Sunday, April 10, 2011

Orange Kissed cookies

From MiraLynn


1 C white sugar
1/2 butter flavored crisco
1 egg
1/2 C sour cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 C all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 C +1 T thawed orange concentrate
1 T grated orange zest


1 tsp grated orange zest
1/4 C thawed orange juice concentrate
1/2 C softened butter
3 C powdered sugar
2-3 drops orange food coloring- optional

preheat oven to 375
In med bowl combine dry ingredients- whisk around to combine
in large mixing bowl combine white sugar and shortening, beat until mixed.
Add egg and beat again, then stir in the sour cream, vanilla and beat another min,
Add flour mixture just until combined. Add juice concentrate and orange zest and mix well
Use cookie scoop and drop onto cookie sheet. It will be very wet yet thicker than a cake batter.
Bake 10 min- just until the bottoms turn golden brown.
Cool then frost

Chicken Marsala

Another favorite of my kids for italian night


1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Essence, recipe follows
2 (6 to 8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in halves and pounded thin
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
3 cups sliced mushrooms (cremini, oyster, shiitake)
3/4 cup Marsala- I use cooking marsala off the walmart shelf
1 cup chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped chives, for garnish


In a shallow bowl or plate combine the flour and Essence and stir to combine thoroughly. Quickly dredge the chicken breast halves in the seasoned flour mixture, shaking to remove any excess flour.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter and cook the chicken breasts until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Add 1 tablespoon of the remaining butter to the pan and add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are golden brown around the edges and have given off their liquid. Add the Marsala wine and bring to a boil, scraping to remove any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. When the wine has reduced by half, add the chicken stock and cook for 3 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened slightly. Lower the heat to medium and return the chicken breasts to the pan and continue to cook until they are cooked through and the sauce has thickened, about 5 to 6 minutes. Swirl in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, add salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with chopped chives and serve immediately.

Chicken Piccata


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/3 pounds chicken breast tenders, cut into 1-inch pieces
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white wine- I use the cooking wine on the walmart shelf
1 lemon, juiced
1 cup chicken broth or stock
3 tablespoons capers, drained
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 pound penne rigate pasta, cooked to al dente
Chopped or snipped chives, for garnish


Heat a deep nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and the chicken to the pan. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Brown chicken until lightly golden all over, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and return the skillet to the heat. Reduce heat to medium. Add another tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter, the garlic and shallots to the skillet. Saute garlic and shallots 3 minutes. Add flour and cook 2 minutes. Whisk in wine and reduce liquid 1 minute. Whisk lemon juice and broth into sauce. Stir in capers and parsley. When the liquid comes to a bubble, add remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter to the sauce to give it a little shine. Add chicken back to the pan and heat through, 1 to 2 minutes. Toss hot pasta with chicken and sauce and serve. Adjust salt and pepper, to your taste. Top with fresh snipped chives.

Mexican Beans and Rice

I love this one for a meat free night- it's filling but very easy on the budget and the belly! It also makes a decent recipe for building your three month food storage on, considering you will make your own tortillas and substitute frozen corn with canned, fresh cilantro with dried.


1 lb bag pinto beans
1/4 Medium onion- un-chopped
2 whole garlic cloves

1 1/2 tsp canola oil
1 T finely chopped onion
1 C uncooked long grain rice or calrose rice(available in the Asian section)
1/2 tsp Salt
2/3 C frozen corn, thawed
1/4 C fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 C tomato sauce
2 C water

12 Corn or taco size tortillas
sour cream
fresh salsa


*Rinse beans well and soak over night. Drain and discard water
Put the drained beans in a soup pot ans add fresh water to cover pot about 2 inches. Add the whole 1/4 onion and whole garlic cloves to the pot. Bring to full boil and then reduce, simmer 3 hours. ( I have also put this in my small crock pot half the day when I know I am not going to be home to watch the stove all day long- easier
*Check to make sure beans are always covered with water through.
*Remove onion and garlic after beans are cooked, season generously with salt
*About 40 minutes until serving time, heat oil in saucepan over med heat ans cook the 1T chopped onion until soft. Add rice and stir for a min. Add the alt, corn, cilantro, tomato sauce and water and bring to a boil, decrease heat and sinner 15-20 min. or until rice is fully cooked
warm up tortillas over stove- We love the corn tortillas brushed with olive oil and fried in the pan until a little crunchy.

*Serve beans and rice in separate bowl and pass the tortillas around with the salsa and sour cream.