‘A Little Help from My Friends’ Ham, Chicken and Potato Bake

Ham, Chicken and Potato Bake - www.myyellowfarmhouse.com

++ If you wish, this casserole can be prepared using just chicken or ham.  It could also be prepared with a few cans of drained tuna !!

Ham, Chicken and Potato Bake’ comes together quickly thanks to the use of frozen hash brown potatoes. (I like Potatoes O’Brien hash browns because they already include red pepper and onion.)  Thaw the potatoes in your microwave, allow to drain – and they’re ready to go.  No cooking and no peeling!

After scattering the potatoes on the bottom of a 9′ x 13′ casserole dish, chunks of cooked chicken and ham are added, along with sweet red pepper, mushrooms and a touch of garlic.  A quickly-prepared sauce is poured over all, followed by a sprinkling of three-cheese mix (Parmesan, Romano and Asiago) and some sliced almonds.  Bake the casserole at 350F for about for 50 – 60 minutes and get ready for some Good Eaten’ !!

INGREDIENTS         Bake in 350F oven for 50 – 60 minutes

  • 1 pkg (28 oz) frozen Potatoes O’Brien – thawed  — OR —  1 pkg. (32 oz.) frozen cubed hash browns – thawed
  • 2 cups cooked chicken cut into bite-sized pieces  ++ If you don’t happen to have cooked chicken, in a small covered skillet simmer 1 boneless chicken breast in 1/4 water or broth until fully cooked. Cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • 2 cups ham, cut into bite-sized pieces = (10 oz) ham steak      ++  Most hams are now water-injected…. If the ham seems ‘drippy’ place between paper towels and squeeze out some of the moisture.
  • 1 small pkg. (10 oz.) cremini  (or button) mushrooms, sliced       ++ If there are any specs of dirt on the mushrooms, wipe with a paper towel.  Do NOT wash under running water.  Mushrooms are like little sponges!
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 chopped sweet red pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 can condensed cream of chicken or mushroom soup, undiluted
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube, crumbled
  • 3/4 to 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh parsley     ++  Fresh parsley can be chopped, then frozen in a small storage bag.  Simply break off what you need !!
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • a bit of parsley – to sprinkle on top
  • paprika – to sprinkle on top for color

METHOD

Spread thawed Potatoes O’Brien evenly on the bottom of a 9′ x 13′ casserole.

Ham, Chicken and Potato Bake - www.myyellowfarmhouse.com (2)

Add cooked chicken and ham pieces.

Ham, Chicken and Potato Bake - myyellowfarmhouse.com

Place 1 Tbs. butter in a large skillet and cook sliced mushrooms, stirring, until mushrooms wilt.  Remove mushrooms and set aside while you cook the 1/4 chopped onion and 1/4 cup chopped sweet red pepper.  Cook onion and pepper until softened.  Add 1 clove minced garlic.  Continue to cook a minute more, until garlic softens.

Spread cooked mushrooms, onion, red pepper and garlic over ham and chicken.

Sauce – –  In a medium-sized bowl mix 1 cup sour cream, 1 can condensed cream of chicken (or mushroom soup), 1 chicken bouillon cube, crumbled, 3/4 to 1 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, 1 tsp. chopped fresh parsley and  1 1/2 cups chicken broth until well blended.  Pour over ingredients already in casserole.

Sprinkle with 2/3 cup three-cheese-blend   ++ Or any mixture of Parmesan and other cheeses.  Add 1/2 cup sliced almonds and a bit more chopped fresh parsley.  Sprinkle with some paprika.

Ham, Chicken and Potato Bake - - myyellowfarmhouse.com

Bake at 350F for 50 – 60 minutes – until sauce bubbles around edges of casserole.  Allow casserole to sit for 5 – 10 minutes and serve.  Enjoy!!

 Ham, Chicken and Potato Bake - www.myyellowfarmhouse.com

‘A Little Help from My Friends’ Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes with Whipped Chocolate Frosting

Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes with Chocolate Whipped Topping - www.myyellowfarmhouse.com
I prepared these cupcakes with a bit of ‘Chambord’ liqueur – YUMMY !!

Little G. - The Happy Chocolate Cupcake Eater

Sweet Little ‘G’… who happens to be a big fan of Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes.  (Notice she ate the whole cupcake…. but left the blueberries!)

- – – – – -

 I like to use the title ‘A Little Help from My Friends’ when a recipe utilizes prepared mixes etc.  With ‘A Little Help from My Friends’ you can whip up something delicious in very little time – yet the result tastes as if you’d ‘slaved away’ !!

My recipe for Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes with Whipped Chocolate Frosting includes a chocolate cake mix prepared with raspberry jam. (And the addition of Chambord liqueur if you prefer a more ‘adult tasting’ cupcake.  Actually, I made a special trip to purchase some Chambord so these cupcakes would be extra special !)

