Saturday, December 24, 2016

Almond Joy Cookies

14 oz. sweetened coconut flakes
2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2/3 c. almonds, chopped
1/4 tsp. salt
14 oz. sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Stir until well mixed.

Using a cookie scoop, scoop out dough onto prepared baking sheet.

Bake 12-14 minutes or until the tips of the coconut are just starting to turn golden.

Let cool on the baking sheet about 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

Here's a link to the recipe I used: http://www.momontimeout.com/2016/07/almond-joy-cookies-just-4-ingredients/

Strawberry Jam Filled Cookie Bars

For the Filling:
2 1/2 c. strawberries, fresh or frozen
1/4 c. water
1/2 c. sugar
3 Tbsp corn starch + 1/4 c. cold water

For the Cookie Dough:
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg
1 3/4 c. + 2 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder

To make the filling: The filling will need to cool down before being used, so make sure you make the filling first.

In a small pot, add the strawberries, water, and sugar. Bring to a simmer, then simmer for 10-15 minutes.You will need to stir regularly and break up the strawberries with a spoon as they cook.

Dissolve the corn starch in the cold water. Add slowly to the boiling strawberry mixture. Stir constantly. Cook for another few minutes until the mixture thickens and becomes the consistency of pie filling. Make sure you're stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and transfer to a glass bowl to cool. Cool for at least 30 minutes, stirring it every now and then before using it in the cookie bars.

To make the cookie dough: Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Cream the butter and sugar together.

Beat in the egg and vanilla.

In a small bowl, mix together the flour and baking powder, then fold into the creamed mixture until a dough forms.

Divide the dough into two equal parts.

Line an 8x8 inch baking pan with plastic wrap and press one half of the dough evenly into the bottom of the lined pan. Lift the flattened dough out of the pan, still keeping it on the plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge until you are ready to use it.

Lightly grease the baking pan and line it with parchment paper.

Press the other half of the dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.

Spread the strawberry filling evenly over the base layer.

Take the dough square from the fridge and peel back part of the plastic wrap so you can flip it onto the filling. Then peel the rest of the plastic wrap off. Press down lightly on the dough.

Bake for 25-35 minutes, until lightly golden on top.

Cool completely before cutting into bars.

Here's a link to the recipe I used: http://www.rockrecipes.com/raspberry-filled-cookie-bars/


Large Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are definitely my new favorite cookies.

Plan ahead... needs to chill...

2 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. unsalted butter, softened
1 c. granulated sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar, packed
2 eggs, room temperature
2 c. creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. granulated sugar, for rolling

In a medium sized bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and both sugars together until smooth.

Add in the eggs and beat until combined.

Mix in the peanut butter and vanilla.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined.

Add in the chocolate chips.

Chill the dough for 1 hour in the refrigerator. If you chill the dough longer than an hour or so, allow it to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before trying to roll into balls.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

Roll cookie dough into large balls, about 3 Tablespoons of dough per cookie (it's a lot, but they are large cookies!), then roll the dough in the granulated sugar.

Place 8 balls onto the cookie sheets. Gently press down on each ball to slightly flatten.

Bake for 15 minutes until lightly browned on the sides. The centers will still look very soft.

Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for at least 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

If you're waiting between making batches, make sure you put the dough back in the fridge or it gets to sticky and is hard to roll.

These cookies are amazing and I will definitely be making them again. Soon.

Here's a link to the recipe I used: http://www.sallysbakingaddiction.com/2016/07/08/big-bakery-style-peanut-butter-chunk-cookies/. I love Sally! Haven't gone wrong with any of her recipes yet!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Southwest Salad with Garlic Lime Dressing

For the Salad:
8 c. lettuce, any kind really
1 c. cheddar cheese, grated
1 avocado, sliced
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 c. frozen corn, cooked according to package directions
2 c. chicken, diced and cooked
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
2 c. nacho cheese Doritos, crushed

For the Dressing: 
3 Tbsp. honey
3 Tbsp. lime juice
1 clove garlic, grated
1/4 tsp. cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 c. canola oil

To make the salad: Divide lettuce among 4 bowls. Arrange cheese, avocado, beans, corn, and chicken around each bowl. Top with crushed Doritos.

