Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Let's Start Getting Ready for the Super Bowl

The “Super Bowl” is February 5th this year.  That’s less than 2 weeks away.  If you haven’t start, you better get moving on planning what you are going to do on Super Bowl Sunday.

Whether you are hosting a party or going to someone’s, you need to be thinking about what foods you are going to provide.

This week and next I have 4 recipes for you to give a try.  This week they are dips or spreads.  Next weeks are more substantial using ground beef.

“Pimiento Cheese Spread” is tomorrow’s (Wednesday) recipe.  It suggests crackers and/or fresh vegetables but it’s great as a spread on sliders and other sandwiches too.

Then on Thursday, we have “Cannellini Bean Dip” for your party.  This too is suggested with crackers and/or fresh vegetables.  But it’s good tortilla chips as well.

Don’t forget that the “Recipe Tabs” above have lots of other great party recipes that will work for your Super Bowl event.  So be sure to check them out as you are planning your food.

“Happy Cooking” until next week when I’ll have a couple more party recipes for you to taste.  Thanks and please spread my link to others.  Enjoy!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Chicken, Bacon, Potato Slow-Cooker Soup


Chicken, Bacon, Potato Slow-Cooker Soup
(6 servings)


Ingredients:

4 slices Bacon, diced
1½ lb. Bone-in Chicken Thighs, skinned
2 tsp. Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Seasoning
2 large Leeks, washed and thinly sliced
2 large Carrots, sliced
2 stalks Celery, sliced
4 cups Chicken Broth
¾ tsp. Kosher Salt
½ tsp. Black Pepper
5 sprigs Thyme
12 oz. Baby Potatoes, halved if too large
2 cups Fresh Baby Spinach, coarsely chopped

Directions:

In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium-high heat until crisp.  Remove to paper towel lined plate leaving a tsp. of drippings.  Sprinkle chicken with Mrs. Dash seasoning, add to pan and cook 8 minutes browning all sides.  Transfer chicken to a 6-qt. slow-cooker reserving drippings in pan.  Add leek, carrot and celery to pan and cook 5 minutes.  Stir in a cup of broth, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.  Add leek mixture, bacon, remaining 3 cups of broth, salt, pepper and thyme sprigs to slow-cooker.  Cover and cook on low for 2 hours.  Add potatoes, cover and cook another 2 hours or until potatoes are tender.  Remove chicken pieces to a cutting board, discard bones and cut into bite-size pieces.  Remove thyme sprigs before adding chicken back to slow-cooker.  Now add the spinach and stir until it wilts, then serve.

Note:               You could use bone-in chicken breast in place of the thighs.  But be careful, as they can be somewhat dry if over cooked.

Ideas for Future Efforts
_______________________________________
_______________________________________
_______________________________________
_______________________________________
_______________________________________

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Ground Beef Slow-Cooker Stew


Ground Beef Slow-Cooker Stew
(6-8 servings)


Ingredients:

6 medium Carrots, cut into bite-size pieces
6 medium Potatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
2½ lb. Lean Ground Beef, crumbled
1½ cups Beef Broth
1½ tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
2 large cloves Fresh Garlic
2 medium Bay Leaves
1 tbsp. Salt
1 tsp. Black Pepper
1½ tsp. Paprika
4 medium Yellow Onions, course chop
2 stalks Celery, medium dice

Directions:

In a 6-qt. slow-cooker, add all the ingredients in order listed.  Cover and cook on low for 10 hours.  Uncover and stir to combine well before serving.

Note:               Adjust, by adding more beef broth, amount of liquid after uncovering if needed.

Ideas for Future Efforts
_______________________________________
_______________________________________
_______________________________________
_______________________________________
_______________________________________

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Some Winter Slow-Cooker Dishes

January usually is the coldest month of the year, and so far, this one is living up to its reputation.  It’s also the time that everyone looks for comfort food that is warm and filling.

Well, one of the best ways to make such dishes, is the “Slow-Cooker” or “Crock Pot” as it used to be called.

