Friday, December 21, 2018

dutch oven cheddar jalapeno bread

My oldest found this recipe and gave it to her dad because he is currently LOVING baking sourdough bread in his dutch oven.  He tried this right away and it was DELICIOUS!  Cheesy and spicy and rich!  The only annoying thing was that it was a recipe found on you tube and wasn't written out so we had to start and pause the video multiple times while jotting down the recipe.  This ought to be much easier (the recipe written out is at!

dutch oven cheddar jalapeno bread (YouTube)
3 1/2 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
2 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
2 jalapenos, seeded and sliced
1 jalapano, seeded and sliced (for the topping)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 cups warm water
1 packet instant yeast
1 tablespoon olive oil

In a large bowl, combine the bread flour, cheese, 2 jalapenos and salt.  Stir well.
In a separate bowl, combine the warm water and yeast.  Add the water and yeast to the flour mixture and stir until the dough comes together.
Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest in a warm place for 1 hour.
With a spatula fold the dough around the edges of the bowl toward the center.  Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest in a warm place for 30 minutes.
Put the Dutch oven and lid into the oven and preheat to 450 degrees for 30 minutes. 
Lightly flour a work surface.  Take the dough out of the bowl and onto the floured surface.  Flip over and carefully brush away excess flour.  Fold the edges of the dough towards the center 8 times then flip over the dough and transfer to a piece of parchment paper.
Brush the top of the dough with the olive oil, so the cheese will stick.  Sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese.  Using a sharp knife, score the bread with an "X".  Arrange the jalapeno slices on top of the cheese.
Remove the Dutch oven from the oven and use the parchment to lift the bread into the pot.  Cover the lid and bake for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and bake for 20 more minutes, until the bread is golden brown.
Carefully slide the bread out of the pot and onto a wire rack.  Remove the parchment paper and let the bread cool for at least 1 hour before slicing.

grilled portobello mushroom burgers

Wow!  Hall of fame.  I never thought a mushroom burger could be so good.  But then again I'd never tried one before.  It was just about the best burger I've ever had.  Super gourmet and without the guilt.  Even better, my husband made dinner. :)

grilled portobello mushroom burgers (adapted from Skinnytaste)
2 portobello mushroom caps
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
1 1/2 teaspoons steak seasoning
2 thick slices red onion
2 slices Provolone cheese
2 thin slices tomato
1/2 avocado, sliced thin
2 whole wheat buns

In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, soy sauce, oil, rosemary and steak seasoning.
Peel off the tops of the Portobello mushrooms and scoop out the gills.
Place the mushroom caps in the bowl and toss with the sauce, using a spoon to evenly coat.  Let stand room temperature for 20-30 minutes, turning a few times.
Heat the grill or indoor grill pan over medium heat.  When hot, brush the grate with oil or lightly spray the grill pan.
Place the mushrooms on the grill, reserving marinade for basting.  Grill for 5 to 7 minutes on each side, or until tender, brushing with marinade frequently.
Top the mushrooms with cheese during the last minute of cooking.
While the mushrooms cook, grill the onions about 1 minute on each side and grill the buns until toasted.
To finish, place the spinach and grilled mushrooms on the buns and top with the grilled onions, sliced tomato and avocado.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

slow cooker moroccan chicken and olive tagine

This recipe was sooo good; way better than I expected.  It was super easy to make and bursting with flavor.
Note to self: Add more carrots; the family LOVES the carrots.  Serve with couscous or quinoa.

slow cooker moroccan chicken and olive tagine (adapted from skinnytaste)
2 pounds skinless chicken thighs (I used chicken breasts for lower fat)
4 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1/3 cup dried prunes, halved (I omitted to cut down on sugar)
1/2 cup pitted green olives
3 cloves garlic, cut in half
2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger (I used 1 teaspoon ground ginger)
1 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
chopped fresh cilantro for serving
lemon wedges for serving

In a 4-6 quart slow cooker, combine the chicken, carrots, onion, prunes, olives, garlic, flour, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, chicken broth, salt and pepper.  Stir to combine.  Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.  When ready to serve, sprinkle with cilantro and serve with lemon wedges

  • Saturday, December 8, 2018

    a quick dip

    What do you do when a friend from Hershey, PA sends you a gift and instead of ghost poo, fills the box with individually wrapped Halloween rice krispy treats?  First you laugh.  Then you try to figure out what to do with them!  I decided to make a Christmas treat to take to the primary children and teachers at church tomorrow.

    a quick dip (pass the peas, please)
    50 mini rice krispy treats
    10 ounces milk chocolate almond bark, melted
    Christmas sprinkles

    Place a sheet of wax paper on the counter.  Melt the almond bark according to package directions.  Dip each rice krispy treat into the chocolate then sprinkle with Christmas colored sprinkles.  Let set for an hour.

