Thursday, December 31, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Make sure your guests or family see it come out of the oven, if they aren't already gathered round the oven watching it puff, it deflates rather quickly when taken out of the oven.
*Cut and serve hot
*Your goal is to have the sides puff more than the middle, although that often doesnt happen. A dutch baby is like a snowflake- no two look the same!
*They are actually rather "light" and I could eat 1/2 of one myself, so if you plan on feeding more than a few people, make sure you have other stuff to go with it like bacon or sausage and fruit.
*Step up the impressive and decadent factor by piling it high with seasonal fruit and whipped cream or sauteed cinnamon and sugar apples (it makes a natural and delicious bowl!)
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
My grandma gave me the recipe when I got married and the first year that I didn't get to enjoy her fudge, I decided to tackle it myself. Fudge is a little intimidating, all that heating and bubbling and stirring. It felt like there were just too many things that could go wrong, but after a phone call to my grandma to learn a few of her secrets, I discovered that it wasnt so hard afterall. And look, even I can create a creamy delicious fudge that tastes just like grandma's!- well, almost anyway, can you ever really match grandma? :)
Makes 5 lbs.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
For the biscuits:
2 cups flour
1 T. baking powder
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup milk
For the topping:
3/4 cup brown sugar
4 T. butter
3 T. honey
1 T. corn syrup
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans (I left off since the T-ster was going to be eating them too)
For the filling:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 T cinnamon
4 T. butter, softened
*Combine all the filling ingredients and set aside.
*Combine all the topping ingredients, except the pecans, and begin to heat in a small saucepan until melted together.
*While the topping is melting together make the biscuits:
*Combine all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
*Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two forks until butter is roughly pea sized.
*Create a well in the dough and all at once, add the milk. With a fork gently toss until moistened and starts to hold together.
*Transfer to a lightly floured surface and quickly knead 4 or 5 times to bring the dough into a rough disk.
*Roll out into a rectangle (maybe 6 x 12 ??)
*Sprinkle the filling over the rectangle and then from one long side, roll up the dough and pinch to seal.
*Pour the topping into a lightly greased 9 inch round cake pan. (I didnt quite use all of it) And top with pecans.
*Cut the dough into 8 slices and place on top of the topping in the pan.
*Bake at 400 degrees for about 18 min? (I didnt really time it!- start watching after maybe 12 min)
*Cool slightly and then invert onto a plate or pan and allow the topping to drip down a bit before removing the pan.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
*Smear peanut butter between two ritz crackers and sandwhich together.
*Melt some candy melts in a double boiler, or in a small bowl placed over a bit of simmering water in a saucepan.
*Dip the crackers in the chocolate and set on a piece of wax paper to dry. While the "head" is still wet, dip two small twist pretzels and place next to the head so the chocolates touch and allow to harden together.
*Also while the "head" is still wet, place chocolate chips on the face for eyes and a red hot for the nose. (It helps to have a three year old help with this step! :)
*I used roughly two sleeves of ritz and one pkg of candy melts. I had leftover chocolate, which was perfect because I love chocolate covered pretzels:
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Speculaas are a crunchy, spice cookie, studded with almond slices and usually topped with almond slices (we left them off this time). We also made half the dough without almonds for the little ones at the party! It's a very easy dough to whip up and work with. You do need to let it chill in the fridge overnight, so plan ahead!
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Cheese-Topped Pumpkin Muffins (adapted from muffintop.com and a Machine Shed recipe book)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup of canned pumpkin(as suggested by the muffintop blogger, I used the whole 15 oz can for added moistness)
1/3 cup veg oil
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/8 tsp. cloves
1 1/4 cups plus 1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
4 oz. cream cheese, cut into 12 pieces
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
*Whisk together the flour and baking powder; set aside.
*In a large bowl, stir together the pumpkin, oil, eggs, spices, sugar, baking soda and salt, until smooth.
*Gently stir the flour into the pumpkin mixture just until combined.
