Wednesday, April 1, 2015

One-Pot Veggie & Chicken Risotto

 Kathleen made this while she was home last week.  Very tasty!

One-Pot Veggie & Chicken Risotto

2 chicken breasts, cut to1-inch cubes
2 (14 oz.) cans low-sodium chicken or beef stock (more or less depending on preferred texture)
2 1/2 cups Arborio rice
3/4 cup dry white wine We used chicken stock
1 cup water, optional
1 bunch asparagus, chopped
1-2 zucchinis, chopped We did not use
6 oz. Portobello mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
Parmesan, garnish
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat a large sauté pan or Dutch oven over high heat and add olive oil.
When oil is hot, add chicken (seasoned with salt and pepper) and brown on all sides, 4-5 minutes. Set aside.

Add chopped asparagus, zucchinis and mushrooms and cook until just softened. 8 minutes. Set aside.

Melt butter in Dutch oven and add Arborio rice. Stir until rice is toasted and lightly browned, then return veggies and chicken to pan.

Lower heat to medium and add white wine. Cook until wine is almost evaporated, stirring frequently.
1/2-2/3 cup at a time, add chicken stock, stirring frequently and replenishing liquids once mixture is dry enough that spoon leaves a track through the rice.

When chicken stock is completely absorbed, taste rice and see if it’s tender enough. Risotto should be thick, but still able to spread out a little.

 [You want it to be al dente, but if it’s too crunchy, add 1 cup water (a bit at a time). Adding too much will make your risotto gummy.]

Serve hot and garnish with Parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Boston Market Sweet Potato Casserole

This was quite tasty and easy to make.  I used 2 29 oz cans of sweet potatoes and this recipe filled a 9 x 13 pan to the top!  The 'crust' is really a topping.
Boston Market Sweet Potato Casserole
4 1/2 to 5 pounds fresh sweet potatoes (yams) or 2 (40-ounce) cans sweet potatoes (yams)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
Nonstick cooking spray

Oatmeal Cookie Crust

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 pound (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
2 cups miniature marshmallows

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Wrap sweet potatoes in foil, place them on a baking sheet, and bake for about 1 hour. After 1 hour, test by piercing with a fork; if you can pierce them easily, they are done baking. If not, bake them a little longer and test again. Allow the sweet potatoes to cool until you can handle them, remove foil, and remove skins by simply pushing off the skins from the flesh of the potato. Place the cooked potatoes into a large bowl. If using canned sweet potatoes, skip the baking. Just open the cans and drain off the syrup.

Mash the sweet potatoes with the butter using a pastry blender or a potato masher until mostly smooth. Add the eggs, salt, cinnamon, vanilla, and nutmeg and beat until you have a uniform mixture. Add the brown sugar and cream and mix well.

Oatmeal Cookie Crust

Combine the flour, brown sugar, salt, oats, and cinnamon in a medium bowl and stir together well. Stir in the butter with a fork until you have a crumbly mixture.

If you had turned off the oven, heat it again to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Spreading the sweet potatoes in the pan. Top with the marshmallows, then crumble the oatmeal crust on top of the marshmallows. Bake 30 to 45 minute

Monday, March 30, 2015

Almond Mandarin Salad Recipe

Kathleen put this together one night over spring break.  Very tasty.
Almond Mandarin Salad Recipe
The Best of Country Cooking, 2002

1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon grated orange peel

8 cups torn mixed salad greens
1 can (11 ounces) mandarin oranges, drained
2 celery ribs, chopped
1/4 cup chopped green onions

1. In a small skillet, heat the almonds and sugar over low heat. Cook and stir until almonds are coated with sugar glaze; remove and cool.

2. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the dressing ingredients; shake well. In a bowl, combine lettuce, oranges, celery and onions. Add dressing and almonds; toss to coat. Yield: 10-12 servings.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Crockpot Ribs--"Little Pieces of Heaven"

These ribs were falling off the bone good---hard to get a good picture!  They were quite tasty and very little work to put together. 
Crockpot Ribs - "Little Pieces of Heaven"

1-2 slabs of ribs  Beth used 5# of pork ribs
1 can of Coke or Dr. Pepper Beth used diet Dr Pepper
Sweet Baby Rays BBQ Sauce or your favorite
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Line your crockpot with a crockpot liner, or spray with cooking spray.  Salt and pepper the ribs and then line them around the crock pot, standing up. Pour in your soda.

Cover and set it on low for 8 hours.

After 8 hours,  pour off liquid. Now, cover the ribs with the BBQ sauce--ribs may be falling off the bone tender.  Cover and cook on HIGH for 1 hour.
Take out and serve!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

THE BEST Oven Chips

These were quite tasty.  We did have to broil them for a few minutes on both sides at the end, since our burgers were ready and these could have cooked another 5-10 minutes.
THE BEST Oven Chips

Potatoes, as many as you like Beth used 6 medium sized
Oil, with a high smoke point
Salt, good quality

Chop your potatoes into chips (around ½ an inch or 1 cm thickness is ideal)

Choose a baking dish, making sure it's big enough to take all your chips in one layer (use more than one if necessary)Beth used a jelly roll

Pour a thin layer of oil into your dish, just enough to thinly coat the bottom of the dish

Preheat the oven to 400F/200C, and place the oiled dish in to preheat for at least 15 minutes.

Place the chopped chips into a pan, and cover with cold water.

Add a pinch of salt, and bring up to the boil. Boil for exactly two minutes and then drain and set aside to steam and dry (the drier the chips, the crispier they'll be)

Once the oil has had it's 15 minutes heating, carefully add the chips to the pan, shaking gently, to ensure they are in one layer.

Place the pan back in the oven for 15 minutes, then take them out and flip the chips over using a metal spatula.

Place back in the oven for a further 20 minutes, at which point they should be golden, very crisp, and ready to be drained slightly, doused with salt, and devoured!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Chocolate Chip Scones

Kathleen made these while she was on spring break. They were kind of dry when mixing up, so we added 2 more T of whipping cream and that seemed to help. These were DELICIOUS!

Chocolate Chip Scones

2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (careful not to overmeasure)
1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 Tablespoons (115g) unsalted butter, frozen
1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 heaping cup (180g) mini semi-sweet chocolate chips*
coarse sugar for sprinkling on top before baking
confectioners' sugar for topping after baking (optional)

Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Adjust baking rack to the middle-low position. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Grate the frozen butter Toss the grated butter into the flour mixture and combine it with a pastry cutter, your fingers, or two knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk the cream, egg, and vanilla together. Drizzle it over the flour mixture and then toss the mixture together with a rubber spatula until everything appears moistened. Slowly and gently fold in the mini chocolate chips. Try your best to not overwork the dough at any point. Dough will be a little wet. Work the dough into a ball with floured hands as best you can and transfer to the prepared baking pan. Press into a neat 8″ disc and cut into equal wedges with a very sharp knife. Top with a sprinkle of additional mini chocolate chips (optional) and coarse sugar.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden and cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Sprinkle lightly with confectioners' sugar, if desired. Scones are best enjoyed right away, though leftover scones keep well at room temperature for 2 extra days. Scones freeze well, up to 3 months.

*I prefer mini chocolate chips because you get more in every bite! Regular size is just fine, though you may want to increase the amount to 1 and 1/4 cups. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Sour Cream Cucumbers

I have been making these since way before Don and I married(28 years ago)  Kathleen made these last weekend and I told her to find a recipe to follow.  These are the ingredients I have always used.  We LOVE these.
Sour Cream Cucumbers
Taste of Home

1/2 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
Pepper to taste
4 medium cucumbers, peeled if desired and thinly sliced we used 2 large seedless
1 small sweet onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings

In a large bowl, whisk sour cream, vinegar, sugar and pepper until blended. Add cucumbers and onion; toss to coat. Refrigerate, covered, at least 4 hours. Serve with a slotted spoon. Yield: 8 servings.