Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Subway Bread

I made the subway bread and it was great.  Very easy and tasted great too :)  I made it in my bread machine and make into 2 loaves.  I find you don't need the extra 1/2 cup flour.

Homemade Subway Bread Recipe
Yield: Makes 4 9-inch sub buns
  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees)
  • 1 1/2 T. yeast
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 T. olive oil
  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
In the bowl of your stand mixer add the water, yeast, sugar, salt, and olive oil. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of flour and mix with the dough hook for 3 to 5 minutes. Add an additional cup of flour and mix until well combine. Continue adding the flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until a soft dough is formed. The dough should still stick to the bottom of of the bowl, but pull away from the sides. Let the dough mix for around 8 minutes total.
When the dough has come together but is still sticking a bit to the bottom of the bowl, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. The dough should be very soft. Shape the dough into a ball and return it to the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise for a half hour.
After the dough has risen turn it out onto a clean surface and divide it into 4. Roll each piece of dough into a long skinny loaf that is about 9 to 10 inches long. Place the rolled loaves onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or a baking mat. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Allow at least 2 inches in between each loaf on the pan. Cover the loaves with a greased piece of plastic wrap and allow the loaves to rise until doubled, about an hour.
Towards the end of the rising time preheat the oven to 350 degrees. When the loaves are ready, bake them in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.
When the loaves come out of the oven rub to tops with a stick of butter and cover them with a dish towel to cool. Let the loaves cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting down the middle and topping with your favorite sandwich fixings.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Chicken Noodle Soup

I made homemade chicken soup over the weekend and it came out well.  I put about 4 chicken thighs in a pot and covered them in water. I added onion, celery, carrots, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, and some thyme to the pot.  I boiled the chicken in the water for about 1 hour.  Then, I took out the chicken shredded and put the broth in the refrigerator to cool.  The next day I strained off the grease and kept 1/2 cup of the broth aside and added carrots and celery and chicken and a few noodles and boiled them until the noodles were cooked.  I added another tsp salt and a flavor boost packet however, I felt it was a little too salty so next time I don't think I would add this.  After it was done I stirred 3 tbsp of flour into the 1/2 cup broth and added to the soup and simmered it for a little.  It was delicious.

French Toast Bake & Bear Claws

I made pioneer woman's french toast bake for christmas morning and it was delicious.  I used half of the crumb topping because I didn't think we needed that much. 

FRENCH TOAST - from Pioneer Woman
  • Butter, For Greasing
  • 1 loaf Crusty Sourdough Or French Bread
  • 8 whole Eggs
  • 2 cups Whole Milk
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract
  • Topping
  • 1/2 cup Flour
  • 1/2 cup Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • Freshly Grated Nutmeg, Optional
  • 1 stick Cold Butter, Cut Into Pieces
  • Warm Syrup, For Serving
  • Butter, For Serving
  • 1 cup Fresh Blueberries, For Serving
  • Preparation Instructions

    For the French toast: Grease the baking pan with butter. Tear the bread into chunks, or cut into cubes, and evenly distribute in the pan. Crack the eggs in a big bowl. Whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Pour evenly over the bread. Cover the pan tightly and store in the fridge until needed (overnight preferably). Or you can make it and bake it right away---delicious no matter what!
    For the topping: Mix the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and some nutmeg in a separate bowl. Stir together using a fork. Add the butter and with a pastry cutter, and mix it all together until the mixture resembles fine pebbles. Store in a plastic bag in the fridge.
    When you're ready to bake the casserole, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the casserole from the fridge and sprinkle the topping over the top. Bake for 45 minutes for a softer, more bread pudding texture or for 1 hour-plus or more for a firmer, crisper texture.

    Bear Claws
    This was delicious and SO easy.  I used 1 sheet of puff pastry.  I thawed it out and then spread one can of almond paste over it  and rolled it as if I was making cinnamon rolls.  I baked it at 375 for 25 minutes.  Then I make powdered sugar icing and used almond extract.  I poured over the pastry, sprinkled with sliced almonds and cut into pieces.  I will definetely be making this again.

    Monday, December 16, 2013

    Eggnog Meltaways

    These were very good.  They really do "meltaway".  I wonder if the addition of some vanilla or rum extract would make the flavor a bit stronger.  I rolled them right out of the oven in sugar and then again once they cooled.

    Eggnog Meltaways
    1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
    1/2 cup cornstarch
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/4 cup powdered sugar
    1 cup butter, softened
    1/4 cup eggnog
    1 cup powdered sugar for rolling the cookies

    1. Mix together the flour, cornstarch, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
    2. Cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggnog.
    3. Add the flour mixture gradually until well combines. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or until the dough is firm.
    4. Preheat the oven to 350 and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
    5. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place on the baking sheet about 1 inch apart.
    6. Bake 12-14 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and cool for about 5 minutes and then roll them in powdered sugar. Makes about 3 dozen.

    Wednesday, December 11, 2013

    Veg'd Out Pumpkin Chili

    This was really good.  I did like it although I think I prefer a more tomato based chili.  I agree with the reviews in that you don't taste the chili.  It had really good flavor.

    Vegged Out Pumpkin Chili

    from Libby's Pumpkin


    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 5 green onions (white and light green parts), thinly sliced (slice dark parts and set aside for later)
    • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
    • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 2 cans (15 oz. each) black beans, rinsed and drained
    • 1 can (15 oz.) LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
    • 1 can (14.5 oz.) no-salt added diced tomatoes, undrained
    • 1 can (14 fl. oz.) vegetable broth
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt or more to taste
    • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper or more to taste


    HEAT oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add white and light green parts of green onions, bell pepper and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 5 minutes or until soft. Stir in cumin and thyme; cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute. Add beans, pumpkin, tomatoes and juice, broth and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cook for 10 minutes. Stir in salt and cayenne pepper. Top each serving with dark green onion tops.

    Cookie Swap - Maple Oatmeal Cookies

    I participated in the Cookie Swap this year.  I sent cookies to three individuals.  Only one box got returned to me because the post office read the wrong side of the box.  So I had to resend them, I hope they were still fresh.  Anyways, this is the recipe I sent.  The cookies were good.  I would make them again.
    Maple Oatmeal Cookies
    from Family Circle Magazine
    • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick)unsalted butter, softened
    • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup plus 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
    • 1 egg
    • 1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
    • 1/2 cup raisins
    • 1 cup confectioners sugar


    1. Heat oven to 350 degrees . In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, beat butter, sugar and 1/4 cup of the maple syrup for 3 minutes. Beat in egg until just combined. Pour in flour and beat on low until just combined. Stir in oats and raisins.
    2. Drop scant tablespoon-size rounds of batter onto baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes, until golden. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
    3. In a bowl, beat confectioners sugar, remaining 3 tbsp maple syrup and 1 tbsp water on low until well combined. Drizzle with a spoon over cooled cookies.

    Monday, December 9, 2013


    These came out very well.  I like molasses cookies better than gingerbread because I don't like the "ginger" flavor.  I had more gingerbread dough than snickerdoodle dough so I made a few just gingerbread.


    Snickerdoodle Dough

    1/2 cup shortening

    3/4 cup granulated sugar

    1 egg

    1 tablespoon vanilla

    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

    1/2 teaspoon baking soda

    1/4 teaspoon salt

    1 teaspoon cream of tartar

    1 tablespoon cinnamon + 3 tablespoons granulated sugar for rolling cookies in

    Cream together shortening and sugar. Add egg and vanilla and mix well, until creamy. Add flour, baking soda, salt, and cream of tartar and mix until combined. Dough will be a little of crumbly, but it'll come together when you roll it into balls.

    Combine cinnamon and 3 tablespoons of sugar in a small bowl and set aside for rolling dough in.

    Gingersnap Dough

    3/4 cup shortening

    1 cup granulated sugar

    1/4 cup molasses

    1 egg

    2 cups all-purpose flour

    2 teaspoons baking soda

    1/4 teaspoon salt

    1 teaspoon cinnamon

    1 teaspoon cloves

    1 teaspoon ginger

    1/4 cup granulated sugar for rolling cookies in

    Cream together shortening and sugar. Add molasses and egg and continue beating. Add flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger and mix until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

    Put 1/4 cup sugar in a small bowl and set aside for rolling dough in.

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease baking sheets with no-stick cooking spray and set aside.

    Roll a small amount of gingersnap dough into a ball and toss in granulated sugar. Roll a small amount of snickerdoodle dough in a ball and toss in cinnamon-sugar.

    Place both doughs together and gently roll or squeeze together (it worked best if I kneaded the snickerdoodle dough in my hand a few times before rolling both doughs together since it's a thicker consistency).

    Place on baking sheets and bake for 9-11 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes before moving to cooling racks.

    Apple Struedel

    Now that I've bought the box of puff pastry dough, I've got to find ways to use it.  This turned out very well.  I used 3 small mcintosh apples.  It could have used a little icing on the top for a little more sweetness.

    Apple Struedel

    1 egg
    1 tbsp. water
    2 tbsp. granulated sugar
    1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
    1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
    2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
    2 tbsp. raisins
    1/2 of a 17.3-ounce package Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet), thawed
    Confectioners' sugar (optional)
    1. Heat the oven to 375°F. Beat the egg and water in a small bowl with a fork. Stir the granulated sugar, flour and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Add the apples and raisins and toss to coat.
    2. Sprinkle additional flour on the work surface. Unfold the pastry sheet on the work surface. Roll the pastry sheet into a 16 x 12-inch rectangle. With the short side facing you, spoon the apple mixture onto the bottom half of the pastry sheet to within 1 inch of the edge. Roll up like a jelly roll. Place seam-side down onto a baking sheet. Tuck the ends under to seal. Brush the pastry with the egg mixture. Cut several slits in the top of the pastry.
    3. Bake for 35 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Let the pastry cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the confectioners' sugar, if desired.
    4. For best results, make sure to toss the apples and raisins until they're evenly coated with the flour mixture. The flour helps to thicken the juices released by the apples as they cook.

    Tuesday, December 3, 2013

    Grandma's Chocolate Chip Cookies

    My grandma had a signature chocolate chip cookie.  Everyone loved them.  So I decided to make them for thanksgiving.  I have to admit, I didn't get to have any because they were all gone.  But I don't think I will switch from my normal recipe I use.  These seemed too tough for me.  Like way too much flour.  Needless to say - they were gone, so I guess that says something:)

    Grandma's Chocolate Chip Cookies

    3 cups all purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup shortening

    1 cup light brown sugar
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    2  large egg
    1  teaspoons vanilla extract
    1 pkg of semisweet chocolate chips

    Combine first 3 ingredients.  Beat shortening and sugars.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Stir in flour and chocolate.  Bake 375 about 8-10 minutes.

    Apple Pie

    I have a couple of versions of apple pie that I use, however I think I finally perfected this one.  When I used to make it, it always came out soupy.  But the past two times I've made it it was not soupy and also it baked the bottom crust.  I've been baking the pies on my stone in an aluminum pan.  Seems to help make a nice crisp crust.

    Apple Crumb Pie

    Here is the recipe that I followed.  I will note my changes:


    • 1 refrigerated ready-to-bake pie crust (from a 15-oz box) [I made my own crust]
    Crumb Topping:
    • 1/2 cup(s) plus 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup(s) packed light-brown sugar
    • cup(s) granulated sugar
    • 1 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
    • 1 stick(s) (1/2 cup) cold butter, cut in small pieces
    • 7 medium to large tart apples (about 3 1/4 lb), such as Granny Smith, Pippins or Greenings I used about 7 small to medium apples, 2 were green and the rest macintosh.
    • 1 tablespoon(s) lemon juice
    • 1/2 cup(s) granulated sugar
    • 3 tablespoon(s) all-purpose flour I used cornstarch instead of flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
    • 1/8 teaspoon(s) ground nutmeg I eliminated this
    • I added 3 tbsp of tapioca

  • Have ready a 9-in. pie plate and a baking sheet. Place oven rack in lowest position in oven. Heat oven to 450°F.
  • Make Crust: Line pie plate with pie crust as package directs. Flute or crimp edge.
  • Make Crumb Topping: Mix flour, sugars and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender (or rub in with fingertips) until mixture forms moist, coarse crumbs that clump together easily.
  • Make Filling: Peel, quarter and core apples. Cut in 1⁄8-in.-thick slices by hand (or with slicing disk of a food processor). Put into a large bowl. Toss with lemon juice to coat. Mix remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Sprinkle over apple slices; toss to coat.
  • Layer apple slices in pie shell, mounding them higher in center. Pat topping evenly over apples to form a top crust.  I also added some of the crumble into the apples.  It is way to much to fit on top without it all going all over the place.
  • Place pie on the baking sheet to catch any drips. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F and bake 45 minutes longer or until a skewer meets some resistance when center of pie is pierced (apples will continue to cook after pie is removed from oven) and topping is golden brown. If topping is browning too quickly, drape a piece of foil over pie. Cool pie completely on a wire rack before serving. I baked an additional 10 minutes.

  • Read more: Apple Crunch Pie at WomansDay.com- Dessert Recipes - Woman's Day

    Cherry Almond Shortbread Cookies

    I finally started my holiday baking.  These were my first to make.  They came out well, however, I had to add cherry juice to the dough to get it to come together.  They were much to dry and crumbly as stated in the recipe to hold together without any moisture.  I also baked them probably closer to 12-15 minutes.

    Cherry Almond Shortbread Cookies

    * 1/2 cup maraschino cherries, drained and finely chopped
    * 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    * 1/2 cup sugar
    * 1 cup cold butter
    * 12 ounces white chocolate baking squares with cocoa butter, finely chopped
    * 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
    * 2 drops red food coloring (optional, but puh-leeze, you want these to be pink, right?)
    * 2 teaspoons shortening
    * White nonpareils and/or red edible glitter (optional)
    1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spread cherries on paper towels to drain well.
    2. In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in drained cherries and 4 ounces (2/3 cup) of the chopped chocolate. Stir in almond extract and, if desired, food coloring. Knead mixture until it forms a smooth ball.
    3. Shape dough into 3/4-inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Using the bottom of a drinking glass dipped in sugar, flatten balls to 1-1/2-inch rounds.
    4. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until centers are set. Cool for 1 minute on cookie sheet. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.
    5. In a small saucepan, combine remaining 8 ounces white chocolate and the shortening. Cook and stir over low heat until melted. Dip half of each cookie into chocolate, allowing excess to drip off. If desired, roll dipped edge in nonpareils and/or edible glitter. Place cookies on waxed paper until chocolate is set. Makes about 60. (Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.)

    Tuesday, November 19, 2013

    Buffalo Chicken Goulash

    I came up with this recipe from the buffalo chicken lasagna I made a couple of months ago. This was delcious and I will be making again.

    1 bottle of franks hot sauce
    6 tbsp butter
    1 cup shredded carrots
    1 cup diced celery
    1 can fire roasted tomatoes
    1 lb buffalo chicken sausage (I used the precooked kind)
    1 cup mozzarella cheese
    1 cup white cheddar cheese
    1 box of barilla mini shells

    Melt butter in saucepan and cook celery and carrots until tender. Stir in 1/2 cup water, tomatoes, and hot sauce and bring to a boil. Once boiling turn down to simmer and let simmer for 1 hour. Meanwhile boil noodles. Once sauce has finished, layer, noodles, cheese, sausage and sauce in casserole pan. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes, remove cover and bake 20 minutes more.

    Monday, November 18, 2013

    Banana Pepper Chicken

    I based my recipe for this off of this recipe from all. recipes.com.  However, I made some changes:

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
    2. Place half of the mushrooms in a 9x13 inch pan. Dip chicken into beaten eggs, then roll in bread crumbs.
    3. In skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Brown both sides of chicken in skillet. Place chicken on top of mushrooms, arrange remaining mushrooms on chicken, and top with mozzarella cheese. Add chicken broth to pan.
    4. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.

    Banana Pepper Chicken
    4 banana peppers cut in half
    4 boneless chicken breasts
    2 eggs
    1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
    1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
    4 slices provolone cheese
    1 cup buttermilk

    Marinate chicken in buttermilk (I did it for about 8 hours or so).

    Place banana peppers in 13x9 pan. 

    Dip chicken in egg and breadcrumbs and brown on both sides.  Lay on top of banana peppers.

