Friday, October 30, 2009

Krista Kooks is getting a new kitchen and dining room!

Sorry all! I definitely have recipes to share with you, but I'm so swamped right now.

That said, I'm so excited about having a dining room for people to come over and have dinner with my sous chef and I! I am really trying to make it appealing, and I'm looking for your help :)

Anyone have any suggestions for dining room colors? I'd love to hear your opinions!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Slow-Cooked Pulled BBQ (Bar-B-Que) Chicken

Work was crazy. You’re exhausted. You don’t feel like preparing a meal when you get home. Fortunately, you walk in the door and the smell of BBQ hits your nose and you remember, “Oh yeah! I put BBQ chicken in the crockpot this morning!” It’s your lucky day :)

Oh yes, this stuff is yummy and virtually effortless. From my trusty Crockpot cookbookHere’s the recipe:

1 small white or yellow onion, chopped
1 small clove of garlic, minced
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/2 c. ketchup
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
hamburger buns (or Texas Toast like KristaKooks used)

Sprinkle onion and garlic over bottom of the crock and arrange the chicken thighs on top.

In a small bowl, stir together the ketchup, cider vinegar, brown sugar, oil, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, chipotle chili powder, and salt; pour over chicken thighs. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 to 8 hours, until chicken is fork-tender and pulls apart easily.

Remove the chicken from the slow cooker. With two forks, pull apart the meat into shredded chunks; return to the slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover and leave on the KEEP WARM setting until ready to serve. Spoon onto warm hamburger buns.My sous chef and I are big fans of this recipe! The only problem that I have with this recipe is that the BBQ is all sweet. If you are a sweet only person when it comes to BBQ sauce, then this will be no problem for you. However, I wanted mine to have some more spice. Thus, next time, I think I'd like to add pepper, cayenne pepper, more chipotle pepper, or something else to give it some heat. I like the sweet taste, but I want to taste some spice, too.

This is a crazy easy recipe and totally delicious! find your busiest week this week and get this meal prepared for it :) You'll be glad you did!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Oreo Fudge Bars

If you like chocolate and oreos, how can that not look absolutely delicious to you?! BakingBlonde was kind enough to share this delicious recipe that she discovered on, and I was craving some serious chocolate. Only a recipe containing 4 different chocolate chips could satisfy my craving!

adapted from (from BakingBonde)
1 16oz. package of Oreo cookies
1 stick butter, melted
1/4 tsp salt
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (I used Fat Free)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (could use another 1/2 cup semi-sweet chips if you like)
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325.

Line a 9×13 pan with foil and lightly spray with PAM.

Set aside 6 Oreo cookies for the toppings. In a small food processor grind the rest of the cookies. If you don’t have a food processor, just pound with a rolling pin until the cookies are fine crumbs. (KristaKooks used a Magic Bullet to finely grind the oreos!) Add the salt to the crumbs and stir to combine. Melt butter and gently stir together with the cookie crumb mixutre. Press firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan.

Coarsely chop the remaining cookies into chunks and set aside.

Over a double boiler or in the microwave, melt 3/4 cup semi-sweet and 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips together with the condensed milk and vanilla. Stir frequently until smooth. Spread evenly over the prepared cookie crust. Sprinkle the mini chocolate chips and the Oreo cookies chunks over the top of the filling. Press down gently into the chocolate topping. Bake for 20-22 minutes oven. Allow to cool on counter for 1 hour.

Chill in fridge until completely cold and set before cutting into bars or it will make a big mess.

Melt some white chocolate chips to drizzle over the top for some added flavor! Mmmmmm....

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Tyler Florence's Ultimate Chicken Enchiladas

Ok, sorry for the lag in updates, but I have a great recipe for you! I tried out Tyler Florence's Ultimate Chicken Enchiladas. Last week it was my sous chef's birthday week, and I had a full menu set out for him for the week. Thursday was this delicious Enchilada recipe! The recipe is linked above, but I will provide it here as well. Read below for some differences that I did with our enchiladas in comparison to the recipe.

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast
Salt and pepper
2 teaspoons cumin powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon Mexican Spice Blend
1 red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
5 canned whole green chiles, seeded and coarsely chopped
4 canned chipotle chiles, seeded and minced
1 (28-ounce) can stewed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour
16 corn tortillas
1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce, canned
1 cup shredded Cheddar and Jack cheeses
Garnish: chopped cilantro leaves, chopped scallions, sour cream, chopped tomatoes

Coat large saute pan with oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Brown chicken over medium heat, allow 7 minutes each side or until no longer pink. Sprinkle chicken with cumin, garlic powder and Mexican spices before turning. Remove chicken to a platter, allow to cool.

