9/21/16

Vegetables to Buy Frozen vs. Fresh


I love fresh produce! I love fresh produce in season! I also love to buy locally. But I also love to save time and energy. 

Beyond the standard bags of frozen broccoli, corn, cauliflower, etc, I try to keep a wide variety of other frozen vegetables on hand as well. and for a variety of reasons.
Let me share a few of my reasons and my favorite vegetables:


SAVING TIME:

Dicing onions and or peppers just seems to be a daily thing in my house. To speed the process along I just keep a bag of chopped onions and peppers on hand. You can buy just onions without the peppers, too, and I just love the convience. Let someone else's eyes water from chopping!

REDUCING WORK/ HARD TO CUT/PEEL VEGETABLES:

I love Butternut squash, but I hate to peel and cut them up. It can be quite a chore! So I LOVE to keep bags of already peeled and chopped squash on hand in the freezer! One of my very favorite things to grab and cook up! 

OUT OF SEASON VEGETABLES/ PREMIXED COMBINATIONS:

Having some zucchini, butter beans, sugar snap peas, or other vegetables on hand any time of year can only happen if you keep some in your freezer. Also if you want a mixture of vegetables premade for quick stir-fries to make dinner. 
I love keeping zucchini on hand for throwing into soups or stir fries any time of year:

 What are some of your favorite Vegetables to keep on hand?


9/14/16

Chicken Cobbler

This Chicken Cobbler is the ultimate comfort food! Perfect for dinner on a chilly evening, gather your family around the table and watch them fight over the delicious crumble topping! (It tastes just like your favorite garlic cheesy biscuit pieces.)
chicken pot pie

I love it because it's like a pot pie, but without the work of the piecrust, and truthfully the crumble topping is so tasty... I just love it better (gasp!) than pot pie! The savory bacon, chicken, rich gravy and colorful mix of veggies... so good!


This recipe makes enough for one large 2 qt. casserole. I am an empty nester, just feeding 2 people now, so i divided it up into 2 small dishes. I cooked one for now, and froze one for later.

Let's get you cooking!

Jan's Tip: If you want to super shortcut this and not make the entire thing from scratch you certainly can.. just use shredded rotisserie chicken, pre-made gravy, and canned carrots and peas to put this together. Then add the homemade crumble topping. BUT try it from scratch the first time first.. it really tastes so good!
Chicken Pot Pie

Printable Recipe
Chicken Cobbler

Ingredients:
Makes 8 servings

Crumble Toppings:
3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)
1 cup flour
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
Casserole Filling:
5 slices thick cut bacon chopped into 1 inch dice
1 medium onion peeled and chopped
1 red bell pepper seeded and chopped
3 carrots peeled and diced
celery ribs chopped
1 lb. mushrooms chopped
4 boneless skinless chicken breast cut into bite sised pieces
1/4 cup flour
1 cup chicken stock (or water)
1 Tablespoon chicken bouillon powder
1  10 oz. pkg. frozen peas

Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • Crumble Topping: In a medium bowl, combine the butter with the flour, and oats.  Work with a fork or pastry blender until the mixture is mealy. add the cheese, garlic and salt. Stir well until blended. Set aside. 
  • Casserole filling: 
  • In a large skillet, saute the bacon over medium heat until fat is rendered. about 5 minutes. 
  • Add onion, bell pepper , carrots, and celery and continue cooking until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. 
  • Add mushrooms and continue cooking until they are browned about 6 minutes. 
  • Add chicken and cook, stirring for 5 minutes. 
  • Add the flour and cook and stir for 1 minute.
  •  Add the chicken stock and continue stirring until a thick sauce is made (about 2 minutes).
  • Stir in chicken bouillon and peas, stirring to combine. 
  • Heat through 1 minute and remove from heat.
  • Pour into 2 qt. casserole. (If prepping to freeze later skip the next step and see instructions below)
  • Sprinkle crumble topping evenly over the filling and bake until golden brown, about 45 minutes.
  • Serve warm.
To Freeze: 
Do not sprinkle crumble topping on top of filling. 
Place crumble topping in a freezer safe seal-able bag, label and place on top of filling.
Cover entire casserole with freezer safe lid or double layer of foil and label.
Freeze up to 3 months.
To cook:
Thaw 8 hours or overnight in fridge.
Sprinkle crumble topping over filling
Bake at 350° for 45 min. till golden brown.

9/7/16

Grandma's Apple Pie Filling

apple pie

My Grandma came to stay with us the summer of 1978 when I was 12 years old. This was during a particularly rough time in my life. I was able to spend quite a bit of time with her as she cooked for us.

