To start out, I want to apologize for having been away for the past week. I've been feeling a little punk, as my grandma would say. The flu took hold of me and I haven't hardly made it away from the couch ever since.
That said, I have been trying to do a little cooking from the Recipe Contest when I've felt well enough to sit up longer than 10 minutes at a time. I have to say I'm glad that I did!! The family has thoroughly enjoyed the foods that have made it to the table, and even in my flu-induced state, I've enjoyed them quite a bit as well!
To start out, we made the completely decadent Black Forrest Cake submitted by Aviva.
Can I just say YUM!? Oh-ma-goodness. My hubby and kids have devoured this!!! There are about 3 pieces left in the fridge that I am certain will be gone by tonight. If you have never made a Black Forrest Cake before, please please please try it. It is so good, and really not complicated at all! Here is the recipe Aviva submitted, copied and pasted from her post:
Black Forest cake (Absolutely my favorite!!!!!~Viv)
1 chocolate cake mix (Dark chocolate is best)
1 c sweetened condensed milk
1 c cream of coconut (Or Pina Colada Mix)
1 can cherry pie filling
1 (8 ounce) carton whipped topping (Cool Whip, etc)
1. Mix cake according to package directions and bake in a 9X13 inch pan.
2. As soon as you remove from the oven, poke holes in the cake with the handle of a wooden spoon.
3. Pour the sweetened condensed milk and cream of coconut over the cake.
4. Make sure the milk& cream of coconut go down in the holes.
5. Refrigerate cake for 20-30 minutes.
6. Remove cake from refrigerator and spread the can of cherry pie filling on top.
7. Refrigerate again for 30 minutes and then spread the carton of whipped cream over the top of the cake.
8. Refrigerate several hours or overnight before serving .
Next, is Hawaiian Chicken, as submitted by Dani.
Let me tell you - this was SO different from anything we've ever tried. It was SO SO good. Hubby's eyes got big and you could just tell before he even said anything that this was going to become a new favorite meal! Once he stopped eating long enough to talk, he told me this was INCREDIBLE. I have to agree!! The chicken was tender, juicy, and just a hint of sweet. We felt so good after eating this meal. It just seemed healthy and fulfilling. I would recommend this recipe to ANYONE!
2lbs chicken tenders (boneless skinless)
2 cups all purpose flour (1/2 cup reserved)
2 cups flaked baker's coconut
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, beaten
4 tbsp pineapple juice
Makes 6-8 hearty portions
Suggestion: for parties, these are a huge hit! We bake them with pre-soaked bamboo skewers in them (or you can add them after... it's just a bit messier)
Note: I choose to bake these in the oven on Silpat, but you can fry them with some veggie oil if you prefer!
Rinse chicken well. With the 1/2 cup reserved flour in a Ziplock bag, coat the pieces lightly. Then dip into a mix of the 2 beaten eggs and pineapple juice combined. Then toss into a mixture of coconut/sugar/flour in a 2nd Ziplock baggie--- press to coat
Bake at 350 deg F on Silpat sheets for about 20-30 minutes
Serve with pineapple salsa, hawaiian fried rice and enjoy!
Something else that has been good for my sickly soul is a warm bowl of stew. This is super-easy... Just took a package of stew meat (about 1 lb), and browned it lightly on the edges in about 2 Tbs. olive oil. Throw that in a pot with full cans of corn, peas, and green beans. Toss in a can of tomato paste, chopped up potatoes, and 1 cup of chopped onion. Let it simmer for about 3 hours or until the meat is cooked through completely. This has such a full, rich flavor that isn't overwhelming and just feels so good and cozy from the head to the toes.
I have also been busy *planning* out my creativity. I recently got about 2000 buttons in the mail and I cant wait to play with them and do something fun and creative, rather than slumping on the couch all day.
I did manage to get one creative thing done the other night, with the help and prodding of my best friend, Rachel. :)
I totally borrowed the idea from an incredible Flickr member. You can see her work here: Carambatack's work "Under My Wing." It looks a lot more like her original than I had planned or hoped, but I think part of being sick is having very little originality. That said, mine will of course be for personal use only. :) I just love her style and was trying to find some different ways to use up book pages that I had on hand from an old Nancy Drew book that had fallen apart and this seemed like a perfect project. I'm hoping to come up with some new (original) designs in the future :) It was just nice to be a little creative in my Nyquil-induced state.
All that said, I'm about to go (finally) get dressed and start my day. Never-you-mind that its 2pm... ;)