Monday, October 27, 2014

Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

I made these for dinner tonight but they would be awesome at a party or on football Sunday...Buffalo Chicken Meatballs. The recipe came to my inbox I think via tablespoon. Here is how I made them:

 Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

1 lb ground chicken
1 cup seasoned Panko bread crumbs
1 egg
2 scallions chopped
onion powder (1 tsp)
1 1/2 cup Franks hot sauce
1/2 cup blue cheese dressing

Heat oven to 400 degrees and line a cookie sheet with tin foil. Mix the chicken, spices, green onion, and bread crumbs with the egg. Roll into 20 or so meatballs. Try to make them all the same size.

Bake for 5 minutes in the oven so they firm up and place in a crock pot. Cover with the buffalo sauce
and cook on high for 2-3 hours or on low for 5-6 hours.

Place the blue cheese dressing in a bag and cut off the edge. Apply the sauce over the meatballs. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Disney Cruise Line's Apple Strudel

In 2011 my family and I cruised on the inaugural year of the Disney Dream. We had a rainy day on one of our sea days and they offered the "Anyone Can Cook" series featuring this Apple Strudel recipe. I have been making it ever since. Today was the lucky day! We visited Awe's Apple Orchard earlier in the week and were saddened to learn the picking season was over. I did bring home some Honey Crisp and other apples for this strudel and Taffy Apple Salad which I plan on making this week. Any tart apple like Granny Smith or Gala also work well here.

The recipe was pretty detailed so I will condense it here for you.

Apple Strudel

2 lbs. tart apples thinly sliced (about 6 apples cored and peeled)
1/4 cup raisins
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter melted
1 1/2 cups graham crackers crumbs
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
cinnamon sugar (1/4 cup sugar with 1 tsp. cinnamon)

Strudel Dough

1 1/3 cup flour
1 TBSP unsalted butter softened
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1 egg (I omitted the egg and it still turned out)
1/3 cup to 1/2 cup water

The recipe calls for you to let the apples set with the sugar, golden raisins, and cinnamon over night but I let mine set only for the 2 hours I was making the dough. In a food processor or a mixer with a dough attachment, mix all of the dough ingredients for 5 minutes. Place the dough in a
bowl that has been rubbed with olive oil. Let the dough rest for 2-3 hours covered.

Remove the dough after the two hours and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Use your hands to stretch out the dough. Use a clean table to stretch the dough to measure 2 feet wide by 3 feet long. The dough may rip in some areas but it's ok. Just patch and keep stretching. Melt the butter and spread on the stretched out dough. Sprinkle on the graham cracker crumbs, This helps absorb the juice from the apples. Place the apples on the lip of the short end being sure to leave room so you can roll. I didn't use a clean
dish towel but this is helpful to roll. Roll the dough until you get to the opposite end and place seam side down on a baking sheet. Make into a horseshoe or it won't fit. Rub the outside with the remaining butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Let rest for 1 hour before baking. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Let set for 30 minutes (It's very hot!) Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Review of "Let's Dish" North African Chicken Stew in the Crock Pot

Let's face it, we are all busy with work. I also have school and two kids on my plate. This stew is a great budget extender and a good way to use those fall veggies coming into season. It was 50 fricken degrees here in Wisconsin yesterday and I had this ready waiting from me. This recipe is also great because you can make it sweet with the addition of sweet potatoes or squash. The only downside was I had to drain my crock pot of liquid a few times. This recipe calls for a 6 qt crock pot, but I used a smaller one and halved the recipe.

North African Stew

6 chicken thighs or 3 boneless chicken breasts
2 carrots cut into chunks
1 eggplant cubed
2 zucchini (I used a small squash) diced
1 onion diced
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
1 can garbanzos or beans of your choice
1 cup raisins
1 cup almonds
2 tsp salt
2 tsp coriander or chopped cilantro fresh
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp cinnamon
16 oz chicken broth
couscous for serving

It's as simple as fitting all of the ingredients into the crock pot. I did drain the diced tomatoes of the liquid and I added white beans instead of the garbanzo. You may have to drain the liquid out. Also you can presoak the eggplant in some milk to get rid of the bitter taste. If using chicken thighs, you will need to cook for eight hours on high. I ended up doing 3 hours on high and the rest on low. Remove the chicken and shred. Discard skin.  By the time I got home at 6, the chicken was fall apart. Serve with couscous or over rice.