Thursday, September 15, 2011

Update

Hello all!
As some of you know...and many of you do NOT know...my hometown and most of the surrounding towns were flooded terribly thanks to the rains from Hurricane Lee this past week. 10" fell at my house in a 24 hour period.  I live on top of a mountain, so my home was not flooded, however most of our friends and neighbors were. The losses are staggering...a week later and many places still have no electric or potable water..many homes have been condemed. Almost 2/3 of the children in the school my children attend have been displaced by the flood waters many will be homeless.  Being a small, poor, rural community the vastness of this disaster has been overwhelming. Roads and bridges are gone. Home have washed down the river. Even our closest city was flooded severly! Many businesses will NEVER recover. We are all helping in the cleanup and trying to be sure people are clothed and fed. The community has come together in an amazing and uplifting way, but we still need your prayers!   When thing calm down a bit I will fill you all in on how things are going. I will post again soon I promise! 





Saturday, September 10, 2011

Grilled Chicken Caprese

Here is a nice fresh, light and tasty supper...a great way to use your last perfect summer tomatoes.  A wonderful supper to serve outdoors, in the evening, at the end of summer/ beginning of fall.  With some wine, or a nice Sangria...a big salad and some crusty bread...oh heaven!

Grilled Chicken Caprese
10 tbl italian dressing
6   1/4 inch slices of fresh mozzerella
3 boneless skinless chicken breast butterflied to make 6 pieces of chicken
12 fresh basil leaves
3 ripe but firm tomatoes sliced 1/2 inch thick
salt and pepper

In a bowl, toss mozzerella slices with the italian dressing. set aside.  Rinse and dry chicken season with salt and pepper.  Grill chicken and tomatoes until the chicken is done and tomatoes are slightly charred. Transfer Chicken to plate...moving quickly..top with 1 tomato slice, a few basil leaves, and a slice of mozzerella. Drizzle any remaining dressing over and cover with foil and let rest 5 minutes.  Serve and enjoy.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

So you have a bunch of Teenagers over 'hanging out', or you have a gang of super fans watching the big game. Or maybe you are holing up and watching movies all day on a rainy weekend...whatever the reason you come up with this hot and spicy dip is perfect for the occasion. I can't tell you how many times I have made this dip to send to school with my son Matthew for a party or other event.  He loves it! It is super easy, and VERY good. I serve it with tortilla chips, or Triscuits, or Melba Toast, or whatever sturdy cracker you like. Even Pretzels would be good.  I know I know canned chicken is a little...um...questionable.  But it really is important in this recipe..it is far more "dippable" then a shredded chicken.

Buffalo Chicken Dip
1 8 oz pkg of cream cheese
1 large can of chicken
1/4  HotWing Sauce
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar

Spread softened Cream Cheese in a baking dish or pie plate. Drain Chicken  and spread over the cream cheese. Pour sauce evenly over the chicken.  Top with cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned and bubbly. 
Serve hot with your choice of dipper!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Woohoo Look who is a Guest Chef!

So I have been published LOL!  I am this weeks Guest Chef on High Plains Observer's online newspaper. I have a recipe featured in their weekly recipe column by Lavetta Beshears called 'Not Enough Salt'.  Please stop in, comment and whie you are there checkout her Hysterical column 'The Cherry Bowl'....her semi twisted but oh so true views of life.  Comment and let the High Plains Observer know what you think....oh and you can let me know too while you are at it!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Candied Bacon

Ewwww sweet bacon right?  WRONG! This is sooooooooooooo delectable you will not even believe it. You must and I mean must try this asap. 

Candied Bacon

12 slices bacon, thicker cut
Cracked black pepper
1/3 cup brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Put bacon slices in a bowl, season them with pepper and toss with the brown sugar. Cover a baking sheet with parchment or no-stick foil and arrange the bacon in a single layer on top. Sprinkle any sugar left in the bowl over the bacon. Place the pan in the center of the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Check the bacon often!…. If it is not golden brown and fairly crispy, cook it for up to 10 to 15 minutes longer. Check it again and again.  Seriously....Keep in mind that when you remove the bacon to your plates, the bacon will "crisp" up a little more. Be patient but watch it carefully..it goes from done to burntVERY quickly.

So smoky and sweet and salty....what is not to love?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The fun you can have with a can of Cresent Rolls!



