CINNAMON BUTTER MONKEY ROLLS

It just doesn’t get much better than that these mouth watering warm cinnamon sugar rolls that pull apart into soft and flaky layers after being smothered in a sweet vanilla glaze.  Because of my inability to eat sugar these days I skip the glaze, but they are just as good!

CINNAMON BUTTER MONKEY ROLLS            Servings: 12

12 Rhodes Frozen Dinner Rolls
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
6 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

VANILLA ICING (optional)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • Place frozen rolls in a 9×13-inch baking dish, cover with plastic wrap and allow to thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Grease muffin tin
  • In the morning, cut each roll into 3 pieces.
  • Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg in a small bowl.
  • Melt butter in a second small bowl.
  • Roll each piece in butter and then in the cinnamon mixture.
  • Place 3 pieces in each muffin tin, making sure the edges all meet.
  • Cover with a cheesecloth and leave in warm place until double in size, about 2 hours depending on the warmth of your house.
  • When rolls have risen, remove cloth and bake in a preheated 350° oven for 15-16 minutes.
  • Carefully remove rolls from muffin tin as soon as they are finished baking.
  • Brush vanilla glaze over the warm rolls.
  • Serve warm.

FARM STYLE MEATLOAF

FARM STYLE MEATLOAF is a recipe I adapted from Kevin Penner’s 1770 House Meatloaf recipe after watching an episode of Ina Garten‘s Barefoot Contessa.  I debated on what to name this dish after my changes.  I flip flopped between Greenhouse and Farm style before finally landing on farm style.  All of the different meats and FRESH herbs and vegetables influenced my final decision for naming it Farm Style.  Honestly, I may yet rename it as I think more.

It is similar, yet completely different from my normal meatloaf recipe that I’ve been using for eons!  We instantly fell in love with the earthiness of this meatloaf and the savory herb sauce was perfect with mashed potatoes too!   Hubby normally loves ketchup or BBQ sauce with meatloaf, but with this flavorful sauce he bypassed it completely!

The key to this recipe is using QUALITY ingredients! Preferably grass fed meats and very FRESH organic ingredients.

FARM STYLE MEATLOAF
1/3 pound ground veal or lamb
1/3 pound ground pork
1/3 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon chopped, FRESH chives
1 teaspoon chopped, FRESH thyme leaves
1 teaspoon chopped, FRESH Italian parsley
1 LARGE egg
scant 1/2 cup finely ground Panko crumbs
scant 1/4 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Avocado oil
1 stalk of celery, finely diced
1 LARGE shallot, finely diced

  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Place the veal, pork, beef, chives, thyme, parsley, eggs, Panko crumbs, milk, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  • Heat a medium saute pan over medium-high heat and film it with avocado oil.
  • Add the celery and shallot to the pan, stirring, until softened.
  • Remove the celery and shallot from the pan and let cool.
  • When the mixture is cool, add it to the mixing bowl with the other ingredients.
  • Using gloved hands, mix the ingredients until well combined and everything is evenly distributed.
  • Place a LARGE piece of parchment paper on a sheet pan.
  • Place the meat on the sheet pan and pat it and punch it down to remove any air pockets shaping the meat into a loaf about 6 inches long x 2 inches high.
  • Place the sheet pan in the oven and bake 40 to 50 minutes or until a meat cooked through (155-160°).
  • Remove the meatloaf from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes.

SAUCE
2/3 cup chicken or beef stock
1 tablespoon Marsala wine
3 cloves roasted garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon FRESH chopped chives
1/2 teaspoon FRESH chopped thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon FRESH chopped Italian parsley
1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon cornstarch (optional)

  • Combine the broth, Marsala wine, roasted garlic and butter over medium-high heat and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until lightly thickened.
  • Add the chopped thyme, chives and parsley.
  • Quickly whisk in the cornstarch if needed to thicken as necessary.
  • Slice the meatloaf into serving portions and spoon the hot sauce over the meatloaf and mashed potatoes.
  • Serve immediately.

NOTE: You can use a loaf pan if you prefer, but we like the firm crispy edges produced using this method.

