Cranberry Oatmeal Bars

Had to use up that Cranberry Sauce I made.  These bars were Simple and Delicious!

Cranberry Oatmeal Bars
(compliments of cookthestory.com)

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Ingredients

2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces (2 sticks or 16 Tablespoons)
1 (14 ounce) can hold berry cranberry sauce or 1 1/2 cups homemade cranberry sauce

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a large bowl mix together the first 6 dry ingredients.
  3. Add the pieces of butter to the dry ingredients.  Use your fingers to rub in the butter until everything is moistened and no pieces are bigger than the oats.
  4. Spoon 3/4 of the oat mixture into a 13×9 inch cake pan.  Press down on the oat mixture firmly to form a layer that evenly covers the pan.
  5. Add the cranberry sauce in dollops and spread in a thin layer over the oat mixture.
  6. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 of the oat mixture on top of the thin layer of cranberry sauce.
  7. Place in oven and bake 25-30 minutes
  8. Allow to cook in the pan on a wire rack.
  9. Cut into bars and serve.

YUM!  Enjoy!!

Cranberry Sauce

Tis the season! I bought a bag of cranberries.  No one in this house likes cranberry sauce. Not sure why I bought them!! I didn’t want to waste them so I found a recipe in Food Network magazine and decided to slow cook some cranberries.  When I tasted the sauce I thought it was so flavorful I had to do something with it.  I searched online and found a recipe for Cranberry Oatmeal Bars and that was even better! Click on the link and make those too!!

Cranberry Sauce
(Compliments of Mccormick.com)

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Ingredients

12 ounce package of fresh cranberries
2/3 cup sugar
1 seedless orange, peeled and sectioned
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick (I didn’t have a cinnamon stick so I stirred in 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in the sauce after removed from the oven.)

Directions

  1.  Place all ingredients in slow cooker. I used my Dutch Oven and baked for 3 hours at 225 degrees.  You can use your slow cooker and the suggestion is High for 3 hours.
  2. Check every hour, uncover and stir.
  3. After 3 hours if not thickened enough (mine was) you should cook in your slow cooker, uncovered for 30-45 minutes longer until desired thickness is reached.
  4. After I took mine out of the oven I stirred in 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.
  5. It was awesome!! 🙂

I used most of the sauce for the cranberry oatmeal bars.  The rest I used on my salad and that was a fabulous idea.  I made another batch this weekend and will be using on my salad and maybe making some cookies with the rest.  Who knows!!

 

 

Shrimp Burgers

Thought I would bring this 2015 post to the front of my blog.  We have made this very simple recipe a few times a year. It is not too often Kent has any food requests.  He just eats whatever I put on the table.  He found this recipe a few years ago in a Cook’s Country magazine and he thought it sounded pretty tasty.  We dug it out of my recipe book yesterday for his birthday.  He really enjoyed this shrimp burger along with Eric and Rachel.  Seafood isn’t for me but they really enjoyed this simple and delicious meal!!

Start with the Tartar Sauce. That way you can put in fridge while making the shrimp burgers.

Tartar Sauce
Ingredients

3/4 cup mayonnaise
3 Tablespoons finely chopped dill pickles
1 teaspoon dill pickle brine
1 Tablespoon capers, chopped fine
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Shrimp Burgers

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1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 1/4 pound peeled and deveined large shrimp (24-30 per pound) tails removed
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 scallions, chopped fine (I used 2 Tablespoons chopped chives today. Worked just great!)
3 Tablespoon vegetable oil
4 hamburger buns
4 leaves Bibb Lettuce (I used green leaf)

Directions

1.  Pulse panko in food processor until finely ground, about 15 pulses; transfer to shallow dish.  Place one third of shrimp (1 cup), mayonnaise, pepper, salt, and cayenne in now empty processor and pulse until shrimp are finely chopped, about 8 pulses.  Add remaining shrimp (about 2 cups) to shrimp mixture in processor and pulse until coarsely chopped, about 4 pulses, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.  Transfer shrimp mixture to bowl and stir in scallions.007
2.  Divide shrimp mixture into four 3/4 inch thick patties (about 1/2 cup each).  Working with 1 patty at a time, dredge both sides of patties in panko, pressing lightly to adhere, and transfer to plate. (if you dampen your hands with water you can form the burgers much easier.  Not so sticky.  Just saying’)
3.  Heat oil in 12 inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. 010 Place patties in skillet and cook until golden brown on first side, 3-5 minutes.  Carefully flip and continue to cook until shrimp  registers 140-145 degrees and second side is golden brown, 3-5 minutes longer. (My time was 5 minutes each side. When I used the thermometer with that timing the burgers were 140, which was perfect!)

