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Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts

Greetings! This is Peg and I am actually posting on my own blog site! Whew, hope you’re sitting down.

However, on to the cooking~~~

These are amazing! The recipe is from our friend, Jeanine Swick, who brought these to a Christmas part this past year (2016). People kept eating them long after they declared themselves full and were in danger of spoiling their dinners!
Jeanine says they work well with scallops or shrimp, but I’ll never know about that!

Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts

2 (8oz.) cans Water Chestnuts, drained
1/4 cup Kikkoman Soy Sauce (save it)
1 lb. lean Bacon, cut in half
Toothpicks
1 1/2 cups Brown Sugar
1 cup ketchup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Marinate water chestnuts in soy sauce for 15 minutes, stirring a few times to make sure they are fully coated.
Remove water chestnuts from soy sauce and set soy sauce aside for later use in the recipe.
Wrap 1/2 strip of bacon around each water chestnut, securing the bacon with a toothpick.
Place wrapped chestnuts in a 7″x11″ glass baking dish.
Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until desired crispness.

While they’re baking…

Mix ketchup, brown sugar and reserved soy sauce and mix well.

Remove chestnuts from the dish and drain the grease.
Place the chestnuts back in the baking dish.
Pour sauce evenly over the chestnuts to coat.
Bake for an additional 20-30 minutes.

Peg’s Notes:
This sauce mixture is a little intense when you first taste it – intensely sweet,  intensely salty, intensely flavored, etc.  And by that, I mean I couldn’t eat more than three or four at a time, but for some reason other people just love it. Ahem!
I’m thinking of either decreasing the amount of ketchup and brown sugar or coming up with another Asian-y barbecue sauce altogether. We’ll see.
If you do something different, please let me know!

Corn Chowder

Yes, this is different from the other recipe – simpler and easier to make.

2# yellow potatoes, peeled and diced 1/2″
1 small onion, finely diced
1# bag of frozen corn
4-5 oz ham, diced 1/2″
2T Butter
3T Flour
2C Milk
2C Water
Salt
Pepper

Looking at the lead times of ingredient preparation, I usually start with the potatoes. Peeled and diced to about 1/2″, the potatoes are put on to just boil – we want them tender, but not already cooked through.

While the potatoes are cooking, dice the onion and ham. The ham should be about 1/2″ dice as well.

When the potatoes are ready, drain them in a colander and put the pot back on the burner.

Melt the butter and saute the onions until just tender, then stir in the flour and mix thoroughly, and cook this roux for about two minutes.

Whisk in the water, then mix in the corn and ham. Bring this mixture to a boil for two minutes, then add the milk and potatoes, season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until the potatoes are fully tender.

Serve with oyster crackers or Saltines.

 

I find that the other recipe, with red bell pepper, really bests this version, but I didn’t have any peppers last night. And this was pretty good.

Have fun cooking!

Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving was a small affair this year, just Peg (the blog’s namesake) and me. Ordinarily I’d have helped out with a pie or something, but I did the whole shebang today. Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, roasted brussels sprouts, cranberry sauce, and pecan pie. All very straightforward, most I’ve done before, but I managed to pull it all together, mostly on time.

The turkey was a 12 pound Jenny-O, roasted according to the package instructions (325F for about 3 hours and a bit).

Four potatoes (about 1.5# were peeled, roughly cubed, and boiled until done (tender by fork and tasted “done”) with 2 T of butter and a splash of milk.

I cheated on the stuffing and got Pepperidge Farm Country Style, which is really easy and really good. That was prepared with 4T butter, one can of chicken broth, and about a teaspoon of dried onion. Melted the butter, heated the broth, mixed in the stuffing, and put it all in a casserole which went into the oven a few minutes before the turkey came out.

Brussels sprouts I made according to a recipe I found here( and of course I bookmarked it!). I did eliminate the garlic because it’s not Peg’s favorite. This turned out great, by the way!

The pecan pie was made according to the classic Karo Syrup recipe which turns out to be the “family secret” after years of everybody raving over my Aunt Glenna’s Pecan Pie. I did forget to include the butter, but it turned out great just the same, making me think the butter isn’t really needed. The pie shell stuck in the Fiestaware pie plate though, so next time it will get sprayed. It doesn’t matter, but I used the dark syrup. The web site says either will do, and I’ve used both to good effect in past years (and of course I claim the recipe is a “family secret”).

Cranberry sauce? Ocean Spray, of course. What else could we serve in Massachusetts?

And the gravy was dead straightforward. There was about a cup of drippings in the turkey pan, with hardly any fat. I melted 2T of butter in a saucepan, added 3T of flour, and made a relatively dark roux, then added the drippings and one cup of milk, with a little salt and pepper, and cooked that until it was thickened a bit.

It turned out lovely.

Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving!

John

Why I haven’t posted in a long time

I just noticed that I hadn’t visited here since June. There’s a good reason. Look at the recipe for Dutch Oven Chicken, for example. You end up with a whole chicken! Peg and I both had bariatric surgery, she at the end of June, and me in the middle of July. This surgery hugely impacts the amount of food we can eat, though not so much what we can eat. I tend to still have protein shakes for breakfast and lunch, but “regular” food for dinner.

But we can eat only a fraction of what we used to eat. This whole chicken, for example, would be meals for two, maybe three nights. Now, one whole chicken can last us a week! I might have one chicken leg and a cup of spinach, say, for dinner, and the next night a thigh and a cup of green beans.

That said, I am working on some recipes that produce smaller servings, and fewer of them.

In a positive vein, Peg has lost more weight than me, and I’m down nearly 70 pounds.

Be well,
John

Potato Leek Soup with Chicken

Serves 2

3 leeks
2 potatoes
1 medium onion
1 T minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
1 chicken breast
salt
pepper
adobo seasoning (I like Goya – they have several flavors)
2 T chicken base
1/2 C light cream (optional – maybe low-fat yogurt?)
1 Qt water
2 T vegetable oil

Chicken breast was diced 3/4″, seasoned with adobo, and
sauteed.
Onions were coarsely chopped, leeks (white part only) halved, sliced, and washed. Potatoes were diced 1/2″.
Saute onions, leeks, and garlic until just soft.
Add potatoes, chicken base, and water. Bring to a boil and simmer until potatoes are tender.
Puree with hand blender, add cream, blend well.
Add chicken, serve.

Washing the leeks is key. I forgot that step in my last batch of potato leek soup, and well, the leftovers went down the drain. It wasn’t worth chewing through the grit in the leeks.