Tag Archives: maple

Bourbon-Glazed Chicken

I’ve been a little bit of TV maniac lately.  Aside from the Superbowl and the Olympics, I’ve been binging on shows like House of Cards on Netflix and True Detective on HBO but then getting sucked right in to stuff like The Voice.  I can’t even tell you what I watch otherwise but I think it’s a bunch of syndication TV like Friends, White Collar, Will and Grace, and Gilligan’s Island.  You know, stuff that is on all the time.  I have a low tolerance for TV unless it’s either good or mindless.  If it’s anywhere in between, I lose interest rapidly.  I have work and I have my blog and I have other interests yet I still need my TV, even if it doesn’t get my undivided attention. I even have one eye on my TV when I make dinner at night.  Things quick and simple are all I can handle.  I cook things that take longer on the weekends when I have more patience so this Bourbon-Glazed Chicken is a quick chicken dinner that can get me to relaxing pretty quickly on weeknights.

Chicken cutlets are basted in a sauce of shallots, Dijon, maple syrup, and bourbon before being thrown on the grill until perfectly cooked and juicy.  This chicken is simple – a little sweet, a little tangy – and perfect for when you just want to eat, relax, and watch a little TV. Serve this with some steamed or microwaved veggies and this is a perfect meal.  We all have busy lives and sometimes just sitting down on the couch if front of the old boob tube just feels really good. There is always something else you could be doing.  But not doing it is sometimes just what you need. Laundry and everything else can l wait another day.

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Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in bourbon, Dijon mustard, and maple syrup; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

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Sprinkle chicken breast halves evenly with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

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Arrange chicken on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; baste with half of bourbon mixture. Grill 5 minutes. Turn chicken over; baste with remaining bourbon mixture.

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Grill 5 minutes or until chicken is done.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light magazine

Maple-Walnut Spice Cookies

How does December get so busy?  Here it is already the 16th and I haven’t had one post since before Thanksgiving.  Where does the time go?  Well, Christmas is already next week (can you believe it?) so in my world that means one thing – Christmas cookies!  This week, that’s all I’ll have for you.  Because I’ve decided that what I love making most of all is cookies.  It’s time I sit down and figure out how in the world I could have my own cookie shop because it would make me so happy.  Anyway, the first cookie I have for you this week is Maple-Walnut Spice Cookies.

Cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg and cloves are added to a maple-laced dough making for a spicy little holiday cookie (well, holiday in my book!).  Topped with a simple frosting, also laced with maple syrup, and chopped walnuts, this cookie’s bold, unique flavor may not suit everyone’s palette but for someone looking for a cookie other than simple butter or chocolate chip, this might be for you.  The dough is thick making it easy to roll into small balls of dough for easy baking.  I made mine pretty small, trying to make them close to bite size since you probably wouldn’t want to eat too many of these spicy snacks in one sitting.  If you are looking for a grown-up substitute for gingerbread cookies, try these instead!

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The ingredients:

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Preheat oven to 350°F.  To prepare cookies, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 6 ingredients (through cloves) in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk.

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Place brown sugar and 1/4 cup butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until light and fluffy (about 4 minutes). Add 2 tablespoons syrup and egg; beat until well blended. Beating at low speed, gradually add flour mixture; beat just until combined.

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Spoon batter evenly into 30 mounds (about 1 tablespoon) 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Bake at 350°F for 14 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on pans 5 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.

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To prepare frosting, combine powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons syrup, milk, and 2 teaspoons butter, stirring with a whisk until smooth.

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Spread frosting evenly over cooled cookies. Working quickly, sprinkle cookies with nuts.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light magazine

Maple-Chipotle Peanuts

I’ve had so many people say to me lately, “Can you believe it’s almost Thanksgiving?” I don’t know what’s surprising about it to people but it’s no shock to me.  Maybe it’s that I think about food all the time and have been thinking about what I want to make for Thanksgiving since the calendar changed to November.  Either way, yes, Thanksgiving is this Thursday so I hope everyone is ready.  It’ll be low key for me, just me and my cousin, so I have no stress in making a ton of food.  But if you have a bunch of people coming by and wonder how you’ll get everything done, consider making these Maple-Chipotle Peanuts if you need a quick and easy, no stress, no fuss appetizer that can be made ahead of time.

Maple syrup and chipotle chile pepper are simmered together until slightly thickened and then mixed with dry-roasted peanuts.  Once cooled, the result is sweet, salty, and spicy peanuts that are seriously addictive.  Once the peanuts cool, the peanuts become ooey and gooey and it’s hard to not want to shove your face into these.  Once they’ve cooled overnight, the syrup hardens, the gooeyness is gone and the peanuts become candied.  Whichever way you prefer, these are amazing.  The smell of these peanuts reminded me of being at a carnival or my county fair as a kid for some reason.  I realized that if I continued to eat these peanuts at the rapid rate I was, there was a good chance I would have devoured an entire container of peanuts in two days.  So consider yourself warned.  If you have a lot of guests coming, you might want to make two batches.  And if you have any leftover, throw a handful on top of some pumpkin ice cream.  Yum!

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The ingredients:

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Simmer 1/3 cup maple syrup with 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder in a saucepan until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.

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Stir in 2 cups salted dry-roasted peanuts.

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Pour onto a lightly oiled pan and let cool.

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Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Food Network magazine

Maple-Bourbon Sour

I gotta tell you, after spending this week enduring Hurricane Sandy-turned Nor’Easter-turned nightmare and the ensuing loss of power for days, I was just ready to go home, sleep in my own bed and make some food.  But I was tired.  And by tired, I mean tuckered-out tired.  My good friend Jodi put up with my sorry self since Sunday while I waited for the power to be restored in my freezing cold house.  Finally, the power came back last night and it really is such a relief to flip on a lightswitch and get light.  Plus, there really is nothing better than sleeping in your own cozy bed.  Because I anticipated losing power this week, I figured it was a great opportunity to bring you something that doesn’t require the use of electricity and helps that lonely time go by faster: Maple-Bourbon Sour.

Bourbon is mixed with nothing but maple syrup and lemon juice.  Sounds kind of crazy but the sweetness of the syrup and sourness of the lemon balance each other out while the smoky maple complements bourbon perfectly.  When I got home last night, I really didn’t have the patience to make one of these but instead poured myself a red wine and tucked myself into bed while I watched tv.  In the dark.  Yes, after complaining about losing power, I barely turned a light on when I got it back.  All I really wanted was my tv.  I’m a loser.  After seeing what happened to the New Jersey coast this week, I’m grateful that my biggest problem was a loss of power. I have to say that this week has been an emotional and heartbreaking time for those of us in New Jersey.  I didn’t grow up here but I’ve been here long enough to know just how special and important the Jersey shore is to the people who live here (and yes, it’s really called the “shore” here, not the “beach”).  It’s not just a stupid tv show (which I refuse to watch), it’s a way of life and a piece of the people here.  It’s their heart and soul.  And it will recover.

The ingredients:

Combine bourbon, maple syrup, and fresh lemon juice, stirring well.

Pour mixture into a cocktail shaker filled with 1/2 cup ice.  Cover and shake.

Strain mixture; divide evenly between two glasses.  Serve over ice, if desired.

Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine

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