POLYNESIAN CARROTS

POLYNESIAN CARROTS
2 1/2 tablespoons sweet cream butter
2 cups sliced carrots
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
3 tablespoons golden raisins
1 small can crushed pineapple, well drained
1 tablespoon QUALITY honey

  • Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add carrots and seasonings.
  • Cover and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until carrots are tender.
  • Stir in pineapple and honey, sauteing 2-3 minutes until heated through.
  • Serve immediately.

CINNAMON CRUMB APPLE OATMEAL MUFFINS

CINNAMON CRUMB APPLE OATMEAL MUFFINS – yields 22 standard muffins

MUFFINS
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 cup QUICK cooking oats
2 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1 ¼ teaspoon QUALITY cinnamon
¼ teaspoon FRESH grated nutmeg
¾ cup sugar
2 large eggs
½ cup butter, melted and cooled
½ cup milk
2 large or 4 small Granny Smith apples chopped SMALL

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, butter and milk.
  • Stir the flour mixture with the liquid mixture.
  • Stir in the apples.
  • Divide batter evenly between 12 muffin cups.

TOPPING
½ cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon Wonderer flour
½ teaspoon QUALITY ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon FRESH grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon butter

  • Whisk together the sugar, flour and cinnamon.
  • Cut in the butter.
  • Sprinkle on top of the muffins.
  • Bake about 20 minutes or when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Cool in pan 5 minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool completely.

AMALFI POSITANO CHICKEN or PORK

I found this scrap of a recipe in my BIG bin of recipe scraps and the name POSITANO chicken intrigued me so I did a little research and decided to make the recipe.  Positano is a cliff side village on the Amalfi coast that is known primarily for seafood, FRESH pasta and Buffalo Mozzarella cheese.  So, I have NO idea why this recipe was originally written for chicken 😀  but it was and I have adapted it to fit not only chicken, but also pork. Since cheese and seafood are not usually a great mix I have no real plans to adapt it to the seafood that the Amalfi coast is famous for.  Overall it kind of reminds me of an Italian version of Chicken Kiev.

AMALFI POSITANO CHICKEN or PORK serves 6
6 – 8 ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/3 pound ground Italian sausage, cooked crumbly, drained of grease and cooled
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
3 cups grated Mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup roasted red pepper, diced and cooled
1/4 cup FRESH small torn basil leaves
2 cups all purpose flour
6 eggs, whisked
3 cups seasoned Italian bread crumbs
3 tablespoons avocado oil

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Line a baking tray with foil LIGHTLY sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Cover chicken breasts with plastic wrap and pound chicken breast (or pork chop) until all breasts are the same thickness around under 1/2 an inch.
  • Mix together the Romano cheese, Mozzarella cheese, chopped peppers, crumbled sausage and basil pieces until well blended.
  • Place about 1/2 cup of cheese mixture in the center of each chicken breast. Fold chicken breast over and seal edges with toothpicks.
  • Set up a dredging station with flour, eggs and bread crumbs.
  • Dredge each chicken breasts in flour, then eggs followed by bread crumbs.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add chicken breasts in batches, sauteing 2-3 minutes all sides until golden.
  • Place chicken pieces on baking tray.
  • Bake 8-10 minutes until cheese begins to ooze from the edges.
  • Serve over prepared pasta or mashed potatoes.
  • Top with Marsala sauce. (recipe below)

MARSALA SAUCE
3 tablespoons avocado oil
1/4 cup shallot, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 pound Beech mushrooms
3 tablespoons WONDRA flour
1/2 cup Marsala wine
1 1/2 cups beef stock
FRESH ground sea salt and pepper, to taste

  • Add oil to heavy hot saucepan.
  • Add shallots, garlic and mushrooms, sautéing until mushrooms are tender.
  • Add flour and cook about 1 minute.
  • Deglaze pan with Marsala wine.
  • Add beef stock and cook until thick and flavors are blended.
  • Adjust seasoning and serve over meat and pasta.

NOTE: When I substitute the chicken for pork, I use center cut pork loin chops.  I also substitute the Romano for Fontina cheese.

CHOCOLATE CHIP CANDY COOKIE CUPS

CHOCOLATE CHIP CANDY COOKIE CUPS yields 24 cookie cups
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons PURE vanilla
1 1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups mini chocolate chips

  • Combine melted butter, cream cheese, sugars in a mixing bowl until smooth.
  • Add vanilla until well combined.
  • Sift flour and salt into mixture and blend well.
  • Fold in chocolate chips.
  • Roll into small balls.

1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • Melt 3/4 cup chocolate chips for 60 seconds in microwave until smooth. If 60 seconds isn’t enough continue to heat in 20 second increments until smooth. DO NOT BURN!
  • Line a cookie tin with cupcake liners.
  • Pour the chocolate evenly into the liners.
  • Add a cookie ball to each liner.
  • Slightly flatten each cookie ball.
  • Top each cookie ball with remaining chocolate.
  • GENTLY shake or bounce pan to even out the chocolate.
  • Chill AT LEAST 1 hour to harden cookie cups.
  • Enjoy!

UPSIDE DOWN APPLE HONEY CAKE

This is another scrap of paper I found recently. I’m not even sure how old the recipe is LOL 😀 BUT, it was so flavorful and yummy!

UPSIDE DOWN APPLE HONEY CAKE
1 cup flour
½ cups almond flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon QUALITY cinnamon
¾ cup milk
½ cup QUALITY honey
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla
½ cup butter, divided, softened
1 cup PACKED brown sugar
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced in thick rings
¹⁄³ cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
2 eggs, room temperature

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon and salt.
  • In another bowl whisk together the milk, honey and vanilla.
  • Place ¼ cup butter in 9×9 baking dish. Place pan in oven until butter melts.
  • Sprinkle ½ cup of the brown sugar over the butter.
  • Sprinkle the walnuts evenly over the sugar.
  • Lay apple slices over the walnuts just slightly overlapping the edges.
  • In a large bowl beat remaining butter until smooth, about 30 seconds.
  • Add remaining brown sugar, beating until smooth.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each.
  • Alternately add milk and flour mixture until combined.
  • Spread batter evenly over apples.
  • Bake 35-40 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool in pan 5 minutes on wire rack.
  • Use a knife to loosen the edges around the pan.
  • Invert onto plate. Let stand 15 minutes before serving, but serve warm for BEST flavor.

BAKED FIRECRACKER CHICKEN

I LOVE Firecracker Chicken, but I also LOVE lowering the caloric intake and was so excited to run across a baked recipe that lowered the oil content and used no breading. The original recipe was a bit vague in actual amounts so I improvised and made it my own 😀  While this is good, there are times that there is NO substitution for a good breading and I love my original recipe for SPARKLER CHICKEN.

BAKED FIRECRACKER CHICKEN
1 cup packed brown sugar
8 ounces Frank’s original hot sauce
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon avocado oil
Prepared white rice

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Line a baking sheet with foil sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. This makes for a quick and easy clean up!
  • In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, celery salt, hot sauce and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, cooking 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Rub chicken pieces with avocado oil and lay smooth side down in a single layer on the baking sheet.
  • Bake for 5 minutes.
  • Turn the chicken pieces smooth side up.
  • GENEROUSLY brush the chicken pieces with about 1/3 of the sauce.
  • Bake another 5 minutes.
  • Brush again with another 1/3 of the sauce.
  • Bake for 15 minutes until chicken is cooked through and beginning to char around the edges.
  • Serve over prepared rice with remaining sauce.

7UP CHILI LOOSE MEAT SANDWICHES

I originally found a recipe, 7-UP CHILIBURGERS, in a loose bound cookbook from 1977.  It was one of those compilation style books written for fundraisers for schools or churches.  I’ve modified it over time, but we love it.

