November 22, 2011

Apple Pie with Caramel Sauce



I saw this recipe on my cousin, Alicia's blog. It was one of those times when a warm apple pie just sounded so good to me. I have never made a pie from scratch like this. But I just craved it for some reason after seeing it. So I made it. The only thing I would do differently is double the caramel recipe. We used the entire amount for only half the pie. But it was so good you had to just totally cover the pie in it! And my, this pie is seriously so good. Thanks Alicia!

FOR THE CRUST:
2 C flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
Pinch sugar
1 C Crisco/vegetable shortening
1/2 C cold water (with ice in it - you want it VERY cold)

Cut the shortening into cubes and put it in the refrigerator to chill. Combine flour, salt, and sugar in bowl. Using a pastry blender, mix in crisco cubes until shortening is mostly combined and texture is crumbly. (I used my Bosch and regular beaters, just didn't mix too much and it worked great) Be careful not to over-mix. Add water and use a fork to completely mix together into doughy texture, but still letting shortening marbling be visible. (Again just used my Bosch) Divide dough in half and shape each into a ball. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll out into a circle on a lightly floured surface until about 1/4 inch thick. Place one crust on bottom of pie pan.

FOR THE FILLING:
Apple Portion:
3 tablespoons butter
2 pound apples (Honey Crisp or Fuji are good) peeled & sliced 1/2-inch thick (I used 6 medium sized apples)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 lemon, juiced
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Pinch ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

Sour Cream Portion:
1 C sour cream
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large saute pan, melt the butter. Add the apples and saute for 2 minutes. Add the sugars, lemon juice and flour. Continue to saute for 2 minutes. Season the apples with nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt. Mix thoroughly and remove from the heat. Cool the mixture. Spoon mixture into pie crust already assembled in pan. (I thought it would be too runny with the liquid, but it isn't! Pour it all into the pie crust)

Beat together by hand the sour cream, egg, and vanilla. Pour over apple mixture. Top with the remaining crust and crimp edges of crust together. Using a sharp knife, make 3 slits, about 4 inches long and 2 inches apart, across the pie dough. Glaze with egg, if desired. Place the pie in the oven, and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit until cooled or just warm.

Option: Warm Caramel Syrup (I think this really takes it to the next level!)

Ingredients: (I would double this!)
1/4 C sugar
1/4 C brown sugar
1/4 C butter
1/4 C heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla

Directions:
Mix sugar, butter and cream in a saucepan. Let mixture simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Cool, and add vanilla. Sauce may be refrigerated and used over again. May be served warm.

November 19, 2011

Perfect Party Punch

I apologize for the fact that, after reading this, you will find it necessary to go to Target and spend $14 on a punch jar. But it will be worth the investment! I promise! It just looks so awesome in that big jar.

This punch has been made 4 times in the past week. First for a bridal shower, then one of the girls made it again for another shower, and then another friend made it two days later for a party, and it was made again for another bridal shower today. Tried and true. It's like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Punch.


1 can pina colada frozen concentrate, thawed
1 can orange pineapple concentrate, thawed
4 cans water
2 2-liters Sprite (2 bottles)
1 bag frozen raspberries
1/2 bag pebble ice (you can buy this at Sonic for a little over $1, and you need to!)

Dump juice concentrates in the bottom of the jar, add the 4 cans of water, and mix. Pour in 2 bottles of Sprite and mix. Pour ice in slowly. Top with bag of frozen raspberries. Mix gently.

*You can use diet Sprite for a less-sweet taste. It's still really good.

Pumpkin Spiced and Iced Cookies


1 C butter, softened
1 C sugar
1 {15 oz} can pumpkin
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
2 1/4 C flour
1 1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
2 C chocolate chips
glaze or frosting

Beat butter and sugar till creamy. Beat in pumpkin, eggs, and vanilla. Gradually beat in dry ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips. This will not look like a normal batter! Use a cookie scoop to place on baking sheet. Bake 15 - 20 minutes at 375 degrees. Frost with cream cheese frosting or caramel icing. (Makes abt. 4 dozen.)

Basic Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 c butter, softened
3 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
milk to right consistency (start with a few tablespoons)

A new roll recipe

I knew I was taking a risk by making a new recipe of rolls for a bridal shower today, but it paid off. These were awesome, and I love that I got 48 rolls out of one batch. For those times when you need a lot of rolls, these are my new favorite! For really detailed instructions, see the recipe at HowDoesShe. I put any of my notes in bold below:

1 1/2 cups of milk
3/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon Sugar
1/2 c. butter
1 egg
1 Tablespoon salt
2 Tablespoons yeast
2 cups of warm water
about 9-10 cups of flour
additional softened butter (1/4-1/2 c)

To start out: Scald 1 1/2 cups of milk, 3/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup of butter in a microwave safe bowl for about 2 minutes. Cutting the butter into pieces helps it melt faster. There will probably be some little cubes of butter still floating in the hot mixture; they will melt.

(I poured it into my Bosch at this point.) To cool it down stir in 2 cups of flour, then add 1 egg and 1 Tablespoon of salt, and leave it to cool for a couple of minutes. Meanwhile, in a measuring cup dissolve 2 Tablespoons of yeast in 2 cups of warm water and 1 Tablespoon of sugar. Let it sit for a couple of minutes until it is bubbly.

Make sure your milk mixture is just warm, not boiling and add the yeast mixture. Gradually stir remaining 7-8 cups of flour. Add about 2 cups at time and knead until the dough comes together and leaves the sides of the bowl. Leave it in a warm place and let it raise until doubled in size. (Mine took about an hour.)

