Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Gluten Free Chicken Sausage and Apple Harvest Stuffing Stuffed Mushrooms

Here's another Thanksgiving recipe for ya! You can use these as Thanksgiving appetizers or even serve them with dinner as a side. Also, if you aren't fussed with going gluten free you can totally use regular bread for the stuffing. I like using a seeded bread because it gives the stuffing a great nuttiness. There will be leftover stuffing that you can put into a dish and bake at the same time as the stuffed mushrooms. 

Ingredients:

About 28 medium to small brown mushrooms, washed and stems removed 
10 slices gluten-free seeded bread, toasted and cut into cubes
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 Tbs butter
3 gluten free chicken sausages, casings removed
1/2 cup carrots, chopped small
1/2 cup shallots, chopped small
1 cup celery, chopped small
1/2 cup corn
1/2 cup apple (any kind), skinned and chopped small
1 Tbs fresh sage chopped
1 Tbs fresh parsley chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375f/190c. Line all the mushrooms topside down on a foil lined baking sheet. Bring chicken stock to a boil and add the butter. Stir till butter is melted then turn off heat. In a large frying pan, brown the chicken sausage and break it up into small bits. Once sausage is fully cooked, remove from pan and place onto two layers of paper towel to soak up any grease.
In the same frying pan, add a dab of oil and sauté the carrots, shallots and celery till lightly browned. Season sautéed veggies with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Now, in a large bowl, combine the chicken stock, bread cubes, cooked sausage, cooked veggies, corn, apple, parsley and sage. That's the stuffing done! (Keep reading)
Spoon stuffing into each mushroom, using the spoon to pack the stuffing down into good sized mounds. Bake for 15 minutes then remove and let cool slightly....then gobble them up! 











Brown Butter Pumpkin Rice Krispy Treats

A fall treat that'll do especially well around the holidays. It's my own little twist on a classic treat. My mom used to make us peanut butter rice krispy treats which I LOVED so I though maybe a pumpkin one would be nice and got experimenting in the kitchen. Hope you enjoy this version!

Ingredients: 

2 Tbs butter
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
2 Tbs canned pumpkin
4 1/2 cups small marshmallows
7 cups Rice Krispies cereal
In a saucepan, melt down the butter on medium heat and stir till butter starts getting slightly darker then remove from heat. This is your brown butter, it adds a rich flavor to any baked goods. Now, add the cinnamon, allspice and pumpkin to the brown butter and stir well. Place back onto burner on low heat and immediately stir in the marshmallows a couple cups at a time. When all marshmallows are melted, pour mixture over the Rice Krispies in a large bowl and stir till well coated. Press the mixture into a large square greased dish using wax paper to smash it down evenly. Let cool before cutting into squares to serve. Enjoy!

Xo,
PJJ



Friday, November 21, 2014

The Best Egg Salad on Earth


I adore eggs. I could eat eggs for every meal of the day. I they are the easiest and most versatile food that I know and they pack a nutritional punch. In my opinion, if your considering getting into shape, you should probably amp up your egg intake. They're high in protein, vitamins b12, b2, D and folate which is good for baby making (if you're into that sort of thing). And best of all, at around 70 calories a pop, you can enjoy a few of them and keep a slim waistline. 

One of my favorite things to do with eggs is make a big batch of egg salad or as the Brits say, egg and mayonnaise that we can enjoy over a few days by slapping it on toast, flinging it onto green salads or just eating it by the spoonful out of the container (trust me it's that good!). Try it for yourself!

*egg buying tip* try to go for organic or free range. I get Omega 3 enriched eggs called Intelligent eggs because they're good for brain power. 

