Lemon Honey Chicken Thighs

A few weeks ago I had some friends over for dinner.  I was trying to determine the menu when I remembered this recipe from last August’s Cooking Light magazine (2016) and thought it was probably time to try it.  It appeared to be something that I could finish make relatively quickly as we prepared to sit down, without much last minute fuss.  For the most part, this was pretty accurate.  My only issue was that I should have swirled the olive oil around on the pan a little bit better because the chicken thighs stuck to the pan in some pretty significant ways.  Otherwise, this was a nice, light chicken thigh recipe, and I almost always use chicken thighs because they tend to not dry out as easily, so I was happy to have a recipe that used them.

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Lemon-Honey Chicken Thighs

1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 c thinly sliced shallots
2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.  Add chicken to pan; cook 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until browned and done.  Transfer to a warm plate; keep warm.

Add shallots to pan; reduce heat to medium and cook 2 minutes, or until beginning to brown and soften, stirring frequently.  Add 2 Tbsp water, juice, and honey to pan; bring to a boil.  Cook 1 minute, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.  Return chicken to pan, turning to coat.  Sprinkle evenly with fresh oregano, and serve immediately.


Honey Mustard Chicken Wings

I don’t know if you have heard of the website Eat Your Books.  I first learned of it in the Milkstreet Magazine inaugural issue, and was intrigued.  For a couple months after learning about it, I held off, thinking I don’t actually need that cookbook.  Then, after deciding to renew my focus on using things up that are in my cupboards, my freezer, and other locations, I decided to join.  Within 24 hours of signing up, I started using the site regularly to check out how I might use up some of my ingredients.  I don’t know that there’s another website I have come across in the past several years that I have found more useful.  I may even like it better than pinterest.  The basic concept is that you load the blogs, websites, cookbooks, and magazines you have access to or read regularly and then you can search by book, ingredient, or other items to find a recipe using that ingredient.

I decided to try it out with chicken wings from the freezer.  I typed in chicken wings, saw that there was a recipe for honey mustard chicken wings, and knew that I needed to grab the How to Cook Everything cookbook off the shelf to find the actual recipe.  While the site notes any ingredients beyond staples from the cupboard, it does not provide the recipe itself.  For that, the cook needs to turn to the original source material.  The wings were the sweet that I needed at the end of my day, but then again, I could eat honey mustard as the flavor combination on almost anything.

Honey Mustard Chicken Wings

Honey Mustard Chicken Wings

4 Tbsp butter, melted
1/4 c Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp honey
3 lb chicken wings, rinsed and patted dry with paper towels, cut into 3 pieces each
2 Tbsp neutral oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oven to 375 degrees.  Combine the butter, mustard, and honey in a small bowl.  Put the chicken wings in a large roasting pan, drizzle with the oil, and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.  Toss to coat, then spread the wings out in a single layer (It’s okay if they’re a little crowded; they’ll shrink.)  Put the wings in the oven and roast, undisturbed, until the bottom of the pan is coated with fat and the wings are beginning to brown, about 30 minutes.  Use a spoon to baste the wings with the drippings, then carefully pour them out of the pan.  If the wings are still sticking to the bottom of the pan, return them to the oven until they release easily, another 5 or 10 minutes.

Turn the wings over, baste again, then carefully pour off any more fat.  Return them ot the oven until nicely browned, another 20 minutes or so.

Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees.  Carefully pour off any accumulated fat, then drizzle the wings with the honey mustard mixture and toss to coat.  Spread them back out into a single layer and return them to the oven.  Cook, tossing once or twice, until crisp all over, about 10 more minutes.

Cinnamon Bread

Over the last month, I’ve been pulling out cookbooks that are community cookbooks and not often looked at in my house.  One such cookbook is the Cedar Rapids Women of the Moose Cookbook 1979.  I was looking for some easy-to-pack/freeze/take along recipes for some snacks I was wanting to drop off at different places, and this recipe for cinnamon bread looked pretty intriguing to me.  In hindsight, I could have potentially swirled it more than I did, especially on the top, or loaded the middle up with 2/3 of the cinnamon-sugar mixture and kept only 1/3 for the top, but the taste was great.  I especially appreciated how the recipe wasn’t overly sweet but was delightful.

Cinnamon Bread

Cinnamon Bread

1 c sugar
2 c flour
1/2 c shortening
2 eggs
3 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 c buttermilk or sour milk

Mix cinnamon and sugar.  Put half of the batter in the bottom of a greased loaf pan.  Spread 1/2 of the cinnamon mixture over this.  Add the rest of the dough and spread the rest of the mixture over the top.  Take a knife and swirl the mix.  Bake at 350 degrees until browned and done.

Strawberry Muffins

I noticed over the 4th of July that strawberries were about to be done at the grocery store and I knew I wanted to get one more recipe in before the end.  I had a recipe book from Strawberry Point, Iowa, and at the start of it was a special section all full of strawberry recipes.  The recipe I chose to make calls for frozen strawberries, but I used fresh and they seemed to turn out just fine.

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Strawberry Muffins

2 c strawberries (frozen)
3 c + 2 Tbsp flour
2 c sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 c oil
4 eggs (beaten)
1 1/4 c chopped pecans

Place strawberries in a medium bowl.  Sprinkle lightly with sugar (to taste).  Let strawberries stand until thawed, then slice.  Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl and mix well.  Blend oil and eggs into strawberries.  Add to flour mixture.  Stir in pecans, blending until dry ingredients are just moistened.  Bake at 350 degrees until a tester comes out clean, 25-35 minutes.

Spicy Turmeric-Scented Kohlrabi

When I was picking up some starter vegetables in early May, while attending a friend’s wedding, I saw kohlrabi and decided to try and grow some this year.  So, I’d accomplished my first task, but then realized I didn’t have a great recipe to make with them, once they were of the right size in my garden.  So, I started looking through the cookbooks, and in the Roots cookbook, I saw this recipe for spicy turmeric-scented kohlrabi.  There are so many health benefits noted about turmeric in the past few months and so I wanted to make this.  Other than having some trouble finding turmeric root and it turning my nails a little orange for 24 hours, the recipe was a winner.  At least, I think so.  I’m not sure if I love kohlrabi enough to keep growing it (although I love other forms of cabbage, like Brussels sprouts, red cabbage, and other cabbage), but I have a few other recipes planned to keep cooking, so we will see what ends up coming forward for next year.

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Spicy Turmeric-Scented Kohlrabi

1 Tbsp canola oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp peeled and minced fresh turmeric
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 Lb kohlrabi, trimmed and peeled, cut in half crosswise, and sliced into half moons 1/8 in thick
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 c water

In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat and swirl to coat the pan bottom.  Add the garlic, turmeric, and red pepper flakes and saute until the garlic is soft but not brown, about 30 seconds.  Add the kohlrabi, sugar, and salt and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.  Add the water and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to maintain a slow simmer, cover, and cook until the kohlrabi is tender, about 15 minutes.

Uncover the pan, raise the heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens to a glaze, about 5 minutes.  Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Indian Curry Chicken Balls

One summer day in July, when the humidity and heat were at their peak, a friend of mine hosted a little poolside party and asked us to bring some items.  I went looking for inspiration with ingredients I had on-hand, and in the White House Volunteers Cookbook, I found this recipe for Indian Curry Chicken Balls.  Since for a previous gathering of this group of folks I had made meatballs of a different sort, I thought it would be fun to continue that trend.

These have a little kick to them, but are a nice small-serving size.  The coconut, the chicken and almonds all go together nicely.  I made them the night before and then took them for our gathering the next day.

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Indian Curry Chicken Balls

4 oz cream cheese
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 c chopped cooked chicken
1/2 tsp salt
1 c slivered almonds
2 Tbsp chopped chutney
1 Tbsp curry powder
1/2 c flaked coconut

Beat cheese and mayonnaise until well blended.  Add remaining ingredients, except coconut.  Mix well.  Chill about 1 hour.  Shape into 36 balls.  Roll each in coconut.  Chill 3-4 hours before serving.

Freezes well and keeps well for a day or so.  Makes 3 dozen.