These recipes are tried and true with our stamp of approval!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Ginger Pancakes

Ginger Pancakes from Leesh and Lu


My husband was so excited when we made apple butter last week, he'd been telling me about these amazing Ginger Pancakes that the cook at Scout camp used to make them. She'd serve fresh ginger pancakes with fresh apple butter and whipped cream!  Sounds dreamy, eh?  Well, I'll tell you, it is! We made them last Sunday and shared them with some friends - we were all "ooing, and ahhing" over them! Yum! 

I love this fall time of year, these recipes for ginger pancakes, apple butter, pumpkin pancakes, and pumpkin coconut curry soup!  Yum!  

I hope you enjoy theses as much as we do!  

Ginger Pancakes


Ingredients:

1 ¼ cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons canola oil
½ cup dark molasses
1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

In a mixing bowl combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, and cinnamon.  In small mixing bowl add egg whites, and beat until stiff.  In a small mixing bowl or measuring cup mix together: buttermilk, oil, molasses and egg yolks.  Combine the wet with the dry until combined, then fold in the egg whites.  Cook on griddle until done.

Serve with apple butter and whipped cream.  

Enjoy!

Recipe Source:  Duane and Teri Miles, a family friend.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Apple Butter {Canned or Not}


I'd never had apple butter until I met my husband.  In fact, I can't say I'd ever head of it either. Have you? I was missing out!  This recipe comes from my husband's Great Grandma Cookston.  And my husband's Dad has been making it even since I've known him, I feel like that's what he's famous for....and his grilling (he does it perfect), oh and his dutch oven cooking!  Yum!  My husband and I both grew up eating good - and we can't seem to stop!  So what do you do with apple butter, you ask?  We love it on toast (use it like jam), peanut butter sandwiches, pancakes/waffles/crepes/french toast, ginger pancakes (recipe coming soon), or on top of vanilla ice cream, or praline pecan ice cream, there are lost of uses.  I think it'd be really good on these Cheesecake Cups

This recipe is really easy, especially if you have an apple-corer-peeler-slicer.  We whipped out 10 pints in no time.  You can make a small batch of this and just use it up in a few weeks like you would jam, or you can make a bunch and then can it and have it stored on the shelf.  That's what we do.  We made 10 pints this past Saturday with some apples from a friends tree.  My apple tree is about to have major limbs snap, the apples are wearing it down and it needs some picking. So I'll be making more apple butter this weekend, along with some applesauce, and apple pie filling!  Mmm!  



Note: 
I'll post some links below for you to check out if you are new to canning. This way you can read how to do it.  And just so you know this recipe is canning safe.  It calls for same amounts of apple pulp and sugar as the Ball Blue Book - and I called the USU Extension Service to be sure the spice variation that is used in this family recipe is safe - and it is! :) If you need canning supplies, here is a great start.

The recipe with instructions and printable are below. 


Start with fresh, washed apples.


Peel, core and slice them. This gadget is so handy!

Cook the apple pulp with the sugar and spices, store in the fridge up to two weeks or can for shelf stable storage. 

Process in boiling water bath.

Enjoy the "fruit" of your labors for the next year!

Apple Butter

Yield: about 4 pints

Ingredients:

4 pounds apples (about 16 medium-sized apples)
4 cups sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon ground cloves


Directions:

****Note: You don’t have to can this recipe. You can make a small batch and keep  If you plan to can this recipe and you are not familiar with proper food preservation methods please read about it here and follow all instructions: http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/uga/using_bw_canners.html  or purchase the Ball Blue Book here: Ball Blue Book
It is very important to follow proper canning instructions to ensure the safety of the food.  

You can also double or triple, etc the recipe if you have a big enough pot, or multiple pots.

