Monday, December 19, 2011

Whole Wheat Bread & Chubby Hubby Truffles

My bread machine broke this weekend so I went out and got another one because I have a ton of holiday baking to do this coming weekend. So, I had to test it out. I had some wheat flour to use up so I tried this recipe. It was good. Did not rise as much as I would have liked, but definetely a good bread.

Honey Grain Bread
From Oster Bread Machine Manual
1.5 pound loaf
1 cup water
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 and l/2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon salt
2 and 1/4 cups bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
l/2 cup quick cook oats
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
(I also added 1 tbsp vital gluten)
1) Measure and add tiquid ingredients to the bread pan.
2) Measure and add dry ingredients (except yeast) to the bread pan.
3) Use your finger to form a welt (hole) in the flour where you will pour the
yeast. Yeast must NEVER come into contact with a liquid when you are
odding ingredients. Measure the yeast and corefully pour it into the well.
4) Snap the baking pan into the breadmaker and close the lid.
5) Press ‘Select” button to choose the Whole Wheat setting.
6) Press the “Crust Color” button to choose light. medium or dark crust.
7) Press the “Start/Stop” button.

I also tried these Chubby Hubby Truffles. I knew Jeff would love them with the pretzel/peanut butter combo. They were very good and very easy to make.

Peanut Butter-Pretzel Truffles (a.k.a. Chubby Hubby Truffles)
Yield: About 18 truffles
Prep Time: 20 minutes Chill Time: 1 hour, total

From: browneyedbaker.com
1½ cups pretzel pieces
½ cup creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
Pinch of salt
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 cup milk or semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
1. Put the pretzel pieces into a resealable plastic bag and crush into very small bits (a rolling pin works great for this).
2. In a small bowl, combine the peanut butter, butter, brown sugar and salt. Stir until all of the ingredients are completely blended and smooth. Add the pretzel bits to the peanut butter mixture and mix thoroughly. Add the powdered sugar and mix until completely combined.
3. Line a small baking sheet with wax paper. Using a small cookie scoop, or about 2 teaspoons worth of peanut butter mixture, gently shape into a ball with your fingertips. Place the ball on the wax paper-lined cookie sheet and repeat with the remaining peanut butter mixture. Place the baking sheet into the refrigerator and chill for at least 30 minutes.
4. When ready to dip the truffles, microwave the chocolate chips and vegetable shortening together in a small bowl at 50% power in 30-second increments, stirring after each, until completely melted and smooth.
5. Working one at a time, dip one peanut butter-pretzel ball into the melted chocolate and use a fork to roll it around, ensuring that it is completely coated with chocolate. Let any extra chocolate drip off and place back on the wax paper-lined sheet. Repeat with all of the peanut butter-pretzel balls.
6. Return the baking sheet to the refrigerator and again chill for at least 30 minutes. Garnish with a drizzle of melted peanut butter and crushed pretzels, if desired. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Buttercream & Challah

Not together - two separate recipes. This weekend I made a buttercream recipe for my cutout cookies that was given by Wegmans. For those of you who don't know, Wegmans is a grocery store. This dried hard enough that you could stack lightly, but I would not stack too many on top. It worked excellent for decorating. I don't like using the Crisco in my frosting or the merainge powder and this frosting was a good replacement for the traditional "crusting" buttercream - maybe not quite as "crusting" but good enough and tasted better. The cookies came out wonderful.

Buttercream
4 cups powdered sugar
1 stick butter
1 tbsp milk powder
1 tbsp vanilla
approx 3 tbsp water (or to reach your desired consistency)

Mix all in mixer until smooth and fluffy.

I've been trying to find a recipe that matched rolls that I get at another grocery store. The bakery calls them "egg" or "bulkie rolls". So, I tried challah as I know that is a type of egg bread. This bread came out wonderful. Pretty close to the store - but maybe not quite there yet. Perhaps if I add some sugar to the recipe and divide into rolls, I will be there. I'm still searching.

Bread Machine Challah (Egg Bread)
Adapted from The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook
Ingredients: Make sure you place the ingredients in the order given.
This recipe is for a medium loaf which for my bread maker means 1½ lb (680g) loaf
¾ cup water
2 large eggs
1 tbsp honey
3 tbsp vegetable oil (I used canola)
3 cups bread flour
1 tbsp gluten
½ tsp salt1¾ tsp SAF yeast or 2¼ tsp bread machine yeast (my choice)
1 tbsp poppy or sesame seeds for sprinkling

Directions:1. Place all the ingredients IN ORDER into the bread machine. Select dough setting.
After finished, take out and divide into 3 logs approximately 12 inches. Spray baking pan with spray and sprinkle with cornmeal. Braid the logs and cover and let rise for 45-1 hour until double in size. The recipe says do not let rise too much or it will collape in the oven. Then I beat an egg and brushed it on top. You then sprinkle with the seeds although I did not use them. I baked at 375 for 30 minutes (the recipe says 35-40, but mine didn't need it). When the loaf is finished you should be able to tap it and it should sound hollow.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Strawberry Bars

Made these last night to freeze for christmas. I used strawberry preserves and I added a glaze to the top, powdered sugar, almond extract, and milk. They were very good and very easy.

Delicious Raspberry Oatmeal Cookie Bars
From: Allrecipes
Ingredients:
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 8 inch square pan, and line with greased foil.
2. Combine brown sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, and rolled oats. Rub in the butter using your hands or a pastry blender to form a crumbly mixture. Press 2 cups of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread the jam to within 1/4 inch of the edge. Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture over the top, and lightly press it into the jam.
3. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes in preheated oven, or until lightly browned. Allow to cool before cutting into bars

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

Well, I tried a new recipe yesterday as Jeff was intrigued by the whole bacon chocolate chip cookie recipe. These came out ok, they tasted ok, but they remind me of why I don't bake cookies with all butter. They came out flat and crisp! Not sure I would make again, but they were fun to try.

