June 26

Pecan Encrusted Chicken Stuffed with Strawberries, Goat Cheese & Spinach

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Pecan Encrusted Chicken Stuffed with Strawberries, Goat Cheese & Spinach

Ingredients:

Boneless chicken breast (as many as you need)
Goat cheese (about an ounce per breast)
Strawberries (2 large per breast) plus two more per breast for garnishing
Spinach (about a handful per breast)
Ground pepper
Pecans (I used about a cup for 3 breast)
Herbed breadcrumbs or crackers (I used about a cup of crackers)
2 Eggs (I use only whites because of a food allergy, but I add a bit of ground flax seed)
1 cup Balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar

Directions:

If cooking in crock pot, line the bottom with cookie cutters to keep chicken up out of grease or your breading will fall off.  You can also bake in the oven.  It’s summer here as I write this, so crock pot it is!

 

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rep a work surface with plastic wrap covering

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ut one breast on plastic then cover with another piece of plastic wrap

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se a meat tenderizer (Or mallet, or rolling pin) to flatten breast as much as you can before it starts to fall apart.

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nce all breasts are flattened, drape two pieces of cooking twine and place first breast on top like this:  (Again, note that I cover my work surface with plastic wrap because this is raw poultry and I don’t want that bacteria all over the place.)

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add 1 ounce of creamy goat cheese.   DO NOT LICK YOUR FINGERS NO MATTER HOW TEMPTING IT IS.  You are touching raw poultry.  Yuck.

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lice two large strawberries and add on top of cheese.   Grind some pepper on top.

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over in spinach leaves…as much as you can

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rap, tuck, and tie with the twine.  Repeat with other breasts.

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hop pecans by hand or put in processor

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hop crackers or put in processor

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rocess til it looks like this or a little chunkier.

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ut egg or egg whites in bowl and pecan/herb mix in plate

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Roll chicken in egg (avoiding the top crease)

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roll back and forth in herb crumb mix to coat

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lace all in crock pot and cover.  Cook on low 4-5 hours or high for 3 hours

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n the meantime…  Put balsamic vinegar in saucepan with brown sugar

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bring to boil them simmer down for about 20 minutes until it’s thick enough to cling to a spoon

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If the glaze sits a long time it will thicken a lot.  Just reheat to thin it again.
When chicken is ready, chop the remaining strawberries on top and drizzle balsamic glaze.   Serve hot.  Delicious!

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June 24

Jalapeño Chicken Sausage and Spaghetti Squash Recipe

This is a super easy Jalapeño Chicken Sausage and Spaghetti Squash Recipe for when you are short on time.  Throw it together in minutes in your crock pot, and have a delicious meal waiting for you when you get home.
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Ingredients:

One spaghetti squash (Make sure it can fit in your crock pot when cut in half)
One onion
One Red Pepper
Garlic (as much as you like)
A few handfuls of fresh spinach
about 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
One package Jalapeño Chicken Sausage (I used Al Fresco brand)
1/2 cup Blue Cheese Salad dressing (I used Kens)
Feta Cheese (as much as you’d like)
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ut spaghetti squash in half and remove seeds.  Place in crock pot.
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Slice onions and peppers and add to crock pot.  Add as much chopped garlic as you’d like.
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Drizzle with olive oil then cover with spinach
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Place sausage links on top.  Cover.  Turn on high for 2-3 hours or low if you will be cooking it all day.
Later….
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When squash is easily shredded with a fork, remove the squash, use a fork to “shred” and remove squash strands, and add back into the crock pot.
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mix in the blue cheese dressing.  You can serve immediately or leave on warm until ready to serve.
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Sprinkle with feta (and garlic oil if you’d like) before serving.

June 7

Old-Fashioned, Spicy Hermit Bars

Old fashioned hermit cookie recipe

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Any seasoned cook will agree that vintage recipes are the best recipes!  Here’s one for good, chewy, soft, old-fashioned hermit bars.  They are a treat for kids ages 1-95.   Here’s a quick and easy recipe for the perfect bar, just like your mom used to make.

These are extra good on a cold winter day!  Eat them with a hot cup of tea or coffee. Fabulous!

Ingredients:

3/4 cup butter (softened)

1 cup sugar

1 egg–large (NOT jumbo!)

1/4 cup Molasses

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 1/4 cup unbleached, white flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ground ginger

3/4 teaspoon ground cloves

OPTIONAL:  1/2 cup raisins and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Step One:  Mix first 4 ingredients until well blended.  I like to use the flat end of my silicone spatula to cream the ingredients together.

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It’ll look like this:

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Step 2:  Add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.

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It will be thick.  Turn your spatula to the mixing end so you can easily scrape the bowl clean and blend everything well.

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and after a minute or two, it will make a ball.

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Divide the ball and make into 3 sausage shaped strips.  Place on UNgreased but well seasoned baking sheet.

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Flatten the strips like this:

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Bake in 375 degree oven until little cracks appear. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU DO NOT OVERCOOK!  They won’t look quite done, but there will be little cracks all over them.

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Cut into strips and enjoy!  They will have the consistency of very moist brownies and be soft.  See the one in the photo that has dark edges?  That’s because this batch is overcooked.  Don’t do that. 🙂

They are great warm or cooled.  Especially tasty paired with a nice hot cup of coffee or tea. Enjoy!!

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