PEASANT CHICKEN


PEASANT CHICKEN – serves 4
1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders
1/4 cup WONDRA flour
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
3 carrots, peeled and diced
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut
2 shallots, sliced thin
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup chicken broth
Juice of 1 lemon
rice or pasta, prepared per package directions using chicken broth as your water ingredient for more flavor

  • Heat oil and butter in large saute skillet over a medium-high heat.
  • Generously season chicken pieces with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Dredge chicken pieces in flour.
  • Add chicken pieces to skillet browning 2-3 minutes per side.  Remove chicken to platter and tent to keep warm.
  • Add carrots to pan and saute’ 5 minutes until beginning to soften.
  • Add green beans and saute’ 2-4 minutes more.
  • Add shallots and saute’ 2 minutes more.
  • Add garlic and saute’ 2 minutes more.
  • Stir in broth and lemon juice.
  • Add chicken back into skillet, simmering 5 minutes until chicken is cooked through and sauce is beginning to thicken.
  • Serve over rice or pasta.

 

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 3 of 2019

GOOD MORNING everyone! WOW we’re already entering week 3 of 2019,  Why is the time passing by so fast? I’m up early and hoping for a VERY productive day.  My energy levels are still lagging, but I need to take advantage of the better weather today before the next set of storms roll in.

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE & WHAT I’M WEARING – The past few days have been pretty nice, days in the 50’s and nights in the 30’s, at least for a couple hours midday LOL 😀 Mornings have been quite gray and foggy, but the sun makes an appearance in time for the sunset most days.  Today will be no exception, but we’re supposed to be back to mostly rain by Wednesday and stay that way for the rest of the week.  I have on Levis, my favorite canvas tennies and comfy sweatshirt.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE Peanut Butter Oatmeal with Banana Slices and Green Tea

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

  • LAUNDRYALL caught up as of yesterday.
  • LIVING AREAS… Need to vacuum and do a bit of tidying.
  • KITCHENREALLY clean as I’ve been polishing counter tops.
  • YARD… nothing
  • BLOG… still need to write up a couple more new recipes and I’m still adjusting the party links to downsize the ones I participate in.   Two weeks into the new year and I have eliminated another 5 party links bringing it up to 13 gone.  There are at least 5 on the chopping block for this week or at the most the end of the month. A few blogs are still on break so I’ll continue evaluating this category until I have it where I want it.  So many blogs have become too commercial and the ads as well as the layer of pages to get to the content have become just too much to bother with.
  • CRAFTS/PROJECTS… I’m working on next year’s Christmas gifts and will tell you it involves the fabric in the picture below and I found these great pieces on sale this past week.
  • APPOINTMENTS/TO DO… I need to get the oil changed on the car, track down a few medical records to have transferred, am hoping for enough sun today to get at least the small storage space gone through in search of more needed paperwork for the VA…

CRAFTS / PROJECTS What I CAN show you  😀  but CANNOT tell you what the parts will equal.

If you know me, then you know I LOVE to cook!  I usually get several cookbooks for Christmas and I REALLY look forward to them.  The first thing I do is sit down and read them cover to cover, tabbing the recipes I want to make in the weeks ahead.  As you can see, this year was no exception.  My brother sent me the Half Baked Harvest, my girl friend Heather and munchkins gave me the Magnolia Table by Joanna Gaines and Santa brought me the Six Sisters Stuff

For some odd reason this process always brings to mind a specific friend, Julie.  Julie’s dad was a professor at our university and they had a lot of talented kids in her family, several of which were in college at the same time which was quite costly so they lived very modestly on a professor’s salary. Julie was the middle girl of 5 and was quite used to getting the hand me downs.  Julie and I became fast friends and hung out a lot.  Many times there were three of us hanging out in Julie’s rec room as Julie’s friend Joann spent a lot of time there too.  Joann wasn’t into the college scene, but came from money and had other priorities most of the time – parties and such while we studied our butts off and worked several jobs.  Anyway, we all had our talents that we brought to the group.  

