Meal-Prepping: Chicken or Eggplant Parmesan Casserole

The month of July has been a very busy month.  Our class unfortunately was cancelled due to everyones schedules. But I wanted to make sure these very simple and yummy recipes got in your hands.

The same ingredients can be used for both the chicken or the eggplant parmesan. Substitute one for the other.

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 frozen lg boneless skinless chicken breasts or 1 medium eggplant sliced thick.
  • 1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp dried or fresh basil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (Optional)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (OR 2 cups of rice krispies)
  •  1 gallon bag
  •   1 quart bags

Directions:

  1. Write the name of your recipe on the gallon bag as well as cook 8 hrs low.
  2. On the small bag write ‘Toppings’.
  3. Put your bread crumbs or crushed rice crispies in the small bag, add your Parmesan cheese and squish it through. If you want mozzarella cheese add it in this bag as well.
  4. Seal pushing out all air and set aside.
  5. Put your frozen chicken ūüźĒ or sliced eggplant in the big bag.
  6. I also will sprinkle fruit fresh or a little lemon juice on the eggplant to prevent Browning.
  7. Now add in your basil, garlic, pepper, olive oil and tomatoes over your chicken.
  8. Carefully add your topping bag on top.
  9. Seal pushing out the air.
  10. Put in the freezer.

Day before cooking, that in the refrigerator.

Day of cooking. 

  1. Carefully remove topping bag, set aside.
  2. Dump contents of the large bag into your Crock-Pot. I use my casserole Crock-Pot for this recipe.
  3. Evenly spread everything out.
  4. Sprinkle the contents of the topping bag over top.
  5. Cook on low for 7-8 hrs.
  6. NOTE: You can also wait to put your toppings on about an hour before serving.
  7. Serve over pasta if you like.

Enjoy!

Until next time,

Mrs. Kay L Rice

Meal-Prepping: Maple Glazed Chicken

Crock-Pot cooking and meal prepping doesn’t need to be tedious and boring.  The idea is to plan ahead so you can enjoy meal time.  Here is a very quick and delicious meal.

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup of Dijon or Spicy brown mustard
  • 1/2 Cup of REAL Maple Syrup
  • 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic thin sliced
  • 1 gallon freezer bag

Directions:

  1. Write on the bag Maple Glazed Chicken with your date. Also write 8 hours low.
  2. Put your frozen chicken ūüźĒin your bag.
  3. Add in all of your ingredients and squish the bag to cover the chicken.
  4. Seal bag pushing out as much air as possible.

Day before cooking that in the refrigerator.

Day of cooking put contents of the bag in your Crock-Pot.  I use my shallow casserole Crock-Pot for this recipe.  Cook for 8 hours on low.

Enjoy!

Until next time,

Mrs. Kay L Rice

The Best Spicy Pickled Eggs

The Very BEST Spicy Pickled Eggs

IMG_20170709_150659163

By now you know that here at the Rice household, we love a little kick to our foods, from my husband’s homemade hot sauces, to our home made jams to our food in general.

A treat from our childhood is Pickled Eggs! ¬†Yup, it may sound weird but I bet y’all have seen them in bars, stores, country places. ¬†There are Beet Eggs (pink/purple), mustard eggs (yellow), Cider Vinegar eggs (kind of a cider color), but my favorite are SPICY PICKLED EGGS. ¬†Yum! ¬†Please note that the picture you see here, has already been opened and enjoyed… It barely made the 3 week mark.

Here is my recipe, and yes, this is a water bath canning recipe. ¬†If y’all don’t want to mess with the water bath canning then stick them in the refrigerator for 3 weeks before digging into them. ¬†Canning them lets you keep them in the pantry until you are ready to dig in!

Ingredients (for a one gallon batch):

  • A bunch of hard boiled (solid) eggs. ¬†Since I like to can in gallon jars, I make about two dozen. ¬† Make sure your hard boiled eggs are not “split” and that the yokes are solid, they can not be soft or runny.
  • Quart or Gallon canning jar
  • 1/4 cup of sriracha sauce
  • 4 whole cloves (crushed) garlic
  • Peppers. ¬†I used 2 Roasted Mexican Hatch, 1 red habanero and 2 green habaneros oh and a red jalapeno I had on hand. Chopped but not so fine that they disappear. ¬†I like big pieces.
  • White Vinegar

Directions:

  1. Like I stated above, make sure your hard boiled eggs are firm all the way through.  Do not use squishy or one minute eggs, this would be very, very bad.
  2. Take your sterilized jar/jars and in the bottom, put your peppers, your crushed whole garlic, and your sriracha sauce.
  3. Now put in your hard boiled eggs (yes the shells off and rinse them).
  4. Place them in the jar until it fills about 1 1/2 inches from the top but don’t squish them down, let them lay naturally on top of each other.
  5. Now fill the jar up with the vinegar until you have your eggs covered and it should be 1/2 an inch form the top.
  6. Wipe of the jar rim and place your lid and ring on TIGHT.
  7. Now if you are not wanting to can them, put them in the refrigerator and AVOID the urge to break into them before the 3 week mark.  The longer they sit, the better they are.
  8. But If you have lots of eggs (gotta love it when the hens are working overtime) you will want to water bath can.
  9. Get your canner with enough water to cover the lid by 1 inch of water. ¬†Make sure it won’t spill out when boiling. ¬†Because of this you may want to use quart jars.
  10. Lower your jars in the water bath canner and put the lid on.
  11. Once your canner comes to a rolling boil, start timing.
  12. Quarts need 20 minutes of a water bath, gallons need 30 minutes.
  13. When the time is up, very gently remove your jars from the canner and place somewhere where they won’t be disturbed for 24 hours.
  14. The pops mean you have a good seal.
  15. Anything that hasn’t sealed put in the refrigerator and those will be the first you eat.
  16. After 24 hours, you can move your jars to your pantry until you are ready to dig in and enjoy!
  17. Once the jar is opened, I always put them in the refrigerator, but trust me they really don’t last long because they get eaten up pretty fast.

IMG_20170709_150659163

I hope you enjoy this recipe and please let me know how you like it.

Until next time,

Mrs. Kay Rice!

 

Kale Soup

This time of year the greens really start coming in.  After awhile one gets tired of salad so here is a comfort soup made from fresh kale.  You can also substitute or mix fresh spinach or collard greens with or instead of the kale.  Nothing warms the soul like a hot bowl of soup at the end of the day!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 cup of water
  • a “bunch” of fresh kale (or greens) stripped from their stems and chopped
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 6 yellow or red potatoes diced
  • 4 large garlic scapes (message me to find out what this is or google it!)
  • 3 medium golden beets
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 tsp of fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp of fresh basil chopped
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 lb of ground sausage, already browned (I use spicy sausage for an extra kick)

Directions:

  • Pour your stock and water in your large crock-pot
  • Dice and chop all your veggies and put in your crock-pot
    • On the potatoes, cut out any eyes but keep the skins on the potatoes, dice small
    • Carrots, scrap off skin and root hairs and dice large
    • Golden beets: cut off the greens and “tail” and scrape off skins, dice large. ¬†(You can add the fresh beet greens if you like as well, strip off the stem. ¬†Waste not want not.)
    • Dice your garlic scapes small.
  • Add in your herbs.
  • Brown your (spicy) sausage in a separate pan until cooked.
  • Add the sausage and any juice from the pan into the crock-pot.
  • Stir the contents.
  • Set on High for 2 hours then move to low to finish cooking.
  • Add salt to taste and some fresh basil just before dishing up.

IMG_20170623_105108527

Enjoy and let me know how you enjoy this recipe.

Until Next Time,

Mrs. Kay L. Rice

 

 

No Bake Chocolate Haystacks

With the arrival of summer comes VBS (Vacation Bible School).  With VBS comes lots of energetic wee ones that love snacks.  The best kind are always homemade with lots of love.  on June 22, 2017 the Quest Meal Prep class made cookies for our VBS.  What better treat then the yumminess of old-fashioned no-bake haystacks.

Here is a very simple recipe to share with your family, friends and anyone else!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1/4 lb of BUTTER not margarine. ¬†That’s 1 stick of butter. softened.
  • 1/4 cup of cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup of Milk (or Almond Milk)
  • 1/2 cup of Peanut butter (crunchy or creamy)
  • 1 tsp. of vanilla
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3 cup of quick cook oats

DIRECTIONS:

  • In a large mixing bowl ¬†place your softened butter.
  • Add in your sugar and whip until blended. ¬†(a great arm work out!)
  • Add in your cocoa and blend in. ¬†You want to make sure everything is blended well and there are no “butter chunks”.
  • Add in your Milk and blend in evenly.
  • Add in your Peanut butter and blend in evenly.
  • Add in your vanilla and your pinch of salt, blend in evenly.
  • Add in your oats 1 cup at a time, stirring in evenly until all three cups are added.
  • Make into round balls by hand or by using a cookie scoop and place on parchment paper and a tray and refrigerate covering with plastic wrap of course.
  • Serve & watch the explosion of smiles.

nobakehaystacks

Enjoy and always let me know how you liked the recipe and your variations.

Until Next Time,

Mrs. Kay L. Rice

 

 

Old Fashioned Strawberry Jam

As you may or may not know, my husband and I make and sell jams and jellies.  You can check out what is available on the Store page here.   However,  I will share with you a very basic Jam recipe.  A favorite which is not complicated at all is Strawberry Jam.

Ingredients:

  • 3 3/4 cups of crushed strawberries (approx 4 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice
  • 7 cups of sugar
  • 1 Three ounce packet of liquid natural pectin

SUPPLIES NEEDED:

  • 6 half pint jam jars with sealing lids and rings
  • candy thermometer
  • Large pot for making the jam
  • Waterbath canner with frame insert (to keep the jars from touching the bottom of the canner and to lift in and out).
  • Canning funnel
  • Canning jar lifter
  • Long handled metal spoon
  • Ladle
  • A small bowl and spoon
  • towel and place to place your canned jars (Must stay in one place for approx 24 hours to ensure a great seal)

Now for the directions:

  1. Make sure you sterilize your jam jars.  Whether by the dishwasher, or boiling water in your canner and placing your empty jars in the canner.  Jars ALWAYS need sterilized, even strait out of the box ones.
  2. Place your small bowl and spoon in your freezer to get cold.
  3. I will use a food processor to crush my strawberries, you can also smash with a potato smasher by hand.
  4. Add your sugar in your large pot.
  5. Add in your lemon juice.
  6. Add in your strawberry “mash”.
  7. Add in your liquid pectin.
  8. Stir until the sugar is “dissolved” into your mash.
  9. Place your candy thermometer in your pot, attaching to the side, but not touching the bottom.
  10. Turn your stove on HIGH.  Yup you read that correctly, I use the setting of 9 on my stove.
  11. NEVER STOP STIRRING!!!!
  12. Watch your thermometer closely.
  13. I also use a silicone mitten to avoid splash burns on my hands while stirring.
  14. When your candy thermometer reaches 225 degrees F, set your timer for 6 minutes.
  15. KEEP STIRRING!
  16. When your timer goes off, remove your pan off the stove (onto a hot pad).
  17. Take your bowl and spoon out of the freezer and using your stirring spoon put a little in the bowl and set to the side for about 5 minutes. ¬†Check the consistency. ¬†With this time it should be perfect. ¬†If its too running, put back on the heat for another two minutes and recheck. ¬†You can also add a little sugar but NEVER add more pectin. ¬†It doesn’t take much for your jam to become a brick.
  18. Once your consistency is where you like it, its time to fill your jars.
  19. Use your funnel & ladle and fill each jar to 1/4 inch from the top (or the bottom ring of the top).
  20. Wipe down the lip of all your jars.
  21. place your “lid” on each jar and tightly screw on the rings.
  22. Now using your canning jar lifter, place your jars in the water bath canner on the wire insert.
  23. Make sure you have enough water in your canner to cover your jars 1 inch.
  24. Put your lid on your canner and turn the stove on high.
  25. When the water in the canner comes to a full rolling boil, set your timer to 15 minutes.
  26. When your timer goes off, turn off your heat and leave on the eye until the rolling boil tones down.
  27. Take off the lid, and lift the wire insert up and one by one using your jar lifter place your jars on the towel in a safe place where they can stay and cool for at least 24 hours.
  28. Each jar should POP. ¬†That’s the sound of a good seal.
  29. The jam can stay on the shelf for years, once opened you should put in the refrigerator.

I hope you enjoy this recipe.  Please let me know what you think.

Until next time,

Mrs. Kay L. Rice

 

Old Fashioned Turtle Soup

I good friend of mine surprised me today by asking if anyone had a good Turtle Soup recipe.  This brought back a huge smile and a fantastic memory, so, here it is, my turtle soup recipe.

Old Fashioned Turtle Soup

  • 1/4 cup butter melted
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 10 1/2-ounce cans beef broth
  • 8-ounce can tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 pound turtle meat, ¬†diced
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • Dash bottled hot pepper sauce
  • 1 lemon slice

In a soup pot combine the first 9 ingredients. Cook and stir for 30 minutes.  blend in flour.

Add beef broth and tomatoes. Cover, simmer 45 minutes. In a large pot combine turtle meat and water. Cook, covered, until meat is tender, about 1 hour. Remove meat to cool. Reserve 2 cups cooking liquid.

Add turtle meat, reserved liquid, sherry, hot pepper sauce and lemon to soup pot. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove lemon. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Enjoy!

Until Next Time,

Mrs. Kay Rice

 

Cream cheese and fruit strudel

I have been asked several times for my recipe for my cream cheese pastry strudel.  It’s becoming quite popular at our church cafe as well as our gatherings and Bible study groups.

It’s really quite embarrassingly simple.  In fact it began as a oh my goodness I forgot to bake for the cafe moment. ūü§ó

However here is the recipe. Enjoy. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 tube of croissant rolls 
  • 4 ounces (half a brick) cream cheese
  • Fruit or jam
  • Sugar approximately a tablespoon
  • Approximately a tablespoon of almond milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Lay down a sheet of parchment paper the size of the inside of a cookie sheet.
  3. Open your tube of crescent rolls and unroll your dough.
  4. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough until there are no seams.
  5. Using kitchen scissors cut diagonal strips on both sides long enough to drape across but still leaving a good solid strip in the center.
  6. Take your half a brick of cream cheese and make sure it’s really soft.
  7. Mix in a hand full of friut or jam. This time I’m using my own homemade wicked apple pie jam.
  8. Stir together but not completely.
  9. Add in about half a tbsp of sugar and fold in.
  10. Now spread the mix in the center of your dough.
  11. Add a sprinkle of fruit or dollops of jam on top the mixture.
  12. Crisscross your strips one side then the other and fold up the ends.
  13. Move pastry with parchment paper on to your cookie sheet, carefully.
  14. Using almond milk wash your pastry using a pastry brush.
  15. Sprinkle a bit of suger over the top.
  16. Put in preheated oven and bake at 350 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes. Or until golden brown.
  17. Cool and slice to serve.

I would love to hear your variations!

Until next time,

Mrs. Kay L Rice

Homemade Biscuit & Dumpling Mix

IMG_20170501_153903014

As by now you all know, I do not like to rely on boxed items for any reason to feed my family.¬† Nearly every thing that is mass produced can be made from scratch easier and less expensive at home.¬† One of the more common items in the kitchen is a box of “Bisquick” or biscuit mix.

As many of you know this is an awesome concoction which can be used for anything from biscuits or dumplings¬†to pancakes¬†or waffles…. yea, you get the idea.¬† For me we love dumplings.¬† My husband and I have this ongoing discussion on what a “dumpling” is.¬† For me there are 2 kinds flat dumplings and drop dumplings.¬† To him there are only one drop dumplings (the other are short noodles).¬† Drop dumplings are the fluffy dumplings primarily made from Bisquick type mixes.

Now, here is how you can leave that yellow (or white) box at the grocery store and always have this mix on hand!

INGREDIANTS:

  • 2 Cups flour (sifted)
  • 4 teaspoons of Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 4 tablespoons of butter (or shortening)
  • 3/4 cup milk

DUMPLING DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large bowl sift your flour and your baking powder together.
  2. Add in your salt
  3. Add in your butter (or shortening) softened
  4. Add in your milk
  5. Knead together until nice and firm
  6. If too sticky add in a tad of flour
  7. IMG_20170501_152829672
  8. Now roll into balls and drop it into your boiling soup
  9. Turn the heat of your soup down
  10. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes on low
  11. Finally enjoy!

Sometimes I will keep this on hand for quick grabs.¬† To do this find an air-tight bag, container of your choosing.¬† Sift in all of your dry ingredients together and label your container ‘Baking mix’.¬† Then make sure you make note of the wet ingredients to add later.

 

Until next time,

Mrs. Kay L. Rice

 

Jalapeno Slaw

Jalapeno Slaw

Well if you didn’t know by now, here in the Rice household we love our meals with a kick of heat. Peppers ūüĆ∂ are a staple in our kitchen. 

I’m personally not a fan of overly sloppy mayonnaise type slaws or sweet slaw.  This recipe is perfect to pair up with tacos, BBQ pork sandwiches or pretty much anything. 

I hope you enjoy! 

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 cups shredded cabbage
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, remove seeds and dice. 
  • 1 bunch of fresh cilantro, diced including the stems
  • 1 tsp of ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp of sea salt
  • 2 grinds of fresh black pepper

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl mix your oil, juice & vinager.
  2. Add in your Cilantro.
  3. Add in your cumin, salt & pepper.
  4. Stir until well mixed.
  5. Add in your diced jalapeno peppers.
  6. Stir until well mixed.
  7. Add in your cabbage a little at a time mixing so the other ingredients cover the cabbage.
  8. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  9. The longer it sits the better the flavor and heat. 

I hope you enjoy this recipe.  By the way our cabbage and apple cider vinegar came from Yellowbird Crop Share. Check them out their info is on our support page.Yellowbird Crop Share

Until next time,

Mrs. Kay L Rice ūüĆ∂