To prepare the pulp:

Wash, peel, core and slice apples into quarters. Place apples and 2 cups of water in a large pot and simmer until apples are soft.  Drain the water from the apples and puree in food processor or blender.  Measure 2 quarts (8 cups of apple pulp).  
Combine the apple pulp, sugar and spices in a large saucepan or stockpot.  Cook slowly until it’s thick enough to round up on a spoon. I just find the consistency I like to spread on toast or a sandwich. As the mixture thickens stir frequently to prevent it from sticking to the pan. If it becomes too thick you can add water, or apple juice until it reaches the desired consistency.

Ladle the hot butter into clean and hot jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace.  Remove any air bubbles with spatula.  Wipe any spills from the jar, especially where the lid will touch and seal.  Adjust the two-piece caps on the jars - until tight. Do not tighten as tight as you can. Just enough to know it’s closed.  Process in a boiling-water canner for 10 minutes (adding time for altitude adjustment). See chart below.  I had to add 10 minutes to the processing time for my altitude - for a total time of 20 minutes.  

Following canning guide for removing jars and letting them cool.  (link at the top of the recipe or in the Ball Blue Book).  

Boiling-Water Canner Altitude Adjustments (from the Ball Blue Book - guide to preserving - 2009)
Altitude in feet
Increase processing time
1,001 to 3,000
5 minutes
3,001 to 6,000
10 minutes
6,001 to 8,000
15 minutes
8,001 to 10,000
20 minutes


Recipe Source: Ball Blue Book - Guide to Preserving - Published in 2009 with spice adaptations from a family recipe, all the way from my husband’s great grandmother.  

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Crispy & Tender Baked Chicken Nuggets {or strips}


My mom always made breaded chicken tenders growing up and I have always loved them. They can be made into chicken strips or nuggets. They are baked at a high temperature - just enough to cook them through (I check them with a meat thermometer and make sure they get to 165 degrees F) and leave a nice cripsy-ness on the outside.   I also love this recipe because you can easily change up the spice mixture to create another flavor.  I'll post two spice combos that we like.  

We had these for dinner on Monday with some oven roasted potatoes, quick rolls and a green salad! It was the perfect meal -  I don't usually serve that many things in one meal but we were taking dinner to a friend who just had a baby - and I know how ravenous I am after having a baby - so we had to make it a full meal to make sure this new mommy was satisfied! 

Enjoy!



Crispy & Tender Baked Chicken Nuggets {or strips}

Printable Version {Click Here}

Ingredients:

2 pounds chicken (cut into strips or for bites into 1-2 inch pieces (bite size))
1 cup bread crumbs
½ cup crushed saltines or corn flakes (I like the crispy-ness of cornflakes)
⅓ cup parmesan cheese, grated (or powdered works great too)
Seasonings (see two options below)
½ cup milk
1 egg

Seasoning option 1: Herb & Parmesan
½ - ¾ teaspoon basil
½ - ¾ teaspoon oregano
Fresh ground black pepper to taste

Seasoning option 2: Garlic Ranch Parmesan
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
1 pkg or 3 tablespoons ranch seasoning packet (or can sub 1 ¼ teaspoon of McCormick Bon Appetit Seasoning salt)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly spray with grease.  

In a shallow dish  combine crushed corn flakes, Parmesan cheese, and seasonings of choice based on the two options above.  

In a small bowl beat milk and egg together.  Prep chicken by trimming fat off and cutting into strips (if you prefer chicken strips) or small bite size pieces for chicken nuggets.  

Dip each chicken piece into the egg/milk mixture on both sides and then roll in the seasoned bread mixture.  Place each piece on the baking sheet.  

Bake for 8-9 minutes on one side - flip and bake 5 more minutes. Checking the temperature when done to make sure they are at least 165 degrees F.  
Dip in BBQ sauce and enjoy! :) 

Recipe Source: adapted from a mixture of a few recipes I've found from Mel's Kitchen Cafe & Blog Chef

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Spiced Peach Butter {or plain}



Have you ever heard of fruit butters?  Apple butter is pretty famous in my husband's family. My father-in-law makes it about every year and we love enjoying it.  It's a thick sauce of cooked apples and sugar with some spices.  It's great for toast, peanut butter sandwiches, ice cream topping, etc.  

My sweet friend had a peach tree that needed picking and she let me get a whole big box. I had spied a recipe for peach butter in my Ball Blue Book - Guide to Preserving -  and wanted to give it a try if you've never canned food for preserving before, be sure to get a book or read about it from a reputable source such as the National Center for Home Food Preservation).   I'm not sure why it's called peach butter or apple butter, but my guess is that it's about the consistency of spreading butter on bread, which it's perfect for.  It's basically applesauce or peach sauce slowly cooked with sugar and spices until it caramelizes and turns a deep brown color. Mmmmm!  My daughter, husband and I have been enjoying our peach butter on toast, bread and butter, and peanut butter sandwiches. But right now I'm dreaming of a peach crisp with vanilla ice cream drizzled in peach butter.  There are lots of ways to use this yummy stuff.  It'd be a great cheesecake sauce - super yummy for the fall time!  Oh man I can't wait for fall, it's my favorite!

A few weeks ago I had a lovely smell filling my house.  I was simmering a pot of this peach butter. I simmered it for 4-5 hours til it was nice and thick. The smell was making me crazy for fall. The temperature here was a bit cooler too, and so I had this big craving for fall.   Fall is my favorite time of year, I was so giddy!  I think my husband thought I was a little nuts, I just wanted to cook and bake everything fall like - rolls, bread, pie, cinnamon rolls, soup.  The temperatures have since gone back up and so it's not feeling so fall-ish in the air, but I'm really anticipating that again in the coming months.  

Peaches were ready here in Albuquerque about a month ago - I know in other parts of the country peach season is just about ready to begin. So hopefully you can make some of this tasty peach butter.  Our apple tree is just about ready to be picked, and I'm excited to make some apple butter. I'll have to share my father-in-law's famous recipe when we get that made up.  

Happy canning!  (also if you need canning equipment - you can find it here)




Spiced Peach Butter {or plain}

Yield: about 4 pints
Recipe from the Ball Blue Book - Guide to Preserving - Published in 2009


Ingredients:

4 to 4 ½ pounds peaches (about 36 medium size peaches)
½ cup water
4 cups sugar

Spiced variation:
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg (any combination of these spices)
*If you want plain peach butter do not add the spices.

Directions:

****Note (please read before beginning): This recipe is for canning spiced peach butter with the boiling water method.  If you are not familiar with proper food preservation methods please read about it here and follow all instructions: http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/uga/using_bw_canners.html  or purchase the Ball Blue Book here: Ball Blue Book
It is very important to follow proper canning instructions to ensure the safety of the food.  The high heat of this process kills yeasts, molds, and other bacteria.  Failure to follow the exact method could result in spoiled food and major sickness including food poisoning such as botulism.  

To prepare the pulp:

Wash and blanch the peaches. Blanching is putting them in boiling water for 30 seconds to one minute and then into a clean sink full of cold water. This makes them very easy to peel.  Peel, pit and slice the peaches.  In a large saucepan or stockpot - place peaches and ½ cup of water. Simmer the peaches over medium-high heat until they are soft.  Puree the simmered peaches with food processor, blender or immersion blender.  Measure 2 quarts of peach pulp.  

To make the peach butter:

Combine the peach pulp, sugar and spices (omit spices if you want plain peach butter) in a large saucepan or stockpot.  Cook over medium heat - reducing heat as it comes to a boil, until it reaches a nice soft simmer, stir occasionally, being careful to not have the heat to high that it burns.  Cook until the mixture is thick enough to round up on a spoon (about the consistency of jam - or slightly thinner if you prefer).  It took about 3-4 hours for mine to reach this consistency.  And I stirred it every 5 to 10 minutes making sure it didn’t get stuck to the bottom.  Cooking it on a low-slow simmer helps it to caramelize nicely.

Ladle the hot butter into clean and hot jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace.  Remove any air bubbles with spatula.  Wipe any spills from the jar, especially where the lid will touch and seal.  Adjust the two-piece caps on the jars - until tight. Do not tighten as tight as you can. Just enough to know it’s closed.  Process in a boiling-water canner for 10 minutes (adding time for altitude adjustment). See chart below.  I had to add 10 minutes to the processing time for my altitude - for a total time of 20 minutes.  

