CREAMED CHICKEN & MARINATED CARROTS

I’ve been making these recipes for years.  I originally found them in AMISH & MENNONITE KITCHEN (1995).

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS and what doesn’t:

The Creamed chicken works as a comfort food that is satisfying and rib sticking too. I made a few “small” changes over the years to add some additional flavor. It can be made quickly and easily on a week night.

The marinated carrots add tons of color and a bit of acidic tang too. You just have to plan ahead on the carrots since this recipe requires marinating and chilling overnight. I’ve included my next best marinated carrot salad recipe (given to me by a very sweet old lady) that I’ve been using since the 80’s. Both recipes keep well in the fridge and taste better several days later.

The cookbook called for the creamed chicken to be served over “FLOATING ISLANDS”. I tried making them twice, but they were VERY bland and terribly horribly full of fat and cholesterol.

CREAMED CHICKEN

2 tablespoons GHEE or butter
1 shallot, sliced or diced thin
3 tablespoons Wondra flour
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pink Himalayan salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped celery leaves
1 cup whole milk
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups diced, cooked chicken*

  • In a large skillet melt ghee.
  • Saute’ shallot until translucent.
  • Add flour, salt, pepper and celery leaves, stirring until smooth.
  • Add milk and chicken broth, stirring to blend.
  • Bring to a SLOW boil and and boil slowly for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Add chicken pieces and heat through.
  • Serve over toast, wide egg noodles or mashed potatoes.

NOTE: *I use rotisserie chicken quite often, but usually just brown and shred 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts.

MARINATED CARROTS (COLD)

1 pound baby carrots
1 small onion, sliced into rings
1/ green pepper, sliced
1/2 cup tomato juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup avocado oil
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

  • Bring a pot of water to boiling.
  • Add carrots cooking JUST until softened. DRAIN.
  • In a large mixing bowl toss together the carrots, onion rings and bell pepper slices.
  • In another mixing bowl whisk together remaining ingredients and pour over vegetables.
  • Chill and marinate overnight.
  • Serve chilled.

An alternate recipe for this type of marinated carrot salad is:

CARROT COINS
40 ounces +/- canned sliced carrots, drained
14 ounces +/- canned baby peas, drained
1 medium red onion, chopped small
1 can Campbell’s tomato soup**
3/4 cup vinegar (I sometimes use apple cider and it is just as good)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup salad oil
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • Whisk together soup, salad oil, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, salt and pepper.
  • Add carrots, peas and onions.
  • Chill overnight so flavors blend.
  • Serve cold.

**I replaced the canned soup with the following recipe:

CREAM OF TOMATO SOUP
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup pureed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups milk
dash each of garlic salt, onion salt, basil, and oregano.
  • Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Whisk in flour and seasonings and cook until bubbly.
  • Add tomato puree’ and blend well.
  • Remove from heat and gradually whisk in liquid.
  • Return to heat and cook, stirring, until smooth and thickened to desired consistency.

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PIONEER BEAN DINNER

PIONEER BEAN DINNER
1/2 pound ground chuck, browned and drained
1/2 pound bacon, crisply fried and crumbled
1 small onion, chopped small
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/8 cup Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce*
1 tablespoon molasses
16 ounces pork and beans
16 ounces black beans

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Combine everything into a greased 9×9 baking dish.
  • Bake for 45-60 minutes.

NOTE 1: *A-1 works also

NOTE 2: This recipe works really well in a slow cooker all day also.

MELTIN YOUR MOUTH BEEF TENDERLOIN, HORSERADISH POTATOES, HOMESTYLE GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE & HERB BUTTER

MELT IN YOUR MOUTH BEEF TENDERLOIN

3 pound beef tenderloin roast
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch green onions, sliced thin
4-5 mushrooms, sliced thin
1/2 cup melted butter

  •  Preheat oven to 350˚.
  • Sprinkle garlic on the bottom of a shallow, glass baking dish and then layer the green onions and mushrooms.
  • Place roast on top.  (Be sure NOT to salt the meat!  You will get plenty of salt from the sauce.
  • Whisk together the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and butter.  Pour over the roast.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
  • Turn roast over and continue cooking 45 minutes or until roast reaches 140 degrees.
  • Baste every 10-15 minutes for even flavor distribution.
  • Let rest 10-15 minutes covered by foil before slicing.

