Tag Archives: microwave

Happy 2 Year Blogging to Me! And Strawberry French Toast Pots

P1050463Hello, followers. I can’t believe it’s been two years since I started this blog. I admit, I haven’t always been that consistent with my posts, but that doesn’t mean that my love for food or experimentation with it has fallen by the wayside. In fact, quite the opposite. Continue reading Happy 2 Year Blogging to Me! And Strawberry French Toast Pots

Simple Technique: Bacon in the Microwave

A long time ago (Oh gosh, maybe 20 years ago now) I learned somewhere how to cook bacon in the microwave, and that began my steady decline into a love affair with bacon. Whether it was bacon wrapped shrimp, a BLT or simply a side nestled next to my eggs in the morning, bacon was my temptation.

Then more than a decade passes, and I have a picky eater who refuses to eat hot dogs, but scarfs down bacon at any given moment.

That’s when I knew I had to bring this technique to it’s full potential. Yes, it was a dangerous food to be playing with for a toddler, but I went head first into a diet of daily bacon for the little guy. Eating bacon every day is not good, but I was pushed to my limits. Well, that lasted a few months when I realized he might go into overload, so we took a break from it. But now we’re back in action and adding bacon to other parts of a meal.

Although this blog is all about expirmenting with flavors for the whole family, I think you’ve got to start with what’s familiar first.  So by adding a little bit here and there, I’ve been able to get my kiddo to try new things. And that was the goal. But in all honesty, who can argue with the crispy decadence that comes with a meal sprinkled with the smoky, saltiness of this meat.

Shopping List and Tools:

1 package of REAL center cut bacon

paper towels

microwave-safe plate

microwave

A Simple Technique for cooking bacon fast.

1.  Simply place the bacon on a layer of paper towels on top of a microwave-safe plate. Leave a little space between each slice.

2. Cover the layer of bacon with one paper towel.

3. Microwave on HIGH for 3 minutes and 30 seconds. Depending the thickness and/or type of bacon, you might need to cook it for an additional minute. With this technique all of the fat soaks into the paper towels, so if you like your bacon more chewy rather than crispy then err on the shorter time frame.

Much less mess to clean up!

If you like bacon like I do, check out these other posts that include it.

Egg Salad-Club style

Club Hot Pocket

Stuffed Potato Chowder

Bacon and Apple Stuffing

Brussel Sprout Salad

For a super-cute Father’s Day idea with bacon, check out Our Best Bites’ Bacon Bouquet.

© Suzanne Brown and The Family Style Chef, 2011-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Suzanne Brown and The Family Style Chef with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Jamie Oliver’s Steamed Pudding Cakes

Give me some cake. STAT! When you’re in a cake emergency and you need it fast this cake is super simple and speedy to make.

A little over a year ago now, I was inspired by Jamie Oliver’s tv show Food Revolution (the first season, before it came to my town) to toss out the chicken nuggets and stop bowing down to my kids and serving three different meals for dinner. I wasn’t doing any good by instilling the restaurant  attitude at home. It was exhausting trying to please a picky eater, and I think my willingness to do this actually perpetuated the attitude. So, I decided to make a change, and I bought Mr. Oliver’s cookbook looking for ways to do this. In his book I found inspiration as to the simplicity of meals. This was the first dessert I made from his book and it was a hit around the table.

Six months later, I decided to start blogging about my own revolution. Now a year later, I can honestly say that I rarely make food from the freezer that is not my recipe. (I make a lot of double batches and freeze them for later).  Thanks Jamie Oliver for inspiring me to think outside the freezer!

Shopping List:

butter, for greasing

 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

1/4 cup packed, dark brown sugar

6 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons ground ginger

2 large eggs

juice and finely grated zest of 1 small orange

2/3 cup milk

11 tablespoons golden syrup (I used maple syrup in my version)

creme fraiche or custard to serve ( I didn’t use any in mine)

Instructions:

1. Grease the insides of 6 little microwaveable dishes with butter, I used coffee cups.

2. In a medium bowl combine all of the ingredients except  the syrup and creme fraiche or custard. Add one tablespoon of the syrup and mix everything together with a wooden spoon until well combined.

3. Spoon 1 tablespoon of syrup in the bottom of each of the dishes, then divide the cake batter among them.

4. Tear 6 pieces of parchment paper a little larger than the diameter of the dishes. Grease them with a little butter and place them on top pf each dish pressing down gently.

5. Place all of the dishes in the microwave and cook on 50% power for 7 1/2 minutes. Leave the cakes to stand in the microwave for another 5 minutes before carefully removing the parchment paper.

6. To serve, warm 1/4 cup of the syrup in the microwave for 30 seconds. Invert the cakes on to a small dish, you might need to cut around the edges of the dish first to help loosen it. Drizzle with some of the warm syrup and a dollop of creme fraiche or custard.

Makes 6 mini cakes.

This is from Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Cookbook. Although my cover looks more like the British version. I found this recipe on page 333.

Grilled Raspberry Balsamic Chicken with Orange Carmelized Yams

Grilled Raspberry Balsamic Chicken, in this photo I used boneless skinless thighs

I am always looking for meals that can do double duty…you know they can morph into a new meal done in a different way for the next night’s dinner. It seems no one wants to eat leftovers, but if you transform them into a different dish entirely it can save a tired mom a lot of headaches come witching hour.

So when I’m meal planning I tend to think not just about dinner tonight, but what I can add to it for tomorrow’s meal. And I don’t mean just tossing it in a salad. For example, this chicken dish morphs beautifully into a Lazy Lasagna which you can even pop in the freezer if you want.

This one is super easy too! You can literally spend 5 minutes prepping stuff and toss it on the grill and it’ll be ready to go. As you’re doing clean-up after the meal that’s when you can become super-mom and save the day tomorrow! I’ve also added the recipe for some Orange Carmelized Yams that you can make in the microwave, so there’s an entire dinner for this week.

Raspberry Balsamic Chicken Shopping List:

1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons raspberry seedless jam (apricot, strawberry and grape work fine too)

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 teaspoons dry rosemary

Sauce:

1/4 cup raspberry jelly

1/4 cup balsamic

1/4 cup diced red onion

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

1 teaspoon dry rosemary

1 teaspoon salt

Carmelized Yams Shopping List:

1 12-ounce package precut yams [The orange flesh ones are yams (although Trader Joe’s labels them as sweet potatoes) 🙂 Any shape will do. I bought spears, and then cut them in half…I think they’re more kid friendly if they are smaller bites.]

1/3 cup orange juice

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons butter

Instructions for both:

1.Heads up: You will need to marinate this  for one hour or overnight. To make the marinade, just simply place the chicken in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag and pour 1/3 cup Balsamic vinegar, 2 teaspoons rosemary, and the garlic on top. Zip it up and mush it all around so it’s all covered. Then let it marinate in the refrigerator as time allows.

2.When it’s done marinating, heat your barbecue to high heat for about 10 minutes. Then, place the chicken on the oiled grates.

3. Let it cook (untouched)  for 5-7 minutes. make sure to close the lid too. Then flip the chicken and cook another 5-7 minutes on the other side.

4. Meanwhile, melt the jam in a small microwaveable bowl in the microwave for 1 minute on HIGH or until it’s very syrupy.

5. Then, add the remaining SAUCE ingredients to the jam and stir. Set this aside and use it to baste the chicken the last few minutes it is on the grill.

6. Meanwhile, in a medium size microwaveable bowl (preferably one with a lid), melt the 2 tablespoons of butter for 30 seconds on high.

7. To the melted butter stir in the orange juice and brown sugar. It will start to get lumpy if you use cold juice, that’s okay, it won’t change the taste.

8. Toss the yams in the juice mixture to coat all the pieces. Then cover it and microwave it for 7 minutes on HIGH.

Best Caramel Corn Ever!

I was making a lot of popcorn for snacks after my baby girl was born, and then I came across this recipe in Family Circle and it all went down hill from there. I started making this in huge batches to give out to people as a thank you gift. And then you know how it goes, you make it so much you get tired of it…well that was it’s fate…until now. I’m bringing it back baby!

Best Ever! because popcorn is a pretty healthy snack as it is, but then you can mix it up and add in whatever you like to personalize it. This batch is with peanuts and cranberries, kind of like my granola bars, but you could certainly replace it with any dry fruit or nut you like. Oh Yeah! Did I mention that it’s super easy…can you say microwave?

Shopping List:

12 cups fresh popped corn (to pop on the stove: use a 6 quart pot, 2 tablespoons oil & 2/3 cup kernels. Cover and pop on high)

1 cup dried cranberries

1 cup salted peanuts

1 large brown paper grocery bag

1 stick unsalted butter

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Instructions:

1. Place the popped corn, cranberries and peanuts in the paper bag. Shake to combine.

2. Melt butter in a large microwave-safe bowl, 1 minute.

3. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Microwave 2 minutes. The mixture will boil. Carefully stir and microwave an additional 2 minutes.

4. Stir in baking soda. It will foam up (a fun step for the kids to do). Carefully pour over the popcorn mixture. Fold the top of the bag over and shake to coat popcorn.

5. Place the bag in the microwave; cook 1/2 minutes. (Watch carefully, as higher wattage ovens may cook faster. Alternatively, transfer to a greased pan; bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour, stirring.)

6. Remove bag and shake. Microwave an additional minute. Pour on large cookie sheets to cool. I like to put in on a silpat, so it’s easier to remove.

See how this all went downhill? It’s just too easy to make…it’s bad news…especially since I fool myself into forgetting that there is an entire stick of butter in this one. As a side note, you could make this even more dangerous by topping it all with a drizzle of melted chocolate while it cools, but I won’t even go there today:)