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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Recipe: Sausage and Potato Hash


A few weeks ago my hubby came home with some Aidell's Chicken and Apple Sausage from Costco. We've been making it in a skillet loaded with veggies similar to this dish, which I'll be revising and updating soon. So good and hearty. I had made the sausage/veggie dish and had two extra links and decided they would be perfect in a hash. I was right! This would be great if you added peppers, but I was making it for myself and my youngest and she doesn't like peppers, so a simple potato, sausage and onion hash was what was going to happen.

I just made the vegetable dish again yesterday because it is so easy. It would be easier if I planned ahead and pre-cut the veggies.  This morning my hubby re-heated the leftovers and added it to scrambled eggs! I love dishes that are versatile. 

Ingredients:

Olive or Canola oil
1-2 Aidell's Chicken and Apple Sausage (or flavor of choice)
1-3 potatoes (depending on size and people served)
onion chopped
garlic powder
salt
pepper
onion powder
cayenne pepper

Instructions:
1. Slice or cube sausage (I like it cubed), peel and cube potatoes. If they are small enough, there is no need to pre-cook, but if you opt for bigger cubes, I recommend cooking them a little first.
2.  In a large skillet heat oil. Add sausage and chopped onion. Cook until it begins to brown nicely. 
3. Add potatoes and seasonings. Season to taste and generously. Cook until potatoes are tender. Serve immediately.

I have a Pampered Chef French Fry Cutter and I love using this to cut uniform cubes of potatoes for soups or this hash. 

This dish would be awesome in a breakfast burrito as well. The options are limitless.


With Joy UNquenchable,

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Bringing Back Old Recipes and Memories: Turkey Pesto Stuffed Bread

Every now and then an old recipe will pop in to my mind along with a memory to go with it. It's fun to bring that recipe back to life, especially if it was a favorite. There are many recipes that have been put on the back shelf, maybe because I'm always trying new recipes, or because our eating style has changed and a certain recipe just doesn't fit in to it anymore (of course it's fun to revamp them as well). 

One recipe I recently pulled out of the dusty archives was a stuffed bread that I first had over 15 years ago at a friends home after she and her hubby had just gotten married and were living in a single wide trailer on their property (they've since built a beautiful home). I remember taking home the recipe because it was so good and I made it many many times since then, but it has been quite a few years since it graced my kitchen. Last week it popped in to my mind and I thought "I need to make that again". So, on Thursday of last week, I put it together. It honestly did not take much time at all and I knew it would be a hit. My girls are serious pesto lovers. My hubby was out of town, so it was just the girls and I. My youngest and I ate our share and then brought my oldest and one of her co-workers each a plate at work. They polished the rest off for lunch the next day and I thought "hmmmm, I need to double this recipe", because I really wanted some more.

You could totally cheat and use frozen bread dough, kneading the dill and sesame seeds in once it's thawed, but it doesn't take long to put the dough together.

Bread Ingredients

1 1/4 c. warm water (110 degrees)
2 Tbs. sugar
2 Tsp. yeast
2 Tbs. butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 1/4 c. flour
2 Tbs. dill weed
2 Tbs. sesame seeds
In the bowl of a stand mixer, place water, sugar and yeast. Let stand till bubbly (about 10 minutes). Add butter. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, dill and sesame seeds. With dough hook attached, slowly add in flour mixture and mix until it forms a nice dough ball. Knead just a bit, then place in a greased bowl. Place in a 200 degree oven (that has been turned off) covered with a towel and allow to rise until doubled. You can just rise it in a warm room but I find mine rises better in warm oven. My house is never warm enough. Remove from bowl and roll in to a 12x9 rectangle. Transfer to a baking sheet.

Filling Ingredients:

1 Tbs. olive oil
12 oz. ground turkey breast
1/4 c. green onion, chopped with tops (optional)
1 8oz tub cream cheese w/chive and green onion
A generous handful of fresh spinach, finely chopped
1/3 c. pesto sauce
1/4 c. fine bread crumbs

*Notes:
      1. I forgot green onions and did not add them. I honestly didn't miss it so feel free to leave out.
      2. The original recipe called for 1/2 of a 10oz. pkg of frozen spinach, but I try to use fresh ingredients when possible and I loved the flavor of the fresh. 

Instructions: 

1. In a skillet add olive oil, ground turkey and green onions and cook until done.
2. Remove from heat and add in remaining ingredients, stirring till well combined. 
3. Spread mixture down the center of dough in a 3" wide strip.
4. Make one inch cuts on each side. Moisten the end of each srip and alternate folding strips at an angle. 
5. Cover and let rise until double, about 30 minutes (again I did this in the warm oven)
6. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Brush tops with butter. Slice and serve.
Oh my! This is so wonderful. The bread would be great on its own as a savory loaf. This could also be made into individual portion sizes or even possibly in to smaller appetizer bites. 


With Joy UNquenchable,

Monday, April 20, 2015

SRC Reveal: 2X Chocolate Banana Bread


 I know I say this all the time, but I really do enjoy being a part of The Secret Recipe Club. Sometimes it pushes me a bit outside my comfort zone to find a recipe to make. Sometimes there are too many to choose from. When I choose a recipe, I like to look for something a bit different, maybe something I've never made before but would like to try. Sometimes it's something that has a unique ingredient. Sometimes it's something that might just be a different twist on a favorite I already make. But it is so fun going through a variety of recipes and choosing.

This month I was given the blog Brooklyn Locavore. You might be thinking, "what in the world is a Locavore"? This was a word I did know since I live in the Pacific Northwest, only about 30 minutes from Portland, Or and shopping "local", "sustainable", etc..is very much a HUGE deal here. Many people, like Melissa, will often choose to buy local over organic because they feel they are able to "know" where their food came from better than just trusting a label. I'm all for that! Read more about her and her hubby and their passion for food on her about me page.

I had several recipes marked to make, all of them but the scalloped potatoes were desserts...lol. I really wanted to make her flourless chocolate cake, BUT it called for Chocolate Stout, which was fine, but the amount the recipe called for was so small I just couldn't bring myself to buy a $6.00 bottle that I would never drink or use. I know I could have substituted something else but I always try to stay true to the recipe without changing it completely and this ingredient seemed to be a key to flavor. I opted instead for her 2x chocolate Banana Bread. I was really good, rich, but not too sweet. I would say it was a great choice and my daughter gave it 2 thumbs up...she ate 2 pieces. 

2X Chocolate Banana Bread

Ingredients:


  • 3 medium to large, very ripe bananas
  • 1/4 c. butter melted
  • 1/4 c. plain applesauce
  • 1/3 c. brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. baking cocoa
  • 1 c. dark chocolate chips 
Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 350. Butter a 9x5 loaf pan and sprinkle with cocoa.
  2. In a large bowl mash bananas, then add butter, applesauce, brown sugar, egg and vanilla.
  3. Sift in (I don't have a sifter, so just stirred in) all remaining ingredients EXCEPT chocolate chips. 
  4. Stir in Chocolate chips
  5. Pour in to pan and bake for 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10-15 minutes, then invert onto a plate.
If you do not have a sifter, you can actually place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk for a minute or two. 



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With Joy UNquenchable,

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Recipe: Shredded BBQ Chicken with Homemade Coleslaw


Last week I had two chicken breasts left and wasn't quite sure what to make that would feed 3-4 people. Sometimes using up what you have can be a bit daunting especially if you aren't an overly creative person (ya know, good at just throwing something together) or if you don't have an incredibly well stocked fridge or pantry. In our house you can always tell when payday is coming up....there's not a whole lot of anything in either. I love The Pioneer Woman, but I still chuckle at the episode where she doesn't have time to go to the store so she is just going to use what's in the pantry...um...her pantry has more stuff in it then mine ever has even if combining several months...lol. 

Anyways...I had chicken, I had some sandwich thins, so I decided on Shredded BBQ chicken sandwiches (I had ingredients for homemade sauce). I did stop at the store and grab a few things for coleslaw because I thought coleslaw would taste really good on top of the sandwich. If you've ever had the BBQ beef sandwiches at Costco, they serve coleslaw on top of theirs. 

This could be adapted in a variety of ways...full on sandwiches, or they could be served on smaller pieces of toasted bread as an appetizer. 
Here's what you will need:

chicken breasts (however many you need for the amount of people you have). I think the two I had would have served 4-5 people easily.
pepper
salt
garlic powder
onion powder
BBQ sauce (store bought, or this recipe)
Homemade coleslaw
  *Bagged coleslaw mix or make your own 
  *1/2 c. sour cream
  *1/2 c. mayonnaise 
  *2 Tbs. Vinegar
  *2 Tbs. Sugar
  *1 Tbs. Mustard
  *1/2 tsp. salt
  *1/2 tsp. paprika
  *1/4 tsp. pepper

In a crockpot or covered dutch oven, lightly oil and then place chicken breasts inside. Season with seasonings (i just sprinkle a bit on each spice on the chicken). If using the crockpot cook on low or high until they are close to being done. If using dutch oven, cook on 350 until close to being done (about 35-40 minutes...just depends). Pour sauce over chicken and cook till done. Using two forks, "shred" the chicken in to pieces and stir to coat with sauce. 

While chicken is cooking, assemble all of your coleslaw ingredients. I used a bagged mix, but you could make your own with shredded cabbages (red and green), shredded carrots, and if you want, onion, etc...Refrigerate until chilled. 

Toast buns, top with a hearty helping of chicken and a generous amount of coleslaw. Eat and enjoy!!! It's so good, kicks up a typical sandwich up a few notches, and it is so adaptable. I'm not sure you could make a mistake.




With Joy UNquenchable,

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Holiday Entertaining & a Scalloped Potatoes Recipe

Well, this is only a few weeks late! Life just gets in my way and I don't seem to find the time to sit and post. I probably try and overthink what to say or how to say it. Or it could be other things. 

But...here we are a few weeks after Easter and I'm getting around to finally posting one of the new recipes I tried.

I wouldn't typically try a new recipe when having company over, especially at a holiday, but I felt pretty confident that this would an easy one to play with and to fix if something didn't go quite right. 

Our Easter plans took a different turn about 3 weeks before that day. Typically we go to my in-laws, but my father in law decided he was taking my mother in law out for brunch. Alrighty then....lol..I had to really switch gears since it's been a long time since I hosted a holiday in our home (other than Christmas Eve each year). After about a week of waffling back and forth and being out of sorts as what to do (I know, that's pitiful), we invited my dad and sister over along with my oldest daughter's fiance and another friend. It was a great day! We ate, visited around the table, then drove down to the local tulip fields to look around and take some pictures. 


Here was our menu:

BBQ Pork Ribs **See Note below
Scalloped Potatoes
Teriyaki Green Beans
Deviled Eggs
Chocolate Cake
Apple Pie 

I LOVE Scalloped Potatoes, but they always seem bland to me. I'm not one for winging it, and maybe winging it on the actual holiday you are making the meal for isn't the brightest idea, but I threw caution to the wind and went for it. Thankfully it worked. Phew! Everything turned out on time and tasted wonderful. Double Phew! Let's get on with the recipe. You will have to forgive there only being one picture. There was just no time to take any staged photos. Not when you have a house full of hungry people. 



Scalloped Potatoes

Ingredients

5 medium to large potatoes peeled and sliced about 1/8" thick 
1/2 an onion thinly sliced
4 Tbs. butter
4 Tbs. flour
2 c. heavy cream
2 c. milk
2 garlic cloves
1 8oz. pkg. sharp cheddar cheese
1 8oz. pkg. gruyere cheese
to taste: mustard powder, onion powder, salt and pepper

Instructions:

1. In a saucepan, melt butter. Add flour and stir for a minute or so.

2. Add liquid, whisking to combine.

3. Add garlic and seasonings. Allow sauce to thicken, then season to taste.

4. In a 13 x 9 pan that has been buttered, layer potatoes, onion, cheese and a layer of sauce, repeat, ending with cheese and sauce. 

5. Cover with foil and bake in a 350 oven for 45 minutes or until potatoes are tender. I uncovered the last 15 minutes or so. 

**Notes: 

1. I usually make my own BBQ sauce, but sometimes I'm short on time. I found that Tony Roma's Honey BBQ sauce is really good and has decent ingredients.

2. Feel free to adjust the sauce. If it's too thick add a bit more liquid. If you just feel like you don't have enough, make a bit more or just add some more milk to it. It thickens up naturally and you don't want dry potatoes. 

With Joy UNquenchable,

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