To make the dressing: Combine all ingredients together. Whisk to emulsify. Drizzle over salads. Serve.

Here's a link to the recipe I used: http://www.laurenslatest.com/my-favorite-southwest-salad-with-garlic-lime-dressing-doritos/

Oreo M&M Cookie Bars

1 stick butter, melted
1 egg
1 c. brown sugar, packed
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 c. flour
18 Oreo cookies, roughly chopped
1/2 c. M&M's
sprinkles (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Line an 8x8 inch baking dish with aluminum foil, then spray with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large bowl, add the melted butter (slightly cooled), egg, brown sugar, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth.

Add in the flour, and stir until just combined.

Stir in the Oreos.

Stir in the M&M's and any sprinkles if you want them.

Turn the batter out into the prepared dish, smoothing it out lightly.

Place a few Oreos or M&M's or sprinkles (or all of them) on the top to be aesthetically pleasing.

Bake for 18-21 minutes, or until the top is set in the center. The bars will firm up as they cool. Place pan on a wire rack to cool for at least 90 minutes before slicing and serving. The filling in the Oreos has to re-solidify after melting, so this is why it takes 90 minutes before you can cut and serve.

Here's a link to the recipe I used: http://www.averiecooks.com/2015/11/loaded-mm-oreo-cookie-holiday-bars.html

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Irish Beef Stew with Mashed Potatoes

3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 lb. beef chunks
1/2 c.carrots, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
garlic powder, to taste
thyme, to taste
basil, to taste
rosemary, to taste
coriander, to taste
2 c. beef broth
1/2 onion, diced
5 sprigs cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp. butter, softened, almost completely melted
2 Tbsp. flour
1/3 c. frozen peas
hot mashed potatoes (I make mine mixed with butter, sour cream, milk, salt, and pepper)

In a skillet, brown the beef in 2 Tbsp. olive oil until browned on all sides, about 4-5 minutes.

Remove the beef and put it in a crock pot. Add in the carrots, spices (I was lighter on the rosemary and basil than all the other spices), and beef broth. Cook on low for 3-4 hours.

After 3-4 hours, cook the onion in a deep pot with 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Cook about 5 minutes, add the cilantro, and cook another minute or two.

In a small bowl, combine the butter and flour. Stir until smooth and mixed together.

Transfer the stew from the crock pot to the deep pot with the onion and cilantro. Turn up the heat to high. Stir the butter mixture into the stew. Add in the peas. Let the stew come to a boil, and let it boil 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let the stew get thick before reducing the heat. Serve over hot mashed potatoes.

I'll be making this again.

Here's a link to the recipe I slightly adapted: http://www.laurenslatest.com/irish-beef-stew-mashed-potatoes/

Pumpkin White Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Plan ahead... needs to chill... 
 
1/2 c. unsalted butter, melted
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1/3 c. pumpkin puree
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
pinch of ground ginger
pinch of salt
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. baking soda
2 c. flour
1/2 c. white chocolate bar cut into chunks
cooking spray
sprinkles (optional)

In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugars until combined.

Add in the vanilla and pumpkin. Stir to mix in.

Add in everything else minus the white chocolate (and sprinkles, if you choose to use them) until you get a soft dough.

Stir in the chocolate chunks.

Refrigerate the dough for 30-60 minutes.

When your dough is ready, preheat oven to 350 F. Spray two baking sheets with cooking spray.

Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. Bake for 4 minutes, then rotate pans. Bake for 4-6 more minutes. Don't over bake these. They will continue to cook slightly after you remove them from the oven.

Slightly flatten the cookies with the bottom of a glass. Add sprinkles if you want. My two year old added sprinkles to ours.

Let cool on the baking sheets about 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

Here's a link to the recipe I slightly adapted: http://thedomesticrebel.com/2014/09/30/the-best-chewy-pumpkin-chip-cookies/

Friday, September 30, 2016

Potato Green Bean Chowder

3 red potatoes, diced
4 c. chicken broth
2 strips of bacon
1/2 an onion, chopped
1/3 c. frozen corn
2/3 c. frozen green beans
garlic powder, to taste
thyme, to taste
oregano, to taste
coriander, to taste
dash of cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
5 Tbsp. butter
5 Tbsp. flour
2/3 c. whole milk
1 1/2 c. cheddar, grated
1/4 c. sour cream

In a large pot, combine the potato and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Let the potatoes boil for 5 minutes.

In a small skillet, cook the bacon. Chop up before or after you cook it. Drain most of the grease on a plate covered with a paper towel. Reserve a small amount of the grease in the skillet. Set the bacon aside.

In the skillet with the bacon grease, add the chopped onion. Cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat.

When the potatoes are tender, and the water is still boiling, add the corn, green beans, and seasonings. Bring to a boil again; let boil for 1 minute, then reduce the heat to a simmer.

In another skillet, add the butter. Melt over medium high heat. When the butter is melted, add the flour. Stir constantly until it is all blended. Add the milk and bring to a boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. It should get thick very quickly.

Add the thickened butter and flour mixture to the potato broth. Stir to combine. Adjust the seasonings if you need to.

Turn the heat on the chowder down to low. Add in the cheese and sour cream. Stir until combined. Let heat through.

Add a bit of crumbled bacon to the top of each chowder bowl. Serve hot.




Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Raspberry Chocolate Cake Bars

1/2 c. unsalted butter, melted
1 box yellow cake mix
2 c. semisweet chocolate chips, divided
2 c. sliced almonds, divided
3 1/2 c. shredded coconut
12 oz. raspberry jam

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish. Set aside.

In a bowl, stir together the melted butter and cake mix. Press into the prepared baking dish.

On top of this crust, sprinkle 1 1/2 c. chocolate chips and 1 1/2 c. almonds.

Sprinkle with coconut.

Carefully spoon jam over the top as evenly as possible.

 Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips and almonds.

Bake 25-30 minutes, or until edges lightly brown.

Let cool before cutting into bars.

Store in the refrigerator.

Here's a link to the recipe I used: backforseconds.com/chocolate-raspberry-magic-bars/


Tiny Taco Salads

Cooking spray
12 round wonton wrappers
4-6 oz. ground beef
cumin, lots
onion powder, to taste
coriander, to taste
garlic powder, to taste
chili powder, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
3/4 c. lettuce, shredded
3 Tbsp. black olives, sliced
1/4 of an avocado, sliced into small pieces
1 c. cheddar cheese, finely grated
1/4 c. sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with cooking spray. Place each wonton wrapper into a cup of the muffin pan, and press it into the bottom and sides. Lightly spray with cooking spray. Bake until lightly browned, about 8-9 minutes.

Let cool about 10 minutes before popping them out of the pan.

Cook the beef over medium high heat. Add in the seasonings until it tastes how you want. Break it up into small pieces.

Evenly fill the wonton wrappers in this order: lettuce, beef, olives, avocado, cheese, and sour cream.

Really you could change up the ingredients every time you make this. You could try black beans, refried beans, tomatoes, salsa, pepperjack cheese, etc.

Here's a link to the recipe I adapted: www.hungry-girl.com/recipes/tiny-taco-salads-2-0.