Julie used to borrow Joann’s designer clothes, A LOT!   Julie also had mad sewing skills.   The funny part was (and I doubt Joann even knows this now) late at night when we were studying Julie would take a break, disassemble whatever piece she had just borrowed from Joann and whip up her own version by using Joann’s piece as a pattern.  Then she’d put Joann’s dress, skirt, etc… back together, no worse for wear.  Long story short (I know, too late) I think I approach other people’s recipes the same way Julie approached designer clothes by taking it apart piece by piece, tweaking it to meet my flavor desires or textural expectations and putting it back together as an all new piece. 😀

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA – I just LOVE that sliver of moon that made an appearance just in time for my picture.  The clouds covered it almost immediately.

INSPIRATION

I’m ALWAYS trying to remember that life is FULL of change and my favorite saying is,

“Man plans, God laughs!”

SOMETHING INTERESTING I WATCHED We watched BIRD BOX with Sandra Bullock this past week – scary, but interesting movie.  I’m really sad 🙁 though to hear that teens are actually being so stupid and using movies like this to act out stupid scenarios for social media challenges/DARES.

I’M READING I still didn’t get much reading done this past week so I’m still reading: The Misadventures of Catie Bloom: a romantic comedy (Bloom Sisters Book 1) by Brooke Stanton

WHAT IS ON THE DVR, I LIKE OR ON THE LIST TO WATCH With shows just coming off hiatus we are actually pretty caught up on prime time shows with no DVR backlog.  There is a growing list for NetFlix and Amazon Prime.

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

BREAKFAST

LUNCH

DINNER

DESSERT

MONDAY – FRIDAY

GREEN TEA,

BANANA & YOGURT

CHICKEN or TUNA SALAD

MONDAY

MEXICAN LASAGNE

TUESDAY

HAWAIIAN CHICKEN

WEDNESDAY

THURSDAY

TORTILLA BAKE

FRIDAY

CHICKEN & RICE CASSEROLE

FUDGY BROWNIES,

CHOCOLATE BANANA BREAD

OR

CRANBERRY PEAR CRISP

SATURDAY

BISCUITS & SAUSAGE GRAVY BAKE

CHEDDAR CHICKEN POTPIE

SUNDAY

QUICHE LORRAINE

PERUVIAN SHEPHERD’S PIE

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

ROAST PORK with APPLE PEAR CREAM SAUCE

MAGIC COOKIE BARS

PUB BURGERS with TANGY PUB SAUCE BAKED SPICY BACON GREEN BEANS

CHICKEN & RICE CASSEROLE

WHISKEY CHILI MEATBALLS WHISKEY BBQ CHICKEN

 

MAGIC COOKIE BUTTER BARS

MAGIC COOKIE BUTTER BARS
Years ago one of my VERY favorite treats were Eagle Brand 7 Layer bars A.K.A. as Magic Cookie Bars with sweetened condensed milk, BUT, they were so heavy and calorie packed. This recipe is a WONDERFUL substitute for that recipe and the bars are still moist and tender AND they taste amazingly similar – kind of like a loaded Blondie that strives to be overindulgent! This recipe also makes smaller portion which is great for just 2 people

BARS
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons PURE vanilla extract
2 teaspoons QUALITY cinnamon (I use Red Ape)
Heaping 1/3 cup smooth Cookie Butter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
pinch salt
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup roasted coconut pieces

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with aluminum foil, spray with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  • Melt 1/2 cup butter and allow to cool slightly.
  • Add the egg, brown sugar, vanilla and cinnamon, whisking until smooth.
  • Add the heaping Cookie Butter, and stir to blend.
  • Add the flour and salt, stirring until just combined DO NOT OVER MIX!!!! – these are like brownies and overtaxing will make them tough.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.
  • Sprinkle evenly with the chocolate chips, raisins and coconut.
  • Set pan aside while you prepare the streusel.

