"Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time." Marthe Troly-Curtin

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken

This is hands down the most wonderful Sweet and Sour Recipe EVER!

This version is from Taste and Tell..which is actually the method I used.
Author: Deborah
Serves: 4-6 servings
2 to 2½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1 cup cornstarch

3 eggs, lightly beaten

¼ cup vegetable oil

1 cup sugar
6 tablespoon ketchup
¾ cup apple cider vinegar
1½ tablespoons soy sauce
1½ teaspoons garlic powder

Cut the chicken into bite-sized chunks. Season with salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 325ºF.
Put the cornstarch in a shallow bowl, I used a zip lock bag. Put the eggs in a separate bowl. Place the oil in a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Working in batches, dredge the chicken in the cornstarch, then dip in the egg. Add to the hot oil and brown on all sides. You do not need to cook the chicken through, just brown the outside to get a crispy exterior. Transfer the chicken to a 9x13-inch baking dish and continue with the remaining chicken.
In a bowl, combine the sugar, ketchup, cider vinegar, soy sauce and garlic powder. Pour the sauce over the top of the chicken.
Bake the chicken for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Serve over prepared rice.

Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Maple Oatmeal Pie


Pastry for Pie crust or graham cracker crust

2 eggs, slightly beaten
¾ cup pure maple syrup
½ cup sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup milk
½ cup butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flaked coconut
¾ cup rolled oats
½ cup chopped walnuts

Cinnamon whipped cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 375. Prepare pastry crust or graham cracker crust. Set aside.

For filling: In a large bowl, combine eggs, maple syrup, sugar, brown sugar, milk, butter and vanilla. Stir in coconut, rolled oats, and walnuts. Pour filling into unbaked pie shell.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool on wire rack. Cover and refrigerate within 2 hours
Cinnamon Whipped Cream: in a chilled bowl combine 1 cup whipping cream, 2 tbsp powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla and ½ tsp ground cinnamon. Beat on medium speed with electric mixer until soft peaks form.

Spring Harvest Maple Farm

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Apple Butter Pan Bread

This is a very basic "tea" bread recipe.  I didn't add apple butter to the batter, but you can, just decrease the milk by the amount you are adding.

2 1/2 cup Gold Metal Flour
1       cup Sugar
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1       teaspoon salt
3       tablespoons salad oil
1 1/4 cup milk
1       egg
1       teaspoon vanilla

2 to 3 tablespoons apple butter

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour one 9" to 10" cast iron skillet.  Beat egg and sugar until light, add salt and vanilla, slowly add the oil, one tablespoon at a time.  With mixer on low, slowly add flour alternating with milk.  Pour batter into prepared pan drizzle apple butter over the top of the batter, using a knife pull the apple butter through the batter.  Place pan in oven and bake for about 35 minutes depending on the size skillet you are using.

Once bread is done, remove from pan or serve while warm.  Bread will continue to bake if you leave it in the hot pan and will dry out quickly.  Top with Fried Apples and whipped cream.

Fried Apples

3 medium Granny Smith Apples, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) melted butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons white sugar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons Apple Butter

Melt butter in medium hot skillet, add sliced apples and coat with butter add lemon juice.  Fry apples until they start to slightly soften.  Add sugars and stir until a thick syrup starts to form.  Add Apple Butter and cook until it is blended and syrup is still thick.
Serve warm.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Crockpot Apple Butter

Fall has arrived and boxes of apples are showing up at every festival.  We are lucky enough to have a local guy that goes to northern Missouri and brings back a huge trailer of five (5) different kinds. This year I bought three (3) different kinds to share with the family.  Fuji, Red Delicious and Granny Smith.  This recipe has some of each kind.  I don't think it really matters that much what type you use, they all cook down into a wonderful sauce.

Here is what I did..

Get that crockpot out!  Next, you will need five (5) to six (6) pounds of apples not pealed.
I have an apple slicer that cores and cuts the apples into eight (8) even slices.. 

 Once the apples are cored and sliced, it's time to dice into 1/2" cubes.  You should have enough apples to almost fill your pot.

In a separate bowl add:
1 1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cup brown sugar (I used a mix of light and dark because that is what I had)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
Mix thoroughly making sure all the lumps are gone.  Throw the mixture over the apples and mix coating the apples.

Cover crockpot and cook for an hour or two on high.  Stir and turn pot to low, cover and cook for at least eight hours.  If there is too much liquid cook tilt the lid creating an air gap letting the moisture escape or cook off.
When apples reach the desired thickness, process the apples with a blender, food processor or smart stick until smooth.

Now to finish,  add 1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract and 4 tablespoons of real butter.  Stir until incorporated.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Turkey Shepherd's Pie My Version

This is a very forgiving dish to make.  There are so many shortcuts you can take to get it in the oven sooner!  I will try and list them as I go.  List of what you need is at the bottom.  Just a note, do not make your gravy too thick.  Dish will thicken as it bakes.  Hopefully I haven't left anything out..
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

I started out with a 3/4 pound turkey tenderloin.  Seasoned and lightly dusted with flour.  Heat skillet with a couple tablespoons of oil, when skillet is hot add meat and brown on both sides.  When browning is complete add one small onion diced.  When onions become soft, add one can of chicken stock and 1/3 cup diced celery, cover and simmer until meat reaches 165 degrees internal temp.. (14.4 oz)  I used Swanson.
Short cut.... you can use left over turkey or chicken diced up and skip this step.

