Tuesday, September 29

HOW TO: Make Pull-Apart Garlic Bread (Using Sliced Bread)

This is one of those new fad foods, everyone is making it, everyone has a recipe for it, and everyone is Pinning it. Unlike my co-recipe posters, mine uses everyday sliced bread that is in your house. You can use any bread white, potato, wheat, ect. And it works great to use up a loaf of bread that is close to expiring.

Full time 30-40 minutes
Makes 8" loaf

The needs-

10 slices bread (for best result let them lay out for a few hours to dry out)
1 slick butter, melted
1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
2 tbsp dried parsley
1 tbsp garlic powder

The know-

Heat oven to 350' and set aside a 8 X 4 bread pan. 

Slice bread across 4 times roughly 1/2" apart and 1/2" up from the bottom.

Lay bread out on wax paper. Brush liberally with butter.

Dust with half of the parsley and garlic powder.

Flip bread over carefully and repeat.

Pour remaining butter into the bottom of bread pan and swirl pan around to coat.

Stack bread into pan, pieces may begin to break that is okay, but try to be gentle.

Push mozzarella into the slices and between the bread slices themselves.

Bake in oven for 25 minutes or until nicely golden.

Carefully flip pan over to remove bread and place on a serving plate. Cheers!

Sunday, September 27

Slow Cooker French Butter Herb Chicken

Get those slow cookers out Autumn is here and it is time for those set it and forget it hearty home dinner we love so much. Here is one of my favorite meals to go to make in the slow cooker. From "Frozen to Table" in 6 1/2 hours. Full of great French herbs and savory flavors.

Full time 6 1/2 hours (can cook for 8 if desired)
Serves 4-6

The needs-

6 chicken thighs (frozen or fresh)
1 medium white onion, peeled and quartered
1/4 cup butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 tsp dried basil*
1 tsp dried lavender flowers*
1 tsp dried marjoram*
1 tsp dried rosemary*
1 tsp dried savory*
1 tsp dried tarragon*
1 tsp dried thyme*
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper

*if desired you can substitute 1 1/2 tbsp Herbs de provence blend, it will slightly alter taste, but is the same herbs.

The know-

Place chicken in slow cooker.

Add in all herbs and seasonings.

Tuck the onion pieces around chicken.

Place butter across the highest parts of chicken.

Allow to cook on high for 6 hours, if using fresh chicken cook at low.

Move to serving platter using a slotted spoon, if desired strain pot broth and serve as a pan gravy. Cheers!

Friday, September 25

MAKE IT: Preserved Lemons

Okay, this is may sound like an unusual ingredient/recipe. But actually I picked it up traveling, the taste of a preserved lemon is often used to enhance many eastern dishes. It blends well into a variety of recipes including lamb roasts, slow cookers, and baked pumpkin. If your looking for a new ingredient to play with or to try out, try adding a little preserved lemon to your pantry.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Full time: 2 months

The Needs-

8 un-waxed lemons, wash the day before
8 dried bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
1 quart fresh squeezed sugar free lemon juice (get more just in case)
2 lb. coarse sea salt
1/2 lb. fine sea salt
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp whole cloves
1 tsp dried red chili flakes

The know-

Start with a large, air tight 2 quart container. Run it under hot water for a few minutes and set aside to air dry upside down while working with lemons

Wipe but do not rinse the outside of the lemons

Cut into the lemons but not all the way down, go only 1/2 to 2/3 of the way down

Gently squeeze the uncut bottom of lemon, to force the cuts to open, pack with coarse sea salt. Then press slices back together

Place enough lemons to fill the bottom of container then pack with coarse salt

Top and cover with fine sea salt

Place remaining lemons on top in a second layer

Pack coarse salt between but not on top of these lemons

Top lemons with spices

Fill in remaining space with any reaming salt

Pour in enough juice to completely cover. Do this slowly, it takes a while for juice to sink to the bottom and some of the smaller spices may rise to the top, this is okay. Just keep an eye out if you can see the lemons, try to gently move salt over with a spoon

Cover with lid and seal tight. I like to add a piece of plastic wrap over lid with a date tag and elastic band for extra airtight protection

Sit in cool place to store for two months.

Salt will dissolve and form a clear liquid. Once your time has come. Use lemons in various dishes to enhance flavor. Cheers!

Tuesday, September 22

MUG IT: Smothered Baked Potato

In my collage years I used to love eating baked potatoes, actually I still do. But I used to eat them by myself alot. This was a quick and easy way to get all that great baked potato flavor and not have to spend an hour making it. Filled with butter and cheese, this one is a way to please!

Full time 12 minutes
Serves 1

The needs-

1 large white potato, cleaned and diced into 1/2" pieces
2 tbsp shredded cheese (any type, I am using a blend)
1 tbsp butter, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

For serving-
1 tbsp sour cream

For a great twist-
1 tbsp salsa
1 tbsp black beans

The know-

In a deep wide cafe style mug or large ramekin, place potatoes.

Microwave 8 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork, checking after 6 minutes.

Add butter slices and microwave 30 seconds.

Add salt and pepper, stir well to fully blend.

Top with cheese and microwave 30 seconds.

Cheese will not melt 100%, which is perfect.

Top with sour cream and serve. For a great twist add salsa and black beans to toppings.


Sunday, September 20

MUG IT: Cookies and Cream Cake

When it comes to mug cake, this one is my families favorite one. Filled with cookies and topped with fudge sauce, this mug cake is a crowd wower!

Full time 5 minutes
Serves 1

The needs-

2 Oreo cookies, broken into pieces
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
1/4 cup flour
3 tbsp milk
1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 tsp baking powder

For serving:
1 Oreo cookie
1 tbsp chocolate sauce

The know-

In a mug combine milk, vegetable oil, baking powder, and chocolate chips.

Microwave for 40 seconds and then stir to create a smooth texture.

Add in flour and mix well.

Add in cookies.

Microwave 1 minute and 20 seconds, let rest 1 minute.

Top with chocolate sauce and cookie.


Thursday, September 17

Sweet Potato, Onion, and Apple Hash

September is the beginning of apple picking time in my area. It extends for a few months and I do enjoy picking and cooking with apples. I like to use them in a variety of dishes and not just desserts. For example this hash makes a perfect side dish to pork or chicken while combining the apple with a well loved sweet potato.

Full time 30 minutes
Serves 4

The needs-

1 large apple (any variety) cut into eights and sliced thin.
1 small white onion, cut in half and sliced
3 small width sweet potatoes, cut into round 1/4" thick
1/4 cup butter, divided into 4 pieces
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

The know-

In a saute pan heat 1 portion butter with half the olive oil over medium-high heat.

Add in onion and saute 3-5 minutes or until the edges begin to golden and onion has become soft.

Add in remaining olive oil and 1 portion butter along with sweet potato rounds. Stir or toss to combine and let cook 8-10 minutes or until potatoes begin to soften at edges.

Add in 1 portion of butter and apples. Stir or toss to combine and reduce heat to medium-low. Allow mixture to cook 8-10 minutes or until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork.

Add in final portion of butter and allow to melt, stirring or tossing the pan to fully incorporate.

Allow to cook just until butter is absorbed.

Move to serving bowl, serve immediately. Cheers.

Tuesday, September 15

MUG IT: Individual Mashed Potato

Simple home cooked mashed potatoes for one in under 10 minute? This simple four step recipe creates a great side dish or snack in your microwave. Making this a great recipe for dorms, work break rooms, or even hotels!

Full time 10 minutes
Serves 1

The needs-

1 large white potato, cleaned and diced into 1/2" pieces
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

The know-

Place potato into a deep wide cafe style mug or large ramekin. Cook in microwave 6-8 minutes or until potato mashes easily with a fork.

Carefully mash potato down.

Add in butter and milk, microwave 1 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper and let stand 1 minute before eating.