MELTING POTATOES

MELTING POTATOES are a Pinterest idea worth trying!  Despite all the wonderful recipe pictures on pinterest, I have tried some less than stellar recipes and am usually of the mind, ‘if it looks to good to be true…”, but this recipe actually works and lives up to the beautiful pictures.

MELTING POTATOES
2 pounds YUKON gold potatoes
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped thyme
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 cup chicken stock
3-4 cloves garlic, FINELY minced

  • Preheat oven to 500° with the rack in upper-middle position.
  • Slice potatoes into THICK 1 inch rounds.
    whisk the thyme. salt and pepper into the melted butter.
  • Toss the potato rounds in the melted butter mixture.
  • Arrange the potato pieces in a single layer in a METAL* baking dish.
  • Bake for 15 minutes.
  • Flip potatoes and bake 15 minutes more.
  • Whisk together the chicken stock and garlic.
  • Add chicken stock mixture to pan around potatoes and return to the oven for 15 minutes more or until the stock is mostly absorbed.
  • Transfer potatoes to serving platter and top with remaining stock liquid.
  • Serve immediately.

NOTES:

  • Do NOT use a glass baking dish! At this temperature it may shatter.
  • Do NOT use a LOWER temperature so you can use a glass baking dish. You need the higher temperature to create the deep golden, crispy outside of the potatoes.

 

CHERRY ALMOND CREAM CHEESE COBBLER DUMP CAKE

You know me, I prefer to scratch cook 100% of the time. Okay 99% of the time. But this dump cake with the cherry pie filling and buttery cake mix topped with the almonds, pecans or walnuts really makes this a quick, yet flavorful dessert for unexpected company or a church potluck. The addition of the cream cheese makes this is a serious upgrade to your mother’s dump cake of the 90’s. I just haven’t yet converted the cake mix into a scratch version that works as well as the store bought mix.

CHERRY ALMOND CREAM CHEESE COBBLER or DUMP CAKE adapted from Tablespoon Kitchens serves 12

2 – 21 ounce cans COMSTOCK TART cherry (see notes) pie filling
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
8 ounces cold cream cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 box yellow or white cake mix (both work well, but preferably the moist version)
3/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup chopped pecans, almonds or walnuts
2 tablespoons powdered sugar

  • Heat oven to 350°.
  • LIGHTLY spray a 13×9 baking dish with cooking spray.
  • In medium bowl, mix together the cherry pie filling and almond extract.
  • Spread evenly in the bottom of baking dish.
  • Top evenly with cubed cream cheese pieces.
  • Sprinkle evenly with dry cake mix.
  • Evenly pour melted butter over cake mix, covering as much and as evenly as possible.
  • Sprinkle with chopped almonds or chopped walnuts.
  • Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until top of cake is golden brown and bubbling on edges.
  • Cool 15 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with powdered sugar just before serving.

NOTES:

  • With just the two of us,  I measure the cake mix and then save half for another time and halve the other ingredients as well while baking in an 8×8 baking dish.
  • The cherry can also be traded with Peach or Blueberry with excellent results.
  • If you want to go elegant this recipe prepares well in individual ramekins if you want to take the time to measure everything evenly. 😀

HINT OF CHOCOLATE ORANGE BUNDT CAKE

HINT OF CHOCOLATE ORANGE BUNDT CAKE seriously adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, Cook’s Science, America’s Test Kitchen’s Orange Bundt Cake

CAKE
4 LARGE eggs
2 tablespoons FINELY grated orange zest
3/4 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
2 cups cake flour
1/2 cup Hershey’s cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
18 tablespoons unsalted butter (cut into 18 pieces and softened)

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Adjust rack to middle position.
  • Grease and flour a large bundt pan.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, orange zest, orange juice and vanilla together.
  • Sift and whisk together flour, cocoa, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda on LOW speed until combined.
  • Add butter one piece at a time until mixture resembles coarse pea sized pieces.
  • Add egg mixture slowly, scraping bowl regularly for about 2 minutes until mixture is light and fluffy.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top.
  • Bake 45-55 minutes until tester comes out clean.
  • Cool on wire rack for 20 minutes.
  • Remove cake from pan and continue cooling on wire rack.