Transfer burgers to paper towel lined plate and let drain, about 30 seconds per side.  Spread tartar sauce (which is amazing!) on bun bottoms, then place burgers and lettuce on top.  Cover with bun tops.  Serve and Enjoy!!

Chicken Vegetable Soup

I make this soup a lot!  Either on a Sunday or after I get home from work.  I pick up a rotisserie chicken from my local store and can make this soup in under an hour.  Lately I throw in a 1/4 cup rice.  Love it!

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Chicken Vegetable Soup

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1# rotisserie chicken, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1-2 carrots, chopped
1 potato, diced (If I add 1/4 cup rice I don’t put in the potato.  You can though!)
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic, chopped
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
32 ounce chicken broth (or use Chicken Better Than Boullion. I love that stuff!)
Salt and pepper

1.  Add 2 Tablespoons of olive oil to stock pot. Add onion, celery and carrot. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt. Saute until onions are opaque.
2.  Add garlic and let saute for 30-60 seconds
4.  Add the chicken with potatoes (or rice) and chicken broth.  Simmer for 30 minutes.
5.  Add parsley, let simmer 5 more minutes. (No parsley? That is fine too)
6.  Serve with salad and rolls.

Simple and Delicious, wouldn’t you agree?

 

 

New York Style Pizza

Friday night Kent and I were chatting.  He mentioned he would like me to try to make a NY Style Pizza.  You know – the thin, floppy crust, cheese pizza.  Well, I found a recipe and gave it a whirl today.  It turned out very close to that style pizza.  Kent, Eric and Rachel approved.  We have lived in the midwest for 19 years. Originally from Central NY.  We know what a NY Style pizza is about.  However, Chicago is my kind of town!! My favorite style pizza is Chicago Deep Dish. (A bit more work to make but worth it.) I did enjoy this NY pizza but Chicago is my fav.  Just sayin’!

New York Style Pizza
(Compliments Adam Ragusea, NY Times)

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1 hour before baking; PREHEAT oven 475-500 degrees (I did 500 degrees)

Ingredients
(Makes four 12-inch pizzas)

For the dough:

2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast (1 packet)
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ cup warm water
2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt
¼ cup olive oil
5 cups bread flour, plus more as needed (I used 5 3/4 cups flour. I started with 5 cups and then added 1/4 cup at a time.)

Directions

  1. Bloom the yeast in a stand mixer bowl with the teaspoon of sugar and ¼ cup water.
  2. When it’s frothy, add the rest of the ingredients and mix with the dough hook until a smooth ball comes together.
  3. It should be only slightly sticky; if it’s very sticky, add additional flour.
  4. Divide dough into four equal parts, roll each into a smooth ball and place in its own, well-oiled bowl.
  5. Age in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours or up to a week. (I made the morning of the day before and the next evening made the pizza)

Pizza Sauce

Ingredients

1 28-ounce can whole San Marzano tomatoes
¼ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon sugar, or more to taste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons tomato paste

Directions

  1. Remove tomatoes from their canning liquid and discard the liquid.
  2. Squish or blend the tomatoes until smooth. (I used an immersion blender and that worked great.  I like my pizza sauce without lumps.)
  3. Add remaining ingredients and mix until smooth. Makes enough for four pizzas.

Cheese Topping for Pizza

6 ounces whole-milk, low-moisture mozzarella per pizza (note the cheese. NOT skim but whole milk)
1/4 cup Grated Parmesan

Assembly

  1.  Place pizza stone on middle rack and preheat oven on its maximum temperature for one hour. (I did 500 degrees.)
  2. Use convection setting, if available. (I did not use convection)
  3. After pre-heating, stretch pizza dough and place on a well-dusted peel. (I stretched on peel lined with parchment paper and a light dusting of all purpose flour.  Worked perfect!)
  4. Top with sauce, parmesan, and then the mozzarella.
  5. Bake for 5-6 minutes.
  6. Rest on cooling rack before slicing.

ENJOY!!

Sauteed Chicken Cutlets with Lemon, Caper, and Parsley Pan Sauce

I am tired of making the same dishes over and over again.  I have been going online to one of my favorite websites; America’s Test Kitchen to see if I could find some different recipes.  Kent suggested I look for skillet dishes.  I made a smothered chicken recipe on Saturday that we enjoyed.  This morning I woke up and knew I had chicken breasts defrosting in the fridge.  I poured a cup of java and went onto ATK and found this recipe. I made this in under an hour tonight.  It was fast, flavorful and fabulous.

