Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Get your "Greek On" with Gooseberry Patch Take Out Recipes...

As the title implies, tonight's menu consisted of "Getting On our Greek with Gooseberry Patch".

Tonight's recipe was from the Take Out Recipes Book. The recipe can be found on page 123, and it is the Slower Cooker Greek Chicken Pitas.

Boy, did it hit the spot, with the cucumber sauce, and perfectly spiced chicken with onions and garlic.

This particular recipe transported you to Greece.

It really is great, a little long to make.

If there was a way to speed up the cooking of the chicken portion it would be great. 

When you make this recipe though, don't make the sauce to far ahead.

I made it with 2 and 1/2 hours to the end, and let it meld in the frig, until the chicken finished cooking.

If you have not picked up a copy of this book, then go out and get it, this recipe is worth it.

Below you will find a picture of the end result:

If you do not have a copy of the book here is the recipe :

Slow-Cooker Greek Chicken Pitas, page 123, makes 4 servings

1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic minced (I used pre-minced from the bottle. It was about 4 shakes worth, since I did not have fresh).
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into strips( I cut them up before they were totally thawed. It made it easier to deal with.)
1 t. lemon-pepper seasoning
1/2 t. dried oregano ( I used a 1/2 t of ground , since I did not have access to dried).
1/4 t. allspice
1/4 c. plain yogurt
1/4 c. sour cream
1/2 cucumber, peeled, and diced
4 rounds pita bread , halved and split

Place onion and garlic in a slow cooker; set aside. Sprinkle chicken with seasonings; place in slow cooker. Cover and cook on high setting for 6 hours. Stir together yogurt, sour cream and cucumber in a small bowl; chill. Fill pita halves with chicken and drizzle with yogurt sauce. ( I put the sauce on bottom to act as a barrier so the bottom would not wilt completely, and it worked.)
Over all the dish is great, and refreshing. Give it a try, especially if you are craving some veg and protein.
Plus who couldn't use a mental vacay to Greece every once and awhile. Enjoy !

Monday, October 24, 2011

Semi-Soft Dinner from Gooseberry Patch, if you have tooth trouble...

Yes, you read it correctly, if you have tooth trouble these two recipes, can help with being easy to get down.

Last night I made the Cinnamon Apples, and the Sweet Cornbread, because the bulk of a tooth I had rebuilt in 2009, after a stay in the hospital for a personal reason, fell out. I decided I wanted something soft, but flavorful for dinner.

Both recipes came out great. The cornbread was a little on the dense side, since I used whole eggs.(I don't like to waste product, and I did not fell like separating them out. When it came to the apples though, I used a local cinnamon honey from here in Oklahoma, that I get through the Co-Op I am apart of, which gave them a great kick. 
If you haven't gotten your copy of Gooseberry Patch's Harvest Recipes, go and get a copy, and make the recipes mentioned here. They are worth every bit of time you put into making them. 

If you don't have a copy yet, then take a look below for the recipes:

page 91, Cinnamon Apples:

8 to 10 apples, cored, peeled, and sliced
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. butter
1/2c. honey
1 t. vanilla extract
cinnamon to taste

Arrange apple slices in a 1 -1/2 quart casserole dish; set aside. Heat sugars, butter, and honey in a heavy saucepan until sugars dissolve, stir until bubbly. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and set aside. Sprinkle apples with cinnamon; pour sugar mixture on top and stir gently until evenly coated. Cover with aluminum foil; bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until apples are tender. 

page 55, Sweet Cornbread:

1c. yellow cornmeal
2c. all purpose flour
1T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1c. sugar
4 eggs, separated
1c. half and half
1 t. vanilla extract
3/4 c. butter, melted

Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a medium bowl; set aside. Mix together egg yolks, and half and half, vanilla, and melted butter in a separate bowl; add to dry ingredients and stir until thoroughly moistened. Beat egg whites until stiff,gently fold into batter. Pour into a greased 13x9 baking pan; bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until toothpick tests clean. 

So, even if you are not having tooth trouble where you need a semi-soft menu try these out, they will warm you to the tips of your toes, and make your tummy glad you made them.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Gooseberry Patch Buttery Pecan Bars get a make over...

Yes you read right, the Buttery Pecan Bars in the above pictured book, got a make over in my kitchen a few days ago. Even with the make over they still came out yummy to the tummy.

I made the recipe on page 103 in the Harvest Recipe Cookbook for the Ecumenical Dinner my church host on Thursday nights. I had to have something that made 25 portions, and this ended up making almost 30 portions, with the way I cut it.

