Every July, peas grow there.

Anytime I do anything with peas I always quote from Rosebud Frozen Peas “full of country goodness and green peaness“.

First official pea harvest. We have been harvesting sugar snap peas for a few weeks now, but those are starting to die off in the heat. The regular peas though are starting to come in and are delicious. I like to pick a few when they are still small, the pods aren’t tasty like the snap pea pods, but the peas are sweet and yummy, it’s like eating candy.image

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Mallow Bits

My favorite thing about cocoa is the dry/crunchy marshmallows that come in the cocoa mix envelopes. I like regular marshmallows slightly more than I used to, but I would never put regular, soft marshmallows in my cocoa. I recently found these :Kraft Jet-puffed Mallow Bits Kraft Jet-puffed Mallow Bits. They say vanilla flavor but I never noticed any vanilla taste. They are slightly larger than the marshmallows that come in the cocoa mix envelopes but they are just as dry and crunchy which I personally love.(they do soften up in the cocoa). Finally I can have as many marshmallows as I want in my cocoa and I’m not limited to the stingy amount they put in the cocoa mix envelopes.

Homemade Chicken Croquettes with pot pie sauce

Tonight I made homemade Chicken Croquettes. I modified the recipe to suit my preferences and they were freakin’ delicious.

I love chicken croquettes but had no clue how exactly they were made.  All the recipes I found online used a can of cream of something soup (blech). I didn’t want to use a canned cream of soup as I think they taste gross. (I’m not a soup snob, I just don’t think they taste good)

I like to find recipes that I can use as my starting point. I can be a picky eater so this is what works for me. This is the recipe I based my chicken croquettes off of:

Best Easy Chicken Croquettes from allrecipes.com

1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup

1 1/2 cups finely chopped, cooked chicken meat

1/4 cup Italian-style dry bread crumbs

2 tablespoons minced celery

1 tablespoon minced onion

1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning

1 tablespoon shortening

1/2 cup milk

1/8 tablespoon poultry seasoning

1/2 cup Italian-style dry bread crumbs, for rolling

My Ingredients:

(I usually leave out most/all the salt until the end when I cook with broth/stock. I find that sometimes stock/broth can be salty enough on it’s own so I taste everything and add salt if it needs it later on)

The first thing I decided was that instead of using a canned cream of something soup, I decided to use the filling from Ina Garten’s Chicken Pot Pie recipe (which I love). It has cream in it, and is the right texture/flavor. I made a basic pot pie “sauce” using butter, flour, chicken broth and cream.

I made the croquettes with baked, boneless chicken breasts, homemade unseasoned bread crumbs, left out the celery and used onion powder not minced onion. I cut the chicken breast into pieces and ran it through my food processor until it was very finely chopped/minced. I did not have any poultry seasoning, so I used some thyme and onion powder instead.

I added about 1/2 of the pot pie sauce I made to the croquette mix, and thinned the other half with milk to use as the sauce for the croquettes.

I chilled the croquette mix in the fridge for approx. an hour, melted butter in a nonstick skillet and formed the croquette mixture into small patties. I made them about big meatball sized and then pressed flat. They start to fall apart if you make them too big. Coat them on both sides with the bread crumbs.

Fry them on each side until they are golden brown and crispy. You can serve them at this point, but I needed to heat up the sauce so I put them on a baking sheet in the oven to keep warm.(the oven was already on to cook the stuffing)

I served them with stuffing since I had most of the ingredients that I use for stuffing out already using my favorite stuffing recipe(which I modify to my tastes)

I served the croquettes with the pot pie sauce and stuffing and it was yummy, my husband went back for seconds.. This is a very rich/hearty meal, but it was perfect on a night when it’s really cold out and we are waiting for yet another snow storm.

 

Cinnamon applesauce ornaments

I made cinnamon applesauce ornaments for the first time this morning. I have never heard of these before and was intrigued. I decided to give them a try and make one for each person in my family. I used a recipe from McCormick.

Some recipes I saw used a little bit of glue in the mix. This recipe did not have glue and that appealed to me. I love the idea of just using Cinnamon and applesauce to make a dough that will harden.

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Getting ready for the oven. 200 degrees for 2 1/2 hours

 

They came out great, although some things I learned are:

Don’t roll these out on parchment paper or plastic wrap. I know the recipe says to use plastic wrap, but when I did if there was any little wrinkle in the parchment paper or the plastic wrap it transfers to the dough. It’s easy enough to see wrinkles on the top but it was really frustrating to roll out the dough, cut out the shapes and then see creases on the underside.

I decided to roll out the dough on my countertop. This went well except when I thought I put enough cinnamon down on the counter to keep the dough from sticking. Luckily this is easily fixed by sprinkling more cinnamon down on your work surface. Check to make sure the  ornaments will come up from your surface before you cut out all your ornaments.

Also, the cheapest place I found to get cinnamon was at Walmart. They had bottles for 64cents.