    Sunday, December 2, 2018

    laura lee's chicken enchilada soup

    This soup is SOOO good I had to ask for the recipe.  It has got to be my very favorite chicken enchilada soup ever.  I should've known why.  Velveeta cheese!  Why is everything that is so delicious SO not good for you?  It's okay.  I'll save this soup for special occasions.

    laura lee's chicken enchilada soup (my friend laura lee m.)
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    3 chicken breasts, seasoned with Lawry's salt and pepper when cooked
    1/2 cup diced onion
    1 clove garlic, diced
    4 cups chicken broth
    1 cup mesa harina (Mexican flour)
    3 cups water
    1 (15 ounce) can enchilada sauce
    1 (10 ounce) can green chili enchilada sauce (Old El Paso brand)
    16 ounces Velveeta cheese
    1 teaspoon chili powder
    1/2 teaspoon cumin
    corn tortilla chips

    Add oil to large pot over medium heat.  Add chicken breast and brown 4-5 minutes on both sides.  Remove chicken and set aside.  Add onions and garlic to pot and saute for 2 minutes.  Add chicken broth.  Combine mesa harina and 2 cups water in a medium bowl and whisk until blended.  Add to pot then add remaining water, enchilada sauce, cheese and spices and bring to boil.  Shred chicken into small bites and add to the pot.  Reduce heat and simmer 30-40 minutes or until thick.

    Thursday, November 8, 2018

    baked sticky orange chicken drumsticks

    We loved the flavor of the chicken!  However good the chicken was, my girls told me I have got to find a way to make this chicken without bones. :)  My son didn't mind the bones one bit,  he grabbed hold of the drumsticks and ripped the meat right off with his teeth as though he were feasting at Hogwarts.

    baked sticky orange chicken drumsticks (sarah's cucina bella)
    (I doubled the recipe)
    4 pounds chicken drumsticks, about 12
    kosher salt and ground black pepper
    2/3 cup orange marmalade
    2 tablespoons soy sauce
    2 teaspoons seasoned rice vinegar

    Preheat oven to 475 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil.  Arrange drumsticks on the baking sheet.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  (My baking directions are different from the original- I baked them a lot longer!)  Bake for 30 minutes.
    While chicken is baking, whisk together the marmalade, soy sauce and vinegar.  Pull the chicken out of the oven and baste with 1/2 of the marmalade mixture.  Return to the oven and bake another 20 minutes.  Take the chicken out again.  Turn the chicken over and baste with the remaining marmalade mixture.  Bake another 10 minutes.  (The chicken was not dry at all!  The tops were nice and brown, the way we like them!)

    Friday, November 2, 2018

    disneyland bengal barbecue spicy beef skewers

    Hall of Fame!! My husband made this for dinner tonight and I felt like I was eating the most delicious dinner I've ever eaten.  I know it can't be true but it felt like it as I was enjoying it.  He tried these skewers when we were at Disneyland in July and wondered where he could find a recipe (after 4 months they were still on his mind).  Fortunately almost any recipe can be found online these days.  These skewers were the perfect amount of spicy for me but they were too spicy for our kids.  I took a look at the recipe and I think there may have been a mistake- a tablespoon of black pepper?!  I think it's supposed to be a teaspoon so I'll go ahead and make that change below.
    I have two friends at Disney currently- one in Florida and the other in California.  I hope they get a chance to try these little jewels.

    disneyland bengal barbecue spicy beef skewers (key ingredient)
    1 teaspoon vegetable oil
    1 tablespoon fresh crushed garlic
    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    2 tablespoons brown sugar
    3 tablespoons sesame oil
    1 teaspoon ground black pepper
    1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
    2/3 cup soy sauce
    1 cup water
    1 tablespoon cornstarch

    18 one-ounce pieces sirloin beef chunks
    6 bamboo skewers
    1 part soy sauce
    2 parts lemon juice
    1 part water and several grinds of pepper

    korean sauce
    Heat a teaspoon  of vegetable oil gently in a saucepan.  Add one tablespoon (or more to taste) of crushed fresh garlic.  Saute lightly, do not burn.  Add soy sauce, water, lemon juice, brown sugar, sesame oil, black pepper, red pepper flakes, cayenne.  Bring to a slow boil over medium to low heat.  Reduce heat and simmer to reduce slightly.  Mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 1/4 cup water.  Mix well.  Add to simmering sauce.  Allow mixture to simmer slowly until the sauce thickens to a shiny but thick sauce.  Taste it.  Adjust mixture according to taste.  Let this sit while you make the rest of the recipe.

    Cube sirloin into one-inch cubes.  Put into a ziplock bag with a marinade of 1 part soy sauce, 2 parts lemon juice, 1 part water and several grinds of pepper.  Let this marinate in the refrigerator at least 3 hours.

    Gently warm the Korean sauce.  If it's too thick add a little water, lemon or soy sauce.  Put the meat on the skewers and grill over medium heat until they are medium rare to medium.  Once you put the skewers on a plate baste generously with the Korean Sauce.