Sunday, December 14, 2008

churros con chocolate

The Churros

Here's the ultimate recipe to make your own churros at home, just like they were at the churrerĂ­a stands. Of course, the difference here is price. Here you can make a whole batch for what is cost for a few. Once you make the churros, you can make the authentic chocolate dip to dunk them in.

Ingredients: (Makes one platefull)
Vegetable or Olive Oil
1 cup water
1/2 cup margarine or butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

Prepare to fry the churros by heating oil in a pan (1 to 1&1/2 inches) to 360 degrees F.

To make churro dough, heat water, margarine and salt to rolling boil in 3-quart saucepan; stir in flour. Stir vigorously over low heat until mixture forms a ball, about 1 minute; remove from heat. Beat eggs all at once; continue beating until smooth and then add to saucepan while stirring mixture.

Spoon mixture into cake decorators' tube with large star tip (like the kind use to decorate cakes). Squeeze 4-inch strips of dough into hot oil. Fry 3 or 4 strips at a time until golden brown, turning once, about 2 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels. (Mix Sugar and the optional cinnamon); roll churros in sugar or dump the sugar on the pile of churros, like the pros. That churro taste will take you right back to your favorite summer days walking the paseos of Spain.

Note: REAL churros in Spain are made without cinnamon mixed with the sugar, but the cinnamon adds an extra nice flavor.

Chocolate for Churro Dunking

4oz dark chocolate, chopped
2 cups milk
1 tbsp cornstarch (also known as cornflour and is the powder that causes the thickening)
4 tbsp sugar

Place the chocolate and half the milk in a pan and heat, stirring, until the chocolate has melted. Dissolve the cornstarch in the remaining milk and whisk into the chocolate with the sugar. Cook on low heat, whisking constantly, until the chocolate is thickened, about five minutes. Add extra cornstarch if it doesn't start to thicken after 5 minutes. Remove and whisk smooth. Pour and server in cups or bowls for dunking churros. Do not pour over churros, but use the mix for dunking churros after every bite. Served warm.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Porcupine Meatballs

Porcupine meatballs are made with ground beef, rice, onion, tomato soup, and seasonings.


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/3 cup uncooked long-grain rice
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • dash ground black pepper
  • 1 can condensed tomato soup
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 cup water


Combine the ground beef, rice, onion, 1/4 cup of the water, salt, and pepper. Shape meat mixture into 12 to 15 meat balls. Combine the soup, chili powder, and water in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Add meatballs; reduce heat, cover, and simmer over very low heat for 1 hour. Stir occasionally.
Serves 4.

This was pretty good.  Darin said to put it into regular rotation.  I broiled some sub sandwich buns with mozzarella on it and then put the meatballs on top like Subway does.  It was pretty tasty!

Monday, November 17, 2008

reposts of a couple of buried goodies

These were buried in the blogs of the past and I resurrected them because I made them again recently and they were so good!

Carmel Popcorn

Caramel popcorn

1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup white corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 Stick (4 oz.) margarine or butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 to 4 quarts of POPPED corn
Combine all ingredients except soda and popped corn in a 1½ to 2 quart microwave safe bowl. Put in microwave (HIGH) and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from microwave and stir in soda.

Put the popped corn in a brown grocery bag and pour the syrup over the corn. Close the bag by rolling it down a couple times and SHAKE HARD. Cook in the bag on HIGH microwave for 1½ minutes. Remove and shake vigorously and cook in the microwave another 1½ minutes. Shake when you remove it from the microwave and pour it on a large cookie sheet to cool. Store in an airtight container when cool.


1 1/2 cups uncooked long-grain rice
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp all purpose flour
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup light coconut milk
3 Tbsp red curry paste
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1 rotisserie chicken shredded
1 1/2 cups fresh steamed green beans cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

prepare rice according to package instructions

melt butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat; whisk in flour until smooth. cook, whisking constantly 1 minute. gradually whisk in chicken broth, milk and coconut milk. cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, 2 minutes or until mixture is thick and bubbly. stir in curry paste and next 3 ingredients. stir in chicken, green beans, and red bell pepper strips into curry mixture; cook 2 more minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro. serve chicken mixture over rice. sprinkle with remaining cilantro. serve with lime wedges.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Beer bread and Rice Krispie treats

Basic Beer Cheese Bread
from cooking light

1 tbspn olive oil
1/2 c finely chopped onion
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
3 c flour
3 tbspn sugar
2 tsp b. powder
1 tsp salt
1 c shredded monterey jack cheese
1 12 oz bottle lager style beer
2 tbspn melted butter

1 . preheat oven to 375

2. heat oil in a small skillet over medium low heat. add onion to pan, cook 10 minutes until browned, sitrring occasionally. stir in pepper and garlic. cook 1 minute.

3. spoon flour inot measuring cups. combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in large bowl. make a well in center of mixture. add onion mixture, cheese and beer to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.

4. spoon batter in to 9.5 loaf pan coated with cooking spray. drizzle 1 tbspn melted butter on top. bake for 35 minutes. drizzle remaining 1 tbspn butter over batter. bake additional 25 minutes until golden browned and toothpick comes out clean.

** this is yummy, but has a distinct bitter beer flavor. we liked it, although i kinda put it in the same category as your stew that required beer. they were both okay, but not something i would make all the time. but still, a quick and easy savory bread to put together for dinner. i still like red lobster biscuits better.

Crispy Chocolate marshmallow treats
from martha stewart's everyday food magazine

6 tbspn b utter
1 bag (10.5 oz) mini marshmallows
1/4 c unsweetened dutch process cocoa
6 cups rice crispies
2 oz bitter sweet chocolate melted over a double boiler

1. butter 8 inch square baking pan. you can line the bottom with parchment paper if you want. i dont like doing it cuz it takes more time

2. in large saucepan combine butter, marshmallows, and cocoa. cook over medium heat stirring frequently until melted, about 6 minutes. stir in rice cereal. press rice mixture into prepared pan, drizzle with melted chocolate. let cool to room temp and cut

** yummmmmy! these were soooo good! and so simple to make.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Oven BBQ Pork Slices

Printed from COOKS.COM

3 lbs. boned loin pork in 1 piece
1/2 c. soy sauce
4 tbsp. cider vinegar
2 tbsp. oil
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. oregano
1 onion, chopped

1. Split meat lengthwise to half thickness, combine other ingredients in shallow bowl. Add meat, marinate covered 4 hours turning occasionally.

