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Welcome to Thursday Coffee Hour. This is an open topic thread so help yourself to the goodies and sit awhile and let us know what is new with you. It has been hot and humid here and that always kicks up my arthritis. Of course it still means that I have to cook but I hate heating up my small kitchen. This is where my top three electronic kitchen devices come into play.

Three of my favorite things to use in the kitchen are my electric skillet, my electric wok, and my crockpot. They are perfect for a hot day and my kitchen doesn't feel like a sauna when I'm done. Both the wok and skillet are Teflon coated so cleanup is easy and the crock pot has a removable ceramic insert so it can go into the refrigerator without me having to find another container for the food.

Because of my arthritis I use OXO products most of the time. I can hold onto them without dropping them. I just finished using their mandolin to slice potatoes and onions for my Hot German Potato Salad.

Hot weather drains me of energy because if affects not only the arthritis but the C.O.P.D. I’ll baby myself during those times to make sure I don’t push my body so much that it goes into a major respiratory infection or the joints swell so much that I can’t do anything.

I’ll be working on my cookbook today but here are a few recipes using my favorite three electronic devices in the kitchen.

Hot German Potato Salad with Polish Kielbasa
Serving Size: 6    

Amount    Measure            Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------    ------------    --------------------------------
6            medium            Yukon Gold potatoes -- sliced
1            medium            sweet onion -- sliced
                                water -- to cover
4            slices                    bacon, thick-sliced -- diced
2            tablespoons            all-purpose flour
2            tablespoons            sugar
1            teaspoon            dry mustard
½            teaspoon            seasoned salt
¼            teaspoon            seasoned pepper
1            teaspoon            paprika
½            teaspoon            celery seed
⅓            cup                    cider vinegar
⅔            cup                    water
1            pound            Polish sausage or Kielbasa

Slice the potatoes and onions and put in crockpot. Cover with water. Cook on LOW 5 to 6 hours or HIGH 2 to 3 hours.

Mix flour, sugar, mustard, salt, pepper, paprika, and celery seeds in a small bowl.

Cook bacon to desired doneness. Add flour mixture and cook for one minute. Add water and vinegar and scrape up all the fond from bacon. Heat to boiling and stir until thickened.

Drain potatoes and onions and return to crockpot. Slice Polish sausage and add to pot. Add sauce and stir to combine.

Cook on HIGH for 30 to 45 minutes until everything is heated through.

Per Serving: 403 Calories; 26g Fat (58.8% calories from fat); 16g Protein; 25g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 60mg Cholesterol; 919mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 0 Grain (Starch); 2 Lean Meat; ½ Vegetable; 4 Fat; ½ Other Carbohydrates.

Kung Pao Chicken With a Pow
Serving Size: 4    

Amount    Measure            Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------    ------------    --------------------------------
12            ounces            chicken breasts without skin – boneless
1            tablespoon            sherry
1            teaspoon            cornstarch
¼            cup                    water
¼            cup                    soy sauce, low sodium
4            teaspoons            cornstarch
1            tablespoon            sugar
1            teaspoon            rice wine vinegar
5            dashes            hot pepper sauce
1            tablespoon            cooking oil
2            teaspoons            ginger root -- minced
2            cloves            garlic -- minced
1            cup                    green onions -- cut in ½ inch pieces
½             cup                    peanuts
2            cups                    hot cooked rice

Rinse chicken and pat dry.  Cut into ¾ inch pieces.  In a medium bowl, stir together chicken, sherry and 1 teaspoon cornstarch.  Let stand for 15 minutes.  

For sauce, in a small bowl, stir together water, soy sauce, 4 teaspoons cornstarch, sugar, vinegar and hot pepper sauce.  Set aside.

 Pour cooking oil into a wok or large skillet and heat over medium-high heat.  Stir-fry garlic and ginger root for 15 seconds.  

Add chicken mixture; stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes or until meat is no longer pink inside.  Push chicken from center of wok.  

Stir sauce and add to center of wok.  Cook and stir until thick and bubbly.  

Add green onions and peanuts and stir to coat with sauce.  Cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes more or until heated through. Serve over hot rice.

