Sunday, November 20, 2011

What we've been eating

While my parents were here, we tried this recipe that I had found on a blog called Se7en. I had accidently picked up bone-in chicken breasts at the store, but they ended up being perfect for this dish. The chicken was delicious. Seriously, so good. The sauce needed something more, but I am not enough of a cook to know what that “something more” should be. If anyone tries this dish and figures it out, let me know. One trick we’ll be trying next time is not adding so much water to the concentrate and maybe adding a bit more brown sugar directly to the sauce, but that’s all I’ve got!

Easy Chicken in Orange Juice
  • Enough chicken pieces for dinner, sometimes I used boney ones other times the skinned de-boned kind, whatever you prefer.
  • A couple of onions, well chopped
  • Mustard.
  • Brown sugar, I use about half a cup and I split it into two halves.
  • Orange Juice to cover. Fresh or from concentrate
  • Butter.
  • A tablespoon or two of flour
1. Place your chicken pieces in an oven proof dish and put a layer of mustard on top of each chicken piece.
2. Then spoon the onions on top of the mustard.
3. Sprinkle one half of the brown sugar on top of the onions.
4. And cover with orange juice
5. Add some dabs of butter. And then pop it into a medium oven for about 45 minutes.
6. Once your chicken is cooked, remove it from the oven and place the “juice” into a pot. Keep the chicken separate in the original dish.
7. Sprinkle the remaining half of sugar onto the chicken pieces and return it to the oven while you get on with the sauce.
8. Whisk a table spoon or two of flour into the sauce on the stove top and whisk away until your sauce thickens.
Serve with rice.

Another meal that we made for my parents was the following, from the Sunnyslope Cookbook. Thanks again Joan J.!

Ranch Potato Casserole
8 medium red potatoes, unpeeled (we always regular potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces)
½ cup sour cream
½ cup ranch dressing
¼ cup bacon bits
2 T Parsley (have not used this)
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
Cook the potatoes until tender, quarter and set aside (see above, we do this differently). Combine sour cream, dressing, bacon, parsley and 1 cup of cheese. Place potatoes in a greased 9x13 baking dish. Pour sour cream mixture over the potatoes and gently toss. (We just mix it all in a bowl, then drain the potatoes and add them to the mixture, getting them well coated before tossing it all in a baking dish.)
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
¼ cup butter, melted
2 cups corn flakes, slightly crushed
Top casserole with ½ cup cheese. Combine corn flakes and butter, sprinkle over casserole. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes.
To make this more of a meal, add some ham to the potato mixture.

My parents brought us lots of goodies from the states, including pizza sauce and pepperoni. We had some hamburger rolls leftover from cell group, so we used the goodies from my parents and made some pizza burgers.

Cut rolls in half. On each half spread some pizza sauce, layer on some pepperoni and top with cheese. Bake in oven for 10 minutes, then broil to get the cheese nice and melty.

Our kids loved these and we are happy to have a couple more bottles of pizza sauce and packages of pepperoni and will be asking Darin’s parents to bring more this coming summer (or winter depending on what hemisphere you live in!).
My mom threw together a few quick desserts when they were visiting. It is always nice to have something sweet to eat. This recipe is one she found in my Sunnyslope Cookbook

Mrs. Hewitt’s Lemon Cake Custard (Julia A.)
1 cup sugar
3 T butter
½ tsp salt
 6 T. flour (level)
1 lemon, grated rind and juice
2 eggs, separated
1 ½ cup milk
Combine sugar and butter, add salt, egg yolks and flour, then add lemon and milk. Fold in beaten egg whites (stiff but not dry). Pour in baking dish WHICH HAS BEEN PLACED IN A LARGER DISH OF WARM WATER. Make sure the water only comes about half way up the side of the baking dish when it is set in it to bake. Bake 1 hour at 350. It will look golden when done. The top half will be like sponge cake, and the bottom like a lemony pudding. 

This was really good. It reminded me of lemon bars. Our kids were not fans, but the rest of us, including Darin, liked it a lot. 

This past week, we’ve been trying to keep dinner simple because it is almost too hot to cook. It is funny to read about everyone in the Midwest making soup and other cold weather meals as winter weather descends on them. I guess I better get my laughs in now, because when you all start heading into warmer weather, winter will be arriving in South Africa and I’ll be jealous of all the summertime food and fun you’re all having!

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