Monday, February 25, 2013

crustless cranberry pie

I hate to admit it.
But, I stock up.
So, last December, when all the fresh cranberries went on sale...
I bought some.

"Some" being five bags.
And froze them.
So, watch out if the next couple weeks are filled to the brim with cranberry recipes.

Yes, I was eating this straight out of the dish with a fork.
You just try resisting it.

Crustless Cranberry Pie
Makes one pie.
Adapted from a couple different sources online.
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups frozen cranberries (or fresh, I suppose...)
3/4 cup chopped, toasted pecans
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract

Mix mix mix and spoon into a buttered pie pan.  Bake at 350* for 40 minutes and enjoy!
*Only lasts for a couple days...then it kinda gets mushy.  Eat fast!*

Friday, February 22, 2013

gd likes


cooking with my big man :)

love love LOVE this coffee

simplicity :)

Soooo, what do you like this week???

Monday, February 18, 2013

cinnamon stars

Want a great homemade gift idea?
Make your kiddos do it ;)

Cinnamon stars are a great drawer freshener, bathroom smell-good, or Christmas ornament for next year!
And couldn't be easier!

Cinnamon Stars
Makes about a dozen, depending on your cookie cutter size
3/4 cup applesauce
4.12 ounces (a big bottle) ground cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 200*.
Mix applesauce and cinnamon in a medium mixing bowl.  Combine completely until it forms a smooth ball.  Roll out between 2 layers of parchment paper, peel back top layer, and cut stars (or other shapes!).  If you are making ornaments, poke a hole through the top with a drinking straw.  Bake for 2 1/2 hours or dry at room temperature for 2-3 days, turning occasionally.

Friday, February 15, 2013

flashback friday - the perfect roast chicken

Okay, here we go, folks.
The perfect roast chicken.

I love roast chicken. It’s a great thing to have on a Friday night when your husband finally gets home from a long day. It’s a great thing to have the house fill with the smell of butter and herbs and crispy chicken skin.It’s a great thing to serve at a dinner party. What a nice surprise for your guests. None of that fancy schmancy stuff. Once they find out what’s on the menu, they can relax and, more importantly, so can you.

And, what’s better? Its fool proof. Might seem like a bit of work but read carefully. It’s a cinch!
I should patent it. Crispy skin and juicy meat…butter under the skin and flipping it twice is the secret! You absolutely cannot mess this up. And, if you are only serving two, you can use the leftover chicken in another dish! (Stay tuned for a GD Round 2 recipe!)

Oregano Citrus Roast Chicken with Pan Jus
Serves 4, with leftovers!!
Tip – start the night before for longer brining time.
1 4 pound chicken
1 cup salt
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup maple syrup
7-8 sprigs of fresh oregano
2 tablespoons red pepper flakes or red pepper relish
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
2 lemons
2 oranges
½ stick of butter, at room temperature
1 onion
½ cup chicken stock or white wine (if needed)
Salt and pepper for seasoning

Begin by cleaning your chicken. Remove the giblets and rinse chicken. Set aside.
Next, make your brine. Combine 1 cup salt, ½ cup brown sugar, ½ cup maple syrup, 5 sprigs of the oregano, 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes and peppercorns in an extra large bowl. Juice one lemon and one orange into mixture and then put the leftover squeezed rinds into bowl as well. Add cleaned chicken. Cover with water and stir under and around the chicken to coat. Brine overnight or for as long as you have. Even a couple hours makes a difference!!
Finally, remove remaining oregano from stems and chop. Combine butter with chopped oregano and remaining 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes and form into a log on a piece of plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to use.

When you are about 2 hours from eating, preheat your oven to 425˚.
Cut remaining lemon and orange into quarters or big slices. Cut onion into quarters. Distribute lemon, orange and onion into large Dutch oven.
Remove chicken from brine and pat completely dry. Discard brine.

Lay chicken into Dutch oven. Season liberally with salt and freshly ground black pepper on both sides.

With your hands, carefully separate the skin from the flesh on the breast and area between breast and legs. It might tear but that’s okay too!

Cut the butter and herb log into “coins” and slide under skin. You’ll get about 5-6 “coins” on each breast.Massage the butter into the flesh. It might be messy!

Put any remaining butter in the cavity of the bird.
Roast, breast side up, for 30 minutes.
It should just start to brown.

Remove from oven and carefully flip your chicken over with tongs. Roast for 20 minutes.
It should be brown in some spots.
Remove once more from oven and flip over again, breast side up. Roast for remaining 20-30 minutes, until your meat thermometer reaches 165 in the breast and 175˚ in the deepest part of the thigh and very browned and crispy on top.

