Chicken a la King

I have been making Chicken (Turkey) a la King for as long as I can remember!  I usually serve it with pasta though I have heard you can also serve it over toast or on a bed of rice.

Over at Betty Crocker they show a lovely pic of Chicken a la King served on a wedge of toasted French Bread, and I have to say, it looks pretty amazing! I may have to try that next time!

chicken a la king
Chicken a la King

1/2 cup Butter
1 small Onion, diced
1/2 cup Flour
1 small Green Pepper, chopped
3 oz Fresh Mushrooms, sliced – Optional
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Pepper
1 1/2 cups Milk
1 1/2 cups Chicken Stock
2 cups diced, Cooked Chicken or Turkey

3 cups  cooked hot Pasta or  cooked hot  Rice or Toasted French Bread Slices

Melt butter in 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat.
Add diced onion and sauté for about 4 minutes, until onion is translucent.
Add flour, salt and pepper – cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until bubbly.
Stir in half the milk  and bring it back to a boil, stirring constantly; add remaining milk, stir constantly.
Add chicken stock, half at a time, returning mixture to a boil before  the next addition of liquid, stirring constantly.
Boil and stir for 1 minute.
Stir in chopped green pepper, mushrooms – if using, chopped chicken or turkey – reduce heat and cook until heated through, stirring as needed.

Serves 4

Stuffed Zucchini

We made this at school a few weeks ago and I was eager to try it at home. I used Chef Nathan’s presentation method but used a different recipe for the stuffing. I tweaked the recipe a bit and added garnishes.

Please feel free to hop over to the original Zucchini Boat recipe.

Stuffed zucchini
Stuffed Zucchini

1 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/4 cup Shallots,  finely diced
1 clove Garlic,  finely diced
3 Small – Medium Zucchini, cut into chunks – flat bottom, angled top,    scoop zucchini out of the centre and reserve
8 oz. Mushrooms, finely diced
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
3 Tablespoons Bread Crumbs
2 Tablespoons Parmesan Cheese

3 Cherry Tomatoes, sliced
Cilantro
Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 350F.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper; set aside.

In saute pan, on medium-high heat, heat olive oil.
Add diced shallot and cook for a minute or two.
Add diced garlic and continue cooking for a few minutes.
Add finely diced  reserved zucchini pulp.
Add diced mushrooms and cook until mushrooms are softened, about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and add balsamic vinegar, bread crumbs and parmesan cheese; mix thoroughly.
Spoon equal amounts of stuffing into each zucchini cylinder; top each with a slice of cherry tomato.

Bake for 10 – 15 minutes.
Remove from oven, garnish with fresh cilantro and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.

Serves 4

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Sometimes I buy Sour Cream; I don’t know why I do this, no one here really likes it. I must have bought it because a recipe called for a bit of it leaving me with a whole lot to use up! That lil tub of sour cream kept was right at eye level in the fridge so each time I opened the fridge I would say to myself, “Right, I have to make something with that sour cream.” Well, I finally did something with it!  I turned to my friend, Betty Crocker, and she came through!You can find the original recipe at Betty Crocker . I keep not one, but two Betty Crocker cookbooks in my kitchen; it was fabulous being able to look at a printed recipe instead of having to scroll through the recipe as needed on my iPhone!  I did follow this recipe to the T, for a change…next time I might try adding some steamed apples? hmmmm!   A super moist Sour Cream Coffee Cake that was well received by all.

coffee cake, sour cream, cinnamon
Wonderfully moist coffee cake

Brown Sugar Filling
1/2 cup packed Brown Sugar
1/2 cup chopped Nuts – I used Slivered Almonds
1 1/2 teaspoons ground

Cinnamon Batter
1 1/2 cups Sugar
3/4 cup Butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla
3 large Eggs
3 cups Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Soda
3/4 teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 cups Sour Cream

Vanilla Glaze
1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla
2 – 3 Tablespoons Milk

Preheat oven to 350F.
Grease bottom and side of Bundt pan or two Loaf Pans (9×5). Lightly dust with flour, tapping out excess.

Prepare Brown Sugar Filling: In a small mixing bowl, mix together brown sugar, chopped nuts and cinnamon. Set aside.

In medium mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In mixing bowl cream together butter and sugar until smooth.
Add vanilla and eggs, mixing well after each egg is added; cream until light and fluffy.
Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and stir just until all the flour is moistened. Scrape down sides of bowl.
Add half of the sour cream and mix well. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add another 1/3 of flour mixture and stir just until flour is moistened. Scrape down sides of bowl.
Add remaining sour cream and mix well. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add remaining flour and stir until all flour is moistened.  Scrape down sides of bowl. Increase speed on mixer and beat for 1 minute.

For Bundt pan, spread 1/3 of the batter (about 2 cups) in prepared pan, then sprinkle with 1/3 of Brown Sugar Filling; repeat twice.
For loaf pans – spread 1/4 of the batter (about 1 1/2 cups) in each pan, then sprinkle each with 1/4 of Brown Sugar Filling; repeat once.

Bake Bundt cake  for about 1 hour,  Loaves for about 45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted near centre comes out clean.
Remove from oven, place on wire rack and cool for about 10 minutes.
Remove from pan(s) and place top side up on wire rack.
Cool for about 10 minutes longer before finishing with Vanilla Drizzle.

Vanilla Drizzle Mix all ingredients until smooth and drizzling consistency.

Oh, and by all means, do have this for Breakfast!  I added a bit of Cottage Cheese and a handful of fresh Blueberries to make it a lil bit healthier!

sour cream coffee cake for breakfast
Sour Cream Coffee Cake for Breakfast!

Chicken Stew with Dumplings

Ryan went back to his real job this week. A real,  hardworking-man’s job in the outdoors, facing all the elements…not belittling the job my husband does….man,  a morning of sitting at my computer uploading recipes really makes me appreciate what HE does! My brains would fall out if I was a computer programmer!

Anyway, Ryan went back to his job in forestry after working the Winter season at Manning Park Ski Resort. After working outdoors all day long, with the temperatures still so cold, I needed a hot meal on the table to greet Ryan when he came home from work; trouble is, now that I am not working, I don’t spend quite so much at the grocery store…I am sure Save On Foods stocks have dropped! After foraging in the freezer I found 3 chicken breasts that I could use to make a stew. Luckily I had just been to the produce shop and had heaps of fresh veg on hand!

I think I looked in my Betty Crocker cookbook but didn’t find what I was looking for so I googled Chicken + Stew and chose the recipe on offer for Chicken Stew with Dumplings from my friends at Canadian Living.

Chicken Stew with Dumplings
Chicken Stew with Dumplings simmering on the stove.

5 cups Water
2 Mc Cormicks Chicken Stock Cubes
3 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
1 bunch Fresh Carrots, scrubbed and cut into chunks
2 Potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
1 Sweet Potato, peeled and cut into cubes
3 Tablespoons Butter
3 stalks Celery, chopped
1 Onion, diced
2 cups Mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup Flour
1 teaspoon Thyme
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Pepper
1/2 cup Frozen Peas
1/4 cup Whipping Cream

Dumplings
2 cups Flour
1 Tablespoon dried Parsley
4 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoon (1 ounce)  Butter
3/4 cup Milk

In large pot bring water and chicken stock cubes to a boil.
Add chicken; cover and simmer over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes.
With slotted spoon, transfer to a medium size mixing bowl.
Add carrots, potatoes and sweet potatoes to stock; cover and cook for 10 minutes.
With slotted spoon, remove potatoes and sweet potatoes to bowl holding chicken.
Pour stock into a large measuring cup, adding water to make 5 cups (1.25litres); set aside.
In same pot, melt butter over medium-high heat and cook celery, onion and ‘shrooms, stirring often, until softened, about 8 minutes.
Add flour, thyme, salt and pepper; cook stirring for 1 minute.
Gradually whisk in reserved stock; bring to a boil, stirring.
Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, stirring often, for about 5 minutes or until thick enough to coat back of spoon.
Return chicken, carrots, potatoes and sweet potatoes, and any accumulated juices to pot.
Stir in frozen peas and whipping cream, to combine.
Simmer over medium-low heat.

Dumplings:
In bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, parsley, salt.
Using a pastry blender cut in butter – or you can just rub butter in with your hands until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Using a fork, stir in enough milk to make a sticky dough.
Leaving space around each, drop by Tablespoonfuls (15ml) – I use a #3 Scoop – onto simmering stew.
Cover and cook, without lifting lid, for 15 minutes, or until dumplings are no longer doughy underneath.

Serves 8

Chicken Stew with Dumplings
Chicken Stew with Dumplings

Bailey’s Irish Creme Cupcakes

I don’t drink alcohol but I do like to use some in baking now and again. You will regularly find Rum, preferably Bundaberg Rum, but seeing how it is from Australia it is not always readily available here in British Columbia. I will settle for  Havana Club but prefer Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum…afterall, I am baking with it! I also stock Cherry Brandy for making Black Forest Cakes. I WOULD keep Bailey’s Irish Creme in the pantry but somehow I think it would disappear! Case in point, when I brought the Bailey’s home the first thing on tap was an Irish Coffee for my husband!  This recipe for Baileys Irish Cream Cupcakes came through my Facebook feed from  Easy Baked. I didn’t follow her recipe to the T  but was still happy with the results.
I didn’t used Berry Sugar or Fine Sugar…just used what I had in the pantry.  I didn’t use Cake Flour; used regular All Purpose Flour and used a whisk to combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Shocker, I am out of Vanilla so I used some Dr. Oetker’s Original Vanilla Sugar instead. (I am NEVER out of Vanilla but I am in the end stages of making my own Vanilla!)  I omitted dousing the baked cupcakes with Bailey’s because I live in a house of peeps who prefer not to drink alcohol; I thought the Bailey’s might be a bit overpowering for them. I used my own Buttercream Icing subbing  in Bailey’s for milk. Skipped the ganache altogether.

Without further ado, Bailey’s Irish Creme Cupcakes.

Bailey's Irish Creme Cupcakes
Bailey’s Irish Creme Cupcakes

2 1/2 cups Flour
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
3/4 cups Butter, softened
1 1/2 cups Sugar
3 Eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon Vanilla Powder
3/4 cup Bailey’s Irish Creme

Buttercream Frosting with Bailey’s
1/2 cup Butter
1/2 cup Vegetable Shortening
4 cups Icing Sugar
2 – 3 Tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Creme,  or to desired consistency

Preheat oven to 350F.
Line Muffin tins with paper liners – I only got 18 cupcakes.

In a medium mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
Whisk for a few minutes.

In mixing bowl cream butter and sugar together.
Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Add vanilla powder and beat for 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl as needed.
Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with Bailey’s, starting and finishing with flour.
Beat for another 2 minutes, scraping sides as needed.
Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full.
Bake in preheated oven for 18 – 24 minutes, or until cupcake springs bake when touched or until pick comes out clean when inserted in centre of cupcake.
Remove from oven to wire rack to cool in pan for 10 minutes.
Turn out onto wire racks to cool completely before frosting.

Buttercream Icing with Bailey’s
In mixing bowl combine butter and shortening; beat until smooth and light in colour.
Add icing sugar, 1 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition.
Stir in 2 Tablespoons of Bailey’s, increase mixer speed and beat for 30 seconds.
Add more Bailey’s if needed, continue beating; when you achieve the consistency you desire, beat for 3 – 4 minutes until light and fluffy.