Fab Food

Island Chicken atop Mustard Green-Garlic Rice

Island Chicken atop Mustard Green-Garlic Rice

Monday’s dinner began Sunday night. In a large ziploc bag, place 4 frozen boneless chicken breasts, contents of Weber’s Teriyaki marinade packet, and one can of pineapple juice. Seal & place in refrigerator overnight.

For tonight’s dinner, I cranked up Mood Booster playlist on Spotify & exercised my favorite way – dancing! Hey, it keeps cooking fun & it’s fun to be spontaneous. I got out my ingredients, then dialed down to toe-tapping to chop 1/4 medium onion, then resumed doing the twist while I sautéed the onion in a large skillet, with my fav new combo: olive oil with 1 T. salted butter.

I took each chicken breast out of the marinade, placed them in the skillet and danced a few more minutes before taking the chicken one at a time and slicing into medallion pieces, adding each back to the pan once sliced. I let them simmer on low while I cranked up the dancing a little.

In a large dutch oven, prepare rice of your preference, as much as you’d like. *Leftovers are outstanding in my Breakfast Fried Rice Scramble – recipe to follow.*

Added 3 – 4 gloves garlic to the pot of rice, smashed in my garlic press (fav new kitchen gadget!), then had to scale back on the dancing again to chop mustard greens. Added them to the rice pot, too. Cooked rice as directed.

Remembered I had a gift-sized jar of orange marmalade that would really top off the chicken flavor. So you’ll want to add 4 – 5 T. orange marmalade to chicken skillet. Stir. Cook til rice is done…And dance! Season with freshly ground pepper and sea salt. Serve over rice. Enjoy! Serves 4 – 6.

Fab Food

Muffins. More Muffins.

Success means something different to each person. I collect inspirational sayings on my Pinterest board entitled, “Just Sayin'” – check it out, and Follow my board!

This evening, the very late spring temps were pleasantly in the low 70’s. So after days of rain, I decided to bust out the baking supplies. An undress craving for pumpkin bread got the better of me, so I grabbed my favorite cookbook – The American Country Inn and Bed & Breakfast Cookbook. It’s as much fun to read as it is to locate divine recipes.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins, made famous by The Melville House in Rhode Island, became the basis for my twist on pumpkin muffins. It’s a habit and joy of mine, to play mad scientist in the kitchen! I rarely make a recipe as suggested, always personalizing mine, to make it my own.

Friday the 13th this year was fully of artsy success… began a 12-week journey into art therapy using “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron…baked delicious muffins… and blogged about it!

Here’s my personalized recipe:

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Fruit-n-Chocolate-Loaded Pumpkin Muffins

1 1/3 c. all-purpose flour

1/3 c. ground flax seed

1/2 c. sugar (I used 3/4 c. but found it too sweet, so it’s up to you)

1 T. pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp sea salt (so much better for you than regular salt!)

*     *     *     *

2 eggs, beaten well

1 – 15 oz can pumpkin

1/2 c. Imperial margarine, melted (have to say this brand is my fav for cooking due to the flavor)

1/2 c. chocolate chips

1/2 c. dates

1/4 c. dried cranberries

1/4 c. raisins

1/4 c. dried plums

1/4 c. pecan chips

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put paper liners into cupcake pan. This recipe makes 1 1/2 dozen muffins.

Beat the eggs in a deep bowl. Add pumpkin and melted butter. Mix well with wire whisk. Add all dry ingredients (flour, flax seed, sugar, spice, baking soda, baking powered, and salt). Mix til blended with wooden spoon. Add chocolate chips, and all fruit. Mix well.

Spoon the batter into the paper lined muffin cups, approx 3/4 full.

Bake 20 – 25 min, until puffed, springy to the touch, and wooden toothpick comes out clean.

Cool on wire rack. Delicious straight out of the oven, with a pat of real butter. Mmmm! Great for quick breakfast!

Fab Food

Sunday Success: It’s a Muffin Morning!

Before I begin, it’s only fitting to say HOTTY TODDY! Wow, the Ole Miss Rebels won their first THREE football games this 2013 season. It was so exciting to watch them battle the Texans yesterday. The 44-23 win highlighted what I’ve been saying since I saw the recruits Coach Freeze and his staff snagged… we are going to ROCK SEC football this fall. Oh sure, the naysayers thought it would take a while to get the freshmen cohesive as a team. Nope. They’re each the cream of the crop, and this coach knows how to build a team from attitude to talent. Keep watching those Rebels… I’m hoping they surprise everyone (except me) and upset the Crimson Tide in their house on Sept. 28th. If you don’t think that’s possible, you should have heard Coach Freeze leading the team in chanting the contents of Phil 4:13

I woke up extra early to ideal weather for baking – 61 sunshiny degrees – that just blessed my Sunday morning. I already planned to make it a day of reading and baking, so this was perfect timing for perfect weather. Perfect, perfect, perfect. Sometimes, success just works out that way. Everything falls into place effortlessly.

When I’m happy, I cook. When I cook, I feel even more accomplished & by divine design, I feel even happier. A friend of mine noticed that when I’ve had a migraine, and it goes away, I cook. Makes sense. Who isn’t happy when pain is finally gone? Perhaps from this point forward, I will remind myself “This too shall pass” when I have a migraine, and start thinking about what I will surely cook the next day.

This time I wanted to stock up my fridge and freezer with homemade goodies for the week ahead. My goal is “grab & go” foods, since I have several challenges ahead. My fruit bowl had an apple, 3 bananas, and an orange, all needing to be eaten… or used in cooking. Perfect again!

Today’s Grab & Go Plan:

____Boil Eggs for lunches

____Crock Pot of Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

____Mini-Quiche: Bacon, Cheese, Minced Eggplant & Tri-Color Peppers

____Muffins!

__X__ Cran-Apple Corn Muffins Topped with Roasted Sunflower Kernels

__X__ Glazed Orange Pineapple Muffins with a hint of Coconut

__X__ Blueberry Pineapple Banana  Muffins

____ Boiled Cookies: I like to think of them as Healthy Fudge

The house smelled heavenly once the Orange Pineapple Muffins started baking. Oh my, the taste reminds me of pineapple upside down cake, without the gooey brown sugar. I’ll design a muffin around that flavor next time.

I love baking, then taste testing. I’ve decided the Cran-Apple Muffins needed a heavier hand on the fruit. I love the mix-ins in every bite, don’t you?  Here are the recipes I developed today. I LOVE doing that – personalizing, then sharing. Enjoy!

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Cran-Apple Corn Muffins Topped with Roasted Sunflower Kernels

  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt                              (replace regular salt with sea salt from now on!)
  • 1 cup  lactose-free milk                 (use whatever kind of milk suits your family best)
  • 6 Tbsp Coconut Oil, melted         (Coconut Oil has SO many healing properties!)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 large apples, chopped                (Leave the peels on – the vitamins are right beneath the surface!)
  • 1/2 c. chopped dried cranberries
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • Dry Roasted Sunflower Kernels

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Set muffin papers into muffin pan. In a large bowl, mix all the wet ingredients together. Mix in sugar and salt. In a separate bowl, mix the cornmeal, flour, and baking powder. Add this dry mixture to the wet mixture and stir well. Mix in the fruit and cinnamon. I like to make sure the cinnamon gets right on the apples.

Spoon mixture into muffin cups 3/4 full. Top with sunflower kernels.

Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from pan & place on rack to cool. Serve with a little Apple Butter or eat plain. Yum!

Variation: Mix and match raisins, golden raisins, dried cranberries. Also try different kinds of apples! I used Red Delicious, and they were nice & firm. A softer apple will make a more moist muffin.

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Glazed Orange Pineapple Muffins with a Hint of Coconut

  • 1 cup milk                                                    (use whatever kind of milk suits your family best)
  • 1 – 4 oz. cup coconut yogurt                       (orange, pineapple, or plain yogurt, or even sour cream will do)
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice      (grate the orange peel off first – set aside for glaze!)
  • 1 stick (8 T.) salted butter, melted
  • 8 T. coconut oil, melted                               (Coconut Oil has SO many healing properties!)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ tsp sea salt                                                (replace regular salt with sea salt from now on!)
  • 3 ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ T. baking powder
  • 1 small can pineapple tidbits, in pineapple juice

GLAZE:

  • Zest of 1 orange                                          (gives a punch of flavor & looks beautiful!)
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice       (if you forget to set this aside like I did, OJ from the carton will be fine)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Set muffin papers into muffin pan. In a large bowl, mix all the wet ingredients together. Mix in sugar and salt. In a separate bowl, mix the flour and baking powder. Add this dry mixture to the wet mixture and stir well. Slice each piece of pineapple into thinner tidbits, so you get pineapple in (nearly) every bite. Mix in the fruit including the juice.

Spoon mixture into muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from pan & place on rack to cool.

While the muffins are in the oven, mix the glaze and set aside.

When the muffins are still warm, but cool enough to handle, dip each one into the glaze & return to the rack. Allow to cool completely, then spoon on a little more glaze. Did I mention theses smell so delicious when baking?  To serve, they don’t need a thing – moist and so tasty. Yum!

How’s your Sunday so far? Hope it has some unexpected happy surprises! And here’s that verse for you: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil 4:13

Next up… Blueberry Pineapple Banana  Muffins… stay tuned!