Saturday, January 31, 2015

Chicken Soup For The Hungry Soul

Sounds like the title to a familiar book doesn't it. Well, our hungry souls we're sure in the mood for soup today, but with the rainy weather I just didn't feel like venturing out to the supermarket. So I scoured the pantry and fridge to see what I could find. 

I knew I had some chicken thighs and knew we could use those. So I decided on making a creamy chicken soup. Pulled it all together with the following ingredients and didn't have to leave the house. 

Creamy Chicken Soup With Rice

2-3 chicken thighs, cooked, deboned and cubed
1 cup rice (I had some leftover from another meal)
2 stalks of celery chopped
1 cup Idahoan potato flakes, this will help thicken the broth a bit
3 tablespoons peppered gravy mix
2 tablespoons Knor Chicken Bollion
1/4 teaspoon sage
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 cup 1% milk or skim

Combine all ingredients in a Dutch oven. Stir well to incorporate all. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer covered for about 20 minutes or until celery is tender. If you are using pre-cooked rice I would add it about the last 5 minutes so as not to have it too mushy. Enjoy your soup with a sandwich or some crackers. It really hits the spot on those dreary and rainy days.

Belgian Waffles...

Belgian waffles. Kinda. Well....not really.
Let's just say, Belgian waffles are best made in a waffle maker especially for making them.  So.... It seems like a trip to my favorite cooking store might be in order. Besides I've been wanting, no I'm pretty sure I've been needing a new waffle maker for a while now. Yes, time for a new waffle maker I say!

Now to go do some virtual window shopping and price comparing. Let's see what's out there. Has any one used or owned a Belgian waffle maker you really like?  I would love to hear about it.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Spicy Panko Crusted Chicken

Mmm.... Well, kinda, sorta. 
On a tip from my cousin I tried substiting corn flakes for the panko breading in my fried chicken recipe tonight. I gotta say it turned out really well even though I had totally forgot to add the egg to the buttermilk soak. Adding a few spices to the panko breading gave the chicken a nice spicy punch. I think this would also work well if you baked the chicken instead of frying.

The corn flakes were also a cheaper option to the panko breading and being able to save money is always a good thing. I think this is another good kitchen substitution. Oh, and you don't need to use brand name corn flakes either. Any brand should work the same. I just happened to have some of the Kellogs already on hand.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Substitutions Allowed

A couple times a month I have a baking/cooking/canning day. It's usually an all day affair that takes up my Saturday,  but I get lots of cooking jobs completed for the month. One of the things I make are snacks for my brother's lunches. Usually I make him cookies or banana bread, which he loves. 

This month I had planned for cookies, but being under the weather for the better share of the week I knew I needed to go with Plan B~help from a box mix. I chose Krusteaz because I have used their pancake and bread mixes before and loved the quality. I gotta say that I was not disappointed with the cookie mix at all. I used the Meyer Lemon cookie mix and the cookies were wonderful. They were flavorful, moist and they had a great lemon punch. Yep, I sampled one or two. Well, I am the official quality control taste tester y'all and I take my job very seriously. 

So, I can't believe I am saying this, but in a pinch, if you must substitute Hormel for Homemade; then I would absolutely recommend Krusteaz brand for cookies, quick breads or pancakes.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Who Knew?

Here's an interesting factoid I came across today y'all....
There are four cities in the United States that have the word chicken in their names: Chicken, Alaska; Chicken Bristle, Illinois; Chicken Bristle, Kentucky, and Chicken Town, Pennsylvania. Well now we know.  

Saturday, January 10, 2015

"Soup"-er Saturday

In my opinion any day of the week is a good day for soup. There are so many we like it is hard to say what our favorite might be, this bean and beef soup is pretty high on my list though. It's   "soup"-er tasty, "soup"-er easy to make and very budget friendly. All it takes is one frying pan to brown the ground beef, or turkey if you want to substitute for a lighter calorie soup. Everything else gets thrown in the crockpot for a couple of hours and then yummy happens,

Here are the ingredients you'll need~
1 pound of ground beef
2 cups water
1 can kidney beans
1 can pinto beans
1 package taco seasoning
1 package ranch dressing mix
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can of diced tomatoes with jalapeño 

First brown the ground beef and drain well. Place the browned ground beef into a large crock pot. Toss in the beans, corn and tomatoes, juices and all. Add 2 cups water and seasoning packets and stir to mix. Cover and cook in the crockpot for about 3 hours on high. You can garnish with some shredded cheese or sour cream if you like. Serve with crackers and enjoy.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Sweet Traditions

Is there a tradition, a food or family recipe that is special for your family? Maybe it's a recipe you learned from your mom or grandma. Maybe it's a family game night or a road trip you take every year.

One of the sweet traditions of our family are buñuelos and hot cocoa on New Year's Eve. I learned how to make buñuelos from my mother-in-law. She didn't have a written recipe, but she patiently showed me how to make these wonderful treats. Over the years I have modified the recipe a little, but what I am going to share with you is basically the recipe she handed down to me.


3 cups of flour, sifted 
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup milk
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons salt

Mix the eggs, milk, sugar and softened butter. Mix the sifted flour with the other dry ingredients. Add the milk and egg mixture and mix until all the flour is incorporated. If it is a little dry you can add a drop or two of milk. On a clean counter or silpat knead until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Do not skip this step it is important to the recipe. When the dough has rested you are ready to start rolling out the buñuelos and begin frying them. Roll them out paper thin.  They might tear a little but that's ok. 
Fry them over a medium high heat, preferably in a cast iron skillet; but if you don't have one then a good heavy bottomed one will do fine. Fry until they are golden brown on both sides. Sprinkle with a sugar and cinnamon mixture and place on paper towels to drain. Enjoy them warm with a cup of hot cocoa.