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Monday, September 21, 2015

Creamy Biscoff Liquer

For years, I made homemade Irish Cream. I mean, I made gallons of it. It's good, don't get me wrong. I loved that I could control the level of flavors, the amount and kind of booziness. It just got a little predictable. Every party, every event, it was expected. 

Then I saw this recipe:

It seemed similar, but not the same. So I tried it. It is good, but I kept thinking I could use this as a base for something even more unusual. Then, I discovered Biscoff. I never knew this existed. Who knew they had pureed cookies into a peanut butter like consistency ? And it is sooo yummy....

So here is what we refer to in my house as "Boozy Cookie". Drink at your own risk ! 

Creamy Biscoff Liquer 

1 cup creamy Biscoff spread 
1/3 cup sugar 
1 tablespoon vanilla 
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream 
2 cups vodka (less if you want it a little less boozy) 

Place Biscoff, sugar and vanilla in a sauce pan. Simmer over low until mixture starts to warm, then slowly add cream one quarter of a cup at a time, stirring thoroughly. Warm through until mixture is completely melted, then stir in vodka. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. This tastes best when it sits overnight. Shake well before serving. 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Old School Chicken ala King

Everyone has that favorite dish that reminds them of their childhood. In many cases, it was some pre-packaged food your mom prepared for convenience, and you might love the memory of it more than you would if you actually ate it today. 

Or in the case of this one, they simply don't make the boil in a bag chicken ala king that my husband loved as a child. So, I couldn't really do any testing with this one, I just had to go from memory. 

I am going to guess my version has a bit more chicken than the old school kind. But otherwise, the flavor was very, very close. Once it's complete, you have another you serve it with toast or noodles ? Ray said toast, I wanted noodles, so we did both. Equally good, and this makes amazing leftovers ! 

Old School Chicken ala King 
1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8 cups chicken stock 
1 large onion, finely diced
1 cup milk 
1/2 cup flour 
1 cup frozen peas 
1 small jar pimientos 
1 small jar mushrooms
Salt and pepper to taste 
Place chicken breasts in chicken stock, and simmer over low heat for 30-45 minutes until completely cooked through. Remove from the stock and cut into bite size pieces (you will want to let them cool a bit to make them easier to handle). While chicken is cooling, add onion to the stock, and increase heat to medium. Cook until onion is tender, about 10 minutes, then reduce heat back to low. In a jar or container, combine milk and flour and shake until well blended. Slowly stir mixture into the stock, to avoid lumps. Simmer until the sauce starts to thicken, then add the chicken back in, along with the peas, mushrooms and pimientos. Continue to simmer until the sauce is the consistency you like, and peas are cooked through. Taste, and add salt and pepper as you like. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Shakshuka-Spicy Tomato Stew with Eggs

Anyone who knows me knows I am a Food Network addict. There are times when my husband thinks our television doesn't get any other channels ! So, many of my recipe inspirations come from things I have seen on shows there. I especially love the competition shows. 

I can't remember on which show I first saw shakshuka, but I do remember it was a breakfast challenge of some sort. I make a similar dish that has spinach and chick peas, but this one seems so much more interesting. And then, it seemed like it was stalking kept popping up on TV, and then suddenly on my news feed, it was everywhere ! So, of course, I had to try to make it myself. I followed a recipe the first time, to make sure I had the technique, then I made it from memory. So, this is my version. Apparently, from the research I did, it is North African in origin, but there are many different versions, with different levels of spice. This one was quite spicy, and the feta adds a nice, creamy texture. We ate it for dinner, but you could do breakfast, brunch, it would be good any time of day. 

Shakshuka-Spicy Tomato Stew with Eggs 
1 large or 2 small onions, diced 
1 large red pepper, diced 
3 tablespoons olive oil 
1 small serrano pepper, finely chopped 
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 
1 teaspoon cumin 
1 teaspoon paprika 
1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder 
1 quart chopped tomatoes 
1-2 teaspoons salt, to taste 
1/2 to 1 teaspoon black pepper, to taste 
6 ounces feta cheeese, crumbled 
6 eggs 
Chopped cilantro, for garnish 

Preheat oven to 400. In a large, oven proof skillet, heat olive oil over low heat. Add onions, red pepper, serrano and garlic,and slowly saute until all are soft, about 10-15 minutes. Add cumin, paprika, and chipotle powder, and stir until spices start to brown, 4-5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, and simmer until sauce starts to thicken, 15-20 minutes. Add salt and pepper, and feta. Taste, and adjust seasonings to taste. Make a small well for each egg, and drop into the tomato sauce. Place the skillet on the center rack of the oven, and bake 8-10 minutes, just until eggs are set. Remove from oven, let rest for 5 minutes, then garnish with cilantro. You can add extra hot sauce at this point if you like, but it shouldn't need it. 

