Monday, December 5, 2011

Sloppy joe mac & Cheese

A definite comfort food. Takes a bit of prep because its homemade, but very yummy. Use low fat products and ground turkey to make healthier)

16 oz elbow macaroni
1 lb ground beef
1/2 c chopped celery
1/2 c chopped carrot
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1/2 c water
1 pkg sloppy joe mix (or 1 tbsp. instant minced onion,1 tsp. salt,1/2 tsp. sugar,1/4 tsp. dry mustard,1/4 tsp. chili powder,1 tsp. green pepper flakes,1 tsp. cornstarch,1/2 tsp. instant minced garlic,1/4 tsp. celery seeds)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp butter
1/3 c flour
1 tsp ground mustard
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 cups milk
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
8 oz Velveeta, cubed
2 cups (8 oz) shredded cheddar cheese

Cook macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, cook the meat, celery and carrot over medium heat until meat is no longer pink and vegetables are tender. Drain. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, water and seasoning mix. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Drain macaroni, set aside. In a large saucepan saute onion in butter until tender. STir in flour, mustard, salt and pepper until smooth. Gradually add milk while whisking, add Worcestershire sauce . Bring to a boil, cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. (Stir constantly).  Remove from heat, stir in cheese. Add macaroni, mix.

Spread 2/3 of macaroni mixture in a 13x9 pan coated with cooking spray.  Spread meat mixture on next. Top with remaining macaroni mixture. Cook at 375 for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Split pea soup

Yummy recipe from lady at church

Split Pea Soup
8 black peppercorns
3 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs parsley
2 Tbs oil
2 med carrots
2 celery stalks
1 large onion
2 Tbs minced garlic
1 ham steak cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 tsp course salt
1 lb split peas
4 cups water
4 cups chicken broth
1 Tbs butter

Wrap first 4 ingredients in cheese cloth sachet or put in spice ball.

Saute vegetables until onions are transparent, add liquid, spice sachet, dried peas, ham, heat to boil, lower flame to simmer, cook 1 1/4 hour, add butter and garnish with thyme.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Tart cranberry dipping sauce and jam

Tart Cranberry Dipping Sauce
1 lb frozen cranberries
2 cups orange juice
3 cups ginger ale
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp light brown sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 orange, zested

Combine ingredients in non reactive saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30-45 minutes, until liquid is reduced by half.
Carefully puree until smooth. Check seasoning. Serve in small ramekins with turkey. Reserve leftover (not used for dipping) for jam recipe below.

Tart Cranberry Jam 
(for turkey sandwiches!)

2 cups tart cranberry dipping sauce (above)
4 ounces ginger ale
1 cup sugar

Combine all the ingredients into a small, non-reactive saucepan.
Bring to a simmer and reduce by two-thirds or until the mixture has thickened to the consistency of a loose jam. Remember to keep the heat low to prevent the jam from burning. Store in fridge.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Cranberry Fennel stuffing

Haven't tried this, but want to.

10 cups day old french sourdough bread, cubed (1 inch)
6 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
2 lbs sweet italian sausage
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 cups peeled and chopped onions
2 fennel bulbs, cored, trimmed, cut into 1/4 inch dice
2 cups dried cranberries
2 cups coarse chopped walnuts
zest of 2 oranges
2 tsp dried sage leaves
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 cup chicken brother

Toss bread cubes with olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper. Bake at 350 on 2 baking sheets for 15 minutes until lightly toasted. Let cool, put in bowl.

Cook sausage in 2 tbsp oil in skillet for 20 minutes, drain off fat. Put in bowl with bread cubes

Place remaining oil and butter in saucepan and cook onions and fennel for 10 minuets over medium low heat. Add cranberries, cook 5 more minutes. Fold into bread cubes with other ingredients, drizzling on broth 1/2 cup at time to moisten. Adjust seasonings, let cool completely before stuffing turkey.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Apricot Orange Stuffing

The only stuffing my husband has ever liked.

12 cups cubed sourdough bread
2 Tbsp dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups dried apricots, halved
1 1/2 cups orange juice
2 lbs turkey sausage or sweet Italian pork sausage
2 Tbsp butter
4 cups chopped onions
4 cups chopped celery
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp dried sage leaves, crumbled
2 diced (1/2 inch) Granny smith apples
1 cup dried cherries
2 cups chicken broth

Preheat oven to 350. Toss bread with thyme, salt, pepper and half oil. Spread on baking sheets and bake until golden, 15-20 minutes. Place in a bowl.

Bring the apricots and orange juice to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and reserve.

Brown sausge in a skillet, transfer to bread bowl with slotted spoon.

Place remaining oil and butter in a pot and wilt the onions, celery, garlic and sage over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring. Add mixture to bread along with apples, cherries, apricots, and orange juice. Toss well.

Drizzle the chicken broth all over to moisten as desired, adjust the seasonings. Cool completely before stuffing the turkey.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread or muffins

3 cups flour
1 Tbsp + 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or 1 1/4 tsp each cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger & allspice)
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin
4 eggs
1 cup oil
1/2 cup orange juice
zest of 1 orange
1 cup cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour 2 loaf pans or spray muffin tins. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Combine wet ingredients in separate bowl, ebat until just blended. Add to flour mixture, stir until moistened. Fold in cranberries. Spoon into pans.

Bake loaves for 60-65 minutes or muffins for 15-20 minutes. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks.

Monday, October 10, 2011

2 Hot Cocoa Mix recipes

Hot Cocoa Mix
1 1/2 cup powdered dry milk (make sure its fresh, not old and rancid)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup dutched cocoa (unsweetened will not taste as nice - Hershey's Dark Cocoa works alright)
1/4 cup dry creamer
1/4 tsp salt

Mix ingredients in a container.To serve, fill mug about 1/3 full with mix, add hot water and stir.

AB's Hot Cocoa Mix 

2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup cocoa (Dutch-process preferred)
2 1/2 cups powdered milk
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste

    Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and incorporate evenly. In a small pot, heat 4 to 6 cups of water.
    Fill your mug half full with the mixture and pour in hot water. Stir to combine. Seal the rest in an airtight container, keeps indefinitely in the pantry. This also works great with warm milk.

    Sunday, October 2, 2011

    Creme Brulee French Toast

    Perfect for holidays. Make ahead the night before to just pop in the oven in the morning.

    1/2 cup unsalted butter
    1 cup brown sugar
    2 Tbsp corn syrup
    sliced bread
    5 large eggs
    1 1/2 cups half and half
    1 tsp vanilla
    1/4 tsp salt

    in a saucepan, melt butter, brown sugar and corn syrup. pour into a 9x13 inch glass baking dish. Arrange bread pieces on top. Beat together eggs, half and half, vanilla and salt. Pour egg mixture over top of bread. Cover and chill overnight in the fridge. The next morning, bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

    Saturday, October 1, 2011

    Pasta Salad

    Here's a yummy salad. Make a big batch of this for conference weekend.

    Pasta Salad
     3/4 lb spiral tri colored pasta noodles
    2 carrots
    2 ribs celery
    1 cucumber
    1/2 lb cherry or grape tomatoes
    1 can black olives
    1 stalk broccoli
    1/4 head cauliflower
    1/2 green pepper
    1/2 red pepper
    1/2 yellow pepper
    1/2 orange pepper
    1 bunch green onions
    1/2 lb cheese cubed
    salami, pepperoni, other italian meats (optional)
    salt and pepper to taste
    1 package good seasons italian dressing mix, made with no water plus add 1 Tbsp mayonnaise or italian dressing.

    Cook pasta according to directons and cut up vegetables and cheese. Mix together. Make ahead and add cucumbers and cheese just before serving. Parboil vegetables or leave raw.

    Recipe from "The Fat Sisters Cookbook"

    Wednesday, June 1, 2011

    Chocolate cookies

    Perfect for ice cream sandwiches

    1 cup flour
    1/3 cup cocoa
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    1/4 tsp hot cocoa mix
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
    3/4 cup brown sugar
    1 egg
    1 tsp vanilla

    Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 2 baking sheets. Sift first 5 ingredients into a bowl. Reserve.

    Cream butter and sugar with mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, mix well. Add dry ingredients, mix until just combined.

    Form 1/4 cup portions of dough into 8 balls. Put 4 balls on each sheet, flatten with spatula. Bake about 10 minutes. Let stand 2 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

    Friday, May 20, 2011

    Chocolate cakes with liquid centers

    Simple, delicious, rich. Quick yet impressive. Chocolate. One of my favorites.

    Chocolate cakes with liquid centers
    1/2 cup butter
    4 (1 oz) squares bittersweet chocolate
    2 eggs
    2 egg yolks
    1/4 cup white sugar
    2 tsp white flour

    Preheat oven to 450 F. Butter and flour 4 4oz ramekins or custard cups.
    Melt butter and chocolate in double boiler until chocolate is almost completely melted.
    Beat eggs, yolks and sugar until light colored and thick.
    Beat together butter and chocolate mixtures by pouring chocolate mixture into egg mixture while beating. Qucikly mix in flour just until combined.
    Divide batter between molds and bake at 450 for 6-7 minutes. The centers will still be soft. Invert onto serving plates, let sit 15 minutes, then unmold. Serve immediately with fresh whipped cream.