If you're looking for something to do with leftover wonton wrappers that you have, here's a link to my Lasagne Cupcakes: http://trinitywolf3.blogspot.com/2013/01/lasagne-cupcakes.html

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Crock Pot Taco Chili

1/2 an onion, chopped
15 oz. can black beans, drained
15 oz. can pinto beans, drained
8 oz. tomato sauce
14 oz. can diced tomatoes
5-7 sprigs of cilantro, chopped
1/2 c. frozen corn kernels
1 lb. ground beef
4 baby bell peppers, chopped
1 small can of olives, chopped and drained
1 Tbsp. cumin (or more, seriously)
salt and pepper, to taste
chili powder, to taste
garlic powder, a lot
onion powder, to taste
oregano, to taste
paprika, to taste
coriander, a lot
pinch of cayenne


Add all the ingredients to the crock pot, breaking up the beef into small chunks if needed. Stir it up, making sure to mix everything in. Cook on high 3-4 hours, then reduce heat to low, and cook 3-4 more hours, stirring occasionally. Taste it a few times to see if the seasonings need adjusting. Serve with avocado slices, sour cream, and tortilla chips.

Here's a link to the recipe I was inspired by: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2008/11/crock-pot-chicken-taco-chili-4-pts.html.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Cornish Pasties

*Plan ahead... needs to chill...

2 1/2 c. flour
1 stick of butter, chilled
pinch of salt
4-6 Tbsp. water
10 oz. ground beef
1 small potato, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
6-7 baby carrots, finely chopped
1-2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp. beef stock
2 cloves garlic, minced
thyme, to taste
coriander, to taste
salt & pepper, to taste
1 egg, beaten

Place the flour and salt in a food processor. Grate in the chilled butter. Process for about 20 seconds, or until crumbly. Add in the water, and process in short bursts until the mixture comes together into a ball. Add more water if needed.

Gather the dough ball together and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

While the dough is chilling, place the ground beef, potato, onion, carrot, sauce, stock, garlic, and seasonings into a large bowl. Combine well.

Grease a baking tray and set aside.

Preheat oven to 415 F.

When the dough is ready, divide into eight portions. Roll out each portion into a circle about 1/8 inch thick. Divide the filling evenly and put in the center of each pastry circle.

Brush the edges of the pastry with beaten egg and bring the sides together into a semicircle. Pinch the edges to form a frill. Place each pasty on the baking tray.  Brush with the remaining egg, and bake for 15 minutes.

Lower the heat to 350 F. Cook for another 25-30 minutes, or until golden.

Recipe adapted from 1000 Best Recipes


Monday, July 4, 2016

Chicken Curry


2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
2 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 c. carrots, sliced
1 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
1 can water chestnuts, drained
salt & pepper, to taste
garlic powder, ginger, cumin, white pepper, curry powder, turmeric, garam masala, all to taste
1/2 tsp. coriander
Before the coconut milk
1 c. chicken stock
1/2 c. frozen peas 
1 1/2 Tbsp. flour
1 can coconut milk
2 Tbsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. peanut butter
hot cooked rice
Sriracha, optional

In a large pot, cook the olive oil and onion over medium high heat for about 5 minutes. Add the chicken, and cook for several more minutes until the chicken is no longer pink.

Add the carrots, cilantro, and water chestnuts. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add all the seasonings. Stir. Then add in the chicken stock. Stir again. Turn heat up to high.

Add the frozen peas and flour. Stir.

Ready to eat
Let it boil for several minutes before turning the heat down to simmer. While the curry is simmering, add in the coconut milk, sugar, and peanut butter. Mix well. Let cook another 5 minutes before serving over the hot rice.

If you want a little more spice, add in some Sriracha.

I will definitely be making this curry again.

Here's a link to the recipe I adapted: http://www.laurenslatest.com/30-minute-bang-bang-chicken-copycat-recipe/

Southwest Salad Dressing

1/4 c. mayonnaise
1/4 c. sour cream
2 tsp. lime juice
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. fresh cilantro, minced
1/2 tsp. white vinegar
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. water
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. coriander
1/4 tsp. Tabasco chipotle sauce
pinch dried thyme
pinch cumin

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Mix well. Cover and chill in the fridge for an hour before serving over whatever salad fixings you want. I used lettuce, corn, black beans, avocado, black olives, and crushed up tortilla chips. Enjoy!

Here's a link to the recipe I adapted: http://www.topsecretrecipes.com/Subway-Chipotle-Southwest-Sauce-Copycat-Recipe.html

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Fish Tacos

Plan ahead... needs to chill...
 
Pickled Red Onions
1 jalapeno pepper, cut into 1/4 inch rings
2 large red onions, finely sliced
1 c. distilled white vinegar
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 c. water
1 c. sugar

Fish Tacos
8 corn tortillas, warmed
8 breaded white fish fillets or high-quality fish sticks, cooked
1/2 c. mayo
3-4 Tbsp. sriracha sauce
1/4 of a head of green cabbage, shredded
pickled red onions (recipe above)
1/2 c. cilantro, chopped

To make the picked red onions: Place jalepeƱo and onions in a medium mixing bowl.

Heat vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a small skillet over high heat, whisking until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil, then pour over onions.

Press onions down with a spoon until submerged. Place a double layer of paper towels on top of onions and press down until completely saturated in liquid to keep onions submerged. Allow to sit until onions are softened and liquid has cooled, about 25 minutes.

Onions will keep indefinitely in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

The best way to eat these onions is to let them sit at least 24 hours in the fridge before using them on the tacos.

To make the tacos: Take a warmed tortilla and layer 1 fish stick or fillet in the center. Flake it up with a fork.

In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and sriracha. Stir. Spread a good amount over the fish stick.

Layer with a bit of cabbage, pickled red onions, and cilantro. Wrap and eat.

Do this 7 more times. You won't be disappointed.

Here is a link to the pickled red onion recipe I used: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2012/05/pickled-red-onions.html



Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup

2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 c. yellow onion, chopped
1 c. half and half
1 small head broccoli, chopped into tiny pieces
12 oz. Velveeta
29 oz. chicken broth
1 c. carrots, julienne, chopped, or shredded
12 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the flour and onions. Cook for about a minute, then slowly add the half-and-half, whisking until thickened and smooth. 

Add the broccoli and Velveeta. When the cheese is completely melted, add the chicken broth 1 cup at a time, stirring occasionally, until soup is well mixed. 

Add the carrots and simmer for about 10 minutes. 

Stir in the cheddar cheese and cook for 10 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve when all the cheese is fully melted and blended through.

This soup goes fabulously with these biscuits: Quick and Easy Homemade Biscuits

Here is a link to the recipe I adapted: Broccoli Cheddar Soup

 

Quick and Easy Homemade Biscuits

2 1/4 c. flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/3 c. butter
1 c. milk
extra flour for rolling the dough out
1-2 Tbsp. butter, melted, for brushing

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Grease a baking sheet. Set aside.

Add flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar to a large bowl. Mix together.

Using a cheese grater, grate in the butter. Stir until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Add half the milk and mix. Add the remaining milk and stir again.

Put on a floured surface and knead gently 15-20 times.

Only roll the dough briefly and then cut out biscuits. I used a floured rim of a glass.

Place on prepared baking sheet and bake for 13-15 minutes.

Brush tops with melted butter as they come out.

Enjoy!

Yield: 8-10 biscuits

Super easy recipe. These biscuits go well with soup!


Here is a link to the recipe I used: http://scratchthiswithsandy.com/2014/02/11/20-minute-homemade-biscuits/

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Iced Raspberry Danish Braids

Plan ahead... needs to chill...twice...
Dough ready to chill

Dough:
1/4 c. warm water
2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
1/2 c. milk, room temperature
1 egg, room temperature
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
14 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cold

Raspberry Filling:
2 1/2 c. raspberries, fresh or frozen (I used half raspberry, half blueberry)
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. warm water
Rolling it out
2 tsp. cornstarch

Egg Wash:
1 egg
2 Tbsp. milk

Icing:
1 c. confectioners sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. heavy cream or whole milk

Dough recipe makes 2 braids.

