TERIYAKI BEEF STIR FRY

TERIYAKI BEEF STIR FRY

3 tablespoons cornstarch, divided 2 + 1
1⁄2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water, divided
1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 pound boneless round or chuck steak cut into thin 3-inch strips, seasoned well with garlic powder and pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
4 cups broccoli florets
1 small onion, cut into wedges
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1⁄3 cup Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
hot cooked rice

  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 2 tablespoons water and garlic powder until smooth.
  • Add beef slices and toss to coat.
  • In a large skillet or wok over medium high heat heat oil.
  • Add beef and stir-fry to desired tenderness; remove and keep warm.
  • Stir-fry broccoli and onion in remaining oil for 4-5 minutes until they begin to soften.
  • Return beef to pan, tossing to blend with vegetables.
  • Add carrots and toss to blend.
  • Whisk together soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, remaining cornstarch and remaining water until smooth; add to the pan, stirring to coat well.
  • Cook and stir for 3-4 minutes more.
  • Serve over rice.

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ZESTY BUTTERMILK RANCH DRESSING

Mason jar dressings are all the rage on the internet right now.  With being a scratch cook, I have made my own for years now.  The only similarity is the mason jar LOL.

ZESTY BUTTERMILK RANCH DRESSING

1 cup sour cream
⅓ cup Duke’s mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced or 1 teaspoon dried
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced or 2 teaspoons dried
Juice of 1 large lemon juice
Fresh ground Himalayan Salt, to taste
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
¼ cup buttermilk

  • Add ALL the ingredients into a mason jar or shaker.
  • Screw the lid on tightly and shake vigorously.
  • The dressing will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks.
  • Pour over your favorite salad ingredients and enjoy!

    NOTE: If using dried herbs, make the dressing several hours before you need it so the flavors can absorb into the dressing.

STRAWBERRY RHUBARB PIE

I needed a few things from the grocery store earlier and they had the most gorgeous strawberries that I just had to have some and I had the instant desire to make a pie.  I was surprised to find that the rhubarb was gorgeous too. I had never made a Strawberry Rhubarb Pie  before so here we are making a pie and I have to tell you I am soooooo glad I did, this was so good.  With just the two of us, I made it into 4 small 5 inch pies this time so I could freeze a couple for later.

CRUST
3 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening (CRISCO), cut into pieces
10 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
+/- 10 tablespoons ice water

  • Combine flour, sugar and salt in processor.
  • Using on/off turns, cut in shortening and butter until coarse meal forms.
  • Blend in enough ice water 2 tablespoons at a time to form moist clumps.
  • Gather dough into ball; cut in half.
  • Flatten each half into disk.
  • Wrap separately in plastic; refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. The dough can be made 1 day ahead, but keep it chilled. Let dough soften slightly at room temperature before rolling.

FILLING
3 1/2 cups trimmed rhubarb pieces about 1 1/2 pounds untrimmed*
1 16-ounce container strawberries, hulled, halved (about 3 1/2 cups)*
1/2 cup packed golden brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

  • Toss fruits together to mix.
  • Whisk together the sugars, cornstarch, cinnamon and salt.
  • Sprinkle sugar mixture over fruit and toss gently to blend well.

GLAZE
1 large egg yolk beaten
1 teaspoon water

  • Preheat oven to 400°.

ASSEMBLY

  • Roll out 1 dough disk on floured work surface to 13-inch round.
  • Transfer to 9-inch-diameter Glass pie dish.
  • Trim excess dough, leaving 3/4-inch overhang.
  • Roll out second dough disk on lightly floured surface to 13-inch round.
  • Cut into fourteen 1/2-inch-wide strips.
  • Spoon filling into crust.
  • Arrange 7 dough strips atop filling, spacing evenly.
  • Form lattice by placing remaining dough strips in opposite direction atop filling.
  • Trim ends of dough strips even with overhang of bottom crust.
  • Crimp edges decoratively.
  • Brush glaze over crust. transfer pie to baking sheet.
  • Bake 20 minutes.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 350°.
  • Bake pie until golden and filling thickens, about 1 hour 25 minutes.
  • Transfer pie to rack and cool completely.

