Friday, January 30, 2009

Steel Cut and ready.

I got this easy you can hardly call it a recipe....from (smart, funny & oh so well written )Ann Kroeker.

I have never been a fan of mush...gooey, slimy, ugh. I have always undercooked my oats to keep them a little more chewy. Steel cut oats are awesome because they take so long to cook that I always have plenty of chewy goodness. I tried this idea with a little hesitation because it fully cooks the oats, but I love the idea of waking up in the morning to a warm breakfast ready. I mixed it with blueberries*, almonds and honey; it was quite tasty. The texture was more creamy than slimy, and I even had two bowls.

Enough chatter, here's the info. Pull out your crock pot...yep, your crock pot...and pour a couple inches of water in the bottom. Find a glass bowl that will fit inside your crock pot with the lid on and hold 4 cups water and 1 cup steel cut oats. Add the oats and water to the glass bowl and put the glass bowl in the crock pot....think double broiler. Put the lid on your crock pot, turn it on low and go to bed. In the morning it will be hot and ready. If you don't all eat together just scoop out what you need and put the lid back on to keep it hot and moist.

*if you use frozen berries, take them out the night before, or it will be like putting ice cubes in your oatmeal, and I don't care how creamy it is, cold oatmeal is...well, for the dog.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Not Feeling It...

What do I do when I don't feel like cooking anymore, when I just want to do microwave food, when I can't stand the thing I love the most makes me sick...

I have found that my favorite foods with this baby are sweets, and quick cook foods... I'm hoping all this is just the loss of energy because I really want to make Italian bread and baked ziti, but know what I'm having for dinner tonight? Frozen, breaded chicken nuggets and box mac-n-cheese...oh yeah and I bit and bought a slice of red velvet cake from the deli which I won't like cuz it isn't as good as mine, but I have to have it... :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Italian Bread

This recipe takes a long time but is easy to do as the day goes along...if you remember soon enough.

Italian Bread

1 tsp white sugar
1 T active dry yeast
3 C warm water
7 C all-purpose flour, divided
1 T salt, divided
t T cornmeal

Add the sugar and yeast to the warm water and allow to proof until yeast resembles a creamy foam.

Sir in 4 cups of flour and beat until smooth. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes. Beat in the salt and then add enough remaining flour to make a stiff dough. Knead until soft. Place dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover and let rise until doubled.

Once doubled, punch down and divide into 3 pieces. Place back in the bowl, cover, and let rise.

Once doubled again, punch down and form into 3 fat oval shaped loaves. Grease baking sheets and sprinkle with cornmeal. Place the bread on the sheets, cover with a towel, and let rise.

Preheat oven to 450. Once risen, mist loaves with water and bake in the preheated oven. Mist loaves again with water and turn occasionally while they bake. Bread is done in about 30 minutes (the recipe said 1 hour, but it was definitely done in half that) or until loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. (If you tap them and they don't sound hollow, don't be afraid to just throw 'em right back in the oven til they're done)

White Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili

1 T oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (4.5oz)can chopped jalapeno peppers (or not)
1 (4.5oz) can chopped green chilies
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 (10.5 oz) can s chicken broth
3 C chopped cooked chicken breast
3 (15oz) cans white beans
1 C shredded Monterrey Jack or something similar

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Slowly cook and stir the onion until tender. Mix in the garlic, jalapeno peppers, green chilies, cumin, oregano, and cayenne. Continue to cook and stir the mixture until tender, about 3 minutes. Mix in the chicken broth, chicken, and whit beans. Simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the mixture from heat. Slowly stir in the cheese until melted. Serve warm.

*If your going to freeze it wait until you reheat to mix in the cheese.

Chicken Manicotti

Emily, this recipe was made for the freezer. It's designed to make to cook up for dinner and one to freeze for later, but it does make a lot so you might even get away with splitting it in thirds and freezing two. We have also frozen successfully sloppy Joe's, the meat mixture for taco salad, taco soup, and burrito filling (Bean Burritos in Mandy's cookbook p.41). I'm also going to post a Italian bread recipe, as most bread freezes well, and a white chili recipe that should freeze well also.

Chicken Manicotti

1 T garlic powder
1-1/2 lbs boneless chk
16 uncooked manicotti shells
2 jars 26oz each spaghetti sauce, divided
1 lb bulk Italian sausage, cooked and drained
½ lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
4 C shredded mozzarella cheese
2/3 C water

Rub garlic powder over chicken; cut into 1 in strips. Stuff chicken into manicotti shells. Spread 1 cup spaghetti sauce in each of two 13-in x 9-in x 2-in baking dishes. Place eight stuffed manicotti shells in each dish. Sprinkle with sausage and mushrooms. Pour remaining spaghetti sauce over the top. Sprinkle with cheese. Drizzle water around the edge of each dish. Cover and bake one casserole at 375 for 65-70 minutes or until chicken juices run clear and pasta is tender. Cover and freeze remaining casserole for up to 1 month. Yield: 2 casseroles (4 servings each).

To use frozen casserole: Thaw in the refrigerator. Let stand at room temperature for 30 min. Bake as directed.
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