HONEYED BOGS

So I woke up this morning and really wanted to bake even though I can’t personally eat any of it. 😀  I’ve been itching to try something out of my new cookbook from the Prohibition Bakery. All the recipes are boozy and sound absolutely delectable!  I love their slogan, please eat responsibly.

Unfortunately, I don’t have on hand all the ingredients to make any one of their recipes EXACTLY as written so right out of the gate I’m improvising. This recipe is going to be “loosely” based on their PINK LADY recipe on page 181 AND their CARAMEL APPLE recipe from page 277.  I wasn’t thrilled with their PINK LADY frosting so I’m using the basic frosting from their CARAMEL APPLE but replacing the applejack brandy with the honey brandy I’m using to make the fruit puree.

HONEYED BOGS – yields 18 cup cakes

CAKE
1 2/3 (208g) cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup yogurt (240g) (I used a black cherry)
1/3 cup (70g) avocado oil
1 cup (200g) sugar
1/4 cup (60g) lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 eggs

  • Preheat oven to 325°.
  • Line tins with liners
  • Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • Combine the yogurt, avocado oil, sugar, lemon juice and zest with mixer until well incorporated.
  • Add eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition.
  • With mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients, mixing until JUST combined. DO NOT OVER BEAT.
  • Fill cup cake liners two-thirds full.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool COMPLETELY before filling or icing.

PUREE
12 ounces cranberries
3/4 cup sugar*see note
1 1/4 cup honey brandy

  • Combine fruit and brandy in a saucepan.
  • Bring to a SLOW boil over a medium heat.
  • Simmer 10-15 minutes until fruit breaks down and mixture starts to thicken.
  • Remove from heat and transfer to food processor, blending until smooth.
  • Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

NOTE:

  • *Cranberries are tarter than most fruits and require a bit of sugar to tame them.
  • Cranberries also require more time to break down the skins so a nice SLOW boil and simmer gives them this time.

FILLING
1 cup (230g) cranberry puree
1/4 cup honey brandy

  • Whisk the puree until smooth.
  • Slowly add in the brandy 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring thoroughly after each spoonful until desired consistency reached.
  • Transfer to a squeeze bottle.

ICING
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 pound powdered sugar
1/3 cup Honey Brandy

  • Cream butter until fluffy.
  • Slowly add the powdered sugar until JUST incorporated.
  • Slowly stream in the brandy until icing is smooth and fluffy.
  • Transfer to a piping bag.

ASSEMBLY

  • Core each cupcake with a pastry tip.
  • Fill the cavity with puree. DO NOT OVERFLOW.
  • Frost each cupcake.
  • Decorate to your liking.

DINNER HOME DELIVERY SERVICE versus DIY MEAL PLANNING & SHOPPING

For the past couple of years I have tried MANY of the more reliable and popular Dinner Home Delivery services out there – Blue Apron, Home Chef, Hello Fresh, Gobble… At first it seemed like a great idea while we were still working on A House From Hell.  I had an offer emailed from a friend for a nice discount to give Blue Apron a try…  Long story short the recipes started to repeat themselves, the selection of recipes dwindled to where I was skipping more weeks than I was ordering and the issues that required customer service became more and more while the service became slower and slower while also less accommodating.  I even encountered a customer service line that was outsourced to somewhere that English was not their first language and the communication barrier was unbelievable!

Well, all I can say after this last box is NO MORE!!! Gobble is the last one we tried and I was SORELY DISAPPOINTED!  There was a HUGE discount to give them a try and I STILL overpaid for what arrived.  NOT only were many of the ingredients NOT fresh, many were also pre-prepared and not well at that! The original goal was to save time and money while trying some new and innovative recipes, but since that is NOT the end result I’ve cancelled all the services and will be back to doing my own planning and shopping.

This seemed like a good time to re-run this section on how I menu plan and save money while doing it.