NOTE*: 5 cups fruit total

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OUR ANGEL ~ SWEET WHISKEY

I’m still trying to get a grip on losing my Whiskey girl.  Today would have been her 15th birthday and the grief is still overwhelming even 2 months later.

We knew when we rushed her to the emergency vet on Memorial Day that the decision we had been grappling with for a few months had made itself that day and that we would be saying goodbye to our sweet girl.  The emergency doctor laid out our options as I’m sure she’s required by law to do, but in the end was sure to let us know she agreed with the decision we made and thought it was best.

 

I have so many favorite pictures of her, but these were some of the last ones I had taken. I will ALWAYS miss the best dog in the world.

 

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KRAB & PEA FRITTERS

KRAB & PEA FRITTERS
1 cup sour cream
1 small bunch green onions, whites and greens, finely minced and divided
2 large eggs
3/4 cup whole milk*
12 ounces krab, minced
1 cup frozen peas
1 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Sea Salt
red pepper
Frank’s Hot sauce
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

*I only had heavy cream and 1% milk on hand, so I used 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1/4 cup 1% milk and they were perfect.

  • In a medium bowl mix together the sour cream and half the green onions.
  • Add in lemon juice, salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste.
  • Set aside.
  • In a large bowl whisk the eggs until frothy.
  • Whisk in the milk.
  • Add the flour, baking soda, salt and pepper to taste, blending until combined well.
  • Fold in the krab, the other half of green onions and peas until well blended.
  • Using a deep skillet (at least 2 inches) heat the oil over a medium high heat until it shimmers.
  • Add the batter to the oil 1 heaping tablespoon at a time.
  • Cook the fritters in batches, 2-3 minutes per side.  Use a slotted spoon to turn them.  Be sure not to crowd the pan.
  •  Transfer fritters to paper towels to drain.
  • Serve hot with sour cream.

CHEDDAR & BEER FONDUE

CHEDDAR & BEER FONDUE 
 
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/3 cup minced yellow onion
1 large clove garlic, minced
fresh ground pepper to taste
3 cups grated Swiss cheese
2 cups grated extra sharp white cheddar cheese
1 cup grated Gruyere
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon dry mustard (I omitted as I’m deathly allergic)
1 teaspoon caraway seeds, ground
1 12 ounce beer, preferably Budweiser (I used Dos Equis)
3 tablespoons Amontillado sherry
Sea Salt
Dipping items – crusty bread, apples, sausages, etc…

  • Melt the butter in a fondue pot or heavy sauce pan.
  • Add onion and garlic, stirring until it carmelizes.
  • Add the caraway seeds and stir to brown them.
  • Add the beer, increase the heat and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer to mellow the flavor, about 5 minutes.
  • In a separate bowl toss the cheeses with the cornstarch, mustard and pepper.
  • Sprinkle the cheese mixture, a handful at a time, stirring each batch until smooth and all cheese is incorporated.
  • Stir in sherry and adjust seasonings as necessary.
  • Keep warm over a low flame.

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CHOCOLATE BLISS BROWNIES

This is another recipe I originally found over at Two Peas & Their Pod. Ironically she found the recipe for these decadent Chocolate and Peanut Butter Lover’s Brownies from Jessica of Delish’s new cookbook, Seriously Delish which is sitting in my bookshelf. You mean to tell me this recipe was here the entire time and I didn’t know it? Shhh, don’t tell hubby, he’ll be mad I haven’t made them before now! He is a chocolate and peanut butter fanatic – “You got chocolate in my peanut butter, no you got peanut butter on my chocolate”… from this vintage 80’s Reese’s TV commercial.

