Category Archives: Recipes
One of our favorite family treats has always been cinnamon rolls. For 20+ years, on special occasions, or sometimes just because, we would buy a can of Pillsbury cinnamon rolls and bake them up!!
A few years ago, I wondered how hard they were to make. I made them from scratch a few times, but in order to have them ready for breakfast I would have to make the dough the night before, put it in the refrigerator, and do the final rise and bake first thing in the morning.
For Christmas, I got a new bread machine and decided to try making the dough that way. If your family are early risers, you may still need to put the dough in the refrigerator the night before, but total time from putting the ingredients in the machine to pulling hot yummy rolls out of the oven was 2 1/4 hours as compared to almost 3 hours without the machine.
|3 1/2 to 4 cups flour||1/3 cup sugar|
|1 tsp. salt||1 egg|
|1 cup room temperature water||1/4 cup butter, softened|
|1 pkg. yeast||filing (see recipe below)|
|2 Tbsp. butter, softened||vanilla glaze (see recipe below)|
Combine first seven ingredients, in order into bread machine pan. Select Dough cycle. Once timer beeps, remove dough from pan immediately. Gently push fist into dough to deflate. Roll dough into a 15 x 10 inch rectangle on lightly floured surface (I recommend flouring the rolling pin also – this dough is sticky!!) Spread with the 2 tablespoons of butter. Sprinkle with filling.
Filling: Combine 1/4 cup brown sugar with 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon. I used a restaurant-style cheese shaker, which you can buy for around $2 online or at a restaurant supply store.
Roll rectangle up tightly, from the long end. Pinch dough under to seal. Cut into 1 inch slices, using dental floss.
Heat oven to 350F. Bake rolls for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Vanilla glaze: Melt 1/3 cup butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat and stir in 2 cups powdered sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla. Continue stirring and add hot water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until consistency of thick syrup.
As part of our quest for a healthier lifestyle, Art and I have been trying to eat more salads. When he got back from his trip to Oregon, Art complained that grocery store salad bars are way more expensive in California. We have very different tastes in veggies (Art is way more picky) so making a big tossed salad is out of the question.
After trying the salad “kits”, we realized we could put our own salads together for less money and that way we would both get exactly what we wanted.
Ratatouille is one of my favorite springtime “everything but the kitchen sink” type dishes. And for those of you who are not familiar with this dish, it has nothing to do with rats Ratatouille is a french vegetable dish, usually comprised of tomatoes, zucchini, garlic, onions, bell pepper and eggplant. It is usually served as a side dish, but I serve mine as a main dish, sometimes over pasta.
For me, the best thing about ratatouille is that as long as I have tomatoes, onions and zucchini I can wing it on the other ingredients. The other day I came upon some lovely early eggplants, so I knew what I had to make!! Here is the recipe for this month’s easy sauteed ratatouille, but keep in mind you can substitute or add your favorite vegetables along the way.
|2 Tbsp. olive oil||3 cloves garlic, minced||1 large onion, chopped|
|1 medium eggplant, cut into bite sized pieces||1 can (16 oz) diced tomatoes||1 can (16 oz.) sliced carrots|
|1 1/2 tsp. salt||2 tsp. Italian seasoning||1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded|
The other night Art came home with some cube steak from the “grey meat” section of the grocery store. “Grey meat” is the clearance section of the meat department – meat which is about to expire and is marked down anywhere from 30-50% or more off the original price. We call it grey meat because often the edges of the meat have started to oxidize, taking on a greyish tinge. You can get some really great deals. The only drawback is you either have to use it that day or freeze it that day.
We hadn’t had chicken fried steak in a long time, so we decided not to freeze the meat. It turned out so well, we reheated the extra pieces the next day and had them with eggs, biscuits and gravy.
A couple of weeks ago, Art and I took a road trip to Oregon to scout colleges for his degree. Art’s parents live in Central Oregon, so we stayed with them two nights on the way up and one night on the way back. It was fun to catch up and hang out.
One morning, Art’s mom made us Eggs in a Nest. I’m not a big fan of baked eggs (pretty much hard boiled or scrambled are it for me), but Art loved them so much I asked her permission to share the recipe on my blog.
1 bag frozen hash browns (shredded, not patties)
salt and pepper
4 large eggs (or however many you need for your family)
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Spray a muffin pan generously with cooking spray. Scoop 3-4 tablespoons of frozen shredded potato into each hole. Use your fingers to press down the sides and bottom in each muffin hole to make a nest. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper and spray the nest with cooking spray. Bake for 15-20 minutes, watching to make sure they don’t burn.
Allow the nests to cool. Crack an egg into each one. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake just until the whites are set, about 15 minutes.
The other night, Boo made the two of us a delicious dal recipe of her own concoction. Dal (or dhal), is a thick lentil stew eaten in India, Pakistan and other nearby countries. It is often served over rice, or with a side of flatbread for dipping. It is traditionally made with ghee (clarified butter), but Boo’s is made with olive oil.
|1 Tbsp. olive oil||1 onion, finely chopped|
|2 cloves garlic, finely chopped||1 Tbsp. ginger, finely chopped|
|4 cups water||1 cup dried red lentils,rinsed and sorted|
|1 tsp. cumin||1/4 tsp. cinnamon|
|1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper||1 tsp. salt|
|hot sauce to taste||2 Tbsp. tomato paste|
In a 3 qt. stock pot. heat the olive oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onions, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent.
