Dinner Menu: Garlic, Garlic, Garlic Chicken

I know this sounds like a crazy recipe, but the Garlic, Garlic Chicken is a keeper.  The garlic roasts to a nice, nutty, sweet flavor, perfect with a slice of bread.

The salad works because each pepper has a different flavor. I didn’t want to do much to overwhelm that, but you can add sliced onion if it appeals to you.

Get a really good Artisan bread and you’ve got a dinner that takes less than 20 minutes to prep.

On the board tonight:

  1. Garlic, Garlic Chicken
  2. Loaf of a good crusty Artisan bread
  3. Sliced Pepper Salad
  4. Sliced apples with caramel dip

Garlic, Garlic Chicken

  • 5 lb roasting chicken
  • 1/2 cup of wine*
  • 1/2 cup of chicken broth,
  • salt & pepper
  • 40 cloves of garlic (unpeeled).

 Wash and dry the chicken, remove any giblets.  Add all ingredients into a roasting bag and roast for about an hour (follow cooking bag instructions, usually about 350 degrees, use a meat thermometer to check chicken temp).  Remove chicken to a platter and place garlic and sauce in a serving bowl.  The garlic can be squeezed out of the skins at the table onto the fresh bread.  Alternately, you can take the broth, reduce it and then add the peeled garlic into that. It makes a very nutty, garlic-y kind of gravy.

*I substituted 1/4 cup of a good whisky this last time with good results (I upped the broth to 3/4 cup).

Sliced Pepper Salad

  • 1 each: red, yellow, orange & green pepper, washed & sliced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup vinaigrette dressing
  • 1 head bib lettuce, washed, dried & torn

Toss peppers and vinaigrette dressing and let marinate 30 minutes.  Serve on a bed of bibb lettuce.

Shopping List:

  • 5lb Roasting Chicken
  • 40 Cloves of Garlic (about 4 bulbs)
  • 1 loaf Artisan Bread
  • 1 each: Red, Yellow, Orange, Green peppers
  • 4 oz vinaigrette dressing
  • 1 head bibb lettuce
  • Caramel dip
  • 4 apples

Also: chicken broth, wine, salt, pepper

Apple Strudel

I had a couple of apples about to go bad and decided to make something new. I hadn’t done a strudel in a long time and the recipe seemed simple enough, so here we are.  I made two small dishes, so I could freeze one.

Apple Strudel

  • 2 1/2 cup sifted flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 c. butter, melted
  • 3 tsp. boiling water

8×8 baking dish, well-greased Continue reading

Dinner Menu: Bacon Squash Campanelle and Panna Cotta Parfait

I’m always looking for something different to do with pasta that is flavorful and moves away from the traditional tomato based sauces of my childhood. Tonight’s main course is just that. Butternut squash with a bit of heat and a bit of sweet, all brought together by smoky bacon and creamy chèvre. Finish off  the meal with a light, sweet Panna Cotta Parfait. Panna Cottas are traditionally molded desserts, but I think we been doing this together long enough that you know I’m all about keeping it simple. And Panna Cotta is as simple as it gets, unless of course you choose to mold it, then a thousand things can go wrong between placing it in the ramekin and serving it to your guests. Thanks but no thanks, it looks quite elegant in a wine glass, topped with a pretty berry topping. And I don’t have to worry that the last 5 minutes of prep are going to leave me with a blob of great tasting shapelessness on a plate. But that’s just me.

On the board tonight:

  1. Bacon and Squash Campanelle
  2. Tossed Salad (try these)
  3. Panna Cotta Parfait

Bacon and Squash Campanelle

  • 10-12 oz campanelle or penne pasta
  • 4 slices thick pepper bacon (usually find at the deli counter), cut into 1/4” piecesCampanelle
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 1 tbsp crushed garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 small tart apple, cored and diced
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1-1/2 cups chicken broth
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 4 oz chèvre cheese (or similar), crumbled.
  • Fresh grated parmesan

Large saucepan, large, deep skillet

In saucepan cook pasta according to package directions, well. While pasta is cooking, brown bacon in skillet, remove to paper towel. Drain all but 2 tbsp of bacon drippings (or use all of it if you desire and reduce olive oil – you’ll want a 1/4 cup total). Add olive oil and sauté onion, rosemary and garlic until onions are translucent. Add squash, apple, pepper flakes and chicken broth. Simmer over medium heat until squash is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove rosemary, add bacon, chèvre and salt and pepper to taste, stir until cheese is melted. Toss squash mixture and pasta together and serve with parmesan.

