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Chef’s Notes: This isn’t even really a recipe. I considered what was in the kitchen and what sounded good for dinner and concocted this. Pretty tasty.
Pound a boneless chicken breast thin. Spread with Dijon mustard and sprinkle dill over the mustard. Wrap chicken breast around a 1-ounce stick of sharp Cheddar cheese. Wrap 1 or 2 slices of (maple or plain) bacon around the chicken breast. Sprinkle with black pepper. Bake 375 degrees for 45 minutes.
Chef’s Notes: There are two problems when seasoning chicken. One, you can put the seasoning on the skin, but the flavoring never penetrates the chicken. Or two, you remove the skin and season the meat, but then you often have dry chicken. To solve these problems, in this recipe, the seasoning is placed between the meat and the skin, allowing the flavors to come in direct contact with the chicken while keeping the skin intact to moisten the meat.
Nutty Mustard Chicken Thighs
8 bone-in chicken thighs
1 tsp. tarragon
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 T. finely chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 375. On each chicken thigh, peel the skin back from the meat. Sprinkle the tarragon evenly onto each thigh. Combine the mustard, syrup and vinegar; spoon evenly onto each thigh. Sprinkle the pecans over the mustard mixture. Pull the skin back over the thigh. Place on baking sheet and cook 30 minutes.
Chef’s Notes: I really dislike French Onion Chip Dip, so I decided to concoct a different chip dip for a party I hosted recently. It was well liked by all…and very simple to make.
Simple Spicy Ranch Chip Dip
8 oz. sour cream
1/2 C. spicy ranch salad dressing
1 tsp. parsley
1 tsp. Mrs. Dash extra spicy seasoning blend
1 tsp. hot sauce
Blend all ingredients. Refrigerate for several hours. Serve with potato chips.
Chef’s Notes: These don’t have an official name, nor is there a precise list of ingredients. I concocted these based on something similar that my niece often makes for family get-togethers. I served them at a party recently and everyone loved them.
These Asian-type appetizer thingys
Makes about 24
(1ish) Boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
(8 slices) Maple bacon, each slice cut into thirds
(1 can) Sliced water chestnuts
3/4 C. LaChoy Garlic-Ginger stir-fry sauce
About 2 tsp. soy sauce
Toothpics with pointy ends
Fold a bacon slice in half lengthwise. Poke a toothpic through the end of bacon slice. Then add a water chestnut slice, a piece of chicken, and another water chestnut slice. (You kinna have to twist the water chestnuts onto the toothpic to keep it from snapping in half.) Then fold the bacon slice around and onto the other end of the toothpic. Lay the appetizer thingy on a baking sheet and repeat with all the remaining ingredients. Whisk together the stir-fy sauce, soy sauce, and about 1/4 cup water; drizzle over the appetizers. Marinate for a few hours. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes.
Chef’s Notes: Apples and autumn are so closely connected they are almost synonyms.
Yesterday I stopped at a roadside stand to pick up some apples because it doesn’t quite seem like autumn without an orchard apple or three. The funny looking little man with the thick German accent was quite delighted to see me; it must have a slow day at the farm.
I remarked on his lovely apples and told him I just needed a half dozen or so. He started filling a brown paper bag with apples – 6, 8, 11…. I stopped him and said I really did not need that many. He hurumphed and muttered something. Perhaps “Gute Äpfel!” (According to Babel Fish, that’s “good apples” in German.)
As I attempted to leave with my 75 “gute Äpfel” (that he only charged me $1 for), he also thrust a quart bottle of apple cider into my hand.
So….what to do with all these apples? Applesauce, of course! I googled and found several variations for crockpot applesauce. I mixed and matched and made some changes and created my own delicious recipe for crockpot applesauce. For best results, use sweet apples with a soft texture. I used a mixture of Gala, Empire, and Jonathan.
Makes about 8 cups
Apples – peeled, cored, sliced or cubed (If you want a chunky applesauce, make the pieces big. If you want a smoother applesauce, make the pieces smaller.)
Throw these in the crockpot.
(I used about 25 smallish apples. When they were prepared, the weight was approximately 3#.)
Pour over the apples:
2 tsp. maple syrup (the real stuff, not the flavored stuff)
1/2 C. apple cider
Then sprinkle with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cinnamon (depending how cinnamony you want it)
Lay two or three thick slices of lemon on top. (The lemons supposedly enhance the flavor.)
Cover the crockpot and cook on low 4-6 hours. Take out the lemons and discard. Mash to desired consistency with a potato masher or fork. If you want it super smooth, use an immersion blender. Enjoy warm or chilled.