SLOW COOKED COUNTRY CHICKEN & GRAVY

SLOW COOKED COUNTRY CHICKEN & GRAVY

Slow cooked Country Chicken and Gravy is TRULY what easy comfort food is all about!! It is  absolutely ahhh-mazing!

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 packet DRY chicken gravy mix
1 packet DRY Good Seasons Italian Dressing Mix**(see notes)
1 – 10 oz. can cream of chicken soup**(see notes)
1 3/4 cups water or chicken broth**(see notes)
FRESH ground black pepper

  • Empty the gravy packets, cream of chicken soup, water and pepper in a slow cooker.
  • Whisk until the gravy is smooth.
  • Add chicken breasts in a single layer if possible.
  • Cook on low for 3-4 hours.
  • Serve over rice, pasta or mashed potatoes

NOTES:

  • You can interchange this packet for just about ANYTHING and get an entirely NEW dish. Try Hidden Valley Ranch, Pioneer Peppered Gravy or Lipton French Onion soup.
  • Try changing out the soup flavor also for a new and inventive flavor combination. Use cream of potato or cheddar cheese…
  • The chicken is so tender you can fork shred it into the sauce and make an entirely different dish!  Try adding some carrots or peas for color.
  • I usually have homemade chicken broth around and I prefer that over water. If I use broth I change this to 2 cups as the homemade broth has more body than store bought.
  • You can also add a quick cornstarch slurry at the end if you need to thicken up the sauce.

LOOSE MEAT BACON CHEESE BURGERS

LOOSE MEAT BACON CHEESE BURGERS

3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Heinz Chili Sauce
1 tablespoon Frank’s Original Hot Sauce
1 tablespoon Avocado oil
1/2 Sweet Vidalia Onion, finely chopped
1 pound ground beef chuck
6-8 slices bacon, chopped, browned and drained of grease
FRESH ground sea salt & black pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped sweet pickles
6 slices cheddar cheese
12 pull-apart dinner rolls

  • Preheat oven broiler.
  • Whisk together the mayonnaise, chili sauce and hot sauce. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
  • Heat the avocado oil in skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add the onion and ground beef. Season with the FRESH ground salt and pepper. Cook and stir until browned. Drain off excess fat if necessary.
  • Spread mayonnaise mixture on both sides of buns.
  • Remove from heat and stir in pickles and any remaining sauce.
  • Place bottoms of rolls on baking sheet and toast under broiler a couple minutes – WATCH that they don’t burn.
  • Remove baking sheet and turn oven down to 400°.
  • Spread the bottoms with cheese followed by the meat mixture.
  • Layer cheese on top of meat followed by the crumbled bacon.
  • Add tops to the burgers.
  • Bake 10 minutes until tops are toasted and cheese is melted.

NOTE: Also good with Frank’s Sweet Chili Lime Sauce.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 26 of 2019

Be sure to join us and 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.

GOOD MORNING dear friends.  It’s been a busy, but productive week here with pretty nice weather too.  We spent Saturday and Sunday helping our friends who are moving.  We’re not thrilled to be losing them as neighbors, but are excited for them and their new adventure in their bigger house that allows ALL the munchkins their own rooms and a pretty view too!  Personally I’m just excited they’ll have a place for the ellipitcal machine LOL 😀  Right now they have to put it where the skyilght is so hubby doesn’t hit his head on the ceiling.

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE & WHAT I’M WEARING I’m wearing levis and a comfy short sleeve t-shirt for today.  It does look like a GREAT week, but there is evidently a cool front moving in with the mid week storm as the temperatures are supposed to drop quite a bit on Thursday especially.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE This category has become a bit of a challenge again.  I’m 18 months post surgery and there is now a new specialist, an endocrinologist who is changing up my meds yet again to attempt to fix the new issues.  Unbeknownst to me, hypoglycemia is a common issue after bariatric surgery.  The issue here is that I only became a bariatric patient by default when the stomach was unsalvageable during a repair.  The doctor said that I’m having issues that normally happen to people after a decade or so after they have lost hundreds of pounds. But, since I DIDN’T HAVE hundreds of pounds to lose and fight to keep weight on now, my body is reacting differently and causing me problems now.  It really is uncharted territory for him and me too 😀  So, anyway I’m back to hot water and squeezable baby food in the mornings as we begin the experimentation process all over again.

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

  • LAUNDRYALL caught up as of yesterday 😀
  • LIVING AREAS... pretty clean, but need to vacuum
  • KITCHENdid a good clean yesterday after making lunch
  • YARDhubby is going to finish the gate repair
  • BLOGpretty caught up on recipes, but want to get back into a better blog routine
  • CRAFTS/PROJECTSstill haven’t started that Christmas garland, but want to get started on it as we’re into the last half of the year now and it will go by quickly.
  • APPOINTMENTSnails one day and dr. one day
  • TO DOhelp our friends move this week into their new house, look for some paperwork in storage, research

SOMETHING INTERESTING I WATCHED We watched Law Abiding Citizen with Gerard Butler and Jamie Foxx one night and I Am Mother with Hilary Swank, got caught up on Nascar racing and tried another episode of a new binge series Dead to Me with Christina Applegate, but aren’t sure if we’ll stick with it.

I’M READING Seaside Hearts Love in Bloom by Melissa Foster

WHAT IS ON THE DVR, I LIKE OR ON THE LIST TO WATCH It’s summer so the DVR is relatively empty most the time as we wait on the new fall scheduling.

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA There is a bunch of wildlife over near our friend’s new house and this guy stopped and posed for me.  The homeowner’s association has a serious rule about feeding ANY wildlife on or near your property.

And here is a picture of a new restaurant in a converted Victorian home that we tried last week to make up for last week’s favorite photo. The open sign looks so out of place in the cupola that it’s actually kinda cute. 😀

INSPIRATION & FUNNY

It’s funny because it’s true 😀

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK
MONDAY – Y.O.Y.O.
TUESDAY – OVEN BBQ CHICKEN with HERB SALAD & CREAMY BROILED TOMATO and CUCUMBER VINAIGRETTE
WEDNESDAY – SLOW COOKED COUNTRY CHICKEN & GRAVY & VEGGIES
THURSDAY – BAKED SOUR CREAM CHICKEN with RICE & SALAD
FRIDAY – BACON RANCH CHICKEN CASSEROLE & VEGGIES
SATURDAY – C.O.R.N.
SUNDAY – LOOSE MEAT BACON CHEESE BURGERS & SALAD

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

FEATURED PARTY LINKS FOR THIS WEEK

HONEY GARLIC CHICKEN ala SLOW COOKER

HONEY GARLIC CHICKEN ala SLOW COOKER

This recipe is ALWAYS a winner. Full of flavor and JUST spicy enough to please everyone at your dinner table.

8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1 cup Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup honey

3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped Thai basil

  • Lay chicken thighs into the bottom of a 4-quart slow cooker.
  • Whisk liquid aminos, ketchup, honey, garlic, and basil together in a bowl; pour over the chicken.
  • Cook on Low for 4 hours.
  • Serve over rice or noodles.

NOTE:  To spice this up I use Jalapeno ketchup instead of plain.

ROAST PORK with GARLIC ONION GRAVY

ROAST PORK with GARLIC ONION GRAVY

3-4 pound pork roast
1 bulb garlic, cloves peeled
3 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
1 tablespoon avocado oil
2 shallots, halved and sliced
2 carrots, halved and sliced thin
2 stalks celery, chopped
FRESH thyme sprigs
2+ cups chicken broth (preferably homemade and STRONG)
2 tablespoons Wondra flour
3 tablespoons cold water

  • Preheat oven to 325°.
  • Make as many slits in the roast as you have garlic cloves and insert 1 clove into each slit.
  • Rub roast with Cajun seasoning.
  • In a heavy skillet heat avocado oil.
  • Sear each side of roast until browned.
  • Remove roast from skillet adding to roasting pan.
  • Add carrots, onions and celery to skillet, sautéing 5-8 minutes until tender.
  • Arrange veggie mixture around roast.
  • Top with thyme sprigs.
  • Add 1 cup of the broth to roasting pan.
  • Cover loosely with foil.
  • Roast 45 minutes to an hour (145°).
  • Remove roast and arrange on platter, tenting with foil and let stand while you prepare the gravy.