Following canning guide for removing jars and letting them cool.  (link at the top of the recipe or in the Ball Blue Book).  

Boiling-Water Canner Altitute Adjustments (from the Ball Blue Book - guide to preserving - 2009)
Altitude in feet
Increase processing time
1,001 to 3,000
5 minutes
3,001 to 6,000
10 minutes
6,001 to 8,000
15 minutes
8,001 to 10,000
20 minutes


Monday, August 11, 2014

Taco Dogs



I spied this recipe from the Taste and Tell Blog a few weeks ago and immediately added them to my menu plan. 

Taco style hot dogs is a great twist to the classic all American hot dog (bun, dog, mustard, ketchup and some optional relish).  I am a huge fan of homemade guacamole and salsa and thought these two things I love would definitely make any hot dog better!  And they sure did!  I loved all the extra flavor and fun that came with this idea of a taco dog!  Grilling the tortilla just enough to melt the cheese and give it a light crisp was the perfect touch.  

Summer isn't over yet, so hopefully you'll have time to enjoy these this year! 





Taco Dogs

Ingredients:

8 hot dogs, grilled
8 6-inch flour tortillas
Cooking spray

Taco dog toppings:
red onion or green onion, chopped
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
Cilantro, chopped
Olives
Any other taco toppings you love
1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

1. Prepare toppings

2. Heat grill over med-high heat and grill hot dogs until done.

3. Top each tortilla with guacamole, and salsa then the grilled hot dog, top with onion, tomato, cilantro, olives and lastly cheese.  Press the cheese together to kind of seal the tortilla shut.
4.  Lightly spray each side of the taco dog with cooking spray and grill over medium heat until the cheese melts and you have some light grill marks on your tortilla.  

5. Dunk in more guacamole and salsa and enjoy!



Serves: 8 - one taco dog per person

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Chicken, Feta, Mango Tacos {Yum!}


A few weeks ago on Facebook I mentioned that I had planned a month of oven-free meals.  Living in the desert heat with a swamp cooler makes it so I don't want to turn my oven on unless I HAVE to.  And 3 weeks later, I've only baked some bread, rolls, and a few batches of cookies. I haven't used the oven once for dinner.  It's been great!  I'll be ready for fall time when I cam turn my oven on all I want! :) 

I've tried a few new recipes that have been so yummy! This is one of my very favorites.  I found it on the Atheno's web page.  They make feta cheese, I LOVE FETA CHEESE! 

The flavors here were awesome, there was the savory taco flavored chicken, with sweet juicy mango bits, tangy feta, buttery smooth avacado and fresh cilantro and tomatoes. I'd thought I'd died and gone to taco heaven!  We'll be enjoying these year round for sure, but I thought they were particualry summer appropriate.  I hope you'll love them as much as I do!

-Lu

  

Chicken, Feta, Mango Tacos  

Printable Version {Click Here}

Ingredients:


1 ½ pounds chicken, cut into bite size pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1-2 tablespoons taco seasoning
¾ cup green salsa
The ingredients below are to top your tacos, you don’t have to have these particular measurements, but this is a rough idea of how much you’ll want.
1 mango, peeled and diced
1 avocado, diced
1-2 tomatoes, diced
⅓ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
¾ cup feta cheese, crumbled
6-8 flour tortillas, cooked and warm


Directions:

1. In a non-stick skillet heat oil over medium heat and add chicken and taco seasoning, and cook until no longer pink and juices run clear.  Turn off heat and toss with salsa.  (can keep warm on low heat if desired while you chop up everything)
2. While chicken is cooking, warm tortillas and chop the rest of the ingredients and place in bowls for topping each taco.  
3. Top each tortilla with chicken mixture, and the desired amount of the rest of the toppings, roll up and enjoy!.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Athenos.com 


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