When your dough is close to raising completely, butter 2 cookie sheets and set them aside. Sprinkle flour on your counter. (Or put a teaspoon or two of oil on your counter and spread it around. It cleans up so well and the dough doesn't stick like crazy to your hands). Dump your dough out and divide it into 4 balls. Try to make them even, but they don’t have to be perfect. Using one ball of dough at a time, roll the dough into a circle. Once it is rolled out spread the top with butter from edge to edge. You will use 2 Tablespoons per circle of dough. (I used 1 T. per circle of dough.) Cut each circle into 12 triangles from each circle of dough. Form each piece into a crescent and place it on the buttered cookie sheet. You will make 3 rows, with 8 rolls per row. This will give you 24 rolls per pan.

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Place the pans of rolls in a warm place (on top of the oven if possible) to let them rise. (45 minutes or so.) Once they are touching and full in size, cook (one pan at a time) in the oven till they are golden brown, about 10–15 minutes. Keep a close eye on your first pan to get the right time for the second. (Mine actually took about 17 minutes.)

Start to finish: about 3 1/2 hrs.

November 15, 2011

Cranberry Chicken

20 chicken breasts**
1 bunch green onions
4 tbsp. oil
1 ½ c. brown sugar
3 c. ketchup
3 c. cranberries

Preheat oven to 375. Bake chicken in pan for 20 minutes. While baking, soften onions in oil. Add brown sugar, ketchup, and stir to dissolve sugar. Add cranberries and stir. Take chicken out and spoon sauce over chicken (I drain chicken drippings). Return to oven and bake uncovered for 20 minutes.

**can lessen chicken breasts to whatever quantity needed. I do not lessen the sauce amount though. Same sauce, less chicken for my family!!

November 1, 2011

Chicken Enchilada Soup


1 lb. chicken breasts
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
4 c. chicken broth
1 c. masa harina (corn flour, by flour on baking aisle)
3 c. water
1 c. red enchilada sauce (mild/medium)
2 c. extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin

Cube chicken into small pieces. In large pot, cook onion, garlic, and chicken in a little olive oil until chicken is no longer pink and onions are translucent. Take off heat and allow to cool a second; add chicken broth. Return to heat. Whisk together masa harina and 2 c. water. Pour into pot and add the remaining 1 c. water, the enchilada sauce, and spices. Bring to boil. Add cheese and stir till melted. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. Serve with crushed tortilla chips and shredded cheese.

October 14, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

I found this recipe at Two Peas and Their Pod, and we loved it! I followed it exactly and thought the pumpkin pie spice could have been reduced a bit, maybe to 1/2 tablespoon instead of 1. But it didn't keep me from eating them!


ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
2. With a stand or electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth; beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Add pumpkin puree and mix well. The mixture will look somewhat curdled. Reduce speed to low, and mix in dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
3. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake bars for 35-40 minutes or until edges begin to pull away from sides of pan and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached.
4. Cool bars completely in pan. Cut into squares and serve.

October 10, 2011

Pizza on the Grill!!

SOO yummy and it's so much fun to grill your pizza! Great way to spice up the BBQ menu.
1 (.25 ounce) pkg active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 pinch white sugar
2 tsp kosher salt
1 Tablespoon olive oil
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon chopped basil (fresh is best)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
Pizza sauce/tomato sauce
Shredded pizza cheese
Pizza toppings
(pepperoni, olives, tomatoes, mushrooms, pineapple, ham, jalapenos, peppers, onions,
etc)

In a bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water, and mix in sugar. Proof for ten minutes, or until frothy. Mix in the salt, olive oil, and flour until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth, about 8 minutes. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, and cover with a damp cloth. Set aside to rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch down, and knead in garlic and basil. Set aside to rise for 1 more hour, or until doubled again. 

Preheat grill for high heat. Heat olive oil with garlic for 30 seconds in the microwave. Set aside. Punch down dough, and divide in half. Form each half into an oblong shape 3/8 to 1/2 inch thick. 

Brush grill grate with garlic flavored olive oil. Carefully place one piece of dough on hot grill. The dough will begin to puff almost immediately. When the bottom crust has lightly browned, turn the dough over using two spatulas and move to nearby table/workspace. Working quickly, brush oil over crust, and then brush with 2 tablespoons tomato sauce. Arrange toppings as desired. Sprinkle with cheese. Close the lid, and cook until the cheese melts. Remove from grill, and set aside to cool for a few minutes while you prepare the second pizza.
Note:  I doubled this recipe and made about 10 personal size pizzas that were gobbled up! :)

Chicken Taco Soup - Crock Pot


My neighbor gave me this recipe. She said they loved it. I was a little skeptical, well because it has canned cream of potato soup and canned corn. I don't love cream of anything soups. And canned corn should be banned. But I made it, and we LOVED it. Seriously really good. You must try it! And of course I used a rotisserie chicken. Smith's had them on sale, and I had a coupon making it a really good deal, plus it's easy!

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2-3 cups cooked, chopped/or shredded chicken
1 can mexicorn (corn with red and green bell peppers) don't drain.
2 cans cream of potato soup
1 small can (4 oz) diced green chilies
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 packet taco seasoning
8 oz sour cream

Add all ingredients except sour cream into crock pot and cook on low 4-6 hours. Before serving, pour 2-3 cups of soup into a bowl and mix with the sour cream. Add back into the soup, and serve with grated cheese and tortilla chips.

