Apricot Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

It was a hot day and I knew, I was going to be in the kitchen for several  hours, preparing for the Sabbath.  It meant making fish, chicken, side dishes and salads.  Dessert was going to be cold or from the freezer.  I did not plan on baking.  I got around using the oven except for one item.  Cholent is made in a crock pot.  The chicken was cooked on the barbecue.  Most foods were made in the microwave or did not cooking.  I did pull out the frying pan and a sauce pan for short periods of time.  The bottom line was that I did not heat up the kitchen very much.

I was stymied with what to do with a sweet potato.  Of course, the beauty of the sweet potato, is you can bake it, put on a pat of butter and enjoy it. Simple and delicious is the way to go.  Of course, it can be candied but I find, it is usually sweet enough by itself.  I do love mashed sweet potato and started off on that path.

It was over 90 degrees in the sun and my kitchen didn’t feel much cooler and I didn’t want to use my oven.  I microwaved the sweet potatoes whole, for 8 minutes.  I would have baked them after I finished shaping them but again, it was not worth using the oven so I fried them in a smidge of margarine.   What is a smidge?  Just a little bit…..

Apricot Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

4 sweet potatoes

1 pat or margarine

1 tablespoon honey

8 dried apricots

1 tablespoon olive oil

____

Microwave whole sweet potatoes for about 8 minutes until completely cooked.  Since each microwave is different, the timing may be different.  Stick a fork in the potato at about 5 minutes and see how it is.  I would check it every minute, after that, until the fork goes in easily.

Peel the sweet potatoes and mash them with the margarine and honey. Mash well.

Make a two-inch ball out of some of the sweet potato and while you are rolling it, push a dried apricot inside.  Place in a frying pan with hot olive oil.  Do the same with the remaining sweet potato.  Brown lightly on each side.  If you are not dealing with hot weather, I suggest baking this in the oven.

Serve plain or with a little maple syrup.  I was thinking of adding chopped scallions and I will try that, next time, I make these.

This is linked to  Friday Favorites
See Ya in the Gumbo       Mop it Up Mondays        Inspire Me Monday        Mealtime Monday        Gluten Free Recipe Linky   

Hearth and Soul Hop     Slightly Indulgent Tuesday      Fat Tuesday    Tuesday Talent Show at Chef in Training       Naptime Creations Tasty Tuesday Link Party

The softer, orange-fleshed variety of sweet po...

The softer, orange-fleshed variety of sweet potato, commonly referred to as a yam in the United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Blueberry Crumble

I asked my husband to bring home blueberries from Costco, days ago.  As each day went by, I thought of all those blueberries and what I was going to do with them but nothing happened.  I am rational and did not want to lose these beauties so I decided to make a Crumble.  Crumbles are basically the same and this one is no different.  They are usually good and this one is no different.

Blueberry Crumble 

I found the recipe on delish.com and made a few changes but basically this is it.

English: A pack of blueberries from a organic ...

English: A pack of blueberries from a organic farm co-op program. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • 2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries , or other fruit
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free flour mix
  • 1 tablespoon(s) orange juice
  • 1 cup Crumble  (below)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 deg F.
  2. Toss berries with sugar, flour and juice
  3. Place in a casserole or pie plate and cover with the delicious crumble.

Ingredients for Crumble


  • 1 1/2 cup(s) old-fashioned rolled oats

  • 3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup  brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup(s) brown rice flour (your choice)
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil

Directions

  1. Combine oats, nuts, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon in a medium bowl and stir until well blended. Drizzle oil over the dry ingredients and stir until evenly moistened.  Place on top of berry mixture.
This is linked to Mop It Up Mondays              Mealtime Mondays           My Meatless Mondays       Slightly Indulgent Tuesday

Fruit and Veggie Muffins


I have done little baking here and I must add some recipes.  I made these wonderful muffins, using my food processor to do the chopping, making this an easy recipe to achieve.  I debated making mini muffins because they are so cute  but there is so much goodness in these, I decided on the full size.  

Pears and carrots may sound odd together but they are not.  They went together like peanut butter and jelly and were much more delicious.

Making muffins always presents a problem for me.  There are so many muffins, I want to make, with a multitude of combinations of ingredients.  When, I decide to make one, I can’t make a decision.  I really wanted to make a cheesy muffin and owe myself that opportunity.

Fruit and Veggie Muffins  (adapted from Recipe for Living)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups. shredded cored, peeled pears
  • 1-1/3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup chopped cranberries  (the food processor did not do a great job chopping these but it makes no difference)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2-1/2 cups gluten-free flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs, beaten, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Canola oil

Method:

 Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Line muffin cups with paper liners.

In a large bowl, mix pears, cranberries, carrots, and nuts  Stir gently to combine.

Sift dry ingredients.  Add to sugar mixture and stir well.

Stir in eggs and oil and mix gently but thoroughly.

Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake 25 to 30 minutes. Cool 5 minutes; remove to wire rack.

 Makes 12 large muffins.

This is linked to Hearth and Soul with Alea    Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays with Amy

Mexican Style Fruit Salad with Broiled Fish – The Food Matters Project

This week, at the Food Matters Project, we are making this fruit and fish dish which sounded strange, to me.  I could not imagine a bed of fruit with fish on top and explained this way, it does not sound good.  These are the times, I am thankful, I don’t follow my instincts and skip the week and go ahead and make the week’s designated recipe.  I did only make one piece of salmon which was definitely a mistake.

Of course, when I went to cook, the fruit supply had diminished greatly, leaving me with mango and more mango and a few pears that I was saving, for a cake.  If you don’t tell, I will share with you what I did.  I opened a can of guava  and that with the mango and some cranberries and coconut, I made the fruit part of the dish.  This was supposed to have hot  chiles but hubby does not do well with anything hot.  I subbed in some Mexican chile powder, I just got – only a tiny bit.  The only other seasoning used was  basil and home-grown oregano.

Inspiration hit and after topping this fruit mixture with broiled salmon, I sprinkled some pistachios, on top, and they made quite a difference.  It rounded out this recipe beautifully.

Thanks, Sara from Food and Frederick for picking a dish, we really enjoy

ed, despite some hesitancy.  The recipe is found on  her blog and please do drop by The Food Matters Project and see what the other foodies have made.

Now for my confession.  It is hard to believe, we make such foolish mistakes.  When, I went to broil my fish, I decided to put it on a cookie sheet and my sheets always have parchment paper covering them, so I put this precious salmon, in the oven with the paper.   Yep, you can imagine what happens to paper at a high temperature with the flame burning down on it.  Fortunately, my husband walked in and smelled the burning paper and saved it.  I am sharing a picture.  I have certainly learned a lesson and if anyone out there would make such a silly goof, you can learn also.

This is linked to the Gallery of Favorites      Southern Fairy Tale

Spinach, Mango and Strawberry Salad

Spinach, Mango and Strawberry Salad

Ingredients

1/4 cup blanched slivered almonds

1/8 cup white wine vinegar

1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoons dry mustard

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon tarragon
2 cups baby spinach, rinsed, dried and torn into small pieces
3 strawberries sliced
1/2 mango – peeled, seeded and cubed                                                                                              

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Arrange almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and lightly toasted.

In a small bowl, mix white wine vinegar,  balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, olive oil, dry mustard, tarragon, salt, and pepper.

In a medium bowl, toss the  vinegar mixture with the spinach, strawberries and mangos. Top with the toasted almonds.

This is linked to Allergy Free Wednesday      Real Food Wednesday    Cast Party Wednesdays           Pennywise Platter                     Made from Scratch Mondays        Scrumptious Sunday            Passionately Artistic               Hearth and Soul

 See Ya in the Gumbo

Full Plate Thursday 

Fit and Fabulous Friday

Chicken with Apricots

I couldn’t resist adding the apricots to this dish.  

Chicken with Apple Cider Sauce                                 adapted from Food Network

  • Yield:  4 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 pound)
  •  black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup apple cider
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon lemon  juice
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
  • 8 dried apricots, reconstituted and cut into halves or quarters

Method:

Preheat a medium to large skillet over medium-high heat, for about 1 minute or until the surface of the pan is hot.

Add the oil and heat until rippling on the surface.

 Pat the chicken breast dry and season with pepper.

 Place the chicken in the pan and cook until the meat is golden, about 4 minutes.

Turn the chicken breasts, lower the heat to medium .

Cook until firm to the touch and transfer to a plate.

 Add the vinegar to pan and deglaze over medium-high heat, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.

Add the cider and the broth.

 Bring to a boil and cook until it thickens to form a sauce, about 6 minutes. Whisk in  lemon juice. rosemary and thyme leaves.

Return the chicken to the pan, adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, and serve.

Related articles

This is linked to /     Fit and Fabulous Fridays      Mix it Up Mondays    Mop it Up Mondays       Grocery Cart Challenge     Gallery of Favorites       Savory Sundays                   Scrumptious Sunday Linky Party   

Sausage, Apples and Onions

There are few meats that tempt me, these days but turkey sausage has its appeal so when I decided to throw  together, what I find in the kitchen and make a meal.   My thinking is that everything goes with sausage.  Sausage has so much flavor, it is hard to compete with it and frankly, I don’ think, we should try to.

This  was another recipe that went easily as soon as I decided what I was putting in it.  I tend to go for onions with almost any savory recipe because I cut back on seasoning for my husband.  My daughter complains, I put apples in everything.  She is right.

Turkey Sausage with Slice Apples and Onions

Ingredients  (only a few of them)

 4  sausages

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium  onion, sliced 

1/4 cup dry white wine

 1  apple, peeled, diced

(15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsedProcedure

Procedure

Slice the sausages in to 1/2 inch pieces.

 Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat.

Add the onion, and cook for 2 minutes .

Add the sausage and cook until the sausage is browned, 6 to 8 minutes.

Add the the remaining ingredients and cook everything together for another few minutes (no longer than 4 minutes).  The liquid should thicken into a sauce.

Baked Rigatoni with Brussels Sprouts, Figs and Blue Cheese – The Food Matters Project

I have been a big fan of Mark Bittman for a number of years.  I particularly like his ability to convey to the cook many ways to make the same recipe.  This attitude was great for me tonight when I thought I was baking the above recipe, only to find that I could not get most of the ingredients.

I have not seen gluten-free rigatoni so I subbed in penne.  Although, I am sure, kosher blue cheese is available, I have not seen it locally.  We are not fans of figs so I subbed apples which were great.  Finally and unbelievably, the local stores were out of brussels sprouts.  I called my daughter and asked her to look around and she also could not locate any.

I guess, I proved that you can  change the ingredients and come out with a facsimile of the original.

I feel particularly bad because this is the first time, I cooked with the foodies of The Food Matters Project.  This group is cooking their way through Mark Bittman’s, The Food Matters.   If you are interested, get the book and join us.

Marcia from Twenty by Sixty chose the  Baked Rigatoni with Brussels Sprouts, Figs, and Blue Cheese (page 221), in The Food Matters.   You will find the recipe on her blog.

Marcia shares her hesitation selecting this recipe which about describes my initial reaction.  Figs? Blue Cheese? Pasta? and Brussels Sprouts?  They just shouldn’t go together but I gather they did and did so beautifully.

My combination of broccoli, Monterey Jack, Apples and Penne also worked although I didn’t believe it.  The almonds seemed to disappear into the dish and it was not until the end that I found one. This is unique but trusting Mark Bittman helps.  I had to believe the recipe was good.

Check out the other cooks at The Food Matters Project.

Indian Style Chicken with Apples


Just in case, anyone does not know my secret, it is that I don’t like to repeat recipes, no matter how good, they are.  It is not the best method but with all my cookbooks and recipes from bloggers, I have an unlimited amount of recipes, I want to make.  There are foods like salmon and chicken which we eat weekly and at this point, while there are many new recipes, most are similar to what I have made, before.

I was happy when I found this one on allrecipes.com.  I love Indian seasonings and often add them to other dishes.  Apples always make me happy in main and side dishes as well as desserts.  This sounded good.  I made a few changes and we had a worthy meal for dinner.

Indian Style Chicken with Apples

Ingredients

    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cut into strips
    • 1 large sweet onion, diced
    • 2 apples – peeled, cored and sliced
    • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
    • 1 teaspoon curry powder
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 cup chicken broth (from soup bubbling on the stove)
    • 1 cup Tofutti sour cream to replace the dairy yogurt
    •  pepper to taste

Directions

    1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the chicken until golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
    2. Add the onion and apple to the skillet and reduce the heat to medium. Cook and stir until the onions are translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the bell pepper; continue to cook and stir for another 5 minutes. Season with curry powder and cinnamon; cook for a few more minutes to intensify the flavors.
    3. Stir in the chicken broth and Tofutti sour cream. Return chicken to the skillet and simmer for a few minutes to heat through. Remove from the heat, season to taste with salt and pepper, and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.Prep time was only a few minutes and everything went smoothly.  This is an easy recipe.

  • This is linked to  Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays

Have Leftovers – Make Soup

The softer, orange-fleshed variety of sweet po...

I had my meal plan in place, for tonight, until I looked into the refrigerator to find quite a few vegetables and fruit which would survive for a short time, if I didn’t use them, very soon.  The sweet potatoes, in particular were ready to get up and walk away.  Usually, I keep four sweet potatoes, in the house, and have plans for them.  This morning, there were six potatoes and I had no idea what to do with them.

I also found lots of leftovers sharing space with the sweet potatoes.  I decided quickly, leftovers would become the fare for, this evening and I would make a soup to go with the meal.

Emptying the refrigerator –  4 sweet potatoes, 1 apple,  container with some apple sauce, leftover vegetable soup.  Can you picture and taste my soup?

Apple Cinnamon-Sweet Potato Soup  (made in a crockpot)

4 medium sweet potatoes

1 cups water

2 cups vegetable broth

1 cup applesauce

1 apple, peeled and sliced

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon black pepper or to taste

Procedure

Put liquids in slow cooker.  Add sweet potatoes and applesauce.  Cover and cook on low for three hours.

Add apple, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg plus black pepper.  Cook on high for another hour.

Using an immersion blender, blend until the consistency you want.  Mine was smooth and creamy.

If I had cranberry pecan goat cheese, I would have crumbled it on top of the soup.

This soup had a distinct apple flavor to it and it was delicious.

Green Goddess Restaurant, New Orleans. Sweet p...
This is not my photo.