Saturday, December 12, 2009

Chicken Parm Snackers

I have been super busy with the upcoming holidays, but stull had time to flip through my Rachael Ray 'Big Orange Book'. My husband is a huge chicken Parm lover, so when I came across not one, but two chicken parm recipes, I had to give them a whirl. Except I had to make few changes. You can probably find the original recipe on Rachael's site, but this is the one that I created. This is a great recipe for small holiday get togethers. Just make sure you have wooden toothpicks on hand; the plastic ones I used didn't really hold the chicken together.  Also, adjust the dipping sauce to your liking; I made mine spicy. For a variety, prepare the dipping sauce a variety of different ways such as sweet, spicy or even cheesy.

Chicken Parm Snackers (Serves 4)
2 8-10 oz skinless,boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup of SHREDDED Parmesan cheese
1 TBSP salt
1 TSP pepper
1 TBSP garlic powder
1 TBSP onion powder
2 TBSPS of olive oil
1 TSP of parsley, to sprinkle on melted cheese
Wooden tooth picks

Dipping Sauce
1 small can crushed tomatoes(8-12 oz)
1 TSP minced garlic
1 TBSP grated Parmesan
Pinch of red hot pepper(just a couple of flakes)
1 pinch of sugar
1 TSP oregano
1 pinch of basil

Heat oil in a medium skillet. In a Ziploc bag, combine all chicken ingredients(not sauce ingredients) EXCEPT shredded Parmesan. Add chicken strips and shake until all is coated. In a small or medium sauce pan, Add all dipping sauce ingredients and stir frequently. Add chicken to heated pan, turning every two to three minutes until chicken is cooked through and outside is golden brown. When nearing the end of cooking, carefully sprinkle shredded Parmesan and parsley on top of each chicken strip. Allow to melt fully, then remove each strip. Fold each piece of chicken over and secure with a wooden toothpick. Serve sauce on the side for dipping.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Layers and Layers of Chocolatey Goodness

I have been missing for over a week now for various reasons, but I have stock piled some quick, easy and tasty yummies to post in my blog this week. I am going to start of with one of my favorite desserts - a chocolate layer trifle. It's fairly simple to make and you can get very creative with  the dessert. I have made it several different ways, but this recipe is, by far, my favorite. Basically, you're layering different types of chocolate mousse, with whipped cream, cake, cookies or candies on top of each layer. This time, I used mocha mousse and dark chocolate mousse. I cheated and did not make them from scratch. You can buy packets of instant mousse at the supermarket, in the pudding/baking aisle. Nestle makes a fabulous instant mousse. You simply add milk and use your mixer to whip it. I used good old fashioned chocolate cake mix and prepared to rounded 9 inch cakes. This was way too much for the trifle, BUT I found that you can serve the trifle OVER the left over cake. I used crushed oreos, which I Ziploc'd and crush with a hammer. Yes, you read that right. I used a hammer since I couldn't find my meat tenderizing mallet. It worked even better! As for candy, I topped with Hershey's Kisses and each layer was filled over with Cool Whip. You can use chocolate, peanut butter or butterscotch chips in the layers. I have often used ready made marble cake or angel food cake to fill in the layers. So, here it is. A fun, creative, yummy, yet easy to make treat!

Chocolatey Goodness Trifle
2 packages of instant chocolate mousse(It's great to use different flavors)
1 container of Cool Whip
1/2 of a 9 inch round cake or 1/2 of a ready made cake loaf, such as Entemann's, cut into cubes
12 crushed Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, such as Oreos
10 Hershey's Kisses

Prepare mousse and cake(if needed) according to box directions. Layer the first flavor of mousse into trifle bowl. Top with crushed cookies, then whipped cream. Add second flavor of mousse, then cake cubes. Top with whipped cream. Sprinkle remaining crushed cookies into center of whipped cream layer, then surround with chocolate kisses. Refrigerate until serving and refrigerate left overs.