Thursday, October 13, 2016

Cast Iron Splayed Roast Chicken

Just when you thought you didn't need yet another
way to roast a chicken I give you this one. 
The reason I love it is because I can have
 a roast chicken for dinner in half the time. 
The skin is crispy all over and the inside is 
cooked evenly and juicy. Plus I get to use my
favorite pan, the cast iron skillet. 
Here we go. First put a 12" cast iron pan in 
 the oven and turn it on to 425º to preheat. 
Rinse the chicken inside and out. This was
a Purdue roaster, about 4.5 pounds. Dry the 
outside all over with paper towel. Squeeze
a lemon over the outside and inside, then 
tuck the lemon wedges in the cavity. I 
also added a few herbs from my garden. 
Next, you need to splay the chicken. 
Cut through the skin where it attaches 
between the leg and the breast. Then 
break the bone so that the legs lay flat. 
Drizzle with olive oil and rub it over the skin.
Season generously with salt, pepper, and 
you choice of seasonings, I added ½ t 
paprika this time. 
 Carefully remove the preheated HOT skillet from
 the oven and put the chicken in the pan. You'll
 hear a nice ssss! sear!
 This method allows the legs to cook
 evenly with the breast. Put it back in 
the oven for 45 minutes. You can prep it 
however you like, just be sure to use oil
all over the outside and season. 
Remove from the oven and press down on the
 lemon to release any juice, then tilt the bird
 so all the juices in the cavity go into the pan. 
Allow to rest for 10 minutes. 
Serve with pan juices.   
 Remember to save all the bones for chicken 
soup. I also had enough leftover chicken to 
make chicken salad this week. It's 2 more 
 reasons why I love roast chicken for dinner. 


Monday, October 10, 2016

Easy Mini Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

If you just can't get enough pumpkin flavor.
These mini rolls are a yummy treat 
with your morning coffee.
Not really a recipe so mush as a few 
simple instructions. 
 You need a tube of crescent rolls, pumpkin
 butter, brown sugar, and pumpkin spice or
 cinnamon. I found the pumpkin butter at
Trader Joe's. 
 Unroll the dough and press the seams together.
Spread evenly with pumpkin butter. Sprinkle 
evenly with brown sugar and pumpkin spice. 
You really don't need to measure 
anything. Just eyeball it.
 Cut into rounds. Dental floss works great for this. 
Be sure it's unscented, of course. Put into
a greases pie dish
Bake until golden. Glaze with frosting if desired. 

Mini Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
 1 tube crescent rolls
¼ C pumpkin butter
3 T brown sugar
 1 t pumpkin spice or cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Unroll dough into one large rectangle, 
pressing seams to close. 
3.  Spread pumpkin butter evenly over the dough. 
4. Evenly sprinkle brown sugar.
5. Evenly sprinkle with pumpkin spice or  cinnamon.  
6. Starting with short side of the rectangle roll up
 into a log. Using string, dental floss, or a serrated
knife, cut the roll into 10 sliices. Place slices, cut 
side down, in a greased in a 8 x 8 pan or a pie dish.
7. Bake 14-18 minutes or until golden brown. 
     Let cinnamon rolls cool in pan for 5 minutes.
8. While the cinnamon rolls are cooling, make the
    cream cheese frosting. In a medium bowl, stir 
    together cream cheese and butter until smooth. 
    Whisk in the confectioner's sugar, vanilla, and 
    milk. If the frosting is still too thick, add a 
    little more milk and whisk until smooth.
9. Spread frosting over cinnamon rolls and serve! 

½ C powdered sugar
1 T butter, soft
1 T cream cheese, soft
 1 t milk (enough to thin)
a few drops of vanilla


tip: You can also try this using apple butter.
Links: Between Naps On The Porch

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Simple Spinach and Avocado Salad

Simple, healthy, tasty lunch.
spinach leaves, avocado half, drizzle of olive oil, 
spritz of lemon juice, garlic salt and a grind of
 fresh pepper. No fuss delicious.


Links: Facebook,
Between Naps On The Porch

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Cottage Cheese Pancakes with Raspberry Sauce

Another favorite breakfast at our house is 
Cottage Cheese Pancakes.
These are delicious, high protein, 
and will remind you of a delicious
 cheese blintz, only these are
so much easier to prepare.
I top them with raspberry sauce, a
dusting of powdered sugar and a
dollop of sour cream. Like I would a blintz.
Here are the ingredients.
 Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl, then
add the cottage cheese and whisk until
well blended.
 Whisk in the sugar and lemon juice.
Stir in the flour starting with ¾ C 
until it's the right pancake batter 
consistency. You may need to add a bit
 more. Don't make it too stiff. Stir just 
until the flour is blended.  
 Use about ¼ C for each pancake and flatten
then with the back of the scoop or spoon.
Fry in hot butter/oil until on MH
 heat until the edges are nice and crispy 
and the bottoms are browned. Flip to
cook the other sides. 
 For the raspberry sauce I use a
bag of frozen raspberries.
 Combine the sugar, water, lemon juice
and cornstarch in a small saucepan.
Bring to a simmer and stir until
thickened and clear.
 Add the raspberries and heat
to boiling stirring to combine.
Let cool a bit.
Spoon the warm sauce over the pancakes.
 I always serve pancakes on warmed plates.
 If I don't use all the sauce I freeze it
in small 1C containers.
I'm way ahead for the next time we 
have cottage cheese pancakes. 
 I like to garnish the plate with a few
fresh raspberries, a dusting of
powdered sugar, and sour cream
This is such a great flavor combination. 
 If you don't want to make the raspberry sauce
you can cheat and use raspberry jam
thinned with a bit of lemon juice and warmed.
That's good too.
I'm going to try it next time with my
cranberry chutney or easy cranberry sauce,
 warmed a bit. I think that would be
tasty and give it that holiday flavor.

This recipe is easily divided in half for just
 the two of us. Half the recipe will make 8 small
3" pancakes. They mix up so easily we can enjoy
them any anytime. Makes your morning special.

Cottage Cheese Pancakes
2 C cottage cheese, 16 oz container
2 eggs
4 T (¼ C) sugar
1-2 T lemon juice
¾ C to 1C flour
Whisk the cottage cheese, lemon juice, sugar 
and eggs until well blended. Stir in the flour,
just until you get the right consistency.
Use a large spoonful of batter for each
pancake and pat down to flatten a bit.
Fry in butter/oil until golden and crispy
 around the edges, turning once. Serve on
warmed plates with warm raspberry sauce
and a spritz of lemon juice, a dollop of
sour cream and a generous sprinkle
of powdered sugar. 

Quick Raspberry Sauce
12 oz bag frozen raspberries, about 2C
¼ C sugar
¼ C water
1 T lemon juice
2 t cornstarch
Combine sugar, water, lemon juice,
and cornstarch in a pan. Whisk to blend.
Add raspberries and heat to boiling
stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer
for 2 minutes until the sauce is slightly
Here's an alternative sauce.

Raspberry Jam Sauce
Thin seedless raspberry jam with a little
lemon juice. Warm in the microwave. 


Monday, September 26, 2016

Chicken Scaloppini in Sherry & Red Wine Mushroom Sauce

Tired of the same old chicken dinners?
This one will change all that.
I know you'll love it.
I use sherry in several other chicken recipes.
 It gives it just the right smooth finish
that's quite different from using red or white
wine. I use dry, cocktail, or golden sherry.
Never use cooking sherry. You'll want to be
able to drink it as well. 
Pound the chicken breasts until an even thin
thickness; dredge in seasoned flour and saute'
in olive oil or butter until golden.
Remove to a platter and keep warm in the oven.
Add the mushrooms to the skillet.
Season with salt, pepper and thyme.
Brown on MH for about 4 minutes then 
add the garlic and cook another minute. 
Add the red wine and sherry; let simmer
until reduced by a third. 
 Remove from heay and add butter, 1 T
at a time, while whisking in to blend.
 Pour the mushroom sauce over
the chicken on the platter and serve.

Chicken Scaloppini in Red Wine Mushroom Sauce
1½ to 2 lbs boneless chicken breasts, 2 large halves
¼ C flour
3 T olive oil
salt and pepper
1 lb mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Thyme sprigs or ½ t dried
½ C red wine
½ C sherry
3 T butter
Heat the oil in a large skillet.
Pound the chicken breasts to ¼" thickness and cut
in half. Put the flour in a shallow dish and season
with the salt and pepper. Coat the chicken breasts
in the flour and shake off excess.  Saute' in the
hot oil for about 4 minutes per side, until golden.
Remove to a platter and keep warm in a low oven.
Add the sliced mushrooms to the skillet and
season with salt, pepper and thyme. Brown on
MH for about 4 minutes then add the garlic;
cook another minute. Add the red wine and sherry
let simmer until reduced by a third.  Remove from
heat and add butter, 1 T at a time, while whisking
in to blend. Pour the sauce over the chicken; serve.
4 servings


*adapted from The Chew

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Clean and Healthy Tilapia

Eating clean and healthy does not mean boring.
This recipe really kicks it up a notch, both in
flavor and with your metabolism. Cayenne, ginger,
and mustard are ingredients that help you burn
 fat. Plus you get the health benefits of tilapia.
Another nice thing is that it only takes 5 minutes
 to prep. Easy, easy!
 I combine the ingredients in a shallow pie dish.
 Dip the filets into the seasoning, coating both
sides.  These were rather large filets so I only
 used 3. The seasoning mix is enough for 4 filets
 or 5-6 smaller ones. Spoon any remaining
seasoning over the fish on the sheet. 
Put them on a baking sheet and into a 400º
 oven for 10-12 minutes until the fish flakes easily. 
I love fish with a spray of lemon juice. 
Leftovers make great fish tacos the next day. 

Clean and Healthy Tilapia
4-6 tilapia filets, about 1 ½ lbs 
¼ C olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 t paprika
1 t ginger
1 t black pepper
1 t mustard powder
1 t chili powder
½ t salt
pinch cayenne

Combine the olive oil, garlic, and seasonings in
a shallow pie dish. Dip each fillet into the
seasonings. Place on a baking sheet.
Roast in a 400º for 10-12 minutes.
Spray with lemon juice if desired.