Chicken Every Sunday

Source: Annie’s Images

 

Chicken Every Sunday

Somewhere in my vast knowledge of unimportant things this phrase popped into my mind. Growing up we didn’t have chicken every Sunday, but almost. My Mom made the best fried chicken, but when she bought her first crock pot she loved chicken cooked with veggies and white wine. I believe this was the first recipe she tried from the little recipe booklet that came with the crock pot. This is a variation of that recipe … one I have varied many many times and it is never the same.

I was lucky to get rainbow carrots last week, and yesterday amazing fresh beets with tops. Also, a score on plump juicy looking chicken thighs on sale when I popped round to my local store to get salad fixings and raw food for my picky cat. I have developed a new appreciation for chicken thighs over the years as my food choices and taste buds mature. They are inexpensive and ohhhh so versatile.

The beet tops were not nice and crispy fresh even when I bought them, but knew they could be used for something in the next couple of days. When I decided to cook my version of chicken in wine today, I looked at the beautiful red stems and decided they would mix well with the rainbow carrots hanging out in my crisper. I was able to save a few leaves and they will find their way into  salad fixings for tomorrow.

Chicken in White Wine (well actually Rose today)

Ingredients:

*For me, I used my small 4 quart crock pot and a couple of chicken thighs

  • One each of the rainbow carrots – orange, yellow & purple cut on the diagonal
  • About 1/4 cup of chopped onion … frozen left overs from making Caprese Bread on Friday
  • About 1/4 cup of the beet stems chopped
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 1 chipotle flavor cube – Knorr brand
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Garlic powder
  • Enough wine to cover the veggies

Directions:

  1. Place chopped onions in the bottom of the crock pot
  2. Salt and Pepper to taste
  3. A good pinch of Garlic Powder
  4. Top onions with chicken thighs – I left the skin on for extra flavor
  5. Crumble the chicken and chipotle cubes over chicken
  6. Top with chopped veggies
  7. Pour enough wine of your choice over the whole thing until veggies are just covered
  8. Place on the lid and turn to high
  9. Cook until veggies are tender and chicken is falling off the bone
  10. Enjoy …

This is perfect to serve with rice, couscous, mixed grains, or even grits.

My plan is to shred one chicken thigh and use the veggies not eaten with the wonderful broth made during the cooking process to have soup tomorrow … I have some cooked noodles in the freezer and will have soup in no time. It will be perfect to go with left over Caprese Bread.

Other options would be to shred or chop any left over chicken for pot pie, enchiladas, chicken salad, etc.

For more people, use a bigger crock pot and at least one chicken thigh per person. Add what ever veggies your family likes and have a quick and easy (Lazy Cook) meal.

 

 

Oatmeal, Raisin, Carrot Muffins

Source: ©Annie’s Images

Just took these beauties out of the oven and when cooled will package for tomorrow’s Farmer’s Market.

Most of us grew up using some brand of biscuit mix in a pinch … and it is great for making so much more than just biscuits. For these muffins, I took the same concept and used my favorite pre-packaged Honey Wheat muffin mix as the base.

INGREDIENTS:

1 package of your favorite muffin mix … I use Shawnee Mills for these muffins.

To the mix I added:

1. 1 beaten egg

2. about 5 tablespoons milk (or cream) adjust as needed to have a stiff batter

3. 1 tablespoon brown sugar or honey or maple syrup (adjust milk accordingly when using honey or maple syrup)

4. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

5. 2 tablespoons oil

6. 1/4 cup raisins

7. 1/4 cup oatmeal

8. 1/2 cup raw shredded carrots

Directions:

1. In a medium mixing bowl put in muffin mix, brown sugar (if using) and raisins. Stir well to coat raisins with the mix.

2. Add cinnamon, oatmeal, and carrots … stir well again to coat.

3. Break the egg in a small bowl or cup and add liquids … mix well.

4. Pour over other ingredients and stir until just mixed … the batter should be thick and stiff.

5. Preheat oven to temperature on the muffin mix package while you drop batter into muffin cups. I use a jumbo muffin pan and liners to get 4 … add water to empty muffin cups. Using a regular muffin pan and liners you most likely will get 6 or 8. I add batter a heaping mixing spoon at a time to get equal size muffins. Some people use a tiny ice cream scoop instead of a spoon … your choice.

6. Back according to package and check with a toothpick at the end of baking time. If the muffins need more time cook longer a few minutes at a time … all ovens vary … when the toothpick comes out clean they are ready. Cool on a wire rack.

