry

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Chicken Marinade

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

1 Tablespoon soy sauce

1 Tablespoon rice wine

Cut up chicken into bite-sized cubes and place in a bowl. Add marinade ingredients, and stir. Let sit for 15 minutes.

Quick Pepper-Chicken Stir Fry | marissabaker.wordpress.com
chicken marinade

Sauce

2 Tablespoons tapioca starch

2 Tablespoons rice wine

3 Tablespoons soy sauce

1 Tablespoon honey

1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Mix tapioca starch with rice wine in a small bow. Add other sauce ingredients and set aside.

Quick Pepper-Chicken Stir Fry | marissabaker.wordpress.com
mixed the sauce up in the same measuring cup I used for rice. Might as well only wash one dish 🙂

Cooking

2 Tablespoons cooking oil

3-4 cups chopped vegetables (such as zucchini, snow peas, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, and/or cabbage)

fresh-ground black pepper corns

Heat oil in a wok or deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and stir fry until cooked through. Add chopped vegetables and stir fry until they are tender but not so soft they become mushy. Add sauce, and stir (it will thicken quickly). Removed from heat and grind peppercorns over the stir-fry. Serve with rice.

Quick Pepper-Chicken Stir Fry | marissabaker.wordpress.com
start stirring as soon as you add the sauce to avoid lumps as it thickens.

 

Teriyaki Chicken-Rice Bake

Teriyaki Chicken-Rice Bake | marissabaker.wordpress.comThis recipe was originally the Teriyaki Chicken Casserole from ohsweetbasil.com. She starts with the fried-rice already made according to another recipe on her site, but I’ve formatted the recipe presented here so you can make it all at once (I’ve also changed some ingredients for everything except the sauce). You don’t even need to use day-old rice, like for most fried rice recipes.

Teriyaki Chicken-Rice Bake

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Teriyaki Chicken-Rice Bake | marissabaker.wordpress.com
finished sauce with chicken

Teriyaki sauce

3/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon honey

3/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 small garlic clove, minced fine

2 tablespoons tapioca starch

2 tablespoons cold water

In a medium saucepan, stir together the soy sauce, water, brown sugar, honey, ground ginger, sesame oil, and garlic. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute.

In a small bowl, stir together the water and cornstarch. Add 1 teaspoon of the hot soy mixture to the cornstarch mixture and then slowly pour everything into the boiling soy mixture, whisking until it begins to thicken. Set aside.

Teriyaki Chicken-Rice Bake | marissabaker.wordpress.com
ingredients

Rice

2 Tablespoons soy sauce

1 Tablespoon rice wine

1 Tablespoon brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon white sugar

1/8 teaspoon ginger

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 eggs

3 cups cooked jasmine rice

1 Tablespoon sesame oil

Olive Oil cooking spray

In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sugar, ginger and crushed red pepper. Set aside. Spray wok with olive oil and bring to medium heat. Lightly whisk together the eggs and add to the pan. Let it cook until set, flipping or stirring as needed to keep from burning. Removed eggs form the wok and cut them up.

Add sesame oil to wok. Add the rice, cooking until hot and the rice is beginning to pop. Add the sauce mixture, stirring to combine. Add the eggs, and stir until heated through.

Teriyaki Chicken-Rice Bake | marissabaker.wordpress.com
finished rice

Casserole

Teriyaki Chicken-Rice Bake | marissabaker.wordpress.com
shredding the chicken

2 chicken breasts

2-3 carrots

1 head broccoli

10 snow peas

Place the chicken in an 8×8-in. baking dish and pour 1 cup of the teriyaki sauce over the chicken. Bake for 30 minutes at 350°F. Remove from the oven and shred.

Cut up and steam the vegetables. Place rice, chicken, and vegetables in a 9×13-in. baking dish. Add 3 tablespoons of the leftover teriyaki sauce and stir to combine. Place the dish back in the oven for 15 minutes, remove from the oven and drizzle with a little more sauce. Serve immediately.

Teriyaki Chicken-Rice Bake | marissabaker.wordpress.com
before baking

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One Tasty Sandwich and A Tale of House-sitting

One Tasty Sandwich and A Tale of House-sitting marissabaker.wordpress.com

One Tasty Sandwich and A Tale of House-sitting marissabaker.wordpress.com
Nosey Dude

I spent most of the past week house-sitting for my Uncle, which largely involved spending time with his crazy animals. I’d thought the dogs (which I’d heard horror-stories about) would be the problem, since I don’t really care for dogs and I was a bit afraid of them. But they were perfect sweet-hearts while I was there (though right after I left they killed a skunk and rolled in it to prepare for my uncle’s home coming). It was the cats that almost drove me crazy.

I love cats. I think they are adorable. Just for the record, I still think that after spending the week with Nosey Dude and Remy (aka Hoodwinked or whatever you feel like calling him at any given moment). It’s just that they tried my patience a little. I was warned not to bother closing the bedroom door because Remy has figured out door knobs. So I left the door open, and Nosey demonstrated how aptly he was named by coming in to check on me every three hours. By “check on me” I mean pounce on my head (he must weigh 20 pounds) and walk around the pillow crying for attention. I managed to barricade the door on subsequent nights.

One Tasty Sandwich and A Tale of House-sitting marissabaker.wordpress.com
Remy

Remy has also figured out cupboard doors. I heard weird noises from the kitchen all week, and finally caught him sliding into the cupboard where clean dishes are stored. Yuck! I also found him knocking a knife from the counter to the floor. Not sure I want to know what his plans were for that.

Both cats were very talkative, and very interested in the kitchen. They were constantly telling me how hungry they were, and though they looked like they should be on a diet I did feed them three times a day as instructed (with a couple tiny little scoops in between. I’m a sucker for begging kitties). I didn’t spend much time cooking for myself, preferring to take advantage of the alone time to write. One thing I did whip up was a tasty sandwich. It’s not exactly my normal recipe type of post, but that’s what I’m going to share today.

I started by seasoning a piece of chicken with McCormic’s Grill Mates Montreal Chicken spice that I found in the cupboard. Then I just fried it in a thin layer of oil, like I do for Mushroom-Herb Chicken and Thai-Peanut Chicken.

One Tasty Sandwich and A Tale of House-sitting marissabaker.wordpress.comI’d brought some lettuce from home, and stopped at Meijer to pick up Swiss cheese (I could only find slices, which was convenient but why were there no bricks of Swiss cheese?), multigrain ciabatta rolls, and Olive Oil mayonnaise (which I’ve been wanting to try, since I’m a big fan of olive oil).

One Tasty Sandwich and A Tale of House-sitting marissabaker.wordpress.comIt all turned into a nice sandwich, particularly tasty with a juice smoothie on the side. I’ve developed a passion for Naked juice, particularly the Mighty Mango variety (though with this particular lunch I was trying out Strawberry Banana).

One Tasty Sandwich and A Tale of House-sitting marissabaker.wordpress.com
sandwich and smoothie