Food, Faith, and Other Fabulous Finds

Recipes, devotional thoughts, and other cool things I come across.

How About a Nice Casserole? April 26, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — foodfaithandfinds @ 1:07 PM
Tags:

Some days call for casserole, a dish that can be made ahead, served when ready, and reheated for days.  Something with layers of flavor.  Something topped with cheese!  This casserole is a little more complicated than dumping a can of cream of soup over some chicken, but you’re rewarded with lots of flavor and a dish that’s not terrible for you (though I wouldn’t call it healthy either).  None of the steps for this casserole are difficult, and you could easily do a lot of the prep ahead of time and then assemble it the night you plan to eat it.

Chicken Divan and Egg Noodle Bake (from the Rachael Ray show)

3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp. butter

12 chopped button mushrooms

2 tbsp. flour

1 1/3 c. chicken stock

1 c. milk

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

1 lb. broccoli florets

1 lb. extra wide egg noodles

1 thinly sliced shallot

1 lb. diced chicken tenders

1 tbsp. finely chopped thyme

3/4 lb. shredded gruyere or Emmentaler swiss

3 tbsp. chopped chives

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.  Preheat the broiler.  Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add 1 tbsp. each of oil and butter to the saucepot.  Once the butter melts, add in the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes or til just tender.  Sprinkle in the flour and cook 1 minute.  Whisk in 1 c. of the stock and bring to a bubble, then stir in the milk.  Reduce the heat to low and gently simmer; season with the nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Cook the broccoli in the boiling water for 5 minutes.  Remove the broccoli from the water and drop in the egg noodles.  Cook the noodles according to the package directions til al dente.  Drain the noodles and return them to the pot.  Add in the creamy sauce and toss to coat.
  3. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add 2 tbsp. of oil, then the shallot.  Cook for 1 minute, then add the chicken to the skillet.  Season with the thyme, salt, and pepper.  Cook til lightly browned all over and firm, 6-7 minutes.  Deglaze the pan with 1/3 c. stock, reduce the heat to medium-low, and let the liquid cook off.
  4. Grease a casserole dish and fill it with the noodle mix.  Top with the chicken, broccoli, and cheese.  Place under the broiler til melted, bubbly, and golden brown on the edges.  Garnish with chives.  (I actually prefer to mix the chicken and broccoli in with the noodle mix, then top all of that with the cheese and proceed with the broiling.)

Chicken Divan and Egg Noodle BakeChicken Divan and Egg Noodle Bake 2

Now, I know today’s post is short and sweet, but hubby just got home and we’re heading to Ikea!!  Since he unexpectedly had to go to work for a few hours, we might be out later than expected, and I wanted to be sure to get in today’s post.  In the meantime, stop by and let me know what one of your favorite casseroles is.

 

Time for some Cookies April 19, 2016

I’ve got some healthy-ish cookies for you today, but I’ve also got one very large, very decadent cookie that’s to die for.  Let’s save the best for last and start with the healthy-ish (but quite tasty) cookies.  The recipe makes about 15 chewy, tasty cookies, that I actually found a touch sweet.  Perfect to keep on hand to stave off the cravings for something much more calorie-laden.  I also love that they’re quick and easy to pull together.

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies (from Amy’s Healthy Baking)

1 c. instant oats

3/4 c. whole wheat flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1 egg white

1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 c. natural peanut butter

1/2 c. honey (I found it a little sweet, so I might reduce the honey next time.)

2 tbsp. dark chocolate chips

1 1/2 tbsp. mini chocolate chips

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, baking powder, and salt.  In another bowl, whisk together the egg white and vanilla.  Mix in the peanut butter til smooth, then stir in the honey.  Add in the dry mix a bit at a time til just incorporated.  Fold in the chocolate chips.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Scoop the dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet and flatten each lump slightly.  Bake for 11-14 minutes.  Cool the cookies on the pan for 10 minutes before moving them to a rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal CookiesChocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies 2

About a month ago, I saw this next recipe on one of the blogs I follow, and I couldn’t seem to get it out of my mind.  The next time my bestie and I got to have a girl’s night, I knew that this would be the perfect dessert.  Oh.  My.  Cow!  It’s just so good!  My best friend and I think the coconut oil makes it extra delicious.  (My hubby on the other hand, was not such a fan.  Though he did like it when we re-made it with butter.)  It’s easy to whip up and tastes incredible with some vanilla ice cream.

Coconut Oil Skillet Chocolate Chunk Cookie (from Table for Two)

1 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/2 c. sugar

1/2 c. dark brown sugar

1/2 c. melted coconut oil

1 egg

2 tsp. vanilla

2/3 c. dark chocolate chunks

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and lightly grease a 9 inch cast iron skillet.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda.  (We also added a pinch of salt.)
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugars, then add in the coconut oil.  Add in the egg and vanilla and whisk til incorporated.
  3. Add the dry mix to the wet and stir together, then stir in the chocolate chunks.
  4. Press the dough into the skillet in an even layer.  (It will be a tad oily.)  Bake for 20 minutes or til the edges are golden and crispy.
  5. Remove from the oven and let sit 10 minutes before slicing.  Serve with ice cream!

Coconut Oil Skillet Chocolate Chunk CookieCoconut Oil Skillet Chocolate Chunk Cookie 2  Honestly, it’s a perfect chocolate chip/chunk cookie with a hint of coconut.  Amazing!  Definitely a perfect cookie for a fun get-together.

What amazing cookies have you tried recently?  Or what is you favorite go-to cookie recipe?

 

Easy, Yet Fancy April 12, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — foodfaithandfinds @ 4:16 PM
Tags: ,

Today, I’ve got 2 recipes for you that are incredibly easy to make, but look like they took a lot of time and effort.  Honestly, this first one is so simple that I really debated on whether or not I should even keep the recipe.  In the end, I kept it because my hubby was such a BIG fan.  He just loved it!  I figured if he liked it that much, maybe someone else would too, and I should share it with y’all.  The only downside to this recipe is that I don’t know where it originated; if you know where it came from, please let me know so I can link back to the original source.

Apricot Chicken (unknown source)

4 6 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts

6 tbsp. melted butter

1 c. Bisquick

1 tbsp. minced parsley

1 tbsp. veggie oil

1/4 c. apricot preserves (I know it’s called apricot chicken, but I couldn’t bring myself to buy a jar of preserves for just 1 recipe.  I used orange marmalade [which I like to have on hand], and we thought it was very tasty.)

2 tbsp. orange juice

  1. Flatten the chicken to 1/4 inch thickness; set aside.  Pour 5 tbsp. of butter in a shallow bowl.  In another shallow bowl, mix together the Bisquick and parsley.  Dip the chicken in the butter, then coat it in the Bisquick mix.
  2. In a large skillet, cook the chicken in the oil and remaining tbsp. of butter over medium heat for 9-10 minutes on each side or til the juices run clear.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the preserves and orange juice.  Cover and microwave on high for 30-40 seconds or til the preserves are melted; stir to combine.  Drizzle over the chicken in the pan and cook 1-2 minutes, or til heated through.  (I poured it on top of the chicken right before serving.)

Apricot ChickenApricot Chicken 2

This next recipe is equally easy and worthy of a stay-in date night.  It came together so fast, but had plenty of flavor.  I did feel that the original recipe made it a little harder than it had to be.  I’ll give you the original directions, but also include my preferred way of doing things in italics.

Chicken Mozzarella Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes (from Julia’s Album)

3 cloves minced garlic

1 3-4 oz. jar sun-dried tomatoes in oil (You’ll see why below, but I chopped mine.)

1 lb. chicken breast tenders (I prefer not needing to keep a knife on the side to eat this, so I cut mine into bite-size chunks before cooking.)

1 c. half and half

1 c. shredded mozzarella

8 oz. penne pasta (Mine certainly would’ve looked fancier if I’d used this, but I had elbows on hand, so that’s what I used.)

1 tbsp. dried basil

1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper

  1. Drain the tomatoes, reserving 2 tbsp. of the oil they’re packed in.  Heat a large pan with the oil in it over high heat.  Saute the garlic and tomatoes for 1 minutes, or til fragrant.  Remove the tomatoes from the pan, add the chicken, and season it with salt and paprika.  Cook 1 minute on each side, then remove from the heat.  (To my mind, it’s a lot easier to cook the chicken first, then add the garlic and [chopped] tomatoes once you flip it.  You dirty less dishes, and it’s a bit quicker this way.)
  2. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.  Reserve 1/2 c. of the pasta water, then drain the pasta.
  3. Slice the tomatoes, then add them back to the skillet.  (If you’re following my italicized version, this has already been done for you, and you can proceed with making the sauce as soon as the chicken’s cooked.)  Add in the half and half and mozzarella and bring to a gentle boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, til melted and creamy.  Add in the pasta, basil, and red pepper and stir to combine.
  4. Add in the reserved pasta water a bit at a time til the sauce reaches your preferred consistency.  Season with salt and let simmer a couple of minutes for the flavors to meld.