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies
http://bethmichelle.com/?p=632
Ingredients
For Caramelized Bacon
10 Strips Bacon
1/2 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
For Cookies
1 Stick Butter, plus 2 Tablespoons
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Egg
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 1/ 8 Cup Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Heaping Cup Dark Chocolate Chips
Caramelized Bacon (above)
Directions
For Caramelized Bacon
Pre heat oven to 380FLine a baking sheet with tin foil and lay strips of bacon on top.Sprinkle bacon with half the brown sugar.Bake for 5-7 minutes and flip the bacon.Sprinkle bacon with the rest of the brown sugar.Bake for another 5-7 minutes or until a deep brown color.Make sure the bacon does not burn!Remove from oven and cool.Once cooled, chop bacon into small pieces.

For Cookies
Pre heat oven to 350F and grease baking sheets.In a small bowl whisk together flour and baking soda and set aside.In a large bowl beat together butter and sugars. Add egg and vanilla and mix until combined.Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, slowly and mix until combined.Mix in chocolate chips and caramelized bacon.Place small tablespoon sized balls of dough onto greased baking sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart.Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a light golden color.Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Chicken Fajita Pasta, Apple Yeast Bread, Eggnog Cookies

I liked this pasta but the kids did not. I think it was a "good dish" but nothing spectacular. I didn't think it had much taste and was pretty bland. Next time I think adding some fajita seasoning might actually make it even better. But it was a nice change from traditional pasta. I also put the cheese right into the sauce. I would make this again.

Chicken Fajita Pasta
http://mamagrubbsgrub.blogspot.com/2011/09/chicken-fajita-pasta.html
6 oz penne or fettuccine pasta
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 white onion, sliced into strips
1 Green bell pepper,sliced into strips
2 garlic cloves, minced
chicken breast sliced into thick strips
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup reduced fat Mexican cheese
Cook the pasta according to the package while preparing the sauce.
Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over med heat. Add the onion and pepper for 3 mins, or until softened. Add garlic and chicken and sauté for 3 mins or until chicken is mostly cooked. Sprinkle the cumin,oregano,salt, and pepper over chicken.
In a small bowl, whisk together the chicken broth and cornstarch. Pour over the chicken and veggies and cook for 2 more mins, or until the sauce is thickened and the chicken is cooked through.
Add the cooked pasta,chopped tomato to the pan. Toss to coat. Sprinkle with the cheese.

These cookies are really good. I did not make the frosting but instead dusted with cinnamon sugar. I also replaced the nutmeg with cinnamon. These are not a really pretty cookie, but definetely great tasting!
Eggnog Cookies with Eggnog Icing
http://blogs.babble.com/family-kitchen/2010/12/15/eggnog-cookies-with-eggnog-icing/
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 cup eggnog
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Icing:
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
5 Tablespoons eggnog
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1. In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat well. Then add the eggnog and mix again.
2. Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and nutmeg. Then turn the mixer on low and slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients until everything is just combined. Cover the dough and chill it for at least two hours.
3. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Drop dough by the round teaspoonful onto lined cookie sheets. Bake one sheet at a time for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the tops are lightly golden. Cool cookies on a wire rack.
4. To make the icing stir together the confectioners’ sugar, eggnog and nutmeg. Icing the cookies when cooled.

This was really good. I halved the recipe. I also added some dried cranberries in the center. I made it into 3 smaller loaves. Definetely a good sweet bread. One side note, it needs more rise time then specified in the recipe.

Walnut Apple Bread
From Healthy Cooking Magazine
Ingredients
2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup warm 2% milk (110° to 115°)
1/4 cup reduced-fat butter, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
4 to 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
FILLING:
2 cups chopped peeled apples
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons reduced-fat butter, softened
GLAZE:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider or juice
Directions
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the sugar, milk, butter, eggs, salt and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).
Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a bowl coated with cooking spray, turning once to coat the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
For filling, in a small bowl, combine apples and walnuts. Combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon; stir into apple mixture. Punch dough down. Roll into a 14-in. x 12-in. rectangle. Spread butter to within 1/2 in. of edges; sprinkle with apple mixture. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side. Cut in half. Pinch seams to seal and tuck ends under.
Place loaves seam side down in two 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. With a sharp knife, make eight shallow slashes across top of each loaf.
Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. In a small bowl, combine the glaze ingredients; drizzle over bread. Yield: 2 loaves (16 slices each).

Monday, November 21, 2011

English Muffins and Chocolate Cut out Cookies

I wanted to make cut out turkey cookies for the kids to take to school. I made this chocolate cookie recipe and it did not work at all. I could have made it work, but the problem was I had to get so many cookies out of it for the kids to take to school, that it would never had been enough. So, I rolled them into balls and tossed my ideas out the window:( Then Jase decided he didn't like them, so I wound up making chocolate chip for him to take. So, not thanksgiving related, but oh well. They did taste ok, but from not on I'll stick to my normal cutout recipe.

Best Chocolate cutout Cookies
From:allrecipes.com
Ingredients
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 egg
Directions
Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg. Gradually stir in the sifted ingredients to form a soft dough. Divide dough into 2 pieces, flatten and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/8 inch in thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Dough is sticky so be sure to add more flour to the rolling surface as needed. Place cookies 1 1/2 inches apart onto cookie sheets.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

I made this recipe a while back but decided to try again. We've loved them both times. They don't taste like a traditional Thomas English Muffin, but oh so good. In fact, as I was watching Gui Fieri this morning make eggs benedict, these look like the english muffin recipe he used. This is so easy, I'd never buy them again! (I do use the rings, I tried them with and without and with definetely gets them to rise nicely although it is not necessary). (Note this is very similar to the Alton Brown recipe but has a few modifications)

