Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:6-7

Friday, August 22, 2014

Recipes, by George!

Way, way back (I didn't look at the archives, but by now it's been many years) when I started blogging, I posted recipes in between posts about life and faith and anything else I was blogging about. It was a mishmash, and one day I thought, "I'll start a food blog" and the food blog was born.

By and by, however, food blogs became very popular and I eventually realized I was not a food blogger. I cook, and I often enjoy it, and my family often (but not always) enjoys my meals, but I don't get paid by anyone to cook (unless you consider just eating to be payment, in which case my husband pays me), and I don't get paid to write about my cooking. And so, I just eventually stopped posting, about seven months ago.

Recently I decided that my recipes belonged here on my life blog because cooking is part of my life, but not a big part, certainly not worth exclusively writing about. I'm just like you -- I make dinner, and sometimes it's worthy of comment, and sometimes it's just a meal to tide us over to the next meal. I like to bake and I often bake to celebrate the liturgical feast days. So, I hope to share with you some of the best I put on the table, and sometimes I will just share links because I might not have photographed a worthy dish before I served it.

This dish, this meal, was a refreshing summer supper, even if only the chicken was "summer food." My husband loved this chicken, and though I'm not generally an "eat it off the bone" chicken person, I ate two pieces. The boys loved it, too, and I made a boneless breast for one of the boys who also is not an "eat it off the bone" chicken person. The recipe came from Kraft, I think, but I switched a few ingredients as I was out of some of them. I wouldn't bother looking it up again as we loved it as it was. It looks burned in the photo, but it was just good and grilled. The sugar caramelized quickly on it.

Catalina BBQ Chicken

chicken pieces, mixed or all the same (I used six drumsticks, four thighs and one boneless breast - not in a pear tree); the marinade makes enough to coat quite a bit of chicken
1/3 c. Catalina dressing
BBQ 1/4 c. sauce
3 T. soy sauce
2 T. honey
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. powdered ginger
1 t. sesame oil

Mix marinade ingredients together (all but chicken pieces) and pour over chicken in a large casserole dish. Flip chicken pieces to coat thoroughly. Marinate for several hours in the refrigerator. At grilling time, preheat the grill to high. Turn down grill to medium low and place chicken pieces on the grill. Flip to prevent burning and cook about 25 minutes until juices are clear and chicken is done next to the bone.

The other dishes in the photo are bacon corn and bacon cabbage -- both simple dishes (I had some bacon I wanted to use up). Fry two strips of bacon (cut crosswise in 1/2-inch pieces). When almost crisp add desired vegetable -- in this case frozen corn and thinly sliced cabbage. Cook until vegetables are done. taste and season with salt and pepper.

The rolls are this recipe from my food blog without the poppy seeds. They are heavenly and my family loves them.

For dessert, I made some delicious brownies from one of my favorite cookbooks, Not Your Mother's Make Ahead and Freeze Cookbook (not the greatest title for a cookbook). I had the book out looking for recipes for later in the week and skipped to the dessert section when I wanted something quickly for dessert (and with fewer choices than the internet offers -- a problem I often deal with). They are so chocolately that the frosting isn't necessary, but my husband likes frosted brownies so I added a thin layer of ganache and some festive blue sprinkles (because brown and blue go well together, according to Faith).

Cocoa Brownies

1 c. sugar
2/3 c. all-purpose flour
2/3 c. cocoa
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla extract

Place all of the dry ingredients in a medium bowl (or quart-sized freezer bag if making ahead to freeze. If freezing, shake bag to mix ingredients and freeze or place in pantry.).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 8-inch square pan.

(If using stored ingredients, remove from storage.). In a large bowl place wet ingredients and whisk to blend. Add dry ingredients and stir to blend. Spoon batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until tester comes out with just a few crumbs. Cool and cut into squares (even if you are going to frost). Here's a top by Jamie: cut with a plastic knife, or even the handle of a plastic spoon or fork and you won't make a mess of the brownies. Now, even if you frost them, they'll already be cut and easy to remove without cutting again.

For Ganache: place about 1/4 to 1/3 cup whipping cream or heavy cream in a bowl. Microwave until cream is hot -- about a minute. Immediately add about 1 cup chocolate chips or chopped bittersweet chocolate. Don't touch them them for about 3 minutes. Then stir to blend until all the chips are melted. If necessary, micro again in 15 second increments and stir again. Spread over brownies and sprinkle as desired with colored sprinkles. Sorry to be so vague on the ganache. I don't use a recipe usually. It's pretty forgiving as long as you don't add anything else to it.

And a few links:

Last night's dinner, which was almost completely gobbled up and received many compliments, was Yankee Pot Roast. I have another recipe for Yankee Pot Roast but this one used a Top Round Roast, which is what I had. I made mashed potatoes on the side.

Also on the side was these Yogurt Biscuits, which I will be making again very soon because they were so delicious. Definitely serve with butter and honey.

PS Today is the feast of the crown ship of Mary, so it would be a great day to make a cake like this or like this to celebrate!


  1. Wow - that chicken looks and sounds wonderful! Thank you for sharing it!

  2. Thanks, Nancy. My husband enjoyed the chicken so much he asked for me to make it again tomorrow! Unheard of in my house. Good thing chicken prices are low. Or lower than beef I should say.

  3. You made my mouth water, Barbara! I printed out your recipes and actually made the brownies tonight! So rich and delicious! I should have checked on them a few minutes sooner though as they came out a little dry but, hey, that can easily be remedied with a little frosting...if there are any left by tomorrow!!

    1. I guess you'll just have to try again with those brownies! ;-) Get them perfect next time.

  4. We have been so busy in my house...I'm falling behind on reading blogs. But I must say, your dinner looks delicious. I am with you about not eating chicken off the bone. I have to fork mine off. I'm with your husband on the frosted brownies though! YUM-MY! Looking forward to more recipes. If you have any great crock pot ones, please pass along. I was looking for some new ones, but they all seem to be the same except for a different ingredient here and there. Have a wonderful week!

    1. Have you checked my food blog, Patty? If you type in crock pot in the sidebar search feature you'll find most of my recipes. Or just click on "crock pot" in the subject list. I have been using my crock pot for meals I would normally make stove top like spaghetti sauce and chili because I don't have to worry about leaving the house or stirring it often.

  5. Yea for a new recipes. And let me just tell you: I love ganache. How simple it is to make, how lovely it tastes, how you can whip it up when it is slightly cooled for a nice whipped icing. And it is really forgiving to make. If it doesn't turn out (meaning set) it goes over ice cream nicely.

    1. Oh it IS lovely. And leftovers can be slightly warmed and used to dip strawberries, graham crackers, marshmallows...what else? Let me think. ;-)


I appreciate your comments -- sometimes I feel like I'm talking to myself!