Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Genesee Valley Apple Crumb Pie

Another dish I made for Thanksgiving. This apple pie was really good. Everyone who tried some loved the pie. I felt it was a fairly simple pie to make and an added bonus was I didn't have to roll the pie crust out. The pie crust is a pat into the pan recipe.

Genesee Valley Apple Crumb Pie
Junior League of Rochester Cookbook

2/3 cup shortening
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup boiling water
1 1/2 cups flour

Cream shortening with salt.
Add boiling water and mix.
Add flour.
Press crust into 9 or 10 inch pie plate.

6 apples, pared, cored, and sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt

Fill crust with apples.
Sprinkle sugar, cinnamon, and salt on apples.

Crumb Topping
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour

Cream butter with sugar and flour.
Spoon mixture on top of pie.
Place pie in preheated oven 450 degrees for 10 minutes.
Reduce temperature to 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Short (2 inch) straws inserted in the pie will keep juice from running over.

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

I made these for Thanksgiving, again sorry for the delay but between illness, the holidays and a birthday I've been busy. These were a hit with everyone. I can't even begin to explain how tasty these were. They were also really simple to make although it did take some time. These mashed sweet potatoes are also a much healthier alternative to regular mashed potatoes. I've been too chicken to give these a try but now that I have I see myself making these more than I do regular mashed potatoes.

Creamy Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Cooks Country Magazine Dec/Jan 2007

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
3 tablespoons heavy cream
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
2 pounds sweet potatoes, (2 large or 3 medium), peeled, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices

Combine butter, 2 tablespoons cream, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, sugar, and sweet potatoes in large saucepan. Cook, covered, over low heat until fall apart tender, 35 to 40 minutes.

Off heat, add remaining tablespoon cream and mash sweet potatoes with potato masher. Serve.

This recipe can be doubled and prepared in a dutch oven but the cooking time will need to be doubled.

This recipe can be prepared up to 2 days in advanced. Mash the potatoes as directed in step 2 but hold off on adding the last tablespoon of cream. When you want to serve the potatoes, cover them with plastic wrap, microwave them until hot, and then stir in the remaining cream.

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Mongolian Beef

This was a great meal that was loved by all who ate it. Not only was it super quick to make but it was a healthy meal to boot. Including prep time this recipe took about 25 minutes to cook. I served this dish over wide rice noodle but rice or regular noodles would work too.

Mongolian Beef
Cooking Light December 2009

2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons dry sherry (didn't have so I just used beef broth)
2 teaspoons hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon chili paste with garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons peanut oil (I used vegetable oil)
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1 pound sirloin steak, thinly sliced across the grain
16 medium green onions, cut into 2 inch pieces

Combine first 8 ingredients, stirring until smooth.

Heat peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add minced ginger, minced garlic, and beef; saute for 2 minutes or until beef is browned. Add green onion pieces; saute 30 seconds. Add soy sauce mixture; cook 1 minute or until thickened, stirring constantly.

This makes 4 servings. A serving size is 1 cup.

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Busy Busy and what I've been doing

Sorry this month has been so slow with recipes. I've been crazy busy with the twins birthday and making my very first decorated cake. Besides working on this cake we've been battling illness in our house. I should be back up posting recipe daily in the next week or two. Meanwhile I'm sharing the cake I made. Please be very kind it was my first attempt at decorating a cake. The twins wanted a Lego Gotham city with batman and others. They were very happy with my end result and they've been showing it off to every visitor we have.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Seasoned Crackers

These turned out to be even better tasting than I thought they could be. I was so worried they would be soggy and just not very appetizing but I'm addicted to these now. I think I'm going to try this with oyster crackers just cause I think it would mix up a little better that way. I've been using a plastic bag although the recipe calls for a container with a lid that you can stack the crackers in. I'm adding these to the goodie basket for the neighborhood Christmas gifts.

Seasoned Crackers
adapted slightly from the Worldwide Ward Christmas Cookbook

1 full box of saltine crackers (or use oyster or something similar)
1 envelope dry ranch dressing mix
1 cup oil
red pepper flakes to taste (my first time I used only 1/8 of a teaspoon and you could barely notice the second time I used 1/4 teaspoon and you could taste)

Place the crackers in a container or bag, stacked so all get coated well. Sprinkle ranch mix over the top and sprinkle the red pepper flakes over the crackers. Pour the oil over and shake the bag or container well. Flip container over 3-4 times over the course of the next 2 hours. Crackers are ready after sitting for 24 hours.

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Chocolate Babka

Who doesn't remember the Seinfield episode with the chocolate babka? Elaine and Jerry forget to get a number at the bakery and as a result lose out on the chocolate babka. One of my favorite episodes of the series. This bread is worth the time involved to make it. The smell is wonderful and the flavors are just as wonderful. It's a very rich bread but one that's worth the calories. I've given these as neighbor gifts in previous years and every single neighbor asked for the recipe. I love the cinnamon and chocolate blend plus the streusel puts it over the top. This is a must make recipe every holiday season for me.

Chocolate Babka
Smitten Kitchen

When shaping the babka, twist dough evenly throughout the length of the roll a full 5 to 6 turns. The babka can be prepared up to step 8 and frozen for up to a month before baking. When ready to bake, remove from freezer; let stand at room temperature for about 5 hours, and bake.

Makes 3 loaves

1 1/2 cups warm milk, 110 degrees
2 (1/4 ounce each) packages active dry yeast
1 3/4 cups plus a pinch of sugar
3 whole large eggs, room temperature
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups (3 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, room temperature, plus more for bowl and loaf pans
2 1/4 pounds semisweet chocolate, very finely chopped*
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon heavy cream
Streusel topping (below)

1. Pour warm milk into a small bowl. Sprinkle yeast and pinch of sugar over milk; let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

2. In a bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup sugar, 2 eggs, and egg yolks. Add egg mixture to yeast mixture, and whisk to combine.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour and salt. Add egg mixture, and beat on low speed until almost all the flour is incorporated, about 30 seconds. Change to the dough hook. Add 2 sticks butter, and beat until flour mixture and butter are completely incorporated, and a smooth, soft dough that’s slightly sticky when squeezed is formed, about 10 minutes.

4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead a few turns until smooth. Butter a large bowl. Place dough in bowl, and turn to coat. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

5. Place chocolate, remaining cup sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl, and stir to combine. Using two knives or a pastry cutter, cut in remaining 1 1/2 sticks butter until well combined; set filling aside.