*Place in muffin tin fitted with papers and top each one with a piece of cream cheese and sprinkle with a topping of the sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon.
*Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 min.
Friday, November 13, 2009
When making an angel food cake start mixing the whites in a very large bowl. I use a 6 quart mixer and it is full to the top by time its done whipping! Its very sticky batter and requires a gentle touch. When decorating a cake, one tip on making sure you end with a fairly clean platter is to put wax paper pieces around the edge under the cake and then just pull them away after the frosting sets a bit.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Kuchen (pr. kook-en), is a german sweet yeast coffee cake. It can be used and topped in many different ways. I made an apple custard, which turned out creamy and delicious. If you know you dont like custard, try topping it with a different form of fruit. If you are unsure whether you like custard, this may be a good one to try because it has the added layer of applesauce to "mellow" the custard texture and flavor.
The dough was very sticky to work with, even after adding more flour, and after dumping it in a bowl to refridgerate I thought for sure this was going to end in disaster. But several hours later when I pulled it out I was so suprised at how the dough had hardened. It broke easily after rolling it and trying to lift it and place it in the pan, but I just pressed it back together and it turned out pretty good. I almost wonder if you could skip the rolling step and just press it all in the pan.
I have never had or even seen an authentic kuchen so Im not really sure how this one stacks up. Has anyone had one? Do you know if this looks authentic?
Apple Custard Kuchen (from Prairie Home Breads by Judith M. Fertig)
1 egg, beaten
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup honeyed applesauce (recipe below) or any chunky applesauce
*Whisk all ingredients but the applesauce together and set aside.
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. butter
1 pkg (2 1/4 tsp.) yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water (90 degrees)
1 egg, beaten
2 cups flour (I used more)
*In a small saucepan combine the milk, sugar, salt and butter and scald the milk (heat until small bubble form around the edges). Remove from heat and stir until butter melts. Cool to lukewarm.
*In a large bowl sprinkl the yeast over the warm water and allow to proof about 5 minutes until foamy.
*Stir the milk mixture into the yeast, then stir in the flour, one cup at a time until you have a soft dough. Place the dough in a large oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 3 hrs or up to 3 days.
*Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and divide in two. Roll out each section into a circle and place each one in a 9 inch cake pan or springform pan, bringing the sides up a bit.
*Spoon half the applesauce onto each dough and then top with half the filling mixture on each one.
*Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20-25 min. until the dough puffs a bit and has browned and the filling has browned, but will still look soft. Serve warm or at room temp.
8 cups cored, peeled, quartered apples (about 3 lbs)
1 cup mild honey
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt, or to taste
*In a large saucepan combine the apples and 1/2 cup of the honey. Cover and bring to a simmer. Cook until the apples are tender, about 20 min.
*Mash the apples with a masher, leaving it chunky. Stir in the rest of the ingredients
(I just made roughly a quater of this recipe for the kuchen)
Friday, November 6, 2009
What I liked most about this bread was that it had a really crispy crust, but unlike so many crispy crusted breads, this ones was very thin. It wasnt tough to bite through at all. It was a little "crumbly". As you can see in the slice in the top picture, the crumb gets looser at the top of the slice than it is at the bottom. That shouldnt be, but I have yet to figure that one out! All in all, a very good basic white bread and an easy to handle dough.
Monday, November 2, 2009
*Punch dough down, divide in half and roll each section into approx 9x14 rectangle.
Friday, October 30, 2009
The crust is more thin crust, cracker-like than most doughs. But very stable- I was impressed at how well it held up. I may have liked it more if I didnt mess it up! While I was waiting out the 2 hour rise I decided to make some brownies. I turned on the oven to preheat...and then realized I still had my dough in the oven rising. Oops!! Apparently I didnt kill the yeast altogether because while it was resting on the counter it did puff up a little. But I do wonder if it would have turned out differently had I not started to bake it before it's rising time was up!!