STREUSEL
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup whole rolled old-fashioned oats DO NOT USE quick or instant oats
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1-2 teaspoonS cinnamon, to taste
2 tablespoons Cookie Butter, melted for final drizzle after baking
2 tablespoons milk chocolate chips

  • Using the same bowl you made the batter in add all the streusel ingredients except the 2 tablespoons cookie butter and work the mixture with a spoon, a pastry cutter, or your hands until small pebbles form.
  • Sprinkle streusel evenly over top.
  • Bake for about 30-40 minutes, or until center is set and not jiggly; and the edges are set and have pulled away slightly from sides of pan. Test with a toothpick. If it comes out mostly clean, you’re good to go. EVERY oven is different so start checking these at the 30 minute mark.
  • After pulling pan from the oven, heat 2 tablespoons of Cookie Butter and 2 tablespoons milk chocolate chips in the microwave to melt, about 15 seconds.
  • Immediately and evenly drizzle Chocolate Cookie Butter over the top of bars.
  • Allow pan to cool for at least 30 minutes cutting.
  • Lift out foil and place on cutting board.
  • Slice and serve.
  • Store bars in an airtight container for up to 1 week at room temperature, or up to 3 months in the freezer.

ORIGINAL MAGIC COOKIE BARS
“This bar cookie is an old fashioned favorite. Chocolate chips, nuts and coconut are set in a caramelized layer on top of a graham cracker crust.” – Eagle brand

1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs OR ginger snap cookie crumbs
1 (14 ounce) can EAGLE BRAND® Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
1 cup chopped nuts

  • Heat oven to 350° (325° for glass dish).
  • Coat 13×9-inch baking pan with no-stick cooking spray.
  • Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter. Press into bottom of prepared pan.
  • Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumb mixture.
  • Layer evenly with chocolate chips, raisins, nuts and coconut. Press down firmly.
  • Bake 25 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Cool.
  • Cut into bars.
  • Store covered at room temperature.

NOTES/VARIATIONS:

  • 7-Layer Magic Cookie Bars: Substitute 1 cup (6-ounces) butterscotch flavored chips* for 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and proceed as directed above.
  • Peanut butter flavored chips or white chocolate chips may be substituted for butterscotch flavored chips.
  • Magic Peanut Cookie Bars: Substitute 2 cups (about 3/4 pound) chocolate-covered peanuts for semi-sweet chocolate chips and chopped nuts.
  • Magic Rainbow Cookie Bars: Substitute 2 cups plain candy-coated chocolate candies for semi-sweet chocolate chips.

CHILI WHISKEY MEATBALLS

CHILI WHISKEY MEATBALLS makes 16 meatballs
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1 SMALL egg
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup Heinz Chili sauce
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1/2 cup Seagrams 7
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cups beef broth
scant 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup heavy cream

  • Using your hands combine ground beef, pork, bread crumbs, egg, salt, pepper and 1/4 cup of the chili sauce in large mixing bowl.
  • Divide into 16 equal sections and roll into balls.
  • Heat the avocado oil and butter over medium-high heat in a large skillet.
  • Cook the meatballs 5-7 minutes, rotating until cooked on all sides. DO NOT CROWD PAN cook in batches if necessary. Remove cooked meatballs to a plate as you go.
  • Add whiskey and beef broth to skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes until mixture begins to thicken.
  • Stir in the remaining chili sauce and the Worcestershire sauce and cook for a few minutes more.
  • Stir in the heavy cream.
  • Add the meatballs back into the sauce turning to coat and simmer 5-10 minutes until heated through.

BAKED SPICY BACON GREEN BEANS

BAKED SPICY BACON GREEN BEANS
1 1/2 pounds FRESH green beans washed and trimmed
1 shallot, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
1/8 cup Frank’s Original Hot Sauce
3/4 cup chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 slices thick bacon, diced
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Brown bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towel.
  • Add shallot to hot oil and saute 1-2 minutes until browned.
  • Add garlic and saute’ 1-2 minutes more until fragrant.
  • Add tomatoes, hot sauce and broth, stirring to combine.
  • Season to taste.
  • Top with bacon pieces, cover and bake 30-40 minutes until beans are tender.

PUB BURGERS with TANGY PUB SAUCE

Remember those burgers you would get that tasted so juicy and flavorful you couldn’t stop eating?  These burgers end up tasting JUST like that, an old style drive-in burger with a classic sauce instead of a pre-processed fast food piece of cardboard.  One of the things we like best is that i you put bacon on the bottom and the top of this burger it gives you an extra tasty texture.PUB BURGERS with TANGY PUB SAUCE serves 4
BURGERS
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
2 slices frozen Texas Toast, thawed and cut into tiny pieces (see notes)
2 tablespoons whole milk
2 tablespoons BBQ sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 green onion, minced
8 slices bacon, cooked crisp
green leaf lettuce
sliced red onion
sliced tomato
4 slices Colby Jack cheddar cheese

  • Place toast pieces in bottom of mixing bowl.
  • Sprinkle with minced garlic and green onions.
  • Crumble ground beef into mixing bowl over top.
  • Generously season with FRESH ground salt and pepper.
  • Whisk milk and BBQ sauce together. Pour over top of meat and set aside for 10 minutes.
  • Using your hands combine the ingredients until well blended.
  • Form into patties and chill until ready to cook.
  • Pan fry burgers 5-6 minutes per side in over medium high heat.
  • Add cheese slices during the last minute.
  • Grill buns, add sauce to both buns and assemble your burgers.
  • ENJOY!

TANGY PUB SAUCE
1/3 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons ketchup (see notes)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1 tablespoon sweet relish
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
2 cloves garlic, minced
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste

  • Add ALL ingredients a food processor until smooth.
  • Chill at least an hour before using.

NOTES:

  • You can spice this up a bit by using Jalapeno ketchup.
  • Buttered white bread can be easily substituted for the Texas toast in a pinch.

CHICKEN & RICE CASSEROLE

I’ve been making this recipe for many years. It’s a really easy and delicious meal that can be pulled together quickly! It’s really great comfort food for a cool evening – warm, tasty, creamy AND crunchy!  My copy was handed down by grams and was probably a Campbell’s Soup label recipe originally that was shared by her grandmother’s club.  I’ve been seeing versions of it pop up around social media and pinterest A LOT lately.  My version has been changed up A LOT, but hubby ALL but licks his plate when I make it.

WEEKNIGHT CHICKEN CASSEROLE
3 cups of diced rotisserie chicken
1 can cream of chicken soup or soup substitute
2½ cups cooked rice
½ cup sliced almonds or cashews
½ cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Frank’s Hot Sauce (optional)
¾ cup diced celery (about 3 stalks)
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
3/4 cup crushed potato chips (see notes) OR corn flakes, crushed into small pieces
2-3 tablespoons butter, melted

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Toss chicken pieces with hot sauce.
  • Place carrots in a microwave safe bowl and add 2 tablespoons of water.  Cook 1 minute so carrots begin to soften.
  • Combine all ingredients together a spread into a greased 9×13 baking dish.
  • Combine the crushed chips with the melted butter and sprinkle evenly over the casserole.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes or until casserole is heated through.

NOTES:

  • You can really change up the flavor by using different flavored rotisserie chicken or different flavored potato chips. I also like to use sweet potato chips 😀 or sometimes, crushed saltines or rice krispies or ANY combo of the above!
  • We like to serve it with either shoepeg corn or green beans to round out the veggies 😀

WHISKEY BBQ CHICKEN

WHISKEY BBQ CHICKEN
12 chicken legs, Bone-in, Skin-on
2 tablespoons avocado Oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 Vidalia onion, halved and sliced
1-1/2 cup Seagrams Whiskey* see notes
1 1/2 cups BBQ sauce* see notes
12 ounce jar SMUCKER’S peach preserves* see notes
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced
3 green onions, thinly sliced

  • Preheat oven to 300°.
  • Heat oil and butter in a heavy pot over medium-high heat.
  • Add chicken legs, DO NOT CROWD THE PAN. Brown both sides 5-6 minutes, then remove to a plate and repeat until all chicken is browned.
  • Pour off half all but 1 tablespoon of the oil and return pan to stove.
  • Add onions to pan and stir, cooking for 3-4 minutes, until beginning to caramelize.
  • Add garlic and stir another minute or so.
  • Pour whiskey into the pot, careful of open flames.
  • Stir and scrape the bottom of the pan, allowing whiskey to reduce for a minute or two.
  • Pour in barbecue sauce, peach preserves, chicken broth, and Worcestershire sauce.
  • Return chicken to pan.
  • Cover and place in oven for 90 minutes.
  • Serve pieces of chicken over rice or mashed potatoes.
  • Sprinkle sliced green onions over the top.