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    Thin Mint cookies

    Newspaper clipping from 2003, says from book "Even More Top Secret Recipes".
    I remember the dough being a pain, but they really were just like those thin mints in a green box that are no longer around right now.
    Makes 108 cookies.

    Thin Mints
    1 (18.25 oz) package chocolate fudge cake mix (betty crocker suggested)
    3 Tbsp shortening, melted
    1/2 cup cake flour, measured, then sifted
    1 egg
    3 Tbsp water
    nonstick cooking spray
    3 (12 oz) bags semisweet chocolate chips
    3/4 tsp peppermint extract
    6 Tbsp shortening

    Combine cake mix, shortening, flour and egg in large bowl, adding water a little at time until dough forms. Cover and chill 2 hours.

    Heat oven to 350. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick coating. On a lightly foured surface, roll out a portion of dough to just under 1/16 of an inch thick. Cut using a lid from a spice container with a 1 1/2 inch diameter.
    Arange cut dough on prepared cookie sheets, bake 10 minutes. Remove wafers from oven and cool completely.

    In a large microwave safe bowl, combine chocolate chips and peppermint extract and shortening. heat on 50 percent power for 2 minutes. Stir gently. Heat 1 more minute. Stir again. if not smooth, continue to  cook at 30 sectond intervals until smooth.

    Use fork to dip each wafer into chocolate. Tap on bowl so excess chocolate runs off. Place on wax paper lined baking sheet, refrigerate until firm. Makes 108 cookies (3 boxes).

    Saturday, May 7, 2011

    Super easy chicken enchiladas

    Not the healthiest recipe. But quick and easy.

    1 can rotel or jar of salsa
    16 oz sour cream
    1 can cream of chicken soup
    1 lb velveeta cheese cut into cubes
    2 large cans chicken breast meat, drained
    1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
    1 can of corn
    1 can black beans

    Mix rotel, soup, sour cream, velveeta in pan on medium heatu ntil cheese is melted. Add chicken breast mixture. Spoon into tortillas and roll up, placing in a 9x13 sprayed with cooking spray. Pour remaining mixture over tortillas. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top.

    Friday, May 6, 2011

    Blueberry coconut pound cake muffins

    I love muffins.

    Blueberry coconut pound cake muffins
    1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
    3/4 cup sugar
    2 tsp freshly grated lime zest
    2 eggs
    5 Tbsp heavy cream
    1 cup flour
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/2 cup + 3 Tbsp coconut
    1/2 cup blueberries

    Preheat oven to 350 and butter/flour 7 muffin cups. Beat butter, sugar and zest until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. beat in cream, then flour and salt, on low speed, just until combined. Stir in 1/2 cup coconut and fold in blueberries. Spoon batter into muffin cups, totally filling cups and smooth tops. Sprinkle with remaining 3 Tbsp coconut. Bake in middle of oven until tester comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Invert onto rack and let cool.

    Thursday, May 5, 2011

    Cabbage Beef Soup

    From RS president at church. Yay for a tasty way to eat cabbage! Kind of like a taco soup in taste.

    Cabbage Beef Soup
    2 tbsp oil
    1 lb ground beef
    1/2 large onion, chopped
    5 cups chopped cabbage
    16 oz can kidney beans, drained
    2 cups beef broth

    24 oz tomato sauce
    1 1/2 tsp cumin
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp pepper

    Brown beef and onion in skillet. Combine all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on high 4-6 hours or low 6-8 hours. Stir occasionally. Or leave on stow on low for about 4 hours. Makes about 10 servings.

    Serve with cornbread or biscuits.

    Wednesday, May 4, 2011

    Mint chocolate chocolate chip cookies

    3/4 cup butter, softened
    3/4 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1 tsp peppermint extract
    2 eggs
    1 3/4 cup flour
    1/2 cup cocoa
    3/4 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    1/4 tsp salt
    1 cup choclate chips
    1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

    Heat oven to 375 F. Cream butter and sugars and peppermint extract on medium speed until light and fluffly. Add eggs, beat well. In separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, soda, powder and salt. Gradually add to butter mixture, don't over mix. Stir in chips and nuts. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 7 minutes until set. Cool 1 minute, remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. (Cookies will look barely done when removing from oven.)