6. Generously butter three 9-by-5-by-2 3/4-inch loaf pans; line them with parchment paper. Beat remaining egg with 1 tablespoon cream; set egg wash aside. Punch back the dough, and transfer to a clean surface. Let rest 5 minutes. Cut into 3 equal pieces. Keep 2 pieces covered with plastic wrap while working with the remaining piece. On a generously floured surface, roll dough out into a 16-inch square; it should be 1/8 inch thick.

7. Brush edges with reserved egg wash. Crumble 1/3 of the reserved chocolate filling evenly over dough, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Refresh egg wash if needed. Roll dough up tightly like a jelly roll. Pinch ends together to seal. Twist 5 or 6 turns. Brush top of roll with egg wash. Carefully crumble 2 tablespoons filling over the left half of the roll, being careful not to let mixture slide off. Fold right half of the roll over onto the coated left half. Fold ends under, and pinch to seal. Twist roll 2 turns, and fit into prepared pan. Repeat with the remaining 2 pieces of dough and remaining filling.

8. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Brush the top of each loaf with egg wash. Crumble 1/3 of streusel topping over each loaf. Loosely cover each pan with plastic wrap, and let stand in a warm place 20 to 30 minutes.

9. Bake loaves, rotating halfway through, until golden, about 55 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake until babkas are deep golden, 15 to 20 minutes more. Remove from oven, and transfer to wire racks until cool. Remove from pans; serve. Babkas freeze well for up to 1 month.

* After chopping the chocolate into moderately sized chunks, I used the food processor to pulse the rest of the chocolate in two batches to small bits. It saved a lot of time!

Streusel Topping

Makes 3 3/4 cups.

1 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, and butter. Using a fork, stir until fully combined with clumps ranging in size from crumbs to 1 inch.

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Pork Scaloppini

This was a very quick and easy meal from Cook's Country. My husband loves pork chops and I'm not a huge fan. This recipe calls for a tenderloin cut into 4 equal pieces and then pounded thin. Well I'm too lazy and my husband had bought thin cut pork chops so I just pounded those pork chops a tad thinner to use in this recipe. Turned out well and everyone loved the dish. The noodles are what took the longest to cook in this dish. I used egg noodles but rice pilaf would work well too.

Cook's Country
December/January 2010

Pork Scaloppini
4 thin cut pork chops pounded to 1/4 inch thick (if needed) or 1 large pork tenderloin (about 1 pound) cut into 4 equal pieces and pounded 1/4 inch thick
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley (or you could use fresh tarragon, chives, or basil for a different flavor)

Pat cutlets dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook 2 cutlets until golden brown and cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to platter and tent with foil. Repeat with additional 1 tablespoon butter and remaining cutlets.

Add garlic and additional 1 tablespoon butter to empty skillet and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in broth, lemon juice, sugar, and any accumulated pork juices and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Off heat, whisk in parsley and remaining butter. Pour sauce over cutlets and serve.

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Pinto Beans

I love using beans for a frugal dinner. You can make beans with or without a flavoring of meat which makes for a meal that feeds a large family pretty cheap. I like hitting the Mexican markets for cheap dried beans. Even the local health food stores sell beans cheap in bulk. I've never paid more than 75 cents a pound for beans. As an added bonus beans freeze well so they can be made in advanced and cut down on cooking times on busy nights.

Pinto Beans
Pioneer Woman

4 cups Pinto Beans
4 slices Thick Bacon (can Also Use Salt Pork, Or Ham Hock, Or Diced Ham)
1 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Ground Black Pepper

Rinse beans in cool water; pour into a pot, cover with water by 2 to 3 inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover. Simmer 2 hours, or until beans are tender. Add water to pot as needed. Beans should have a thick broth. Toward end of cooking time, add salt and pepper and season to taste. Don’t over-salt. For a variety try adding chili powder, garlic or Tabasco. Serve in a bowl with cornbread. Can serve with small bowls of grated cheese, chopped onions, chopped fresh jalapenos, sour cream, and/or cilantro.

I served this serving of beans with pico de gallo and sour cream.

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Diner Style Pancakes

The kids love pancakes at the little mom and pop restaurants we frequent. I asked once how they make their pancakes as my kids usually just pick at my homemade ones and was told they add malted milk powder to the pancakes. Luckily for me the King Arthur Bakers Companion book had a good recipe for making these. Not only did the kids love these homemade pancakes they beg for them at least every other day.

Diner-Style Pancakes
King Arthur Baking Companion cookbook

2 large eggs
1 1/4 (10 ounces) milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) butter, melted
1 1/2 cups (6 1/4 ounces) unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup malted milk powder

Beat the eggs, milk, and vanilla until light and foamy, about 3 minutes at high speed of a stand mixer. Stir in the butter.

Whisk the dry ingredients together to evenly distribute the salt, baking powder and milk powder. Gently and quickly mix into the egg and milk mixture. Let the batter relax while the griddle is heating (or overnight in the fridge). The batter will thicken slightly while resting.

Grease and preheat the griddle. The griddle is ready if a drop of water will skitter across the surface, evaporating immediately; if you have an electric griddle, set the temperature between 325-350 degrees F. Drop 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto the lightly greased griddle. Cook on one side until bubbles begin to form and break, then turn the pancakes and cook the other until brown. Turn only once. Serve immediately.

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Monday, November 30, 2009

Thai Beef Salad

Don loves this salad and given his years spent in Thailand loves Thai food. Me, I've sampled it a few times but I haven't really eaten it. I decided to give it a try and although Don had his doubts over my ability to make this dish it turned out pretty dang close to an original. Honestly you can make this as spicy or as mild as you like. I made it a little spicier than I would have preferred but it was so tasty. This will be a regular on our menu plan. I love how quickly it cooked and it was easy to make.

Thai Beef salad
adapted from here


1 lb beef. Any beef can be used.


1/4 cup sliced onions, separated
2 tomatoes, wedged
1/4 cup sliced cucumber
1/4 cup thinly sliced Thai chile peppers

1/4 cup fish sauce, I left this out and according to my husband you don't notice
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tablespoon sweet dark soy sauce
3 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons minced ginger
3 tablespoons chopped coriander/cilantro (including the roots)
1/4 cup chopped green onions (spring onions)
1/4 cup chopped shallots (small red or purple onions)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon Chili Garlic sauce

Barbeque the beef, and thinly slice it into bite sized pieces. Combine with the salad ingredients, and mix
the sauce and toss the whole.