(Note: I told my kids the red and green peppers/chilies in the soup were "just part of the corn" and told them it was the cool indian corn. They ate it without further questions! Had they known it was peppers, they would not have tried!!)

October 9, 2011

Peasant Bread

I've made this yummy bread several times, and we especially love it dipped in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and pepper. I found the recipe here at Eat Your Veggies, Peas.


1 package dry instant yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
2 c warm water
1 T sugar
2 t salt
4 cups flour
oil
cornmeal
melted butter

Place yeast, water, sugar, and salt in warm bowl and stir until dissolved. Add flour and stir until blended. Do not knead. Cover and let rise for one hour, or doubled. Flour hands, remove dough (it will be so so sticky, this is ok), and place in 2 rounds on an oiled cookie sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Don't worry about making the rounds perfect, rustic is good! Let rise an additional hour. Brush top with melted butter and bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temp. to 375 degrees and cook for 15 more minutes. Remove from oven and brush again with butter. Serve warm.

October 4, 2011

Candied Cinnamon Sugar Almonds (and Salad)


I love the Nuts About Berries salad at Cafe Zupas and tried to recreate it for a family dinner. It turned out awesome, and I've since made it again!


The salad part is simple:
1- your choice of greens (I like to chop up a head of lettuce with a bag of baby spinach)
2- a bunch of berries (any combo of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries)
3- poppyseed dressing

And now for the Candied Cinnamon Sugar Almonds (this is from the Cafe Zupas blog):

2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup honey
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 cups whole natural almonds

1. Spread the almonds out on a baking sheet and roast in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until lightly roasted. Keep a close eye on them to make sure they do not burn. Stir occasionally.
2. In a medium saucepan, bring the butter and the honey to a simmer, stirring occasionally for about 2 minutes. Add the almonds and simmer for another 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
3. In a large bowl, mix the sugar and cinnamon until well combined. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the almonds from the saucepan to the sugar mixture. Mix until the almonds are well coated.
4. Transfer the almonds to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and put under the broiler for just a few minutes, just until sugar melts and caramelizes.
5. Let cool and break apart if neccessary.

*I found that putting the almonds in the cinnamon/sugar mixture worked best in small batches, like a spoonful at a time. When they were completely cool, I chopped them up for the salad.

September 28, 2011

Best Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

We made this the other night and it is to DIE for! So rich and creamy! It's really more of a custard. It's a little more work than the usual ice cream but WORTH IT!! :) We served ours with fresh raspberries.  I can't wait to try it with peaches!

Ingredients:
1 quart heavy cream
1 1/4 cups milk (whole is best)
1 vanilla bean split and scraped
1 1/4 cups white sugar, divided
10 egg yolks
1 tablespoon (we do like 1 1/2-2) Vanilla extract


Directions 
In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine cream and milk. Place vanilla bean and scrapings in pot, and sprinkle with half the white sugar. Allow to just come to a boil. 
Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks together with the remaining sugar and the vanilla extract in a bowl. When the cream is ready, pour a third of it into the egg mixture, and whisk. Pour egg mixture into remaining hot cream and return to the heat until mixture coats the back of a metal spoon. Do not boil. 
Strain custard and chill until cold. Then pour into the canister of an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.

Yummy Baked Zucchini

It's zucchini season - and I have LOTS - so desperate as I was for a new, yummy recipe I came up with this one. 
Seriously YUMMY.

Ingredients:
1 zucchini cut in round slices
Salt
Seasoned bread crumbs
Shredded Parmesan cheese
Crispy fried onions (the ones in the can)
Dipping sauce (Ranch would be good - we used Vidalia Onion Vinaigrette from Costco)
2 eggs

Slice zucchini into slices and place slices in a strainer.  Salt the zucchini and let them "sweat" for 30-45 minutes.

(I was amazed how much water came out!).
Meanwhile mix bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, and fried onions.  I had to use my chopper after the picture was taken to make the "chunks" less chunky :)

Preheat oven to 425.  Line a pan with parchment paper and spray the parchment paper with cooking spray.
Thoroughly rinse the zucchini slices and dry them.  Make an egg wash with about 2 eggs (just whip them up with a fork)  Dip the zucchini first in an egg wash, then in crumb mixture and place on pan.  Bake for approx 8-10 minutes each side (yes, flip them half way through) or until the crumbs are nice and toasted brown.

Let them cool and serve with dipping sauce of your choice.

These are SO yummy!! :) Enjoy!

September 12, 2011

Lime Chicken Soft Tacos

(From allrecipes.com)

I've been making this for years but realized I have never posted it here! These are really fast, really flavorful chicken tacos. We love them. The kids especially like them made into quesadillas. I don't keep green onions on hand so I hardly ever add those, but otherwise I follow the recipe.

  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast meat - cubed
  • 1/8 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • Saute chicken in a medium saucepan over medium high heat for about 20 minutes. Add vinegar, lime juice, sugar, salt, pepper, green onion, garlic and oregano. Simmer for an extra 10 minutes. Serve lime chicken mixture in warm tortillas topped with tomato, lettuce, cheese and salsa.

August 9, 2011

Fruit Soup

We made this for Becky's shower and it was the perfect shower food! It's from The Sisters' Cafe and they say it's the epitome of chick food. Perfectly put!

This really is like a cold soup full of berries and fruit with just a little bit of a syrupy feel to it. Serve in small cups with spoons!


3/4 c. sugar
1 c. water
1 c. peach juice (or another cup of water)
3 Tb tapioca (“minute brand” quick cooking tapioca)
6 oz orange juice concentrate
1 ½ c. water
2 cans mandarin oranges (with or without juice)
1 quart sliced peaches , cut into bite-size pieces (you can use 1 large can of peach slices, without the syrup)
2 c. fresh strawberries, sliced, just before serving
2 bananas, sliced, just before serving
1 bag frozen raspberries, thawed but still cool and firm (or an equivalent amount of fresh) or other berry mix

Bring sugar, water, peach juice and tapioca to a boil. Continue boiling on medium high for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Some tapioca will be clear and other granules will have a white center. Take off heat. Let sit for 30 minutes. (This is when the tapioca will become more clear.) Add 6 oz orange juice concentrate and 1 ½ c. water. Chill overnight. Add mandarin oranges and peaches. Before serving add strawberries, bananas, and raspberries.

Blackberry Cobbler

From Pioneer Woman's cookbook


I made this Sunday for dessert and it was the perfect summer cobbler! We had tons extra and took it to neighbors, who literally licked their bowls clean.

1 stick butter, melted
1 1/4 cups + 2 Tbsp sugar
1 cup self rising flour (or add 1/2 t salt and 1 1/2 t baking powder to 1 cup flour)
1 cup milk
2 cups fresh blackberries (I used a package of frozen)

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 3-quart baking dish with butter. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup of the sugar, milk and flour. Whisk in the butter. Rinse the berries and pat them dry. Pour the batter into the prepared dish. Sprinkle the berries evenly over the top. Sprinkle the top with 1/4 cup sugar. Bake for 50 minutes and sprinkle the top with the 2 Tbsp sugar. Bake another 10 minutes, until golden (1 hour total). Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream.

Soft Sugar Cookies

Ally begged me to make sugar cookies a few days ago, and we tried a new recipe. We really loved it! Nothing compares to mom's sugar cookies :) but these ones are delicious in their own way: really, really soft and light. We devoured them.

I whipped up 1/4 c. butter, around 3 cups powdered sugar, a few splashes of heavy cream, and a hint of almond extract for the frosting.

Source for cookies: Mel's Kitchen Cafe


1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened to cool room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon lemon zest (from about 1 lemon)
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla extract, almond extract and lemon zest; mix. Add two cups flour, baking powder and salt. Mix. Add remaining flour and mix just until flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth and soft.

The dough can be wrapped in plastic wrap and kept in the refrigerator for up to a week or it can be rolled out right away. Dust a counter with powdered sugar or flour and roll the dough to desired thickness (about 1/4-inch, maybe even slightly thicker than that). Cut the dough into shapes. Place the cookies on a lined or lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 7-8 minutes. The cookies won’t appear browned on top (or on bottom) when they are done baking so don’t let them overbake!

Cool the cookies completely on a wire rack before frosting.

August 8, 2011

Laurie’s Salad


2 heads lettuce (mix romaine and red leaf)
1 ½ cup grated Swiss cheese
1 cup Craisins
1 cup Cashews
2 medium pears (just before serving)
2 tart apples (just before serving)

*Dressing – Add just before serving:

½ cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
½ tsp. salt
¼ cup sugar
2/3 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp. Poppy seeds

July 19, 2011

Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Tart

Made this again last night and LOVED it!! SOOOO yummy!! It's rich - and wonderful :)

(From my friend Sarah Gale)
1 box Nonni's original biscotti
1/2 stick melted butter
10 oz extremely good quality chocolate, chopped up (I use Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips)
1 cup (half pint) heavy cream
12 oz package frozen raspberries, thawed
1 Tbl sugar

Preheat oven to 375. In a blender or food processor, crush the biscotti into crumbs. Stir in the melted butter and press into a pie or tart pan. Bake at 375 for 8 minutes. Remove and let cool completely. In the blender or food processor, puree the raspberries. Stir in the sugar and let it sit for a bit so the juices come out from the sugar. Strain out the seeds and set the puree aside. In a large microwave safe bowl, heat the cream for 1 minute and 30 seconds so that it's hot, almost but not quite boiling. Add the chopped chocolate to the hot cream and make sure it's all submerged. Let it sit for 5 minutes, then whisk it all together. It should be the consistency of a thin pudding. Add in 1/3 cup of the raspberry puree and pour it all into the cooled biscotti crust. Refrigerate for a few hours until set. To serve, slice into 12 very thin slices and drizzle with extra raspberry puree.  Whip cream on top is yummy as well :)

July 14, 2011

Stuffed Pizza Rolls

We got this recipe from "Our Best Bites."


They were delicious!

Olive Oil
1 roll Pillsbury Pizza Dough (Or any other pizza dough)
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Pizza Toppings
Parmesan Cheese
Garlic Powder
Marinara or Pizza Sauce

Open the pizza dough and roll it out on a lightly floured surface
Cut the dough into 2" by 2" squares or bigger
Place about 1 tablespoon of cheese in the center of the square
Place your toppings on top of the cheese
Pull the corners up on top and pinch close the roll
Place the rolls into a baking dish that has been greased by olive oil
After placing all of the rolls into the baking dish, brush with olive oil
Top with parmesan cheese and garlic (we put a lot of each on top)
Bake according to the dough's package or recipe

After they are done baking, dip them in the warmed marinara or pizza sauce and enjoy!