HORSERADISH POTATOES

4 pounds Golden Yukon potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup half and half
1 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup cream horseradish
1 egg
2 + 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper

  • Preheat oven to 350˚.
  • Spray a 2 quart baking dish with PURE.
  • In a large pot combine potatoes and enough salted water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook until tender.
  • Drain potatoes.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine the potatoes, 6 tablespoons of softened butter, half & half and, white pepper and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt.
  • Beat on medium speed until largest off chunks are smooth.
  • Add egg and horseradish mixing until smooth.
  • Spread into baking dish.
  • Melt remaining butter and drizzle over potatoes.
  • Bake 25 minutes or until heated through.
  • Increase oven temp to broil for few minutes to brown the top.

HOMESTYLE GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE

1 1/4 pounds fresh green beans; cleaned, trimmed and blanched
1 cup fresh toasted bread crumbs (I use garlic flavored croutons run through the food processor)
3 tablespoons Wondra
3 + 1  tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 package Hidden Valley Ranch mix
1 large bunch green onions, sliced
1 1/2 cups mushrooms, sliced

  • Preheat oven to 350˚.
  • In a small saucepan melt 3 tablespoons butter.
  • Whisk in flour until golden.
  • Add milk gradually while stirring constantly.  Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and continue to stir constantly until thickened.
  • Stir in dressing mix and pepper. Set aside.
  • In a small skillet melt 1 tablespoon butter.  When sizzling add garlic, stirring until fragrant. Add onions and mushrooms.
  • Combine green beans with half of the garlic onion mixture.
  • Fold in white sauce to the green beans.
  • Pour into your prepared baking dish.
  • Combine bread crumbs with the remaining half of the garlic onion mixture and sprinkle over the casserole.
  • Bake uncovered 30 minutes.

HERB BUTTER

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
dash cayenne pepper

  • With an electric mixer blend together until well blended.
  • Form into shape and chill until firm.  (I use an old Tupperware butter tray lined with plastic wrap)
  • Transfer to your decorative tray and serve.

RANCH GREEN BEANS

4 tablespoons butter
1 VERY small sweet onion, cut into thin wedges
1 medium regular red potato, unpeeled, ½-3/4″ dice
¼ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
3 strips crisp-cooked bacon, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1½ teaspoon dry Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressing or Dip Mix
1 (14.5 oz.) can green beans, drained WELL

  • In medium skillet, melt butter.
  • Add onion, potato and pepper, sautéing over medium heat until potatoes are fork tender.
  • Add bacon, garlic, and Ranch Mix. Stir in well.
  • Fold in green beans and heat through, simmering, occasionally stirring gently.
  • Add pepper to taste.

NOTE: Ranch Mixes are salty so NO need to add extra salt.

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PINEAPPLE CARROT TOP BROWN SUGAR GLAZED HAM and ALL the FIXIN’s

So we changed our mind and stayed home for Easter dinner. We decided it’s just too busy around here and we didn’t want to fight the crowds.  Fortunately, we decided on Wednesday night so I was able to shop on Thursday and NOT fight the crowds in the markets.

PINEAPPLE CARROT TOP BROWN SUGAR GLAZED HAM
1 spiral sliced ham 8-10 pounds
1 jar pineapple preserves
1/2 cup minced carrot tops
2 cups brown sugar

  • Add the ham to the slow cooker, trimming off the bottom as needed to fit it into the slow cooker Add the trimmed fat pieces around the ham in the slow cooker.  They will help keep the moisture level up.
  • Whisk together preserves and minced carrot tops.
  • Spread glaze on ham.
  • Cover with the brown sugar.
  • Cook on low for 2-3 hours.
  • Cover with a light covering of brown sugar and serve.

ROASTED CARROTS AND ASPARAGUS with BERNAISE SAUCE
3 large carrots, sliced thinly and diagonally
3-4 stalks asparagus, per person, trimmed and cut into pieces
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper, to taste
1 batch Bernaise sauce

  • Bring a double boiler of water to a boil.
  • Add butter, salt and pepper to water.
  • Add carrots and asparagus to vegetable steamer.
  • Cover and steam 15-20 minutes until crisp tender.
  • Top with sauce and serve immediately.

BERNAISE SAUCE
1 tablespoon plus 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes
3 tablespoons minced shallots
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
2 large egg yolks
Juice of 1 large fresh lemon
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon

  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add shallots and a pinch of salt and pepper; stir to coat.
  • Stir in vinegar, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until vinegar is evaporated, 3-4 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to low and continue cooking shallots, stirring frequently, until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes longer.
  • Transfer shallot reduction to a small bowl and let cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, fill a blender with hot water to warm it; set aside.
  • Melt remaining 1 cup butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until butter is foamy.
  • Transfer butter to a measuring cup.
  • Drain blender and dry well.
  • Combine egg yolks, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon water in warm, dry blender.
  • Purée mixture until smooth.
  • With blender running, slowly pour in hot butter in a thin stream of droplets, discarding milk solids at bottom of measuring cup. Blend until smooth and creamy, 2-3 minutes.
  • Pour sauce into a medium bowl stirring in shallot reduction and tarragon.
  • Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice, if desired.

DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 hour ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature. I prefer fresh if your time allows.


POTATOES AU GRATIN
1/2 cup butter
16 oz. whipping cream
5 large russet potatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon minced garlic (jar) or 1 clove
2 cups grated 4 white cheese mix (Gruyere, Muenster, etc…)
2 cups rates sharp cheddar
Wondra Flour

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Peel and thinly slice potatoes.
  • Grease 9×13 baking dish.
  • In a large sauce pan, melt the butter.
  • Gradually add the whipping cream and spices. Blend well.
  • Gradually add the flour until the mixture thickens, but it is still pourable!
  • Mix the cheeses all together.
  • Layer the potatoes, cheese and cream mixture ending with cheese on top.
  • Bake 45 minutes or until potatoes are tender and golden brown.

I developed this recipe for a request from our youngest and it quickly became a family favorite.

Dessert was a recent inspiration from a new restaurant.  Tony Mandola’s Gulf Coast Kitchen is a fantastic place.  We had the BEST waiter who made our meal so enjoyable while he treated us to dessert and the history of two restaurant families (Carrabas Italian Grill and Ninfas Mexican Cantina) melding together to create this restaurant. I couldn’t find a recipe so I kind of made it up as I went and came VERY close.

BANANA KEY LIME PIE

1 large firm banana, sliced thin
1/4 cup Malibu rum
1 graham cracker crumb crust
14 ounce can Eagle sweetened condensed milk
3 egg yolks + 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup Key Lime Juice

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Soak banana slices in rum.
  • Pat banana slices dry.
  • Combine milk, egg yolks, sugar and lime juice, beating until smooth like custard.
  • Layer banana slices in a layer on top of graham cracker crust.
  • Top with custard and bake 12-15 minutes until JUST barely set.
  • Cool 10 minutes.
  • Move to refrigerator, chilling several hours before serving.
  • Top with whipped cream.

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STUFFED BELL PEPPERS

I quit eating stuffed peppers because green peppers just didn’t agree with us anymore.  Then I started making them in red or orange peppers and only giving us each a  large half – plus they look more attractive to serve in halves.  Now we love them again.
EASY STUFFED PEPPERS
2/3 pound ground beef
1 clove garlic, minced
3 green onions, minced
salt and pepper to taste
8 ounce can tomato sauce
2 slices ham
3/4 cup minute rice, prepared
1 large red or orange pepper
2 slices mild cheddar cheese + 1/4 cup grated (I sometimes use mozzarella for a different taste)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Brown ground beef with onion and garlic.
  • Drain fat.
  • Add in tomato sauce and rice.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Wash, cut in half and clean out pepper.
  • Layer ham slice on inside.
  • Fill with meat mixture.
  • Top with cheese slice and sprinkle grated over casserole portion.
  • Bake 30 minutes.

PARMESAN ROASTED CARROTS

I tore this recipe out of a magazine.  Which one is unknown, but I did find a small logo in the corner for CAL-ORGANIC FARMS, so I assume that this is their recipe.  I accidentally overcooked this recipe, but that only added to the flavor.  There was literally nothing left in the bowl when everyone was done.

PARMESAN ROASTED CARROTS

  • 2 small packages carrots, rinsed and dried
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil
  • 3 tablespoons powdered Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Panko crumbs
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons, chopped Italian Parsley
  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Line your baking sheet with foil.
  3. Place carrots in a ziploc bag.
  4. Whisk the oil, garlic, salt and pepper together until well blended. Pour over carrots.
  5. Sprinkle in the Parmesan cheese and Panko bread crumbs.
  6. Shake until well coated.
  7. Spread carrots onto cookie sheet.
  8. Bake 20-25 minutes until carrots are tender.  Shake pan halfway through.
  9. Serve immediately.

I’m off to check out CAL-ORGANIC FARM’S website and see if I can find any more great recipes.

