Monday, October 31, 2011

Crock Pot: Apricot Glazed Chicken

I have fixed this recipe several times when you know you have company coming over, but you don't quite know what time they will arrive. Crock pot's work great in these type of situations as they keep your entre' warm and allow for some variance in cooking times. This recipe for Apricot Glazed Chicken taste great and will leave your guest thinking you are the perfect dinner hostess.
This recipe calls for 4 simple ingredients.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Not 1 but 2 Artichoke Recipes

Photobucket That's right, this week I am bringing you two delicious artichoke recipes that are quick, easy and quite tasty.  Now, I'll be the first to admit artichokes are not a common ingredient in my kitchen, but this month's Iron Chef Challenge is sponsored by Ocean Mist Farms and the themed ingredient is artichokes, and the word challenge is definitely what this ingredient brought to my kitchen.  I set out to find a recipe and found two so I figured why not make them both.  And I learned that Artichokes are high in potassium, vitamin C, magnesium and a great source of fiber.  But enough about the healthy stuff, lets get on to the good tasting stuff.

Cheesy Artichoke Dip
Ingredients: 1 cup yogurt, 1 can artichoke hearts, drained and finely chopped, 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, 1/3 cup Romano cheese, 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup bread crumbs.

Directions: In a small bowl mix yogurt, artichoke hearts and cheeses.  Pour into a greased baking dish.  Sprinkle with bread crumbs and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  Serve warm with pita chips.
You are sure to love the creamy-ness of this dip and the yogurt makes it a healthy snack.

Monday, October 24, 2011

My fall decorations

We are all set for fall at the Ott house.  I have the inside decorated and the outside decorated.  I have Halloween decorations out and my fall dinner table all set.  So today I show off a few pictures from my fall decorating.
Above is a pumpkin with our name on it.  And below a wrought iron pumpkin adorns our fireplace hearth.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Gooseberry Patch Cookbook Winner

Ten Recipes
Two Cookbooks
One Giveaway

Well our 10 weeks of Gooseberry Patch cooking has come to an end.  If you'll recall, you all voted for the cookbook I would cook out of and Homemade Christmas won.  Then I let my husband, Ott, E pick out the 10 recipes and I baked them up.  Each week I posted a recipe and at the end you all got to sign up to win a copy of this cookbook for yourselves.  
Well the entries are in and the lucky reader is.......

Friday, October 21, 2011

Iron Chef Challenge: Artichokes

PhotobucketThe theme for October's Iron Chef Challenge is Artichokes, sponsored by Ocean Mist Farms.

Rules: Chefs (aka bloggers) will prepare something using Artichokes in the recipe and blog about it. Posts must include Ott, A's Iron Chef Challenge Badge (code found in sidebar). Bloggers need to also sign up for the Artichokes Aficionados club on Ocean Mist Farms Website.  (This site contains lots more insider tips and places where you can share recipes of your own.) And if you would like you can also submit your recipe to their website.  (This is not required, but encouraged.)
Prize: The winning blog post will win a case of fresh Artichokes straight from Ocean Mists Farms and delivered to your door.

The guest judge for this month's Iron Chef Challenge will be a representative from Ocean Mists Farms.

The winner will be announced on this blog the week of October 31st!
Big thanks to Ocean Mist Farms for sponsoring this event! Be sure to check them out on facebook and twitter @artichokerecipe.

The Linky will be open from October 21-28. 

Good Luck and may the best Chef win!!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My Food Swap Experience

This past weekend I participated in a Food Swap here in Indianapolis. And, I'll be honest I didn't know quite what to expect.  I didn't know what the other swappers would be like, what the food would be like or what the swapping itself would be like.  I found out about the Indy Food Swap on Twitter, and I knew other cities had food swaps, and I knew a couple of bloggers who participated in them.  So I chatted with Jen from the blog Mess Hall to Bistro and we signed up to attend.

Now, I read ahead of time on the Food Swap website that samples were good to have on hand so others could try your product.  I also knew that food items were exchanged for food items and no currency was exchanged.  So with 12 jars of my homemade Honey Lemon Apple Jam I headed out the door and was ready to swap.   
When I arrived; I checked in, and sat up my area with a sign stating what my item was.  I sat out my cute jars all decorated with a bloggy business card attached, along with my samples and I was all set.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cooked Chicken with Chickpea & Dried Fruit Couscous

Well I was feeling a little adventurous in the kitchen and decided to try couscous.  I had a recipe that called for dried fruit in the couscous, so after a quick trip to the store to pick up some of the ingredients I was set and ready to make us dinner.  But before I get to the recipe for that I wanted to remind you of the giveaway I still have going on for a Gooseberry Patch Homemade Christmas Cookbook.  You'll want to be sure and sign up for that!!! 
6 chicken breasts
3 T. Olive Oil
1 cup chopped mixed dried fruits (apples, pears, apricots, mango's, pineapples or whatever you like.)
2 cups vegetable broth
1 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 cups instant couscous
dash of salt
Directions: In a large pot, heat oil and saute' dried fruit over medium heat for 3 minutes.  Add cumin and stir. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

a Saturday in my Carhartt jacket

I recall growing up there was usually a tan colored Carhartt jacket on the back porch of my grandparents farm.  It was my grandfathers but he had several other jackets to wear so sometimes when I needed a quick coat to throw on I would grab it.  It was of course way to big on me, but I liked that you could easily zip it up and it was warm.  Nowadays, Carhartt has a womans line which fit much better and no more tan, as they have some great colors to choose from.  Today I am reviewing the Carhartt Serpa Sweat Jacket  in the Dusk Blue Color. 

My Saturday started out like any other; sleeping in just a little then eating breakfast before getting ready to head to town to run some errands.  It was a brisk October morning so my Carhartt Jacket kept me warm.  Once home I decided to plant some flower bulbs in my garden.
First off I love the Dusk Blue color of my Carhartt as it's not quite purple but almost could be.  The jacket has a zipper and a button at the top to help keep the collar up and the wind out on colder days.

Friday, October 14, 2011

My new Ravioli Maker

I've blogged before about my obsession with my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer Pasta Attachment and my new found abilities for making Ravioli.  Well Ott, E bought me this Ravioli Maker tray from Super Target so I decided to try it out.  I made my pasta and used the lasagna noodle attachment to flatten out my dough.
Then I draped one piece of dough over this tray with the holes for stuffing the ravioli.  (I found out the hard way that it works best if you spray the tray with some cooking oil.)  Then I gently push the dough down into each hole.
Next I spooned my stuffing into each hole and because the holes were deep I could stuff some extra into each one.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Our weekend get-a-way to Springfield, Illinois

This past weekend Ott, E and I had a little getaway to Springfield, Illinois.  I had been wanting to go there for quite some time to see all the historical sites for Lincoln.  I enjoy learning about history and Lincoln actually lived in southern Indiana for a short time.  He was born in Kentucky, and around the age of 8 his family moved to Indiana about the same time it became a state.  His family then moved to Illinois when he was 21.

Our first stop was New Salem, Illinois which is where Lincoln first lived by himself as an adult.  He helped run a general store in this small town about 20 miles north of Springfield.  Below is a picture of some of the cabins that have been rebuilt in this little town to resemble what it was like back then. 

Next we went to the Cemetery to see Lincoln's tomb.  It is a very impressive limestone structure and visitors can enter to see statues of Lincoln and the final resting place of him and his wife and children.

I found it fascinating how many times they moved his body within this cemetery.  Below is a picture of the original tomb which is actually on the backside of the monument. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Gooseberry Patch Recipe #10 and the Giveaway!

Here we are at the last recipe from the Gooseberry Patch "Homemade Christmas" Cookbook.  I have baked 10 recipes that Ott, E selected from this cookbook and shared them all with you on this blog.  Each post was a new recipe and I let you know what Ott, E thought of the recipe so you would get a man's perspective on these dishes.  Today I share with you a great autumn recipe for: 
Caramel Glazed Apple Cake
Ott, E really liked the spices in this cake and thought they compliments the apples perfectly.  It was a great dessert to serve on a fall day with a cup of coffee or a glass of milk.  And, or course the Carmel Sauce on top is sure to please anyone sweet tooth.   
Ott, E and I picked these apples at an orchard not too farm from our house, so I thought I would use them in this cake.  And if you want to see an updated version of this recipe for the caramel glaze please click here.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

October's Iron Chef Challenge themed ingredient is....Artichokes!

PhotobucketThat's right!  It wouldn't be a challenge unless we picked some things that were out of the ordinary and not fixed in your homes on a weekly basis.  This month I am please to announce that Ocean Mist Farms has graciously agreed to be our Iron Chef Challenge Sponsor for the themed ingredient of Artichokes.

Ocean Mist Farms is a family owned farm located in Castroville, California since 1924 and is the largest grower of fresh Artichokes in the US.  Ocean Mist Farms has a great website with recipes and tips on cooking artichokes.  They also have an Artichokes Aficionados club which I highly recommend signing up for as it contains lots more insider tips and places where you can share recipes of your own.  Ocean Mist Farms can also be found on facebook and twitter @artichokerecipe.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Oh my.... Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie!!! (Gooseberry Patch Recipe #9)

I know they say save the best for last, but this #9 recipe could not wait another moment to be made, eaten and now shared with all of you.  It is fall and pumpkins are a craving most people have this time of year, especially Ott, E.  I was not surprised when he picked this recipe out of Gooseberry Patch's "Homemade Christmas" Cookbook. 

I will admit this dessert is sure to enhance your usual pumpkin pie.  The ice cream combines perfectly with the pumpkin and spices to create a great tasting dessert.  You'll want to be sure and serve this Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie at your Thanksgiving feast this year.  That's right... ice cream and pumpkin.... together!!!

15 oz can pumpkin
2/3 c. brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
2 pints vanilla ice cream
9 inch graham cracker crust, frozen
Optional: Whipped cream, butterscotch sauce