ISOLATION COOKIES

With all the time at home I decided to do a little baking and came up with a new cookie recipe.  I wanted to try my hand at exact and specific baking science measurements.  This cookie recipe turned out chewy, flavorful and quite satisfying.  Hubby LOVES them.

ISOLATION COOKIES
2 sticks unsalted butter
12 ounces bread flour (see notes)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 ounces white sugar
8 ounces brown sugar (see notes)
1 LARGE egg
1 LARGE egg yolk
1 ounce WHOLE milk
1 1/2 teaspoons QUALITY vanilla
5 ounces semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
5 ounces golden raisins
2 ounces craisins

  • Line cookie sheet with parchment paper and lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Melt butter and set aside to cool.
  • Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • Whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla.
  • Pour butter into mixing bowl and add sugars, beating for 2 minutes until well incorporated.
  • Reduce mixer speed and add egg mixture until thoroughly combined.
  • Gradually add flour mixture until smooth, scraping down the sides. Chill dough for an hour before baking.
  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Using a cookie scoop scoop out portions onto prepared cookie sheets.
  • Bake 12-13 minutes until golden.
  • Let set 5 minutes before removing from the tray to cool.

NOTES:

  • The main difference between bread flour and allpurpose flour is a matter of protein. Bread flour, which comes in white and whole wheat varieties, has a higher protein content than allpurpose, usually 11-13%. It’s called “bread flour” because most bread requires higher amounts of protein to produce lots of gluten.
  • The darker the sugar, the chewier the cookie 😀

CREAMY FRENCH ONION ARTICHOKE DIP

CREAMY FRENCH ONION ARTICHOKE DIP
The original recipe called for:
4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
15.5 ounce container of french dip
15.5 ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon scallions
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper

  • Whisk cream cheese until fluffy.
  • Stir in dip and artichoke hearts, cheese, 1/4 cup green onions, parsley, garlic powder and pepper.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve.
My version calls for:
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
16 ounces sour cream
KNORR French onion soup mix
1 1/2 cups artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 large bunch green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

  • In a small food processor pulse artichoke hearts, garlic, green onions and Parmesan cheese until smooth.
  • In a small mixing bowl blend together the sour cream, Knorr mix and cream cheese until smooth.
  • Add artichoke mixture and blend well.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve.

SPICY PEANUT BUTTER CHICKEN & BROCCOLI – SHEET PAN STYLE

SPICY PEANUT BUTTER CHICKEN & BROCCOLI – SHEET PAN STYLE
1/4 cup QUALITY honey
1/4 cup QUALITY peanut butter
1/4 cup Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Frank’s original hot sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 LARGE limes, juiced
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons avocado oil
FRESH ground sea salt and tri-color pepper, to taste
3 1/4 pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets
Prepared white rice

  • Whisk together honey, peanut butter, liquid aminos, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, lime juice, 1/2 cup avocado oil, salt and pepper.
  • Remove 1/2 cup of the sauce and set aside.
  • Add the chicken pieces and remaining sauce to a large ziploc bag.  Seal and refrigerate 2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Line a baking tray with foil.
  • Remove chicken from marinade and place on baking tray.  Cover lightly with foil for the first 20 minutes.  As you can see I forgot this time and it got a bit crispy, but still tasted wonderful.
  • Bake 35-40 minutes until chicken skin is crisp and chicken registers 165°.
  • At 25 minutes, toss broccoli florets with 2 tablespoons avocado oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Add to baking tray and return to oven.for final 15 minutes.
  • Serve with rice and remaining sauce.

BUTTERMILK CHICKEN FRIED STEAK & PEPPERED COUNTRY GRAVY

BUTTERMILK CHICKEN FRIED STEAK
2 cups buttermilk
2 LARGE eggs, beaten
4 pork cube steaks
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1/3 cup WONDRA flour
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons avocado oil

  • Place steaks in a single layer in a shallow dish.
  • Pour buttermilk over steaks and chill 1-2 hours.
  • Heat oil and butter in large skillet.
  • Combine flour and bread crumbs in shallow bowl.
  • Add beaten egg to another shallow bowl.
  • Season pork cube steaks with salt and pepper.
  • Dredge steaks through eggs and then flour before adding to hot oil.
  • Sear until golden, flip and sear other side.
  • Serve with mashed potatoes and peppered gravy.