July 12, 2011

Caprese Skewers

Not only are these SO cute-- but they are super yummy too! I brought them to a bbq potluck and they were all gobbled up.  It is painfully obvious that I have the lamest camera out of all my sisters and mom on here because my pictures of these darling yummy bites suck.  Sorry.  Use your imagination because they really are darling, and oh-so-good! :)
(Recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe- of course!) :)

Caprese Skewers

Cherry tomatoes, red or yellow
Basil leaves (about 18-30 leaves, the big ones can be cut in half)
Fresh mozzarella cheese
Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
Toothpicks/skewers
Slice the cherry tomatoes in half so you end up with two half-basketball pieces. Slice the mozzarella into bite-sized chunks. Slide a piece of mozzarella onto the toothpick. Place a piece basil leaf and nestle it up next to the mozzarella (large leaves can be cut into thirds or more). Slide a tomato onto the bottom of the skewer, cut side down. Move the mozzarella and basil down to meet the tomato if needed. You want the flat side of the tomato to be right at the end of the toothpick so it stands up straight. Place all the finished skewers on a plate or tray. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and serve!

June 16, 2011

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars

Tried this out on Sunday afternoon for a treat, and we loved it.
They were even better the next day!


1 3/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup oats
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 c. chocolate chips (I used 1 c. milk, 1/2 c. semi-sweet, and 1/2 c. white because I like that combo)

Preheat oven to 375. Whisk together dry ingredients and set aside. Beat butter, sugars, egg and vanilla till fluffy and add dry ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips. Press into a greased 9×13 inch pan and bake for 18-20 minutes until light golden brown.

June 8, 2011

Fajitas


Quote from "Our Best Bites" recipe site:
"The secret really is in the marinade. And my little trick is to reserve just a little of it to drizzle on at the very end for an extra punch of flavor. You can use your choice of meat; boneless chicken breasts work great, as do chicken thighs or tenders. Flank steak is also awesome. We often do both chicken and steak. Grab whatever colors of peppers and onions you have around and grill them up."

So I did just what she said, I made the marinade, reserved a little, and grilled up the chicken and veggies. MMMMMMMMMMMMMM. Make sure you buy the LIQUID SMOKE. It wouldn't be the same without it!!! Since I sliced up all my veggies and meat ahead of time, I used our grill basket to cook them on the BBQ grill. Perfection.....Delicious......You should buy one if you don't have one! See this link for pictures!

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, chicken thighs, or steak (I pre-sliced mine before adding to the marinade)
2-3 bell peppers, stem and membranes removed and peppers quartered
1 large onion (any color/variety) sliced into 1/2″ slices
Marinade:
1/4 C fresh lime juice
1/3 C water
2 T vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
3 t vinegar
2 t soy sauce
1-2 t liquid smoke
1 t salt
1/2 t chili powder, or chipotle chili powder
1/2 t cayenne pepper
1/4 t ground black pepper
1/4 t onion powder
*If you’re not familiar with liquid smoke, you can find it near the bbq sauces. Don’t make this without it! It’s definitely one of the key components. It makes things yummy and smoky and super flavorful. And if you’re wondering, it actually is real smoke in liquid form. Interesting, eh?

Place meat in a zip-top bag or shallow dish. Place vegetables in another. In a medium bowl, combine all marinade ingredients and whisk well. Reserve 3-4 Tablespoons of marinade for later use. With remaining marinade, add a splash to the vegetables (enough for a light coating) and the remaining to the meat. Marinate for 4-6 hours and up to overnight.

Preheat bbq grill (my preference), indoor grill pan, or large skillet. If you’re using a grill, place everything on at the same time. If using a skillet, slice peppers and onions first. Cook chicken for a few minutes on each side until cooked through and remove from pan. Cover with foil to keep warm. Add vegetables and cook until crisp tender.

Remove vegetables from cooking surface and slice. Slice meat. Toss with reserved marinade and serve along side any or all of the following:

Flour Tortillas
Black Beans/Pinto Beans
Lime-Cilantro Rice
Pico de Gallo
Salsa
Diced avocado
Guacamole
Sour Cream

June 5, 2011

Creamy Tortellini Spinach Bake

There's not much to say other than we LOVED this! I found this recipe at Our Best Bites here, called Tortellini Spinach Bake in Creamy Lemon Sauce. I followed it exactly. Loved it extremely.

I've copied the recipe below. My only note is to keep in mind that this bakes in a 8x8 dish, so double it if you have a large family.


Tortellini Spinach Bake in Creamy Lemon Sauce
Recipe by Our Best Bites

12 oz bag Barilla Cheese & Spinach Tortelini (find them in the dry pasta aisle)
4 oz bacon or pancetta, (about 4 strips bacon)*
3 cloves garlic, pressed in garlic press or finely minced
2 Tbs flour
2 C milk
¾ tsp kosher salt
⅛ tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp dry basil
¼ tsp red pepper flakes (1/2 tsp or more if you like spicy)
1 medium lemon
2 C loosely packed fresh spinach, roughly chopped
¾ C grated mozzarella cheese, divided
¾ C grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill a large stock pot with water and bring to a boil. Add tortellini and cook according to package instructions.

Place bacon in a medium sized skillet on the stove-top at medium-high heat. Cook until crisp. Remove bacon from pan with slotted spoon and set on paper towels to drain. Reserve two tablespoons bacon drippings in pan and discard the rest. Add garlic to pan and cook until fragrant and tender, about 1 minute. Add flour to pan and stir with a whisk for about 1 minute. Slowly add milk and continue to stir with whisk until smooth. Add salt, pepper, basil, and red pepper flakes and bring sauce to a simmer.

