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Monday, October 5, 2015

Recipe Review from 9/28/15

It's been a very eventful week!

Sunday we began the integration process with the chickens - with the cooler temps in the evening, it was time to combine the Priya's with our main flock.  You can't just toss in new chickens in an established flock, because it will turn ugly.  We used two large dog crates end to end and made a temporary "run" inside the larger run.  Even with this fights broke out.  After three days we opened the dog crate and stepped back.  There was still some squabbling, but an uneasy truce was established.  Even toward the end of the week, most of the main flock is intimidated by our Priya Gang, and a couple of the Priya's insist on roosting on the fence.  The Husband plucks them off and puts them in the coop after dark.  

Monday night was book group, where we learned two of our small group will be skydiving this weekend and we grew by one new member!

Tuesday and Wednesday I was in the field doing site assessments by Virginia and Ely.  I could not have asked for more perfect sites or weather - a couple of great fall days to be outside!

Off the Echo Trail, north of Ely

Wednesday evening we had dinner with Mr. Walter Jon Williams, an internationally known scifi writer! A series of blog posts brought Mr. Williams to Duluth, and we met at Fitgers Brewhouse for a pleasant dinner and socializing.

Thursday and Friday were normal, with yoga and errands respectively.

Saturday found us up the North Shore for a guided hike on the Superior Hiking trail.  We hiked from Beaver Bay to Silver Bay, a segment I have done several times but is a perfect length for this time of year and manageable for my Ben-dog. Surprisingly, the colors have barely changed - just a hint of yellows and reds. 

And then we have The Meal Plan:
Sat (B) Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes for National Pancake Day!
Sun (L)  Leftovers   (S) Stuffed Roasted Poblanos
Mon (Yoga/Bkgrp/Legion)  out
Tues - leftovers
Wed - dinner out!
Thurs - Coq Au Vin (Ckgn Lght 2003)
Fri - leftovers
Sat - (L)  on the trail  (S) potluck dinner

Lunches (mine)  - slow cooked split pea soup

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes (Ckng Lght, Mar 2002)  vegetarian
Buttermilk pancakes made with part whole wheat flour.  I did sub one mashed banana for the oil, because I love banana in my pancakes.  For an added "griddle" taste, use a bit of bacon fat to season the pan with before cooking.  These were, simply put,  awesome! 

photo from

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I subbed one mashed banana for the oil)
1 large egg
1 large egg white
Cooking spray
3/4 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons butter 

Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Combine buttermilk, oil, egg, and egg white, stirring with a whisk; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.

Heat a nonstick griddle or nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Spoon about 1/4 cup batter per pancake onto griddle. Turn pancakes over when tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked. Serve with syrup and butter.

Bean and Cheese Stuffed Poblanos (Ckng Lght Aug 2015)  gluten free, vegetarian
Cooking Light still has not added the August recipes to it's website.  So this is typed out with my notes added.  

These come together fairly quickly - even more so if you opt to use pre-shredded cheese.   What I did note is you can't turn a skewered stuffed pepper on the grill, because its top shrinks and the stuffing falls out when you try to move it.  I had run out of skewers and did my final pepper in aluminum foil, and it was the easiest of all to work with.   OR - use two skewers per pepper to firmly secure the top.

I liked the flavor of these, they were simple, and perfect for grilling. 

1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
2/3 cup chopped celery
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
3.5 oz shredded cheddar cheese (about 3/4 cup)
1 (15oz) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
6-8 medium poblano peppers or Anaheim chilies (about 2 lbs)
1 tbsp canola oil
4 lime wedges (optional)

1. Preheat grill to high heat.
2. Combine first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl.  Remove tops from poblanos (keeping stem and top as intact as possible) Reserve top and set aside.  Scoop out seeds; discard.
3.  Place as much stuffing into each pepper as it will comfortably hold.  Replace tops and secure with a 4" skewer.  Brush peppers evenly with oil.  **My notes - skip skewers and wrap each pepper securely in aluminum foil.
4.  Place peppers on grill rack; grill 12 minutes or until lightly charred, turning once after 6 minutes.  Place stuffed peppers on a platter, remove skewers, and serve with lime wedges.  

Quick Coq au Vin  (Ckng Lght, March 2002) 
The Husband prepped this for us for dinner, and I will be the first one to say, I did not make this a "quick" version.  We used one of our chickens from this past summer, so they were bone on and with skin.  I/we skipped the Canadian bacon, and just used some rendered bacon fat for flavoring.  If you don't care for the taste of red wine, either cut back to 1/2 cup (increasing the broth) or omit and use more broth with some gravy/bouillon flavoring.

If I had thought ahead, I would have had some boiled red potatoes to go with this to sop up the extra gravy. 

photo from
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 (4-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 cups quartered cremini mushrooms
2 cups (1/4-inch-thick) slices carrot
1/3 cup (1/4-inch-thick) slices Canadian bacon
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste 

Combine flour, thyme, and salt in a zip-top plastic bag; add chicken. Seal and shake to coat. Remove chicken from bag, shaking off excess flour.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 8 minutes or until browned, turning frequently. Remove chicken from pan.

Add mushrooms, carrot, and bacon to pan; sauté 2 minutes. Stir in wine, broth, and tomato paste; cook 9 minutes. Return chicken to pan; cook 8 minutes or until chicken is done.

Slow Cooked Split Pea Soup  (Ckng Lght, Oct 2015)  gluten free
I am not usually a fan of split pea soup.  I have no idea why and there is a good chance I was getting this mixed up with some other soup-flavor in my head.  But, this was a slow cooked dish, with ingredients I like, so I decided to go for it.  I'm glad I did!  Easy, made plenty for the week, and tastes great.  This easily makes 8-10 servings.

**I did note, after a couple days in the fridge, this thickened considerably.  A splash of water before reheating helps thin the soup back out.

1 lb dried green split peas, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups (about two medium sized) yukon gold potatoes, chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 large bay leaf
2 lbs smoked ham hocks
6 cups water
salt, pepper to taste
optional - light sour cream for topping

Layer as listed in a LARGE (6qt) slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
Remove and discard bay leaf.
Remove ham hock and let cool.  Remove fat and skin from bones, keeping meat. Set meat aside.
Using an immersion blender, blend vegetable mixture.   Shred meat and return to vegetable mixture. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your woods pictures are beautiful! Fall is definitely my favorite season (even though we don't have a picture-perfect fall here in Florida).

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