Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Chicken Sausage Peppers

I needed a quick meal and tried the Food Network Chicken Sausage Peppers recipe.  It was easy, fast, and delicious.  I substituted out a few things (oil for butter, sweet rice flour for all purpose flour, and chicken broth for wine).  I also added a few more ingredients ( the paprika, sugar, and vinegar).  If you want to see the original recipe, click on the link above.  The original recipe called for pickled cherry peppers, which I didn't have on hand, that is why I added the sugar and vinegar.
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin light olive oil
  • 1 lb sweet or hot Italian sausage cut into chunks
  • 1 lb skinless chicken breasts cut into chunks
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp sweet rice flour
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 red pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1-1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 2 tsp Spanish smoked paprika*
  • 1 tsp sugar*
  • 1/2 tsp vinegar*
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Cook sausage about 2 minutes.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then dregde in the flour and add to the skillet.  Cook for about three minutes, so that it is cooked on the outside but not cooked through.  
  2. Add the onions, garlic, peppers.  Cook for about 3 minutes.  Add the broth scraping up any bits on the bottom of the pan.  Add the seasonings, paprika, sugar, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer for five minutes.  
  3. Serve over rice. 
Cook's Note:
 * I always start off with these amounts and taste, adjusting the amounts to taste.  I find in dishes with vinegar, such as sweet and sour and things pickled, that it is best to adjust to the individuals taste and the amount of liquid left in the pot.  Some people like more sweet than sour, and vica versa; just adjust accordingly.
     Be sure to use a good quality smoked paprika.  It really makes a difference in taste.  I have used the big warehouse store kind like you find at Sam's Club, Costco, or B.J.'s and the depth of smokiness just isn't there.  You end up using more, just to get a hint of taste.

GF Cookie Dough Truffles


In a bowl, cream shortening and brown sugar until creamy.  Add vanilla.  Gradually add flour.  Add milk.  Add chocolate morsels and nuts.  Shape into 1 inch balls.  Place on waxed paper and chill for at least two hours in the refrigerator.  Melt the 2 cups of chocolate chips and oil in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until it is completely melted.  Dip the cold truffles into the melted chocolate.  Refrigerate for at least one hour. Enjoy!

* I used Earth Balance Shortening sticks in this recipe.
** I used Jeanne's GF All purpose flour mix in this recipe.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Lesson of Valentine's Day Baking

     Valentine's Day is coming and I had a great line up of recipes I had been trying.  I was excited!  A recipe for Cookie Dough Truffles, GF Magic Bar, a Red Beet cake that avoids the dyes of the red velvet cake, and in the holiday spirit and the color red, Plum Preserves for something different.
    I began my cooking with these Dairy Free Cookie Dough Truffles.
    I had made the recipe up to the point of refrigerating them for two hours.  In my two hours, I took care of a few mishaps around the house, several diaper changes, and finished up some school.  Unbeknownst to me, these chilled balls were disappearing from my refrigerator.  I opened the refrigerator to get the ingredients for dinner and noticed my near empty plate of truffles.  "Who ate the cookie balls!"  rang throughout my house.  These little balls never made it to being kissed with their chocolate coat.
     I did taste one of the three cookie balls that were left.  I thought it tasted kind of gritty.  All of my kids loved it of course, but they like Fruity Pebbles too!  I decided I would make them again and alter how I made the sweetened condensed milk.  I was sure that the grittiness was coming from that.  They would also get dipped in chocolate this time.
      The next day came and I was off with round two.  This time I was going to get that final picture.  I made two different batches of sweetened condensed milk and began anew to make the truffles.  It was a disastrous cooking day.  I ended up with a mess.  With no chance that the dough would form into a ball, I poured it into a pan and called it Cookie Dough Fudge Bars, trying to fool my kids into eating it.
     My crew almost unamiously said that they liked the "balls" better, but these were okay.  I did get a final photo.
     I turned my attention to the second batch of milk.  I made the GF Magic Bars.  I loved how they turned out, except of course my graham cracker crumb layer wasn't exactly right---too crumbly.  Back to the drawing board.  I made it again and it still was not good enough.  This particular mistake was very tasty and I gained several pounds.