One of the things she made was an apple pie. I have already posted her pie crust recipe, but when I asked about her pie filling,she said she didn't  really measure, but to grab a paper and pen and write down what she did.

Since my husband is a Type 1 (Juvenile type) diabetic I use about 1/2 cup sugar substitute instead. We just don't need it super sweet. You can adjust the sugar to your own taste.

So here, from my files is Grandma's pie recipe. It's simple, not fancy but really delicious. You can substitute some brown sugar if you want a bit more "caramel" type flavor.

Grandma's Apple Pie Filling
makes 1 pie
Ingredients
5-6 Apples, peeled and sliced
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 - 1 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons Tapioca Powder (you know that little red box of pudding powder)

Directions:
Roll out one pie crust into bottom of a pie tin or cast iron skillet
In a large bowl mix together all pie filling ingredients.
Pour into the pie tin.
Top with top crust and crimp the edges together with the bottom crust
Bake 375° for 1 hour until crust is lightly browned and flaky and apples are tender.

8/31/16

Country Fair Blog Party: September 2016




It's another great blog party starting!  This is a month long link up. Come on and join us!
 Here are your hosts for the month:

                       Jan                               Nicole                              Laurie                                Val

           Tip Garden          A Kansas Farm Mom         Country LINKed       Corn, Beans, Pigs, Kids

                                                           

Our First Place Winner from last month:
Oak Hill  Homestead



This post was the most viewed/read post from last months link up!

Country Fair Blog Part

Congratulations Kathi!
Feel free to grab a Ribbon!

Also your post will be shared 
on my social media pages
and pinned to our Pinterest Board!

 Country Fairs are full of food, crafts, cooking, gardening, farming, animals, family, and community

 So is our Country Fair Blog Hop!






Have you seen my "Non Coffee" Steamer Recipes? 
Today I am sharing my Pumpkin Steamer  Recipe with you 
and giving you the link to get my Caramel and Vanilla Steamers too!
Link to post with all recipes: http://ow.ly/1wSr303yF8X
Pumpkin Steamer

Ingredients:
1 cup milk
1/3 cup pumpkin puree(canned is fine!)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
2 tablespoons sugar (or adjust to personal preference)

Directions:

Whisk all ingedients together in a small saucepan until heated through and mixed well.  Adjust seasoning and sugar to taste. Remove from heat. Pour into mug. Top with whipped cream  and sprinkle with a dash of  pumpkin pie spice.(both of which are optional but super yummy!).

Now It's Your Turn

Come Share what you are up to this month!


  • Link up to 3 of your best posts!
  • Visit a few other party goers and let them know you stopped by to see them!
  • Grab the button below and post it on your blog, so others will be invited too!
Country Fair Blog Party




Ready? Get set... Go!



8/24/16

Mediterranean Chicken Pasta Salad: For a Crowd


photo credit: allrecipes.com

Need a dish to bring to feed a crowd? This Mediterranean Chicken Pasta Salad will do just that!
Now... feel free to play around with this one, but this base recipe is great as is, but certainly has plenty of room for you to make it "yours"!

I found it over at PBS.org, hey they have more than cookies for cookie monster over there! They have a great resource of tested recipes!  here is the link to the original recipe

Serving size for this recipe is hard to pin down depending on if you are serving it as a main dish or side dish. I am putting it as serving 10-12, but that could go up or down depending on serving size and type of pasta you choose, size of chicken chunks, etc.


Mediterranean Chicken Pasta Salad

servings; approx: 12

Ingredients

  • 2 16-ounce bottles Italian Dressing
  • 2 boxes penne pasta
  • 8-10 chicken breasts cooked and chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 large red onion thinly sliced
  • 2 cans black olives sliced
  • 2 cans marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1 container cherry tomatoes (approx. 20-25)
  • 1  8 oz. container crumbled  Feta cheese
  • Season salt to taste

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, and drain.
  2. Place pasta in large bowl or pan such as a turkey roaster pan.
  3. Add the cooked, diced chicken to the pasta
  4. Add in the sliced onions
  5. Open the olives, drain and add to bowl.
  6. Open artichokes, drain, and place on cutting board. Roughly chop into bite sized pieces. add to bowl.
  7. Rinse tomatoes add to bowl.
  8. Add feta cheese.
  9. Mix all ingredients together. 
  10. Add season salt to taste.
  11. Stir in Italian Dressing. Mix well.
  12. Store in refrigerator till serving.
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