Heres what you need for 2 pizza pies:
2 cups flour
1/3 cup yellow corn meal
1 Tbsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/8 tsp. yeast
2 1/2 Tbsp. canola oil
3/4 cup lukewarm water
*Place the yeast in the warm water and let if sit for a few minutes to proof.
*Meanwhile combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar and salt in your mixer.
*Pour the oil and water/yeast mixture into the flour mixture and knead until smooth a few minutes, or when it starts to come together finish kneading it by hand until smooth.
*Place the smooth dough ball in an oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise about 2 hours, or until doubled.
I really liked the flavor of the sauce. It was very similar to my usual sauce but with the added red wine vinegar. And it was so simple to whip up.
28 oz. crushed tomatoes (I used italian style)
3 garlic cloves, minced
a sprinkling of oregano, basil, pepper and salt
1 Tbsp. of red wine vinegar
*Mix all ingredients in a bowl
My pizza needed more filling and more cheese, but really quite an easy process. (Just be careful with ingredients that are "wet"- I almost thought mine was going to be soggy.)
*Generously butter two 8 or 9 inch cake pans.
*Divide your dough in half and roll each one out quite thin, about an inch bigger around than the pans. Place in pans and gently press into place. I blind baked my crust for 4 min. min. at 400 degrees, but not sure if that was necessary.
*Put a very generous amount of mozzarella cheese on top of the crust.
*Place all your toppings on next. (I then sprinkled some more mozzarella and some parmesan, but not enough)
*Pour half your sauce onto each pizza.
*Bake for about 35 min. Watch the crust and cover it loosely with foil if it starts to brown too fast.
*Let it sit for about 5 min. before gently taking them out of the pans and placing them on a cutting board to cut and serve.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
I've only made scalloped potatoes once in my life and they weren't too great. Pretty boring really. So I'm not sure why I thought I wanted to try them tonight, but I'm so glad I did!! They were delicious! I couldn't stop eating them!! This recipe originally comes from Cook's Illustrated, but I found it on seriouseats.com. They were the opposite of everything that I don't like about scalloped potatoes. The potatoes were not mushy at all, neither were they undercooked and the flavor was pretty amazing. They claim the trick is to parboil the potatoes before putting them in the oven- I'm convinced!! And please don't let the terrible picture keep you from trying this recipe. You will be missing out on one great recipe!- well, in my opinion anyway :)
1 Tbsp. butter
1/2 medium onion, minced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. fresh thyme, minced (I used 1/4 tsp. dried thyme)
1 1/4 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
1/2 c. chicken broth
1/2 c heavy cream (I used 2% milk and didnt miss any of the creaminess!)
1 bay leaf
shredded cheese (I used sharp cheddar)
(I sprinkled the top with dried bread crumbs for added crunch)
*Melt the butter in a large oven proof saucepan on med-high heat.
*Add the onions and saute until tender, a few minutes
*Add the garlic and thyme and saute for about 30 seconds more
*Dump in the potatoes, broth, cream and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and then reduce heat, cover and let cook for 10 min. (I stirred mine a couple times, b/c Im a bit of a fanatic about stirring :)
*Remove lid and bay leaf.
*Top potatoes with the cheese and if you choose, the dried bread crumbs.
*Put the skillet in a 425 degree oven for 15 min or until bubbly and cheese is all melted.
*Let it rest for about 5 min. before serving
-If you dont have an oven proof skillet, just transfer the potatoes to a casserole dish after you cook them on the stove.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Okay, so this recipe doesn't actually use fresh apples, but rather canned apple pie filling. But it is so moist, delicious and extremely easy to make. This is yet another of my moms recipes. For a woman who can't eat sugar, she sure knows how to find scrumptious recipes. Best of all her recipes are simple, unfussy and use ingredients that you often have sitting in your cupboard.
