Sunday, September 28, 2008

Buttermilk pancakes

Oh yum

I had some buttermilk left over from all the muffins I've been making so I decided to give this recipe a try. When it popped up on my google reader I knew I had to try it soon.

Part way through mixing together the ingredients I realized that I was out of white flour. All I had left was wheat (another side effect of the muffin-making). I decided to see how they turned out with 100% wheat flour.

All in all, they weren't bad. I probably won't make them 100% wheat again but I'd definitely make them half wheat half white flour. They were fluffy and delicious!

Buttermilk Pancakes (edited 11/13 to update directions)
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Ingredients:
2 C. all-purpose flour
1/4 C. sugar
2 1/4 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
2 eggs
2 C. buttermilk
1/4 C. butter, melted and cooled

Directions:
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder baking soda, sugar and salt.

In another bowl, beat the eggs then add in the buttermilk and butter and whisk until combined.

Whisk the buttermilk mixture in with the dry ingredients until just combined. The batter may be a bit lumpy- that's ok.

Scoop the batter onto a heated skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes. Flip the pancake and cook the otherside until golden. Serve and enjoy!

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Apple butter

Ingredients:

6lbs of apples, peeled and cored

1/4 cup brown sugar (heavily packed)

1/4 cup apple cider

1/4 tsp cloves

1/2- 1 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

Put apples, cider and spices into crock pot. Cook on high for 1-2 hours, then lower to low heat and cook for 7-8 more hours or until apples are tender. Puree or blend for a smoother consistency.

Source: Me!

Crockpot chicken with stuffing

Crockpot Chicken with Stuffing
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Ingredients:
6 chicken breasts
6 pieces pre-sliced cheese
1 1/2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup milk
2 cups herb stuffing mix (can use extra if desired -- turkey flavor recommended)
1 can chicken broth

Directions:
Place the chicken breasts in the crock pot, layering if necessary. Add the cheese slices to the top of each of the chicken breasts.

In a medium bowl, mix togheter the mushroom soup and milk, then spoon over the chicken breasts.

Pour a box (or two) of stuffing mix into the crockpot. Pour the can of chicken broth over the stuffing mix to dampen and cook 8-10 hours on low.

Source: original source unknown

Beef Stroganoff

My all time favorite food! I even eat it for breakfast :) If I were to recommend any recipe in the world, this would be it! 

Crockpot Beef Stroganoff
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Ingredients:
3 lbs beef round steak cut into 1'' cubes (I use about 2 lbs instead)
2 medium onions, sliced and cut into pieces
1 10.75 oz can beef broth
1 can of mushrooms, drained (optional)
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp ground mustard
1 cup sour cream
1 1/4 cups flour


Directions:
Place beef in a gallon bag, coat with the flour and mustard seasoning. I add 1/4 tsp of salt and some pepper. 

Shake until well coated. Place beef mixture into crock pot and stir in onions, beef broth and mushrooms.
Cook on low 8-10 hours. 

Just prior to serving stir in the sour cream. Serve over hot egg noodles.  

Source: My mom. Original source unknown.

Lemon Poppy Seed muffins

Possibly my all time favorite muffin, the lemon poppyseed. I skipped the glaze on this recipe when I made them but next time (*cough cough* this weekend *cough*) I'm going to make the glaze too. They freeze really nicely too.

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. poppy seeds
½ tsp. salt
1 ¼ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
½ cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
Zest of one lemon
1 cup vanilla yogurt (do not use non-fat)
1 tsp. vanilla extract

For glaze:
½ cup powdered sugar
1-2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners or spray with a nonstick vegetable spray. Set aside.

In a small bowl, stir together flour, poppy seeds, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the lemon zest, yogurt and vanilla and beat until well blended. Stir in the flour mixture until just moistened. Do not over mix.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pan and glazing.

Glaze: If glazing, while muffins are baking stir together the powdered sugar and lemon juice. The mixture should be runny. Once the muffins are removed from the oven, wait five minutes and then drizzle the glaze over the muffins with a spoon.

 

Source: Annie's Eats

Buttermilk Spice muffins

These muffins remind me a lot of a really fluffy and soft snickerdoodle. Mine didn't come out as dark as the photo shown on the blog where I found it, but they were still delicious!



Ingredients:

7 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the topping:
2/3 cup sugar
1 Tbs. ground cinnamon
6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Grease 9 standard muffin cups with butter or butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray; fill the unused cups one-third full with water to prevent warping.

To make the muffins, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, combine the butter and sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat well until pale and smooth.

In another bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Add to the butter mixture in 2 additions, alternating with the buttermilk and vanilla. Stir just until evenly moistened. The batter will be slightly lumpy.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each three-fourths full. Bake until the muffins are golden, dry and springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Unmold the muffins and let stand until cool enough to handle.