English Muffins
From: Cookiemaddness.net
1 cup reduced fat milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt (divided use)
1 tablespoon shortening
1 envelope dry yeast
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup water
2 cups of flour (9 oz)
Heat milk in a microwave-safe measuring cup just until it boils. Add sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and stir to dissolve. Stir in shortening and let cool to about 120 degrees F.
In a separate bowl or measuring cup, combine the yeast and 1/3 cup of warm (115 degree) water. Let rest until yeast bubbles (proof).
In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, yeast mixture and milk mixture. Beat thoroughly with wooden spoon. Cover the bowl and let it rest in for 30 minutes in a warm place.
Preheat a lidded sauté pan or skillet to 300 degrees (on my stove, it was low). A pan with non-stick surface won’t cook the bottom quite so much, but if all you have is a regular metal bottom pan, you can use that. I didn’t grease either pan.
Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt to flour and beat thoroughly. Place metal (or homemade foil) rings onto the skillet.
Using a heaping 1/3 cup or a little less than ½ cup measure, spoon dough into rings, cover skillet cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the lid and turn rings using spatula (Alton used tongs). Cover with the lid and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a rack. Remove rings and cool. Split with fork and serve.
Note: Make your own rings using non-stick foil or greased regular foil. Take a sheet an 11 by 11 inch sheet of foil and foil it over twice or just mold it until you have a stick that’s about 1 ½ inches high by 11 inches. Fold it into a 3 inch (ish) ring. Secure it with another little strip of foil wrapped around where the ends come together.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Angel Chicken Pasta

This was just ok. I'm not sure I'd make again. It was edible and ok, but not great. I enjoy the golden mushroom soup in beef stroganoff but not sure I liked it with the chicken. I used chicken broth in place of the white wine and I also used plain cream cheese and added in some fresh basil I had to use up.

Angel Chicken Pasta
6 skinless, boneless chicken breast
halves
1/4 cup butter
1 (.7 ounce) package dry Italian-style
salad dressing mix
1/2 cup white wine
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed golden
mushroom soup
4 ounces cream cheese with chives
1 pound angel hair pasta
Directions:
1.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
2.
In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Stir in the package of dressing mix. Blend in wine and golden mushroom soup. Mix in cream cheese, and stir until smooth. Heat through, but do not boil. Arrange chicken breasts in a single layer in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Pour sauce over.
3.
Bake for 60 minutes in the preheated oven. Twenty minutes before the chicken is done, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a rolling boil. Cook pasta until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain. Serve chicken and sauce over pasta

Monday, November 14, 2011

Whole Wheat Raisin Bread, Onion Straws, and Sweet Potato Casserole

I did a lot of cooking and baking this weekend and these were all new recipes. We really enjoyed them all.

I saw the Cinnamon Raisin Bread a while back in Food Network Magazine and decided to give it a try. It is a healthier bread. I used white whole wheat flour instead of the whole wheat flour. It was a nice light bread. Its not overly sweet. I used my stand mixer with the dough hook instead of the bread machine and it turned out well. I added 1 TBSP of sugar and 1/2 tsp of maple extract. I also sprinled the top with cinnamon sugar.

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Bread
From Food Network Magazine
Ingredients
2 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
1 large egg
2 tablespoons canola oil, plus more for brushing
3 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
Cooking spray
2/3 cup raisins
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
Directions
Make the dough.
Measure out 1 1/4 cups very warm water and check the temperature; it should be 120 degrees F to 130 degrees F. Combine both flours, the dry milk, egg, canola oil, honey, salt, yeast and warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix 3 minutes on the lowest setting, then increase to the next highest setting and mix 5 more minutes. The dough should be soft and sticky.
Let it rise.
Transfer the dough to a large bowl coated with cooking spray. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until the dough has nearly doubled in size, about 1 hour, 30 minutes.
Soak the raisins.
Dry raisins will rob moisture from the bread, so soak them first in boiling water until plump, about 30 minutes. Drain and pat dry.
Fold the dough.
Transfer the dough to a floured work surface. Picture it as a loose square. Lift up one side of the dough and fold about one-third of it across; press down on the dough with spread fingers to remove any air bubbles. Repeat with the remaining 3 sides of the dough.
Add the filling.
Mist two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans with cooking spray. Divide the dough in half; roll out each half into an 8-inch square. Brush each square with canola oil, then sprinkle with the cinnamon (it's high in antioxidants!), brown sugar and raisins.
Form the loaves.
Roll up each square of dough into a tight cylinder; place seam-side down in the prepared pans. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until the dough fills the pans and springs back when touched, about 1 hour, 30 minutes.
Bake the bread.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Brush the loaves with canola oil and bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the pans and transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Next was the sweet potato casserole. I made twice baked sweet potatoes a few weeks back and this was similar to the filling in them. Very Good. I had left over Land o Lakes Cinnamon Butter Spread and I used that. I may cut down on that next time as it left it a little too spicy. I also used 1/2 the sugar in the filling and it was plenty sweet enough.

Sweet Potato Casserole V
From Allrecipes.com
Ingredients:
3 cups cooked and mashed sweet
potatoes
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup eggnog
2 tablespoons margarine, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter
Directions:
1.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Coat one 2 quart baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2.
Combine the mashed sweet potatoes, 1/3 cup brown sugar, eggnog, melted margarine, vanilla extract, salt and egg whites. Spoon mixture into the prepared baking dish.
3.
Combine the 1/2 cup brown sugar and flour. Cut in the chilled 2 tablespoons margarine until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over the sweet potato mixture.
4.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes

These were really good too. We put them on top of hamburgers with pumpkin rolls and BBQ sauce. I baked them and you really couldn't tell they weren't fried. I recently bought a pizza screen to use with my pizza stone and these worked perfectly on this.

