Dreamy's Delights

It's all about the food!

A Recipe in the Works

So what do you do with several pounds of shredded chicken meat, a bunch of veggies and a craving for bechamel sauce? Well, you start creating a recipe.

The idea behind this was to roast the veggies, to remove some of the water but still leave them crisp-ish. Then layer on the chicken and finally top with a nice thick bechamel, seasoned with lemon thyme, dill and lemon zest. It’s a concept that would have worked beautifully if I hadn’t been tired and not thinking clearly.

It’s hot here today which means my brain isn’t firing on all cylinders. I went to roast the veggies, looked at the pan and KNEW it was over-full. I put it in the oven anyway. Which means my veggies didn’t roast, they steamed in their own juices. So the zucchini and yellow squash were smooshy and the mushrooms released so much liquid that everything tasted very strongly of them. Not really a problem but not what I was looking for. So obviously, next time, either use fewer veggies or break them up into two pans worth for the roasting. Duh!

The next part was easy, just layer the chicken meat over the veggies in a baking dish. I had a bag with about two chickens worth of meat from rotisserie chickens I’d bought for making stock with the bones. I’d pulled it out to defrost a couple of days ago. However, it wasn’t COMPLETELY defrosted which meant that the chicken meat added yet another bit of extra liquid to the pan.

The one thing that came out almost exactly the way I envisioned it was the bechamel sauce. The flavor was perfect I just wanted it a bit thicker. I had tempered an egg into it for thickening but I really should have used 2-3 eggs for 2 qts of sauce. However, the taste of the dill, lemon thyme and lemon zest came through beautifully with the rich creaminess of the sauce.

So the final result was… I learned that I shouldn’t try making up new stuff when it’s 90+ degrees outside because my brain doesn’t work as well and I should listen to my inner voice and not be lazy.

I WILL be making this again for a final version to post here as a recipe. The flavors were really good together I just need to work out the kinks.

Btw, the veggies were yellow squash, zucchini, carrots, celery, onion and mushrooms. I just remembered that I’d wanted to add broccoli too. I KNEW I was missing something when I was putting it together lol. I just thought it was the mushrooms! I even made a special trip to the store to get them. *facepalm*

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Kicked-up Scrambled Eggs

I hate scrambled eggs. It was the first thing I learned to cook around age 3-4. I ate them as a kid with no problems. The problem was when I became an adult and a LOT more discerning in my tastes. Scrambled eggs usually have one of two things wrong with them. They’re overcooked, dry and rubbery (the way I grew up with them) or they’re undercooked and slimy (gross).

The other day I was hungry and eggs were about the only thing left in the house since we’re technically on a juice fast. I have discovered though that I need more protein so I’m usually eating at least one heavy protein meal a day. Anyway, I digress, back to why I made something I hate.

I was thinking that if I made a couple of changes to the standard “dump the eggs in a hot skillet and stir” method, I might get something more edible. (Sorry, Mom, I just don’t like the way you cook scrambled eggs)

Now, one way to avoid dryness is to add a little bit of liquid. Heavy cream is PERFECT for this because it adds a bit liquid without overpowering the eggs, is very thick and rich with fat so increases the softness of the finished product.

Next, I wanted a bit more  flavor. I decided dill and shallots would give me an herby, oniony flavor without being too strong.

Finally, a little more protein, bacon and feta cheese.

Recipe

3 large eggs

1 TB heavy cream

1-2 tsp chopped fresh dill (use 1/3 this amount if using dried dill)

1 tsp freeze dried shallots (use a bit more if using fresh and saute them in the pan to tenderize them before adding the egg mixture)

1/4 cup bacon bits

ground black pepper to taste

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Grease a small skillet and preheat over medium heat.

In a bowl, mix together everything except the feta cheese. (If using fresh shallots, saute them in the skillet you’re making the eggs in until translucent. You can dump the rest of the egg mix right on top.)

Pour this mixture into the hot skillet. I like to use a silicone spatula for this part because the eggs don’t stick to it but use what ever stirring implement you have on hand. Gently scrape around the edge of the skillet and then underneath the egg mixture to bring up the cooked bits and let the raw mix get down to the bottom. Basically, this is your standard scrambling technique. You want the eggs to be cooked so that they’re not slimy but still have just a touch of sheen to them.

Dump them into a bowl and top with the Feta cheese. I think it took me less than ten minutes to make.

kickedupscrambled eggs

A note about my ingredients: I used the pre-cooked bacon pieces you can buy at the store. I know that I try to stay away from processed and preservative laden foods but I’m lazy and yes, I use pre-cooked bacon pieces. Freeze dried shallots are the bomb and I really prefer the freeze dried shallots over fresh because the flavor is a bit milder.

 

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Onion Herb Bread

This is a recipe my mom used to make quite a bit when I was growing up. Because I’m lazy I tweaked the recipe a bit so I could make the dough in my bread machine, then I took it out and baked it as a free form loaf in the oven.

Recipe

1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons butter
1 package yeast (about 2.5 tsp of loose yeast)
1/2 cup warm water
2 1/2 cups flour, sifted
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
1/2 teaspoon dill, rosemary or other herb (I ALWAYS use dill and usually more than it calls for)
melted butter and salt

1.    Preheat oven to350F.

2.    Scald milk, remove from heat, stir in sugar, salt and butter until dissolved. Cool to lukewarm.

3.    In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add cooled milk mixture. Stir in flour, onion and herbs. Mix until well blended.

4.    Cover and let rise until tripled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

5.    Stir down and beat vigorously, about 30 seconds.

6.    Turn into greased pan. Bake at 350F for about 1 hour. (Can be made as a free form loaf)

7.    Brush crust with melted butter and sprinkle lightly with salt.

So that’s the original make it by hand recipe.

I doubled the recipe so I’d have two loaves of bread when I made it in the bread machine.

First, I got out my bread machine. Always an important step if using one. 😉

So then… what I did different.

I skipped skalding the milk. This recipe actually is old enough that it was previously made without pasteurized milk.

I added all the liquid ingredients to the bread machine pan. I added the butter which I diced into small cubes and the salt.

Then I added the dry ingredients, adding the yeast at the very last.

Because I had doubled the recipe, I did a couple of adjustments.

1. I used slightly less yeast than the 5 tsp it would have called for to replace two packets. I used 4 tsp and it came out just perfect.

2. I didn’t bother sifting the flour. I just loosened it up in the container with a fork to fluff it a bit.

3. I used the dough cycle only. With 5 cups of flour, it’s a little bit more than I think would fit well to bake. After the dough cycle was done, I took the bread out, divided it in half and shaped it into free form rounds. I let it rise one more time then baked it on a parchment paper lined baking sheet for about an hour.

If I were going to make a single recipe in the bread machine, including baking, I’d probably set the machine for a 1.5 lb loaf, maybe even a 1lb loaf. I haven’t played with it that far yet.

I don’t have a picture because the bread got eaten too fast lol. It not only tastes awesome with just some butter on it but it makes good sandwich bread too.

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Sliced Peaches in a Honey Glaze

You all should know that it was my friend Terri who convinced me to post this recipe. I made it the first time a few nights ago and Jene was kinda meh about it. I usually don’t post stuff unless he really likes it and would want to eat it again.

However, Terri mentioned that she wished she could find something sweet to eat that wasn’t full of sugar and other bad stuff. So I told her about this. She made it that very night and raved about it to me the next day. So on her word that’s it’s excellent, here it is!

Recipe

16 oz frozen peach slices

1 TB butter

1/4 tsp cinnamon

pinch of ground cloves

1 TB mild honey (it really does need to be mild so it doesn’t over whelm the flavor of the peaches)

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the peaches and saute until they’re mostly thawed. Add the cinnamon and cloves, stir them in. Then add the honey. Continue sauteing until the honey forms a nice glaze.

honeyglazedpeaches

Tah dah! A fix for your sweet cravings that isn’t all that bad for you.

I do want to add a couple of notes. Since it’s coming onto stone fruit season, you can use fresh peaches or even nectarines, just make sure they’re still firm. They also won’t take as long to cook because you’re not thawing them.

The second note is this… a splash of Elderberry Liquor is a nice touch too. Splash it in and then go ahead and flambe it to remove the alcohol flavor. I don’t consider it vital to the recipe but I happen to really like the stuff lol.

Oh yes… you can also use them to top ice cream, cakes and even brownies. I just like to eat them out of the bowl lol.

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