Saturday, August 30, 2014

Faux BBQ Chicken

Nachoman pointing to the chicken flavor of his choice :) I don't know why but I love that photo. Something about catching his chubby toddler mitts mid selection of his dinner makes me happy.  Seeing my kids request food makes me is my medium of expression.

I have never been a true griller.  I've always have a BBQ grill (always charcoal) but it's use and operation was always something the men did so I never really spent much time with it.  That said, I do love the result of food that is either grilled or smoked.  Lately I've been wanting to grill but having almost no experience and three small children roaming about makes indoor cooking quite inconvenient and actually quite dangerous when it's just me with the kids.  

Necessity is the mother of all invention so I headed back inside and expanded my relationship with the oven.  If you broil on high using the middle rack, you will simulate BBQ grilling :)

New favorite chicken brine
1 can beer (lager or ale)
1 beer can full of water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup salt
2 Tablespoons Herbs de Provence 
2 Tablespoons whole peppercorns

Mix everything together in a large bowl until salt and sugar dissolve.  Add chicken and let soak for a minumum of 2 hours.  I let mine soak during the workday but have not tried overnight.  

Broil the chicken on high on a sheet plan placed in the middle rack.  10 minutes each side.  Flip again and coat with any sauce you like and cook for another 5 min.  Repeat on other side... Chicken should be done by now - enjoy

Eggs in a hole!

So easy and fun way to mix up breakfast...I can imagine that this would freeze well for a toaster reheat too....must try.  I LOVE breakfast.  Hands down it is my favorite meal of the day.  What's hard though is that for most of the week, time is short in the mornings and it's hard to get a warm meal on the table...let alone have the time to enjoy it before everyone is rushes off to school or work.

And specifically I LOVE eggs for breakfast.  You can keep your pastries, waffles and pancakes because what I want is eggs...scrambled, fried, omelettes, poached, boiled...any way.

So in an effort to mix up the breakfast menu, I made eggs in a hole.  

Butter your bread lightly on both sides with salted butter.  If you keep your butter in the fridge the you can melt the butter in the pan vs tearing the bread by trying to spread rock hard butter.  Using a cookie cutter or glass, cut out a hole in the bread.  Warm frying pan on medium heat.  Place bread on pan then add egg to the can scramble the egg or go as is.  Cook until egg starts to set then flip over.  Cook through, then serve.  I spread jam on the cutout to mix things up.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Compost Cookie

This one needs no introduction.  It's a repeat from the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook.  Was havin a hankerin for it... so I made it.. I love that it has every sweet and savory snack item inside of it.

Baked pizza chicken

This was a fun one.. Donut enjoyed helping too.  This is basically a standard breaded chicken cutlet.  You setup your 3 stations of seasoned flour, egg wash and then breadcrumbs.  I like to cut the chicken breast so it's not as thick but maintains its width/surface area. Use a fork to handle the chicken within each station and to transfer between stations. The fork also makes it easy for kids to help as they can handle forking meat, dipping and shaking.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes.  Remove from oven, cover with tomato sauce and mozarella cheese.  Return to oven for another 5-10 minutes until cheese starts to brown.  Remove from oven, plate up and enjoy.   

Chocolate cupcakes - 2 ways

Amazingly even at age 2, Nachoman is able to request flavors...especially when it comes to what flavor cupcake he is most interested in ;)  The little dude requested chocolate so I made the buttermilk chocolate cake recipe (here) and topped with vanilla frosting and sprinkles.  I ran out of frosting so I made peanut butter icing for the remaining these gems needed to be sequestered off as there are so many nut allergies these days but nonetheless they were enjoyed by the allergy free.

Chocolate Cake recipe located here in an old post.

Vanilla Butter cream frosting
2 sticks softened unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4-6 cups powdered sugar

Beat all ingredients together until light and fluffy.  Put into pastry bag and pipe onto cupcakes, about 5 minutes on medium high.

Peanut Butter Icing
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup smooth peanut butter

Mix all ingredients together until smooth.  You can add more or less peanut butter depending on how strong you want the flavor to be.  


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Carrot Ginger Soup

I LOVE can be a snack, starter or meal depending on what's in your soup.  Carrot ginger is a good one because the ginger warms up the soup and adds a nice flavor dimension to the carrot.  Add a half a potato to the pot and purée everything together...

Mickey Mouse sugar cookies

Always a goodie.  For Nachoman's birthday we had a Mickey Mouse theme and made cookies for party favors.