Crispy Onion Straws – Baked or Fried
http://www.examiner.com/cooking-in-norfolk/crispy-onion-straws-baked-or-fried
1 whole large yellow onion
2 cups buttermilk
2 tbsp hot sauce – or more if you like it hotter
1 cup cornmeal
½ cup flour
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
Vegetable Oil for frying
Cooking spray for baking
Begin by slicing the onion into thin ¼ inch rings. In a large bowl, combine the buttermilk and hot sauce; add the sliced onion and toss to coat. Let the onions sit in the buttermilk for at least 30 minutes.
In a large dish, mix the cornmeal, flour, paprika, salt and pepper. Carefully drain the onions and toss, in batches, in the cornmeal mixture. Shake off any excess cornmeal and set aside to either fry or bake.
To Fry:Place a heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat and fill with 2 ½ - 3 inches of vegetable oil. Heat the vegetable oil to 350 degrees. Working in batches, fry the onions for about 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown. Carefully drain and set aside on a paper towel lined dish. Sprinkle with a little salt as soon as they come out of the oil.
To Bake:
Preheat an oven to 425 degrees and place a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet. The cooling rack will let the heat of the oven penetrate all sides of the onion making them crispy.
Lay the onions evenly on top of the rack without overcrowding. Liberally spray the onions with cooking spray and place in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until brown and crispy. Sprinkle with salt when they come out of the oven.Continue reading on Examiner.com Crispy onion straws - baked or fried - Norfolk Cooking Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/cooking-in-norfolk/crispy-onion-straws-baked-or-fried#ixzz1dgQfhMt8

Friday, November 11, 2011

Maple Pecan Streusel Pumpkin Bread

This bread was excellent. I made three mini loaves and one was gone the first night. A nice twist on pumpkin bread. The maple flavor really showed through.

Maple Pecan Streusel Pumpkin Bread
http://hotpolkadot.com/2011/11/05/these-arent-the-droids-youre-looking-for/
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 egg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled
1/4 cup pecans, chopped

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and place a rack in the middle. Butter a 9 inch loaf pan then fit a piece of parchment paper inside the pan with a little overhang to grasp easily. Set it aside.
Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl.
In a larger bowl mix the pumpkin puree, sugar, maple syrup, egg and oil. Add the dry ingredients and blend until it's just combined.
In a small bowl whisk together the flour, sugar and pumpkin pie spice then cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two knives until it resembles pea sized chunks. Toss it with the chopped pecans.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth out the top with a spatula. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the top.
Bake it for 30 – 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let it cool in the pan for about 5 – 10 minutes before lifting it out using the parchment paper overhang to cool completely on a rack. Slice and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Arrabbiata Sauce

This sauce was great. I browned garlic, onion, and green and red pepper in oil and then threw all in the crockpot. I also added some jarred spaghetti sauce to it. It was great.

Arrabbiata Sauce
From: All Recipes
Ingredients:
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/8 cup red wine (I used beef broth)
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons tomato paste (I used spaghetti sauce)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 (14.5 ounce) cans peeled and diced
tomatoes (I used one can of red pepper and fennel tomatoes, and one can of spicy red pepper tomatoes)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Directions:
1.
Heat oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic in oil for 5 minutes.
2.
Stir in wine, sugar, basil, red pepper, tomato paste, lemon juice, Italian seasoning, black pepper and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer uncovered about 15 minutes.
3.
Stir in parsley. Ladle over the hot cooked pasta of your choice

Monday, November 7, 2011

Orange Cranberry Bagels

These were very good. I made them into 9 mini bagels and one small loaf of bread. I did not boil the bread but did the bagels. I substituted orange juice for 1/4 cup of water and eliminated the orange peel. I also did not put in the cloves and used cinnamon sugar instead. Very good!

Orange Cranberry Bagels
From: Healthy Cooking Magazine
Ingredients
1 cup plus 4 tablespoons water (70° to 80°), divided
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
4-1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3 cups bread flour
1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 egg white
1 tablespoon cornmeal
Directions
In bread machine pan, place 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water,
cranberries, brown sugar, orange peel, salt, cloves, flour and yeast
in order suggested by manufacturer. Select dough setting (check
dough after 5 minutes of mixing; add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water or
flour if needed).
When cycle is completed, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface.
Shape into nine balls. Push thumb through centers to form a 1-in.
hole. Stretch and shape dough to form an even ring. Cover and let
rest for 10 minutes; flatten rings slightly.
Fill a Dutch oven two-thirds full with water; add sugar and bring to
a boil. Drop bagels, two at a time, into boiling water. Cook for 45
seconds; turn and cook 45 seconds longer. Remove with a slotted
spoon; drain on paper towels.
Whisk egg white and remaining water; brush over bagels. Coat a baking
sheet with cooking spray and sprinkle with cornmeal. Place bagels 2
in. apart on prepared pan. Bake at 400° for 18-22 minutes or
until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool. Yield: 9 bagels.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Crockpot Steel Cut Oats

Jeff and I have never had steel cut oats so we wanted to see what all the hype was about. Tried this over the weekend and we enjoyed it. The kids didn't care for it, but we will make again. If you try this remember to spray with nonstick spray. I didn't and it was a good thing I got up early to check on it and stir otherwise I would have had a mess.

Crockpot Steel Cut Oats
1 cup steel cut oats
4 cups water
1/2 cup nonfat milk
1 tbsp i can't believe its not butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar

Mix in slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese

This was yummy. I made sourdough bread from our favorite recipe and we had the sandwiches on the sourdough griled on the panini maker. This was a good change from the typical grilled cheese sandwich. I served with spanish rice and peas.

Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese
http://www.closetcooking.com/2011/04/jalapeno-popper-grilled-cheese-sandwich.html
Ingredients
2 jalapeno peppers, cut in half lengthwise and seeded
2 slices sour dough bread
1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup jack and cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tablespoon tortilla chips, crumbled
Directions
Place the peppers on a baking sheet with the cut side facing down.
Place the baking sheet on the top shelf in the oven and broil until the outer layer of the skin has blackened, about 8-14 minutes.
Place the peppers in a zip-lock bag or other sealable container, seal and let them cool until you can handle them, about 20 minutes.
Remove the skins from the peppers. The skins should easily "pinch" off.
Assemble sandwich and grill until golden brown and the cheese has melted, about 2-3 minutes per side.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pumpkin Oatmeal Pancakes & Chocolate Chip Pancakes

After reading all of the yummy breakfast recipes I decided to do pancakes for dinner Saturday. Normally, my kids will not eat pancakes. Jeff and I have found a recipe for oatmeal pancakes that we love. So when I saw the pumpkin pancakes the receipe looked similar to the brown sugar pancake receipe we usually used, I knew I had to try it. I doubled the receipe so that we'd have enough to stick in the freezer. They were excellent!

Pumpkin Oatmeal Pancakes(adapted from Kristen's Oat Pancakes)
From: http://www.bakingintheburg.com/2011/09/pumpkin-oatmeal-pancakes.html
Makes about 9-12 small pancakes
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar (I did half brown and half white)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (I used half this amount)
3/4 cup oats
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Combine dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in a second bowl. Combine wet and dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Cook on medium heat until bubbles pop and the surface looks dry. Flip and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Serve with syrup and enjoy!

Since my kids really don't like pancakes I decided to do chocolate chip for them. They devoured these, so much so that I have none left to reheat for them. They are already asking for me to make again.

Chocolate Chip Pancakes
From: Allrecipes.com
Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
Directions:
In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Combine eggs, milk and oil; add to dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour the batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a lightly greased hot griddle. Turn when bubbles form on top; cook until second side is golden brown. Keep warm.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sausage Sliders

Made these for dinner tonight and served them on pretzel rolls. We really enjoyed this alot. I made regular italian sausage links and then sliced them and layered on the pretzel rolls. Definetely will make again. Everything went together very well. I also did not use the mustard.

Sausage Sliders with Cran-Apple Slaw
From: Simple and Delicious
Ingredients
2/3 cup coleslaw mix or shredded cabbage
1/3 cup chopped apple
3 tablespoons dried cranberries
3 tablespoons chopped pecans, toasted
4 teaspoons mayonnaise
4 teaspoons barbecue sauce
SLIDERS:
1 pound bulk pork sausage
4 slices sharp cheddar cheese, halved
8 dinner rolls, halved and toasted
3 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
8 lettuce leaves
Directions
In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Chill until
serving.
Shape sausage into eight patties. In a large skillet, cook patties
over medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side or until a meat
thermometer reads 160° and juices run clear, adding cheese
slices during the last 1-2 minutes of cooking time.
Spread rolls with mustard; top each with a sausage patty, lettuce and
2 tablespoons coleslaw mixture. Replace roll tops.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pumpkin Donuts & Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

I was into fall baking yesterday. I brought out the doughnut hole maker again:) These did not disappoint. I rolled some in cinnamon sugar and did a vanilla glaze with sprinkes on some too.

Baked Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes
http://cravingchronicles.com/2010/10/11/baked-pumpkin-spice-donut-holes/
Makes 20-24 mini muffins
Ingredients
For Donuts
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoons ground cloves
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup canned plain pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup low-fat milk
For Coating
1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
Directions
Preheat oven 350°F. Spray each cup in a 24-cup mini muffin tin with baking spray or butter generously.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and spices (through cloves). In a separate, large bowl whisk together oil, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, pumpkin and milk until smooth. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined – do not over mix!
Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. (Using a 2-tablespoon scoop will ensure uniform size.) Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
While the muffins bake, melt butter in one bowl and combine granulated sugar and cinnamon in another bowl. Remove muffins from oven and cool for 2 minutes, or until just cool enough to handle. Dip each muffin in melted butter, then roll in cinnamon sugar to coat.

These were excellent. I did half of them with just the topping and no nuts and the other half with no topping and just the nuts to make it a bit healthier. I also cut the butter in the sweet potatoes filling way down. I only did 2 potatoes and used 1 tbsp of I can't believe its not butter. I did them in the microwave as stated but used the "baked potato" feature. I think I do prefer my potatoes baked in the oven but this was a quicker option. These were delish!

Makeover Struesel Topped Sweet Potatoes
Ingredients
6 medium sweet potatoes
1/2 cup reduced-fat butter, melted
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup unsweetened apple juice
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
TOPPING:
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup reduced-fat butter, melted
Directions
Scrub and pierce sweet potatoes; place on a microwave-safe plate.
Microwave, uncovered, on high for 15-18 minutes or until tender,
turning once.
When cool enough to handle, cut each potato in half lengthwise. Scoop
out the pulp, leaving thin shells. In a large bowl, mash the pulp
with butter and eggs. Stir in juice and vanilla. Spoon into potato
shells.
Divide between two 13-in. x 9-in. baking dishes coated with cooking
spray. Combine the topping ingredients; spoon over top. Bake at
375° for 20-25 minutes or until a thermometer reads 160°.
Yield: 12 servings.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Brunswick Stew

Make this on Friday with some leftover meat from the freezer. I followed the recipe but adjusted to what I had on hand. I used from my freezer leftover pulled pork, BBQ beef, and a small amount of leftover brisket. I put it all in a pot and cooked it. It was delicious and made a ton!

“THE GEORGIAN” BRUNSWICK STEW
Source: Nealey Dozier
3 pounds cooked pulled pork
1 tablespoon butter1 onion
3 cups chicken stock
2 pounds (yukon gold) potatoes, diced
1 (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes with juices, chopped
1 (10 ounce) bag frozen corn
1 (10 ounce) bag frozen lima beans
1/4 cup brown sugar, or to taste
1/4 cup hot pepper vinegar (or apple cider vinegar), or to taste (I eliminated this)
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons Frank’s Hot Sauce, or to taste
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce (I did not use this)
1 – 2 teaspoons hickory flavored liquid smoke (I used a small amount of powdered smoke flavor)
Kosher salt, to taste
White sandwich bread, for serving (we made corn bread with it)
In a large stock pot, heat butter over medium high heat. Saute onions until soft, about 7 minutes. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and juices, corn, lima beans, brown sugar, vinegar, chili powder, hot sauce, worcestershire sauce, and liquid smoke. Add more chicken stock, if desired (this will depend on whether you like your stew thick or soupy). Season generously with salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes to an hour (or more). YIELD: 8 – 10 servings (12 cups)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Egg Rolls

I think I found my new obsession! Egg rolls. I finally bought some wonton wrappers and decided to try them. I used this recipe as a base but made many changes. I did not use the veggies as called for. I substituted about 2 cups of broccoli slaw (I halved the recipe). I used grilled marinated chicken that was marinated in soy sauce. I cooked the slaw for about three minutes. I made the sauce and then stirred in the slaw. The sauce got kind of funny and lumped together, almost too thick so I had to add more water. But, I'm not sure it did too much for the egg roll, I don't think I would make the sauce again. I baked them as directed and dipped them in Frank's Sweet Chili Sauce. They were fabulous.

