Friday, August 29, 2014

Dinner is in the Freezer

Today's project was preparing recipes for meals that can be placed
 in the freezer  ahead of time taking the stress out of mealtime.
Chicken Broccoli Au Gratin Serves: 4-6
1/4 cup Butter    
1   4 oz can sliced Mushrooms
1/4 cup Onion, chopped    
1   13 oz can evaporated Milk
1/4 cup Flour                    
1-10 oz Broccoli spears cooked, cut
2   cups Chicken cubed
1/2 tsp curry powder  
 1   cup Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
 1 tsp. Salt dash black pepper                                          

Melt butter in skillet, saute’ onions until tender, remove from heat. Stir in flour, salt, curry powder and pepper.  Drain mushrooms (save liquid). Add water to liquid to make 1 cup.  Gradually whisk water into flour  mixture.  Blend in milk until smooth. Cook and stir over medium heat until sauce thickens.  Arrange chicken and broccoli in a 13 x 9 pan. Pour sauce over all and top  with cheese.  Bake @ 375 about 20 minutes until hot and bubbly.  To stretch this recipe to feed more add 2 cups of cooked broad egg noodles or rice) in the pan before the chicken and broccoli.

Chicken a’la King

1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup green peas
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup diced red pepper
(or 1 Tbsp pimientos)
2/3 cup chicken broth
1 cup cooked, chopped chicken
3 Tbsp margarine or butter
1 cup half and half  (or canned evaporated milk)

*In a large saucepan, cook and stir bacon, onion, and pepper in margarine over medium heat until vegetables are tender. 
Blend in flour, salt, and pepper.  
Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until well mixed.  
*Remove from heat, 
*Stir in Half-n-half (or evaporated milk) and chicken broth.  Heat to a boil, stirring constantly for 1 minute.  
*Stir in chicken (and pimientos if using). 
*Serve over biscuits, toast or puff pastry shells. 
Serves 4-5

       Chicken Packets

2 cups chicken, cooked and chopped
1/2 cup  seasoned crouton, crushed to crumbs
1 3 oz pkg. Cream cheese, softened
2 6 oz. pkgs  refrigerated crescent rolls
1 Tbsp chives, chopped
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted margarine
2 Tbsp milk
salt to taste

*Mix chicken, cream cheese, chives, milk and salt in a medium bowl.  
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unroll crescent rolls. Each tube will contain 4 rectangles of  dough with a diagonal perforation.  Press dough along each perforation so the rectangle halves will not separate,  
*Place about 1/4 cup of chicken mixture into center of each rectangle. 
*Fold dough over the filling, and pinch  the edges to seal tightly.  
*Dip each packet in melted margarine, and coat with crouton crumbs.  
*Place packets on a baking sheet.  
*Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.  
*Packets are good either hot or cold. 
Makes 8 packets

    Apricot Curry Chicken                  
3/4 cup uncooked rice
1 cup fine chopped onion
2 1/2 cup chicken broth
1  can apricots, drained, chopped
2 1/4 cup cooked, chopped chicken
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tsp lemon juice
1/3 cup Craisins

Place rice, onion and chicken broth in medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil, stir, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer 15 minutes. Drain and cut apricots into pieces.  Combine all ingredients.  Allow to cool. Seal and store in Freezer.  
To prepare:
Thaw and preheat oven to 350
 Place entree in baking dish sprayed with nonstick spray. Cover with foil.
Bake for 45-60 minutes.
Add a small amount of water if it becomes too dry while baking.   
 Serves 4-6

Beans and Grains

Fixing economical meal can come times be challenging.
 So Today we worked with beans and grains and prepared some not so traditional recipes.

Cajun Quinoa

1/2 cup onion diced
6 cloves garlic minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup carrots, shredded
1 tsp Cajun seasoning
1 med. zucchini, diced
2 tsp.. fresh thyme or oregano
1 1/4 cup quinoa
2 cups water

Rinse quinoa well. Cook in pan with a tight fitting lid. 
Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer, cover and         
      cook  for about 20 minutes. 
Saute’ onion, garlic, carrots and zucchini in olive oil 
      until tender. 
Mix cooked quinoa and vegetables. 
Add seasoning. 
Adjust seasoning to taste

White Bean Dip with Pita Chips

• 1 (15-ounce) can Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
• 2 cloves garlic
• 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 1/3 cup olive oil, plus 4 tablespoons
1/4 cup (loosely packed) fresh Italian parsley leaves
Pita chips

Place the beans, garlic, lemon juice, 1/3 cup olive oil, and parsley in the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer the bean puree to a small bowl.
Serve the pita toasts warm or at room temperature alongside the bean puree. Servings: 6


1 16 oz can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans
1/4 cup liquid from can of chickpeas
3-5 tablespoons lemon juice (depending on taste)
1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
Drain chickpeas and set aside liquid from can. Combine remaining ingredients in blender or food processor. Add 1/4 cup of liquid from chickpeas. Blend for 3-5 minutes on low until thoroughly mixed and smooth. 
Place in serving bowl, and create a shallow well in the center of the hummus.
Add a small amount (1-2 tablespoons) of olive oil in the well. Garnish with parsley (optional).
For a spicier hummus, add a sliced red chile or a dash of cayenne pepper.

Hoppin’ John

1 lb  ground sausage
1 med onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken broth
2 cans black eyed peas
1 cup long grain rice
1 tsp fresh thyme  (or 1/2 tsp dried)
1/2 tsp pepper   

Brown sausage in skillet until no longer pink. Add onion, cook until tender. add garlic cook stirring one minute more. Add broth, black eyed peas. Stir in rice, thyme and pepper, cover and simmer 15-20 minutes

Taking time to share our experiences with each other 
and enjoy some great food.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Our Gracious Hospitality Class Fall 2014 Has Begun

The herbs in the garden are ready for the early morning gathering. 
Freshly gathered eaves are still covered with the morning dew and the aroma of freshly cut
rosemary, basil, oregano, and thyme fill the air.
Cooking with fresh herbs creates flavors and aromas that the dried herbs cannot deliver.
Using a variety of squash to provide a beautiful compliment to 
our fresh herb tasting experience.

Herbed Spaghetti Squash

Yellow Squash with fresh Thyme

Green Peas with Dill and Walnuts

Zucchini Sticks and Rosemary

Cream Cheese and Dill Corn

Red Curry Butternut Squash

Roasted Butternut Squash with Sage and Cranberries

It is always a privilege and blessing to working a kitchen full of godly women. We have such fun cooking together and then sharing what we have prepared.