While sauce is heating, use a microplane grater or a fine-holed cheese grater to zest lemon. Then cut lemon in half and remove juice. Add 2 teaspoons zest and 1 tablespoon lemon juice to sauce. Continue to stir until thickened, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Drain tortellini and place back in stock pot. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the cooked bacon and add the rest to the pasta mixture. Add spinach, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Add sauce and gently stir to combine. Place pasta mixture in an 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish and top with remaining 1/4 cup mozarella and 1/4 cup parmesan and also crumbled bacon.

Cover pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, until cheese on top is melted and pasta is bubbly throughout. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving.

* For a vegetarian meal, omit bacon.

Serves 4-6

May 10, 2011

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos

Update from Stacie:
Carrie made these last week and posted the recipe, and I had bookmarked the recipe several months ago. I don't know what took me so long to try them! I just made these tonight and had to add that we LOVED them. One of the best things I've ever made for the family, in fact.

Here's the rest of the post from Carrie:


I found this recipe (and borrowed her picture, I forgot to take one before we snarfed them all down!) on Our Best Bites. Click HERE for the link to their page, with more pictures, etc. of the recipe. Let me just say, these are super easy, and even more super good! I changed a couple things, mostly to use what I had on hand. See their site for the original recipe. They really are so good! For me, this made 7 Taquitos on regular sized flour tortillas.

1/3 C (3 oz) cream cheese
1/4 C salsa (I used my homemade regular salsa. Original recipe calls for a green salsa)
1T fresh lime juice
1/2 t cumin *(I used Mrs. Dash "Table Blend" seasonings in place of all individual seasons listed)
1 t chili powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/4 t granulated garlic, or garlic powder
3 T chopped cilantro *I omit, I hate cilantro!
2 T sliced green onions
2 C shredded cooked chicken
1 C grated cheese, mozzarella, pepper-jack, or your favorite. I used mozzarella.

small flour tortillas *I love the fresh, uncooked ones. (and actually, corn ones are good as well)
kosher salt
cooking spray

Heat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.

Heat cream cheese in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds so it’s soft and easy to stir. Add salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and granulated garlic. Stir to combine and then add cilantro and green onions. Add chicken and cheese and combine well.

You can prepare up to this step ahead of time. Just keep the mixture in the fridge.

Cook your tortillas on the stove top and set aside. If using pre-cooked tortillas, work with a few tortillas at a time and heat in the microwave until they are soft enough to roll without cracking. It helps to place them between damp paper towels. Usually 20-30 seconds will do it. If you find yours are cracking when you roll them or are coming unrolled right away, just try heating them longer and try the paper towel thing.

Place 2-3 T of chicken mixture on the lower third of a tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edges. Then roll it up as tight as you can.

Place seam side down on the baking sheet. Lay all of the taquitos on the baking sheet and make sure they are not touching each other. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray or an oil mister and sprinkle some kosher salt on top.

Place pan in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown.

Dip them in salsa, sour cream, or guacamole! Yumm-O!

May 9, 2011

Butter Cornmeal Crescent Rolls

I realize that not a lot of people love to make rolls from scratch and don't enjoy playing around with new recipes at that. On the other hand, there aren't a lot of things I love more than homemade bread in any shape or size, so I tried out some new rolls posted at Mel's Kitchen Cafe. I'm going to post my picture and then link you directly to her recipe, because I made no changes and you might as well go directly to the source. I will say that if you enjoy making rolls and want to give these a shot, you won't be disappointed. Despite the fact that there's cornmeal in these, they are surprisingly light and buttery with just a hint of texture. They were delicious. I'll be making these again.


Biscuits

I wanted to make some biscuits to go with soup a few weeks ago, and I tried out a recipe I'd heard was good. These biscuits turned out awesome! I highly recommend these.


3 tablespoons melted butter
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the surface
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Sift two cups flour, the baking powder, salt and (if using) sugar into a large bowl. Fold in 1 1/4 cups cream. If the dough is not soft or easily handled, fold in the remaining 1/4 cup cream, little by little.

Turn the dough onto a floured surface, mound it into a ball and, using your hands, gently press it to a thickness of about 3/4 inch. It does not need to be completely smooth across the top. Cut into rounds, 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Gather dough scraps and continue to make rounds. Place the biscuits on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops with the butter. Bake until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

*Makes 10-12

April 27, 2011

Red Velvet Cookies

I made these for Jenna a few weeks ago because I know how much she loves red velvet cookies. They turned out really good! The recipe is just for the cookie, but I added a cream cheese frosting because there's a bakery in SLC that does that, and Jenna and I both love their cookies.


1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon red food coloring

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375.

Cream butter and sugars together until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and combine until smooth. Beat in red food coloring. Stir in cocoa, flour, baking soda and salt until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

Bake for 10-12 minutes.

March 28, 2011

Grilled Cheese with Pesto

I saw this recipe here at eat your veggies, peas. It looked so similar to my favorite sandwich ever- Cafe Zupas' Grilled Cheese- that I knew I had to try it. My picture just doesn't do it justice:


The girl who posted this recipe said she's had it for lunch every day for a week. I think I might have the same problem, because I'm pretty sure it's gonna be made again today. It's soooo good!

sourdough bread
mozzarella cheese
pesto
Brianna's blush wine vinaigrette

Butter the bread on the outsides. Brush 1-2 tsp vinaigrette on the inside of one piece of bread. On the other, spread pesto and top with shredded mozzarella. Press together and cook on panini press or George Foreman (that worked great for us).


March 27, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie Crumble

I know I've posted a chicken pot pie recently, and Carrie made some changes and posted a new form of it as well. And then Mel from Mel's Kitchen Cafe went ahead and posted this similar recipe that I knew I would be trying.


