Archive for January, 2011

Cheddar Chicken Rarebit

This is another recipe from my chicken recipe book.

  • 4 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3 tablespoons milk, chicken broth, dry white wine or beer (we used milk)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 small tomatoes
  • 2 green peppers (omitted)
  • 4 slices pumpernickel bread (replaced with a French baguette)
  • 6 ounces cooked chicken or turkey (we used chicken)

1. Grate cheese and place in a small saucepan. Add milk and melt the cheese over low heat, stirring constantly, until almost melted. Remove pan from heat and stir in mustard and butter. Stir until butter is melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

2. Core and thinly slice the tomatoes. (If using, stem and seed the bell peppers and cut them into 1-inch strips).

3. Toast bread (we didn’t, because the baguette was very fresh) and set slices on dinner plates. Cover toast with layer of chicken, then a layer of tomatoes. Reheat the cheese sauce. When bubbling, spoon over tomatoes. Garnish with peppers, if using. (We made 3 close-faced sub-like sandwiches instead of 4 open-face sandwiches.)

Verdict: I liked it, but it wasn’t anything special. And, like my sister keeps reminding me, I am looking for “wow” recipes. So I guess there isn’t really a reason to keep this one, even though there wasn’t anything wrong with it.


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More Pancakes

Apple Pancakes
Adapted from Joan Nathan, and a bunch of other sources laying claim to the same recipe

2 eggs, well beaten
1 1/2 cups of milk or yogurt (I used milk and am only assuming that the yogurt will work as well)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
3 medium apples, peeled and coarsely grated (I used yellow delicious, but will use a more tart variety next time)
Extra flavorings (see recipe notes)
Vegetable oil, for frying
Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting

(I personally didn’t use any confectioner’s sugar; the apples I  used were red delicious and cinnamon was added)

1. Mix the eggs with the milk or yogurt in a large bowl.

2. In a smaller bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together.

3. Combine the wet and the dry ingredients and stir in the apples and whatever other flavorings you see fit.

4. Heat a thin layer of oil in a skillet over low to medium heat. Drop large spoonful of batter into the pan and flatten it out a little (otherwise, you might have trouble getting them to cook in the center) and cook until golden brown underneath. Flip the pancakes and cook them for an additional two or three minutes.

5. Either dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately, or keep on a tray in a warmed oven until you are ready to serve them.

These pancakes were slightly forgettable. I do remember that grating apples took longer than I thought and it felt like these weren’t worth the effort.

Recipe and photos by For the Love of
Original recipe from Cooking Light August 2009
  • 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup vanilla fat free yogurt
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries

Lightly spoon the flours into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine the flours and next 5 ingredients (through nutmeg) in a large bowl, stirring well to combine. Combine yogurt and next 4 ingredients (through eggs) in a small bowl; add to flour mixture, stirring until smooth.

Pour about 1/4 cup of batter per pancake onto a hot nonstick griddle or skillet. Top each pancake with blueberries. Cook 2 minutes or until the tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked. Carefully turn pancakes over; cook 2 more minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned

After mixing all the ingredients together I found the batter extremely thick for some reason, so I added another two dollops of yogurt, and I ended up using only about half the amount of  blueberries.  I don’t understand the point of adding the blueberries after you start cooking them because it made weird holes in the pancakes.

Also there was no bubbles to indicate if they were done because of the thickness of the batter.  

The pancakes themselves were very fluffy when they were cooked, but I found they didn’t have much or a taste to them.

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In Search of: The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie, Part 6: Thin and Crisp Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am pretty sure this is the last chocolate chip cookie recipe that can be found in Martha Stewart’s cookie book, which means I will be branching out to chocolate chip cookie recipes from other places soon.

  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cup butter, room temperature (we melted ours)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt (didn’t use because we used salted butter)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla (we accidentally put in 1 tablespoon of vanilla instead of the first teaspoon, so we just left it at that)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Mix together flour and baking soda in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugar and brown sugar until pale and fluffy. Add salt (if using), vanilla, eggs and water and mix until combined. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

3. Drop tablespoons balls of dough onto greased or lined baking sheets (we made small ones and because of the dough you couldn’t really press down, but they thinned and expanded as they cooked). Bake 20 to 35 min, turning sheets halfway through. (Our cookies were done after 13-14 min. We still turned at the halfway point though.) We made 66 cookies.

Verdict: I enjoyed them. They stayed pretty soft for a couple of days afterwards, but were thin like the title said and crispy around the edges. But, like my sister says, we are looking for an amazing chocolate chip recipe, and for us this just didn’t rank as amazing. (Though the leftover cookies got top marks from people at my work.)


Tearoom Sandwiches and Carrot Apple Slaw

Still working my way through my chicken recipe book.

  • 4 carrots
  • 1 apple
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (omitted and replaced with raspberry poppy seed dressing)
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice (we omitted 2 tablespoons of lemon juice which was supposed to be used in the slaw because we used a raspberry poppy seed dressing we bought instead)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons mayonnaise (we used 2)
  • 1/8 teaspoon curry powder (omitted)
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • 1 cup diced cooked chicken
  • 4 slices of white or whole wheat bread (we used mini buns, and this made way more than just 2 sandwiches worth of food)

1. Grate carrots. Peel and core apples, then finely dice or grate it (we chose to dice it). Combine the oil with 2 tablespoons lemon juice and toss with carrots and apple (replaced with 4 tablespoons of the raspberry poppyseed dressing, which was enough for me, but my mom and sister added more). Season to taste with salt and pepper.