Baked Egg Rolls
Ingredients:
2 cups grated carrots
1 (14.5 ounce) can bean sprouts, drained
1/2 cup chopped water chestnuts
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups finely diced cooked chicken
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 pinch cayenne pepper
16 egg roll wrappers*
Directions:
1.
Coat a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray; add the first six ingredients. Cook and stir over medium heat until vegetable are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Add chicken; heat through.
2.
In a small bowl, combine cornstarch, water, soy sauce, oil, brown sugar and cayenne until smooth; stir into chicken mixture. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes; remove from the heat. Spoon 1/4 cup of chicken mixture on the bottom third of one egg roll wrapper; fold sides toward center and roll tightly. Place seam side down on a baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling. Spray tops of egg rolls with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 425 degrees F for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Dinner Rolls and Ricotta Pancakes

I didn't have the best luck with recipes this weekend. These were ok, just not really what I wanted. I prefer a roll with a little bit more rise, and these were a little too dense for my liking. Perhaps it is all the flour and I added too much.

Perfectly Easy Dinner Rolls Michelle (MMmom)
1 cup warm water (105F to 115F)
2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
4–4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
additional melted butter (optional)
Makes 2 dozen rolls
Combine the warm water and yeast in a large bowl. Let the mixture stand until yeast is foamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in butter, sugar, eggs and salt. Beat in flour, 1 cup at a time, until dough is too stiff to mix (some flour may not be needed). Cover and refrigerate 2 hours or up to 4 days. Grease a 13x9-inch baking pan. Turn the chilled dough out onto a lightly floured board. Divide dough into 24 equal-size pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth round ball; place balls in even rows in the prepared pan. Cover and let dough balls rise until doubled in volume, about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375F. Bake until rolls are golden brown, 15–20 minutes. Brush warm rolls with melted butter, if desired. Break rolls apart to serve. * I like to add garlic powder to the butter, then brush on rolls* dough can be frozen

These were also just ok. Mine really were not fluffy but more flat. It could be because I didn't whip the eggs enough but with a sick kid, I just didn't want to make too much noise:( I'm not really a big ricotta fan anyways, but they reminded me more of a crepe. But, if you are looking for a low carb pancakes recipe, these will do!

Fluffy Ricotta Pancakes
makes 8 (My recipe made about 24 pancakes, so I think this is eight servings)
1 cup ricotta cheese
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 tablespoons sugarpinch salt
3/4 cup milk
3 eggs, divided
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Set ricotta in a fine mesh strainer about 30 minutes before you start cooking, to drain off excess liquid. We used fresh ricotta from Whole Foods that was pretty dry. If you are using a commercial brand that's runny, you may want to drain it longer. Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Combine ricotta, milk, egg yolks, and vanilla in a separate bowl. Beat the egg whites in an electric mixer until stiff. Add the dry ingredients to the ricotta and milk mixture, stirring gently until just combined. Whisk in a small amount of the egg whites to lighten the batter, then fold in the remaining whites.
Heat a griddle over medium-high heat, and brush the surface with butter. Use a ladle or measuring scoop (we used a 1/3 cup measure) to pour batter onto the griddle. Cook pancakes for about 3 or 4 minutes, then flip, cooking until both sides are golden brown.
Spread lemon curd between pancakes and dust with powdered sugar. Or serve with syrup or fruit.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Creamy Seafood Pasta and Turtle Rolls

Not that the two really go together, but we enjoyed both. I made this pasta with a few changes. I eliminated the shrimp and replaced the mushrooms with broccoli and cauliflower. I also used the Campbells Heathy New England Clam Chowder. It was very good and I think we prefer this to the version with the cream of mushroom soup. I also did not puree together, I just mixed with a whisk to keep the potato chunks from the soup.

Creamy Seafood Pasta (from Betty Crocker)
16 oz uncooked linguine
1 can (18.5 oz) Progresso® Traditional New England clam chowder
1 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (2 oz)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 lb uncooked peeled deveined large shrimp, tails peeled
1 package (8 oz) sliced fresh mushrooms (3 cups)
4 medium green onions, chopped (1/4 cup)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste, if desired
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (2 oz), if desired

In 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven, cook linguine as directed on package. Drain well; return to Dutch oven and cover to keep warm.
Meanwhile, in blender, place clam chowder, milk, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and the garlic; blend on medium speed until mixture is smooth. Set aside.
In 12-inch nonstick skillet or wok, heat oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add shrimp, mushrooms and onions; cook about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until shrimp turn pink.
Stir in pepper flakes and soup mixture; cook until thoroughly heated. Stir in parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Pour over cooked linguine in Dutch oven; toss gently to coat. Top individual servings with Parmesan cheese.
Makes 8 servings (1 1/4 cups each)

I've made this bread several times before, but I decided I wanted to see if it would turn into rolls. They were excellent! I did the dough in the bread machine on the dough cycle, took the dough out, and divided into 12 portions. I stuck a rolo in the center of each (eliminated the carmels) and rolled into balls. I put in the pan and let rise for about 1 hour. Then I baked them at 375 for approx 14 minutes. I would make them again. I did make a few changes I will note below.

Turtle Bread
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
10 caramels I eliminated this
2 2/3 cups Gold Medal® Better for Bread™ flour
2 tablespoons dry milk
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons bread machine or quick active dry yeast I used 2 1/4 tsp of yeast
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans I used heath toffee bits instad of nuts

Measure carefully, placing all ingredients except chocolate chips and pecans in bread machine pan in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Add chocolate chips and pecans at the Raisin/Nut signal or 5 minutes before the last kneading cycle ends.
Select Sweet or Basic/White cycle. Use Medium or Light crust color. Remove baked bread from pan, and cool on wire rack.
Makes 1 loaf (1 1/2 lb), 12 slices

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pumpkin Knot Rolls & Buffalo Chicken Wing Soup

I made these in my bread machine this weekend and they were good. I used up the rest of the pumpkin from the pumpkin bagels. Most reviews said that they did not taste like pumpkin, and I agree. They were very soft and everyone enjoyed them.