This is a Chocolate and Peanut Butter Lover’s dream come true – fudgy brownies with a layer of peanut butter, a layer of chocolate ganache AND peanut butter cups on top! These brownies are too good to be true!  PURE BLISS! If you love chocolate and peanut butter, you will go CRAZY for these brownies! They are truly to die for – pure cloud floating heaven! BUT, even better is that you can change up this recipe just by changing which candy bars or combinations of candy bars you chop up for the top of the ganache. I’ve tried the original recipe with Reese’s as is and have tried it also with ROLOS, KIT KATS and MOUNDS.  They are ALL good and have a distinct flavor despite the rest of the recipe being exactly the same each time.

Do yourself a serious favor and make these brownies SOON! They are a new favorite here at our house and I know they will be for you too!

CHOCOLATE BLISS BROWNIES
Yield: Serves 10-12
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 1/2 hours

BROWNIES
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, plus 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup chocolate chips

  • Preheat the oven to 350.
  • Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.
  • Add the butter and chopped chocolate to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted, 30-60 seconds. Once the chocolate is semi-melted, stir constantly to melt the rest. Set aside and allow the mixture to cool for 5 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter-chocolate mixture and granulated sugar.
  • Whisk in the eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla extract, stirring until a smooth batter forms.
  • With a large spoon, mix in the dry ingredients JUST until combined.
  • Stir in the chocolate chips.
  • Add the batter to the baking dish.
  • Bake until the brownies are set and no longer jiggly in the middle, 25-30 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and let them cool for 30 minutes.

FILLING
1 cup creamy peanut butter, melted
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon coconut oil

  • Stir together the melted peanut butter, powdered sugar, and coconut oil until smooth. The warm peanut butter will melt the coconut oil as you stir until well blended.
  • Pour the filling over the brownies, using a spatula to spread it around the top.
  • Let cool completely and firm up, about 20 minutes.

TOPPING
8 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups chopped peanut butter cups

  • Add the chocolate to a large bowl.
  • Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat just until it bubbles around the edges. Remove the cream from the heat and pour it over the chocolate.
  • Let the mixture stand for 30 seconds, then stir until the chocolate melts and a smooth ganache comes together, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Pour it over the top of the brownies, then cover with the chopped peanut butter cups.
  • Let the brownies sit for 30 minutes to set up before cutting.

NOTE: The brownies will stay fresh for 2 to 3 days at room temperature if covered or kept in an airtight container. You can also keep them in the fridge, they will last a few days longer.

PLAIN OL’ CHEESECAKE – YUMMY!

PLAIN OL’ CHEESECAKE
For the crust:

1 3/4 cups ginger snap/vanilla wafer crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted

For the cheesecake:
2 pounds (four 8-ounce boxes) cream cheese, softened
1 1/3 cups maple sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons blackberry extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/3 cups sour cream or heavy cream, or a combination of the two

To make the crust:

  • Butter a 9-inch springform pan—choose one that has high sides. Mine is square.
  • Stir the crumbs, sugar and salt together in a medium bowl. Pour over the melted butter and stir until all of the dry ingredients are uniformly moist.
  • Turn the ingredients into the buttered springform pan and use your fingers to pat an even layer of crumbs along the bottom of the pan and about halfway up the sides. Don’t worry if the sides are not perfectly even or if the crumbs reach above or below the midway mark on the sides.
  • Center a rack in the oven, preheat the oven to 350°F and place the springform on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Set the crust aside to cool on a rack while you make the cheesecake.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.
To make the cheesecake:
  • Working in a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese at medium speed until it is soft and truly creamy, about 5 minutes.
  • With the mixer running, add the sugar and salt and continue to beat another 4 minutes or so, until the cream cheese is light. Beat in the vanilla and blackberry extract.
  • Add the eggs one by one, beating for a full minute after each addition. Reduce the mixer speed to low and stir in the sour cream and/or heavy cream.
  • Give the batter a few stirs with a rubber spatula, just to make sure that nothing has been left unmixed at the bottom of the bowl, and scrape the batter into the springform pan.
  • Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 30 minutes, at which point the top will be browned (and perhaps cracked) and may have risen just a little above the rim of the pan. Turn off the oven’s heat and open the door a crack.
  • Allow the cheesecake to sit for another hour.
  • After 1 hour, carefully remove from the oven and leet the cheesecake come to room temperature on a cooling rack.
  • Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen sides.
  • When the cake is cool, cover the top lightly and chill the cake for at least 6-8 hours, although overnight would be better.
Serving:
  • Remove springform sides. The easiest way to cut cheesecake is to use a long, thin knife that has been run under hot water and lightly wiped. Keep warming the knife as you cut slices of the cake.
Storing:
  • Wrapped well, the cake will keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator or for up to 2 months in the freezer. It’s best to defrost the still-wrapped cheesecake overnight in the refrigerator.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 31 of 2017

Did you have a great weekend? Ours was full of errands, cooking and racing. Because of the crowds here we try really hard to go no where from Friday afternoon through Monday. So, we have begun to really enjoy our homebody weekends.

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE

Last week was pretty nice until Friday and Saturday when the heat indexes surged upward again to unbearable around 120, but they are supposed to drop again this week to just around 100 – won’t matter much with the threat of rain every day though with the humidity. I really am ready to leave this 2 season (late spring and horrible summer)  place and go back to ALL 4 seasons!

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE

Scrambled eggs and green tea

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE

The bug guy is coming Wednesday for our quarterly spray so today is going to be my deep clean day before he does that, but at least the clutter is all picked up and ready for the deep clean.

WEEKLY TO DO LIST & HOUSE PROJECTS

  • LAUNDRYjust a couple loads
  • LIVING AREASmostly tidy, but need to do dusting and floors
  • KITCHENready for it’s DEEP clean
  • STUDIOready for it’s DEEP clean
  • YARDA little pruning and deadheading of some blooms
  • BLOG… still working on some recipe updating from my old blogs and am scheduling the posts I move over to slowly migrate day by day into the new blog.

MONDAY – DEEP CLEAN

TUESDAY – APPOINTMENTS & ERRANDS

WEDNESDAY – BUG GUY, SORTING and PACKING

THURSDAY – PAINT MAILBOX, PRUNE BACKYARD

FRIDAY – MOVIE or BOWLING

SATURDAY – WORK AROUND HOUSE, RACING

SUNDAY – WORK AROUND HOUSE, RACING

CURRENTLY READING & TELEVISION / DVR

Had a MAJOR DVR glitch last week after a power outage from the phone guys working in the area pulling in new fiber optic cable and in the end LOST ALL of the Christmas movies I had been stockpiling on the DVR from the July premiere on Hallmark!  Not to mention we had to go without television while we waited for the new DVR to be shipped to us.

There are a couple new shows starting on the Food Network that I’m looking for to.

I’m still only half way through with Book #2, French Roast of Ava Miles’ series for Dare Valley. I keep falling asleep LOL. And then there are my summer standards:

  • MIDNIGHT TEXAS
  • THE NIGHT SHIFT – I’m ready for T.C. to come home.
  • SALVATION – We’ll see where they go with it.  I’m still undecided.
  • AMERICA’S GOT TALENT – always a fun watch – loving the new softer side of Simon and fun side of Tyra.
  • ZOO – is back. I wasn’t sure I liked the 10 year jump into the future, but am getting used to it since they are using the same characters, just took some adjusting.
  • FOOD NETWORK STAR – I LOVE Jason and Matt and Rusty.  Jason was so funny on the Holiday Baking Championship which he won against professionals.  He is pretty innovative with flavor combos and I just love his country accent and euphemisms.
  • AMERICA’S GOT TALENT – always a fun watch – loving the new softer side of Simon
  • The Returned
  • The OA
  • Friday Night Lights
  • DATE MY DAD – it’s pretty cute and I want to look as good as Raquel Welch does when I’m her age!
  • GREAT BRITISH BAKING SHOW – I just love this show – they are always so civilized and nice with recipes that make me WANT to be a better baker. SPOILER ALERT!! NO NO NO I didn’t want Benjaminia to go home!!!!
  • MASTER CHEF – there are some interesting characters this season and some I can’t wait to see go home as well as a couple I thought I was NOT going to like that are growing on me.
  • THE “F” WORD – I love this fun new side of Gordon Ramsay with his funny antics and pranks with disguises.