    Bake 30 minutes at 375.  Top with cheese and bake 5 minutes more. 

    I served on pretzel rolls.

    Bacon Doughnuts

    I almost didn't make these and then I almost 1/2'd the recipe.  Well they were gone before I even had one.  I did some with bacon and some with rainbow sprinkles.  They were enjoyed!  I got 36 doughnuts and used my babycakes doughnut maker to make them. 

    Baked Maple Bacon Doughnuts

    makes 6
    recipe adapted from Joy the Baker
    for the doughnuts:
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1 large egg
    • 1/2 cup buttermilk
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    for the maple bacon glaze:
    • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
    • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
    • 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1-2 tablespoons whole milk
    • 5 strips bacon, cooked & crumbled
    make the doughnuts:
    Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a doughnut pan and set aside.
    In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and sugar. Set aside.
    In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter. Butter will begin to crackle and pop as it melts. Once the water has evaporated the butter will quiet down and begin to brown. Keep an eye on it, it browns quickly. The butter will begin to smell nutty. Remove from heat and immediately and set aside to cool.
    In a small bowl whisk together egg, buttermilk, and vanilla extract. Add browned butter and whisk into the wet ingredients.
    Add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry ingredients. Stir together until no flour bits remain and all of the ingredients are well combined being sure not to overmix batter.
    Transfer batter into a plastic sandwich bag. Snip the tip with a pair of scissors and pipe batter into each doughnut mold about three-quarters full with batter.
    Place in the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them and try not to over-bake them. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.
    While the doughnuts cool, make the glaze.
    make the glaze:
    In a medium bowl, mix the confectioner’s sugar with maple syrup and vanilla extract until sugar starts dissolving. Slowly add milk to thin out the glaze. You might only need 1 tablespoon so mix as you go. Add more if necessary.
    Spoon glaze over each doughnut. While glaze is still wet, add the bacon crumbles on top of each doughnut. Doughnuts are best served the day they’re made. Store in an air-tight container and refrigerate if you have any left after day one (doubtful!).

    Tuesday, November 12, 2013

    Tomato Macaroni Soup

    We really enjoyed this soup.  Even my younger son had a few bowls.  It was VERY sweet.  I would prefer the sugar to be decreased however my husband liked it as is.  So, just a warning.  I left out the Worcestershire and it had plenty of flavor.  I browned the onion and hamburger and then through in the crockpot on high for about 4 hours.

    Tomato Macaroni Soup

    Ingredients: 1 lb ground beef (can be left out if you want)
    1 onion, diced
    3 (15 oz) cans beef broth (about 6 cups)
    1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
    1 cup ketchup
    1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
    1 cup shredded carrots (optional)
    3 tablespoons A1 sauce
    2 tablespoons brown sugar
    3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
    1/2 teaspoon dried basil
    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    salt and pepper to taste
    1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni, cooked

    Directions: In a skillet over medium high heat, brown hamburger and diced onions. Drain and set aside. In a large stock pot, mix add beef broth, diced tomatoes, ketchup, tomato paste, carrots, A1, Worcestershire, basil, garlic powder, and salt and pepper and cook over medium high heat. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low. Add beef and onion and simmer for 10 minutes. Add cooked macaroni and serve. -

    See more at: http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2013/10/tomato-macaroni-soup-recipe.html#sthash.zunzKeWU.dpuf

    Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

    These came out ok.  I used apple instant oatmeal and I liked the flavor.  They were a bit crumbly and my bottoms burned a little so if I made them again I would reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees.  I didn't use the nuts because I didn't have any.  I make them into 12 big cookies.

    Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
    from Rachael Ray Magazine 

    1 1/2 cups flour
    1 1/2 cups instant cinnamon-spice oatmeal
    3/4 cup shortening
    1/4 cup (packed) brown sugar
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1 cup walnuts
    1/2 cup cold milk
    1. In food processor, pulse first 5 ingredients until sandy. Pulse in nuts and milk until dough forms. Pat into 8-inch disc; cut into 8 wedges. Bake at 400 degrees on parchment- lined sheet, 12 minutes.

    Wednesday, November 6, 2013

    Cola Q Chicken

    We didn't like this at all.  We love BBQ sauce  - especially Sweet Baby Rays but this just had a funny taste to it.  I didn't like the coke addition to it at all.  I used drumsticks to make it.  I don't think the 1/2 hour on high with the BBQ sauce really did much.  I think it should have been longer.  I won't be making again:(

  • 4 – 5 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, thawed
  • One 18 oz. Bottle Sweet Baby Ray’s Cola-Q Barbecue Sauce {if you can’t find Cola-Q at your store, you can substitute Original Sweet Baby Ray’s Sauce}
  • 1/2 Can Coca-Cola {approx. 6 oz.}
  • What You’ll Do:

    • Cook chicken in crockpot on high for 3 hours {covered}
    • After 3 hours, drain juices from crockpot
    • Mix together BBQ Sauce and Coca-Cola
    • Pour mixture over chicken, and cook on high for 30 more minutes

    Monday, November 4, 2013


    I have both good and bad reviews on this.  This recipe is very similar to the cheese cake I usually made except it has less cream in it and the baking time/temp is different.  I have mixed reviews on this because although we liked it baked a little less, this clearly wasn't baked long enough because the middle was still a little underdone [on the recipe reviews, many people state this].  I baked in at 400 degrees for 15 minutes and then at 200 for another 55 minutes.  I then left it in the oven with the oven turned off for about 15 mintues.  It definetely needed longer.  Perhaps to raise the initial bake to 475 for 15 minutes as my other receipe does and then lower to the 200 would work.  Needless to say I would make this again but the baking time needs to be adjusted.

    Cheesecake Supreme
    from all recipes.com

    1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
    2. Mix the graham cracker crumbs, 1/2 cup of the white sugar, and the melted butter together. Press mixture into the bottom of one 9 or 10 inch springform pan.
    3. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, eggs and egg yolks; mix until smooth. Add the remaining 1 3/4 cups white sugar, the flour and the heavy cream. Blend until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan.
    4. Bake at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) for 10 minutes, then turn oven temperature down to 200 degrees F (100 degrees C) and continue baking for 1 hour, or until filling is set. Let cheesecake cool, then refrigerate.

    Amish Noodles

    These came out well.  Both kids ate them, they really aren't anything special but they do have a nice flavor to a plain noode.  And they were super easy as long as you have the 30 minutes to wait.

    Amish Noodles

    2 tablespoons butter
    2 (14 ounce) cans chicken broth
    12 ounces egg noodles


    1. In a large pan, brown the butter.
    2. Add broth and boullion cube, bring to a boil.
    3. Add noodles, bring to a second boil, cover and turn off heat. (leave pot on the same burner).
    4. Let stand 30 minutes, stirring 2 or 3 times.

    Baked French Toast Muffins

    These were really good.  The kids loved the streusal topping.  I made them in standard muffin pans.  I used leftover french toast maple bread which added to the flavor.  I didn't have 2 hours to let them set so mine only sat about 1/2 hour.

    Baked French Toast Muffins


    1 loaf French bread, cut or torn into 1/2 inch cubes (about 12 cups of bread)
    2 1/2 cups milk
    6 large eggs
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    For the Cinnamon Streusel Topping:
    1/4 cup cold butter
    1/4 cup light brown sugar
    1/4 cup all-purpose Gold Medal flour
    1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    Pinch of salt
    Butter and Maple Syrup, for serving, optional


    1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon.
    2. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin. Add about 1 cup of bread cubes to each muffin cup. Carefully pour egg and milk mixture evenly over each muffin tin. You may need to press down on the bread cubes after you pour a little mixture and then pour more. Pour slowly or you will have a mess. Cover the muffins with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or up to overnight.
    3. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. To make the cinnamon streusel, in a small bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Mix together with your hands, until you have a crumbly mixture. Remove the muffins from the refrigerator and sprinkle the muffins evenly with the streusel topping.
    4. Bake for 25 minutes or until tops are golden brown. Let muffins cool for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and serve with butter and maple syrup, if desired.

    Friday, November 1, 2013

    French Toast Swirl Bread

    I have a recipe for french toast bread that I've made before, but I made a few revisions and it was DELICIOUS.  I made the dough in my bread machine on the dough cycle and baked in the oven at 350 for 35 minutes.  I think it could have used to have been baked a little longer but the kids were hungry and I had to get dinner in the oven [ internal temp was only 165 and it should have been closer to 200].

    French Toast Bread

    1 cup water
    1/4 cup pure maple syrup
    1 tsp maple extract
    2 cups bread flour
    1 cup white whole wheat flour
    2 tbsp Land ' Lakes Cinnamon Sugar butter
    1 tsp salt
    2.5 tsp yeast
    2 tbsp brown sugar

    Put ingredients in bread machine and select dough cycle.

    When completed, roll dough out and brush with butter.  Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and brown sugar.  Roll up jelly roll style and place in pan.  Cover and let rise about an hour or so until double in size.  Bake.  Yum...

    Tuesday, October 29, 2013

    Brownie Puppy Chow

    This is good.  I'm not sure I'd make it again because I'm not sure the brownie mix adds that much that I had to waste the rest of the brownie mix.  However, it is a fun snack to make.  I didn't add the candy corn because my kids don't like it. 

    Puppy Chow

    8 C. rice cereal squares (Chex)
    1 1/2 C. chocolate chips or Melts
    1/2 C. peanut butter, creamy (You can omit this, see Note below)
    3/4 C. powdered sugar
    3/4 C. brownie mix
    2 large plastic bags
    2 1/2 C. Reese's Pieces, optional
    2 1/2 C. Candy Corn, optional
    1. Place Chex cereal in a large bowl and put your powdered sugar in one large plastic bag and your brownie mix in another. (It helps to have everything ready to go.)
    2. Put your chocolate chips/melts and peanut butter in a microwave proof bowl and heat for 30-50 seconds and stir until smooth.
    3. Pour over Chex cereal and gently fold until coated in chocolatey goodness.
    4. Put half of your chocolatey cereal in one plastic bag (with the powdered sugar) and then other half in your other bag (with the brownie mix).
    5. Seal each bag and shake until covered.
    6. Dump onto a cookie sheet to cool.
    7. Serve with Reese's Pieces and Candy Corn for color!
    NOTE: For peanut allergies, omit peanut butter and use MELTS for your chocolate, these will melt down more easily than chocolate chips, and increase the amount to 2 cups

    Tuesday, October 22, 2013

    Baked Chicken Fajitas

    Another Pinterest recipe:)  These were excellent - we really enjoyed them.  I am not crazy about the packaged fajita seasoning but I liked this.  I baked it closer to 30 minutes and used 2 1/2 chicken breasts cut into strips.  Very good.

