CHICKEN NORMANDY aka ESCALOPE DE POULET ALA NORMANDE

CHICKEN NORMANDY aka ESCALOPE DE POULET ALA NORMANDE

You are going to LOVE this wonderful classic, though updated, French chicken dish from France. Apples are quite prominent in the Normandy region of France and are quite good in both sweet and savory as you’ll see from this recipe.

2 pounds (4) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 LARGE shallot, diced
8 ounces BEECH mushrooms
1 LARGE garlic clove, minced
¼ cup WONDRA flour
½ cup chicken stock (I prefer homemade)
1 cup apple cider
Juice of 1 LARGE lemon
¼ cup brandy
1 LARGE Granny Smith apple, washed, cored and chopped
¼ teaspoon FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
¼ cup heavy cream

  • In a small bowl combine lemon juice and just enough water to submerge the apple pieces.
  • In a large skillet heat avocado oil over medium high heat.
  • Generously season chicken breasts with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Sear over medium high heat until lightly golden on all sides. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside, keeping warm.
Add butter to the pan and reduce the heat to medium.
  • Add shallots and sauté for 4-5 minutes, until golden.
Add the mushrooms and garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, until the mushrooms are golden.
With a slotted spoon, remove onions and mushrooms from the pan.
  • Add the flour. Mix well until the flour is moistened. Return the pan back to the heat.
Add the stock to de-glaze the skillet, scraping up any stuck bits.  
Add the apple cider and brandy, blending well.
  • Add the cream and blend well, turning the chicken to coat.
  • Drain the apples.
  • Return the chicken to the pan, nestling them among the onions and mushrooms.
  • Nestle apple pieces into pan also.
  • Adjust the salt and pepper to taste.
  • Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes over medium low heat until the sauce has thickened to your liking and chicken is completely cooked through.

MENU PLAN MONDAY week 39 of 2019

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK
MONDAY – BACON WRAPPED GRILLED CHICKEN WINGS & BBQ BEANS
TUESDAY – TAMALE PIE & SALAD
WEDNESDAY – OVEN FRIED CHICKEN & BISCUITS with SALAD
THURSDAY – COUNTRY CHICKEN & GRAVY with GREEN BEANS
FRIDAY – CHICKEN & BROCCOLI COBBLER with HONEY ROASTED CARROTS
SATURDAY – HONEY GARLIC MEATBALLS with PARMESAN MASHED POTATOES & SALAD
SUNDAY – C.O.R.N

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

FEATURED PARTY LINKS FOR THIS WEEK

SUCCESSFUL RECIPES THAT WILL POST THIS WEEK:

  • CHICKEN NORMANDY
  • COOKIES AND CREAM ICE CREAM
  • INSTA-POT TUSCAN CHICKEN LASAGNA
  • CHICKEN CORDON BLEU MEATBALL PASTA BAKE
  • SWEET & SOUR TOMATOES
  • CHEDDAR BISCUITS

HAPPY HOMEMAKER week 39 of 2019

Be sure to join us and link up with
Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy Homemaker Monday

GOOD MORNING I hope everyone had a wonderful week!  We had a VERY productive week despite the rain.  After my illness and massive weight loss I’d been putting off dealing with my wardrobe until I finally realized I was never going to gain any weight back and it was time to get rid of things.  I LITERALLY had to try on every piece of clothing I own and FINALLY sort it all out.  It was one of those projects that literally took days, but in the end I had to part with MOST of my favorites including coats, jackets and shoes!  Who would have thought you could lose shoe sizes?  It took several trips, but in the end I was able to donate over 200 gallons of clothing and shoes.  I did itemize it all, but in the end I categorized it by bag size and how many bags I used 😀

I also sorted through ALL the Christmas ornaments and decorations and put together 4 large totes of items to sell on ebay, ETSY  as well as several for the local memory care home of items they could use like tablecloths and such.