Chicken Mozzarella Pasta with Sun-Dried TomatoesChicken Mozzarella Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes 3

Do you like to stay in or go out for date night?  Honestly, we like both, but staying in is definitely more affordable.  ;)

 

I Might’ve Been Holding Out April 5, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — foodfaithandfinds @ 8:56 PM
Tags: ,

Just a little bit.  Not really on purpose, either.  I just got a little busy sharing other recipes, and I might’ve gotten somehow distracted from telling you about the most amazing dessert that we had for Valentine’s Day.  Also the fabulous dessert from a girl’s night a few weeks ago.  They both come from the amazing Smitten Kitchen, so it’s really no surprise that they’re incredible.

The Valentine’s dessert comes first.  It’s a super moist pound cake that gathers together the great flavors of cannoli: pistachios, chocolate chips, ricotta, and orange.  Honestly, when I first cut into it, I thought it was good, but not great.  But the next day….aMAzing!  So, if you can keep from devouring it right out of the oven (it smells SO good), then it will just get better.  It’s not an awesome that hits you the moment you taste it, it’s more of something you can’t define that keeps you coming back for more.  As an extra bonus, it’s a super easy cake to pull together.  Here’s how:

Cannoli Pound Cake (from Smitten Kitchen)

1 c. sugar

Zest from 1 orange (I love orange so much, that next time I might do the zest of 2 oranges instead of any lemon.)

Zest from 1 lemon

1/2 c. olive oil

1 c. whole milk ricotta

2 eggs

2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1-2 pinches allspice

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1 c. mini chocolate chips

1/2 c. chopped pistachios (I’d take even more!)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease and 8 1/2 x 4 1/4 loaf pan.
  2. Place the sugar and zests in a large bowl; rub together with your fingers til the sugar is completely scented.  Whisk in the oil, ricotta, and eggs.  Gently stir in the flour, then fold in the chocolate chips and pistachios.
  3. Scrape the batter into the pan and bake for 55-65 minutes or til a skewer inserted in the center removes cleanly.  (I’d check it around 35-40 minutes to make sure it isn’t getting to brown.  If it is, just cover it with some foil til it’s done cooking.) Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool completely.

Cannoli Pound CakeCannoli Pound Cake 2

The girl’s night dessert was something that I was slightly intimidated about trying, but they turned out great.  We made churros!!  After seeing Smitten Kitchen make them look so easy, my best friend and I decided we could give it a try.  As it turns out, there are several steps, but none of them are hard.  Although now we might be slightly addicted to them.  :/  We only made half the batch, but it still made about 1 1/2 dozen nice sized churros.

Churros (from Smitten Kitchen)

For the churros:

2 c. water

3 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. salt

2 c. flour

2 eggs

1 1/2-2 quarts veggie oil (So, we were both leery about deep-frying, so we ended up shallow frying them.  It worked really well, and we didn’t need quarts of oil.  Yay!)

For the coating:

2/3 c. sugar

1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon

For the chocolate sauce:

3/4 c. heavy whipping cream

5 oz. chopped semisweet or bitter chocolate

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the water, butter, sugar, vanilla and salt til simmering and the butter is melted.  Remove from the heat, dump all the flour in at once, and mix together vigorously til it forms a smooth ball with no visible floury bits.
  2. Let cool for 5-10 minutes then add the eggs one at a time.  Beat them in by hand or with a stand mixer.
  3. Move the dough to a pastry bag with a large closed star tip.  If you’re not frying them right away, you can pip them onto a lightly greased sheet of parchment.  Chill them for at least 15 minutes, but you can keep them in the fridge for several hours.  (Read: you can do this part ahead of time, then fry them right before you need them.  It was really nice to have them all piped out, so we didn’t have to worry about splattering in the oil or anything.)
  4. Heat the oven up to 200 degrees to keep the churros warm.  Line a large plate with a couple layers of paper towels.  Add the oil to a Dutch oven or cast iron skillet til it measures 1 1/2 inches deep.  Heat it over medium to medium-high heat til it reaches 375 degrees.  (We used a regular cast iron skillet and filled it maybe halfway, just deep enough so the thermometer would work.)
  5. Drop the churros in the oil a few at a time and fry til deep golden brown on all sides, turning frequently, about 6 minutes.  Adjust the heat as necessary to keep the oil between 350 and 375 degrees.  Once cooked, place the churros on the paper towel lined plate, then move to the oven to keep warm.  Repeat til all the churros are cooked.
  6. Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a shallow dish.  Once all the churros are cooked, roll them in the sugar mix one at a time til completely coated, tap off the excess.
  7. In a medium bowl, heat the cream and chocolate with a pinch of salt in the microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring between each interval, til the chocolate melts.  Serve with the churros.

