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By learning about basic ingredients and how to use them, you can create simple, quick and delicious meals your family will love!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Chicken-Barley Soup with Veggies

2 tsp Olive Oil
1/4 cup minced Onion
1 1/2 tsp Garlic, minced
1 pound Boneless / Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tsp Dried Thyme
2 Bay Leaves
3 14 1/2-ounce cans Chicken Broth (or low-sodium version)
2/3 Quick-Cooking Barley
1/2 cup Frozen Corn
1/2 cup Frozen Peas
1 TB chopped Fresh Parsley
Salt and Ground Black Pepper
Green Onions Chopped

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook 1-2 minutes. Add chicken and cook 3 minutes, until browned on all sides, stirring frequently. Toss in thyme and bay leaves and stir to coat chicken.

Add broth and barley and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 10 minutes, or until barley is tender. Stir in corn and peas and simmer 1 minute longer. Remove from heat and stir in parsley. Before serving, sprinkle some chopped green onions on the soup.  Serves 4.

Note: This is a very versatile recipe. Instead of peas you can use a peas and carrots blend or you could eliminate the chicken and add extra veggies for a vegetarian soup. The barley will add a nutty flavor to the soup and is a great source of healthy good-for-you carbs.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

The birthday cake request this year from our youngest was for Pineapple Upside Down Cake.  This is one of my favorite cakes to make because it looks amazing and is super easy to make.  Enjoy!

1 box  Pineapple Cake Mix
1/2 cup Butter
3/4 cup  Brown Sugar
1 20 oz can  Pineapple Rings, drained
Maraschino Cherries for Garnish (about 6 cherries, sliced in half)

On the stovetop, using a large stainless skillet, melt the butter and add brown sugar, heating over low heat until blended and smooth.  Remove from heat.

Place about 6 - 7 pineapple rings in an even layer on the bottom of the skillet.  Place a cherry, sliced side up, inside of each ring.

Prepare cake mix according to package directions and pour batter over the pineapple rings.

Place skillet in oven and bake about 40 - 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

Allow to cool 15 minutes. Using a small knife, carefully loosen the cake from the edges, if needed, and invert cake onto a serving tray (a round pizza pan works great for this).  Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.