Cranberry Orange Relish: Chicklets in the Kitchen Post

Cranberry Orange Relish

Cranberry Orange Relish

I’m jumping the holiday gun just a little. Since my posts appear on the 25th, I wanted to share this before your Thanksgiving holiday meal. This is the cranberry sauce I grew up with. It used to be right on the back of the 12 oz Ocean Spray fresh cranberry bag but this year when I looked, it wasn’t. I had to go to http://www.OceanSpray.com where it, and a good many other holiday recipes, are located and download it. This is also great because there’s no cooking, freeing up a burner on your stove for other things, like gravy!

Hardware

Food Processor

Cutting Board

Knife

Bowl

Rubber Spatula

 cranberryrelish001

Ingredients

1 12oz bag fresh cranberries

1 navel orange, unpeeled, cut into eighths and seeded

3/4 to 1 cup sugar

cranberryrelish002

Place half the cranberries and half the orange slices in food processor container. Process until mixture is evenly chopped. Transfer to a bowl.

cranberryrelish003

Repeat with remaining cranberries and orange slices. Stir in sugar. Store in refrigerator or freezer.

Makes about 3 cups.

NOTE: May also be prepared in a food grinder.

Per Serving: (1/4 cup) Cal. 67 (3% DV), Fat Cal. 0, Pro. 0g (0% DV), Carb. 17g (5% DV), Fat 0g (0% DV), Chol. 0mg (0% DV), Sod. 0mg (0% DV), Vit. A 4RE (0% DV), Vit. C 10mg (16% DV), Vit. E 0mg (0% DV), Calcium 6mg (0% DV), Folate 4Ug (0% DV), Zinc 0mg (0% DV), Pot. 40mg (1% DV), Dietary Exchange: Fruit 1

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. What is your favorite holiday recipe? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

Making Soap

Lavender, Soap,

Lavender Soap by Connie Cockrell

The kitchen isn’t just for making breakfast, lunch and dinner. I don’t know about you, but a lot of crafts get done in my kitchen. Not long ago I showed you how to make butter. Here is another craft that is fairly easy to do at home and the result is great for gift giving. Hoo! Anyone thinking about Christmas?

So, here’s how you do it.

Some hardware and ingredients for making soap

Some hardware and ingredients for making soap

Hardware

2 quart glass measuring cup

1 quart glass measuring cup

2 cup glass measuring cup

2 silicone muffin sheets (optional. 2 4X8 inch bread pans, lined with parchment)

1 cookie sheet

2 wire racks

1 large stainless steel spoon to still lye and water mixture

Stick Blender

4 quart stainless steel pot

Rubber Gloves and Eye Protection

Soap ingredients

40 ounces olive oil (not extra virgin)

10 ounces of coconut oil

16 ounces of warm water (from the tap is fine)

6.9 ounces of lye

1.5 to 2.2 ounces of essential oil, any scent (optional)

1/4 cup of crushed flower petals, chopped herb, whatever matches with your essential oil

Directions

Things move quickly when you’re assembling this so make sure you have all of the ingredients measured out, open and ready to add to the pot. Use glass and stainless steel so there won’t be any adverse reactions. Aluminum is not suitable for the measuring cups or pot.

Place the 4 qt. pot on the stove.

Olive Oil and Coconut Oil Melting

Olive Oil and Coconut Oil Melting

Add the olive oil and coconut oil. Heat on low for about 3 minutes, just enough to warm the olive oil so it melts the coconut oil. (Note: you can substitute rose oil or other oils for some of the olive/coconut oil mix.)

Lye and water and protection

Lye and water and protection

 

 

 

Adding Lye

Adding Lye

Stir the lye and water mix

Stir the lye and water mix

In the meantime put on the rubber gloves and eye protection. Wear an apron as well if you think you might splash. Lye is a caustic ingredient and will fizz up violently when you add it to the warm water. Keep your face away from the measuring cup. The lye and the lye water will burn your skin. Add the lye to the warm water. It gets very hot! Stir to dissolve. If you don’t stir, it will turn into a solid lump at the bottom of the measuring cup.