ORANGE GLAZE
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
Juice of 1 LARGE lemon (about 4 teaspoons)
Pinch of salt

  • Whisk 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, orange juice concentrate, lemon juice and salt together in bowl until smooth.
  • Place wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Brush cake with 1/4 cup of the orange glaze.
  • Let cake stand 1 hour.
  • Whisk remaining 1/2 cup powdered sugar with the remaining glaze.
  • Pour evenly over cake.
  • Let cake sit 5-10 minutes while you prepare the ganache.

CHOCOLATE GANACHE DRIZZLE
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

  • Add the chocolate chips to a medium sized bowl and set aside.
  • Add the heavy whipping cream to a microwave safe bowl or measuring cup and heat for about 1 minute, watching it closely so it doesn’t burn or boil over
  • Pour the warm cream over the chocolate chips and allow to sit for 3-5 minutes. I put a plate on top to trap the heat.
  • Gently stir the cream and chocolate together until they come together to a smooth consistency. DO NOT whisk too vigorously to prevent air bubbles in the ganache making it smoother.
  • Drizzle ganache over cake in an alternate pattern to the glaze.

ORANGE SUGAR
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons FINELY GRATED orange zest

  • Using fork mix together the granulated sugar and orange zest.
  • Sprinkle over ganache.

TOMATO BEEF STROGANOFF

TOMATO BEEF STROGANOFF
1 1/4 pounds sirloin tips, trimmed of fat and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 teaspoons Bragg’s liquid aminos
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 pound mushrooms, sliced thin **
2 teaspoons hot water
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon sugar
Fresh sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 large shallot, diced fine
2 tablespoons Wondra flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1/2 cup sour cream (SEE NOTES)
1 tablespoon fresh chopped flat leaf parsley

  • Poke each piece of meat with a fork
  • In a mixing bowl toss meat pieces with Bragg’s liquid aminos, cover and marinate 1 hour.
  • While meat is marinating prep mushrooms.
  • In a large skillet melt butter over medium high heat.
  • Add mushrooms and sauce until soft and caramelizeng.
  • Drain mushrooms and set aside.
  • Whisk together the water and mustard powder with the sugar, and some pepper just until a smooth paste forms. Set aside.
  • Pat meat dry with paper toweling.
  • Season with fresh ground pepper.
  • Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add beef pieces and sear on ALL sides, reducing heat as necessary to prevent burning. Transfer eat to plate.
  • Add Add onions and saute until caramelized and browning.
  • Add in the tomato sauce and flour, stirring to blend.
  • Stir in beef broth, mustard paste and wine until well blended and bring to a SLOW simmer, cooking until slightly reduced and starting to thicken.
  • Fold meat pieces and mushrooms into the sauce and cook a couple minutes more until heated through.
  • Remove from heat and fold in sour cream.
  • Serve immediately over buttered noodles.
  • Sprinkle with parsley.

*NOTE*:

  • I prefer thin sliced mushrooms, but some prefer larger mushrooms in which case you should use 1 pound and quarter them.  Hubby hates mushrooms and I often omit them all together and it’s still a really tasty dish!
  • Y0u can substitute a whipped cream cheese for a thicker version.

GRAN’S MEATLOAF

Gran’s Meatloaf is a super moist, scrumptious and full of flavor recipe that’s great for any weeknight because it can be prepared ahead of time and baked the next day! It’s a super simple recipe that has been handed down through the generations and comes out perfect each and every time!  The leftovers make WONDERFUL sandwiches for lunch the rest of the week.

GRAN’S MEATLOAF
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
3/4 cup WHOLE milk
1 LARGE egg
3 slices white or sourdough bread, torn up into small pieces
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup finely chopped onion (or substitute ½ tablespoon onion powder)
2 cloves garlic, minced (or substitute ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder)
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped cilantro (or substitute ½ teaspoon ground coriander)
½ cup Jalapeno ketchup**

  • Heat oven to 350°.
  • Combine all ingredients except the ketchup in a large bowl JUST until well blended.  Do NOT overwork.
  • Spread mixture into an un-greased loaf pan or shape into a loaf on a sheet pan.
  • Spread ketchup on top of meatloaf.
  • Cook for an hour to an hour and 15 minutes, until a meat thermometer reads 160.
  • Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

NOTE: This recipe used to read a tablespoon of hot sauce plus regular ketchup, but now that Jalapeño ketchup is so regularly available I use it exclusively.

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.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 5 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 I have a long list I hope to accomplish this week so I’m just jumping right in hoping to get an early start.

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE As always it is supposed to be cool, gray and rainy.  Welcome to winter in the Pacific North West 🙂

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE Hot water, mixed berry yogurt and medium cheddar cheese slice

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

  • LAUNDRY, LIVING AREAS & KITCHEN… I’ve still got 2 loads to do.  I was going to get them done yesterday, but the power started being an issue Saturday night and I put them off for fear of a wet load sitting and waiting around not being able to get dry.
  • YARD… not a thing except refilling the hummingbird feeders.
  • CHORE I’M NOT LOOKING FORWARD TO… Continuing to clean the silt that is actually mud from the gutter and calling the city about it.  They did send the street sweeper last week and he made 3 passes, but he did it in such a way that he ended up delivering more mud to our end of the cul-de-sac than what he cleaned up.  I spent an hour Saturday morning cleaning up as much as I could before it began to rain...
  • APPOINTMENTS & TO DO… I have my 9 year cancer follow-up this year on Wednesday.  I cannot tell you how surreal it is to be able to say that.  Even after all this time I still get very emotional and worry prior to these visits.
  • BLOG… I’ll try and get pictures of the quilts taken and do an update.
  • TO RELAX THIS WEEK I’LL… to me is synonymous with CRAFTS & PROJECTS… I ran across 3 unfinished small quilts and picked up the fabric to finish the bindings on them this week.

WHAT IS ON THE DVR, I LIKE OR ON THE LIST TO WATCH/SOMETHING INTERESTING I WATCHED We watched a cute movie called Ghost Town with Tea Leoni, Greg Kinnear and Ricky Gervais and a SYFY with Matt Damon and Jodie Foster called Elysium on Netflix.  I have a few cooking shows on the DVR to watch and have been really enjoying Anne with an E on Netflix.  I did find season 3 of Designated Survivor on Netflix also that we just started.

I’M READING Enchanting Sebastian by Ava Miles from the Merriam Series

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA There is just something so pretty and serene about the pond near our neighborhood at this time of year. Here are 2 different pictures of the same pond area just a few hours apart.  I love how the fog moved out to the south and the cattle moved in to the shot.

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
CREPES with LINGONBERRIES
POACHED EGGS and BACON
LUNCH
TURKEY & CHEESE WRAPS
GRILLED CHICKEN & TOMATOES
MEAT & CHEESE WRAPS
TUNA SALAD
SALAD & FRUIT
??
SUPERBOWL MUNCHIES
DINNER
MEATBALL POTATO GRATIN & SALAD
POTATO SQUASH STEW
TAGLIATELLE with ARTICHOKES and homemade PASTA
ORANGE GLAZED SALMON & SALAD
CHEESY SOUR CREAM CHICKEN  & RICE
BLACK BEAN, BEEF & POTATO ENCHILADAS with HOMEMADE REFRIED BEANS
see above 😀
DESSERT
ORANGE PRETZEL SALAD
 

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK A couple of these were really good. but I’ll have to make again to get better pictures.

FEATURED PARTY LINKS FOR THIS WEEK

RECIPES TO LOOK FOR THIS NEXT WEEK OR SO

  • GRAN’S MEATLOAF
  • POLYNESIAN CARROTS
  • TOMATO BEEF STROGANOFF
  • CHERRY ALMOND CREAM CHEESE DUMP CAKE
  • MELTING POTATOES

INSPIRATIONAL

LIFE TIP

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

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.