Per Serving: 379 Calories; 14g Fat (32.3% calories from fat); 24g Protein; 39g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 39mg Cholesterol; 674mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 2 Grain (Starch); 3 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Burgundy Beef With Portobello Mushrooms and Pearl Onions
Serving Size: 4    

Amount    Measure            Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------    ------------    --------------------------------
2            pounds            beef bottom round
2            tablespoons            olive oil
2            tablespoons            flour, all-purpose
½            teaspoon            salt
¼            teaspoon            ground black pepper
¼            teaspoon            allspice
1            cup                    burgundy or other red wine
1            tablespoon            Worcestershire sauce
1            tablespoon            Dijon mustard
8            ounces            Portobello mushrooms -- sliced
5            ounces            white pearl onions
2            cloves            garlic -- minced fine

Mix together wine, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, and garlic.

Add sliced mushrooms and pearl onions and let marinate while browning meat.

Mix together the flour, salt, pepper and allspice. Coat meat on all sides. Keep reserved flour mixture.

Heat pan on high heat and add olive oil. Brown meat on all sides. Transfer to crockpot.

Pour wine marinade with mushrooms and onions over meat.

Cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours or HIGH 4 to 5 hours.

Remove meat, onions and mushrooms from crockpot.

Remove any visible fat from liquid. Place liquid in small saucepan over med-high heat. Add saved flour mixture and stir until gravy is thickened. Serve over meat and mushrooms or on the side.

Per Serving: 587 Calories; 32g Fat (53.6% calories from fat); 52g Protein; 10g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 159mg Cholesterol; 525mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 0 Grain (Starch); 7 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 2½ Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Spicy Mongolian Beef
Serving Size: 6    

Amount    Measure            Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------    ------------    --------------------------------
2            pounds            flank steak -- sliced thin
2            tablespoons     low sodium soy sauce
2            tablespoons            sweet sherry
1            teaspoon            cornstarch
1            tablespoon            Tiger Sauce or other chili sauce
¼            teaspoon            crushed red pepper
1            teaspoon            sesame seeds -- toasted
8            whole                    green onions -- sliced
2            tablespoons            vegetable oil
1            clove                    garlic -- minced
1            tablespoon            ginger root -- minced

Heat wok or large frying pan to medium-high. Add vegetable oil.

Stir fry meat in batches if necessary. Push meat to side.

Add green onions, sesame seeds, garlic, ginger and red pepper. Stir fry for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Push aside.

Mix soy sauce, sherry, Tiger sauce and cornstarch together. Add sauce mixture. Stir until thickened.

Stir to coat meat and vegetables.

Per Serving: 333 Calories; 21g Fat (57.6% calories from fat); 30g Protein; 4g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 77mg Cholesterol; 351mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 0 Grain (Starch); 4½ Lean Meat; ½ Vegetable; 2 Fat.

Fried Rice
Serving Size: 6    

Amount    Measure            Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------    ------------    --------------------------------
4½            cups                    cooked rice -- cooled
2                                eggs
¼            teaspoon            seasoned salt
2            whole                    shallots -- minced
1            clove                    garlic -- minced
1            teaspoon            ginger root -- minced fine
8            ounces            mushrooms -- sliced
1            cup                    frozen green peas
3            tablespoons            soy sauce, low sodium
4            tablespoons            vegetable oil

Heat wok or large skillet over medium heat.  Add 1 tablespoon oil.  Mix seasoned salt into eggs. Add egg mixture to wok and cook until soft curdles form.  Remove from wok and set aside.

Increase heat to medium-high and add 1 tablespoon oil.  Stir-fry shallots, ginger and garlic until soft.  

Add mushrooms and peas and stir-fry until heated through about 2 minutes.  Remove from wok and set aside.  

Add remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to wok.  Rub rice with hands to separate and add to wok.  Stir-fry about 2 minutes or until hot.  

Add vegetable mixture, soy sauce, and eggs.  Heat 1 minute or until heated through.

Per Serving: 321 Calories; 11g Fat (32.1% calories from fat); 8g Protein; 46g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 71mg Cholesterol; 412mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 2½ Grain (Starch); ½ Lean Meat; ½ Vegetable; 2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Potato-Corn Chowder
Serving Size: 8    

Amount    Measure            Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------    ------------    --------------------------------
28            ounces            Potatoes O’Brien
30            ounces            no salt added canned corn
15            ounces            no-salt-added cream-style corn
2            ounces            pimientos -- diced
12            ounces            evaporated skim milk
8            ounces            ham cubes – leave out for vegetarian
1            small                    onion -- diced
2            cloves            garlic -- minced
1            tablespoon            chives, freeze-dried
1            teaspoon            lemon pepper
1            tablespoon            Dijon mustard

Add all ingredients to a crockpot and mix well.