This cake is delicious enough to serve for a dinner party with a dab of cool whip or served plain and used as a morning coffee cake.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
And even more surprisingly it meets my husbands as well! These are his favorite and he is actually the one who introduced me to them. They are the cookie by which all other cookies are judged by- nothing ever even comes close according to him. He made them a few times for me while we were dating. His trick to making them great is undercooking them and he would pile them into a tupperware and put them in the fridge and they would clump together like one giant cookie that we would tear chunks off of. YUM!! If you ever wondered why I married the guy, this is why- he wouldnt give me the recipe until I said YES!! :)
-Im still working on making them as great as he can, according to him I will never get it quite right!! PB Oatmeal Cookies (otherwise known as "goodness" in this household)
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
2 cups oatmeal
*Cream together the butter and peanut butter
*Add the sugars baking powder and baking soda, mix well
*Beat in the eggs and vanilla
*Mix in the flour and then the oatmeal just until combined
*Stir in some chocolate chips
*Bake for 8 min. or so at 375 degrees
Thursday, September 24, 2009
These granola bars were perfect! They are so versatile- you can completely cater to your own taste preference. And they are beyond easy to make, and really tasty too. They are made just like rice krisy bars, just with different ingredients. Not including cooling and cutting time, it took me less than 10 minutes to whip these babies up! And the cost difference compared to store bought is pretty big. My rough estimate indicated that store bought bars cost about $.27 per bar (for the cheaper brand!) and these much healthier, tastier, basic version cost only about $.09 per bar! Chewy Granola Bars
2 cups oatmeal (I havent done this yet, but try toasting it first)
2 cups cheerios (or rice krispys, puff cereal, etc.)
1 cup raisins (or other dried fruit)
1/3 cup ground flax seed (or wheat germ)
-any other mix in ingredient (nuts, seeds, more fruit, etc)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup corn syrup (or honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, etc)
1/2 cup brown sugar
*Mix the dry ingredients together. Set aside.
*Combine the peanut butter, corn syrup and brown sugar in a large pot and heat over medium until the mixture just boils.
*Toss the dry ingredients into the gooey mixture in the pot and quickly stir to coat.
*Dump into a greased 9x13 pan and press down with fingers or a fork dipped in water to prevent sticking
*Allow to cool completely (about an hour, or put it in the fridge to speed the process)
*Cut into bars (I found it easiest to pop the whole thing out of the pan, put it on a cutting board and chop through it with a big butcher knife)
*Makes 18 bars
I haven't tried it yet, but I read that they freeze well. Wrap individually in seran wrap, place in a freezer bag and you will always have ready some easy, fairly healthy, really good grab and go snacks. (or like in our house, breakfast, with some yogurt and a banana)
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
The occassion completely warrented itself to a very decadent dessert, so I went all out with this one! Double Chocolate Torte- chocolate on top of chocolate- doesn't get much better than that. It is a rich and fudgy chocolate torte base topped with a creamy, fluffy chocolate mousse. I have never made a torte or mousse, so it was an adventure! The torte is basically a very rich brownie- same method, just different amounts of the same ingredients. So that was simple. The mousse was a little more intimidating- trying to heat eggs without curdling them and then folding the whites into the warm chocolate. It turned out surprisingly well, just maybe a little more grainy than I would have liked. But oh so rich and decadent and perfectly paired with a glass of sweet red wine- the perfect end to a perfect day of celebrating!
Saturday, September 12, 2009
This raspberry sauce is as delicious as it is gorgeous!! And extremely simple!
Just take 6 oz. of fresh or frozen raspberries (both work equally well) and run it through a food processor (Im sure a blender would work too) with 1 Tablespoon of sugar until it is pureed.
Then mash it through a fine mesh sieve:
Keep mashing until all that is left are the seeds. (Thats my favorite part of this recipe- I hate seeds!):
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
1 2/3 cup flour
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves
2 beaten eggs
1/3 cup melted butter (I substituted 2 T. of this with oil- I like the flavor of butter, but I like the moistness that oil offers)
1/3 cup water
1 cup shredded zucchini (or other squash)
1/2 cup nuts or raisins (optional)
*Sift together the dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside
*Combine the rest of the ingredients in another bowl
*Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir just until moistened
*Pour into a greased and floured loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour