Friday, February 8, 2013

Peanut-Butter Bars

Thanks to Allison Dale for sharing this yummy recipe.

1 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 inch square pan with canola cooking spray. 
(I'm doubling recipe and using 9 by 13)

Combine peanut butter and honey in a heavy bottomed sauce pan over medium-high flamed. Whisk until melted — three to five minutes.

Stir in vanilla and cinnamon.

Add in oats. 

I measured the oats into a large mixing bowl and poured the hot mixture over. 
This was easier as I'd doubled the recipe.

Press into prepared pan.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. I'm baking the doubled recipe for 15-20

Let cool completely and cut into squares.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Smokey Chipotle Meatloaf

Trying a new meatloaf recipe tonight....hope its tasty :) 

Recipe adapted from several I read on various web sites

This serves 3-4 and can be easily doubled. 
Just modify the cooking time.

1 egg
3 Tablespoons of Bulls Eye BBQ sauce (I used the chicken and rib flavour as its what we had) 
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 garlic clove, minced or grated
1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
1 Tablespoon of pureed chipotle peppers in adobe sauce
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup of dry oatmeal

Combine all these ingredients in a large bowl then add in
1lb ground beef

Place into a loaf pan and prepare topping in a small bowl

1/4 cup of the bold BBQ sauce
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons prepared mustard

Pour and spread over meatloaf and bake in preheated oven @ 350 for 30 minutes OR till instant read thermometer gives you a reading of minimum 160F  (70C)

Can be assembled ahead of time..covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated till ready to cook. Make sure to let it sit out for about 15 minutes to come to room temp OR plan ahead to cook it longer.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Maple-Glazed Rutabaga

Thank you to Conor (and his fancy Galaxy cell phone in HD) for the 1st and last pictures. Superior to the ones in the middle taken on my iPhone 3! sniff sniff

This is a tricky recipe to share as it relies more on you the chef observing the saute pan and acting accordingly, than specific measurements :)
Having said that you will require the following ingredients:

Serves 3-4
1 small - medium rutabaga..NOT turnip
1/2 a small onion, diced very small
1-2 garlic cloves, minced (I grate garlic into dishes)
freshly cracked back pepper
1/2 - 3/4 cup of good quality chicken stock
3-4 Tablespoons of REAL maple syrup
2 Tablespoons butter :)

Here is a link to learn the difference between turnip and rutabaga :)

I like to use home made broths and stocks but realize that's not possible for everyone. 
Try to buy Knorr Homestyle Gel packs. They are 4 to a pack and each gel pack gives you 3 1/2 cups of rich stock. They are gelatinous and therefor reduce and thicken in a cooking preparation like home made does. You can freeze any stock/broth you don't need.
This image is of the sodium reduced. I keep it on hand when I don't have any home made ready. 

Peel the rutabaga the way that suits you. I hold it in my hand. Once it's peeled, clean any bits up with a paring knife. I find it's easier if I cut off the root end and the top, making a flat surface. Then cut it in half to lay flat on your cutting board. I cut half rings, then fingers, then dice. Whew! Still with me??!! Hope so :) Remember that the size of your circle (ring) will determine the thickness of the end dice. 

There's NO RIGHT OR WRONG!!! Don't sweat it.

In a large saute pan melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in onions and garlic and stir. Allow to cook, stirring often, till the onions are translucent. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. 

Add in the rutabaga and stir well to coat in the melted butter mixture. Unfortunately the amount of vegetable here is rather small. I had chosen a small rutabaga to begin with and after I cut into it there was a rather large bad area that had to be thrown out. Also this pan is 12 inches making it look like even less veg. But it will cook and reduce faster as there is only one layer of vegetable...This is good!

Next pour in the chicken broth and the maple syrup. Start with the least amount given.

Bring to a boil then reduce heat slightly to keep at a simmer. Stirring often.
The idea with this recipe is to have the sauce reduce and thicken to a syrupy glaze that coats the vegetables, while at the same time having the rutabaga cooked to perfection. It's not difficult, just requires your patience and attention. If you should happen to taste the liquid, remember that as it thickens the maple syrup flavour will intensify. Don't be tempted to add too much more than recipe instructs as you can end up with a glaze that is too sweet.It should take about 20 minutes for a very small dice to be done.
Can you see here how the sauce is evaporating and leaving a sticky glaze?
I added a little more stock and syrup at this point.

Here you can see the colour change from white/cream to a golden yellow... :)

Once all the cubes are golden yellow its ready to enjoy.