I 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
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
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.
My new favorite bread recipe comes from alexandracooks.com. Be sure to click over there and visit her recipe, since she has lots of tips for making this turn out just-right, as well as several variations that I haven’t tried working with yet. What I’m posting today focuses on making one peasant loaf and one faux focaccia loaf.
This bread is incredible easy to make, but you do have to plan ahead. I need about three hours between the time you start the bread to the time when you can eat it.
Announcement: I’m planning some changes to this blog to focus on providing more useful resources for my readers. My posts on type psychology have been the ones people consistently comment on as being the most helpful, so I want to focus on that while continuing to write my Christian articles and introducing homeschooling resources for teaching high-school English. With all these changes, I’m most likely going to be phasing-out these weekly recipe posts or moving them to a different blogging platform (unless you all REALLY want me to keep them, in which case they’ll probably be less frequent).
Easy No-Knead Bread
2 cups lukewarm water (110–120° F)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons active-dry yeast
4 cups flour (3 cups all-purpose, 1 cup whole wheat)
2 teaspoons salt
room temperature butter, about 1 tablespoon
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon parsley
1 clove garlic, diced
coarse sea salt
Dissolve the sugar into the water in a small mixing bowl or glass measuring cup. Sprinkle the yeast over top, then let it stand for about 10 to 15 minutes until the mixture is foamy.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Once the yeast mixture is foamy, stir it up. Mix the yeast mixture into the flour until it forms a soft dough.
Cover the bowl with a tea towel run under hot water and rung out so it is slightly damp. Set it aside in a warm spot to rise for about one-and-a-half hours.
Grease one oven-safe bowl or a medium casserole dish and one 9-inch by 9-inch baking dish. Use 1/2 tablespoon of butter for each. Using two forks, punch down the dough and scrape it from the sides of the bowl, turning the dough over on itself. Using the two forks, pull the dough apart into the equal portions and then scoop one into each baking dish.
The peasant loaf, the one in the bowl or casserole dish, is now done. For the faux focaccia, mix 1 Tablespoon olive oil, 1/8 teaspoon Italian seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon parsley, and 1 clove diced garlic. Spread the dough out with your fingers to fit the shape of the pan, then dip your fingers in the olive oil mixture and press the top of the dough to make dimples in the surface. Spread the remainder of the olive oil mixture on top of the bread, and then sprinkle the top with coarse sea salt.
Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Let the dough rise for about 20 to 30 minutes, then bake for 12 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375ºF and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn the loaves onto cooling racks.
Brush the top of the peasant loaf with butter. Let the loaves cool for about 10 minutes before cutting.
I tried a couple recipes for snickerdoodle bars or blondies before finding this one from Six Sisters Stuff. It’s so good! I still prefer the actual snickerdoodle cookies, but this is a very tasty bar form that takes much less time to make since the dough doesn’t need chilled and you bake the whole thing at once.
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla
2 2/3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 Tablespoon white sugar
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Combine the butter, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl by hand or with an electric mixer. Stir in dry ingredients.
Spread batter in a greased 13×9-inch baking pan. In a small bowl, mix the cinnamon topping ingredients, then sprinkle over the top of the batter.
Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes or until top springs back when pressed.
This is an Italian version of the Tuna and Pasta Cheddar Melt that I posted several weeks ago. These are quick and easy meals that take me about 20 minutes from start to finish, so they are a popular choice for lunch around here.
I had a bit more time a couple days ago and tried this with chicken, which had an excellent flavor. It’s not as fast of a meal option, but if you want to try that variation all you have to to is cook about 1 pound of cubed chicken in olive oil and then remove it from the skillet before cooking the pasta. Add the cooked chicken at the same time as you would the tuna.
Oh, one more thing. The recipe says to crush croutons over the pasta, but I was out so I just seasoned some breadcrumbs like I did for the Cottage Cheese Chicken Bake.
Heat the broth and water in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat to a boil. Stir in the pasta. Reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the pasta is tender, stirring often. Do not drain. Stir the thickened soup, 1 cup milk and tuna into the skillet with the pasta.
Stir in spices and Parmesan cheese, then sprinkle the mozzarella over the top. Crush croutons. Sprinkle over the tuna mixture and cook until the cheese has melted and mixture is hot and bubbling.
I think I found the original for this recipe on a site for Campbell’s soup, but I changed its ingredients to add carrots and use this cream soup substitute from Center Cut Cook instead of canned soup. Haven’t tried the soup yet in any of my other recipes that call for cream of chicken, but I plan to. The texture is perfect, though the color and taste is a bit different.
Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour and let cook for 1-2 minutes. Slowly stir in 1/2 cup chicken broth, then 1/2 cup milk. Whisk until it begins to thicken. Let it simmer for a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Stir the thickened soup, 1 cup milk and tuna into the skillet with the pasta. Stir in 1/2 cup of cheese, then sprinkle the rest over the top. Stir the bread crumbs and butter in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the tuna mixture and cook until the mixture is hot and bubbling.
I found this easy, attractive chicken stir fry recipe on Pinterest. The original recipe, from Edible Mosaic, was for a Cabbage, Carrot, and Chicken Stir-fry that served two. I trippled the recipe for our family of 5, thinking my teenage brother would eat enough for two people. Turns out I was wrong — we had enough to feed 6 or 7 people. The left-overs were a great breakfast, though!
Whisk together marinade ingredients. Stir in the chicken and let it marinade for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the marinade, and reserve the remaining marinade for later use. Toss chicken with the tapioca starch.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sesame oil to a wok or large skillet over high heat. Once the oil is hot, turn heat down to medium-high. Cook chicken in small batches in a single layer until browned, about 2 minutes on each side. Add more oil about halfway through cooking the chicken.
Once all the chicken is cooked, add the cabbage, carrot, reserved marinade, and 3/4 cup water to the wok or skillet. Scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the skillet and toss vegetables with a wooden spoon. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until the veggies are crisp-tender, stirring frequently.
Turn off heat and add the chicken. Garnish with the green onion, more sesame seeds, and slivered almonds if desired. Serve over steamed rice.