There is more to menu planning than just deciding what to make for dinner, at least for the average family. We’re a military family used to getting paid once a month and trying to make it last. So for me, menu planning also encompasses recipe scouring, coupon clipping (we love to read the Sunday papers and have coffee. One of the things I always go for first is the coupons to see what I can save for us – hubby always laughs when I get excited at a large coupon for something already on the list – LOL), sale ad reading and logical common sense planning. I do participate in Menu Plan Monday, but I actually prepare my menu for the entire month all at once and then just break it up for posting. A little organization goes a long way.

I start the last week of the previous month with checking out what I already have in the freezer inventory and then the ads for my local markets for the upcoming week. I see what meats will be going on sale and then scour my recipe file for recipes to match. One of the biggest things I do to help not only with cost of ingredients, but also waste is to make sure that I back recipes up to each other that use similar ingredients that I can buy in bulk.

For example if a recipe calls for half an onion for Monday night’s recipe, I make sure Tuesday night’s recipe uses the other half. I also know which meals we’ll probably have leftovers for so I plan to either freeze part of it for a future meal or plan a C.O.R.N. (clean out refrigerator night) within my plan if there is only going to be a little of this and that leftover. I write my list and then I match up the coupons for whatever staples (flour, sugar, eggs, butter, etc…) I need and then the luxuries if there is room within the budget. If there is a really good sale I buy in super bulk for the following month also. Now I know this sounds like a lot of work, but the whole process takes less than an hour and then it’s done for the month.

It seems I have every scrap of a recipe I have ever saved as well as many of my grandma’s too. It’s like an obsession with me. If a recipe sounds good in a magazine, I figure I can make it better based on my family’s likes and dislikes and tuck it away to try and manipulate at a later date. I recently decided it was time to clean-up this mess.

I found an old metal LP file box at a garage sale for 50 cents and dressed it up a bit so it didn’t look like a trash bin on my kitchen counter. (it was a beat up lime green with stickers everywhere). I have written 2 family reunion cook books in the past which helped some with eliminating the scraps of paper and I’m also in the midst of writing a Tastebook to use as family Christmas gifts that is helping to clean up this mess on a permanent basis.

I have a perpetual list on the counter and every time we use something or run out of something, everyone is trained (finally) to list whatever they used or ran out of on an ongoing basis.

We keep a pretty concise calendar with everyone’s activities, appointments, meetings and such on it. I also write what we will be eating on each day so they’ll know what to expect. If for some reason we have to cancel a night I will rearrange the week so that the meal actually canceled is one using something from the freezer, not the fresh ingredients I’ve already purchased. When I do the shopping I buy in bulk to cut the cost and since I have my menu planned ahead of time, I break down the bulk package into meal appropriate sizes before freezing when I get home.

I originally wrote this post years ago, but nothing has changed – I still do things exactly the same.

I start with LARGE bulk packs of meat.  I then break them down by size and meat right down to cutting certain recipes into bite sized pieces.  Then I wrap them in freezer paper because I really hate freezer burn!  And I package them into pre-labeled ziploc bags for the freezer.

HORSERADISH POTATO CRUSTED BEEF STEW

Another RECIPE SCRAP recipe wins!  The horseradish and cheddar cheese combo is AWESOME! and really elevates a basic stew to the next level.

HORSERADISH POTATO CRUSTED BEEF STEW

STEW
1 1/2 pounds lean stew meat, diced small bite sized
1 cup blended red wine
1/2 cup Moscato white wine
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
FRESH ground salt and pepper, to taste
1 orange, sliced
1/3 cup Wondra
1 large Vidalia onion, quartered and sliced
4 carrots, sliced into thick chunks
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
3/4 cup beef bone broth
2 tablespoons cornstarch

  • Place half the orange slices the bottom of a non-metallic bowl.
  • Top with beef pieces.
  • Generously season with FRESH ground salt and pepper.
  • Top with the remaining orange slices.
  • Whisk together the wines and caraway seeds.
  • Pour over beef, cover and marinade over night or at least 4 hours.

 

  • Preheat oven 325°.
  • Drain the beef WELL, discard oranges, but reserve the marinade.
  • Heat the oil over medium high heat in dutch oven.
  • Generously season the beef with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Dredge the beef in the Wondra.
  • Sear the beef pieces.
  • Add the onions, garlic and carrots and simmer 5 minutes or so.
  • Add mushrooms.
  • Whisk together the cornstarch with the beef stock and marinade, whisking until blended. Stir into stew.
  • Season to taste.
  • Cover and cook in oven 45 minutes.

CRUST – prepare potato crust so it is ready at the 45 minute mark
1 1/2 pounds YUKON potatoes, grated
1 tablespoon Avocado oil or 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons creamy horseradish
2/3 cup grated SHARP cheddar cheese
FRESH ground salt and pepper, to taste

  • Blanch the grated potatoes for 5 minutes in boiling water.
  • Drain well.
  • Use a cheesecloth to squeeze any remaining liquid from the potatoes.
  • Stir in avocado oil, horseradish, cheese and season to taste.
  • Layer potatoes evenly over the stew.
  • Increase the oven temperature to 400°.
  • Cook 30 minutes more until the potato crust is crisp and golden brown.

MONTE CRISTO SANDWICHES with RASPBERRY JAM

I have been thinking about our trip to Disneyland that is on the horizon. We even made lunch reservations for the Blue Bayou restaurant where I already know I will be ordering their Monte Cristo sandwich.  I first ate this sandwich at this restaurant as a child and I have often wondered what the origin of the Monte Cristo sandwich actually is? So, I finally did a little research on it.

In the early 1900’s many chefs and culinary experts believed that the Monte Cristo Sandwich was a variation of the French Croque Monsieur that was served in Parisian cafes, a grilled cheese sandwich consisting of Gruyere cheese and lean ham layered between two slices of crust-less bread, fried in clarified butter and made in a special grilling iron with two metal plates.

Then from the 1930s to the 1960s… American cookbooks showcased this sandwich under a myriad of different names including the French Sandwich, Toasted Ham Sandwich and French Toasted Cheese Sandwich, all sounding quite delicious, but lacking that truly unique sandwich identity.

Then in the 1950s the sandwich was first served under the name “The Monte Cristo” in southern California. But the BIG push came in 1966 when Disneyland made its own contributions to the popular Monte Cristo Sandwich when it first appeared on their menus at the Blue Bayou and Tahitian Terrace restaurants in New Orleans’s Square in Disneyland. It was also around this time that the Pirates of the Caribbean ride was being built was opened in 1967 as a ride that slinks along the river next to the Blue Bayou restaurant.

Ironically these are my 2 favorite Disney restaurants ever. Unfortunately the Tahitian Terrace with its LUAU inspired Polynesian menu and the Royal Tahitian Dance Troupe floor show did not stand the test of time, but the Blue Bayou still stands today. Ever since then, the Monte Cristo Sandwich has made huge advances in the culinary world becoming one of the most delicious sandwiches of our time and finding its place on menus all over the world.  I believe the Tahitian Terrace was sponsored by Kikkoman.

For me, it needs to be served with homemade RASPBERRY jam to be the correct version. Many restaurants try to pass off strawberry freezer jam and omit the powdered sugar, but it just isn’t the same! Here is my version of the classic sandwich – it still makes my mouth water today at the thought of the perfect Monte Cristo sandwich!

MONTE CRISTO SANDWICH
2-3 tablespoons butter
powdered sugar
for each sandwich you will need:
2 slices thick Potato bread
1 slice QUALITY roasted turkey
1 slice Swiss cheese (preferably Gruyere)
1 slice QUALITY smoked or baked ham
BATTER (enough for 2 sandwiches)
1/2 cup milk
1 JUMBO egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup self rising flour

  • Assemble sandwiches with the cheese between the 2 pieces of meat.
  • Cut into halves or quarters.
  • Whisk together the milk and egg. Add the seasonings. Add the flour last.
  • Melt butter on griddle.
  • Dip each sandwich piece in batter coating well.
  • Fry each sandwich until crisp. Make sure to turn onto each side and edge to grill batter well.
  • Cool on paper towels.
  • Dust with powdered sugar.
  • Serve with fresh raspberry jam.
Half the battle of making this sandwich is finding a good quality and tasty turkey and ham. The other half is actually using your fingers to dip the sandwich pieces in the batter.
RASPBERRY JAM

8 cups raspberries
6 cups sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon orange peel
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 package unflavored gelatin

  • Combine fruit, sugar, lemon juice, nutmeg, cinnamon and orange peel in a stock pot.
  • Bring to a full rolling boil – stirring constantly. Let boil 1 full minute.
  • Remove from heat and stir in gelatin.
  • Skim any foam.
  • Pour into sterilized jars.
  • Water bath process 15 minutes.

CARROT ORECCHIETTE

For a nice change of pace in the spring and summer I try to make lighter AND healthier dishes. I ran across this recipe at the dentist office and instantly fell in love after a few adjustments for our tastes, especially with my new restrictive diet! I’m ALWAYS looking for more flavor and it has been hard to come by – until now!

CARROT ORECCHIETTE serves 4

1 pound large carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/8 inch rounds
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2+2 tablespoons cup avocado oil
4 ounces dry orecchiette pasta
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3-4 sprigs FRESH thyme
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped chives
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • Preheat oven to 475°.
  • Cover a baking sheet with foil or a silicone mat.
  • Add carrots to a large bowl.
  • Drizzle with 2 tablespoons avocado oil.
  • Generously season with the salt and pepper.
  • Toss to coat well.
  • Spread carrots onto baking sheet in an even layer.
  • Nestle thyme sprigs randomly into carrots.
  • Bake 8-10 minutes until tender and carrots are beginning to curl at the edges.
  • While carrots are roasting cook pasta per package directions. DO NOT ADD THE SALT OR FAT.
  • Drain pasta WELL.
  • Add pasta to large mixing bowl.
  • Add vinegar, 2 tablespoons avocado oil.
  • Lightly season with salt and pepper.
  • Toss to coat.
  • Remove thyme sprigs.
  • Add carrots and GENTLY toss again.
  • Divide among the plates.
  • Top with chives and Parmesan cheese.
  • ENJOY!

BUFFALO CHICKEN MEATLOAF

I saw this on Damaris Phillip’s show, Southern at Heart and fell in love almost immediately! I made just a few alterations to fit with what I had on hand, but we love it and have had it several times, several ways since.

BUFFALO CHICKEN MEATLOAF

TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 25 min          COOK TIME: 1 hour          PREP TIME: 25 min

SAUCE
1/3 cup ketchup**
1 tablespoon hot sauce

  • Whisk together the ketchup and hot sauce in a small bowl and set aside.

MEATLOAF
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup diced celery (2-3 stalks) + leaves reserved for garnish
1 cup small diced onion or shallot
3 tablespoons Frank’s original hot sauce
1 1/2 pounds ground chicken
1 cup blue cheese crumbles (GORGONZOLA works well too as does sharp cheddar)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons FRESH coarse ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
1/3 cup grated Parmesan

  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Grease a 9 X 5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat and saute the celery and onion until softened, 3- 5 minutes.
  • Transfer the mixture, plus the drippings, to a large bowl.
  • Add the hot sauce to the bowl and stir to combine.
  • Add the chicken, blue cheese, salt, pepper, eggs and 1 1/2 cups of the panko and mix until well combined.
  • Press the mixture into the prepared loaf pan, pressing more in the center of the loaf to create a divot. This will allow the meatloaf to bake evenly and not create a mound after it is baked.
  • Spread half of the sauce over the top of the meatloaf.
  • Mix the Parmesan with the Panko and sprinkle the mixture on top of the sauce.
  • Bake until the center is set and the top is golden brown, 45 minutes to an hour.
  • Let rest 10-15 minutes before cutting to serve.
  • Garnish the meatloaf slices with remaining heated sauce and chopped celery leaves.

**NOTE: Use jalapeno ketchup if you want a bit more spice.

ONION BRAISED BEEF BRISKET – cook ahead

I originally found this recipe through America’s Test Kitchen. Their changes to a typical recipe are awesome. I just made a few flavor profile changes for my family’s likes. Brisket is one of the most versatile cuts of beef. While every culture treats it a little differently they all agree that a brisket takes TIME! So many other recipes either turn out watery and tasteless, super sweet or dry and chewy. BUT, this recipe turns out PERFECT!