This equipment comes in round or oval form.  It comes from the simple controls to the very sophisticated units that even have probes.  They offer a high and low heat setting.  Items typically take half the time on the high one as opposed to the low setting.  Many models have a warming mode to hold foods after they finish cooking.

The low setting will normally be 8 to 10 hours for a dish.  This makes nice for working families.  You can put the recipe in the slow-cooker in the morning before you leave for work and dinner is ready when you get home.

There are many recipes for this equipment.  Some require you to do a little cooking prep before going in the pot, but most do not.

I’ve got a stew recipe for you on Wednesday that uses ground beef in place of stew meat.  It’s “Ground Beef Slow-Cooker Stew” and it hits the spot.  Thursday, try “Chicken, Bacon, Potato Slow-Cooker Soup” for something a little different.

I hope these will help you handle the cold better this year.  “Happy Cooking” until next week and be sure to share this link with others.  Thanks.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Sweet Hawaiian Chicken (GF)


Sweet Hawaiian Chicken (GF)
(6-8 servings)


Ingredients:

2 lb. Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast, cubed
1 cup Pineapple Juice
½ cup Brown Sugar
1/3 cup Soy Sauce
4-6 cups Cooked Rice

Directions:

Place chicken in a 4-6 qt. Slow-cooker.  In a medium bowl, whisk together juice, sugar and soy sauce.  Pour mixture over the chicken and cook on low for 6-8 hours.  When done, serve over warm cooked rice.

Note:               You could use boneless skinless chicken thighs in this recipe if you prefer.

Note:               You might try adding pineapple chunks and chopped red pepper to the recipe.  This can help stretch the entrĂ©e for a few more portions and added flavor.

Ideas for Future Efforts
_______________________________________
_______________________________________
_______________________________________
_______________________________________
_______________________________________

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Creamy Garlic Tuscan Chicken (GF)


Creamy Garlic Tuscan Chicken (GF)
(4-6 servings)


Ingredients:

1 ½ lb. Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast, thinly sliced
2 tbsp. Olive Oil
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
½ cup Chicken Broth
1 tsp. Garlic Powder
1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
½ cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
1 cup Fresh Spinach, chopped
½ cup Sun-Dried Tomatoes, patted dry and chopped
12 oz. pkg. GF Pasta of Choice, cooked

Directions:

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add oil and chicken cooking until all sides are lightly browned and chicken is no longer pink.  Remove of a plate and set aside.  To same skillet, add cream, broth, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese.  Whisk until it starts to thicken.  Add spinach and tomatoes and let simmer until spinach starts to wilt.  Now add chicken back to pan and heat through.  Serve over GF pasta of choice.

Note:               All these ingredients should be gluten-free, but you always need to double check.  Please do this with even brands you are familiar with as companies do make changes to their products.

Ideas for Future Efforts
_______________________________________
_______________________________________
_______________________________________
_______________________________________
_______________________________________

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A Couple of Gluten-Free Chicken Entrees to Try

It’s my “Gluten-Free” week on the blog and I have a couple of chicken entrees to try.  I believe that everyone, GF people and non gf people, will enjoy both recipes.  On the one, just use regular pasta instead of the gluten-free.

There’s something I’d like to point out or remind those needing to be gluten-free when following a recipe.  You need to be “diligent about checking labels.”  That includes re-checking ones you always use.

Companies change packaging, labels and “ingredients” periodically.  We just caught one with fresh almonds.  They are now processed on equipment that handle products with wheat.

This is one of the hardest parts of needing to be gluten-free.  You constantly have to be on your toes checking and re-checking everything in your life.

The recipes I put on this blog that say they are “GF” assumes you are confirming the ingredients you use meet that criteria.  The last thing I want is for someone, who can be hurt by gluten, to be exposed to it.

So be careful!

Wednesday’s recipe is “Creamy Garlic Tuscan Chicken” that is served over GF pasta.  “Sweet Hawaiian Chicken” comes to you on Thursday.  It’s served over rice.  If you like, try serving them both over mashed potatoes for something different.

Hope these will help give you a little more variety in your menu planning.  “Happy Cooking” until next week and please help spread the link to others.  Thank you.