Serve with sticky rice and lettuce.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

I was looking for a recipe to use potatoes in since I have close to 50 lbs right now. I have always loved potato soup so I knew soup was a great option. I stumbled across this recipe in Cook's Country magazine and thought why not give it a try. Yes this is a little more complicated then your basic potato soup but as always with CC it turned out great. The recipe actually calls for you to puree the majority of the soup but I prefer a chunky potato soup so I only pureed about 1/2 of the soup. Adjust it to your liking. The fried potato skins, make them if you want but honestly no one but me noticed they were in the soup.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup
Cook's Country Dec./Jan 2006 issue

8 ounces bacon, chopped
3 lbs russet potatoes, scrubbed
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 sprig fresh thyme
4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, plus additional for garnish
1 cup sour cream, plus additional for garnish
ground black pepper
3 scallions, sliced thin
Cook bacon in Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. While bacon is cooking, use vegetable peeler to remove wide strips of potato peel; reserve peels. Cut peeled potatoes into 3/4-inch pieces. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to plate lined with paper towels. Add reserved potato skins to bacon fat in pot and cook until crisp, about 8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer potato skins to plate with bacon.

Add onion to fat remaining in pot and cook over medium heat until golden, about 6 minutes. Stir in garlic and flour and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in broth and cream, stir in thyme and potatoes, and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover pot, and cook until potatoes are tender, about 7 minutes.

Discard thyme. Puree about one half of the soup, more if you want it less chunky and less if you want it more chunky. Return to pot and warm over medium-high heat. Off heat, stir in cheese until melted, then whisk in sour cream. Return reserved potatoes to pot and season soup with pepper. Ladle soup into bowls, garnishing with bacon, fried potato skins, scallions, cheese, and sour cream.

To reheat leftover portions, gently warm the soup in a saucepan over medium heat until steaming. Do not let the soup boil, which will cause the sour cream to separate.

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are delicious. So delicious they were gone in less than 2 hours. I did not have any to give to the sweet ladies who live behind us. This was really easy to make and as I say so often much better than the refrigerator dough or packaged dough you can buy. No these probably are not "healthy" but honestly everyone deserves a treat at times.

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Melanie at My Kitchen Cafe

2 1/8 c bleached all-purpose flour (about 10.5 oz)
1/2 t table salt
1/2 t baking soda
12 T unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 c brown sugar (7 oz)
1/2 c sugar (3.5 oz)
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 t vanilla
1-2 c chocolate chips (I use a full 12 oz. package of semisweet chips)

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions. Mix flour, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.

Either by hand or with electric mixer, mix butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Mix in egg, yolk, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients; mix until just combined. Stir in chips.

Form dough into balls and place on parchment or silpat-lined cookie sheets. Smaller cookie sheets can be used, but fewer cookies can be baked at one time and baking time may need to be adjusted. (Dough can be refrigerated up to 2 days or frozen up to 1 month—shaped or not.)

Bake, reversing cookie sheets’ positions halfway through baking, until cookies are light golden brown and outer edges start to harden yet centers are still soft and puffy, 15 to 18 minutes (start checking at 13 minutes - these cookies really do need longer baking time than most average cookie dough recipes). Frozen dough requires an extra 1 to 2 minutes baking time. Cool cookies on cookie sheets. Serve or store in airtight container.

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

November 2009 Crossroads Coop

$16.50 got me the following:
Harvest share
7 oranges
8 pears
6 Utah apples
1 bunch broccoli
3 red bell peppers
4 tomatoes
8oz mushrooms
5lb bag russet potatoes
1 bunch asparagus
Artisan wheat bread
1 lb brown rice

Farnsworth Apple cider

Recipes using the above items:
Holiday Lettuce Salad
Upside Down Pear Gingerbread

Lemon Cream Pasta with Broccoli
Broccoli Cheese Soup

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Bountiful Baskets Coop 11/21/09

Today's coop consisted of the following:

Regular basket $17.50
1 head green cauliflower
8oz mushrooms
6oz blackberries
10 Fuji Apples
2 red onions
8 bananas
2 spinach bundles
6 russet potatoes
2 lbs baby carrots
1 lb grapes

Hostess pack $10
1 bunch cilantro (suppose to be parsley but its cilantro)
12 oz cranberries
3 lbs Jonathan apples
2 yellow onions
English cucumber
8 yams
10 lb bag russet potatoes

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Stuffing Bread

I make my own bread for stuffing. I just find it makes for a much tastier stuffing than using the dried bread at the store or Stove Top. It's not that hard to make and it's also good for making turkey sandwiches. I make my loaves and slice them. After letting them dry for about 4 hours I package them and freeze until I'm ready to make stuffing. You can use this bread just as you would the dry bread cubes at the store only you may want to leave out some of the liquid. I add liquid slowly to the stuffing since the amount needed varies each time when using this bread.

Stuffing Bread
King Arthur's Baking Companion Magazine Winter 2006

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup onions, cut in a small dice
1/4 cup celery, cut in a small dice
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 large egg
3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dry thyme leaves
1 teaspoon ground sage
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds

Melt the butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat; add the onions and celery and cook slowly until soft, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and cool the vegetables.

Place the remaining ingredients (not the cooked vegetables) in the order listed into your mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Once the dough begins to form, add the cooked vegetables and butter to the dough.

Knead for 6 to 8 minutes; the dough will seem dry at first, but will soften as the vegetables give up their liquid, and create a smooth, supple dough. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turn over to coat, cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about one hour).

After the first rise, deflat the dough, form it into a loaf, and place in a greased 8 1/2 x 4 inch loaf pan. Cover the dough with lightly greased plastic wrap, and let rise again until the dough domes an inch above the edge of the pan.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Slash the top of the dough down the center, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until golden brown and the internal temperature of the bread when measured in the center reads 190 degrees.

Remove the bread from the oven, turn it out of the pan, and cool completely on a rack before serving.

If you are using the bread for stuffing make sure its completely cool, then slice the entire loaf. Place the slices in a zip top plastic bag, and freeze until you are ready to make the stuffing.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Pork Tacos

The past several posts have been a lead up to what I used all those recipes for which were these delicious tacos. Seriously this taco was the best tasting taco I have ever made. I'm never going back to ground beef tacos now that I have a great chicken taco recipe and now this pork taco. I prefer using the tortilla's you cook before using but any type of tortillas would work. Below is a link to all the recipes used in making this taco:

Shredded Spicy Pork
Pico de Gallo
Creamy Tomatillo Dressing

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Guacamole II

I love guacamole. I have another recipe posted on here that calls for all kinds of ingredients and takes a little bit of time. This is yet another recipe from the Pioneer Woman's cookbook. This is a really simple recipe if you are making her pico de gallo recipe on the same day. This is not as interesting tasting as my previous recipe but it makes a decent and very edible guacamole. My kids prefer this one to my traditional one so this will be seeing a regular appearance in our house.

2 avocados, mashed
1/2 to 3/4 cup pico de gallo
Mix together and serve.