To make the topping, in a small, shallow bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon. Put the melted butter in another small bowl. Holding the bottom of a muffin, dip the top into the melted butter, turning to coat it evenly. Immediately dip the top in the cinnamon-sugar mixture, coating it evenly, then tap it to remove excess sugar. Transfer the muffin, right side up, to the rack. Repeat with the remaining muffins. Let cool completely before serving. Makes 9 muffins

Source: Williams-Sonoma by way of Annie's Eats

Banana Crumb Muffins

Brian's favorite muffin! I've added these to my weekly baking list just for him!

The topping makes a TON, you could easily half it and still have plenty to spare.



Banana Crumb Muffins
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Ingredients:
For the muffins
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
3 bananas, mashed
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, melted

For the topping
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon butter

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375°. Prepare 10 muffin cups with cooking spray or paper liners.

Mix together 1 ½ cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer blend the sugar, bananas, egg, cinnamon and butter. Beat the flour mixture into the banana mixture until just combined.

Scoop the batter into the muffin pans. 

Mix the brown sugar, 2 Tablespoons flour and cinnamon in a small bowl, then cut in 1 Tablespoon of butter until the mixture is well combined and resembles fine cornmeal.

Sprinkle the topping over the muffin batter.

Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Source:  Annie's Eats

Double chocolate muffins

These are SOOOOO good. I seriously could eat  4 of them in one sitting! But I don't! Because that would be wrong.
They do tend to come out a little dry for me so I would recommend adding a 2nd egg to the batter.

Double Chocolate Muffins
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Ingredients:
6 T. unsalted butter
4-6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 C. all-purpose flour
2/3 C sugar
1/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 T. baking powder
½ t. baking soda
½ t. salt
1¼ C buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 t. vanilla extract

Directions:
Pre-heat the oven to 375°, placing rack in the center of the oven. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners.

Whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.

In another bowl whisk together the buttermilk, egg and vanilla. Set aside.

Chop the chocolate, then melt the butter and 2 oz. of the chocolate together in a double boiler (or a bowl  set over a saucepan of simmering water, or in the microwave). Remove from heat.

Pour the buttermilk mixture, melted butter and chocolate over the flour mixture. Gently whisk together until just combined. There maybe a few lumps- that's ok.

Mix in the rest of the chocolate. Scoop the batter into each of the muffin cups.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of muffin comes out clean.

Place on a wire cooling rack for 5 minutes, then remove the muffins from the pan and cool completely.

Source: Annie's Eats

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Blackened Chicken & Jerk Sweet Potatoes

This was a wonderful dinner from last week. The sweet potatoes ended up a little more done than I preferred which I blame mostly on my craptastic cookwear. Just a hint when cooking them: if something smells like it's burning in your kitchen, it probably is. Just my advice.

Blackened Chicken

Ingredients:

4 chicken breast mixed with

1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 350ยบ. Pan fry chicken for one minute on each side to blacken. Transfer to the oven and bake for 5-10 minutes or until juices run clear.

Source: Adventures In My Freezer

 

Jerk Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients:

2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch thick fries (I did mine slightly thinner)
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment.

In large bowl, combine salt, garlic powder, sugar, chili powder, thyme, allspice, pepper, cinnamon and toss to combine.

Add sweet potato wedges and olive oil and toss to combine well.

Spread set potatoes out onto lined baking sheet and place in oven.

Bake until tender and lightly crisped, about 30 minutes, while turning twice through cooking.

Remove from oven, sprinkle with extra kosher salt if wanted, and serve.

Source: Good Things Catered

Cajun Chicken Pasta

100

Cajun Chicken Pasta
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Ingredients:
4 ounces linguine pasta
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into 1 inch cubes
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning (I used the chicken seasoning from this recipe)
2 tablespoons butter
1 green bell pepper, chopped (I left out this. We're not huge pepper people)
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
4 fresh mushrooms, sliced (I left out this as well. We're REALLY not mushroom people)
1 green onion, minced
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (I actually preferred it without the cheese)

Directions:
Cook the pasta according to package directions.

Cut up the chicken, then toss in a bowl with the cajun seasoning. Saute in a large skillet  until the chicken is fully cooked, about 5-7 minutes.

Add the peppers, green onions and mushrooms into the pan and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.

Reduce the heat on the pan and pour in the cream. Mix in the basil, lemon pepper, garlic powder, salt and black pepper and simmer until fully heated.

Pour the sauce and chicken over top of the pasta and garnish with Parmesan cheese.