  • Strain pan drippings through a sieve into a saucepan. Discard solids.
  • Add remaining broth to drippings.
  • Whisk together the cold water and Wondra flour.
  • Add flour mixture to pan drippings, whisking until smooth.
  • Cook over medium high heat 5 minutes until thickened to desired consistency.

HERBED TOMATO VINAIGRETTE

HERBED TOMATO VINAIGRETTE makes 16 ounces

1 shallot or 4 green onions, halved and sliced thin
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup FRESH torn basil leaves (VERY small pieces)
1/4 cup FRESH chopped Italian Parsley
1/4 cup FRESH chive pieces
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped tarragon
1 pound heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/8 cup Sherry Cream Sherry
1/4 cup QUALITY balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup Avocado oil
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • In a 16 ounce mason jar add shallot slices, minced garlic, basil pieces, parsley pieces, chives and tarragon with 1/2 of the tomatoes.
  • Add salt and pepper.
  • Drizzle in vinegar and oil.
  • Cover and shake vigorously.
  • Add remaining tomatoes and shake again.
  • Season to taste.

SPICY PIMIENTO CHEESE BURGERS – BUNLESS BURGER series #5

When I was a kid I remember driving by McDonalds and seeing their sign claiming how many burgers they had sold. It ALWAYS seemed like an exorbitantly high number to me, but these days I do believe hamburgers are one of the most eaten fast food and BBQ sandwiches.

I’d never really thought about it, but got curious about the origins of the hamburger. It will probably come as no surprise that the hamburger can actually be traced back to Hamburg, Germany. Ironically you almost have to give the credit to Russia though. In the mid 18th century Hamburg was the largest port in Europe and the seaman brought the idea with them of their acquired taste of eating steak tartare from Russia. But, even Russia cannot lay claim as it was the Mongul nomadic warriors that brought steak tartare with them from central Asia to Russia to begin with. The legend claims that the warriors would tenderize their meat by placing it under their saddles during their long rides where the motion of the saddle would tenderize the meat to a pulp and they would then enjoy the meat raw. I can find no mention of who actually decided to cook the meat into a “burger”. But according to my research it was the German immigrants brought the cooked burger to us here in the states.  The first North American restaurant to offer up a hamburger steak on their menu was DelMonico’s in 1834 New York. Strangely enough the hamburger steak sold for 10¢, double the price of roast beef and even veal. Eventually, people became more familiar with hamburgers and the price dropped as it became more a food of the masses when it was placed on a bun with the added condiments, tomatoes, pickles and was sold on horse drawn lunch wagons, at diners and lunch counters instead of the elite.

The one thing that everyone seems to agree on is that a good burger has a good amount of fat to keep the burger moist. LESS is more when preparing a GOOD burger. LESS ingredients and LESS handling – lets the meat speak for itself. 😀

PIMIENTO CHEESE BURGERS
1 – 1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
Pimiento cheese (recipe below)
melted butter

  • Preheat grill to high for direct grilling. Lightly spray the grill with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Divide the ground chuck into four equal portions, 4-6 ounces each.
  • Form each portion into a 3/4-inch burger and make a deep depression in the center with your thumb.
  • Brush both sides of the burgers with the butter and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
  • Grill the burgers, turning once until golden brown and slightly charred on both sides and cooked to desired temperature, about 4 minutes each side for medium.
  • During the last minute of cooking, place a dollop of the pimiento cheese mixture on top of each burger and close the grill lid, cooking JUST until the cheese has melted, about 1 minute.
  • Place the burgers on the buns (if desired) and top with the bacon, sliced red onions, sliced tomatoes, your favorite pickles and lettuce as desired.

SPICY PIMIENTO CHEESE
12 ounces softened cream cheese
1 pound SHARP Cheddar cheese, finely grated
3/4 cup Duke’s mayonnaise
1 large Red Bell Pepper, washed, seeded, roasted and chopped fine
1 teaspoon QUALITY Worcestershire sauce
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon Frank’s original Hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • Mix together the cream cheese, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, hot sauce and salt until smooth.
  • Blend in grated Cheddar cheese.
  • Fold in bell pepper until well distributed.
  • Chill well.
  • Serve with crackers or on a burger.