Pumpkin Knot Rolls
2 packages (1.4 ounces each) active dry yeast
1 cup warm milk (110° to 115°)
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
3 eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
5-1/2 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cold water
Sesame or poppy seeds, optional
Directions
In a bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. Add the butter, sugar, pumpkin, 2 eggs, salt and 3 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Shape each portion into 12 balls. Roll each ball into a 10-in. rope; tie into a knot and tuck ends under. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
In a small bowl, beat water and remaining egg. Brush over rolls. Sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds if desired. Bake at 350° for 15-17 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks. Yield: 2 dozen.

This recipe is modified from the recipe shown on A year of Slow Cooking. I've made it many times and find I don't like it as well in the crockpot. It tastes so much better made on the stove. I've also adapted my ingredients and it really is quick and easy.

Buffalo Chicken Wing Soup

1 chicken breast
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrots
3 small russet potatoes
1/4 cup I can't believe its not butter light
1/4 cup flour
2 cups fat free milk
1 chicken boulion cube
4 oz 2% Milk Velveeta
1/2 cup hot wing sauce

Cook 1 chicken breast in slowcooker w/ one cup of water. After chicken breast has cooked, remove and shred. Remove 3/4 cup of the broth and add one boulion cube. Stir until disolved.

Boil potatoes cut into small pieces until soft. Drain.

Meanwhile saute celery and carrots in I can't believe its not butter. Stir in flour. Cook a few minutes. then add broth, milk, and wing sauce. Heat until boiling/thick. Stir in velveeta and cook until melted. Stir in chicken and potatoes. Enjoy!

Monday, September 26, 2011

weekend recipes

This soup was excellent. Jeff and Logan loved this soup. Instead of the chicken broth and water I used homemade turkey broth I had in the freezer. I also used some left over cooked turkey in place of the chicken. I used skim milk instead of the half and half. It was plenty creamy enough. I don’t think the extra fat from the half and half is needed.
Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup (Crockpot)

4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 package of Rice-a-Roni long grain and wild rice
1/2 tsp salt (plus more to taste)
1/2 tsp pepper
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup butter
2 cups half and half
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup diced celery

Mix the broth, water, carrots, mushrooms, chicken and rice (and the seasoning packet) in the slow cooker.
Cook on low for six to eight hours or on high for four hours. I did the high version and it turned out great.
Once chicken gets tender (couple hours in), break it up into pieces while cooking.
At the end of the cooking time, get a small bowl and mix the salt, pepper and flour. In medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in flour mixture by tablespoon to form a roux.
Then, while still on the heat whisk in the half and half, a little at a time, into the roux until mixed completely and smooth.
Stir this yummy mixture into the soup in the crock pot then let it cook on low for 15 more minutes.

This was amazing. I really enjoyed it although I don’t think Jeff did. I was leary because it never said to drain the grease off the meat. However, I used a slotted spoon when I transferred to the squash, so a lot of that was left in the bowl. It also seemed like a lot of sugar. But it was yummy on the squash.

Stuffed Acorn Squash
Ingredients
· 2 medium acorn squash, halved andseeds removed
· 4 slices bacon, diced
· 1 medium onion, trimmed and diced
· 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and diced
· 1 pound ground beef
· 1/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
· 1 teaspoon pumkin pie spice
· 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
· 1/4 teaspoon salt
· 1/4 teaspoon pepper
· 2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
Directions
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Place squash halves cut-side down on a rimmed dish. Add 2 cups water to dish and bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat for 4 minutes. Add onion and apple. Cookan additional 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Stir in ground beef. Cook, breaking meat apart with a wooden spoon, 5 minutes. Add brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, sage, salt and pepper. Cook 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in bread crumbs.
4. Drain water from baking dish and flip over squash. Spoon meat mixture into squash halves. Return to oven and bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Serve warm.

This bread was HORRIBLE. We tried to like it, but wound up throwing most out. It was purely awful.

Whole Grain Maple Oatmeal Bread
Adapted from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day
2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats1
1/2 tbsp. granulated yeast
2 tsp. kosher salt (or to taste)
1/8 cup vital wheat gluten
1/2 tsp. cinnamon1
1/4 cups lukewarm water
1/2 cup buttermilk
3/8 cup maple syrup
1/8 cup vegetable oil
Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp. water) for brushing the top crust
Raw sugar for sprinkling on top

Mixing and storing the dough:Whisk together the dry ingredients in a 2 1/2 quart bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) food container. Add the liquid ingredients and mix with a spoon, without kneading. You might want to finish mixing with your hands to incorporate all of the flour.Cover (not airtight) at room temperature for about 2 hours, until the dough rises and collapses (flattens on top). The dough can be used immediately after it rises, but it’s easier to handle when refrigerated. Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use within 7 days.On the day of baking: Grease an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch nonstick loaf pan. Dust the refrigerated dough with flour and pull it out of the container. Dust with more flour and quickly shape into a ball by stretching the dough around the bottom on each side, rotating as you go.Pull the dough into an oval shape and put it into the loaf pan, it should fill about 3/4 of the pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise for 1 hour 45 minutes (or 60 minutes if it was not refrigerated).Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Just before baking, use a pastry brush to paint on the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Put the loaf pan on the middle rack and bake for 45-50 minutes, until deep brown and firm. Remove the bread from the pan
and cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

These bagels are amazing. I’ve made before but they are so good I remembered them and made again! Made up for my bad bread the day before.

Pumpkin Spice Bagels
Ingredients
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons water (70° to 80°), divided
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3 cups bread flour
1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
1 egg white
1 tablespoon cornmeal
Directions
In bread machine pan, place 2/3 cup water, pumpkin, brown sugar,
salt, spices, flour and yeast in order suggested by manufacturer.
Select dough setting (check dough after 5 minutes of mixing; add 1
to 2 tablespoons of water or flour if needed).