2. Drain meat and place it in shallow roasting pan. Roast at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours basting with marinate occasionally. Remove from pan and cool. To serve cut diagonal thin slice or freeze wrap in foil, then reheat at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Serve with toothpicks and Chinese mustard.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

killer apple pie with cornmeal crust and caramel brandy sauce

Double Apple Pie with Cornmeal Crust (the crust is great!)
I didn’t have all the ingredients for this, but I’ll tell you what I substituted and that it turned out well. I’d like to make it with all the right ingredients though

2 ¼ lbs Granny Smith Apples
2 ¼ lbs Braeburn apples
¼ cup all purpose flour
2 Tbsp apple jelly (I didn’t have this, so I omitted it)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp nutmeg
1/3 cup sugar
Cornmeal crust dough
wax paper
3 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp butter
1 tsp. sugar
brandy caramel sauce

Preheat oven to 425. peel and core apples; cut into ½ inch thick wedges. place apples in a large bowl. stir in next 7 ingredients. let stand 30 minutes, gently stirring occasionally.

place 1 cornmeal crust dough disk on a lightly floured piece of wax paper; sprinkle dough lightly with flour. top with another sheet of wax paper. roll dough to a thickness of 1/8 inch and 11 inches wide

remove and discard top sheet of wax paper. starting at edge, wrap dough around rolling pin, separating dough from wax paper. place rolling pin over pie plate, and unroll dough over pie plate. gently press dough into pie plate.

stir apple mixture. reserve 1 tbsp juices. spoon apples into crust, packing tightly and mounding in the center. pour remaining juices in bowl over apples. sprinkle apples with 3 tbsp sugar; dot with butter.

roll remaining corn meal dough disk and place dough over filling; fold edges under; sealing to bottom crust and crimp. brush top of pie, excluding the edges lightly with reserved 1 tbsp juices from apples. sprinkle with 1 tsp sugar. place pie on jelly roll pan. cut 4-5 slits on top of pie for steam to escape.

bake at 425 on lower oven rack 15 minutes. reduce oven temp to 350; transfer pie to middle rack and bake 35 minutes. cover loosely with aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning and bake 30 more minutes or until juices are bubbly and thick, crust is golden brown, and apples are tender when pierced with long wooden pick through slits in crust. (I had to bake mine about another 20-30 minutes after the recommended time) cool 1 ½- 2 hours on a wire rack. Serve with brandy-caramel sauce ( I wanted to make this but didn’t have the ingredients, so hopefully next time....)

Cornmeal crust

2 1/3 cup flour
¼ cup plain yellow cornmeal
2 tbsp sugar
¾ tsp salt
¾ cup cold butter cut into ½ inch pieces
¼ cup chilled shortening
8-10 Tbsp chilled apple cider (I didn’t have this so I used 4 Tbsp apple cider vinegar and 5 Tbsp water and it was fine although I’d like to try it the right way)
stir together first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. cut butter and shortening into flour mixture until mixture resembles small peas. drizzle 1Tbsp apple cider along edge of mixture in bowl. using a fork, gently toss a small amount of flour mixture into cider just until dry ingredients are moistened. repeat procedure with remaining liquid. Gently gather dough into two flat disks. wrap in plastic wrap and chill 1-24 hours.

brandy caramel sauce

1 cup whipping cream
1 ½ cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp -1/4 cup butter
2 Tbsp brandy (can be substituted with cider)
1 tsp vanilla

bring whipping cream to a light boil in a large saucepan over medium heat; stirring occasionally. add sugar and cook stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved and mixture is smooth. remove from heat stir in butter, brandy and vanilla. let cool 10 minutes.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

cafe con leche custard cups

something else I haven't made yet, but think sounds good and will someday. Would be fun to have for a girl party at your house!

1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups 2% milk
1 (14 oz) can fat free sweetened condensed milk
2 egg yolks
2 Tbsp instant coffee granules
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup thawed reduced fat whipped topping
garnishes: chopped and whole chocolate covered espresso beans, shortbread cookies

combine flour and salt in a 2 qt heavy nonaluminum saucepan. whisk in milk and next 3 ingredients, whisking until smooth. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, 10-12 minutes or until thickened. remove from heat, stir in vanilla.

2. fill a large bowl with ice; place pan in ice, and whisk custard occasionally until completely cool (about 30 min)
3. spoon 1/2 cup custard into each of 8 (5 oz) cups or glasses. top with 1-2 Tbsp whipped topping, fill completely and scrap top with a knife to level the whipped topping. Garnish, if desired.

Caribbean Black Bean Soup

I haven't made this yet, but it looks good.

1/2 cup diced onion
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1 (14 oz) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 lb chicken breast tenders
2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained
1/2 tsp salt
toppings: diced avocado, chopped fresh cilantro

1. saute onion and next 4 ingredients in hot oil in a dutch oven over medium heat 2-3 minutes or until onion is tender and fragrant. add garlic, cook 1 minute.

2. stir in tomatoes and next 4 ingredients until well blended. Stir in chicken. cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 2 hours. Shred chicken with two forks in dutch oven. Add black beans, and cook 10 more minutes. stir in salt.

Peppered Beef Soup

Ok, so it's time I finally posted again! you've been going crazy with the posts! thanks!! I needed some ideas. I have not felt like looking up new recipes lately, So, this will be fun! Anyway, here's a recipe from Southern LIving magazine that I made tonight. I didn't have any beer and I thought I had the beef broth substitute, but then found out that I didn't, so I just made some beef soup base with water; I guess it's the same thing as the bouillon, but o well. it was good and Darin said to put it into the rotation! I would also add more of the veggies bc there was a lot of beef in it and I only used a 2 pound hunk of meat instead of the 4 pounds it calls for. This is another recipe, like one that you posted, that will probably only work with beef, but is worth it. I used tri tip roast bc I forgot what kind of meat it called for when I was at the store :) I also skipped the cooking in hot oil in a dutch oven bc I was lazy and don't like the smell it leaves in the house afterwards) NOTE this is a slow cooker recipe, so premeditate it!

1 (4 lb) sirloin tip beef roast
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 Tbsp oil
1 medium size red onion, thinly sliced ( I used yellow)
6 garlic cloves, minced ( I used 4 bc I used less meat)
2 large baking potatoes, diced
1 (16 oz) package of baby carrots ( I used regular and cut them into baby size bc they're cheaper)
2 (12 oz) bottles lager beer (or 3 cups low sodium beef broth)
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp dried parsley flakes
1 Tbsp beef bouillon granules
1 1/2- 3 tsp freshly ground pepper
4 bay leaves
salt to taste

1 Rinse roast and pat dry, cut a 1 inch deep cavity in the shape of an "x" on top of roast (do not cut all the way through the roast) dredge in all purpose flour; shake off excess.
2. cook roast in hot oil in a dutch oven (what is this anyway?) over medium high heat 1-2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.
3. place roast in a 6 qt. slow cooker. stuff cavity with sliced red onion and minced garlic; top roast with potatoes and carrots. Pour beer, balsamic vinegar, and worcestershire sauce into slow cooker. sprinkle with parsley, bouillon, and pepper. Add bay leaves to liquid in slow cooker.
4. cover and cook on Low for 7-8 hours or until fork tender. shred roast using 2 forks. season with salt to taste. serve in toasted bread bowls, if desired.

I just made some bread in the bread machine for dipping. It was good. the bowls would be good too. This is great for leaving all day if you have to work or something or don't feel like making a dinner at night.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Quick BBQ Chicken

i don't know why they call this BBQ chicken, b/c it isn't. but you can grill it, and it is very delicious.

