Tag Archives: autumn

Happy Halloween

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Hola!

 

Even though it’s going to be cold, windy and rainy here I am going to have a great day!

 

Have a great day, too!

 

Happy Halloween!

 

Besos,

Flor

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Lemon Chicken

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Happy Hump Day!

Thanksgiving is almost here and I could taste the turkey already. For some reason I am not as excited as other years but I am definitely looking forward to eating turkey. I have been dreaming about it. When I watch Guy Fieri on Diner, Drive Ins and Dives I just want to jump through the TV screen! The last show I watched was all about turkey and I went to bed hungry.

To help a bit with the turkey craving I made a delicious Lemon Chicken. I know it’s not the same thing but it was kind of close.

Look at that beautiful browned skin…add some beautiful vegetables and you are set!

Eating this is definitely helping me hold over until Thanksgiving.

Lemon Chicken

Ingredients

  • 3-4 pounds chicken parts (thighs and legs recommended), skin-on, bone-in, trimmed of excess fat
  • 2 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp fresh chopped thyme (or 2 teaspoons dried)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh chopped rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2-3 Tbsp melted butter
  • Lemon slices for garnish
  • assorted chopped vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, celery,peppers,mushrooms-optional)

Directions

1.  Place lemon juice, lemon peel, garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper in a small bowl, whisk to combine. With the tip of a sharp knife, cut into each chicken piece one or two times by about 1/2 an inch. (This will help the marinade penetrate.) Place the chicken pieces and the marinade in a gallon-sized freezer bag. Rotate the bag so that all chicken pieces are coated with the marinade. Seal the bag and place in a bowl in the refrigerator (in case of leakage). Let marinate for 2 hours.

2 Preheat oven to 425°F. Remove chicken from marinade and place in a single layer in a large baking dish, skin side up. Reserve the marinade. Use a pastry brush to brush a little melted butter on to each piece of chicken.

3.  Bake for a total of 50 to 55 minutes, until the skins are crispy brown, and the chicken is cooked through, juices running clear (breasts have an internal temperature of 165°F and thighs 175°F). Half-way through the baking, at about the 25 minute mark, baste the chicken pieces generously with reserved marinade. If adding vegetables now is a good time to nestle them in between the chicken and continue baking.

Depending on the size of the breasts, they may be ready before the thighs, so if you are cooking a mix of chicken parts, keep that in mind, you may have to take them out of the oven before the thighs. If needed adjust cooking time until all chicken and vegetables are completely cooked.

Let rest, covered in foil, for 10 minutes before serving.

4.  Pour the juices from the pan into a serving bowl. Use a tablespoon to skim the fat off the top (save the fat for cooking with later, or discard, but do not discard down the drain or it will solidify and clog your drain). Serve the chicken with the juices on the side or a little poured over the top of the chicken.

I added the vegetables so that I would have a side dish that cooks along with the chicken. No extra pans needed!

Besos,

Flor

Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes

 

Pumpkin Rice Pudding

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TGIF!!!

Rice-I love it! Pumpkin-I love it! Put them together and you have Pumpkin Rice Pudding! I have made regular rice pudding in the past that was delicious but this is definitely rice pudding elevated!

So creamy and pumpkiny. Is that even a word?

Pumpkin Rice Pudding

Ingredients

2 cups water
1 cup arborio rice
3 cups reduced-fat (2%) milk
1 cup solid-pack pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
3/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for garnish
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped

Directions

Bring the water to a boil in an 4-quart saucepan. Stir in the rice and cover. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the rice is nearly cooked, about 20 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, pumpkin, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt.

While the rice is still hot, add the pumpkin mixture to the saucepan and stir well to combine. Simmer on the stove, stirring occasionally, for 25-30 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.  Allow pudding to cool then chill in refrigerator until cold. The pudding will keep for up to 4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
You can serve the  rice pudding with some dried cranberries or whipped cream.

Enjoy!

Besos,

Flor

Adapted from Food Network

Chicken Barley Soup and a Fall Wreath

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Hola!

The time change is ridiculous! I would rather get up in the dark and that it be lighter later. When I leave work now it is dark. I just want to get into my pj’s when I get home and go to bed…but that’s not happening! Instead I am trying to get on a new cleaning schedule together. I am also trying to write a weekly list instead of daily list to do in the hopes of doing at least one thing on the list every night after work. I started this Monday night and so far so good!

Towards the end of summer vacation I was looking around trying to figure out what to make a fall wreath out of. Of course I had a bunch of different things and thought why not?

This is not the typical fall wreath but I kind of like that. I love the color of the frame. It was a freebie from my cousin and I had my husband paint it. The beaded fruit I usually just place in a large vase but I had tons of it so I figured I would use some of them on the wreath. And the burlap? It adds a nice fall touch. The glittered letter goes along with the theme of my fall porch…the initial of our last name. You can see a bit of the glue on the fruit but it’s not too bad. Perfect…for me!

Soup. I like it in the summer but I love it in the cold weather! I especially love when it is an easy to make soup like this one.

Not only is this soup delicious but it’s also healthy and very filling. It’s also pretty.

Chicken Barley Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • 4 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 1 cup quick-cooking barley
  • 5 ounces (5 cups) fresh baby spinach

Directions

In a large pot, cook carrots, celery and onion in oil just until tender. Add chicken; season with salt and pepper. Cook until chicken turns white on the edges. Add broth and thyme; bring to a boil. Stir in barley. Lower heat and simmer, covered, until barley is tender and chicken is cooked through (10-12 minutes). Add spinach and cook until wilted. Season with salt and pepper before serving.

Have a great day!

Besos,

Flor

Recipe source kitchen simplicity

 

 

Happy Halloween!

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Hola!

Happy Halloween! I don’t post too many pictures of myself because I am not photogenic at all. But today, since it’s Halloween I will make an exception.

This picture will either make you laugh or send you screaming…

 

Can you tell I work at a school?

Happy Halloween!

Besos,

Flor

Candy Apples

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Hola!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Mine was just great! Saturday my bestie and I went to the Chocolate and Fine Dessert Show at Navy Pier. It was awesome! I had never tasted or seen such delicious sweets in my life!  Here are just a few of the samples we had.

There were tons of chocolate and toffee samples. We had so many we didn’t even need lunch!

The chefs and pastry chefs that create these masterpieces are artists! They were amazing!

When I was young and we would go to Mexico there were these awesome sweet apples that could have pulled out our teeth or fillings. But we didn’t care. We ate them anyways. They were so good that it was worth the risk. We were lucky enough that after licking and finally eating the entire apple our teeth and fillings were still intact. I had such a taste for these apples that I had to find a recipe for them. In Spanish we call these “amieladas”. I had no idea what the name in English was but I just searched for whatever I could think of that they might be called in English and I found them…Candy or Candied Apples! I was so excited!

I had never in my life used a candy thermometer so I was really scared. It was super neat just watching the temperature raise on the thermometer. I was so relieved when the thermometer didn’t break and shards of glass (or whatever it’s made of) went into my eye. That would definitely have been like a Halloween trick!

Candy Apples

Ingredients

  • 12 small red or green apples, any variety
  • 12 lollipop or popsicle sticks
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ teaspoon red food coloring

Equipment: candy thermometer

Directions

Wash and thoroughly dry the apples as good as possible to get the waxy film off of them. Insert the lollipop sticks or popsicle sticks so that they are firmly positioned in the apples. Set the apples aside on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and coated with cooking spray.

Combine the sugar, corn syrup and water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Bring it to a boil and cook the mixture until a candy thermometer reaches 300ºF (the hard crack stage).

Remove the candy mixture from the heat and carefully stir in the red food coloring (it may splash, so be very careful). You may have to add more than the designated ½ teaspoon, depending on the quality and strength of your food coloring.

One by one, carefully dip the apples into the candy mixture, swirling to coat them thoroughly and allowing any excess to drip back into the pan. Transfer the coated apples to the prepared cookie sheet and allow them to cool until the candy has fully hardened.

If the candy mixture gets too hard during the dipping process, simply re-heat it over medium heat and continue coating the apples.

You want to work kind of fast because the candy gets hard quickly. I wanted a heavy coat of candy on my apples so I dipped each apple twice. I should have let more candy excess come off the apples but I was so scared to make them that I just wanted to do it!  Needless to say that candy excess did not go to waste…we ate it.

These apples were so delicious and brought back so many memories!

Besos,

Flor

Recipe source justataste

Apple Cider Pancakes with Apple Cider Syrup

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Hey!

On my las post I forgot to mention a movie my husband and I went to see on Tuesday. We received free tickets to see a screening of the movie “About Time” that will be in theatres on November 1st  or 8th. It was such an excellent movie! It stars  Rachel McAdams and male actor but unfortunately I don’t know his name. It was a comedic love story. It was very funny but also had some very emotional scenes. I had to catch myself from crying during the movie. If you get a chance to see it please do!

Now that the cooler fall weather is here it is perfect for long lingering breakfasts on the weekends. Take advantage of making these while it is apple cider time!

Make sure these are nice and warm when you eat them. So good…so good that my husband ate this whole stack plus eggs all by himself!

The recipe for the syrup makes quite a bit I think so make sure to refrigerate the left overs and save to serve with other pancakes, waffles or french toast.

Apple Cider Pancakes

This recipe makes a large batch. If you are making these for 2 or 3 people, just save the extra dry mix as in an airtight container until ready to use. 

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour (or white flour)
  • 3 cups white flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Pancake Ingredients

  • 1 cups dry pancake mix
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 cup apple cider (or apple juice if you can’t find cider)
  • Unsalted Butter (both for cooking the pancakes and topping them when they are finished)

Pancake Directions

Place the 1 cup of dry mix in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk the egg white, buttermilk, yogurt, honey and cider. In another small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and olive oil. Whisk the wet ingredients in one bowl until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry mix and stir until just combined. It’s Ok if there are some lumps.

Heat 1 tablespoon of butter or vegetable oil in a medium pan. Measure 1/3 cup of the batter and pour into the pan. When you start to see small bubbles on the top of the pancakes and the edges are beginning to cook, flip the pancake. Be sure to add more butter or oil as needed so the pancakes don’t stick.

Apple Cider Syrup

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2/3 cup apple cider or juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick (1-1/2 inches)
  • Dash ground nutmeg

Directions

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and cider until smooth; add cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Discard cinnamon stick. Stir nutmeg into syrup. Pour into a bottle with a tight-fitting lid and store in the refrigerator for up to two months.

While the pancakes are still warm, top with some butter and allow it to melt over the top of the pancakes. Pour syrup over pancakes and devour!

I am not the kind of person to be in my pj’s all day at all. I need to shower as soon as I get up and get ready for the day. But the fall and winter weather I think I do tend to stay in my pj’s just a bit longer…especially if I get to make and eat a warm and comforting breakfast like this one!

Enjoy!

Besos,

Flor

Recipes adapted from tokyoterrace and thecomfortofcooking