Winter Harvest

Winter Harvest

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Chicken and Bacon Mac and Cheese

This is a good stove top mac and cheese that you don't have to make a rue for. So for a quick and complete meal give it a try.

Here's how:

16-17 ounces pasta (you can use whatever shape pasta you want to.)
3 Cups whole milk
4 Tbl. butter
8 ounces velveeta (cubed)
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
1/4 tsp. Lowry's season salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 cup frozen peas

1 package of bacon chopped into small pieces and fried till crisp. Drain on paper towel and discard bacon grease.

4-5 chicken breasts
Montreal chicken seasoning

season chicken with the Montreal Chicken seasoning and fry in a little oil till cooked through. Remove to a plate to cool slightly. Then cube and place back on plate. Keep any juice from the chicken that gathers in the plate.

Start pan of salted water and cook pasta according to directions. Don't over cook the pasta. While pasta is cooking make the cheese sauce. In a large enough pot to hold the finished meal heat up milk and add the butter. Stir till butter melts and add the velveeta and stir to melted and smooth. Next add the shredded cheddar cheese and stir till melted. Add the Lowry's salt and the pepper. Stir in the cooked pasta and add the bacon, chicken (and any juices in the plate) and peas. Stir till all incorporated and heated through,. Adjust seasoning if needed.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Chinese Chicken Fried Rice

This is a basic and easy fried rice recipe. Makes a great meal with that left over rice (white or brown.)

You want to make your rice a day in advance and let it cool and dry out in the fridge. If you use brown rice you can use it the same day if need be, but spread it out and let it cool and dry out some first. There are a few prep steps but once you get the hang of it, getting it ready wont seem confusing. I prep everything and precook a few things.
One of the great things about fried rice is as you get the hang of it you might find you want more or less of certain things I put in mine. One of the things I don't  use is Toasted Sesame oil. I like it but prefer to not have it in my fried rice. You certainly can add a couple drops if you like.

Here's what I do:

4 Cup day old rice (white or brown)
1 1/2 Cups frozen mixed vegetables ( mine is corn, green beans and carrots). I put them in a strainer and run water over them to thaw and then let them drain till I need them.
12-15 chicken tenders cut into thin strips. I didn't think to weigh how much that is.
1 large onion chopped into 1 inch chunks
3 eggs beaten
4 green onions small chop
2-4 Tbl. regular soy sauce
1/8 + dark soy sauce
fish sauce
grape seed oil
corn starch
salt and pepper

You are going to start by marinating the chicken. Place chicken in a bowl and  add 1 Tbl. cornstarch, 1/4 tsp. sugar, 2 Tbl. regular soy sauce, 1 Tbl. grape seed oil, dash salt and pepper, 1/8 Cup of water. Mix all this together well getting the chicken evening coated. Set aside while you prep the rest of the meal.

In a bowl place the sliced onion, in another bowl place beaten eggs, veggies should be thawed and draining.

Place all this around the cooking station. Have the bowl with the cooked rice sitting there as well.
Heat wok and add 1 Tbl. oil and put the eggs in and scramble them. Rinse out the bowl you beat them in and dry it out so you can put them back in or get a clean bowl and when the eggs are done but still soft remove to a bowl. Next add another Tbl. of oil and add the thawed veggies and stir around to heat and dry them out some. Place back in strainer and let any liquid drain out ot them. Next add another Tbl. oil and fry the onion till it is crisp tender. You don't want to bite into a raw onion but we don't want them soggy either. Remove them to their bowl. Next add 2 Tbl. oil and when its hot add the chicken and stir fry it till it is cooked and remove to a clean bowl. Now we are ready to pull it all together.
In hot wok add 2 Tbl. oil and then the rice. Stir fry it till its heated and add the veggies. Stir around till the veggies and rice and mixed and veggies are hot. Now add the onion and chicken and mix and stir till everything blended and heated through. 
Add 2-4 Tbl. regular soy sauce, 1/8 Cup or a little more of dark soy sauce, little salt and pepper 1/2 tsp. fish sauce. Mix around and add the eggs in and mix and chop them into small pieces.Take off heat and add the green onion and stir to mix. Taste for seasoning.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Fireside Coffee

My son Christopher's girlfriend Daniel gave this to us for Christmas. It's easy and absolutely delicious. It's like dessert in a cup. YUM! Now if your looking for healthy this isn't it. If your looking for something hot and yummy on a cold evening this will make you smile. So with sweet Daniel's permission I am bringing it to you.