7UP CHILI LOOSE MEAT SAMMIES
1 tablespoon butter
1 pound lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped small
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon WONDRA flour
7.5 ounce can 7UP or Sprite
3/4 cup Jalapeno ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
3/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon Franks, original hot sauce
Havarti slices

  • Melt butter in cast iron large skillet.
  • Add beef and chopped onion, browning until crumbly.
  • Drain off excess fat.
  • Return meat to pan and sprinkle with flour, stirring to absorb.
  • Whisk together the ketchup, Worcestershire, 7UP, hot sauce, chili powder and garlic powder.
  • Add to meat mixture and bring to a simmer.
  • Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cover and cook 10 minutes.
  • Split ciabatta buns in half.
  • Lay a slice of cheese on top of bread.
  • Spoon loose meat over cheese and enjoy!  They are also GREAT, but MESSY as whole sandwiches.

NOTE:  This is a good recipe to make double of and freeze half for a quick weeknight meal.

HONEY THYME GARLIC CHICKEN

HONEY THYME GARLIC CHICKEN
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons FRESH chopped thyme
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
6 boneless chicken things
2 tablespoons QUALITY honey
Juice of 1 LARGE lemon

  • Melt butter in skillet over medium heat.
  • Add garlic powder. onion powder, thyme, salt and pepper, cooking until fragrant.
  • Add chicken pieces to skillet, turning to coat.
  • Sear one side, 4-5 minutes.
  • Turn to other side, reduce heat to low, cover and cook 10-15 minutes until cooked through.
  • Remove chicken to plate.
  • Skim off fat and return chicken to skillet.
  • Whisk together the lemon juice and honey.
  • Drizzle over chicken and cook 3-5 minutes.
  • Serve over rice.

CHICKEN & CORN STEW 2 ways – WEEKNIGHT & SLOW COOKER

This recipe is SOOOOOO versatile!  It was originally written as a slow cooker recipe that I adapted to NOT ONLY our likes and tastes, but also to a quick week night meal. 

WEEKNIGHT CHICKEN & CORN STEW
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 pounds rotisserie chicken pieces
1 pound gold potatoes, baked, cooled, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed well
3 carrots, diced small
1 large shallot, chopped
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
3/4 cup half and half or buttermilk
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped thyme
1 + 1 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups small croutons or large chopped stale bread crumbs

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet.
  • Add carrots and shallots, stirring to saute until softened.
  • Whisk together the chicken broth and flour until smooth.
  • Add broth to skillet and stir to combine.
  • Add corn, thyme, potatoes pieces, chicken pieces, thyme, FRESH ground sea salt and pepper, stirring to blend.
  • Bring to simmer and cook 10-15 minutes until sauce thickens.
  • Stir in half and half.
  • Melt butter and toss with croutons.
  • Sprinkle croutons over top.
  • Bake 10-15 minutes until heated through and croutons are toasted.

SLOW COOKER CHICKEN & CORN STEW
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 pounds chicken breast or tenders, cut into bite sized 1 inch pieces
1 pound gold potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed well
3 carrots, diced large
1 large shallot, large chop
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped thyme
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
3/4 cup half and half or buttermilk
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cups small croutons or large chopped stale bread crumbs

  • LIGHTLY spray the slow cooker insert with non-stick spray.
  • Whisk together the chicken broth and flour until smooth and pour into slow cooker.
  • Add chicken pieces, potatoes, carrots, shallots, corn, thyme, FRESH ground sea salt and pepper, stirring to blend.
  • Cover and cook on low 6-7 hours or until chicken is cooked through.
  • Stir in half and half.
  • Melt butter and toss with croutons.
  • Sprinkle croutons over top.
  • Cook another 10-15 minutes until heated through and thickened.

NOTES: Crushed potato chips works to replace the croutons in a pinch!

MAPLE PEPPER WINGS

MAPLE PEPPER WINGS
3-4 pounds chicken wings
1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon FRESH ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon FRESH ground sea salt

  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Line baking pan with foil and lightly spray with non-stick oil.
  • Toss flour, baking powder, pepper, salt and garlic powder in a large Ziploc bag.
  • Place chicken pieces in the bag, tossing to coat.
  • Shake off excess and place on baking pan in a single layer.
  • Bake 20 minutes.
  • Dip each wing in the sauce and return to pan on its opposite side.
  • Bake another 25 minutes until cooked through.
  • Dip in sauce a second time as you plate them.