1 tsp sugar
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp pepper
2 bone in chicken breast halves

1. preheat grill
2. combine first 9 ingredients in a bowl, stirring well. loosen skin from chicken by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat. rub spice mixture evently under skin over meat. place chicken, breast side down on a grill rack coated with cooking spray. grill until done.

of course i used regular skinless, boneless chicken breasts b/c i don't like the bone in or the skinned kind. you always end up throwing the skins away anyway, and then you have to eat around the bone. so i did it with just the prepackaged kind. they didn't take long to grill, just like other chicken breasts. it was kinda of a mediterranean taste to it. i really liked it. chicken thighs might be good too b/c they would be a bit juicier.

Dinner this Week

Italian Herb Kebabs

from cooking light

1/2 c packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 c fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 c fresh parsley leaves
2 tbspn fresh lemon juice
2 tbspn water
1 garlic clove
4 tsp olive oil
some chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces (the recipe calls for shrimp or scallops but those are expensive so i am making it with chicken)
1 medium zucchini, cut into 20 slices

1. prepare grill
2. place first 6 ingredients in a blender, add 2 tsp olive oil. process until smooth. transfer basil mixture to a bowl. add chicken and toss well to coat. let stand at room temp at least 15 minutes.
3. thread marinated chicken and zucchini slices alternately onto skewers. drizzle kebabs with remaining olive oil. place on grill coated with cooking spray if needed. grill on each side until done. sprinkle evenly with salt/pepper.

it suggests making the meal with these as a side:

tomato bruschetta
grill 4 slices country style sourdough bread 1 minute on each side or until lightly toasted (you could also just use a toaster with some yummy artisan bread)
remove bread from grill, rub one side of each bread slice with cut sides of a halved garlic clove. combine 3/4 c chopped tomato, 2 tbspn chopped fresh basil, 1 tbspn balsamic vinegar, 2 tsp olive oil, and 1/4 tsp salt. top each bread slice with 3 tbspn bread mixture.

sounds really good!

Five Layer Bars

for a super sweet bar, make these. they are delicious, but very sweet! i had some leftover sweet condensed milk in the fridge so i went looking for a recipe to use it in.

Five Layer Bar Mix:

1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup butterscotch morsels
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

for a christmas idea: In a decorative jar, layer pecans, butterscotch morsels, coconut, and chocolate morsels. Spoon graham cracker crumbs into a small plastic or cellophane bag and place on top of the layers.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Press into bottom of a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle remaining ingredients over crumb mixture. Pour sweetened condensed milk over the layers. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool and cut into bars.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Using up Garden Tomatoes

i'm making this tonight....

Herb Stuffed Tomatoes
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis
Show: Everyday Italian
Episode: Sunday Suppers

5 beefsteak tomatoes
1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
3/4 cup Italian-style bread crumbs
1 cup grated provolone
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon butter, softened
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Cut the tomatoes in half, horizontally. Use a small spoon to gently hollow out the inside of the tomatoes, discarding the seeds and reserving the pulp and being careful not to puncture the outer shell. Chop the reserved pulp and put in a medium bowl. Add the parsley, bread crumbs, cheese, and pepper and mix gently to combine. Place the tomato halves in a buttered casserole dish, and fill with the bread crumb mixture. Drizzle the top of the tomatoes with olive oil. Bake until the tops are browned, about 20 minutes.

Zucchini Bread

this recipe is in the oven right now. so it's not rated yet, but it comes from Paula Deen. Have you ever seen her show on the Food Network? She's from somewhere deep south, and she's pretty funny b/c of it. anyway, anything she makes is extremely fattening and usually extremely good.

Zucchini Bread
Recipe courtesy Paula Deen
Show: Paula's Home Cooking
Episode: Weekend House Guest
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup water
2 cups grated zucchini
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, nutmeg, baking soda, cinnamon and sugar. In a separate bowl, combine oil, eggs, water, zucchini and lemon juice. Mix wet ingredients into dry, add nuts and fold in. Bake in 2 standard loaf pans, sprayed with nonstick spray, for 1 hour, or until a tester comes out clean. Alternately, bake in 5 mini loaf pans for about 45 minutes.

i sprinkled chocolate chips on top of one. i have troubles getting my zucchini loaves to come out of the pan whole. they always stick to the bottom of the pan. this time i put extra oil in the bottom of the pan so hopefully it will all come out.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Steak Panzanella

This recipe is from Cooking Light. I don't like to use beef/steak b/c of the environmental costs of raising cattle, but the steak was really the best meat to add to this salad. this is a classic italian bread salad recipe. also uses up garden tomatoes.

1/2 pound day old ciabatta bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 1/2 cups coarsely chopped tomato
1 cup coarsely chopped english cucumber
1/2 c coarsely chopped fresh basil
1/2 c vertically sliced red onion
1/2 c julienne cut bottled roasted red bell peppers
1 1/2 tsp capers (i skipped this, i don't like capers. i think they are silly)
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tbspn sherry vinegar (i used some sherry cooking wine and red wine vinegar since i didn't have this exactly)
1 tbspn olive oil
3/4 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 c loosely packed arugula (i used spinach, it was cheaper)
Garlic rubbed Flank steak cut into 1 inch slices ( recipe for this : 1 two-pound flank steak, salt, pepper, 2 garlic cloves minced. rub steak evenly with salt, pepper, and garlic. grill till desired doneness.)

1. preheat oven to 400. arrange bread cubes in a single layer on baking sheet. bake at 400 for 8 minutes or until toasted.

2. combine tomato and next 6 ingredients (through garlic) in a large bowl. combine vinegar, oil, sugar, black pepper and salt. add vinegar mixture to tomato mixture, toss well. let stand for 1 hour (orhowever long)

3. add bread cubes, arugula, and garlic rubbed flank stead to tomato mixture, toss gently to coat. serve immediately.

*this will be one of my alltime favorites. it was so good. a couple side notes: i don't know what flank steak is. i looked at the grocery store and nothing said "flank steak". i ended up getting something sirloin i think, it wasn't too expensive which is fine for this since it is going into a salad.

also, do you use freshly ground black pepper? b/c if you don't, it's time to start. i keep a pepper mill right by the stove now and when a recipe calls for pepper i grind it directly into the dish. the flavor and spice of freshly ground pepper is 100 times better than something in a spice tin. i am thinking about using kosher salt next b/c everything i read about it says it tastes better and is better for seasoning. right now i use something from the great salt lake that also has some red bits in it. supposedly just buying morton's salt in the blue container with the umbrella girl on it isn't as good for you and doesn't have the same flavor. it's something to consider.

Brunch Casserole

this is from rachel ray's magazine and oh my goodness is it ever great! i just made it this morning before a night shift and it was very satisfying. i used chives and tomatoes from my garden.

4-6 slices bread, crust discarded, cut into 1 inch pieces, about 4 cups. (i used a couple days old ciabatta bread and left the crust on which i think made the texture better)
8 oz ham (i used a few slices of bacon here instead)
2 1/2 c cheese
3 tbspn chives
6 eggs
1/2 c milk
2 plum tomatoes, sliced

1. preheat oven to 350. grease 2 qt baking dish (i used a 2 1/2 qt corningware but it was too deep. you definitely need the 2 qt space, but i recommend using a long and shallow dish rather than a deep dish)

2. layer bread, ham/bacon, 2 c cheese, and 2 tbspn chives into dish

3. whisk together eggs, milk, salt and pepper. pour into dish on top of other ingredients. top with sliced tomatoes and sprinkle with chives and cheese (i ran out of cheese so i used some parmesian on the top and it was delicious)

4. bake 30 minutes ( my deeper dish took a lot longer)

this really was delicious! it tasted like we had gone out to a restaurant! you could substitute the ham/bacon layer with a layer of tomatoes if you wanted.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Honey mustard Chicken

i am marinating this right now and Eric will grill it outside tonight.

