Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Promised Quick Way to Gourmet Post

On Wednesday, I talked about making a gourmet meal (or just plain ole dinner) in stages throughout the day to help with dinnertime craziness. I promised another dinner we like to make and this one includes a yummy dessert. The menu is grilled chicken with Spicy Peanut Sauce and Potato Wafflecakes and Chocolate Cappuccino Pudding Cake (recipes from Lake Austin Spa Resort).

Okay, here is how I do it. At lunchtime while little one is in her highchair I grill the chicken breasts. I make extra for future meals and also one for me for lunch! While those grill I throw the sauce together and put in refrigerator. Oh, at breakfast I get out all the non-perishable ingredients and lay them out on the counter so I'll be ready. When chicken in done I put into fridge. Later at snack or nap time I peel potatoes and boil. Make your mashed potatoes just like you like them and then put in the fridge.
About 30 minutes before dinner time I wrap the chicken breasts in foil and heat in the oven, put sauce in pan and warm, and get out waffle iron to begin heating. You can make your potato pancakes the traditional way with some oil in a skillet, but my husband discovered the waffle iron makes things easy and quick. We have a Belgium waffle iron and one that is heart shaped that makes thinner waffles, that's the one we like to use because they are nice and crisp! We like to have salads with dinner so I can throw one together now.

Now that I have everything done I have time to make a yummy dessert. The girls love to help with this so with their help we put it together and stick it in the oven to bake, since it will take an hour to bake we go ahead and make it and bake it so it will be ready after dinner.

Obviously, I don't get to cook like this all the time. There are many days I'm just not home to be cooking in steps, but for special occasions or when I am home I try to think of things I can do to make the evening more enjoyable for my family. I want to concentrate on my kids when they are home, not be running around in the kitchen stressing about dinner. But I also want to put a good dinner on the table for my family! Hope some of these tips help you:)


Chocolate Cappuccino Pudding Cake
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup evaporated skim milk
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 egg white
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate morsels, melted (I forgot to melt them and threw them in whole and it seemed to work fine!)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup baking cocoa
13/4 cups hot water
1/4 cup instant cappuccino mix (2 envelopes)

Combine the baking powder, flour, sugar, 2 Tablespoons baking cocoa, and salt in a large bowl. Mix the evaporated milk, canola oil, vanilla, and egg white in a separate bowl.
Whisk the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir in the chocolate. Spray a 4x6 baking pan (I used a loaf pan) with nonstick cooking spray and dust with flour (I used Baker's Joy). Spread the chocolate batter into pan. Mix the brown sugar and 1/4 cup cocoa in a bowl. Sprinkle over the cake batter. Combine the hot water and cappuccino mix in a bowl. Gently pour over the top of the cake batter. Do not stir. Bake at 350 for about an hour or until the top of the cake springs back when touched. Serve with a dollop of frozen yogurt or lite cool whip.
(This cake is nice and gooey and soupy in the middle, only the top part is cooked solid!) Eat warm from the oven:)

Spicy Peanut Sauce

When I made this it was really spicy so for little ones or those that don't like the spice cut back on how much chipotle in adobe sauce you use. Also, we enjoyed the leftover sauce as dip and I spread some on a corn tortilla with cheese and made like a quesadilla!

2 medium tomatoes
2 garlic cloves minced
1 can chipotole chili in adobe sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried leaf oregano
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
3 tablespoons smooth reduced-fat all natural peanut butter
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Chicken broth or water as needed

Grill the tomatoes along with the chicken turning occasionally until they begin to char. Combine tomatoes in the blenderr or food processor with the garlic, chile, brown sugar, cumin, oregano, cilantro, peanut butter and lime juice. Puree mixture thinning a little with stock or water. Serve sauce warmed ontop of chicken.

Okay, there you have it. It is so worth the time you'll take to do this meal in steps!! Hope you like it:)

1 comment:

Pat's Place said...

Yum! I think! My tummy is not yet up to spicy things.