Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Cranberry Jam

Cooking the berries
12 oz. bag of fresh cranberries
1 c. sugar
juice of 1 lemon
1 c. water

Place all ingredients in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it comes to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.

Using the sieve
Using a mesh sieve, force the jam through into a bowl, using a heavy spoon or potato masher. Discard any skin or seeds left in the sieve.
Jam in the background

Let the jam cool. Serve or store in an airtight container.






Homemade Butter

Whipped cream stage
1 pint heavy cream
1/2 tsp. salt (optional)

Pour the heavy cream into a jar with a tight lid. Shake the jar back and forth for 10-20 minutes, or when yellow clumps start to form. Add in some salt if you want it at this point, and shake a minute longer. There will still be some liquid left, which is normal. If you don't use the butter right away, strain off the liquid and store in an airtight container.

Homemade butter
If you don't want to shake a jar for 20 minutes, there's always the electric mixer. Still takes about the same amount of time. The cream will first turn into whipped cream, and then the clumps will start forming and the liquid will start separating out.

It was pretty fun to make homemade butter. And it tastes great!



Friday, September 12, 2014

Crock Pot Pork Chops

2 medium sized pork chops
salt and pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
3 c. chicken stock
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1- 2 tsp. corn starch

Add all ingredients to the crock pot. Cook on high 6-8 hours. I turned the pork chops over after they'd been cooking 3 hours. I served the pork chops over hot cooked rice. Definitely a keeper.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Almond Poppy Seed Bread

Crisco, for greasing
2 c. flour
3 Tbsp. poppy seeds
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 c. sugar
3/4 c. milk
1/2 c. olive oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
3 tsp. almond extract

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Grease a bread loaf pan. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, poppy seeds, salt, and baking powder.

In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, milk, oil, eggs, vanilla, and almond. Whisk. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined. Do not overmix.


Pour into prepared bread pan. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Let cool on a cooling rack.

Here's a link to the recipe I adapted: http://www.recipechart.com/recipes/bread-recipes/lemon-almond-poppy-seed-bread

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Potato Cauliflower Cheese Casserole

Cooking spray
3-4 medium potatoes, diced
1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped into bite sized pieces
salt and pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 c. cheddar cheese, shredded, more for sprinkling on top
2 c. sour cream (I used lite)
6 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped

Preheat oven to 350 F.

 Grease a baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.

Boil potatoes for 10-15 minutes, or until they are soft. Drain. At the same time, boil the cauliflower for 7-10 minutes. Drain. Mix the potatoes and cauliflower together in the greased baking dish. Season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with cilantro.

Cook the onion for 3-5 minutes over medium heat. Add to the baking dish. Toss.

Combine the cheese and sour cream in a dish. Spoon over the potato and cauliflower mixture. Stir to combine it all together.

Bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle a layer of cheddar over the top. Bake for an additional 3-5 minutes. When it's done, sprinkle the cooked bacon over the top. Serve hot.

I made it with the bacon in the casserole and baked it, but I was sorely disappointed. Nice crispy bacon on the top would have been much better. That is how I will make it in the future.

Here's a link to the recipe I adapted: http://12tomatoes.com/2014/03/dinner-recipe-baked-potato-casserole.html


Monday, May 5, 2014

Pasta with Asparagus and Balsamic Vinegar

1 lb. asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
1 lb. pasta
1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. brown sugar
4 Tbsp. butter, cut into pieces
1/3 c. Parmesan, plus more for serving

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Line a baking pan with aluminum foil. In a medium sized bowl, toss the asparagus pieces with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Move to the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain. Return to cooking pot.

While the pasta is cooking and the asparagus is baking, simmer the balsamic vinegar over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, until it has reduced a little. Add in the brown sugar and a little more black pepper.

When the pasta is returned to the cooking pot, add in the butter. Pour the vinegar mixture over, then toss. Add in the baked asparagus and parmesan. You can add a little more salt if you desire. Toss again. Serve hot, with additional parmesan to each serving.

This recipe is quick, easy, and tasty!

Here's a link to the recipe I used: http://www.melskitchencafe.com/penne-with-roasted-asparagus-and-balsamic-butter/

Monday, April 28, 2014

Peanut Butter Balls

*Plan ahead... needs to chill
Peanut Butter Balls!

1 2/3 c. creamy peanut butter
8 oz. honey
1/3 c. raisins
1/3 c. sunflower seeds
2/3 c. instant powdered milk

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Shape into balls. Line them on a baking tray or dish. Chill in the fridge an hour or two before serving.

Super easy recipe. I used to eat these all the time when I was a kid. The recipe easily makes 2 dozen.


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Cake Batter Cinnamon Rolls with Sprinkles

*Plan ahead... needs to rise.
 