3 tbspn spicy brown mustard (i just used whatever i had in the fridge)
3 tbspn honey
2 tbspn olive oil
juice of 1 lime

*combine in resealable plastic bag. add chicken and let marinate at room temp 20 minutes or in the fridge for a while. it says to use 8 skinless chicken thighs. i just used some breast meat we had. after it marinates, just grill it up. i don't know how much i'll like it. honey mustard always sounds good and then i'm never a big fan. so we'll see. the magazine (rachel rays) suggest serving it with potato wedges. you combine potatoes and enough salted water to cover and bring to a boil. cook potatoes 20 minutes then drain and let cool slightly. slice the potatoes lengthwise into 1 inch wedges. transfer to a bowl and gently toss with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. add the potatoes to the grill, cover and cook 10 minutes each side.

this is supposed to be a cheaper dinner. it says you can make the whole thing for $10, but it's actually cheaper cuz you have most of the ingredients at home already. i like grilling potatoes that way. it's really yummy. you can squeeze an extra lime over the top of the chicken and the taters.

Baking Inside and outside

Even though it's so hot outside, i couldn't resist baking a few things. but that's also why i baked a FEW things at once, that way i only bake the inside of my house once instead of a few times.

Rocky Road Brownies
**these are phenominal**

1/2 c unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 bag semisweet choco chips
1/2 c gran sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
3/4 c flour
1 c miniture marshmallows
1/2 c nuts

1. preheat oven to 350. butter an 8 inch square pan

2. in a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water, combine butter and 1 cup chocolate chips. heat, stirring occasionally just until melted.

3. remove mixture from heat. stir in sugars and salt, then eggs, and finally flour, stirring just until combined. spread batter evenly in prepared pan. bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean about 30 to 35 minutes.

4. remove from oven, and sprinkle with remaining choco chips, then marshmallows and nuts. bake until chocolate is hiny and marshmallows are puffed, about 5 minutes (i like to make the marshmallows golden to taste more roasted which takes about 10 extra minutes, i haven't noticed the brownie being burned so i guess the extra time is okay). remove from oven and cool completely. yum!!!

Banana Cupcakes with Honey-cinnamon frosting

1 1/2 c flour
3/4 c sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c butter, melted
1 1/2 c mashed bananas (about 4)
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
Honey cinnamon frosting (to follow)

1. preheat oven to 350. line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners. in medium bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

2. make a well in the center of the flour mixture. in well combine butter, mashed bananas, eggs, and vanilla. stir to incorporate flour mixture (do not overmix). spoon batter into muffin cups.

3. bake until toothpick comes out clean 25-30 minutes. remove and cool on wire rack. spread with frosting.

in medium bowl using an electric mixer beat 1 1/4 c confectioners sugar, 1/2 c butter at room temp, 1 tbspn honey, 1/2 tsp cinnamon 4-5 minutes until smooth.

Cornmeal Biscuits

1 c flour
1 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c cornmeal
1/8 c sugar
1/2 tablespoon b. soda
1/2 tsp b. powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 1/2 tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1 c buttermilk

1. preheat oven to 450

2. combine flours, cornmeal, sugar, b. soda, b. powder, and salt in a large bowl. cut in butter with pastry cutter until coarse. add buttermilk, stir just until moist.

3. turn dough out on lightly floured surface. roll dough into 3/4 inch thickness. cut with a 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter. place on baking sheeet covered with cooking spray. bake 10 minutes until golden.

the recipe numbers are a little weird b/c i cut the recipe in half. it was too big before. i just made there. i think i accidentally forgot to half the sugar as i was adding it (i was on the phone with you at the moment and got distracted!) so they turned out a bit sweet. they are actually pretty good. i used a pampered chef baking stone and did not grease it. they just taste like cornbread muffins though, nothing to write home about but since i made them i thought i'd post them. the dough was very sticky too so i had a hard time 'rolling' it out. i patted it out rather and then kinda lumped them together to make a biscuit shape. they're good though.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Garden Freshness with Greek Kebabs

I made these kebabs from martha stewart's recipe magazine. i don't have the recipe with me right now, but i'll post it later. it invovled marinating the zucchini, onions, and chicken in red wine vinegar, olive oil, s/p, and oregano. then grilling. but i also made a dipping sauce with feta cheese, plain yogurt, red wine vinegar, and mint. i'll get the exact ratios to you later. the green beans, zucchini, mint, onions, and tomato were from my garden! it was so delicious, i could feel my body getting strong and healthy just eating it!

on a side note, i've been fighting buying a food processor b/c it's just one more gadget in my kitchen that needs to be stored, that invovles being plugged in, etc. but i had a hard time making that dipping sauce without one. you really should process the mint in with the rest of teh ingredients. as it was i just chopped it finely and whisked it all together. but i'm thinking about buying a food processor...

Friday, August 08, 2008

no buttermilk? no problem

you know when you get excited about baking a dish and you are reading down the list of ingredients, just to make sure you have everything? and it's going great, you have every ingredient in your own kitchen until you read that last ingredient: buttermilk. i suddenly become deflated as i realize in order to have my spontaneous baking desire i'll have to still go to the store first. well i saw this thing on the food network the other day about how you can substitute and make your own buttermilk. it's 1 cup of milk with 1 tbspn of lemon juice or white vinegar. let it sit for 5 minutes and wha-lah, you have buttermilk. i guess the thing that's actually important about buttermilk is that it's got an acidic base, so if you add the vinegar, you've got that. the cooking show i saw this on even made biscuits with the homemade buttermilk and they didn't look any different than the ones with buttermilk.

so i'm home sick, and for the first time in about 6 days i am able to eat some real food ( my throat has never been so sore, i still need a good dose of ibuprofen to get the food down though...) and this morning i am craving cinnamon rolls (those are still pretty soft actually, maybe that's why i want them) i have this recipe from rachel ray's magazine:

Monkey Bread Minis

1 1/2 sticks butter, chilled
3 tbspn maple syrup
1/3 c plus 2 tbspn granulated sugar
1/3 c brown sugar
1 tbspn cinnamon
2 c flour
1 tbspn b.powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c buttermilk, chilled

1. preheat oven to 425. in a small bowl, microwave 4 tbspn butter and the maple syrup until melted. stir. in another small bowl, sitr together 1/3 c sugar, the brown sugar and thecinnamon.

2. in a food processor combine the flour, baking powder, the remaining 2 tbspn granulated sugar and the salt. pulse to combine. cut the remaining 1 stick chilled butter into small pieces and pulse with the flour mixture until coarse crumbs form. pulse in the buttermilk until dough just comes together. transfer to a lightly floured work surface. pat into a 10 inch square (the dough will be sticky). quater the dough, then cut each quarter into 16 equal pices. roll into balls.

3. dip each ball in the maple butter, then coat with the sugar mixture. place 5 to 6 ball sinto each muffin cup and press to compact.

4. bake until cooked through and golden 15-17 minutes. transfer the muffin pan to rack and cool. using a knife, loosen the sides of the moneky bread, invert onto a platter and then turn right side up. serve warm. stir together 1 cup confectioner's sugar and 2 tbspn milk and drizzle ove rthe bread as it cools, if desired.

i think i have enough energy to make these. they sound good and the picture looks good.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Seared Chicken with Avocado

I made this the other night. It is an instant favorite! I'll be making this for a long time, it is delicious and very easy. it comes from Cooking Light superfast suppers which i just ordered off of amazon.

Seared chicken with avocado

1 1/2 tsp blackened seasoning (i found this in the spice isle at smith's. it's got some paprika and other spices in it. very tasty)
4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
olive oil
1 diced peeled avocado (i used two cuz i like 'em!)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno seeded and diced ( i left it out cuz i can't take the heat)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)
1/4 tsp salt
1 lime, cut into fourths

sprinkle seasoning on both sides of chicken. heat oil in large nonstick skillet over high heat. add chicken to pan, and cook 1 minute until seared. reduce heat to medium, cook until lightly browned.

combine avocado, cilantro, pepper, lime juice and salt. squeeze one fourth lime over each piece of chicken before serving. serve with avocado mixture over each chicken breast as a salsa.

so easy! i added more lime juice and cilantro b/c i love those flavors. it turned out really well. i served it with fresh farmer's market new red potatoes boiled and then coated with butter, salt and pepper and some fresh chives from my garden. i've also discovered grilled corn this summer. you shuck just the outter leaves, leaving the inner ones still attached but pulling the silks out of the middle. soak for a few minutes. grill in the attached husks until those are browned. then peel back the husks and grill the actual corn ear until charred. it's delicious!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Veggie Pizza

The garden is about to burst forth! The zucchinis have already started and I have already made some zucchini bread, given some to the neighbors, frozen some, and made this pizza. i have my eye out for zuchhini recipes b/c i know i'll have a ton! This pizza was delicious! I used your recipe for the crust (the one with some whole wheat flour in it).

- Mix a couple tbspn of balsamic vinegar (for one medium sized zucchini) with some olive oil, salt and pepper.
-place sliced zucchini in the marinade (i sliced them into rounds about 1/4 inch thick) Let sit at least 5 minutes or up to 1/2 hour
-Pre-bake crust on pizza stone until lightly browned, remove from oven
-meanwhile, heat up grill and grill the zucchini until charred or slightly tender (eric was busy so i didn't have the grill. instead i flashed them on a very hot griddle pan just until slightly charred on the edges)
-slice up 3 tomatoes into rounds
-when the pizza crust comes out of the oven, sprinkle it with a little mozzerella cheese or parm cheese. place the charred zucchini on top of cheese, layer the tomatoes on top of the zucchini(after i put the zucchini on the pizza i added the sliced tomatoes to the leftover vinegar marinade just long enough to soak through and then added them to the pizza)
-I picked some basil and oregano from the garden and added those to the top of the tomatoes. then more mozz cheese.
-return pizza to oven and bake until cheese is bubbly and browned and the pizza crust is golden

the fresh herbs really add the flavor to this. it was so delicious and can be made from all garden fresh ingredients (minus the cheese). sorry if it doesn't make very much sense, it's harder to write a recipe when you make it up yourself and not just copy it from a site! this is a meal in itself- you don't even need a side salad b/c the veggies are on the pizza!

i have another marinade recipe from rachel ray that made pretty good chicken.

Spiced Grilled Chicken

From Every Day with Rachael Ray
June-July 2008

Prep Time: 5 min (plus marinating)
Cook Time: 30 min

One 6-ounce container yogurt
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Salt and pepper
4 large chicken breast halves on the bone

1. In a gallon-size resealable plastic bag, combine the yogurt, garlic, cumin, chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cut 2 slashes in each chicken breast through to the bone and add to the yogurt mixture; turn to coat. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 450°. Place the chicken on a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet and roast until cooked through, about 30 minutes

**we grilled it outside and it was delicious! **

Thursday, June 19, 2008

blackberry muffins

Blackberry Muffins Recipe
2 cups all purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon milk
2/3 cup sugar
8 Tbsp warm melted butter (1 stick)
1 teaspoon vanilla
11 oz of fresh blackberries, cut in half (often available at Trader Joe's)
(You can use frozen blackberries if fresh are not available.)
1 Position rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a standard 12 muffin pan or line with paper muffin cups. (Actually, with the berries you'll have more batter than just for 12 muffins. This batch made 18 muffins.)
2 Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
3 In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, milk, sugar, butter and vanilla.
4 Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and mix together with a few light strokes, just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Add the berries. (If you are using frozen berries, defrost them first, then drain the excess liquid, then coat them lightly in flour.) Do not overmix! Overmixing will cause the muffins to be dense, not fluffy. The batter should not be smooth.
5 Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle of 1 or 2 of the muffins comes out clean, 17-20 minutes (or longer). Let cool for 2 to 3 minutes before removing from the pan. If not serving hot, let cool on a rack.
Serve as soon as possible, preferably within a few hours of baking.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Fall off the bone ribs

These are so good!

however many ribs with bones in that you want
bbq sauce

Heat oven to 350. Put ribs in a dish like 9x13 and cover with water. Cover with lid or aluminum foil. Bake for 4 hours, keeping them covered in water, so check back after a couple hours. I forgot to check back last night and they were kinda dry. Drain water off. brush bbq sauce on and broil until done on that side, then flip over and brush bbq sauce on the other side and broil. maybe takes another 10 min total. done! soooo good! And I never made ribs before because I didn't know how. If you can premeditate dinner that far in advance, it is definitely worth it

Monday, April 14, 2008

flank steak recipe

1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp bottled chopped garlic
1 tblsp sesame oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 flank steak

In a large plastic bag, combine all ingredients except steak, shake well to mix.
Add flank steak, turn to coat with marinade. Refrigerate overnight, turning bag occasionally. (I usually just marinade for 1/2 a day).
When ready to prepare, preheat the broiler. Snip a corner of the bag with scissors and drain marinade into a small saucepan. Set aside. (I didn't do this part)
On a foil-lined broiling pan, place the flank steak and broil on the highest oven rack for about 4 min per side or to desired doneness.
Remove pan from oven and slice steak diagnolly against the grain.
Boil marinade over med-high heat; reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 min. Serve with the steak.

Note: I've really struggled getting this steak to cook right. If I get the one from Costco, which is much thicker, I broil on low for 7-10 min each side, then kick it up to high for about 2 min. at the end. The thinner one that I made last night broiled on low about 5 min on each side. Then I broiled it on high for another min and a half. I also moved it to the second or third highest rack, instead of the top rack. But I suppose you have to figure out your own oven.

Med-rare = 145 degrees
Medium = 160 degrees

Saturday, April 12, 2008

chicken Satay Noodle soup

This is from Rachel Ray. i made it too hot, but it was very flavorful.