Stir lye water into warm oil

Stir lye water into warm oil

Turn off the oil if you haven’t already done so. Make sure the coconut oil is melted. Add the lye water and stir to combine with the same spoon you used for mixing the lye and water together. You can see in the pictures that I used a wooden spoon. I only use this spoon, with Lye written on it, for soap making. Since wood is porous and lye is poisonous, I keep it stored away from my cooking utensils.

Stir oil and lye mix

Stir oil and lye mix

 

 

 

 

 

Use the stick blender

Use the stick blender

 

 

 

 

 

Soap is thick and creamy

Soap is thick and creamy

Using the stick blender, mix the contents of the pot until the soap mixture is creamy looking. If you don’t have a stick blender you must stir vigorously for a long time until the soap is creamy looking. This can take half an hour or longer.

Lavender essential oil

Lavender essential oil

Lavender buds

Lavender buds

 

Stir in flowers and essential oil

Stir in flowers and essential oil

If you’re using essential oil and flower petals/herbs, put them in now and give the soap a final stir. Making plain soap is perfectly acceptable. I use half a recipe of soap every other time I make soap, to have plain, unscented soap to use for making shampoo.

Pouring soap into the muffin cups

Pouring soap into the muffin cups

I pour the soap from the pot into the 2 quart measuring cup and then pour into the individual muffin cups that are on the cookie sheet. I still end up spilling but it’s easier than pouring out of the pot or dipping. You use the method you think best. Note: you can substitute the bread pans, lined with parchment, 2 inch ends over the top of the sides and ends of the pan, for the muffin cups. Pour half of the soap into each bread pan.

Set the cookie sheet aside for at least 24 hours for the soap to begin to harden. You may have to let it sit for several days. If it’s too soft you end up scooping the soap out of the cups and trying to reform them. That’s what happened in my final picture. The soap is still good, just not very pretty.

Curing the soap

Curing the soap

Once you take the soap out of the muffin cups let sit on a wire rack for 4 – 6 weeks. It takes that long for the soap to “cure”. Then you can put it in plastic bags and use for hand washing, showers, whatever you want. Note: to remove from bread pans. Lift the ends of the parchment paper up and out of the pan onto a cutting board. If it doesn’t lift, run a thin knife around the edges of the pan between the pan and the parchment to loosen. Then cut the “soap loaf” into 2 inch thick slices to make bars. Let cure the same as the soap from the muffin cups.

I don’t use color in my soap because I’m looking for a natural product. However, if you’d like you lavender soap to be a lavender color, go ahead and use food grade coloring. I am guessing but I’d think a paste type food color would blend the best. Go ahead and experiment!

Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Please tell us about your garden or favorite craft recipe in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Thrillers, Mysteries and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

BBQ Ribs and Twice Baked Potatoes

BBQ Ribs and Twice Baked Potatoes

BBQ Ribs and Twice Baked Potatoes

I live in Arizona so it’s grilling time just about all of the time. But even for the coldest places, you can grill well into the fall. I thought ribs and potatoes would be nice. Even better, the potatoes can be done on the grill, too! I went one better and used the last of my peaches to make the BBQ Sauce. Yummy.

So, here’s how you do it.

Rib Sauce Ingredients

8 small peaches, pitted

1/2 cup catsup

1/2 cup chopped red onion

1 New Mexico Chili, roasted, seeded, and chopped fine

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp dried minced garlic

1 T dried oregano

1 T Worchester sauce

Halved peaches, New Mexico Chili and Ribs

Halved peaches, New Mexico Chili and Ribs

I pitted and halved the peaches and roasted them on both sides on the grill. I roasted the chili as well. When they were well charred, I put them in a bowl and covered them with plastic wrap to let them steam. Turn the grill to low.

BBQ Sauce Ingredients

BBQ Sauce Ingredients

I put the remaining sauce ingredients in a saucepan and on low, began to heat it through.

Rib Ingredients

1 rack of ribs

Salt, pepper to taste

Olive oil

Coat the ribs with the oil, then salt and pepper.

Ribs

Ribs

Place the ribs on the grill, rack side down, and turn the temperature down to about 300 degrees. Cook, low and slow for about 4 hours.

While the ribs are cooking, finish the sauce.

Steaming the peaches and the pepper

Steaming the peaches and the pepper

Take the pepper out of the plastic wrapped bowl and with your fingers, remove most of the charred skin. It’s fine to leave a little on there. Cut the pepper lengthwise and deseed. Chop finely and drop into the saucepan.

Pureeing peaches

Pureeing peaches

Drop the grilled peaches into the bowl of your food processor or blender. Blend until the peaches are liquid.

BBQ Sauce Ingredients

BBQ Sauce Ingredients

Pour into the saucepan. Stir it all together and cook until the onions are cooked through and the sauce is thick and hearty. Take off heat and hold until the ribs are done. Then spread the sauce over the meat side of the ribs. Let cook at least 5 minutes.

Twice Baked Potatoes Ingredients

Three russet baking potatoes

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup chopped chives

1/2 cup shredded cheese, extra for topping the potatoes

Salt and pepper

Baking Potatoes

Baking Potatoes

Using one potato per person, scrub them clean, rub with oil and pierce with a fork. Bake on the grill or in the oven until completely done, 45 min – 1 hour. Take out of the oven. Let cool until you can handle them and cut them in half lengthwise.

Scoop out the potato, leaving a narrow shell of potato. In a bowl, mix the potato, sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, salt and pepper and chives until creamy.

Filled potato shells

Filled potato shells

Scoop the mixture back into the shells. Bake for 20 minutes until hot and cheese has melted.

Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Please tell us about your garden or favorite potato or rib recipe in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Thrillers, Mysteries and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

Chicklets in the Kitchen Post: Grilling Chicken and Asparagus

Grilled Chicken and Asparagus by Connie Cockrell

Grilled Chicken and Asparagus by Connie Cockrell

For most of us Memorial Day weekend is the start of the summer season. Not so much in Texas, Oklahoma and the mid-west this year though. Anyway, summer means grilling. I grill a lot here in Arizona. Unless there’s snow on the ground and I can’t roll the BBQ out, I can grill. Summer grilling means making meals outside where I’m not heating up the house. I love that. Here is my go to grilled dinner, chicken thighs and asparagus. Add a potato or macaroni salad, made in the morning while it’s still cool, and you have a fast, easy, pan-free meal that’s practically hassle free.

The Chicken

Everyone in my family is a dark meat fan so chicken thighs or in this case leg and thigh quarters, are the way to go. We like to grill a lot of them so there is leftover chicken for sandwiches or just to eat cold when we’re having a snack attack. Perfect for those who are following the Paleo diet.

Chicken Quarters by Connie Cockrell

Chicken Quarters by Connie Cockrell

Chicken Prep

4 Quarters, thawed and brought to room temperature

Salt, Pepper, Dried Thyme, Dried Sage Mix by Connie Cockrell

Salt, Pepper, Dried Thyme, Dried Sage Mix by Connie Cockrell

Salt, Pepper, Dried Thyme, Dried Sage Mix by Connie Cockrell

Salt, Pepper, Dried Thyme, Dried Sage Mix by Connie Cockrell

Salt, pepper, dried thyme, dried sage mixture to sprinkle over the meat (I make a bunch and keep it in a recycled spice jar. 3T salt, 1T pepper, 1T dried thyme, 1T dried sage. You can adjust these amounts to suit your family’s tastes. And yes, that’s home grown thyme and sage.)

2 -3 T olive oil

Chicken oiled, sprinkled with herb mix and ready for the grill by Connie Cockrel

Chicken oiled, sprinkled with herb mix and ready for the grill by Connie Cockrell

Pat the quarters dry and rub with olive oil. Sprinkle both sides of the quarters with the salt/herb mixture.

Grill, Hot as it can Get by Connie Cockrell

Grill, Hot as it can Get by Connie Cockrell

Put skin side down on the grill. Make sure the grill is screaming hot when you put the chicken on.

Chicken on the Grill by Connie Cockrell

Chicken on the Grill by Connie Cockrell

Close the cover and turn down to medium low. Cook 20 minutes. Turn the chicken over and finish cooking, another 20 minutes or so, depending on your grill. I test for doneness with an instant read thermometer. I do NOT want to give my family rare chicken. That is not good eats. Cook longer if necessary.

The Asparagus

I love asparagus just about any way but grilled is my favorite. The flavor is still green and grassy but there’s also a nutty flavor from the grilling. Yummy.

Bunch Asparagus by Connie Cockrell

Bunch Asparagus by Connie Cockrell

Asparagus Prep
1 bunch fresh Asparagus

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil

1/2 fresh lemon

Wash and pat dry the asparagus. Snap the woody ends off.

Asparagus prepped with Oil, Salt and Pepper by Connie Cockrell

Asparagus prepped with Oil, Salt and Pepper by Connie Cockrell

Sprinkle the asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper, use your hands and mix the spears around until coated with the oil, salt and pepper.

Put on the grill with the chicken the last 15 minutes of the chicken’s cooking time. Cook 7 minutes, then with tongs, turn the spears over to cook on the other side. Cook another 7 minutes. Remove from heat. Squeeze a little lemon juice over the asparagus. These are good even at room temp so if the chicken isn’t done, it’s not a problem.

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Please tell us about your garden or favorite dessert recipe in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Women’s Fiction and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at http://www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

Company Cheesecake

Cheesecake, Connie Cockrell, Strawberry Glaze, Strawberries, Blueberries

Company Cheesecake by Connie Cockrell

In the theory that it’s better late than never, I’m presenting today’s blog post two days late. Hey, it’s a cheesecake recipe ya know! Anyway, this recipe is from my Betty Crocker cookbook, the one I bought just after I got married 40 years ago. The pages are yellowed and splattered, the tabs I used the most have torn off and I hold the cover on with duct tape but I still return to this book over and over again.

Cheesecake, yum. This is a nice fluffy style cheesecake, not dense like say, a New York style cake. But it’s a perfect dessert for company. I made this one for my bunko group. I hosted the game in April and while a lot of ideas floated through my brain since January, this is the one I picked. Make it the day ahead of your event and keep it in the fridge once completely cooled.

The Crust

Cheesecake crust, Lemon Shortbread Cookies, Butter

Crust Ingredients by Connie Cockrell

I made the crust gluten free by using gluten free lemon shortbread cookies. I used the whole box, broke them up into a food processor and whirled them till they were crumbs. I added 3 tablespoons of melted butter and stirred until the crumbs were coated.

Crumbs and melted butter

Crumbs and melted butter

Put in the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan, place on a cookie sheet and back at 350 degrees F until lightly brown. It could be 10 minutes, it could be 20. Mine took closer to 20. Also, add just 2 tablespoons of the melted butter to the crumbs and see if that’s enough to coat. At 3 tablespoons mine seemed kind of wet.

Crumbs in Springform Pan

Crumbs in Springform Pan

After the crust is pulled out of the oven to cool, reduce temp to 300 degrees.

 

Cheese Mixture

 

Cream Cheese, Sugar, Eggs, Lemon Flavoring

Cheesecake Ingredients by Connie Cockrell

2 8oz packages of cream cheese plus another 3 oz., room temperature

1 c sugar

2 tsp grated lemon peel

1/4 tsp vanilla (or substitute lemon juice or lemon flavoring)

3 eggs, room temperature

1 cup sour cream, Cherry Glaze or Strawberry Glaze

I use a stand mixer for this as I have in the past burnt out a hand mixer but both will work.

Cream cheese, sugar

Add sugar to beaten cream cheese by Connie Cockrell

Beat the cream cheese in the stand mixer bowl on medium speed. Gradually add the sugar, beating until fluffy. Add the lemon peel and flavoring.

Eggs

Add Eggs by Connie Cockrell

Mix until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time.

Cheesecake ready to bake

Cheesecake ready to bake by Connie Cockrell

Pour the mixture over the crust.

