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Monday, November 25, 2013

Yummy Cranberry Orange Bread - Super Easy

Quick Cranberry Orange Bread
Sunny Yellow and Red Cranberry Orange Bread
Yummy Cranberry Orange Bread - Super Easy

I love Cranberry Orange bread and it's a must on the Thanksgiving and Christmas Table. But I hate making it because it is so putsy! You have to zest the orange and then squeeze the orange and hope you get 3/4 of a cup of liquid. They you have to chop the cranberries! Those little buggers roll all over the place. So this year I set out to make this simple.

Here's my simple solution that makes mouth watering Cranberry Orange bread without the hassle.

What you'll need to get out:
A blender or food processor
Pampered Chief Food Chopper
One of those hand choppers  - A KitchenAid chopper will set you back about $19 and it's well worth it. The one I use and love is a Pampered Chef, $39. I like it because it comes apart completely making it easy to wash. Now you're wondering why we need both the blender and the chopper. Here's why: You can't control the blender or food processor the way you can the little hand chopper. Easy.

The recipe

1 Navel Orange liquified in 1/2 cup water
1 Egg
1/4 C Butter
3/4 C Sugar

2 C Flour
1 1/2 tsp  Baking Powder
1 tsp  Baking Soda
1 tsp salt
1 C (this is a generous cup) chopped Cranberries

Variations: You can add nuts. I don't because we have nut allergies in the family

Let's deal with the Orange and the Cranberries first.  To liquify the orange cut it into chunks. Remove the stem and the end where there is a lot of peal. I use navel oranges because they have no seeds and the skin is thin and the white part of the skin is not as bitter. If you do find a seed, remove it. Place chunks in the blender with 1/2 cup of water and set to liquify. Same directions for the food processor.

Now lets chop those cranberries. Using the hand chopper place a bunch of berries inside, invert on a cutting board and depress the chopping blades 6 times. This will give you large chunks of berries that are perfect for the bread.  I used the word "depress" but actually you whack the plunger to drive it into the food. Think of something you don't like when you whack, it's a great stress reliever.

Now let's build this bread.
Put all the wet ingredients into your mixer and mix until blended. Dump all the dry ingredients into the wet, yup, all at once with the exception of the cranberries. Mix to form a stiff batter. Now fold in the Cranberries and bake at 350ยบ for 60 minutes.  (The test for doneness is to stick a toothpick in the center of the loaf and have it come out clean,) Cool in the pan till cool to the touch then turn out onto the counter and cool the rest of the way. Wrap in foil or plastic. It will be ready to eat the next day but I never can wait that long. The flavors will be fully developed in 24 hours.



Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Blue Cheese Chicken - Super Easy and so Yummy

Chicken coated with blue cheese dressing
Blue Cheese Chicken
Blue Cheese Chicken

MOURH WATERING JUCY CHICKEN

This is so delicious! The chicken just melts in your mouth and the blue cheese adds the perfect note of spicy. Now of he secret - it's super easy to make! You can use chicken breasts or any cut up chicken. In the picture I used a leg and thigh.  Here's how:

Blue Cheese topping: 
3/4         Cup Daisy Sour Cream (we need this to be thick so it sticks on the chicken, and Daisy is the thickest)
1 1/3      Cup Hellman's Mayonnaise 
1 tsp      Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp   McCormick Dry Mustard 
1/2 tsp   McCormick Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp   Salt
1/2 tsp   McCormick Ground Black Pepper
4 oz       Kraft Blue Cheese Crumbled

Mix all together and set aside.  This will be very thick.

2 chickens cut up (12 pieces)

Preheat oven to 350˚.  Skin the chicken. I like to remove the bones from the breasts and cut each breast into two pieces.
Salt the chicken lightly and arrange on a cookie sheet or large pan. Chicken pieces should not overlap.
Using a spoon liberally coat each piece of chicken.  Bake for 40 minutes. Make sure to use a kitchen thermometer to make sure the internal temperature of the chicken is at least 170˚ I use a Taylor small instant prob.

Additional ideas: Instead of blue cheese try herbed parmesan cheese:  Substitute parmesan cheese for the blue cheese and add 1/2 tsp of poultry seasoning - just as yummy.