We had so much wet rainy weather that these turned into the perfect projects last week. Now on to this week. Yesterday was wet and rainy too so we got caught up on the DVR so it would be empty for the fall season and some football of course 😀

THE WEATHER OUTSIDE & WHAT I’M WEARING Right now it’s cool and overcast but, we are supposed to have a couple warmer, milder days before the temperatures will be dropping again with some rain chances. Yesterday was supposed to be 78 and never got above 66 so I have my doubts on any real warmth this week.  It’s that time of year where the mornings start with cloud cover and the sun breaks out around lunchtime so the height of the day temperature wise only last a couple hours anyway 😀

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE Fall and the crisp cooler temperatures? I had to go to town yesterday and took the back way home through the country and was thrilled to see so many leaves beginning to fall.

I’m wearing Levi’s and a favorite purple pullover.  I’ve even broken out the POPS tennies to replace the flip flops 😀

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE Hot water, peach yogurt and a banana

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE, WEEKLY TO DO LIST, HOUSE & CRAFT PROJECTS, APPOINTMENTS

  • LAUNDRY, LIVING AREAS & KITCHEN… Did a deep clean last Friday, so all is still good.
  • YARD… Hubby has been cutting back the garden from all the Opossum damage and it’s just that time as the temps are dropping and the plants are not producing much more.  The zucchinis have been HUGE though , literally doubling over night.
  • APPOINTMENTS & TO DO… eye doctor, dentist, VA…
  • BLOG… I guess this is where I’ll be doing the countdown 😀 Can you believe it only 94 days until Christmas?  I’m working on the BLOGMAS 2019 schedule looking for ideas to make it interesting – Any suggestions?
  • CRAFTS/PROJECTS… I’m working on some Christmas bulbs to match the new garland.

WHAT IS ON THE DVR, I LIKE OR ON THE LIST TO WATCH/SOMETHING INTERESTING I WATCHED The new season starts this week so I’m looking forward to some old favorites that are coming back and a few of the new shows look interesting.

I’M READING I’m still reading:

Ava Miles’ Merriams #3 Valley of the Stars

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA We’ve had a pesky Opossum feasting on the garden tomatoes!  Every day he leaves just a small sliver.

INSPIRATION & A FUNNY

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP Halloween is coming up and here’s a little something I wish I’d known years ago!

After you scoop out and carve your pumpkin, dip it in a large container of bleach and water (use a 1 tsp:1 gal mix). The bleach will kill bacteria and help your pumpkin stay fresh longer. Once completely dry, (drain upside down), add 2 tablespoon of vinegar and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to a quart of water. Brush this solution onto your pumpkin to keep it looking fresh for weeks.”

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK
MONDAY – BACON WRAPPED GRILLED CHICKEN WINGS & BBQ BEANS
TUESDAY – TAMALE PIE & SALAD
WEDNESDAY – OVEN FRIED CHICKEN & BISCUITS with SALAD
THURSDAY – COUNTRY CHICKEN & GRAVY with GREEN BEANS
FRIDAY – CHICKEN & BROCCOLI COBBLER with HONEY ROASTED CARROTS
SATURDAY – HONEY GARLIC MEATBALLS with PARMESAN MASHED POTATOES & SALAD
SUNDAY – C.O.R.N

The food portion of my Monday posts has gotten so big I’m now doing a separate post so this one is NOT photo heavy. 😀

BAKED PINEAPPLE SALMON

BAKED PINEAPPLE SALMON adapted from DELISH

Non-stick cooking spray, for pan
1 FRESH pineapple cut into rings
6 salmon fillets, 6-8 ounces each
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons melted butter
3 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped cilantro
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2-3 green onions, thinly sliced for garnish
Lemon wedges, for serving

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Lay 2 pineapple slices per fillet.
  • Season both sides of fillets with salt and pepper and place on top of pineapple slices.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together butter, chili sauce, cilantro, garlic, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes.
  • Brush fillets with the sauce.
  • Bake until the salmon is cooked through, about 25 minutes.
  • Switch the oven to broil, and broil for 2-3 minutes, or until fish is slightly golden.
    Garnish with green onions and lemon wedges.

NOTE: Give the salmon a quick 2-3 minute broil at the end of cooking to allow the top to caramelize.  DO NOT overcook though, it will burn quickly.

FUSION BREAKFAST ENCHILADAS MEXICAN-ITALIAN

FUSION BREAKFAST ENCHILADAS MEXICAN-ITALIAN adapted from NORMAL COOKING
These are wonderfully flavorful – Italian on the inside and Mexican on the outside – fusion at its best!

1 pound sweet Italian sausage
3 green onions, halved and sliced thin
2 ounces sun dried tomatoes
1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
8 (8 inch) flour tortillas
LARGE eggs
1 tablespoon WONDRA flour
2 cups half-and-half
FRESH ground sea salt and pepper
4 slices bacon, diced and cooked crisp
Salsa, for serving
Sour cream, for serving

  • Spray 9×13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In a skillet over medium high heat, brown sausage and then drain fat.
  • In a large bowl, stir together browned sausage, green onions, sun-dried tomatoes, Mozzarella cheese and half of the bacon pieces.
  • Place 1/8 of the mixture down the center of a tortilla.
  • Roll up and place seem side down in baking dish. Repeat until all tortillas are filled.
  • In another large bowl beat eggs, flour and salt.
  • Mix in half-and-half.
  • Pour over the tortillas in the pan. You can cover the dish overnight and place in the fridge OR bake immediately.
  • When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Uncover dish and sprinkle remaining cheese over tortillas.
  • Sprinkle the rest of the bacon bits over cheese.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes.
  • Uncover dish and bake 10 minutes longer or until set and cheese is melted.

PINA COLADA CHEESECAKE

Awhile back I found a recipe in a magazine for the BEST EVER PINA COLADA CHEESECAKE and as is my nature cut it out and set aside to make. When I went to make it, I realized I had somehow cut off some of the directions so searched the web for the recipe in hopes of finding the missing directions. I DID NOT find the exact one I was looking for, but I did find 2 others that sounded similar and quite intriguing. So, each to these recipes were be made to order and then I made a 4th picking out the best features of each for a recipe of my own.

BEST-EVER PINA COLADA CHEESECAKE version 4, my version, a compilation of ALL the best parts of the first three versions 😀 I eliminated the whipped cream all together because I felt the pineapple curd was smooth enough and a sufficiently smooth topping.

CRUST from version one added a FRESH taste to the normally pedestrian graham cracker crust.  I added the ginger for an added boost. French gallette cookies with sea salt work well also.
8 shortbread cookies, crushed
8 gingersnaps, crushed
1 cup toasted coconut
3 tablespoons butter, melted

  • Preheat oven to 325°.
  • Wrap the outside bottom of a 9-10 inch springform pan with foil.
  • Spray insides with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Combine crushed cookies, toasted coconut and melted butter into a coarse crumb crumble.
  • Press evenly into the bottom of the pan.
  • Bake 8-10 minutes until set.
  • Set aside to cool.

FILLING also from version #1, but with alterations for flavor.
(3) 8 ounce cream cheese packages, softened at room temperature
1/4 cup superfine sugar
3 LARGE eggs
1/2 cup cream of coconut
1/4 cup sour cream

1/4 cup MALIBU pineapple rum
2 teaspoons FRESH finely grated lemon peel
(1) 8 ounce can crushed pineapple, DRAINED EXCEPTIONALLY WELL

  • In a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese with sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition JUST until combined.
  • Add cream of coconut, rum and orange peel, mixing JUST until combined.
  • FOLD in pineapple.
  • Pour over cooled crust.
  • Bake 1 hour 15 minutes until set and center ONLY slightly jiggles.
  • Run a knife around outside edge.
  • Turn off oven, leave cheesecake in oven, but open door about 4 inches and let set 30 minutues.
  • Remove from oven and cool 30 more minutes and then refrigerate AT LEAST 6 hours or preferably overnight.

The PINEAPPLE CURD from version #3 is a MUST!
1 cup granulated sugar
9 large egg yolks
1 cup canned pineapple juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
10 tablespoons butter, cut into 1/2″ pieces

  • In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar and egg yolks, then whisk in pineapple juice and salt.
  • Add butter and place over medium heat.
  • Cook pineapple mixture, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom and sides of the pans, until the butter melts and mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 9 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium heatproof bowl.
  • Refrigerate until very cold, at least 1 hour.

GLAZE – next time I will be adding a kiwi and a couple raspberries to the glaze for color
8 ounce can crushed pineapple, DRAINED juice reserved
1/4 cup superfine sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon FRESH lemon juice

  • In a medium saucepan whisk together pineapplejuice, sugar and lemon juice.
  • Add cornstarch, whisking until smooth.
  • Stir in pineapple.
  • Bring to a SLOW boil over medium heat, stirring CONSTANTLY. Boil just 1 minute until slightly thickened, still CONSTANTLY stirring.
  • Cool 20 minutes at room temperature.

ASSEMBLY
Pineapple slices, cherries or raspberries for garnish
Toasted coconut, for garnish

  • Spoon curd over cheesecake.
  • Top with glaze.
  • Top with cherries or raspberries and coconut garnish.
  • Cut into pieces and serve.

BEST-EVER PINA COLADA CHEESECAKE #1 – unknown source
A rum spiked coconut filling on a toasted coconut crust topped with pineapple creates a decadent dessert reminiscent of the classic tropical drink.

CRUST
15 shortbread cookies, crushed
1 cup toasted coconut
3 tablespoons butter, melted

  • Preheat oven to 325°.
  • Wrap the outside bottom of a 9-10 inch springform pan with foil.
  • Spray insides with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Combine crushed cookies, toasted coconut and melted butter into a coarse crumb crumble.
  • Press evenly into the bottom of the pan.
  • Bake 8-10 minutes until set.
  • Set aside to cool.

FILLING
(3) 8 ounce cream cheese packages, softened at room temperature
1/4 cup superfine sugar
3 eggs
3/4 cup cream of coconut
1/4 cup light rum
2 teaspoons finely shredded orange peel
(1) 8 ounce can crushed pineapple, DRAINED WELL

  • In a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese with sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition JUST until combined.
  • Add cream of coconut, rum and orange peel, mixing JUST until combined.
  • FOLD in pineapple.
  • Pour over cooled crust.
  • Bake 1 hour 15 minutes until set and center ONLY slightly jiggles.
  • Run a knife around outside edge.
  • Turn off oven, leave cheesecake in oven, but open door about 4 inches and let set 30 minutues.
  • Remove from oven and cool 30 more minutes and then refrigerate AT LEAST 6 hours or preferably overnight.

GLAZE
8 ounce can crushed pineapple, DRAINED, juice reserved
1/4 cup superfine sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon FRESH lemon juice

  • In a medium saucepan whisk together pineapple juice, sugar and lemon juice.
  • Add cornstarch, whisking until smooth.
  • Stir in pineapple.
  • Bring to a SLOW boil over medium heat, stirring CONSTANTLY. Boil just 1 minute until slightly thickened, still CONSTANTLY stirring.
  • Cool 20 minutes at room temperature.

ASSEMBLY
Cherries or raspberries for garnish
Toasted coconut, for garnish

  • Spoon glaze over cheesecake.
  • Top with cherries or raspberries and coconut garnish.
  • Cut into pieces and serve.

Pina Colada Cheesecake #2 which I adapted from COOK FOR SMILES  is a smooth and creamy cheesecake that tastes JUST like a piña colada, except that you cannot drink it, but have to eat its layers of pineapple chunks and coconut topped with coconut flavored cheesecake that has been baked to a smooth perfection.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Rest and chill time 8 hours
Servings 8

CRUST
1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 Tbsp melted unsalted butter
4 pineapple rings canned
2/3 cup sweetened coconut flakes

  • In a small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, vanilla extract and brown sugar, mixing very well.
  • Spread crumb mixture in the bottom of the spring form pan evenly, pressing it over the bottom and half way up the sides.
  • Spread chopped pineapple slices evenly over the bottom and then coconut flakes all over the pineapple chunks. Set aside.

CHEESECAKE
24 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 eggs
2/3 cup Cream of Coconut Goya*
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2/3 cup white granulated sugar
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • In a bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy.
  • Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl and beat for another minute.
  • Add corn starch and sugar and mix until combined.
  • Beat in eggs one at a time, until incorporated.
  • Add sour cream, vanilla extract, heavy cream and Cream of Coconut and beat until all mixed well.
  • Transfer batter into the springform and spread it evenly.
  • Pour the batter all over the pineapples and coconut and not just in the center. (If you are not sure about your springform holding up in water, you can wrap the springform in heavy duty aluminum foil from bottom up to the sides.)
  • Place roasting pan into the oven and place springform with cheesecake inside the roasting pan.
  • Carefully add water to the roasting pan, about half way up the side of the springform.
  • Bake for 70-75 minutes.
  • Turn off the oven and open the oven door half way.
  • Let cheesecake rest for about 10 minutes and take it out of the oven.
  • Let it rest on the counter for 10 minutes and then gently run a butter knife between sides of the cheesecake and the springform, to carefully separate it. (You don’t actually have to take the cheesecake out of the pan until ready to serve.)
  • Cool cheesecake for an hour to get it to room temperature and then cool it for about 2 hours in the refrigerator so it is cold when adding whipped topping.

WHIPPED TOPPING
1 cup heavy whipping cream cold
1/2 cup Cream of Coconut
2 tablespoons white granulated sugar

  • Add the cold heavy whipping cream into the cold mixing bowl. Use whisk attachment. Starting at low speed, start whisking, gradually raise to speed to high.
  • Slowly pour in the Cream of Coconut and then sugar. Beat until stiff peaks appear (don’t walk away far or you might overmix).
  • Spread whipped topping over the cooled cheesecake, evenly. (Keep the cheesecake in the springform.)


TOPPING
3/4 cup sweetened coconut flakes
4 pineapple rings canned
Maraschino cherries

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and grease a 9 inch springform pan. You will need a large roasting pan that’s bigger and longer than the springform pan. (I use the aluminum foil disposable ones). 
If you are not sure about your springform holding up in water, you can wrap the outside of the springform pan in heavy duty aluminum foil from bottom up to the sides. (I recommend wrapping the outside of the springform in foil before adding the crust and cheesecake batter.)
    Spread coconut flakes gently over the whipped topping. Decorate with pineapple slices and maraschino cherries.
    Cover the cheesecake and springform with saran wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Piña Colada Cheesecake Bars #3 was adapted from DELISHThe pineapple curd on these bars is what makes them SO SO good. Your very first bite will transport you right onto the beach with a piña colada in hand. 

Yields: 16 servings
Prep Time: 0 hours 20 mins
Total Time: 4 hours 30 mins

CRUST
12 graham crackers – 1 1/2 cup finely ground crumbs
1/4 cup granulated sugar 6 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 325°.
Line a 9″ square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides. I like to use my square springform pan.
In a medium bowl, combine graham crackers with sugar, melted butter, and salt.
Transfer to prepared pan, and gently press in to make an even crust.
Bake until lightly golden, about 12 minutes.
Let cool on a wire rack while making the filling.

FILLING
2 (8-oz.) blocks cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup coconut Thai Kitchen coconut milk
3 LARGE eggs
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup sweetened coconut flakes

  • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with sugar until light and fluffy, 2 minutes.
  • Beat in coconut milk, eggs, and salt until smooth.
  • Stir in coconut flakes.
  • Pour mixture over crust and bake until just set, about 45 minutes.
  • Cool completely in pan.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 2 hours. 

PINEAPPLE CURD
1 cup granulated sugar
9 large egg yolks
1 cup canned pineapple juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
10 tablespoons butter, cut into 1/2″ pieces

  • In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar and egg yolks, then whisk in pineapple juice and salt.
  • Add butter and place over medium heat. 
  • Cook pineapple mixture, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom and sides of the pans, until the butter melts and mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 9 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium heatproof bowl.
  • Refrigerate until very cold, at least 1 hour.

ASSEMBLY
2 cups whipped cream topping
3/4 cup toasted sweetened coconut flakes
16 maraschino cherries with stems

  • Spread cooled pineapple mixture evenly over cooled bars and spread whipped cream on top.
  • Sprinkle with toasted coconut and keep chilled until ready to serve.
  • Use parchment paper overhang to lift cheesecake out of pan or remove ring if using springform pan.
  • Cut into 16 squares.
  • Top each square with a maraschino cherry before serving.

CHICKEN FLAUTA RING

CHICKEN FLAUTA RING
2 cups chicken, cooked, shredded **
1 small red onion, chopped small
1 large ripe tomato, chopped
2 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese, divided
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
Juice of 2 limes
2 tablespoons taco seasoning
18 flour tortillas fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish
guacamole and avocado slices, for garnish
sour cream, for garnish
salsa, for garnish

  • In a large bowl, combine the chicken pieces, onion, tomato, 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese, 1/2 cup  cheddar cheese, the lime juice, and taco seasoning, mixing thoroughly.
  • Preheat the oven to 400˚.
  • Spray baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Place one of the tortillas on a cutting board.
  • Scoop 2 tablespoons of the chicken mixture onto the bottom edge of the tortilla.
  • Roll up the tortilla tightly and cut in half crosswise.
  • Repeat with the rest of the tortillas and filling.
  • Arrange the flautas in a circle on the baking sheet.
  • Sprinkle with half of the remaining cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese.
  • Place a second layer of flautas on top of the first so they are overlapping.
  • Sprinkle with the rest of the cheese.
  • Place the rest of the flautas on top for a third layer.
  • Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown and crisp.
  • Place a spoonful of guacamole and sour cream in the center.  Top with tomatoes and sprinkle with green onions and salsa.
  • Serve immediately and Enjoy!

NOTES:

  • **ROTISSERIE chicken works great!
  • I use my pizza pan wrapped in foil to get them really crisp!

TUSCAN CHICKEN – INSTA POT

TUSCAN CHICKEN adapted from AMY & JACK
Make this Italian inspired Creamy Instant Pot Tuscan Chicken or you will regret it!  Make sure you make enough to have leftovers to make their Tuscan Chicken Lasagna too!

The tender chicken immersed in a simple, yet richly balanced creamy garlic sauce with caramelized mushrooms and sweet sun-dried tomatoes. It’s crazy satisfying and a super easy weeknight meal too!

4 – 6 skinless chicken breasts or skinless chicken thighs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or avocado oil
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2 teaspoons Italian seasonings
8 ounces Beech mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
¾ cup unsalted chicken stock
4-6 garlic cloves, minced
1 small shallot halved and sliced
4 ounces sun-dried tomatoes
1 cup torn spinach
½ cup heavy cream
¼ – ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

THICKENER
3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ cup cold water

  •  Heat up Instant Pot using Sauté More function. Wait until it says HOT. This prevents chicken from sticking to the pot. Brown Chicken Thighs or Chicken Breasts:
  • Pat dry chicken and generously season with sea salt and black pepper.
  • Add in 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or avocado oil.
  • Add chicken to brown. Brown for 3 1/2 minutes. Flip and brown the other side for 2 minutes. Set the chicken aside.
  • Add minced garlic, then saute for 30 seconds until fragrant.
  • Add mushrooms, season with salt and black pepper, sauteing for a minute.
  • Add 2 teaspoons Italian seasonings and saute another minute.
  • Whisk together the Bragg’s liquid aminos and chicken stock to deglaze Instant Pot.  Be sure and scrape up all the bits from the bottom.
  • Add the browned chicken and any meat juice that accumulated. Pressure cook chicken at Thighs for 5 minutes at high pressure + Natural Release of 10 minutes or Breasts for 4 minutes at high pressure + Natural Release 10 minutes.  

After 10 minutes, release remaining pressure.  Set aside chicken.
  • Bring the liquid mixture back to a boil using the Saute button.
  • Add in torn spinach leaves and sun-dried tomatoes, then cook for 30 seconds. Give them a quick stir.
  • Mix in 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1/4 – 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
    Thicken Tuscan Chicken Sauce & Seasoning:
  • Whisk together 3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch and ¼ cup cold water together in a small mixing bowl.
  • Add the cornstarch mixture one third at a time to thicken sauce until desired thickness.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
    Add chicken back in and give it a quick mix before serving. Delicious over creamy mashed potatoes, prepared pasta or risotto.
  • Garnish with Parmesan and parsley.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 38 of 2019

Be sure to join us and link up with
Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy Homemaker Monday,
Christy at  at Southern Plate for Meal Plan Monday
and with Laura at I’m an Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

GOOD MORNING ladies.  I hope you had a GREAT week and weekend and that your weather is as wonderful as mine is!  I had a VERY productive week and we watched the Nascar races, the RAMS game, the Steelers game and rented a couple Redbox movies for the rainy weekend.  Yesterday was my birthday and I had a visit from my favorite munchkins, cooked some fun food and relaxed!

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE & WHAT I’M WEARING Outside my window FALL has arrived 😀  I cannot tell you how happy this makes me!  A storm rolled in yesterday and the temperature dropped while the rain began to fall just to punctuate the new season.  I’ve packed away the summer clothes and pulled out the fall clothes which aren’t much different except for sleeve length and adding sweatshirts 😀 So today is Levis, a long sleeve purple t-shirt and gray Jelly Pop tennies.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE I’d like to say that the eating issue is better, but well, I can’t 🙁  I remain hopeful though.  Each day is a new day and we try fresh to make it work.  Today is black cherry yogurt, hot water and oatmeal

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE, WEEKLY TO DO LIST, HOUSE & CRAFT PROJECTS, APPOINTMENTS

  • LAUNDRY, LIVING AREAS & KITCHEN… laundry is caught up, but I need to do a deep clean on the kitchen and clean up my clothes sorting mess from the living room
  • YARD… it’s wet, but hubby is getting things cut back for fall
  • APPOINTMENTS & TO DO… yesterday was my birthday, but I didn’t want to go anywhere in the rain so I think we’ll take off Wednesday or Thursday and go to the coast antiquing and out for lunch
  • BLOG… Can you believe it only 101 days until Christmas?  I’m starting to plan some BLOGMAS 2019 posts
  • CRAFTS/PROJECTS…  I finished the garland and have been sorting through Christmas boxes to decide what to use this year and what to donate to the local memory care facility.

WHAT IS ON THE DVR, I LIKE OR ON THE LIST TO WATCH/SOMETHING INTERESTING I WATCHED The season starts next week with the exception of Dancing with the Stars which begins tonight so the DVR is virtually empty, but I will get it programmed this week for the new shows we want to try.

I’M READING Ava Miles’ Merriams #3 Valley of the Stars

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA I didn’t get anything but food pictures this week.

INSPIRATION

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK
MONDAY – Baked Pineapple Salmon and Mystery Honey Roasted Carrots
TUESDAY – Chicken Lombardy and Salad
WEDNESDAY – Pull Apart Flautas with Sweet & Sour Tomatoes
THURSDAY – Chicken Cordon Bleu Meatball Pasta Bake & Broccoli
FRIDAY – Bacon Wrapped Chicken Wings & Salad
SATURDAY – Split Pea Soup and Corn Bread
SUNDAY – Lemon Lime Pepper Chicken & Rice Pilaf

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

FEATURED PARTY LINKS FOR THIS WEEK

HARVEST APPLE CAKE & PINEAPPLE VANILLA RUM SAUCE

One of the things I look for when we’re antiquing is old recipe boxes. Not just any old recipe boxes, but old recipe boxes FULL of handwritten recipes. This recipe came from one of those boxes. I have no idea who owned the box, just that MANY of their recipe’s were in the same handwriting and referenced Mrs. Gibson who must have been an excellent cook based on the recipes I’ve tried so far!

HARVEST APPLE CAKE & PINEAPPLE VANILLA RUM SAUCE

CAKE
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup CRISCO*
2 eggs, unbeaten
1/3 cup WHOLE milk
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 heaping teaspoon QUALITY cinnamon
4 cups peeled, cored and chopped apples
1/2 cup golden raisins

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Cream together the sugar and crisco, it will be a bit grainy.
  • Add milk until smooth.
  • Add in the eggs until well blended.
  • Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
  • Blend flour mixture into the creamed mixture.
  • Fold in apples and raisins.
  • Pour into 9×13 baking dish and spread even.
  • Bake 60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  • COOL to lukewarm before pouring sauce over top and serving.

SAUCE
1 stick (8 tablespoons butter)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pineapple vanilla
1 teaspoon Malibu pineapple rum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup heavy cream

  • In a small saucepan melt butter.
  • Whisk in sugar until dissolved.
  • Whisk in remaining ingredients until smooth and heated through. DO NOT BOIL.

NOTES:

  • Based on the age of the recipe card and style of writing I decided whole milk and PURE vanilla extract were a MUST for the texture and flavor of this recipe to be best.  Her original recipe was extremely flavorful, but also extremely dense.  The milk helped lighten it and made it fluffier too.
  • I use the crisco sticks.
  • The cinnamon, raisins, flavored rum and flavored vanilla are MY additions and I sometimes alternate them with craisins for even more oomph in flavor.

BBQ CHICKEN SLIDERS

BBQ CHICKEN SLIDERS

12 King’s Hawaiian sweet rolls OR 6 King’s HAWAIIAN buns
3 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
½ cup Sweet Baby Ray’s original barbecue sauce
½ red onion, thinly sliced
6 slices Baby Swiss or Gruyere cheese
3 ears baby white corn cut from cob or 2 cans white shoepeg corn
2 green onions, minced
FRESH ground salt and pepper
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Bragg’s amino acids
2 +1 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Over medium high heat melt 2 tablespoons butter.
  • Add corn and green onions, generously seasoning with FRESH ground salt and pepper.  Cook until staring to turn golden brown.
  • Add apple cider vinegar and Bragg’s amino acids to the skillet, stirring to combining and cooking JUST until liquid is absorbed.  Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Slice the rolls in half lengthwise.
  • Place the bottom half in a 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33 cm) rimmed baking dish.
  • Combine chicken and BBQ sauce until well mixed.
  • Spread the chicken evenly over the rolls, followed by the red onion, corn and then the sliced cheese.
  • Top with the remaining rolls.
  • Brush the tops with melted butter mixture.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, until the bread is golden brown.
  • Slice into individual sliders.
  • Enjoy!

CHEESE & POTATO STUFFED PORK CHOPS

CHEESE & POTATO STUFFED PORK CHOPS serves 4
adapted from Bake At Midnite

4 center cut bone-in pork chops (about ¾-inch thick)
2 medium potatoes, sliced VERY thinly (See note)
4 green onions, sliced thin
½ cup shredded Fontina cheese
4 slices Gruyere cheese
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
3 tablespoons melted butter, divided
4-6 sprigs FRESH thyme

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Lightly spray a 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
  • Make a “pocket” in the chops to hold the filling.
  • Peel the potatoes if you wish.
  • Slice the potatoes ULTRA thin…so you can read through them.
  • Place potatoes in a medium bowl.
  • Add green onion pieces, the cheeses, salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon of the melted butter.
  • Stuff each chop with a quarter of the potato-cheese mixture.
  • Heat butter over medium-high heat.
  • Quickly sear each side of chops and then place them in prepared pan.
  • Brush with remaining melted butter.
  • Top with thyme sprigs.
  • Sprinkle lightly with additional salt and pepper.
  • Bake for 40-50 minutes.

NOTES: You may also substitute 2 cups frozen shredded potatoes that are thawed and dried of ALL moisture if you don’t want to bother with the thin slicing.

SLOW COOKER METHOD:

  • Proceed as above except place chops in a 5-7 Quart slow cooker. Try to angle the chops with the stuffed pocket angled upward.
  • Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hrs.