Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Simple Sunday Chicken

This is such a simple recipe. The chicken creates its own juices and the final product is super moist!

1 small onion, optional
1 whole chicken (giblets removed)

Seasoning Mix:
2 tsp Salt
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper **
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper

Chop onion and place in bottom of crock pot, if desired. Place chicken in crock pot, breast-side up. In small bowl mix together dry ingredients. Rub over top of chicken. Cook on HIGH 4-6 hours or LOW 6-8, until chicken tests done. (If using whole cut-up fryer chicken, layer smaller pieces on bottom and breasts on top, adding seasonings to both layers.)

For a Rotisserie effect, I like to then place the chicken under the broiler for 5 minutes. It's gives it just that perfect little crisp. My kids love it!

**Instead of Cayenne Pepper, I opt for Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning and omit the black pepper as well. If you have some, give it a try! You could also experiment with Lemon Pepper for a zesty flavor!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Amish Shoe String Apple Pie

This is by far one of the easiest and yet tastiest pies I have ever had. This has been a family favorite for generations. This recipe is from my Amish Grandmother, Goldie Miller of Indiana. It is unlike any other apple pie recipe because first, the apples are shredded ("shoe strings") and second, it does not use the traditional apple pie "filling". While many of my family members love this pie served warm and topped with ice cream, I prefer to eat it cold the next morning for breakfast! I hope you give it a try! My kids will eat this pie before any other.

2 1/2 C sugar
2 Tbsp flour
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 C water
pinch of salt
4 C Shredded Apples (about 4-5 medium apples)
cinnamon for garnish
2 unbaked pie shells

Mix all ingredients well and pour evenly into pie crusts. Sprinkle tops with cinnamon. Bake @ 325 for 50-60 minutes or until set.

* Because this pie bakes for so long, I like to use my Pampered Chef Pie Shields until the last 10 minutes of baking.

Amish Raspberry Cream Pie

This is one of my all-time favorite pies. You can simplify this recipe by using 2 cans of store-bought raspberry pie filling, although I have provided the recipe (click below on "raspberry pie filling"). I got this recipe from my Amish Aunt "Leo" Lorene although, she makes her own whipping cream while as you can see I opt for Cool Whip. Yeah -- I'm lazy like that - haha. Enjoy!

2 pre-baked pie shells
Vanilla Cream (see below)
1 large container Cool Whip, optional

Vanilla Cream:
3 C milk, scalded
1/2 C cornstarch
1 1/3 C sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
3 egg yolks
1 C milk

Pour 3 C milk into heavy saucepan or kettle; heat to scalding. In small bowl combine cornstarch, sugar, salt, vanilla, egg yolks and 1 C milk. Slowly blend into hot milk, stirring constantly until thick. Remove from heat and let cool.

Pour 2 C cream into each pie shell. Spread raspberry filling over cream layer. Top with Cool Whip if desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Raspberry Pie Filling

This recipe is from my Amish Aunt "Leo" Lorene. If I am planning to make homemade raspberry cream pie, I will try to make this pie filling the day before just to help lighten the load a bit. This is better than any canned, store-bought pie filling and this makes enough for TWO pies. Also, tastes great over ice cream when the filling is still warm.

1 C warm water
1/2 C granulated sugar
1 Tbsp corn starch
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 C cold water
1/4 tsp lemon juice
1 small box raspberry Jell-O mix
3 C fresh raspberries

In saucepan over MED heat, mix together warm water and sugar. Stir until sugar is mostly dissolved. In small separate bowl combine cornstarch, salt, cold water and lemon juice. Add to sugar-water and boil until clear. Add Jell-O mix and stir to dissolve. Add raspberries, mix well and then remove from heat to cool.

Pie Crust

This is the pie crust recipe my Amish Grandmother shared with my mother years ago, and now I use it too. People always comment on how much they love it. I will admit, that while I am one of the few who actually doesn't care for pie crust, I will eat this one more than any other.

(For 2 - 9" pies)

2 1/2 C Flour
1 C Shortening
1 tsp salt
7 Tbsp Ice Water

Mix first three ingredients together well. It will form a "meal". 1 tablespoon at a time add the ice water, stirring until dough forms a ball. Divide the dough in half and roll each out onto lightly floured board. Lay crust in lightly greased pie plates and press to form if needed. Using thumb and forefingers, pinch the edges all the way around for a nice look.

For a pre-baked pie shell, lay the crust in pie plate and prick all over with fork (to prevent air pockets). Bake 9-11 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven.

TIPS: It helps to roll the pastry in a clockwise direction, and in between sheets of waxed paper is possible. Basically, the less handling the better. Also, if recipe calls for the pie to be baked for a lengthy period of time or at a high temperature you can cover the crust edges with strips of foil to prevent browning too dark. I use my Pampered Chef Pie Crust Shields.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Chimichanga Chowder

I had some stewing chunks I needed to use, but just wasn't really in the mood for beef stew. I searched through my cupboards and fridge, and whaddya know -- I got a hairbrain idea for a Tex-Mex chowder. This is sort of a cross between taco soup and taco chili, except it has refried beans and the fact that it's cream based makes it a chowder. Since both chimichangas and burritos have refried beans, we thought we could call it either Beef Burrito Chowder or Chimichanga Chowder. In the end, Chimichanga Chowder won out. I hope you give it a try! We loved it!

1 lb beef chunks for stewing
1 jar salsa
1 can corn, drained
1 can refried beans
1/4 C sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 - 1 soup-can water

Brown beef chunks with desired amount of seasonings. Drain fat and place beef in bottom of crock pot. Add remaining ingredients to crock pot and stir well. Cook low 6-8 hours or high on 4. Serve with shredded cheese and crushed corn chips if desired.

**Seasonings may include 1 packet of taco or fajita seasoning, a few dashes of chili powder, etc. I used about a teaspoon of Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning.