Poultry

Smoky Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thighs

Smoky Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thighs

INGREDIENTS:
  • 4 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs
  • 8 slices of bacon
  • 2 tsp Smoky Spice Blend 
    • 1 Tbsp. chipotle powder
    • 1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
    • 1 Tbsp. onion powder (eliminate to make this FODMAP-free)
    • 1/2 Tbsp. cinnamon
    • 1 Tbsp. sea salt
    • 1/2 Tbsp. black pepper
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Combine all spices in a bowl, then store in a small container. 
  2. Preheat oven to 375.
  3. Sprinkle the chicken thighs with 1 tsp of Smoky Spice Blend, then wrap each one in 2 strips of bacon.
  4. Sprinkle with the remaining Smoky Spice Blend and bake for approximately 40 minutes.

Recipe from Balancedbites

Casseroles · Family · Family Favorites · Gluten Free · Vegetables · Vegetarian

Irish Potato Casserole

Irish Potato Casserole is a favorite recipe shared with me by my sister-in-law, Betty, many years ago. I have served it often as a side with Prime Rib or with Baked Ham with many compliments. This is a wonderful potato dish that you can prepare the day before and have ready for the oven before your guests arrive. Over the years, I’ve substituted low-fat cream cheese and sour cream with equally good results. It’s a winner, winner chicken dinner kind of recipe!

I’ve shared a photo of the casserole before baking.  Every time I make this, I am in such a hurry to serve the meal, that I forget to take a picture after.  The after picture would be very similar but with a browned top….never said I was a professional blogger!

This Christmas we will again, have the Irish Potato Casserole with Prime Rib and other family favorites!

IRISH POTATO CASSEROLE

8 to 10 medium potatoes, peeled
8 ounces cream cheese
8 ounces sour cream
1/2 cup melted butter
1/4 cup chopped chives
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt paprika

  • Cook potatoes in boiling water until tender. Drain and mash.
  • Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add potatoes and all other ingredients (except paprika) and beat until well combined.
  • Spoon into lightly buttered casserole and sprinkle with paprika.
  • Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove from refrigerator 1 hour before baking. Uncover and bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
Garden · New Favorite · Pastas

Eggplant Tomato and Mozzarella Pasta Bake

Eggplant is my favorite vegetables!  Each year I grow eggplant in my garden, finding success with Japanese Eggplant varieties.  Instead of just roasting eggplant (which I love), I wanted to try this Eggplant pasta dish and loved it!

EGGPLANT TOMATO AND MOZZARELLA PASTA BAKE

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound rigatoni
  • 1 medium eggplant, diced
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • One 24-ounce jar marinara sauce
  • 2 cups fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • Nonstick cooking spray, for the baking dish
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season aggressively with salt. Add the rigatoni and cook 3 minutes less than the package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water and drain.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Toss the eggplant and tomatoes with 3 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread on the baking sheet and roast until the eggplant is golden brown and tomatoes are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. (Leave the oven on.)
  4. Toss the rigatoni with the eggplant, tomatoes, about 1/4 cup pasta water and the marinara sauce in a large bowl. If it looks dry, add the remaining pasta water. Stir in 1 cup mozzarella.
  5. Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Transfer the pasta to the baking dish and top with the remaining cup mozzarella and the Parmesan and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon olive oil.
  6. Bake until the cheese is melted and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. (Turn the
    broiler on at the end if you want the cheese to brown more.) Garnish with additional Parmesan and the chopped basil and serve.

Recipe from FoodNetwork.com

Appetizers · New Favorite

Flatbread with Peach, Prosciutto and Mozzarella

Fresh Colorado peaches and so many recipes to try.  I made this for a quick, delicious dinner and it didn’t disappoint.  I enjoyed it with a glass of crisp, white wine.  This flatbread with make repeat appearances in my home!

FLATBREAD WITH PEACH, PROSCIUTTO, AND MOZZARELLA

4 naan flatbreads 
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
8 oz. fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
peaches, thinly sliced
4 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto, torn into bite-size pieces
1/2 c. thinly sliced fresh basil
kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
  • Preheat oven to 450°.
  • Place flatbreads on two baking sheets and drizzle each with ½ tablespoon olive oil. Top with mozzarella, peaches, prosciutto, and ¼ cup basil, and season with salt and pepper.
  • Bake until crust is crisp and golden and cheese is melted, about 8 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup basil. Cut each pizza into quarters and serve immediately.

