Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Herbed Oat Meatloaf

The Gaels have long been exceedingly fond of loaves made with "mince" ( a colloquialism for ground, or "minced" meat) that are traditionally served hot or cold not only for home meals but also for picnics, and in pubs. This nourishing meat loaf is good for a family or company supper. The original recipe may be found in "The Scottish-Irish Pub and Hearth Cookbook", pg. 136. Published by Hippocrene Books, Inc., New York.

1 1/2 lb ground beef
1 b pork sausage
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup minced onions
1/2 cup minced celery
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp dried Italian herbs
salt & pepper to taste
3 slices bacon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x5x3 loaf pan. In a parge bowl, mix the everything together, minus the bacon. Form into a loaf, and place into the pan. Top with the three slices bacon, lengthwise. Bake for about 2 hours, or until done. Transfer to a serving plate, and slice. Serve warm. Left overs can be refrigerated for up to a week.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Home Made Chicken Pot Pie

What's better on a cold Fall night than the aroma of a fresh, hot, home-made chicken pot pie? Sharing it with our loved ones! I had left over chicken from our last Thursday night meal, so I made up this delectable delight. Very simple to make, and it freezes well, too!

1 – 2 lbs chicken breasts (or left over chicken, deboned)
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup frozen pearl onions
1 cup frozen peas and diced carrots
½  cup frozen corn
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock (I use home made)
1 cup heavy cream
1 store bought pie crust, unbaked and thawed if frozen
1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Sprinkle the chicken with paprika, sage, oregano, salt and pepper. Heat a 10-inch pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. When the oil begins to swirl, add the seasoned chicken and saute until cooked through. Remove the chicken to a plate, leaving the oil in the pan. Rest the chicken for a few minutes, and then chop into 1/2-inch cubes.

To the same pan, add the onions, peas, corn and carrots and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir and cook until the onions become tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute longer. Sprinkle in the flour and stir until the flour dissolves into the vegetables and juices. Add the chicken stock and raise to a simmer, stirring until thickened. Once the liquid has thickened, stir in the heavy cream. Season with salt, if needed.

Return the chicken to the pan. Heat everything until warm. Place the bottom pie crust in the pie pan, and carefully spoon the filling into it. Do not pre-bake the curst. Add the top crust, make sure you crimp the edges togeter. Brush the crust evenly with the egg wash. Using a knife, gently cut 3 vents in the top of the crust. Place in the oven and bake until the crust is golden brown, about 20 minutes.

We like to sprinkle the top of ours with grated cheese when done. Adds a nice flavor!

Thursday Night Supper: Roasted chicken and fixin's!

Thursday Night Supper: Herb Roasted Chicken, Scalloped Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli, Buttered Brussell Sprouts, Sage Stuffing, Garden Salad, and Fresh Rolls.

Every Thursday night, we switch off with a friend of ours, and have a “family” supper. This last Thursday was here at the house, and we had a great time. I spent the afternoon cooking, and made some delicious food! Nothing was difficult to make. The longest time consuming item was, of course, the roasted chicken. You will notice I list the chicken as a fryer chicken.  I have tried both frying chickens and “young roasting” chickens. Really can not tell a difference, and the fryers are typically $.25-.$35 a lb cheaper!

Roast Chicken

1 Frier Chicken
½ stick butter
2 tbspn Italian Seasoning
2-3 cloves garlic
1 tsp garlic salt
1tsp black pepper
1 large onion, cut in half

Defrost the chicken enough to clean, and pull out the gizzards. At the bottom of the breasts, slide your fingers up under the skin, loosening it all across the breasts. Mix the butter, Italian seasonings, and garlic together. Split the butter mix in half, and slide each half under the skin on each breast. Work it all the way up under the skin, coating the whole breast. Slide the onion into the cavity. Truss the legs together, tuck the wings under. Sprinkle the top with the garlic salt & some pepper.Bake in a 400 oven, basting about every 15 minutes, until a thermometer reads 165 degrees or higher. If it browns too quickly, cover loosely with tin foil.


The rolls are the other time consuming item. If you have the time, let them sit for four hours to defrost. Otherwise, how I do it is much quicker. Since the oven is already heated and cooking the chicken, place 2 roll balls into each cup of a muffin tin. Make sure you have sprayed the muffin tin before hand. Place the tin on top of the stove, and allow the rolls to rise as the chicken is cooking. The heat from the oven should be plenty enoughe. Keep an eye on them, as you do not want them to rise too quickly though. If you see they are rising too quickly, move them from the stove top to the counter to rest. When the chicken has about 10 minutes left of cooking, place the rolls into the oven and bake until golden brown.


1 bag frozen Brussell Sprouts
1 bag frozen Broccoli
1 box Scalloped Potatoes
1 box Stuffing

For the brocolli: place about an inch of water in a medium pot, along with a vegetable steamer wrack. Bring the water to a boil, place the brocolli in the wrack, cover and steam for 7-10 minutes. You want it hot, but not over cooked. If it cooks too long it gets mushy.

Scalloped Potatoes: prepare acording to the box instructions. I place mine on the bottom wrack while the chicken is cooking, as they take about an hour to cook. Try adding some freshly grated cheddar cheese to the mix. This makes them even cheesier, and very tasty!

Bussell Sprouts: In a medium pan, melt a half stick of butter with a tbsp of garlic salt. Add the sprouts, and simmer for about 8-10 minutes, or until cooked through.


I use a boxed stuffing mix, but accentuate it with my own additions. Before making the stuffing, chop up 2 celery stalks, half a medium onion, and a clove of garlic. Toss these into a pot with about 3 tbsp olive oil, and cook for about 5-8 minutes, or until the onions are clear. Add chicken stock (as much as the box calls for water for the stuffing) and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, add the stuffing mix, cover and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Fluff with a fork when ready to serve.

If you time everything right, it should all come together and be ready at the same time.

This is a fairly easy meal to make, and tasty too! As you can see, I doubled the porportions when I cooked, to feed 6 people, and have left overs. The extra chicken I used in the Chicken Pot Pie. THAT recipe is coming up next!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Cowboy Beans

Cowboy Beans

When I was a kid, my Uncle Steve would take us camping. This was one of his standard camping foods. Easy to make, insanely tasty, it’s one of those things that tastes better and better the days after it’s made!

2 lbs ground beef
2 cups bar-b-que sauce (I use Sweet Baby Rays)
1 medium diced onion
½ tsp garlic salt
½ tbsp celery seed
2 tsp mustard
½  cup dark molasses
2 - 16 oz can pork n beans
2 - 15 ¼ oz can kidney beans
2 - 15 oz can pinto beans
2 – 15 oz can black beans
2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced (you can use canned, as well)

All you have to do is brown the ground beef and onion together till cooked, then drain. Open the cans of beans, and rinse them all off. Add everything together into a crock pot and stir it all together. Set it to high for an hour or two, then turn to low or simmer. This can simmer all day while you are at work. Left overs will keep in the fridge for a week or two, freezing works fine as well. This is one of those recipes that tastes better a few days after, since the flavors all have a chance to meld!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cider Pumpkin Bread with Raisins and Walnuts

Cider Pumpkin Bread with Raisins and Walnuts

Total Time:  1 hr 0 min
Prep: 10 min
Cook: 50 min
Yield: 2 loaves
Level: Easy



  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup ground Scottish oats
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup walnuts



Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine brown sugar, pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, and cider. Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture and mix until moistened. Add raisins and walnuts and mix thoroughly. Divide the batter into 2 portions and pour into 2 greased loaf pans. Place in oven and bake for 50 minutes. Cool in pans on a rack until room temperature. Remove from pans and serve.

I made these as muffins. Cut the baking time in half. 

WARNING: They are VERY addictive!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Chicken Alfredo with Bow Tie Pasta

Chicken Alfredo with Bow Tie Pasta

Supper tonight is a feel good meal. Chicken Alfredo with bow tie pasta, steamed broccoli, garlic bread, and garden salad. So simple and quick it’s almost laughable!

2 large skinless boneless chicken breasts
1 jar Alfredo sauce (which ever brand you prefer. I use Newman’s)
1 box Mini Farfalle pasta (bow ties)
1 bag frozen broccoli
1 loaf garlic bread
1 bag mixed salad greens (variety of your choice)

I started by dicing the chicken breasts, then browning them up in a skillet with some garlic salt. Make sure they are nice and browned, all the moisture evaporated. Transfer to a medium pot, and add the jar of sauce. Pour about a third of the jar full of milk, and give it a good swish to get all the remaining sauce out. Pour this into the pot as well. Set it on medium low heat to warm.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil. I add garlic salt to the water to make it boil quicker, and add a bit of flavour to the pasta. Cook for 7 minutes (or how ever long your brand says). Drain, do not rinse.

In another pot, using a veggie steamer, bring two inches of water to a boil, and then add the broccoli. Steam for 7-10 minutes or until done.

Bread is in a 425 degree oven while everything else is cooking, getting nice and browned on top. Do not cook it too long!

Remove everything from the heat when it is done, cut the bread, dish it all up and enjoy! Quick, easy, no fuss no muss hearty food for the family. I made extra so that we can have left over’s for lunch tomorrow!