CRAFTS / PROJECTS

I’m starting on a new canvas this week (I hope)

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

I’m still working with old recipes that need new pictures to make them look right with an experiment each week.

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
BREAKFAST
FRUIT & COFFEE
SCRAMBLED EGGS
FRUIT SMOOTHIE
FRUIT & COFFEE
SCRAMBLED EGGS
DUTCH BABIES
HAM & RED PEPPER STRATAS
LUNCH
FRUIT & CHEESE
TUNA TARRAGON
MEAT & CHEESE ROLL-UPS
SALAD
MEAT & CHEESE ROLL-UPS
C.O.R.N.
C.O.R.N.
DINNER
MAC & CHEESE HOTDOG STUFFED PEPPERS
BAKED CHICKEN TAQUITOS
C.O.R.N.
HONEY SESAME CHICKEN  STIR FRY
HONEY GLAZED FRIED CHICKEN
SOMETHING ON THE GRILL
DESSERT
PEANUT BUTTER BLISS BROWNIES

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

ON MY MIND

Spending a lot of time wondering what makes some people tick. Especially those that are so self-centered and feel they are entitled to everything without having compassion, empathy or even sympathy for others let alone respect for them.

THINGS THAT ARE MAKING ME HAPPY

  • Two of four tests are completed in helping diagnose the next step in my health process. One was normal, the other was not and the doctor will be able to tell more about that status after tests three and four.  Unfortunately tests three and four are a month off so I’m still miserable and unsure until then. Still praying for a non-surgical end to all of this.
  • “Summer” is half over which means psuedo Fall is not too far off. Real fall never really happens here LOL.

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA

These days my old Gunny spends more and more time in his favorite position, NAPPING next to his favorite toys. I’m really glad we got him an orthopedic bed a while back.  He LOVES his bed!

INSPIRATION

Have a wonderful week and be sure to link up with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy homemaker Monday and with Laura at I’m an Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

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CINNAMON ROLL APPLE PIE

The crust on this pie is absolutely amazing!
 
CINNAMON ROLL APPLE PIE
Crust Ingredients
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes, chilled in freezer for at least 15 minutes
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 heaping teaspoon brown sugar
2-3 tablespoons water, very cold
1 tablespoon butter, melted

cinnamon sugar for sprinkling

Filling Ingredients
2/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 pounds of 1/4-1/2 inch thick slices of peeled and cored  apples – I used a combination of Granny Smith, Pink Lady and Gala apples
1 1/2 tablespoons Malibu pineapple rum
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Egg Wash
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon cream

  • In a food processor, combine flour, salt and brown sugar, pulse to mix.
  • Add butter and pulse 6 to 8 times, until mixture resembles coarse meal, with pea size pieces of butter. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing until mixture just begins to clump together. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it’s ready, if not, add a little more water and pulse again.
  • Remove dough from machine and place on a clean surface. Carefully shape into disc. Do not over-knead the dough! You should still be able to see little bits of butter in the dough. These bits of butter are what will allow the crust to be flaky. Wrap disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  • Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 375°.
  • Combine sugar, flour and spices in large bowl. Use your hands and mix in the apples so they are well coated, then add rum and vanilla extract.
  • Remove crust dis from the refrigerator. Let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle some flour on top of the disk. Roll out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to a 12 inch circle; about 1/8 of an inch thick. As you roll out the dough, use a metal spatula to check if the dough is sticking to the surface below. Add a few sprinkles of flour if necessary to keep the dough from sticking.
  • Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
  • Roll up like a burrito.
  • Cut into 1/4 inch rounds.
  • Lay rounds side by side as close as possible together.  Gently flatten with rolling pin.
  • Place on to a 9-inch pie plate in the center of the pan. Gently press down into the pie dish.
  • Spoon in apple filling, mounding slightly in center.
  • Cut puff pastry pieces with a pastry roller to create strips for weaving the lattice top.  Pinch edges firmly together. Trim excess dough with kitchen shears, leaving a 3/4 inch overhang. Fold dough under itself so that the edge of the fold is flush with the edge of the pan. Flute edges using thumb and forefinger or press with a fork.
  • Stir yolk and cream in small bowl to blend. Brush over top of pie.
  • Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon sugar.
  • Bake pie until crust begins to turn golden, about 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350°F.
  • Tent the rims with aluminum foil or a pie protector if the edges are browning too quickly.
  • Bake until crust is golden and juices are bubbling, anywhere from an additional 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the type of apples you are using.
  • Transfer to rack; let stand 1 hour.
  • Serve pie warm or at room temperature.