When cycle is completed, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface.
Shape into nine balls. Push thumb through centers to form a 1-in.
hole. Stretch and shape dough to form an even ring. Cover and let
rest for 10 minutes; flatten rings slightly.

Fill a Dutch oven two-thirds full with water; bring to a boil. Drop
bagels, two at a time, into boiling water. Cook for 45 seconds; turn
and cook 45 seconds longer. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on
paper towels.

Whisk egg white and remaining water; brush over bagels. Coat a baking
sheet with cooking spray and sprinkle with cornmeal. Place bagels 2
in. apart on prepared pan. Bake at 400° for 15-20 minutes or
until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.



Yield: 9 servings.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Monterey Tortilla Casserole

I made this last night. It was very good. It was a good way to use up leftover chips. I used doritos on the bottom of the casserole and served with tortilla chips. I also left out the olives because I didn't have any, and also used salsa instead of the picante sauce.

Very quick and easy!

Monterey Tortilla Casserole
1 cup coarsely crumbled tortilla chips
2 cups cooked turkey
1 15oz can cream style corn
¾ cup Pace Picante Sauce
½ cup olives
½ cup cheddar cheese
½ cup chopped pepper
Tortilla chips
1. Layer the crumbled chips, turkey, corn and picante sauce in a 1 qt casserole. Top with olives and cheese.
2. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until hot. Top with pepper. Serve with chips.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Apple Cider Doughnut Holes

Happy Tuesday. Last night, we made apple cider doughnut holes. They were very good. I rolled half in cinnamon sugar and half in a vanilla glaze with sprinkles for the kids. I would have liked to make a maple glaze for them but though the kids may not like it, so I stuck with the simple vanilla. The only thing is this recipe did not make 3 1/2 dozen. I got 2 1/2 dozen out of it. And the cinnamon sugar made WAY too much. You could easily cut that in half.

Apple Cider Donut Holes
posted by Babycakes / 14 February, 2011
Ingredients:
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 egg
½ cup apple cider
Cinnamon-Sugar Topping
¾ cup sugar
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
Directions:
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a mixing bowl. Add vegetable oil, egg and apple cider. Stir until well blended.
Fill each cooking reservoir with about 1 tablespoon of batter.
Bake 4 to 5 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into donut holes comes out clean.
For cinnamon-sugar topping, combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Immediately toss hot donut holes in the mixture.
Serve warm.
Makes about 3½ dozen donut holes

Friday, September 16, 2011

Banana Cake

I will get the name right today:) I almost posted this yesterday and then decided to wait for today.

I made this Banana Crunch Cake. Very good. I halved the recipe and made it in an 8x4 pan. I don't think I baked it quite long enough because even though the toothpick came out clean, it was mushy in the center. But still very good. Jeff and Logan loved it.

Banana Crunch Cake
Ingredients
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts (I eliminated)

1/2 cup shortening (I substituted cinnamon applesauce)
2/3 cup white sugar
1 cup mashed banana (I used 2 small for a 1/2 batch
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup oat flour (I used old fashioned oats, did not grind)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I eliminated and added some chocolate chips)
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour an 8x8 inch pan. Make the oat crunch topping: In a small bowl, combine the rolled oats, brown sugar, melted butter and 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts. Mix well and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream shortening and white sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in bananas, eggs, and vanilla. Combine the oat flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt. Beat into creamed mixture. Stir in 1/2 cup chopped walnuts. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the oat crunch topping.
Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Banana Cake

We tried quite a few recipes this weekend with great success. The first was cajan shrimp roll ups. The recipe was fairly easy. I halved the recipe.

Cajun Shrimp Lasagna Rollups
Ingredients
1-1/4 pounds uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped (used only one and added green pepper)
2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese (used velveeta)
1 cup diced fully cooked andouille sausage (eliminated)
12 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained (used whole wheat)
4 ounces pepper Jack cheese, shredded (eliminated)
1 teaspoon paprika
Directions
In a large skillet, saute shrimp and onion in oil until shrimp turn pink. Stir in tomatoes and Cajun seasoning; set aside.
In a large saucepan, saute garlic in butter for 1 minute. Stir in flour until blended. Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in cheddar cheese until smooth. Add sausage; set aside.
Spread 1/3 cup shrimp mixture over each noodle. Carefully roll up; place seam side down in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Top with cheese sauce. Sprinkle with pepper Jack cheese and paprika.
Cover and bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Uncover; bake 10-15 minutes longer or until bubbly. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. Yield: 6 servings.

Secondly, I made hawaiian sliders on pretzel rolls. The pretzel rolls were ok, but I'm not sure better then the other recipe I've tried. My one complaint is that boiling them always ruins the texture. However, they were still good. The jalapenos made this HOT! Almost too hot so you couldn't taste the pineapple in the burgers. I also halved this recipe.

Hawaiian Sliders
1 can (20 ounces) unsweetened crushed pineapple
1 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef (90% lean)
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon white vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
18 minature whole wheat buns
Baby spinach leaves
3 center-cut bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
Sliced jalapeno peppers, optional
Directions
Drain pineapple, reserving juice and 1-1/2 cups pineapple (save remaining pineapple for another use). In a large bowl, combine 3/4 cup reserved crushed pineapple, pepper and salt. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into 18 patties; place in two 11-in. x 7-in. dishes.
In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, garlic, pepper flakes and reserved pineapple juice. Pour half of marinade into each dish; cover and refrigerate for 1 hour, turning once.
Drain and discard marinade. Using long-handled tongs, moisten a paper towel with cooking oil and lightly coat the grill rack.
Grill patties, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 in. from the heat for 4-5 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 160° and juices run clear.
Grill buns, uncovered, for 1-2 minutes or until toasted. Serve burgers on buns with spinach, remaining pineapple, bacon and jalapeno peppers if desired. Yield: 6 servings.