All posts by Catherine Daugherty

I love to cook and after a half century under the sun, I am blessed with the freedom to decide each day what I want to read, think, cook and eat! This blog — a few of my favorite things — family and friends recipes and the words of scripture that guide my thoughts and actions. My hope is that through Pray Cook Blog, you will find inspiration today for your daily bread, body and soul.

Chicken, Potatoes, and Corn Slow-Cooker Chowder


Are you ready for soup?  I am!
When my friend Maribeth asked if I had seen the chicken and sweet potato corn chowder recipe in the latest copy of Southern Living, I hadn’t. But when Maribeth gets excited about a recipe I get excited too! She is an accomplished cook and enjoys spending time in the kitchen.  The Chief, my Sous-Chef Dish-washing mom and I have enjoyed many a meal, snack, appetizer and scrumptious treat from Maribeth’s kitchen.  Once I looked at this recipe I knew this one will be no exception to the long line of recipes I have collected from Maribeth AND Southern Living!


We are sweet potato fans and so that is the first ingredient that caught my attention.  Plus, I love to rationalize that if it has sweet potatoes in it – then it must be good for me! These sweet potatoes look to be a little white in the picture but that was just my too-shiny camera shot!

This chowder is as pretty to look at as it is delicious to eat.  It is also easy-peasy because the first 12 ingredients are added to the Crock Pot first thing.  I added white potatoes to the original recipe because I like the color and flavor enhancement of a few white potatoes.  Also,  I changed the cooking process for the chicken.  Southern Living says “our testers recommend using bone-in chicken breasts to yield a more tender and juicy result than boneless.”


The original recipe directs placing the raw bone-in skinless chicken breast in with the rest of the ingredients to cook for the first 4 hours.  I am picky about cooking chicken and I don’t like to put it in with other ingredients that will end up soup.  Have you ever seen the chicken scum that floats to the top when boiling chicken? Yuck.

You can also tell from the picture of the soup in my Crock Pot that I always use a liner.  Actually, Reynolds should be sponsoring this post, but sadly they are not!  But – I still want you to know about liners because they make clean up so easy.  And I always want to make things as easy as possible for my Sous-Chef Dish-Washing mom!  Did I ever tell you that she washes all our dishes?  I know, but don’t be jealous.  Isn’t that awesome to get to do the cooking and have the dishes and the kitchen magically cleaned up!  Thank you, Mom!

My favorite, Shredded Chicken After Cooking in Crock Pot.

I suggest that you start with leftover chicken, cut up or shredded.  Or cook the chicken ahead of time in chicken broth or my personal favorite suggestion:  Place chicken breasts in the Crock Pot with 1 cup salsa.  Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours.  Remove from Crock Pot, cool slightly and then shred.  This chicken is moist and lightly seasoned.

I served this soup with a super-food Kale salad and it was a total hit!  As is often the case, this soup gets better and better for several days after cooking.

Do you wanna bite?

Cooking this soup in the Crock Pot filled the house with a wonderful fragrance of something lovin’ coming from the kitchen! My Chief Soup Eater added a splash of hot sauce to his serving.  This gave me the idea to add pepper flakes to the remaining soup.  I added  1 1/2 teaspoons and it was a perfect complement to the creamy soup.  I’ve added it as a “highly suggested” option in the recipe!

If you have other favorite soup-worthy vegetables this is the kind of recipe that can be tweaked to make it your own!  Thank you, Maribeth, and thank you Southern Living for inspiring this recipe!

Happy Cooking!
~ Catherine


Chicken, Potatoes, and Corn Slow-Cooker Chowder
 
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Adapted from a Southern Living recipe, this soup is hearty, filling, and a little bit of a kick with red pepper flakes! Delicious!
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: American
Serves: 10-12
Ingredients
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 1 pound white potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 1 pound (2 chicken breasts) cooked and shredded (or diced) chicken breasts*
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels (from 4 ears) or canned or frozen (thawed)
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onion (from 2 onions)
  • 1¼ cups chopped red bell pepper (from 1 large bell pepper)
  • 1¼ cups chopped yellow bell pepper (from 1 large bell pepper)
  • 1 cup chopped celery (from 3 stalks)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1½ teaspoons pepper flakes* optional
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 5 to 8 tablespoons cornstarch*
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh or dried flat-leaf parsley
  • Hot sauce to taste
Instructions
  1. Combine the first 12 ingredients in a 6-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH about 4 hours, or on LOW for 6 to 8 hours until vegetables are tender.
  2. Whisk together cream and cornstarch in a bowl until smooth; slowly stir into soup.
  3. Cover and cook until slightly thickened, about 30 minutes.
  4. Top with hot sauce if desired.
Notes
* Cook the chicken ahead of time in chicken broth or my personal favorite suggestion: Place chicken breasts in the Crock Pot with 1 cup salsa. Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours. Remove from Crock Pot, cool slightly and then shred. This chicken is moist and lightly seasoned.
*Red pepper flakes optional. They do not make the soup "hot" but add a nice layer of flavor.
* Can use only sweet potatoes if desired, but the addition of the white potato blends well with the other vegetables.
* Cornstarch - 5 tablespoons will thicken slightly. I prefer 8 heaping tablespoons for a medium thickness to the chowder.

 

Martin Luther, The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed The World by Eric Metaxas — Including a Signed Copy Giveaway!

NOVEMBER 15, 2017 UPDATE:  TODAY Melissa Macduff won the drawing for the signed copy! (Drawn through Random.org)

The best part — she is gifting this signed copy to her Pastor, who she says “is a big fan of Eric Metaxas!”  This is especially sweet for me knowing that this signed copy that I bought and had Metaxas sign will go to a Pastor in Washington state!  Hallelujah!  Congratulations Melissa!


Earlier this month in anticipation of the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation (Today!  October 31, 2017) of my favorite authors, Eric Metaxas, released his newest biography, Martin Luther, The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed The World.  [Details how to win a free signed copy at the end of this post.]

Being born into a Protestant family in 1956 I have “heard of” Martin Luther. It is safe to sum up my understanding of Martin Luther, as Martin Luther was an Augustinian monk and university lecturer when he composed his “95 Theses,” which protested the Catholic churches sale of reprieves from penance, or indulgences.” The End.

Beyond that, my mind is an open book, so to speak, as I picked up Metaxas 446 page-turner (plus acknowledgments, notes, and indexes.)  Lucky for me my husband began reading the book just the day before me, and so our discussions quickly began to center around what we were reading.

While there is little mystery surrounding Luther today (although there are still a few unknowns and unanswered questions about him) this book is a page-turner because I had trouble putting it down! Reading this book will increase your vocabulary by thousands of new words. True story – when reading anything written by Eric Metaxas I have his book in one hand and the Dictionary app on my phone in the other. I do not want to get to the end of 446 pages and realize that I simply skipped over what I didn’t know or understand. Therefore, it is a slow read for me, but enjoyable every step of the way.

In my mind’s eye, I can see a gentle smirk on Eric’s face as he writes. Not unlike Martin Luther who, according to Metaxas, was an “intense and dourly over-pious monk but also had a raucous joke-and-insult-producing side”. In case you wonder how I can see this you simply need to read Metaxas Acknowledgments at the end of the book. He is very funny and his personality and humor only enhance the story of Martin Luther making this an educational and entertaining read.

Metaxas writes like a surgeon as he expertly wields his pen cutting through layers and layers of facts and fiction dissecting each to find the truth. Apparently, there has been a lot of fiction surrounding Martin Luther and Metaxas makes no bones about what he has found to be true and what is not.

Martin Luther’s storyline includes many other famous and infamous souls. Not only does Metaxas transport us back into life in the early 1500’s, but the bigger picture of the Protestant Reformation takes center stage when we realize even though there were other Reformers before Luther, the invention of the printing press and movable print type by Johannes Gutenberg in 1439 cleared the way for Luther’s writings to be distributed quickly.

[I can’t help but wonder what Martin Luther would think about the speed with which we share information today! I just read (on the internet, so it must be true!) that a one-kilobyte email travels at the speed of light, basically, so that’s close to 670 million MPH.  Let’s just say much faster than in 1517. ]  I digress.

One can hardly separate the Gospel of Jesus from Martin Luther and his search for God,  but my favorite part of Eric Metaxas telling of Martin Luther’s story is how he carefully, cleverly, and rightly shares the truth of the Gospel of Christ throughout this book.  It is when we understand that Eric cannot and does not write this biography without sharing the Gospel do we clearly see the heart of the author. Eric is a man who I believe walks closely with God and so when he writes, I read.

What I’ve learned is that Martin Luther didn’t set out to change the world.  But he did strive to change his world.   He was a German monk in the Roman Catholic Church that wanted to be sure he was right with God.  The reformation as we now know it directly descended through Luther’s struggle and strife and rediscovery of his own relationship to God.  Buy the book. The history, the research, the writing, and the subject has given me a great appreciation for the man who God chose to bring about the Protestant Reformation.  I believe you will also be affected by this biography by Metaxas.

I am thankful Eric has taken time to sign books across the land which included a stop in Tennessee! The line was long and his time was short so I only asked him to sign a copy for my friend Joan and my husband.

