Monday, December 29, 2008

Mandarin Chicken

I am once again restocking my freezer with meals so that I can eat quickly but well during the semester. I look forward to bringing out this really easy dish during one of those hectic days.
Looking at these pictures, I am starting to wonder if I forgot to add the flour. I don't think so, I am pretty sure I added it, but sometimes my mind plays tricks on me. The sauce as I had it was a little runny, so I used a slotted spoon to serve the chicken. Perhaps this is a sign that I forgot the flour? If so, I am ok with that because it was tasty as is...just don't pour all the liquid over your rice.
Mandarin Chicken

5 cups cooked chicken, cubed
4 tsp flour (did I use it?)
1 1/3 cups chicken broth
1 can frozen orange juice concentrate
1 cup sliced green onions
2 chicken bouillon cubes

On serving day:
2 (11 ounce) cans mandarin oranges, drained
Hot cooked rice

Combine flour (?), broth, frozen orange juice concentrate, green onions and chicken bouillon cubes over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and add chicken, simmering uncovered for 3-4 minutes. Cool and pour into freezer containers.

On cooking day, thaw orange chicken mixture. Heat chicken in a saucepan until heated through and bubbly, then add mandarin oranges, continuing to heat mixture. Serve over rice.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Garlic Bread Twists with Cheese

You know those times when you try a recipe and you know you will be making it forever? This is one of those times. I have already made this recipe 4 times, and 2 of those times I made a double batch.
I don't know how, but these rolls come out so soft and almost buttery, yet there is no butter in them! They certainly remind me of restaurant quality rolls, and my friends who have had them seem to agree.
Garlic Bread Twists with Cheese

3 cups all-purpose flour, divided use
2 ½ tsp active dry yeast
1 TBSP granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp salt
1 ¼ cups warm water (110F)
1 TBSP canola oil
1 cup shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
olive oil for brushing

1. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray; set aside.
2. Combine half of the flour with yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl; add warm water (110F) and oil; mix until smooth.
3. Stir in garlic and as much of the remaining flour as needed to make a stiff dough (usually I need all of it).
4. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead 4 or 5 times or until smooth and elastic.
5. Divide dough into fourths; shape each portion into a ball then divide each ball into 10 portions. Shape each portion into an 6-inch stick. Brush 1 stick with water and twist it with another stick, pressing at the top and the bottom. Arrange the twists on a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining sticks.
6. Place twists 2-inches apart on baking sheet. Brush the twists with olive oil and sprinkle cheese on top. Cover and let rise in a warm place for about 50 minutes.
7. Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake until lightly browned (just a very light brown in places), 12 to 15 minutes.

Tip: after baking, can wrap and store in freezer bag. Reheat in microwave.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Baked Tortellini

When I was in high school, I was a dork. My friends are probably reading this going "Was??" Ignore them, I prefer the past tense. But I was a dork. I was involved in Odyssey of the Mind, Destination Imagination (what OM became in my area after corporate struggles), Mock Trial, and, of course, FFA. Now you may say to yourself that I surely did not have time and these are certainly not related, and yet they are all related, and they all lead to this fabulous meal.
Were it not for Mock Trial, I may never have decided to go to law school. If I didn't go to law school, I would not have searched for a quick and delicious meal to keep me full through on of my class days that went until 7:15pm. Were it not for FFA I would not have come to love cheese so much and I may not have thought to top tortillini with cheese and bake it. Were it not for OM and DI teaching me "creative problem solving" and "effective use of materials" I may not have been so resourceful, and may have instead just opened a can of soup. But what can of soup can compete with warm cheese tortellini tossed with tomato sauce, topped with mozzerella and baked until browned. No soup can come close. Sorry, Campbells.
Baked Tortellini
1/3 package of dried cheese tortellini
pasta sauce to taste
about a tablespoon of milk (optional)
about a tablespoon of pesto (optional)
mozzerella cheese to taste

Preheat oven to 375. Cook trotellini according to package directions. Drain. Mix with sauce, milk, and pesto (if using). Pour into grilling pan (can double recipe and cook in 8x8pan). Top with cheese. Bake until cheese melts and begins to brown.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Parmesan Crusted Chicken

So, I am back from the no-man's land that is law school finals. WOOO! I have a life again. WOO! I still don't have time to blog. Boo... Oh well, at least I am kind of back.
This chicken dish definately helped me get through finals. I made a big batch and froze it back when I had time, so during finals, I would just defrost it overnight and have dinner with 1 minute of active work while studying. Easy enough! And so good! I love the parmesan and oats together! Delicious! This is even good with or without the sauce.
I recomend this delicious meal as a keep on hand item, replacing those store-bought chicken strips with these cutlets will make you feel so much better during those rushed days, which, let's be honest, we ALL have far more frequently than we would like to admit ;)

Parmesan Crusted Chicken (Adapted from Robin Miller's Quick Fix Meals)
Vegetable oil spray
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
4 chicken cutlets
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon water
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup quick-cooking oats
2 teaspoons salt-free garlic and herb seasoning
Sweet-N-Hot Mustard Dip (recipe follows)

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray it with vegetable oil.

In a shallow dish or plastic bag, combine the flour and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Add the chicken and turn or shake to coat completely.

Whisk the egg and water in a separate shallow dish. In a third shallow dish, combine the Parmesan, oats, garlic seasoning and remaining salt and pepper.

Dip the flour-coated chicken into the egg, then transfer to the Parmesan mixture, turning and pressing to coat completely.

IF STOPPING TO FREEZE: wrap in plastic wrap and freeze. Thaw completely in fridge before baking.

IF COOKING: Place on the prepared pan and spray with vegetable oil. Bake until crust is golden brown and chicken is cooked through, about 20-25 minutes, turning half way through.

Serve with dipping sauce.


1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
2 packs of Chinese mustard (like you get with Chinese take out)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Stir together all ingredients for the dip.

Makes 4 servings

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Sorry for my absence. This 1L is in finals mode and will emerge from under her covers on Friday.
FYI-BarBri's online lectures ROCK and have saved my bum. I am willing to be a walking spokesperson after realizing that the guy who wrote my civpro textbook did the civpro lecture!