Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Chai Brownie Cupcakes wtih Creamy Froth

Contest: 44th Pillsbury Bake Off Top 100 Finalist - entered by Chris Caston

This recipe has the prettiest picture on the Pillsbury site. The Creamy Froth icing looks great in their professional photo, it just made me want to make this. I am not really a Chai drinker and I did not have high hopes for this recipe, but was pleasantly surprised, it is pretty good. It is a heavy cupcake since you use brownie mix. I ate one right out of the oven without the icing and it was almost like a molten lava cake. Makes me think maybe I should experiment with brownie mix to see if a good little gooey cake can't be made. Hmmmm.

This adventure of trying the winning recipes has been great! I am learning so much and really enjoying the recipes. I am often doubtful of the recipes when I read them, but then am more often surprised by the results. Creativity does not always have to be about crazy ingredients but can easily be in how you use sponsors products. There are of course some crazy flavor combos out there, things that might make you say yuck until you try it. I bet these people have made some really awful things while experimenting to get to the final winner. I am still stuck at awful, hoping to graduate to ok then possibly winner someday. Made a jambalaya tonight that was a miss. Again, the picture of this recipe will be posted later, once we find the camera cord.

Chai Brownie Cupcakes with Creamy Froth

10tea bags spiced chai-flavored black tea
1cup boiling water
1box (19.5 oz) Pillsbury® Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix
3/4cup Crisco® Pure Canola Oil
3/4cup frozen (thawed) extra-creamy whipped topping
3/4cup marshmallow creme
1/8teaspoon ground cinnamon

1.Heat oven to 350°F. Place paper baking cup in each of 12 regular-size muffin cups.
2.In 2-cup glass measuring cup, steep tea bags in boiling water 5 minutes. Using back of spoon, press tea bags against side of cup to make 3/4 cup tea. Discard tea bags. If necessary, add enough water so tea measures 3/4 cup.
3.In large bowl, stir brownie mix, oil, eggs and tea with wooden spoon until well blended. Divide batter evenly among cups (cups will be almost full).
4.Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out almost clean. Remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool about 45 minutes.
5.Meanwhile, in medium bowl, beat whipped topping and marshmallow creme on medium speed about 3 minutes or until fluffy. Refrigerate while cupcakes cool. Generously frost cupcakes with topping mixture; sprinkle with cinnamon.

I had to get the pretty flowers in the picture. Tanya, from Sell This House, made that arrangement. I bet she has learned plenty of "Martha" type skills as host of this show.

Cup o'Joe Chocolate Coookies

Contest: 44th Pillsbury Bake Off Top 100 Finalist - entered by Helen Fields

I am back! I have been pretty much without a kitchen for a week. We tore up our kitchen last weekend to have granite installed last Monday, then on Tuesday the A&E team from Sell This House moved in. What a crazy-fun week! I'll do a whole separate post on the Sell This House experience. It was lots of fun and our house looks incredible. I will post pictures of today's recipes later, can't find the cord to the camera. The "redesign" was a bit of a whirlwind and there are lots of things that we still have not found, like our coffee pot. We designated the pantry as our safe zone, that is were we hid our car keys, mail, cell phones or anything the we didn't want to get packed up. Now I am finding weird things in the pantry, but not the camera cord. Needless to say, the last week has been insane around here and while it was very exciting and a great experience, we are happy to return to our normal life and routine this week. Ahhhh... big sigh of relief.

I was so excited to be cooking again that I made two Pillsbury 100 deserts today. I have been wanting to make the Cup O'Joe Cookies for awhile, they sounded so easy and good. Definitely an easy recipe, but not the most impressive. My husband's exact words were "this is not a treat, but a punishment". He just isn't a coffee/desert person. That is way too harsh a statement for this cookie, but I do agree it is not a million dollar cookie. I made these cookies as a thank you gift. I owe the guys at my local fire station a thank you for getting me a Woburn Fire shirt on the fly. Turns out Roger likes to wear local shirts on Sell This House, just wish we had more advance notice, it was a tall order finding Woburn shirts. Since the cookies are only so-so and didn't make a lot, I think I'll whip up a batch of good ol'Toll House Cookies tomorrow. Together it will make an impressive cookie gift for the Fire Station. My oldest boy is so excited to visit the firemen. Glad to have the excuse!