You can serve this with crusty bread or pita, but we just eat it straight out of the bowl. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Can Can Taco Soup

I know, it's all canned stuff, you say ! 

But, most people have most of these things on hand, or could easily have access to them, and that was my goal. On a cold winter day, everyone needs a "one pot wonder" they can whip up in just a few minutes. And that's where the idea for this came from. 

I love anything with some Mexican flavor, and if it requires little preparation, even better ! So, grabbing some canned items, throwing them in a pot and heating them up seems like the perfect solution for a quick dinner. The refried beans in this virtually disappear, they really are just there to add a richness to the soup. You can add or subtract to this as you like, or it is delicious, just on its own. 

Can Can Taco Soup 
1 jar of your favorite salsa (I like hot, but you choose your temperature)
1 14.5 ounce can tomatoes with green chiles 
1 small can green chiles 
1 small can refried beans 
1 can garbanzo beans
2 cans Mexi-corn (with peppers), not drained 
2 cans canned chicken
1 can green enchilada sauce
1 teaspoon cumin 
1 teaspoon chili powder 
Salt and pepper to taste 

Open all of the cans, and put in a large pot. Heat all of these together, until bubbly and hot. Add ins, if you choose: 

Sour Cream 

Now, this isn't quite as inexpensive as my other pantry soups, but if you leave out the chicken, it comes in at under $1.00 a serving ! 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Hangover Huevos Rancheros

This started out as a conversation about New Year`s Day food traditions.  My husband asked me if we had any, and I said it's really about hangover food, isn't it ? When I think about what I want after over indulging,  I think greasy or spicy. When I proposed these options to my spouse,  he chose spicy, and here we are.

I started soaking the beans before we left for the evening festivities.  When we arrived home in the wee small hours, I put them in the crock pot with some spices, and set it to low. We woke up to some completely cooked, spicy beans, which we topped with cheese, sour cream, salsa and over easy eggs. Oh, on top of tortillas as well, in case you are in no shape to use utensils.

Hanogover Huevos Rancheros
1 pound dried pinto beans
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste

Presoak beans overnight, rinsing, then covering with water, about 2 inches over the top of the beans. Soak 6-8 hours. Roughly 8-10 hours before you will be ready to eat,  rinse beans and place in crockpot. Add spices, and cover with water, about 8 cups. Turn on low, and let cook until beans are tender.  Turn off the crockcrock, and mash with a potato masher.

To assemble:
6-8 flour tortillas
6 eggs
Sour Cream
Shredded cheddar cheese
When ready to eat, place tortillas between two paper plates, and heat in microwave for 45 seconds. Cook eggs to your liking, and serve with salsa, sour cream and cheese.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Post Thanksgiving Mini Breakfast Frittatas

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love planning the menu, cooking all the food, and I especially love the leftovers !

This was an idea I had to use up some of the massive amount of stuffing we have left from dinner. I wanted to re purpose some of it into a breakfast dish, and these little guys turned out perfectly.  So good, in fact, that we are running out to get more eggs so we can have more !

These are good warm or cold, and you can freeze them easily,  and have a grab and go breakfast later.

Post Thanksgiving Mini Breakfast Frittatas

1 1/2 cups leftover stuffing
1/4 cup leftover mashed potatoes
4 eggs
2 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Spray 6 cup muffin tin with non-stick spray. Divide stuffing evenly into muffin cups, then top with a spoonful of mashed potatoes. Place eggs in a bowl and lightly beat with a fork. Pour eggs into muffin cups,  then top with bacon. Bake for  20 minutes, then top each muffin with cheese, and bake an additional 5 minutes. Remove from oven, let rest for 10 minutes,  then enjoy !

For more Thanksgiving leftover ideas, check out my podcast with Fresh and Local !

Monday, October 27, 2014

Tavern Sloppy Joes

There are mythical things in Iowa/South Dakota called taverns,  and everyone has an idea about how these are made. I always thought my grandma made the best, so this recipe is a bit of an homage to her.

I don't know why I was craving these lately,  but they sounded good to me. So, the traditional taverns are pretty plain meat, simple spices and not very saucy. You add mustard,  onions and pickles on the bun. My grandma's version had most of these flavors incorporated into the tavern. I updated the recipe for my tastes,  so my husband calls these "Sloppy Lisa's"...maybe they are "Tavern Vi's" after Grandma....

Tavern Sloppy Joes

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 cup finely chopped onions
1 cup finely chopped green pepper
1 can condensed tomato soup
1/2 cup yellow mustard
1 teaspoon ground garlic
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Brown hamburger in a large skillet. Add onions and green pepper,  and saute until tender. Stir in tomato soup, and remaining ingredients.  Simmer over low heat until thick, serve on buns with cheese and pickles.The version you see here are sliders served with shredded cheddar and pickled onions.