Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year, New Look




Happy New Year Everyone!

As those of you who've been here before can see, there's a bit of a different look going on here at GATAB!  I've been thinking about making some changes for a while now and playing around behind the scenes with some photos in Picasa and Picnik, and I decided that there probably wasn't a better time to do it than now. After all, it is the start of a fresh, new year, right?

I've never been one for New Year's resolutions.  Probably because I'm not very good at keeping them. At 50 years old, I doubt that aspect of my personality will change much.

I'd rather look at it more as me, setting some new goals for myself in 2012.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Cindy-Lou Who's Roast Beast (Rib Eye Roast)




The good folks of Whoville sure know how to put on a scrumptious Christmas feast, so who am I to argue?  (I know... pretty lame, but it is the holiday season, so what harm will it do to indulge me a teeny bit?)

So, since it was just the Mr and me here to partake in the yuletide feast this year, we decided to forego the usual whole roasted beef tenderloin and opted for a small boneless beef rib roast instead. In my book, there's nothing at all "grinchy" about a classic Roast Beast dinner, especially when it's accompanied by Au Gratin Potatoes and Sauteed Green Beans with Shallots and Garlic.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Oven Roasted Honey Ginger Chicken Thighs


This chicken dish is super easy and a particular favorite around here and that's a win/win for me. The preparation is surprisingly simple, but the flavor that you get is amazing, considering the short amount of time that it takes from start to finish. By the time this chicken comes out of the oven, the skin is crispy and golden brown and the meat is moist, tender and practically melting off the bone. I use dried ground ginger, because the freshly grated stuff would overpower the other subtle flavors of honey and soy - and is more likely to burn and become bitter during cooking. I also slice the garlic instead of mincing or pressing it for the same reason. A little buttered white or brown rice and some sauteed carrots or steamed broccoli are perfect for a quick and really delicious weeknight supper.

Oven Roasted Honey Ginger Chicken Thighs
  • 4 to 6 **Bone-In, Skin-On Chicken Thighs
  • 1 Tbls Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbls Honey
  • 1 Tbls Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tsp Dried (Ground) Ginger
  • Kosher Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper
  • 2 to 3 Lg Garlic Cloves, sliced
** If using boneless chicken thighs, you'll need to reduce the cooking time to 30 to 35 minutes.


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.  In a small bowl or measuring cup, add the Olive Oil, Soy Sauce and Honey and whisk or stir it well to combine.  In a separate dish, mix together the Salt, Pepper and Ground Ginger. Peel and slice the Garlic Cloves and set them aside. (slice your Garlic somewhat thickly because this will be cooking for a while and you don't want it to burn)


Place the Chicken in a single layer, skin side up, in a heat proof glass or ceramic baking dish. Using a basting/pastry brush or spoon, spread the Honey/Soy Sauce mixture liberally over the Chicken. Season generously with the Salt, Pepper and Ginger mixture and place the slices of Garlic on top of each piece.

If you really prefer to use fresh grated Ginger, I would definitely suggest using less than the recipe calls for - about 1 heaping teaspoon - and mixing it in with the honey and soy sauce. Also, make sure to check your oven frequently toward the end of the cooking time, to make sure that it doesn't burn.


Roast the Chicken, uncovered, for about 55 - 60 minutes, or until the skin is a dark golden brown and Chicken is cooked through. About half way through, pull the pan out for a second and spoon a little bit of the pan juices over the chicken. (ovens vary, so you can test the meat with an instant read thermometer. You're looking for an internal temperature of 165 to 170 degrees)


I don't use my own nearly enough, but I'm sure this could be done in a crock pot or slow cooker as well. You probably wouldn't endup with the super crispy skin, but the meat would still be as succulent and juicy.

Either way, the pan juices are scrumptious spooned over hot buttered rice or roasted potatoes. I often cook several extra thighs and pull or shred the meat off the leftovers and freeze it for later use in soups, salads or casseroles. Enjoy!

That gorgeous dark golden brown color comes from the honey and soy mixture. It adds a deep, rich savory/sweet flavor to the pan juices, too! Mmmm Mmmmm Good!
Enjoy!

Mary


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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Seasons Greetings!







Wishing Everyone The Happiest, Merriest, Most Wonderful Holiday Season !!

~ From My Family To Yours

Monday, December 19, 2011

Chicken Diva(n)



No... That isn't a typo in the post title.  OK, So the dish is technically called Chicken Divan, but it's not the name that matters, is it?  What matters, is the taste. And, if I do say so myself, this makes for a pretty tasty meal.

It's a quick, delicious casserole that was served at our house on a regular basis when I was growing up.  I make mine just a bit differently than Mama did, but the basics are the same... and so is the comforting satisfaction that this old fashioned casserole provides.

I just call mine "Chicken Diva" to distinguish it from Mama's version. Oh, and because of me being a Diva and all...  ;~)

Mary's Chicken Diva

  • 3 Cups Cooked Chicken, cut or torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 Medium Heads Broccoli Florets and Stems, steamed
  • 1 10.5oz Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 1 10.5oz Can Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1 10.5oz Can Cheddar Cheese Soup
  • 1/2 Cup Mayonaise
  • 8oz Sour Cream
  • 2 Tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tsp Dried Thyme
  • 2 Tbls Yellow Onion, grated (with juices)
  • Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
  • 3 Cups Cheddar Cheese, shredded


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F

Layer the Chicken and Broccoli in a lightly greased baking dish.  Mix the next 10 ingredients and 2 Cups of the Cheddar Cheese together in a large bowl. This mixture will be very thick - Resist the urge to thin it out with any liquid.

Spread the mixture over the Chicken and Broccoli as evenly as you can.  Sprinkle the remaining 1 Cup of Cheddar Cheese over the top.

Bake uncovered in 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

I serve mine with steamed Jasmati Rice and a Green Salad, but you can serve it with Egg Noodles, Potatoes or thick slices of Grilled/Toasted Bread, with or without another vegetable on the side.  It's also just as good on it's own if you're cutting back on carbs.

In a pinch, I'll use a Rotisserie Chicken from the grocery store. It also freezes beautifully, either prior to or after cooking! (just don't add the extra cheese to the top if you're freezing it prior to cooking it)

Enjoy!


Linking up this week with:





Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Brussels Sprouts With Fig Balsamic and Pancetta




Brussels Sprouts...  When I was younger, the mere mention of those two words was enough to send shudders of pure revulsion through my body.  I suppose that could have been because Mama, bless her heart, boiled the bejeebers out of them until they no longer bore any similarity to the cute little mini cabbages that they once resembled. Trust me. It wasn't pretty.  Unfortunately, more often than not, Mama murdered destroyed prepared the majority of vegetables that way.

As I got older and developed my love of cooking, (and a more adventurous palate) I learned that the way to get the best flavors and textures from vegetables was to cook them for shorter periods of time, with maybe a few added ingredients or basic seasonings. These days, I can't think of a vegetable (well, other than peas or lima beans, that is) that I don't like.

This is just one of the many ways that we love our Sprouts...

Brussels Sprouts With Fig Balsamic and Crispy Pancetta
  • 2-3 Lbs Fresh Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
  • 2 Tbls Butter
  • 1/4 C Fig Balsamic Vinegar (you can substitute, see below)
  • 1/4 Lb Pancetta (Italian uncured bacon) chopped
  • Salt and Pepper

To Prepare Sprouts:

Carefully slice off a very thin piece of the stem end of each Sprout. You want to leave as much "stem" as possible so that they stay together when cooking.  Trim off any outer leaves that are damaged/brown or wilted.  Slice each Sprout in half, lengthwise.  Set aside.

(If you're not familiar with Pancetta, it's an uncured Italian bacon with a slightly salty and sweet taste. It isn't smoked. You can substitute regular bacon in this recipe, but I would highly recommend the Pancetta. For the sake of convenience, I buy it already chopped in my grocery store's pre-packaged deli department.)



For The Pancetta:

In a large skillet, cook the chopped Pancetta over medium to medium-high heat.  Watch it closely because just like any bacon, it can go from not quite done to burnt beyond all recognition in the blink of an eye. When it's crisp and golden brown, transfer it from the pan (with a slotted spoon) to a plate lined with paper towels to get rid of any excess fat.  Pour off all but a couple of tablespoons of the fat and return to pan to medium-low heat.


Add the halved Sprouts to the pan and saute them for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with a little salt and pepper.  Cook them until they are just starting to soften up a bit and beginning to brown slightly.


Add the Fig Balsamic and the Butter to the Sprouts, cover the pan with a lid or some foil and continue to cook over medium heat for another 3-5 minutes.  Remove the lid and turn up the heat to medium-high and cook another 2-3 minutes, stirring the Sprouts to make sure they're coated with the Vinegar and Butter and to help them caramelize.


(If you can't find the Fig Balsamic Vinegar, you can substitute with a plain Balsamic and a tablespoon of Honey.  I've even used Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey in a pinch.)



Garnish the sprouts with the reserved crispy Pancetta and serve!

Enjoy!

Mary


Don't Forget To Follow Me On Social Media! I Post Blog Updates, Ideas For Kitchen "How To's", Restaurant Recommendations And Reviews... And Always Lots Of Photos!




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Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Prayer

For my December 12th  Meet Me On Monday post, please see my other blog. (link is also in the right side bar)


Yay!!! Time for another Songs That Make Us Sing Saturday! (Christmas Edition)

OK... So this isn't technically a Christmas song.  Well, maybe not everyone thinks of it as the typical "holly jolly" tune (and they're great too), but it has a very special meaning for me and that's all that matters, right?



I'd usually post quite a bit more here about the song and why I chose it, etc. but I have somewhere that I absolutely have to be this morning and I'm all like, way behind as far as Christmas is concerned and....  Well, I'll do my best to make up for it next week. Plus, since it's becoming more and more apparent to me that I can't seem to stay away from the interwebs for too long, I'll be back later this weekend to check in.

So, since you don't have to hang out here reading one of my usually long-winded posts, why not hop on over and pay a visit to Ginger and Becca and join in on the holiday fun!


Here's the link to the party:

click here

Friday, December 9, 2011

Old Fashioned Ginger Cookies



This has to be Hubby's favorite Christmas Cookie. Honestly, I think I'd be safe saying that it's his favorite cookie, period. Aside from the Holiday connection, we share a wonderful summertime memory attached to this sweet, spicy cookie, but I won't go into that here. If you'd like to read about it though, just click here and you can find out just why it's so special to us.  I spent years trying to find a recipe for these cookies and I was shocked when I found out that it was practically at my fingertips all along. The only name I ever knew for them was "The Ridge Road Lady's Cookies".

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Hungarian Goulash


Every year, once I've used up all we can bear of the Old Tom Turkey and his trimmings, I get a yen for something rich, hearty and as far away from the holiday bird as possible. I usually end up going in one of two culinary directions... A big pot of "Sunday Gravy" (aka spaghetti sauce) or the dish that I'm sharing here today.

Hungarian Goulash!  I mean, what better way can there be to satiate the burning desire to have a warm hearty gobble-free supper, than a plate full of buttery egg noodles, smothered in rich, tender, beefy goodness? Nuthin', that's what!

This recipe makes enough for a small army of family and friends, but it also freezes beautifully.  I'd say it serves about 10 hungry people with enough left over for a hearty lunch or two - or maybe breakfast??? (unless you have a couple of noodle fiends in your family, who sneak down to the fridge in the middle of the night for a little carb fix - not that I'd know anything about that. 😉)

If you landed on this post because you were looking for the ground beef, tomato and macaroni style of goulash that's often called "American Chop Suey" in the Northeast, don't worry... I have a recipe for that too. Just click HERE.



Hungarian Goulash
  • 5 Lbs lean Stew Beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 5 Lbs Yellow Onions, peeled and roughly chopped
  • Vegetable Oil, for browning the meat
  • 6 Cups Low Sodium Beef Broth
  • 1/4 Cup **Sweet Hungarian Paprika
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 16 oz Cooked Egg Noodles
  • 3 Tbls Butter
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1-2 Cups Sour Cream, for garnish


Pat the beef cubes dry with paper toweling and season liberally with salt and pepper. Put a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil into a large dutch oven or cast iron pot over medium to medium-high heat and brown the beef on all sides in small batches, setting the already done meat aside in a large bowl. It's important not to crowd the pot or the meat won't brown well. (you definitely want those yummy browned bits that are left on the bottom. Remember... brown = flavor!)

Once all of the beef is cooked and set aside, add all of the onions to the pot with a bit more oil if needed. Cook the onions on medium heat until they're soft and lightly caramelized, scraping up the browned bits. When the onions are done, sprinkle with the paprika, stir it well and let the mixture cook for 3 to 4 more minutes. Add the beef back into the pot, pour in the broth and stir well to combine.

Now... At this point, you have a few options.


1) Continue to cook the goulash, uncovered, on the stove top over a low flame for about 3 to 4 hours or until the beef is fork tender, the onions have pretty much dissolved and the sauce has thickened.  OR,


2) Place the pot in a pre-heated 375°F oven with the lid slightly ajar for the first couple of hours, then take the lid off,  put the pot back on the stovetop over a low flame and simmer for the last hour, stirring occasionally. (this is the method that I use) OR,

3) I've never done it this way, but I'm sure you could finish this in your crock-pot on low all day or on high for about 3 or 4 hours. It's kind of hard to over-cook it, but if you do lose track of time and the liquid evaporates a bit too much, you can add more beef broth and let it cook a bit longer to heat through.

Serve this over hot buttered *egg noodles, rice or potatoes. It's delicious no matter what you choose. If you're cutting back or avoiding carbs, you can just have it on its own, like a stew or hearty soup. Add your favorite veggie or freshly tossed green salad on the side and you're good to go!  Enjoy!


**Sweet Hungarian Paprika (or it's sister, Hot Hungarian Paprika) can be found in most major grocery stores or specialty food stores. It's important that you use the "real deal" because the standard spice blend versions often have fillers or additives in them. It's a tiny bit more expensive, but it's worth it and it will last quite a while as long as it's closed tightly and stored in a dry place.


*Note: I like the extra wide egg noodles for this dish because they don't get lost in the overall dish. This Goulash is pretty hearty fare and you want a base that will hold up to it. The Pennsylvania Dutch Brand has always been a favorite of mine, but you can certainly go with your brand of choice. (not sponsored)

Enjoy!

Mary



Don't Forget To Follow Me On Social Media! I Post Blog Updates, Ideas For Kitchen "How To's", Restaurant Recommendations And Reviews... And Always Lots Of Photos!




You Can Have New Posts From Go Ahead Take A Bite Delivered Right To Your Inbox! Just Enter Your Email Address Here:


Delivered by FeedBurner
We will never send any advertising or provide your email address to any other blogs or businesses.

Don't forget that you can print this (or any) recipe using the "Print Friendly" button at the foot of each post. It's a great little feature that allows you to remove any pictures (or any text that isn't relevant to the recipe) before printing. That can save on ink and paper & in today's economy, who doesn't want to save a little cash when you can?!



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