Monday, December 5, 2011

Chicken Fajita Pasta, Apple Yeast Bread, Eggnog Cookies

I liked this pasta but the kids did not. I think it was a "good dish" but nothing spectacular. I didn't think it had much taste and was pretty bland. Next time I think adding some fajita seasoning might actually make it even better. But it was a nice change from traditional pasta. I also put the cheese right into the sauce. I would make this again.

Chicken Fajita Pasta
6 oz penne or fettuccine pasta
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 white onion, sliced into strips
1 Green bell pepper,sliced into strips
2 garlic cloves, minced
chicken breast sliced into thick strips
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup reduced fat Mexican cheese
Cook the pasta according to the package while preparing the sauce.
Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over med heat. Add the onion and pepper for 3 mins, or until softened. Add garlic and chicken and sauté for 3 mins or until chicken is mostly cooked. Sprinkle the cumin,oregano,salt, and pepper over chicken.
In a small bowl, whisk together the chicken broth and cornstarch. Pour over the chicken and veggies and cook for 2 more mins, or until the sauce is thickened and the chicken is cooked through.
Add the cooked pasta,chopped tomato to the pan. Toss to coat. Sprinkle with the cheese.

These cookies are really good. I did not make the frosting but instead dusted with cinnamon sugar. I also replaced the nutmeg with cinnamon. These are not a really pretty cookie, but definetely great tasting!
Eggnog Cookies with Eggnog Icing
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 cup eggnog
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
5 Tablespoons eggnog
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1. In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat well. Then add the eggnog and mix again.
2. Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and nutmeg. Then turn the mixer on low and slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients until everything is just combined. Cover the dough and chill it for at least two hours.
3. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Drop dough by the round teaspoonful onto lined cookie sheets. Bake one sheet at a time for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the tops are lightly golden. Cool cookies on a wire rack.
4. To make the icing stir together the confectioners’ sugar, eggnog and nutmeg. Icing the cookies when cooled.

This was really good. I halved the recipe. I also added some dried cranberries in the center. I made it into 3 smaller loaves. Definetely a good sweet bread. One side note, it needs more rise time then specified in the recipe.

Walnut Apple Bread
From Healthy Cooking Magazine
2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup warm 2% milk (110° to 115°)
1/4 cup reduced-fat butter, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
4 to 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups chopped peeled apples
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons reduced-fat butter, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider or juice
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the sugar, milk, butter, eggs, salt and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).
Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a bowl coated with cooking spray, turning once to coat the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
For filling, in a small bowl, combine apples and walnuts. Combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon; stir into apple mixture. Punch dough down. Roll into a 14-in. x 12-in. rectangle. Spread butter to within 1/2 in. of edges; sprinkle with apple mixture. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side. Cut in half. Pinch seams to seal and tuck ends under.
Place loaves seam side down in two 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. With a sharp knife, make eight shallow slashes across top of each loaf.
Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. In a small bowl, combine the glaze ingredients; drizzle over bread. Yield: 2 loaves (16 slices each).

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