    Tuesday, May 3, 2011

    Tortilla Soup

    My favorite tortilla soup recipe.

    Tortilla Soup

    4 Tbsp oil
    3 cloves garlic
    1 onion
    2 Tbs parsley
    1 4 oz can diced chiles
    2 cans diced tomatoes
    1 15 oz can tomato sauce
    16 oz beef broth
    32 oz chicken broth
    1 can corn, undrained
    1 tsp cumin
    1 can kidney beans
    1 tsp chili powder
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp pepper
    1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
    2 Tbsp steak sauce
    1 cup water
    2-3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
    Cooked bratwurst
    1 cup rice

    Combine in slow cooker and cook for 4-6 hours on low or 2-3 hours on high.

    Serve with shredded cheese, tortilla chips, cilantro and sour cream.

    Monday, May 2, 2011

    Best meatballs - make 2 quick and easy dinners

    1 lb ground beef
    1 lb sausage
    6 oz bread crumbs
    1 Tbsp italian seasoning
    1 1/4 cup water
    2 eggs

    Heat oven to 400 F. Line 2 15x10 pans with foil and spray with cooking spray. Mix ingredients, shape into 32 (1 1/2 inch) balls, using approx 1/4 cup for each ball. (Or make lots more smaller balls for kids.)

    Put on pans, bake 16-18 minutes until done (internal temp 160 F)

    Use half of the meatballs in favorite spaghetti one night and half in a gravy or stroganoff the next night. Or triple recipe and freeze individually on clean baking sheets after cooked. Transfer to plastic bag and use as needed for quick and easy dinners.

    Quick and easy improvement on spaghetti sauce: 1 jar spaghetti sauce, 2 oz cream cheese and 2 Tbsp fresh basil. Mix on medium low until heated through. Mix in meatballs and sprinkle with parmesan when serving over noodles.

    Easy gravy "stroganoff" recipe: 1 jar (12 oz) beef gravy (or instant gravy packet mixed up), 1/2 cup sour cream, 2 Tbsp fresh parsley. Heat and mix over medium low, adding meatballs and serve over egg noodles or rice.

    Sunday, May 1, 2011

    Hot Fudge Sauce

    Really really good over ice cream.

    Hot Fudge Sauce
    1/2 lb Butter
    8 squares unsweetened chocolate
    2 lbs powdered sugar
    2 1/2 cups evaporated milk
    1 tsp vanilla

    Melt butter and chocolate in top of a double boiler. Slowly add powedered sugar adn evaporated mil, stirring constantly until blended.

    Heat over warm heat for 1-2 hours until very smooth. After turning off heat, add 1 tsp vanilla.

    Store in jars, let cool and cover and store in refrigerator. (Or process in hot water bath to seal and can.)

    Saturday, April 30, 2011

    Crack Proof Cheesecake

    The first cheesecake I ever baked. Good memories from our first year of marriage. I was so nervous about it cracking or not being cooked right. Then I remember thinking it was huge and suggesting we invite some people over to help us eat it. My husband tasted it and then said "tell no one about this cheesecake". He ate half of it on his own. Excellent recipe because of the detailed instructions and tips.

    Click here to access recipe from show Food 911 on Food Network.

    Crack Proof Cheesecake

    2 cups finely ground graham crackers (about 30 squares)
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
    2 (8-ounce) blocks cream cheese, room temperature
    1 cup sugar
    3 eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 lemon, zest finely grated
    1 pint sour cream
    Blueberry Topping:
    2 tablespoons butter
    2 pints blueberries
    3/4 cup granulated sugar
    1 teaspoon cornstarch
    1 lemon, juiced


    To prepare crumb crust: In a mixing bowl, combine the crust ingredients together with a fork until evenly moistened. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray. Firmly press the mixture over the bottom and 1-inch up the sides on the pan, use your fingers or the smooth bottom of a glass. Refrigerate the crust while preparing the filling.

    To prepare filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese on low speed for 1 minute just until smooth and free of any lumps. Gradually add the sugar and beat until creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and continue to slowly beat until combined. Stir in the vanilla and lemon zest. Blend in the sour cream. The batter should be well mixed but not overbeaten. Overbeating incorporates too much air and will cause the cake to puff when baking, then fall and crack when cooling. Pour filling into the crust-lined pan and smooth the top with a spatula.

    To prepare water bath: Set the pan on a large piece of aluminum foil and fold up the sides. This will prevent water from seeping into the seams of the springform pan. Carefully set the cake pan in a larger roasting pan. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan until the water is about halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan.

    Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 45 minutes. The cheesecake should still jiggle, it will firm up after chilling. Be careful not to overcook! Do not do a toothpick test in the cake's center, this will make a crack. Loosen the cheesecake from the sides of the pan by running a thin metal spatula around the inside rim. Let cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Chill in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for at least 4 hours to set up. Demold and transfer to a cake plate. Slice the cheesecake with a thin, nonserrated knife that has been dipped in hot water and wiped dry after each cut.

    Blueberry Topping:

    Combine all ingredients in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring up to a slow boil and stir gently until the berries breakdown and release their natural juice. The consistency should remain a bit chunky. Cool to room temperature and serve on top of cheesecake. Yield: 2 1/2 cups
    (It's a delicious basic cheese cake with a light lemon flavor and a blueberry topping recipe.)

    Friday, April 29, 2011

    Strawberry fig preserves

    Tastes like strawberry jam but uses figs. Recipe from my neighbor who has a fig tree.

    3 cups mashed figs
    3 cups sugar
    1 small box strawberry jello

    Mix well all ingredients. Bring to simmer and keep simmering for 20 minutes. Pack in hot sterile jars and process in hot water bath.

    Thursday, April 28, 2011

    Cranberry Salsa

    12 oz pkg fresh cranberries
    3/4 cup sugar
    1 med. jalepeno, remove seeds
    1 green onion
    1-2 Tbsp fresh cilantro
    1/4 tsp cumin
    8 oz brick cream cheese, softened.

    Put all ingredients except cream cheese in food processor, process until mixture is coarsely chopped. Storei n refrigerator overnight to allow flavors to blend. Pour over cream cheese and enjoy.

    Wednesday, April 27, 2011

    Mexican Double chocolate chocolate chip cookies

    Newspaper clipping - winner of a contest, recipe says from Chaim Potter of Napa, CA
    Tried them and they are pretty good.

    Mexcan double chocolate chocolate chip cookies

    1 cup all purpose flour
    1/2 cup unsweetened dutch process cocoa powder
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp coarse salt
    1/8 tsp finely ground black pepper
    1/4 lb coarsely chopped good quality dark chocolate
    1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    2 large eggs
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    3/4 cup chocolate chips

    Preheat oven to 325 F. Whisk first 6 ingredients, set aside. In double boiler, melt chocolate and butter. Let cool slightly, then combin in an electric mixer with sugar eggs and vanilla at medium speed. Reduce to low and gradually add flour mixture, fold in chocolate chips.

    Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Use 1 1/2 inch ice cream scoop to drop scoops on paper, 2 inches apart. bake 15 minutes until look flat and surfaces crack (cookies should still be soft in texture). let cookies cool on parchment on wire racks. Store for up to 3 days. Makes 3 dozen.

    Tuesday, April 26, 2011

    Beef Stroganoff

    This recipe is from my friend from Brazil. Table cream can be found at the Mexican grocery store.

    1 1/2 lbs stew meat
    1 Tbsp minced garlic
    2 Tbsp olive oil
    salt and pepper
    8 ounces fresh mushrooms
    4 Tbsp ketchup
    2 Tbsp mustard
    1 can table cream

    Marinate meat with spices and olive oil. Cook until tender, using water as needed. (She doesn't boil the meat, but simmers it with water.) Add mushrooms, ketchup and mustard. After turning off heat, add table cream. Serve over rice or noodles.

    Monday, April 25, 2011

    Charro Beans

    Really delicious beans from a lady at church.

    2 cups pinto beans
    1 package bacon
    4 beef franks (hot dogs)
    1 large tomato
    1/2 onion
    1/3 cup cilantro
    2 tsp salt

    Place pinto beans and salt in slow cooker and add enough water to fill to top without overflowing. Cook overnight or 3 horus in a regular pot. Chop all ingredients into small pieces. Place bacon in a skillet and cook until crispy. Drain grease then add other ingredients and cook until brown. Season with a bit salt. Add beans to skillet and some of bean water and combine. bring to boil, turn off heat. Beans should be soupy, not dry.

    Sunday, April 24, 2011

    Hot Cross Buns

    From Ree, the Pioneer Woman. Click here for recipe with detailed picture instructions.

    These were really delicious.

