Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Apple Cider Waffles

They just don't make apple cider in small pint size containers.  When you buy a half gallon, you need to find all kinds of delicious ways to use it.  This is my second attempt at making waffles.  Last weeks were a bust.  So it was back into the kitchen to try again and this time with success.  The cinnamon syrup blended perfectly with these apple waffles.

                         Apple Cider Waffles

1 1/4  cups flour
2 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp sugar
1/2  tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon
1 large egg, separated
1/2  cup milk
1/2  cup apple cider 

1/4 cup apple, shredded

Whisk all dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Add in milk, egg yolks, apple and
apple cider.  Beat egg whites until light and fluffy.  Gently fold
in egg whites.  Bake in waffle maker per manufacturers instructions.

                            Cinnamon Syrup

1 cup light corn syrup
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tsp cinnamon
1 dash nutmeg
1 cup evaporated milk

In a large saucepan, mix together corn syrup, sugar, water and spices. Bring to a boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir in evaporated milk. Serve warm

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Root Beer Chicken

It's Saturday afternoon and when you live in a college town, that means football.  The Dragons are playing at home and the game is on now while the Bison are playing early evening.  Time for an easy meal which usually means the crock pot.  I put this together at around 8 this morning so it was ready to go in 6 hours.

Root Beer Chicken

3 chicken breasts (approximately 1 pound)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp ground red pepper flakes (optional but they add a nice heat)
1/2 cup root beer
1/2 cup bbq sauce

Place chicken breasts at the bottom of the crock pot.  Sprinkle seasonings evenly on top.  In a small bowl (or in your measuring cup if it's big enough) stir together the root beer and bbq sauce and pour into the crock pot.  Heat on medium for 6 hours.  Fork shred and serve on toasted buns.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Minestrone Soup

Fall means the beginning of soup season.  Last night, I combined meatless Monday and soup with this hearty minestrone soup full of delicious beans and vegetables.  I was going to have green beans in the soup instead of peas but when I opened the freezer, I discovered 2 opened bags of peas instead of one being that of green beans.  It still tasted good and was nice and thick.  I did find a Parmesan rind I had in the freezer to add to the flavor of the soup.

Minestrone Soup

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup onions, minced
2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp celery flakes or 1 stalk of celery, diced
1 - 15 oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 - 15 oz can light red kidney beans rinsed and drained
1 - 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
6 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
1 cup pasta, I used small shells
1 tsp oregano
1 tbsp parsley
1 bay leaf
1 Parmesan rind (optional)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in the bottom of a soup kettle or large dutch oven.  Add in onions and carrots and cook until tender.  Add in celery flakes and garlic and cook for an additional minute.  Add in beans, tomatoes, Parmesan rind, broth and spices.  Simmer for a half hour.  Add in peas and pasta and cook for an additional 10 minutes.  Remove bay leaf before serving.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Apple Zucchini Bread

It's zucchini season and if your family it dreading it...this is a tasty way to hide it and by peeling the zucchini and shredding it, they will never know it's baked into this moist apple bread.  

Apple Zucchini Bread

3/4 cup zucchini, peeled, shredded and allowed to drain for 1 hour in a strainer
3/4 cup apple, peeled and shredded
3/4 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups flour

Place the shredded zucchini and apple in a medium bowl.  Add in canola oil and eggs.  Stir in sugar.  Gradually add in the dry ingredients.   Pour into a greased loaf pan.  Bake at 325° for 50 minutes.  Allow to cool on a rack.  

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Chicken Vesuvio

I'm always looking for a new way to cook chicken.  My Tivo recorded a show featuring popular foods in Chicago and one was Chicken Vesuvio that caught my attention so I decided to try it out.  I was a little leery about the amount of garlic but you only live once, right?  It was not overpowering at all.  I thought I had bone-in chicken breasts in my freezer but thawed out boneless and skinless ones and they worked great.

Chicken Vesuvio

3 chicken breasts
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
3 potatoes, pared and diced
6 garlic cloves, leave whole
3/4 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup white wine
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp thyme
1 cup peas, fresh or frozen

While the oil is heating in an ovenproof frying pan or dutch oven, season the chicken on both sides.  Brown the chicken and then remove from the pan.  You may need to add in a little more olive oil before placing the potatoes in the pan.  Cook until they've browned nicely on all sides and then add in the garlic for an additional minute or two.  Return the chicken to the pan and add in the remaining ingredients.  Bake for 30 minutes at 350°.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Cranberry & Wild Rice Stuffed Pork Chops

With fall right around the corner, literally...my food choices are turning more into oven oriented than grill.  I had some pork chops on hand and decided to stuff them with a wild rice and cranberry mixture which also happened to be in the pantry.  

Cranberry & Wild Rice Stuffed Pork Chops

2 butterflied cut pork chops
1/2 cup cooked wild rice
1/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1 tsp parsley
1 tbsp onion, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp thyme

Pound out the pork chops until they are 1/4" thick  Season pork chops on both sides.  In a small bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients.  Place a scoop into the center of the pork chops, fold over and secure with tooth picks.    In a heated frying pan, preferably one that you can place in the oven, brown the pork chops in 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil.  Place the pan (or another baking dish) with the pork chops in the oven for 20 minutes at 350° to finish cooking.  

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Meyer Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

A chilly start this morning.  The thermostat read 66° inside so it seemed like it was a reason to start the oven and bake.  I had picked up a bag of Meyer lemons so I decided to bake a bread (or three).  I baked small ones so give away a couple.  I adjusted the recipe time down to 45 minutes for the smaller pans.  I also added a light glaze.

Meyer Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup Greek or plain yogurt
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
juice from 1 Meyer lemon (about 3 tbsp)
1/2 tsp Meyer lemon zest
1 1 /2 tsp poppy seeds

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar.  Add in eggs and yogurt.  Gradually add in dry ingredients.  Fold in lemon juice, zest and poppy seeds.  Pour into a greased loaf pan.  Bake at 325° for 50 minutes.  Allow to cool on a rack.  

Meyer Lemon Glaze (optional)

juice from 1 Meyer lemon (about 3 tbsp)
1/2 cup powder sugar, sift

Mix together in a small bowl.  Stir so all the sugar is dissolved so you don't have clumps on top of your bread.  Drizzle over the bread and allow to set before cutting.