7. Enjoy!

These muffins are yummy for breakfast or a snack. I particularly love them spread with cream cheese! Since fresh zucchini is in abundance right now, I am thinking about Zucchini Pecan muffins soon!

 

©KITCHEN POETRY 2017 – Annie

 

Craving Underwood’s CHERRY COBBLER

CHERRY COBBLER

Kitchen Poetry is benched for 6 months, so I am falling back on my Lazy Cook site to post recipes. I know I haven’t been here for a while, but that is about to change!

Growing up my Mom was the best cook on the face of the earth. She could make a meal out of almost nothing … well … not completely true … we always had a well stocked freezer and lots of canned fruits and veggies that we grew, picked and canned each summer. My absolute favorite dessert was cherry pie or cherry cobbler. This delight wasn’t made often, but was enjoyed when it was available … we joked that I always got the one cherry pit that was in the can. You see, in those days, Mom used canned cherries and made the pie/cobbler filling. I am not sure she used canned pie filling … ever.

Brownwood, TX

We lived as I still do in rural central Texas. About 40 miles north in the small city of Brownwood was the original Underwood’s Cafeteria. There were several other cities in Texas that at one time also had an Underwood’s … Waco, Lubbock, Wichita Falls, San Angelo (I think) and Temple (I think). There may have been others but the first three in the list are where I had eaten … but Brownwood was the first and now the only.

Their specialty was then as it is now barbecue … but they had the next best cherry cobbler on the face of the earth … and fresh hot rolls that were brought to your table every 15 minutes or so.

Underwood’s Cobbler Choices

 

For years I have said I want to go in and just get an entire pan of cherry cobbler and coffee … talk about heaven! I haven’t, but that doesn’t mean I won’t. Their recipe is a closely held secret and right now there are posts of a leaked recipe on the web … being challenged in court so I hear.

I have never been able to get even close to making my mom’s cherry pie/cobbler so I know I couldn’t do justice to Mama Underwood’s recipe.

There are times I crave that cobbler and until now haven’t tried a Lazy Cook kitchen hack of any cobbler. However, I take my home-baked goodies to our local Farmer’s Market each Saturday morning and wanted something unique for this week … so, I made Cherry Cobbler in a Jar.

 

Source: Annie’s Images

I am enjoying a cup of coffee and a cobbler in a jar as I type. It isn’t Underwood’s quality, hell, it isn’t even my mom’s quality, but in a pinch it will do. Also, because it is baked in a canning jar and then a lid put on while the jar is still hot it seals … which means it will be good as long as that seal holds. I may go on a cobbler in a jar baking spree and have not only cherry but apple, peach, and who knows what when the weather cools off and I don’t heat up the house doing a bunch of baking … hmmm … may have to try cooking this in my crockpot or even my electric pressure cooker … the possibilities are endless.

Now for this recipe …

1 can cherry pie filling (don’t judge me — this is Confessions of a Lazy Cook after all)

1 boxed cake mix – white or yellow … your choice

butter

1/2 pint canning jars with lids and rings … wide mouth or regular … your choice

That’s it for the ingredients. Before you do anything was the jars in hot soapy water and let them air dry. When jars are dry it is time to assemble them … think making a parfait as you stack ingredients into each jar. Preheat oven to 350 while you are layering ingredients.

  1. Place a pat of butter in the bottom of each jar … eyeball about 1/4 inch size
  2. Add a couple spoonfuls of the cake mix  (I wasn’t sure the cake mix would cook without adding a tiny bit of liquid, so I sprinkled about a teaspoon of water over the cake mix — another option would be to follow directions on the box and put the liquid batter in the jar layers … experiment!)
  3. Next … a couple spoonfuls of cherry pie filling
  4. Continue layering until the jar is full
  5. To bake: place jars in a cake pan or I used my deep square copper skillet. Add about an inch of water to the bottom to help with more even baking in the jars.
  6. Bake for about 30-40 minutes … check after 20 minutes for the status of the cake mix/batter. My jars cooked for about 40 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Wipe jar tops if any of the goodness rose to the top. Place a lid and ring on each jar and hand tighten … after the jar seals you can tighten more.
  8. Enjoy!

These little jars are super cute to give as a gift, take for picnics, or serve right in the jars topped with your favorite ice cream or whipped cream. Or … for me … baked and stored for when I am needing a quick cobbler fix without having to cook!

