Monday, September 26, 2011

Where is...

... that 5 lb. bag of all purpose Flour that's always waiting in the wings in my pantry???  A 5 lb. bag of King Arthur Unbleached Flour was the only flour to be found.  That was totally surprising to me!  My plan for breakfast Friday AM was Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes and everything was good to go.  Well, maybe with the exception of locating flour.  We've had an HHH summer and I have not heated the oven too often, so my recollection of my flour quantity is a bit hazy.  After staring into my empty flour canister, I usually just walk down the hall to my pantry and the needed ingredient is located.  I always purchase an extra when on special.

Not on Friday.  One makes due with what one has, so the King Arthur bag was opened.  I learned that King Arthur Unbleached Flour makes some mighty tasty pancakes!  I will be using this again.  Could not even taste a difference.  WooHoo!

So the day continued along on a very bright note!  In the afternoon my other plan was to use my West Bend Slow CookerChicken Florentine a la Slow Cooker would be bubbling along on my counter top.  Once again, the pantry door was opened.  No Healthy Request Cream of Mushroom Soup to be found!   There always is a Plan B in my kitchen.  Using 12 oz. of Light & Fat Free College Inn Chicken Broth along with 3 Tablespoons of All Purpose Flour as a substitute for the condensed soup, my West Bend bubbled along as planned.  The Chicken Florentine tasted soo good!

***First the Flour was combined with about 4 oz. of the broth before adding in the remaining amount of broth. 

You might be wondering just how 3 Tablespoons of all purpose flour suddenly appeared.  Years ago I took a suggestion from my younger son:  Fill a 2 Cup container with all purpose flour, so whenever a small amount of flour is needed, the heavier canister does not need to be taken down from the shelf in my cabinet.  From the day he made that suggestion, I heeded it.  I find that my sons have wonderful ideas very often!   

I was 2 for 2 on Friday!  Now that made my day!  I also have two more tips to add to the "Thoughtful Tips" page located at the top of my blog.  WooHoo!


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Chicken Tenderloins with Craisin Mustard Sauce

Reheated in the microwave the second night - Yum!
Cranberries add a great zing to foods!  The dried cranberries, Craisins, are also very delicious.  Maybe I also enjoy them because I live in MA and cranberries are harvested here in autumn.  While traveling past cranberry bogs when we were at the Cape two weeks ago I kept thinking about a recipe that I had bookmarked on the Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc. website.  Chicken!  Craisins! Yellow Mustard! And Wine!  My DH & I enjoy so many dishes where chicken is a main ingredient, so adding the tangy Craisins + spicy Yellow Mustard just sounded wonderful. This recipe makes four servings, so we enjoyed it for two evenings.  This sure is not a meal that I would put in the "leftover" category.  This is one delicious colorful chicken dish bursting with flavor!

Chicken Tenderloins with Cranberry Mustard Sauce

Adapted from Ocean Spray Cranberries

1/2 Cup Craisins
1/2 Cup cold water
1 Lb. Chicken Tenderloins
1/2 Cup Flour
1-2 shakes from my Pepper shaker
2-3 Tablespoons Olive Oil (Cooking & Sauteing)
2/3 Cup Dry White Wine
2/3 Cup Chicken Broth
3 Tablespoons Yellow Mustard
1 and 1/2 teaspoons Cornstarch

  1. Place Craisins in small bowl and cover with 1/2 Cup Cold Water.
  2. Combine Flour + Pepper in Ziploc bag.
  3. Rinse Chicken Tenderloins under cold water and place in Ziploc Bag containing Flour/Pepper.
  4. Close bag and coat Chicken.
  5. Place 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil in large saute pan, heat over Medium heat.
  6. Add Flour coated Chicken.
  7. Cook Chicken about 2 minutes on each side, until Chicken is cooked.
  8. Place cooked Chicken on a large dish.
  9. Remove saute pan from heat.
  10. Using about 2 Tablespoons of the measured Chicken Broth, dissolve Cornstarch in small cup.
  11. Place remaining Chicken Broth in saute pan.  Stir around scraping up browned bits.  Add Wine + Yellow Mustard, stir together.  Turn on heat.  Add Cornstarch mixture and stir.
  12. Stir mixture and bring to a boil.  Boil 1-2 minutes until sauce thickens.  Add drained Craisins and cook 1 minute longer while stirring.
  13. Add browned Chicken to sauce and heat until Chicken is hot.
  14. Serve with Rice. 
The ingredients for this tasty dish are usually found in my kitchen.  I can picture a cold dark winter evening with the snow falling quickly while the aroma of mustard, Craisins and wine float from my kitchen.  This is one quick, delicious way to prepare chicken.  So happy I stopped in to visit the Ocean Spray website. Thank you Ocean Spray!   :)