    Hot Cross Buns

    • 2 cups Whole Milk
    • ½ cups Canola Oil
    • ½ cups Sugar
    • 1 package (2 1/4 Teaspoons) Active Dry Yeast
    • 4 cups All-purpose Flour
    • ½ cups (additional) Flour
    • ½ teaspoons (heaping) Baking Powder
    • ½ teaspoons (scant) Baking Soda
    • 2 teaspoons Salt
    • ¼ cups Sugar
    • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
    • Spices: Cardamom, Nutmeg, Allspice (optional)
    • ½ cups Raisins
    • GLAZE
    • 1 whole Egg White
    • Splash Of Milk
    • Icing
    • 1 whole Egg White
    • Powdered Sugar
    • Splash Of Milk

    Preparation Instructions

    Combine 2 cups milk, canola oil, and 1/2 cup sugar in a saucepan. Stir and heat until very warm but not boiling. Turn off the heat and allow to cool until mixture is still warm, but not hot–about 30 minutes.
    Sprinkle yeast over mixture. Add 4 cups of flour and stir to combine. Mixture will be very sticky. Cover with a towel and set aside for 1 hour.
    Add 1/2 cup flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir till combined.
    Combine 1/4 cup sugar with cinnamon and whatever other spices you want to use.
    Lightly flour surface. Press to slightly flatten dough. Sprinkle a couple tablespoons of the sugar/cinnamon mixture. Sprinkle on about a third of the raisins. Then fold the dough over on itself and flatten again so the dough is “plain” again. Repeat the sugar/raisin process, then fold the dough again. Repeat a third time until all the raisins are used. (You won’t use all the sugar/cinnamon mixture.)
    Pinch off ping pong or golf ball-size bunches of dough. With floured hands, quickly roll it into a ball, then turn the edges under themselves slightly. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place for at least 30 minutes…an hour-plus is better.
    PREHEAT OVEN TO 400 degrees
    Mix 1 egg white with a splash of milk. Brush onto each roll.
    Bake for 20 minutes, give or take, or until tops of buns have turned nice and golden brown.
    Remove from pan and allow to cool on a cooling rack.
    Mix 1 egg white with enough powdered sugar for icing to be very thick. Splash in milk as needed for consistency.
    Add icing to a small Ziploc bag and snip the corner. Make icing crosses on each roll, making sure they’re completely cooled first.

    Saturday, April 23, 2011

    Taco Seasoning Mix

    1 Tbsp chili powder
    1/4 tsp garlic powder
    1/4 tsp onion powder
    1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
    1/4 tsp dried oregano
    1/2 tsp paprika
    1 1/2 tsp cumin
    1 tsp sea salt (or 3/4 tsp table salt)
    1 tsp black pepper

    Mix ingredients.

    To use: Brown 1 lb ground beef in frying pan. Drain off extra fat. Add in a can of beans if desired. Add mix and 1/2 cup water to pan, stirring and mixing until water is gone.

    Friday, April 22, 2011

    Creamy Cracked Wheat Cereal

    1 cup uncooked cracked wheat
    3 cups water
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/4 cup powdered milk
    4 Tbsp sugar

    Add dry milk to water and whisk together. Bring to boil. At medium high temperature, add wheat, sugar and salt. Cover and reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the water is absorbed. Makes 3 cups cereal. (4 servings)

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

    Pumpkin Chili

    Fabulous quick and easy chili. Pumpkin makes it creamy and rich, taking the place of most of the tomatoes.
    Pumpkin Chili
    1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    1 cup chopped onion
    1 cup chopped bell pepper
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 pound ground beef
    1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
    1 (14.5 ounce) can corn
    1 (14.5 ounce) can kidney beans
    2 cups pumpkin puree (or about 1 14.5 ounce can)
    1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
    1 teaspoon cumin
    1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
    1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    shredded Cheddar cheese
    sour cream
    Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and saute the onion, bell pepper, and garlic until tender. Stir in the ground beef, and cook until evenly brown. Drain, and mix in tomatoes and pumpkin. Season with chili powder, cumin, garlic salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes. Serve topped with Cheddar cheese and sour cream. 

    Thursday, January 13, 2011

    Cranberry Orange Muffins

    I love muffins! Here is a delicious way to use all the lovely fresh cranberries that are on sale at the store right now. (Or freeze them to make these any time. They are delicious!

    Cranberry Orange Muffins (makes about 30)
    2 cups wheat flour
    2 cups all purpose flour
    1 Tbsp baking powder
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp salt
    2 Tbsp grated orange zest
    3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
    1/2 cup butter
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup applesauce
    2 eggs
    1 1/2 cups orange juice

    Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Lightly grease muffin pans.

    Whisk together flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. Stir in orange zest and cranberries. In a large bowl beat butter sugar and egg until smooth. Stir in juice. Add flour mixture, stirring until just moistened. Scoop into muffin cups making them about 2/3 full and bake about 25 minutes or until muffin bounces back when you press lightly on top.

    Friday, January 7, 2011

    One dough, four recipes

    This article in Family Fun magazine in November 2010 had a light whole wheat bread dough recipe and instructions on how to make bread, breadsticks, a bread wreath and pear fritters from the dough. It is written by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois, the authors of "Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day" which is a bread method that I like overall. On Christmas day I made the pear fritters, sandwich bread and wreath bread out of a batch of dough. We really enjoyed the pear fritters! The bread was a good sandwich bread, and the wreath bread was a fun way to have rolls for dinner.

    My experiences with the artisan bread method make me prefer baking up the dough within a day of making it. Yes, the dough holds up for a week or two in the fridge (depending on which type of dough), but the bread is flatter the longer the dough is in the fridge. I don't mind it too much, but I really appreciated this layout of providing four options to make with the four pounds of dough the recipe makes so that I can use it in varied ways over a day or so and not have to worry about fridge storage so much. Reading the article renewed my interest in baking bread again - I haven't in months.

    Basic Dough:
    Hands-on time: 5 minutes
    Total time: 2 hours, 5 minutes
    Makes: 4 pounds of dough
    • 2 cups lukewarm water
    • 1-1/2 tablespoons (2 packets) granulated yeast
    • 1-1/2 tablespoons coarse salt or 1 tablespoon table salt
    • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
    • 1/2 cup honey
    • 1/3 cup vegetable oil; melted, unsalted butter; or olive oil (see the tip below)
    • 6 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup whole wheat flour
    1. In a large bowl or lidded container, stir together the water, yeast, salt, eggs, honey, and oil or melted butter, then mix in the flours. If needed, the last bit of flour can be incorporated with wet hands.
    2. Loosely cover the dough and let it rise at room temperature until it collapses on top, about 2 hours.
    3. Use the dough immediately or refrigerate it in a lidded (not airtight) container and use it over the next five days. It can also be frozen in airtight containers or freezer bags for up to one month (we recommend freezing the dough in 1-pound portions for ease of use). Frozen dough can be shaped, rested, and baked after it has defrosted overnight in the refrigerator. To cut a recipe's worth of dough from the bulk batch, dust the surface of the dough with flour, then use kitchen shears or a knife to snip off what you need.
    Vegetable oil has the most neutral flavor; butter adds flavor suitable for sweet and savory breads; and olive oil adds flavor suitable for savory breads.
     Sandwich Loaf:

    Hands-on time: 5 minutes
    Total time: 2 hours, 20 minutes
    Makes: 1 loaf

    • 2 pounds (cantaloupe-size piece) prepared dough
    • Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water)
    1. Lightly grease an 8-1/2- by 4-1/2-inch nonstick loaf pan. To help the dough hold its shape while it rises, cloak it: dust it with flour, then quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface and tucking it under the bottom, then rotating it a quarter-turn as you work.
    2. Stretch the ball into a loaf shape as shown and place it in the pan (it should be about three-quarters full). Let the dough rest for 90 minutes covered loosely with plastic wrap, 60 minutes if you're using fresh, unrefrigerated dough.
    3. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush the top of the loaf with the egg wash, then use a sharp, serrated bread knife to make three cuts across the top. Place the loaf on the oven's center rack and bake it until it's brown and firm, about 45 minutes. Remove the loaf from the pan and let it cool completely on a rack before slicing.
    Wreath Bread:

    Hands-on time: 10 minutes
    Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
    Servings: 6 to 8

    • 1 pound (grapefruit-size piece) prepared dough
    • Sesame or poppy seeds
    • Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water)
    1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Cloak the dough (see step 1 of Sandwich Loaf). When you've formed it into a cohesive ball, poke your thumbs through the center to make a hole. Stretch open the hole until it's about 8 inches wide.
    2. Place the dough ring on the prepared cookie sheet. Cover it loosely with plastic wrap and let it rest for 25 minutes. Five minutes before baking time, heat the oven to 350 degrees.
    3. Use kitchen shears to make eight slightly angled horizontal cuts around the ring's perimeter as shown, stopping just short of cutting all the way through. Reposition each cut piece so that it points outward. Brush the dough with the egg wash and sprinkle it with sesame or poppy seeds.
    4. Bake the wreath on the oven's center rack until it's brown and firm, about 35 minutes. Let it cool slightly before serving.
     Herb Breadsticks:

    Hands-on time: 15 minutes
    Total time: 30 minutes
    Servings: 4 to 6

    • 1/2 pound (orange-size piece) prepared dough
    • Olive oil for brushing
    • 1 tablespoon finely grated Parmesan
    • Coarse salt
    • Fresh or dried rosemary, thyme, or Italian herb mix
    1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or generously grease it with olive oil.
    2. Cloak the dough to help it hold its shape while it rises: dust it with flour, then quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface and tucking it under the bottom, then rotating it a quarter-turn as you work. Roll it out into an 8- by 12-inch rectangle. Brush it generously with olive oil, sprinkle on the cheese, and scatter on salt and herbs to taste. Use a pizza cutter, as shown, or a sharp knife to slice the dough along its shorter side into 1/4-inch-wide strips.
    3. Stretch the strips into 12-inch lengths and lay them on the prepared cookie sheet spaced one inch apart. You can make zigzag or swirled breadsticks by shaping them on the cookie sheet.
    4. Bake the breadsticks on the oven's center rack until they're golden brown, about 12 minutes. Let them cool completely before serving.
    Pear Fritters:

    Hands-on time: 15 minutes plus 15 for frying
    Total time: 30 minutes
    Makes: 24 fritters

    • Canola, peanut, or vegetable oil for frying
    • 1 pound (grapefruit-size piece) prepared dough
    • 1 firm pear, peeled, cored, and grated
    • 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 cup currants
    • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts
    • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
    1. Fill a medium saucepan with 2 inches of oil and heat it to 360-380 degrees. As the oil warms, cloak the dough to help it hold its shape while it rises: dust it with flour, then quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface and tucking it under the bottom, then rotating it a quarter-turn as you work. On a well-floured surface, roll it out into a 9- by 12-inch rectangle.
    2. Combine the pear, brown sugar, cinnamon, flour, currants, and nuts in a small bowl. Spread the mixture over the dough, stopping 1/2 inch from the edge. Starting at a long end, tightly roll the dough into a log as shown, then pinch the seam to seal it. Use a pair of kitchen shears to cut off 1/2-inch-thick slices from the log.
    3. Fry the fritters in batches by carefully placing a few of them into the oil at a time, leaving enough room to let them rise to the surface as they cook. Fry them for about 1 minute, then use a slotted spoon to gently flip each one and fry it until golden brown on both sides, about 1 minute more. (You may need to flip them over a few times to brown them evenly.) Transfer the fritters to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Dust the fritters with confectioners' sugar and let them cool slightly before serving.

    Click here to visit the Artisan Bread in 5 blog for lots of fun ideas for using the dough and how to have success.

    Updated on Dec 2, 2016 to add recipe specifics and new links since it appears to only be accessible with the Internet Wayback Machine.

    Sunday, January 2, 2011

    Pumpkin Donuts

    The batter is sticky but careful handling and use of flour make it not too bad. The trickiest part for me was finding two circle cutters that would make a donut like shape. But they are delicious and we have enjoyed them several times. Between these, pumpkin muffins and pumpkin waffles, we eat a lot of pumpkin in the fall.

    Baked Pumpkin Donuts

    3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    3 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp nutmeg
    1/2 tsp ginger
    1/2 tsp allspice
    1 cup sugar
    6 Tbsp butter
    2 eggs
    2 tsp vanilla
    1/2 cup buttermilk
    1 cup pumpkin puree

    In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, spice and sugar. Whisk together all of the remaining ingredients in a second, medium bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir them around the bowl until the mixture is well combined. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, rolling the donut dough to approximately 3/4" thick, then cut with donut cutter. Transfer to a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake in an oven preheated to 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes, or just until the donuts are cooked through. Dip immediately into buttermilk glaze. Eat warm and enjoy!

    Buttermilk Glaze
    3 cups powdered sugar
    1/2 cup buttermilk
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla

    Whisk together in a small bowl until smooth. Dip hot donuts in the glazed, then allow to air dry on a cooling rack.

    Original recipe from Cheeky Kitchen here.

    Saturday, January 1, 2011

    Hoppin' John

    My hoppin' john turned out the best I think it ever has this year. Soaked the black eyed peas overnight, simmered this morning with a few pieces of bacon. Sauteed a chopped up onion and bell pepper and 2 minced cloves garlic. Mixed with beans, a bit of water, a bunch of bacon, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper. Served over rice and with spinach salad and cornbread muffins. That was our lucky New Years dinner. Definitely want to remember for next year!


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