Saturday, December 19

::peppermint mocha with starbucks via::

an at home use for starbuck's instant coffee using microbrewed beans. omit coffee for peppermint hot chocolate and substitute peppermint extract for vanilla extract for simple hot chocolate.

{peppermint mocha}
8oz milk
1 packet starbucks via instant coffee
1 1/2 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 tablespoon sugar or other sweetener
1/4 tablespoon peppermint extract
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
in very small pot, heat milk slowly, stirring often, over low heat. when just warm add all ingredients and stir continuously with a wooden spoon until dissolved. pour into mug.
heat mug filled with milk until just warm, about a minute. stir in all ingredients and mix well. heat about 45 seconds more, stirring briskly once in between and again at the end.

top with whipped cream or marshmallows!

pesto rubbed trout

for my pizza and pasta adventures, central market's dip slash sauce bar thing is perfect for purchasing the exact amount of pesto needed for one or two dishes. their pesto is SO good. this is even better when you can find trout on sale, like i did, and salmon can easily substitute as well.

pesto rubbed trout
serves 3-4
1 lb fillet trout
1/4 cup basil pesto
Rub the pesto generously over the fish. Really rub it, like with the back of a spoon. Cover and marinate 30 min. Heat oven to 425 and line a baking sheet with foil. Bake skin side down 8 - 10 min until fish begins to look slightly opaque and flakes with a fork. Use a metal spatula to slide fish off skin, as skin will stick to the foil.

Saturday, December 5

gingerbread men

these were yummy, fun and made my kitchen smell like christmas!
molasses cookies slash gingerbread men
adapted from all and betty crocker
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 c. brown sugar and 3/4 c. white
1 egg
1 tablespoon water or orange juice or orange liquor
1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons white sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then stir in the water and molasses. Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the molasses mixture.
{for gingerbread men}
Divide dough in thirds; wrap each third in plastic. Chill for at least 1 hour or overnight. Before rolling out, let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. If after refrigerating the dough feels too soft to roll-out, work in a little more flour.

 Place a dough third on a large piece of lightly floured parchment paper or wax paper. Using a rolling pin, roll dough 1/8 inch thick. Refrigerate again for 5-10 minutes to make it easier to cut out the cookies. Cut into desired shapes.
{for molasses cookies}
Shape dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and flatten slightly.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Tuesday, December 1

chicken and root veggies with wine & rosemary

i think this is called braising. it was good and i think next time i will try it with a non-non-stick pan to be sure that the chicken as well as the carrots and potatoes, or whatever root veggies i use next, really brown a bit before adding the liquid. i think a big pot or dutch oven may be best, rather than a large covered nonstick sauce pan --which is what i used and it got a little crowded. i also think after browning everything, you could throw all this in the oven and it would turn out just great. i, however, was interested in minimizing clean up. but then that brings us back to the dutch oven idea.
anyway, this was good and is something i am interested in perfecting since, as i've previously mentioned, we have rosemary growing wild around here.
i think i'm done. here's the recipe.
chicken and root veggies with wine & rosemary
adapted from all recipes & the two of us and friends by jessie carry saunders
4 bone-in chicken breast thighs or breasts, with skin
2 teaspoons seasoned salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 large onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, chopped into bite sized pieces
2 small potatoes chopped into bite sized pieces
4 cloves garlic, minced & divided
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
{optional sauce}
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons flour

this would have been even better if i had NOT used a non-stick pan. more crispy goodies.
Season the chicken liberally with pepper and seasoned salt. Loosen skin and stuff half of diced garlic and chopped rosemary into skin. Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once butter’s foam subsides, add chicken and cook until well browned on all sides. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.

Lower the heat, add the onion, and cook and stir until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, carrot, and potato, and cook and stir an additional 3 minutes.

Pour the chicken broth into the pan {I added only about 1 1/2c. because my pan was getting crowded}, and bring to a boil while scraping the browned bits of food off of the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Stir in the wine and reduce heat back to low.

Return the chicken to the pan and place rosemary sprigs among them. Simmer covered on low until chicken breasts are no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, about 40 minutes. Serve chicken and vegetables with sauces from pan or make separate sauce {it's just thicker}
Remove chicken and vegetables from pan and remove pan with liquids from heat. Allow to cool enough to skim off some fat and remove rosemary sprigs. In another pan, heat 2 T. olive oil over medium heat and once glistening, add flour, stirring or whisking continually. Add slowly until desired thickness: chicken and wine juices from pan, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Serve over chicken.