Occasionally, I like to bake, but I don’t like to have large batches of leftovers sitting around tempting me. A while back, I picked up a cookbook called Small-batch Baking, a collection of recipes for 2 or 3 servings of a variety of baked goods. The recipes I’ve tried have been either hit — very successful — or miss — total failure. Since baking is so precise, I suppose it’s not easy to scale down recipes. Making them is sometimes not easy either; how exactly do you measure 2 teaspoons of cold butter?
Yesterday, I felt like doing a little baking, so I made the Orange Cranberry Oatmeal Scone recipe from Small-batch Baking. This recipe was a hit. It produced two large, crumbly, hearty, tender oatmeal scones dotted with dried cranberries. I think the recipes that don’t need to be so precisely measured definitely work better.
I also felt like having a proper dinner, so I made a chicken stew in the slow cooker. First, I browned cubed chicken with some onion on the stovetop. Then, I added that to the slow cooker along with some whole garlic cloves, a bay leaf and thyme. I finished with 1 part sherry vinegar to 2 parts chicken stock, just enough liquid to almost cover the chicken. I cooked it on low for 4 hours and served the chicken with a little of the sauce over linguine. The chicken was fork-tender and nicely flavored.
To go with it, I made some simple but decadent peas with bacon. I boiled frozen peas for about 2 minutes. In the meantime, I sauteed a little chopped bacon in some butter. When the bacon was starting to crisp, I added some diced onion and continued cooking until the bacon was done. Then I reduced the heat to low and stirred in the peas to warm them. I finished with a little lemon juice. Delish!