Saute onion and garlic in chicken drippings until tender. Add corn and chiles. Stir well to combine. Add canned tomatoes, saute 1 minute.
Pull chicken breasts apart by hand into shredded strips. Add shredded chicken to saute pan, combine with vegetables. Dust the mixture with flour to help set.

Microwave tortillas on high for 30 seconds. This softens them and makes them more pliable. Coat the bottom of 2 (13 by 9-inch) pans with a ladle of enchilada sauce. Using a large shallow bowl, dip each tortilla in enchilada sauce to lightly coat. Spoon 1/4 cup chicken mixture in each tortilla. Fold over filling, place 8 enchiladas in each pan with seam side down. Top with remaining enchilada sauce and cheese.
Bake for 15 minutes in a preheated 350 degree F oven until cheese melts. Garnish with cilantro, scallion, sour cream and chopped tomatoes before serving. Serve with Spanish rice and beans.
Delicious looking, right?! Ok, so here are all the things I did that I thought made this dish different, unique, or delicious :)
  • Chicken-I changed how this chicken was cooked. I just didn't think the chicken would soak up all of these delicious spices in just 5 to 7 minutes in the pan. I had the time, so I put the chicken in a crockpot with the vegetable oil, cumin powder, garlic powder and Mexican spice blend. I let the chicken cook, removed it to a cutting board to shred, placed it back into the crockpot with remaining spices and juices to let it cook just a tad more to soak up those spices.
  • Mexican Spice Blend- I went to the spice and international aisle twice in our grocery store and was not able to find this, so I made my own! Wow, it smells amazing!!! I mixed together the following spices: 1 1/2 tsp Chili powder, 1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper, 3/4 ts Cumin, 1 1/2 tsp Oregano leaves, 3/4 tsp Onion powder, 1/4 tsp ground Coriander, 1/2 tsp Crushed red pepper flakes, 1 1/2 tsp Garlic powder, 1 1/2 tsp Black pepper. Source.
  • I used organic stewed tomatoes.
  • Enchilada Sauce- While the end result tasted great, I did not intentionally use green chile enchilada sauce. I apparently wasn't paying attention when I picked up the can of enchilada sauce and purchased green chile sauce. Preferably, I'd use red enchilada sauce next time.
  • Sides- Clearly we didn't eat rice and beans with this recipe because the enchiladas were filling enough! :) We halved the recipe anyways.

Try this one out and let me know what you think! :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Saucy Buttered, Smothered Steaks with Spinach Gratin

I don't know about you, but I've never had a "buttered" steak before. To me, steak goes with steak sauce. How about you? That said, after making this recipe, I'm changed! This really is a delicious way to have a steak, and you can't say you don't like it until you've tried it! This recipe came from Rachael Ray's 30-Minute Get Real Meals cookbook.

4 tablespoons E.V.O.O.
1 large Spanish onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
¼ teaspoon grated or ground nutmeg
salt and pepper
2 (10 oz) boxes frozen spinach, defrosted, squeezed dry of excess liquid
¾ cup chicken stock or broth
4 oz plain cream cheese
1 cup (4 to 6 oz) shredded Swiss cheese
2 tablespoons plain bread crumbs (optional)
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon hot sauce
8 oz unsalted butter (1 stick), softened
4 (10 oz) sirloin strip steaks - 1 inch thick
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

For the spinach gratin, heat a medium skillet with 2 tablespoons of the EVOO over med-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, nutmeg, salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Remove and reserve in a small mixing bowl 3 tablespoons of the cooked onion mixture to use in your saucy butter. To the remaining onion in the skillet add the squeezed spinach, stirring to distribute the onion in the spinach. Next, add the chicken stock and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Add the cream cheese, stirring to distribute. Transfer mixture to a small baking dish. Mix the shredded Swiss cheese with the plain bread crumbs. Top the spinach with the Swiss cheese mixture and transfer to the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
For the saucy butter, add the Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt and pepper to the reserved onion mixture. Mix to combine, then add the soft butter. Mix to combine again and reserve in the refrigerator.