Keeping this brisket moist is essential to its flavor profile. Keeping it moist is best done by making it the day BEFORE you want to serve it. By not cutting the beef until it is chilled it holds together into slices better. This also helps on the clean up level if you’re making this for company. Removing the fat from the sauce is essential to a smooth rich sauce.

ONION BRAISED BEEF BRISKET
4-5 pound flat cut brisket
2 large Vidalia onions, halved and sliced 1/2 inch thick (thick slices hold up better)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1/8 teaspoon chipotle powder
2 tablespoons Wondra flour
1 cup chicken broth, yes I said chicken broth
1 cup cabernet sauvignon
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
3 bay leaves
3 sprigs FRESH thyme (I’ve used parsley in a pinch)
FRESH ground salt and pepper
Avocado oil

  • Bring brisket to room temperature.
  • Preheat oven to 300°.
  • Lower oven rack to lower middle.
  • Line your baking dish, preferably cast iron) with two to three heavy duty sheets of foil in opposite directions and long enough to fold over to seal the brisket inside.
  • Pat brisket dry and place fat side up on cutting board.
  • Using a fork or needle meat tenderizer, poke holes in meat through the fat layer.
  • Generously season both sides of brisket with salt and pepper.

 

  • Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat.
  • Place brisket fat side up in skillet.
  • Weight down brisket with bacon press or cast iron skillet and sear until well browned, about 6 minutes.
  • Remove weight and turn brisket to sear fat side another 6 minutes or so until well browned.
  • Transfer meat to platter.
  • Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon of fat.
  • Add onions, sugar and sea salt, cooking 10-12 minutes until onions are soft.
  • Add garlic, cooking another minute or so until fragrant.
  • Add tomato paste and cook until it darkens, about 2 minutes.
  • Add paprika and chipotle powder.
  • Add flour and stir until well combined.
  • Stir in wine, broth, bay leaves, thyme sprigs and simmer 5 minutes until mixture begins to thicken. Be sure to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom.

  • Pour onion mixture into the prepared dish and nestle brisket fat side up into the onion mixture.
  • Fold foil over and seal.
  • Bake 3 1/2-4 hours until fork slip easily into the meat and fat is broken down.
  • Carefully open foil and let brisket cool 20 minutes.

  • Transfer brisket to large bowl or baking dish.
  • Use a fine colander to strain sauce over brisket.
  • Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaves.
  • Place onion mixture in a small bowl.
  • Cover brisket and onions with Press and Seal.
  • Cut a couple small vents into plastic wrap.
  • Refrigerate the meat and onions separately at least 8 hours and up to 2 days. I do it overnight.

  • An hour before serving, preheat oven to 350°.
  • Transfer brisket to cutting board.
  • Skim fat from top of sauce and discard.
  • Pour sauce into a saucepan
  • Slowly reheat sauce, skimming as needed to get rid of excess fat until you have about 2 cups of sauce.
  • Stir in vinegar and reserved onions.
  • Season to taste.

 

  • Slice brisket against the grain and place in baking dish.
  • Pour sauce over brisket.
  • Cover dish with foil.
  • Bake until heated through. About 30 minutes.
  • Serve immediately.

 

BAKED HONEY LIME CHICKEN

BAKED HONEY LIME CHICKEN adapted from Dinner Then Dessert

With just 4 total ingredients these chicken thighs are first browned and then baked in the same skillet which results in PERFECT crispy, sweet and a little sour tender chicken that looks like you slaved over a hot grill.

1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
2 limes, 1- zested and juiced, 1-halved
5 chicken thighs, bone in and skin on
1 tablespoon avocado oil

  • Pre-heat the oven to 375°.
  • Whisk together the Bragg’s liquid aminos, honey, lime juice and lime zest.
  • Add chicken thighs to a ziploc bag.
  • Pour marinade over chicken, seal bag and rub marinade into chicken.
  • Heat the avocado oil in a large cast iron or oven ready skillet over medium high heat.
  • Using tongs add the chicken to the skillet and brown with the skin side down for 3-5 minutes. Reserve marinade.
  • Flip the chicken over so the skin side is up.
  • Add on the remaining marinade and halved lime.
  • Roast in the oven for 30-35 minutes.