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Freezing Green Peppers Strips

History is fascinating and the state where I live is filled with the early history of our glorious country!  Last week my DH & I spent a few days at one of our fave places - the Cape (Cape Cod).  After the torrential downpours on the east coast, the Cape did not offer sunny beach weather, rather overcast skies.  That is the perfect time to enjoy a bit of history.  Coast Guard Beach in Eastham is beautiful and also filled with history.  As school children we all learned that in 1620 the Pilgrims sailed on the Mayflower and settled in Plymouth, MA.  Quite often we do not realize that their journey was not a direct route to Plymouth.

Click Photo to Enlarge
Photo Taken at Coast Guard Beach

Click Photo to Enlarge
Photo Taken at Coast Guard Beach
There's always time for a little Culture and for a little History!
There's also always time to purchase local produce to store for the colder months.  Slices of Green Peppers can be stored so easily.  Now in September, the local fresh vegetables are still found at roadside stands or in the grocery stores.  It's the perfect time to purchase these fresh firm veggies, prep & freeze them in strips. 

The process is very simple!  First, the Green Peppers are washed in cool water and dried.  Then, cut each pepper into strips.  Discard seeds and tops.  For me, one handful is placed in a plastic sandwich bag.  Then, the sandwich bags are closed and placed in a Ziploc Freezer bag, labelled and placed in the freezer. 

In the colder months whenever a recipe calls for Green Pepper, the frozen strips are at my fingertips.  They defrost quickly.  No need to purchase the costly vegetable that is out of season.  The 6 Green Peppers that were purchased today are waiting in my fridge.  Tomorrow, they will be prepped & packed away to join the other two Ziploc Freezer bags filled with locally grown Green Pepper strips.  WooHoo!


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Grilling the Swordfish

So often we think back and say, "What a difference a week makes!"  This surely has been the case on the east coast of our country this past week!  Irene changed a bit while moving up and sure left her mark!  Our neighbors to the west and to the north here in MA are dealing with washed out roads and flooding.  Our relatives in CT are still without power.  The national news is covering the affected states.  It's been a most challenging year of weather and one we will not easily forget!

Continually our outdoor grill is used.  Tonight, Grilled Swordfish made for an easy and delicious dinner!  Our local grocery store, Big Y, has a wonderful fresh Seafood Dept.  There's a special on fresh Swordfish this week, so it was an obvious choice for dinner.  Local Green Beans and a microwaved "Baked Potato" also tasted yummy! 

This fish hold its own while grilling, so no grilling basket is needed.  No fancy sauce (with added calories) accenting the fish is needed, either!  Plain, simple and delicious! 

Grilled Swordfish

1 lb. Swordfish Steak
Olive Oil
Paprika - about 2 shakes from the bottle.

  1. Preheat outdoor grill.
  2. Pour about 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil on a large dish.
  3. Sprinkle a little Paprika on top of Olive Oil.
  4. Rinse Swordfish Steak under cold running water.
  5. Place on Olive Oil/Paprika in dish.
  6. Turn Swordfish over to coat other side.
  7. Place on heated grill and put grill cover down.
  8. Grill for 7 minutes and 30 seconds.  The fish is turned over one time while grilling.
  9. Grill other side for 7 minutes and 30 seconds.
*** The amount of needed grilling time depends on the size of the piece of Swordfish Steak and the grill.  Using our gas grill turned up 3/4 heat a 1 lb. piece requires 7 minutes and 30 seconds on each side.  The cover is down while grilling.

Grilled fish tastes great!  Before we know it the season will change and the grill will not be used.  I'll be baking fish for dinner and the variety will change.   :)