Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Gingerbread Men


Ingredients

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 3/4 cup lard
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, molasses, and lard until smooth. Rinse molasses out of the measuring cup with hot water. Stir in eggs. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger; stir into the batter to make a soft dough. Add more flour if needed. Cover the bowl and refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour, or until firm.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness on a floured surface. Cut into desired shapes using cookie cutters. Place cookies onto ungreased baking sheets.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cookies appear dry in the center.

Creamy Crock Pot Chicken


4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened

1 can cream of chicken soup (or homemade equivalent)


2 tsp minced garlic


1/2 tsp garlic salt


1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper


1 tbsp parsley


1 tsp onion powder


Place chicken in crock pot.Mix softened cream cheese, cream of chicken and seasonings together and dump evenly over chicken.
Cook on high for 4-6 hours or until chicken is fully cooked and tender.
Serve over rice or pasta.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Lasagna!



Hamburger/sauce:
Brown 1 lb. ground beef (or turkey), and add:

4 small cans tomato sauce (8 oz, I think they are) OR 2 cans 15 oz tomato sauce OR your favorite go-to jar of sauce - you need approx. 24 - 32 ounces.1 tablespoon italian seasoning2 teaspoons onion powder (or fresh onion, minced, if you prefer)
1 teaspoon garlic salt (or plain salt if you don't want too much garlic, we always use the garlic salt in place of regular salt, in addition to minced garlic)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (fresh cloves or in the refridgerated jar)
fresh ground pepper
5 - 7 basil leaves (or about 2 tablespoons basil paste in a tube)
1 tablespoon sugar


While that is simmering on low, prepare the cottage cheese/ricotta mixture
1/2 (15 oz or so) container ricotta cheese
1/2 (15 oz or so) container cottage cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon parsley
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tsp. italian seasoning

For the top:
a few cups of shredded mozzarella cheese combined with about 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese


You’ll also need 1 box lasagna noodles, uncooked (I have to break mine in half to get them to fit)

Spray the liner of the crock pot (or use a slow cooker liner) with Pam, pour one ladle-full of sauce into the crock pot, and add 1 cup water. Add noodles, followed by some of the cottage cheese/ricotta, followed by some more sauce, repeating until the last layer - top the last layer of noodles with only sauce and the mozzerella/parmesan mix. Turn on low for 4 - 6 hours, or until done. 



**You can leave the top layer of cheese off, and add it during that last hour or so.** 



Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Peach Delight Muffins






  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 teaspoons allspice
  • 1 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups peaches pureed (I also add a splash of the syrup from canned peaches.)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla


  • Topping:
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • OR
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Directions

  1. Melt butter and let cool.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients except brown sugar.
  3. Cream eggs and brown sugar, stir in butter and vanilla.
  4. Add peach puree to egg and brown sugar mixture.
  5. Add dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly to combine.
  6. Put into mini muffin tins and sprinkle each one with a bit of either topping choice.
  7. Bake at 375 for 9 - 12 minutes or until done.

    *Regular muffins bake for a little longer - approx. 20 minutes.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Chicken and Broccoli Casserole




Chicken and Broccoli Casserole is a big hit here at our house!

You need about 4 cups chicken (seared and cubed into bite-sized pieces or shredded)

*Chicken can be done earlier in the day by tossing it into the crockpot and shredded*

*My main method for the chicken is to slice into strips - about 1/2 inch thick. Generously salt (most of the time we use garlic salt), pepper, and paprika the chicken, sometimes I'll add some onion powder and fresh garlic, too - sear in a fairly hot pan, and when it's done, slice it into smaller pieces.*

3 broccoli heads

(about 4 cups - you can also use frozen broccoli, if you prefer and steam either broccoli so it's almost tender)

2 cans cream of chicken



1 large lemon, juiced
(about 1/4 cup, a little more if you prefer)



1/2 cup mayonnaise
(Miracle Whip will change the taste of this dish, but if you prefer, then by all means, use Miracle Whip in place of the mayonnaise!)