Sauteed Chicken Cutlets with Lemon, Caper and Parsley Pan SauceIMG_1717

 

Ingredients

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (6-8 ounces each) – I had 2 large chicken breasts
Salt and ground black pepper
4 teaspoons vegetable oil

Note: Slice the chicken breasts in half. Place one hand on top of the breast to secure it, hold a chef’s knife parallel to the cutting board, and slice through the middle of the breast.  Pat dry and season.

Sauce

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 medium shallot, minced (about 3 Tablespoons)
1 teaspoon all purpose flour
3/4 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon
1 Tablespoon capers, minced and chopped
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 Tablespoons cold butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions

  1. For Chicken: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Season both sides of each cutlet with salt and pepper.  Heat 2 teaspoons oil in 12 inch skillet over medium high heat until smoking. Place 2-4 cutlets in pan.  (Don’t over crowd.  If you do they will not brown.)  Do not move cutlets for 3 minutes, then flip.  3 minutes on other side. (They should be sliced thin enough to be done. If not cook longer.)  Transfer to oven safe plate. Add 2 teaspoons of oil to fry pan and repeat with remaining cutlets.  Transfer to plate, cover loosely with foil and place in oven to keep warm while making pan sauce.
  2. DO NOT CLEAN OUT SKILLET
  3. For Sauce: Add 2 teaspoons oil to skillet on low heat. Add minced shallot and cook, stirring often for 1-2 minutes.  Add flour and cook, stirring constantly for 30 seconds.  Add broth, increase heat to medium high, and bring to a simmer, scraping pan bottom to loosen browned bits.  Simmer rapidly for 3 minutes. Stir in any accumulated chicken juices (I forgot this step), return to simmer and cook 30 seconds.  Off heat, whisk in lemon juice, capers, parsley and butter; season with salt and pepper.
  4. Spoon over cutlets and serve. You side could be a salad, rice or mashed potatoes or whatever side you desire.  I chose mashed potatoes!

Enjoy!

I always have shallots in my kitchen.  I use them quite often.  If you don’t have a shallot use an onion.  Be sure to chop fine.  I also always have capers. I like them in salads.  Definitely be sure you rinse them off. They are very salty.  If you don’t have capers what about substituting with olives.  No lemons, what about an orange? No parsley, that’s okay – grab it for next time.  There is always a way to make a recipe work for you and your family.  This may sound fancy but it isn’t AND it is so tasty.  Give it a try, okay??

Pecan Scones – Simple and Delicious

Just one more scone recipe this weekend.  Kent and I were chatting scones (I am obsessed) on Friday night while enjoying our beer and bourbon.  He suggested I make a scone with ground pecans.  He really likes Pecan Sandies.  Saturday I went and bought some finely ground pecans and switched up a recipe I found, of course, on King Arthur Flour.  These scones were also quite tasty and another I would recommend to share this holiday season.

Pecan Scones

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Ingredients

3 cups (361g) Unbleached All Purpose Flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (99g) sugar
1 cup finely ground pecans
1/2 cup (8 Tablespoons, 113g) butter
3/4 cup (170g) buttermilk
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

  1.  Preheat oven 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease.
  2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and finely ground pecans. (You could add 1/2 cup of chopped pecans too. Kent said no to that one)
  3. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, with a few larger chunks of butter still showing. (I use my hands to mix)
  4. In a separate bowl, beat together the buttermilk, eggs and vanilla.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients, and stir to combine.
  6. Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it gently just until it holds together.
  7. Pat the dough in a rectangle about 8×10 inches, and cut dough into 2″ to 3″ diamonds or squares with a sharp knife or whatever shape you desire. (Hint; if the knife gets sticky, rinse with hot water and dry. It will make cutting the scones much easier.)
  8. Place the scones on prepared baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 12-14 minutes, until golden brown.  Remove from oven and serve warm.
  9. Store, well wrapped, on the counter for 2 days or freeze up to 1 month.

Don’t forget you can warm those room temperature scones in microwave for 10 seconds too.  Eric does that every time!IMG_E1684.JPG

Enjoy!!

Cranberry Orange Scones

Once again I decided to bake some scones this weekend.  I started with Cranberry Orange Scones.  I think these would be great for the holidays.  So easy.  You can make and bak in under an hour.  Simply DELICIOUS!!