NOTE: This recipe also works with any other type of citrus – lemon, tangerine, blood orange, grapefruit…

Linking up to FULL Plate Thursday.

SALTED CARAMEL CHOCOLATE NUT BARS

SALTED CARAMEL CHOCOLATE NUT BARS – the ultimate cookie bar for those that LOVE both sweet and salty mixed together! adapted (but not by much!) from Brown Eyed Baker

Yield: 16 cookie bars                Prep:15 minutes
Cook:30 minutes                      Total:45 minutes

2 1/8 cups flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips**
1/2 cup Heath Bar Toffee Bits
10 ounces caramel candy squares, unwrapped
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons heavy cream or buttermilk
Fleur de sel (Sea salt), for sprinkling over caramel and bars

  • Preheat oven to 325°.
  • Grease a 12×5 inch baking pan and line with parchment paper; set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  • Using an electric mixer, mix together the melted butter and sugars on medium speed until combined.
  • Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and mix until smooth.
  • Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix on low, just until combined.
  • Stir in the chocolate chips, toffee bits and walnuts.
  • In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine the caramels and heavy cream.
  • Microwave on high until the caramels are melted, stirring every 20 seconds. This will take about 2 minutes.
  • Press half of the cookie dough into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula.
  • Pour the hot caramel over the dough cookie dough and spread into an even layer, leaving about ½ inch around the border.
  • Sprinkle the caramel with sea salt.
  • Drop the remaining cookie dough in spoonfuls over the caramel and gently spread the dough with a spatula until the caramel is covered.
  • Sprinkle the bars with additional sea salt.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top of the bars are light golden brown and the edges start to pull away from the pan.
  • Place the pan on a wire rack and cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for about 30 minutes to allow the caramel layer to set.
  • Cut into squares and serve.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

NOTE: ** I like to use  mixture of peanut butter and milk chocolate chips.

My version of P. F. Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps

With this horrible recuperation and limited food, eating out is a real pain in the butt.  BUT, I’m in love! In love with restaurants that have great appetizer menus.  LOL  😀 I ordered the Chicken Lettuce Wraps at P.F. Chang’s the other day from their appetizer menu and got 4 meals out of it!  But, what I fell in love with was the actual flavor.  The added bonus was the small chop on all the ingredients making it easy for me eat AND it heats up in the microwave for subsequent meals tasting the same as it did served fresh! So, of course I had to duplicate the recipe for home use and believe I have come REALLY close.

P.F. CHANG’S CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS
3 tablespoons avocado oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup water chestnut, diced small
2⁄3 cup mushroom, diced small
1 small shallot, diced
1 bunch green onions, sliced thin
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 leaves butter lettuce
1/2-1 cup crispy rice noodles
freshly ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste

  • Bring oil to high heat in a wok or large frying pan.
  • Saute chicken breasts for 4 to 5 minutes per side or done.
  • Remove chicken from the pan and cool.
  • Add shallots and green onions to pan sautéing until soft.
  • Add water chestnuts, garlic, mushrooms and ginger, sautéing a few minutes more.
  • Add stir fry sauce and stir until well blended.
  • When chicken is cool, shred it as small as the mushrooms and water chestnuts pieces are.
  • Add chicken into mixture, toss to blend and coat well.

STIR FRY SAUCE
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

  • Whisk together the soy sauce, brown sugar, and rice vinegar in a small bowl.

SPECIAL SAUCE
1⁄4 cup sugar
1⁄2 cup water
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1⁄4 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons water
1 -2 teaspoon Siracha

  • Whisk together the sugar and water in a small bowl until completely dissolved.
  • Add soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, lemon juice, sesame oil, hoisin sauce and desired amount of Siracha whisking until well blended.

ASSEMBLY

  • Serve each helping in a lettuce leaf.
  • Top with a handful of crispy rice noodles.
  • Pour Special sauce over the wraps.

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