HONEY LIME COLESLAW

HONEY LIME COLESLAW

1/4 cup FRESH lime juice (3-4 limes)
1 tablespoon lime zest
2 tablespoons QUALITY honey
1 clove garlic, minced
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons Avocado oil
1 small head red cabbage, shredded
1 cup shredded carrots
1 small bunch green onions, sliced thin
1/2 cup FRESH chopped cilantro or parsley

  • Whisk together the lime juice, lime zest, honey, garlic, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
  • Gradually whisk in oil until well blended.
  • In a large bowl toss together the cabbage, carrots, green onions and cilantro or parsley.
  • Pour honey mixture over cabbage mixture and toss to coat.
  • Cover and refrigerate for AT LEAST 2 hours.

ROOT BEER FLOAT BROWNIES

ROOT BEER FLOAT BROWNIES

START TO FINISH PREP & BAKING 2 HOURS, but oh so worth it!!

1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 cups unsweetened baking cocoa
4 LARGE eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 sticks butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon root beer extract

  • Preheat oven to 325°.
  • Spray 8 inch baking pan with non-stick baking spray.**
  • In a small sauce pan melt butter and chocolate chips until mixture can be stirred together smoothly. Remove from heat
  • Stir in the eggs and root beer extract.
  • In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa and the salt.
  • Stir together the wet and dry mixtures JUST until combined, but not lumpy.
  • Pour batter into pan.
  • Bake 50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  • COOL completely!!!! before glazing.

FROSTING

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon root beer extract
2 tablespoons STRONG root beer
QUALITY French Vanilla Ice Cream

  • In a small bowl whisk together powdered sugar and cocoa.
  • Add root beer and whisk until smooth.
  • Pour glaze over brownies.
  • Cut into squares.
  • Top with a scoop of ice cream & Enjoy!

NOTE:** I like to use my square springform pan to make life easier.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 25 of 2019

Be sure to join us and 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.

GOOD MORNING I hope you had a WONDERFUL Father’s Day weekend full of family and FUN.  Ours was quiet and we had brunch out for father’s day at a fun new place (to us) – a restored Victorian home turned restaurant, watched a couple movies and made a few tentative trip plans.

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE & WHAT I’M WEARING This week is looking like it will be GORGEOUS!  We’re taking the day to play and run errands in a neighboring town so I’m dressed for comfort in my favorite Levis and a navy flowing blouse with sandals.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE was weak coffee and peach yogurt

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

  • LAUNDRY… ALL caught up or at least as caught up as you can be while you’re breathing, wearing clothes, using towels…
  • LIVING AREAS… pretty good
  • KITCHEN… pretty good
  • YARD… pretty good
  • BLOG… some more recipe updating and need a plan to get back into daily blogging beyond recipes
  • CRAFTS/PROJECTS… I did get the garland supplies down and in arm’s reach, but have yet to start
  • APPOINTMENTS… a few Tuesday and Wednesday…
  • TO DO… hubby is going to do some repairs to the new gate, paperwork, research

I’M READING I need to start a new book, but have yet to figure out which one!

WHAT IS ON THE DVR, I LIKE OR ON THE LIST TO WATCH We watched a cute and fun  Adam Sandler and Jennifer Anniston movie, Murder Mystery , an episode of Dead to Me with Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini as well as started season 3 of Jessica Jones.

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA I have to get some pictures this week!

INSPIRATION & A FUNNY

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

MONDAY – Y.O.Y.O.
TUESDAY – PIMIENTO CHEESE BURGERS & SALAD with HERB TOMATO VINAIGRETTE
WEDNESDAY – C.O.R.N.
THURSDAY – HONEY GARLIC CHICKEN with RICE & PEAS
FRIDAY – CHICKEN and GRAVY with MASHED POTATOES & GREEN BEANS
SATURDAY – LOOSE MEAT BURGERS and SALAD
SUNDAY – SMOKED PORK CHOPS & SAUERKRAUT with  SALAD

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

FEATURED PARTY LINKS FOR THIS WEEK

MALASADAS – PORTUGUESE DOUGHNUTS

These Portuguese doughnuts were made famous by Leonard’s Bakery in Honolulu, O’ahu. They are rolled in granulated sugar and filled with a delectable macadamia nut pastry cream. AND YOU CANNOT EAT JUST ONE!! 😀 But next time hubby requested a chocolate or Bavarian cream filling.

MALASADAS yields about 2 dozen doughnuts

DOUGH
3/4 cup warmed whole milk
3/4 cup evaporated milk
3 tablespoons UNSALTED butter, melted
.50 ounces active dry yeast, (2- .25 ounce packages)
3/4 cup + 1 teaspoon sugar, plus more for dusting
3 LARGE eggs
4 cups bread flour
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Avocado or canola oil

  • Combine both milks, butter, yeast and 1 teaspoon of the sugar and whisk together in a large bowl.
  • Let the mixture sit 10 minutes until yeast is activated and foamy.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the eggs and the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar together for 2-3 minutes on medium until light and fluffy.
  • Turn the speed to low and alternately add flour and milk slowly.
  • Add the salt and change to your dough hook. Gradually turn the speed up to medium high and knead, about 5 minutes until dough is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
  • Generously grease the work bowl and return the dough to the bowl.
  • Loosely cover the bowl with cheesecloth, set in a draft free warm corner for 1-2 hours until dough doubles in size.

 

  • Lightly grease a large length of parchment paper.
  • On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough 1/2 inch thick.
  • Using a 3 inch biscuit cutter, cut out as many doughnuts as you can. Gather and reuse the remaining dough until there isn’t enough left. Place rounds 3 inches apart on parchment paper as you go. You will be cutting this paper apart so that each donut is on its own sheet of parchment.
  • Cover with cheesecloth and set aside to rise for an hour or so until double in size.

 

  • Fill a shallow bowl with sugar and set aside.

 

  • Fill a wide dutch oven with 2 inches of oil.
  • Heat the pot over medium heat until oil.
  • Cut apart the parchment paper so that each donut is on its own square.
  • Working in batches (DO NOT CROWD THE PAN) place doughnuts in pan paper side up. Peel paper off with tongs.
  • Cook, flipping only once, 2-3 minutes per side until puffed and golden.
  • Transfer to wire rack to cool 5 minutes before tossing in bowl of sugar to coat.

PASTRY CREAM
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups whole milk
6 LARGE egg yolks, lightly beaten
1/4 cup cornstarch
pinch of salt, to taste
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
1/2 cup passion fruit juice

  • In a saucepan 1/4 cup sugar and the milk heating over medium heat several minutes until it begins to steam.
  • Remove from heat immediately.
    In a medium mixing bowl whisk remaining sugar, egg yolks, cornstarch and eggs together until smooth.
  • Ladle 1/4 cup of the hot milk into the egg mixture slowly, whisking the entire time to temper the mixture.
  • Add tempered mixture back into the saucepan, cooking over medium heat whisking constantly until thick, 3-4 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla, butter, passion fruit juice and continue to whisk until smooth.
  • Pour filling into a large glass mixing bowl and cover with saran wrap making sure saran wrap touches the cream mixture (this prevents that yucky custard skin that forms on the top of the bowl.
  • Set bowl in larger bowl of ice water to cool.

GLAZE (optional)
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract

  • Whisk together 2 cups powdered sugar, 1/4 cup milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla until smooth.
  • When the doughnuts are cool enough to handle, dip into the glaze; if you like, flip them so the tops they’re completely covered.
  • Put on racks to let the glaze harden.

ASSEMBLY

  • Use a paring knife to cut a slit into one side of each doughnut.
  • Fill a pastry bag with a medium round tip and the chilled pastry cream.
  • Pipe about 2 tablespoons of pastry cream into each doughnut.
  • Lightly dip tops in glaze and place on parchment paper until glaze is set.

PEPPERED COLESLAW

PEPPERED COLESLAW
3 1/2 cups shredded green cabbage
3 1/2 cups shredded purple cabbage
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
1 small bunch green onions, thinly sliced
1/3 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon milk
2 tablespoon sugars
GENEROUS portion FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sesame seeds

  • Toss green and purple cabbage in a large bowl.
  • Add in carrots and green onions.
  • Whisk together mayonnaise, champagne vinegar, milk, sugar, salt, pepper and sesame seeds until well blended.
  • Pour mayonnaise mixture over cabbage mixture and toss to coat well.