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Posts Tagged ‘bake’

Maple Chipotle Chicken

I was inspired by Nancy on her blog A Recipe A Day when she made her drumettes using a sticky honey-soy sauce glaze.  It reminded me of something my family made, or a friend’s family, back home.  How could I reminisce and not bake up some chicken?

Maple Chipotle Chicken

All measurements are very approximate, I suggest glugs and pinches as you see fit.

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil, to coat the pan
  • 3-4 Tbsp honey
  • 3-4 Tbsp Maple Syrup (the real stuff!)
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp chipotle spice powder, alternatively use the sauce from a can of Goya chipotle adobo peppers
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • about 8 – 10 drumsticks, more if using wings and drumettes

Mix the sauce in a baking dish large enough to fit the chicken pieces in a single layer.  Add the chicken (I removed the skin first) and turn to coat.  Bake at 375ºF for 45-65 minutes, turning every 15 to 20 minutes so the glaze sticks to the meat.  Serve with hot rice and a fresh salad.

Funny tidbit for you.  Want to know the top 5 search terms that land on my blog?

  1. Claire Robinson
  2. poutine
  3. dinner rolls
  4. mexican casserole
  5. pluckers spicy ranch wings recipe

Yes, I hold the secrets of the universe because I met Claire and can make poutine!

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It’s almost time for the bake sale.  I’ve been gathering tables, baskets, stickers, and baggies for my site at Old Settler’s Park in Round Rock.  Last night I started painting a big sign with the Austin Bakes for Bastrop logo.  I like the silhouette of the city on the top :)

Tonight my kitchen gets kicked into high gear, the assembly line will start as soon as the kids a fed and bathed.  They might even get to help if they promise not to eat half of the cookies before they make it into the bags.

I’m also making an apron to mark the event, it will have something like my nifty logo you see on the sidebar –>

Even though I’m allergic to tree nuts, I will be baking with them.  At least my allergy is limited to my tongue and throat, some people can’t be in the same room with nuts or peanuts.  That would suck!  It’s a lifelong question for me at parties, restaurants, and nice-lady-down-the-street who gives us goodies from time to time… does this have nuts in it?  Thankfully I know to ask and what to do if I ever accidentally eat nuts (or can’t withstand whatever dessert is staring at me, begging to be devoured).  The main thing is to remain calm, not to agitate my immune system further, then drink any kind of fluid to wash the nut particles down.  I will never know the sweet luxury of a Texas pecan pie…

Hey, and if you don’t live close enough to come by and try some of my goodies, you can donate online, and if you do, we have a matching gift for $1000 from Key Ingredient here in Austin, TX!  Last time I checked we are 1/3 of the way to the matching gift!!!  All donations are going to the Central Texas Wildfire Relief Fund.

So if you need me, I’ll be in the kitchen for then next 36 or so hours.

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I was in no mood to wait upwards of 6 hours for my pork shoulder to reach pullability.  So why did I put it in the crock pot, of all places??? 

In retrospect, I wasn’t thinking or really computed how long it would take.  I watched a clip of Aarti Party on Hulu.com (I no longer pay for TV, but that’s a whole other story) where Aarti made pulled pork with her Indian twist, in 3 hours on the stove top.  That’s what I love about her, she has given new purpose to all those odd spices that I collect in the pantry.  And she very much deserved the top spot on The Next Food Network Star (which I did watch before my satellite subscription ended).  Now how I came to the conclusion that a crock pot would be suitable for making a quick pork butt escapes me now.  Direct, cuddling heat from the stove is just not the same as the low and slow wafting warmth of the crock pot.

An attempt to make haste of the matter was pure genius: put the pot part in the oven, a REALLY HOT oven!

If this were to happen in summer time, I would never think to use the oven.  It heats up the house and the air conditioner has a hard enough time trying to keep me at Canadian levels of summer hot – not Texas levels of summer hot.  I might as well live on the sun!

Anyways, the pork shoulder was a good 8-9 pounds, bone-in.  It was thoroughly salted, peppered then shoved (literally) in to the crock pot.  Extra flavours borrowed from Aarti: mango nectar, cumin, garam malasa and chipotle.  It smells heavenly as the spices warm up and tickle your nose.  Chilly Texas nights are perfect for cranking up the oven, akin to how grandma would have lit the wood stove to heat the house.  You should put that energy to good use and fill your belly in the process!

Finally, after about 4 grueling hours, we had pork shoulder ready for tacos.

The crust was the first thing Hubby went for, nearly had to arm-wrestle for the darkest bits.  That’s where the chipotle and spices fused to the meat, caramelizing the pork to a mouth-watering perfection.

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The baby of the family spends the most time with me in the kitchen.  She has started eating small soft foods and would eat everything she could get her little hands on if you let her.  Including muffins.  She is a welcome kitchen companion as she gabbs and coos pretending to take part in the conversation. 

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

 This is the full batch version, this can be easily halved by using half measurements and 2 eggs instead of 3

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (light olive oil works)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Pre-heat the oven to 325F.  Prepare a muffin tin with paper liners.  You should get about 2 dozen regular size muffins.

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Whisk to distribute and fluff the flour.  Mix the oil, eggs, bananas, vanilla, and chips in a bowl.  Make a well in the dry ingredients, pour the banana mixture into the well.  Gently stir the batter together just until the flour disappears.

Bake in the paper lined tin for about 25 minutes.  Poke the center of one with a toothpick or knife to check for crumbs.   

Once the muffins have cooled slightly, remove them from the tins to racks.

And of course, share a few nibbles with your little apprentice.

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It’s a long month and we have to stretch the buck, what’s for dinner?  I look in the freezer: king mackerel caught by my husband, peas, and ice.  Not much there.  The fridge looks a bit more promising.  There’s marinated artichokes, half a yellow bell pepper, some spinach, and one tomato left.  the first thing that pops in my head, pizza!

I like to bake (maybe too much) so I usually have the essentials on hand, flour, salt, yeast, sugar, and various herbs and spices.  The garden has a nice basil patch, which will be awesome on the pizza.  If only the tomatoes would hurry up already!  Oh well, there’s a can of tomato paste in the cupboard, this will have to do.

I used the pizza dough recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens cook book.  I remember my grandma having one of these, I had to go find a copy for myself.  You could use your favorite pizza dough, even out of a can.

Pizza at home can be difficult, gooey crusts, burnt cheese, no flavour.  My secret is to make a thin crust and par bake it, then top it with fresh ingredients.  Resources being slim, toppings are thinly applied to the crispy crust.  As James Barber would say, chop up everything smaller so that everyone gets some.  The result was actually pretty tasty, and nobody missed the meat!

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