Sweet and Spicy Chicken Kabobs

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Whether Mother Nature like its or not, its time to grill…… Sweet and Spicy Chicken Kabobs.


Sweet and Spicy Chicken Kabobs

When boneless skinless chicken is on sale……. you stock up! After all you never know when a chicken idea will come across your mind.

Kabobs are a perfect summer griller. I did not use them for this recipe as I only have two and we had a few more people than that for dinner, but if you can find kabob baskets……buy them. Much easier to turn, and nothing falls off the skewer or spins around……you know what I’m talking about!

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Kabobs

But, I used bamboo screwers for this recipe and soaked them for a few hours so they didn’t burn during cooking.

The biggest part of the recipe, is making sure you have similar size chunks of meat and veggies. I prepped my meat and veggies ahead, so when the time came I just had to skewer them.

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Kabobs

Strips of bacon, woven in-between keeps the meat moist and gives the kabobs that smoky bacon flavor.

The real start of the show, is the sauce, sweet and spicy……..pineapple juice, brown sugar, soy sauce, and a nice pinch of red pepper flakes for heat.

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Kabobs

So, you all know that a pinch wasn’t really how much I used, being the house of spice. But, for normal folks, a pinch will add just the right amount of heat.

Cornstarch thickens the sauce and gives it that nice shine you get from cornstarch. Brush the sauce during just the last few minutes of grilling as the sauce will burn quickly.

Serve the extra sauce on the side along with some steam rice and you have a perfect summer meal.

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Kabobs

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Kabobs ………get your grill on!

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Kabobs
Author: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1½ chunks
  • 1 large fresh pineapple, cut into 1½ inch chunks
  • 2 large red bell peppers, cut into 1½ inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1½ inch pieces
  • 12 strips of thick applewood smoked bacon
  • FOR SAUCE:
  • 1½ cups pineapple juice
  • 1½ tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes or to taste.
  • 6 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for several hours.
Instructions
  1. To make the sauce: Combine cornstarch and brown sugar in a large sauce pan, whisk until combined. Add remaining ingredients and bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 2 minutes or until thickened. Set-aside until ready to use.
  2. Begin with a pieces of bacon and weave around each piece of chicken and pineapple, then place the bell pepper and onion together and weave the bacon around both of those. Continue weaving until you have 4 pieces of chicken on each kabob. Spray kabobs with non stick cooking spray ( I use coconut oil spray)
  3. Preheat the grill to medium high. Grill the kabobs for 10-15, turning a couple of times, until done.
  4. Brush with sauce during the last few minutes of grilling.
  5. Serve with remaining sauce and steamed rice.

 

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Red Pepper Jam

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Red Pepper Jam


Red Pepper Jam

You know that panicy feeling when someone stops by unexpectedly during the holidays………you bolt to the kitchen to see what you can pull together in a hillbilly hurry. Well, never fear I got the thing right here……Red Pepper Jam.

I know everyone is aware of a company called Tastefully Simple. They have really great products…….delicious foods and gifts for every day and every occasion. I have, in the past purchased a product called Sweet Pepper Jalapeño Jam, a friend had a party and it was one of the samples and I loved it. They just poured it over cream cheese and served it with crackers and ooh la la appetizer. So, I figured I could make something similar….and I did.

It’s fairly easy to make, the hardest part and it’s not really hard…..more time consuming is the cooking time. It needs to reduce and that takes about 45 minutes. But it has a beautiful upside…….it will keep in the frig for a month…..yes siree……… a whole month!

Make it just before Thanksgiving and it will help you sail right through the holidays for all those moments when you need to fix something in a hurry. 

Keep a package of cream cheese in the frig and when company comes a calling, put the cream cheese on a nice plate, pour over your secret weapon ……..Red Pepper Jam…….and serve with crackers, or my personal favorite…….. pita chips. As you can see, I have a really cute plate that my Elementary staff gave me last year for a Christmas gift………Snowman whose mittens and boots that are little serving spreaders…….it soooo cute! Thank you ladies!!!!

You can also use the Red Pepper Jam as a condiment on sandwiches or burgers, as a glaze for vegetables or meat, or as a dip. It’s sweet and spicy and damn delicious!!!

Red Pepper Jam Collage

Red Pepper Jam
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 red bell peppers, finely chopped (about 2½ cups)
  • 1 -28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño seeded and finely minced
  • ¼ cup cooking sherry
  • ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
  • ½ c granulated white sugar
  • ½ c brown sugar
  • juice of freshly squeezed lemon
  • ⅛ -1/4 t red pepper flakes
  • ⅛ t kosher salt
  • ⅛ t ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a large deep skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce to an simmer and cook until thick and syrupy (about 45 minutes).
  2. The jam will thicken as it cools. Will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

 

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Cherry Pie

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Cherry Pie


Once again at the local grocery store something caught my eye………beautiful, plump, bright red cherries.

Cherries

Now, neither Tim nor I are huge cherry fans, but their allure was too much, so I bought them! Tim saw them in the frig and asked why I bought cherries? I had no answer………

Now, to find something to actually do with them, I scoured the internet……..so many variations to cherry pie……..but I wanted something different. I found a cake recipe that I wanted to modify  for my “Gluten Free” friends. Epic FAIL!!!! It was awful!!! Not really sure what I did wrong but it was a soupy mess…..see below……. The beautiful pistachio topping sank into the batter and disappeared. I will try this again after much modification, but such a waste of the beautiful cherries.

Fail

All I can say is that sometimes in the world of food, things do not always go as planned. 🙁

So , on to bigger and better things. I want to tell a gadget story……my Mom, who by the way made the best pies in the world….. her crust was flaky and tender (something I cannot replicate), especially her coconut cream pie. Mom was one to buy every little gadget on the market. When she passed away and we were cleaning out her house I came across a cherry pitter. Now, since I am not a cherry fan I wondered what I would ever use this for? But I kept it anyway………..What a great little tool! If you love cherries, or have a cherry tree, do yourself a favor and buy one……it is the bomb! Be sure you put down a paper bag, or something to catch the pits, as it is a messy process.

Cherry Pitter

After my fail, I had to do something with the remaining cherries. I remembered that Tim’s Uncle Ron “a.k.a. Rude Dog” liked cherry pie. So, I made my first every cherry pie……. with a lattice top. I did have to Google how to make a lattice top as I have never made a pie with one before……….wow……three firsts in one day! 1. Epic Fail 2. Cherry Pie. 3. Lattice top pie. My, oh my, what a day.

So here is the final result of the Cherry Pie……….

Cherry Pie

I am still waiting to hear back from Uncle Ron………I hope he enjoyed it!

Cherry Pie
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 unbaked double pie crust recipe (store bought or homemade)
  • 7 cups sweet cherries, pitted
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon of butter, cut into tiny pieces
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Turbinado sugar (natural cane sugar)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Toss together the pitted cherries, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, almond extract, vanilla extract and corn starch in a large bowl until evenly coated.
  3. Roll out the bottom pie crust, and gently lay it in a 9-inch pie pan. Transfer the cherry filling to the pie crust, and sprinkle with little dots of butter.
  4. Roll out the top pie crust, and either lay on top and cut a few slits in the middle to make a full double pie crust. Or cut the top pie crust into strips to make a lattice pie crust (I Googled this as it was the first lattice pie I have ever made). Brush pie crust with milk and sprinkle with Turbinado sugar. Then freeze for about 10 minutes, before baking.
  5. Place the pie in the middle rack, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or tin foil to catch any drips. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350°F and cook for 35-45 additional minutes, or until the crust is nicely golden and the filling is thick and bubbly.
  6. Cool completely before serving.

 

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