Thursday, March 27, 2014

Chicken and Biscuits




Hello everyone, so today's post is a mistake I made in the kitchen.  Sometimes mistakes we make turn into something even better.  My original idea was to make a chicken pot pie. I knew early on that this was not going to be a pot pie because I made way too much filling.  This is the same idea of a pot pie but it has a biscuit topping, the filling is the same but there is so much of it there is no way it was going to fit in a pie pan.  So I grabbed my biggest casserole dish I have.  I took a little help from a cookbook one of my newest ones and one of my favorites too, Miss Kay's Duck Commander Cookbook.  I am not the best biscuit maker, just ask my oldest child.  She will tell you that my biscuits turn out to be more like crackers than biscuits.  Oh the memories.  However when I tried Miss Kay's recipe I was pleasantly surprised.  I had to improvise on one ingredient but you will understand when I get there.  So before I keep rambling on and on, I will just get to how to make this ok.

Ingredients for the Filling:

2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 stalks of celery diced
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 large onion diced
3 carrots diced
1 large potato diced
1 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons of flour
4 cups of chicken stock or broth
1 teaspoon of dried mustard
1 teaspoon of rosemary
1 teaspoon of thyme
1 pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 pinch of poultry seasoning
black pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of old bay seasoning

Ingredients for Biscuit Topping:

4 cups of prepared biscuit mix 
1 stick of cold butter
1/2 to 1 cup of soda water (in the cookbook she recommends 7 up or sprite I had neither)
1 teaspoon of old bay seasoning 
1 teaspoon of thyme 
1 teaspoon of rosemary
(the seasonings were my touch to pick up the flavors from the filling, you can leave them out and the biscuits will turn out just fine.)

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350, throw your chicken breasts on a cookie sheet and season them with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper.  Let roast in the oven for about 45 minutes to an hour.  I roast my chicken even for soups because it gives the chicken more flavor and makes the chicken more moist. When the chicken is fully cooked, set it aside to cool.  Now grab a large stock pot and throw in your butter and extra virgin olive oil.  Let the oil and butter heat up just until melted and throw in all veggies.  Let them soften a little and add in all your seasonings.  Add in the flour, and mix it all through the veggies.  You will want to add water now but please dont not until the raw flour flavor cooks out and that only takes about couple of minutes.  Now add in the stock or both, stirring constantly.  While that comes up to a boil, dice up the cooled chicken and throw that in pot as well.  Make sure when you stir it you get the stuff on the bottom, that is called fond and fond means kick ass flavor. It should look like this in your pot:


 While the filling is simmering and thickening, its time to get started on the biscuit topping.  Grab a large mixing bowl, throw in biscuit mix and seasonings and add in the butter diced.  With a pastry blender or a fork, cut in the butter, almost like your making a pie crust.  Once the butter starts to get cut through all the biscuit mix, slowly add in the soda water 1/4 cup at a time.  Mix it through until it forms a ball like this:
Put the biscuit dough aside to rest and go back to your filling.  Give it a good stir and if the filling coats the back of the spoon your are stirring with its done.  Grab a large casserole dish and spray it with non stick cooking spray.  Carefully pour in your filling and then take small pieces of your biscuit dough and make little balls. Place the balls on top of the filling.  Once you have the top of the filling covered in biscuits, drizzle the tops of the biscuits with a small amount of extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with thyme and rosemary.  Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes.  When it comes out of the oven its going to be piping hot so let it cool for about 5-10 minutes. 
This is what it looks like served up and ready to eat!  I hope you get a chance to try this its a warm yummy bowl of comfort food.

Thank you for stopping by, Live, Laugh and Love.


Heather

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Breakfast Scramble








Hello there friends, back with another recipe for you.  Now I will be honest with you this recipe can be used for dinner just as much as breakfast.  Even though its called a breakfast scramble, really it should be called anytime your craving breakfast scramble.  I took some pictures to walk you through the steps because it will just make life easier.  This is a no fuss no muss idea that I came up with when the ones by Jimmy Dean were getting a little heavy on our wallets.  So grab your frying pans and let's get started!

Ingredients:

4 whole eggs
4 slices of bacon
1/2 pound of bulk sausage flavor is your choice
2 extra large potatoes cubed
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
1/4 teaspoon of old bay seasoning
1/4 teaspoon of parsley
1 tablespoon of milk

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350 and put the bacon on a cookie sheet like this:

Bake until crisp.  Drain the grease and measure out a tablespoon because you will need that later.  Trust me!  Let the bacon cool on a paper towel to get all the grease off it.

Now heat up your cast iron or reg. frying pan, once its warm add in the sausage like this here:  
You will want the heat of your burner on a medium low setting so the sausage doesn't burn.
When the sausage is fully cooked add to a paper towel to drain.  Now add in the tablespoon of bacon grease to the pan and then add in the potatoes,  like this:
The potatoes are going to take some time to cook, so while they are cooking you want to line up your cooled bacon and cut them up into bits, (yes we are making homemade bacon bits because the ones you buy in the store are nasty) 

When the potatoes are cooked add in sausage and bacon like this:
Then your cumin and old bay seasoning: 
In a medium bowl crack your eggs and add your milk and whisk them around until the egg is well incorporated into the milk.  Add your eggs to the pan with your potatoes, sausage and bacon and bingo bango Breakfast scramble!  
This recipe is very easy to make and takes maybe 30 minutes to whip up.  I hope you all enjoy it and Live, Laugh and Love.  


Heather

Monday, March 3, 2014

Homemade Pumpkin Cake with Cinnamon Butter Cream Frosting



  Hello everyone,  over the weekend I made this cake and asked people over on my facebook page, if they were interested in the recipe.  With a resounding yes, I knew before I posted any other recipe, this one had to be up today.  Now in my house pumpkin is not limited to just the Fall.  Its a fall, winter, spring, summer kind of ingredient.  I figured with all the pumpkin I have, I could make a cake.  Here is what I came up with and I am going to have the recipe for the frosting on here too.  Ladies and gentlemen, start your stand mixers, hand mixers and whisks, which ever one you have. 

Dry Ingredients for the Cake:

3 Cups of Flour
1 Teaspoon of Baking powder
1 teaspoon of Baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 Tablespoon of Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon of ground Ginger
1/2 teaspoon of Nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon of All Spice

Wet Ingredients for the Cake:

1 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of white sugar
1 cup of unsalted butter softened
1 can of pumpkin puree 
1 teaspoon of Vanilla
2 eggs
1/4 cup of milk

Instructions for Just the cake:

Pre heat your oven to 350 degrees.  Next grease up either two round cake pans or 1 square pan the choice is up to you.  Now Add in your butter give that a good whip for a minute in your stand mixer.  Add in all sugars, and blend that with the butter.  Now Add in the eggs 1 at a time.  Add in the vanilla and pumpkin and mix until well incorporated. Leave the milk out for now. In a medium sized bowl measure out your flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add in the salt and spices. Sift sift sift.  Now by small amounts I usually use a half cup measure, slowly add in the dry ingredients to your wet ingredients. Mix until well mixed and slowly add a small amount of the milk I usually go by a tablespoon of milk after a half cup of the dry ingredients.  When the milk is well blended keep adding the dry and alternate with the milk.  I usually start with the dry and end with the dry.  When the cake batter is all incorporated, add half the batter to one round cake pan and the other half to a second round cake pan.  If you are using a square cake pan no worries add it all in the square one.  Bake for about 35-40 minutes, when you stick a toothpick or a knife in the middle and if there is no batter on them your cakes are done.

While the cakes cool, let's get started on the frosting!

Ingredients for Cinnamon Butter Cream Frosting

1 cup of softened unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
pinch of salt just to bring out sweetness
1 tablespoon of vanilla 
1 1/2 tablespoons of cinnamon (if you dont like cinnamon you can leave it out)
4 tablespoons of milk ( you can use heavy cream,or half and half.  I used whole milk and it came out beautiful)

Instructions:

Add in your butter and whip it up in your stand mixer.  Now add in salt, vanilla and cinnamon.  Whip that until everything is mixed together.  Alternate the sugar and milk by using 1 tablespoon of milk to 1 cup of sugar.  Once all ingredients are well blended, put your mixer on a high speed and let it go for 3 minutes, no longer because it will break if you do.  After three minutes your frosting is ready, if your cakes are not cool to the touch. You can store the frosting in the fridge covered with plastic wrap, just bring out for about 10-15 minuets for it to get soft and give it one more mix from your mixer to bring it back to life if you need to.

When your cakes cool frost the top of one of the cakes and stack the other one top. Cover it with the frosting and serve.  


Frosted Cake
I hope you get a chance to try this cake because its amazing!  The cake has all the flavors of a pumpkin pie while still keeping with the fact its a cake.  And the frosting it so amazingly delicious with a mild sweetness and just enough warmth from the cinnamon, you cannot go wrong with this!  I hope you all get a chance to try this for yourselves and Live, Laugh and Love.  

Heather