Sunday, April 28, 2013
I pulled out Chicken Cutlets with Pecan Sauce that I got from the February 2011 copy of Southern Living (and I don’t really remember tearing out).
Toast the pecans. Easy enough.
Mr. M. said he would give the chicken a B-. It was good enough tasting, but not as flavorful as you’d hope. Mostly you tasted the thyme and little else. The chicken had no other flavor, but chicken. The Kid said he’d give it a B, after he scraped the pecans off, cause he doesn’t like nuts. He also suggested that I move my cooking adventures to Sunday night, when he isn’t here.
If you think you might like a milder chicken dish or can think of what this recipe needs to give it more of a kick, give it a try!
Chicken Cutlets with Pecan Sauce
½ cup pecans
½ cup butter, divided
4 chicken cutlets (about 1 ¼ lb)
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
3 T flour
3 T olive oil
½ cup chicken broth
1 T brown sugar
2 T cider vinegar
½ tsp dried thyme
Heat pecans and 2 T butter in a large nonstick skillet over med/low heat, stirring often, 2-3 min or unitl toasted and fragrant. Remove from skillet.
Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper, dredge in flour.
Cook chicken in hot oil in skillet over med heat, 3-4 min on each side or until golden brown and down. Transfer to a serving platter. Top with pecans.
Add chicken broth to skillet, cook 2 min, stirring to loosen particles from bottom of skillet. Add brown sugar, vinegar and thyme. Cook 3-4 min or until sugar is melted and sauce is slightly thickened. Whisk in remaining 2T butter. Serve sauce over chicken.
I like unusual things. Don’t give me plain, average, boring. I don’t want plain Cheerios! Let’s try the Chocolate ones AND the Peanut Butter Cheerios…. TOGETHER! I don’t want plain hand soap. Give me something that is Passion Fruit Coconut scent with little scrubby beads and moisturizers!!
So, when I saw these lemon chips at a Mennonite store in southern Iowa when I was shopping with my Mom, I decided those were just too neat to pass up. And if you ever get a chance to shop in a Mennonite store, do it! They have so many interesting things in bulk there. I mean, I once saw a big bag of those little marshmallows like the kind in Lucky Charms. Yeah.
Cookies & Cups (her blog is too cute and I envy it so!) talked about adding a tablespoon of corn starch to cookies to make them bake up more. I thought, I gotta try that! The only thing I will say is that I noticed my dough was a lot dryer. So much so that I couldn’t get everything mixed. I ended up adding another egg to just get it all to hold together. Keep that in mind if you try the corn starch trick.
Coconut Lemon Chip Cookies
2 cups all purpose flour
¾ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 T corn starch
1 cup softened butter
½ cup sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
Lemon or white baking chips
1 cup flake coconut
Combine flour, baking soda, salt and corn starch in a bowl. In another bowl beat butter, sugars until creamy. Beat in eggs. Gradually at to flour mixture. Stir in chips and coconut. Bake in 350 deg. oven for 12 minutes.
P.S. I tried adding corn starch to my favorite "Naughty Monkey Cookies" but didn't like how it turned the normally cake like/chewy cookie into a drier cookie. I still say the corn starch trick is great for cookies that tend to do too much spreading out, like traditional chocolate chip.
Sunday, March 24, 2013
A great day to stay home. Except we had tickets to a Comic Con downtown. *grumps* But I can’t exactly be mad about staying inside and being cozy on a wintery day. Yes, I’ll just get my blanket and watch a movie! After I do laundry, clean the bathrooms, and think about dinner. And bake something. See, this is why I don’t rest much.
Once again I had some geriatric fruit that needed to be put out of its misery. So I leafed through my huge stack of “recipes I’d like to try” to find something. I found a Coconut Blueberry Cake with Lemon Glaze. Bingo! (God knows how long I’ve held on this recipe)
In searching my supplies I discovered that my cooking oil had that old, yicky smell. I never like using a whole cup or even a half a cup of oil in baking. I know it’s needed, but geesh, that’s a lot of oil. I decided to substitute apple sauce and one old banana. Also I was suspicious about the validity of my baking powder. It says it expired in January. But that’s what my baking adventures are all about!! Also, I didn’t quite have 1 ½ cups of blueberries, I just used what I had (which was hardly a cup, I’d say)
Everything mixed up nicely and baked pretty well. Except I felt it wasn’t browning, like, at all. So I left it in a total of about 30 minutes. And though it never browned up a lot, it did seem to be cooked all the way through and it wasn’t totally flat, so the baking powder wasn’t completely bad.
Coconut Blueberry Coffee Cake
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup vegetable oil or apple sauce
1 ½ cup blueberries
1 cup flake coconut
In a bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl beat eggs, milk and oil/apple sauce. Stir into dry ingredients just until moist. Fold in blueberries and coconut.
Transfer to a greased 13”X 9” baking dish. Bake at 375 for 22-24 min.
½ cup sugar
4 ½ tsps cornstarch
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1 cup water
1 T butter
2 T lemon juice
In a small saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch and lemon peel. Gradually add water until blended. Bring to a boil, cook and stir for 2 min or until thickened. Remove from heat, stir in butter and lemon juice. Drizzle sauce on pieces of cake.
Sunday, February 17, 2013
It’s only taken me two months to get back to food blogging. During that time I did bake. And I did even do some creative stuff. But taking the time to record each step is sometimes too much to even imagine adding to the routine.
Something I have discovered though; I’ve become my mother. Or perhaps more accurately, my grand mother. I hate to waste food. And it isn’t like I just started having to buy my own food! I’ve been buying my own food for over 20 years. Maybe it is a middle-age thing. But I hate to see stuff go into the garbage just because no one got around to eating it. We are SO lazy here. ‘OMG, I have to actually peel a banana before I put it in my mouth??’ ‘I have to cook the meat first?? On the stove?? ARRGGhhhhhh… Too much work. I’ll have cereal.’
Fresh produce is the worst. It takes so much work to fix into something everyone will eat. And most nights, I don’t have that much energy. And when I’m looking for a quick snack, most of the time fruit just won’t do it. Add to that a chronic illness that makes a high fiber diet really uncomfortable and well, fresh produce is just almost a waste for us.
So the Kid says to me that he likes Red Delicious apples. I feel bad that I don’t feed him well enough. I buy a bag of small Red Delicious apples. I don’t like Red Delicious. Apples are not kind to me anymore, but I do love them. Jazz, Gala, Pink Lady, Honeycrisp are my favorites. Red Delicious a mealy, dry and flavorless. Only suitable for baking. But the Kid says….
I ask him later if he saw I got him apples. He said yeah, he tried one, and it was bad, so…. I puffed up like an angry hen. "Sometimes apples have a bad spot! It doesn't mean they’re all bad! What am I going to do with a bag of apples??”
They sit for a while until I need to make a cake for a birthday and decide to add some apples to a box caramel cake (with brown sugar glaze, it was tasty). I cut into four apples and was only able to use three of them and even those were a third or more rotten. I had to apologize to the Kid later for trying to foist off rotten apples on him.
So these apples are still sitting there. Rotten. And I can’t get myself to just pitch them. Then I had a bag of dried figs (I ADORE dried figs) that were dry and fibery and rather nasty. Yet, I couldn’t pitch them. And there were just a handful of shriveled blueberries in my fridge. What’s wrong with me? Do I think I’m saving children from starvation in some third world country if I keep this stuff??
Bake or get off the pot, right?? So I decided to make Fruit Crisp. It is adapted from a pie recipe I found in a cookbook. It’s pretty easy and I think would work for any fruit combo.
Enjoy, folks! And don’t be wasteful. Kids are starving in Africa. Eat well.
2-3 Cups chopped fruit (apples, pears, berries, dried fruit)
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup - plus ¼ cup 7-Up, apple juice, pineapple juice or Ginger-ale
1 T corn starch
Put chopped fruit in a pan with lemon juice, cinnamon and 1 cup of liquid. Cook till hot. Add corn starch to ¼ cup liquid, stir to dissolve and add to hot fruit mix. Cook until thickened.
½ cup flour
½ cup oats
½ cup butter
½ cup walnuts
½ cup brown sugar
Put fruit in 9X9 greased pan and top with crumb topping. Bake in 350 oven for 20 min until hot and bubbly and topping is slightly brown. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.