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HULI HULI CHICKEN

There is nothing better than chicken on the grill in the summertime. Whether it’s smoked, BBQed or marinaded – you really can’t go wrong. It’s an easy dinner and it doesn’t heat up the house.

This chicken is soaked in a soy sauce brine, then grilled and brushed with an amazing pineapple juice glaze for the last bit of grilling. This recipe is adapted from Cook’s Country, June 2009 & Tide & Thyme. I changed a few aspects of the recipe by using chicken breasts which is what I had on hand and it cuts down on cooking time.  I served it with a bowl of Hawaiian macaroni salad & fresh pineapple wedges which disappeared immediately thanks to hubby.

Huli-Huli Chicken

For the chicken
1 quart water
1 cup Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1 tablespoon avocado oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

4 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken piece **

**I used all boneless, skinless breasts and adjusted the grilling time accordingly.  The breasts were so much better than bone in pieces!

For the glaze
3 (6-ounce) cans pineapple juice
1/4 cup packed golden brown sugar
1 tablespoon liquid smoke (can omit if using a charcoal grill)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons Asian chili-garlic sauce
Brine Chicken
  • Combine water and soy in a large bowl.
  • Heat oil in large sauce pan over medium-high heat until shimmering.
  • Add garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Stir into soy sauce  mixture.
  • Add chicken and refrigerate, covered, for at least 1 hour or up to 8.

Make Glaze

  • Combine pineapple juice, sugar, soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, garlic, ginger and chili-garlic sauce in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to simmer until thick and syrupy (you should have about 1 cup), 20-25 minutes. 

Prep Grill

  • CHARCOAL GRILL Seal wood chips in foil packet and cut vent holes in top. Open bottom vents on grill. Light about 75 coals. When coals are covered with a fine gray ash, spread evenly over the bottom of the grill. Arrange foil packet directly on coals. Set cooking grate in place and heat, covered with lid vent open halfway, until wood chips begin to smoke heavily, about 5 minutes. (For gas grill, place foil packet directly on primary burner.
  • GAS GRILL **Heat all burners on high, covered, until wood chips begin to smoke heavily, about 15 minutes.
  • Turn all burners to medium-low.
  • Scrape and oil the grate.
**IF YOU USE LIQUID SMOKE IN THE GLAZE YOU CAN SKIP THE CHIPS.

Grill Chicken

  • Remove chicken from brine and pat dry.
  • Arrange skin side up on grill (do not place chicken directly above foil packet).
  • Grill, covered, until chicken is well browned on bottom and meat registers 120 degrees, 25-30 minutes.
  • Flip chicken skin side down and continue to grill, covered, until skin is well browned and crisp and thigh meat reaches 170 to 175 degrees, 20-25 minutes longer.
  • Transfer chicken to platter, brush with half of the glaze, and let rest 5 minutes.
  • Serve, passing remaining glaze at table.

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BAKED CHICKEN TAQUITOS & RUSTIC CHUNKY GUACAMOLE

Hubby actually found this recipe over at Two Peas & Their Pod and requested I make them soon! Taquitos are just rolled up tacos. Her recipe calls for baking them which I adore since we just don’t do or need the fat, but don’t worry they still get nice and crispy in the oven!