GLAZE
2/3 cup PURE maple syrup
2 teaspoons FRESH ground black pepper
2 teaspoons Bragg’s liquid aminos
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green onion, minced (optional) for garnish

  • Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil over a medium heat,
  • Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, 5-7 minutes until thickened.
  • Garnish if desired and serve.

TEX MEX MEXICAN BREAKFAST BOMBS

TEX MEX BREAKFAST BOMBS adapted from SLOW ROASTED ITALIAN
I think I found the original recipe on facebook. It was great, but I HAD to adapt it to my family and now we think it’s even better! These are cheesy, meat filled egg bombs that are a HUGE hit with EVERYONE young and old alike.

The BEST part is that they can be prepared in advance and then popped into the oven when you need them.

16 frozen RHODES dinner yeast rolls
flour, for dusting
SALSA, for finishing

FILLING
1/2 pound diced bacon pieces, prepared to desired crispness (we like them JUST crisp and still a little chewy)
1/2 pound diced country ham pieces
4 LARGE eggs
2 tablespoons WHOLE milk
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
8 ounces shredded Taco blend cheese
1 can green chiles, drained WELL
1/4 cup roasted red peppers, diced

EGGS

  • In a medium bowl combine eggs, milk, salt, and pepper, whisking until completely combined.
  • Spray a skillet with non-stick cooking spray and heat skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the egg mixture and stir occasionally until the eggs are scrambled, and no liquid is left in the pan, about 3-4 minutes. DO NOT cook until they are completely dry, or they will be very dry in the breakfast bomb.
  • Set aside to cool.

ASSEMBLY

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Place dinner rolls on a microwave safe plate and microwave on defrost for about 3-4 minutes (or until dough is no longer frozen, but NOT cooked).
  • Butter a 9″x9″ baking pan and set aside.
  • Lightly flour your counter top.
  • Toss 1 piece of dough in flour and flatten into disc stretching dough into a 3-4 inch circle.
  • Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of cheese over the dough and press into the dough with the palm of your hand.
  • Top with 1 tablespoon eggs, 1 tablespoon bacon, 1/2 teaspoon green chiles and 1/2 teaspoon red peppers onto the center of the dough round. Pull the top and bottom edges of the dough together and then add the left and right edges. Pinch the dough together to create a ball. If the ball won’t seal, tap your finger tips into the flour and then crimp the seal together. Place dough ball in prepared dish. Repeat until all breakfast bombs are in the dish.
  • Bake 30-35 minutes. OR  Spray a piece of plastic wrap with non-stick spray, place the wrap sprayed side down on the breakfast bombs.refrigerate until the next day.

MAKE AHEAD COOKING

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Remove baking dish from the refrigerator, remove plastic wrap.
  • Bake for 40-45  minutes until the tops are golden brown and the breakfast bombs are no longer doughy. You can pull one of the edge pieces out and if it is still doughy cook it for another 5 minutes.

NOTE: Cover with foil at 25-30 minutes to prevent tops from getting TOO brown.

HERB BUTTER
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • In a small bowl melt butter in the microwave, about 30 seconds or until butter is melted.
  • Whisk in garlic powder, parsley and salt.
  • Remove breakfast bombs from the oven.
  • Brush them with melted butter mixture.
  • Serve and enjoy!

HERBED RED WINE VINAIGRETTE

I make this is small batches – just enough for that night’s meals because we prefer the fresh aspect.

HERBED RED WINE VINAIGRETTE
2 tablespoons finely diced shallots
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Gourmet Garden Italian Herbs
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 tablespoons avocado oil
2 teaspoons sugar
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • In the base of your cruet add the shallot pieces.
  • Sprinkle with the FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Top with avocado oil. Let sit 15 minutes to macerate the shallots.
  • After 15 minutes add the minced garlic, Italian herbs, lemon juice, sugar and red wine vinegar.
  • Shake to combine.
  • Refrigerate 1 hour before dressing salad and serving.