Cranberry Orange Scones
(Compliments of King Arthur Flour)

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Ingredients

1 3/4 cups (198g) All Purpose Flour
3 Tablespoons (35g) sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons (71g) butter, chilled, cut into pieces
1/2 cup (57g) dried cranberries
1/3 cup (74g) half&half
1 Tablespoon (14g) orange juice
1 large egg
the grated peel of 1 medium to large orange or 1/2 teaspoon orange oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven 425 degrees.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper. You could lightly grease baking sheet also. I have stock in parchment paper! 🙂
  2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients, then add the butter, rubbing it in until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
  3. Stir in the cranberries.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the half and half, orange juice, egg, and orange peel or oil. Add this mixture to the flour mixture and stir until the dough just comes together. (I used orange peel and squeezed a the orange juice from my orange.  I ate the other half of the orange while I baked away!)
  5. Transfer the dough to a thoroughly floured work surface, knead it a couple of times, and shape it into a 1/2 inch thick round, about 8 inches across.
  6. Transfer the round to the prepared baking sheet.  Brush with milk, and sprinkle with coarse white sugar, if desired. (You could brush with half and half or cream too.  I always have cream in my fridge so that is what I used.  Also, I lightly sprinkled the top of the scones with sugar.)
  7. Cut the round in 10 wedges. Separate the wedges sightly.
  8. Bake the scones for about 15 minutes, or until they’re golden brown.  Remove them from the oven and serve immediately.

Enjoy.  (and you will!!)

Bacon-Cheddar-Chive Scones

Whipped these up a couple of weeks ago when Martin and Roko were in town.  I thought they were awesome.  Everyone liked them but of course they like the sweet ones better.  I really love savory so I thought I would share the recipe.  Simple and Delicious.

Bacon-Cheddar-Chive Scones

(My pic of the yummy scone is kind of boring so I thought I would add Rooney (our Lhasa) standing guard and not allowing Kubo (Roko & Martin’s Pomski, who was a wonderful visitor) upstairs! 🙂

Ingredients

2 cups (241g) all purpose flour (I used King Arthur Unbleached. This is a King Arthur recipe.)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon baking powder (14g)
2 teaspoons sugar
4 Tablespoons (57g) cold butter
1 cup (113g) very coarsely grated or diced cheddar cheese
1/3 cup (about 14g) snipped fresh chives or 1/3 cups (21g) finely diced scallion tops (the green part)
1/2 pound (227g) bacon, cooked, cooled, and crumbled (about 1 cup)
3/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons (198g) heavy cream or enough to make the dough cohesive

Instructions

  1.  Preheat oven 425 degrees placing a rack in the middle to upper third of your oven.  Lightly grease or use parchment paper on baking sheet.
  2. Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. Work the butter into the flour until the mixture is unevenly crumbly, with some of the butter remaining in larger pieces. (I mixed in with my hands.)
  3. Mix in the cheese, chives and bacon until evenly distributed.
  4. Add 3/4 cup of the cream, stirring to combine. Try squeezing the dough together; if it’s crumbly and won’t hang together or if there are crumbs remaining in the bottom of the bowl, add cream (1 Tablespoon at a time) until the dough comes together. Transfer the shaggy dough to a well floured work surface.
  5. Pat the dough into a smooth 7″ disk about 3/4″ thick. Transfer the disk to the prepared baking sheet. Use a knife to cut the disk into 8 wedges, spreading the wedges apart a bit on the pan.
  6. Brush the scones with a bit of cream; this will help their crust brown.
  7. Bake the scones in the middle or upper third of the oven for 20-25 minutes, until they’re golden brown. Remove them from the oven and cool right on the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  8. Refrigerate any leftover scones, well wrapped for several days; reheat before serving. Freeze for longer storage.

Enjoy!!

Cream Tea Scones with Chocolate Chips!

Do you prefer chocolate in your Cream Tea Scone? All you do is add 3/4 cup chocolate chips.  I mixed 2 ounces each of milk, semisweet and bittersweet chocolate chips, chopped slightly and added to the batter.  You add the chips after the dry ingredients then the cream.  I had to use 2-3 Tablespoons more of cream this time. I started with 1 1/3 cup cream then added a Tablespoon at a time so I didn’t over do it. Mix together and YUM!  Click on the link above to pop over to the main recipe.

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Simple and Delicious!  Enjoy!!