Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sunday Afternoon Concoction

Most of the time my "menu" is pretty basic, which allows me to not feel bound to use a specific recipe. I like that and it works for us. So, today I knew we would be having chicken breasts (pretty boring, right), but I needed to decide how to fix them. The pineapple in the refrigerator was my inspiration, and the end result was actually quite good. What showed up on the plate wasn't quite what Michelle and Wayne were expecting when I said we'd have "chicken and rice with a pineapple-y, barbecue-y sauce" but they liked it. There's something to be said for being unpredictable!

Here are some of the recipes that provided ideas:

Snappy Barbecue Sauce
Grilled Pineapple
Saucy Pork Chops

Pineapple Chicken

1-2  tablespoons butter
3-6 slices fresh pineapple
3-6 boneless chicken breasts
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2/3 cup catsup
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1 dash Tabasco sauce
salt and pepper to taste
cooked rice

Melt the butter in a frying pan and saute the pineapple slices for a couple of minutes on each side. Remove and keep warm. Brown the chicken in the same frying pan and salt and pepper to taste. Add the onion, celery and garlic and cook until softened. Combine the remaining ingredients and pour over the chicken. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink. Serve the chicken over rice and topped with a pineapple slice and the sauce.

Well, this has been sitting as a draft for a couple of months, and now I can't find the picture that I wanted to add! So, you get it without a picture. Updated: Still no picture of the chicken version, but we made this with pork and it was delicious as well. We also used canned pineapple slices and substituted the pineapple juice for the water in the sauce.

Gluten-free Chocolate Cupcakes

The other day I was asked to take dinner to a family in our ward that is on a gluten-free diet. Since dinner really isn't complete without dessert (especially when you're delivering it to someone else), and since all of my standard desserts contain flour, it was time to turn to the internet for help.  Fortunately, I discovered I had plenty of options!

The first time (this was for a surgery with a long recovery period!) I made Rennie's Delicious Rice Pudding. This time I tried these Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes. The pudding was better (what wouldn't be with a ton of cream?), but these were good too.  If you served them right out of the oven, they might taste just like Steven's Volcano Cakes, especially if you cut the baking time by a couple of minutes.

Gluten-free Chocolate Cupcakes

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
pinch salt
3 eggs
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Pre-heat the oven to 375° and line a cupcake tin with paper liners. Melt the chocolate and butter together. Combine the sugar, cocoa and salt and stir into the melted mixture.  Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 14 minutes.

Snappy Barbecue Sauce

We don't use a lot of barbecue sauce now, but there was a time when we seemed to go through it quickly. I got tired of spending money to buy it*, and so used this recipe from our reliable Better Homes and Garden New Cook Book. It's because of this recipe that we have celery seed in our pantry!

Snappy Barbecue Sauce

1 cup catsup (or 1/2 of a 24 ounce bottle)
1 cup water
1/4 cup vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon celery seed
2 dashes Tabasco sauce

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.

*This was before the days of working for the Clorox Company. After receiving complimentary bottles of K.C. Masterpiece barbecue sauce for a while, we're pretty loyal fans of their original concoction, but there are still times when it's nice to make barbecue sauce from scratch.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Blackberry Cobbler

The other day the store had a great deal on blackberries, so I bought some, not knowing what I would do with them. After a few days, I figured I'd better find a recipe and use them before they went bad! I decided to try Pioneer Woman's Blackberry Cobbler.** It called for self-rising flour, which I don't have, so I made my own. Here are the ratios:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
I didn't measure exactly, but for 1 cup of flour (which is what was called for in this recipe) I added 1 1/3 teaspoons baking powder and 1/3 teaspoon salt. Then I whisked in 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of milk. I melted the 1/2 cup (1 cube) of butter in my baking dish (so that I wouldn't have to butter the dish the hard way), swirled it around and then added the butter to the other mixture. When it's mixed, pour the batter into the baking dish and top with 2 cups of blackberries. Then sprinkle that with 2 tablespoons of sugar and pop it into the preheated oven. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, sprinkle with another tablespoon or two of sugar and bake for 10-15 minutes more, or until it's done.

**You can go to PW's site to see all the step-by-step pictures.