2. In a food processor, combine mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, curry powder (if using) and walnuts. Purée. Add the chicken and pulse until finely chop and a bit pasty. Season to taste. Spread between bread slices and serve with a side of the slaw.

Verdict: The best part of the meal was the slaw. Maybe removing the curry took out the kick to it, because it was just a normal everyday type of sandwich that you can buy anywhere. I tried it on a toasted bun with tomatoes one time and with a cheese the next and it still didn’t elevate it into “wow” for me.  The slaw was delicious. I added raisins to it and loved it that way too. But carrots and apple worked alone too. The dressing we (okay, my sister) found really added to the whole flavour. Yum. The slaw is a definite keeper.

(Hm, can I use the vegetarian tag if part of the dish was chicken and part was vegetarian? The part I’m keeping is all veggie.)

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Almond Chicken

This is a recipe from Kraft.

  • 4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup dressing of your choice (they say to use a Tuscan Italian dressing, I use Sundried Tomato and Oregano)
  • 1 cup chicken broth (a little less than the 284 ml they say to use)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups broccoli florets (I didn’t use because I didn’t have any on hand. The first time I tried this recipe we didn’t use because I wasn’t sure I liked broccoli at that time)
  • 1 cup instant rice, uncooked (I used white rice instead of brown)
  • 1/4 cup almonds

1. Toss chicken with dressing in resealable plastic bag.

2. Add chicken and dressing to a large skillet on medium-high. Cook 4 min on each side, or until browned.

3. Stir in broth and garlic and bring to boil. Cover.  Simmer 10 min or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken and cover (or place in oven) to keep warm.

4. (If using, add broccoli to skillet and cook, uncovered, 3 min.) Add rice and almonds (I added them all and not the 3 tablespoons Kraft suggested. Though maybe using some almonds to top the dish would have been good too). Remove from heat. Let stand 5-7 min. Serve rice over chicken mixture.

Verdict: I remember liking this recipe the first time, although my mom and sister found it too sparse. This time, since I make food to freeze it to eat later, I had some issues with it. I am not a fan of frozen rice, so I made the rice on the day I actually ate my re-heated chicken and found it didn’t have any flavour from the chicken broth. Likewise the chicken itself didn’t have much in the way of a distinct flavour. I was too scared to actually try the almonds, because I wasn’t sure if you could freeze nuts. I think this is a recipe that is just not worth keeping for me. I have easier ones to make and freeze.

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Creamed Chicken in Puff Pastry

I am pretty sure this is a chicken a la king recipe, despite what it’s been called. It was pretty similar to the turkey a la king recipe my aunt made at Christmas.

This is from my chicken recipe book.

  • 8 frozen puff pastry shells (we used a non-frozen version)
  • 8 ounces mushrooms (my sister and I are not that fond of mushrooms. Previously, the closest I’d gotten was cream of mushroom soup, but I have been trying to attempt to broaden my horizons when it comes to food and stop being a very picky eater, so I thought if we tried less mushrooms and pureed them it wouldn’t be so bad. All of this to say we used about 4 ounces of mushrooms)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 large clove garlic (we used garlic powder to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons Madeira (didn’t use)
  • 10 to 12 ounces skinless cooked chicken
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed (we just used 1 small can of peas)
  • Salt
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (didn’t use)

1. (If using frozen puff pastries), preheat oven and bake according to package. (With non-frozen puff pastry, we just had to heat them a little before serving.)

2. Trim 1/4 inch off the bottom of the mushroom stems. Wipe clean with damp paper towel. Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for a few seconds. Add mushrooms and cook on medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until they release their juices, about 3 min. (Afterwards, we pureed them so that the mushroom bits were really small.)

3. Add flour and stir with wooden spoon about 1 min. Add milk and whisk vigorously. When mixture is thick add Madeira (if using) and broth. Simmer, uncovered, on low heat, 5 min.

4. Cut chicken into 1/2 inch pieces. Add to sauce, along with peas. Simmer until puff pastries are done. Season with salt and cayenne.

5. Remove pastry shells from oven and let cool 1 min. Remove top of each shell. Spoon some filling in and around each shell and place tops back onto each shell.

Verdict: I loved them, though I did find them lacking something. It may be because my aunt made something similar at Christmas with more vegetables (I don’t remember which ones, but there were onions at the very least) so that I felt it could use some more flavours. Still, it’s a good base to build on until I figure out which veggie combination works for me. And I didn’t mind the mushrooms at all. Okay, I know they came out like a cream of mushroom soup texture at the end, but first step.

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In Search of: The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie, Part 5: Cakey Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is another recipe from Martha Stewart’s cookie book.

  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 14 tablespoons butter (no way was I actually counting out 14 tablespoons, so I looked online to convert it into cups and 14 tablespoons equals .875 of a cup, so we eyeballed it at a little less than a cup of butter)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt (didn’t use because we use semi-salted butter)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare baking sheets. Mix flour and baking soda together.

2. Beat butter, sugar and brown sugar together. Add salt (if using), vanilla and eggs. Mix until combined. Add flour mixture and mix until combined. Add in chocolate chips.

3. Drop by spoonful onto prepared baking sheets and bake 10-12 min. (We made ours small but they expanded a lot. In the end we had 46 good sized cookies. Ten minutes was probably too short for them. They were cooked but pale. After twelve minutes they were nicely golden).

Verdict: I liked them better than last week’s recipe, but my sister disagrees. In the end, we both like other recipes (the vanilla pudding and coconut ones) better. And, being picky, but they didn’t really taste like cake like the name of the recipe implies.

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