Cooking with Michell

Deliciously simple family meals!


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Organic Mulberries

Spring has sprung! Flowers are blooming, birds are chirping and mulberries are ripe, for the picking! My tree is producing so many berries this year, I can hardly pick them fast enough. They are sweet, juicy and delicious! My son enjoys picking and eating them. This has become his after school hobby. I made jam with these beauties. It was quick and easy to make. I can’t wait to try some on a slice of toast. I’m thinking about making a mulberry pie as well.

My husband planted our tree sometime last year, before the hurricane(s) hit. Our tree took a bit of a beating but, it survived and is producing more berries than ever before. Here’s to a bountiful harvest!

-Michell

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Pot Roast

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Who’s ready for some good old fashioned comfort food?

Pot Roast

One of my favorite meals as a kid was Pot Roast. It’s such a delicious and filling comfort food. My Mom often made it for my siblings and I.  I have always enjoyed it because it is so flavorful and colorful. Recently, my Mom mentioned that she had a taste for it but, she didn’t feel like making it. Of course since she mentioned it, I couldn’t stop thinking about it!
I recall attempting to make a Pot Roast a few years ago. It was my first attempt…not a good one, yes, I admit that. Anyway, I also recall the error being that I rushed it because we had family coming over…very bad idea! The vegetables were under cooked and the roast was tough! (I apologized profusely). My only saving grace was that it was family and they didn’t complain. I was immensely disappointed in my failed attempt because I knew how good the meal could have been with the proper time and planning. Not to mention the fact that I’m also a bit of a perfectionist. It was certainly a lesson learned! My take away: Pot Roast (greatness) cannot be rushed!

So, today I tried a recipe that I found on Pinterest from Baked In the South. I made the recipe as instructed and it was great. It was delicious, tender and flavorful!  I may add mushrooms the next time I make it. My cooking time was reduced by about an hour or so because my dutch oven seems to cook pretty fast. I made homemade mashed potatoes to go with it. My family raved over it. This recipe was easy, delicious and great for Sunday’s dinner!

Happy Sunday!

-Michell

 


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Okra galore!

Recently, I received a small boat-load of fresh okra from my Mom. I’m in the process of preparing and freezing most of it, but I think I may reserve some for a delicious soup or my favorite Gumbo. My Husband loves to fry it or make okra and tomatoes. Okra is a good source of fiber and vitamins and it’s also a low calorie, fat-free food! Does it get any better than that? What’s your favorite way to cook okra?

 


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Two words describe tonight’s meal…simply delicious!

Boneless, skinless chicken breast slow simmered in an olive oil and butter essence….Throw in some shallots, fresh garlic, and basil and you’ve got a flavor party! 

This meal was quick and easy to prepare. I began by prepping the garlic and shallots with a corse chop. Next, I washed and butterflied the chicken breasts. In a medium sized pan, I sautéed the garlic and shallots. Once they began to sweat, I added in sliced mushrooms. To that mixture I added a tablespoon of dried basil, garlic powder, black pepper and a cup of chicken broth. I turned that down to a simmer. 

In a large skillet, I added a tablespoon of butter and approximately two tablespoons of EVOO.  With medium to high heat, I browned the chicken halves… Season with salt and pepper and lemon juice. 

Once the chicken was thoroughly cooked, I set it aside on a serving dish to rest. Finally, I prepared my sides, the broccoli and cheese was in a steam bag. I popped that in the microwave for seven minutes, as per the instructions on the bag.  Since I didn’t have to make them from scratch, the mashed potatoes were quick also. I used Crystal Farms Simply Potatoes, Sour Cream and Chive. They are basically heat and serve, but I always add a dollop of sour cream, salt and pepper to them.  Voila! Dinner is served! 

The flavor profile was absolutely amazing! The chicken was juicy and full of flavor. I hope you enjoy making this quick and delicious meal as much as I did! Give it a try and let me know what you think! 

Ingredients:

  • 3 Boneless Skinless Fresh Chicken Breasts
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
  • 1 Shallot, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1tbsp. Dried Basil
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper
  • 1 cup Chicken Broth
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 steam in bag Broccoli (in cheese sauce) optional
  • 1 Pkg. Simply Potatoes, Sour Cream and Chive
  • Butter
  • Sour Cream

 

Enjoy!

-Michell


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Cooler weather calls for Hot Soup!

Potato Leek Soup

Is it just me or doesn’t cooler weather make you want a nice big bowl of soup?…Or Chili? There’s nothing tastier than a delicious bowl of hot soup on a cold fall or winter day. Although there’s something about rainy days that makes me want soup also.

Soup is a bit nostalgic for me. Growing up, my Mom would always make sure my siblings and I had a nice serving of something warm in our stomachs. It was either oatmeal or grits before we headed off to school or soup if it was lunch time on weekends. Michigan winters were brutal. She would also bundle us up in no less than three layers of clothing along with earmuffs, a skull-cap, a scarf, mittens, leg warmers, two pairs of socks and boots! One thing’s for sure, we were never cold or hungry! 🙂

Since we have officially entered the cooler/cold season, I think a nice hearty soup is in order. I haven’t decided which soup I will make as of yet. I absolutely love potatoes so chances are, whichever one I choose, it will contain potatoes. I need some ideas. What’s your favorite soup to make in the Fall/Winter? and Why? Please share.

 

Thanks!

-Michell

 

Note: Soup pictured above is Potato Leek.


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Coocoo for Coconut Oil

coconut Until recently, I had never considered just how wonderful Coconut Oil was and that there are so many great uses for it. I love trying new foods, spices and just new things in general. What can I say, I’m a foodie!  I’ve always enjoyed many coconut flavored foods like coconut shrimp and that deliciously irresistible Movie Theater Popcorn and even coconut water however, I had never used it for cooking or baking.

I stumbled upon a recipe for Coconut Oil Cookies. I was elated because I recently purchased a rather large container of Coconut Oil in hopes that I would discover some new and exciting recipe to use it in.

In addition to finding the cookie recipe, I found hundreds of other uses for skin and health care.  Coconut Oil has a high smoke point which makes it great for baking and stir-frys.   The Coconut Oil I purchased is Organic Extra Virgin, Cold-pressed.

This recipe is delicious and easy to make. The cookie is thick and rich. The use of Coconut Oil instead of the traditional butter or shortening creates a soft, chewy cookie with crisp edges. I love this cookie because the scent of the coconut is delightful and the taste of the coconut is mild and not overpowering. These are my new favorite cookie and I’m sure they will be yours too!  Stay tuned for more recipes using this delicious oil.

Enjoy!

-Michell

CookieBite

 

Coconut Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: About 12 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, softened but not melted
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Method

In the bowl of a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment to cream together the softened coconut oil, sugars, egg, and vanilla extract on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Add in the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt, and beat on medium-low speed until combined. Fold in (stir in) the chocolate chips by hand until just combined.

Use a large cookie scoop (equivalent to 3 tablespoons) or a spoon to shape the dough into balls, and place them on a large plate. Cover with plastic wrap and chill the dough balls for at least 2 hours.

When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place chilled dough balls at least 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. (Or a baking sheet that has been covered with a Silpat, or greased with cooking spray.)

Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are just set. The centers may look slightly undercooked. Cool cookies on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Serve immediately or store in a sealed container for up to 1 week. You can also freeze the cookies for up to 3-4 months.

Adapted from Leelalicious.

(c) 2013 Gimme Some Oven. All rights reserved.

 Cookie

 


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Chocolate Anyone?

My Mom recently celebrated her birthday and in her ever so subtly but obvious way, she mentioned that she wanted a nice slice of chocolate cake for her birthday. So, I felt it was my baking duty to oblige. I began searching for the perfect chocolate cake recipe since I didn’t have a tried and true one of my own. As a matter of fact, I had never baked one.

Since I was baking this cake for my Mom, it had to be extra special.
After an in depth search, I found one that was chocolatey and also sounded delicious. It was a Triple Chocolate Layer Cake.

This recipe had everything I was looking for…chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate! I knew I had to try it and I hoped my Mom would love it.
I baked the cake exactly as stated in the recipe.
My Mom loved it and so did everyone else! This cake is moist, delicious and super chocolatey!

Note: I think when I make it again I will omit the chips from the icing and just use them as a garnish. They are optional.

Enjoy!

-Michell

For the recipe visit:
Sally’s Baking Addiction

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