Saturday, March 26, 2011

Chicken Fricasse

    • The boys have a small obsession with Abraham Lincoln. On President's day I found a page that listed off the favorite meals of a lot of the past President's so I suppose it was just a matter of time until they insisted on trying what was listed as one of Abraham Lincoln's favorites. Phil liked it too and ask that we have again so here it is!

    • 12 chicken thighs (I used drumsticks)
    • 2 (12 ounce) packages andouille sausage, sliced (I used kielbasa)
    • 5 green onions, chopped
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 1 cup vegetable oil
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 8 cups water
    • 5 stalks celery, chopped
    • 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
    • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

    • Saute chicken and sausage in a large skillet for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove meat from skillet, add green onions and onion and saute until soft. Set aside.
      To Make Roux: In a small saucepan stir together oil and flour over low heat; cook until color is caramel and mixture is reduced to 1 cup of roux. Set aside.
      Put water in a large pot. Add the chicken, sausage, onion mixture, celery, seasoning, cayenne pepper, salt, ground black pepper and garlic. Bring all to a boil and cook for 20 minutes. Add 1/2 cup roux and stir together; the mixture should have the consistency of chowder. If necessary, add the remaining 1/2 cup roux.
      Reduce heat to medium low and simmer uncovered for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve hot over rice, if desired.


  • This is a recipe I'd be better off not keeping. I love my other brownie recipe, but this one is smaller so better for making when it's just the 4 of us... and that is exactly the problem.

  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8 inch square pan.
    In a large bowl, blend melted butter, sugar and vanilla. Beat in eggs one at a time. Combine the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Gradually blend into the egg mixture. Spread the batter into the prepared pan.
    Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until brownies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Let brownies cool, then cut into squares. Enjoy!


We took a trip to England years ago and it is still one of our favorite vacations we've ever taken. We have found packaged crumpets at the grocery store a few times and fell in love. This week I tried making them on my own and they were delicious! This recipe is from Now I just need to buy more metal rings so I can make them again!
Oh... and no picture... because we ate them all. They were seriously good!

  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water 
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/3 cup warm milk 
  • 4 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add sugar; let stand for 5 minutes. Add the milk, 1 tablespoon butter and egg; mix well. Add flour and salt; beat until smooth. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes. Brush griddle and 3-in. metal rings or open-topped metal cookie cutters with remaining butter. Place rings on griddle; heat over low heat. Pour 3 tablespoons of batter into each ring. Cook for 7 minutes or until bubbles begin to pop and the top appears dry. Remove rings. Turn crumpets; cook 1-2 minutes longer or until the second side is golden brown. Serve warm or let cool on a wire rack and toast before serving.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Soft Pretzels

I love blogs! They have revolutionized my meal planning. I use Google reader to keep up with several blogs I really like. I love that I have other people who like to cook and bake submit their projects to me with pictures all the time. I find so many ideas that I never would have thought of on my own. For example, I found this recipe here. I'm not a huge soft pretzel fan but I do like them. I'm not usually willing to dish out the cash to buy them at the mall. Come to find out, my boys have never had a soft pretzel. I have officially failed as a parent... but not really. Today I did one better. We made them ourselves! They're not nearly as hard as I had imagined. I'm pretty sure we'll be making these again sometime.

1 ½ c. very warm water
1 Tbsp. yeast
¼ c. sugar
3-4 cups flour
4 T. baking soda
10 cups water
1 egg white
¼ c. coarse kosher salt

Preheat oven to 475 degrees
In a large bowl, whisk together water and yeast. Stir in the sugar and set aside 1-2 minutes until the mixture is foamy. Stir in 3 cups of the flour.
Set the extra water in a pot to boil.
Begin kneading the dough, adding additional flour until it is soft, but not at all sticky.
On a lightly floured surface, roll a palm-sized ball of dough into a long rope, approximately 12 inches long.
Twist into a ribbon shape. Twist again.
Pull upper loop down over the bottom them pull the 2 end pieces through and secure by pinching.
Gently tug the pretzel out, keeping the dough from getting too fat at any point.  Set aside on a lightly floured surface and allow to rise slightly while you finish twisting the other pretzels.
Our shapes were nowhere near perfect but they were still delicious!
Place pretzels in the boiling water for 10 seconds on each side. I found having a spoon in each hand helped to flip the pretzel (they are VERY slippery when wet).
Remove. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 10 minutes.
Serve warm.
We made 9 pretzels with this recipe but a few of them were HUGE so you could probably get more out of it.