PEPPERED GRAVY
3 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons Wondra flour
1 1/4 cups whole milk
3/4 cup whipping cream
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Black pepper + (to taste)

  • Melt butter into bottom of pan you just cooked the chicken in.
  • Scrape up any of the chicken pieces and mix into new butter.
  • Add flour slowly, stirring until absorbed by butter and golden brown.
  • Slowly add first the milk and then the cream.
  • Stir constantly until thickens.
  • If necessary sprinkle in more Wondra until desired thickness is reached.
  • Serve over chicken and mashed potatoes.

INSTA-POT CHICKEN & DUMPLINGS

INSTA-POT CHICKEN & DUMPLINGS

DUMPLINGS
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup FRESH finely chopped Parsley
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons chopped FRESH chives
1 tablespoon baking powder
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
3/4 cup WHOLE milk
3 tablespoons butter, melted

  • Whisk the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt together.
  • Stir in milk, butter, Parsley and chives JUST until the batter comes together.
  • Set aside.

CHICKEN
2 tablespoons avocado oil
2 tablespoons butter
3 carrots, sliced thin
2 stalks celery, sliced thin
1 LARGE shallot, sliced thin
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons WONDRA flour
2 sprigs FRESH thyme, leaves only
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 1/2 cups chicken broth

  • Set insta-pot to saute’.
  • Add avocado oil and butter.
  • When butter is melted, add carrots, celery and shallots.
  • Season with salt and pepper, cooking 3-4 minutes until softened.
  • Stir in flour and thyme.
  • Add chicken, stirring to coat.
  • Stir in chicken broth and press cancel.
  • Place 12 scoops of batter evenly into pot.
  • Lock lid into place. Be sure the vent is in the sealed position.
  • Pressure cook for 3 minutes.
  • Turn steam valve into the venting position an allow steam to release naturally for 15 minutes.
  • Unlock lid and remove.
  • Ladle the chicken and dumplings into bowls.

HONEY MISO FISH FILLETS & CAMP CARROTS

HONEY MISO FISH FILLETS & CAMP CARROTS
HONEY MISO FISH FILLETS

4 tablespoons QUALITY honey
3 tablespoons white miso paste
1 tablespoon water
3 tablespoons Bragg’s liquid aminos
2 tablespoons sake or dry white wine
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
4 5-6 ounce fish of choice fillets* (SEE NOTE)

  • In a small saucepan mix the honey, miso and water, whisking until smooth. Bring to a SLOW boil, simmering until dark golden.
  • Remove from heat and whisk in soy sauce, white wine, liquid aminos, rice wine vinegar and sesame oil.
  • Divide mixture in half.
  • Add half to ziploc bag along with fish fillets and marinade overnight.
  • Reserve other half for next day.

NEXT DAY

  • Preheat oven to 475°.
  • Add reserved marinade to cast iron skillet and heat over medium-high heat until it begins to bubble.
  • Add fillets skin side up and brush with marinade.
  • Transfer cast ion to oven for 5-10 minutes until golden in color and fish is flaky.
  • Flip fillets and plate.
  • Spoon remaining sauce over fillets and serve immediately.

NOTE: COD, SALMON, HALIBUT OR SWORDFISH WORK BEST.

CAMP CARROTS
3 cups sliced carrots or baby carrots
1/4 pound crisp crumbled bacon
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon QUALITY honey
FRESH ground sea salt and tri-color pepper

  • In a 2 quart saucepan add carrots and enough water to cover.
  • Bring to a FULL boil, reduce to medium and cook 10 minutes until carrots are crisp tender.
  • Drain well.
  • Add butter, brown sugar and honey to pan, mixing well.
  • Add carrots and season to taste with FRESH ground sea salt and tri-color pepper.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until heated through.
  • Add bacon pieces and serve immediately.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 12 of 2020

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

GOOD MORNING ladies.  I hope you are all feeling well and staying as stress free as possible during these crazy times.  Personally, I choose to remain positive and am surrounding myself with early spring cleaning projects around the house and lots of reading while I stay home.  Being immuno-compromised I worry, but REFUSE to panic worry and am just staying home and busy while I pray that others do the same and an answer is found to a vaccine and cure.

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE & WHAT I’M WEARING It snowed last night all around us, but not on the valley floor.  It’s gray and cloudy about 30.  We’re supposed to be in the low 50’s during the day and low 30’s at night this week.  In other words, normal Pacific Northwest pre-spring weather where you dress in multiple layers that you take on and off as the day goes on and the sun plays hide and seek with the clouds.  I have on Levi’s, a lightweight hoodie and UGG’s.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE Hot water, black cherry yogurt and a banana

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

  • LAUNDRY, LIVING AREAS & KITCHEN… working on a deep clean, have a load of laundry to do, dust mopping and vacuuming also need done.  I did get a deep clean done on the stove and oven over the weekend.
  • YARD… Hubby is going to finish working on the new garden boxes on the days without rain.  He’s almost done with screwing in the 3rd rail on the fence. Spring bulbs have started coming up, but our lows at night are back down into the high 20’s and low 30’s so I hope they won’t freeze.
  • CHORE I’M NOT LOOKING FORWARD TO… Every year I do a deep clean of the tops of the window molding door jambs, the fan blades and globes which are some of my least favorite chores.  I run the globes through the dishwasher and then trade them with the next one until they are all clean and sparkling.  It always amazes me how much dust can accumulate on door jambs and tops of windows.  There are also 2 “dust collector” large ledges in the living room that need everything taken down, dusted and put back up – just a lot of up and down on the ladder with furniture in the way.
  • APPOINTMENTS & TO DO… fortunately, there were no appointments scheduled so this week I’ll be staying in and working on some long procrastinated projects.
  • BLOG… I’ll also have some time this week to get caught up on long overdue recipes to write and photo editing.
  • TO RELAX THIS WEEK I’LL… to me is synonymous with CRAFTS & PROJECTS… I have a table to finish refinishing, a mixed media project that I hope to actually get to and if there is still time, a couple of small quilts that need borders.

WHAT IS ON THE DVR, I LIKE OR ON THE LIST TO WATCH/SOMETHING INTERESTING I WATCHED Getting caught up on the DVR, lots and lots of cooking shows and started a new Netflix series called Northern Rescue.

I’M READING The Last Letter From Your Lover by Jojo Moyes

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
BREAKFAST
YOGURT & HOT WATER
YOGURT & HOT WATER
YOGURT & HOT WATER
YOGURT & HOT WATER
YOGURT & HOT WATER
LEMON BLUEBERRY PANCAKES
EVERYTHING BAGEL DUTCH BABY
LUNCH
TURKEY & CHEESE WRAPS
GRILLED CHICKEN & TOMATOES
MEAT & CHEESE WRAPS
C.O.R.D. CLEAN OUT REFRIGERATOR DAY
SALAD & FRUIT
PASTRAMI SANDWICHES
TUNA SANDWICHES
DINNER
4 INGREDIENT CHICKEN & SALAD
NOLAN RYAN MEATLOAF & SALAD
SOURDOUGH CHICKEN FRIED STEAK & COUNTRY GRAVY
C.O.R.N. CLEAN OUT REFRIGERATOR NIGHT
INSTA-POT CHICKEN & DUMPLINGS with SALAD
ROAST CHICKEN AND TART BLACK BEAN SALSA
SPAGHETTI & MEATBALLS with SALAD
DESSERT
CHEWY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
COWBOY BROWNIES

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

FEATURED PARTY LINKS FOR THIS WEEK

RECIPES TO LOOK FOR THIS NEXT WEEK OR SO

  • HONEY MISO COD & CAMP CARROTS
  • BLACK BEAN, BEEF AND POTATO ENCHILADAS

INSPIRATIONAL

LIFE TIP This seems like a good time to share this:

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

SPAGHETTI SOUP

SPAGHETTI SOUP
1 pound ground sweet Italian sausage
3/4 pound ground beef
4 cups beef stock
1 jar (24 ounces) marinara sauce
3 cups water
1 teaspoon dried basil
Parmesan cheese
8 ounces spaghetti, broken into 1 1/2 inch pieces

  • Brown sausage in cast iron skillet.
  • Drain grease.
  • Add sausage to stock pot.
  • Add stock, marinara sauce, water, garlic powder, pepper, salt and basil.
  • Cook, covered, on low 4-6 hours to allow flavors to blend together.
  • Stir in pasta; cook, covered until pasta is tender, 15-20 minutes longer.

