Monday, May 30, 2011

Death Row Chicken, a meal worthy of being your last!

One of the dishes that I made for Sunday Cafe was this chicken dish, adapted from those RecipeAddicts, Carla and Michael. The actual post for the delightfully titled dish, for the time being, is a victim of the great Blogger Crash of 2011. This version was part of our dinner and everyone raved.

Death Row Chicken, a meal worthy of being your last, but you will want it again and again!
adapted from: RecipeAddicts

8-10 chicken thighs, with skin on and bone in
butter, rendered lard- for browning

1 pound of mushrooms, sliced
3 - 4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 T butter (or more, it will depend on the mushrooms)
1/4 c Balsamic vinegar
2 C rich chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste

*dry white wine if needed
2 large hands full of baby spinach leaves

Serve with suggestions:  rice, pasta or mashed potatoes

Brown your chicken thighs in the butter or rendered lard (bacon fat would also be good here). A deep rich dark brown is what you want to achieve on the skin, turn over and brown the other side. When all chicken is browned, remove it to a large flat baking pan, 9X13 or 12X15 as needed for the chicken to fit without over crowding. There should be a small amount of room around each piece of chicken, so the stock and mushrooms surround the meat.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Drain excess fat from the pan, do not discard the portion that has the sought after brown bits of flavor. To the pan, add 2 T butter, the minced garlic and the mushrooms. Saute the mushrooms to a golden brown, scraping the golden bits from the bottom of the pan. When the mushrooms release their juices, this will help deglaze the pan. Add the chicken stock, vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.

Carefully pour pan sauce over chicken, then make sure all the mushroom slices are down in the stock mixture. Important: the stock mixture should not cover the chicken, the goal is to have the skin continue to bake in the oven and remain crispy.  Bake 45 minutes.

Carefully remove chicken from the stock, place on a large serving platter. Return to the oven to keep warm if desire.

Pour pan juices back into the skillet used to brown the chicken, and reduce stock by about half. The pan gravy will have coat the back of a spoon. *I let my pan reduce too long and added back a bit of white wine for the proper consistency. Add the spinach and simmer briefly until tender.

Spoon the sauce over the chicken, serve with pride.

Recipe rating:  Oh Yes! (will make again)

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop by.
I appreciate your time and your comments!

This post will be my entry for the Hearth n Soul blog hop @ right here at Moms Sunday Cafe! 

This post is also shared with:

A Gallery of Favorites December 2011 @ premeditated leftovers
tuesday night supper club @ fudgeripple

key words:  chicken, spinach, mushrooms, balsamic vinegar

Thursday, May 26, 2011

"Roasted" Bananas Banana Bread, Recipe rewind, because some things are too good to miss!

Recipe rewind, because in the beginning there is a blogger who has no readers. She still posts great food in hopes that the readers will can also view it here in the archives, Wednesday November 4, 2009. But it is better here......

My travels to the blogs of the world, have reveled a new take on banana bread. Banana bread is not new of course, banana bread is a routine offering on any blog. It seems every home has bananas that become banana bread worthy or ripe to the point that banana bread is the only option. I routinely have bananas that must be used, and have actually share that here. Through the years, I have worked the same recipe and changed it somewhat as whim dictates or ingredients were available and sometimes not available. Those favorite recipes are the best. You are completely at ease to change, modify and recreate.

When I first spotted the Roasted banana and Browned Butter bread on foodgawker, I took the side road to the blog and noticed the bananas were oven roasted in their skins. When it was time for me to bake, I did just that. These bananas were roasted at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. The house smelled wonderful, just like baking banana bread. I was happy, thinking that I had roasted banana in those skins ready to bake with.

When the bananas cooled enough to be handled, I snipped off the ends and let the bananas slide out into this keeper dish. Disappointment was immediate. The skins had roasted, the banana had not. The pan of roasted bananas makes a good photo opportunity, but you do not get roasted bananas.

Here is my banana bread recipe. It is slightly adapted from the banana bread recipe in The Wooden Spoon Bread Book, by Marilyn M Moore. This recipe has been made in my kitchen, many many times. You can tell, because the page has dried spots that have wrinkled into little hills and valleys, plus it has writing where I have reworked the ingredients to my liking.

The first step was to pan roast the bananas, I started by substituting butter for the oil. I let it melt and added the bananas.

The bananas browned gently while the butter turned a golden brown. It is simple, let one side brown, turn gently, brown and repeat until all sides are a deep golden brown. There is a lot of moisture in bananas, to brown will take a fair amount of time, the butter also browns in the process. 

"Roasted" banana bread

3 ripe bananas
1/2 c butter

2 eggs
1 t vanilla
3/4 c sugar
1/2 c milk + 2 T if needed

1 c whole wheat flour ( I prefer White Whole Wheat flour)
1 c unbleached all purpose flour
1 t salt
1 t baking soda

1/2 c walnut pieces

Melt the butter in a large skillet, add sliced (or chunks) bananas. Saute until the bananas are soft and a deep golden brown. Remove pan from heat source and let cool.

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Set aside. 

In a medium size bowl, add eggs and sugar. Beat well, add vanilla, the 1/2 c milk and banana mixture (use a silicone scraper to get all the banana goodness from the pan). Beat well.

Combine wet and dry ingredients. If the mixture seems too stiff, add the additional 2 T of milk to make it moist and easy to work with. Turn dough into prepared pan, top with walnut pieces.

Bake 350 degrees, 45 minutes or until tests done in your oven. Let cool in pan 15 minutes, turn out and let cool completely.

Makes 1 loaf.

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello.
I appreciate your time and your comments. 

key words:  roasted, bananas, quick bread

Monday, May 23, 2011

Garlic Logs, by request

I make this handy dandy convenience product for myself, and it happens to be a great gift to foodie friends as well. If you grow your own garlic, this would be wonderful at harvest time. However I currently do not grow garlic, so I get a big bag at Costco.

This is really simple, takes about an hour, with exception to the cooling time for the roasted garlic. Your investment of time, will give back to you ten fold. Lets get started.....

Frozen Garlic Logs
by the seat of my pants
makes 5 - 4 plain and 1 roasted

3 pounds of garlic cloves, peeled
2 T olive oil
5 gallon freezer bags
10 clothes pins

To make roasted garlic:

Pour a rounded 2 cups of garlic into a roasting pan with a lid, drizzle with the oil.

 Cover and bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

Stir, reduce heat to 250, bake 20 minutes, stir and bake 20 additional minutes. When you remove this from the oven, stir one last time.

Keep lid off, and let cool. When cool process the garlic in the same manner as the fresh garlic, and freeze.

Do be aware that the roasted garlic will have a stick texture, and chop more quickly than the raw garlic. 

To freeze fresh garlic:

Empty half of the remaining garlic into food processor bowl, process until finely chopped, using the pulse button at the end, to prevent making a mush or puree.

Empty into a glass or stainless bowl (I think this much garlic might smell stain a plastic bowl). Repeat with remaining garlic.
Smooth top of garlic in the bowl, score into 4 sections.

Prepare the wrappers:

Cut the zip strip off the freezer bag. Cut bag at the seam on each side, leaving the folded bottom intact. Open bag flat, you will have a large rectangle.

Spoon 1/4 of the mixture onto the bag. Shape into a compact rectangle. Bring sides together, and the rectangle will fold in half, fold the sides down snug against the garlic. Twist one end, and secure with a clothespin. "Sit" the log on the clothespin end, and gently work out any air. Work the next end to be as flat as possible, twist the plastic and secure with a clothespin. Repeat with remaining chopped garlic, freezer bags and clothes pin.

Place logs in the freezer. When frozen change out the clothespins with a secure closure of your choice, the clothespins were only needed to quickly close the end of the logs and are not meant to be used after the logs have frozen solid and easier to work with.

To use:  Slice a thin slice of frozen garlic, this is equal to a clove of minced garlic.

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello.
I appreciate your time and your comments.

This will be my entry for the Hearth n Soul Blog Hop!

This post is shared with:
Our Krazy Kitchen, make a new recipe

Key words:  Hearth n Soul, Our Krazy Kitchen, garlic, garlic logs

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Carrot Pie, Recipe rewind, because some things are too good to miss!

Recipe rewind, because in the beginning there is a blogger who has no readers. She still posts great food in hopes that the readers will can also view it here in the archives, Saturday July 17, 2010. But it is better here!

Delicious pies cooling, 2 pumpkin in the back, carrot pie front left and chocolate cream on the right.  

Carrot Pie

I can just about hear what you might be thinking; Carrot Pie, oh come on now. But hear me out and I will tell you why I tried this pie, and I was so glad I did. Many years ago Family Circle magazine ran a series called The best of the best. Readers were invited to submit recipes for this feature, that series ran for the longest time. There are a lot of great cooks out there, and many wonderful recipes were sent in. The magazine staff would make up the recipes and the best of the best would be showcased in that month's article. The first article was apple pie. When that was published the invitation was for chocolate cake and then ribs and more was to follow. One month Carrot pie was the best of the best.

I had never heard of carrot pie, carrot cake yes, but carrot pie no. So the whole best of the best was lost on me, for this pie, however I had been following the series and had baked the apple pie and the chocolate cake. These were and still are the best and I use those recipes to this day.  Only because I had made the other best of the best, was I even willing to try this pie. I will tell you, the spice selection is the key to the great flavor. This carrot pie is not a substitute for pumpkin pie or sweet potato pie, no indeed, this is carrot pie and it is delicious. And what a great way to eat your carrots! This looks like a lot of steps, but this is multi-tasking at it's finest. You must try this pie, how else will you get your carrots?

Carrot Pie
a part of the Family Circle "best of the best" series
makes 1 9" pie, serves 8-10

1 pound carrots, peeled, sliced and cooked - about 2 1/2 cups
1 3/4 c milk - I prefer a large can of evaporated milk and fresh milk to equal the requested amount.
1/2 c sugar
1 egg
1 t salt
1/2 t each cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg
1 9 inch pie shell - recipe follows or use your own favorite, assemble the crust while carrots cook

 Cook in plain water until tender, drain well. While carrots are cooking you can make the pie crust.

1 9" Pie crust
1 1/4 c flour
1/4 t salt
1 1/2 t sugar
6 T butter
2 ice cubes and 1/3 c water in a cup

Combine all ingredients except water, cutting in with a pastry blender (or 2 butter knives) until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Using a teaspoon, dribble ice water over the flour mixture and toss together with a fork. Continue dribbling water and tossing together until mixture begins clinging together, taking care not to use any more water than is necessary. Roll out, ease into your 9 inch pie pan and proceed with pie instructions. 

To finish the pie, in blender cup, combine the cooked and drained carrots along with the milk, buzz to combine. This will completely cool the carrots, add the remaining ingredients and continue to process until smooth. Pour into pie shell.

Bake 450 degrees 15 minutes, reduce heat to 300 degrees, continue baking 45-50 minutes, or until done. Let cool, serve with whipped cream and a fresh dusting of nutmeg.

As always, thanks so much for taking a moment to stop and say hello.
I appreciate your time and your comments!

This post is shared with:

full plate Thursday @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage
It's a keeper Thursday @ It's a Keeper
Recipe Swap Thursday @ Prairie Story
Foodie Friday @ designs by gollum
sweets for a saturday @ sweet as sugar cookies
fat camp friday @ Mangoes and Chutney

key words:  carrots, dessert, pie, recipe rewind

Friday, May 13, 2011

Chewy Chocolate and Prune Drops, Recipe rewind, because some things are too good to miss!

Recipe rewind, because in the beginning there is a blogger who has no readers. She still posts great food in hopes that the readers will can also view it here in the archives, Friday September 10, 2010.

Update!  These delicious cookies are survivors of the Great Blogger Storm of 2011. They were here, blown away and then carefully return a day later after the storm had died down and repairs made. Tell me, is that not an indicator that these are the yummiest cookie ever? The Blogger Storm troopers worked hard I tell you, to bring you these cookies............

Don't let the simple appearance of these cookies fool you, they are wonderful!

It has been a busy yet peaceful week here. I love weeks like this. Busy with job interviews and picking blackberries and a bit of thrifting.
The one item that I came away with while out thrifting, was this lovely book, The Prune Gourmet.

Now I know what you are thinking; gourmet prunes, really?

But I really like them, and they are very, very good for you. In addition they keep well in the pantry as all dried fruit does, but these little jewels seem to be juicier, if you can use that word to describe dried fruit. Even granddaughter likes them. Prunes have a deep and rich flavor, that enhances what ever they are cooked with.

Think; Chicken Marabella from the Silver Palate Cookbook or Maida Heatter's Prune and Walnut Layer Cake as examples of how delicious this fruit can be. There is also a great variety of recipes including a pulled pork with sauce at

Today however I am thinking cookies. I have not baked something for our snacking pleasure this week, and I believe it is time. This is a simple, not too sweet, delicious cookie. If you wanted a sweeter cookie to offer as a dessert, simply add a chocolate glaze drizzle and they would be just right.

Chewy Chocolate and Prune Drops
adapted from The Prune Gourmet
375 degree oven

see below for: a cooks wisdom

1 1/2 c prunes, diced
1 T water

1/2 c butter
1 c brown sugar
2 eggs

1 1/2 c flour
1 t baking soda
1/3 c cocoa powder
1/4 t salt

1 1/2 c walnuts coarsely chopped
1 c chocolate chips

Dice prunes, combine with the water in a small bowl, set aside.

Cream butter and brown sugar, when combines add eggs one at a time beating well after each.

Combine the flour, cocoa, salt and soda, whisk to combine. Add half to the butter and beat until smooth, add remaining, combining well.

Add prunes, mix until incorporated into batter, then walnut and chocolate chips all at once, mixing only until worked into the dough.

Drop onto cookie sheets from a rounded spoon or a cookie scoop.

Bake 13 minutes, the surface will appear dry and there will be minor cracks. Do not over bake.

Let cool on cookie sheet 5 minutes, remove to cooling rack.

Makes approximately 3 dozen.

a cooks wisdom:  add 1/2 t instant coffee crystals to the butter and sugar when creaming together.
To make a simple glaze for drizzling, combine: 1 c powdered sugar, 2 T cocoa pressed through a sieve. Stir in 1 T melted butter and 1 1/2 - 2 T hot water. Whisk until smooth, drip and drizzle over the tops of the cooled cookies. Cool until glaze sets.

Look who else is rewinding? Make sure to stop over at Joy's wonderful blog, kitchen flavours and take a look. She has some delicious chicken cooking!

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello!
I appreciate your time and your comments.

This post is shared with:
full plate thursday @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage
sweets for a saturday @ sweet as sugar cookies

Key words:  cookies, prunes, glazed cookies, mocha fruit cookies

Monday, May 9, 2011

Stacked Chese Biscuits, Say Cheese, please!

I hope you are not tired of learning about Angel Biscuit dough and what you can make with it, because we are having some tonight with our dinner. Tonight it is, Cheese Leaves Muffins. They are in the oven right now, so I better get busy typing this up!

Cheese Leaves Muffins
375 degree oven
makes 6

1 portion Angel Biscuit dough, for the dough recipe click here and for more recipes click here!
garlic salt
grated cheese
flour or oat bran for rolling out dough

Using 1 portion of dough, roll out to a large rectangle.

This photo will demonstrate size needed. 

Butter lightly, sprinkle with garlic salt, divide lengthwise into 4 portions.

Sprinkle one portion with cheese, carefully place a section on top. Sprinkle cheese on the new one on top, continuing until all 4 pieces have been stacked. 

Divide into 6 pieces, place in prepared muffin cups, standing up.

Bake 20 minutes or until done in your oven.

The fourth portion will go into the freezer, for now.

Recipe rating:  Oh Yes! (will make again)

As always, thank for taking a moment to stop and say hello.
I appreciate your time and your comments!

This post is shared with:
hearth n soul @ a moderate life
tuesday night supper club @ fudgeripple
muffin monday @ talking dollars and cents
lets do brunch @ 21 century housewife
food on friday @ carole's chatter

key words:  biscuits, scratch convenience biscuits, homemade dough