Monday, January 16, 2012

dishing up comfort food on cold days

Something I enjoy doing when I have time - mainly on non-work days - is to cook and bake. We had this garlic chicken recipe for dinner tonight and let me tell you ~ it was delicious. Next time I make this, I'm going to try serving it over mashed potatoes. I can imagine the creamy potatoes soaking up all that garlicky gravy...drool.


(Source: - adapted from Everyday Food)
3-4 lbs. bone-in chicken pieces (breasts, thighs, drumsticks)
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 med. sweet onion, sliced
8 large garlic cloves, halved
Several springs fresh thyme (note: I used dried thyme)
1 c. dry white wine
1/3 c. flour
Season the chicken with salt & pepper. In a large skillet, heat oil over med-high heat.
Cook the chicken, skin-side down, until the skin turns golden brown (about 4 min.).
Combine the onion, garlic & thyme in a slow cooker & season with salt & pepper.
Top with chicken, skin-side up. In a small bowl, whisk together the wine & flour until
smooth & pour it over the chicken & into the slow cooker. Cover & cook until the chicken
is tender - 3-1/2 hours on high or 7 hours on low.
Serve chicken topped with sauce. Serve over rice, couscous, spaghetti, polenta, or potatoes.
Yield: 4 serv.

Apple pie muffins are wonderful with a cup of tea or coffee, especially when they're warm. I found this recipe on a blog, but I don't remember which one. I would love to give credit where credit is due, so if anyone knows what blog these are from, please let me know.

2 - 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 egg
1 c. half and half (low-fat is fine)
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
3 c. diced apples
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 T. melted butter

Preheat oven to 375F. Mix dry ingredients in large mixing bowl. Mix wet ingredients (egg - apples) in a medium-sized bowl. Add the wet ingredients to dry mixture and stir just until mixed. Mix topping ingredients in small bowl. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan or line with muffin liners (grease those, if using). Scoop batter into each cup, filling 3/4 full. Sprinkle topping mixture over batter. Bake 25 min. Let cool on wire rack.

There's nothing coming home to a bowl of hot, nutritious soup on a cold winter night. 
Warms you to the bones!

1 lg. onion, diced
2 T. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 ribs celery, diced (1/2 c.)
1 lg. carrot, peeled & diced
1 med. zucchini, diced
1 tsp. EACH dried oregano, basil, and salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
6 c. low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth (48 oz.)
1 28-oz. can no-salt added diced tomatoes
1 14-oz. can no-salt added crushed tomatoes
1 15-oz. can low-sodium cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
1/2 c. whole grain elbow pasta (note: I used ditalini pasta)
1/3 c. finely shredded Parmesan cheese
2 T. chopped fresh parsley leaves

In a large soup pot over med-high heat cook and stir onion in hot oil for 4 min. or until translucent. Add garlic; cook for 30 seconds. Add celery and carrot. Cook and stir 5 min., until veggies begin to soften. Add zucchini, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Cook for 2 min., stirring frequently. Add the broth and the diced and crushed tomatoes. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat to med-low. Simmer uncovered for 10 min. Add the beans and pasta. Cook 10-15 min. more or until pasta and vegetables are tender. Top servings with cheese and parsley. Makes 6 serv.


And what's a bowl of soup without some homemade bread? This recipe is easy-peasy because it starts in the bread machine. It's a recipe from Laine at

1 c. warm water
2 T. olive or canola oil
3 T. brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 c. whole wheat flour
2 c. bread flour
2 - 1/2 tsp. yeast

Hit the dough cycle. When it has risen in the machine, take it out and shape into a smooth, round loaf. Put this to rise again in a greased round cake pan or pie tin, covered. Let double again. Bake at 375F. for 30 minutes. Dust loaf with some flour for an old world look.


Shredded chicken taco bowls make an easy dinner that everyone loves, as they can add their toppings of choice. It also makes great use of leftover chicken. I simply layered brown rice, shredded leftover chicken, black beans, salsa, sour cream, and fresh cilantro.

What dishes have you been cooking up lately?


  1. These all look yummy!! I especially like the sound of the garlic chicken (not sure my husband would care for it though)... Today I actually have a chicken going in my crockpot - along with carrots, and celery (usually there is onion too). Will serve it with some brown rice. Last night's Sunday dinner was a mac and cheese/hamburger (with spaghetti sauce) casserole (along with tons more mozzarella cheese on top)! I don't care for hamburger much, but with all the other junk added in, it was very tasty!

    Linda in VA

  2. Melanie, these all look delicious!! I love the homey and comforting smell of soup simmering away on the stovetop, or something yummy cooking slowly in the crockpot all day long.
    Oh I used to forget where I got recipes from all the time. But now I'm on pinterest, so now I can find the source with just a click. (It's a great organizational tool!) Let me know if you want an invite.

  3. Oh yes you are! I didn't notice it earlier. I just started to follow some of your boards!

  4. Thanks for the recipes! That chicken dish looks really good and I love slow cooker recipes!

  5. Cooking and baking are two reasons I love being a housewife!!! These recipes all look so good and I would like to try them. Have you ever seen the Tessa Kiros cookbooks Apples for Jam and Falling Cloudberries? So far, everything I have tried in Apples for Jam has been excellent. I am trying another recipe from the book this weekend.

    Hugs from Holland ~

    1. No, I haven't seen those cookbooks, Heidi. Love the names! Will check them out on amazon. Thanks!

  6. Melanie, everything looks delicious and perfect comfort food. We've been soaking the beans and tonight I'm making chili and cornbread.Smooches and Hugs and wishes for a beautiful day


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