Monday, December 28, 2015

Crockpot Chicken and Corn Chowder


This recipe originated from Damn Delicious, but I kept very little except the ingredients the same.  I didn't see any need to prep the bacon hours in advance, especially since whenever I cook bacon I smell bacon for hours and I want to eat everything in my sight.  I was also wary of adding cut up chicken to the crockpot, it's much easier just to shred it after it is done simmering away all day.  Chop up some carrots, onions and potatoes is all the morning prep work necessary and you come home to a warm crock of soup.  It couldn't be any easier!
Crockpot Chicken and Corn Chowder

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
12 ounces red potato, diced
½ onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 cups corn kernels, frozen, canned or roasted
4 cups chicken broth
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried oregano
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¾ cup half and half
2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 slices bacon, chopped
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

Add the chicken, potato, onion, carrots and corn to the crockpot. Stir in the broth, garlic, thyme, oregano, cayenne, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours.

30 minutes before done, remove the chicken breasts and shred with two forks and return to the crockpot. In a small bowl, whisk together the half and half and corn starch, stir into the crockpot. Raise the heat to high if you have been cooking on low. Sauté the bacon in a small skillet over medium heat, drain. Serve, topped with bacon and cheese.
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Monday, December 21, 2015

Holiday Monster Cookies


This is an update of the first ever post I made here on So Tasty, So Yummy.  I love these cookies.  They are incredibly easy to make and I think they are gluten free (I am not positive on that.)  They have no flour in them, instead they are bulked up with oats and delicious peanut butter.  The peanut butter makes them unsafe for Miss F's lunch box, but she is happy to enjoy them as an after school treat.  These cookies are best made with a stand mixer, the batter is quite stiff and the stand mixer makes it easier to stir.
Holiday Monster Cookies

½ cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
3 eggs
4 ½ cups oatmeal (not instant)
1 ½ cups peanut butter
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup M&Ms
1/8 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda

In the bowl of the stand mixer, beat together the butter, sugar, brown sugar and eggs. Mix in the oatmeal and peanut butter until well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and M&Ms. Drop by heaping tablespoon fulls onto Silpat lined cookie sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on the pans for 5 minutes, the remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Green Chile Chicken Quesadillas


I became obsessed with quesadillas in college. We would always go to La Tapatia in the middle of the night to eat, since it was open until 3 am.  Tapatia has gotten a lot fancier since my college days.  I had to learn to order (pechuga de pollo quesadilla) in order to not get shredded chicken in my quesadillas. I much prefer bite sized pieces of chicken breast in my quesadilla instead of shredded chicken.  Miss F inhaled these quesadillas...she was "starving!"  I was shocked that she didn't comment on the green chiles in them.  And my family devoured the entire platter! 
Green Chile Chicken Quesadillas

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon salt
1 can diced green chiles (4.5 ounces)
12 flour tortillas
2 cups shredded Colby jack cheese


Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and toss with the cumin and salt. Sauté the chicken and chiles for 5 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken and chiles from the pan, wipe down the pan. Place one tortilla in the pan over medium heat and sprinkle with 3 tablespoons of the cheese. Place 1/6 of the chicken and chiles over top, then top with another two tablespoons of cheese. Place a second tortilla on top and cook for 2 minutes. Flip over and cook for 2 minutes more. Repeat with the remaining cheese, chicken and tortillas. Cut into quarters and serve with sour cream, salsa and guacamole.
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Monday, December 14, 2015

Cider Brined Pork Loin


I always make a crockpot of apple cider for Thanksgiving. C always makes fun of me because it is usually only his mom and I drinking it. I always have a ton leftover, but this year was even more than normal since my mother-in-law didn't join us for dinner. So, I perused the internet to find ways to use it beyond my normal apple cider pancakes (which I made a couple times.)  This recipe was inspired by Bon Appetit, but I made a ton of changes.  This is a fantastic one pot meal, perfect for winter.
Cider Brined Pork Loin

2 cups apple cider, divided
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 bay leaf, torn into small pieces
½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns

1 cup apple cider
½ teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon water

1 (2 pound) center-cut boneless pork loin roast
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 pound carrots, peeled and chopped
1 pound fingerling potatoes, halved
½ small onion, chopped

In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup cider, salt, brown sugar, bay leaf and peppercorns to a boil. Removed from the heat and stir in 2 cups water and 1 cup cider. Cool to room temperature. Place the pork loin in a 1 gallon plastic bag, pour the brine over and seal the bag. Refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Bring 1 cup cider to a boil over medium high heat. Cook until reduced to ¼ cup, about 10 minutes. Stir in the corn starch and water.

Remove the pork from the brining liquid. Rub the garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper over the pork. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a ovenproof skillet over medium high heat. Sear the pork on all sides, about 5 minutes per side. Brush the pork with the cider reduction. Toss the carrot, potatoes and onions with the remaining oil, salt and pepper to taste. Add the carrot, potatoes and onions to the pan with the pork. Place it in the oven and roast for 15 minutes. Brush again with the cider reduction and roast 20 minutes more, until the pork reaches a temperature of 140 degrees. Remove the pork from the oven and tent with foil on a plate. Return the carrot, potatoes and onions to the oven, increase the temperature to 400 degrees and roast for 15 minutes more, while the pork is resting. Slice the pork and serve with the carrot, potatoes and onions.
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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Emeril’s Shrimp Creole


Miss F liked this meal so much, she requested it for the next trip C had out of town. The use of fresh tomatoes really amps up my usual Shrimp Creole recipe. I have been making Shrimp Creole for years, but always with tomatoes from a can. Making it with fresh tomatoes is about a million times better.  Miss F inhaled her shrimp.  She also doused hers in lots of Tabasco sauce, such a smart kid.  The sauce is so rich and tastes as if it has been cooking for hours.  In reality, this meal comes together incredibly quickly.  It is going to be in our standard daddy is out of town rotation.
Emeril’s Shrimp Creole

¼ cup butter
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped green bell peppers
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 bay leaf
1 pound peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes
1 ½ teaspoons minced garlic
Dash of Worcestershire Sauce
Dash of hot sauce
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
½ cup water
1 pound of large shrimp, peeled, tail-off, and deveined
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
2 cups cooked long-grain white rice

In a large sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and bell peppers to the pan, season with salt and cayenne; sauté for 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the bay leaf, tomatoes and garlic. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes, add water if needed. Add the Worcestershire and hot sauce. Whisk the flour and water together in a small bowl, stir into the tomato mixture and cook for 5 minutes more. Season the shrimp with the Cajun seasoning and add to the pan, cook for 5 minutes more. Serve over rice.
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Monday, December 7, 2015

Parmesan Pepper Popovers


These popovers were such a hit, that I made them twice in one week. C has started expecting some sort of homemade bread every meal. Miss F has also really turned into a carb lover. Apparently, six popovers aren't enough for one dinner. I know I only ate one. The second night I made these, I doubled the recipe and was able to enjoy a few leftover.  The puff up so beautifully,  they are the perfect side for a warm bowl of soup in the winter.  We had them with soup, salad and butter.  Lots of butter.  I believe we went through nearly a whole stick of butter in just a couple days.  It's the holiday season...so treat yourself!
Parmesan Pepper Popovers

1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Grease a 6 cup popover pan and place in the oven while it preheats. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk and eggs until well blended. Add the flour, salt, pepper and Parmesan; stirring well to combine. Remove the pan from the oven and carefully fill the cups with the batter. Bake for 20 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 15 to 20 minutes more, until golden brown.
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Thursday, December 3, 2015

Chicken Lo Mein with Vegetables


I love cooking lo mein, as a kid, I hated rice. So whenever my mom would make a stir fry of any kind, I would boil up a pot of ramen to serve with mine, so that I didn't have to have the rice. I now love rice, but I am still a noodle girl at heart. One of my favorite snacks to this day is drained ramen tossed with lite soy sauce. I used to have it after school all the time, it is a comfort food for me. Miss F loves lo mein, but we couldn't get her to try the mushrooms, she was happy to send hers over my way.  This dish is heavy on vegetables, there are more veggies than there are noodles.  Which makes it tasty and a bit healthy.  Nice to have after days of turkey, gravy, butter and pie!
Chicken Lo Mein with Vegetables

1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon Sriracha
¼ cup soy sauce
½ cup chicken broth
8 ounces uncooked Asian noodles
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
½ pound mushrooms, sliced
¼ pound snow peas
1 large red bell pepper, julienned
½ cup carrots, julienned
1 teaspoon sesame seed oil

In two cup measure, whisk together the cornstarch, ginger, Sriracha, soy sauce and chicken broth. Prepare the noodles per package instructions, drain and set aside. Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Stir fry the chicken, mushroom, snow peas, bell pepper and carrots for 3 to 5 minutes. Pour the broth mixture over the chicken and vegetables, bring to a boil and cook for a minute more. Add the noodles and sesame oil, toss well to coat completely. Serve.
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