How To Roast Peppers

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I’ve been making roasted peppers for years. Until recently, I always made them under the broiler. That was the way I learned to do it (most likely from someone on the Food Network 6 or 7 years ago), so that’s how I’ve always done it.

Sometimes my pepper roasting method worked well, but there were plenty of times when it didn’t. I’d end up with mushy peppers that completely fell apart when I tried to peel the skins off. I am one who tries to roll with the punches in the kitchen, so I’d always just throw them into a soup and blend it up. Problem solved.

But, what about those times when I really wanted nice roasted peppers?

I decided it was time to try a new method. I’ve heard of people using a kitchen torch on their peppers… And, some others have put a pepper on a fork and roasted it marshmallow-style on their grill or gas burner. Both sounded like good ideas, but I wasn’t in the mood to burn the house down (or give the toddler any ideas… she’s in the “monkey see, monkey do” stage).

I decided to roast the peppers on my stovetop in a skillet. It takes the direct heat idea from torching or grilling on a fork, but keeps it a bit more hands-off. Perfect.

The method worked like a charm. I think the key is the direct heat… The outsides of the peppers get charred and blistered (read: flavor) quickly before the pepper gets overcooked and mushy.

I may be the last person to discover this, but in the event that I’m not, I have to share a quick tutorial… If you like roasted peppers, you have to give this a try!

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How to Roast Peppers on the Stove Top

What you’ll need:

  • Peppers (poblanos, bell peppers, whatever you want to roast!)
  • A large heavy cast-iron or stainless steel skillet (don’t use non-stick)
  • Tongs
  • A large bowl (big enough to hold the peppers you are roasting)
  • Plastic wrap

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Rinse and dry your peppers and set them aside.

Preheat your skillet over medium-high heat.  Arrange the peppers in a single layer in the skillet, leaving some room in between the peppers. Let the peppers cook for a few minutes on each side, until the skins are charred and start to blister. Turn the peppers with the tongs so that they get roasted evenly on every side.

Once the peppers are charred and blistered, transfer them to the large bowl. Immediately cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap so that the peppers will steam in the bowl. Let them sit for 15 minutes.

Remove the peppers from the bowl.  The skins will peel off easily. Seed and chop the peppers (or, simply remove the stem and seeds and stuff ‘em!), and use them in your favorite recipes!

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Spiced Cranberry Apple Preserves

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When we moved into our house over eight years ago, my husband and I planted a small apple tree. We were new homeowners and knew very little about gardening. We did, however, love  the idea of having fresh apples in our back yard.  So, when we were at the local hardware store and spotted the cute little dwarf macintosh apple trees all lined up, we had to have one.

Fast forward to the present. Our tiny sapling of a tree is now a full fledged apple tree full of apples. (Granted, it is a dwarf apple tree, so it’s not huge.) They always say that the best time to plant a tree is 10 years ago, right? There may be some truth to that saying.

In years past, the apples were very small and rotted or fell to the ground before we ever had a chance to pick them. This year, though, the tree was full of apples. So, on a sunny Saturday morning a few weeks ago, we headed out to the back yard to pick some apples.

I was just hoping for a handful of apples to make a pie, or perhaps an apple crisp.  We got to picking and having a good time (the kiddo LOVES to pick apples), and pretty soon we had two giant baskets full of apples. I didn’t weigh them, but I think there were 30 pounds of apples.Continue Reading

Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies with Pecans

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There is an ongoing debate in my house regarding chocolate chip cookies. I suppose there are much worse things that we could fight over… But, this chocolate chip cookie battle has been going on for years, and there is no end in sight.

You see, my husband and I have different definitions of what constitutes a chocolate chip cookie. I believe that the chocolate chip cookie is a blank canvas just waiting for inspiration to strike… Why not add oats? Or mix it up with some whole wheat flour? Perhaps we could add nuts? Or cocoa powder? Or peanut butter? My mind is just spinning with ideas.

