Sunday, December 28, 2008

Incredible 30-Minute Microwave Chicken

This recipe uses the Deep Covered Baker from The Pampered Chef.

1 whole chicken (3 ½ - 4 pounds)
1 tablespoon olive oil

Seasoning Mixture:

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1. Lightly spray deep covered baker with oil. Remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken cavity. Rinse chicken with cold water; pat dry with paper towels. Trim excess fat, if necessary. Brush chicken with oil.

2. Combine ingredients for seasoning mixture and mix well. Completely coat outside of chicken with seasoning mixture. Place chicken, breast side up, in baker.

3. Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH 25-30 minutes or until instant read thermometer registers 165 degrees in thickest part of breast and juices run clear. Remove from microwave. Cover with lid and let rest 10 minutes (temperature will rise to 170 degrees).Yield: 4-6 servings


1. Use rubs and seasoning mixes to give alternate flavors to your chicken.

2. All-in-one chicken dinner – prepare chicken as directed above and place in baker. Combine 1 cup each: celery and carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces, and 3 cups of red or russet potatoes, cut into 2-inch pieces in bowl. Toss with additional seasoning, if desired. Arrange vegetables around chicken. Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH 35-40 minutes or until thermometer registers 165 degrees in thickest part of breast and juices run clear. Remove from microwave. Cover with lid and let rest 10 minutes.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cookie Baking Day

So, finally, here are the recipes for the cookies we baked after Thanksgiving! We had a fun time and pretended we had an audience as we demonstrated our recipe. Hope you enjoy and get at least one new recipe idea. Happy holidays!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Heath Bar Cookies

This is the cookie Karissa made.

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 cups oatmeal
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
12 oz. chocolate chips
Skor or Heath bar pieces

Combine first five ingredients. Mix flour, oats, baking powder, and baking soda and mix with wet ingredients. Add chocolate chips and candy bar pieces.

Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Do not overbake. Remove from baking sheet immediately after baking.

Pinwheel Cookies

My mother made these cookies. She has memories of her mother making these cookies. They are rather time intensive. My grandmother says it is important to put the chocolate layer, which is more dry, on top of the white layer before you roll it and cut it out.

1/2 cup shortening

1/2 cup sugar

2 tsp. vanilla

1 egg yolk

1 TBS. milk

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 oz. square unsweetened chocolate, melted

1 TBS. milk

Cream together shortening, sugar, and vanilla. Blend in egg yolk and milk. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into creamed mixture. Divide dough in half; to one half, add chocolate and milk. Mix.

Chill both layers 1 1/2 hours. Roll out dough separately to similar size. Place chocolate layer on top of white layer. Roll up dough into log and cut. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Chocolate Cherry Cookies

This is the recipe I decided to try. They are more difficult than I wish they had been; you have to roll the dough into balls and then place cherries on top. The recipe says to frost the cookies before baking, but I found the frosting stuck to the pan and then I couldn't get the cookies off. If I make them again, I will frost the cookies AFTER I bake them.

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
48 maraschino cherries (about one 10-ounce jar), undrained
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine flour and cocoa powder. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter medium-to-high speed for 30 seconds. Beat in sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls about 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Press down center of each ball with your thumb. Drain cherries, reserving juice. Place a cherry or cherry half in the center of each cookie.

For frosting, in a small saucepan combine chocolate pieces and the sweetened condensed milk. Heat until chocolate melts. Stir in 4 teaspoons of the reserved cherry juice.

Spoon about 1 tsp. frosting over each cherry, spreading to cover cherry. (If necessary, thin frosting with additional cherry juice). Bake in preheated oven about 10 minutes or until edges are firm. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Transfer to wire racks, cool. Makes 48.

Grandma Jenning's Oatmeal Cookies

This is the cookie Jill made. Her Grandma Jennings keeps this in the freezer for visitors. I must say these are the best oatmeal cookies I've ever had. I think I'll keep a roll of these in the freezer too and bake as needed.

1 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3 cups oatmeal

Cream together shortening and sugars. Mix in vanilla and eggs. Add dry ingredients. Roll into a long tube about 2 1/2 inches in diameter and place in plastic wrap. Make two logs per recipe. Freeze for at least 24 hours. Cut cookies from log as needed and cook at 400 degrees for 7-8 minutes.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Chocolate Candy With Misc. Add-Ins

My mother also made this yummy chocolate candy. She added Rice Krispies, and it tasted just like a Crunch bar! She said it is most delicious with dried cranberries mixed in. I think it would also be good with raisins or mini marshmallows. This is an easy candy to make to give away as gifts.

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup milk chocolate chips

1 TBS. oil

1 TBS. margarine

Melt in double boiler or carefully in microwave. Stir in chosen add-in and spread mixture on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let cool and break in pieces.