A personal kitchen diary. I try new recipes and make notes on what works and what doesn't. Sometimes I can things, and sometimes I dry herbs. This is the story of my kitchen.

A Very Merri Kitchen

A Very Merri Kitchen

A personal kitchen diary. I try new recipes and make notes on what works and what doesn't. Sometimes I can things, and sometimes I dry herbs. This is the story of my kitchen.

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No Recipe Needed with Slap Ya Mama Seasoning

No Recipe Needed with Slap Ya Mama Seasoning

We are getting ready to go on an extended vacation, so it’s time to clean out the fridge.  And that usually means some ‘interesting’ combinations.  This came out really well, though, but of course how can you go wrong with Slap Ya Mama seasoning involved? […]

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Yogurt/Honey/Aleppo Dip

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Yogurt/Honey/Aleppo Dip

On a road trip last September we stopped for lunch in Lincoln, New Hampshire at a restaurant called The Gypsy Cafe. Everything was delicious, but the brussel sprout appetizer they had was amazing. I knew I couldn’t prepare it exactly like the restauarant, but I […]

Crockpot Hot Wings via @fitslowcookerqueen

Crockpot Hot Wings via @fitslowcookerqueen

Mine really is a Crockpot from Rival so I can call it a Crockpot, not just a slow cooker.  Wedding present over 30 years ago, still going strong.  And, I’m still learning new ways to use it.

Two bloggers I like to follow are FitSlowCookerQueen and MagicalSlowCooker.

Recently, Fit Slower Cooker Queen posted about these hot wings in a slow cooker.  I like hot wings, and I had received a bottle of hot sauce from Sweet Baby Ray’s as part of a promotion, so I had an extra bottle of hot sauce to use. I always have Hidden Valley Ranch mix on hand, so I had that too (FSCQ also has a recipe for home made ranch mix on her site).  I wouldn’t have thought of using ranch mix, but it tasted great in this mixture.

Bottom line, I loved these!  No frying, mix it up and leave it, do a little broiling at the end, super easy and, GOOD.

FSCQ recommended ghee, but I didn’t have any ghee either, so regular butter it was.  Three ingredients whisked together.

And then poured over wings in the slow cooker and mixed together.

If memory serves, I think this was 4 hours on low.  I don’t remember exactly but you can check out her instructions on the recipe.  I did check the wings with a meat thermometer, because, chicken.

She does recommend, but doesn’t say it is required, that you broil the wings for a minute or two on each side after they are done so that the skin crisps up.

I would say it is required, and it will be the way I always do it in the future (because I WILL be making them again)

Line that sheet with foil first!

Also, I did a double dip and broiled twice.  After the first round under the broiler (remember this is all of 2-4 minutes) I dipped the wings in the sauce in the Crockpot a second time and ran under the broiler again.  It added extra sauce without them being drippy.

(Sorry about the Light)

And seriously, that’s all that is to it.  Served with blue cheese dressing, naturally.

You can see Fit Slow Cooker Queen’s full instructions here.

 

Bruschetta and Two Types of Topping

Bruschetta and Two Types of Topping

I like bruschetta but had never made it myself.  I’m having friends over for lasagne next weekend, so I decided to do a trial run of some bruschetta and if it worked out, I would make it as an appetizer next weekend. Spoiler alert: they […]

Black Bean Dip, or Topping or Soup – Your Choice

Black Bean Dip, or Topping or Soup – Your Choice

I made this first as a black bean dip, but, it tasted so good that I also used it on a baked sweet potato, and later thinned it with some broth and ate it as soup! I cooked chopped red onion, seeded and diced jalapeños, […]

Playing with Plantains

Playing with Plantains

A friend ordered some fruits from Melissa’s Produce and gave me some plantains, something that sort of looks like a plantain, and a red banana.  Then I needed to think of different things to make.

Originally I was going to try making patacones, but I let the plantains get too ripe, so I looked up a few things and decided to just try a simple baked plantain.

I peeled and cut the plantains in thirds, then cut those in half lengthwise.  Following the YouTube I found, I had preheated the oven to 400 Fahrenheit and lined a baking sheet with parchment paper.  I put the sections of plantain on the sheet and set the timer for 20 minutes.

When we were in Costa Rica, breakfast would often include plantains and a fried cheese.  I don’t know what that cheese was, but it had reminded me of Halloumi, and I had some Halloumi, so I cut a few slices of that.

Meanwhile I thought I ought to look at that YouTube again as I had been working by memory so far.  I realized that she had actually cut the plantains in thinner planks, and total time was 20 minutes, not 20 minutes each side.

So I took them out of the oven at ten minutes and sliced each section in half again.  They really weren’t browning up the way they did in the video, and I tasted them and they were pretty dry.  So before I put them back in the oven, I brushed them with a thin coat of olive oil.

I went ahead and baked another 10 minutes, turned them, and finished off with another 10 minutes.

During the last 10 minutes I heated a little olive oil over medium heat, and fried the Halloumi until browned on each side.

It was a delicious breakfast!  If I had a fried egg and gallo pinto, I could have imagined myself back in Costa Rica.

Salmon Cakes

Salmon Cakes

This is another recipe the health coach I have been working with gave me—and another recipe that I think is good, but could be better.  A bonus with this recipe is that it makes quite a few salmon cakes, so I froze the remainder for […]

Crockpot Butternut Squash Soup

Crockpot Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut squash soup is always easy, and using the Crockpot made it even easier.  I got this recipe from Tasty here, but I’ll be making a few tweaks the next time.  It is good as is, but I think it can be better. I had a […]

Shirley’s Clam Chowder

Shirley’s Clam Chowder

My mother-in-law used to make this chowder.  It’s a creamy, hearty bowl of chowder.  It’s an unusual chowder in that you add cheese at the end, but that makes it even creamier.  It also uses a can of cream of celery soup instead of actual celery, but it works so I didn’t change it.

In this version I did add more clams because, well, we wanted more clams.

Lots of dicing was involved!

It starts with the veggies.  I started with 1 cup of water plus clam juice and added the potatoes, carrots, onions and fresh parsley, along with one chicken boullion cube.

I had to add just a little more water to cover the vegetables.  I should have reserved more clam juice and used that to increase the liquid to cover.  Gently simmer until the vegetables are tender.

Stir in the soup and then the clams.

Then stir in the grated cheese and seasoning salt, stirring gently until the cheese is melted.

Finally, stir in whole milk.

Heat gently to serving temperature, do not bring to a boil.

Serve with freshly ground black pepper, oyster crackers, and/or crusty bread.

Shirley’s Clam Chowder

1 Cup water

4 cans chopped or minced clams, drained.  Reserve the liquid from 2 cans.

1 chicken bouillon cube

2 Cups diced potatoes

2 Cups diced carrots

1 1/2 Cups minced onions

1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

1 10 3/4 oz can Cream of Celery soup

2 Cups Whole Milk

2 1/2 tsp seasoning salt

8 oz shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Pour the water and the clam juice from 1 can into a sauce pan and begin heating over medium heat.  Stir in the chicken bouillon to dissolve, and add the potatoes, carrots, onions, and parsley.  If more liquid is needed to cover the vegetables, add more of the reserved clam juice just to cover.

Simmer until the vegetables are tender, then stir in the soup until well incorporated.  Stir in the clams and add the cheese.  Stir constantly as the cheese melts into the soup.  Add the seasoned salt, and then the milk, stirring all the while.  Heat the soup gently, occasionally testing the temperature until it is the serving temperature you like.  Don’t bring to a boil.

 

Pollo Alla Romana

Pollo Alla Romana

I was staying with friends last week and they were working on perfecting Pollo Alla Romana.  They were trying to recreate the flavors of the one they had at a restaurant in Rome.  I was the lucky recipient of one of their versions, and decided […]