It was awesome. It was also time-consuming. Just warning ya.

Also, it did not re-heat well. So the next time you need a big 9x13 pan full of food and have family or friends over, this would be great to ensure it all gets eaten up. (Again, assuming you have about 2 hours to prepare it that day.) Or if you're taking dinner in to someone, you could split the recipe into two 8x8 dishes.

The best part of this recipe is the cheesy crumble/biscuit topping. I fell in love with it. I think it would also be a great topping over a cheesy veggie soup or creamy chicken noodle soup. Lots of possibilities there.

I made two changes: First, I added potatoes. About three small potatoes, peeled and cubed. Second, I cooked my chicken in the oven on low for a few hours and used fresh chicken broth in the recipe. I have a hard time adding the same chicken broth I've just cooked the chicken in to a recipe. Totally grosses me out.

Here you go. Don't say I didn't warn you about all the steps to this one:

Chicken and Sauce:
1 ½ pounds chicken (about three medium-size chicken breasts)
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion , chopped fine (about 1 cup)
3-4 carrots, peeled and sliced (about 1 cup)
2-3 stalks celery, chopped (about ½ cup)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
½ cup flour
1 cup milk
3/4 cup frozen peas

Crumble Topping:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 tablespoons butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and chilled
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup heavy cream

To prepare the chicken, place the chicken and broth in a large Dutch oven or pot and bring it to a simmer over medium heat. Cook the chicken until it is just done (don’t overcook or it will dry out) – about 10-12 minutes. Alternately, if you are planning in advance, you can place the chicken and broth in a slow cooker and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 5 hours. Transfer the cooked chicken to a medium bowl. Pour the broth through a fine-mesh strainer into a liquid measuring cup and reserve. Return the pot to the stovetop (no need to wash if you used it to cook the chicken).

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Sprinkle the chilled butter pieces over the top of the flour. Using your fingers or a pastry cutter, rub the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the Parmesan cheese. Add the cream and stir until just combined. Crumble the mixture into irregularly shaped pieces onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake the crumble topping until fragrant and starting to brown, about 15 minutes, tossing halfway through. Set aside.

For the filling, heat the olive oil in the now-empty pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery, salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 5 minutes. While the vegetables are cooking, shred the chicken into small bite-size pieces. Transfer the cooked vegetables to the bowl with the chicken; set aside.

Over medium heat melt the butter in the empty pot. Stir in the flour and cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Slowly whisk in the reserved chicken broth and milk. Bring to a simmer and stir occasionally until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes, taking care not to burn the bottom. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Remove from the heat and stir the chicken, vegetables and peas into the sauce.

Pour the mixture into a 9×13 pan. Scatter the crumble topping evenly over the filling. Place the 9X13-inch pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees until the topping is well browned, about 15-20 minutes. Let the casserole stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Lemon Cream Pasta

This is my go-to recipe for dinner. I've made this a bunch of times lately, and it's safe to say it's my kids' favorite dinner. Besides the broccoli, but one of these days they'll eat it.

I played around with a couple recipes and came up with this. You can add chicken to this if you're on top of things- but I'm not usually and thus it's meat-free a lot.


12 oz. penne
4 1/4 cups water
2 1/2 cups chicken broth (I use granules+water)
1-2 cups broccoli florets (depending on how much broccoli you want)
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (from the can- I tried grating it fresh once and it actually ruined this dish)
Juice of one lemon (or more to taste)

In a large pot, add the pasta, 3 cups of the water, and the broth. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the liquid is very thick and syrupy and almost completely absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. (If using frozen broccoli, add it at this step.)

Add the broccoli and the remaining 1 1/4 cups water. Cover, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the broccoli turns bright green and is almost tender, 2-3 minutes.

Uncover and return the heat to medium-high. Stir in the cream, parmesan, (and the chicken if you added it) and continue to simmer, uncovered, until the sauce is thickened and everything is cooked and heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with grated parmesan.

March 17, 2011

San Francisco Chops (Crockpot)

Another hit from Mel's Kitchen Cafe! Super easy, super yummy. Because it cooks all day in the crockpot, the meat is so tender and flavorful, which was refreshing for pork chops. We loved it!

I followed the recipe exactly, but would change a few things slightly next time. She says you absolutely cannot omit the red pepper flakes, so I didn't. However, next time I would put about half that amount in. I was fine, but my kids said it was too hot. I might also reduce the soy sauce and add more water to make up for it. It was just too kicky for my kids.

This serves 4 barely! You might want to double for a bigger family.


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 pork chops, about 1-inch thick
Salt and pepper for seasoning
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water

Hot Cooked Rice, for serving

In a large 12-inch skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it is simmering and hot. Season the pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper. Brown the pork chops for 1-2 minutes on each side in the hot oil until golden. Transfer the chops to the slow cooker. Add the garlic to the drippings in the skillet and stir constantly over medium heat until the garlic is aromatic and golden (but not burned or it will turn bitter!). Stir in the soy sauce, broth, brown sugar and red pepper flakes; cook and stir until sugar is dissolved. Pour over chops.

Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours until the meat is tender. If using bone-in pork chops, fish out the bones from the slow cooker. Remove the chops from the slow cooker to a shallow pan or plate – they will most likely be falling apart in tenderness at this point. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and cold water until smooth. Whisk the cornstarch slurry into the sauce in the slow cooker. Return the chops to the slow cooker. Turn the slow cooker heat to high and cook for 30 minutes to an hour longer, until the sauce is slightly thickened. If you want a super duper thick sauce, once you remove the chops from the slow cooker, pour the sauce into a pan and place it over medium heat on the stove. Add the cornstarch slurry and bring the sauce to a boil. Boil for 1-2 minutes until the sauce is thick. Add the pork and heat through.

Serve the tender chops over rice and garnish with green onions, if desired.

February 20, 2011

Homemade Pudding

Oh my goodness. Carrie and I both made this in the past week, and we both loved it. We found the recipe at Mel's Kitchen Cafe as usual! Carrie says I have to put that it was a bit too chocolate-y for her. And for me, it was divine. I literally could have licked the bowl clean. So here's the verdict: if you don't mind things rich, go for the full 1 cup of chocolate chips. If you don't like things uber-sweet, maybe reduce to 3/4 c.


*Makes about 4 cups of pudding

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (Dutch-process or regular)
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cups whole milk (I used 1% milk and it was just fine)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk chocolate chips (or 6 ounces bar milk chocolate chopped)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large saucepan, combine the brown sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt, whisking lightly. Whisk in the milk and cream to the sugar mixture until it is smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips and bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, whisking or stirring occasionally. Once the mixture is at a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thickened and large bubbles pop at the surface, 2 to 3 minutes. Take the pot off the heat and stir in the vanilla.

Transfer the pudding to a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pudding to avoid a skin starting to form. Refrigerate the pudding until it is completely cool, at least 4 hours but up to 3 days, if it is stored in an airtight container. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream…or not.

February 18, 2011

Soft Pretzel Bites


I got this recipe off Mel's Kitchen Cafe, and it turned out pretty good! I have made pretzels a few times and they never turn out super good. These were good, and I would make them again! My only thing I would change would be the course salt. I added this, sprinkled over them. It was pretty strong, so I scraped it all off. Then they were perfect. Slight salt flavor, no salty chunks. Enjoy!

*Note: if using active dry yeast, increase the yeast to 1 tablespoon. Proof the yeast in the warm water and sugar (let it bubble and foam – maybe about 5 minutes) before adding it to the flour and salt.

*Makes about 2 dozen pretzel bites

Dough:
2 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 cup (8 ounces) very warm water

Topping:
1/2 cup (4 ounces) warm water
2 tablespoons baking soda
Coarse salt (optional)
3 tablespoons butter, melted

In a large bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, place the flour, salt, sugar and yeast. Mix to just combine. Add the water and mix well, adding more flour, as needed, a bit at a time to form a soft, smooth dough that clears the sides and bottom of the bowl. Knead the dough, by hand or machine, for about 5 minutes, until it is soft, smooth and quite slack. The goal is to get a really soft dough that isn’t overly sticky. Lightly flour the dough and place it in a plastic bag; close the bag, leaving room for the dough to expand, and let it rest for 30 minutes or up to 60 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 500°F. Don’t be afraid of the high heat! This is what will help those pretzels to brown up perfectly and stay soft on the inside. Prepare two baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper or lightly greasing them.

Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface, and divide it into about four strips of equal length. Allow the pieces to rest, uncovered, for 5 minutes. While the dough is resting, combine the 1/2 cup warm water and the baking soda in a liquid measuring cup (deep enough to dip the pretzel bites into). Make sure the baking soda is thoroughly dissolved. Sometimes I have a hard time getting the baking soda completely dissolved, so I just lightly stir up the mixture right before adding each pretzel.

Cut each strip of dough into about 6-8 pieces, about 1 to 1 ½ inches in width. You don’t have to be completely exact, just eyeball it. Dip each pretzel bite in the baking soda solution (this will give the pretzels a nice, golden-brown color), and place them on the baking sheets. Sprinkle them lightly with coarse, kosher, or pretzel salt. Allow them to rest, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Bake the pretzels for 7-8 minutes or until they’re golden brown. Bake one sheet at a time – it won’t hurt the other pretzels to chill out for a little longer.

Remove the pretzels from the oven, and brush them thoroughly with the melted butter. Keep brushing the butter on until you’ve used it all up; it may seem like a lot, but that’s what gives these pretzels their ethereal taste. Eat the pretzels warm, or reheat them in an oven or microwave on low heat.

February 13, 2011

Frosting


This is a butter cream frosting that can be used for cookies, cupcakes, cakes, etc. I combined a couple different recipes/techniques for frosting to make this one for a valentine's party this weekend. I think it turned out really good. There is an extra step or two, and this frosting doesn't end up overly "powdered sugar only" tasting. I really liked it!

In a saucepan, wisk together 7 TB flour and 1 cup of milk. Wisk continually over medium heat until it starts to thicken. Cook for 45-60 sec or so, stirring the entire time. Don't let it get too thick, just make a roux out of it. Remove from heat and let it cool.

In a bowl, beat together with hand beaters 1 cup of softened butter (2 cubes) and 1 cup of granulated (regular white) sugar. Beat until light and well combined. Beat in cooled roux 2 tablespoons at a time, and continue until all the roux is added. As you beat this together, the frosting will turn smooth and creamy instead of grainy. (I don't know how this happens, it just does, like a small wonderful miracle!) Add 2 tsp vanilla. Now add to this mixture, approx. 6 cups of powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Beat until completely mix in and smooth. You can add small amounts of milk/powdered sugar until you get the consistency you like. Beat until the frosting is light and fluffy and wonderful!

That is it! It isn't nearly as complicated is it might seem, and doesn't take much longer than traditional butter cream frosting, but tastes better, in my opinion!
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