WHITE LASAGNA WITH CHICKEN & BROCCOLI

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A new Westover Leftover!  You could use chicken or turkey, and the vegetables are customizable!

INGREDIENTS:     for 6 -8 servings 

9 lasagna noodles, cooked for 8 minutes

1 stick butter

1 cup mushrooms, sliced

1 small onion, chopped

3-5 cloves garlic, minced

1 can (2 cups) chicken broth

½ cup white wine

½ cup flour

2 ¼ cups milk

2 ½ – 3 cups cooked chicken or turkey, chunked

1 ½ cups frozen broccoli

1 cup ricotta cheese

1 egg

1 Eight ounce package Italian style grated cheese

Seasonings:  1 tsp each of Italian, parsley, basil

quick dash nutmeg,

 

PREPARATION:

Cook the noodles, drain, and set aside.  While they’re boiling, start the sauce.

Sauce:  In 2 or 3 qt saucepan: Add butter, onion, mushrooms, and garlic.  Simmer until vegetables are tender.

Add 2 cups chick broth, and ½ cup white wine.  Stir in ½ cup flour and simmer over low heat until mixture begins to thicken.  Add 2 ½ cups milk, and slowly add approximately 1 ½ cups cheese, stirring constantly.  (add the cheese slowly to avoid curdling).  Stir until well blended and simmer until thickened.  Add seasonings.  You can remove from heat and set aside.  It will continue to thicken as it cools.

Cook broccoli for 1 minute in the microwave.  Drain the water.  Set aside.

Ladle enough sauce to cover the bottom of a pretty, oven-safe 9” x 13” dish, place a layer of cooked noodles, sprinkle the broccoli on and a good couple ladles of sauce.  Add a second layer of noodles, chicken and more sauce.  Add final layer of noodles, covering top layer with sauce.  Sprinkle remainder of grated cheese on top.

375 ° F   for 30-35 min Uncovered.  Let sit ten minutes before cutting it.

NOTES:  If you’d rather not have the mushrooms, substitute with asparagus, spinach, carrots, peas, green beans, corn or a mixture of two or more.

If you have a nice high sided dish and a large family, you can cook 3 extra noodles and make a fourth layer.  It really doesn’t matter how you add the meat, ricotta, and vegetables to your layers as long as they are in there, it will be fine.   There is plenty of sauce for an extra layer.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2016

 

 

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BRAIDED STRAWBERRY DANISH

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     Via another post, we previously discussed fresh homemade Danish.  OK, maybe “we” isn’t the right word.  I discussed it.  I hope some of you have tried it because there’s nothing better!  Today I experimented with strawberry filling made from a bag of sliced strawberries that I had stuck in the freezer over the summer.  The taste is great, however, I experimented a teensy bit with the preparation.  I used a silicone sheet instead of parchment paper. Let’s just say I’m never doing that again.  It didn’t stick, so that was good.  The problem was that I ran out of room.  So, please follow my prep instructions. Use a big sheet of Parchment paper.  Ha ha. Do as I say, not as I do.  Or as I did.  I know I learned my lesson.

 DANISH DOUGH

¾ cup cottage cheese

1/3 cup sugar

¼ cup vegetable or canola oil

1/3 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups AP flour

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

 

FILLING

4 Ounces cream cheese, at room temp

¼ cup sugar

1 egg yolk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 rounded Cup fresh strawberries

NOTE:  All I had was a quart of frozen strawberries so I drained them very well before using them.  On the plus side, the icing is strawberry flavored!

 

GLAZE

3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

2 tsp milk (or 2 tsp juice from drained strawberries)

½ tsp vanilla (don’t add vanilla if you’re making strawberry glaze)

 

PASTRY DOUGH PREPARATION:

In a blender or food processor, process cottage cheese until it’s lump free. Add sugar, oil, milk, and vanilla.  Process until well incorporated.

Add baking powder and salt, processing until well mixed.  Add flour and pulse just until dough comes together and forms a ball. (Dough will be very sticky). Place dough in a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

FILLING PREPARATION:

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and egg yolk until smooth. (Reserve the egg white for wash).

ROLLING PASTRY DOUGH:

Place pastry dough ball in the center of an 18” length of parchment paper. Spray two large lengths of plastic wrap and lay side by side on top of the dough, overlapping them 3” – 4”.  You want them to overlap because the dough will grow larger as you roll it out.  (A great trick to avoid frustration!  The dough will not stick and you don’t have to wash your rolling pin.  (Yippee)

Roll dough into a 16 x 12-inch rectangle. Pick up the dough and parchment paper together, placing them on a large baking sheet.  (You may need to angle your pastry to give it room to expand while baking.  See my photo.  I used a half sheet baking pan).

Spread cream cheese mixture down the center of dough. Sprinkle fresh sliced strawberries (or drained frozen strawberries) on top of the cheese. On each side of dough, use a very sharp paring knife, and cut 3/4” wide strips. Don’t cut all the way to the filling, it’s best to leave approximately ½” uncut dough.  Near the filling is the section of dough that will wrap around the side section of your pastry.  You don’t want it to ooze out during baking. Fold alternating strips at an angle across berries. Pinch ends to seal and tuck under. Beat egg white with 1 tsp milk; brush over dough.

Bake at 400°  F for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack.

In a small bowl, combine glaze ingredients, and drizzle over warm pastry. Refrigerate leftovers, if there are any.

By Tika

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2016

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ONION CHEDDAR BREAD

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Also pictured is my Split Pea and Ham Soup which was cooked in a Pressure Cooker.  You will find the recipe by searching my blog.