Is there anything any more fun for an appetizer than a plate of FUN Mexican food? Don’t forget to top it with all your favorite toppings too. You can leave all the topping separate and do an appetizer bar for a party. The taquitos are the perfect appetizer or even the whole meal. The more toppings the better in my opinion. I’m going to make it again for Super Bowl! Her recipe is great the way it is, we just added a few additional toppings.

Hubby found this recipe just in time for my grocery shopping day too and I made them the next day for the NASCAR race – so perfect because I made them in advance and wasn’t in the kitchen during the race.

I did omit the step (changing it to brushing them with avocado oil) “Spray the taquitos generously with nonstick cooking spray” as I try to use very little chemicals in cooking and the spray just has an odd taste to me when used directly on food. And I added greenchile verde sauce, diced green onions and diced cilantro to the insides.

BAKED CHICKEN TAQUITOS
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

2 cups shredded chicken (I used rotisserie chicken)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground chili powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup green chile verde sauce
1 bunch green onions, minced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese or cheddar jack combo
20 corn tortillas *

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS
Salsa
Guacamole
Sour Cream
Diced tomatoes
Shredded lettuce
Chopped Jalapeños
Limes for squeezing
Chopped black olives
Chopped Green Chiles
Chopped Green Onion
Crumbled Queso Fresco
Finely shredded Jack cheese
Finely shredded Cheddar cheese

  • Preheat the oven to 425°.
  • Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the shredded chicken with the cumin, chili powder, salt, garlic powder, paprika, 1/2 cup green chile verde sauce, chopped green onions and chopped cilantro. Stir until chicken is well coated and everything is well distributed.
  • Add the shredded cheese and blend well.
  • Before you roll up the taquitos, place the corn tortillas in between damp paper towels and heat them up in the microwave for 20-30 seconds. Remove from the microwave and fill quickly.
  • Place 2 tablespoons of the chicken and cheese mixture in the center of the tortilla and roll it up tightly. Place each tacquito, seam side down on the prepared baking sheet. Continue rolling taquitos until the tortillas and filling are gone. You should have about 20 taquitos. Nestling the taquitos tightly keeps them from spreading during baking.
  • Use a silicone brush to spread a little avocado oil on the tops of the taquitos.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until taquitos are golden brown and crispy.
  • Remove from the oven and serve warm with desired toppings.

When I make up the platter, I top the taquitos with the toppings we both like and then do up a side bar for the toppings that we use differently.

NOTE 1*: This will make them easier to roll and keep them from tearing.

NOTE 2**: These tasty snacks can easily be made in advance.  You can even freeze the taquitos before you bake them. Lay the taquitos in a single layer, side by side on a baking sheet, cover with saran and freeze. When frozen, place taquitos in a freezer bag and freeze for up to one month. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 425° and place frozen taquitos on a large baking sheet lined with foil or sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes.

RUSTIC CHUNKY GUACAMOLE

4 large avocados (black in color, slightly soft to the press)
Juice of 1 large lime
Juice 1 lemon or tangerine
1 bunch green onion, diced
3⁄4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro, chopped finely
1 large tomatoes, diced
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
finely chopped fresh jalapeno (optional)

  • Slice avocados in half. Discard the seed. Scoop all the meat into a medium bowl.
  • Add juice of one fresh lime immediately to prevent browning.
  • Use a fork and mash to desired consistency.
  • Add chopped onions, tomato, and cilantro, stirring gently to mix ingredients.
  • Add juice of lemon or tangerine.
  • Salt and pepper to taste. Stir just slightly, until incorporated.
  • Add jalapeño to taste.
  • Serve with your favorite tortilla chips for a dip, or use with your favorite TexMex meal.

NOTE: If you want a very creamy dip use a food processor. Otherwise doing it by hand gives you a rustic chunky guacamole.

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