Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Woman cooking in a kitchen, from Wikimedia Commons

Mals has been cooking up something!

First: after hours of slaving over a hot computer yesterday, I managed to set up my blog at its new webhost and port over all the posts.  Yay!  I will need to do some tweaking of it, like adding the sidebar widgets, updating the blogroll, and choosing a new theme (since this one is no longer available, for some reason).  I’ll also be adding page breaks so that a longer list of posts will appear on the main page; to read the full post you’ll need to click once on the title or the “click here to continue reading” jump link.  

The new blog will probably go live next week.  I’ll leave a redirect up on this site.  I plan to maintain this blog site rather than delete it, but no new posts will appear at this location after the official move.

Second: ads will appear gradually on the new site.  I plan to keep them confined to certain areas, like sidebars, headers or footers, and will not use pop-ups because those things annoy the fire out of me. They will be content-linked, so I assume they’ll relate to perfume and books.

Also, I have a new weekly posting plan.  When I started blogging in 2009, the plan was to offer three reviews a week.  If you’ve been reading for awhile, you’ll notice that that idea fell by the wayside about the time that I started doing NaNoWriMo in November of that year, and from time to time all I’ve regularly posted has been Scent Diary.  However, since I would like to get back to posting more frequently, I have worked up a new schedule, as follows:

Monday Scent Diary: the previous week’s happenings in my Scented Life.

Tuesday Roundup: a collection of two or more mini perfume reviews.

Wild Wednesday: a random-topic post. Could be a rant, a FAILblog image, or a ramble about cows. Might be an excerpt from my in-progress novel. I’m not guaranteeing a full post by any means; if I’m busy, it might just be a cute picture of kittens. Who doesn’t need more kittens in their life?

Thursday “TBR”: Thursday Book Review and/or Thursday Blogger Recipe.

Full Review Friday: an extended perfume review.

Now: it’s Thursday, and I have a favorite recipe to share, so without further ado, here is the inaugural TBR content:

Joe Chicken

This is my husband’s favorite favorite recipe for chicken, bar none. I found it in an old cookbook under the name Herb-Broiled Chicken, but over time it took on its current name as The CEO’s favorite dish.

4 chicken breasts, bone-in and skin on

Olive oil cooking spray

Salt and pepper

3-4 Tbsp. (yes, tablespoons, and you might need even more depending on how big your chicken pieces are) of one of the following dry seasoning options:

* Italian – a mixture of Italian herb seasoning, minced garlic, paprika, and grated Parmesan cheese

* Cajun seasoning

* Chicago-style grilled chicken seasoning

* Lemon pepper and dill

* Other seasoning mixture of your choosing (5-spice Chinese might be interesting, or curry)

If you can, buy smaller chicken breasts because they tend to cook more evenly. Preheat broiler to its highest setting, and put oven rack down as low as it will go. As always, be mindful of washing hands after handling raw chicken, and make sure to use separate utensils for handling chicken after it’s cooked.

Place chicken breasts skin-side down on a broiler rack. Spray lightly with olive oil spray. Scatter about half the seasoning on the chicken, and press down lightly with your hand so that it sticks to the meat. Broil the chicken on the lowest rack of the oven for about 13-15 minutes, keeping oven door slightly open and hood fan on.

Remove pan from oven and turn chicken pieces over with tongs. Season as before, omitting oil spray and placing the seasoning between meat and skin. Leaving the skin on keeps the chicken very moist and juicy. (I usually remove the skin after cooking, but The CEO loves eating crispy chicken skin!) If you absolutely must, you may remove the skin altogether before broiling, but if so, spray a little oil before sprinkling seasoning on skinned breasts. Broil for 11-12 minutes on lowest rack of the oven, as before.

Remove pan from oven again and cut into the thickest piece to see if it is cooked inside. If it’s only slightly pink, slide the pan back in for another minute or so, until the skin is crisped. If the inside of the thickest piece is still raw, cut the breasts in half horizontally and season the insides liberally, no need for oil spray this time. Broil for 4-7 minutes longer, or until juices run clear yellow with no trace of pink.

Place chicken on a clean serving platter. Enjoy with a tossed green salad or plenty of green vegetables and a starch suited to the seasoning you chose – for example, Italian works great with spaghetti aglio et olio, Cajun with red beans and rice. Baked potatoes are wonderful with Chicago grill, and I like the lemon-pepper/dill with white and wild rice. Don’t forget to pick the meat off the bone. Yum.

Skinless and boneless chicken is probably better for you, but it never has the same tender juicy quality as bone-in with skin. And it’s getting harder to find small chicken breasts, so I usually wind up cutting them in half partway through the cooking process. I tried several times to make things easier by cutting them in half before broiling the first side, but they just got tough. Don’t even bother trying it.

For the sake of your heart, do not sop up the seasoned chicken drippings in the bottom of the broiler pan with a piece of good bread, although The CEO insists that you will want to do so.

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I grew up thinking that “stuffed peppers” meant this.  It was one of my dad’s absolute favorite dishes, one he would frequently request in the summer, and I was always thrilled to find it on the stove.  I was terribly disappointed at a friend’s house once, when finding out that to her mom, “stuffed peppers” meant green pepper cups filled with a mixture of rice, ground beef, and tomato sauce.  Not that Mrs. Fowler’s stuffed peppers were bad, mind you – they were actually pretty delicious! – but they were definitely not Nell’s stuffed peppers.

This was a recipe created by my grandmother’s mother, the end of one summer more than a hundred years ago, when her garden was full of corn and peppers and tomatoes and she was at her wits’ end as to what to do with them! 


Nell’s Corn-Stuffed Peppers (adapted from recipe created by Emma Zetta Austin)

2 cups corn, either fresh cut off the cob or frozen and thawed

1-2 tomatoes, diced, about 1 cup

1/2 to ¾ cup shredded Colby or cheddar cheese

½ cup fresh (soft) bread crumbs

3 or 4 medium green peppers

½ tsp black pepper

½ tsp dried basil (optional)

1 slice raw bacon, cut into 1” strips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350° F. Halve green peppers lengthwise and remove seeds and membranes.  Steam in steamer basket 3-5 minutes, or cook in microwavable dish, with ½ cup added water, until just tender.  Drain green pepper “boats” and set aside.

Mix corn, tomato, cheese, crumbs, and seasonings in a medium bowl.  Mixture should be moist enough to stick together well.  Add more bread crumbs if too wet; add water 1 Tbsp. at a time if too dry.  (The moisture level usually depends on that of the tomato.)

Spray baking dish with nonstick spray.  Fill pepper halves with corn mixture and top each with one piece of bacon, if using. Place in baking dish.  Bake 25-30 minutes, or until lightly browned on top.

These are wonderful with ham or roast beef.  The corn mixture without green peppers is fantastic with baked fish, too.  The recipe may be increased, and filled, unbaked peppers freeze well. 

Because my dad no longer eats peppers at all due to digestive complaints, and two of my kids don’t like them, I often use fewer green peppers and prop them on a bed of the corn mixture.  I sometimes substitute pepper jack cheese for the cheddar; if so, I eliminate the basil.

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