  

This outstanding recipe comes from Marye Audet from Restless Chipotle.  Like me, Marye is an avid from scratch cook and I think you will LOVE this easy recipe.  I’ve made it a few times now, and hardly changed a thing.  That’s saying a lot for me, right?  You all know how I am.  Basically, the only thing I changed was to reserve a bit of onion and cheese to put on the top of the loaves during baking.  I believe next time I will also add some cooked crumbled bacon.  We’ll see.  I told Marye that I would link back to her site, and you’ll find that, as well as the original recipe below.

     Marye describes this bread as a savory onion and cheese bread, light with a crisp crust, tender crumb, and great onion and sharp cheddar flavor. Try it for your next grilled cheese or ham sandwich.

 

Ingredients for 2 loaves 

2 cups chopped onions

¼ cup butter

1 envelope yeast

¼ cup lukewarm water

Pinch of ginger (helps activate the yeast)

1/3 cup sugar, divided

2 cups lukewarm buttermilk

1 tsp salt

¾ tsp baking soda

1 ½ cups shredded extra sharp cheese

6 +/- cups bread flour

1 egg yolk

 

PREPARATION:

In a large saucepan, cook the onions in ¼ cup butter over low heat until caramelized.  (This could take 15 minutes).  Make sure you let them cool somewhat before adding to dough.  You don’t want to kill the yeast.

While the onions are cooking, add yeast, 1 tsp sugar, and ginger to lukewarm water in mixer bowl.  You will need to have your dough hook installed.  Stir and let sit for 5 minutes.

Add buttermilk, remaining sugar, salt, and baking soda.  Give it a quick mix and begin adding 3 cups Bread flour.  Mix until smooth.

It’s time to mix in the cooled onions and grated cheese.  If you want to reserve some for the top of your loaves, do so now.

Add remaining flour one cup at a time, keeping mixer on low speed.  Once dough pulls from the sides of the bowl, start feeling the dough with your fingers.  It shouldn’t be too sticky.  If it is, add a few TBSP of flour and mix again.  The dough will need about 5 minutes mixing time total.  (Or you can now knead by hand if you don’t have a heavy duty mixer).

Lift the dough hook and smear a little olive oil or butter on the inside of the bowl.  Scrape the dough down into the bowl and cover with greased plastic wrap.  Allow to rise for about 90 minutes.

Punch dough down and let rest for a few minutes.  Remove from bowl and form into two loaves.

Place dough in greased loaf pans and grease the tops with olive oil or lukewarm melted butter.  Cover with plastic wrap and a towel to retain heat.  Let rise for 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400° F.  Brush tops of loaves with egg yolk mixed with a tsp of water to make the crust beautifully glossy.

Bake for 20 minutes and quickly sprinkle the reserved cheese and onions to top of loaves.  Return to oven and bake for another 10 minutes.

Let cool in pan for 10 minutes.  Turn out and cool before slicing.

NOTE:  This bread will freeze well for up to three months.

You can find Mary’s original recipe at: http://www.restlesschipotle.com/?s=onion+cheese+yeast+bread

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2016

 

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SURPRISE CANDY TREATS

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     Can you make homemade candy?  Yes!  Yes, you can.  

      We have a bunch of party poopers in our neighborhood.  Nobody trick-or-treated.  We bought candy.  We turned our lights on.  We waited.  Nothing!  Not one kid was out.  What’s up with that?  I think the trunk trick-or-treating parties have done us in.  

     So, here we are with a bunch of candy.  What’s worse, it was a big variety.  I couldn’t stay out of it, and that was bad.  I decided to try to make something fun with them.  Since I am going to try my hand at real candy-making for Christmas, this got my feet wet.  They are very easy to make, trust me.  I literally made this up as I went along, and they are scrumptious!  The peanut butter and graham crackers cut down on the sweet, and if you use semi-sweet chocolate chips . . . even better!   

MAKES 24

INGREDIENTS:

1 sleeve Original Graham crackers (9 whole crackers)

7 TBSP Confectioner’s sugar

3 TBSP butter

½ cup Peanut butter, divided

½ tsp Vanilla extract

8 fun-size Candy bars *See below for suggestions

42 semisweet or milk chocolate chips (probably about ½ a cup)

PREPARATION:

Line a 24-cup mini muffin tray with mini paper liners

Crush Graham crackers in a food processor (or use a rolling pin) until they are finely ground.  Place in a medium size bowl and stir in confectioner’s sugar.

In a second medium microwaveable bowl, combine butter and only ¼ cup Peanut butter.  Microwave 30 seconds, stir until smooth.  If it isn’t completely melted, give it another 10 seconds in microwave.

Press 1 rounded tsp into each cup and up the sides a little bit. Bake at 350° F for about 5 minutes.  Leave the oven on.

While shells are baking, chop candy bars into chunks.  If using different flavors, keep them separated.  Divide up and place candy in center of baked shells.

Melt remaining ¼ cup peanut butter in microwave for 20-25 seconds.  Stir until smooth.  Mix into remaining crumbs.

Top each cup with another good tsp of graham cracker/peanut butter mixture and flatten across the cup all the way to the paper liner.  A small offset spatula or silicone spatula works great.

Pop back into the oven for 7 minutes.  Turn oven off, but leave door closed.  You’ll need the heat again in a minute.

Place 3 Chocolate chips in the center of each cup and put tray back in the oven for 2 minutes.  Using a small spatula or butter knife, spread melted chocolate. Let cool

Hide them.

Candy surprise centers suggestions:  M & M’s, Rollo, Milk Duds, Nestle’s Crunch, Kit Kat, Milky Way, Snickers, Twix, Reese’s Pieces, Heath Bars, Rolo, Hershey Bar, or whatever strikes your fancy!  Make sure you make a variety so the inside is truly a surprise center.  What fun!

Please remember to Like our Posts and Follow Chew Wanna Eat? for more great recipes, home hacks, gardening, and health information!    You won’t be sorry.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2016

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