Split Pea and Ham Soup

     Talk about winter comfort food.  This is it.  Just look at those chunks of Ham and Carrots.  I’ve tweaked my recipe, so it tastes even better. Pair it with a Salad and/or Cornbread for a wholesome, delicious meal.  Give it a try!  It freezes wonderfully, so make extra.

INGREDIENTS:

2 1/4 cups dried Split Peas

2 quarts Chicken Broth (64 oz) (5 cans = 70 oz)

1 ½ lbs ham bone (or leftover diced ham)

½ cup Diced Celery

1 chopped Onion

1 clove garlic

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

¼ tsp thyme

1/8 tsp marjoram

1 potato, trimmed and cubed (If you plan on freezing, omit the taters)

Start with 2 carrots, add a few more later.   Original ones will break down

OPTIONAL: ¼ tsp Crushed Red Pepper

PREPARATION:

     There is two ways to prepare dried Peas.  Sort and rinse the Peas before you do anything.  Then either soak them overnight in cold water, or the quicker way is to simmer them for 5 minutes, and remove from heat.  Let them soak for 60 to 90 minutes.

     In a large pot (minimum 6 quart), add Ham Bone, soaked Peas, Chicken Broth, Celery, Garlic, and Onion.  (Even though they will get blended later, I add a chopped Carrot or two now because they will add extra flavor to the Soup.) Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until Peas are tender.  It will take at least 90 minutes.  NOTE:  If you’re using leftover diced Ham, don’t add it until the Peas have been blended.

     Once the Peas are tender, remove the Ham Bone and set aside.  You can either use a food processor or an immersible blender to blend the soup to your desired consistency.  Add diced Carrots and cook until tender.  Add diced Ham.  Add seasonings and cook for 5 more minutes.  Serve.

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Sausage Mushroom Cornbread Stuffing

Made with my Prize-Winning Cornbread Recipe

     I LOVE Cornbread Stuffing!  I can still remember the first time I ever had it.  I couldn’t believe how delicious it was.  I make Cornbread a lot, so I often make an extra one to put in the freezer for when I’m craving Cornbread Stuffing.  It goes great with most anything, Poultry, Fish, Ham, Meatloaf, Pork Chops or Roast, or anything else you can think of.  Since the main Ingredient is Cornbread, you want to make homemade.  Eat some of it for dinner the night before or have it for breakfast.  Day old Cornbread is best for Cornbread Stuffing. (My recipe is below.)

     This recipe has the addition of Mushrooms and Carrots which I don’t always add to my Stuffing.  It’s very nice for a change. 

INGREDIENTS:  YIELDS 5-6 Servings

½ lb Breakfast Sausage (I prefer Jimmy Dean, Sage flavor) Freeze the rest.

4 cups crumbled Cornbread

¾ cup Herbed Stuffing Mix (or stale bread, crumbled)

3 TBSP Butter

1 cup Mushrooms, chopped

¼ cup Onions, chopped

3 TBSP Mini Sweet Peppers, chopped

3 TBSP Celery, chopped

3 TBSP Carrot, diced

½ – ¾ tsp Dried Sage + extra for cooking

½ tsp Dried Thyme

Salt & Black Pepper to taste

1 ¾ cups Chicken Broth (or use some Buttermilk & less Chicken Broth)

PREPARATION:

     In a large skillet, cook and crumble Sausage.  Place in large bowl.  Drain grease, if there is any.

     In the same skillet, add Butter, all the Vegetables, and a few dashes of Pepper, Sage, and Thyme.  Cook until Carrots are just about tender.  Add ½ tsp Sage and ½ tsp Thyme, and stir into the Vegetables.  Remove from heat and set aside for a minute.

     In the same large bowl, add Herbed Stuffing Mix and crumbled Cornbread on top of the Sausage.  Stir.

Add the cooked Vegetables, and stir. 

    Pour Chicken Broth over mixture, stir.  Cornbread Stuffing needs to be wetter than normal Stuffing because it’s best when it’s on the moist side. Add the Chicken Broth and stir well.  If it seems too dry, add some extra Chicken Broth, Buttermilk or regular Milk.

