Sunday, December 4, 2016

Peanut Butter Chicken

I found this...somewhere - oh wait!  I found it!  It was on Good Cheap Eats! I had it in my recipe folder for a few weeks but decided to try it and I'm glad I did!  SUPER easy to put together and it was rated a very high 9.5/10 by the family and that says a lot!!   It is a pad thai knock off that is inexpensive and quick to put together.


scant 1/3 cup rice vinegar
generous 1/3 cup vegetable oil plus 2 Tbsp.
2 Tbsp. peanut butter (can use almond or sunflower seed butter)
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 tsp peeled grated ginger
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
16 oz. linguini or thin spaghetti pasta
1 medium carrot, shredded
2 chicken breasts, chopped
1 cup chopped green onions (you can get by with less but make them bigger chunks)
2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

1.  Whisk together the vinegar, 1/3 cup oil, peanut butter, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, ginger and red pepper.  Set aside.

2.  In a large pot of boiling, salted water, prepare the pasta according to package instructions.

3.  While the pasta is cooking, heat the remaining 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil until very hot.  Cook the carrot for 1 minute.  Add the chicken and green onions to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until chicken is cooked

4.  Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce and cilantro.  You may toss the chicken in as well, but we like to serve it atop the noodles.  Otherwise the chicken drops to the bottom and is not evenly distributed.

5.  Serve this dish hot or at room temperature.

Christmas Jam

So I just realized that I never put my jam recipe on my blog!!  I've been making this jam for a long time - at least 26 years since I started making it when I lived in our old house and I've been living in this house for 25 years now.  It's a GREAT gift to make for family and friends and it's become a very much waited for gift for everyone.  I've also gotten not-so-subtle hints for second or third jars as well.  It was so nerve wracking the first time I did it but now it's really not a big deal.  I get the kitchen nice and clean before I do it and make sure I don't have any big distractions so I can keep an eye on it.  SO, without further ado......

Christmas Jam

40 oz. frozen whole strawberries or 2 1/2 quarts of fresh strawberries
1 lb. fresh or frozen cranberries
5 lbs. sugar
2 pouches (3 oz. each) liquid fruit pectin

Grind strawberries and cranberries in a food processor or grinder; place in a large kettle.  Add sugar.  Bring to a full rolling boil; boil for one minute.  Remove from the heat; add pectin.  Cool 5 minutes, skim off foam.  Pour hot into hot jars, leaving 1/4" headspace.  Wipe edges and adjust caps.  Process for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Cranberries go in the pot
Add strawberries

Add LOTS of sugar

Cook over high heat, stirring occasionally and bring the pot to a boil

Meanwhile, in the large canning pot, cover jars with water and bring to a boil.

Bring to a full rolling boil - a boil that will hold even when stirred.

This is as I'm skimming the foam - you can still see it around the sides and in bits in the middle. 
Filling the jars.  A funnel really helps with this step.

Wipe the jar rims to make sure they are clean.

The jars capped and ready to go into the boiling water bath.

Bring the water to a boil and then boil for 15 minutes.

Remove from canner and place on towels to cool.  You will hear the jars "pop" as they seal.  If a jar doesn't seal, store in the refrigerator, otherwise it is good for a good long while on the shelf!  

Friday, November 25, 2016

Instant Pot Baked Beans

For those who don't know what an Instant Pot is, it is an electric pressure cooker.  I had heard a lot about it and got one for myself and still need to learn other things to make but I tried this recipe from someone and it is a hit!!!  It takes about an hour to make and then it really does best if it is able to sit for a few hours to thicken.

Instant Pot Baked Beans

1 lb. bag Great Northern dry beans
8 strips bacon, cooked until crispy and crumbled
1/2 lb. salt pork, cut into pieces (try to get leanest possible)
1 lg. yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 1/2 tsp. ground dry mustard
1/8-1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 rounded teaspoon baking soda
4 cups water

1.  Start by soaking the beans in warm water for 2 hours (cover the beans with water, no salt).  Drain and pick out any stones.

2.  In  a large mixing bowl, add the sugars, molasses, mustard, cloves and baking soda.  Whisk together with the water.

3.  Pour beans, onion and salt pork into pot.  Pour the liquid mixture over the beans and stir.  Place crumbled bacon on top and close/lock the lid.

4.  Set the steam release valve to "sealing", press the "manual" button and change the time to 45 minutes.  When time is up, allow natural release for 10 minutes then quick release to open the lid (be careful as the steam will be hot!).  Stir.  Allow the beans to sit for 30 minutes or so to thicken.  The sauce will thicken even further if refrigerated and left overnight.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Meatball and Spinach Stromboli

I found this recipe in a magazine put out by Stop and Shop and we really liked it!  It's a pretty easy dinner to put together and I served it with a big salad.


1/2 of a 16 oz. pkg frozen Italian style meatballs
1 Tbsp. flour
1 (16 oz.) pkg. fresh pizza dough
1 cup pizza sauce
1 (10 oz.) box frozen chopped spinach
4 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 Tbsp. olive oil

1.  Cook the meatballs according to package directions.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Sprinkle the flour on a large piece of parchment paper and roll out the pizza dough to a 10"x14" rectangle.  Transfer the dough with the parchment to a baking sheet and spread the pizza sauce evenly over the dough.

2.  Place the thawed spinach in a colander and press with the back of a spoon to remove as much moisture as possible.  Divide the spinach evenly over the dough.  Slice the meatballs and arrange over the spinach.  Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and oregano.

3.  Take the long end of the dough and roll, using the parchment to help, and place seam side down on the baking sheet.  Brush the top of the dough with olive oil.  Cook the stromboli in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes.  Remove the pan from the oven and pour out any excess moisture.  return pan to oven and bake until golden brown and crisp, about 10 minutes.  Serve on a cutting board and slice at the table.

Baked Penne with Sausage and Apple

I have this little scrap of a magazine so I don't know what magazine that I got this from but this turned out really good!  There must have been a picture for me to have cut it out but I didn't have it with the recipe.  It's easy to put together and can even be assembled ahead of time and cooked later with adding a little extra time to bring it to temp.


1 lb. penne cooked as directed, saving 3/4 cup of pasta water before draining
2 Tbsp. butter
2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
12 oz. kielbasa, cut into coins
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. honey mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 cups shredded Gouda cheese, divided
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Melt butter over medium high heat in a large frying pan.  Add apples, kielbasa and onion.  Cook for about 5 minutes until the onion is softened and lightly golden.  Toss the cooked pasta with the apple mixture, reserved pasta water, honey mustard and salt and pepper.  Fold in 1 cup shredded Gouda cheese and transfer to a greased 3 quart baking dish.  Top with 1 more cup shredded Gouda and the Parmesan cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.  Broil 4 minutes, if desired, to brown top.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Ginger Chicken Stir Fry

This is a great recipe that my family has really enjoyed.  The original recipe has you making double of the marinade and chicken and splitting it into to gallon sized freezer bags to freeze for using in this recipe later.  It works great and you just need to grab the fresh ingredients when you are ready to make this.

Ginger Chicken Stir-Fry

6 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
4 tsp. chopped fresh ginger (or generous 1/4 tsp. ground ginger)
1.5 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into long thin strips
1 Tbsp. peanut or vegetable oil
3/4 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut into 2" pieces
10 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 bunch scallions, cut into 2" pieces
2-4 Tbsp. soy sauce
6 cups cooked rice

In a large bowl, mix vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, ginger and chicken.  Toss to coat.  Refrigerate for 1 hour (can be frozen at this point as well).

Heat a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat.  Add oil and veggies and stir fry with a spatula until crisp-tender, about 4-6 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl, cover and set aside.

Add more oil to the pan if needed and reheat.  Use a slotted spoon to add the chicken to the pan, leaving the marinade in the bowl.  Stir fry until seared and browned, 4-6 minutes.

Pour soy sauce and reserved marinade over chicken.  Stir fry 2 minutes or until sauce is boiling.  Return vegetables to skillet and stir-fry 1-2 minutes to reheat.  Serve immediately with rice.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Honey Balsamic Sheet Pan Chicken

A friend of mine posted a video on Facebook of this recipe and I thought it looked great so I followed the video to a page but the page didn't have a printable recipe but it referred to where it got the recipe so I went there and printed it out.  It turns out it was different than the one that I saw on Facebook but I combined the two recipes and made a FANTASTIC dinner for the family.  This is definitely a 10 out of 10!!!  Try it - it's REALLY easy to make and could be an easy after work meal although it does take almost an hour to get it on the table.

Honey Balsamic Sheet Pan Chicken

1.5 lbs. new red potatoes, quartered
2 cups cherry tomatoes
2 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper
1 lb. asparagus trimmed
drizzle of balsamic glaze

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil
salt and pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Oil or cooking spray a large sheet pan with sides.  Combine the vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, garlic, oregano, basil and salt and pepper in a gallon bag, mix and then add in the chicken breasts.  Let marinade for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Oil or cooking spray a large rimmed baking sheet.  Add potatoes and tomatoes to the pan and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper; bake for 25 minutes.  At the end of the time, remove pan from oven and decrease the temperature to 400 degrees.  Toss the potatoes and tomatoes then add asparagus to the pan and then place the chicken breasts on the vegetables and pour the marinade over all.   Drizzle the meal with some of the balsamic glaze and then bake for another 25 minutes or until chicken is done.