Cup o'Joe Chocolate Cookies by Helen Fields

1roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated sugar cookies
1/3cup Hershey’s® baking cocoa
1 1/2tablespoons instant espresso coffee powder or granules
1/4cup whipping cream
1/3cup Hershey’s® mini chips semi-sweet chocolate
1.Let cookie dough stand at room temperature 10 minutes to soften. Meanwhile, heat oven to 350°F.
2.In large bowl, mix cocoa, espresso powder and cream with wooden spoon until well blended. Crumble cookie dough into cocoa mixture; stir until well blended.
3.Shape dough into 30 balls; place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Using bottom of drinking glass, flatten balls into 1 1/2-inch rounds. Press thumb into center of each round to make indentation. Fill each indention with 1/2 teaspoon of the chocolate chips.
4.Bake 9 to 13 minutes or until edges of cookies are set. Cool on cookie sheets 2 minutes; remove to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 20 minutes.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Fake Baked Crab Cakes

Contest: Better with Bisquick - submitted by me
I got an email this week that I did not win the Gorton's Fish contest. Boo! They did list the top 30 recipes and I think there is an on-line voting period until they announce the grand price winner. I have a few packages of their product left in the freezer, I'll try some of the finalist in the next few weeks. I am sort of disappointed. I thought my Focaccia Fish Cakes were good.
The following is another seafood inspiration. I entered this in the Better with Bisquick contest last month. I don't think I'll hear about winning or losing on this utill mid April. I feel like this is a creative dish. I'm pretty proud of the silly name. Hope it get's a chance!
Fake Baked Crab Cakes
1 1/2 Cups Imitation Crab Meat
1/4 Cup Fresh Red Bell Pepper, chopped small
1 Shallot chopped small
1/4 Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley chopped
1 1/2 Teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
1 Cup Bisquick
1 1/2 Cups Milk
3 Eggs
3/4 Cup Mayonnaise
1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Grease a standard muffin pan (12 muffins). In bowl mix crab, red bell pepper, shallot, parsley and Old Bay seasoning. Divide this mix equally between all 12 spots in the muffin pan. In a separate bowl mix Bisquick, milk and egg till smooth. Top each muffin spot with 1/4 cup of the Bisquick mix. Bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown and solid through. Let cool a few minutes in pan then transfer each crab cake to a cooling rack.
Mix mayonnaise, Dijon mustard and lemon juice till smooth.
Serve crab cakes topped with sauce. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A&E show Sell This House!

We won something! Our family and our house is being featured on A&E's show Sell This House! They are filming this coming Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Crazy!!! I didn't even enter this contest, our real estate agent entered us, the producer came and met us and we got picked! It all happened very fast. I have been cleaning the house for their visits and getting ready for the filming next week, so I have slowed down on my posting and cooking adventures. I do hope to make some goodies for the crew and our friends that participate in the show. I'll share.

Not sure if I should feel honored that they picked us, they usually pick houses that are tacky or decorated in poor taste. I like to think that isn't why they picked our house, I think it is stylish. Our house is over crowded with furniture, furniture that is too big for our tiny little rooms. That what I am telling myself is the reason they are coming here. I can't clean up my clutter, they want that for the before pictures, but I can clean my house. This place will be cluttered but spic-spank'n clean! I will die if someone says on national television that my house smells bad or is dirty, they can call everything ugly, but not dirty and smelly. I'll blog my experience with the show. It should be interesting and fun. Our show airs on June 26th.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Crescent Puffs

Contest: 44th Pillsbury Bake Off T0p 100 Finalist - entered by Beth Dumell

Saturday night was my friend Tammi's birthday party. Everyone was asked to bring something, I took these things and they were a huge hit! HUGE! I dare to say they may have been the best thing there, rivaled only by the Rolo Turtle Pretzels. I have to take moment to discuss the Rolo Pretzel. It is so stupid, but sooo good! Take square snack pretzels, the ones that look like little square tennis rackets, then put a Rolo on top and a pecan on top of that. Bake them long enough to melt, about 3 minutes. The Rolo melts into the little squares in the tennis racket and make a perfect salty, sweet, bite size snack. Ridiculously addictive.

I think this recipe has a pretty good shot and if the party guests from Saturday night were voting Ms. Dumell would be a millionaire today. I felt like it was creative use of the Pillsbury product. Dipping the balls in butter and Panko is key to making these bites more than just an average app. It was a bit hard to wrap the dough around the little cheese balls, but otherwise an easy recipe. I'll make these again. Good luck Beth, I think you have a good chance!

Buffalo Chicken Crescent Puffs by Beth Dumell

12oz cream cheese (from two 8-oz packages), softened
2tablespoons Louisiana hot sauce or other red pepper sauce
1/3cup crumbled blue cheese (1 1/2 oz)
1/4cup finely chopped celery
1cup finely chopped cooked chicken breast
2cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury® Place ’N Bake® refrigerated crescent rounds (16 rounds) or 2 cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1/3cup LAND O LAKES® Unsalted or Salted Butter, melted
1cup plain or chicken-flavored panko-style bread crumbs
1.Line cookie sheet with sides with waxed paper or cooking parchment paper. In medium bowl, mix cream cheese and pepper sauce. Stir in blue cheese and celery. Stir in chicken until well blended. Shape mixture by tablespoonfuls into 32 (1 1/2-inch) balls; place on cookie sheet. Refrigerate 20 minutes.
2.Meanwhile, heat oven to 350°F. If using crescent rounds, remove from package, but do not separate rounds. If using crescent rolls, remove from package, but do not unroll. Using serrated knife, cut each roll evenly into 16 rounds; carefully separate rounds. Press each round to 3 inches in diameter. Place chilled chicken mixture ball on center of each dough round; shape dough around ball to cover completely.
3.In shallow dish, place melted butter. In another shallow dish, place bread crumbs. Dip dough balls into butter, then roll in bread crumbs. Place 2 inches apart on large ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 17 to 22 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. Serve warm.

It was hard to close the dough around the balls completely, but the good news is - it doesn't matter! The cheese does not ooze out. Makes a tiny window to peek inside.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Hot Fudge-Marshmallow Monkey Bread

Contest: 44th Pillsbury Bake Off Top 100 Finalist - Bebe Williams

So excited about this recipe! At first glance of the Top 100, I was immediately drawn to this one and thought, there is my vote for a million. I know that totally contradicts my very critical review of recipes that I called "unoriginal" in their use of the Pillsbury product . Seriously, it is Monkey Bread which is possibly one of the most popular Pillsbury recipes, so how original is a new Monkey Bread recipe? As someone that has tried to change the original Monkey Bread recipe, I can say it is hard to improve an already perfect dish. I spent about a month experimenting with Monkey Bread as I tried to create a banana monkey bread. It was all disaster. Every way I put fresh bananas into the recipe ended up turning the whole thing to mush. I forced my mushy banana monkey bread on everyone I know until I finally just gave up. I also had some problems with too much stuff in the pan, I have been waiting to share this "kitchen disaster" picture for a while.

It is almost artistic! I thought it was actually really pretty. :-)

As you can see, my Monkey Bread creations did not work out, but this Hot Fudge-Marshmallow Monkey Bread did turn out great! Looking at the picture on Pillsbury.com you would never guess that this recipe still creates the crunchy and gooey crust on each piece of bread just like the original. It must be the marshmallows that help create the caramel like coating. I really loved this recipe. The only thing that could hold this recipe back is that it is a classic recipe, but a classic so very improved! I would not be surprised if this is the million dollar recipe. Love it!

Hot Fudge-Marshmallow Monkey Bread by Bebe Williams

1tablespoon LAND O LAKES® Butter, softened
1can (16.3 oz) Pillsbury® Grands!® Homestyle refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (8 biscuits)
1can (10.2 oz) Pillsbury® Grands!® Homestyle refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (5 biscuits)
13large marshmallows
1/2cup LAND O LAKES® Unsalted or Salted Butter
1/2cup Smucker's® Hot Fudge Ice Cream Topping
1teaspoon vanilla
1cup sugar
1tablespoon Hershey’s® Special Dark® baking cocoa
1.Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 12-cup fluted tube cake pan with 1 tablespoon butter. Cut all 13 biscuits into quarters; set aside.
2.In large microwavable bowl, place marshmallows, 1/2 cup butter, hot fudge topping and vanilla. Microwave uncovered on High 1 to 2 minutes, stirring once, until melted. Using wire whisk, stir until smooth.
3.In medium bowl, stir sugar and cocoa until blended.
4.Carefully place 1/4 of the biscuit pieces into hot chocolate mixture, gently folding in to coat. Add another 1/4 of the biscuits, gently folding in to coat. Using tongs, remove biscuits from chocolate, letting excess chocolate drip off. Drop 1 biscuit piece at a time into sugar mixture; spoon sugar over biscuit to coat. Layer biscuits in cake pan. Repeat with remaining biscuits. Sprinkle any remaining sugar mixture over biscuits.
5.Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until biscuits are deep golden and no longer doughy in center. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Place heatproof serving plate upside down over pan; carefully turn plate and pan over. Remove pan; immediately scrape any remaining topping in pan onto bread. Pull apart warm bread to serve.

There was a pool of chocolate goodness that gathers under the whole thing. Perfect for dipping!

Friday, March 12, 2010


I set crazy and unnecessary goals and deadlines on myself. I wanted to post something everyday this month on my little blog, but today I need a nap. I will just share a short update of my working contests.

I am about to start working on a new contest: Good Housekeeping's Cook Your Heart Out! So ready for this contest. I think I have put on 10 pounds already with my Pillsbury month. In this contest, all recipes must meet standards set by the American Heart Association. I am not traditionally a "healthy cook", but I like the challenge in it and figure it couldn't hurt our family. I hope to post some flavorful heart healthy recipes in the coming months. There is also a baby food contest that is actually very timely as I am dealing with food allergies with the one year old. Creating healthy, non processed foods for babies and toddlers is a big part of my life already. So there should be some fun tests in my kitchen!

I have 3 more Pillsbury recipes I will be making and sharing this weekend, still searching for the million dollar winner. Ok, nap time now! :-)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Blueberry Muffin Tops

Contest: 44th Pillsbury Bake Off Top 100 Finalist - Entry by Susan Spicko

Top of the Muffin to you! We can't discuss this recipe without a Seinfeld reference. These "muffin cookies," as my son is calling them, are really good. Light and fluffy with a crispy edge much like a muffin top. I have to wonder how Pillsbury feels about recipes like this where they take the cookie dough and make a new batter out of it. I thought that changing the dough into a new dough might be a sort of cheat, but after trying this I can see the value in it. Could it be the cookie dough in the batter that makes the edges crispier than a regular muffin dough would create? I don't think I could ever come up with something like this. Playing with baking recipes intimidates me. Cooking is more creative and like art, open to any and all possibilities than baking. I feel like baking is a true science and certain rules must not be broken. It must be the addition of the baking soda and baking powder that makes the cookie dough turn into a light fluffy muffin. Good stuff! Of the four recipes I have tried from the Top 100, this is my current vote for the million. I can't say it is the best of the 100, but it is the best of my four trials. Good luck Susan - I think you have a pretty good chance!