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PAN SEARED CHICKEN with CHILE LIME GRAVY & THREE CHEESE BLOOMING POTATO

I’ve been binge watching Junk Food Flip and The Great British Baking Show lately at night trying to play catch up and clean out the DVR list.  I was so happy when Nadiya won The Great British Baking Show this year!  She was so cute and sweet and won so many of the technical challenges and star baker that it was only fitting.  I really liked Flora too, but in the end she just tried too hard to do too much when she should have been focusing more on the specific challenges.

It was an episode of Junk Food Flip that inspired this dish for us.  Bobby Deen was making a piece of fried chicken for a sandwich and to lessen the fat and carbohydrates he used a rice flour and then only the egg whites whisked with hot sauce. It looked and sounded so good that I just had to try something similar.

I was also seeing these blooming potatoes all over Facebook and wondered what they were all about so had to give it a try too – only seemed reasonable with an experimental meal. I used 1 really LARGE potato for the both of us and then split in half after the baking.

PAN SEARED CHICKEN with CHILE LIME GRAVY 
          & THREE CHEESE BLOOMING POTATO & SWEET and SOUR TOMATOES

4 chicken steaks (think cut breasts)
1/3 cup rice flour
2 tablespoons coconut flour
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons Frank’s Chile Lime Hot Sauce
fresh ground Salt & Pepper, to taste
1-3 tablespoons butter**

  • Whisk together the flours in a shallow dish for dredging.
  • Whisk egg whites and Frank’s Chile Lime Hot Sauce in another shallow dish.
  • Heat pan with butter or oil over medium high.
  • Pat dry chicken breasts.
  • Generously salt and pepper each breast.
  • Dredge each breast in flour mixture, then egg mixture and then flour mixture again shaking off the excess.
  • Place chicken in heated pan searing the first side for about 5 minutes.
  • Turn chicken and sear other side until cooked through.

CHILE LIME GRAVY
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons rice flour
1 small can green chile sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons heavy cream

  • Melt butter over medium high heat.
  • Whisk in rice flour until smooth and golden.
  • Add chicken broth and green chile sauce alternately, whisking until well blended.
  • Bring to a SLOW boil, backing off to a simmer as soon as it begins to boil.
  • Add heavy cream whisking until well blended and smooth.

BLOOMING POTATO adapted from The Gunny Sack
1 potato per person
avocado oil
butter
salt and pepper
grated medium cheddar
grated Parmesan
grated smoke Gruyere

  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Cut the top off of the potatoes.
  • Use a small, thin, flexible knife to cut rings around the inside of the potato.
  • Flip the potato over and make cuts all the way around the potato, leaving a small space at the top uncut. I also put my thumb on the top of the potato and made the cuts around it leaving a small strip of uncut skin. These cuts go all the way through to the center of the potato.
  • Carefully flip the potato back over and place in baking dish.
  • Brush the whole potato with avocado oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
  • Bake for 30 minutes of baking. 
  • Pour melted butter into potatoes and brush all around the top.
  • Sprinkle with more sea salt. Return to the oven for an additional 30 minutes. 
  • Add cheeses and return them to the oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes to melt and toast the cheese.

SWEET & SOUR TOMATOES
1 box cherry tomatoes, halved or cut into thirds if they are large
fresh ground salt & pepper, taste
1 tablespoon sugar
splash avocado oil
1 tablespoon STAR golden balsamic vinegar

  • Toss tomatoes with all the ingredients.
  • Chill.
  • Enjoy.

NOTE: **I use a copper non-stick pan and don’t need much oil at all so adjust for your cooking pan.

PROPOSED EASTER MENU

Things are moving along well, so well that we decided to host Easter. I’m really excited about being far enough along host Easter and being able to really bake and cook again. This is my proposed menu. Any other ideas?

TROPICAL GLAZED PORK TENDERLOIN

2-3 pound pork tenderloin
1 cup apricot pineapple preserves
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pineapple juice

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Whisk together brown sugar and pineapple juice.
  • Blend in preserves.
  • generously salt and pepper the pork loin.
  • Spread a small layer of the glaze on the bottom of the roasting pan.
  • Lay the pork loin on top and spread the remaining glaze on top and along the sides.
  • Baste as necessary
  • Bake 45-60 minutes or until meat thermometer reads 170 degrees.
DEVILED EGGS

8 hard boiled Eggs
1 tablespoon mustard
1 teaspoon vinegar

1 teaspoon creamy horseradish
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
paprika

  • Cut eggs in half and scoop out yolks. 
  • In a mixing bowl mash the yolks to a fine consistency. 
  • Add the remaining ingredients except the paprika and mix well until smooth and creamy. 
  •  Fill egg whites and sprinkle with paprika. I have a Tupperware egg keeper that fits 8 eggs perfectly. I like to do these a day before serving also to allow the flavors to meld.