Churros 2Churros 3

What amazing desserts have you had or made recently?

 

Breakfast Two Ways (Part 2!) March 29, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — foodfaithandfinds @ 9:04 PM
Tags: ,

I decided to share two of the breakfast recipes we’ve had lately, so I thought the name “Breakfast Two Ways” would be perfect.  I went on the blog to see if I’d used already and…I had.  :(  But then I looked at that post and realized that this could be a second installment since these recipes are similar.  Like the previous post I’m sharing a healthy breakfast bar and a not-so-healthy cinnamon breakfast treat.  :D

Let’s start with the healthy breakfast.  These came together super quickly and were very tasty.  I loved the flavor they already had, but you could also easily change the flavor.  (I tried a blueberry coconut pecan breakfast cookie recently that didn’t work out, but I think the flavor combo would be great here.)  I thought these had such a great balance to them, and I think they might be my new favorite breakfast bar.

Chewy Coconut Cashew Granola Bars (from Ambitious Kitchen)

1 3/4 c. rolled oats

3/4 c. unsweetened coconut flakes

1 c. cashew halves

1 tbsp. chia seeds

1/2 c. chopped craisins

1/2 c. honey

1/2 c. almond butter

2 tsp. coconut oil

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. vanilla

  1. Line a 9 inch square pan with parchment.  In a large bowl combine the oats, coconut, cashews, chia seeds, and craisins.
  2. Place a medium saucepan over medium-low heat and add in the remaining ingredients.  Stir til warm and everything’s melted together.
  3. Pour the wet mix into the dry and stir til everything combines.  Pour into the pan and press down firmly.
  4. Chill 1-2 hours or til firm.  Cut into 16 bars.  (I actually cut mine into 9 bars, but you can do whatever fits your family best.)  If you want crunchy bars, you can bake them at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or til firm.

Chewy Coconut Cashew Granola BarsChewy Coconut Cashew Granola Bars 3

Of course, if you’re in the mood for something a little more decadent, you could make these scones.  They’re a bit of a cross between biscuits and cinnamon rolls, but they’re nearly as easy to make as regular scones.  My hubby said they reminded him of cinnamon toast crunch (his FAVorite cereal), so he’s a big fan.

Cinnamon Sugar Scones (from One Bowl Baking by Yvonne Ruperti)

Scones:

1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour

3 tbsp. sugar

1 tbsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

8 tbsp. cubed butter

1/4 c. half and half

1 egg

Filling & Topping:

3 tbsp. sugar

2 tsp. cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment.  In a large bowl, combine the flour, 3 tbsp. sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Cut the butter into the flour mix til it resembles coarse cornmeal without clumping.  Stir in the half and half and egg til combined.
  3. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a 10×6 inch rectangle.  Sprinkle it with 1 tbsp. sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon.  Fold the rectangle in half.
  4. Roll the new rectangle to be 8×6 inches, sprinkle with 1 tbsp. sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon, and fold in half.
  5. Pat the dough into a 6 inch circle and cut into 6 wedges.  Place the wedges on the baking sheet and sprinkle the tops with the remaining 1 tbsp. sugar.  Bake til golden and firm, 15-17 minutes.  Cool on the pan 5 minutes, then move to a wire rack.  (They don’t necessarily need it, but I liked mine topped with a simple confectioner’s sugar glaze.)

Cinnamon Sugar SconesCinnamon Sugar Scones 2

Here’s hoping you have a great breakfast tomorrow!

 

A Quick Meal for a Busy Week March 23, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — foodfaithandfinds @ 11:05 PM
Tags:

Sorry to be a little late with this week’s post, but I was just too busy yesterday to squeeze it in.  This week’s recipe is quite similar to the Thai-Style Turkey that I posted last year.  We love that recipe so much, that seeing this one floating around Pinterest really caught my eye.  The technique is basically the same, but the flavors take a different turn.  Like the Thai version, this goes really well with some simple roasted veggies (like the broccoli we had here) and a pot of jasmine or basmati rice.  What I particularly love about these recipes is that they’re fast and easy but the flavors are just so good.

Korean Beef Bowl (from D**n Delicious)

1/3 c. brown sugar (The second time we tried this, I halved the sugar, and it still tasted just as delicious.)

1/4 c. soy sauce

1 tbsp. sesame oil

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

1 tbsp. veggie oil

3 cloves minced garlic

1 lb. ground beef

2 thinly sliced green onions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, red pepper, and ginger.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, til fragrant, about 1 minute.  (I was afraid that the garlic would burn, so I added it at the end of cooking the meat.)  Add the beef and cook til browned, 3-5 minutes, crumbling as it cooks; drain the fat.  Stir in the sauce and the green onions and let heat through, about 2 minutes.