1/2 pound whole wheat spaghetti. (i think this is weird. i used a bag of rice vermicili from our asian market and i think it was way better)
vegetable oil
3/4 lb chicken breast cutlets, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3/4 c peanut butter
1/4 plus 2 tbspn tamari (i used soy sauce)
1/4 c thai red curry paste (way too much for me, try 1 tbspn instead)
2 tbspn tomato paste
6 c chicken broth
1 1 inch piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced
1/2 head napa or savvoy cabbage (i just discovered savvoy cabbage- it's really good!)
1/2 c apple juice
1 c bean sprouts
1/4 c chopped peanuts
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 tbspn chopped cilantro
lime wedges for serving

1. boil water for pasta. follow package directions

2. in soup pot heat oil over medium heat. add chicken and garlic and cook stirring until chicken is opaque. transfer to plate. add peanut butter, tamari, curry paste and tomato past to pot and stir. increase the heat to medium high and whisk in the broth. add the ginger. bring to a boil, then stir in the cabbage and cook until wilted about 2 minutes. return the chicken to the pot and stir in the apple juice.

3. divide pasta among bowls. ladle soup over the pasta. top with the bean sprouts, penuts, scallions and cilantro. serve with the limes.

** this was excellent. i guess i've made a lot of different meals in the past couple weeks, but we've had some good eatin'!!!

chicken satay with spicy peanut sauce

from Quick and Easy Thai:

marinade for chicken
1/2 c unsweetened coconut milk
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp curry powder
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast

spicy peanut sauce:

3/4 c unsweetened coconut milk
1 tbspn massamun or red curry paste
2 tsp roasted chili paste (optional- i didn't use this cuz i'm a hot sauce weenie)
1/2 c chicken broth or water
1 tbspn fish sauce
1 tbspn palm sugar or brown sugar
1/4 c peanut butter
1 tbspn fresh squeezed lime juice

bamboo skewers, soaked in water at least 30 minutes

1. combine the coconut milk, fish sauce, brown sguar and curry powder in a large mixing bowl and stir well. cut breast meat lengthwise into 1/2 inch strips. add thte meat to the marinade and mix well. cover and refrgerate at least 30 minutes or overnight.

2. to prepare the peanut sauce bring the coconut milk to a gentle boil in a medium saucepan. add the curry paste and roasted chili paste and cook 4-5 minutes mashing and stirring occasionally to disolve them. add the chickn broth, fish sauce, palm sugar, peanut butter and lime juice and cook 1 minute more, sitrring well to make a smooth sauce. remove from ehat, transfer to a serving bowla nd set aside to cool. the sauce ban be served warm or at room temperature or cover and refrigerate reheating gently before serving.

3. threat meat onto t ips of bamboo skewers and cook on a light oiled, hot grill ( we didn't oil the grill), turning often until browned and cooked through about 6 minutes (or until they are done) eric did the grilling. serve with the peanut sauce.

** wow, this meal was also fantastic! the chicken is very flavorful and the dipping sauce is phenomenal. we also grilled some veggie kabobs with mushrooms, bell peppers, onion, tomatoe and zucchini. i just mixed up the veggies with olive oil, salt and pepper and it made for a great, healthy meal. yum!

Mediterranean veggie burgers with mint yogurt sauce and curried sweet potatoes

Med Veggie Burgers

1 tbspn lemon juice
olive oil
4 scallions thinly sliced
course salt and ground pepper
5 whole wheat hamburger buns
1 can (15 oz) lentils, rinsed, rained and patted dry
1 large egg
1/4 c thinly sliced fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 head bibb lettuce

1. in food processor (or i used a blender) process 1 bun until finely ground. add lentils, egg, half the mint, 1 tsp salt, 3/4 tsp pepper, and scallions. pulse just until combined.

2. divied evenly, shape mixture into four 3 1/2 inch patties. in a large skillet heat olive oil over medium. cook burgers until browned and firm, 4-5 minutes per side.

3. in a small bowl combine yogurt, remaining mint and 1 tbspn lemon juice. season with salt/pepper. place burgers on buns, top with yogurt sauce and lettuce.

serve with curried sweet potatoes:

6 1/2 cups cubed peeled sweet potato (about 2 lbs)
1 tbspn butter
1/4 c finely chopped shallots
1 tbspn brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp curry powder (i added a little extra to taste)
1/2 tsp ground cumin (i added a little extra to taste)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
1/3 c half and half
1 tbspn fresh lemon juice

1. place potato in a medium saucepan, cover with water. bring to a oil. reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes or until tender. drain well. return to pan. keep warm

2. melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. add shallots to pan, cook 6 minutes until tender, stirring occasionally.stir in brown sugar, salt, curry powder, cumin, cinnamon, and red pepper. cook 1 minute stirring constantly. add shallot mixture, half and half and lemon juice to potato. mash potato mixture with a masher until desired consistency.

** on my goodness, this is one of my top ten recipes ever! the burgers are from martha stewart and the potatoes from cooking light. simply fabulous and a vegetarian meal which will help save the planet :) you've got to try it!!!

Addictive Cream of Broccoli Soup

2 heads broccoli
1/2 pound butter
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon Chervil (fresh/dried chopped) ( this is like parsley)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
3 cups whole milk
1 egg yolk, beaten
1/4 cup flour
1/8 teaspoon cardamom (optional)
1/8 teaspoon mace (optional)
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup Gruyere cheese, finely grated
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

Turn this recipe into a puzzle! [click]


Cut broccoli into bite-size pieces. Discard the hard stems, but keep the tender stem parts and leaves.

Steam the cut broccoli for about 5-8 minutes, until just bright green in color. Do not over- cook.

In a 10-inch enameled (non-metal) skillet, heat 6 oz of butter until melted. Add chopped garlic and wait until butter is hot enough to cook with. Add steamed broccoli, then chervil to the skillet. Lightly salt the broccoli.

Cover, and cook over medium low heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, for another 5-10 minutes or until the broccoli turns a darker green color and becomes very soft.

Mash the broccoli right in the skillet, using a potato masher or a strong wooden spoon. Mash until there are no pieces remaining that are too big to fit in a soup spoon.

While broccoli is cooking, add beaten egg yolk to 2 cups of milk. Put 3 Tbsp butter into a 2-3 quart saucepan. Use enamel or glass for best soup flavor. Metal pans will make this soup bitter.

Melt butter and add flour. When the flour bubbles and starts to cook, add the egg/milk mixture into the saucepan. Add the cardamom and mace if using, and white pepper. Stir sauce constantly with wooden spoon until thick. Lower the cooking heat.

Add the mashed broccoli mixture to the sauce. Stir until well-mixed. Slowly stir in the remaining milk and the cream. As soon as the soup becomes hot enough, add the grated cheeses.

Turn the heat down lower and simmer for about 5 more minutes, stirring to allow the cheeses to melt and mix.

Serve immediately and retreat quickly so as not to be trampled by those who smelled it cooking.

Note: This recipe may be doubled, halved or whatever without penalty. Vary the amount of milk added the second time to change the soup thickness to your own tastes. You also may use any fresh green vegetable as a substitute for the broccoli. Asparagus tips, artichoke hearts, and corn are especially nice as substitues. Cook them in the same manner as you did the broccoli.