Blueberry Muffin Tops by Susan Spicko

1roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated sugar cookies
1 1/4cups Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose Flour
1/4cup sugar
2tablespoons LAND O LAKES® Butter
1/2teaspoon baking powder
1/4teaspoon baking soda
1package (3 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/3cup milk
2to 3 teaspoons grated lemon peel
2tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/4cups fresh or frozen (thawed) blueberries
1.Let cookie dough stand at room temperature 10 minutes to soften. Meanwhile, heat oven to 350°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with cooking parchment paper. In small bowl, mix 1/4 cup of the flour, sugar and butter with fork until crumbly; set aside to use for topping. In another small bowl, mix remaining 1 cup flour, baking powder and baking soda; set aside.
2.In medium bowl, beat dough and cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until blended. On low speed, beat in egg, milk, lemon peel and lemon juice until well blended. Stir in flour mixture just until combined (do not overmix; mixture will be a thick batter). Carefully fold in blueberries. (If using thawed berries, rinse and pat dry with paper towel before adding.)
3.Drop batter by heaping tablespoonfuls 1 to 2 inches apart onto cookie sheets, using rubber spatula to scrape batter from tablespoon. Bake 3 minutes; remove from oven. Sprinkle each muffin top with about 1 teaspoon crumb topping; immediately return to oven.
4.Bake 16 to 20 minutes longer or just until edges begin to brown. Cool on cookie sheets 2 to 3 minutes before removing to cooling racks. Serve warm or cool.

I was worried the blueberries would run and make my muffins purple, but they folded in pretty well. I had to get my pretty roses in the picture, they are just opening and so lovely.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Deep Dish Chicken Cordon Blue

Contest: 44th Pillsbury Bake Off Top 100 Finalist - Entered by Amy Warren

I was planning on slowing down my Taste Test Month, but our life just got crazy and I need to cook to keep my mind at rest. Our house got picked to be on a national TV show! Not sharing all the details on a blog until I get the OK from the producer. We have just over a week till the show starts taping and they don't want me to do anything to change my house until they get here. It has not even been 24 hours and I am so antsy! I can't keep my mind still and I want to go on a cleaning spree but the tv show wants me to wait, so the only thing I can do is cook and blog. Get ready for lots of posts!

We had this dish tonight for dinner. Hate to be a harsh critic or mean blogger, but this really does not get my vote for a million. I get the idea and find it creative to put these flavors together in a casserole, but I just didn't love it. My husband liked it and the 3 year old ate it so it was not a disaster by any account. I just found it too heavy and while it has likeness to Chicken Cordon Blue, I was not fooled. It was a super rich casserole.

Seriously, stay tuned, so much more to come this week. Gotta cook! I will make several sweets/dessert type Pillsbury 100's this week. We are going to find that million dollar recipe!

Deep Dish Chicken Cordon Blue by Amy Warren

1can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls (8 rolls)
2tablespoons LAND O LAKES® Unsalted or Salted Butter
1tablespoon Crisco® 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Pure Olive Oil
1medium onion, thinly sliced
1clove garlic, finely chopped
1box (13.25 oz) frozen baked honey-battered chicken tenders, thawed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, or 1 deli rotisserie chicken (2 to 2 1/2 lb), shredded
16slices (1 oz each) Muenster cheese
1/4cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
2tablespoons Dijon mustard
2teaspoons lemon juice
1teaspoon honey
1teaspoon horseradish sauce or cream-style prepared horseradish
1/2teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1lb shaved cooked brown-sugar or maple-glazed ham (from deli)
1.Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray. Unroll crescent rolls in baking dish; press perforations to seal. Bake 10 to 13 minutes or until light golden brown.
2.Meanwhile, in 10-inch skillet, heat butter and oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened. Remove from heat; stir in cut-up chicken tenders.
3.Place 8 slices of the Muenster cheese over baked crust. In small bowl, stir Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, honey, horseradish sauce and thyme until well blended. Spoon half of the mayonnaise mixture evenly over cheese on crust.
4.Spoon chicken mixture evenly over mayonnaise mixture on crust. Spoon remaining mayonnaise mixture evenly over chicken. Cover chicken evenly with ham. Top with remaining 8 slices Muenster cheese.
5.Bake 15 to 20 minutes longer or until cheese is melted and filling is thoroughly heated.