PLUM SLAB PIE ala VALERIE BERTINELLI

PLUM SLAB PIE ala Valerie Bertinelli yield 12 servings

CRUST
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 sticks (12 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/3 cup cold water, plus more if needed
Cooking spray, for spraying the baking sheet
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 large egg
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar

  • Combine the flour, granulated sugar and salt in a food processor and mix until combined.
  • Add the butter and pulse until evenly combined and the size of small pebbles.
  • Pour in the vinegar and pulse 1 to 2 times until just combined.
  • With the food processor running, slowly pour in the cold water, adding just enough for the dough to form a ball. You may not need the entire 1/3 cup of water.
  • Remove the dough from the food processor and form it into a ball.
  • Cut off about a third of the ball so you have a small piece (about 10 ounces) and a larger piece (about 1 pound 6 ounces; see Cook’s Note).
  • Form both pieces of dough into discs, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Spray a baking sheet very lightly with cooking spray.
  • Dust a work surface lightly with flour.
  • Roll the larger disc of dough into a rectangle that is 2 inches larger on all sides than the baking sheet.
  • Roll the dough onto the rolling pin and then unfold it over the baking sheet, gently guiding the dough into the baking sheet and lightly pressing it into the corners, sides and bottom.
  • Refrigerate while you prepare the rest of the pie.
  • Lightly dust the work surface with flour and roll out the smaller disc of dough into a 20-by-12-inch rectangle.
  • Place a ruler along the 12-inch side of the dough and make a mark with a pizza cutter every 1/2 inch. Turn the ruler along each mark and use it as a guide to cut a straight line, making twelve 1/2-inch strips that are 20 inches long.
  • Transfer the strips of dough to a baking sheet, laying them diagonally so they fit and dusting the strips with flour as you lay them down.
  • Refrigerate while you make the filling so the dough does not begin to stick together.

FILLING
6 pounds red plums, cut in 1/4-inch half-moon slices
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons almond extract
2 teaspoons orange zest plus 1/3 cup fresh orange juice (about 1 small navel orange)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • In a large bowl, mix together the plums, granulated sugar, cornstarch, almond extract, orange zest and juice, cinnamon, ginger and salt, making sure the plums are evenly coated.
  • Let sit no more than 5 minutes.

ASSEMBLY

  • Evenly spread the filling over the crust on the baking sheet.
  • Lay one of the dough strips diagonally across the baking sheet from one corner to the other.
  • Repeat laying strips parallel to the first piece evenly across the rest of the pie. You can cut strips down to size as you work your way towards the end of the pie, making sure to leave a bit of overhang on both sides.
  • Take every other strip of dough and fold it back over itself so that it exposes a little more than half of the filling. Lay a long strip of dough in the opposite direction, going diagonally from one corner to the other. Fold the dough strips back down and you will begin to see a lattice form. Fold back every other strip of dough that you didn’t fold back before, and then lay another strip of dough diagonally across the pie, working towards a corner. Continue this process until half the pie has a lattice top. Then rotate the pan and repeat the same process on the other side to finish the lattice.
  • Fold the dough hanging over the sides of the pie up and over the edge, tucking the ends of the strips from the lattice top inside. This will ensure the strips of dough stay anchored to the edges of the pie.
  • Crimp the edges of the dough using your pointer fingers and thumb to pinch the dough together.
  • Whisk together the heavy cream and egg and brush evenly over the lattice top and edges of the pie.
  • Sprinkle the entire pie with turbinado sugar and bake until the crust is a deep golden brown and bubbles form towards the middle of the pie, about 1 hour and 10 minutes.
  • Let cool completely, at least 40 minutes.