I haven't made this yet, but will this week.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Ultimate Cinnamon Roll with Vanilla Frosting

Ultimate Cinnamon Roll with Vanilla Frosting
From Carroll Pellegrinelli,

Joanne says that she got this recipe from her aunt at a bridal shower in 1959. She says that the rolls freeze wonderfully and can be reheated in the microwave. Her other hint is that she also uses the dough as a refrigerator dough and bakes the rolls the next day.
1-1/2 packages (about 3-1/4 teaspoons) dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup shortening
1/3 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 egg
4 to 5 cups sifted flour
melted butter
brown sugar
raisins (optional)
Vanilla Frosting
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
milk or cream (2 to 4 tablespoons)
Add the warm water to the yeast and soak 10 minutes.
Scald milk; pour over the shortening. Add sugar and salt and cool to tepid. Add the dissolved yeast and beaten egg. Add 4 cups flour adding one at a time beating after each addition.

Dough should be soft yet firm enough to handle.

Knead on floured board until elastic and smooth. Avoid too much flour. Turn dough into well oiled bowl. Let rise for 1-1/2 hours.
Press dough down and divide into workable size. Roll dough out into a rectangle. Cover with melted butter. Layer with a generous thick layer* of brown sugar. Sprinkle on cinnamon* as desired. If you like raisins, layer on a layer of raisins. Roll up jellyroll fashion.

Using a scissors or a piece of string, cut off slices about 1 to 1-1/2 inches thick. Place slices in an 8 or 9 inch round greased cake pan. Place one slice in the middle and other slices around it. Press rolls down to even out and fill pan. Let rise until rolls fill the pan generously...about another hour.

Bake in a 350 degree F oven about 15 - 20 minutes. If rolls get too brown, cover with a piece of tine foil until the end of baking. Do not over bake rolls.

Remove immediately from pan by inverting onto a plate and then tip over onto another plate to right the rolls.

For the Frosting:
In a medium bowl, place sugar, butter and vanilla. Then stir in enough milk or cream to reach a thick, hardly-able to stir consistency.

Spread over warm rolls as soon as they are placed on a plate to let the frosting melt and run into the rolls.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

King Ranch Chicken Casserole

1 Rotisserie Chicken (or boil your own)
2 Tbsp butter
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium sized green bell pepper, chopped
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 can cream of mushroom
1 can cream of chicken
2 cans rotel, drained
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
3 cups cheddar cheese
12 (6 inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1/2 inch strips

preheat oven to 350
melt butter in large skillet on medium high heat. add onion, and saute 6-7 minutes or until tender. add bell pepper and garlic, and saute 3-4 minutes. stir in 3/4 cup broth, cream of mushroom and cream of chicken and next 4 ingredients. cook stirring occasionally 8 minutes.
shred chicken into bite size pieces. layer half of the chicken on the bottom of a lightly greased 9x13 baking dish. top with half of the soup mixture and 1 cup cheese. cover with half of the corn tortilla strips. repeat layers once. top with remaining 1 cup of cheese.
bake at 350 for 55 minutes or until bubbly. let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

warm chocolate melting cake

very easy and very delicious!!
serve with vanilla ice cream


8 oz. dark chocolate (i used 1 1/3 C. semi-sweet choc. chips)
8 oz. butter (i used one stick salted, one unsalted)
5 eggs (room temperature)
5/8 C. sugar
2/3 C. flour

Melt chocolate & butter over low heat. In mixing bowl, mix eggs and sugar, then add flour. Slowly whisk into the melted chocolate mixture. Pour into greased (i used Baker's Joy) ramekins. (i tried 4 oz. & 7 oz. -- 7 oz. is just too big!) Bake at 400 F for 12-14 minutes. Yield: 36 oz. unbaked batter; 8 servings if you use a 4 oz. ramekin.

Adjust times according to the size ramekin you use, and the texture you prefer. In a 4 oz. ramekin for 13 min., the texture on the inside of the cake was a little heavier than pudding, kind of like a loose fudge. I also did some in my convection oven at 350F. 13 minutes in a 4 oz. ramekin yielded a smooth, hot fudge sauce-like center. In the 7 oz. size, 16 min. at 350F in the convection oven produced a pudding-like texture in the middle. Regular oven, 7 oz. size, at 400F, smooth, heavy sauce-like texture resulted after 14 min.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Morning Glory Muffins

these are in the oven baking right now so i can't say how great they are yet, but they sound yummy (and they smell good too!) i replaced the dates with raisens. there isn't any fat in these! wow!


Cooking spray
1 cup whole wheat flour (about 4 3/4 ounces)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (about 2 1/4 ounces)
1 cup regular oats
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon wheat bran
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain fat-free yogurt
1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2)
1 large egg
1 cup chopped pitted dates
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chopped dried pineapple
3 tablespoons ground flaxseed (about 2 tablespoons whole)
Preheat oven to 350°.

Place 18 muffin cups liners in muffin cups; coat liners with cooking spray.

Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flours and next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Make a well in center of mixture. Combine yogurt, banana, and egg; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Fold in dates, walnuts, and pineapple. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle evenly with flaxseed. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove muffins from pans immediately; cool on a wire rack.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Sun Dried Tomato Chicken Roll Ups

Another Rachel Ray Wonder:

2 eggs, beaten
1 c seasoned bread crumbs
1.5 c ricotta cheese
1 c oil packed sundried tomatoes, drained and chopped
8 chicken breast cutlets (1.5 lbs)
1/2 # deli sliced provolone cheese
1/4 c olive oil

1. preheat oven to 400. cover a rimmed baking sheet with foil and grease the foil.

2. place beaten eggs and bread crumbs into separate shallow bowls. in a nother bowl mix the ricotta and sundried tomatoes. dip the chicken cutlets into the egg, then coat with the bread crumbs and place on a work surface. place a slice of provolone cheese and a heaping tablespoon of ricotta mixture on each cutlet. roll up and secure with toothpicks.

3. place the chicken roll ups side by side on the prepared baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. bake until the chicken is golden and the cheese is bubbling, about 25 minutes.

** this was good. eric really liked it. it was a little heavy for me. my stomach can't handle sundried tomatoes packed in oil very well, and the ricotta was rich too. but it was an easy meal and really very tasty. i'd make it again

Monday, February 04, 2008

hearty pancakes

Buttermilk-Oatmeal Pancakes

Start your day in a hearty, high-grain way with these buttermilk-oatmeal pancakes. Maple syrup is a perennial favorite atop a stack of these pancakes; sliced bananas would also complement their oat flavor.

2 1/2 cups buttermilk
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
2 teaspoons canola oil, divided
Maple syrup (optional)
Combine buttermilk and rolled oats in a small bowl; let stand for 20 to 30 minutes to soften oats.

Stir together flours, wheat germ, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Mix together egg, egg whites and 1 teaspoon oil in another bowl with a whisk or fork. Add the oat mixture and the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined.

Lightly brush a large nonstick skillet with a little of the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and place over medium heat. Using 1/4 cup batter for each pancake, pour batter onto the pan and cook until the underside is browned and the bubbles on top remain open, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the pancakes over and cook until the underside is browned, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a platter and keep warm in a 200°F oven. Repeat with remaining batter, brushing the pan with a little of the remaining oil as needed. Serve hot, topping with maple syrup if desired.

