Saturday, August 31, 2013

Sometimes you just get lucky

Is there anything better than when every element of a meal works out?! When you get things all done at the same time? When everything tastes as it should, or better? Happy sigh.

Last night we had a dinner guest. He happens to be gluten and corn free. Between that and my dairy and soy free diet I had to be even more selective than usual. No problem.

The menu included...
Sweet and Spicy Bacon Chicken
Green Bean Mushroom Medley
Fat free, oil free Crispy Potatoes
Mini Morsel Meringue Cookies 

The Bacon Wrapped Chicken was a recipe suggested by our guest. He had a general recipe with no real amounts so I improvised. I have to admit that we really aren't a bacon family. I am 100% certain that I have never wrapped anything in bacon before but shoot, these were really really good!

4 chicken breast cut in thirds (12 pieces)
Bacon slices
salt and pepper to taste
garlic powder
chili powder (I omitted as I am breastfeeding currently)
paprika  (I used smoked paprika because I am currently obsessed with it)

brown sugar 

Season chicken with spices--I just guessed as I used them since the recipe didn't give specifics

Wrap chicken with bacon--1 used 1 slice for most of them but didn't have 12 pieces of bacon and half a piece seemed to be plenty as well. In the future to cut fat and calories I will probably use half a piece of bacon for each piece of chicken.
Roll in brown sugar 
Place in an oiled/sprayed dish to go it the oven ( I lined a baking pan with foil and then used a splash of olive oil to coat as there are no MSPI safe sprays that I have found. This made for much much easier clean up.)
Bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes

GREEN BEAN MUSHROOM MEDLEY - this comes from the KitchMe website

12 lb fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch lengths
2 carrot, cut into thick strips
14 cup butter - I used soy free Earth Balance and scanted by half
1 onion, sliced (I used half a large onion)
12 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp salt
12 tsp seasoning salt
14 tsp garlic salt
14 tsp white pepper


  1. Place green beans and carrots in 1 inch of boiling water. Cover, and cook until tender but still firm. Drain.
  2. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onions and mushrooms until almost tender. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 3 minutes. Stir in green beans, carrots, salt, seasoned salt, garlic salt, and white pepper. Cover, and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat.

This comes from Fifteen Spatulas website. Great recipe as well. My almost three year old ate all of his and asked for more!

  • 4 pounds russet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour (I used Gluten free Oat Flour)
  • salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Fill up a big pot about 1/2 full with cool water. Peel the skin off the potatoes, and cut them into evenly sized bite-size chunks (you want them sized slightly larger than the dice you find in board games). Place the potatoes in the water and season the water with several tbsp of salt, the same amount that you would add to pasta water. It's important for the water to be salty so the potatoes are seasoned inside.
  3. Bring the whole pot to a boil on high heat, with the lid on. Once the water is boiling, cook for an additional 4 minutes, with the lid off. Drain the potatoes, return the potato pieces to the pot (don't put the pot back on the heat), and sprinkle over the flour. Put the lid back on the pan, and shake it up like crazy until the potato edges are banged up and the flour is nicely distributed.
  4. Dump the potatoes onto a parchment lined sheet pan and make sure they are in a single layer (don't crowd the potatoes, or the edges won't get crispy). Give it a good sprinkling of sea salt and whatever other seasoning you like, and they are ready to go into the oven. Roast for 30-45 minutes at 450 degrees F, but watch them carefully because the roasting time will vary depending on the size of your chunks. 
Editor's note: I do not recommend doing the shaking of the potatoes 3 weeks after a c section. Enlist in help. Ouch. Paying for that today. (Hopefully my OB isn't reading this and shaking her head at me. I can clearly picture her doing that.)

I added a big bowl of fresh grapes to the table and that was that. I am already looking forward to making this meal again. Whooo hoo. 

I have made these many times but they are a good fall back. They require very few ingredients and almost always turn out well. I found them a year and a half ago on the Very Best Baking website. Yum yum. 

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) I used Enjoy Life Mini Chips to stay Gluten, Soy, Dairy Free
Preheat oven to 300° F. Grease baking sheets. (I always use Parchment paper)
Beat egg whites, salt and cream of tartar in small mixer bowl until soft peaks form. 
Gradually add sugar; beat until stiff peaks form. 
Gently fold in morsels 1/3 cup at a time. 
Drop by level tablespoon onto prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until meringues are dry and crisp. 
Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. 
Store in airtight containers.

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