My own copy is a mess with yellow sticky notes, penciled notes, quotes highlighted and a few exclamation points!

Would you like your own signed copy? I bought a copy and asked Eric to it signed for one blessed (and lucky) reader!  See the details listed below on how to enter the drawing!

Eric Metaxas other works include:

Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic
Campaign to End Slavery

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy

7 Men and the Secret of Their Greatness

Miracles: What They Are, Why They Happen,
and How They Can Change Your Life

7 Women and the Secret of Their Greatness

If You Can Keep It:  The Forgotten Promise of American Liberty

Happy Reading!  Good Luck in the giveaway!
~Catherine

GIVEAWAY DETAILS

One (1) winner will receive a signed copy of Martin Luther, The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed the World, with the drawing to be held on November 15, 2017.

HOW TO ENTER

To enter this giveaway, just answer the following question in the comments section of this postHave you read a book by Eric Metaxas before, and if so which is your favorite?

ADDITIONAL (OPTIONAL) ENTRIES

To up your chances of winning, you can receive up to FOUR additional entries to win by doing the following (these are optional, not required):

1. Subscribe to My Daily Bread Body and Soul by email. Come back and let me know you’ve subscribed in an additional comment on this post.  See right-hand side of blog:    PLEASE JOIN US AND SUBSCRIBE TO PRAYCOOKBLOG VIA EMAIL

2. LIKE My Daily Bread Body and Soul on Facebook. Come back and let me know you became a fan in an additional comment on this post.

3. Follow My Daily Bread Body and Soul on Pinterest. Come back and let me know you became a fan in an additional comment on this post.

4. Follow @praycookblog on Twitter. Come back and let me know you’ve followed in an additional comment on this post.

All giveaway drawings are done by Random.Org

Candy Corn Popcorn Cake

 

It’s that time of year when all things turn orange, and I am not just saying that because I live in the very orange state of Tennessee!

Recently we had some little-people visitors and I wanted to give them a treat before they left for home.  I was thinking of something not-too-sugary but still fun to eat!  I remembered this fun Popcorn cake I made a couple of years ago at Christmas.


This was the perfect combination with lots of popcorn held together with melted marshmallows.  Adding a few drops of orange food coloring turned this into a perfect autumn treat!

Popcorn and Marshmallow Cake!

I tossed in a small handful of candy corn to make it a true fall celebration!

Slice Up This Popcorn Cake!

This recipe is a fun kids-in-the-kitchen kind of treat.  It is easy and definitely a hands-on recipe kids like to make!   Let your imagination run wild with the possibilities for this dessert.

Have fun!
~Catherine

Click here for a few more details when making this cake!

Candy Corn Popcorn Cake
 
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Have some fun with a popcorn cake! Delicious, creamy, and so good!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 1 Angel Food Cake Pan
  • 1 Air Popcorn Popper
  • 10 oz. bag of mini-marshmallows
  • 5 Tablespoons of margarine*
  • ¾ cup candy corn (or more to taste)
  • 3 drops orange good coloring
Instructions
  1. Pop enough corn to over-fill the angel food cake pan. The popcorn will smoosh down with the marshmallow so use plenty of corn.
  2. Spray cake pan with non-stick oil.
  3. Melt margarine in a large microwave-safe bowl. Add mini-marshmallows. Microwave for 1 minute and stir. Marshmallows should be melted when stirred. If not, microwave a few more seconds.
  4. Add popped corn to the margarine/marshmallow mixture. Stir well.
  5. Stir in candy corn.
  6. Hand-pack the popcorn mixture into the angel food cake pan, pressing slightly to form the cake.
  7. Let cake sit until it is cooled and well-formed. Do not remove from cake pan too soon or it will fall apart when unmolded. Let sit at least 1 hour.
  8. When set, unmold on a cake plate. Sprinkle with additional candy corn if desired.
  9. This cake cuts best with an electric knife.
Notes
Let your imagination run wild! Add hot tamales, crushed candy canes, M&M's are all colorful and tasty additions!

Rice Krispie cereal can be used in place of popcorn.

*Butter can be used instead of margarine, but it is slightly more greasy.

 

Southern Living’s Skillet Caramel Apple Pie

Southern Living’s Caramel Apple Pie

Every once in a while I get out of the kitchen and make way for my Sous-chef dishwashing mom to create something wonderful! That is exactly what happened recently after she was leafing through the fall Southern Living magazine and came upon this recipe.

The minute she saw it she knew it was meant for us! Even though I adore Southern Living magazine, I leave it to mom to let me know what I need to see and read!  We have several cast iron skillets — and even though skillet is well-worn and not too pretty — oh my what a nicely browned, flaky crispy crust it makes! This recipe works in a regular pie plate, but dig out the cast iron if you have one.