This served 5 and the recipe could be easily cut in half or doubled.  :)

Friday, March 4, 2016

Freezer Teriyaki Chicken

I can't find where I found the original recipe but I think it was over at New Leaf Wellness.  This is a recipe that you put together the ingredients ahead of time in a freezer baggie, freeze it and then when you need it, pull it out, thaw and dump it in the crockpot.  I wasn't too sure about this but it came out GREAT and the flavor was fantastic.  At the first bite, there were exclamations of joy from my family so this one is a keeper!!

Freezer Teriyaki Chicken

6-8 boneless chicken thighs
1 cup teryaki sauce
1 cup water
2/3 cup brown sugar
3 cloves garlic
a few slices of ginger

1.  Add all ingredients to a gallon freezer bag.  Freeze.

2.  Thaw overnight in refrigerator.

3.  Add to crockpot.  Cook on low 4 - 6 hours.

* This makes a LOT of sauce but it helps to keep the chicken moist since it sits in the liquid.  You can use the sauce on rice or over veggies if you want.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Crockpot Carne Asada Nachos

I found this recipe last month here and tucked it away, finally to pull it out for dinner this week.  We ran into a bit of a snag with losing power this morning so I brought the crockpot to work with me to be sure it would at least cook and with power returning in the afternoon, I was able to finish making this meal for the family and I'm so glad I did!!  The original recipe called for flank steak but it was $13 a pound when I went to the store and decided to totally skip that and I got a couple of little chuck steaks instead.  I ended up shredding the meat instead of slicing it and it was some of the best meat we've had in the crockpot!!  SO tender and yummy!!  This one is for sure a keeper!!  It will serve 4.

Crockpot Carne Asada Nachos

1.5 pound chuck steak (original recipe called for flank steak)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces of your favorite beer
1 ripe avocado
1 lime, juiced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, torn
1 bag of tortilla chips
8 ounces of monterey jack cheese, freshly grated
1/2 cup sweet corn (cooked or fresh)
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup sour cream or greek yogurt
directions: In a small bowl, combine the salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder and cumin. Whisk it together to create a rub, then evenly pat it all over both sides of the flank steak. Heat a large skillet over high heat and add olive oil. Add the flank steak and sear it on both sides until it is golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Remove the steak and place it in the crockpot. Cover it with beer, then cover the pot and cook the steak on low for 6 hours.

After 6 hours, remove the steak from the liquid and place it on a cutting board to rest for 15 minutes. Slice against the grain, cutting it into thin strips - it may be tender from the crockpot and fall apart, and that is fine.

In a small bowl, mash the avocado with the lime juice, half of the cilantro and a pinch of salt. Set it aside. Layer the chips on a baking sheet or dish. Cover them with half of the cheese, then add the corn and the steak. Add the rest of the cheese. Turn the broiler in your oven to high, and place the nachos underneath, cooking only until the cheese is golden and bubbly, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the nachos and immediately cover them with the tomatoes, guac, sour cream and remaining cilantro. Serve!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Ground Beef Stroganoff

This was a recipe that I found just last week and decided it looked nice and easy so we'd try it out.  I found it at Taste and Tell Blog and the only thing I did was to add a little more sour cream to it since I didn't feel it had enough but I also think I added a little more pasta to it than I should.  :)  But the kids LOVED it and some even gave it a 10 on a scale of 1-10 and Bob gave it a positive 8 - it was very good but he couldn't give it a 9 or 10 because those are for those really special recipes.  :)  There is a good 8 and a bad 8 and this was the good one.  So it will now find it's way into the rotation - thus it's posting here!!  I find this blog to be REALLY helpful when I'm at the grocery store and forgot to check to see what the ingredients were before I left home or if I'm just picking them up when I'm out and I don't remember what I needed to make the recipe.  I can look up here on my blog and quickly get the ingredients!  So with that said, if you try it, let me know what you think!  Oh and what's even better is that it is all made in one pot!

Ground Beef Stroganoff

3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
8 oz. crimini mushrooms, sliced
salt and pepper
1/2 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. ground beef
2 tsp. paprika
4 cups low sodium beef broth
8 oz. dry rotini
1/2 - 1 cup sour cream
fresh parsley for serving

1.  Heat 1 Tbsp. of the olive oil over medium heat in a pot or large skillet.  Add the mushrooms and cook until they are tender, about 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper, then remove from the pot into a bowl and set aside.

2.  Heat the remaining 2 Tbsp. of oil in the same pot.  Add the onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook until translucent, 4-5 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30-60 seconds.  Add the ground beef and continue to cook, breaking up the beef with a spoon as it cooks, until it is browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes.  Sprinkle the paprika over the top and stir to combine.

3.  Pour in the beef broth and the pasta.  Bring to a light boil then cover the pot.  Continue to cook, stirring often, until the pasta is al dente, 17-20 minutes.  Remove the pot from the heat and stir in teh mushrooms and sour cream.

4.  Serve topped with fresh parsley.