Cook on LOW for 5 to 6 hours or HIGH for 2 to 3 hours.

Per Serving: 418 Calories; 15g Fat (31.2% calories from fat); 15g Protein; 62g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 31mg Cholesterol; 538mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 3½ Grain (Starch); ½ Lean Meat; ½ Vegetable; ½ Non-Fat Milk; 2½ Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Crockpot Hearty Split Pea Soup With Ham
Serving Size: 10    

Amount    Measure            Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------    ------------    --------------------------------
16            ounces            split peas
1            pound            Yukon Gold potatoes -- diced
1            cup                    celery -- sliced
1            cup                    carrot slices
2            cloves            garlic -- minced fine
8            ounces            ham cubes -- divided
1            small                    sweet onion -- minced
5            cups                    low sodium chicken broth
1            cup                    sweet sherry
1            teaspoon            seasoned salt
½            teaspoon            seasoned pepper
1            teaspoon            ground allspice
1            teaspoon            dried basil
1            teaspoon            dried thyme
1            teaspoon            dried marjoram
1            tablespoon            low sodium Worcestershire sauce

Put the peas in the bottom of the crockpot. Add potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, ham, and garlic in that order.

Sprinkle the salt, pepper, allspice, basil, thyme, and marjoram evenly over vegetables. Add Worcestershire sauce. Pour sherry and three cups of the chicken broth. Cover. Cook on LOW for five hours or cook on HIGH for two hours.

Add remaining two cups of chicken broth and stir to combine.

Cook on LOW for an additional three to five hours or HIGH for an additional two hours.

Per Serving: 306 Calories; 3g Fat (9.6% calories from fat); 22g Protein; 42g Carbohydrate; 13g Dietary Fiber; 13mg Cholesterol; 729mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 2 Grain (Starch); 2 Lean Meat; ½ Vegetable; 0 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Sweet Onions and Potatoes
Serving Size: 6    

Amount    Measure            Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------    ------------    --------------------------------
2            tablespoons            unsalted butter
1            teaspoon            dried basil
1            teaspoon            salt
¼            teaspoon            ground black pepper
1            tablespoon            freeze-dried chives
1            medium            sweet onion -- sliced
4            medium            Yukon Gold potatoes -- sliced
½            cup                    water

Melt butter in large frying pan. Layer onions and potatoes and sprinkle with salt, pepper, basil and chives.

Pour water over onions and potatoes. Cover and cook on medium for 30 minutes.

Per Serving: 88 Calories; 4g Fat (39.3% calories from fat); 2g Protein; 12g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 10mg Cholesterol; 360mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 0 Grain (Starch); ½ Vegetable; 1 Fat.

Maple Glazed Sweet Potatoes
Serving Size: 4    

Amount    Measure            Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------    ------------    --------------------------------
1            pound            sweet potatoes -- peeled and sliced
                                boiling water
⅓            cup                    maple syrup -- pure not artificial
1            tablespoon            dark brown sugar
¼            teaspoon            salt
½            teaspoon            ground cinnamon
½            teaspoon            ground allspice

In a large skillet bring one inch of water to boil. Put sliced potatoes in boiling water and cover skillet and boil potatoes for 20 minutes or until tender.

Drain potatoes and put back in skillet.

Add maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon and allspice to potatoes. Stir to cover potatoes. Simmer for 5 minutes spooning liquid over potatoes until potatoes are glazed.

Per Serving: 169 Calories; trace Fat (1.7% calories from fat); 1g Protein; 41g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 148mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 1½ Grain (Starch); 0 Fat; 1½ Other Carbohydrates.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (13+ / 0-)

    "A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world." Oscar Wilde

    by michelewln on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 01:02:10 PM PDT

  •  WOW - thanks! (8+ / 0-)

    This one is definitely getting bookmarked.  Those look yummy and I, like you, hate turning on an oven in summer.  Thanks a million michelewln :)

  •  Been away Awhile (5+ / 0-)

    The closing statements for the Zimmerman trial are today. It brought me back. For better or worse, and whether people agree with me or not, I think my insights are relevent. I posted earlier in a comment.

