Sunday Sup: Curried Chicken Salad

One last recipe from “dumb and fat” with a few modifications.

Curried Chicken Salad

Mix 1 heaping teaspoon curry paste (I used mild, but totally your call), 1 tbsp Mango Chutney, and 1/4 c greek plain yogurt. Stir, stir, stir.

Add one can drained chunk chicken (12 oz, or left over chicken chopped, whatever you got on hand).

Add a chopped celery stick, 4 dried apricots chopped, and a handful of slivered almonds.

Stir, stir, stir.

You can serve this nicely on a bed of fresh spinach but mine was all bad when I pulled the bag out, so I ate it with Almond crackers. Very tasty.

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Sunday Sup: Jalapeño Poppers

I don’t know how I haven’t posted this one before. Maybe I just haven’t made them in the months I have been posting recipes? That could be possible. Anyway, Fourth of July I went to a BBQ at my back neighbors. They do this BBQ potluck and fireworks thing every year. Anyway, this year my neighbor asked me to bring baked beans. Ok, I made those, and I threw together a fruit salad, yes, that fruit salad on the recipe list.

But then at dinner, I almost got lynched. Where were the poppers? How dare I come without poppers?

Oh mi. So I made them that weekend.

Jalapeño Poppers

Grab some jalapeños. As many as you like. I usually make a huge batch because once I am prepping this mess, I might as well fill the pan.

If you have sensitive skin, use gloves.

Cut the stem end off, slice them in half, scrape out the seeds. Now I usually cut the jalapeño down to bite size but you can leave them as large as you like.

Fill the available space with cream cheese. Use good cream cheese. Not chemically laced Philly.

Wrap the pepper in bacon. I like to cut a strip of bacon in half the long way so that I can wrap it many times, thinly with little over lap.

Fill your rimmed cookie sheet. Bake at 250 for 3 to 4 hours. You want the bacon fully crisped and the pepper wrinkled into softness. I know 3-4 hours is a wide range but size of pepper and thickness of bacon will really effect cooking time. You’ll want to pull them out of the pan of bacon grease pretty quick after taking them out of the oven.

So I was pretty lax in numbers here. It depends so much on the size of the pepper. But let’s say 10 whole large peppers will take 12 oz cream cheese and a pound of bacon, give or take a little.

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Sunday Sup: Beef, it’s what’s for dinner

Anyone remember those commercials from back in the day? oh man. It’s summer, so I’ve been purging the house. I stacked up quite a few cookbooks I never use to be sold to the used bookstore. I cherry picked a few recipes that looked ok for an attempt to justify the cookbook’s existence. LOL.

This one is called Beef en daube from the “you’re dumb and fat” cookbook my mum gave me years ago.

Preheat oven to 350.

Get out your dutch oven if you have one or any other pot that goes in the oven and on the stove, otherwise use a skillet and casserole dish.

Brown 1 1/2 pounds stew meat in the dutch oven/skillet. Toss in 8-10 shallots, peeled but whole, depending on size as the meat is browning. 4-5 minutes total. If you’re using a dutch oven, carry on, otherwise transfer meat and shallot to your casserole dish.

Add: 1 c red wine, 1/2 c chicken stock, 1 medium tomato chopped, 1 tsp minced garlic, 2 c sliced mushrooms, 10 baby potatoes chopped as small as the meat. Cover and pop into the oven.

Cook about an hour. I checked after 45 minutes and felt it needed another 15.

When done, drain the juice into the skillet, warm over medium heat and add a small amount of corn starch slurry until it thickens slightly. (corn starch slurry: remove a small amount of the juice, add 1 tsp corn starch, stir til smooth, add back to the pan.)

Serve meat and veg with sauce you just made. I forgot to take pictures, we were watching The Peanuts Movie, and I was distracted.

Sunday Sup: Lazy Man’s Potato Skins

It’s been hot, for like 4 whole days we saw 80 plus. Woohoo.

But that means I don’t really want to cook. So what to make for family movie night, that’s like going to the movies, without running the oven. Hrm…

Lazy Man’s Potato Skins were born.

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I shop a lot at Trader Joe’s, but if you don’t have one locally, I am sure you can find something like this in your own local store. If all else fails, use tater tots, but you have to actually cook those so it kind of defeats the purpose.

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Ok so pop a hash brown on the microwave safe plate, pop it in the micro for 45 seconds. Flip it over. Add cheese (Gruyeres on this one) and bacon. Micro 30-45 more, until the cheese is melted. Top with sour cream.

 

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 If you want to get fancy….try with pesto chicken, bacon, sun dried tomatoes, and parm.

 

Sunday Sup: Brunch

Every year things get mad busy at the end of April. It’s my Father in law’s birthday, followed two days later by my husband’s birthday, followed four days later by my son’s birthday. This always lends itself to a big family to do. And since the unfortunate demise of my MIL, I host. (If you know astrology at all, you know the above means I frequently have 3 Taurus’s in my house.)

So this year the “party” was a Sunday brunch at the request of my FIL. I’ve made many of these dishes before and I’ll link to my previous version of the recipe. The only thing I made a head of time was the bacon wrap dates. I prepped those the night before. Everything else was done in about 2 hours the morning of the event. With so much time to spare I made gf, sf, egg free, nut free, blueberry muffins for my class the next day at the same time as this brunch.

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Starting with a platter of those chocolate raspberry thumbprint cookies and the fixins for Bloody Mary’s and Mimosas…That’s peach sparkling wine, FYI, it was divine with the OJ. The little bottle is Cassis. It’s a Dutch thing you serve children at parties.

 

Moving on to the mains:

Bacon, Broccolini, Gruyere frittata

Citrus Salmon with orange salsa – straight from Jess at How Sweet Eats, no modifications save the size of my salmon.

Chocolate Banana Muffins – from Paleomg, I made some mods thought. Tj’s flour for one. Butter instead of coconut oil. I use Lily’s chocolate chips. And I left out the walnuts because I was out. LOL

Bacon wrapped dates

Goat Cheese and Beet Salad – This one is easy and people love it. Buy a bag of arugala, wash it, throw half a good amount in a bowl. Chop up two of the little boxes of steamed baby beets, toss onto arugala. Sprinkle a hefty amount of goat cheese on top. Drizzle with a rich balsamic. Done and people think you’re snazzy.

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Sunday Sup: Secretly Lazy Dinner

You ever have one of those days? You are just wiped out. And you don’t really have a good justification for it, you just are. So you know you have to produce some kind of dinner, because you don’t have a reason not to. Smiles. Secret weapon time.

I’m going to show you the pic first this time. Because the presentation is half of getting away with this dish. IMG_20170409_180442

Doesn’t it look pretty? You’d never know I spent 9 minutes on this.

Whip a box of Beechers Brown rice and kale gratin out of the freezer. (Plan ahead people.) Pop that in the micro for it’s 6 minute run. Chop some left over chicken or if you are me, grab that bag of precooked sliced chicken you always have in your fridge (just in case) and chop some of that. Pull out your bag of real bacon bites (Costco is amazing) and a really good quality parm. I get mine from River Valley Cheese.

When the micro dings, you have to pull off the plastic wrap and put it back in for 90 seconds. This is the perfect time to add a bowl of the cut up chicken so it warms too.

Combine chicken, Beecher’s dish, bacon in nice dish. Top with freshly grated parm.

Sunday Sup: Experimental Muffins

I bribe my students. I do. If they share an opinion about the reading or vocalize an answer to the homework, I toss them candy. I teach Junior High and High school students at a very small school.

But some of my students are all about the healthy. And some of my students are allergic to everything under the sun. So…I decided to bake them treats. I’ve made this recipe many times with less substitutions and they come out beautifully. The substitution ones worked as well although the texture was a touch off, the taste was superb.

Carrot Pineapple Muffins (Cupcakes)

These have no gluten, no refined sugar, no nuts, and no eggs. I don’t know where the original recipe came from, it is out of the binder of recipes on bits of scrap.

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl, whisk 2/3 c gf flour ( I like Trader Joes’s blend), 1/3 c coconut sugar, 1 tsp baking soda, 3/4 tsp baking powder, 3/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground cloves, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp allspice.

Melt 1/3 c butter and add to dry ingredients with 1/2 c cinnamon apple sauce. Stir to combine.

Gentle fold in 1 c shredded carrots and 1/2 c chopped pineapple. Chop finely if putting in muffin pans.

Pour into silicone muffin pan, each cup 2/3 full. This makes about ten muffins. Bake 20-25 minutes. Cool in the pan, then they pop right out.

Now you can adjust this recipe several ways.

1/ The original calls for 1 c chopped walnuts. Add this if you like. It does add a nice flavor and texture to the muffins.

2/ You can also use 2 eggs in place of the apple sauce. If you do that, add 1 tsp cinnamon instead of 3/4 tsp.

3/ You can also bake this as a loaf cake. Or pour it into a train shaped pan. (Kiddo’s first birthday.) For a loaf pan the bake time goes up to 50 minutes.

4/ You can also substitute 1/3 c coconut oil for the butter.

5/ If using real flour, the amount stays the same. If using cane sugar however, increase to 1/2 cup.

Now then, to covert muffins into cupcakes you need frosting. I will give two recipes. Both are tasty it just depends on your life style choices.

Simple: 8 oz block good cream cheese, by which I mean NOT philly. Read the ingredients on that some times. It’s all chemicals. So buy a cream cheese made of cream and milk please. Let it sit out a bit so it’s easier to mix. Add 1/4- 1/3 c maple syrup and blend until smooth.

Complicated: One 8 oz block cream cheese ( see above diatribe), 5 tbsp soft butter, 2 tsp vanilla, beat until combined. Add 2 c powdered sugar.

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