Fireside Coffee:

2 Cups nondairy creamer
2 Cups instant hot cocoa
1 Cup instant coffee
1 1/2 Cups of sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg (optional)

Mix and store in container.

To make:

1 mug of hot water
4 Tbl. of mix (or to taste)
Stir and enjoy.

I also think a splash of your favorite coffee flavored alcohol would be great and help warm your insides.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Ham & Bacon Fried Rice

This is amazing, tremendous, spectacular yumminess. If I do say so myself. My family loves, loves, loves Chinese food, particularly fried rice. This is pretty good. There are some small steps to do in the process but its not really hard.

Here's what I do: You can easily half this. I make this much because you know with the Sasquatches here and all.

1 package center cut bacon, sliced into small pieces. (If you don't buy center cut then trim the fatty ends off the bacon and toss them in the trash. We don't want tons of bacon grease.)

1 ham steak, cubed ( I trim all the fat off so that it is just lean meat.)
3 stalks of celery thin chop
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic minced
4 eggs beaten
couple pinch of black pepper
8 cups cooked (white or brown)  rice, cooled (I make mine the day before and leave in the fridge one night to let it dry out. It makes a difference the the texture of your fried rice. Now if I use brown rice I can cool it and use it the same day if I have too. It will work better than fresh cooked white rice. It doesn't have to sit over night and dry out like white rice does.)

2 Tbl. light soy sauce (this isn't light in salt. This is the regular soy sauce we are all use to using.)
2 Tbl. dark soy sauce (This is a thicker, darker, richer soy sauce. It does make a difference in the taste. I would not skip making this if you don't have it but if you can find it do. It helps give the rice that authentic taste. I order mine off of Amazon as no grocery stores near me carry it.)
1 Tbl. Fish sauce (most large grocery stores carry this in the Asian section.)
1/2 C fine chop green onion

Now we have to do some prep cooking first.
Heat your wok/large pan add 1 Tbl. oil (I use grapeseed oil)  Add your beaten eggs and stir fry them till they are done but still soft. Remove to a bowl (I just wash the bowl I beat them in and put them in there.) Next fry the bacon the the wok. When the bacon is crisp and done remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl or plate with paper towels to drain. Next, pour off the bacon grease and dispose of it. Don't wipe out the pan.
 Now add the cubed ham and stir fry till it has heated up and released the liquid in it (ham has a lot of liquid in it and releases it when you fry it. You don't want all that ham juice/water in your rice) Remove to a bowl with a slotted spoon and pour off the liquid as we wont use this.

Next, add the onion to the wok and stir fry till it is crisp tender and remove to a bowl
Next, add the chopped celery and stir fry till it is crisp tender and remove to a bowl.

Now we have done all the ingredient prep we need to before we stir fry the rice.

Add 2Tbl. oil to the hot wok and add  the garlic and stir briskly (we don't want to burn the garlic) and then add the rice. Start to stir it around and get it heated through and moistened with the oil. When the rice is hot add the bacon, ham, celery and stir and heat through. Add 2 Tbl. regular soy sauce and 2 Tbl. dark soy sauce, 1 Tbl. fish sauce and stir together. Continue to mix and heat everything up. Next add  eggs and break them up and stir fry into the rice mixture. Now add  the green onion and pinch or two of black pepper and again stir and mix together. Remove to a large bowl.

If you half the recipe remember to half the soy sauces and fish sauce or it will be tooooooo strong. Remember you can always add more but can't take it out. 

 Don't be afraid to try it. Its very good and once you get the hang of some of the prep its pretty quick and easy.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Potato Soup

This is easy and delicious. I searched a lot of recipes before I came up with my own version of this soup. I took the best ideas and put them together for my version. It is pretty yummy.

6 med. size potatoes, peeled and cubed into 1 - 1 1/2 inch cubes
3 carrots, chopped
3 stalks of celery , chopped
1 large onion, chopped
6 slices of bacon cut into thin little pieces
4 Tbl. unsalted butter
8 Cups chicken broth
1 cup half and half
1/2 cup half and half mixed with 1 Tbl.all purpose flour
1-2 tsp. salt
 1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. cajun seasoning
2 Tbl. minced parsley

Put soup pot over med-high heat and add the cut up bacon to the pan and fry till crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon to a bowl and set aside. Drain the rest of the bacon grease out of the pan and place back on the burner. Add the butter to pan and when it has melted throw in the onion, celery, and carrots and fry for 5 minutes  or till the veggies start to get tender. Add in the cubed potatoes, salt, pepper and cajun seasoning. stir. Pour in the broth and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer till potatoes are very tender. Taste for seasoning. You can add more salt, pepper or cajun seasoning to your taste. I know that I adjust it every time I make it. Using an immersion blender, blend till about half the potatoes and veggies are blended up. Next pour in the 1 cup of half and half and continue to cook and bring back to a boil and mix in the half and half blended with flour. Stir to thicken the soup slightly. Add the parsley and stir. How much flour and milk you use is really dependent on how thick you liken your soup. Always adjust seasoning at the end as needed.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Chicken

We are trying once again to eat a little better. Not Paleo, not low fat, not low carb, just a healthy mix of them all. So this is something I whipped up to eat by itself or have with a little rice on the side. It is delicious.

My husband and boys loved it.

I tripled the following  recipe for my large family of Sasquatches.  This is what I did:

1 lb. brussel sprouts cleaned and sliced in half and placed on a baking sheet to roast
1 yellow onion sliced onto junks
6 slices of bacon cut into pieces
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
olive oil

2 chicken breasts, or equivalent chicken tenders cleaned and sliced into thin strips (as if for a stir fry) and set aside

Dressing to drizzle over mix when done:
2 dijon or spicy mustard
1 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
3 tsp. honey
mix together and set aside.

Heat oven to 400. Place cut brussel sprouts and onion on baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake 20 minutes and then toss and place back in the oven for another 20 minutes or until the sprouts fork tender.

While brussel sprouts are roasting, book bacon pieces in large skillet till crisp. remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Pout all but 2 Tbl. of bacon grease off pan. Add chicken to hot bacon grease and fry till just cooked through. Remove and drain pan if necessary.
When brussel sprouts are done add to frying pan and add chicken and bacon and stir and heat all through. Mix in the dressing, walnuts and season to taste.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Smoked Jalapeno Vinaigrette

This is a  version of a dressing that I had at a local Mexican restaurant. It was on a great salad with chicken and all the fixings.
I am actually making Vegetarian Black bean tacos for dinner tonight and am going to place a slaw as the first layer of the taco. I am using this vinaigrette to marinate the slaw in. I will put the slaw down first in the corn tortillas, then spiced black beans and top with fried onions and jalapeno pepper. Serve with any sauce you like. I think it will be great. Anyway onto the vinaigrette.

This is what I did:

6 cloves garlic minced
3/4 C rice wine vinegar (you could use any mild vinegar of choice. Even a white balsamic would be good.)
3 tsp. of pureed (or more depending on how spicy you like it) canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
3 Tbl. honey
1/4-1/2 cup fine chop cilantro
salt and pepper
1 Cup olive oil

Place in blender and blend till smooth. Refrigerate.