    I'll Take my chances.

    One of my best friends went to jail for shooting a guy in the head. I stand by that. There was a date rape, there was alcohol involved, there was a fight. He shouldn't have had a gun in that situation. He did his time, he's out, he got a second chance, and he is doing quite well for himself.

     Now I listen to Bill O'reilly, talking about racial violence and riots? Really? I live in Memphis. Over half the people I work with are African American, Including the guy in charge of everything. As much as I would like an excuse for a day off, I don't think that the Zimmerman verdict is going to be a very good excuse. Oh, I'm sorry, I can't go to work, because I'm afraid it's kill whitie day? I mean really? Most the guys I work with wouldn't even know what I'm talking about, black or white.

     Now two things. The first, Zimmerman may very well be aquitted. Right or wrong, its a question of law. The Stand Your Ground Law is sort of ambiguise. It may very well justify first degree murder. There was clearly premeditated intention in the act. The case could be made. However it has to be proven, and as the law stands, the case can be made for self defense equally as well. It's up to the jury, thats all I ever asked.

      The second thing. As I said, I live in Memphis. I Know lots of racists. Both black and white. I'm not so self righteouse as to say they are bad people. They have views, I disagree with. At any rate, I have a story, that is relevent. I had a guy that was pretty racist towards me. He left, I said to his friends, wtf? He don't like white guys. His friends chilled him out. Most people are pretty decent, black or white, doesn't matter.

    I want to render my actual verdict. I'm a big fan of Le'Miserables. It's a question of God's law verses man laws. By the Letter of the law, I'd have to aquit. By God's law, Zimmerman is guilty as Hell.

     The real question is the intent of the law. Yes, the law, technically justifies the actions of Zimmerman, but is that right? Is that the intent of the law, or an unseen consequence? That is the real question at hand.

  •  Thank You - N/T (4+ / 0-)

    "Upward, not Northward" - Flatland, by EA Abbott

    by linkage on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 02:34:26 PM PDT

  •  We got our mower today... (5+ / 0-)

    It's a rotary mower, no engine, no gas, no electricity, no noise. And it was made in America. My autistic son is loving it. It's still hot out, but it's cloudy and breezy and not so hot as it was. He's almost got the entire lawn done, he started about an hour and a half ago. The lawn was really overgrown so some parts we're going to have to take the trimmer to and then the mower again, but it's looking a LOT better than it was.

    For dinner tonight we're making pretzel dogs and curly fries. It's a surprise for my other half, he's been drooling over Sonic commercials, and we can't get to Sonic. But we had a pretzel making kit in the cabinet, so we bought hot dogs and curly fries to make it at home. It is going to mean running the oven, but not for too long, and we have AC so it works out ok.

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 02:54:50 PM PDT

  •  Poor internet connection today (5+ / 0-)

    Making it difficult to read the diaries on the Great Orange Satan. I probably won't post for a couple of days, unless I can get a faster connection.

    It's been hot here on the Great Plains.

  •  Today has been blissfully cool. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    michelewln, arizonablue, DJ Rix

    I got the kitchen weekly-cleaned, finally, and the sheets on the beds I'm responsible for washed, dried, and back on the beds. And I have a line on some window units for when it heats back up at the beginning of next week; two of the people in the house have COPD, and I get migraines and get cross and stupid at that level of heat and humidity.

    When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

    by Alexandra Lynch on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 04:00:54 PM PDT

  •  We did a crockpot dinner today (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    michelewln, DJ Rix

    Chicken with small potatoes and carrots in Alfredo Sauce and it was delicious.
    I did bake a blueberry breakfast cake this morning.

    Been busy since returning home from Glacier but think everything is done now, or at least for a few days.

    Cleaned the house today and did more laundry - been doing laundry for the last 3 days but am caught up.

    It's monsoon so it's a bit cooler, only 93 today but the humidity is 41% and we have a 30% chance for rain.
    Keeping fingers and toes crossed for rain!

    Hope everyone is having a good Thursday!

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