As you can see I tried a few cheeses; Swiss and Gouda. Maybe it was the Gouda that left the heavy feeling, the Swiss was better. Worth a try if you are a Cordon Blue fan.

Blueberry-Almond Creme Muffins

Contest: 44th Pillsbury Bake Off Top 100 Finalist - Cynthia Bowser

I made this recipe this weekend as another Pillsbury Top 100 Finalist taste test. Makes a great muffin, sort of sophisticated, not too sweet like too many breakfast muffins these days. I had to do some substitutions so it was not the exact recipe entered. I used apricot and cherry preserves in the muffins and I only made a few with almonds, the rest I used graham cracker crumbs (got a nut allergy in the house). This was a great recipe, but not sure if this is the million dollar recipe. Maybe my standards are too high, but I feel if you are going to win a million dollars you have to do something that has never been done with the Pillsbury product. There are many recipes in the Top 100 that are sandwiches or burgers and they use Pillsbury products for the bun/bread. How is that a million dollar idea? Pillsbury dough is meant to be bread. If it has a great burger in it, that is nice, but how is that a Pillsbury original? Just my two cents, which is all I have since I ain't winning a million dollars. These muffins are good, worth making again.

Blueberry-Almond Creme Muffins by Cynthia Bowser

4oz cream cheese (half of 8-oz package), softened
1/2cup sugar
1/4teaspoon almond extract
1/4teaspoon vanilla
1/2cup Fisher® Chef’s Naturals® Blanched Slivered Almonds, finely chopped
1can (16.3 oz) Pillsbury® Grands!® Flaky Layers refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (8 biscuits)
3tablespoons LAND O LAKES® Unsalted or Salted Butter, melted
1/4cup Smucker's® Blueberry Preserves
1.Heat oven to 350°F. Generously spray 8 regular-size muffin cups (2 3/4x1 1/4 inches) with Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray.
2.In medium bowl, stir cream cheese, 1/4 cup of the sugar, almond extract and vanilla until smooth and creamy; set aside.
3.In medium shallow bowl, mix almonds and remaining 1/4 cup sugar.
4.Separate dough into 8 biscuits. Separate 1 biscuit into 3 layers. Brush 1 layer with melted butter. Firmly press layer, butter side down, into almond mixture, coating evenly. Place layer, almond side down, in bottom and up side of muffin cup. Fill with 1 tablespoon cream cheese mixture; spread evenly. Top with second biscuit layer; press edges of layers together. Spoon 1/2 tablespoon of the preserves onto middle of second layer. Brush third biscuit layer with melted butter; firmly press, butter side down, into almond mixture. Place third layer, almond side up, on second layer; press edge of third layer into edge of second layer.
5.Repeat with remaining biscuits, refrigerating biscuits if dough becomes too soft to separate. Sprinkle any remaining almond mixture onto tops of biscuits.
6.Bake 17 to 27 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove muffins from pan to cooling rack. Cool 15 minutes before serving.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Cheery-Cherry Chicken with Crispy Onion Grits

Contest: French's Cook Off 2009 - Erin Ronouf Mylroie

Winner of the People's Choice Award

As a child of the south, you would think I would love a good recipe with grits, but I was kind of not excited about this recipe. We only had a grits a few times when I was a kid. My parents are both from Illinois, so they would make grits every now and then when they felt like trying to be Southern. My mom never made them right and they always put maple syrup on them because they didn't know how to eat grits. Maple syrup is not right, so I was never too impressed with grits and never made them myself. I first had good grits in college when I worked at the Fredonia Hotel, they made a jalapeno cheddar baked grits. Yum.

I made this recipe tonight for dinner and while cooking the chicken I almost chickened out on the grits and made mashed potatoes instead. I only had 2 potatoes and one had been gnawed on by a baby so mashed potatoes were out and grits were in. This turned out to be a really great dish! I was surprised how good the honey mustard and cherry were together, not too sweet but packed with flavor. I thought the grits would seem out of place and the French's Onions seemed like more of an after thought than part of the recipe, but again I was wrong. Grits and French's Onions were a great base for this chicken! I would use it anytime instead of couscous or rice. This recipe is proof, I need to go outside my comfort zone to win contests. Loved this dish and I will make it again.

Cheery-Cherry Chicken with Crispy Onion Grits by Erin Ronouf Mylroie

1 tbsp FRENCH'S® Classic Worcestershire Sauce
2 tbsp FRENCH'S® Honey Mustard
3/4 cup FRENCH'S® French Fried Onions
1 lb chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup cherry preserves
1 cup instant grits
2 tbsp chopped parsley
26 oz water
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper


Sprikle chicken with 1/2 teaspoon pepper and FRENCH'S Worcestershire sauce. Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook for four minutes per side, or until nicely browned. In a small bowl combine FRENCH'S honey mustard, 1/4 cup water, and cherry preserves. Add to chicken in pan and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for five minutes or until sauce is warmed through and chicken is cooked through. Meanwhile, bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Slowly whisk in grits and 1/4 teaspoon salt; reduce heat to low and cook for 6 minutes, or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Keep grits warm Chop FRENCH's Fried onions into small pieces. In a medium bowl, combine parsley and FRENCH'S fried onions. Stir 1/2 cup mixture into grits. To serve, divide grits between each of four bowls. Cover with one chicken breast and cherry pan sauce. Sprinkle with remaining FRENCH's onion/parsley mixture, dividing evenly, and serve. Yield: 4 servings, Prep Time: 25 minutes

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Turkey Swedish Meatballs

Contest: French's Cook Off - my own entry

Love this recipe, but didn't figure it had much of a chance in the French's contest. It isn't super original, but it is a family crowd pleaser, even the baby can eat this. I was inspired by Ikea meatballs, the best part of visiting an Ikea Store. This is a regular in The Rotation at our house. Enjoy!

Turkey Swedish Meatballs

1 cup FRENCH'S® French Fried Onions
1.25 lb Ground Turkey
1 Egg
1/4 tsp Allspice
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
2 tsp Butter
1 12 oz Jar of Chicken Gravy
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Mix together ground turkey, French's French Fried Onions, egg, allspice, nutmeg, and salt. Form 16 golf ball sized meatballs. In large skillet melt butter over medium/high heat. Drop meatballs into the pan. Rotate every 2-3 minutes till meatballs are well browned on all sides and cooked through. Remove meatballs from pan and keep warm in a separate dish. Turn heat down to low then add jar of gravy. Stir scrapping the bottom of the pan and mixing the butter and drippings into the gravy for 3-4 minutes or until gravy is hot. Mix sour cream into gravy and stir for one minute. Serve meatballs topped with gravy and fresh cracked pepper.

There really is no way to take a pretty picture of meat with gravy. Trust me though, good meal!

Southwest Mini Cresent Burritos

Contest: 44th Pillsbury Bake Off Top 100 Finalist by Sharon Shelton

Testing month continues! I didn't get a chance to enter this Pillsbury Bake Off but I am already preparing for the next one. In the meantime, I figure I should try as many of the Top 100 Finalist recipes as I can. The top 100 go to Orlando, Fl to participate in the live Bake Off. The winner will be awarded one million dollars on April 12th. Crazy! A million dollars for a recipe!

