Arroz Con Pollo

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A quick and easy recipe for a night I really didn’t want to cook but was starving. I always use water in this recipe because as it cooks it makes its own stock that absorbs into the rice. I also add a pinch or two of different seasoning blends to give it a little something extra. Tonight I used a healthy pinch of Italian seasoning.

Arroz con Pollo

4 chicken thighs
1 tsp olive oil
½ cup uncooked white rice
1 cup chicken broth or water
1 cup onion, chopped

In a small skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot add the onion, pinch or two of your favorite spice blend, salt, to taste, and saute until soft and translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. When the onion is done add the rice and stir until covered with oil. Nestle the chicken pieces into the rice. Add the stock or water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat so the broth barely bubbles. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.

Adapted from How to Cook Everything

Plain Cheesecake

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The first time I made this cheesecake the word bland came to mind. The cheesecake just didn’t have the tang I was looking for. In spite of this, I kept going back for just one more bite so I knew it was a good cheesecake.

It wasn’t until I shared a slice with my coworker, Brandon, that I realized that bland wasn’t the word I was looking for. Brandon said this cheesecake isn’t bland, it is subtle. This is the kind of cheesecake that goes well with fruit or a smear of chocolate or a drizzle of caramel. I love when I surround myself with brilliant people.

The next time I make this cheesecake I will try a little more lemon juice and possibly some lemon zest.

Plain Cheesecake

  • Difficulty: intermediate
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1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 TBS butter, melted
1 8oz package cream cheese
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg plus 2 TBS lightly beaten egg

In a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar and melted butter. Mix well. Spray the sides and bottom of a 6 inch spring form pan with non stick cooking spray and press the crumb mixture onto the bottom of the pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in the vanilla and lemon juice. Add the egg, beat on low speed until combined. Pour the filling into the crust and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 – 55 minutes. The center of the cheesecake will almost set in the middle when the cheesecake is done. Cool on a wire rake for 10 minutes then run a thin knife around the edges to loosen. Cool on the rack for one hour. Refrigerate over night. Remove the sides of the pan before serving. Garnish as desired.

Adapted from Taste of Home’s Best Loved Cookies cookbook

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

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Last week I was battling an infection in my lungs so I didn’t feel much like eating or cooking. In fact, I really didn’t feel like doing much of anything but sleeping. On one of my better days I did make these lovely stuffed bell peppers. I the original recipe called for a bit of jalapeno pepper for kick but I didn’t have any so I substituted some chili powder.

Quinoa Stuffed Pepper

1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed well
2 1/2 – 3 TBS olive oil
1 -2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 cup tomato sauce
3/4 cup plus 2 TBS broth
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 – 2 bell peppers, your choice of color

In a small saucepan saute the onions and garlic in oil until they start to soften. Add the quinoa, cook for one minute then add the tomato sauce, broth, cumin and chili powder. Cook for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the bell peppers in half, remove the membranes and seeds. Place on an oiled baking sheet and bake 10 – 12 minutes. Remove the peppers from the oven and stuff with the quinoa mixture. Return to the oven and bake 10 – 12 more minutes. Sprinkle with cheese during the last two minutes of cook time.

Adapted From A Beautiful Mess

Corned Beef and Cabbage Pie

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I don’t usually post two recipes in one day but in honor of PI day and as an early St. Patrick’s day recipe, I thought I would post a savory pie recipe for corned beef and cabbage pie.

I use corned beef and Swiss cheese from the deli where I work. If you have leftover corned beef brisket you could use that instead. If you don’t have thousand island dressing use 1 tablespoon ketchup and 1 tablespoon mayonnaise. I really like the thick biscuit like crust one this. If you don’t, use only half the dough. If you have liquid buttermilk, delete the buttermilk powder and water. Add 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons liquid buttermilk.

Corned Beef Cabbage Bake

1 cup all purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 TBS plus 1 ½ tsp buttermilk powder
1 ½ TBS oil
½ cup plus 2 TBS water

2 TBS butter, cubed
2 cups shredded cabbage
6 TBS onion, chopped
½ tsp carroway seeds
6 oz deli corned beef
4 oz swiss cheese
2 TBS 1000 Island dressing

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and buttermilk powder. Add the water and oil, mix as little as possible. Spread into a 6 inch cake pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. In another small bowl combine the cabbage, onion, caraway seeds, corned beef, Swiss cheese, and Thousand Island dressing, mix well. Pour cabbage mixture into the pan onto the crust. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Slice and serve.

Cranberry Waffles with Orange Syrup

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I guess I am not as sick of waffles as I thought because I keep making more of them. I blame my co worker, Joseph. He keeps suggesting all these flavors I want to try.

Joseph’s current suggestion is a cranberry orange waffle. I can do that. As I experimented I discovered I prefer the straight up puck power of plain cranberries in my waffles to the cranberry orange flavor. To honor Joseph’s request for cranberry orange waffle, I made a simple orange syrup to go with the waffles.

Cranberry Waffles

3/4 – 1 cup cranberries, quartered
1 cup flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup sugar
2 eggs
4 TBS canola oil
1 cup buttermilk

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the egg, milk and oil. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just moistened, some lumps are okay. Fold in the cranberries. Spread ¼ to 1/3 cup batter on each side of a preheated waffle iron coated with cooking spray. Bake 7 minutes. 3 servings.

Adapted from Sweet Treats

Orange Sauce

2 TBS sugar
½ tsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp grated orange peel, optional
1/3 cup orange juice
1 tsp butter

In a small saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, and orange peel, if using. Stir in the orange juice until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 to 2 minutes or until thickened to a syrup like consistency. Remove from heat; whisk in butter. 1/3 cup 2 tablespoons per servings

Adapted from The Comfort Food Cookbook