Apple-Blueberry Crumble

April 6th, 2019

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Simple desserts are appreciated on busy Spring days when cleaning chores are the focus.  We rarely eat desserts anymore, but I wanted to try a new approach by combining apples and blueberries with an uncomplicated topping.  I justified it as an experiment and a blog post.  After all, not everyone is avoiding sweets.  I did it for all of you.

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The cottage on the lake survived our three months absence.  We put the porch back together with pillows and a clean sweep.  The dogwoods are blooming but the pollen has not yet coated everything with a yellow powder.  The lake is clear and at full pond.  It is good to be home.

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The flower and herb containers need a good cleaning but the pansies survived the winter.  There is still much to do, but working in the dirt is just part of the spring clean-up.

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I was pleased with the way this dish came together.  The fruit mixture is combined in one big bowl, placed in a casserole and baked for awhile on its own.  The crumble is a simple mixture of flour, sugar and butter.

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Serve with ice cream of whipped cream.  Happy Spring!

APPLE-BLUEBERRY CRUMBLE

3 cups blueberries
1 pound Granny Smith apples ( 2 medium ), peeled, cored and sliced
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
6 tbls orange juice (Juice of one orange)
3 tbls cornstarch

1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Lightly butter an 8″ x 8″ baking dish.

Combine the fruit with the sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl.  Mix the cornstarch with the orange juice and add to the bowl.  Mix everything together and dump into the baking dish.  Bake for about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare topping.  Mix flour and sugars in medium bowl.  Add the butter.  Rub in with your fingertips until mixture forms coarse crumbs.  Sprinkle over fruit. and bake until fruit is tender and bubbling and topping is crisp, approximately 35 more minutes.  Best served warm.

Printable Recipe

Slow-Cooker Country Captain Chicken

March 25th, 2019

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Time in Florida is winding down.  We leave for North Carolina at the end of the week.  I have been looking for recipes to use up food items in the freezer and the pantry.  This Country Captain Chicken recipe fit the bill.  I have blogged about this chicken curry casserole before here.  And here.  You can tell I am fond of the ingredients.  The difference with this recipe is the hands-off use of the slow-cooker.

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According to legend, curry powder and the recipe for Country Captain were brought to Charleston in the early 1800s by a British sea captain.  The dish includes chicken, curry, raisins, tomatoes and almonds.  It is perfect to serve to a crowd accompanied by rice, noodles or mashed potatoes.

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Enjoy. Let’s welcome Spring.  Looking forward to seeing the blooms on the trees in the mountains.

SLOW-COOKER COUNTRY CAPTAIN CHICKEN (Taste of Home)

 

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins or raisins
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • Hot cooked rice
  • Chopped fresh parsley, optional

 

  • Place onion, pepper and garlic in a 6-qt. slow cooker. Arrange chicken pieces over vegetables.
  • Whisk the next 5 ingredients with the chicken broth. Pour over chicken. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour. Add raisins and tomatoes. Reduce heat to low and cook until chicken reaches 165°, 2-1/2 hours. Serve over rice; if desired, sprinkle with parsley.

Printable Recipe

 

Almond Chicken Tenderloins

March 8th, 2019

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Porch meals are important to us.  Summers at the lake are spent on the screened in porch for meals, reading, games and sleeping.  That is why I am so glad that the house we are renting in Florida for the Winter has a very comfortable porch.

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We have had a few cool days, but for the most part eating on the porch has been a part of our days.  I have even been able to grow pots of sage, basil and rosemary.  Simple meals have been the rule.  The Almond Chicken Tenderloins came from Joanna Gaines new cookbook, Magnolia Table.  It is basically chicken fingers but with a flavorful difference.  We have been using a lot of almond flour because David is on a low carb diet.  Joanna uses a mixture of almond flour and regular flour in her recipe.  I tweeked it to include mostly almond flour.  The other difference is the sliced almond sauce drizzled over the top of the tenders.  It is buttery and lemony; a perfect combination.

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I served the chicken with my Zoodle Mixed Salad.  Publix Supermarkets now sells Zucchini ribbons in the produce aisle.  We will return to Lake Lure the first of April.  It may be too early then for porch meals, but I could also enjoy this simple fare in front of the fireplace.

ALMOND CHICKEN TENDERLOINS

1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pound chicken tenders
1 1/2 tsps. kosher salt
8 Tbls. butter
4 Tbls. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Juice of 1 lemon
3 Tbls. Chopped parsley or spring onions for garnish

On a plate, stir together both flours, the garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning and pepper.

Season the tenders with the salt, then coat evenly in the flour mixture, pressing to help adhere.  Set aside in a single layer.

In a large, heavy skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter and 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat.  When sizzling, add half of the tenders in a single layer, taking car to not crowd them in the pan. Cook until golden brown on the bottom, flip once with tongs, and cook the other side until golden brown and the chicken is cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.  Watch them carefully because they can scorch easily.  Transfer to a serving platter and tent with foil to deep them warm.

Wipe out the skillet if any of the flour mixture has scorched.

Repeat with 2 tablespoons butter, the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, and the remaining chicken.  Transfer to the platter.  Wipe out the skillet.

Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in the skillet over medium heat.  When the butter is foaming, stir in the almonds and cook until golden, stirring often, about 30 seconds.  Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice.  Pour over the chicken.

Sprinkle the parsley or spring onions over the top and serve warm.

Printable Recipe

 

Carol

February 25th, 2019

Carol Lane

I should not be the one to write this tribute to Carol.  She had so many friends who would have been the ones to do her life honors. But I feel a need to express my admiration.  I’m sure her friends will have much more to say in their own words.

For a very short time (2 weeks recently) we finally got to know Carol and Larry here in New Smyrna Beach where we all stay for the Winter.  We live in Lake Lure and Carol and Larry owned a Bed and Breakfast in our adjoining town of Chimney Rock. Because they were so busy with their very successful business, they had little time to make friends in our community.  Carol was a breakfast genius cook for the bed and breakfast and a marketing maven for their shop.  In spite of her busy schedule, she made friends with a close group of women.  I wish I had been one of them.

When we came to New Smyrna Beach for the winter, Larry and Carol invited us for a boat ride on the Indian River with them.  It was a warm day and a lovely time.  Carol was fighting cancer, but feeling strong. I was immediately drawn to her sweet personality. Unfortunately cancer took her quickly.

My mind is full of regrets. So many times we keep to ourselves instead of reaching out to friends and neighbors. We have so much to lose by not getting to know those around us.  I missed getting to know a genuine angel.

The last time I saw her in the hospital she said “I love you”. Her spirit was inclusive and kind.  My heart goes out to you Larry. Carol cannot be replaced.

 

Roasted Red Pepper Cheese Ball

February 12th, 2019

 

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It would appear that I am on a roll with recipes with “ball” in the title.  While searching for a new appetizer to serve to company, I found this tasty cheese ball recipe on Cafe Sucre Farine’s website.  Chris always has terrific ideas for what to serve.  When I made it for friends everyone said it was a winner.  I have a confession to make.  Not sure if I have mentioned it before but I am not a cheese lover.  I love melted cheese but usually avoid cheese boards.

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But that doesn’t mean I don’t serve cheese to my guests.  This cheese ball is filled with goat cheese, cheddar, cream cheese, roasted red peppers and garlic.  The pecan and rosemary coating makes it interesting.  It is easy to mix all of the ingredients by hand if you don’t have a food processor. But I do miss my stand mixer here in Florida.

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We have many occasions for get togethers while in the Sunshine State.  High School friends from Michigan are in New Smyrna Beach for Race Week.  The beginning of Nascar’s Daytona Five Hundred is coming up this weekend.  After that New Smyrna Beach celebrates Mardi Gras with a parade on Fat Tuesday.  Then in March, Bike Week will bring our motorcycle group to our house for the event.  Lots of entertaining is in our future.  Glad I have this cheese ball recipe in my repertoire.

ROASTED RED PEPPER CHEESE BALL  (Cafe Sucre Farine)

Ingredients
For the cheese filling:
  • 4 ounces cream cheese regular or lower fat, not fat-free)
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • 1 ½ cups shredded medium cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 ounce jar roasted red peppers
For the pecan coating:
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces fairly finely chopped pecans or pecan chips
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
Instructions
  1. Drain roasted red pepper well and then roll in several thicknesses of paper toweling to remove any excess liquid.

  2. Combine cream cheese, goat cheese, cheddar cheese, roasted red peppers, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder and crushed red pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  3. Line a medium-size bowl with plastic wrap then add the cheese mixture and pull plastic wrap over the top of the cheese. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours or place in the freezer for 30-45 minutes.
  4. While the cheeseball is chilling, prepare the pecan coating by melting butter in a small non-sticking sauté pan until bubbly and beginning to brown a bit. It will have a nutty aroma. Add olive oil and pecans and stir to coat pecans. Cook, stirring frequently, for 4-6 minutes until pecans turn golden. Remove from heat and set aside to cool then add the 2 teaspoons chopped rosemary and stir to combine.

  5. Pull the cheese out of the bowl with the plastic wrap and use the wrap to help you shape the cheese mixture into a ball. Roll the ball in the pecan mixture and shape again by gently pushing the sides to form a rounded ball. Place on a serving tray and sprinkle with a bit more chopped fresh rosemary, for garnish, if desired. Serve with crackers and/or celery.

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© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.