Sunday, November 29, 2020

Apple Muffins and Other Tasty Eats

Phoning in this blog post? Why yes I am.
First is the Apple Muffins. I followed the Carrot-Apricot muffin recipe from Hy-Vee (grocery store chain in my area), but did diced apples instead of carrot and left out the apricot. It was tasty, but I liked the carrot version better.
For my son's birthday, I made this Butterfinger cake. I originally did a blog post back in 2012. This time around I amped up the box cake recipe by adding an extra egg, used butter instead of oil, and used milk instead of water. I can tell that making these changed made the cake more like a light pound cake. Really tasty. I might of added extra vanilla, but I don't remember. This time around I folded in some Cool Whip in with the pudding. So to recap on how I made this cake. Made a yellow cake (with the amped up changes),  made a small box of instant vanilla pudding and folded in a small tub of Cool Whip. Once the cake was cool,  I topped with the pudding mixture. Topped with crushed Butterfinger.

I have seen Chicken-a-la-King being made on T.V. and I decided I needed to make it. Despite the title, it is a humble chicken dish that is that all that fancy. I had searched Pinterest for a recipe and decided on this one.  I served this with homemade noodles.

Here is the recipe from the site:


  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns (optional)
  • 4 chicken breast halves, boneless and skinless
  • 6 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup Half and Half
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried mustard
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas

To Serve: Biscuits, Rice, Texas Toasts or Baked Puff Pastry Shells (optional)


    Poaching the Chicken

    • In a pot over medium heat, bring the broth, bay leaf and peppercorn to a boil. Add the chicken breast (they should be in a single layer for even cooking), cover the pot and lower the heat. Poach them in the simmering liquid for about 12 to 15 minutes or until the chicken is just cooked through.
    • Remove the chicken from the pot and let it cool until you can handle it. Shred the chicken. Discard the bay leaf and peppercorns and reserve the poaching liquid. 

    The Rest

    • In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the onions, mushrooms and bell peppers and saute stirring often until the vegetables are tender, about 5 - 6 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the skillet and set aside.
    • Add the rest of the butter to the skillet and when it melts, whisk in the flour. Cook for about 2 minutes stirring constantly. 
    • With a ladle, slowly whisk in 1/2 cup of the poaching liquid. The mixture will get thick immediately. Slowly, pour in 1 additional cup of the poaching liquid whisking constantly. A sauce will start to form. Slowly, whisk in the Half and Half.
    • Cook the sauce on low heat for about 5 - 6 minutes, stirring often. Add the ground mustard and season with salt and ground black pepper to taste.
    • Add the cooked vegetables, shredded chicken and frozen peas to the sauce and mix to combine. If the mixture is too thick, add more of the poaching liquid until desired consistency. Cover and cook for 2 minutes. Check for seasoning and serve hot.

    To Serve

    • You can serve over rice, cooked pasta, egg noodles, or with biscuits. You can also fill baked pastry shells with the chicken mixture.

    Finally I have eggless Nutella Cookies. The recipe for this is found here. Even without the eggs, it turned out tasty. After all, it is Nutella. 

    O.K. I lied, the final tasty eat is leftover Thanksgiving croquette. It has leftover turkey, Stove Top stuffing, some cheese (because I felt like adding cheese) held together with a rue. Surprisingly no potato, which is traditionally found in most croquette. We just did stuffing instead of potato. I also had leftover green been casserole, but I thought it would just get to weird.  I fried them in the air fryer. This is the first thing I made in the air fryer that actually got crispy. It took a long time to air fry in comparison to frying them in oil. I guess that time is the compromise with healthy frying.

    Wednesday, November 25, 2020

    Chocolate Tropical Trail Mix Cookies


    I have come across a cookie recipe I did back in 2013, Tropical Mix Cookies. I noticed a major flaw in the recipe. I forgot to add sugar in the recipe. Epic Fail.

    In order to redeem this problem, I decided to redo this recipe. I did not intend to make it a chocolate cookie, however I had come across a chocolate coconut macadamia nut cookie recipe in a cookie book I own and decided to mess with this recipe. 

    To keep with the tropical theme with this cookie, I got coconut sugar. You don't need to use coconut sugar as I know it is more expensive than regular sugar. The good news I believe it is a low sugar replacement. I also had bananas on hand and I replaced half the butter. So I had made a cookie that not only is low in sugar, but lower in fat. Win!

    The tropical trail mix I had bought in my local grocery store had large banana chips in it. So I wanted to make the banana chips smaller so I ran it through my food processor just long enough to break down the banana chips. I also decided to to toast my coconut, but you don't have too.

    I loved how cookie turned out, moist and chewy with chocolate banana and the flavors from the trail mix and coconut.