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Pico De Gallo

I love pico de gallo and I'm always on the lookout for a really great recipe. This one was quick and easy to make and for an added bonus had great flavor. This recipe comes from the Pioneer Woman's cookbook and I served it with the spicy pulled pork from yesterday's post.

Next week I'll be posting a few recipe for Thanksgiving.

Pico De Gallo
Pioneer Woman's cookbook

1 cup chopped roma tomatoes
1 cup diced yellow or red onions
big handful of cilantro or to your taste
1 jalapeno, seeded and membranes removed, chopped
juice from 1 lime
salt, to taste

Mix everything together. Should be served with in 24 hours or it will become soupy.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Spicy Shredded Pork

I treated myself to the Pioneer Woman's new cookbook and I 'll admit almost all of the recipes are on my must try list. This one came from the cookbook and was used two different ways. One night I made tacos with the pork and it was delicious. The next night I served this pork with spicy bbq sauce for spicy bbq'd pork sandwiches. Even the kids were in love with the meat.

Spicy Shredded Pork
Pioneer Woman's website

  • 4 pounds (up To 7 Pounds) Pork Shoulder
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon (to 2 Tablespoons) Salt
  • Pepper To Taste
  • 3 cloves (to 4 Cloves) Garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon (to 2 Tablespoons) Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons (to 3 Tablespoons) White Wine Vinegar
  • ¼ cups Brown Sugar
  • 1 whole Onion
  • Lime Wedges
Preparation Instructions

Rinse and pat dry the pork shoulder.

To begin, just throw the dried oregano, cumin, chili powder, salt, black pepper, garlic, olive oil, white wine vinegar and brown sugar into a food processor or blender. (I happen to love brown sugar in my cooking, but you can decrease or omit it if you like.) Cut one onion into quarters and put it in the food processor with the spices. Blend mixture until totally combined and then pour it over the pork shoulder.

Now rub it into every nook and cranny of the meat, tucking it under folds an in crevices. Let no stone go unturned. Then place the pork into a roasting pan or Dutch oven and add a couple of cups of water. Cover tightly and roast pork at 300ยบ for several hours, turning once every hour. When it is fork tender crank up the heat, remove the lid, and roast it, skin side up for another 15 to 20 minutes to get the skin crispy. When it’s done let it rest for 15 minutes before shredding.

Shred the pork shoulder (two forks work well). When it’s all shredded be sure to pour the juices all over the meat. Serve with warm tortillas, lime wedges, sour cream, pico de gallo, guacamole, tomatillo salsa or whatever suits you.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

We love homemade spaghetti sauce in our house. I haven't bought bottled sauce in over 4 years. I have my own recipe that really good but it's usually done meatless since I have not figured out how to balance the flavors with meat yet. One of my favorite food bloggers, Melanie, posted her perfected sauce and I had to give it a try. I have to admit even with meat added this recipe tops mine. I cut her recipe in half, sorry Melanie, since I did not want oodles of a meaty sauce that I may not like and I regret doing so. Now I to make another batch so I can freeze it and have a quick meal any day of the week. Trust me you won't be disappointed with this recipe.

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
My Kitchen Cafe

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups onion, chopped and divided
1 red pepper, coarsely chopped
2 pounds hamburger (at least 90% lean)
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 12 oz. can tomato paste
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 teaspoons dried oregano
3 teaspoons dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 14-oz. can Italian-style diced tomatoes
2 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 carton fresh mushrooms (optional)
1 1/2 cups beef stock or beef broth
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add 1/2 of the onions and saute until translucent and slightly browned. Add garlic and stir constantly for 1 minute. Add beef and cook until no red is showing. Drain beef slightly. Blend up the remaining onions and red pepper in a blender or food processor until mostly smooth. Add mixture to the garlic, onions and beef and stir to combine, cooking for another minute. Add tomato paste and spices and cook for 1 minute, stirring until combined. Add tomatoes, beef broth and sugar (and mushrooms, if using). Stir until combined and add the bay leaves. Bring to a boil and then reduce to low and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Fifteen minutes before serving, stir in the balsamic vinegar.

NOTE: The sauce will seem watery at first but will reduce to perfection after simmering for an hour. I've let it simmer on the stove for up to three hours before with no problems.

*Freezable Meal: The finished spaghetti sauce freezes very well. I store mine in a freezer-safe container. To serve, I thaw in the refrigerator (usually about one day) and reheat over medium-low heat in a saucepan on the stove.

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Sunday, November 8, 2009

60 Minute Snowflake Rolls

My kids could not eat get enough of these rolls. Lucky for me these are a quick roll to make because the kids ate the first batch before we could use them for dinner. These rolls go together quickly and taste like rolls that take hours. These rolls are my new favorite quick roll recipe. Next time I make these I am going to try using half whole wheat and half white flour. For those on Weight Watchers one roll is 2 points.

60 Minute Snowflake Rolls
The Baking Sheet Holiday 2008

3 1/2 to 3 3/4 (14 3/4 to 15 3/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons (1 3/8 ounces) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons (2 packets) instant yeast
1 cup (8 ounces) milk or rice milk
1/2 cup (4 ounces) water
1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter

In a large bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups flour, the sugar, salt, and yeast. Combine the milk, water, and butter in a saucepan and heat until very warm. The butter doesn't need to melt.

Gradually add the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix at medium speed for 2 minutes; the mixture will be quite wet. Add another 1/2 cup flour and beat at high speed for 2 minutes. The mixture will begin to get thicker.

Stir in enough of the remaining flour so that you have a soft dough. Knead on a lightly floured board for 5 minutes.

Put back into the mixing bowl after you've scraped it out, cover and let rise for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Turn the dough out onto your board and cut it into 24 equal pieces; each piece should weigh about 1 1/2 ounces. Shape into rolls by rolling them on the board with your cupped fingers.

Place the rolls into two greased 9 inch round cake pans. Let rise for 20 minutes, until they look puffy. For snowflake rolls, sprinkle the tops with flour just before baking.

Bake 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool slightly. Remove from pan.

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Friday, November 6, 2009

Black Bean Soup II

This was a winner in this house. The flavors melded together great and it was simple to make. Adding avocado as a garnishment was a wonderful addition. You could leave the bacon out if you wanted a vegetarian soup. As far as the bacon in this soup, I cooked mine longer so it was a little more crisp than the recipe called for. Next time I think I'll try using dried beans that I cooked but the canned beans are great for making this dish quick and easy.

Black Bean Soup II
Food Network

10 slices bacon, finely chopped
2 medium onions, chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
6 garlic cloves, pressed
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups canned chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
4 (15 1/2-ounce) cans black beans, drained but not rinsed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch cilantro
juice of 1/2 lime
Thinly sliced scallions, for garnish
Sour cream, for garnish
Grated cheddar, for garnish
diced avocado, for garnish

Put the bacon into a large heavy pot and place it over medium heat. Cook until it starts to give up its fat, about 4 minutes. Stir in the onions and cook, stirring, until they start to turn translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until you can smell it, about 1 minute. Add the broth, tomatoes, ketchup, Worcestershire, and chili powder. Stir in the beans, turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat so the soup is bubbling gently and cook 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, pick off all the thick stems from the cilantro. Wash it and shake dry. Chop the cilantro coarsely and stir it into the soup when it has been simmering 10 minutes. cook until the soup is thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lime juice. Serve with the garnishes.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Chicken Parmigiana

I'm not a big fan of this dish. My husband loves it and every once in awhile I make it to keep him happy. The other day I was looking at the Pioneer Woman's blog and noticed this recipe. It looked so good and I was dying to give it a try. The next day I made this dish and I'll admit I loved it. It was the best chicken parmigiana I have ever tried. There is no doubt the next time my husband begs me to make this dish I'll gladly make and enjoy the meal.

Chicken Parmigiana
Pioneer Woman

4 to 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and pounded flat
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup wine—white or red is fine
Three 14.5-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 generous cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Thin linguine

Mix flour, salt, and pepper together on a large plate.
Dredge flattened chicken breasts in flour mixture. Set aside.
Heat olive oil and butter together in a large skillet over medium heat. When butter is melted and oil/butter mixture is hot, fry chicken breasts until nice and golden brown on each side, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
Remove chicken breasts from the skillet and keep warm.
Without cleaning skillet, add onions and garlic and gently stir for 2 minutes. Pour in wine and scrape the bottom of the pan, getting all the flavorful bits off the bottom. Allow wine to cook down until reduced by half, about 2 minutes.
Pour in crushed tomatoes and stir to combine. Add sugar and more salt and pepper to taste.
Allow to cook for 30 minutes.

*Cook linguine until al dente*

Toward the end of cooking time, add chopped parsley and give sauce a final stir.
Carefully lay chicken breasts on top of the sauce and completely cover them in grated Parmesan. Place lid on skillet and reduce heat to low. Allow to simmer until cheese is melted and chicken is thoroughly heated. Add more cheese to taste.
Place cooked noodles on a plate and cover with sauce. Place chicken breast on top and sprinkle with more parsley.
Serve immediately.

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Monday, November 2, 2009


These were delicious and well worth the little time I put into these bagels. They were better than the ones you buy at the grocery store and rank up there with Einsteins bagels. Given the price of Einsteins bagels these days I think I'll make own. You can play with the recipe and add whatever flavorings you want but I did plain and onion/garlic topped. The kids and my husband ate these quickly so I'm not sure how long they would last.

King Arthur's Bakers Companion

1 tablespoon instant yeast
4 cups (17 ounces) unbleached bread flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon non-diastatic malt powder, brown sugar, or barley malt syrup
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) lukewarm water

Water Bath
2 quarts (64 ounces) water
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) non-diastatic malt powder, brown sugar, or barley malt syrup
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Combine all the dough ingredients in a mixing bowl and knead vigorously by machine on medium low speed for 10 minutes. The dough will be quite stiff; it will "thwap" the sides of the bowl and hold its shape (without spreading at all) when you stop the mixer. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and set it aside to rise until noticeably puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Transfer the dough to a work surface and divide it into eight pieces, I made by bagels smaller and did 16 pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll it into a smooth, round ball. Cover the balls with plastic wrap and let them rest for 30 minutes. They'll puff up very slightly.

While the dough is resting, prepare the water bath by heating the water, malt powder, and sugar to a very gentle boil in a large, wide diameter pan. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Use your index finger to poke a hole through the center of each ball, then twirl the dough on your finger to stretch the hole until it's about 2 inches in diameter (the entire bagel will be 4 inches across if using 8 pieces). Place each bagel on a lightly greased baking sheet and repeat with remaining pieces of dough.

Transfer the bagels, four at a time if possible, to the simmering water. Increase the heat under the pan to bring the water back up to a gently simmering boil, if necessary. Cook the bagels for two minutes, gently flip them over, and cook 1 minute more. Use skimmer or strainer, remove the bagels from the water and back on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining bagels.

Bake the bagels for 20 to 25 minutes, until they're as deep a brown as you like, turning them over after about 15 minutes, which will help them remain tall and round. Remove the bagels from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack.

If adding toppings to the bagels, bake bagels 20 to 22 minutes (or until they are almost as brown as you like) and remove the pan from the oven, keeping the oven turned on. Working with one bagel at a time, glaze (1 egg white beaten until frothy with 1 tablespoon water) and sprinkle with your desired toppings. Return the bagels to the oven for no more than 2 minutes.

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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Crispy Taco Wraps

My sister left a comment on Melanie's (My Kitchen Cafe) blog about switching the Crispy Chicken Wraps into a taco wrap. I finally decided to give it a try and it worked pretty well. As you can tell from my picture I really filled the wraps and in the future I think I'd not put quite as much stuff in the wraps. However these wraps were a hit and a nice change from the typical taco dinner. Mix it up and add your favorite taco fillings. I think the chicken from the easy chicken tacos would work well here too.

taco flavored ground beef (you could also use chicken or beef or pork or beans)
cheddar cheese
shredded lettuce
salsa or taco sauce
sour cream
and any other toppings you like on your tacos

Lay a tortilla on a cutting board or counter. Spread with guacamole, salsa, and sour cream. Nest sprinkle some lettuce and tomatoes. Add some cheese and spread your taco flavored protein item. Roll the tortilla up and seal at the seam, leaving ends open. Spray with cooking spray.
Heat a large non-stick skillet (or griddle) over medium heat for 1 minute. Arrange 2 wraps, seam-side down, in pan and cook until golden brown and crisp, about 2-3 minutes per side.

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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Bountiful Baskets Coop October 31st

1 pineapple
1 head green leaf lettuce
4 lbs red grapes
2 lbs broccoli
4 avocados
1 cantaloupe
3 lb Utah gala apples
6 tomatoes
6 bananas
5 red potaotes
8 guava's
All for $16.50. See here for details. It will be 2 weeks before another pickup from Bountiful Baskets.

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Beef Stroganoff

My husband dislikes this dish usually. And usually I make this with ground beef and in a past life from a box. There are thousands of recipes on how to make this dish and I've tried probably 999 of them. This one time I struck gold as my stroganoff hating husband loved this dish and asked for me to make it again. The flavors were quite good and melded together nicely. The recipe originally called for beef tenderloin but that's too pricey for me so I used round steak that I cut against the grain to make it more tender.

