Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken with Broccoli...


Other than cropping, no adjustments were made to the photo above...straight out of the camera.  I was happily surprised with the brown glazing of the chicken thighs.

I found the same recipe in quite a few different websites, so I can't give an original attribute.  And anyway, as usual, I adapted it to what I had on hand and what our preferences are.  My version follows:

Place 4 to 6 chicken thighs in the slow cooker. (I used boneless/skinless, and I put them in frozen.)

Whisk together:
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon of sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Pour this over the frozen thighs, covering them evenly and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours. 

 About 30 minutes before we were ready to eat, I added 2 to 3 cups broccoli florets and stirred them into the sauce.  Then I sprinkled 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds and 1/2 teaspoon dried chives over all, covered, and continued to cook for 30 more minutes while I prepared rice.

The broccoli looks a little overcooked in the photo, but it was actually just done with a little bit of crunch still.  I'll be making this again. 

Friday, December 9, 2016

Haluski with Sausage...


Ingredients:
wide noodles
1/2 to 1 lb sausage
1 onion (roughly chopped)
1 head cabbage (roughly chopped)
1 Tablespoon butter
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon carraway seeds (optional)
salt and course-ground pepper to taste

Directions:
Heat water to cook the noodles in, and heat a large skillet over medium high heat.  

Place the noodles into the boiling water.  

Brown the sausage in the skillet, stirring occasionally.  Add the tablespoon of butter.  Add the onion and let cook a bit, then add the cabbage and caraway seeds to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally.  I like to let the cabbage caramelize a little.  Add the cooked noodles to the skillet and toss to combine.  Salt and pepper to taste.

My notes:  I used link sausage, so I sliced the links in half lengthwise and then sliced the halves into bite-size pieces.  When adding the cabbage to the pan, you may need to add part and let it cook down a bit before adding the rest.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Homemade Pizza with Easy Crust...


Crust Ingredients:  (makes 2)
2 cups warm water
2 packages of yeast (or 4 1/2 teaspoons from jar)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon honey
5 to 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Toppings:
sauce (I had bottled spaghetti sauce on hand, it was fine)
mozzarella cheese, grated
onion, sliced
green bell pepper, sliced
black olives, sliced
green olives, sliced
Italian sausage, removed from casings and browned
pepperoni
cherry tomatoes, halved


  • Add water, yeast, and sugar to a bowl.  Stir and let proof for about 5 minutes.
  • Add salt, honey, and about 2.5 cups of flour.  Mix by hand.
  • Add remaining flour a half cup at a time until it doesn't feel 'sticky'
  • Knead a few times
  • Place in an oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel, and let rise at least 30 minutes, the longer the better
  • Preheat oven to 425° F
  • Pat dough out to fit pizza pan or cookie sheet
  • Bake for 10 minutes
  • Add sauce, cheese, and toppings, then bake at 475° for 15 minutes
My notes:  Any combination of toppings can be used.  These were what I had in the fridge today, and it turned out so delicious.  I forgot to pre-bake the crust, and it still turned out fine and cooked through.


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Strawberry Fluff...



Ingredients:
  1 angel food cake (store bought or homemade)
  1 14 ounce can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
     (may substitute one 3.4 ounce pkg of instant vanilla pudding 
      prepared as per pkg directions)
  1 cup of sour cream
10 ounces of frozen sweetened strawberries (thawed)
  1 8-ounce container of Cool Whip topping (thawed)

Directions:Tear angel food cake into large-ish bite-sized pieces and put into a deep bowl.  Mix sweetened condensed milk (or vanilla pudding) and sour cream.  Pour over torn cake.  Pour strawberries on top, and spread to cover.  Top with Cool Whip topping.  Refrigerate until served.  Can be made a day in advance.

My notes:  You may notice my helper and I got the steps out of order a little.  It doesn't really hurt anything.  This kind of recipe is not an exact science.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Chicken Spaghetti Especiál...


Ingredients:
12 ounces spaghetti, cooked al dente as per package directions and drained
4 Tablespoons butter
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 Tablespoons Chicken bouillon
4 Tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 15 oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
2 cups shredded chicken (left from Crockpot Chicken Tacos)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350┬║ F.  Cook spaghetti as directed on package, and drain.

Melt 4 Tablespoons of butter in non-stick skillet.  Saute onion and green pepper till softened.  Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, and chicken bouillon, and stir through.  Add flour and stir to coat vegetables and cook flour a bit.  Pour a cup of milk into pan, and stir to make a sauce.  When the sauce is smooth and thickened a bit, stir in the diced tomatoes.  Stir in sour cream, Gruyere cheese, and about 1/4 cup of the cheddar cheese.  

Pour this over the cooked spaghetti, and stir to blend.  Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray.  Pour the spaghetti into the casserole dish and top with remaining 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese.  Bake for 30 to 45 minutes.

My notes:  The combination of using the chicken taco meat, making homemade sauce rather than using condensed soup, the fire roasted tomatoes, and the Gruyere cheese (which was in the fridge and needed to be used up) really upped the game of my usual run-of-the-mill chicken spaghetti.  

Monday, April 18, 2016

Virginia's Taco Soup...

Ingredients:
2 lbs of ground beef, browned
1 can of whole kernel corn (*drain)
2 cans of Pinto beans (*drain)
1 can of Kidney beans (*drain)
1 4 oz can of green chilies (*drain)
1 pkg of taco seasoning
1 pkg of dry Ranch dressing
1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes  (or 2 15 oz cans)
2 cans of Rotel tomatoes
2 cups of water

Directions:
In a large pot, brown the ground beef.  Drain excess grease if necessary.

*Drain the cans of corn, pinto beans, kidney beans, and green chilis together in one strainer (I do not rinse) and add to the pot.

Add crushed tomatoes (with its liquid), Rotel tomatoes (with its liquid), and water to the pot.

Add the taco seasoning and the dry ranch seasoning to the pot, stir to mix, and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer till ready to serve.

Serve with crackers or cornbread.

My notes:  This is the easiest recipe in my repertoire.  I almost always have everything in the pantry, and can throw it together in minutes, and as soon as it is warmed through it is ready to eat.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Easy Pineapple Cake...


It truly is easy.  E.  Z.  You don't even need a mixer for the cake, just stir it together.  The texture after baking isn't light and cake-like, it is very dense and moist.  

You don't really need a mixer for the frosting either, but I used my hand mixer today.

Easy Pineapple Cake
Ingredients:
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs (beaten)
1 20 ounce can crushed pineapple in juice (do not drain)

Preheat oven to 350° F.  

Stir together the dry ingredients, then add the eggs, vanilla, and pineapple with its juice.  Stir by hand till mixed well.  Pour into a greased 9" x 13" pan.  Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, till golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool completely.

Frosting for Easy Pineapple Cake
Ingredients:
1 (8 ounce) brick of cream cheese (softened to room temperature)
1 stick butter (softened)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup pecans (chopped)

Stir (or mix) together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla.  Add the powdered sugar and stir (or mix) till well incorporated and smooth.  Stir in pecans.  Spread frosting evenly over cooled cake in the pan.