Korean Beef BowlKorean Beef Bowl 2

I hope you have a wonderful Easter weekend celebrating our Lord’s resurrection and spending time with family!

 

Last Little Bit of Winter March 15, 2016

Looking over my list of recipes that I’ve recently made there are a couple that seem especially wintry, and I thought I should share them before spring starts next week.  This first one combines the wintry flavors of sausage, bacon, apples, mustard, and sharp cheddar cheese.  It’s a delicious burger that we’ve been making for years, but somehow I never put it up here.  It’s pretty easy to make, and has great flavor.

Apple Bacon Burger (from Better Homes & Gardens)

1/2 lb. Italian sausage

1/2 lb. ground beef (To make it easy on yourself, you could use all beef; it’s still really tasty.)

2 cored green apples (1 finely chopped or shredded and 1 sliced)

2 tbsp. mayo

1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 tbsp. honey (Maple syrup is an awesome flavor swap here.)

4 hamburger buns

8 slices crispy bacon

4 slices extra sharp cheddar

  1. Mix together the meats and the finely chopped apple.  Shape into 4 burgers and cook over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes or til no pink remains.  (Obviously, if you’re using all beef, you could leave it a bit pink.)
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the mayo, mustard, and honey.  Slather this on each bun and top with a burger.
  3. Top the burger with a slice of apple, 2 slices of bacon, and 1 slice of cheese.

Apple Bacon BurgersApple Bacon Burgers 2

This next recipe is a new favorite of mine.  (Because of the veggies used, the husband was pretty lackluster about it.)  This is a veggie and sausage bake that’s topped with a delicious cheese sauce.  BUT, it’s actually a pretty healthy dish (and I found it really filling).  Yes, there’s sausage in it, but it’s only about 4 oz. per serving (and, of course, you could use a chicken sausage to make it even healthier); mainly there’s a lot of roasted sweet potato, slightly toasted kale, and a secretly healthy cheese sauce.  Honestly, the cheese sauce is my new favorite trick.  A regular cheese sauce, like for mac and cheese, starts with equal parts flour and butter; then you add milk, let it thicken, and toss in loads of cheese.  Delicious, but not exactly healthy.  The cheese sauce in this recipe is mostly broth with a little milk, thickened with a touch of flour, then flavored with just a little bit of cheese (1/4 c. for 4 servings).  So you can top your kid’s veggies with this sauce; they’ll be happy because it’s cheese sauce, and you can be happy knowing that it’s pretty healthy.  This recipe is also pretty quick to make (especially if you prepped the veggies on the weekend), so it’s great for when you’re in a hurry.

Sweet Potato, Kale, and Sausage Bake with Cheese Sauce (from Pinch of Yum)

2 tsp. olive oil

2 peeled, cubed sweet potatoes (about 3-4 c.)

16 oz. sliced Italian sausage (I actually went with some of our favorite kielbasa.)

2 c. chicken broth

3/4 c. milk

1/4 c. flour

3/4 c. shredded gruyere (Since gruyere’s so expensive, I went with parmesan.)

2 c. finely chopped kale

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan over high heat.  Add the sweet potatoes and sausage, shake to coat, and let brown on all sides.  Once browned all over, toss in the kale, and transfer to a greased 9 in. pan.  (I used a 9 in. pan for half the recipe at a time.  If I was making the whole thing, I’d use a 9×13 pan.)
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium saucepan, bring the broth and 1/2 c. milk to a low boil; turn down the heat to a low simmer.  In a measuring cup, whisk together the flour and 1/4 c. milk into a thick paste.  Add to the broth mix, whisking til thickened.  Add 1/4 c. gruyere, season to taste with salt, and stir til melted.
  3. Pour the sauce into the pan, top with 1/2 c. cheese, and bake 10 min. or til the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is melted.  (My favorite part was the parts of kale that stuck out of the cheese sauce; they got super crisp and tasty!  That’s why I would use a 9×13 if I was making the whole thing.)

Sweet Potato, Kale, and Sausage BakeSweet Potato, Kale, and Sausage Bake 2  Seriously, that’s half the recipe right there.  There’s so much veggie that it’s really filling, but there’s enough sausage and cheese sauce that husbands and kids should still eat it.

Personally, I don’t want to trick my family into eating vegetables, but I love making veggies taste good so that they want to eat more of them.  Do you have a favorite recipe for making veggies taste incredible (and maybe still a bit healthy)?

 

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.