I was reading through the recipe before typing this blog post and I read “The rich, bourbon-y caramel sauce makes the tender, lightly spiced apple filling, and flaky crust even more irresistible.”   Whaaat?  Bourbon? Maybe Jack Daniels?   

Hmmm …. I am going to have a little chat with my Sous-chef Apple-pie making momma because I am pretty sure she didn’t include a local hometown ingredient. (Have I ever mentioned that we live only a couple of miles from the only place on earth where Jack Daniels Whiskey is made? )  I am sure we are now going to need to make another one and include a little Jack. Maybe their Tennessee Honey.  Yum.

Skillet Caramel Apple Pie (without any tasty JD!)

The recipe calls for Fuji apples.  Mom used Fuji.   Although this recipe works made with most apples, you will want to get the Fuji if you can because the tart-sweet flavor works well with the sweet caramel, and the apples hold their shape when baked instead of turning to mush.

Mom made a second pie and I asked her to use up some Macintosh apples we had on hand.  BIG MISTAKE!  They really did turn to mush and just made one big gob of apple in the center of the pie. (Not pretty, not too tasty either.)

The recipe calls for two store-bought refrigerated piecrusts, but you can use your favorite homemade pie dough recipe if you prefer.  If you use store-bought, we suggest Pillsbury.  For $1 or more per box, you can get Kroger brand or another brand.  Don’t do it, the crust will be a disappointment.  If you have time to make your own crust you can check out my favorite recipe and a little tutorial:

Favorite Pie Dough

Flaky Pie Dough, Part 1
Flaky Pie Dough, Part 2  Tips and Tricks!

Mom was concerned that the pie crust wouldn’t stretch up and over the skillet edge.  We discovered it really doesn’t need to.  Just place the crust in the skillet up to the edge and gently fill.  Then when placing the top crust crimp edges of bottom and top crusts together.

Place the skillet in a preheated oven on the middle oven rack until the crust is golden, the apples are tender, and the filling is bubbly, about 55 minutes to one hour.  IMPORTANT:  Cover the pie loosely with aluminum foil after about 40 minutes to prevent excessive browning — or earlier if the pie begins to over-brown on the top. 

Let the pie cool completely before serving to allow the filling to set. This is also important so that each piece will come out picture perfect!

Besides the really flaky crust, the homemade salted caramel sauce is what separates this pie from all the rest!  The caramel sauce goes in the pie and on top of the pie!  Oh my goodness, can’t you just taste it?

Top each serving with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and extra caramel sauce, there is plenty to go around!


Thank you to my Sous-chef Dish-washing Apple pie-Making momma for this wonderful dessert!

Happy Cooking!
~Catherine

Southern Living's Skillet Caramel Apple Pie
 
Prep time
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Nothing says "southern" quite like making an all-American apple pie in a cast iron skillet! Top it with homemade caramel sauce and you will be the talk of the town!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 (14.1-oz.) pkg. refrigerated piecrusts
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon or whiskey *(optional)
  • 3 pounds Fuji apples (about 4½ medium apples), peeled and cut into ½-inch-thick slices
  • 2½ tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water
Instructions
  1. Fit 1 piecrust on the bottom and press up sides of a 9-inch cast-iron skillet. Transfer skillet to refrigerator, and let chill while assembling caramel sauce and apple filling.
  2. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  3. Stir together light brown sugar, butter, half-and-half, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Cook, stirring, until butter melts and mixture begins to bubble, about 5 minutes. Cook, stirring, until mixture begins to thicken, about 2 more minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla extract, and, if desired, bourbon or whiskey*. Let caramel sauce cool to almost room temperature, about 30 minutes.
  4. Toss apples with cornstarch in a large bowl.
  5. Pour ⅓ cup caramel sauce over apples, and toss to coat. Reserve remaining caramel sauce for serving. Pour apple filling into prepared skillet.
  6. Place remaining piecrust over apple filling. Crimp edges of bottom and top crusts together.
  7. Using a sharp knife, cut 6 to 8 (1-inch) slits in top crust for steam to escape. Whisk together egg yolk and water in a small bowl; brush over crust.
  8. Bake pie in preheated oven on middle oven rack until crust is golden, apples are tender, and filling is bubbly, about 55 minutes to 1 hour, shielding loosely with aluminum foil after about 40 minutes to prevent excessive browning. Transfer pie to a wire rack, and cool completely, about 3 hours. Serve with reserved caramel sauce.
Notes
*Bourbon or Whiskey optional for a little boozy-flavoring.

 

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