    To make this you will need:

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

    1/2 cup soft butter

    1 1/2 cup sugar ( I used coconut sugar )

    1/2 cup mashed banana - I used 1 banana

    2 eggs

    1 teaspoon vanilla

    2 cups flour

    2/3 cup cocoa powder

    2 teaspoons baking powder

    1 teaspoon baking soda

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1 cup tropical trail mix, break up the larger banana chips if needed

    3/4 cup shredded coconut

    Combine the butter, sugar, and eggs until light and fluffy. Add banana and vanilla. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to butter mixture. Stir in the trail mix and coconut. Drop by teaspoonful onto baking sheet and bake 8-10 minutes.

    Of course, you could use any trail mix, or use nuts and/or chocolate chips.


    Wednesday, November 18, 2020

    Pumpkin Bread

     Is it still pumpkin season? Then lets have some pumpkin bread. I followed a recipe from a You Tube video and made a tasty and moist pumpkin bread.

    2 cups flour
    1teaspoon cinnamon
    1 teaspoon nutmeg
    1/2 teaspoon cloves (original recipe has a whole teaspoon, if you like clove go ahead and add a 1 teaspoon)
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 cups sugar
    1 can pumpkin (14-15 ounce?)
    2 eggs
    1 1/2 sticks soft butter

    Mix the dry ingredients, add in the remaining ingredients. put is a greased loaf pan. Bake in a loaf pan at 325 degrees (F) for 70 minutes or until done.

    Here is the video I followed.


    Saturday, November 14, 2020

    Meat Loaf and Creamed Peas Recipe

     I am not sure if I mentioned this in the past, but my motto for meet loaf has always been "Never made the same way twice". Unfortunately this has led to bad meat loaf. This latest meat loaf creation came about by following a recipe from my grandmother's vintage Betty Crocker cookbook. I have to say it turned out rather tasty and I thought I would share it with all of you. It is a solid meatloaf recipe.

    So for the meatloaf recipe calls for:

    1 pound ground beef
    1/2 pound ground pork
    2 cups of bread crumbs
    1 beaten egg
    1 1/2 cups milk
    4 tablespoons minced onion
    2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon pepper
    1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
    1/8 teaspoon sage

    Mix everything thoroughly and put in a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. If you want ketchup on top, add 3 tablespoon of ketchup on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours or until done. You can serve this hot .... or cold.  I have never had it cold, but the recipe says you can eat it cold. I guess it would be best cold on sandwiches.

    I was also contemplating about the bread crumbs. It did not specify if it was dried or fresh. I used dried bread crumbs.

    As you can see from the picture, I have served this with mashed potatoes and creamed peas. I made the creamed peas using canned peas. I made the peas by melting 1 tablespoon of butter with a tablespoon of flour and whisking the juice from the can of peas. Once the sauce is thicken add in the peas. Season to taste.  I also had caramelized onion cheese from Trader Joes and I topped off my potatoes and meat loaf. 

    I will likely go to this recipe for now on to make meatloaf.


    Sunday, November 08, 2020

    Meal Planning a Success


    In order to combat the dilemma of figure out what to make for dinner, my son and I (because it is just the two of us) made plans for the week for dinner. I have to say it was a success because we did not have to try to figure out what to make, which seems like that is all I did for the majority of my life. With that said, it has to become a habit. Another challenge is making meals for two people. My son made curry on Monday and he ended up making a HUGE pot. The advantage is that we are going to have curry as a nightly meal for the next few weeks. It doesn't have to be elaborate. I bought pre-made southwest salad one night (it was buy one get one free) and a few avocadoes to add onto the salad. Another night was sandwiches and fried pickles made in our air fryer.
    So I am looking forward to planning out the next week.
    I made pumpkin bread and we are going to do French toast on Monday. Yes, I will totally do breakfast for dinner.

    Sunday, November 01, 2020

    Tasty Eats and Meal Planning

     One of things I am excited about in the coming week is that my son and I did some meal planning. My son is not working now (by choice) so he is going to cook some meals in the coming days. We are going to have curry, cheese ravioli, Mexican salad, sandwiches with fried pickles in the air fryer, and whatever my husband is going to cook on his day off.

    I am utilizing my grandmother's vintage cook book more (hope I don't ruin the book like the well used Better Homes and Gardens cookbook). I made coffee cake and meatloaf out of the book. Both turned out really well. Along with the meatloaf, I made garlic mashed potatoes and creamed peas. 

    Speaking of my well used Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, I followed the cake doughnut recipe from the book and made these in the air fryer. These just turned out o.k. I dipped them in butter and sprinkled them with cinnamon and sugar. I feel like we are still trying to figure out our new kitchen toy. I am beginning to feel underwhelmed by the results. So far the best thing to come out is the rotisserie chicken. At least our air fryer has many functions.

    So keep an eye out next week for the results of actually planning our meals.