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Christine’s orignal recipes

Homemade cheese crackers

I haven’t posted a recipe in a while, so I thought I’d share this with you. While I was cleaning out my refrigerator the other day, I saw some smoked gouda left over from last month’s party.  I was getting ready to throw it away but I checked it out and smelled it.  It was still ok.  So I decided to use the pie crust in my freezer (God knows how long it’s been there!) and experiment with the cheese.  I got lucky with this one!

Cheese crackers2   - Copyright Christine Sternfels

Ingredients:  1 box Pie crust dough (2 crusts) and 2 tbsp finely shredded cheese (I used smoked gouda).  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Use a standard cookie sheet to bake with.  Spray it with butter flavored cooking spray (or you can use parchment paper to line it with).

Cheese crackers   - Copyright Christine SternfelsCheese crackers3   - Copyright Christine SternfelsUnroll the pie crust dough and lay it on a flat surface.  Using a pizza cutter, I sliced it in 1.5 X 3.5 strips.  Carefully place the cut pieces on the cookie sheet,  it’s ok if the sides touch.  Sprinkle the cheese then place it in the oven.  Bake on the bottom rack for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Take it out of the oven when done and transfer the strips onto a wire cooling rack.  If you want to try it while it’s warm (which is what I did cause I couldn’t wait and it just smelled so good), just make sure to give it at least a couple of minutes to cool down.

Enjoy!  I was thinking next time, I should try sprinkling cinnamon and sugar!

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Lazy French Toast

Why “Lazy”?  It’s usually how I feel the next day after a party the night before.  While grabbing milk for my coffee and wondering what to eat and feed this hangover, I found leftover baguette from last night’s wine extravaganza.  There was about a loaf and a half left (I used it to accompany my spinach dip last night).  You can also use french bread.

Ingredients:  1 to 2 loaves baguette.  3 eggs.  1/3 cup milk.  2 pinches salt.  1 stick melted butter.  1 tsp. vanilla.  2 tbsp. cinnamon  (Quantity on the following depends on how much you want) – Craisins or raisins, sliced almonds and maple syrup.

Prep:  I used a 9X13 pan.  Melted the butter and spread it on the bottom and sides of the pan, then chilled the pan in the refrigerator while I sliced the bread 1/2 inch thick and set that aside.  In a bowl, beat the eggs then add the milk, salt, vanilla and 1 tbsp. cinnamon.  Get the pan out of the refrigerator and assemble.  In a honeycomb pattern (see picture) place the sliced bread in the pan.  Pour the egg mix evenly over the bread.  Sprinkle craisins (or raisins) and sliced almonds in desired amount.  Sprinkle 1 tbsp. cinnamon over everything.

Cook: Set oven to 400 degrees, pre-heat.  Place pan in the center (Center of the rack, set in the middle).  Cooking time 20 to 25 minutes.

Serve:  As soon as you take the pan out of the oven, drizzle maple syrup in desired amount then serve.  My family is casual when it comes to eating so I just put the pan on the table for everyone to serve themselves.  I also leave out the cinnamon and maple syrup – the husband usually likes to add more of that stuff.

Enjoy!


Chicken with asparagus in wine & butter

I love cooking with wine.  Most of it makes it in the pan.  Here’s another dish, great for entertaining or just dinner.  This took me about 20 minutes to make and five seconds to eat.  You can make a healthier version by grilling, but we’re talking spring in the Pacific Northwest people.  It’s in the 40’s out there!  For today, we are pan searing indoors.

Ingredients: 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, thawed.  2  cups white wine (I used pino grigio, but any white wine will work, even riesling). 4 tbsp butter.  1 tbsp olive oil.  1 bundle or about 1 lb. asparagus.  About 1 tsp salt.  About 1 tsp pepper.

Wash the asparagus, cut the bottom off.  To know how much to cut off, take the end of the asparagus between your thumb and forefinger and bend until it breaks.  Discard the bottoms and cut asparagus in half, place in a dish where you can soak it in 1/2 cup of wine.

Cut up chicken in strips.  Size and shape is up to you.  The smaller the pieces, the quicker it cooks.  Set heat to medium high.  Place chicken and 1 & 1/2 cups wine in pan and cover.  It should start boiling in about 5 minutes.  Mix it around and add salt and pepper.  I don’t measure.  I use rock salt and peppercorn and crank the grinder over the pan to sprinkle some on the chicken.  So 1 tsp. of each may not be enough, or too much.  Use your best judgement according to your taste and health requirements.

Mix, then cover for another 2 minutes.  Chicken should be cooked by now and wine should be almost gone (if the pan is dry and the chicken is not yet cooked, add another cup of wine for the chicken to cook in).

Increase heat to high.  Add the butter, olive oil and asparagus (with the wine it soaked in).  Mix around and cover for about 2 minutes.  Take lid off.  Sauté to mix flavors around and burn off the wine while charring parts of the chicken and asparagus (takes less than 5 minutes).  That’s it.  Plate, serve and manja!

I’ve used this as an appetizer, but I’ve also used it as a main dish with some pasta, pesto and marinara.  Either way, everyone enjoyed it.


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