HOLIDAY APRICOT CARROT CASSEROLE

2 pounds carrots**
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 cans apricot pineapple nectar
1 pound dried apricots
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup crushed walnuts

  • Clean and bake carrots until slightly mushy.
  • Cool, Slice lengthwise and set aside.
  • While carrots are baking, put dried apricots in a dutch oven and cover with nectar.
  • Simmer apricots until mushy – about an hour.
  • Add butter, brown sugar and walnuts to apricot mixture.
  • In a 13×9 greased baking dish layer carrots and apricot mixture twice.
  • Bake 30-45 minutes at 350°.

**Yams or sweet potatoes or a combination of can be substituted easily.

CHEESY AU GRATIN POTATOES
1/2 cup butter
16 oz. whipping cream
5 large russet potatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups grated 4 white cheese mix (Gruyere, Muenster, etc…)
2 cups grated sharp cheddar
Wondra Flour

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Peel and thinly slice potatoes.
  • Grease 9×13 baking dish.
  • In a large sauce pan, melt the butter.
  • Gradually add the whipping cream and spices. Blend well.
  • Gradually add the flour until the mixture thickens, but it is still pourable!
  • Mix the cheeses all together.
  • Layer the potatoes, cheese and cream mixture ending with cheese on top.
  • Bake 45 minutes or until potatoes are tender and golden brown.

CHOCOLATE BERRY BASKETS 
Chocolate 
Strawberries
Blackberries
Blueberries 

ROLLS OF SHARON aka CINNAMON RAISIN BUNS
ROLLS
2 packages Fleischman’s Rapid Rise Yeast
1/2 cup + 2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup WARM water
1 cup scalded milk (2 minutes in the microwave)
1/2 cup Crisco stick
5 cups flour, divided
2 large eggs, well beaten
1 teaspoon salt

  • In a small bowl combine the warm water, 2 teaspoons of sugar and both packages of yeast until well blended. Set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl combine the scalded milk, Crisco stick, 1/2 cup sugar and salt. Blend well.
  • Add yeast mixture and blend well.
  • Add the well beaten eggs and half the flour. Mix until well blended.
  • Add the remaining flour (a little more if too sticky) and mix well until dough leaves the sides of the bowl and is elastic.
  • With vegetable oil, wipe the inside of another bowl.
  • Place dough in bowl and turn once.
  • Cover with wax paper and a towel.
  • Let rest in a warm place until double in size.

 

  • Punch down and divide into 2 balls.
  • Put one on the pastry board and one back in the bowl.
  • Let rest 10 minutes.
  • While resting prepare the filling ingredients.

 

  • Roll the dough to 1/8 inch thickness in a rectangle about 18×24 inches.
  • Spread half the melted butter over the dough and sprinkle with half the cinnamon sugar.
  • Spread half the raisins over that.
  • Roll tightly jelly roll style and cut into 18 rolls.
  • Place rolls in greased pans 1/4 to 1/2 inches apart.
  • Cover with wax paper and a towel.
  • Let rise again until double in size.
  • Bake 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees.
  • While baking prepare the icing.

 

  • When rolls come out the oven, put globs of icing on each one. Return to the oven for a minute or two to melt icing all over the rolls.

FILLING
1 stick melted butter
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 cup golden raisins

  • Whisk together the sugar and cinnamon until well blended.

ICING
1 stick butter, softened
3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon powdered vanilla
4-6 tablespoons milk

  • Mix all together until smooth.

When re-heating rolls, put a pad of butter on top of roll before microwaving.
These freeze really well. 

MOSCATO STRAWBERRY LEMONADE
1 bottle pink moscato
6 cups lemonade
1/4 cup strawberry vodka
Frozen Strawberry Slices
Lemon slices

  • Blend together well.
  • Enjoy!   

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BOSTON BAKED BEANS ala TEXAS and a mini update

You know how we plan things and also plan on them going the way we want them to? LOL That truly doesn’t seem to happen around here. We’re getting most things done, but I’m not accustomed to moving things down the list every single day.