Add the water, lentils, spices and salt, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until lentils are very tender.
Add the tomato paste and continue stirring until well combined. Continue to cook until dal is the desired consistency (I like mine fairly thick – like a porridge).
One of my very favorite children’s books is Maurice Sendak’s Chicken Soup with Rice. At one time I had the entire book memorized. Its verses were so comforting to me, just like a nice steaming bowl of chicken soup with rice!!
Here’s the verse for April:
In April I will go away
To far off Spain or old Bombay
And dream about hot soup all day
Oh, my, oh, once, oh, my, oh, twice
Oh, my, oh, chicken soup with rice
So, as you can guess, the recipe for today is for Chicken Soup with Rice!! The broth and chicken come from the poached chicken recipe I posted last week.
1 quart chicken broth (ours was frozen)
12 oz. cooked chicken meat, cut into half-inch cubes, (or you can use a can of chicken)
1/2 pound carrots, cut into thin coins
1 cup long grain rice (not minute)
The beauty of this recipe is that you don’t have to add a lot of herbs and seasonings since you already this when poaching the chicken.
Thaw the frozen broth, then pour into a medium-large stockpot. Bring to a boil. Add carrots and rice. Reduce to simmer and continue to cook for 15 minutes. Add rice and chicken. Continue to cook for another 10 minutes or so, until rice and carrots are cooked through.
About a month ago a friend gave us some frozen chicken. It looked to be half of a whole chicken. We stuck it up in the freezer and forgot about it. For easy dinners, we usually eat chicken breasts, and at the time I had about six breasts in the freezer already.
Last week we were trying to eat as much as possible from food we already had at home and we were running low on meat. Art is not a big fan of roasted chicken (not sure why), so he suggested I boil the half a chicken we had in the freezer and we could use the meat for chicken tacos or whatever. I did him one better and came up with this poached chicken recipe.
|3-4 lb. chicken (bone-in, skin on)||4 celery stalks|
|1-2 tsp. salt||1 onion, quartered|
|2 tsp. Italian seasoning||3 carrots, peeled and chopped|
|2 cans chicken broth||1/2 tsp. garlic powder|
Before I start the directions, let me just say that once the chicken was thawed, I realized that what we thought was a half a chicken, was, in reality three thigh/drumstick combos and a very large breast. So maybe a mutant chicken?
Wash and pat dry chicken, then place in a large stockpot with 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil. Add chicken broth and enough water to cover chicken by 3-4 inches. Add remaining ingredients.
Cook over high heat until broth reaches a rolling boil. Cover and reduce heat to low, simmer for about an hour. (Don’t let it boil or the meat will get tough and stringy).
Remove chicken, cover and refrigerate. The next day you can remove the skin and bones and save the meat for future recipes.
The broth can be saved in the refrigerator for 4-5 days or do as we did and after it has cooled, pour it into quart size resealable bags and freeze. Then you can just pop out as much as you need at a time.
Here is how much broth and meat we got from just that little bit of chicken:
Try it for yourself!! Poach a chicken and let me know what you do with the meat and broth!! We made chicken tacos and chicken soup.
I’ve been baking bread since soon after Art and I got married. The in-laws and my parents went in on a KitchenAid mixer for our first married Christmas and I just kind of went bread crazy. I made my own sourdough starter and baked wheat bread, white bread, challah, communion bread, whatever recipe I could get my hands on.
Then came the kids and my breadmaking took a backburner for awhile. I didn’t have the time to be up to my elbows in kneaded dough with two little boys and their myriad “emergencies”. I was so happy when Art bought me a breadmaker for my birthday one year. I started up again with pizza dough, pretzel dough, banana nut bread, plus all my old favorites. I even created my own recipe about ten years ago which my family just loves. We call it cheesy herb bread. I thought you might enjoy it too.
|3 1/2 cups bread flour||1 tsp. sugar|
|1 package active dry yeast||1 1/2 cups very warm water (I use the hottest setting on the tap - you don't want it to be too hot or you will kill the yeast)|
|2 Tbsp. olive oil||2 tsp. Italian seasoning herbs|
|1 tsp. salt||1 cup shredded Mexican 4-cheese blend|
Mix 1 1/2 cups of the flour, the sugar and yeast by hand in the breadmaker bread pan. Add warm water. Beat with a wire whisk for 1 minute, scraping the bowl frequently. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let stand for about 1 hour or until bubbly.
As you can see, my loaf fell a little. I had better luck when I decreased the amount of yeast slightly for the next batch. Depending on your altitude, humidity, etc. you may have to experiment a bit.
What’s your favorite bread recipe? Leave a link in the comments so we can check it out!!
I am not a vegetarian. I like a nice rare steak every once in awhile. But I very rarely eat hamburgers. Instead, I love a nice grilled veggie burger. So when MorningStar Farms® gave me the challenge of creating my own recipe with their burgers, I jumped at the chance!!
Here’s my teriyaki veggie burger recipe:
MorningStar Farms® Grillers® veggie burgers
Place veggie burgers and pineapple slices on a preheated grill. Brush teriyaki sauce on side that is facing up. Grill for 3-5 minutes, then flip over and brush teriyaki sauce on the other side. Grill for another 3-5 minutes, until desired color and texture.
I received a complimentary copy of this product for the purpose of review through BzzAgent. All opinions are 100% my own.