Beef Stroganoff
adapted from America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

8 ounces egg noodles
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
12 ounces white button mushrooms, trimmed and halved
12 ounces round steak, cut into 1/8 inch strips against the grain
3/4 cup beef broth
1 onion, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup sour cream

Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot. Add 1 tablespoon salt and the noodles and cook, stirring often, until they are almost tender but still firm to the bite. Drain the noodles, then return to the pot and toss with 2 tablespoons of the butter. Cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a 12 inch skillet over medium high heat until shimmering. Add mushrooms and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes, then transfer to a bowl.

Pat the beef dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet and return to medium high heat until just smoking. Brown the beef, about 5 minutes, then transfer to the bowl with the mushrooms.

Add 1/4 cup beef broth to the skillet and return to medium heat. Simmer, scraping up any browned bits, until syrupy, about 1 minute. Transfer the broth to the bowl with the mushrooms and beef.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter to the skillet and melt over medium heat. Add the onion, brown sugar, and tomatoe paste and cook until the onion is slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook 1 minute. Whisk in the chicken broth and remaining 1/2 cup beef broth and simmer until thickened, about 2 minutes.

Add any accumulated juices from the mushrooms and beef. Stir about 1/2 cup of the sauce into the sour cream, then stir the sour cream mixture into the sauce. Add the mushrooms and beef and warm through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over the warmed buttered egg noodles.

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sister Virginia's Daily Loaf

This bread ranks third after the Egg Harbor bread and the First Loaf as my favorite bread so far. I'd say this has been the favorite of the kids so far as they took a loaf to split between them. This is a fairly easy bread to bake and requires only a few ingredients. I have to admit I'm really having fun trying all the different types of bread. I am surprised at how different breads can taste just be altering directions or ingredients.

Sister Virginia's Daily Loaf
Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads

1 package dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (105-115 degrees) , plus 1 cup water
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
7 cups bread or all purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon butter, melted
2 medium loaf pans, greased

In a small bowl or cup dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup warm water. Stir to dissolve and set aside. Warm the milk in a large saucepan and add the sugar, salt, and butter. Add one cup water. Pour in the yeast mixture and stir together with a large wooden spoon.

Pour in 3 cups flour and beat for 3 minutes with the flat beater on your mixer. The batter will be smooth. Continue adding flour, 1/2 cup at a time, working the dough until it cleans the sides and bottom of the bowl.

Knead 8 minutes with the dough hook on your mixer. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and leave at room temperature until it has doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Turn the dough out and knead briefly to press out any gas bubbles, and divide into 2 equal pieces. With your hands, press the ball of dough into an oblong piece the length of the pan. Fold lengthwise and pinch the seam together. Turn the dough over, seam down, and tuck in the ends. Drop into the prepared pan and push down with the fingers to fill the corners. Repeat with the second piece.

Cover the pans and leave until dough has doubled in bulk, the center slightly above the edge of the pan, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees 20 minutes before baking.

Brush the dough with melted butter, and place on the lower oven shelf. Bake until the crust is a golden brown and the loaves are loose in their pans, about 40 minutes. Thump the bottom crust with the forefinger. A hard hollow sound means the bread is baked. The bottom crust will also be nicely browned.

Remove the bread from the oven and turn the loaves onto a metal cooling rack. This bread freezes well.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Funeral Potatoes

I think everyone in my state has tried these potatoes at least once. They are favorites of everyone I know. I'm not a huge fan of them mainly because they are loaded with cream of mushroom and chicken soup which I usually find pretty gross. Then I heard my favorite magazine was reworking the dish for their new cookbook I was excited. I have to say they did a pretty dang good job of turning the dish into something my husband would actually eat. See my husband is not from Utah and there are so many dishes that are favorites here that he just does not like. Funeral potatoes being one of the top items he does not like. However after trying this recipe he said I could make these once a year instead of the never again he usually says.

Funeral Potatoes
Best Lost Suppers Cookbook

4 pounds russet potatoes, scrubbed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound white mushrooms, sliced thin
1 onion, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 pound ham steak, cut into 2 inch matchsticks
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups cornflakes, crushed fine

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13 by 9 inch baking dish and set aside.

Bring potatoes and 4 quarts water to a simmer in a large pot and cook until just shy of tender (a paring knife should glide through the flesh with slight resistance), 10 to 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and set aside. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel them, then grate the flesh lengthwise on the large holes of a box grater. Return the potatoes to the pot.

While potatoes cook, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the mushrooms and 3/4 teaspoon salt and cook until the mushrooms have released their juices and are brown around the edges, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute.

Whisk in the milk, thyme, and pepper, bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring frequently, until thickened slightly, about 1 minute. Stir in the cheese and 6 tablespoons butter and cook until melted, about 1 minute.

Off heat, stir in the ham and sour cream. Pour the mixture over the potatoes and toss to combine. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a bowl in the microwave. Stir in the cornflakes, then sprinkle them evenly over the top of the potato mixture.

Place the baking dish on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet and bake until the potatoes are bubbling and the top is golden brown, 35 to 45 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Buttermilk Bread

I'm having fun working my way through this bread book. I'm almost done working my way through the white breads and the whole wheat breads are coming up soon. I'm not doing every recipe in the book, just the ones that I know we will like. One thing I've learned is homemade bread does not last long in my house. It seems I'm baking bread about every 2-3 days. Store bought bread goes moldy long before we eat it all. Having said that my favorite white bread I've baked so far has been the Egg Harbor bread. This buttermilk bread comes in really close to the Egg Harbor bread. The flavor is quite good in this buttermilk bread with none of the funky after taste in the store bought buttermilk bread. This has been the favorite bread of my kids. Both loaves were gone in less than 24 hours with most eaten by the three of them.

Buttermilk Bread
adapted from Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Bread

5 to 5 1/2 cups bread or all purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 package dry yeast
1 cup water
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 butter (The cookbook called for shortening but I prefer butter to shortening)
1 egg, beaten
2 medium greased loaf pans

In a large mixing bowl stir together 2 cups flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and yeast. In a saucepan combine the water, buttermilk, and butter and place over warm heat to warm. Warm until the butter melts. Because of the buttermilk the mixture may look curdled. Gradually add the liquid to the the dry ingredients and beat for 2 minutes with the flat beater on your mixer. Add one cup flour to make a thick batter and beat for 2 more minutes. Switch to a dough hook and work in the remaining 2 to 2 1/2 cups flour. Add the flour gradually, until the mass of dough is soft and not sticky.