Ingredients: 

6 eggs
1 celery stalk chopped small
1/2 red onion chopped small
1 Tbs capers chopped

1/3 cup light mayo
2 tsp yellow mustard
1 Tbs dijon mustard
1 tsp paprika (I used smoked paprika but regular works too)
A generous pinch of seasoning salt
Fresh cracked pepper to taste
And a dash of hot sauce


First, bring a pot of water to boil and add all the eggs gently as not to crack their shells. Boil for 10 minutes then remove and rinse the eggs in cold water. Place in ice water or refrigerator for 20 minutes or till cooled. Peel and chop the eggs and add them into a bowl with the celery, onion and capers. Toss and set aside. 

In a separate bowl, stir up all the rest of the ingredients till well mixed. Should look like a slightly orange cream. Now combine this mixture with the egg mix and stir well. Cover and let chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to allow flavours to come together. Enjoy on sandwiches, salads or any which way you please! Will keep in refrigerator for up to 5 days. 

Xo
PJJ


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Cinnamon Apple Roasted Veggies

I know, I know, it sounds strange mixing something that's usually associated with dessert in with your veggies but trust me, in this case it works! If you're looking for an interesting and out of the ordinary Thanksgiving side dish this year, you will find it right here.

It's not too sweet and not too savoury...its a perfect combination of both and I think it may even get the kiddies to happily eat their veggies. And it's easy to make too!
Ingredients:

3 beets, peeled and cut into large chunks
5 large carrots, sliced into 1 inch pieces
6 shallots, peeled and sliced in half
3 apples (any type) peeled, cored and sliced thick
2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs fresh chopped parsley
1 Tbs raw sugar
2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon 
Pinch of black pepper
Preheat oven to 400f/200c. Toss the beets, carrots and shallots in the olive oil in a large bowl. Mix the sugar, salt, cinnamon and pepper in a small bowl then sprinkle onto the beets, carrots and shallots and toss again. Sprinkle mixture with the chopped parsley and place into the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, add in the apple slices, toss and return to oven for 20 more minutes. Now, remove and give everything a good toss before serving (I know, there's a lot of tossing involved haha). Enjoy!



PJJ x

Apple, Date and Chorizo Stuffed Pork Tenderloin Roast

Sunday's are our special day for relaxing and feasting on a special roast or stew while snuggled up on the couch. This is usually the day that I break out the slow cooker but not today. I wanted to do a pork tenderloin and I really love a nice crunchy outer layer which you can only get from the oven. I got the idea to stuff this one and seeing as we're smack in the middle of apple season....apple + pork = yum x 1,000!!! I also incorporated chorizo into my recipe so that the spiciness could balance out the sweetness of the apple and date. Give it a try and tell me what you think! Ps... Thanksgiving is just around the corner so if you want a non-Turkey main with a WOW, give this a shot.

(pps...you'll see that there are two roasts pictured, that's because I made enough to have leftovers for this week!) 

Ingredients:

5 slices of multigrain bread toasted and cubed
2 cups chicken stock
1 Granny Smith apple skinned and diced small
1/2 red onion diced small
5 dates pitted and chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 Tbs fresh rosemary chopped
1 Tbs fresh thyme chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

1 2-3lb pork tenderloin
1 package sliced chorizo (usually available at the deli counter if you can't find it on the shelf)

A 2 foot piece of twine for tying the roast
Set oven to 375f/190c. To make stuffing combine first 9 ingredients in a bowl and set aside. 

The next step is where it get a little tricky to describe so pay close attention and use my photos as a guide. Take the pork tenderloin and make a butterfly cut down the middle lengthwise, leaving about 1/4 inch of meat, do not cut all the way through. Now, butterfly each side of the inside of the tenderloin, leaving 1/4 inch of meat. Hope this is making sense! With the 3 butterfly cuts the tenderloin should lay fairly flat. Place the tenderloin between 2 large pieces of cling film and pound it with a rolling pin or meat mallet till it's about 1/4 inch thick all around. Discard the top layer of cling film.
Layer the chorizo slices over the pounded out tenderloin, leaving an inch of space along one edge lengthwise that will make an easy closure when rolled. Now spoon some of the stuffing mixture along the middle. *There will be leftover stuffing which you can bake after roasting the tenderloin*. 
Use the cling film to help you roll the stuffed tenderloin, gently squeezing the roll so that it stays in place while you wrap the twine around it. To properly tie the twine, make a loop around the end of the tenderloin roll and tie a knot. Then spiral wrap the twine all the way down the roll and finish by making another loop and knot at the end of the tenderloin roll. If it doesn't look pretty, that's just fine, it'll be hidden underneath! Place the stuffed roast seam side down on a greased baking dish and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Bake for 50 minutes uncovered on the bottom rack then remove, cover with foil and let rest for 20 minutes. 
Meanwhile, you can use the drippings at the bottom of the pan to make a nice gravy by adding them to a cup of water, bring to a boil then stir in 1 Tbs of corn starch dissolved in 1 Tbs cold water. You can also put any remaining stuffing mixture into a dish and bake at 375f/190c for 15 minutes.

Cut off and remove the twine then slice the rested tenderloin into 1 inch pieces and serve. This dish goes well with the cinnamon apple roasted vegetable dish posted just before this recipe!
Hope you enjoy! Xx

Phylicia JJ

Spare Room Makeover

We've been living together in our London flat for almost a year and a half and I'm absolutely in love with our little home but there was always an area we both found daunting/shoulder shrugging....the spare bedroom! 

See, from the beginning I sort of treated it like a spare closet for all my seasonal clothing and shoes while my husband sort of used it as a dirty clothes hamper and printer copy shop. It only really came into good use on the rare occasion that we had company which usually fueled a manic cleaning frenzy to hide our shameful stacks of clutter the day before our guests arrived. Then the second our guests left it went right back to being the junk room again. Most people have a junk drawer, we had a junk room!

Finally, I reached my breaking point after our wedding when my sisters, who were inhabiting the spare room for a week, went back home to the states and I was left with clean up duty. At first I cursed my sisters for leaving such a pig sty and I got so frustrated that I couldn't find anything I was looking for for about 2 weeks afterward. Then it dawned on me, this was no one else's fault but ours! We were the culprit of such chaos within our home. Then I started thinking how nice it would be if we could actually have a proper use for this room and make it part of our daily life. After all, not many people in central London are lucky enough to have a whole spare bedroom and we were totally taking ours for granted. 

And that was that, I decided to do a complete makeover on our cramped spare room and to get me super motivated, my husband promised me a brand new tumble dryer as a prize! This was especially exciting given that our old dryer was on the fritz for about a year and we resorted to hanging damp clothes over heaters all around the house (I'm sure other UK residents know this drill) so YAY no more crispy crunchy towels or jeans!!!! 

Here are some before and afters then I'll talk about exactly what I did and how functional the room is now.
BEFORE
AFTER
Ok, so I got rid of a lot. Literally two big trash bags of clothes and shoes that we don't wear went off to the charity shops. Then I went on Amazon and ordered a new desk from Ryman and some cube racks for the closet and for my shoes. The cube racks are super inexpensive and extremely versatile, I would highly recommend them to anyone wanting to organise their closet space. 

Our new desk is pretty awesome too! It was kind of a pain to put together but well worth it. The two big drawers are perfect for storing odds and ends like scissors, tape measure, printer paper...etc. and now we both have an area we can use as a proper workspace. I now spend loads more time in this area doing school work and compiling recipes for my cook book. My husband does his script writing and research here too. It's also so nice to have a beautiful view of our city while working. And when the mini office area isn't being used for work/assignments, the desk doubles as a perfect laundry folding table! Ps....I'm OBSESSED with my new tumble dryer. Like, don't even get me started. Huge upgrade!

Well, hope you didn't find this too boring and housewifey but I'm just so proud of my work. Does this inspire you to re-do a room in your home?? Tell me about it. I may have some suggestions to share!

Xo
Phylicia Jackson-Jones