Ginger Plum Chicken

I tried a new recipe tonight (and of course, I adjusted it my own way as I always do.)

Ginger Plum Chicken w/ Szechuan Green Beans and Loaded Mashed Potatoes

For the original unadulterated recipe see:

Pork with Plum Sauce

For my version, add all the ingredients into a skillet except the plums.  Take 2 tablespoons of the sauce from the pan and put it over the raw chicken and place the chicken in the refrigerator to marinate.

Simmer the sauce on medium for about 15-20 min until it reduces and then add the plum chunks.

Cook the plums in the sauce for 5-10 minutes while you cook the chicken in a separate skillet.

Ginger Plum Chicken
Chicken Breasts
3/4 Cup Red Wine (I used Merlot)
1 Teaspoon Grated Ginger
1 Orange
1/4 Cup White or Red Wine Vinegar
1/3 Cup Honey
2 Large Plums (peeled and cut into cubs)
Olive Oil for cooking and Salt and Pepper
Use a vegetable peeler to peel off large strips of orange zest from the orange.  Place the zest strips and the juice from the orange into a large skillet.  Add the wine, ginger, vinegar, and honey into the skillet.  After mixing the ingredients, take 2 tablespoons of the sauce and place over the raw chicken to marinade, add salt and pepper and place it in the refrigerator.  Meanwhile, simmer on medium for about 15-20 minutes until the liquid reduces.  When the sauce has reduced and thickened, take the chicken out of the refrigerator and using a little olive oil (about a tablespoon) saute the chicken in a separate pan until cooked.  Meanwhile, add the plums to the sauce and cook an additional 5-10 minutes.  To serve, place about 2 tablespoons of the sauce over the chicken.

Random Thoughts

Dad Duty

I believe every stay-at-home-mom who is married should take a vacation for one week and go somewhere with her friends or by herself and leave the dad at home in charge of the kids.  Have him take off a week from work to cover for you and do what you do everyday.  It is hard for working dads to understand what it is like to raise kids at home if they never get the chance to do it for themselves.

Going Back to Work

It is official, I am going back to work and will now transition from a “SAHM” to a “Working Mom”.  It is not exactly as I had planned but it is a very good opportunity for me.  My hope and prayer is for my kids to adjust well and still be happy.  I originally planned to go back to work when the kids were both in school (another two years) but alas “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”  But don’t worry…I will still blog!  Unless for some reason they find out about it, don’t like it and threaten to fire me if I don’t take it down.  I doubt that would happen but let’s cross our fingers!

Things that Make me Cry

I have an estranged relationship with my family.  (Not meaning my husband and kids but my mother, sibling and extended family.)  It is painful and hurtful but it seems so many families have issues these days.  The norm is no longer the Beaver Cleaver family, it is the dysfunctional one.  I really want to give my children the opportunity to grow up in a strong family with lots of love and attention…but it is amazing how hard it is to accomplish and it shouldn’t be that hard.  When I met and married my husband, I was under the impression his family was the Beaver Cleaver type but I found out they are as dysfunctional as my own.  So neither me nor my husband have a good example to follow.  But where there are two people both willing to try…there you have hope.

The Love of a Good Friend

Never underestimate the power of true friendship.  I tend to be a person who holds close to me only 1 or 2 friends and then several acquaintances.  However, at this period of my life I find myself blessed and surrounded by truly caring and unique people.  I am blessed beyond belief and I find myself wondering, “what have I done for these ladies to like me?”  I know why I care for them because they are genuinely caring and loving people.  I am very blessed and thankful.  My dearest friend is so insightful and understanding about the human nature I find myself amazed.

 Cheers!

Not my best pic, but you get the point!

Underwood’s Peach Cobbler

I am a Texas native and I was born in a small town called Brownwood in Central Texas.  One of the few “claims to fame” for Brownwood was a hometown restaurant called Underwood’s Cafeteria.  Many people who pass through may not remember the town, but they will remember eating at that restaurant.  Also Underwood’s expanded and opened a few branches, but honestly, I’m not sure if the other branches are still open or not.

This recipe is not specifically published anywhere and it does not come endorsed by the restaurant, but I researched and tried to replicate it as best as I could and if it’s not right on the money, it’s pretty darn close!

Start by putting teaspoons of the butter into a sheet pan.

Then mix the filling ingredients and pour over the butter.

Then mix the ingredients for the crust.  Kneed it and roll it out very thin.

I cut the crust into one big rectangle shape, but I believe the restaurant cuts them into long strips before putting it onto the filling.  I recommend using the strips, because handling a big sheet of thin dough is not all that easy.  I broke apart in several places for me.

After assembling the cobbler, I baked it for about 1 hour at 350 until the crust browned.

Underwood’s Peach Cobbler
Filling:
1 Stick of Butter
12 Peaches (peeled, pitted and sliced)
1 Cup Water
1 Cup Sugar
Preheat the oven to 350.  Slice the stick of butter into small pats and place into a sheet pan 13×9.  In a bowl mix the ingredients for the filling and then pour it on top of the butter.
Crust:
1 Cup Crisco
2 1/4 Cups Flour
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons of Water
Mix the Crisco, salt and the flour until well blended.  Kneed the dough until it is smooth and then roll it out on a floured surface until very thin (about 1/4 inch thick or less).  Cut into long strips and place on top of the filling.  Cook in the oven about 1 hour until crust is lightly browned.

You can also make the cherry cobber by using all the same ingredients and steps as shown above except substitute a large can of cherries instead of the peaches.

Champagne Smoothies

Are you tired of the same old spirited drinks for brunch?  This morning I whipped up a lovely drink for breakfast with a touch of champagne.  I love to make fresh smoothies!  I’m not sure why I didn’t think of it before, but a little champagne can make any smoothie just a little better.

Pineapple Mango Champagne Smoothie
1/2 Pineapple (cut into chunks, optionally you can also freeze them which makes the smoothie even smoother)
1 Mango (peeled and pitted, optionally freeze the pulp)
1 Cup Orange Juice
1 Package of Vanilla Instant Breakfast Mix
1 6 oz Container Vanilla Yogurt
1 Large Glass of Crushed Ice
1/2 Bottle of Champagne or Sparkling Wine
Depending on the strength of your blender, you may have to blend some of the items in order, but I usually dump all the ingredients (excluding champagne) in and set it to crush.  After the ingredients are blended with no chunks, I add the champagne and blend it together.  Serve immediately.

Sangria Ice Tea

By request I am posting my recipe for Sangria Iced Tea.  I hosted a ladies party one morning and it was a little too early for the spirited drinks but I wanted something fancy to offer so I whipped up this fun drink.

You can make it and serve it immediately.  However, I found through trial and error, the most flavorful batch of sangria tea works the same way as wine sangria and takes time.

For quick serve sangria tea, just put all the ingredients together and over ice.  For more flavorful sangria tea, mix the ingredients in the tea and keep it refrigerated for a few hours or overnight.   The strawberries, blueberries and kiwi will settle to the bottom and loose their color, so before serving I remove the blanched fruit and add a few more fresh ones.

Add a patio and enjoy.

Sangria Iced Tea
1 Tea Bag
1 Orange
1 Lime
1/2 Lemon
Handful of Strawberries (sliced)
1/2 Pint Blueberries
1 Kiwi (optional, peeled and sliced)
1 Small Can Pineapple Chunks (drained) or Fresh Pineapple Chunks (optional)
If you prefer sweet tea, add 1 Cup of Sugar or sweeten to taste
Brew the tea however you choose (I use a iced tea maker).  Add all of the juices and fruits into the tea.  For the best flavor, refrigerate for several hours or overnight.  The berries will fade and become soggy so I choose to remove the old ones and add new right before serving.  You can leave the berries out while waiting on the flavors to combine, but they add a lot to the flavor of the tea.