Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Sweet Slowcooker Chicken

So this recipe is a mixture of something I had seen pop up on my newsfeed on facebook, and the want for something asian inspired and of course tasty!

I absolutely love love LOVE my crockpot, suck a wonderful invention. I have to purchase a new one every few years [granted a lot of that has to do with my hubby who has broken one or two over the years].

Sweet Slowcooker Chicken

Serves 4

1 chicken breast [1-1.5lbs]
1 can of crushed pineapple
minced garlic
cracked pepper
1/2c brown sugar
1T sesame oil
1T soy sauce
2T liquid honey
2T grated ginger root

corn starch and water slurry 
sesame seeds [garnish]

So for this I cube the chicken into bite size pieces, and dump in all of the other ingredients along with half a can of water. Cook on low for about 4hrs, until the chicken is cooked. Mix in a slurry of corn starch with some water.

And serve over rice and sprinkle over sesame seeds to serve.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Cheesy Jalapeno Bites

Now over the holidays I was given the task of making some appitizers for a  few family events.  Well mostly I am given the option of what side do I want to do and I opt for apps as they are usually easier to transport given my husband and I live relatively far from everyone, and there is nothing harder than transporting food and keeping it tasty for long hauls. I often go for the apps as they can be frozen and don't require a long time to cook or can be brought at room temp.

So this particular recipe came about from my husband's work pot luck, he called me telling me that there would be a pot luck and he wasnt sure what to make. Translation, make something honey cause I dont have a clue.

I started off with thinking I would make some homemade sausage rolls [a far cheaper alternative and tastier than the store bought kind], but the husband didnt want to have something that some people couldn't eat due to dietary restrictions.  And after some flattery from him I scrapped that concept and decided to go with something that was a little spicy, and very cheesy; plus it would have the nice crunch of the puff pastry. What can I say, while pregnant it is all about the ranges of flavour and textures that keep me going. And right now my dear future minion has my heat meter off a bit so even my "hot" is now far more mild but this can be spiced up by keeping in the membrane and some seeds from the peppers. I will say though there is a nice balance with this one with it having a slow heat that doesnt take over.

In the end what I came up with were these lovely delicate bites of spicy cheese wrapped up in a puffy pastry that honestly are darn addicting.

Cheesy Jalapeno bites

Makes approx 64 pieces

6 - 8 Jalapeno peppers [for hotter just keep in the membraine]
2 blocks of cream cheese
1 c grated cheddar or marble cheese
Splash of table cream [or milk]

2 boxes of pre rolled puff pastry [or puff pastry of choice, I am just lazy and like to buy the pre rolled packs from WalMart]

[Note: I do use a food processor, as it is quicker, but this recipe certainly can be done by hand]

1. Finely chop your peppers, then add in the cheeses and add in enough milk to make the mixture creamy. It should be thick and light green with green flecks from the peppers.

2. Roll out your pastry and cut into 4 x 4 squares

3. In the centre of each square place a dollop of the mixture and then fold together the corners so that you get a lovely package of creamy spicy goodness.

[At this point you can either freeze them for later, or bake them off right away].

4. Bake on parchment paper [my pastry comes with parchment wrapped around it, they totally make it too easy for me to be lazy] at 375deg for 20-35m [until nice and golden as it is only the pastry that needs to be cooked in this].

The chesy mixture
Just fold the corners together

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Somerthing useful

I wish I knew who to credit with this, but lets realize that really if you want to do the legwork it really isnt hard to just google this information.

Here is a diagram for halving a recipe.

Pot Pies

As I have mentioned in my last post I am expecting number two, and currently I am sitting at the 33 week mark. So right now it is all about the comfort foods and nesting.

I mean really there is nothing quite as nice as having your freezer full of premade meals waiting to go that are homemade so not packed full of salts or other preservatives.

One of the premade meals my husband and I prepared this past weekend was some Turkey Pot Pies.

Now I am not sure about you, but sometimes when I do the big turkey roast I find I am too tired at the end of it all to actually get that darn soup on the boil. So I will often find myself packing up the bones and bits and tossing them in the freezer to make stocks later on in the year. Given that we are within those first three weeks of 2015, I have one such a bag from our turkey from New Years Day.

So first thing I did with this meal was I boiled up my bones, as I wanted a nice stock to make the gravy for my pot pies. If you aren't sure how to make stock, it really is the most simplest of things.

Take some nice bones [which taste even better and create a richer stock after they have been roasted], a carrot, some celery, onion, and garlic. Toss them all in a large stock pot with a fee bay leaves and enough water to cover over the entire thing. Then boil away. You can adjust spicing as you go [adding in pepper or salt etc] but it is the gelatin in the bones which have all the flavour so just boil it away as long as you can before packing it up.

Once I boil my bones I then either go ahead and make a soup from it or package it up for later use, some just stock, and some with meat. then freeze it so that I can pull out what I need as I need it.

Turkey Pot Pie

1 Turkey breast [already roasted up and chopped into cubes]
2c of mixed vegetables [you can use whatever you have on hand, for this one I used a classic pea, carrot and corn mix and tossed in a few handfuls of spinach as well]
4c Turkey stock
3/4c  flour
2-3T butter
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 package of premade puff pastry [If you are amazing at making puff pastry please go ahead and make it, for me I find it is a bit easier to pick this one up predone and just have a few rolls of it in the freezer]

First thing I do with this is make a nice classic gravy, by melting down my butter and browning the flour. Using a whisk I make sure that the flour gets to a nice brown which gives it a nutty flavour. then I slowly add in my stock until I have a nice thick paste, to thin it out a bit I add in milk.  This process can take time as you want to ensure that there are no lumps in that gravy and it is a nice smooth consistency. Taste as you go and add in additional spicing as needed.

Add in your chopped veg and meat and mix together so that it is all well incorporated.

Pour your gravy meat mix into either one large pan or in two loaf pans [I tend to use two so I can freeze one for a later meal] and then cut your pastry to the shape of the top and lay it over the gravy mix.

It really is that simple.

If storing, cover over once cool and freeze [I wouldn't store it longer than 3mths, if it can even last that long].

Bake at 375deg uncovered for 45m until your crust is brown and there is bubbling up around the edges from the gravy [I toss a catch all cookie sheet at the bottom of my oven to catch any unwanted mess].

Let cool for about 5m before serving, makes enough for 6.

And I am back after a few Years... Here is an update for you all

So apparently the last time that I posted it was March 2011.

Well lets just say a LOT has happened in the last 3 almost 4 years now.

First an apology, I never intended to neglect this page, I honestly have files and files of delicious recipes and a few photos of things which I have wanted to share with you all. But as it happens life took over, from school and now children [yes I said children] and now as we are entering 2015 I am trying to get things organized once more.

What can you expect from the blog?

Well I have the offer of some guest blogs, so some recipes from friends to share.

A few fun anecdotes of my now 2yr old minion and the promise of many new ones with this new minion who is on the way.

My Darren, born 10weeks early on 10 December 2012, his first year and 2nd year photo.
Truly the joy in my life.