Source: allrecipes.com by way of What's Cooking In the Orange Kitchen 

Monday, September 15, 2008

Mac and Cheese with a kick

I created this recipe using several others as inspiration. I kept seeing "grown up mac and cheese" on food blogs and websites in the last few weeks so I decided to try to make one for myself. It turned out to be a very simple and VERY tasty dinner!



Ingredients:

1 lb bag DeLallo Organic Whole Wheat Fusilli Bucati

1 1/2 cups (heavily packed) hot pepper-jack cheese

1 1/2 cups (heavily packed) cheddar cheese

2 cups milk

2 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsp flour

1 medium onion

2 cloves garlic

Directions:

Melt butter in a large saucepan. Saute onions and garlic in butter until slightly browned and soft. Add flour and stir until well coated.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions.

Add milk to sauce pan and stir until well thickened.

Add cheese and mix well until fully melted. (I found the pepper-jack took quite a bit longer to melt fully)

Drain noodles and mix in with cheese sauce and serve.

Enjoy :)

Source: me!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

French Bread

Yield: 4 baguettes, boules, or couronnes

Ingredients:

6 cups bread or unbleached flour
approximately 2 packages dry yeast
2 1/2 cups hot water 120-130° F)
2 teaspoons each salt and water

Baking Sheet or Pans:
1 baking sheet, teflon or greased and sprinkled with cornmeal, or 4 baguette pans, greased.

Directions:

Mixing the dough: By Hand or Mixer (10 mins)

The early part of this preparation, beating a batter, can be done by an electric mixer. However, don’t overload a light mixer with this thick batter. If by hand, stir vigorously for an equal length of time.

Measure 3 or 4 cups of flour into the mixing bowl and add the yeast and hot water. The mixer flat beater or whisk should run without undue strain. The batter will be smooth and pull away from the sides as the gluten develops. It may also try to climb up the beaters and into the motor. If it does, push it down with a rubber scraper. Mix for 10 minutes. When about finished, dissolve the salt in the water and add to the batter. Blend for 30 seconds or more.

Kneading: (10 mins.)

If the machine has a dough hook, continue with it and add additional flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough has formed under the hook and cleans the sides of the bowl. If it is sticky and clings, add sprinkles of flour. Knead for 10 minutes.

If by hand, add additional flour to the beaten batter, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring first with a utensil and then working by hand. When the dough is shaggy but a solid mass, turn onto a work surface and begin kneading with an aggressive push-turn-fold motion. If the dough is sticky, toss down sprinkles of flour. Break the kneading rhythm occasionally by throwing the dough down hard against the countertop - an excellent way to encourage the development of the dough.

First Rising: (2 hours)

Place the dough in a large greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and leave at room temperature for 2 hours. The dough will more than double in volume - and may even be pushing against the plastic covering.
(If prepared with a new fast-rising yeast and at the recommended higher temperatures, reduce the rising times by about half.)

Second Rising: (1 ½ hours)

Turn back the plastic wrap and turn the dough onto the work surface to knead briefly, about 3 minutes.
Return the dough to the bowl and re-cover with plastic. Allow to rise to more than triple its volume, about 1 ½ hours.

Shaping: (10 mins)

The dough will be light and puffy. Turn it onto the floured work surface and punch it down. Don’t be surprised if it pushes back, for it is quite resilient.

Divide the dough into as many pieces as you wish loaves. One-quarter (10 oz) of this recipe will make a baguette 22″ long and 3″ to 4″ in diameter.
Allow pieces of dough to rest for 5 minutes before shaping.

For boules or round loaves, shape the pieces into balls. Place in cloth-lined baskets (bannetons) or position directly on the baking sheet. For baguettes, roll and lengthen each dough piece under your palms to 16″ to 20″ , and 3″ to 4″ in diameter. Place in a pan or on a baking sheet or in the folds of a long cloth (couche).

This loaf’s characteristic couronne or “crown” can be made in several ways. One is to flatten the piece of dough, press a hole through the center with your thumb, and enlarge the hole with your fingers. Another is to roll a long strand 18″ to 24″ and curl into a circle, overlapping and pushing together the ends. Yet a third way is to take 2 or 3 shorter lengths of dough and join them together in a circle, not overlapping top and bottom but pressing the ends together side by side into a uniform pattern - this one will be irregular but attractive.

Third rising: (1 hour)

Cover the loaves with a cloth, preferably of wool, to allow air to reach the loaves and to form a light crust. Leave at room temperature until the dough has risen to more than double its size, about 1 hour.

Preheat:

Before preheating the oven to 450° F (very hot) 20 minutes before baking, place a broiler pan on the floor of the oven or bottom rack so it will be there later. Five minutes before baking, pour 1 cup hot water into the hot pan. Be careful of the burst of steam - it can burn.

Baking: (450° F, 25-30 min)

Carefully move the loaves in baskets and in couches to the baking sheet. Make diagonal cuts down the lengths of the long loaves and tic-tac-toe designs on the boules.
Place on the middle shelf of the oven.

The loaves are done when a golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Turn one loaf over and if the bottom crust sounds hard and hollow when tapped, the loaf is done.
(If using a convection oven, reduce heat 50 degrees.)

Place on a rack to cool

Source: Annie's Eats

Hamburger buns

Ingredients:

1 cup water lukewarm
2 tbls unsalted butter, at room temperature and creamed
1 egg
3 1/4 cups plain white flour
1/4 cup castor sugar (I just use regular granulated sugar)
1 tsp salt
1 tbls instant yeast
1 egg yolk (+ 1 tsp water)
Sesame seeds

Directions:

Sprinkle the yeast into the water and leave for 5 minutes. Stir to dissolve.

Combine all remaining dough ingredients and mix well.

Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured working surface and knead for about 10 minutes until you've made a soft, smooth dough.

Place the dough in a clean and lightly greased bowl.

Cover it with a towel and let rise for about 1 or 1 1/2 hours, until doubled in size.

Divide the dough into 8 pieces and shape each piece into a flattened ball.

Place the buns on greased baking sheets, cover with a towel and let rise 30 to 40 minutes, until they're quite puffy and doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).

Glaze the buns with the egg yolk and water mixture, then sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Bake the buns for 12 to 15 minutes, until they are golden brown.

Remove them from the oven and cool them on a wire rack.

Source: Amber's Delectable Delights, http://amberskitchen.blogspot.com/

Caramelized-Onion Foccacia

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp butter or margarine
2 medium onions, sliced
8 slices (1 oz each) provoloneor Monterey-Jack cheese
1 round foccacia bread (10-12 inches in diameter), cut horizontally in half

Directions:

Melt butter in 10 inch skillet over medium-low heat. Cook onions in butter 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally until onions are brown and caramelized; remove from heat.

Heat oven to 350°. Place half of the cheese on bottom half of foccacia. Top with onions and remaining cheese.

Replace top of foccacia. Wrap tightly in aluminum foil. Bake 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted. Cool 5 minutes.

Cut into wedges

Source: Betty Crocker

Swedish Meatballs

This meal is on Brian's top 5 dinner lists. It's almost a guarantee that when I ask him what he wants for dinner that week he'll answer "Swedish Meatballs!". One of the reasons I love it is that the ingredients are all things we almost always have in the house. I make huge batches of meatballs and freeze them so that we can make this as a very last-minute meal.

I've made a few major changes to the recipe in the past year since adding this to the blog. First, I don't fry the meatballs, I usually either bake or microwave them to heat them up. Less grease and it's faster. Second, I prefer lots of sauce for this, so I usually double the sauce ingredients, but leave the noodles and meatballs the same. The recipe below reflects these changes.

Swedish Meatballs
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Ingredients:
1 (12 oz.) bag of egg noodles
meatballs
4 T. butter
4 T. flour
2 c. beef broth
1 t. salt
a few dashes of cayenne pepper
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
2 c. sour cream, room temperature

Directions:
Cook the noodles according to the package directions.

Meanwhile, heat the meatballs either in the oven or in the microwave.

Melt the butter in a large sauce pan or deep-sided skillet over medium heat. Add in the beef broth, flour, salt, Worcestershire sauce and Cayenne pepper. Simmer until fully heated.

Remove from the heat and fold in the sour cream. Serve over noodles and top with meatballs.

Source: Menus 4 Moms

Sausage Spinach Pasta

Ingredients:

1 lb sweet hot Italian sausage- ground
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 26oz jars marinara sauce
6 Tbsp bottled basil pesto
1 lb penne pasta
1/2 lb mozzarella cheese
1 Cup Parmesan cheese
1 bag (6 oz) spinach (frozen, thawed, works fine)

Directions:

In large non-stick skillet, cook sausage on medium-high heat, breaking up meat, until meat no longer is pink, 5 minutes. Add onion, stirring constantly until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, cook 1 minute. Add marinara sauce, simmer over medium heat 10 minutes. Stir in pesto. Set aside.

Cook penne according to package directions

Heat oven to 375. Coat 13×9 dish with non-stick cooking spray. Spread thin layer of sauce over bottom of dish.

In large bowl, combine cooked penne, remaining sauce, cheese, 3/4 C Parmesan and the spinach. Spoon into baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan over the top.

Bake at 375 for 30 minutes

Source: my mother-in-law