Recipe from delish.com

Casseroles · Family · Family Favorites · Home

Scalloped Potatoes with Ham

Scalloped Potatoes with Ham in comfort food for the soul.  My Mother often made a version of Scalloped Potatoes with Ham and I have made in in the crock pot for years.  I wanted a new version, and loved this recipe.

While perusing the reviews, several people added additional seasoning to the sauce, parboiled the potatoes, added broccoli, etc.  This is a solid base recipe that you can use to get creative.  In the photos below, I did not cover the dish while baking and it took a solid hour to cook.  It is delicious ad comforting…just what we all need!

SCALLOPED POTATOES WITH HAM

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups milk
Salt & Pepper
1 tablespoon butter
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
4 large russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
12 ounces 1/4 inch sliced baked ham, cubed
2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a baking dish.
  • In a saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium high heat. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Remove saucepan from heat and whisk in milk. Return pan to heat and bring to a simmer while stirring. When sauce has thickened remove from heat, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  • In a skillet, cook onions in melted butter until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Spread 1/3 of the white sauce in bottom of baking dish and top with half of the potatoes. Spread out half of the onions, ham, cheese and another third of the sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Continue layering ingredients, ending with the remaining cheese on top. Bake, covered, for 45 mintues.  Remove cover and bake another 15 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
Book Club · Cakes · Holidays · New Favorite

Cinnamon Apple Pie Cake

Cinnamon Apple Pie Cake is absolutely yummy!  I’ve served it multiple times with great reviews and requests for future events.  This is a definite favorite in my recipe box!

CINNAMON APPLE PIE CAKE

6 to 8 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon- sugar (1 1/4 T. sugar + 1/4 t. cinnamon)
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups superfine white sugar (see *Tips below)
1 1/2 cups vegetable or canola oil (see notes below!)
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-Purpose Flour
more cinnamon-sugar to sprinkle on top (same as above)

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 1/2 to 10-inch springform pan with nonstick spray. Line the bottom with a round of parchment paper and then spray again.
  • Layer the apple slices in the pan until they come about 2/3 of the way up the side. (I went a little higher than that and it worked out fine). Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar over the apples.
  • Prepare the batter by beating the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the oil (see notes below about the amount of oil called for) and the vanilla and beat well, then stir in the flour. Pour the batter on top of the apples, and sprinkle with additional cinnamon-sugar. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to allow the batter to sink down and around the apples.
  • Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool *completely* in the pan. If you try to remove the cake from the pan while it is still warm, it will tend to break apart. I refrigerated my cake before slicing, and that worked out well. Serve slices with ice cream (warm individual slices in the microwave, if desired).

TIPS:

  • You want “caster sugar” for this recipe: It is a finer grind than table sugar, but not as fine as powdered. Look for “Baker’s Sugar” at the store, or simply put regular white sugar in your food processor and give it a few whirls to create superfine sugar.
  • NOTE:  In the original recipe from this cookbook, the author calls for 1 1/2 cups of oil.  Although my pie cake turned out just fine the way the recipe was written, when I make it again… I will definitely try using 3/4 cup oil and 3/4 cup applesauce instead.  Some readers have noted that this has worked well for them.
Desserts · Family · Family Favorites · My Roots

Apple Roll Ups

My Mother was such a great cook and many of my cherished recipes came from her kitchen.  Apple Roll Ups is one of those recipes.  They are fantastic served warm but equally good left-over.  If you truly want to indulge, you can pour a bit of cream on the top of your Apple Roll.

IMG_7551

APPLE ROLL UPS

SYRUP:
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar

  • Boil for 3 minutes.  Cool.
  • Pour into ungreased 9×13 inch pan.

DOUGH:
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons shortening (I used unsalted butter)
1/2 cup milk
1 egg

  • Combine flour, baking powder, salt and shortening and blend well. Add 1/2 up milk and 1 egg. Mix well.
  • Roll the dough out on a floured surface into a rectangle shape about 1/4-1/2 inch thick.

