Monday, December 28, 2015

Chicken and Dumplings

 Chicken and Dumplings

1 tablespoon olive oil
6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 2 pounds)
kosher salt and black pepper
4 stalks celery, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves or 2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 bay leaves
10 cups of water

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, plus more for serving

1) Heat olive oil in large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Brown in batches, 4-6 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate, reserve the pot.
2) Add the celery, carrots, onions, thyme, and garlic to the drippings in the pot and cook, stirring until the vegetables begin to soften. (About 5-7 minutes) Add the chicken, bay leaves, and 10 cups of water. Bring to a simmer and cook until the chicken is cooked through, 25-30 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and transfer the chicken to a plate; let it cool. Shred the chicken with two forks and return it to the pot. Discard the skin and bones.
3) Whisk together 1/2 cup of the flour, and 2 cups of the cooking liquid, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly whisk the flour mixture back into the pot and simmer until slightly thickened, about 8-10 minutes. Add the chicken back to the pot.
4) Make the dumplings: Whisk together the remaining 2 cups of flour, the baking powder, baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter. Add buttermilk and mix with fork. Add flour as needed, and kneed dough.
5) Roll & cut dumplings into squares. Place dumplings in simmering pot, stir to submerge as needed. The dumplings will float to the top when they are cooked.
6) Serve with chopped parsley on top for garnish, if desired.
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Italian Ricotta Cookies

Italian Ricotta Cookies

2 sticks of softened butter
1 ¾ cups sugar
15 oz Ricotta Cheese
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons vanilla
4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda

1 ½ cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
4-5 tablespoons milk

Cream the butter and sugar together until well combined. Add in the ricotta, eggs, and vanilla and mix until well combined. In a separate bowl, mix your flour, baking powder, and baking soda together – mix well before adding it to the wet ingredients. Add about ½ cup of the flour into the wet mixture, and mix until combined. Repeat, until all of the flour is mixed into the wet ingredients. The original recipe says to use a small cookie scoop to make balls roughly 1 teaspoon in size. I used my medium sized scoop so they are slightly larger. The 1 tsp size baking time is 8-10 minutes, and for my larger ones it’s about 15 minutes – I have a gas oven which tends to need a little more time than electric ovens. You want the cookies to just barely be brown on the bottom… just lightly brown. 

After they are all cool, mix your ingredients for the glaze. Use a cookie rack, and dip the tops of each cookie in the glaze – then top them with sprinkles. Work quickly, and sprinkle after glazing because it dries really quickly. Enjoy!
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Christmas Punch

Christmas Punch

1 bag fresh cranberries (frozen)
1 container frozen limeade concentrate
2 liters ginger ale
64 oz cranberry apple juice
1 bottle of sparkling apple cranberry cider

Mix all together. We used our punch decanter rather than the punch bowl I used last year. The entire thing was gone by the end of the day - with just 6 people in the house. If you're making for a larger group, I'd double or triple everything. The cranberries are really festive, and help keep everything cool.
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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Wild Rice Stuffed Pork Chops


Wild Rice Stuffed Pork Chops
Adaped From: Betty

1 teaspoon butter or margarine
1/3 cup finely chopped celery
1 medium green onion, finely chopped (1 tablespoon)
1 cup cooked wild rice
1 tablespoon sliced almonds
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
4 pork loin chops, 1 inch thick (2 1/2 lb)
1/3 cup apricot preserves
1 tablespoon dry white wine or apple juice
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In 8-inch skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Cook celery and onion in butter, stirring frequently, until celery is crisp-tender. Stir in rice, almonds, salt and pepper until well blended.
  • Cut a deep pocket horizontally in each pork chop on the meatiest side of the bone. Press about 1/3 cup stuffing into each pocket. Secure openings with toothpicks. In small bowl, mix apricot preserves, wine and cinnamon.
  • Bake for about 30-45 minutes or until it reaches 160 degrees internally, brushing occasionally with preserves mixture and turning 2 or 3 times, until pork is tender and slightly pink when cut near bone on the unstuffed sides of chops. Remove toothpicks. Discard any remaining preserves mixture. 
  • We served it with the extra wild rice because we only made 2 chops, and a side of sauteed spinach and mushrooms with a little bit of garlic and balsamic vinegar.
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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Black Bean & Corn Salsa

Black Bean & Corn Salsa
1 – 15 OZ Can of Black Beans (drained & rinsed)
1 – 15 OZ Can of Whole Kernel Corn (drained)
1 – 10.5 OZ Can of Rotel (drained)
¼ c. Red Bell Pepper - Minced
½ c. Red Onion - Minced
¼ c. Fresh Cilantro – Finely Chopped
¼ c. Jalapeno – Minced (optional)
Salt, Pepper & Garlic Powder to taste

1/3 c. Red Wine Vinegar
1/3 c. Vegetable Oil
1/3 c. Lime Juice

Mince the Red Bell Pepper, Red Onion & Jalapeno (if using) and place them in a mixing bowl.  Next, chop up the cilantro and leave it on the cutting board – we will add this later.  Open all cans and begin by draining and rinsing the black beans.  Once the black beans are drained and rinsed, add them to the mixing bowl.  Continue with the corn & the Rotel in the same manner until all 3 cans of ingredients are in the mixing bowl.

Measure all of your liquids for the dressing into a 2 cup measuring cup and once they are all in (1/3 c. of each), use a small whisk or a fork to mix them together well.  Pour the mixture over the bowl of ingredients.

Add the cilantro to the top and stir to mix all ingredients and incorporate the cilantro and dressing.  Taste and add salt/pepper/garlic powder as desired.  Enjoy by the spoonful, or on a corn tortilla chip.

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