     I decided to call it a night and try again tomorrow.  Maybe tomorrow success would be mine.
     The next day arrived and I felt optimistic.  I was going to give baking a break and make the preserves.  It started off well.  Things were looking good. 
     This was the beginnings of my plum jam.  Stirring the preserves, trying to reach the prescribed 220 degrees.  I finished up and let it set for 24 hours and ended up with this.

       This tasted good, but was disappointed that it wasn't in the Valentine's theme of red.  It was more of a rust color.  I was coming to grips that my Valentine's Day posts were going down in flames.  I decided that I would make this recipe again when plums were in season. To comfort myself, I heated up a bagel and smothered it in jam.
      After my bagel, I decided to try my hand at a white cake, dying each layer a different shade of red/pink.  I should have kept my promise to myself and not bake!  I made the cake and the magic eight ball said once again "No!" It was a flop too.  Doesn't it look like the cake is weeping for me.
    Okay! Okay!  I still wanted to try one more thing--the red beet cake.  I was determined to be successful.  I made a batch of red beet cupcakes. But once again---I turned my back to let them cool and sure enough there were none.  I gave my 'mommy the blogger 'lecture of how I needed those cupcakes to take a picture .  My daughter looked at me and unwrapped a napkin to reveal the lone cupcake that she swiped for me to take a picture.  She had remembered the countless sermons that I had given before.  I snapped a picture, and ate it.  Enough was enough. 

    The next day, I decided to take the day off.  I really did.  I baked nothing.  My kids wondered what was for dessert.  The past few days were filled with scents of baking cakes and cookies and they were looking for tonights creation.  I opened a pint strawberries and topped them with chocolate sauce.  They devoured them and couldn't stop talking about how yummy they were.  Go figure.  My kids reminded of a simple truth...keep it simple. 

I hope you all have a Happy Valentine's Day!!!!!


Sunday, February 6, 2011

GF Flat Bread (cooked stovetop)

     This flat bread dough is made in the bread machine and then rolled flat and cooked stove top.  It's perfect for dipping into hummus or making pinwheel sandwiches.  I gotta admit I like this recipe better than my oven recipe.  The dough is easier to work with and less messy.  It is a bit sweeter than the oven version but it is Super Yummy!!

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rice milk (warm)
  • 1/4 cup water (warm)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup oil ( use your favorite)
  • Ener-G Egg Replacer  egg made (1-1/2 tsp egg replacer +2 Tbsp warm water)
Dry Ingredients:
  1. Place the wet ingredients in the pan first.
  2. Mix together all the dry ingredients.  Pour a top wet ingredients.
  3. Set to the dough cycle.
  4. Roll the dough into 12-15 equal pieces.
  5. Roll each piece into about a 10 inch circle and about 1/8 inch thick.  (Use your best judgement.)
  6. Note here:  I rolled out my dough on a flexible plastic cutting sheet.  When I was ready to transfer the circle to the pan, I turned it upside down and peeled it off into the pan.  If you don't have a flexible surface, try wax paper and flipping it directly into the pan and peel away the wax paper.  Be sure not to let the wax paper touch the pan.  A Silpat Nonstick Silicone Baking Mat might work here too.
  7. Preheat a skillet over medium heat.  Do not grease skillet.  Cook one circle of bread over medium heat, until nicely toasted.  About 30-45 seconds per side.  (My first ones took longer to brown, about 1 minute per side, but after that they browned more quickly.
Cook's Notes:
  • I made all my dough balls and they would dry out a little while I was cooking.  By the time I got to my last dough balls, though dry, they still cooked up well.
  • If you make them thinner, they remind me of flour tortillas.  I am thinking about trying out as such.