4 - 6 teaspoons curry powder
(taste it after adding 4, and add more if you'd like)



1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper



Bread crumbs
*see instructions below*

Take 6 - 8 pieces of bread and run through food processor until they're consistent with breadcrumbs.
Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a deep frying pan. Add bread crumbs, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper,  1/4 teaspoon of garlic salt, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, and 1 teaspoon parsley. Saute on medium heat for about 7 minutes, turning often, until bread is slightly browned. Set aside.

***Side Note: if you are using Panko breadcrumbs to save time, or you'd prefer to NOT cook them ahead of time, just stir about 3 cups of breadcrumbs into half stick of melted butter, parsley, garlic, onion, salt, and pepper and follow the rest of the steps to top the casserole.***

Combine the cream of chicken, mayonnaise, curry powder and pepper in blender, pulse a few times until combined. Next, add lemon juice and pulse just until blended. (If you mix it too much with the lemon in it, it can curdle, so make sure it's *just* until blended.)


Scrape out of food processor and into a bowl, in which you have combined the chicken and broccoli (steam the broccoli first). Stir until mixed. Pour into greased casserole dish or individual ramekins, if you'd like. Put browned breadcrumbs on top. Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 - 40 minutes, or until bubbly and brown.

Serve and enjoy!


***You can also make a double batch, and freeze half of it, with the breadcrumbs separated from the casserole, in an airtight freezer ziplock bag, and it makes for an easy meal... pop it out of the freezer and into the fridge the night before, right before baking, top with breadcrumbs, and bake for 40 minutes.***

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Potatoes Au Beurre


6 - 8 potatoes
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 Tablespoons parsley
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
6 tablespoons butter
1 cup whipping cream

Peel and cut potatoes into 1/2 -inch thick strips, like french fries. Layer in a 9 x 13 inch pan. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and parsley. Dot with butter, pour cream over top. Sprinkle shredded cheese evenly around. Cover with foil and bake for 1 1/2 hours @ 350. Remove cover and bake for 1/2 more or until lightly browned.

You can make them ahead, baking for 1 hour then freeze.

**The phrase "au beurre" means "in butter". These taste very similar to au gratin potatoes.**

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Dream Bars


1/2 cup butter              
1 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar

Mix and press in 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350o for 15 minutes.

2 eggs                           
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups brown sugar           
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 squares chocolate, melted  
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla                   
1/2 cup nuts
1 cup coconut
Beat eggs, add brown sugar, melted chocolate. Add dry ingredients,
nuts & coconut. Put over crust when baked and bake 30 minutes
longer. Cut in squares.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Ginger Crinkle Cookies

Image and recipe credit goes to: Lauren's Latest

These are exactly like the cookies my mom made when I was little. We ate them all during the year, but they made a LARGE appearance during the holidays, when she would double or triple the batch. I used to have a copy of it, somewhere, and it went missing - so when I came across this recipe, I just had to share it!

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup granulated sugar, for rolling
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Stir in egg, vanilla and molasses. Whip 1-2 minutes or until it turns a light brown color. Stir in remaining ingredients and mix until dry ingredients are just combined.
Roll a heaping tablespoon of dough into a ball and coat in granulated sugar. Place on silicone baking mat, lightly greased cookie sheet or parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
Bake 7-9 minutes or until outside looks cooked but inside is still soft and gooey. Cool 5 minutes on cookie sheet before transferring to cooling rack.
Serve warm or at room temperature. Store in an airtight container until ready to serve.

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Clone of a Cinnabon {Bread Machine Recipe}

1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup butter, melted
4 1/2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough cycle; press Start.
  2. After the dough has doubled in size turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
  3. Roll dough into a 16x21 inch rectangle. Spread dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  4. Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.