**i added about 1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries to it and it was delicious!

Monday, January 14, 2008

a hearty, warm you up delicious soup!

- this is simple, wintery goodness. i made the meal tonight just as the magazine (cooking light) recommended with the toasts and cheese and it was perfect!!!! very very good

Golden Winter Soup

2 tbspn butter
5 c cubed peeled butternut squash
2 c cubed peeled russet potato
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 c sliced leek (about 2 medium)
4 c chicken broth
1 c halfnhalf
gruyere cheese
chopped chives (for garnish)
freshly ground pepper (for garnish)

1. melt butter in large dutch oven over medium high heat. add squash, potato, salt and pepper to pan. saute 3 minutes. add leek, saute 1 minute. sitr in broth, bring to a boil. reduce hat and simmer 20 minutes or until potato is tender, sitrring occasionally. place half of potato mixture into a blender. remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape), secure blender lid on blender. place a clean tower over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). blend until smooth. pour into a large bowl. repeat procedure with remaining potato mixture. sitr in half and half. cover and keep warm.

2. arrange sliced baguette on cookie sheet. place slices of gruyere cheese on top. broil slices until slightly toasted and cheese is melted. ladle soup into bowls, garnish with ground pepper and chives (the chives are necessary by the way- soooo good!) serve with toasts.

**gruyere cheese is expensive for sure, but wow, the taste of the cheese went so well with the soup it was well worth it. and i love broiled toast with cheese! this was filling and tasty yet fairly low fat. i will definitely make this again. it would serve probably 4-6 people.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

morning goodness

I've found two muffin recipes recently that have both turned out delightful. i got 3 cooking magazine subscriptions for christmas- rachel ray, cooking light, and everyday food (martha stewart). i'm really excited about them!

Orange Cranberry Wheat Germ Muffins

1 1/2 c flour
1/2 c raw what germ
1/2 c sweetened dried cranberries
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 c packed brown sugar
1/4 c canola oil
1 tsp grated orange rind
1/2 c fresh orange juice
2 eggs

1. preheat oven to 375
2. combing flour and next 7 ingredients (through nutmeg) in large bowl, stir with a whisk.
3. combine brown sugar, oil, rind, juice and eggs. stir with a whisk. add egg mixture to flour mixture, stir just until combined. spoon batter into 12 muffin cups either sprayed with cooking spray or lined with muffin liners. sprinkle tops with brown sugar
4. bake at 375 for 17 minutes.

Jumbo Coffee Cake Muffins
1 c packed brwn sugar
1 c flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c cold butter, cutinto small pieces

1/2 c butter room temp
1 3/4 c flour
2 tsp baking p owder
1 tsp baking soda
1 c sour cream
1 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs

1. make streusel: in med bowl sitr together brn sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. with a pastry cutter cut in butter until mixture resembles large coarse crumbs. refrigerate until ready to use
2. muffins: preheat oven to 350. in small bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and baking soda. set aside.
3. using an eletaric mixer, beat together butter, sour cream, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. beat in eggs one at a time until well combined. beat in flour mix just until combined.
4. divide half the batter among muffins cups- as in, only fill the cups half way- (i used a 12 cup muffin tin with liners. however there was too much dough, so really it could make 2 tins of 6 jumbo muffins or maybe fill up 1 12 muffin cup tin and then part of another), top with half the streusel. cover with the remaining batter, top with remaining streusel. bake until toothpick comes out clean 25-30 minutes.

i had left over streusel so i made an apple crisp with the leftovers.

these were both really yummy and we had them for breakfast the whole week!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Seasoned White Beans and Rice

1 1/2 cups rice
pinch of salt and pepper
1 lime
1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
1 cup loosely packed fresh parsely leaves
1 cup loosely packed baby arugula leaves
2 garlic cloves
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cans cannellini beans, drained

prepare rice according to directions with a pinch of salt and pepper

meanwhile, grate rind from lime into a blender. cut lime in half and squeeze juice into blender.

pulse cilantro, next 3 ingredients, lime rind, and lime juice in a blender until combined. gradually add olive oil, salt, and pepper, and process just until blended, stopping to scrape down the sides.

Microwave beans in a large microwave safe bowl on high for 1 1/2 minutes or until heated. Stir in hot cooked rice. Add cilantro mixture and toss to combine. serve warm.

Roasted Apples and Sweet Potatoes


3 lb sweet potatoes, peeled (about 5)
2 large granny smith apples, peeled
2 Tbsp butter, melted
2 Tbsp light brown sugar
1 tsp. grated orange rind
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp coarsely ground pepper

Cut peeled sweet potatoes into 1 inch cubes, cut peeled apples into 1/2 inch thick slices

stir together melted butter, brown sugar, and grated orange rind in a large zip top plastic freezer bag until blended. Add cubed sweet potatoes and sliced apples. Seal bag, and toss to coat

Place potato mixture in a single layer in a lightly greased aluminum foil lined 15x10 jelly roll pan. sprinkle with salt and pepper

Bake at 400 for 30 to 35 minutes or until potatoes and apples are tender and lightly browned.

the perfect snack

i just found a really great food for me after night shifts. my stomach is often upset and confused after working nights, but i do get hungry. this is just a simple smoothie, but it's healthy and i thought you might like it too or even adrian might like it!

in a blender:
1 individual sized container yogurt (i used a good organic brand and i can taste the difference! yum)
1 banana
1 cup frozen whole strawberries
1 cup orange juice

blend! no added sugar, fruit, and yogurt. it's really filling too.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

the most wonderfulest, delicious-est, incrediblest, delectablest CHICKEN SALAD ever!!!!

okay, i really mean it. this one is for keeps forever. you HAVE to make this ASAP!! i got it from my friend lauren from our bible study. her sister actually owns a bakery here in salt lake and serves up this chicken salad for her customers and they can't get enough of it either! after making it tonight, i'm sold!

Lauren's Favorite Chicken Salad

1 1/2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
juice of 1 lemon or 1 tbspn lemon juice
1/2 c mayo
3 c cooked chicken (i used a rotisserie chicken from costco)
1 c celery thinly sliced
1/4 c toasted almonds
red grapes

1. infuse curry powder in olive oil over low heat, remove from heat
2. mix oil/curry mixture, sugar, salt, pepper, and lemon juice in small bowl; add mayo
3. stir together chicken, celery, almonds and grapes
4. add sauce mixture and toss to coat

** i just added all the ingredients one by one into a large bowl, but afterwards i thought it would be better to make a sauce out of the little ingredients so they get mixed more thoroughly and then top the veggies and chicken with it. i also did not have any red grapes as they are completely out of season right now so i used cherry tomatoes cut in half. it was delicious! i spooned about a cup over some spring salad mix and sliced some fresh pear on the side. we had slices of french country bread with goat cheese on the side. it was definitely enough to fill us up and looked really pretty too. i could eat this at least once a week!!**

i am cooking up the carcass from the costco rotisserie chicken right now to make my own broth. the birds are only $5 and the flavor of the meat is outstanding. i hope you like it!