  • MONDAY – Grout entryway, Paint walls in refrigerator alcove, Set tiles for under refrigerator so we can get it moved out of the living room, Texture kitchen wall and get it painted, Paint bathroom walls with gripper paint to get it ready for texturing, Finish sorting through kitchen utensils and organize 1-2 cabinets. I really wanted a simple farmhouse look so we changed out minds on what we will be doing on the kitchen walls (simple rough hewn cedar planking painted) and it will be so much easier, but required a trip to Home Depot and extra paint. It doesn’t look like much here, but I promise it will look great soon.

  • TUESDAY –  Get blood drawn, Walmart and grocery store. Work on kitchen wall. Make BBQ sauce for the baby back ribs and start Baked Beans.
  • WEDNESDAY – Grout entryway,. Set tiles for under refrigerator so we can get it moved out of the living room, Finish the kitchen wall and the migration of “things”.  Finish sorting through kitchen utensils and bakeware.

I LOVE to cook. It’s just that plain an simple.  I also believe one of the best things I can do for my family is to make things from scratch.  I’m a HUGE believer that just because we can, doesn’t mean that we should as in buying a canned product versus making it from scratch.

Our son will be here for one night only and then my uncle will be here the next night.  Both nights are weekend nights so we’re eating in to avoid crowds and noise. When we asked what our son wanted to eat he very definitely said BBQ!  So today I began my homemade BBQ sauce and Old Fashioned Boston baked beans ala Texas.  Both taste better if they have a few days to let the flavors meld together.

OLD FASHIONED BOSTON BAKED BEANS
1 pound Navy beans, washed and sorted
1/2 pound salt pork, diced small
1 medium Vidalia onion, chopped
1/4 cup JALAPENO ketchup
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/8 cup PURE maple syrup
1/4 cup molasses

  • Dice salt pork and layer on bottom of slow cooker.
  • Chop onion and scatter over salt pork pieces.
  • Wash and sort beans.
  • Place beans in slow cooker on top of salt pork.
  • Cover with 5 cups water.
  • Cook on low overnight for 12 hours.
  • Drain beans, reserving liquid.
  • Return beans to slow cooker.
  • Add vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, maple syrup and molasses and blend well.
  • Add in 1/2 cup of bean water as desired for consistency.
  • Heat through for an hour or so.

ROASTED CABBAGE & ONIONS

ROASTED CABBAGE & ONIONS
1 medium head cabbage, chopped
2 large Walla Walla Onions, chopped
1/4 cup avocado oil
3/4 teaspoon fresh ground sea salt
3/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
3 tablespoons minced fresh chives
3 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon

  • Preheat oven to 450°.
  • Place cabbage and onions in a large bowl.
  • Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss to coat well.
  • Transfer to shallow roasting pan.
  • Roast 15 minutes, stir and roast another 15 minutes or so until soft and slightly browned.
  • Return cabbage to large bowl and add chives, tarragon and dressing, tossing to coat.
  • Let Salad rest 5-10 minutes to allow flavors to meld.

DRESSING
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons avocado oil
2 tablespoons creamed horseradish
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

  • Whisk together. Set aside.

BEEF and BEAN BURGERS

I  really wanted to make veggie burgers, but hubby nixed that idea before it left the gate. So, I came up with this recipe and he was half way thru before he even noticed the beans AND he cleaned his plate, so I’ll call it a success.

VEGGIE BURGERS – NOT
BEEF and BEAN BURGERS – makes 6 burgers

1 can seasoned black beans, drained
1 cup Panko
2 pounds ground chuck 
1/4 cup grated onion or minced green onions
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
Fresh ground salt and black pepper
4 slices baby Swiss or aged white cheddar cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
hot sauce
toasted buns (I served them bunless)
lettuce, pickles and sliced tomato
1 tablespoon avocado oil

  • Whisk together the mayonnaise and hot sauce to taste. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine the bread crumbs, paprika, garlic, green onions, Worcestershire, salt and pepper until well blended.
  • Using your hands mix in beans until well incorporated.
  • Set aside for 5 minutes.
  • Preheat 1 avocado oil in skillet over medium high heat.
  • Using your hands divide bean mixture into 6 balls and form 6 patties.
  • Cook the burgers until browned, about 5 minutes on each side.
  • Add a slice of cheese, cooking only until cheese is melted.
  • Serve on toasted buns with mayo hot sauce, lettuce, tomatoes and pickles.