So when you are bored what do YOU do?  I mess around with recipes, or search the internet or books for ideas.   Thats normal right? Well the other day I was thinking of what to write about here at Chaotic Cook...and I thought about last minute guests.  Don't we all like to look like we have it all together even though we usually don't? When you have an unexpected household full of kids, or a few guests who dropped by for a cup of coffee, or the church ladies pop in, or coworkers stop in, or  whatever....wouldn't it be great if you could always whip up some tasty little treat in a matter of literally minutes. Something hot from the oven. Homemade (kinda)?  If you like to seem 'always prepared' in this way then here is what I recommend...keep a good supply of canned cresent rolls in your fridge!  You can do a thousand things with these little beauties.  I will give you 10 great ideas(not including wrapping them around mini hot dogs lol)  but feel free to take the ball and run with it!
All of these recipes will have you seperate the cresent rolls into the triangle along the perferations. Then you will wrap them around assorted fillings  the same way you would if you where making plain rolls.

Idea #1
take a large marshmallow  dip it in melted butter, roll in a cinnamon and sugar mixture and then wrap it inside a cresent roll.   the marshmallow will 'disappear' and you will have a sticky bun type treat
Idea #2
1 heaping teaspoon of cream cheese, diced jarred jalapeno pepper and some crispy bacon!
Idea #3
Slice granny smith apples dipped in melted butter and cinnamon/sugar mixture
Idea #4
mini marshmallows, chocolate chips, graham crackers crumbs sprinkled over.
Idea #5
Sliced asparagus, diced ham and diced swiss
Idea #6
fulled cooked chicken tender dipped in a mixture of butter and hot sauce, top with provolone
Idea #7
a healthy spoonful of Nutella and peanut butter
Idea #8
mix 4oz cream cheese, 1 egg, 1 cup confectioners sugar, 1 tea vanilla...but a healthy spoonful onto roll and top with strawberry jam
Idea #9
pulled bbq pork or beef...maybe some sharp cheese too
Idea #10
spread with tomato sauce, a cube of mozzerella, and a slice of pepperoni

There....now what ideas do you want to share???

Monday, September 5, 2011

Camping Cola Chicken and Ziploc Fudge

Happy Labor Day!

My son Jacob had a 'last hurrah' campout under the stars this weekend since school starts on Wednesday. He wrapped up in a blanket by the fire and slept under the stars and had a great night with his friends in one of our fields. This got me thinking of the boys favorite Boy Scout Campout meals...there are many to share and our troop (especially the leaders like Mr MacDonald, Mr Moore, and Mr Metzner) are wonderful campfire cooks. I am often asked to come up with some new recipes to add to their repertoire.
Last year I sent the youngest scouts in our troop out on a weekend campout with this recipe for Cola Chicken. It is so very easy and the boys LOVE it. Not a lot of ingredients either so this is good!  I also gave them this simple quick "fudge" dessert.



Cola Chicken
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts(or chicken pieces if you would rather)
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1 can cola (NOT diet)
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

Place chicken in the dutch oven. Mix other ingredients together. Pour over chicken and flip chicken around to coat. Cover. Cook over med heat on campfire (or in oven) until chicken in done and no longer pink. You want it to be nice and tender...serve with sauce.


Ziploc Fudge
3 oz cream cheese
1 lb box powdered sugar
2 packets of cocoa
2 tbl butter
2   1 gallon ziploc bags

put all ingredients in one ziploc...squeeze out all air and seal it. put in the 2nd bag. squeeze out all air and seal(double bag will help prevent a mess if the bag or seal breaks) Now squish and squeeze until very well mixed.  Open bag, Spoon out and eat.






Sunday, September 4, 2011

Onion Bisque


I am a huge fan of the onion....pretty much in any form.  Here is a recipe that serves up onions in a smooth creamy rich soup.  So on the first chilly evening...cook up a pot of this soup. Serve with crusty bread, big cheesy croutons, or some garlicky bread sticks.


Onion Bisque
1/4 cup butter
6 cups very thinly sliced onions
2 cups good chicken stock (not broth!)
1 cup heavy cream
1 tea salt
1 tea cracked black pepper
1/4 tea nutmeg

melt butter in a large saucepan. Stir in onions, turn heat to low and cover. stir occasionally until onions are tender but not browned. about 30 minutes.
Transfer onions  and stock to a food processor or blend in batches.  Puree until smooth.
return to saucepan over medium heat.  Simmer.  Add cream and stir until thickened and flavors are blended. Add seasonings.   serve hot and enjoy.