Of course you can make your own favorite pie crust recipe and cut small pieces to layer in each jar … or take the lazy way if you must have pie crust purchase the premade crusts in the refrigerator section at your local grocery.

In true Kitchen Poetry and Lazy Cook fashion … make this your own … use a mixture of fresh berries, fresh peaches, apples or other fruit … here in my area of rural Texas getting fresh cherries is rare … but in your area you might have that luxury!

Go forth and cook my friends … remember cooking is like writing poetry … go with your gut and things will be wonderful.

As Ever …

Annie

© 2017 Lazy Cook

A Little Taste of Hell

This is not a recipe, but a food memory I wanted to share in extremely short story form.

Source: Google Images
Source: Google Images

A Little Taste of Hell

For some reason this morning I started thinking about the jar of pepper sauce that was always on our table during my childhood. At that point in my life, it was one of the hottest things I had ever eaten. Resting inside a lovely glass cruet with beautiful scrolled decoration and a glass stopper were little red and green jewels of fire my mother called ‘bird’s eye peppers’. These grew wild in our front flowerbed and she made ‘hot pepper sauce’ as she called it by boiling vinegar and a pinch of salt, which was poured over this fiery little balls.

This hot elixir was used to enhance the flavor of most Southern dishes on a daily basis. Especially any cooked green, but other veggies as well. Pot liquor from anything was made that much better by adding a few drops of this liquid from hell. It burned from tongue on down, but was addictive and I could not stop eating it as a child.

I don’t know what happened to that lovely little glass cruet but at some point it disappeared from our table, as the pepper plants disappeared from the flowerbeds.

Today is a cloudy, grey, cold, rainy spring day and I want some comfort food. In the flavors of my childhood mind, my mouth wants ham, potatoes and green beans with hot cornbread. Of course, in my mind that pepper sauce would be all over the ham, potatoes and beans. I have a bottle of Louisiana hot sauce, but it just is not the same as that hot tangy clear pepper sauce made with those fiery little jewels.

 

Copyright © 2016 Annie Flash Fiction
Always…I wish you peace, joy and happiness, but most of all I wish you Love.
As Ever, Annie

Seasoned Fine Bread Crumbs

April 12, 2016

I often find myself needing bread crumbs for some recipe or another and find I have none in the pantry. Rather than panic, I have started making my own … which means I can have my choice of bread and seasonings depending on what I am cooking.

Today I need some basic crumbs for making salmon patties and the bread crumb canister in the pantry was more empty than full. I wanted a bit of seasoning in these crumbs … so this is what I did:

Garlic Parsley Light Bread Crumbs

Ingredients:

1 slice artisan white bread

dried parsley flakes … eyeball the amount you want to use

garlic powder … again eyeball

dried onion flakes … about the same amount as parsley

1/2 Tablespoon unsalted butter

Directions:
  1. Crumble the slice of bread into a blender, food processor or I use my NurtiBullet … zap to the desired size you want for bread crumbs
  2. Add the above dry seasonings … or anything that strikes your fancy
  3. Melt the butter into a nonstick sauté pan and add seasoned bread crumbs.
  4. Cook bread crumbs and butter on low for about 20 minutes until they are lightly browned, smell nutty, and slightly crispy.
  5. You are ready to make your waiting creation!
  6. Enjoy!

This basic recipe can be used with any type bread, any combination of seasonings or just plain sautéed in butter or a high quality EVOO if you prefer.

Today I also made some Italian flavored bread crumbs using whole wheat bread for a recipe I have brewing in my brain! You are only limited to your imagination. The same basic principle can be applied to making bread cubes … just chop to the desired size and add seasonings; sauté!

 

*NOTE: I have been asked why I use unsalted butter in my recipes. The answer is … I like to be able to control the amount of salt I eat. Using unsalted butter I don’t overdo the amount in any recipe … you can always add a tiny bit more salt … you can never take it out!

 

Ham and White Bean Soup

Annie's Images
Annie’s Images
Annie's Images
Annie’s Images

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soup Ingredients:

1-2 cups Left over shredded ham

1 spring onion, sliced

1/4 of a Pablano pepper or pepper of your choice, chopped

1 large garlic clove

1 can Great Norther beans … or other white beans of you choice

Seasoning of your choice

1/2 Tablespoon unsalted butter

A generous turn around the pot of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Water or stock

 

Directions:

  1. Chop onion, pepper and garlic
  2. Saute in mixture of EVOO and butter until soft and fragrant
  3. Add shredded ham to develop all flavors … let cook for a minute or two
  4. Next, add the can of beans – undrained
  5. Let simmer on medium for a couple of minutes and check for seasoning and thickness
  6. Adjust seasoning if necessary and add a bit of water to adjust consistency of the soup
  7. Let this simmer for 15-20 minutes
  8. Option – Add a couple of cups of baby spinach or other fresh greens and let wilt just before serving

Serve with cornbread and a dollop of sour cream in the center.

 

Spicy Cheese Cornbread

  1. Use one package of CornKits or favorite commercial cornbread mix. I like CornKits because it makes the crispy savory cornbread I grew up eating and was my Mom’s go to brand when she didn’t make cornbread from scratch. Sweet cornbread will not work in my family!
  2. Preheat oven according to package directions putting your iron skillet with about a tablespoon of shortening in the pan to melt and have the pan hot and ready for cornbread — this creates the crispy brown bottom and edges that I love.
  3. Add any spices of your choice … I am currently addicted to Cajun Seasoning mix … just eyeball the amount
  4. Follow package directions for making cornbread mix
  5. Last, add about 1 cup of shredded cheese if you choose.

Cook according to package directions and enjoy with this soup,

 

Annie © 2016 Lazy Cook

Veggie Stew with Polish Sausage

Source: © 2016 Annie’s Images
Source: © 2016 Annie’s Images

I know … it has been ages since I posted. No excuses … but I am the Lazy Cook!

A cold front snuck in during the night and I needed comfort food. We had been teased for weeks with warm weather and today was a slap in the face when I went out just before dawn when I fed barn cats. My brain started  clicking through what was in the fridge and what would warm me up today. When I got back inside and had my first cup of coffee it was decided … Veggie Stew with Kielbasa.

I had both kale and collards that needed to be cooked or the birds would have a feast. Fresh organic carrots, purple topped turnips, and about half of a sausage that was used earlier in the week. So … breakfast done, websites and email checked so it was time to chop. Below are the ingredients and how I built the layers of flavor for this stew.

Ingredients:

1/4 chopped white onion

1/4 chopped Pablano pepper – but use what you like

1 small shallot

2 cloves of garlic

2 carrots, diced

1 small turnip, peeled and diced

1 can of chickpeas, reserve juice

2 pieces of bacon – left over from breakfast, crumbled

1/2 Kielbasa, diced

3 leaves of kale, stemmed and chopped

4 leaves of collards, stemmed and chopped

1/2 tablespoon unsweetened butter

2 turns of the pan with extra virgin olive oil

1 cup concentrated chicken stock

 

Directions:

Chop all veggies … I even chop the stems from kale and collards. They add a wonderful texture and additional flavor as well as being nutrient rich.

I keep frozen chicken stock at all times since I cook a whole chicken every other week for my cats with sensitive tummies. I placed this frozen block of golden goodness in a medium sauce pan to melt while I chopped the veggies. But use canned stock, veggie stock, or chicken bouillon and water to used for cooking the veggies.

  1. In a saute pan, add butter and olive oil. When butter is melted add onion, shallot, and pepper. When onions are translucent add garlic so it will cook without burning. Let these veggies cook until fragrant and flavors are blended.
  2. Add in half the mixture of greens and let them wilt in with the sautéed veggies. When there is room, add the remaining greens and continue to wilt.
  3. To about 1 cup chicken stock, add carrots, turnip, stems from the greens, and your choice of seasonings. Add enough additional water to cover veggies. I have become addicted to using Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning because it has just the right amount of heat for my taste buds!
  4. Let the veggies come to almost a boil and reduce heat. Add sautéed veggies and cook for 15 – 20 minutes.
  5. When greens are almost tender, add chick peas and sausage.
  6. If additional liquid is needed, add the reserved juice from the chick peas.
  7. Just before serving crumble in bacon.
  8. Enjoy!

To make this vegan or vegetarian, omit butter and sausage.

This stew works with any greens you like, I just happened to have both kale and collards in my fridge.

© 2016 Lazy Cook

 

Beef and Barley Stew with Mixed Vegetables

Source: Annie's Images
Source: © 2016 Annie’s Images

Beef and Barley Stew with Mixed Vegetables © 2016 Lazy Cook

Wow … where does the time go … it has been a long time since I posted to this site. I have been doing a bunch of cooking, but not posting. I promise to do better from now own!

This morning I needed something that is hearty, filling, warm and comforting. While it is sunny and clear today, we have a brisk north wind that blew in over night dropping the temps close to freezing this morning.