Knead until the ball of dough is smooth and elastic-about 8 minutes. If the dough is slack and soft and has a tendency to stick add sprinkles of flour. It will pull away cleanly from the sides of the bowl when it has enough flour.

Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and put in a warm place until the dough has doubled in bulk about one hour.

Punch the dough down and cut into 2 pieces. Turn the cut side under and gently press and pat the dough into an oblong shape that will fit tightly into the pan.

Cover with waxed paper and return to a warm place for about 45 minutes or until the dough has risen about 1 inch above the edge of the pan.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees about 20 minutes before baking.

Bake for about 40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and a loaf sounds hollow when thumped on the bottom. If the bottom is soft and the bread does not seem brown enough, return the loaf to the oven without the pan for another 5 to 10 minutes.

Place the loaves on wire racks to cool.

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sausage Muffin

I love McDonald's sausage Mcmuffins. However I am sure their mcmuffin is loaded with ingredients I'd prefer to keep out of my family's diet. I used my homemade muffins for this but you could buy English muffins from the store. I buy the country sausage and shape it into patties myself but again you could buy the preformed sausage patties if you'd prefer. I freeze mine with everything but the egg. I make the egg while the muffin is defrosting in the microwave if the person who is eating it wants the egg. I prefer mine without the egg. These also make great late night snacks or even after school snacks.

1 English muffin, my recipe, toasted
1 slice cheddar cheese (you could use those American cheese slices if you like the processed stuff)
1 sausage patty, cooked
1 fried egg, if desired
Place cheese on muffin followed by sausage, and egg (if using). Serve.
To freeze, leave egg off, build as listed above and wrap in freezer paper then place in a sandwich bag.

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

October CrossRoads Coop

Not too shabby for $14 for all the produce, bread, and lentils. The bratwursts were $3.25.
4 avocados
10 Utah Golden Delicious apples
9 pears
8 bananas
1 cabbage
1 2lb bag carrots
2 eggplant
1 3lb bag of organic Utah yellow onions
2 organic Utah spaghetti squash
1 lb lentils
Stone Ground's Artisan wheat loaf

To find out how to order click here.

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Halloween Treats Part IV plus Giveaway Winners

First the winners of the tomato paste tubes:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

13 6 

Timestamp: 2009-10-24 15:18:57 UTC

Number 6 is Frieda

Number 13 is Charmed

If you'd email your address at n_baron@msn.com I'll get them in the mail next week.

On to the treats! You can make these Halloween doughnut holes with holes you buy from the store or with the holes from the yeast filled doughnuts I posted here. If you buy the plain doughnut holes from the store you'll still need to make the glaze so you can roll the doughnut holes through them, color the glaze for a more Halloween feel if you'd like. After putting glaze on your doughnut holes roll them through Halloween candy sprinkles or colored sugar sprinkles. I put the finished doughnut holes on skewers to serve them to the kids.

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Yeast Raised Glazed Doughnuts

Last chance to enter my giveaway for the tubes of tomato paste. 5pm tonight is the closing of the giveaway and I'll announce the winners tomorrow. Click here to enter.

My boys love doughnuts. They are always asking for a doughnut when we go to the store or drive past Krispy Kreme. I think the price of doughnuts are high and hate buying doughnuts. My husband usually treats them to a doughnut once a week or once every two weeks. However now that I've made my own I think our days of buying those overpriced doughnuts are over. These doughnuts barely last one hour in the house. They were that good. They really weren't hard to make. You can even start making these the night before and then refrigerate the dough for hot doughnuts in the morning. Just complete the recipe through the first rise the day before, then refrigerate the dough overnight, then roll, cut, and cook them in the morning.

Yeast-Raised Glazed Doughuts
King Arthur's Baking Companion

1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
3 cups (12 3/4 ounces) unbleached all purpose flour
1 large egg
1 cup (8 ounces) milk
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 cups (2 pounds) vegetable oil or shortening (2 1/2 pounds), for frying

1/4 cup (2 ounces) milk
2 cups (8 ounces) confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk together the dry ingredients. In a seperate bowl, combine the egg, milk, butter, and vanilla and stir into the flour mixture, mixing until well combined. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes, then knead 6 to 8 minutes by hand or mixer until you have a smooth, soft dough. Place the dough in a buttered bowl, turn it over to grease the top, and let it rise; covered in a warm place for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until doubled in bulk.

Deflate the dough and turn it onto a lightly floured surface. Gently roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness and cut with a round cutter (or, using a pizza wheel, cut into strips to make cruellers). Cover loosely with greased plastic wrap and let rise again for about 1 hour, until doubled again.

Place oil or shortening in a heavy pan or deep skillet and heat to 350 degrees. Place the doughnuts in the oil, two or three at a time, and fry until golden brown. Turn over and cook the second side. This should take no more than a minute for each side. Overcooking will make the doughnuts tough. Drain on paper towels.

To make the glaze, stir the milk into the confectioners' sugar until it is smooth, then add the vanilla.

When the doughnuts are cool enough to handle (but still warm), dip the tops of the doughnuts in the glaze, then place on a rack or plate to let the glaze drop down.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pork Chops with Hoisin-Molasses Barbecue Sauce

This recipe has a little of something for pretty much everyone. It's quick and easy to make. It's great for those watching calories and it was very tasty. I served it with white rice and the nutritional info that I'll post is from white rice but I think this would have been good with brown rice too. The sauce was a little spicy for my kids but they are not fans of anything with any type of spice to it plus I think the majority of the spice was the Chinese mustard I had which is very spicy.
Nutritional info:
1 pork chop and 1/2 cup rice is one serving size
317 calories
7.7 gram fat (sat 2.2, mono 3.4)
protein 23.9 g
carbs 35.8 g
fiber 0.8g
chol 58mg
iron 2mg
sodium 478 mg
calc 49mg

And just a reminder if you have not entered the giveaway for the tomato paste click here.

Pork Chops with Hoisin-Molasses Barbecue Sauce
Cooking Light Magazine March 2008

3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
3 tablespoons Hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons Chinese hot mustard
cooking spray
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon pepper
6 (4 ounce) boneless center-cut loin pork chops, about 1/2 inch thick
4 green onions
3 cups hot cooked white rice

Combine sugar and molasses in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat. Cook 3 minutes or until sugar melts, stirring occasionally. Stir in hoisin sauce, vinegar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and garlic; bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in mustard. Keep warm.

Heat a grill pan over medium high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper over pork. Add pork to pan; cook for 2 minutes on each side or until done. Add pork to hoisin mixture, turning to coat. Keep warm.