When turkey is done put it on a plate to cool, then dice into bite size pieces.
(Sorry the picture is SO bad)

While turkey is cooking get the rest of your veggies ready.  Peal and dice enough potatoes that when mashed will at least cover the outer ring of your CI skillet.  I diced up a couple carrots, minced a couple cloves of garlic and sliced a handful of button mushrooms.  The mushrooms will add some color to the broth you can also add a teaspoon of Kitchen Bouquet Browning and Seasoning Sauce for a rich brown gravy.

Short cut:  Use up your left over mashed potatoes and frozen veggies.

Once your turkey is done and cooling add your cut up veggies to the remaining broth and simmer until veggies start to get soft.  You may have to add additional water to your pan to make sure there will be enough liquid to make gravy.  This is when I added parsley and thyme to the broth.  Taste and season.  I added L.B. Jamison's Chicken Flavored Soup Base.
In a separate skillet, melt 1/4 cup of butter, add a small diced onion and the two cloves of minced garlic. Cook until onions become golden brown.  Add 1/4 cup of flour to make a Roux (see link for detailed instructions)  Reduce heat on the pan of veggies and roux making sure it gets completely dissolved.  Mixture so thicken slowly.  If mixture gets too thick add either water or more chicken stock.  When it gets to desired thickness turn off heat.

Short Cut:  You can use canned gravy.

To make mashed potatoes that won't fall about while baking.  Drain potatoes when done, about 20 minutes.  In small bowl, break a large egg and add 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup milk.  Whisk together and add to potatoes and quickly mash.  Top veggie mixture with potatoes and bake until potatoes start to brown.  Top with cheeses of your choice.  Serve.

You might want to add a drip pan below your CI skillet to prevent dripping in your oven.  

What you need for turkey:
2 to 3 tablespoons veggie oil
3/4 pound of turkey tenderloin (Yield: About 3 cups diced turkey)
1 small onion diced
1/2 cup diced celery
salt and pepper to taste

3 medium carrots diced (Not canned)
2 cups of frozen peas (Not canned)
1 cup sliced button mushrooms
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried parsley
Chicken soup base to taste

6 to 8 medium potatoes peeled and cubed
salt for boiling water
1 large egg
1/4 to 1/3 cup milk

1/4 cup butter melted
1 small onion diced
1 cloves garlic minced
1/4 cup flour

Cheese of your choice

Monday, October 5, 2015

Sriracha Parmesan Chicken Tenders

We are going through a spicy food stage in our house right now.  Sriracha is the new love of my life.  Husband and I both enjoy the regular Chicken Parmesan but lets face it, it can be a little boring.  This is my solution to that problem.

I have to say that the smell coming out of my oven was amazing and better yet, it tasted amazing.  My rule when using Sriracha is 1 teaspoon per 1/3 cup of mayo. This might be a little MUCH for some...adjust accordingly.

I am cooking for two and I used 4 tenders that were medium to small.  The sauce will cover at least 6 to 8 tenders.

Preheat Oven 350 degrees
1 cup            Real Mayonnaise
3 teaspoons  Sriracha Sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1/2 cup          Parmesan Cheese
Add all ingredients to a small bowl and mix completely.

You will also need:
1/3 to 2/3 cups Panko Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs
1/3 cup Caramelized Diced Onions**
1/8 to 1/4 cup thinly sliced green or red pepper

Spray an oven proof pan with Pam.  I used an 9 inch glass pie plate.

I did not caramelize the onions on this batch, my opinion, caramelized onions  "the winner".

Spread about 1/2 of the sauce on the bottom of the pan, (if you are using caramelized onions add 1/2 of the onions now). next add the tenders.  Paint the tenders with the remaining sauce (if using caramelized onions add remaining onions now).  Sprinkle top with Panko Italian Seasoned Bread crumbs.  Amount will vary with the number of tenders being made.  Be generous.  Top with thinly sliced green/red peppers.

Place in oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes.   (Use an instant digital Cooking or Meat Thermometer for the proper temperature of 165 degrees F). To finish off, turn on broiler and place tenders under broiler until bread crumbs are golden brown.


Saturday, October 3, 2015

Oatmeal Cream Whoopie Pies

We have discovered Whoopie Pies!  Making them has been a bit of an adjustment, the soft break a part cookies are something new for me to get used to..  The flavor is fantastic, they are just so darn soft.

I followed the recipe below with just a couple exceptions..I used light brown sugar (what I had) and Molasses instead of honey.

One other thing I have to note.  Most of the recipes I am seeing do not specify the size of eggs used.  I only keep Large eggs in my kitchen.  I believe this recipe is best suited to use Medium eggs.  The size of the eggs used will determine how much flour is used.  I should have used 2 cups of flour instead of the 1-3/4 cup.

Also, don't freak out when you see how much the cookie spreads out when baking.

Macaroni and Cheesecake Recipe


1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. honey
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer cream together the butter, brown sugar, and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, honey and vanilla and beat until incorporated.

In a separate medium sized bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Slowly add the flour mixture into the butter mixture and mix just until incorporated. Stir in oats until evenly distributed. Transfer dough to a large mixing bowl (this is so you can use stand mixer bowl for the frosting) and chill in refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Remove dough from refrigerator and drop by tablespoons onto baking sheet (or even a bit smaller for smaller cookies). Bake for 8 to 10 minutes just until the edges start to brown. Cookies will seem moist in the middle but they will set up. Cool on baking sheet until set and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Once cool, on the underside of one cookie spread the Cream Cheese frosting and top with another cookie. Store in an airtight container.

Whipped Cream Cheese Filling

8 oz.  Cream Cheese (Room Temp)
1/2 cup (1 stick) Butter (Room Temp)
2+ cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Start out by whipping the cream cheese until light, add butter and continue to whip.  You will know when it's ready, it becomes very light and smooth.  Add vanilla and slowly start adding the powdered sugar until soft peaks form.