For the steaks, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with the remaining 2 tablespoons of EVOO. Liberally season both sides of the steaks with salt and pepper. Add the steaks to the pan and cook for 5-6 minutes on each side. Remove from heat to a platter and top each steak with a rounded tablespoon of saucy butter. Allow the meat to rest and the butter to melt for 3 to 5 minutes. Serve steaks with the spinach gratin.
I halved the recipe and only cooked 2 steaks and half of the spinach gratin. That way we didn't have leftovers! Anyway, as you can see above, if you halved the amount of steaks, that leaves you with 2 10 oz. steaks. Clearly, I should have been thinking a little clearer. Haha! I would suggest, if you are going to half this recipe, you might want to get 6 or 8 oz. steaks per person. 10 oz. was just too much for us.
It also mentions that the bread crumbs are optional, and I would suggest leaving them out. I don't think they really add that much to the recipe and why add the extra carbs if you can't really tell the difference?
The saucy butter is really delicious, so I don't suggest cutting that out at all!
Anyway, this was a terrific meal and one that we both totally recommend! Happy cooking!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Red Lobster Cheddar Biscuits

The waiter/tress asks you what you'd like to drink. You quickly order because you know all you can think about is him/her bringing you those ever-so-delicious cheddar biscuits! Don't deny it ;)

My sous chef is a lover of these biscuits, and, because it's his birthday week, I'm trying to make dishes I know that he would love! So, as a surprise side to last night's dinner (stay tuned for that recipe), I decided to make these biscuits for him.

Surprisingly, I found this recipe on here. For quick reference, however, I'll supply you what that link says below.

2 ½ cups Bisquick baking mix
¾ cup cold whole milk
4 tablespoons cold butter (1/2 stick)
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1 heaping cup grated cheddar cheese

Brush on Top:
2 tablespoons butter, melted
¼ teaspoon dried parsley flakes
½ teaspoon garlic powder
pinch salt

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

2. Combine Bisquick with cold butter in a medium bowl using a pastry cutter or a large fork. You don't want to mix too thoroughly. There should be small chunks of butter in there that are about the size of peas.

Add cheddar cheese, milk, and ¼ teaspoon garlic. Mix by hand until combined, but don't over mix.3. Drop approximately ¼-cup portions of the dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet using an ice cream scoop.

4. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until the tops of the biscuits begin to turn light brown.

5. When you take the biscuits out of the oven, melt 2 tablespoons butter is a small bowl in your microwave. Stir in ½ teaspoon garlic powder and the dried parsley flakes. Use a brush to spread this garlic butter over the tops of all the biscuits. Use up all of the butter. Makes one dozen biscuits.

Recipe courtesy of Todd Wilbur, "Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2," Plume Books.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Meatball and Spinach No-Sagna

Check out the remake of this dish at the bottom of this post!

MAKE PLANS FOR THE GROCERY STORE NOW! This was an amazing dinner. I'm honestly frustrated that I halved the recipe. What was I thinking?! We could have eaten the whole recipe! Granted we would have eaten the rest for leftovers another day, but still. I think my sous chef gave me wife of the year for this recipe. :) This is a low-carb meal, and be sure to read below the recipe for the little bits that I did to make this recipe ours.

I took a trip back to Rachael Ray's 30 Minute Get Real Meals cookbook for this recipe, and it's part of the 'Well-Rounded Square Meals' chapter.

1 1/2 lbs ground sirloin
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs (you can eliminate this for a lower carb meal if you'd like)
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley (a fistful of leaves), chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano or Romano (a couple of generous handfuls)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons E.V.O.O.
1 teaspoon crushed hot red pepper flakes
1 can (14 ounces) chunky-style crushed tomatoes
2 1/2 cups (10 ounces) shredded provolone cheese or Italian 4 cheese-blend

2 tablespoons E.V.O.O.
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 10-ounce boxes chopped spinach, defrosted
1/2 cup chicken stock or broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
A generous grating of fresh nutmeg or 1/4 teaspoon ground
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, for garnish

Preheat the broiler.

Place the ground sirloin in a large mixing bowl and punch a well into the center of the meat. Fill the well with the egg, bread crumbs, onion, half of the chopped garlic, half of the parsley, the Parmigiano and Romano cheese, and a little salt and pepper. Mix the meatball ingredients until well combined yet not overmixed. Divide into 4 equal parts, then roll each part into 5 balls. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat with the EVOO. Add the meatballs and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Scoot the meatballs to the side of the skillet and add the remaining garlic and the red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, mix to combine. Shake the skillet to coat the meatballs in the sauce and simmer for 5 to 6 minutes more. While the meatballs are simmering, start the spinach.

Heat the medium-size skillet over medium-high heat with the EVOO. Add the onion, salt, and pepper. Cook for 1 minute. While the onion is cooking, transfer the defrosted spinach to a clean kitchen towel and wring all the liquid out. Add the spinach, chicken stock, and cream to the skillet. Season with nutmeg and cook for 2 minutes or until the mixture is thick. Spread the spinach mixture over the bottom of the baking dish.Top with the meatballs and tomato sauce. Top that with the shredded provolone or Italian four-cheese blend. Place under the preheated broiler about 6 inches from the heat to melt and evenly brown the cheese about 3 minutes.

Remove no-sagna from the broiler and garnish with lots of torn or shredded basil.

Doesn't that look completely delicious?!?!?! Ok, so I already told you that I halved the recipe. Well, in doing so, I obviously halved the amount of tomates. Well, as I did, I noticed there just wasn't enough tomatoes to the meat even though I halved the meat, too. So, I ended up using the entire can of tomatoes instead of half of it. If you are making the full recipe, you should probably buy 2 cans of the tomatoes. Also, I found that 'Hunt's Diced Tomatoes in Sauce' were absolutely perfect!
For the cheese, I actually bought a bag of Kraft cheese that was a 5 cheese blend instead of 4. It was very very tasty, and I would suggest buying that bag! As for the nutmeg, I used ground nutmeg, and it tasted fine.

Extremely delicious meal! Make it and tell me what you think :)

January 24, 2011

As promised above, here is a remake of this dish!  After finding out that I have Celiac Disease and need to live gluten-free, I challenged myself to go back and make some of my favorite recipes on Krista Kooks that were gluten-ful yet make them gluten-free.  This was an easy choice!  Of course, I could simply leave out the breadcrumbs, but that’s no fun!  Instead, I simply had some gluten-free bread on hand in the freezer that I popped in the toasted oven to dry out for use as breadcrumbs.Krista Kooks Gluten Free Meatball and Spinach No-Sagna 4

In order to make them Italian, I used some Italian seasoning that I’d made previously for some other recipe.  Adding several teaspoons of this seasoning provided me the Italian season breadcrumbs I needed.

Other than this slight modification, you just need to be sure that your chicken broth or stock is gluten free.  Those should be the only ingredients you need to watch out for in making this recipe gluten-free.

The sous chef and I agreed that this recipe was just as good, if not better, as we remembered it.  There’s been some peaked interested in this recipe lately (yes, I can see you visiting Winking smile ), so I hope this provides a new and interesting way to make this low-carb and now gluten-free meal!  It’s definitely a Krista Kooks favorite for many!Krista Kooks Gluten Free Meatball and Spinach No-Sagna 2

Krista Kooks Gluten Free Meatball and Spinach No-Sagna 3

Krista Kooks Gluten Free Meatball and Spinach No-Sagna

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Oven-Roasted Vegetables

So easy! This is a quick and easy way to use up some extra vegetable in your pantry as well probably convince some family members to eat their veggies :) Use this recipe, and get some tasty vegetables in just 20 minutes. We used squash, potatoes and broccoli. Not much too this recipe; it's just so simple!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Slow Cooker Chipotle-Lime Chicken

Slow cookers are becoming all the rage again, and I totally understand why it's so necessary to have your go to slow cooker recipes. When you are off to work and don't want to deal with dinner when you come home, it's just so nice to open the door and smell your dinner that's already cooked! It's almost as good as coming home and seeing your husband surprise you by cooking dinner; I said almost. Guys, it's still necessary to surprise your wives with that gift ;)
Nonetheless, I wanted to try out another recipe for my slow cooker (Crockpot), and I decided to look towards the help of Lipton Secrets. I decided upon the Chipotle-Lime Chicken mainly because it made use of my chipotle chile pepper! Man that stuff tastes soooo good.

This chicken was so tender and delicious. My sous chef and I decided that we'd like a little more spice and be able to taste the lime flavor a little more. Thus, I think, if I made this again, I'd double the amount of chipotle chile pepper and perhaps add some lime zest upon serving.
Make plans to set this recipe, head to work, forget it, and come home to savory chicken!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin