SWEET ITALIAN VINAIGRETTE

SWEET ITALIAN VINAIGRETTE

1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon FRESH oregano, minced or 1/2 teaspoon dried
2 tablespoons FRESH parsley, minced or 2 teaspoons dried
1 tablespoon FRESH basil, minced or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon FRESH tarragon, minced or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon sugar
Fresh ground Himalayan Salt, to taste
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup white truffle olive oil
3/4 cup avocado oil

  • Add ALL the ingredients into a mason jar.
  • 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.

BBQ BACON SALAMI ROASTED CHICKEN

Several years ago I found an awesome sale on roasting chickens and more importantly found this awesome 8 pound bird.  Yep, I said 8 pounds.  We got several meals out of this one!  As for the leftovers, we had a Chicken Caesar salad and some Chicken a la King – which we hadn’t had in eons!
I wrote the recipe though based on a standard size bird. I also swear I had bacon in the meat keeper, but it wasn’t there so we made it with hard salami and guess what?  It was awesome!  Honestly the main purpose of the meat is to keep the moisture in.

BBQ BACON SALAMI ROASTED CHICKEN

3-4 pound roasting chicken
6 slices bacon, cut as necessary
1 cup favorite BBQ sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
3 stalks celery, washed and halved lengthwise
3 large carrots, washed and halved lengthwise
  • Preheat oven to 325˚.
  • Clean and wash the chicken well.
  • Layer celery and carrots on bottom of roasting pan.
  • Pour broth over vegetables.
  • Generously salt and pepper chicken.
  • With a silicone basting brush, brush chicken with a layer of BBQ sauce.
  • Basket weave the bacon together over the entire chicken.
  • Brush another coat of BBQ sauce over the bacon.
  • Roast chicken uncovered.
  • Baste with BBQ sauce every 1/2 hour.
RULE OF THUMB FOR ROASTING CHICKEN:  
  • 30 minutes per pound up to 3 1/2 pounds.
  • 22-25 minutes per pound over 3 1/2 pounds

SLOW COOKER BARBACOA

A true Barbacoa uses parts of a cow that I prefer not to use, so when I ran across this recipe I thought it was wonderful. I think of this as a Mexican Sauerbraten. You do serve it shredded, but this was so pretty I just had to show you the before shredding picture.

SLOW COOKER BARBACOA
1/4 cup lime juice
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 teaspoons cumin
3 teaspoons oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoons fresh ground sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup beef broth
1 medium Walla Walla onion, slivered
3-4 pounds beef chuck roast

  • Place the lime juice, vinegar, chipotle peppers and adobo sauce, cloves, cumin, oregano, pepper, salt and cloves in a blender and pulse until smooth.
  • Add broth and pulse until well blended.
  • Place roast in slow cooker and pour sauce over top.
  • Cook on low 7-9 hours or until meat is tender.
  • Shred meat into juices.
  • Prepare rice 20-30 minutes before ready to serve.
  • Serve over rice.

RICE
3 cups water
2 cups uncooked Jasmine rice
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ground sea salt
1/2 cup minced cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice

  • In a large saucepan combine water, rice, butter and salt.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer covered 12-15 minutes or until rice is tender and all liquid has been absorbed.
  • Remove from heat and stir in cilantro and lime juice.

CANDIED MAPLE THYME CARROTS ala HELL’S BACKBONE GRILL

My brother got me a wonderful new cook book for Christmas, THE IMMEASURABLE PLACE – FOOD AND FARMING FROM THE EDGE OF WILDERNESS by BLAKE SPALDING & JENNIFER CASTLE and LAVINA SPALDING.  He even had it signed for me.  I read it from cover to cover already and made a list of 46 recipes I want to make.

I started with this one recipe since I can eat carrots mushed up and we LOVED the flavor! I had 3 slices of crumbled bacon leftover from a recipe I took to Christmas Eve at a friend’s house that I sprinkled over the carrots.  I really think they enhanced the flavor a lot. So, we’ll start with several more next month when I can eat “regular” food again!

CANDIED MAPLE THYME CARROTS ala HELL’S BACKBONE GRILL
2 pounds carrots, sliced on an angle
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoon FRESH ground salt
2 teaspoons FRESH ground black pepper
1 LARGE clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup PURE maple syrup
2 sprigs FRESH thyme
3 slices bacon, diced and browned crisp

  • In a small saucepan whisk together everything EXCEPT the carrots, bacon and thyme, heating until well blended, syrupy and warmed through.
  • Remove from heat and toss with carrots until they are well coated.
  • Pour into a baking dish.
  • Nestle the thyme among the carrots.
  • Sprinkle with crumbled bacon, cover and bake 30 minutes.
  • Uncover and back another 15 minutes until carrots are cooked through and caramelized.

Linking up to FULL Plate Thursday.

PIQUANT CHICKEN with CHARRED TOMATO SAUCE

Chipotle chiles add a nice smoky heat to the sauce.  Serve this piquant chicken with lime wedges, chopped cilantro and chiles, and sour cream.


PIQUANT CHICKEN with CHARRED TOMATO SAUCE
3 pounds skinless chicken breast
1-1/2 cups oil
2 cans Chipolte Peppers in Adobo Sauce
1 (can) 16 ounce whole tomatoes, chopped
1 cup onions, chopped fine
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 large bunches green onions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped parsley
3 large cloves garlic, sliced thin
3 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon red pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons sea salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon oregano
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

  • Drain peppers, retaining sauce. Finely chop peppers and set aside.
  • In a heavy skillet, add 1/4 oil and heat until hot.
  • Add 1/2 cup flour and stir mixture until roux is a nice caramel color.  Set aside.
  • In a 4 quart heavy pot add 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil and adobo sauce.
  • Cook on low heat until brown in color.
  • Add onions, celery, garlic and stir until mixture is sauteed.
  • Add roux, a pepper or two depending on your heat index and whole tomatoes, while continuing to stir to keep mixture from sticking to bottom of pot.
  • Slowly add chicken broth while stirring to blend all ingredients together.
  • Add all seasonings, sugar and Worcestershire sauce.
  • Cook on medium heat for about 1 hour, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Turn down heat, and add green onions and parsley.
  • Heat remaining oil until hot.
  • Slowly add chicken and pan-fry until slightly brown. Salt and peppering generously.
  • Drain on paper towels to remove excess oil.
  • Slowly add chicken to the sauce and cook for about 45 minutes.

Linking up to FULL Plate Thursday.

ASIAGO SHRIMP RISOTTO

I found this recipe made for shrimp, but it is ALSO awesome with chicken.
ASIAGO SHRIMP RISOTTO adapted from What The Fork’s for Dinner?

4 tablespoons butter, divided
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
2 tablespoons dry white wine
4 1/2 cups chicken stock, divided 3 + 1 1/2
Juice of 1 lemon
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound large shrimp, thawed, peeled and de-veined**
3/4 cup grated Asiago cheese
1/4 cup tarragon and flat-leaf parsley, chopped for garnish

  • In an electric pressure cooker set on sear, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat.
  • Add shallots and garlic, sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes.
  • Add rice and cook, stirring, 1 minute more.
  • Add wine and cook until wine evaporates, about 30 seconds.
  • Add 3 cups of chicken stock and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper.
  • Secure lid.
  • Set pressure cooker on rice setting for 10 minutes.
  • Vent pressure, then remove lid.
  • Reset to sear setting and stir in shrimp with remaining 1½ cups broth, and cook until shrimp are opaque, 3 to 5 minutes.**
  • Stir in cheese and remaining 1 tablespoons butter.
  • Finish with herbs and serve immediately.

NOTE ** If using chicken use 1 pound cut into small bite sized pieces and adjust cooking time until chicken is cooked through.  I have also prepared chicken in a skillet getting a good sear on all sides before adding to risotto and then only stirring to coat well with sauce.

Linking up to FULL Plate Thursday.

BEST Homemade DINNER ROLLS

These really are the best soft and flavorful homemade dinner rolls ever!  I found the recipe over at The Stay at Home Chef and all I can say is that she did not waste that 5 years perfecting this recipe.

Prep time 3 hours
Cook Time 12 mins
Author: Rachel Farnsworth
Yield: 24 rolls

2 cups warm milk
2 tablespoons instant dry yeast
¼ cup white granulated sugar
2 teaspoons salt
6 tablespoons salted butter, softened
2 large eggs
6 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon melted butter

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine warm milk, yeast, sugar, salt, butter, and eggs.
  • Add in 5½ cups of flour. Using a dough hook, turn the mixer on to a low speed. Once the flour starts to incorporate into the dough, increase the speed to a medium range. Slowly add the remaining ½ cup of flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. The dough mixture should be slightly sticky and soft. Add more or less flour until the dough reaches the desired consistency. The amount of flour you add in bread making is always an approximation and you should go by feel.
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly greased mixing bowl. Cover with a towel and let rise 90 minutes – it should double in size.
  • Lightly grease a baking sheet. Punch down the dough and form into 24 rolls. Place on the greased baking sheet in six rows of four.
  • Cover and let rise 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake the rolls for 12 to 14 minutes, until lightly browned.
  • Remove rolls from oven and brush with melted butter. For a sweet twist I sometimes use a honey butter.
  • Serve the rolls warm, or to cool, let rest on the pan for 15 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack. Once cooled completely, store in a plastic bag.

TEX MEX MEATBALL SOUP

It’s finally turned cold here and all thoughts are on soup. While I can’t have the meatballs yet, hubby can and I will do the broth only.


TEX MEX MEATBALL SOUP
MEATBALLS
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 Jumbo Egg
1 cup cooked rice
1 tablespoon bread crumbs
SOUP
2 pounds Roma tomatoes, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 small sprigs of cilantro, minced fine
1/2 small Vidalia onion, diced
1 tablespoon safflower oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 cups chicken stock
1 avocado, sliced
white cheese or sour cream for garnish

MEATBALLS

  • In a small food processor grind together the garlic, cumin, salt, pepper and onion until well blended.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine the beef, pork, egg, breadcrumbs, rice and seasoning mixture until well blended.
  • Roll into 1 – 1 1/2 inch balls and set aside.

SOUP

  • In a sauce pan heat the oil and add the onions and garlic. Saute’ until fragrant.
  • Add the tomatoes and sea salt, cooking for 5 minutes until soft and tender.
  • With a slotted spoon remove the tomatoes to a blender and puree with chicken stock.
  • Return the tomato and chicken stock to the sauce pan and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce to a slow simmer and add the meatballs, cooking for 30 minutes until meatballs are cooked through.
  • To serve, place a few meatballs in each bowl and cover with ladles of soup.
  • Garnish with avocado and a sprinkle of white cheese or sour cream.

Linking up to FULL Plate Thursday.

ALMOND WALNUT DANISH

These are some of my favorite go to danish for a holiday morning. They can be made ahead and served room temperature or warmed up with a dot of butter for decadence.

ALMOND WALNUT DANISH
1 cup butter
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons yeast
4 eggs, beaten
7 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup + walnut crumbles

  • In a saucepan melt butter.
  • Add milk and water whisking until smooth consistency and JUST boiling.
  • Cool 5-10 minutes so you don’t kill the yeast.
  • Add the sugar, salt and yeast to form a sponge like blob.
  • Add the eggs until uniform consistency.
  • In a mixer with a dough hook attached, combine flour and yeast mixture.
  • Knead well. Put in refrigerator for at least several hours, but overnight is better.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Roll a ball of dough the size of a golf ball into a rope and coil into a circle. Make sure the center is thinner than the outer edges to hold the filling in. Sometimes I prefer squares, but you just have to work with your dough after you have it coiled.
  • Fill with a heaping tablespoon of filling per danish (recipe below).
  • Let rise an hour in a warm place.
  • Bake 15 minutes.
  • Frost with drizzle.

ALMOND DRIZZLE
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoons butter, melted

  • Whisk together butter, milk, almond extract and orange peel until well blended.
  • Gradually add powdered sugar, mixing until desired consistency.
  • Drizzle all over danish, sprinkling with walnuts.

Linking up to FULL Plate Thursday.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 52 of 2017

I don’t even know if Sandra will be doing this meme today so I’m making this short and sweet today as it IS Christmas!
OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE
A storm and cold front moved in on Friday night and we dropped 20 degrees so it’s finally pleasant here.  We are expecting the temperatures to stay low, but rain is expected for several days later this week.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE
Protein drink

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE / WEEKLY TO DO LIST & HOUSE PROJECTS

Nothing that won’t wait until Tuesday or so…

  • LAUNDRY… quite a few loads this week, towels, bedding and clothing
  • LIVING AREAS & KITCHEN… hubby is doing fairly good at keeping things relatively clean
  • STUDIO… is mainly storage these days so nothing going on there
  • YARD… nothing much after the weekend storms, just too wet to do anything
  • BLOG… some recipe updating, future post planning and holiday post planning

CURRENTLY READING & TELEVISION / DVR

  • BIG BANG THEORY, YOUNG SHELDON
  • THE GOOD PLACE, AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE, GREAT NEWS
  • MACGYVER, SCORPION, BLINDSPOT, ORVILLE
  • NCIS, NCIS NEW ORLEANS and NCIS LA, CRIMINAL MINDS, S.W.A.T.
  • MADAM SECRETARY, DESIGNATED SURVIVOR, WISDOM OF THE CROWD
  • CHICAGO FIRE, CHICAGO PD, CHICAGO MED
  • BRAVE, VALOR, SEAL TEAM
  • LAW & ORDER SVU, BLUE BLOODS, HAWAII 5-0
  • Z NATION, WALKING DEAD, FLASH, DC LEGENDS, SUPERGIRL
  • THIS IS US, ONCE UPON A TIME, THE GOOD DOCTOR
  • GUY’S GROCERY GAMES, BEAT BOBBY FLAY, BOBBY AND DAMARIS, BAKED IN VERMONT and the new KIDS BAKING CHAMPIONSHIP  AS WELL AS the new WORST COOKS IN AMERICA begin soon
  • WHEN CALLS THE HEART

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

Hubby is on his own still while I enter phase 3 of relearning to eat 😀


SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

These are recipes that have been waiting in cue to post, I’m definitely NOT back to cooking yet.

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

ON MY MIND / THINGS THAT ARE MAKING ME HAPPY

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA

Sunset just before the storm a few hours later.

INSPIRATION

Be sure to link up with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy homemaker Monday, Terri at Darling Downs Diaries and with Laura at I’m an Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

DAY 25 ~ BLOGMAS 2017 ~ MERRY CHRISTMAS

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics.

It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.

  • The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
  • Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.
  • Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.
  • The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.
  • The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.
  • The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
  • Seven swans a-swimming represented the seven fold gifts of the Holy Spirit–Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
  • The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
  • Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit–Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.
  • The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.
  • The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
  • The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles’ Creed.

Merry (Twelve Days of) Christmas Everyone – and, remember, the Twelve Days of Christmas are the 12 days following December 25th. The Christmas Season runs until Epiphany, January 6.

CHRISTMAS COUNTRY CHURCHES

These are 2 of my favorite country churches from Michigan.  I took these pictures in 2011 at Christmas time ON THE SAME DAY. That’s how fast weather changes with lake effect snow!



I JUST LOVE OLD CHURCHES! The bottom 3 pictures was a REALLY neat stone church in the middle of town.



But, my favorite country church is from a teeny tiny little town called Mansfield. It was once a growing little town until there was a mine disaster.  Now all that exists is the monument to the disaster, the church and a few random homes.