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Roasted Chicken

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I grew up on a farm so don’t ask my views on chickens. To put it succinctly, I believe the only good chicken comes in cellophane. Having said that, chicken is one of my favorite foods to work with. It is easy and versatile.

I adore roast chicken and chicken is one of the few meats the baby will always eat. The only problem is that many recipes make something difficult out of what is very simple. To prove how easy this is I made it on a weeknight. Read through the directions first so you have an idea of how much time to set aside. The method may sound a little strange but trust me, it works! Save the leftovers and use them in things like chicken soup and chicken salad.

This recipe is from America’s Test Kitchen. They are always my go-to source when it comes to cooking!

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Easy Roast Chicken

  • roasting chicken
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Heat oven safe skillet in 450 degree oven. I just set the skillet in the oven while it was preheating. Prepare chicken by rubbing it with olive oil and seasoning it liberally with salt and pepper. Place chicken directly onto hot skillet.

Roast chicken 30 minutes or until it reaches 120 degrees.

Turn oven off. Let it continue to roast 30 minutes or until it reaches 160 degrees. Remove chicken from oven and allow it to rest 20 minutes.

Crustless Pumpkin Pie

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I’ve been doing research for quite awhile now and I have decided to take the leap. Gluten-free and Dairy-free. We’ll see how this goes. A lot of anecdotal evidence suggests that strict diets help people with MS. And while I love bread and chocolate the idea of being able to keep up with my family sounds even better. Go ahead and ask yourself why I decided to do this right before the Holidays. I honestly do not have an answer to that. It would probably take more self analysis than I am willing to subject myself to in order to find an answer.

I may be cutting out gluten and dairy but that does not prevent me from eating well! My first foray into the dessert realm was crustless pumpkin pie. Right in time for Thanksgiving! I don’t think you need to be on any sort of diet to consider this delicious. The best of the pie is the filling in my opinion.  Oh, you don’t like the way it looks in the picture? Do yourself a delicious favor and drown it in whipped cream.

Crustless Pumpkin Pie

  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (I used 1/4 tsp. ginger, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, & 1/8 tsp. ground cloves)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup flour (Almost any will work, but not coconut flour)
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 (15-oz) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 1 tsp  cornstarch
  • 2 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400 F, and grease a 10-inch round pan. In a large mixing bowl, combine first 6 ingredients, and stir very well. In a separate bowl, combine all liquid ingredients with the cornstarch, and whisk. Pour wet into dry, stir to combine, then pour into the pan and bake 35 minutes. (It’ll still be gooey after baking, but that’s ok.) Allow to cool completely before transferring uncovered to the fridge to “set” for at least 6 hours before trying to slice.

I’m Baaaaack!

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Wow! It has been an insanely long time since I have blogged. Life has been more than a little crazy. I accepted a new call in Missouri and we packed up and headed south. We are now (mostly) settled into our new lives in this beautiful place. I say “mostly,” anyone need a house in Council Bluffs, Iowa?????

While we are waiting for our house to sell we are renting a little townhouse so my kitchen is a bit of a downer after my previous three ovens. However, we are adjusting. But don’t expect too much from this blog until we upgrade!

So, what recipe is worth of my return post? I thought I’d share this little dandy with you today. Think the candy bar but a whole pan of them.

Peanut Butter Bars

Ingredients
1 cup butter, melted
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup + 4 tablespoons peanut butter
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips

Directions
In a medium bowl, mix together the melted butter, graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar, and 1 cup peanut butter until well blended. Press evenly into the bottom of an ungreased 9×13 inch pan. In the microwave, melt the chocolate chips with the peanut butter, stirring every 30 seconds until melted until smooth. Spread over the peanut butter layer. Refrigerate for at least one hour before cutting into squares.

Chocolate Mint Pie

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When I was growing up the chef at the local country club was a dessert genius! He had a million incredible recipes but one that really stood out was something he called, Tipton Pie. When I started baking I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to find this recipe but never did. However, this one is very close. If you like this recipe save it! I dug it out of an old Baker’s recipe book and you can’t find that little booger anywhere to save your life… trust me, I’ve tried.

This recipe is incredibly simple and no-bake (a nice perk considering it is 103 degrees today). If raw eggs make you nervous just get the pasteurized ones at the grocery store. Also, if you are hardcore you could make this with real whipped cream but I don’t recommend it. Strangely, Cool Whip is your best bet as it sets up better than real whipped cream. Can you believe that I am saying that?! But it is true.

Chocolate Mint Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup thawed Cool Whip
  • 1 baked 9-inch pie shell (I use a graham cracker crust)

Cream butter, gradually beat in sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy. Add melted chocolate, vanilla and peppermint extract. Add eggs one at a time, beating about 1 minute after each. Fold the Cool Whip into the chocolate mixture and spoon into pie shell. Chill at least 4 hours.

Cole Slaw

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As you know, it has been pretty warm here in Iowa so my oven is getting a little break from its usual workout. The grill on the other hand… well it is making up for a long winter hibernation. With all these steaks, burgers and other great grill treats you need some veggies and sides. Enter cole slaw. I know, I know, who makes cole slaw at home? I do! And being rather picky in the field of cole slaw that is no small thing. Cole slaw, like mashed potatoes, must be just so or it isn’t even worth my time.

This recipe is “supposedly” the same recipe as KFC. It tastes similar, in fact, I would argue better. But you decide. Just a couple of things: If you are lazy like me you might just buy bagged cabbage and carrots. If you do that, it is about two bags of cole slaw “mix” for this recipe. Also, this recipe gets better with time so keep that in mind when planning when to serve it.

Cole Slaw

  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 cups finely grated cabbage (about 1 head)
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrots (about 1 carrot)

Combine chopped cabbage and carrots in large bowl. Mix together mayo, sugar, milk, buttermilk, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Pour over cabbage and carrots. Toss until coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Bread Machine Challah

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When we lived in Chicago I worked part-time as an on-call chaplain at a hospital downtown. On-call chaplaincy means you live in the hospital for a day and a night, wearing a pager and trolling around the hospital looking for trouble. I loved it! However, the hunger you feel after being on-call is unlike any other. Luckily, one of the perks of being the on-call chaplain was getting the leftover challah that a local bakery provided for the Jewish patients’ Sabbath. Challah is incredible. Every religion and denomination has their specialty. Lutherans have hot dishes and Jewish folks have bread. Heaven help me, it is delicious.

Depending on the religious holiday, challah is shaped into various kinds of loaves. Braiding is the traditional method and I think it is pretty easy so that’s what I go with. If you are in a pinch, put it in a loaf pan. Challah is a sweet, rich bread so if you have any left over use it in things like bread pudding and french toast. Also, slathered with Nutella this stuff will change your life. Note: this is not a traditional recipe (parve) as it has milk in it.

Bread Machine Challah

  •          3/4 cup buttermilk
  •          2 eggs
  •          3 tablespoons butter
  •          3 cups bread flour
  •          1/4 cup sugar
  •          1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  •          1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

Place all ingredients into bread machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. Set to dough setting.

Remove from machine and cut into 3 separate pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and braid. Place on parchment covered baking sheet and allow to rest about an hour (until doubled in size). Brush egg wash from 1 egg beaten and 1 tablespoon water onto bread. Bake in oven at 350 for 20-30 minutes.

Triple Chocolate Oreo Cookies

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When I was in graduate school I had a great friend who would eat dinner with us every night. It was heaven! She and I both loved to cook and we would happily putz around my apartment kitchen and cause trouble. We didn’t have a dishwasher (besides my husband) but he generally kept quiet because we would concoct some pretty good stuff. Sadly, she now lives far away and I’m on my own in the kitchen. However, she sends great recipes my way for which I am endlessly grateful. On Mother’s Day she emailed this winner to me.

This recipe is incredible and I recommend that you drop what you are doing and get the ingredients. The Oreo flavor comes through and couples with the other flavors perfectly. I’m not usually one for white chocolate but in these it is wonderful. Don’t worry about chopping the Oreos perfectly, just throw them in a sandwich bag and get rid of whatever tension ails you.

 Triple Chocolate Oreo Chunk Cookies

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 ¼ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ¾ cup Dutch Cocoa (Or Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa)
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped Oreos (around 8 cookies smashed)

Preheat oven to 375. Cream butter and sugars. Beat in eggs and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients. Gradually incorporate into butter mixture. Mix in white chocolate chips, chocolate chips and Oreos . Bake for 8-10 minutes