     Place Stuffing into a Buttered 9” x 9” baking dish.  Cover with Aluminum Foil to prevent it from drying too much.  Bake for 20 minutes at 375° F.  Remove the Foil and check to see if you need to add any extra liquid.  Return Stuffing to the oven.  Bake for another 30 minutes or so.  You want the top to be slightly browned and a little crispy, but don’t let it dry out. 

NOTES:  This is an easily customizable dish.  Omit any of the Vegetables you don’t want, add other Vegetables you do want. 

You can cook it at a higher temperature if you’re cooking something else as the main course, just lessen the baking time. 

     The only cornbread recipe I use.  I like my Cornbread moist and a little on the sweet side.  Give this a try.  It freezes beautifully! If you love Cornbread Stuffing, this is the Cornbread to use!  This is my cornbread that won first prize at the Jefferson County Fair. I always sauté chopped Onion in the same cast iron skillet that I’ll bake the Bread in.  Most of the time I add about 6 chopped Jalapenos.  Sometimes I add chopped Bell Pepper or chopped Mini Sweet Peppers.  (If you plan on making Cornbread Stuffing, omit the Jalapenos.  I think it ruins the Stuffing.)

     Wonderful with chili, tuna casserole, soup, breakfast.  Cornbread is basically a quick bread.  It’s incredibly easy and so satisfying.  I can’t think of anything Cornbread doesn’t go with.

INGREDIENTS:

½ cup Crisco

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup + 2 TBSP yellow corn meal

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

1 ½ cup flour

1 ½ cup buttermilk

PREPARATION:

Cream Crisco and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add eggs and half of the milk.  Beat well.

Add baking powder and salt, mixing until combined.

Add corn meal, flour and remainder of milk.  Mix until combined.

The best cornbread is always baked in a cast iron pan.  The edges get so wonderfully crispy.  If you don’t have one, use a greased cake pan or baking dish.

BAKE AT 375* for about 40 minutes, or until desired browning is achieved. I don’t like mine pale and always let it get browned.  (See picture)

I often bake a half batch.  Know, however, that the leftover bread can be frozen to make stuffing with!

NOTE:  My special additives are sautéed onions, chopped jalapenos, a little cooked and crumbled bacon, mini sweet peppers, green bell pepper, fresh corn, etc.  I think you get the idea.  If it sounds good?  Add it.

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PEANUT BUTTER HONEY COOKIES

PEANUT BUTTER HONEY COOKIES
PEANUT BUTTER HONEY COOKIES

    There’s just something soothing and homey about homemade peanut butter cookies.  Is it because your grandmother and mother used to make them?  Is it just because they’re so darn good?  I’m not sure, but whatever the reason – we love ‘em! 

     This simple recipe uses one bowl, one measuring cup and a spatula.  It’s simple enough for your beginner baker to try his or her hand.

INGREDIENTS: Yield 25 cookies

3/4 cup – honey*

1/4 cup – butter or margarine, softened

1 – egg

3/4 cup – peanut butter

1 teaspoon – vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon – salt

1/2 teaspoon – baking soda

1-1/2 cups AP unbleached flour

¾ cup chocolate chips

PREPARATION:

In mixer bowl, cream honey and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, peanut butter, vanilla, salt, and baking soda. Add flour, mixing until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop dough, one heaping tablespoon at a time, onto well-greased baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for 12-15 minutes. Remove cookies from sheet and cool on wire rack.

Please remember not to feed honey to children under one- year-old.  Read more:   http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/bacterial_viral/botulism.html

*I used local raw honey

PEANUT BUTTER HONEY COOKIES
PEANUT BUTTER HONEY COOKIES

PEANUT BUTTER HONEY COOKIES
PEANUT BUTTER HONEY COOKIES

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CHEW WANNA EAT?

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CHEW WANNA EAT, by Gail Westover is her newest creation.  Gail, an avid cook, has been writing what she calls “the never ending cookbook” for many years.  In the meantime, friends regularly ask for her recipe for one thing or another.  Instead of a book, Gail has chose to go this route for now.  Guest cooks will be invited to share some of their special creations.  Submit your recipe with good quality photo to chewwannaeat@gmail.com

Homemade Pierogi


Whether you have family from Poland, the Ukraine, Romania or even good ole’ America, chances are you’ve had Pierogi. They are out of this world delicious. They are a bit of work, ok, maybe a lot of work . . . but they are so worth it. People were eating them cold right out of the refrigerator here. They were undeniably scrumptious.


My favorite was the Potato with Cheese, Bacon, and Caramelized Onion. Bob preferred the Potato, Sauerkraut, and Diced Onion. I also made Sweet Potato with Bacon, but neither of us were crazy about them.


If you’d like to read Pierogi history, go to: http://www.polskafoods.com/polish-food/facts-history-about-pierogihttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierogi
I’m sure every family that ate Pierogi had their own recipe. I was never introduced to them until I was an adult. Man, oh man. All those years wasted!

Here’s my recipe.

FILLING INGREDIENTS:

4 large Russet potatoes

2 TBSP butter

3/4 cup cubed or grated cheese (I use a mixture of Colby, Monterey Jack, Sharp Cheddar, and Cooper). 

¼ + milk

Salt, Pepper, Onion Powder and Garlic Powder (about 1/2 tsp each)

OPTIONAL:  Sauerkraut, Diced Raw Onion, Crumbled Bacon, Green Onions

DOUGH INGREDIENTS: Yields 40-50 pierogis, depending on size
6 cups AP flour1 extra large egg¾ tsp saltPepper to taste1 ½ – 1 ¾ cups potato water1 egg yolk to seal doughOPTIONAL: Seasonings such as onion powder, garlic powder, parsley
DOUGH PREPARATION AND ASSEMBLY:
In food processor, add flour, egg, salt, and quickly pulse to incorporate. If you want to add seasonings, do it now. Add room temperature potato water in three batches and mix until dough forms. It will only take about 1 minute.
Grab a hunk of dough and squeeze it. It shouldn’t be wet, nor should it be crumbly. Give it a quick knead. It should be the consistency of Play Dough. No need to flour your work surface. It doesn’t stick. Roll it out until very thin. It is so easy to work with. Cut with a glass, biscuit cutter, or a press. They should be approximately 3 ½ “rounds. Fill with a good TBSP of potato, whatever extras you’re adding on top, and fold over. Smear a little beaten egg onto only one side of the dough along the edge. Press to seal. Any scraps of dough should be added back into the bowl.
Lay completed Pierogis on a clean dish towel and cover with another towel. This will keep the dough from drying out. A dish towel is the standard. However, this time I used Parchment Paper. If the objective is to keep them from drying out, won’t a cotton cloth remove some of their moisture? Parchment Paper worked wonderfully for me.

TO COOK PIEROGIS:
Drop one at a time into a large pan of salted boiling water. I would cook only 6 at one time. They will sink like a stone, but that’s ok. After about one minute, lightly push a spatula under them to make sure they aren’t stuck to the bottom of pan. It doesn’t happen often, but it is possible. In 3-4 minutes they will rise to the top. They should be fully cooked and ready to eat with butter and sautéed onions.
TO FRY COOKED PIEROGIS:
I prefer mine browned in a little bacon grease, but you could also use olive oil or butter (or a little of both). If you’re using onions, garlic, peppers, mushrooms, etc. add them now. Don’t crowd the pan. Cook until browned on one side, flip over and brown the other side.
Serve with Sour Cream, Blue Cheese or Ranch Dressing.
Pictured below is the dough press I used. A set of 3 is available for around $4.00. I may invest in the press that makes 6 at once. I think it might be a time-saver. These presses can be used for hand pies, calzone, ravioli, empanadas, and all sorts of other fun projects.

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Oven Baked Cod

Oven Baked Cod and Creamy Au’ Gratin Potatoes

Baked Cod Pictured with Creamy Au’ Gratin Potatoes

     Pictured is my newest Potato recipe for Creamy Au’ Gratin Potatoes, as well as Oven Baked Cod.  Normally I bread and fry or air fry my fish, but I decided to be more waistline friendly and bake it for a change.  It was so good! 

INGREDIENTS: 2 Servings

1 lb Cod Fillets

1 TBSP Butter

Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Paprika, Black Pepper

PREPARATION:

     In a small baking dish, smear half the Butter on the bottom of the dish.  Place Fillets in dish.  Squirt as much Lemon Juice as you want on top of the fish.  Either spread the remaining Butter on the Fillets or cut it in small pieces and lay it on top.  Sprinkle with Seasonings and bake at 400 ° F for 15 – 20 minutes, depending on how thick the Fillets are.  Twist a fork in the center of the Fillets and if they separate and flake, they’re done.

     Of course, serve with my newest Au’ Gratin Potatoes and the Vegetable of your choice.

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Creamy Au’ Gratin Potatoes

Creamy Au’ Gratin Potatoes by Chew Wanna Eat?

     Thinly sliced Potatoes in a smooth and creamy Cheese Sauce.  What could be better?  Serve them with Fish, Meatloaf, Poultry, Pork, Scrambled Eggs or just about anything else.  Comfort food at its finest.

INGREDIENTS:

4 1/2 -5 cups sliced Russet Potatoes, (I leave skins on)

1 cup Onions, sliced

3-4 cloves Garlic, minced

2 mini Sweet Peppers, chopped or sliced

Black Pepper

2 1/4 cups Half and Half

¼ cup Sherry

3 TBSP AP Flour

Salt & Pepper

6 oz Extra Sharp Cheese, grated.  (I like Cracker Barrel)

OPTIONAL:  Using only Extra Sharp gives the potato the tangy bite of Extra Sharp Cheese.  If you’d rather

You can do half Extra Sharp and half American.

PREPARATION:

     Butter bottom and sides of a deep casserole dish and set aside.

     In a small frying pan, add a few small pats of Butter, Onions, and a liberal sprinkling of Black Pepper.  Cook over low heat for about 15 minutes.  Add mini Sweet Peppers and cook another 10 minutes.  Add Garlic and cook until Onions are beginning to caramelize. 

     While Onions are cooking, wash Potatoes well, and slice thin.  I never peel them because I like the skin.  Lay half the Potatoes in the casserole dish, sprinkle half the Onion mixture on top.  Cut a TBSP or so of Butter and sprinkle it over the top.  Add remaining Potatoes, a little more Butter, and remaining Onion mixture.  Cover with foil and put in a preheated 400 ° F oven.

     While the Potatoes are beginning to cook in the oven, prepare the Cheese Sauce.  In a 1 ½ quart sauce pan add Half and Half, Sherry, Flour, Pepper, and a little Salt.  (cheese has plenty of salt, so don’t over do it).  Stir over medium heat until Flour is well incorporated and you begin to see tiny bubbles forming.  Turn the heat down and slowly add approximately 4 ounces of grated Cheese.  Stir until melted.  Remove from heat. 

     Take the Potatoes out of the Oven, pour the Cheese Sauce on and return the foil.  Place back in the oven for about 45 minutes. 

     Sprinkle another 2 oz or so of Grated Cheese on top of the Potatoes.  Sprinkle with Parsley and Paprika for color.  Return to the oven without the foil and bake for about 10 minutes or until the Cheese is melted.

There is a lot of Cheese Sauce, so feel free to load up your Potatoes.  For photo purposes I didn’t add as much as I normally would.  It would not have made an attractive photo with Cheese Sauce running off the sides of the plate.  Well, maybe it would have, but it’s too late now.

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Cottage Cheese Spring Salad, 2 Versions

     My Cottage Cheese Spring Salad is one of those healthy versatile dishes that is SO good in the summer.  You can use Low-Fat or Regular Cottage Cheese.  There is so much taste from the Vegetables that you won’t know the difference.  It’s completely customizable and can be eaten as a Meal,  Side Dish, or Dip with Fresh Vegetables or Crackers.  I have listed two of my variations below.

INGREDIENTS: (Yellow Bowl)

16 oz Cottage Cheese, Regular or Low-Fat

2 mini Sweet Peppers

1 thin slice of a Sweet Onion

1 rib Celery

1 medium Carrot, shredded

1 medium Tomato, rough chopped

½ cup Cucumber, rough chopped

Parsley and Pepper

PREPARATION:  Place Peppers, Onion, Celery, and Carrot in food processor.  Process until desired size.  Add chopped Cucumbers and Tomatoes, and give a quick process.

Mix into the Cottage Cheese.  Serve

††

INGREDIENTS: Clear Glass Bowl

1 cup Cottage Cheese, Regular or Low-Fat

Small piece of Carrot, rough chopped

½ rip Celery, rough chopped

3 Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half

Small slice of Onion

1 Green Olive

1 Kalamata Olive

1-2 tsp Garlic, chopped

1 small mini sweet Pepper

Parsley and Pepper

PREPARATION:

Place Carrot, Celery, Onion, Olives, Garlic, and Mini Sweet Pepper in food processor.  Process until desired size.  Add Tomatoes, and give a quick process.

Mix into the Cottage Cheese.  Serve

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Grilled Marinated Veal Chops

Grilled Marinated Veal Chops, Salt Potatoes, and Tossed Salad

     Bob loves Veal Chops and grilling them is one of his favorite ways to cook them.  First he marinates them overnight in Lupo’s Marinade.  You can use your favorite marinade.  He prefers his Chops medium/rare, so 5-7 minutes per side. 

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DUMP-IT SEAFOOD PASTA SALAD

Chew Wanna Eat?

Dump-it Seafood Pasta Salad (2)     You’ve heard of dump-it cakes.  Have you ever heard of a dump-it salad?  Well, let me introduce you to an outstanding mix of seafood, pasta, and whatever!  That’s right.  You put the main ingredients in the bowl and dump in whatever you have on hand.  I wanted seafood in mine.  I always want seafood.  In anything.  And here you have my latest creation . . .  Dump-It Seafood Pasta Salad.  And boy, is it ever good!

BASIC RECIPE INGREDIENTS:

Cooked pasta.  I used Farfalle here

Mayo

A bit of sour cream to add creaminess

2 hard cooked eggs, chopped

Seafood – I used cooked jumbo shrimp and some crab meat

Veggies:  I used peas, corn, chopped mini sweet peppers, onion, cherry tomatoes, and celery.  I definitely would have added sliced black olives, but I didn’t have any.   A bit of cucumber from the garden might have been nice. …

View original post 98 more words

Raspberry White Chocolate Cake

     We all loved the Orange White Chocolate Cake so much I decided to make a Raspberry one.  It would be a great cake for the holiday weekend!! 

INGREDIENTS:

White Cake Mix (3 egg whites, 1/3 cup Canola Oil, 1 ¼ cups Water)

One 4 Serving Size Box of Instant White Chocolate Pudding

2 cups Cold Milk

1 tsp Raspberry Extract

Optional:  2 drops Red Food Coloring

GANACHE:

1/4 cup Good White Chocolate Melting Disks or White Baking Chocolate

1 ½ TBSP heavy cream

PREPARATION:

     Butter the bottom of a 13” x 9” cake.  Bake cake according to package directions.  Let cool for 5 minutes. With a 5/8” * handle of a wooden spoon, randomly poke holes in the cake.  Brush off any crumbs.

     Mix Pudding with Milk, Extract, and Food Coloring.  Beat vigorously for about 90 seconds with a whisk.  Pour immediately over partially cooled Cake. Chill at least an hour.

Ganache Prep:  In a microwave-safe bowl, cook White Chocolate and Heavy Cream for 20 seconds.  Stir.  Heat another 5 seconds, stir, and it should be melted.  Let cool for a minute or two, and then drizzle over Pudding.  Let chill for a few hours.

My secrets for success:  You will find that a ½” or smaller handle will not make big enough holes for the Pudding to sink into them.  If you don’t have a 5/8” wooden spoon, look for a screw driver handle, a magic marker handle or something else that’s close to 5/8”.

Don’t over beat the Pudding or it will begin setting up, and again, will not sink properly into the holes.  Don’t let the Pudding sit too long after preparation or again, it will set up and won’t want to sink into the holes. Mix it and pour it immediately.  A few light bangs on the counter will also help settle the Pudding.

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MEATBALLS, The Versatile Food

     Pictured is a Meatball Sub with Beef Meatballs, Spaghetti Sauce and melted Mozzarella Cheese

     What’s not to like about a Meatball? They’re round. They’re made of meat. With a little imagination, you could go wild in your kitchen! 


       Freezing Meatballs is always handy when you need a fast meal because they thaw quickly.

     Serve them with Red Sauce or Marinara over Pasta, Meatball Subs, Teriyaki, Brown Gravy over Noodles or Mashed Potatoes, Mozzarella stuffed, Meatballs in Marsala Sauce over Noodles or Mashed Potatoes, Lasagna, Pizza, Meatball Stroganoff, or any one of many different ideas. 

     Today I will share a basic recipe and you can take it from there.

INGREDIENTS: YIELDS 20-24 Meatballs

1 lb Ground Beef, or Italian Sausage, or a mixture of Ground Chicken and Ground Turkey, Veal, or Pork
3-4 TBSP Milk
¾ tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 Egg
A few dashes each of Salt and Pepper
1 tsp Parsley
1 Tsp Basil
½ tsp Garlic Powder
¼ cup Sweet Onion, chopped
½ cup Plain or Seasoned Bread Crumbs

PREPARATION:

In a bowl, break up the Meat. Make a well in the center and add Milk, Worcestershire, Egg, Salt, Pepper, Parsley and Garlic Powder. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Lots of people use their hands, but I just can’t.

Add the Onion and Bread Crumbs. Mix again until incorporated. Form into balls (I use a cookie scoop. I don’t have to touch them that way and the size is uniform. They will have one flat side, but who cares and nobody will notice.

Now you have your choice of frying or baking. Either one is just as good. Fry them in a skillet until browned on all sides. Or bake on a foil or parchment lined cookie sheet in a 400° F oven for about 18-22 minutes until browned. If you’re making smaller cocktail size balls, check them after 15 minutes.

NOTES: If using Chicken and/or Turkey, make sure the temperature is 165 in the center.

If making Italian Meatballs, you can use sweet or hot. You can use ground meat or links. (Just remove the skins if you’re using links.)

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My Favorite Chicken Salad, Mediterranean Eating Friendly

Chicken, Fruit, Veggies, Greens, and a Balsamic Vinegar Reduction. What could be better?

   Have you ever eaten something with a Balsamic Vinegar reduction drizzled over it?  Fruit, Cheese, Tossed Salad, etc?  Have you ever ordered a Caprese Salad appetizer in a restaurant?  Very expensive for a few slices of Tomato, Mozzarella, Fresh Basil, and drizzled with Olive Oil and a Balsamic Vinegar Reduction.  SO easy to make your own.  Anyway, I made a Salad out of various Greens and Veggies.  I placed cut-up Fruit around the edge, and plopped a leftover grilled Chicken Breast on top.  I drizzled with a Balsamic Vinegar reduction, and dug in!!!  So healthy.  So good!

     Feel free to grill your Chicken just for this dish, but to me it makes sense when BBQing Chicken to grill a few extra pieces to save for this delicious Salad!  For an informal dinner, I think putting out various containers with all the Salad Ingredients and letting people make their own would be fun!

PREPARATION OF BALSAMIC VINEGAR REDUCTION IS SIMPLE:      Simply pour your favorite Balsamic Vinegar in a pan and let it simmer until it’s the consistency you want.  It only takes a few minutes, so don’t walk away.  (Some people like to add Honey, but I think the Vinegar reduction is sweet enough).

    Feel free to drizzle a little Olive Oil over the Greens also. 

Here’s what I put on my Salad:

Grilled Chicken, your choice of cut

Baby Spinach

Arugula

Fresh Basil

Romaine Lettuce

Onions, sliced

Green Olives

Kalamata Olives

Cherry Tomatoes

Cucumbers

Strawberries

Raspberries

Grapes

Watermelon

For Cheese, either sliced Fresh Mozzarella or Feta would be great.  Stop looking for the Cheese on my Salad.  There isn’t any ☹  I was out of both.  Yes, I cried a little.

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Chocolate Swirl Banana Cream Pie

     If you’ve been following Chew Wanna Eat? for any length of time and actually read my ramblings, you know that some of my best creations just pop into my head.  I’ll get a craving for something (today it was Banana Cream Pie), and then I’ll think to myself, Oooooh, what if I made a Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust instead of a Regular Pie Crust?  Ooooooh, what if I add some sort of Chocolate to the Filling?  And there you have it.

     This Pie is SOOOOO good.  I always make my Cream-Style Pies with Homemade Filling.  It’s simple, takes less than ten minutes, and once you try it, you’ll never use Pudding again.  This is the first time I made this Pie.  The Crust and Filling are tried and true, but I’ve never added a Chocolate Crust to a Banana Cream Pie before, nor have I ever added a Chocolate Swirl.  Not gonna be the last time I make it; I’ll tell you what! 

Chocolate Graham Cracker Pie Crust Ingredients

1 sleeve (approx. 9 whole) Chocolate Graham Crackers

¼ cup Sugar

¼ cup Butter, melted

PREPARATION: 

     Place whole Graham Crackers in a ½ gallon plastic bag.  Close the bag with its zipper or use a twist tie.  You can either roll the crackers into crumbs with a rolling pin, or do what I do.  Take a nice heavy meat mallet and pretend you’re playing whack-a-mole.  That’s right.  Whack those suckers into crumbs.  It only takes about 30 seconds.  Flip the bag over here and there to make sure there are no large pieces left.  Open the bag and pour the crumbs into a small bowl.

     Add your Sugar and stir with a whisk.  Slowly drizzle in the melted Butter. 

     Using your fingers, the bottom of a glass, the bottom of a smooth measuring cup or something similar, press the mixture into a 9” pie plate.

     Bake at 375° F for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside until cooled.

PIE FILLING INGREDIENTS:  Yields one 9” Pie

1 cup Sugar

½ cup + 1 TBSP AP Flour

A couple dashes Salt

3 TBSP Butter

3 cups Milk

4 egg yolks (Use whites for Meringue, Omelets, or cook for the dogs)

1 ½ tsp Vanilla Extract

3 medium Bananas

¾ cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

PREPARATION:

     Place the yolks in a small bowl and lightly whisk or beat with a fork.   Set aside.

     In a medium saucepan over medium heat add Sugar, Flour, and Salt.  Whisk to incorporate.  Add Butter and Milk.  Continue cooking and whisking constantly until mixture begins to boil.  Turn heat down a little and continue cooking and whisking for 2 more minutes.  DO NOT WALK AWAY!  You’ll end up with a scorched bottom if you do. 

     Remove from heat.  Bring the Yolk bowl close to your saucepan and begin adding a TBSP or so of the hot mixture into the Yolks, stirring after each addition.  Continue doing this until you have added about 1 cup of the mixture.  (You have just tempered your eggs!  Simple, right?)

     Return the saucepan to the stove and pour the Yolk mixture into the filling mixture.  Continue whisking.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Remove from heat, add the Vanilla and whisk in.

     Let your Filling cool for 15-20 minutes.  I like to Whisk it here and there to help it cool faster.  Now, the next fun part is to drop your Chocolate Chips into the cooling Filling.  I don’t throw them all in at once, I add a small handful at a time, and then stir a bit to create the swirl.  Keep adding and stirring lightly until you have a nice swirl.

     Place sliced Banana on top of the crust until it’s covered pretty well.  I usually use about 1 ½ of the Bananas in this step.  Pour about half of the Filling on top.  Do another layer of sliced Bananas, add the remainder of the Filling.  If you want to do the Meringue, make it now.  Personally, I like Whipped Cream on Banana Cream Pie, so I never make Meringue, but if you love it, make it.  I know where you’ll find 4 Egg Whites!  Lol

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019