NOTES:

  • I like Seagrams, just my whiskey of choice, but use whatever your favorite is.
  • Make your own or use your FAVORITE bottled BBQ sauce.
  • I prefer SMUCKER’S jams, but you can make your own or use another brand. I also use what I have on hand and sometimes that is apricot-pineapple which adds a GREAT flavor change.

PORK ROAST with APPLE PEAR CREAM SAUCE

PORK ROAST with APPLE PEAR CREAM SAUCE
ROAST
3 pound boneless pork roast
1 Vidalia onion, halved and sliced
2 tablespoons butter
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Place butter and onion slices in bottom of shallow roaster.
  • Generously season pork roast and place on top on onions.
  • Roast for 1 1/4- 1 1/2 hours until 165°.
  • Rest 10 minutes while finishing sauce.

SAUCE
2 Japanese pears, peeled, cored and chopped
3 large green onions, diced
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon creamed horseradish
1/2 cup heavy cream

  • Melt butter in sauce pan.
  • Add onions and pears cooking over low heat 20-25 minutes until pear pieces are very tender.
  • Transfer mixture to food processor.
  • Add the cream, horseradish and season with FRESH ground salt and pepper, blending until smooth.
  • Return to sauce pan and reheat until cooked through.
  • Serve over prepared rice.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY – week 2 of 2019

We took a little unplanned trip to the coast for a couple days last week right after a quiet New Year’s Eve and had a wonderful time.  MY BIL and SIL were supposed to be here for the New Year and bailed last minute so we decided a little fun was in order.  Traveling on New Year’s day was actually a FUN experience.  Our biggest issue for the entire trip was that a couple places we wanted to visit were National Parks and closed due to the governmental shut-down.

We were able to get a discounted room on the beach because of the last minute holiday time for the same price as a regular room anywhere else so we were ABSOLUTELY thrilled when it came with a balcony, ocean view and fireplace. The weather was GORGEOUS, the food was WONDERFUL and the scenery was FANTASTIC.  We came home to a beautiful mild end of the week while we finished de-decorating and cleaning up from Christmas.  The timing was PERFECT because by Friday night the weather had turned into a winter storm watch with LOTS of wind and we were inside once again.  At least it was a football playoff weekend and I tried a couple new recipes and got caught up on the laundry.

How was your New Year?

Be sure to link up with
Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy homemaker Monday

and with Laura at I’m an Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE & WHAT I’M WEARING The entire week looks pretty much the same – gray, 40’s, rainy, maybe some wind gusts… You know me it’s my daily Levis, a pink long sleeve t-shirt and my favorite lightweight sweatshirt with BIG fluffy socks!

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE Huckleberry Green Tea, Kiwi and granola

CRAFTS / PROJECTS Don’t laugh, but I’m actually working on a couple ideas for next Christmas.  I’m also working on getting all the pictures form all our trips the past year edited and the posts completed.  We realized with this last trip that EVERYWHERE we stayed in the past year was under some form of construction which made it a bit of a pain!

ON MY MIND / THINGS THAT ARE MAKING ME HAPPY We used up most of our back stores of Christmas gift tags, bags, ribbons and such this year so I ventured out a couple days after Christmas and into some awesome 75-90% off sales and was able to rebuild our stash for literally pennies on the dollar.  Certainly not something I do every year, but I scored BIG this year 😀

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA This little guy was obviously fed by the people before us!  The fireplace in our room worked so well that we actually had to leave the sliding glass door to the balcony open at night so we didn’t roast which LOL 😀 was such a hard ship to be lulled to sleep by the crashing waves 😀  On our first morning we awoke to this guy squawking LOUDLY!! from our balcony railing as he stared expectantly at us.  😀 LOL When it happened again on day 2 we knew he was expecting to be fed.

INSPIRATION

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

  • LAUNDRY… ALL caught up 😀 though as long as you’re wearing clothes and active this is a perpetual category!  I should just say that the hamper is not overflowing 😀
  • LIVING AREAS… ALL clean and neat except for a few Christmas boxes to be put away after the rain stops – I just don’t want anything wet to go into storage.
  • KITCHEN…  need to put away the dishwasher
  • YARD… nothing
  • BLOG… need to write up a couple new recipes and I’m still adjusting the party links to downsize the ones I participate in.  So many blogs have become too commercial and the ads as well as the layer of pages to get to the content have become just too much to bother with.  Last week alone I eliminated 8 party links.  Many blogs have been on breaks so I’m still evaluating this category and how to handle it.
  • CRAFTS/PROJECTS… just a bit of prep work on the new personalized Christmas gifts ideas before I pack them away for a few months
  • APPOINTMENTS… dentist
  • TO DO… finish updating my “Where I Like to Party” list and the same old, same old paperwork….