Below you will see the picture of the final product:

This pic was before they came out of the oven. 
The way the recipe got the make over was that, the recipe calls for 2 and 1/2 cups chopped pecans. Well instead of 2 and a 1/2 of pecans, I had a package that was  a 2 cup package of pecan, so I used a 1/2 cup of pumpkin in place of it. 

Here is the recipe:

page 103 of the Harvest recipes cookbook- Buttery Pecan Bars (makes 25 servings):

3c. all-purpose flour
2 c. sugar,divided
1c. butter
1/2 t. salt
4 eggs, beaten
1-1/2c. corn syrup
3T. butter,melted
1-1/2 t. vanilla extract
2-1/2c. chopped pecans

Mix flour, 1/2 cup sugar, butter and salt together until mixture resembles crumbs; set aside. Press into a well-greased jelly-roll pan; bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Combine eggs, corn syrup, melted butter, vanilla, pecans and remaining sugar until well blended; pour over hot crust. Return to oven for 25 additional minutes; cool and cut into bars.

So curl up with a cup of coffee, and a plate of buttery pecan bars, and enjoy this fall weather with the ones you love.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Mexican Invasion from Gooseberry Patch's Take Out Recipe Book

Sorry I am late in getting this one posted folks. But recently my husband and I had a "Mexican Take Out Night" at home.  No, we did not call out for it, we made it at home from the above pictured cookbook. 

The recipes for our "Mexican Take Out Night" Menu were; Wild West Quesadillas from page 71, and Queso Blanco from page 59. 

Below you will find pics from how the recipes came out in my kitchen:
This was before the cap was put on, and I used Cheddar instead of Jack, since it is what I had 
available. Instead of beef as the recipe calls for I used local buffalo, from my local co-op. Not near the 
fat, but great flavor.

The Quesadilla with her hat. It actually came out great after it shrunk. 

Had to take the hand blender to it, to smooth 
out it out in the picture below.

My husband said the sauce looked better
after it got blitzed.

Under all the Queso are two Quesadillas. The flour tortillas went with the sauce. The flour tortillas were store bought like the corn ones used in the Quesadillas.

My husband said both recipes were a keeper. So I noted them in the book. 

If you are interested in trying them and you don't have the book yet, here they are to try:(next step is to go pick up a copy of the book, or order it, it will change your outlook on calling out for take out.)

Wild West Quesadillas, page 71:

1 lb ground beef
1/2c. onion chopped
1 & 1/4 oz pkg taco seasoning
3/4c. water
12-6 inch corn tortillas
1c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Garnish: lettuce, diced tomato, salsa, sour cream

Brown ground beef and onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat; drain. Add taco seasoning and water; cook according to package directions. Spoon about 1/4 cup ground beef mixture on top of tortilla; sprinkle with cheese and top with onion. Place another tortilla on top. Cook in a lightly greased skillet over medium heat until heated through and cheese is melted, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.Repeat with remaining ingredients. Garnish as desired. 

* Instead of ground beef I used 1 lb of local buffalo from my local co-op, and I added the onion, taco seasoning and water in all at once after the meat was browned, to save time. I think I would use flour tortillas instead of corn, but that is just my taste preference. Corn worked well, and will for most, but it is up to personal preference.

Queso Blanco, page 59:

1c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
4 oz can diced green chilies
1/4c. half and half
2T. onion, finely chopped
2t. ground cumin
1/2t. salt
1/8t. pepper
1T. fresh cilantro, finely chopped
Optional: 1 serrano pepper, finely chopped
tortilla chips or flour tortillas

Combine all ingredients except tortillas in a double boiler.Cook over medium heat until cheese is melted and well blended, stirring occasionally. Serve with tortilla chips or warm flour tortillas.

*My husband actually liked this because it was not super spicy and actually had a great mildness. This was another was recipe that he said to keep. 

So, why ever call for take out again, when you can make your own, and know what goes into it, and control the outcome.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Gooseberry Patch Harvest Haystacks and Cocoa Brownies...What a sweet harvest treat!

Well it's that time again... I have been in my kitchen making dessert for the weekly Feed My Sheep Ecumenical Dinner, tomorrow night.  For this round I dug through my "Gooseberry Harvest Recipes" book pictured above. 

For my contribution of 25 portions of dessert for this week, I made the haystacks from page 123 of the book(which I got 20 portions out of). Since I came up short, I went ahead and made the brownies on page 125 of the same book.(that got me 24 brownie bites, and made my quota plus some for my contribution.)

For some you may wonder what a haystack cookie is, it is the cookie that your mom made from the crunchy chinese noodles. I remember my mom making those growing up.  The second is a standard brownie, done from the ground up, that you can add most anything to pending on the taste of the people you will be serving.

If you are curious about the recipes, and you don't have the book yet, look below: (then get on amazon.com and grab you a copy for this fall/holiday season.)

page 123-Haystacks:

1 & 1/2 c chow mein noodles
1c. butterscotch chips
1/2 c. peanut butter chips
1T. shortening

Place chow mein noodles in a large mixing bowl;set aside. 
Melt chips and shortening together in a double boiler; stir until smooth.
(* It took me two 45 second rounds in the microwave to get it done, since I do not have a double boiler.)
Pour over noodles; stir to coat. 
Drop by tablespoonfuls onto wax paper; set asisde until firm. 
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 
( *As an alternative if you are not a peanut butter or butterscotch fan, you can use your favorite chocolate chip, or flavored chip for an extra kick.I sometimes do an alternate flavor depending on my husband's taste, or what ever group I cook for.)

page 125- Cocoa Brownies

1c. sugar
2/3 c. all-purpose flour
1/2c. baking cocoa
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 c. margarine, melted
1 t. vanilla extract
2 eggs
3/4 semi sweet chocolate chips

Combine sugar,flour, baking cocoa and baking powder; add margarine, vanilla, and eggs.
Spread in a greased 9x9 baking pan; sprinkle with chocolate chips.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. 
Cut into squares. 
(* I used a mini muffin tin for individual portions, and sprayed it liberally with non-stick.I also mixed in the chips to the batter instead of sprinkling them like the recipe called for).

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Chinese Take Out with Gooseberry Patch....

Tonight's menu was Chinese Take Out. It was Sweet and Sour Chicken, and Crab Rangoon from Gooseberry Patch's Take Out Recipe Book:

Below you will find a picture of the final result:

The hubby actually did not mind this. He said it was a keeper, and that instead of the whole breast portion, the chicken should actually be chunked up. With the crab rangoon, I will have to agree with my hubby, that lump crab would make a great addition, if you have access to it. For this round, I used a canned crab by chicken of the sea that had to be drained. 

You can find the recipes in the above pictured book on pages 103, and 97. 103 is the rangoon and 97 is the sweet and sour chicken. If you don't have the book look below:

Page 97:
Sweet and Sour Chicken:

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
18 oz. jar apricot preserves
16oz bottle of Russian salad
1 oz pkg onion soup mix

Arrange chicken in a lightly greased 13x9 baking pan;set aside. Combine preserves, dressing, and soup mix in a medium bowl; pour over chicken. Cover with aluminum foil; bake at 350 degrees for one hour, spooning sauce over chicken once or twice during baking. 

Page 103:
Crab Rangoon:

8 oz pkg. cream cheese, softened
6oz. can crabmeat, drained
1/8 t. garlic salt
14 oz pkg wonton wrappers
oil for deep frying

Combine cream cheese, crabmeat, and garlic salt in a bowl. Stir until blended.Separate wrappers and lightly moisten around edges with water. Place 1/2 teaspoon of cheese mixture in center of each wrapper; bring corners of wrapper together and seal well. Deep-fry until golden. 

I hope you enjoy the recipes, and make your own take out, so you don't have to call out for it.

Don't forget to stop by Gooseberry Patch on facebook, or you can stop by amazon.com and purchase their books.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Start off the harvest season right, munch on a Gooseberry Patch Harvest Trail Mix!

 If you are looking for a great quick party mix to share with friends and family, check out Gooseberry Patch's  Harvest Recipe Book, and check out page 9 for the recipe for the Harvest Trail Mix. This mix is really simple to put together and modify for people's taste.

Below you will see a picture of the mix , the way it came out for me:

My husband actually got lucky that I forgot a couple of ingredients. It was the candy corn and raisins.(He's not a fan of either really.)

If you don't have the book, and enjoy making these types of mixes here is the recipe for the mix from the book:

Harvest Trail Mix, page 9

10.5 oz box bite-size crispy honey nut corn & rice cereal (I used a generic box of each)

8 oz pkg. candy-coated chocolates (I used peanut m&m's, since they were more readily available in my area)

8 oz bag candy corn (This is what I forgot to purchase, but it worked out for the hubby's taste).

9 oz pkg raisins (This was the other item I forgot, but it worked out for the hubby's taste.I even think a craisin would be yummy in this).

12 oz jar dry-roasted peanuts
Mix all ingredients together; store in an airtight container

Biggest thing to remember is to have fun, and share this with the ones you care about, and work with.