Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Mmmm--Birthday dinner recipes


A recent birthday dinner menu included Chicken Piccata, Vegetable Casserole, and Easy Roasted Potatoes. Birthday cake was Mocha Torte. All were very tasty and easy. Maybe you will enjoy these as much as we did.


Chicken Piccata
(This is posted below, but I changed it a bit to accommodate our larger crowd)

1 (16 oz) can Swanson's chicken broth
3/4 cup lemon juice
3 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
6 skinned, boned chicken breast halves
seasoned flour
olive oil
chopped fresh parsley

1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a saucepan and set aside.
2. Cut thick chicken breasts in half lengthwise. If the breast is very large, cut it in two pieces.
3. Combine flour, salt, and pepper in small bowl and dredge chicken pieces.
4. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and cook 4 minutes on each side until browned. Remove chicken to a Pam-sprayed baking dish.
5. Heat broth mixture over medium heat until mixture thickens, stirring constantly.
6. Pour over chicken pieces.
7. Bake covered at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Remove cover the last 10 minutes.

Vegetable Casserole
(large recipe to fit into a 13 x 9 inch baking dish)

2 (16oz) cans Veg-All mixed vegetables (drained)
1 family size can mushroom soup
2 cups chopped celery
1 cup chopped onions
2 (8 oz) cans sliced water chestnuts (drained)
1 cup mayonaise
2 cups grated cheese
1 sleeve crackers, crushed
2/3 stick butter, melted

Mix all ingredients except crackers.
Pour into Pam-sprayed baking dish.
Mix crackers and butter and layer on top.
Bake covered at 350 for 45 minutes. Remove cover during the last 15 minutes.

Easy Roasted Potatoes
(Quiet Life posted this recently, but I changed it to use ingredients I had on hand)

Peel and quarter 8-10 potatoes.
Drop all potatoes into large ziplock bag.
Pour 1/4 or less oil into bag and smoosh around to coat potatoes.
Sprinkle any packet of dressing or soup mix into bag and smoosh to coat.
Pour pototoes into baking dish and cover.
Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Remove cover the last 15 minutes to crisp potato edges.
(Quiet Life used onion soup mix; I used Good Seasoning dry Garlic and Herb dressing mix.)

Mocha Torte
1 2/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 cup real mayonaise
2/3 cup cocoa powder
2 1/4 cups unsifted plain flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup dry instant coffee dissolved in 1 1/3 cup hot water
1 tsp vanilla

In mixer, mix sugar, eggs, mayonaise, cocoa.
Blend in, alternately, flour, baking soda, and coffee mixture.
Add vanilla.
Mix well for a minute.
Pour into round cake pans (or a 13 x 9 sheet cake pan).
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
If using round cake pans, cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove to racks to cool thoroughly; then split layers.
Frost.

Mocha Frosting
1/2 cup milk
2 TBSP dry instant coffee
1 cup cocoa

Cook these in a saucepan, stirring constantly, until thick and smooth.
Set aside to cool a bit.
In mixing bowl, soften (but do not melt) 2/3 stick of butter.
When soft, beat in, alternately, cocoa mixture and about 6 cups powdered sugar.
Add 1 tsp. vanilla.
Add 2-3 TBSP milk until a stiff spreading consistancy is achieved.
Frost cake layers.
Refrigerate to maintain frosting hardness.

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