Panna Cotta Parfait

  • 1 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod (or one tsp vanilla extract)
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 lb blueberries (or other berries)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch

2 saucepans, 6 wine glasses or other stemware

Change it up, use a variety of stemware

Change it up, use a variety of stemware

Panna Cotta:

Place 1/2 cup milk in a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over. Add lemon juice to remaining milk. Let both mixtures stand for 3 to 5 minutes. Pour gelatin milk mixture into a heavy saucepan and stir over medium heat just until the gelatin dissolves but the milk does not boil. Add the lemon milk mixture, cream, sugar, and salt. Split vanilla pod lengthwise and add to mixture. Stir until the sugar dissolves, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat. Remove bean pod. Pour mixture into 6 wine glasses so that they are 1/2 full. Cool slightly. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until set, at least 6 hours, overnight is better.

Berry Topping:

In saucepan add berries, sugar and water. Bring to a low boil, stirring constantly, add cornstarch and stir in completely. Reduce heat and let simmer until berries are soft and sauce coats the back of the spoon. Cool completely.

Spoon the berries mixture over the top the panna cotta and serve.



Shopping List:

  • 10-12 oz campanelle or penne pasta
  • 4 slices thick pepper bacon (usually find at the deli counter)
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 small tart apple
  • 12 oz chicken broth
  • 4 oz chèvre cheese (or similar)
  • Fresh grated parmesan
  • Salad fixin’s
  • Salad dressing (Italian or oil & vinegar goes well with this recipe)
  • 12 oz whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 16 oz heavy cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod (or one tsp vanilla extract)
  • 1 lb blueberries (or other berries)

Also: crushed garlic, olive oil, red pepper flakes, lemon juice, cornstarch


Thursday Recipe Exchange: Chipotles in Adobo Sauce

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JeffreyW uses his chipotles in adobo sauce for breakfast.

It seems that JeffreyW and I both have a fondness for chipotles. I hadn’t realized it until I decided to feature his recipe for homemade chipotles in adobo sauce. There were four pages of recipes that included them in some way or another. They can all be found here.

I was thrilled when JeffreyW put together a batch of chipotles in adobo sauce, using jalapenos from his summer garden. I learned a lot from his post. I’m going to direct you to the entire thing instead of just reposting his recipe because he does a terrific explanation of the whole process. So before you try any of tonight’s other recipes, you might want to start with JeffreyW’s recipe (found here).

Once you’ve got your chipotles and sauce all prepped (or bought), you can try them in any of the following:

My absolute favorite is Chipotle Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon (recipe here). A great way to kick up a comfort food.

The spicy sauce is great in combination with fruits. When strawberries were in season I spiced up someone else’s recipe for Chicken in Strawberry Sauce with some chipotles in adobo sauce for a real treat (recipe here).

And from the photo at top, JeffreyW uses it to spice up his breakfast (recipe here).

So are you a fan of chipotles in adobo sauce? Have a favorite way to use them? If you haven’t tried them, are they something you might try now that we’ve wowed you with their many uses?

Finally, tonight’s featured recipe:

I had canned a big batch of apple butter a while back and one night I was wondering what to do with it besides spread it on bread. I had been thinking that it would be good with chicken or pork and eventually decided that barbecue chicken thighs would be where I would start. Then I decided to heat it up.  A spicy, smoky mix of apple butter, chipotles in adobo sauce and a touch of spices made the perfect sauce:

BBQ Thighs Final

Chipotle-Apple Butter Barbecue Chicken

I decided that bone-in, skin on thighs would work best.

  • 8 chicken thighs
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic


  • 1 cup apple butter
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 2 tbsp chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (to start, add more as desired)
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Season thighs with 1 tsp crushed garlic, salt and pepper. Let sit for 5-10 minutes while oven or grill preheats to 375 degrees. Bake or grill chicken for 15 minutes. Meanwhile in a blender or food processor, blend together remaining ingredients until smooth. Brush on chicken thighs thickly at the 15 minute mark and add more every 5 minutes until chicken reaches 165 degrees internal temperature (usually 10-15 minutes for a total cooking time of 25 to 30 minutes). Serve with lots of napkins.

