Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Last of the Summer Wine

I don't drink but this recipe is good for those that long for the taste of summer just one more time before settling down to the heartier winter fare.  By the way, my husband loves the show of the same name. My favorite character is Cleggy.

1/2 cup of raspberry Jam
1 T of Dijon mustard
6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 cup of fresh or frozen raspberries (Thawed and Drained)

Spray a shallow baking dish with cooking spray,  bake the chicken at 350* for 15 minutes. Combine the jam and mustard and brush over the chicken and bake for 10 more minutes or until done.  When serving, sprinkle the raspberries over the chicken.

I serve this  with mixed greens with raspberry vinaigrette and thick crusted bread.  In the summer, you can grill the chicken over medium heat.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sweet 16 birthday

My oldest turns 16 in 16 days. YIKES!   In honor of her birthday, I am posting her favorite recipe.


2 cups of shredded chicken
1 can of green chilies
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
one package of burrito size tortillas
2 cups of shredded cheese
1 cup of sliced green onions
1 can of sliced olives.

combine the soups and sour cream together and smear two spoonfuls of  mixture on the bottom of 13x9 pan  add chicken and green chillies to the remaining mixture and put a spoonful of soup mixture in the center of warm tortilla and fold egg roll style, seam side down, in prepared pan. Complete with rest of Tortillas. you will end up with more soup mixture than tortillas and that is good.  Cover the prepared tortillas with remaining soup mixture, Top with cheese, green onions and olives. Bake at 350* for 20 minutes or until hot.  I serve it with Spanish rice and corn.

For my cooked chicken, I will get the boneless chicken breasts and cube it up and cook it with some lime juice and Green chilies. You can get the rotisserie chicken too.

Happy Birthday Jamie.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Common Sense

No Recipes today  Just some helps to get ready for the holiday baking season,

Oven cleaning, Sure you can used the self cleaning function if you have it or Easy off or call your local Amway person and get a bottle of their totally awesome oven cleaner. Or you don't want the effort so make your own.  Take
3 tsp Borax
1/4 cup vinegar
1/8 cup liquid dish soap
2 cups hot water
and mix it in a big spray bottle.

Wipe out your oven to remove the the loose bits and spray liberally. Sprinkle generously with baking soda, spray again to soak the baking soda, and let it sit overnight.  Wipe it out with paper towels and wash down with hot soapy water,  I love it as we have a dog and he feels he has to taste everything.

Gave your husband burnt offerings because you think they will reach their potential of being a god. Now your house smells like burnt popcorn?  Simmer a cup of lemon juice on low for 15 minutes and it will neutralize the odor.

Last year I accidentally under cooked the turkey. Not going to happen again. So I just went to the appliance Center repair shop and got an oven Thermometer. I hung it in the middle of the rack in the middle of the oven and I turned the oven at 400 and when I heard the click, I checked the temperature and it was only 350* now I know I need to bump the temp to be 400* to be at the 350* I need to  turn it up 50*

When you pull out a roast anything from the oven, tent it with foil. and put a heavy bath towel over the foil.  it will keep it very hot.

Have a good Day!.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

It's been awhile

"Life is what happens when you are making other plans."  yep,  A broken wrist, and work and more work.  I can't afford to take time off work for any of my jobs. 

Now I can sit back and kinda relax today.  It's going to be simple for dinner tonight.

My Pot roast

One good size beef arm roast.  Get one that will feed your family.
I put it in the crock pot with 1 jar of beef gravy, 1 container of sliced mushrooms and a package of onion soup mix. Let it sit on low and serve with mashed potatoes.

Like Garlic mashed potatoes.

Peel and dice 2 potatoes per person,  and add a clove of whole garlic for every 2 potatoes used.  cover with water and boil until fork tender.  drain and replace in hot pan to remove excess water.  Mash with a bit of butter and milk.   And PLEASE don't pull my Sister in laws act of using the food processor to mash potatoes.  Then they will only be good for wallpaper paste. The blade breaks down the starch way too much and you get a pasty goo.

Honey glazed carrots would be good too.

Take a 2 pound bag of baby carrots,  Steam them for about 20 minutes until tender, put in serving bowl with 3T of butter and 3T of honey or more to taste.

Yep it's that simple.

Now, to get the smell of burnt ramon noodles (ask Jamie) out of my house.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

It's a cold & wet day

Yeah, it's that cold, Gray and cold.

I have 2 cups of milk scalding for bread. Actually cooling with 1/2 cup of sugar,  1/2 cup of shortening and 2T of salt. When this cools to room temperature, I will add it to 4 cups of sifted unbleached flour and 2 cups of whole wheat flour and 1/4c warm water with 3 packets of active yeast. Kneed until smooth and elastic, cover with a clean damp dishtowel and place in oven to rise for 90 minutes.  Punch down, and recover, and let it sit to rise for another 90 minutes.  work into loaves and let rise another 90 minutes or until double and bake at 350* for 20 minutes or unto the loaves sound hollow.

To go with the bread, I am thinking Clam chowder New England style.

I start with 2 cups of diced potatoes, 1 cup of thinly sliced celery, and 1 small onion thinly sliced. I add one bottle of clam juice and the juice of 2 cans of chopped clams and enough water to cover the vegetables if needed.  Simmer for 15 minutes to cook.  Meanwhile, I melt a stick of butter in a soup pot,  add 1/2 cup of flour to make a roux, let that cook for a few minutes and add 2 quarts of half and half and make a white sauce.  I let that simmer until it became thick enough to coat a spoon and add the vegetables with broth to the white sauce. let simmer until it thickens up again and add the chopped clams.  Serve hot with the warm bread and lots of butter and Jam.

Yep, that is what is for dinner tonight! 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Thanksgiving Turkey

Hold your horses! Halloween was just last night. we have time, don't we?  Ummm No, Not really. With my work schedule as hectic as it is and bazaar and irregular, I am thinking about the Turkey now.

The first time I cooked a bird, was the first thanksgiving my husband and I were married and I was a week away from giving birth to child unit one. But I held in there and Got dinner done. I called mom a few times to get a recipe or two. Not that I had to remember but being 39 weeks pregnant does kill brain cells or at least stops the thinking process or at least slows it down because I was drawing blanks.

16 years later, and I have perfected it all other than pie crusts.  I am grateful for the time I was able to help my mom last year make the crusts for the pies so for the next few weeks I can perfect the technique.

Oh and if you haven't picked up on it yet, I am a big fan of Alton Brown so this is the brine off "Good Eats Thanksgiving"  I Heart you Alton!!!!!!!

Start off with 1 gallon of vegetable broth. Don't use the low or no sodium kinds. You need the salt for the brine. Then add 1 cup of salt, 1/2 c of brown sugar,  1T of pepper corns, 1/2T each of Allspice berries,  and candied or spiced Ginger. That needs to come to a full boil to help soften if not dissolve the solids. Let it cool to room temperature and refrigerate to keep cool. You can make this up 3 days before as there is a TON of things to do in the days leading up to thanksgiving.

The night before you cook the bird,  If you buy a frozen one, please thaw out in the fridge for a week before cooking. If you buy fresh, great, Just make sure you remove the giblets and neck out of the cavities of the bird before you put it in a food grade 5 gallon bucket.  (call your local bakery and ask if you can get a bucket the frosting comes in that is just the right size, you need the lid too.)  Rinse the bird in cold water and place breast side down in bucket. Add the brine and one gallon of heavily iced water.  basically it's a gallon of ice with water to fill the space between the ice cubes. Secure the lid on tightly and put it in a cool corner of your kitchen or since it's winter in North America a cool corner of the garage.  Rotate the bird after 4 hours like put the breast up.  The sodium in the brine will be a preservative and prevent the build up of harmful bacteria.

How does a brine work?  To my understanding, there is moisture in the muscle of bird. When you put the bird in the salted brine, the moisture is pulled out of the muscle but it's replaced by the brine, bringing the seasonings of the pepper, allspice, and ginger with it.