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Peach State says: It’s Time for a Little Light Cooking!

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Here we are…at the first of the month and the beginning of a different season. It is time to leave behind the heavier comfort foods of the winter and bring out the lighter recipes!
I was cleaning up the kitchen first thing this morning because of the grocery shopping later today. I got a little side tracked and began sorting through my recipes and doing a little menu planning. It’s Time for a Little Light Cooking!

Sauces and Dressings add so much to a meal and help me keep dinner different.
Some of my favorite Sauces and Dressings are:

Broccoli Yogurt Sauce
I use this sauce over a Cajun Pan Fried Chicken…(see picture above) My family loves this recipe! I serve with Asparagus and Bruschetta topped English Muffins.

Whisk together 3/4 cup of water, 3/4 cup of plain Greek or regular Yogurt, and 1 packet of Broccoli Cheese soup mix in a small saucepan. Bring to a slow boil on medium heat. Simmer for 2-3 minutes.
(green chilis may be added for extra kick)

Homemade Balsamic Dressing
This recipe can be altered to different recipes! This is the basic one my family uses.

1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1tsp minced garlic
1tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 cup Olive oil (I use extra virgin)
1/4 tsp salt( I use a light salt or Sea Salt…and only half of this amount…to taste)
1/4 tsp white pepper (regular pepper may be used)

Lime juice can be added to this recipe as well as Mandarin Orange syrup or juice…separately of course!

I use this dressing over my Pulled Bar-B-Que Chicken Salad! I boil the chicken until tender…and then pull and shred it. I then add bar-b-que sauce to the chicken. The chicken will be placed on top of the salad. This is a huge main course salad with tomatoes and Mozzarella Cheese and pretty much anything you like on a salad. I make fried onions to garnish the salad by coating sliced red onions in flour and Cajun seasoning and frying until lightly brown.

Light Lime Dressing
I love salads…it’s probably a good thing because of my dieting! With all of the fresh tomatoes and herbs I have growing on the deck…this recipe will be a great addition.
This recipe is for an individual serving!

2Tbls Olive Oil
1 whole lime…squeezed(pulp is good!)
Add Vinegar to your desired consistency
Italian seasonings
Fresh diced mint
Salt to taste

Orange Sauce
This is a new one for basting chicken. I love to roast chickens and this sauce is very easy!

1/4 cup orange marmalade
1/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
Cook over medium heat until the marmalade melts…set aside

Pat the chicken dry and season with Italian seasonings and salt and pepper…half way through your cooking time baste the chicken with 1/3 of the Orange Sauce and continue roasting. I serve with rice accented with the remaining Orange Sauce and Green Beans…and a lovely salad!

Well I have some coupons to gather…and need to complete my menu planning …after all…It’s Time for a Little Light Cooking!

What are some of your favorite spring and summer menus? Please share…I do love to try new things…on my family! Have a great day!

Peach State

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Peach State says: Boy Do I Have A Recipe for You! Part 2

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I have found myself wondering what was dinner tonight! It has to be something with chicken…but not pasta or rice…potatoes? I have a wonderful recipe for potatoes but find myself in a “Shh!” lazy mood. The time it would take to slice the half bag of potatoes and making of the cream sauce just seems a bit much at this time of the day. I am leaning towards my Italian Chicken meal! Boy Do I Have A Recipe For You!

Crock Pot Italian Chicken

This is for our family of 5

5 boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts
1/2 a bottle of your favorite Italian Dressing poured over the chicken.
Cook for 2 hours on high
Add 5-6 potatoes (quartered)
Pour Italian Dressing over potatoes
Cook for 4 hours on low (until potatoes are tender)

Do not add salt
Low calorie or reduced sodium Italian Dressing work well

*Serve with a salad and favorite bread

That is an easy meal and requires very little work. My crock-pot has high (4-hour) and low (6-hour) settings. If the chicken is frozen I will let it cook longer on the high setting before adding the quartered potatoes. If the level of liquid is low add water or chicken broth before adding potatoes.

The second option is cooking the chicken alone in the crock-pot and making the potatoes separately. Boy Do I Have A Recipe For You!

Best Potatoes

This is for my family…we do love our potatoes!

8-10 thinly sliced potatoes
Lay them in a greased rectangular baking dish

Cream Sauce
2 cups of Sour Cream (a light or fat free version may be substituted)
2 Cups of favorite grated cheese (we use a combination of Sharp Cheddar and Smokey Provolone)
1/4th Cup of butter (sliced)
Chives
1/4 tsp White Pepper (optional)
2 Cups of milk (you may need more depending- the cream sauce must cover the potatoes)

Here is the key… Mix the sour cream, chives and pepper together slowly stirring in the milk. The consistency should not be thick…Pour over the potatoes! If this mixture does not cover your potatoes simple mix a little more. Once this mixture has been made sprinkle the cheese over the top and the slices of butter. Cover and Bake until potatoes are tender on 365 degrees. (Cooking in the microwave can save you a lot of time…cooking time is much shorter and you can brown the cheese in the oven if you would like to!)

Crumbled bacon and onion can be added to this recipe!

I may have to break down and make the potato dish. Just telling you about it made my mouth water. Maybe I should eat some breakfast…
I hope you want to try these recipes…let me know! Do you have any recipes to trade…I love sharing recipes! Have a great day!

Peach State

Peach State says: The Crust Around the Edge!

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I was back at church yesterday afternoon preparing for the second sound check and practice. The conversation turned to dinner and the list of possibilities from the others on the stage did not include cooking at home. I leaned out and said…”Mine is already cooked and ready to eat.” the shocked faces turned to face me…”I fixed a Chicken Pot Pie and it was almost done when I left for choir practice.” I was asked how I could make it in the time I was at home… “Well, the recipe is easy because my husband does not like soupy Chicken Pot Pie. The recipe is quick and I just hope they took it out of the oven.” I smiled and then said ” If they do eat before I get home I will only have the Crust Around the Edge!”

They really love this recipe and it is very versatile. I told them I would get them the recipe.

Chicken Pot Pie
4 Chicken Breasts
Large bag of frozen Broccoli Florets
3-4 cups of shredded cheese
1-2 refrigerated pastry/pie shells

Place 4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts in a pot of water and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and let cook for about 15 minutes or until tender.
Remove from heat.
Add broccoli florets to the pot and let sit for 5-7 minutes.
Drain!
Remove the chicken and, with two forks, begin shredding and pulling apart.
Combine the chicken and broccoli and place in a greased casserole dish.

Additional items that you can add: bacon crumbled, diced onion

Cover with your favorite cheese…cheddar used here.
Lay the pie crust shell on top and tuck around the edge. I use two shells because of the shallow rectangular dish I used.
Because the ingredients are already cooked the only thing left to do is browning the crust.
Follow the directions for baking on the package and brown.
Serve with a green salad.

This serves 5 people….well three growing boys and two adults on diets.

My family really like this recipe and it is not a time consuming procedure. I knew I would not be home in time to prepare dinner and get my youngest off to bed if I waited to cook when I got home. Planning ahead is the best! Besides…why cause strife about my schedule and not cook at home.
This recipe is quick and easy and a family favorite!

When I got home someone had already sampled it! I served up the portions and fed my youngest and sent him to bed. “School in the morning…remember!” and actually got some for myself and not just “The Crust Around the Edge!.

I hope you get the chance to try this recipe…let me know! I am off to exercise class! I will tell you about that experience another day. Wish me luck and have a great day!

Peach State