I had all of the ingredients on hand so this is what I threw together and have simmering on the stove right now. The picture is actually of the simmering pot! I need to get my wonderful photographer friend Shelly to teach me how to make gifs!

Below is my tasting sample to decide if any seasoning adjustments need to be made. Still deciding, basic seasonings are all good, but I may need to add a bit of spice to kick it up a notch as Emeril would say … I think a good large spoonful of salsa.

Source: Annie's Images
Source: Annie’s Images

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now for the Ingredients:

  1. 1/2 pound ground meat – browned and not drained
  2. 1 small shallot – finely chopped
  3. 1 large garlic clove – finely chopped
  4. 1/4 green pepper – chopped
  5. About 20 cherry tomatoes – chopped
  6. 1 can mixed vegetables – undrained
  7. Barley – about 2 ounces or a little more
  8. Season to taste
  9. Water to cover

 

Directions:

  1. In a medium sauce pan, brown ground meat to desired degree of doneness. I gave a good shake of my S&P mix as well as my garlic & onion powder mix for seasoning as it browns.
  2. Add shallots and green pepper and cook until soft and fragrant.
  3. I keep a container of caramelized onions mixed with sautéed mushrooms in the fridge at all times … I added about 2 tablespoons to blend with meat and veggies … this is optional, but I like the added flavor.
  4. Add garlic now and cook briefly to release flavors but not too long to prevent bitterness.
  5. Add chopped tomatoes and stir well.
  6. Next, add the undrained can of mixed veggies and check seasoning … adjust as needed.
  7. Add enough water to cover everything well and let simmer a couple of minutes.
  8. Check for seasoning one more time … adjust as needed.
  9. Now add the barley; stir well and add more water if you think the barley will need it.
  10. Simmer for 20 minutes until barley is well cooked and stew thickens to your desired taste.
  11. Enjoy!

 

Annie © 2016 Lazy Cook

 

 

Chicken Vegetable Soup with Rice

I can’t believe it has been forever since I made a post. Life sometimes takes unexpected turns and cooking took a back burner to other things. However, yesterday I needed comfort food and Chicken and Rice soup with veggies was what I was craving. Having cooked a whole chicken to feed my cats who have tummy issues, I had wonderful chicken stock and I usually the breast for me when I cook for them. So … I grabbed pots and ingredients and had this soup in a bowl in no time flat!

Ingredients:

  • About 1/2 cup chopped chicken
  • A cup of chicken stock plus enough water to make the soup
  • 1 can mixed veggies
  • 1/4 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped canned green chilies
  • Seasoning to taste
  • About 1 – 1/2 teaspoons butter

 

Directions:

  1. In a medium sauce pan, melt butter and toast rice until it smells nutty. (I begin all rice I cook this way to add depth of flavor!)
  2. Add the chicken stock and water; cook rice until nearly done.
  3. While rice is cooking, add both peppers to infuse flavor into the stock and rice
  4. When rice is almost done, add undrained mixed veggies and chicken
  5. Add seasoning of your choice to taste and simmer until everything is heated through.
  6. If needed, add more water to make the soup your desired consistency.
  7. Enjoy!!!

© 2015 Lazy Cook

Lazy Morning Stew

I saw a wonderful crock pot recipe for a southwest stew and this recipe is my version with what I had on hand. I have been awake since 2 am and I am posting at 7 am … so the stew is almost ready to eat … I have had a couple of spoonfuls already … quality control!

Ingredients:

*About a pound of hamburger … cooked with favorite seasonings … I used my S&P blend with my garlic blend and chili blend. Some day I will reveal the chili blend … but not right now!!!

*1/4 small onion, chopped

*1 clove garlic, chopped

*About 2 tablespoons chopped Pablano Pepper

1 small can chopped green chilies

1 can pinto beans

1 can shoepeg corn

1 can petite diced tomatoes

 

Directions:

  1. After meat is almost done, add in chopped onion, garlic and Pablano peppers and continue to cook until all are fragrant.
  2. Put this mixture into the crock pot and add …
  3. Green chilies
  4. Pinto beans
  5. Tomatoes
  6. Corn

Add enough water to make the mixture to your desired thickness … I used all the liquid from each canned item and did not add any additional water.

Pop on the lid, turn to high and let the crock pot do its magic!

I plan to serve this with a dollop of sour cream and a wedge of cornbread later today. It is all I can do to keep from eating a bowl right now for breakfast…but I will be good!

© 2015 Lazy Cook