    Oven Baked Chicken Fajitas
    • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
    • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
    • 2 tsp chili powder
    • 2 tsp cumin
    • ½ tsp garlic powder
    • ½ tsp dried oregano
    • ¼ tsp salt
    • 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chilies (I used Rotel)
    • 1 medium onion, sliced
    • 1 large bell pepper, seeded and sliced
    • 12 flour tortillas
    • Toppings such as cheese, sour cream, and guacamole – if desired
    1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken strips in a greased 13×9 baking dish.
    2. In a small bowl combine the oil, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, dried oregano, and salt
    3. Drizzle the spice mixture over the chicken and stir to coat.
    4. Next add the tomatoes, peppers, and onions to the dish and stir to combine.
    5. Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Serve on tortillas with desired toppings.

    Monday, October 21, 2013

    Trisha Yearwood's Shortbread

    I really wanted to like this.  I've never had shortbread and wanted to give it a try.  It smelled so good and looked good.  I loved the almond sugar topping.  It was good but SO rich.  I almost felt sick after I ate a super small piece.  I don't think I'd make it again, although my son and husband like it. 
    Trisha Yearwood's Shortbread



    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with aluminum foil and spray the foil with cooking spray.
    In a large mixing bowl, stir 1 1/2 cups of the sugar into the melted butter. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Sift the flour and salt onto the batter. Add the flavoring and stir well. Pour the batter into the skillet. Top with sliced almonds and the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake until slightly brown on top, about 35 minutes. Cool the shortbread in the skillet. When cool, use the foil to lift the shortbread from the skillet; remove the foil before serving.

    Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Muffins

    I didn't have one of them but everyone seemed to like them.  They came out good.  There were a lot of steps.  I didn't really follow the steps but just kind of threw them together.

    Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Muffins


    For Crumb Topping:

    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup cold butter, cut into cubes
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract

    For Cupcakes:

    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 cup cake flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 3/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips, divided
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
    • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/2 cup buttermilk
    • powdered sugar, for topping


    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.
    2. To prepare topping, in a large bowl, whisk together flour and sugar. Add butter, and using two a pastry cutter or two knives, cut the butter into the flour until it forms pea-sized chunks. Sprinkle vanilla extract over top and continue to cut to combine. You can use your hands if needed to incorporate any remaining dry flour until it comes together into moist, clumpy lumps. If the topping gets too dough-like, sprinkle over a tablespoon and break up the topping into chunks. Refrigerate until ready to use.
    3. To prepare cupcakes, whisk together flour, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Spoon 1-2 tablespoons of flour mixture into a small bowl; toss with 1/2 cup of chocolate chips until evenly coated.
    4. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
    5. Slowly add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with 2 additions of the buttermilk, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.
    6. Fold in flour-coated chocolate chips.
    7. Divide batter into cupcake liners, about 3 tablespoons per cupcake (a large cookie scoop, slightly underfilled, is the perfect amount of batter). You want each liner just over half full (do not overfill, these cupcakes are delicate and so you want to fill them less than you normally would).
    8. Generously sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over each cupcake, breaking up any large chunks.
    9. Bake cupcakes for 13 to 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
    10. Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over top of cupcakes. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
    11. Just before serving, sprinkle generously with powdered sugar. Cupcakes are best the day they are made, but will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

    Read more at http://www.loveandoliveoil.com/2013/09/buttermilk-chocolate-chip-crumb-cupcakes.html

    Spicy Sausage Pasta

    I really enjoyed this.  Of all the recipes I tried this weekend, this was my favorite.  I used a spicy sausage and used nonfat evaporated milk instead of the cream.  I will definetely make this again.

    Spicy Sausage Pasta

    1 tbsp olive oil
    1 lb smoked sausage
    1.5 cups diced onion
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
    1 (10 oz) can Ro-Tel tomatoes and green chiles, Mild
    1/2 cup heavy cream
    8 oz penne pasta
    1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, each
    1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
    1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions
    1. Add olive oil to an oven-safe skillet over medium high heat until just smoking. Add sausage and onions and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
    2. Add broth, tomatoes, cream, pasta, salt and pepper and stir. Bring to a boil, cover skillet, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until pasta is tender, about 15 minutes.
    3. Remove skillet from heat and stir in 1/2 cup cheese. Top with remaining cheese and sprinkle with scallions. Broil until cheese is melted, spotty brown, and bubbly.

    Read more at http://www.kevinandamanda.com/recipes/dinner/spicy-sausage-pasta.html#ixzz2iMFR9zpd

    Thursday, October 17, 2013

    Philly Cheesesteak Soup

    This soup was rather bland.  I cooked it in the slow cooker minus the milk.   About a 1/2 hour before serving, I thickened the milk with 1 tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp of flour on the stove and then added to the slow cooker.  It was ok, but not on the "make again soon list".

    Philly cheesesteak soup

    --1 pound thinly cut beef strips (I used beef cube steaks)
    --4 cups beef broth
    --2 cups skim or 2% milk
    --1 T butter
    --1 yellow onion, cut in chunks--2 bell peppers (I used one green, one red)--2 t gluten free Worcestershire sauce
    --3 cloves chopped garlic
    --1/2 t black pepper--1 t kosher salt--8oz provolone cheese (to add at the very end)

    The Directions.

    Add the 1 tablespoon of butter to your crockpot and turn it on high to melt. Cut up your meat and add it to the crock, swirling it into the butter to coat. Add the chopped peppers, onion, and garlic. Add the Worcestershire, salt and pepper. Stir in the beef broth and milk.

    Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours, or on high for 5-6. The soup is done when the meat has reached the desired tenderness.

    Before serving, stir in the provolone cheese. It will melt in stringy chunks---yum.

    Monday, October 7, 2013

    Captain Crunch Pancakes

    These came out really well.  I was leary of the syrup because it was TOO sweet.  My husband really liked it on them at first but then on the 2nd helping it because too much.  The pancakes were really good though - a nice change from a traditional pancake.  I would make these again.  They were pretty simple to make.

    Captain Crunch Pancakes

    Vanilla Butter
    1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
    ½ teaspoon vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

    ½ cup Cap'n Crunch cereal, plus more to finish
    1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1½ tablespoons granulated sugar
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1¼ cups whole milk
    2 large eggs, lightly whisked
    6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, plus more for the skillet

    Condensed-Milk Syrup
    1 cup condensed milk
    ¼ cup heavy cream
    Pinch kosher salt

    1. Make the vanilla butter: In a medium bowl, mix together the butter and vanilla until well combined. Refrigerate while making the pancakes.
    2. Make the pancakes: In a food processor, add the cereal and pulse until it is ground to a fine powder. Transfer to a medium bowl and add the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs and melted butter. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until combined.
    3. Set a griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Grease lightly with a bit of melted butter and add ¼-cup spoonfuls of batter to the pan, making sure to space the pancakes at least 2 inches apart. Once bubbles begin to form on the top of the pancakes, after 4 to 5 minutes, carefully flip them and cook until the second side is golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Repeat with the remaining batter until it is all used.
    4. Make the condensed-milk syrup: In a medium bowl, whisk together the condensed milk, heavy cream and salt.
    5. Serve the pancakes with the vanilla butter and condensed-milk syrup and top with extra Cap'n Crunch cereal.

    Read more: http://www.tastingtable.com/entry_detail/chefs_recipes/9412//Cereal_sneaks_outside_the_bowl.htm#ixzz2h2PJF9i5

    Read more: http://www.tastingtable.com/entry_detail/chefs_recipes/9412//Cereal_sneaks_outside_the_bowl.htm#ixzz2h2PDIcm9

    Turkey Swedish Meatballs

    These were ok.  But they were a lot of work.  I made the pumpernickel bread by hand and that probably added to the work.  I just really wasn't crazy about the sweet/texture of the meatballs.  I did double the gravy which I'm very glad I did.  The gravy was really good (I didn't add the worcesthire as I was afraid it would be too spicy).

    Turkey Swedish Meatballs (from food network magazine)
    For the meatballs:
    • 3 cups packed torn pumpernickel bread
    • 1 cup whole milk
    • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    • 6 small shallots, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
    • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • Pinch of ground cinnamon
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
    • 1 1/4 pounds lean ground turkey
    • 1 large egg
    • Cooking spray
    For the gravy:
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
    • Mashed potatoes, for serving (optional)
    • Chopped fresh parsley and/or chives, for topping
    Make the meatballs: Pulse the bread in a food processor to make fine crumbs. Add the milk and Worcestershire sauce and pulse to make a paste; set aside.
    Heat the butter and vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat; add the shallots and cook, stirring, until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Add the apple, garlic, cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper and cook until the apple is tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in the breadcrumb mixture and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool completely.
    Add the turkey and egg to the bowl and beat with a mixer on lowspeed until well combined, about 4 minutes. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
    Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Dampen your hands and form the meat mixture into 36 balls (about1 inch each). Arrange on the prepared baking sheet and bake until lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes.
    Meanwhile, make the gravy: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk to make a smooth paste, about 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in the chicken broth, then add the Worcestershire sauce. Cook, whisking, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the meatballs and simmer until firm and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Serve over mashed potatoes and top with parsley and/or chives.

    Thursday, October 3, 2013

    Good Ol' Homemade Brownies

    I made these brownies last night and they turned out well. I halved the recipe and baked them in an 8 inch cake pan for about 27 minutes. They are VERY chocolatly and not as sweet as a store bought mix. I would make them again kids actually requested them a 2nd night in a row:)

    Good Ol' Homemade Brownies


    1 cup (2 sticks) butter
    2 1/4 cups sugar
    4 large eggs
    1 1/4 cups cocoa powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips


    Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9x13 baking dish.
    In small saucepan over low heat, melt butter completely. Stir in sugar and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not allow sugar mixture to boil.
    Pour butter mixture into a large bowl or stand mixer, beat in cocoa powder, eggs, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.
    Stir in the flour and chocolate chips until well combined.
    Spread into prepared pan (batter will be very thick and sticky) and bake for about 30 minutes, until a tester comes out mostly clean. The edges should be set and the center should still look slightly moist, but not uncooked. Cool on a wire rack.

    Read more at http://www.bunsinmyoven.com/2009/10/15/good-ol-homemade-brownies/#MiUDCIz0zq2BCKt4.99

    Monday, September 30, 2013

    Salt Caramel Apple Pie

    In my quest at trying all the Back in the Day Bakery's recipes I made the salted caramel apple pie this weekend.  Although good - its not going to replace my other apple pies I made.  Jeff prefers a crumb topping as as far as two crusted pie, I think I like Grandma Ople's recipe from allrecipes.com better.  However, I actually enjoyed the crust more than the Pioneer Woman's recipe that I usually use, but Jeff did not.  The crust came out a nice color and I liked the cake like texture - probably from the cake flour.  This pie was a lot of work.  I'm not sure if was worth all the effort.