I’M READING I didn’t get much reading done this past week so I’m still reading: The Misadventures of Catie Bloom: a romantic comedy (Bloom Sisters Book 1) by Brooke Stanton

WHAT IS ON THE DVR, I LIKE OR ON THE LIST TO WATCH Shows are just starting back up after the holidays so not much on the DVR or list right now. We rented a couple movies this past week.

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

Essential Oils really work!

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

BREAKFAST

LUNCH

DINNER

DESSERT

MONDAY – FRIDAY

GREEN TEA,

BANANA & YOGURT

CHICKEN or TUNA SALAD

MONDAY

CARAPULCRA

TUESDAY

MEXICAN PORK ROAST

WEDNESDAY

THURSDAY

CHICKEN with TOMATOES & HONEY

FRIDAY

CARIBBEAN TURKEY

SATURDAY

CHICKEN with BABY PEAS

SUNDAY

FARMHOUSE CHICKEN CASSEROLE

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

 

EXTRACTS vs. EMULSIONS – a TUTORIAL

Recently a friend and I were debating the flavorings I was going to use in an upcoming recipe and it led us to question a couple definitions, specifically for extracts and emulsions used in baking.

The main difference between emulsions and extracts are that the emulsions are water based and not alcohol based. Yet they can be substituted 1:1 in a recipe. So how do you choose which to use and when to use it when so many meet your flavor needs while cooking and baking?  Best answer: you should choose an emulsion when you’re concerned about the flavor baking out of a recipe. Because they are water-based, bakery emulsions don’t evaporate as quickly as extracts, resulting in stronger aromas and tastes.

EXTRACT – an extract is a preparation containing the active ingredient of a substance in a concentrated form such as vanilla extract used in many cakes and cookies.    SYNONYMS: distillation, distillate, concentrate, essence, juice

EMULSION – I found SEVERAL definitions for emulsions:

  • A system (such as fat in milk) consisting of a liquid dispersed with or without an emulsifier in an immiscible liquid – liquids not forming a homogeneous mixture when added together.
  • A fine dispersion of minute droplets of one liquid in another in which it is not soluble or miscible.

But for me the most accurate definition I think is:

  • a mixture that results when one liquid is added to another and is mixed with it but does not dissolve into such as mixing oil and vinegar together which produces an emulsion.

Extracts and Flavors are great for both cooking and baking applications. Most extracts and flavors contain 45% alcohol by volume and require sufficient cooking time to evaporate the alcohol.

Use an extract or flavor in cookies, cakes, brownies, muffins, and other baked goods. You can also use extracts and flavors in homemade chocolates and candies.

Bakery Emulsions are water-based and alcohol-free versions of extracts. Use them the same way you would an extract but they are also especially great for flavoring frostings and other no-bake applications.

Bakery Emulsions have the same strength as extracts, so they can be substituted one to one in recipes. But conversely because they are water-based, bakery emulsions aren’t suitable for flavoring hard candies or chocolates.

I like the brands Cook’s and Lorann’s extracts and emulsions because they are fairly readily available in most specialty grocers.

Making your own vanilla extract is easy too.  Most recipes call for vodka, but I find flavored rums work really well to as do whiskeys.

VANILLA EXTRACT

6 whole Vanilla Beans
1 cup ALCOHOL of your choice

  • Slice the vanilla beans in half lengthwise with scissors or a knife, leaving a bit intact at the end just to make it pretty. Cut the beans down to fit the height of your jar.
  • Place beans in jar.
  • Cover with alcohol.
  • Screw the lid on tight or cork it and give it a good shake.
  • Place in a cool, dark place for at least 2 months. The longer it sits, the stronger the flavor will be. Be sure and give the jar a shake every week or so.

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.