COOK’S NOTES

  • I have made this many times and it translates into other flavor profiles EXTREMELY well.  My personal favorite is peach, but I also love it made as cherry!
  • The weights for dividing the dough are approximations!  The weights are totally dependent on several factors – your climate (rain really affects the outcome) as well as how much water you add to the dough. The most important thing is to remember is to divide the dough so you have 1 piece that is twice the size as the other piece of dough.

CHICKEN PARMIGIANO

This Chicken Parmesan is a family favorite! Tender pan fried chicken breasts topped with marinara sauce and cheese that is baked until golden and bubbly. It’ll look like you spent hours in the kitchen but this Parmesan chicken recipe comes together easily with ingredients you probably already have in the pantry!

Serve over spaghetti, egg noodles or even mashed potatoes for the perfect weeknight dinner. Chicken Parmesan is thought to be a variation of Eggplant Parmesan, a super traditional Italian recipe! Traditionally, chicken Parmesan is a fried breaded chicken breast topped with marinara sauce and melted cheese making for a deliciously filling dinner that is ready in under 30 minutes! Chicken Parmesan is often deep fried, but this version is breaded and pan fried and then topped with marinara and cheese.

CHICKEN PARMIGIANO

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon avocado oil
2 LARGE eggs, beaten
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup powdered Parmesan cheese
4 slices Provolone cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Marinara

  • Pound the chicken to 1/2″ to ensure even cooking. If the chicken breasts are extra large, you can cut them in half before breading. I can often find thin sliced chicken steaks that are perfect from the get go.
  • Pat dry.
  • Set up dredging station with beaten eggs in one bowl, Wonder flour in another and bread crumbs and Parmesan mixture in the 3rd bowl.
  • Dip into the beaten eggs and then the Wonder flour.
  • Dip again into egg mixture and then the breading Parmesan mixture.
  • Press the breading onto the chicken to help it adhere.
  • Heat butter and oil in cast iron skillet until melted.
  • Brown the chicken breasts 2 minutes on each side.
  • Place chicken breasts in a casserole dish and top with marinara sauce, Provolone and Parmesan cheese. DO NOT SKIMP ON THE CHEESE! The gooey cheese is part of what really makes the best chicken Parmesan!

CHICKEN PARMESAN BUNDLES

Don’t you just love social media and the recipes floating around? 😀 I usually have to change them up a bit in method or ingredients to meet our likes, but the concepts are awesome.

CHICKEN PARMESAN BUNDLES serves 4-6
1 1/4 pounds chicken tenderloins (8-10)
FRESH ground sea salt and tri-color pepper
3 tablespoons butter
2 ounces mozzarella cheese (see notes)
1 can (8 ounces) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
Grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup marinara sauce

  • Heat oven to 375°.
  • Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Generously season chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat in large skillet.
  • Sear chicken in butter 5-6 minutes or until chicken is well browned on all sides. Remove from skillet; cool slightly.
  • Cut mozzarella cheese into 8 pieces.
  • Cut small slits in side of each chicken tenderloin and insert piece of mozzarella cheese.
  • Unroll dough; separating into 8 triangles.
  • Place piece of chicken on wide end of triangle; roll dough around chicken, and place on cookie sheet. Repeat for remaining dough and chicken.
  • Brush crescents with remaining melted butter from skillet drippings.
  • Top each with Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake 14 to 18 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Serve with warm marinara sauce for dipping.

NOTES: String cheese works GREAT if you cut the stick in half and then slice each half lengthwise.

BBQ PULLED PORK

BBQ PULLED PORK

2 pounds boneless pork shoulder
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 1/2 cups BBQ sauce (whatever your favorite is)

  • Stir together the paprika, cayenne, garlic powder and onion powder.
  • Rub seasonings all over the pork and chill several hours or overnight.

 

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • In a large dutch oven heat avocado oil over medium-high heat.
  • Brown pork 3 minutes per side until seared well.
  • Add BBQ sauce.
  • Cover and roast 5 hours undisturbed.**
  • Shred pork with 2 forks and mix well with the sauce.

NOTE: This recipe can also be made in slow cooker 4 hours on HIGH or 8 hours on LOW.