    Salt Caramel Apple Pie


    • 1 recipe for the Old-Fashioned Flaky Piecrust, unbaked (see recipe below)
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons fleur de sel
    • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
    • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
    • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    • 6 large apples, such as Granny Smith, Pink Lady, or Honey Crisps, or a combination, cored, peeled, and thinly sliced (see Tip)
    • 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar, plus more for sprinkling
    • 1 egg, beaten, for egg wash
    • Fleur de sel for sprinkling
    • Ice cream for serving (optional)
    • OLD-FASHIONED FLAKY PIECRUST[makes 1 crust for a double-crust pie)]:
    • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
    • 1 large egg
    • 1/3 cup plus 2 to 3 tablespoons ice water, plus more if necessary
    • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
    • 1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into cubes
    • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes


    • To make the crust:In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, and salt; set aside
    • In a large measuring cup or a small bowl, beat the egg with 1/3 cup of the water and the vinegar.
    • Add the shortening and butter to the flour and, using a pastry blender, cut it in until the butter resembles small peas. Add the egg mixture, gently tossing and mixing with your hands or a fork just until the dough comes together in a ball. If the dough seems too dry, add a little more ice water, about 1 tablespoon at a time as necessary.
    • Gather the dough together on a lightly floured work surface and divide it evenly into 2 balls. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and flatten with the palm of your hand into a disk. Chill for at least 1 hour. The dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

    • To roll out the dough: Dust your hands and your rolling pin with flour. On a lightly floured piece of parchment, roll out the chilled dough into a 12-inch round. Roll the dough from the center out, rotating it slightly as you roll to prevent sticking and to keep it round. Dust off any excess flour using a dry pastry brush. Roll the dough onto the rolling pin and place it in the pie dish. Carefully arrange the dough to slump inside the dish and press it into the edges. Trim the excess dough with kitchen shears, leaving about a 1-inch overhang. Wrap and place the pie dish in the refrigerator to chill the dough for at least 30 minutes.
    • Roll out the remaining disk of dough on parchment and transfer it to a baking sheet. Wrap in plastic wrap and return the dough to the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes.
    • When ready to bake, position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F.

    • To make the caramel: Combine the granulated sugar, fleur de sel, and 1/2 cup water in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is dissolved. Wash down any crystals from the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush. Turn the heat down to medium and cook, without stirring, until the syrup becomes a medium-dark amber caramel, about 15 minutes; you can carefully swirl the pan around to check the color.
    • Carefully remove the pan from the heat and immediately stir in the butter and heavy cream. Be careful of hot steam when the heavy cream is added, and do not worry if the butter starts to separate--it will come together once the caramel is cooled.
    • Transfer the caramel to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or to a medium mixing bowl, if using a handheld mixer) and beat on low speed until the caramel cools and starts to come together. Set aside.

    • To make the filling: Put the lemon zest and lemon juice in a large bowl. Add the apples and toss gently.
    • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cardamom, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, and turbinado sugar. Gently toss the apples with this mixture.

    • To assemble the pie: Place the bottom piecrust in a 9-inch pie pan and prick the bottom of the crust gently all over with a fork. Layer the apple mixture in the crust, making sure there are no gaps between the apples. Pour 1/4 cup of the caramel mixture on top of the apples. Reserve the remaining caramel for serving.
    • Place the top piecrust on a work surface and cut 4 to 8 vent holes in the center with a mini cookie cutter in whatever shape you like. Reserve the cutout pieces for decorating the crust. Brush the rim of the bottom piecrust with the egg wash to create a seal. Place the top crust over the pie filling and seal and crimp the edges, trimming the excess dough. Decorate with the cutout pieces, and brush the entire crust with the egg wash. Sprinkle lightly with turbinado sugar and a pinch of fleur de sel.
    • Place on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Turn the oven down to 375°F and bake for an additional 45 to 60 minutes, until the caramel blossoms into big, thick, syrupy bubbles and the crust turns golden brown; test the apples with a small paring knife to make sure they are tender but not mushy. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 4 hours before serving to allow the juices and caramel to thicken. The pie is best served the same day, but it can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 3 days.
    • To serve, slice the pie into wedges and top with a drizzle of the caramel sauce and, if desired, a scoop of ice cream.

    Thursday, September 26, 2013

    Cornbread old vs new

    I tried a new cornbread recipe.  We have our favorite but its a little harder to 1/2 because of the eggs so I tried a new one.  I halved it and made it into 18 corn muffins instead of putting it into the cast iron skillet like I usually do.  It was delicious and may just be my new "go to" recipe.  Here's both for the reference:

    Sweet Cornbread Cake (from allrecipes.com) - the "new" recipe

    1 cup cornmeal

    3 cups all-purpose flour

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
    2. Stir together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Pour in the vegetable oil, melted butter, honey, beaten eggs, and milk, and stir just to moisten.
    3. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, until the top of the cornbread starts to brown and show cracks.

    Just wanted to edit this: baked at 350 for between 45-50 minutes in the cast iron skillet and it turned out WONDERFUL!

    Edit again - 45 may have been a bit too long.  Try 40 and watch carefully.

    Update.  Used full amount of milk.  Baked cast iron skillet and two large muffins.  Excellent.  Skillet 30 min.  Muffins 20 minutes.
    Buttery Cornbread (from Taste of home ) the "old"

    2/3 cup butter, softened

    1 cup sugar

    3 Eggland's Best Eggs

    1-2/3 cups 2% milk

    2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour

    1 cup cornmeal

    4-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

    1 teaspoon salt

    1. Preheat oven to 400°. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Combine eggs and milk. Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with egg mixture.
    2. Pour into a greased 13x9-in. baking pan. Bake 22-27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cut into squares; serve warm.Yield: 12-15 servings.