My husband just wants a plain chocolate chip cookie. Give him the recipe on the back of the bag of chips. Every. Single. Time. Perhaps you can see where this is going…

I often bake cookies as a treat to go with our weekly pizza night on Fridays… And, it never fails that when I ask him what kind of cookies he would like, he will tell me that he wants chocolate chip cookies. Not those “fake” chocolate chip cookies that I make, mind you… He wants the “real” ones, which he claims I never make. (I do… More often than I’d like.)

So, a few weeks ago, when I came up with these chewy oatmeal cookies studded with chocolate chips and pecans and jazzed up with just a bit of cinnamon, he wasn’t impressed. We had friends over for dinner that night, and everyone ate the cookies happily (including my hubby, though he did protest the “fake” cookies). Of course, now I owe him a batch of “real” chocolate chip cookies.

If you’re like me, I think you’ll love these cookies… They are perfect for late summer/early fall when the sun sets a bit earlier, and the weather is just starting to turn, but you aren’t quite ready to dive in with a pumpkin pie yet. There’s just enough cinnamon to be noticeable, but not so much that it overpowers the chocolate chips. The oats and pecans make the cookies just a bit heartier than a typical chocolate chip cookie.

Of course, if you’re like my husband, you can just skip over this recipe and make my “real” chocolate chip cookies. I won’t judge… At least, not too much.

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Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies with Pecans
Makes 26-28 cookies

This recipe makes nice big chewy oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips and pecans. They are great for snacking or dunking. They’ll keep for up to a week in an airtight container, but I doubt that they will last that long.

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together until the mixture is light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in the vanilla extract and beat again for about 30 seconds.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon.  Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, beating on the lowest setting until they are just incorporated.  Stir in the oats, chocolate chips, and pecans.

Cover the batter and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or overnight).

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F. Line your baking sheets with parchment or a silicone mat.

Scoop out ¼ cup of dough for each cookie (I have a ¼ cup ice cream scoop that makes this job simple!).  Press the cookies to flatten them just a bit on the pan before baking.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes, until the cookies are golden but still soft. Cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Photo Friday: Jennifer Schall Photography

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This week, I thought I’d do something a bit different for my Photo Friday.  I want to introduce you to my new photography website – Jennifer Schall Photography!

My love of photography extends well beyond my five years of blogging here at My Kitchen Addiction. I’ve been snapping photos for as long as I can remember. My parents got me a camera when I was young, and I have boxes and boxes of photos that I took over the years. In high school, I went through a phase of taking lots of photos at the punk rock and metal shows I was at every weekend. (Did I ever mention that I was in a band? That’s a story for another day…)

Growing up, I saw my dad taking photos with his SLR camera… I loved my simple point and shoot (film) camera, but I wanted to learn more. I took a photography class and I fell in love. From shutter speeds to f-stops to ISO, I was hooked. I couldn’t wait to get into the darkroom and develop my photos (I can still smell the darkroom chemicals). While I’d love to play around in a darkroom again, I’ve since embraced digital photography, and I love it even more.

So, I’ve decided that it’s time to take a leap. I set up my photography portfolio, and I’ll be selling prints soon. I’d love to hear what you think!

(Visit Jennifer Schall Photography…)Continue Reading

Lemon Syrup with Hops and Tea

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I never know where recipe inspiration will strike.

For me, it’s one of those things that just has to happen organically. I can stare at a pantry full of food or a fresh CSA box full of veggies and have absolutely no inspiration. And, if I have no inspiration, I can’t force myself to come up with something. We eat a lot of simple sautéed veggies for that reason.

Sometimes, though, I’ll take a look at something, and my mind will be spinning with dozens of different recipes that I can’t wait to try. This past weekend, that happened while we were helping a good friend pick hops.

Yup, you heard me right. Our friend, Andy, has decided to grow his own hops. This is his third growing season, and each year his harvest has gotten bigger and better. This year, he had so many hops that it was more than a one man job. So, he decided to have a pick-your-own hops day. While my hubby and I don’t do any home brewing, we decided to join in the fun.Continue Reading