Baked Cheesecake

Baked Cheesecake by Connie Cockrell

Bake for an hour and check for doneness. The center should be firm. Turn off the oven and cool to room temperature right in the oven. Loosen edge of cheesecake with knife before removing the side of the pan. Spread with the sour cream or glaze.

 

Strawberry Glaze

1 – 1 1/2 cups cut up strawberries

1 cup sugar

3 T cornstarch (I used 1 tsp of Arrowroot. I find cornstarch makes the sauce cloudy.)

1 cup water (I used a couple of tablespoons)

Cook in a small pan over low heat to a low boil until you can mash the berries. I left some fairly large pieces but you can thoroughly mash them. Cook until the sauce is thickened. Refrigerate until ready to top the cake.

After I made the glaze and put it on the cheese cake, I sliced strawberries and used them and blueberries to decorate the top. This is optional, the glaze is certainly pretty enough on its own.

 

Cherry Glaze

1 1lb can pitted red tart cherries, reserving the liquid

1/2 c sugar

2 T corn starch

Water to add to the cherry liquid

Red Food Color

Add enough water to cherry liquid to measure 1 cup. Mix sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Stir in the liquid. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat, stir in cherries and 4 drops of red food color. Cool thoroughly.

 

Other Notes:

I have also cooked this cheesecake in a water bath.

Wrap the springform pan in aluminum foil, a couple of layers so no water can get in. Bake the crust per directions. Then, when you’ve filled the pan with the cheese mixture, put the springform pan in a large baking dish and fill halfway up the side of the springform pan with boiling water. It’s easiest to do this when the baking dish is sitting on the oven rack. Carefully slide the rack into the oven and cook until done. Cool according to the directions above. This helps prevent the cracks you get in the cheesecake top when it cools. It’s an extra step and takes longer to cook and cool. Your choice.

 

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Please tell us about your garden or favorite dessert recipe in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Women’s Fiction and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.wordpress.com.

Gluten and Dairy Free Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oatmeal Cookies, Milk

Finished Oatmeal Cookies with Milk by Randy Cockrell

February, for a lot of you, has been a cold, snowy misery. What better than warm from the oven cookies to make everything feel better. At my house we love oatmeal cookies. My mom sometimes eats them as breakfast. I mean, they’re oatmeal, right? Anyway, this recipe comes from the back of the oatmeal box so super easy to find. I made it both gluten and dairy free by making some substitutions. I also replaced the chocolate chips with raisins so that makes them even more like a bowl of oatmeal in the morning, am I right? Here we go.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

From

The back of the box of Great Value 100% Old Fashioned Oats

Mise-en-place for oatmeal cookies

Mise-en-place for oatmeal cookies by Randy Cockrell

1 Cup All Vegetable Shortening (I use lard but if you can find a gluten free veg shortening, go ahead and use it.

1 Cup Sugar

1cup light brown sugar firmly packed

2 eggs

2 T Milk (I used cashew milk with makes this recipe dairy free for my hubby)

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour (I used a 4 bean flour blend to make the cookies gluten free for me! See the recipe for it below.)

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp backing soda

1 tsp cinnamon

4 Cups Old Fashioned Oats

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used 1 cup of raisins instead)

 

Four Flour Bean Mix

From

Living Well Without Wheat The Gluten-Free Gourmet by Bette Hagaman

This exchanges cup for cup with wheat flour and has enough protein so that in many cases you can take your regular cake or cookie recipe and not have to make any additions except for some xanthan gum.

Formula                                                           For 9 cups flour

2/3 part Garfava bean flour                             2 cups Gafava bean flour

1/3 part Sorghum flour                                    1 cup Sorghum flour

1 part Cornstarch                                            3 cups Cornstarch

1 part Tapioca flour                                         3 cups Tapioca flour

In a very large bowl mix all ingredients together with a whisk. Store in a dry location.

Using Xanthan gum:

For breads: 3/4 teaspoon per cup of flour

For cakes: 1/2 teaspoon per cup of flour

For cookies: 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon per cup of flour

In a very large bowl mix all ingredients together with a whisk. Store in a dry location.