Add onions to pan; cook 2 minutes or until wilted. Remove onions from pan, chop. Combine onions, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and rice; serve with pork.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

English Muffins

First off if you haven't entered the giveaway for the tomato paste tubes click here for the details. Contest runs through Friday.

We don't eat English muffins a lot in our house and even when we plan to eat muffins I seem to forget to buy them. Adding to the fact that there are lots of chemicals in the store bought kind I decided to give my hand at making some. The recipe says to cook them then wait a day to eat them. I highly recommend you do that. Mine were gummy the first day but the second day they were just right. These do freeze well and I did freeze some for future use. I did not have English muffin rings so I shaped the muffins by hand. Not a perfect job but fairly close.

English Muffins
King Arthur's Bakers Companion

1 1/2 cups (6 1/4 ounces) unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 cup (6 ounces) water
1/8 teaspoon yeast

Mix all the starter ingredients in a medium sized bowl to form a smooth batter. Cover and leave at room temperature for at least 4 hours, or up to 16 hours. The starter should be puffy and full of holes when it's ready to use.

1 3/4 cups (7 1/4 ounce) unbleached all purpose flour
2 tablespoons (1/2 ounce) cornstarch
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons (7/8 ounce) sugar or non-diastatic malt powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) butter, melted
3/4 cup (6 ounces) milk, warm
1 to 2 tablespoons cornmeal for sprinkling on the pan

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the starter and all the dough ingredients, except the cornmeal, to form a smooth batter. The batter needs to be beaten for 5 to 8 minutes. Cover the bowl and place in a warm spot until the batter has doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Lightly grease 10 to 12 English muffin rings and place the rings on a lightly greased or parchment lined baking sheet that's already been sprinkled with a small amount of cornmeal. If you don't have English muffin rings, simply drop the batter onto the pan and shape it with your fingers. The muffin won't be perfect but will taste just fine.

Stir the dough, then drop a scant 1/4 cup dough into each ring. Sprinkle lightly with cornmeal. Smooth the dough, if desired, with your fingers, dipped in water first. Cover the pan and place in a warm place to rise for 1 hour, or until muffins have grown by at least a third.

Preheat the oven to 350 degree. Bake the muffins for 25 minutes, until they're lightly browned on both sides. The muffins may be forked split and eaten immediately (they'll be soft) or, for crunchier muffins, cool them completely, split them and toast.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Beef and Vegetable Soup plus a Giveaway Winners announced

First the giveaway. I've discovered this really package of tomato paste that is great for those recipes that only call for a teaspoon or tablespoon of tomato paste. You just store in the fridge after opening and its good for a few months. No more opening a can of tomato paste and then forgetting to use the rest of the can. This is made by Amore products and has become a favorite of mine. I hope you'll enjoy using it too. Just leave a comment if you'd like a chance to win one of two packages. If your a follower leave two comments for an extra chance and if your not a follower yet become one and let me know in a separate comment for two chances to win. You have until Friday at 5pm (MST) to enter and winners will be announced Saturday.
Winners are:

he winners of the tomato paste tubes:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

13 6 

Timestamp: 2009-10-24 15:18:57 UTC

Number 6 is Frieda

Number 13 is Charmed

If you'd email your address at n_baron@msn.com I'll get them in the mail next week.

Now on to the soup. This had great flavor and was a favorite amongst everyone in our house. The depth of flavor was unbelievable. This is not a quick soup dish but not as long as some soup recipes. Next time I plan on adding some barely to the soup as I think that would really add to the dish.

Beef and Vegetable Soup
Cooks Country Dec./Jan. 2006

3 pounds beef blade steaks
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
4 cups low sodium beef broth
2 cups water
1 garlic head, top third cut off and discarded, loose outer skins removed
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4 inch half moons
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
salt and pepper
chopped fresh parsley

For the broth
Season blade steaks with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in dutch oven over medium high heat until shimmering. Add half of steaks and cook until well browned on both sides, about 8 minutes. Set steaks aside on plate. Repeat with remaining tablespoon oil and steaks.

Pour fat from dutch oven and return to medium high heat. Add tomato paste and cook, mashing paste with wooden spoon for 30 seconds. Add chicken broth, beef broth, and water, and scrape browned bits from bottom of pot with wooden spoon. Return steaks and any accumulated juices to pot. Add garlic, bay leaves, and thyme and bring to a simmer, using a wide, shallow spoon to skim off foam or fat that rises to surface. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently until meat is tender, about 2 hours.

Transfer steaks and garlic head to a rimmed plate to cool. Once cool enough to handle shred meat into bite sized pieces, discarding any fat. Using tongs, squeeze garlic cloves into small bowl. Mash with fork until paste forms. Pour broth through fine-mesh strainer. Return shredded beef and garlic paste to broth. Broth can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for 2 months.

For the Soup
Melt butter in clean dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and carrots and cook until onion is softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and carrots. Bring to simmer, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until carrots are tender, about 20 minutes.

To serve, adjust servings with salt and pepper and sprinkle with parsley.

You can add other veggies or replace the veggies listed with others. Just adjust cooking times as needed.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

English Muffin Bread

My dad loves English muffin bread and since he's recovering from surgery I thought make him a batch. This bread really was not hard to make but it was a pain in the butt getting it into the baking pans. The dough is so sticky it does not want to release from anything. Not sure if there is anything you can do about that though. In the picture there are brown streaks which are due to using baking soda in the recipe. The streaks don't change the taste just make it less attractive. You can use baking powder in place of the baking soda if you'd prefer a loaf without the streaks.

English Muffin Bread
Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads

1 package dry yeast
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
2 teaspoons salt
4 cups bread flour
2 cups hot water (120-130 degrees)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 1 tablespoon warm water

Grease two small loaf pans.

In a bowl combine the yeast, dry milk, salt and 2 cups flour. Pour in the hot water and stir to blend thoroughly. Stir in additional flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the batter is thick. Stir the batter for 3 minutes with a flat beater in the mixer. The dough will pull away from the sides of the bowl in thick ribbons.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put in a warm place (80-100 degrees) for about 1 hour, or until the batter has doubled in volume-it will be quite bubbly.

Stir down the batterlike dough and add the dissolved baking soda. Be certain it is well blended. Spoon or pour into the pans, pushing the dough into the corners with a rubber spatula. The pans will be about 2/3rds full.

Lay plastic wrap over the pans and return to a warm place. The dough will rise to the edge of the pans, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees 20 minutes before baking.

Bake the loaves for about 1 hour. The loaves will be well browned and pull away from the sides of the pan when done.

Turn the bread out from the pans. Allow to cool on a wire rack before cutting. The loaves can be kept for several months in a 0 degree freezer.

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