Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Honey Gingered Chicken

I found this on FB and had to try it.  I made my own changes and am going to save the recipe and make again.  It was so super simple.  Next time though I think I’ll add a little soy sauce to the recipe.  It has an Oriental flavor and think it will make it even better.  I’ll let you know when  I make it.  I decided to make all 4 breasts and not cut it down since it is just for me.  I’m going to slice them and have them on top of salads for a couple of day.  They are good hot or cold.  

4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons honey (local honey)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons warm water
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 tsp. onion powder
2 chopped garlic cloves
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
Pinch of red pepper flakes for heat (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Place the chicken breasts into a sprayed baking dish. Salt and pepper them on both sides.

Put the honey, mustard, onion powder, water, ginger & crushed garlic (Pepper flakes if using. I’m using it because I like heat.) together in a mason jar.  Shake well.

Pour over the chicken breasts and let the run over and under the chicken so that both sides get coated.

Bake in the oven for 45 to 60 minutes depending on how big your chicken breasts are.

Drizzle pan juices over the top of the chicken when serving.

Garnish with chopped green onions.

You can also pan fry.  Heat up a frying pan and add the chicken breasts - dry fry them briefly to give them a bit of color and add the cooking sauce.  Cook for about 20 to 30 minutes over a medium heat.

Salad I made with left over cold ginger chicken breast.   Lettuce,  oranges, Ramen Oriental noodles, green onion.  Dressing was made with red wine vinegar, juice from canned oranges, soy sauce, salt and pepper and a bit of sugar. It was a terrific salad. 
There is no rule that says you have to use chicken breasts.  You can roast a whole chicken or cut up chicken.

We are finally in for a thaw today.  Looking forward to the day.  Hope you have a great one.  Be happy and may God bless you and yours.  

Monday, February 17, 2014

Iowa Ham Balls

Ham loaf is on sale and got it for $1.99 a pound.  I love ham balls for brunch, breakfast, lunch or dinner.  I’m making up 2 pounds and will bake and freeze half of them.  I’m sharing the recipe I use the most, but I like to vary it by adding different juice flavors for the glaze or sauce. 

2 pounds ham loaf
1 egg
1 cups milk (can use evaporated milk also)
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 cups graham cracker crumbs

1 can (10 3/4 ounce) tomato soup
¼ cup cider vinegar
2 ¼  cups packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Using your hands combine first 6 ingredients well. Form your meatballs into golf ball sized balls.  Place in a baking dish. Combine all of the remaining ingredients in a quart sized mason jar and shake until well mixed.  Pour over the balls.

Bake at 350° for 45 minutes, basting frequently with sauce.  

Variation -  Replace the tomato soup with orange juice, pineapple juice or your favorite juice (I've also done cranberry/raspberry juice).  I used cherry juice and pineapple juice for these and it is like a candied ham.  You may also replace the graham cracker crumbs with bread crumbs or rolled oats (use what you have in the house) or you don't even need filler.  

You can also make it into a loaf and bake it like a meatloaf.  Put the glaze on top of the loaf before baking.  Put a couple rings of pineapple and a cherry in each ring on top for a beautiful presentation.

More snow here today.  God is testing my patience and I'm working very hard to pass his test.  Have a great day, be happy and may God bless you and yours.  

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Huevos and Chorizo

Josh is home for the weekend so I get to feed a man.  Fixing Huevos and Chorizo (eggs and sausage).  Eddie used to love this too.  We would eat it the way I was taught in Milwaukee with no utensils.  We would just tear a piece of tortilla and pick it up that way.  Back then it was hard to find Chorizo in Maquoketa so we would make our own by adding a packet of taco mix to ground pork and fry it up.  It has been a very common dish for all of us ever since.  Here is my simple recipe.

1 pound of chorizo
6 eggs
1 cup of Mexican blend shredded cheese
Pinch of Kosher salt and pepper
Flour tortillas

Fry your sausage until it is completely done.  Put on paper towel and drain all the grease.

Clean the pan out with a paper towel to get rid of the grease. 

Scrabble your eggs well and add a pinch of salt and pepper.

Add a bit of oil (I used olive oil) to pre-heated pan.  Pour in your eggs, sausage and cheese and stir until mixture is almost dry. 

Take off the heat and let it finish cooking.  You don’t want the eggs too dry or over done.

Put your tortillas in the microwave and heat just until warm.  If you are only putting in 3 or 4 it should only take 15 or 20 seconds. 

You can either serve the tortillas on the side and make it an experience by tearing it apart into pieces and using it to pick up your huevos (eggs) or you can roll up the huevos and chorizo mixture in the tortilla and make a breakfast burrito.  You can add a bit more cheese before rolling it up. 

These save beautifully in the refrigerator and you can microwave them for breakfast the next day.  You can also freeze them and send them in a lunch for a person that has access to a microwave. 

Hope you have a wonderful Sunday.  Be happy and may God bless you and yours.  

Monday, February 10, 2014

Sunday Soup

I made what my daughter-in-law affectionately calls Sunday Soup last night for Sunday supper.  That is where the name comes from.  I've been known to make the soup a lot on Sundays and eat on it for several days.  It is a meal in itself and very satisfying on a cold winter’s day. 

It is my own version of a soup that the Machine Shed in Davenport makes that they call Baked Potato Soup.  I've always assumed they use left over baked potatoes from the day before.  I love their soup, but they add celery to theirs and I leave it out.  You can add it if you like.  You can also make it by using left over baked potatoes if you have any.  

2 to 3 pounds of small red potatoes (you can use what ever potato you have)
1 onion
1 pint of cream
1 pint of 2% milk
1 quart of chicken broth
2 tbs. dried parsley
Kosher salt
Black pepper
¼ tsp. nutmeg
3 tbs. butter
3 tbs. corn starch
1 pkg. of pre-cooked bacon
Grated cheddar cheese

Clean and slice your red potatoes.  I leave the skins on.  Slice about ¼ thick. 

Quarter you onion and put in food processor and chop.  Add a bit of butter to your soup pot and toss in your onions.  Cook until they are translucent (several minutes).

Put your pre-cooked bacon in the microwave and microwave for 30 seconds.  Using a kitchen scissors cut your back in about ¾ inch pieces over the onions.  Stir and add the chicken broth.  Add your sliced potatoes and cook until tender.  If you don’t have enough broth to cover the potatoes, add a bit of water until the potatoes are completely covered. The broth should be cold when you start the potatoes so they all cook evenly. 

When the potatoes are tender add your parsley, nutmeg, cream and milk.   Add salt and pepper to your taste.  I like lots of pepper in mine.  When it begins to just start to bubble, add a slurry of corn starch and water to thicken the soup.  Let it simmer a bit to make sure you don’t taste the corn starch. Taste one last time for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.   I add a bit more butter to the soup and give a final stir.

Serve hot and top your bowl of soup with shredded cheddar cheese.   I also serve with saltine crackers.

Variation - Replace the dried parsley with chopped spinach or kale for more nutrition, texture and color.  I often do.  I dried my own parsley this summer and wanted to use some of it up.  You can also replace the bacon with the cubed ham you can now buy already cut up for you and have a ham and potato soup.  

Another cold day but only 38 more days until spring.  Something to look forward to.  Until then, hope warm soup warms your day.  Be happy and may God bless you and yours. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Granny's Cinnamon Rolls

I made homemade bread last week and enjoyed it so much I decided to make rolls yesterday.   I tried a new recipe.  I also wanted them to look like hearts and they do if you really use your imagination.  Rising dough does its own thing.  I’m very happy with this recipe though.  Will take some to mom today and Eddie's tonight.  

1 cup warm water      
2 pkg. active dry yeast (2 tsp.)          
1 cup warm milk
1 tsp. granulated sugar + 2/3 cup sugar
1 ½ + ¼ cup brown sugar
2 tsp. salt
2/3 + ½ + ½ + 2/3 cups melted butter
2 eggs
7 to 8 cups flour        
3 tbs. cinnamon
Walnuts (Optional)   

4 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 stick of butter         
Hot water       

In a small bowl mix together warm water (not too hot or you will kill the yeast - 110° maximum), yeast, and 1 tsp. sugar and set aside to double in size. In another bowl, mix warm milk (again not too hot or you will kill the yeast – 110°), 2/3 cup sugar, 2/3 cup melted butter, salt, and eggs, stir well and add to yeast mixture.  Add half the flour and beat until smooth. Stir in enough of the remaining flour until dough is slightly stiff (dough will be sticky). Turn onto well floured board and knead 5 to 10 minutes or use dough hook and need with mixer (I'm blessed to have a mixer). Place in well buttered bowl, cover and let rise in warm place, free from drafts, until it has doubled in size, about 1 to 2 hours. When doubled, punch down dough and let rest 5 minutes.

Since it is winter, it takes longer to rise here in cold Iowa.  I turned on the oven to warm up the kitchen and set it near the stove (not on top of), but it still took 2 hours to rise.

Roll rested dough onto floured surface into a 15 x 20 rectangle.

Spread dough with ½ cup melted butter. Mix together 1 ½ cups of brown sugar and cinnamon, next sprinkle over buttered dough. Sprinkle with walnuts.  I sprinkled half with nuts and half without.  Some are not nut lover, but I am. 

Roll up into a roll and pinch edge together to seal. Cut into 12 to 15 slices (about 1 inch pieces).   Today I’m trying to make them heart shaped so I’m rolling up on the top and bottom sides to meet in the middle.   Pinch the roll together to look like a heart.

Coat the bottom of a cookie sheet with ½ cup melted butter.  Sprinkle with ¼ cup brown sugar.  Place cinnamon roll slices about an inch apart.  Let them rise in warm place until dough is doubled in size again, about 1 hour (still sat next to stove with oven on to help the rising).

 Bake in preheated oven at 350° for 25 minutes or until rolls are nicely browned. Cool rolls slightly.


Mix melted butter, powdered sugar and vanilla. Add hot water 1 tablespoon at a time until glaze reaches desired spreading consistency (you may use milk if you like).  If you make it real runny you can put it in a baggie and cut the tip off and just drizzle it over the rolls.  I made mine more like a frosting and spread it with a knife.  Spread over slightly cooled rolls. Makes 12 to 15 large cinnamon rolls.  I also added a little decoration by sprinkling candy hearts on top.  These are great a little warm.  You can always stick them in the microwave for 15 seconds the next day. 

Since it is for Valentines Day, I’m put a little red food coloring in for a pink glaze/frosting. 

The house smelled awful good with the smell of cinnamon and bread.  It improved my disposition considerably.   Hope you have a great weekend.  Be happy and may God bless you and yours.  

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Cucumber Sliders

Here is another idea for your Super Bowl party.   Guess what?  It has bacon.

8 oz. cream cheese (I like the whipped cram cheese)
¼ cup chopped green onion or chives
12 slices of cooked chopped bacon
4 oz. crab meat (you may substitute chopped shrimp)
Dried dill weed
½ tsp. onion powder
1 seedless cucumber

Clean cucumbers and with a potato peeler decorate the skin of the cucumber by peeling lines on the skin.  Slice your cucumber a little more than ¼ of an inch thick.

Lightly salt the cucumber and let it sit on paper plate or a paper towel.  Use a seedless cucumber.

Clean and chop your green onion or chives.  I prefer chives because it is more delicate and does not overwhelm the crab meat or cucumber.  Chop your fried bacon (this is a good time to buy that pre-cooked bacon).  I use a kitchen scissors for cutting the bacon and the chives.  I have smaller pieces and have a more controlled size.  You could also use real bacon bits in a jar.

Mix a package of cream cheese, chives or onions, bacon and crab. Season the mixture with salt, pepper and dill weed (not seed). Place a spoonful of cheese mixture on a slice of cucumber and top with another slice.  Garnish with chives and/or dill weed.  I like the dill because it just seems to go hand and hand with cucumbers and I have chives in the cheese mixture.

Variation:  Replace the crab with finely chopped deli roast beef or dried beef or with chopped shrimp.  I've also made something similar to this by scooping the center out of a thick cut slice of cucumber (a little over an inch thick) with a mellonballer.  Fill the centers with the mixture and just have little cups. 

Enjoy Super Bowl and Ground Hogs Day and be happy.  May God bless you and yours.  

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Avocado Deviled Eggs

I have never made deviled eggs to take to a party or pot luck and had to bring left overs home.  In fact, they are usually one of the first things eaten.  Here is a simple appetizer with a little green eggs twist to it.  

6 boiled eggs
1 avocado
3 tbs. mayo
1 tsp. lemon or lime juice
Salt and pepper

I put my eggs into cold water and turn on high.  When the water begins to boil, I turn down the heat to medium and set the timer for 10 minutes of boil time.  I immediately put under cold water and crack the eggs while they are still hot and then let them set for a short time.  They peel easily for me then.  Cut in half and pop the egg yolks out in a bowl.

Cut your avocado in half and deseed it.  Use a spoon to scoop out the meat of the avocado and mash it adding a tsp. of lemon or lime juice so it does not turn brown.

Mix avocado with your egg yolks and mash until there are little or no lumps.  Add the mayo, a pinch of onion powder and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Put back in the egg whites.  Top with a shake of paprika.

Variation – You know what would make this even better?  Add a small piece of bacon on top of it.  Oh yah, that’s the ticket.

How about a small shrimp on top and a cube of ham for green eggs and ham.  

We are getting some more of the white stuff so I'm in for the day with Saylor.  We made gluten free meatballs last night in barbecue sauce and today we are making football gluten free and dairy free football cookies.  We love playing in the kitchen. Hope you have fun playing in the kitchen.  Be happy and may God bless you and yours.