Saturday, October 29, 2011

It's a Big Breakfast Kind of Morning

Sometimes on a cold Saturday morning a big country breakfast sounds so good. Normally my husband and I would head to the local breakfast spot in town. We would enjoy a hot cup of coffee with our quiet breakfast. But with a 20 month old crazy son, those days are over. I think they ended the day he started walking and he was an early walker. With the hopes of a big breakfast and no bread, syrup or bacon in the house I had to get creative. Actually my first thought was to give up, head to Starbucks and get donuts. But on this cold October morning I would rather starve then go outside.

First things first, what do I have in the house? Eggs, Bisquick and a half pound of sweet sausage. The only thing missing? Gravy! Do you think I was lucky enough to have a packet of country gravy mix in the pantry? Nope. Guess that means I had to make it from scratch. So after I put the biscuits in the oven I browned the sausage and saved the drippings, then I had to tackle the gravy.

1/4 cup of vegetable oil or grease from sausage or bacon
1/2 cup of flour
2-3 cups of milk
1 teaspoon of chicken bouillon
Salt and pepper to taste.

In a sauce pan add oil or grease. Heat over medium high heat. Whisk in flour. Whisk for a couple of minutes to cook the flour taste out. Add chicken bouillon, salt and pepper. Whisk in the first two cups of milk one cup at a time. Whisk for a couple of minutes until is thickens. If the gravy is to thick whisk in more milk. I normally use about 2 1/2 cups total milk. We had the gravy over biscuits with cheesy scrambled eggs.

A great way to start the weekend!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pear Vanilla Muffins

Remember that Pear Vanilla Jam I made that turned into pear vanilla sauce.  Well I decided it needed another use other then an ice cream topper.  And with a fun morning play date just a few days away I needed something the kids and mommy's could enjoy.  I had originally planned on making applesauce muffins and found a couple of great recipes.  But with over half a quart of pear vanilla sauce in the refrigerator I needed to create something from scratch.  They turned out great, not to sweet, with just a hint of vanilla.  Recipe below.
Pear Vanilla Muffins
2 sticks softened butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups pear vanilla sauce
Pinch of salt

In a bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. Stir in pear vanilla sauce. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into creamed mixture. Fold in nuts (optional).

Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.  Makes about 2 dozen.

Although I have not tried these substitution, I think they would turn out great.  If anyone tries them let me know how they taste or if you made any changes.

Replace pear vanilla sauce with applesauce. Add 2 teaspoons of apple pie spice. If using unsweetened apple sauce increase sugar if desired.

Replace pear vanilla sauce with pumpkin puree. Add 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice. Add 1/2 cup more sugar.

Monday, October 10, 2011

10 on 10

I think there is a theme to my 10 on 10 this month. Apples!

Carmel apple pie jam

Calls from the local wear house.

$8 for as many as you can fit in the box. I almost could not carry it.

Chai apple butter cooking away.


Mini apple pie with ice cream. I used the carmel apple pie jam and store bought pie crust. So easy, but so good hot out of the oven.

Empty jars, soon to be full of apple pie filling!

Canning has taken over one of my closets.

I tried taco pizza for the first time. Delicious!

Dinner tonight. Corn chowder! Recipe on the side of the creamed corn can. I just use thick bacon instead of smoked sausage, cheddar cheese and add more milk. Great on a rainy cold night.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Roasted Chicken with a Honey Lemon Apple Glaze

For a month now I have been re-reading a recipe for Honey Lemon Apple Jam.  It sounded wonderful.  For the jam I used honey crisp apples and added a little less sugar and a little more honey.  It turned out tasting great.  I would have liked it to be a little more jammy, next time I will let it cook down a little bit more or add another packet of liquid pectin.  BTW, I am beginning to hate liquid pectin.  Every time I use it the consistency of the jam is not jammy enough.  If anyone knows a conversion from the liquid to powered please let me know.  When I use the powdered pectin things always turn out the way I wanted them to. 

Anyways, this jam will be great on toast or with cheese and crackers.  But the main reason I made it is to use it as a glaze for chicken or pork.  So that night for dinner roasted chicken with a honey lemon apple glaze.  I bought a whole chicken at the store, but you could use pieces.  On a side not when buying a whole chicken.  Make sure it is thawed before you try to use it.  I have had several incidences where I get the chicken out of the fridge and unwrap to realize it is still half frozen.  I rinse my chicken and pat it dry.  Cover with salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder.  I also stuffed the inside of the chicken with the lemons I had zested earlier for the jam.  Cover with foil and roast at 375 or 400 for 45 minutes.  Then uncover and baste with the honey lemon apple jam.  I basted 4 times.  Cook until the chickens internal temperature is 165 degrees about another 45 minutes..  Let it rest for 10 minutes and enjoy.  With our chicken we had roasted red potatoes and salad.  What a great Sunday night dinner!!!