FILLING:
1/2 to 1 cup sugar
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 cups finely diced apple (I used Granny Smith)

  • Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon over rolled out dough. Add chopped apple.

IMG_7537

  • Roll up carefully and cut into 12 in slices.
  • Place in 9×13 inch pan on top of cooled syrup.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.

 

Appetizers · Breads · New Favorite

Focaccia with Carmelized Onions, Pear and Blue Cheese

Pears have been plentiful this year and I had to find a savory recipe to use extra pears when I discovered this fantastic recipe.  The focaccia recipe itself is wonderful and worthy of a totally different set of toppings; however, it’s hard to beat pears and blue cheese.

This is a recipe I’ll make over and over and over…

IMG_7612

FOCACCIA WITH CARMELIZED ONIONS, PEAR AND BLUE CHEESE

1 cup warm water
1 package active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon honey
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1 large Bosc pear, cored and sliced
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (I used Gorgonzola)

  • In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast and honey and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of the flour and 1/4 cup of the oil; let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining flour and the salt and knead until smooth.
  • Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic and let stand for 1 hour. Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the onion, cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add the sugar, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 10 minutes. 
  • Preheat the oven to 450°. Oil a 9-by-13 inch rimmed baking sheet. Transfer the dough to the sheet and press it down to fit. Dimple the dough all over with your fingers and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Let the dough rise until puffed, about 20 minutes. 

IMG_7600

  • Scatter the onions over the dough. Arrange the pear over the onions and sprinkle with the blue cheese. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over the focaccia and bake for 20 minutes, until golden. Transfer to a rack to cool. Serve.

IMG_7601

Recipe from FoodandWine.com

Breakfast · Family Favorites · New Favorite · New Traditions

Egg and Bacon Cups

Let me send a huge compliment to one of my favorite blogs, Iowa Girls Eats. Not only is she from Iowa but she eats gluten-free and has many great ideas.  While browsing for egg recipes I saw that she had tried bacon egg cups and I decided to give my own version a whirl. Most of the recipes on the web show that you use a whole egg in each cup but I decided to scramble the eggs and add ingredients.

Next time, I would either cook the bacon even longer or I would precook the bacon and crumble it in the bottom of each cup.  I like my bacon crispy so I’d prefer my bacon slices to be the same.  You’ll also see that the bacon was not on the outside of the eggs cups since the bacon shrinks while precooking but they come out beautifully as cups just the same!

BACON EGG CUPS

6 slices of bacon
6 eggs
1/4 cup cheese (I used cheddar)
pinch of Herbs de Provence
salt & pepper

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Wrap a slice of bacon around each of six muffin tins.  Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes or until almost done to your liking.
  • While the baking is cooking, beat eggs and add cheese, herbs and salt and pepper.  Set aside.
  • Remove muffin tins from oven and carefully pour or remove the bacon fat.
  • Carefully pour egg mixture into each of the six muffin tins.
  • Bake another 15+ minutes or until eggs are completely cooked through.

 

 

Cakes · Garden · New Favorite

Gooseberry Crumble Cake…new to my Gooseberry recipe collection

Converting grams to ounces and cups is not easy!  Somehow it seems that Gooseberries are plentiful in countries that use the metric system.  I did my best to convert and, I have to say, the results were excellent.

GOOSEBERRY CRUMBLE CAKE

1 1/2 cups cleaned gooseberries
3/4 cup unsalted, softened butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
3 ounces ground almonds
1 1/8 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Crumble:

3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup unsalted, softened butter
2 tablespoons sugar

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a square cake pan.  To make the cake, beat the butter and sugars in a mixer for 8-10 minutes until fluffy.  Break the eggs and beat them gently with a fork.  Add slowly, with the beater, to the butter and sugar mixture.
  • Combine the ground almonds into the flour, salt and baking powder.  Gradually add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture.  Pour the batter into the baking pan. Scatter the gooseberries on the top.

 

  • Make the crumble topping by mixing the flour butter and sugar in the food processor.  Scatter the crumbs loosely over the top of the gooseberries.

  • Bake for about an hour, checking to assure the cake it done.  Remove the cake from the oven and cool before serving.