Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Orange Teriyaki Chicken Kabobs

It's time for another Eating the Alphabet challenge.  Brenda from Meal Planning Magic, issues the letters for the challenge and then you select something that corresponds with the letter to make.  This month was 'G' or 'H'.  I decided to use ginger because it is something that I rarely use.

A few months ago, I had Barbara Bakes for the Secret Recipe challenge.  I found these chicken kabobs while browsing through her blog and decided they'd make a great weeknight dish since the marinade comes together quickly and the chicken is grilled.  Something we're all looking for in summer meals: easy.

Head on over to Brenda's blog to get more information about the challenge and sign yourself up to participate!

Orange Teriyaki Chicken Kabobs
barely adapted from Barbara Bakes
Orange Teriyaki Glaze
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons ginger, finely grated
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 clove garlic, finely grated or pressed
1/4 cup rice vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon honey
6 bamboo or metal skewers
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
Orange Teriyaki Glaze
1) If using bamboo skewers, soak in water 30 minutes.
2) Prepare Orange Teriyaki Glaze- Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add ginger, orange zest, and garlic and cook stirring occasionally, about two minutes. Add vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, marmalade, orange juice, honey and red pepper. Cook stirring occasionally until slightly thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. and set aside.
2) Thread chicken onto skewers. Preheat grill to high heat and grease grates with oil.
3) Grill kabobs 2 - 3 minutes on all four sides. When the chicken is nearly done, reduce the heat of the grill and slather on the glaze. You want to be careful to let the glaze caramelize onto the chicken but not let it burn - rotate frequently and slather on more glaze after turning. Total cooking time should be about 15 minutes. You can slide the chicken cubes apart and check to see if it is done, or cook to 170ยบ.

Even though the picture is horrible, this was a great dish.  While this chicken was fantastic, the ginger wasn't really prominent.  I changed the recipe to have double the amount of ginger. I loved the amount of orange in the glaze though, it definitely came through.  This was an easy dish and I served it with cilantro lime rice for a delicious dinner. 


Monday, May 6, 2013

Cinnamon Swirl Pound Cake

I love cinnamon, and try to make things that have cinnamon as often as possible.  When I received my Secret Recipe Club assignment for the month: Everyday Mom, I quickly settled on this recipe.  I also chose this recipe because a bundt cake pan is something that I've wanted to get for a long time, so I was excited when I found mini-bundt cakes and look forward to using it to try other delicious recipes.

                       Secret Recipe Club

Everyday Mom is written by Kim, who looks like she has a lot of fun making stuff with and for her kids.  I don't have kids yet, but hope that someday I can do food projects with my kids.  I'm sure that will be yet another journey that my cooking will take us on.  Check out Kim's blog to find kid friendly recipes and a lot of good-looking desserts.

Cinnamon Swirl Pound Cake
from Everyday Mom
Cinnamon Streusel Swirl:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Buttermilk Pound Cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
1 cup buttermilk

1) Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease the inside of a 10-inch Bundt pan or all the compartments of a mini-bundt cake pan. Dust the pan with flour and shake out the excess.
Cinnamon Swirl:

2) In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt, breaking up any large lumps of brown sugar. Add the melted butter and stir until blended and crumbly.
Pound Cake:

3)  Sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg into a medium bowl. Whisk to combine, and set aside.
4) In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter at a medium speed until very creamy, about 2 minutes.

5) Gradually add the sugar and beat at medium-high speed until well blended and light, about 4 minutes.
6) At medium speed, add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat in the vanilla extract and orange zest.
7) At low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk in two additions and mixing just until well combined.
8) Scrape half of the batter into the prepared pan and smooth it into an even layer. Sprinkle the streusel mixture evenly over the batter. Scrape the remaining batter on top and smooth it into an even layer.
9) Bake the cake for 65 to 75 minutes for a normal bundt cake pan or 45 minutes for mini-bundt cake pans, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes.

While I was writing this blog post, my husband snuck two out of the pan while I wasn't looking and declared these really good.  I love pound cake, so I knew they would be delicious.  I put cinnamon in the batter as well, and unfortunately, I couldn't really taste the cinnamon.  Next time, I think I'll ad even more.  These are fantastic by themselves, but I can't wait to find toppings to try with them.

If you have a favorite recipe using your bundt cake pan, please feel free to leave me recipes in a comment. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Sloppy Joe Mac

Casseroles aren't really dishes that are meant for two people.  A 9 by 13 pan of something plus a side dishe usually turns into a week of leftovers.  Therefore, I don't really put casseroles on the menu very often. 

Since I'm going through my sloppy joe phase, which I think by now I've exhausted all my sloppy joe recipes, when I saw this, I figured I'd make it.  I considered cutting the recipe down to bake into a 9 by 9, but then ended up dumping the entire box of macaroni into the boiling water.  Oops, more leftovers for me.

Sloppy Joe Mac
from FoodNetwork
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
One 15-ounce can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
Salt and pepper to taste
3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 green pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 cup beef broth
12 ounces elbow macaroni with ridges
2 cups shredded yellow Cheddar

1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2) Combine the brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and tomato sauce in a small bowl.
3) Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook until well browned. Season with salt and pepper.
4) Add the garlic, bell peppers and onions and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.
5) Pour the tomato mixture over the beef, add the beef broth and stir until well combined. Simmer until thickened, 5 to 10 minutes.
6) Meanwhile, cook the macaroni in a large pot of salted boiling water until not quite tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and add to the sauce. Pour the mixture into a casserole dish and top with the cheese.
7) Bake until the casserole is bubbling and the top is browned.

This was a really easy dish and was really tasty too.  I was surprised at how much it tasted like a sloppy joe.  We really didn't have many leftovers.  By the end of the first night, there was only half a pan left.  I think this would be a great potluck dish.  Kids would love it because of the mac and cheese part and it is simple to put together.