Dough
1/2 c. milk
1/3 c. sugar
3/4 Tbsp. active dry yeast
1/4 c. unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 eggs
1/4 tsp. salt
2 1/4 c. flour, plus more for dusting 

Filling
1/4 c. sugar
1/3 c. flour
1 Tbsp. non-fat dry milk powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 c. unsalted butter, cold, and cut into 2 pieces
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. sprinkles
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon

Glaze
1/2 c. confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. heavy cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla

To make the dough: In a small saucepan, warm the milk over low heat until lukewarm. Pour the warm milk into the bowl of a stand electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment and manually stir in the sugar and yeast. Cover with a towel and let stand until the yeast is foamy, about 5-10 minutes.

Add the softened butter, eggs, and salt. Scrape down the sides and manually stir as needed. Chunks of butter will remain. Gradually add the flour and beat at medium speed until a soft dough forms. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until the dough is soft and supple, about 6 minutes longer.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it with your hands for about 2 minutes. Form the dough into a ball and transfer it to a lightly greased bowl. Cover the dough and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours.

Line the bottom of an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper, leaving room on the sides. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and, using a rolling in, roll into a 5x12 inch rectangle. Make sure the dough is smooth and evenly thick, even at the corners.

To make the filling: In a food processor, combine the sugar, flour, milk powder, and salt. Process for 10 seconds. Add the pieces of butter and pulse for 10 more seconds. Add the vanilla over the top and pulse until the mixture is crumbly, about 10 more seconds. Toss in the sprinkles with a fork.

Spread dough with 3 Tablespoons of softened butter and top with cinnamon. Sprinkle 3/4 cup of the cake mix filling over the top. There will be some leftover. Tightly roll up the dough to form a 12-inch-long log. Cut into 9 even rolls. Arrange them in the prepared baking pan, cut sides up. Cover the rolls and let them rise in a warm place until they are puffy, about 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 400 F degrees. Cover the rolls with aluminum foil and bake for about 25 minutes, until they are golden. Transfer the pan to a rack to cool for about 15 minutes.

To make the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk the confectioners' sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla until smooth. Add more sugar or cream, depending how thick you want the glaze. Pour glaze over the rolls and serve warm.

This recipe is easily doubled to make 15-18 cinnamon rolls.

Here's a link to the recipe I used: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/03/25/cake-batter-cinnamon-rolls-without-cake-mix/

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Avocado Egg Rolls with Dipping Sauce

So amazing and fairly easy to make. This recipe is for 3 egg rolls, but is easily doubled.

Dipping sauce ingredients
Egg Rolls:
1 large avocado or 1 1/2 medium avocados
1 Tbsp. sun-dried tomatoes in oil
1 tsp. cilantro, chopped
1/8 tsp. salt
3 egg roll wraps
1 egg, slightly whipped
oil for frying

Dipping Sauce:
1/8 tsp. white vinegar
Dipping sauce pureed
1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. cashews, chopped
1/3 c. cilantro
2 green onions
1 garlic clove
1/2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/8 c. olive oil

To make the dipping sauce: In a bowl, mix together the vinegars and honey. Heat for 1 minute in the microwave.

Pour this mixture and all other dipping sauce ingredients except the olive oil into a food processor. Puree. Pour into a bowl and add the olive oil. Stir and refrigerate.
Egg rolls frying

To make the egg rolls: In a bowl, stir together the avocado, tomatoes, cilantro, and salt together.

Add 1/3 of the mixture onto the center of each egg roll wrapper.

Position the wrapper so the corner is pointing toward you. Fold the bottom corner up over the filling. Fold remaining corners up over the filling, brushing the corners with egg to secure in place. Roll up from the bottom, folding the top corner over all. Seal with egg and repeat for remaining wrappers. 

Ready to eat!
Fry egg rolls for 3-5 minutes in oil over medium high heat. Fry until golden brown.

Serve with dipping sauce.

We'll be making this recipe again and again. It's so good.

Here's a link to the original recipe: http://lilluna.com/cheesecake-factory-avocado-egg-rolls/




Saturday, February 8, 2014

Maple Oatmeal Cookies

*plan ahead... needs to chill

3/4 c. flour
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
8 Tbsp. butter, melted
3/4 c. brown sugar, packed
1/4 c. + 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
3/4 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
1 3/4 c. old fashioned oats

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla. When mixture is cool, whisk in egg. Add dry ingredients to bowl and stir until combined. Stir in oats. Press plastic wrap over dough in bowl and let chill in refrigerator overnight. Don't cheat on this step.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Drop dough by rounded tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets. Bake until golden, about 16 minutes. Let cool on sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Enjoy!

Here's a link to the recipe I used: www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2012/05/maple-brown-sugar-oatmeal-cookies-recipe.html?ref=search