Remove to serving platter and let rest for about 15-20 minutes or until dinner’s ready. Take the juices in the bottom of the pan and bring to a boil on the stove. (You might need to add a little chicken stock or white wine if it’s too dry) Reduce to about ½ cup and skim off any fat. Strain to remove solids and serve!

Makes perfect chicken, every time!

Monday, February 11, 2013

orange scented challah french toast

My little ones and I were at the farmer's market the other day.
And because my toddler is so darn cute, this old Jewish lady offered him a sweet roll.
He ate it in about 8 seconds.
She gave him another one.
He ate it in about 9 seconds.
(These were big sweet rolls.)
She offered another and I politely declined but walked about with a huge loaf of challah bread and was so fresh, it was still warm.
It was $3.
Can't beat that.
I looked at it adoringly for about two days and then realized what I wanted to do with it.

Orange Scented Challah French Toast
Makes 10-12 slices.
1 big loaf challah bread
8 large eggs, beaten
2-3 tablespoons orange marmalade
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon honey
1 1/2 cups whole milk or half and half

Don't we all know how to make French toast?
I thought so.

Slice bread.

Whisk whisk whisk!


Fry to golden brown in butter.


Cover in powdered sugar and eat!

Friday, February 8, 2013

gd likes

for my rolling pin collection

chalkboard spice jars?!  yes, please.

a tiny orange tree!

Soooo, what do you like this week???

Monday, February 4, 2013

asian chicken salad

Okay, I know you are probably thinking, boring.
But, I promise this is anything but!
This is packed with flavor and only has around 400 calories for 2 1/2 cups!!
You get this huge plate of salad with fruit and nuts and chicken and a spicy dressing!

Asian Chicken Salad
Serves 4.
From Ellie Krieger
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
6 cups thinly sliced napa cabbage...about 1/2 a head
2 cups thinly shredded red cabbage
1 large carrot, shredded...about a cup
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 8-ounce can of sliced water chestnuts, drained and rinsed
1 11-ounce can of mandarin oranges, drained
1/3 cup rice vinegar
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 - 3 teaspoons Sriracha....depending on how spicy you want it
1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
A handful sliced toasted almonds, each plate, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350*.
Combine 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil and brush onto chicken breasts. Arrange in a baking dish and bake until juices run clear, about 13-15 minutes. Remove from oven, cool completely, and cut into 1/4-inch slices.
In a large bowl, combine napa cabbage, red cabbage, carrot, scallions, water chestnuts, mandarin orange and sliced chicken. In a separate bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil, brown sugar and chili sauce. Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine. Divide among bowls and top each serving with toasted almonds.

Friday, February 1, 2013

flashback friday - ginger fried rice

It's cold.
Really cold.
So, we are flashing back to something comforting today.
Comforting in a unique way.
*And remember, the whole point of this flashing back is to try the do it!  You won't regret it!*

Leave it to my favorite, Smitten Kitchen, to find something so simple and so interesting.
I mean, who knew that crispy ginger and leeks could make fried rice so unique?

I am used to have the "traditional" fried rice.
With the carrots and the peas and the swimming-in-soy-sauce.

But, this is so much better.

The leeks do something.
And the crispy ginger and garlic?
And the oozing egg on top?


Ginger Fried Rice
Serves 4
Adapted from Deb!
1/3 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced ginger
Salt, to taste
2 cups leeks, white and light green parts only, rinsed really well, dried, and sliced in half moons
4 cups day-old cooked jasmine rice, or any left-over rice you might have on hand
6 large eggs
2 teaspoons sesame oil
4 teaspoons soy sauce

In a large skillet, heat the canola oil over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp and brown. Watch it carefully!  It'll burn within seconds of being done.  With a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels and salt lightly.
Leaving the same oil in the pan, reduce heat to medium-low and add the sesame oil and leeks. Cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until very tender but not browned. Add a touch of salt.
Raise heat to medium and add rice. Cook, stirring well and scraping with a spatula, until golden and slightly crunchy. Beat 2 of the eggs with a fork and add to rice.  Fry until egg is done.  Season to taste with salt.
In a nonstick skillet, fry eggs in remaining oil, over easy or sunny side up, until edges are set but yolk is still runny.
Divide rice among four dishes. Top each with an egg and drizzle with 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil and 1 teaspoon soy sauce. Sprinkle crisped garlic and ginger over everything and serve. Enjoy!!

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