January 29, 2010

French Bread Loaves

I saw this recipe in the Taste of Home magazine.  Decided to try it out tonight with our baked ziti recipe and fresh frozen corn cut off the cob.  mmmmm I grew up eating corn that my mom had cut off the cob, and frozen to eat all year long.  I now do corn like this every year and love it!  But on to the bread....it is really easy and turns out really yummy too!  Start to finish, takes about 2 hours.  And for the calorie counters out there, each slice is about 79 calories and no fat :)

2 Tbsp yeast
2 cups warm water
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
4 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp cornmeal

In your Bosch (or large mixing bowl) dissolve yeast in warm water.  Add the salt and sugar.  Add two cups flour and mix until smooth.  Add remaining 2 1/2 cups flour and knead until dough is soft.  Cover the dough and let it rise about 1 hour.

Punch dough down and divide into two pieces.  Shape each into a 12" long loaf of bread.  Grease a cookie baking sheet and place dough, seam side down, onto the pan.  Let rise another 30 min. or so.  Sprinkle with cornmeal.  Using a sharp knife, carefully make four shallow slashes across the top of each loaf.  Bake at 450 degrees for 15-18 min or until light golden brown.

January 26, 2010

Sugar Cookies

We made these last night and they were delicious, as usual! I love mom's recipe. I think the trick is rolling them out nice and thick. Who wants a flat and crispy sugar cookie? These are so soft and thick and great tasting. For frosting, I just used a butter cream frosting. I started with 1/4 c. softened butter and added milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar until I got the consistency I wanted. Yum!


1 1/3 C shortening
1 1/2 C sugar
2 eggs
1 T orange peel, finely grated
1 t vanilla
8 t milk
4 C flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt

Cream shortening, sugar, orange peel, and vanilla. Add eggs and milk and mix well. Add dry ingredients and mix. Roll out to 1/2 inch thickness on floured surface. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 - 12 minutes.

January 23, 2010

Old Fashioned Pancakes w/Buttermilk Syrup

We made homemade from scratch pancakes with homemade buttermilk syrup this morning for breakfast. mmmmmmmm is all I can say! The pancakes are so yummy, light and fluffy! And the sugary caramel-like buttermilk syrup is like candy topping.

If you are wanting a great breakfast on a Saturday or Sunday morning, you have to try these!

3 cups flour
6 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 T sugar
2 1/2 cups milk, warm
2 eggs, slightly beaten
6 T butter, melted

In a large bowl, sift your flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Sift through a fine strainer, if you don't have anything else! Make a well in the center of the mixture. Pour the warm milk, eggs, and melted butter into the well. With a wisk, mix until smooth. Don't overmix. Let the mixture sit for 10 min.

Heat a griddle to medium-high heat. Lightly grease and pour 1/4 cup batter onto griddle for each pancake. Serve with homemade buttermilk syrup.

Buttermilk Syrup:
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup butter
2 T corn syrup
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla

In a large saucepan, stir together sugar, buttermilk, butter, corn syrup, and baking soda. Bring to a boil, and cook for 7 min. (make sure your pan is large enough, it will foam up once boiling). Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Serve over pancakes.

January 14, 2010

Carrot Cake Cookies

Recipe from Mastering The Menu

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking power
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
2 cups oatmeal
1 1/2 finely grated carrots (about 3 large ones)
1 cup raisins (if you like them- I don't so I leave them out)

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter at room temperature
1 cup powered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and beat on medium speed until well combined.

Sift together flour, baking soda, baking power, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture. mix on low speed until just blended. Mix in oats, carrots, and raisins. Chill until firm, at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shape dough into balls and place on baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart.

Bake until browned and crisp, about 12-15 minutes, rotating halfway through. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Using a spatula, spread about 2 teaspoons of frosting onto flat sides of half the cookies. Sandwich together with remaining cookies

Cookies can be refrigerated in airtight containers up to 3 days.

Cream cheese frosting:
Place cream cheese in a mixing bowl. Using a rubber spatula, beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add butter and continue beating until smooth and well blended. Sift in powered sugar and continue beating until smooth. Add vanilla and stir to combine.
My variations:
I used our cream cheese frosting and I piped the frosting into the cookies instead of spreading with a spatula.

Southwestern BBQ Chicken Salad

Recipe from Sister's Cafe

2 large chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 cup BBQ sauce

1/2 head Romaine lettuce, chopped
1/2 head Iceberg lettuce, chopped
1 can corn, drained
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
4 Roma tomatoes, diced
2 Haas avocados, diced

shredded cheese, Mexican blend or cheddar
crispy tortilla strips

Stir shredded chicken in with the BBQ sauce until well coated. Of course you can use less or more sauce, it's up to you! I like quite a bit since I love the smoky flavor of BBQ sauce in a salad. Toss together the lettuce, cilantro, corn, beans, and chopped veggies. Top with shredded chicken, cheese and crispy tortilla strips. Drizzle ranch or cilantro lime dressing over salad and enjoy!

*to make crispy tortilla strips simply slice about 10 corn tortillas in narrow strips and place on cookie sheet. Spray with vegetable oil cooking spray and sprinkle generously with salt. Place under the broiler and let bake until crispy and brown around the edges. 

My variations: I did not have corn tortillas so I made my tortilla strips with flour tortillas.  Still really good.

January 10, 2010

Lemony Lemon Bars

MmmMMmmmMMM these are SOOO good!! Not overly sweet- and just the right amount of pucker. Enjoy!!

3 C flour
1 1/3 C powdered sugar
1 1/2 C butter
6 eggs
1 3/4 C white sugar
6 T flour
1 C fresh sqeezed lemon juice (about 4-5 lemons)
Powdered sugar for decoration

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 pan.
Combine flour, powdered sugar, and butter. Press down into prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes. While the crust is baking whisk together eggs, white sugar, flour, and lemon juice until frothy. Pour this lemon mixture over the hot crust.
Return to oven for an additional 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Dust with powdered sugar and cut into squares.

January 5, 2010

Spiced Oyster Crackers

Got this one from Jenna, who got it from Sister's Cafe. SO easy and yummy!!

2 packages oyster crackers
¾ cup canola oil
Hidden Valley ranch dressing dry mix
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp dill weed
1 Tbsp lemon pepper

Heat oil in microwave until luke warm. In the meantime, combine all dry ingredients. Drizzle oil over oyster crackers. Mix in dry ingredients. Shake or stir to coat. These are better a day or two after you make them.
(I mixed it all in a gallon ziplock and it worked great!)

These are great for toting along for kids' snacks. They are also perfect for game night or just munching!

Homemade Mac ‘n Cheese

(sorry about the bad pic - I'll try and take a better one next time)

Okay, here's the thing, I don't know any exact measurements.....

Cook your macaroni (or any fun noodle shape you like)

Grated cheddar cheese
Cottage cheese

In a separate pot make a roux by first melting about 1-2 tablespoons of butter. Then add about 1-2 tablespoons of flour and whisk until it's all combined. Let it cook for a second. Then pour in milk, gosh, maybe like ¾ a cup to a cup. I never measure it. Bring to a soft boil, then add grated up cheese (to your taste - about 1 1/2 cups or more!) sharp cheddar is awesome, so is Monterey-Jack. Once all cheese is incorporated gently fold in about 3/4 cup of cottage cheese (or more!)
Then drain noodles and put them back into the pot they boiled in for a sec. It's still hot and helps the water evaporate quickly. Then add your sauce over top, mix well and serve! This is VERY tasty with sliced, RIPE tomatoes on top as well.
For a fun twist put cheese fish crackers on top. The kids will love it!
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