Your friends and family will be surprised the delicious chocolate frosting is simply whipped topping mixed with cocoa powder and vanilla.

chambord black raspberry liqueur - liquor.comI did some reading about Chambord - here’s a bit of what I found; According to legend, Chambord was inspired by King Louis XIV’s ‘beverage of choice’.

Chambord is created from raspberries, blackberries, Madagascar vanilla, Moroccan citrus peel, honey, cognac and herbs and spices.  (What’s not to like!?)

Today is Valentine’s Day and I’m going to share some of my Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes with Whipped Chocolate Frosting with friends as a special Valentine’s treat.   Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you.

INGREDIENTS  FOR CUPCAKES         Yield = 18 large cupcakes     For 24 cupcakes, fill  sections with less cake mix 
  • one Dark Chocolate cake mix… prepared according to directions ….  EXCEPT …. remove 2 Tbs. water from the amount of water given in the recipe.
  • 1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
  • +++  If adding Chambord  – substitute 1/4 cup Chambord for 1/4 cup of the water.

Prepare Dark Chocolate cake mix according to directions – but remove 2 Tbs. water from the amount of water called for in the recipe.  Add 1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam.

Mix cupcake batter on low to blend ingredients – then beat 2 minutes until batter is smooth. Line cupcake tins with cupcake liners OR lightly grease each section.  Fill each section 3/4s full.  ++ I find it really helps to use a small measuring cup to scoop out the batter and fill the sections.

++  The cupcakes liners I used are called ‘Parchment Lotus Cups’.  They’re sold by ‘PaperChef’.

Bake cupcakes according to package directions.  ++  To test if cupcakes are done, insert a sharp knife or toothpick into the center. If knife or toothpick comes out clean – the cupcakes are ready.

Remove cupcakes from baking pan and allow to cool on a rack for 20 – 25 minutes – or until cupcakes no longer feel warm.

INGREDIENTS FOR WHIPPED CHOCOLATE FROSTING
  • 2 (8 oz.) containers of ‘Cool Whip’ whipped topping
  • 6 Tbs. cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Place 2 (8 oz.) containers of ‘Cool Whip’ whipped topping into a medium-sized bowl, along with 5 – 6 Tbs. cocoa powder and 1 tsp. vanilla extract in a medium-sized bowl. Mix with a large spoon until well-combined.     ++  A bit of confectionery/powdered/ icing sugar can be added if you wish. 

Spread whipped frosting on cupcakes and that’s it.    Talk about ‘Quick, Easy and Good’ – Enjoy!

Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes with Whipped Chocolate Frosting - www.myyellowfarmhouse.com

Has Anyone Heard Anything from ‘ChgoJohn’ of ‘The Bartolini Kitchens’?

ChgoJohn

This is a highly unusual post…  John (ChgoJohn) of ‘The Bartolini Kitchens’ hasn’t posted anything since December 24th.  I’ve sent him a few emails, yet I haven’t heard from him.  And he unfailingly returns my emails within a day or two.  And – if he plans to ‘close the kitchens’ because he’s traveling – he always let us, his readers, know.   Which makes me wonder if John’ beloved Zia might be ill…

I know so many people, including myself, have come to love John and consider him a friend.  He always has the best ‘tales to tell’ and posts (as many of you know) the most fantastic recipes which have been handed down to him by his mother and his Zia – John’s mother’s sister.

For those of you who aren’t followers of John’s blog – here’s a wonderful post from November 29th, 2014.  The post shows both John’s sense of humor and his warmth – and his love for Zia… because November 29th was Zia’s birthday.

http://fromthebartolinikitchens.com/category/3-non-recipe-posts/personal/

Please post a comment if you’ve heard from John – thanks!

“Khobz’ – Moroccan Bread ++ Quick & Easy ++ Dough only needs to rise once!

Khobz - Moroccan Bread - www.myyellowfarmhouse.com

Khobz - Moroccan Bread - myyellowfarmhouse.com (2)

The beautifully hand-painted blue and white dish used in this post was purchased by me in Casablanca.  It’s one of my favorites!

I truly enjoy making different kinds of bread!  It amazes me how something so comforting and delicious comes out of playing around with some flour, salt and sugar etc.  It also amazes me how many different types of bread there are in the world. Naan - courtesy of agk.wikia.comOne of my favorite memories took place in India on New Year’s Eve years ago, where we saw men (fearless men!) slapping Naan onto the sides of a tandoor oven with their bare hands. Tandori Oven for Cooking Naan - courtesy of Visual Photos.com

And, on a visit to Cairo, we saw women sitting on the ground cooking bread on large, flat stones.  That bread was, like Naan, a flat-bread but with a whole different – and wonderful – taste.

Egyptian Flat Bread - courtesy of Egyptian Food Recipes.com

++  Curious about ‘Breads of the World’ – here’s a great site!    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_breads

Interestingly enough, bread in Malta is called ‘Hobz’ (Ħobż Malti).  Ħobż Malti is dense, heavy bread which makes wonderful sandwiches.  Malta was ruled by Arabs for quite a long time, and the Maltese language contains many words derived from (or exactly the same as) Arabic.  So, it’s not too surprising that the Arabic word for bread is ‘Khobz’ and the Maltese word is ‘Ħobż“! 

When we lived in Malta I wrote a small book about the country’s long and varied history.  And let me tell you, Malta’s history, including rule by the Knights of St. John (better known today as The Knights of Malta) is fascinating!

Maltese Hobz -  courtesy of 'honeyandmustard.wordpress.com

One of the best sandwiches I’ve ever eaten is called Hobz Biz-zejt.  There are times when The Whole Equals More Than the Sum of It’s Parts and this is sure one of those times!!   Hobz Biz-zejt can be recreated with another type of crusty bread, but it just won’t be quite the same…   Here’s a link if you’d like to make these sandwiches at home.  (I just started following this blog!)  https://honeyandmustard.wordpress.com/2011/05/13/maltese-traditional-hobz-biz-zejt/

I know you’re going to enjoy Khobz.  It’s easy to make.  The recipe makes two loaves.  And – best of all – Khobz only needs one rising.

- – – -

INGREDIENTS      Oven at 435F      Bake for 20 minutes     ++ Switch position of baking sheets after first 10 minutes

  • 4 cups flour
  • 2  tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbs. yeast
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water   ++  Water should feel warmer than your skin.  Try pouring a bit on your wrist to check.  If the water’s too cold – or too hot – the yeast won’t work properly and the bread won’t rise. 
  • olive oil  – – to spread on baking sheets – and – to drizzle on bread both before and after baking

METHOD

Prepare 2 baking sheets by pouring 1/2 tsp. olive oil in the center of each baking sheet.  Spread oil, using fingers, to make a 5″ – 6″ circle .     ++ You can skip the olive oil and use cornmeal…. but, to me, cornmeal doesn’t seem very authentic. Place 4 cups flour, 2  tsp. salt and 2 tsp. sugar in a large bowl.  Stir to combine. Make a well in the center.   Place 1 Tbs. yeast in the center.  Gently pour 2 Tbs. olive oil and 1 1/4 cups warm water into the well and mix together to dissolve yeast.  Then mix entire contents of bowl until flour mixture has been incorporated.      ++  It may seem, at first, like you’ll never be able to get all the flour incorporated – just work at it a bit and it’ll all come together!    Khobz - Moroccan White Bread - - www.myyellowfarmhouse.com Khobz - Moroccan White Bread - www.myyellowfarmhouse.com

Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead dough for 10 minutes, adding a bit more flour if necessary.  After kneading for 10 minutes dough should be soft and pliable. ++  Here’s an excellent link to learn how to knead bread –   http://bread.wonderhowto.com/how-to/knead-bread-dough-by-hand-355638/ After dough is kneaded, form dough into a ball.

              Divide dough into halves.         Shape each portion into a smooth, circular mound.

khobz - Moroccan Bread - myyellowfarmhouse.com (4)

Khobz - Moroccan Bread - - www.myyellowfarmhouse.com

Place dough onto prepared baking sheets.  Cover with towels.

  Allow to rest for 10 minutes.

Khobz - Moroccan Bread - www.myyellowfarmhouse.com (2)

Khobz - Moroccan Bread - myyellowfarmhouse.com

After 10 minutes, flatten dough using the palm your hand to form two 7″ circles.

Khobz - Moroccan Bread - www.myyellowfarmhouse.com (3)

Once again, cover dough with towels. Allow dough to rise for an hour – or until dough springs back when pressed lightly with a finger.

Khobz - Moroccan Bread - myyellowfarmhouse.com

After dough has risen, poke here and there with a fork.  Drizzle on a bit of olive oil and spread with your fingers (which is what I do) or use a spoon.

Khobz - Moroccan Bread - www.myyellowfarmhouse.com (4)

++ Raise bottom oven rack up one level     Bake bread at 435F for 20 minutes – – rotating baking sheets halfway through cooking time (at the 10 minute mark). Loaves should be browned and sound hollow when tapped.    ++  Don’t be afraid to take bread out a minute or two early  – oven temperatures can vary widely. Remove loaves from baking sheets and allow to cool on wire racks.  At this point I like to drizzle on more olive oil and spread it over the crust – because I think it makes most-any bread look better.   Enjoy !!

Khobz - Moroccan White Bread -- www.myyellowfarmhouse.com (3)

Moroccan Chicken and Rice Pilaf 2- - myyellowfarmhouse.com+ Here’s the link for ‘Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Sweet Potatoes’.    http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2015/02/03/moroccan-chicken-tangine-with-sweet-potatoes/

Moroccan Chicken and Couscous - My Yellow Farmhouse.com + To complete your Moroccan meal, here’s the link for ‘Couscous with Raisins and Pine Nuts’ as well as another recipe for Moroccan Chicken.

  http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2014/03/10/moroccan-chicken-couscous-with-raisins-and-slivered-almonds/ 

Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Sweet Potatoes (Does NOT have to be cooked in a tagine!)

Moroccan Chicken - - myyellowfarmhous.com

Moroccan Chicken and Rice Pilaf - - myyellowfarmhouse.com

Moroccan Chicken and Sweet Potatoes -- myyellowfarmhouse.com

Today it snowed almost all day long, so it was a perfect day to prepare a dish which simmers away in the oven, filling your kitchen with the scent of cardamom, cinnamon, turmeric and ginger!

I’m not proud to say I actually received my beautiful tagine as a gift LAST Christmas.  (I’ve told you I’m a procrastinator..)  There’s no excuse for waiting so long to ‘try it out’. It’s not as if I don’t see the tangine every day, sitting and waiting patiently on the lower shelf of the buffet in my kitchen…

tangine - kitchen buffet - myyellowfarmhouse.com

Moroccan Chicken Tagine can be be cooked several different ways; 1. In a tangine – cooked in the oven.  2.  In a tangine, cooked on very low heat on top of the stove.  3.  In a covered casserole – cooked in the oven.  4.  In a large saucepan or Dutch Oven – either in the oven (if pan has heatproof handles) or on top of the stove.

Whichever way you chose to cook Moroccan Chicken Tagine, you’re in for a treat.  And, except for frying up the onions and garlic in a skillet, you have a one pot meal with no mess in the kitchen. If you’re lucky enough to have a tangine, you can proudly present your Moroccan meal served right from your tangine.

++  Tagines, according to my research, range in size from 8″ to 16″.  Actually, mine is only 7″ across at the base but it’s deep, so I was able to able to put in 8 boneless & skinless chicken thighs, plus 2 large cut-up sweet potatoes.

++ Be sure to learn how to use your tagine if you’ve never cooked with one before!  (The terracotta ones need special care.)   ++ Here’s a link to a great website which we could call “All You Ever Wanted to Know About Tangines” !  http://moroccanfood.about.com/od/moroccanfood101/f/How-to-Use-Tagine.htm

Moroccan Chicken and Rice Pilaf 3- - myyellowfarmhouse.com   ++ Follow this link for my recipe ‘Never-Fail, Always Moist’ Armenian Rice Pilaf with Toasted Pine Nuts’    – –  http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2015/02/03/never-fail-always-delicious-armenian-rice-pilaf/

 +

Dates – One of New ‘Favorite Foods’ !!

Moroccan Chicken Tangine -- www.myyellowfarmhouse.com

++ Start tagine in a cold oven

++ Place oven rack at 2nd lowest level. 

INGREDIENTS       Oven at 325 (F)      Cook for 2 hours.   If cooking on top of stove in a saucepan or Dutch Oven, be sure to just ‘simmer’ the tangine.

  • 6 – 8 boneless/skinless chicken THIGHS
  • 2 – 3 medium sweet potatoes – peeled and cut into eighths.   ++  My tangine is small, so I only used 2 medium sweet potatoes.  They turned out soo yummy cooked this way that I plan to try to cram more in next time!! 
  •  2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced      ++  About 2 cups
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, minced or finely chopped   ++  Warm garlic cloves in microwave for 10 – 15 seconds, which helps remove papery covering on garlic cloves.
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp.ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander      ++  I used 1 tsp. minced fresh cilantro, which are the leaves of the same plant.  In fact, coriander comes from the seeds.
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cardamom
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped dates    (You can purchase dates which have been chopped.)1 cup HOT chicken broth    ++  Can also use 1 CUP HOT water and one bouillon cube.

METHOD

Arrange boneless/skinless chicken thighs in one layer on bottom of tagine.   ++  I folded the loose bits under, which looks a bit nicer and helps the chicken cook evenly.

Moroccan Chicken Tagine - www.myyellowfarmhouse.com

Put the following spices in a small dish or glass and set aside; 1/2 tsp. ground ginger, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/2 ground turmeric, 1 tsp. ground coriander (or 1 tsp. minced fresh cilantro), 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. chili powder, 1/4 tsp. cardamom, 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper.

Pour 2 Tbs. olive oil into a large skillet.  Add sliced onions and cook over medium heat until onions begin to brown a bit – between 5 to 6 minutes.

Add minced garlic.  Cook two to three minutes more, stirring occasionally.

Add the spices you’d set aside.  Stir to combine with the onions and garlic.  Cook one more minute, stirring.

Spread contents of skillet over chicken.

Moroccan Chicken Tangine - -  myyellowfarmhouse.com

Make one layer of the peeled and cut-up sweet potatoes.  Sprinkle 1/4 chopped dates over potatoes.  Pour 1 cup HOT broth over all.

Moroccan Chicken  Tangine - -www.myyellowfarmhouse.com

Cover on tagine.  Lower oven rack to second lowest level.  Place covered tagine in COLD oven.  Set temperature to 325F.

Cook for two hours.  ++  Chicken and sweet potatoes will be cooked after 1 1/2 hours but the extra 1/2 hour of cooking time REALLY makes the chicken thighs tender.  Enjoy !!

Moroccan Chicken and Rice Pilaf 2- - myyellowfarmhouse.com

‘Never-Fail, Always Delicious’ Armenian Rice Pilaf

Moroccan Chicken and Rice Pilaf 3- - myyellowfarmhouse.com

I found this delicious recipe for Armenian Rice Pilaf many, many years ago in the Providence Journal when we lived in Rhode Island – and it’s been a BIG favorite with my family and guests ever since.

As the title suggests, this Rice Pilaf comes out perfectly every single time.  I think there’s two secrets as to why – hot broth is added to browned-in-butter rice, pine nuts and a bit of angel hair pasta .  The other ‘secret’ is, after the rice pilaf is fully cooked, the pan is taken off the heat, and paper towel is placed over the uncovered pan for 10 minutes, resulting in fluffy, buttery rice pilaf ‘to die for’ !!

Moroccan Chicken - - myyellowfarmhous.com

Follow this to Moroccan Chicken Tangine.     http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2015/02/03/moroccan-chicken-tangine-with-sweet-potatoes/

INGREDIENTS & METHOD       Serves 4 – 6     Can be prepared ahead.

  • 1/2 stick butter  (4 Tbs.)
  • 1/2 cup crushed angel hair pasta     ++  Regular spaghetti is fine
  • 1/3 cup pine (pignoli) nuts
  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 1/2 cups boiling chicken broth –  OR  –  2 1/2 cups boiling water and 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • Recipe does not call for salt – there’s already salt in the chicken broth.  If you wish, you may add some salt and pepper. 

Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add 1/2 cup crushed angel hair pasta and 1/3 cup pine (pignoli) nuts.  Slowly stir until golden.    ++  The butter may foam up – that’s totally fine!

++ Watch carefully, you don’t want to burn the pasta and pine nuts!

Armenian Rice Pilaf with Toasted Pine Nuts - www.myyellowfarmhouse.com

Armenian Rice Pilaf with Toasted Pne Nuts - - www.myyellowfarmhouse.com

+

Add 1 cup rice – stir until thoroughly coated with butter.

Add 2 1/2 cups boiling chicken broth  – OR  – 2 1/2 boiling water and 1 bouillon cube.  Stir quickly with a fork – cover pan and lower heat.

Armenian Rice Pilaf - - www.myyellowfarmhouse.com

Simmer for approximately 20 minutes, or until all broth is absorbed and rice is fully cooked.  ++  If, by chance, rice is still a bit hard after 20 minutes  –  add a bit more hot water to pan and continue cooking a few more minutes.

Once rice is fully cooked, remove pan from heat.  Gently fluff rice with a fork.  Cover with paper towel for 10 minutes, which absorbs any extra moisture so the rice pilaf is extra fluffy.  ++  Be sure paper towel isn’t near a heat source!

After 10 minutes, fluff rice again with fork and serve.  Enjoy !!

++  Recipe can easily be doubled.
++ I often prepare a double batch of Armenian Rice Pilaf early the day of a party and store it (covered) in the fridge.  When I’m ready to serve, I add just a tiny bit of warm water and rewarm the rice, covered with waxed paper or plastic wrap, in the microwave.

Moroccan Chicken and Rice Pilaf - - myyellowfarmhouse.com

Oven Baked Salmon with Crispy Topping ++ Can Be Prepared Gluten Free !

Oven Baked Salmon with rispy Topping - myyellowfarmhouse.com

As you may know, I’m seriously ‘on a mission’ lately to eat more healthy and I’ve discovered eating healthy does NOT mean dining on meals that taste like cardboard!!

Just because I’m trying to eat better doesn’t mean I can’t indulge in the occasional treat, as I did yesterday when I lost my car key (it just dropped off the key chain….).  After searching the parking lot etc. I finally found it at my doctor’s office…. but that was AFTER I called AAA to open my car in the hopes the key had dropped off inside.  I ended up rewarding myself, after all that frustration, with a (not too big…) piece of carrot cake – and I enjoyed every single bite !!

- – – – 

++  If you prefer to prepare this “gluten-free” – just use gluten free corn flakes, such as Nature’s Path Organic. 

++  Corn itself is gluten free but many products containing corn, such as corn flakes, may have flour (wheat) in the ingredients.

++  Recipe makes enough for 4 people, depending upon the size of your piece of salmon.    ++  I prepared 1 piece of salmon and stored the extra topping in the fridge.

INGREDIENTS                Oven at 375 F           ++ Bake salmon for approximately 20 minutes

  • a bit of olive oil, to grease skillet….. about 2 tsp.
  • 4 pieces of salmon about 5″ long and 1/2″ in center    ++  Can be either with – or without – skin.
  • TOPPING
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • some freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups corn flakes
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup pine nuts      ++ I used 1/4 cup – – pine nuts are expensive!!
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • a bit of fresh parsley         ++  optional

Preheat oven 375F

Put all the ingredients into a food processor.  Pulse into ground.

++  If you don’t have a food processor, put all topping ingredients in a ziplock bag and crush.

Oven Baked Crispy Salmon  with Crispy Topping  -  myyellowfarmhouse.com

Oven Baked Salmon with Crispy Topping  -  myyellowfarmhouse.com

+

Sprinkle between 1/4 to 1/3 cup of crumb mixture on each piece of salmon, pressing the crumbs into the fish a bit.     ++  Leftovers of crumb mixture can be stored in fridge !

Oven Baked Salmon with Srispy Topping - myyellowfarmhouse.com

Place salmon pieces on a broiler broiler  OR  on a rack, as shown above.

Bake in 375 F oven for 20 minutes, depending upon thickness of salmon.    ++  Salmon should be firm in the middle and look opaque. 

It does NOT get much easier than this. And – believe me, this Oven Baked Salmon with Crispy Topping is delicious.   Enjoy!!

Oven Baked Salmon with Crispy Topping - myyellowfarmhouse.com

Roasted Cauliflower and Red Pepper Gratin with Toasted Pine Nuts

Roasted Cauliflower Gratin with Toasted Pine Nuts

++ This can be prepared GLUTEN FREE  !!

++  UPDATE – – EVEN BETTER WHEN MADE A DAY AHEAD !!      I just discovered that the next day the flavor of the roasted red peppers and cheddar cheese is infused throughout and the cauliflower is lovely & creamy !!  It tastes a lot like a very special version of Mac & Cheese.

It amazes me, now that I’m actually paying attention, how many fabulous recipes can be found which are healthy AND delicious.  Not only am I losing weight in my effort to eat healthy, I also have a lot more energy.  LOOK OUT WORLD !!

If you think you don’t like cauliflower, this may be the recipe to change your mind !  This is NOT your mother’s (or grandmother’s) ‘boiled all to hell’ cauliflower.  A light cheese sauce graces the roasted cauliflower with loads of flavor and there’s a tiny bit of heat from the cayenne pepper. And, except for garlic salt with herbs, there’s no salt in this recipe.  (This was my dinner last night, that’s how much I enjoyed this dish.)

INGREDIENTS

  • 7 cups cauliflower, cut into pieces 2″       ++ Uses 1 head of cauliflower, with perhaps a bit leftover
  • 1 red pepper, cut into 1/4′ strips
  • 1 – 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. flour      ++  For ‘Gluten-Free use 1 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic salt with parsley      ++  Or garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt-free seasoning      ++  I like ‘Mrs. Dash – Garlic & Herb’
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 14 – 1/3 cup pine nuts       ++  a.k.a. pinola nuts        ++  You could also use walnuts or pecans
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 1 1/4 cups 2% milk      ++  I used 1% & that worked fine!
  • 1 1/4 grated Cheddar cheese

SET OVEN AT 425 (F)       TOTAL COOKING TIME – 25 MINUTES    (10 MINS, THEN 15 MINS.)                                           

Mix together cauliflower pieces, red pepper strips and 1 – 2 Tbs. olive oil.

Roasted Cauliflower Gratin with Toasted Pine Nuts

Spread vegetables evenly on baking sheet with sides.  

Roasted Cauliflower Gratin with Toasted Pine Nuts

Roast veggies in a 425 (F) oven for 10 minutes.  While cauliflower is roasting, toast pine nuts and prepare cheese sauce.

                                       Roasted Cauliflower and Red Pepper – After 10 Minutes

cooked -Roasted Cauliflower Gratin with Toasted Pine Nuts

TOASTED PINE NUTS  

In a small (ungreased) frying pan over medium heat toast pine nuts, shaking pan occasionally, until nuts become lightly browned.

CHEESE SAUCE

In a small bowl mix together 1 Tbs. flour  (For ‘Gluten-Free use 1 Tbs. cornstarch), 1/4 tsp. garlic salt with parsley, 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper, 1/4 tsp. salt-free seasoning and 1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Once butter is melted, add the flour and spices.  Whisk together and cook, stirring with whisk, for about a minute. 

Slowly add 1 1/4 cup milk and continue whisking until mixture is well blended.  Continue to simmer sauce for 4 – 5 minutes if using flour, whisking occasionally.  ++  If using cornstarch, the simmering time will be less.   ++  If sauce becomes too thick when using cornstarch, add a bit more milk.

REMOVE SAUCEPAN FROM HEAT.  Add 1 1/4 cup shredded cheese and whisk until cheese sauce is smooth.  Add toasted pine nuts.

Remove baking sheet from oven after 10 minutes.  Using a spatula, gently turn the partially cooked cauliflower and red pepper strips.  Drizzle cheese sauce slowly over veggies.

Return baking sheet to oven and roast for another 15 minutes, or until tops of cauliflower are nicely browned.  Serve & Enjoy !!

Roasted Cauliflower Gratin with Toasted Pine NutsRoasted Cauliflower Gratin with Toasted Pine Nuts

Nutty Oatmeal and Wholewheat Bread

2 - Nutty Oatmeal and Wholewheat Bread - My Yellow Farmhouse

Makes One Loaf

Oatmeal and Wholewheat Bread - My Yellow Farmhouse.comFor Bread Machine directions, follow this link – http://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2015/01/22/nutty-oatmeal-wholewheat-bread-bread-machine-version/

This is the latest recipe in my Eating Healthy series.  And I’m happy to say that after only a week of ‘eating healthy’ I’m back in my jeans – and I can actually sit here and work on this post without having to unzip them.  If I’m hungry, I eat.  I just watch what I eat.  Believe me – I have a long, long way to go weight-wise.  But I’m motivated and enjoying the process.

It took me two tries to get this recipe the way I wanted it… and it was definitely worth the effort.  Nutty Oatmeal & Wholewheat Bread has a delicious, nutty taste.  And it’s good for you! There’s a cup of oatmeal and a cup of wholewheat flour, plus a cup of regular bread flour (because I don’t like heavy bread).  I added 1 tablespoon of chia seeds, which are so very good for you – or – you could add some bran in place of the chia seeds.  I  also added 1/3 cup of chopped walnuts, which, like chocolate, make everything taste better.    ++ This bread makes wonderful toast!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup very warm water
  • 2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 2 Tbs. honey            ++  Or brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbs. butter             ++  Or Olive oil
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup wholewheat flour
  • 1 cup flour      ++  In the United States, bread flour is different than regular flour.  In Canada, regular flour has the same qualities as bread flour.  I use bread flour but this recipe works with either.
  • 2 pinches nutmeg
  • OPTIONAL    –    1 Tbs. Chia seeds    ++  Or wheat germ
  • OPTIONAL    –    1/3 cup chopped walnuts  ++  Walnuts will be added once dough has been kneaded a while.

METHOD

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Measure 1 cup very warm water.    ++  The water should feel warm on your wrist – not hot.  Too hot and you kill the yeast.  Too cold, and the yeast just sits there. 

Add 2 Tbs. honey and stir briefly.  Add 2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast.  Again stir briefly.  I’ve never seen directions to ‘stir’… it’s just what I do.)

Allow water, honey and yeast to sit for 15 minutes.

++  I usually give the mixture a little stir after about 7 minutes.

++  During cold weather you may want to place the measuring cup somewhere out of drafts.  I use my microwave!

After 15 minutes the water, honey and yeast should’ve bubbled up to resemble the photo above.  ++ If it does NOT – your water may have been too cold or too hot – or – your yeast may not be good anymore.  Just dump the contents out and try it again.  DO NOT GIVE UP!  The first bread I made was heavy as a brick!!

++  The quality of yeast goes down the longer you have it.  Use ‘6 months’ as your guide for when it’s time to discard it BUT your bread won’t fail if the yeast is older.  Your bread will just not rise quite as much and will have less flavor.  (I buy small jars of yeast but the same applies to packets.)

Pour the liquid into a medium-sized bowl.  Add 1 1/4 tsp. salt, 2 Tbs. butter, 1 cup quick-cooking oats, 1 cup wholewheat flour, 1 cup flour (see note above), 1 Tbs. Chia seeds and 2 pinches nutmeg.  ++  You’ll be adding the walnuts a bit later.

Using your hands (or a large spoon if you wish) mix the ingredients until combined, which should only take about a minute.

KNEADING THE DOUGH

Place dough on lightly floured work surface.  ++  I usually use a ‘tea towel’ (a.k.a. ‘dish towel) but this dough is a bit sticky, just I just used the counter.

Knead dough about 5 minutes.  ++  To knead dough, push away from you with the palm of your hand, turn dough, fold over and repeat. If dough is too sticky, add a bit more flour.

++ Now add 1/3 chopped walnuts and knead just until walnuts are incorporated.  Form dough into a ball.

++  Here’s an excellent link to learn how to knead bread –  http://bread.wonderhowto.com/how-to/knead-bread-dough-by-hand-355638/

Dough After Kneading

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ALLOWING THE DOUGH TO ‘RISE’    

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After dough has been kneaded, place it in a greased bowl.  Turn dough over to grease top.  Cover bowl with a dish towel or plastic wrap.  Let rise in warm place for 30 to 40 minutes, or until double in size. 

++ During cold weather, place a 10′ x 13′ pan half-full of VERY HOT water on the bottom rack. of your oven.  Place the covered bowl containing the dough on the top rack.

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ALLOWING THE DOUGH TO RISE A 2nd TIME

Once dough has risen, you’re going to ‘punch it down’, which seems pretty counter-intuitive…but allowing the dough rise a 2nd time will make the bread much lighter.  ++  If you like dense bread – then just skip this step!

Cover bowl with dishtowel and repeat step above for rising the dough.  Again – allow to rise for 30 – 40 minutes or until double in size.

 FORMING THE DOUGH  –  This is fun and easy!!

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Remove dough from bowl.  Place on a lightly floured surface.  Using fingers, press dough into an 8′ x 12′ rectangle.  Beginning at short end, roll up tightly.  Place in a greased (I use olive oil) 9′ x 5′ loaf pan.

Bake in a 375 (F) oven for 35 – 40 minutes.  Allow the Nutty Oatmeal and Wholewheat Bread a few minutes to cool off due to the denseness of the bread…. that is….if you can wait.  (I didn’t!)     Enjoy!

2 - Nutty Oatmeal and Wholewheat Bread - My Yellow Farmhouse

Nutty Oatmeal & Wholewheat Bread – Bread Machine Version

Oatmeal and Wholewheat Bread - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

2 - Nutty Oatmeal and Wholewheat Bread - My Yellow Farmhouse

Follow this link for Nutty Oatmeal and Wholewheat Bread made without a bread machine -   http://myyellowfrmhouse.com/2015/01/22/nutty-oatmeal-and-wholewheat-bread/

This is the latest recipe in my Eating Healthy series.  And I’m happy to say that after only a week of ‘eating healthy’ I’m back in my jeans – and I can actually sit here and work on this post without having to unzip them.  If I’m hungry, I eat.  I just watch what I eat.  Believe me – I have a long, long way to go weight-wise.  But I’m motivated and enjoying the process.

It took me two tries to get this recipe the way I wanted it… and it was definitely worth the effort.  Nutty Oatmeal & Wholewheat Bread has a delicious, nutty taste.  And it’s good for you! There’s a cup of oatmeal and a cup of wholewheat flour, plus a cup of regular bread flour (because I don’t like heavy bread).  I added 1 tablespoon of chia seeds, which are so very good for you – or – you could add some bran in place of the chia seeds.  I  also added 1/3 cup of chopped walnuts, which, like chocolate, make everything taste better.    ++ This bread makes wonderful toast!

INGREDIENTS        ++  According to my bread machine directions, this is the order of the ingredients as they’re put into the bread machine.  Check the directions for your bread machine, just in case they differ.

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 Tbs. honey            ++  Or brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbs. butter             ++  Or Olive oil
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup wholewheat flour
  • 1 cup bread flour      ++  In the United States, bread flour is different than regular flour.  In Canada, regular flour has the same qualities as bread flour.  Follow your manufacturer’s directions.
  • 1 Tbs. Chia seeds    ++  Or wheat germ
  • 2 pinches nutmeg
  • 2 1/4 tsp.active dry yeast  ++  I use Bread Machine yeast but regular yeast may be used
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts   ++  The walnuts should be added during your machine’s ‘add’ cycle, which is part way through the kneading process.  Your machine should give you a signal.  If not, add the walnuts after machine has had time to knead the dough for awhile.


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Set bread machine on ‘grain’ cycle.   ++  Your machine’s grain cycle will allow for the bread to rise twice, which gives the bread a lighter texture.  Enjoy !!

++  This step is NOT necessary but if you want a darker, crisper crust, up-end your baked bread into a 9’x 9′ square pan.  Remove bread machine pan from bread.  Turn bread over so crust side faces up.  Place in a 400′ oven for 5 – 6 minutes. 

Oatmeal and Wholewheat Bread - My Yellow Farmhouse.com