    {This recipe is from here.}

Friday, June 29, 2012

Make McDonald's French fries at home

This is from an article I found on Yahoo, I just had to share! :)


"He says the key to making a perfect, consistent, McDonald's-style fry is in the advance preparation. The cut potatoes need to be soaked for at least two hours before cooking which pulls out excess starch and ensures the crispiest product. Also, Myers recommends that, "you have plenty of paper towels, a lined sheet pan, and have your oil ready to go."
The beauty of Myers' two-step cooking method is that you can cook your fries ahead of a dinner party and keep them in the fridge until you are ready to finish in hot oil just before serving. This way you get the most delicious, sizzling, salty, golden-brown fries every time."
Perfect French Fries (adapted from David Myers's recipe for "pommes frites")
Ingredients:
  • 6 Idaho russet potatoes
  • Peanut oil
  • Sea salt (Myers prefers Sel Gris, a fine light grey French salt)
Method:
Peel and square off potato ends. Cut into 3/8" batons. Soak for two hours changing water after an hour. Dry thoroughly with paper towels. Heat about an inch of oil (or enough to cover potatoes) in a large, heavy bottomed pot to 290 degrees. Blanch potatoes gently for about two minutes until cooked through but still completely pale. Place on a paper-towel lined sheet pan and cool in the refrigerator to stop cooking process.
Re-heat oil to 370 degrees. Cook fries until golden and crispy, about 3 to 4 minutes. If necessary, agitate gently with a spatula to prevent sticking. Remove from pan and toss with salt to taste (Myers doesn't blot but you can if you want less fat). Serve immediately. Recipe serves 4 to 6

Home-Baked Oreo Cookies


I came across this recipe here.
Oreo-style Cookies from Scratch (adapted from One Girl Cookies Bakery)

Chocolate Wafers
Ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour
¾ cup white sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
½ teaspoon table salt
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 eggs
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt.
In a microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate chips and butter for 30 seconds. Stir them together and microwave an additional 30 seconds. Repeat this process until chocolate and butter have both melted.
Using either a hand-held mixer with the beaters or a stand mixer with the paddle, combine melted chocolate and butter, and mix on low speed for 20 seconds.
Add eggs one at a time and mix on low speed until fully combined. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Add dry ingredients and mix on low speed for 10 seconds. Finish mixing with ingredients with a rubber spatula by hand.
Using two sheets of parchment paper roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness.
Refrigerate dough for one hour or until firm.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Using a small round cookie cutter cut out as many rounds as possible and place one inch apart on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. You can reroll the scraps once.
Bake for five minutes, then rotate the pan in the oven and bake an additional five minutes.
When the cookies are cool enough to handle, fill with cream filling (see directions below). Set aside for 20 minutes while the filling firms up.

Cream Filling
2 sticks unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 pinch table salt
2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Using either a hand-held mixer with the beaters or a stand mixer with the paddle, cream butter and salt at medium speed until light and fluffy
Add half the confectioner's sugar and mix on low for 30 seconds. Scrape down the bowl.
Add vanilla and mix on low for 30 seconds. Scrape down the bowl.
Gradually mix in remaining confectioners' sugar, holding some back until you reach the desired consistency. It should be smooth and spreadable, but not so runny that it will drip off the cookie.
Fill chocolate wafers with pastry bag fitted with small tip. You can also spread carefully with a knife or small spatula. A modest amount (about a teaspoon per cookie) is better so it doesn't squeeze out from between the wafers.
Cookies can be stored for up to one week in an airtight container.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Sydney's Mayonnaise Crusted Italian Parmesan Chicken






Ingredients
6  boneless/skinless chicken breasts (I use thin cut ones, or butterfly regular ones.)
1/2 cup flour (to dredge the chicken breasts in first)

{Part 1 - Mayonnaise/Greek Yogurt}
1 cup plain greek yogurt, mayonnaise, or half cup of each
1/4 cup whole milk or cream
1/4 cup Hidden Valley Buttermilk Ranch Dressing Mix
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

{Part 2 - Breading}
2 cups Panko bread crumbs (plain is what I use - but you can use the seasoned ones, too)
1/2 cup flour
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese {or about 1/2 cup of the grated/powdered kind}
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon tarragon
1 tablespoon parsley
1 tablespoons italian seasoning
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon (or more/less) garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 teaspoons powdered chicken bouillon {if you only have liquid/gel bouillon, stir this into the mayonnaise/greek yogurt instead}

Combine all of the ingredients for Part 1 - “Mayonnaise/Greek Yogurt”  in a wide, open container with a lid. (Tupperware bowl that is deep, yet has enough space to put 2 - 3 chicken breasts in it and is able to be shaken.)

Combine ingredients for Part 2 - “Breading”  in a pie plate or similar dish. 


Bread each piece of chicken in the 1/2 cup of plain flour and set aside.

Using a fork, place each flour-covered piece of chicken into the greek yogurt/mayonnaise mixture, 2 or 3 at a time (2 was perfect for the container I used) snap on the lid, and shake, vigorously, making sure each bit of the chicken is covered. Using the fork, drop them gently into the breading mixture. Gently coat each and every inch and crevice of the chicken. Lift it out of the breading, and place it on a greased/spray-coated cookie sheet. Continue with all the pieces of chicken until finished.

Bake at 375 for about 40 minutes. Check on it occasionally. Do NOT turn/flip the chicken.


To make the gravy, you'll need:
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup flour
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon tarragon
1/2 teaspoon onion
1 teaspoon parsley
ground pepper
salt

Whisk together butter and flour in a warm/medium heated pan to make a roux. Cook to a moist/wet sand stage. Lightly browned. Put into a bowl and place in freezer. In the meantime, combine and stir in chicken stock, minced garlic, onion, parsley, black pepper, and some salt to taste, once simmering/almost boiling, add the roux, slowly, whisking as you go, and there's your gravy! If it’s too thick, you can add a splash of chicken broth, milk, cream, half and half, or evaporated milk to thin it out without losing your taste.

The mashed potatoes are of course easy as pie, so I am not going to tell you step-by-step how to make them. (We use 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream, garlic salt, pepper, and about a half stick of butter...) :)

Fresh green beans and a homemade loaf of garlic bread, a french baguette, or your favorite bread make this a complete, and oh-so-delicious meal and it's pretty simple. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Buttermilk Substitue

1. Place a Tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup.

 2. Add enough milk to bring the liquid up to the one-cup line.

 3. Let stand for five minutes. Then, use as much as your recipe calls for.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Focaccia Bread


Ingredients

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 pinch ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup mozzarella


Directions
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, basil and black pepper.
Mix in the vegetable oil and water.
When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic.
Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Punch dough down; place on greased baking sheet. Pat into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle.
Brush top with olive oil. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese.
Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Creamy Pepper Dressing

Makes 4 (2-tablespoon) servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes

This classic ranch-style dressing is delicious over a variety of salads --
from a simple green salad to taco, spinach or Cobb salads.
Add an extra layer of flavor to the dressing by preparing with McCormick® Worcestershire Pepper Blend.

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon McCormick® Black Pepper, Coarse Ground or McCormick® Worcestershire Ground Black Pepper Blend
1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Garlic Powder
1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Onion Salt

1. Mix all ingredients in medium bowl until well blended. Cover.
2. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Stir dressing before serving.

Wedge Salad with Creamy Pepper Dressing and Bacon:
Serve Dressing over wedges of iceberg lettuce. Sprinkle with crumbled cooked bacon.

Romaine Salad with Creamy Pepper Parmesan Dressing:
Prepare dressing as directed, adding 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese. Serve Dressing over salad of crisp Romaine lettuce, thinly sliced red onion and croutons.