Friday, October 18, 2013

An Extremely Busy Kitchen!

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It has been one of those weeks where I feel like I've been cooking nonstop!  While I love that, my kitchen definitely needs a rest...and a thorough scrubbing.  The recipes I tried this week range from Asian chicken dishes to homemade apple butter.  Definitely a variety!

I was able to get my hands on some fresh local apples when my mother-in-law and I took my daughter to a pumpkin patch.  They're delicious, cheaper than the ones in the store and I love being able to support local farmers and businesses whenever I can.  We had originally planned to go to a u-pick apple orchard, but unfortunately we couldn't make it.  Although, in hindsight, it was probably a good thing since I would have been even more inundated with apples!

I have a pretty good mix of new recipes and older favorites this week, so check out the recipes below and let me know if you give any of them a whirl.  And, I still have a good 6 pounds of apples in my fridge so feel free to send me your favorite apple recipes too!

The first recipe this week was a new one.  We love eating stir-fry at home and I'm always looking for alternatives to using the bottled, gloppy sauce.  This recipe turned out really well, who doesn't like Sesame Chicken, right?  It was extremely easy and very flavorful - I'm sure we'll be trying it again.  I like to use chicken thighs in my stir fries and Chinese dishes, just for more flavor, but I'm sure white meat would work well too.

Easy Sesame Chicken

Another new recipe this week was in taco form.  Honestly, I wasn't paying that much attention as I was making the recipe and definitely made them a little too spicy!  My husband loved them, however I needed at least 2 glasses of milk to cool off my palate.  If you don't want to go the uber-spicy route, I'd just recommend cutting back on the amount of chipotles and leaving the chipotle liquid out of the cream sauce.  The flavors were fantastic and shrimp cook up so fast, so it took me less than 20 minutes to put this easy weeknight dinner together!

Spicy Citrus Shrimp Tacos

And now for a recurring favorite.  I'd say I make this dish at least twice a month.  My husband and I both love the flavors and it's become so familiar I barely look at the recipe when I put it together.  It morphed from a classic Indian Butter Chicken recipe into what it is now.  I love that about recipes, don't you? Being able to use them as a springboard for your own personalized ideas?  Yum.

Indian Chicken Rice Bowls

I've only made this galette once before, but it bears repeating.  I changed it up this time and used dried basil (they were out of fresh at the grocery store) and mozzarella instead of feta.  I have to say, I think I preferred it this way!  I think Parmesan would work really well too if that's what you have lurking in your fridge.  I served it up with simple cheese omelets for dinner and enjoyed a final taste of summer in the tomatoes.

Tomato Basil Galette

And now, onto the apples!  This recipe for crockpot apple butter is amazing.  It really doesn't get any easier and the end result is so delicious.  The original recipe calls for 6 pounds of apples, but I was concerned about them all fitting in my slow-cooker so I adapted it to 4 pounds.  I also used Winesap apples, but just use your favorite apples and you'll be thrilled with flavor of this butter.  I can't wait to try it on pancakes!

Slow Cooker Apple Butter

I have one more apple recipe for you, this one is a cake.  Well, sort of a pie/cake hybrid.  I make a similar recipe with cranberries at Christmastime and love the flavor!  I have no clue what makes this cake Swedish, but it was so delicious I say bring on more Swedish baked goods!

Swedish Apple Cake

This next recipe is for a soup one of my friends passed along to me through pinterest.  It wasn't my favorite of the week and I think it would be better as an appetizer soup rather than a main course, it just wasn't hearty enough.  Still, the flavors were good and I'll probably tweak it a little along the way and add more veggies.  It's a great basic soup to start building  upon.

Coconut Curry Squash Soup

This final recipe is a spin on one I posted recently for curried chicken pot pie.  This week I decided to swap in broccoli for the green beans and use a mix of tarragon, sage and rosemary instead of the curry spice.  It was insanely delicious, just like the original, and I'm sure I'll tweak it even more next time!  I've re-posted the original recipe below, so put your own spin on it and let me know the results!

Curried Chicken Pot Pie

My kitchen has definitely been full this week, what has yours looked like?  Have you started taking advantage of those fantastic fall flavors yet?

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