To make the dough: Whisk the yeast and warm water together in a large bowl. Allow it to sit for 3 minutes until foamy. Add milk, egg, granulated sugar, and salt. Once these wet ingredients are mixed together, set the bowl aside and make your butter/flour mixture.

Cut butter into slices and add to a food processor or blender. Top with flour. Pulse the mixture 10-12 times, until butter is fairly crumbled.

Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients. Very gently fold the two mixtures together. Be very, very, very gentle when you are folding the two together. Fold just until the dry ingredients are moistened. The butter must remain in pieces, which creates a flaky pastry. Turn the dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Wrap the dough up tightly and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

After 4-12 hours, take the dough out of the refrigerator to begin the "rolling and folding" process.

Flour a work surface. The dough will be sticky, so make sure you have flour nearby as you roll and fold. Using the palm of your hands, gently flatten the dough into a small square.  From there, roll out into a 15 inch long rectangle using your rolling pin. You may have to continue to lightly flour the counter as you are rolling. Fold the dough together as if it were a business letter. And roll it out into a 15 inch long rectangle again. Then, fold again into a business letter. You'll repeat rolling and folding 1 more time for a total of 3 times.

Fold the dough up tightly, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day. While the dough is chilling, make the filling.

To make the raspberry (or blueberry) filling: Whisk together the warm water and cornstarch in a small bowl. Set aside.

Starting the braid
Combine the raspberries and sugar in a small saucepan over low-medium heat.  Stir and allow the raspberries to break down, about 4 minutes. Mix in the cornstarch/water. Gently simmer for 3 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken. Set aside to come to room temperature before using. 

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

After at least 30 minutes, take the dough from the refrigerator and cut it in half. Wrap 1 half up and keep chilled as you work with the first half. Roll out your dough on one of the prepared baking sheets to make a 12x6 inch rectangle.

Cut off two corners of the dough and then two small triangles at the other end.

Spread 1/2 of the filling down the length of the center of the strip. Cut slanting strips (3/4 inch - 1 inch each) along both sides. I used a pizza cutter, but a very sharp knife would work. Fold the bottom end up to "seal" the filling in and allow the braid to rest for 15-20 minutes as you preheat your oven. Repeat with the second half of the dough and the rest of the filling.

Preheat oven to 400 F.

To make the egg wash: Beat the egg wash ingredients together. Brush the top of the pastry with egg wash. There will be enough egg wash for both braids.

Raspberry
Bake each braid for 15-16 minutes or until golden brown. Make sure to rotate the pan at least two times to ensure the braid is browning evenly. Allow 10 minutes of cooling before drizzling with the icing.

Blueberry
To make the icing: As the braids are baking, prepare the icing by whisking all of the ingredients together. After 10 minutes of cooling, drizzle the braids with glaze and serve immediately.

I used two recipes from Sally for this. It was worth it. http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/homemade-danish-pastry-dough/ and http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/10/30/raspberry-danish-braid/.
Ready to eat!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Ham & Potato Soup

3 small potatoes, peeled and diced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
6 Tbsp. butter
5 1/2 Tbsp. flour
3/4 c. carrots, diced
1 1/4 c. fully cooked ham, diced
1/3 c. frozen corn
4 c. chicken broth
black pepper
garlic powder
coriander
1 1/4 c. cheddar cheese, grated
dash or two of chipotle tabasco

In a small skillet, cook the potatoes with olive oil over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

In a large pot, melt the butter over low heat. Add in the flour. Stir until smooth. Let bubble for 1 minute, stirring frequently.

Add in the carrots, ham, corn, and set aside potatoes. Stir.

Add in the broth and bring to a boil. While the soup is coming to the boil, add in the seasonings to taste. Let the soup boil for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat. Add in the cheese and chipotle tabasco. Stir until the cheese is melted. Serve hot. Maybe with bread or crackers.

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home's Big Book of Soup