Using Xanthan gum:

For breads: 3/4 teaspoon per cup of flour

For cakes: 1/2 teaspoon per cup of flour

For cookies: 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon per cup of flour

 

Oatmeal Cookie Directions

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

Blend shortening with sugars.

Creamed sugar, shortening, eggs, milk and vanilla

Creamed sugar and shortening, eggs, milk and vanilla by Randy Cockrell

Add eggs, milk and vanilla and beat well.

Add the flour, salt, cinnamon, Xanthan gum, and baking soda, beat well again.

Flour, salt, cinnamon, Xantham Gum, and baking soda

Flour, salt, cinnamon, Xantham Gum, and baking soda, by Randy Cockrell

Stir in the oats and chocolate chips.

Oats, raisins

Oats and raisins added by Randy Cockrell

Drop by rounded tablespoonsfuls, about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Dropping 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets

Dropping 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets by Randy Cockrell

Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Place cookies on a wire rack to finish cooling.

Putting cookies on wire rack to cool

Putting cookies on wire rack to cool by Randy Cockrell

Makes about 42 cookies.

 

Drop cookies onto parchment lined cookie sheets by Randy Cockrell

Drop cookies onto parchment lined cookie sheets by Randy Cockrell

I made two sheets (about a dozen cookies per sheet) per the directions and those cookies stuck to the cookie sheet. I ended up with crushed cookie all over the floor. After that I used parchment paper and the cookies slid right off. This makes a crispy cookie. Oh, and that glass of milk in the first picture, it’s Cashew Milk. Enjoy.

Gluten Free Meatloaf

Gluten Free Meatloaf

I love meatloaf. It’s a perfect winter dinner. The oven heats up the house, the smell of baking meatloaf permeates the air, what could be better? I usually serve mine with mashed potatoes and green beans but we had green beans a couple of nights ago so I plated up broccoli instead. It’s all good.

I made my own tomato sauce for the top, used veggies I had on hand to put in the meatloaf, and used gluten free bread and cereal crumbs for the mix. You can make this a paleo meatloaf by using paleo bread or by leaving out the bread all together.

You can see from the pictures that I was thinking I’d make two of these meatloaves, one to eat and one to freeze but that didn’t happen. I decided to make a big loaf instead of two skinny ones. Definitely use a cookie sheet. The meatloaf can boil over and better to clean a cookie sheet than the oven. My only mistake? I forgot to take a picture of the meatloaf as it came out of the oven. Ack! I’ve got a lot to learn about food photography.

Tomato Sauce Topping

Ingredients, seasonings, frozen peach

Ingredients for tomato sauce meatloaf topping by Connie Cockrell

1 cup pureed tomato (You can use regular tomato sauce if you’re not trying to be gluten free)

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1/4 cup finely chopped peach

Stir all together and let sit while you chop and assemble the meatloaf

 

Meatloaf

1 C chopped onion

1 sweet pepper, chopped

2 lbs ground turkey

1lb ground beef

1/2 – 1 cup bread crumbs

2 eggs

Salt and pepper to taste

ground meat, chopped onion and pepper, eggs, bread crumbs

Meatloaf Ingredients, ground meat, chopped onion and pepper, eggs, bread crumbs by Connie Cockrell

Heat oven to 350 degrees F

 

In a large bowl mix the meat, chopped vegetables, bread crumbs, eggs and a 1/4 cup of the tomato topping.

 

Mix it all together with your hands. Shape it to fit your baking dish. I used a bread pan, sprayed with olive oil. Put that in the bread pan and tuck the edges of the loaf down.

Mixing the meatloaf ingredients

Mixing Meatloaf by Connie Cockrell

Spread the tomato-peach sauce on the top.

Spreading the meatloaf topping

Spreading the meatloaf topping by Connie Cockrell

Bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Remove from the oven and let rest for a few minutes for the boiling to subside. Cut into slices.

Meatloaf ready to bake

Meatloaf ready to bake by Connie Cockrell

Feeds 4 with leftovers for meatloaf sandwiches.

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Please tell us about your favorite winter meal in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Women’s Fiction and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.wordpress.com.

Lemon Sage Chicken Scallopini with Apple Cider Glaze

Butternut Squash, Connie Cockrell

My Butternut Squash Harvest by Connie Cockrell

It’s NaNo! National Novel Writing Month to be exact. If I’m not done with my cozy mystery by now (I’m writing this early in November) I’m darned close. I’ve titled it Mystery at the Fair, and the series is called the Jean Hays Series after my title character. I’ve done the cover too, though I may be tweaking the back cover blurb for awhile yet.

The thyme I talked about last month? I finally got it down, the tiny leaves picked from the stems, an hour and a half of work while I talked to my mom on the phone, and put into a jar. Yay! I picked and washed sage and rosemary and they’re on the rack now. I also picked all of my butternut squash. That’s them up there at the top of the post. I keep them in the garage just like that.

But I held one out to use for supper that night. You can prepare squash by baking, boiling, roasting or grilling. I chose boiling for that meal. Here’s how I prepped the squash. Wash the outside of it with soap and water. On a large cutting board cut the stem and blossom ends off. Then cut the squash in half at the point where the neck meets the round bulb base. That makes the squash easier to handle. Cut the round part in half vertically, not around the wide part of the bulb and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Use a vegetable peeler to peel the skin off. It’s too tough to eat. Then cut the neck in half, long-wise and peel that. Cut all of it up into 1 inch dice and put in a saucepan covered with water. A pinch of salt in there will season the squash. Cook for about 1/2 an hour on medium heat and test for doneness with a fork, just like potatoes. Drain, add a little butter, a tablespoon of real maple syrup, and mash. Yummy. There’s our side dish.

Lemon Sage Chicken Scallopini with Apple Cider Glaze

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1T fresh Sage chopped very fine

1 lemon, fine zest and juice

1/2 cup fresh apple cider

1/4 cup gluten free flour

Salt and pepper to taste.

Oil for pan frying

I first heard of Scallopini way back when I was a young wife. I got the recipe out of Women’s Day or Family Circle. Traditionally scallopini is veal but they used chicken breast or pork chops. I now use the basics quite often, mostly with chicken breast. It’s affordable, healthy and very tasty.

Cut the chicken breast in half, horizontally, as though you were butterflying them open, just cut all the way through. You can just butterfly them open but then you have a piece of chicken large enough to cover a dinner plate. I find that to be too much.  Put a sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap on your counter. Tear off another to use in a second. Put a breast half on the wax paper. Lay the second sheet on top of the chicken. Pound it out with a meat mallet or a frying pan or a rolling pin until it’s an even thickness all the way around. Do that for all four halves.

Sprinkle the zest, sage, salt and pepper over all four pieces, be sure to sprinkle both sides. Sprinkle the pieces, both sides, with the flour. Preheat the frying pan with a little oil and put the pieces in the hot pan. Fry each side about 5 minutes, over medium heat, sprinkling each piece with lemon juice when you turn them. When both sides are golden brown and you’re pretty sure they’re just about done, pour the apple cider over all the pieces. The cider will deglaze the pan. Cook that until it’s boiled down to a thick glaze, about 5 minutes but be careful, it goes from thick to burnt in a heartbeat.

It’s done. I served this with the squash and quinoa. Hubby declared it delicious.

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Please tell us about your garden or favorite chicken recipe in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Women’s Fiction and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.wordpress.com.

Guest Chicklet: Kimberly Kincaid

Kimberly KincaidGreetings and salutations, Chicklets and Roosters. Kimberly Kincaid is back in the Chicklets’ kitchen this week, celebrating the release of her newest novella, “Outside The Lines.”

I just finished reading “Love On The Line” — don’t judge me for being behind in my reading — and loved it, so I can’t wait to see what kind of food and fun she cooks up next.

Take it away, Kimberly! Continue reading

Guest Chicklet Kate Meader is HOT IN THE KITCHEN

Kate Meader

Kate Meader

Abigail here!  I’m so excited to host Kate Meader on her blog tour of Feel the Heat, the first book in the Hot in the Kitchen series. YOU can win Feel the Heat swag by going to her blog and entering the Rafflecopter giveaway. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter. Continue reading