Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Christmas: Gingerbread Scones

Scones go perfect with a nice cup of tea or coffee.  These scones are no exception.  They have the flavors of the holidays and are tender and flavorful.  They are like eating a delicious ginger snap cookie in scone form.

I made three changes to the recipe.  First the instructions state to cut in the butter.  I like to grate my butter and work it in with my hands.  I like to feel the mixture.  Also, the  aroma of the spices is delicious as you are working in the butter.  Second, I added 2 tablespoons more milk.  My dough wasn't coming together as it should- it was dry.  Just that little bit of milk cured the problem.   I liked the texture of this dough. It wasn't too sticky and this made it easy to work with.  Finally, instead of cutting the dough into 12 wedges, I only cut it in 8 wedges.

Once the dough was patted into a circle, you cut it into 8 wedges, brush with some egg white and sprinkle with coarse sugar, and bake.  These scones smelled wonderful as they were baking.    Remove from oven, cool and eat.

I enjoyed mine with a cup of Starbucks Blonde Roast Holiday blend I made in my Keurig.  A great way to start any day or just for some "me" time.

Gingerbread Scones
From "Taste of Home" Magazine

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup cold butter, cubed
1/3 cup molasses
1/4 cup milk
1 egg, separated
Coarse sugar

1. Preheat oven to 400°. In a large bowl, whisk the first seven ingredients. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In another bowl, whisk molasses, milk and egg yolk until blended; stir into crumb mixture just until moistened.
2. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead gently 6-8 times. Pat into an 8-in. circle. Cut into 12 (I did 8) wedges. Place wedges 1 in. apart on a greased baking sheet.
3. In a small bowl, beat egg white until frothy; brush over scones. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Yield: 8 scones

Friday, December 2, 2016

Pressure Cooker Chicken Marsala

You have heard me rave about my Instant Pot and how much I love it.  Well, today's recipe is another get tasting dinner you can make in your Instant Pot or other pressure cooker with little time and fuss. 

Start by browning your chicken breasts  in your pressure cooker. When the chicken has browned, remove and add in the onion and thyme.  Next add your mushrooms and brown them.  The next ingredients that go into the pot are garlic, salt, pepper, flour, Marsala, and the chicken stock.  Cook these ingredients for about 2 minutes.  Return the chicken to the pressure cooked, close and lock the lid and set pressure to low.

While the chicken is cooking, cook up some pasta.  When the pasta is done transfer it to a serving platter to place the chicken on top.

When the chicken is done open the pressure release valve and allow the stem to escape.  Unlock the pressure cooker and  carefully remove the lid.  Place chicken on top of the pasta and spoon the sauce over the chicken and pasta.  Serve.

Delicious and so easy to make.   Enjoy.

Pressure Cooker Chicken Marsala 
From Relish 

4 8-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
1 cup sliced yellow onion (1 medium onion)
1 sprig fresh thyme, plus 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
12 ounces mushrooms such as shiitake or button, wiped clean, stemmed and sliced
2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 to 3 cloves)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Marsala
1 1/2 cups homemade chicken stock or packaged low-sodium chicken broth
Cooked penne pasta or other pasta for serving

  1. Season the chicken all over with 1 teaspoon of the salt and ½ teaspoon of the pepper.
  2. Set a 6-quart pressure cooker to the “browning” program and add 1 tablespoon of the butter. When the butter has melted, brown the chicken, in batches, on one side for 5 minutes. Remove the chicken and set aside.
  3.  Add the remaining 3 tablespoons butter to the pressure cooker. When it has melted, add the onion and thyme sprig, and cook until the onion is soft, about 3 minutes. Then add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes, until browned. Stir in the garlic, the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, and the remaining ¼ teaspoon pepper. Stir in the flour and continue to cook, stirring as needed, for 2 minutes. Add the Marsala, simmer for 3 minutes, and then add the chicken stock. Return the chicken breasts to the pressure cooker, browned side up. Close and lock the lid, and set to “low pressure” for 2 minutes.
  4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta, and cook according to the package directions.
  5. Open the pressure release valve and allow the steam to escape. Unlock and carefully open the lid. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter. Discard the thyme sprig. Set the pressure cooker to the “simmer” program and reduce the sauce until the desired consistency is reached, about 3 minutes. Stir in the thyme leaves. Serve the Chicken Marsala over the pasta.

    Serves 4


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Pot Roast

After eating turkey and all of the leftovers, the family was ready for something else.  Being busy getting ready for Christmas, I decided on making a pot roast for dinner.  Usually, I make the roast in the cock pot but I found a great recipe from The Pioneer Woman.

You start by browning your veggies in a Dutch oven.   Once the veggies are browned, remove them from the pan and brown your roast.  When browned, remove your roast from the pan and deglaze your pan.  You want to scrape up all those brown bits that are loaded with flavor.  Place the roast back in the pan and add enough stock to cover the roast halfway.  Add the veggies and the herbs and cook in oven until done.

When the roast is done remove it from the oven and place on a serving platter surrounded by all the delicious veggies.

The meat is so moist and flavorful it practically melts in your mouth.  The veggies are wonderful too.  A great family meal cooked in one pot. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

Who doesn't love Cinnamon Rolls.  I must say, I love them.  During Holiday time I tend to make them a lot.  They are perfect for Christmas breakfast, those times when family and friends drop over, or just a special treat for your family.

I found this recipe for overnight Cinnamon Rolls on Our Best Bites website.  They are great because the work is done the night before and you pop them in the oven the next day.  I made these for our Thanksgiving Day breakfast and they were wonderful.  The entire family gobbled them up.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Christmas:Gingerbread Party Mix

Gingerbread Party Mix
The kids and I planned on watching "A Christmas Story" for our movie night tonight.  Instead of eating our traditional movie snack of popcorn I decided to try something else.  I remembered a recipe I saw in "Family Circle" magazine for a holiday Chex Mix.  I decided to check it out.  The recipe was so simple and required minimal adult supervision, I thought this would be a great treat the kids could make.  No oven, just the microwave.
You start by combing all the cereals and cinnamon graham snacks -the kids used Cinnamon Teddy Grahams in a large microwavable bowl.  In a smaller microwaveable dish, the butter is melted and the spices and vanilla extract are stirred into the melted butter.  Toss the cereal mixture with the butter and microwave for 5 minutes.  Spread the mixture on paper towels and drizzle melted white vanilla baking chips over the cereal. Let it set and you are ready to eat.   The Party mix was very tasty.  I loved the holiday flavors and the touch of white "chocolate" and candied ginger.   A great snack to enjoy while watching a movie.

Gingerbread Party Mix
From Family Circle Magazine

3 cups Cinnamon Chex cereal
3 cups Rice Chex cereal
1 1/2 cups cinnamon graham snacks
6 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons crystallized ginger, chopped
1/4 cup white vanilla baking chips

1. In a large microwavable bowl, add cereals and graham snacks; set aside.  In small microwavable bowl, microwave butter uncovered on high 40 seconds or until melted.  Stir in cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and vanilla until blended.  Pour over cereal and stir until coated.

Cereals and Teddy Grahams
Melted butter and Spices
2. Microwave uncovered on high 5 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes.  Stir in ginger until blended.  Spread mixture onto paper towels.  In small microwavable cup, microwave vanilla baking chips uncovered on high 1 minute, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted.  Drizzle over snack; let stand until set.  Store in airtight container.

15 servings

Butter and Cereal Mixture Combined

Mixture on Paper Towels

Baking Chips Drizzled Over Chex Mix

Bowl of Holiday Goodness

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving 2016

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at "From My Southwest Kitchen."  

Thanks also to all the loyal readers of this blog.  You're the greatest:)

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving: Sweet Potatoes

I hope all of you who celebrate Thanksgiving had a great one with lots of good food:)  Every year for Thanksgiving, I try a few new recipes.  One dish that graced our table this year was Sweet Potatoes. Usually, I just make mashed potatoes and call it good, but the family also said they would like some Sweet Potatoes.

Instead of sticking to the standard recipe I make most  of the time, I modified one I found on "My Recipes" website.   They baked their potatoes in orange cups and used pecans in their recipe.  I eliminated the orange cups and pecans and added lots more marshmallows.   We love marshmallows on our sweet potatoes.  I baked my potatoes  in an 8x8-inch baking dish that was lightly sprayed with cooking oil.

This was the favorite side.  The potatoes were sweet and creamy with just the right amount of spice.  The marshmallows, well, what can I say except they were what made the dish.  Toasted to perfection with their sweet melted goodness in every bite.

This is a perfect side for any meal.  We were scraping the baking dish to get every delicious bite:)

Sweet Potatoes
From "My Recipes.com" adapted by "From My Southwest Kitchen"


6 small sweet potatoes (about 2 3/4 pounds)
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
3 tablespoons melted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons orange zest
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2-2 cups miniature marshmallows

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Place the sweet potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet.  Bake for 45 minutes or until tender.  Let stand 20 minutes.  Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
2. Peel sweet potatoes and place potato pulp in a large mixing bowl.  Add sweetened condensed milk and the next 8 ingredients.  Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth, stopping occasionally to remove any tough fibers, if necessary.
3. Lightly spray an 8x8-inch baking dish with cooking spray.  Spoon potatoes evenly into the prepared dish and smooth top.
4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and top with the marshmallows pressing lightly to adhere.  Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until marshmallows are melted and golden brown.  Remove from oven and serve.

Makes 6 servings