Guest Recipe: Apple Lasagna

My friend Larilyn makes these all the time for her work potlucks.  I finally got around to asking her for the recipe when she made one this last weekend.  I’ve yet to taste one, but they are a popular item at the potlucks.  Maybe someday…

Apple Pecan Lasagna

Total preparation time: 30 mins

Serves: 12


  • 8 Lasagna noodles (no boil or boil and drain your own
  • 2 cups Shredded Chedder Cheese
  • 1 cup Ricotta cheese
  • 1 Egg, slightly beaten (may use 1/4 c. egg beaters)
  • 1/4 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Almond Extract
  • 3 1/2 cups Apple pie filling (3 – 20 oz cans)
  • Cinnamon (to taste)
  • 1 cup Pecans (chopped)
  • 1 lb Pork Sausage (Optional)


Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9 x 13 in. glass baking dish. Combine cheeses, egg, sugar and almond extract in medium bowl; blend well. Spread 1 1/2 cans apple pie filling over bottom of prepared baking dish. Layer half the noodles over filling, then spread cheese mixture over noodles. Sprinkle cinnamon to taste and 1/2 of chopped pecans. Top with remaining noodles, then remaining apple pie filling and cheese. Sprinkle a touch more cinnamon and remainder of pecans.

If using no boil lasagna noodles, be sure that noodles are at least 1-inch away from pan all the way around pan as they will expand. Cover with foil and bake lasagna 1 hour. Remove foil and bake an additional 15 mins. (45 total mins if using cooked noodles). Cool for exactly 15 mins. Cut into squares and serve. Makes 10 very large servings, 12 nice size servings.

This recipe may be cut in half using a 7 x 11-inch pan. You may make this up the night before. Cover with plastic wrap then foil and refrigerate. Next morning, remove plastic wrap, replace foil and bake.

Great served with ham slices or pork sausage and a side of fruit. For a more hearty lasagna serving, you may add a layer of browned pork sausage after first layer of cheese.

She says the original recipe came from here.

Thunder Snow and Sweet Potato Soup

We are once again under a severe winter snow warning.  Blizzard conditions in some areas.  It started out as rain then turned to snow.  Along with the snow there was lots of thunder.  They call it thunder snow – seems to happen during  fall and spring snows.

Roads are bound to be an icy mess tomorrow.  I’ll probably be working from home.  Already made a batch of  soup and am planning on a couple more batches of different varieties tomorrow  to serve as lunches through the weekend.

This is one I’ve been wanting to try for a while.  It’s a blended sweet potato soup.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Creamy Sweet Potato Tomato Soup

  • 2 large tomatoes or 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 small zucchini, quartered
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 8 pieces each
  • 1 large carrot, scrubbed, cut into quarters
  • 1 apple, cored
  • 2 cups vegetable broth – I prefer low sodium
  • 2 cups water
  • salt and pepper to taste

In blender, add all ingredients, except water.  Blend until smooth, add water as needed.  Add mixture to saucepan, along with water, salt and pepper.  Bring to a low boil, stirring constantly.  Reduce heat and let simmer for 30 minutes.  Serve with a crusty bread.  Serves 4


Mmm…Sausage and Sauerkraut

Recipe?  Don’tcha just dump the sauerkraut on top of some sausages and simmer ’em a while?

Yes, but…

We can do better!  Let me explain:

dice an apple

dice an onion

open a beer

Now put the beer down, we’re gonna use that in the recipe.

OK, just open another one and shutup, I’m recipe-ing here, boy.

Where was I?  Ah…  Put the onions and the apple into a skillet along with your sausage of choice.  Usually cooked and smoked already but not necessarily so.  This time I’m using some Di Maggio’s cajun recipe pork breakfast links.  Pour in the beer and fire the burner,  this is gonna reduce and caramelize.  Toss in some caraway seeds, or fennel, or none.  I went with some fennel seeds, a scant teaspoon perhaps.

While that is cooking down, find some chicken stock and a couple of bay leaves.  Open your sauerkraut and rinse it well, let it drain.  Find a big sauce pot or a little stockpot  and dump the rinsed and drained sauerkraut in there, toss in the bay leaves and 1/4 cup of brown sugar.  When the apple and the onion cook down and start browning, dump it all into the pot with the ‘kraut.  Pour in enough chicken stock to swim the sausages, cover, and put into a 350 oven for an hour.  Should be plenty of time but longer won’t hurt a thing.


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