Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Herbed Butter Rub for Poultry

A few fresh herbs, some creamy butter, and a bit of lemon juice and you have this wonderful Herbed Butter Rub for Poultry.

Use it to rub under the skin of chicken or turkey for a sensational taste.

1 sprig fresh rosemary
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
3-4 springs fresh sage
4-5 tbls. butter
1 tsp. lemon juice

Place butter in a small bowl and allow it to come to room temperature, approx. 30 minutes.

Snip, or tear leaves, from fresh herbs and mince well on a cutting board with a sharp knife.

Mix 1 tsp. lemon juice with softened butter.  Add minced herbs and mix well with a wooden spoon until the herbs are well incorporated.

Carefully loosen the skin on the breast and legs of fresh chicken or turkey. Place the herbed butter under the skin and smooth around all over the breast and legs, being careful not to tear skin.
Wrap poultry with plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours or overnight for best flavor.

When ready to roast, lightly oil the outside skin of  the chicken or turkey and dust with salt and pepper for crispy skin.


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Monday, November 24, 2014

Mexicali Shepard's Pie

I saw a recipe the other day I just knew I wanted to make.  The recipe was for this Mexicali Hash Brown Taco Casserole by The Midnight Baker. It had all the ingredients I wanted to try, but I also knew I wanted to make it my own, so this is my take on it.

1 lb. ground beef ( I used 100% grass-fed Angus beef)
2 tsp. dried minced onion
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. dried cayenne
1/2 cup salsa
2 cups niblet corn
6-8 pickled jalapeno slices
2 cups Mexican cheese blend, divided
2 russet potatoes, peeled and shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a fry pan, brown ground beef with minced onion until beef is cooked through.  Add all spices, salsa, corn, jalapeno slices, and 1 cup of the Mexican cheese blend.  Put mixture in 7 x 11-inch pan sprayed with cooking spray.

Peel and shred 2 russet potatoes with a box grater and rinse well with cold water. Mix potatoes with additional 1 cup Mexican cheese blend, and press on top of ground beef mixture.

Bake 30-35 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and potatoes are browning.  Let cool 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Note - this is a spicy dish; feel free to adjust the seasonings to suit your taste

Yield:  4-6 servings


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Pecan Pie Bars

Instead of pecan pie, try these pecan pie bars!  The best of both worlds, with a great shortbread crust and traditional pecan pie filling. These are on my table this Thanksgiving.


Shortbread Crust
1 cup flour
1 cup finely chopped pecan pieces
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

Pecan Pie Filling
2 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup organic corn syrup
(such as Wholesome Sweeteners)
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecan pieces
1 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch salt

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Mix flour, pecans, sugar and butter until flour is moistened. Press evenly onto bottom of 9 x 9-inch baking pan, pushing some up the sides. Bake 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow to cool 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs and beat in all remaining ingredients.

Pour pecan pie filling over shortbread crust and bake 30 minutes or until filling is set. Cool completely in pan, about 1 hour. Cut into bars.

Note - recipe is easily doubled fro 13 x 9 -inch pan.


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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Crispy Cheddar Chicken Tenders

So I made this recipe I saw the other day online.  In addition to the baking mix and cheddar cheese, it also called for cooked and crumbled bacon pieces.

I tried it at first with the bacon pieces, but I can tell you from my experience, the bacon crumbles simply did not adhere to the chicken, so I opted to just go for it without the added bacon.  Worked like a champ and the tenders had an awesome cheddar cheese taste.

8-10 chicken tenders (or boneless chicken breasts cut into strips)
1 1/3 cup baking mix (like Bisquick)
1 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. paprika
2 eggs, beaten

Preheat deep fryer to 375 degrees (or put about 1 cup oil in a large skillet to fry).

Combine baking mix, shredded cheddar cheese, garlic salt, black pepper and paprika in a large zip-top bag, shaking well to mix.

Beat eggs in a shallow bowl, and dip half the chicken tenders in the egg, then add them to the zip-top bag, seal bag and shake to coat.  Remove tenders to a cooling rack.

Repeat with remaining chicken tenders and allow to rest 30 minutes before frying (this helps the coating stick to the chicken).

Fry chicken tenders in batches for approx. 8-10 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove tenders from fryer and let drain on paper towels.  Keep warm in the oven set on 170 degrees while the remaining tenders are frying.  Serve immediately.

Yield:  4-5 servings


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Cheddar Bacon Biscuits

These are the perfect biscuits to accompany some fried chicken, chicken fried steak, or split and make breakfast biscuits by adding some scrambled eggs between the layers! Yummmmy!

2 cups baking mix, like Bisquick (or make your own)
2/3 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4 pieces of bacon, fried crisp and crumbled

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix baking mix, milk, bacon, and shredded cheddar cheese together. Drop by rounded spoonfuls on lightly greased baking sheet.

Bake 8-10 minutes or until cooked through and golden.


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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Chocolate Filled Bon-Bon's

We've been  making this cookies in our family for many years.  My husband is actually the cookie baker as he grew up helping his grandmother make cookies.  

She always started baking cookies in November and had tins and tins of cookies for everyone to share at the holidays. I just love traditions like that!

3/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking  powder
2/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
3 1/2-4 dozen chocolate kisses
colored sugar for decorating, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Using a stand mixer, cream shortening and sugars until fluffy.  Add egg and extracts and beat well. Add flour, baking powder and salt, mixing until well blended.

Form dough into 1"-inch balls and press each ball around a chocolate kiss until it is completely enclosed.  Dip tops in colored sugar if desired.

Bake on ungreased baking sheets 12 minutes.

Yield:  3 1/2 dozen


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Monday, November 17, 2014

Beef Shoulder Roast

A beef-shoulder roast is an inexpensive roast cut from the muscled shoulder area of the beef. The tough, slightly chewy shoulder roast dries out easily but benefits from moist-cooking methods such as braising, which tenderizes the roast as it simmers slowly in liquid. Braising a shoulder roast in liquids such as broth, apple juice or even beer or wine turns even the toughest roast beef into a flavorful, fork-tender dish. Economical and delicious, this roast is perfect for a Sunday dinner.

1 Beef shoulder roast (100% grass-fed beef preferred)
6-8 potatoes, peeled and left whole
Rutabaga, carrots or other root vegetables of your choice, peeled and cut into large pieces
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
1 tsp. thyme leaves
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. course-ground black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 cup flour
2 cups beef broth (I used beef bone broth)
1 cup red wine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a large roasting pan with cooking spray.

Place beef shoulder roast in pan and season on both sides with thyme leaves, salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Arrange potatoes and other root vegetables around the roast.  Sprinkle flour over all and pour beef broth and red wine in pan (this will make the pan gravy).

Cover pan tightly with foil and roast 2 1/2 hours. Uncover roast, stir pan gravy, and continue cooking an additional 30 minutes.

Remove roast, potatoes and root vegetables to a platter and serve immediately with pan gravy.


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