Tonight's recipe got a great review from the husband and 2 year old. I liked how easy it was to make. I was able to pull this dinner together in minutes with a screaming baby on my leg (it has been a rough week around here). Big vote for ease! I liked the flavor, as I love all things Tex-Mex, but not sure if it is a million dollar recipe. Great meal, just not a crazy original use of Pillsbury product. Easy for me to make such bold reviews when I can't even get a response from any contests. Just sharing my thoughts. I would highly suggest this for a quick, family pleasing dinner!

Southwest Mini Crescent Burritos
By Sharon Shelton

1 box (9 oz) Green Giant® frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed to drain
1 cup shredded cooked chicken breast
1/2 cup canned black beans, drained, rinsed
1/2 cup Green Giant® Valley Fresh Steamers™ Niblets® frozen corn
1 cup shredded pepper Jack cheese (4 oz)
1 package (1 oz) taco seasoning mix
2 cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury® refrigerated garlic butter crescent dinner rolls (16 rolls)
1 EGGLAND’S BEST egg white, beaten
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup salsa
1. Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, mix spinach, chicken, beans, corn, cheese and taco seasoning mix; set aside.
2. Unroll 1 can of crescent dough; press perforations to seal. Press or roll into 13x9-inch rectangle. Cut rectangle in half lengthwise, then cut crosswise into thirds to make 6 squares.
3. Spoon about 1/4 cup spinach mixture onto center of each square. Bring up one side of dough over filling and roll up, folding in sides as you roll. Pinch seam to seal. On ungreased cookie sheet, place rolls seam sides down and 2 inches apart. Repeat with second can of dough and remaining spinach mixture. Brush rolls with egg white.
4. Bake 14 to 18 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool 10 minutes. Serve warm with sour cream and salsa.

Pretty little pockets!

Steak Gorgonzola Quesadillas

Contest: French's Cook Off 2009 - My own entry

I really thought this recipe had a chance. 1. It is trendy with the steak and Gorgonzola. 2. Quesadillas are always a hit. And 3. I thought it was very creative to make the quesadilla on the grill. But it didn't win. This was the first big contest I entered and it was a bit intimidating. I guess it was also a first for French's and by looks of a huge success for them, not so much for me. They received over 2,000 recipes and likely a million hits on their website. French's Marketing folks did a great internet campaign with this one. Voting was all on-line, they encouraged entries to make a YouTube video and you could link it to Facebook and probably Twitter, I didn't participate in that part. The contest had 20 finalist, 10 as judged by the French's people and 10 based on popular vote. The top recipes had over 20,000 votes! Who are these people!?! I thought I was doing good when I reached 100. Just like high school, I quickly realized I had no chance with the popular vote. I held out hope for this recipe, but got no response. I still like it.

Steak Gorgonzola Quesadillas

1/4 cup FRENCH'S® Classic Worcestershire Sauce
2 cup FRENCH'S® French Fried Onions
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1.5 lb Flank Steak
1 cup Crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese
8 8 Inch Flour Tortillas
3 tbsp Olive Oil
1 cup Sour Cream
Create a marinade with 1/4 cup French's Classic Worcestershire Sauce and 1/4 cup olive oil. Marinade meat while preparing grill and other items or overnight if time permits. Grill flank steak over medium flame. Approximately 5-7 minutes per side or until it reaches your preferred degree of done. Slice flank steak in angular cuts against the grain to create small strips of steak for quesadillas. Using a pastry brush, brush olive oil on one side of 4 flour tortillas. Place tortillas, oiled side down, on grill over low heat. Immediately top tortillas with steak, crumbled Gorgonzola cheese and French's French Fried Onions then top with another flour tortilla. Using pastry brush apply olive oil to top tortilla. This should take a few minutes, once complete flip quesadillas and close grill cover cook an additional 2-3 minutes or until tortillas are crisp and cheese has melted to sealed quesadillas together. Remove from grill. Repeat with remaining flour tortillas and ingredients. Slice quesadillas in half with pizza cutter and serve with a sour cream on the side.