Sunday, June 17, 2012

Apple Nut Ring


I am always game for delicious and simple dessert.  This recipe combines both and my husband loves it!  So for Father's Day a yummy and quick sweet fix for you:
This is a Pampered Chef Recipe so the instructions make reference to their products---I will list what I used instead---you can find the original recipe here.

**Notes**
  1. I did not have any nuts so my recipe today does not include them
  2. If using a pie plate make sure its a deep dish--the biscuits will rise and make cause some bubbling over in the oven(found this out the hard way)
***Fun Fact****
I peeled, cored, and sliced an additional apple as I have a helpful (curious and hungry) two year old.  She was very keen on assisting me in testing the apples

What you’ll Need:
  •  2   packages (7.5 ounces each) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
  • 2/3   cup sugar
  •  1   tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4   cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 2   medium Granny Smith apples
  • 1/3   cup chopped nuts
How to Prepare:
  1.  Preheat oven to 400°F. Separate biscuits. In Classic Batter Bowl (any bowl will do), microwave butter on HIGH 30-45 seconds or until melted. Combine sugar and cinnamon. Dip biscuits in butter; roll in sugar mixture. Arrange biscuits in an overlapping circular pattern in Deep Dish Baker(I used a pie plate).
  2. Peel, core and slice apples using Apple Peeler/Corer Slicer (I peeled my apples and used a corer/slicer tool). Cut slices in half crosswise with Utility Knife (any knife). Place an apple slice between each biscuit and around outer edge of baker. Grate nuts using Deluxe Cheese Grater(any grater works) fitted with coarse grating drum. Mix nuts with any remaining sugar mixture; sprinkle over top.
  3.  Bake 25-30 minutes or until biscuits are deep golden brown. Serve warm using Mini-Serving Spatula.
 

Yield: 10 servings or 20 sample servings

Nutrients per serving: Calories 230, Total Fat 8 g, Saturated Fat 3 g, Cholesterol 12.5 mg, Carbohydrate 38 g, Protein 3 g, Sodium 50 mg, Fiber 1 g


Photos:












Saturday, June 16, 2012

Shortbread cookies

My Dad loves shortbread cookies...he usually only gets them at Christmas time.  And although I am sure he would like to keep them all to himself, he always shares.  That's what I love about my dad.  He always gives what he can, even when its his most favorite cookie.  So for Father's Day I have attempted to make some shortbread cookies for him.  The recipe is undeniably simple and they turned out super cute.  So here's hoping he likes them!

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2-2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. Cream butter and brown sugar. Add 2 to 2 1/4 cups flour. Mix well.
  3. Sprinkle board with the remaining flour. Knead for 5 minutes, adding enough flour to make a soft dough. Roll to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut into 3x1 inch strips. Prick with fork and place on ungreased baking sheets.
  4. Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 20 to 25 minutes.

 Here are my photos:







Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Great Grandma Emily's Portuguese Rice

My great grandmother used to make this every time we would visit. She served it alongside fried chicken and then for dessert ice cream sandwiches or animal cookies. I have her special rice pot and I just love to make and share this rice with my family. Chalk full of lima beans, its a great side dish and way to get kids to enjoy these wonderful beans!

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups long cooking rice 
  • 6-8 oz lima beans ( I use frozen)
  • 1 medium onion (chopped) 
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil 
  • 4 cups of water 
  • salt & pepper 
  • 2 pots of similar size ( or a pot and skillet) 

Pot One: Place 1/4 cup oil in the bottom of the pot. Sautee medium onion until translucent--careful not to burn the onion.

Pot Two: Bring 4 cups of water to boil. Add the sauteed onions, lima beans, and rice. Season with 1tbs salt and 3/4 tsp of pepper (more or less to taste) Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to the lowest setting. Simmer for 30minutes. Fluff with a fork and enjoy!

*Fun Family Factoid: Great grandma used to place a coffee mug on her lids to ensure a good seal while simmering!*****

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Tortillas

I love tacos...and I love good tortillas. So I thought I would try my hand at making some: Things You'll Need Kitchenaid stand mixer and hook attachment 3 cups flour 1 tsp. salt 2 tsp. baking powder 4 to 6 tbsp. of shortening or lard 1 cup of warm water Rolling pin Griddle pan or skillet Nonstick cook spray, butter flavored
Affix the bread hook attachment to the Kitchenaid stand mixer.
Place 3 cups of flour into the Kitchenaid stand mixer. Add the salt and baking powder. Mix well on low speed.
Add the shortening or lard to the flour mixture, and mix on low speed until little beads form in the mixing bowl. Lard is the more authentic choice for flour tortillas.
Add 1 cup of warm water and mix on medium for another minute or until a dough ball forms. Do not use extremely hot water when mixing. If the dough becomes sticky, add a little more flour.
Remove the dough from the Kitchenaid and place it on a floured work space.
Knead the dough by hand for three minutes.
Divide the dough into 12 small balls and let the dough rest for at least 10 minutes.
Warm a griddle or skillet over a medium high heat. Check the temperature by drizzling water onto the cooking surface. If the water balls and evaporates, the surface is hot enough. Use a rolling pin to roll out each of the dough balls into small thin circles.
Spray the griddle with nonstick spray and lay the uncooked tortilla directly onto the griddle. This process works best using your hands instead of a spatula. Allow the tortilla to cook on one side until the tortilla begins to inflate, and then turn the tortilla over. Cook for an additional 30 to 45 seconds. Remove the tortilla to a plate that has been covered with a paper towel or to a tortilla warmer. Place a towel over the fresh tortillas to keep them warm.
And voila! Tacos---enjoy :)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

On the Fly Stir Fry

A couple nights ago I prepared some buttered noodles with Parmesan cheese and parsley. I had a lot of left over noodles...so I thought to myself what could be fun to make with these noodles?

Bring on the Stir Fry! Prepared in under 30 min and using a lot of ready to go items.


Begin by placing 1 tbs oil in a wok and add to it some dice onions (however much you like-my husband isn't a huge fan so I only used a small amount)


Then I took a bag of Fresh and Easy Asian Style Mixed Vegetables and steamed them in the microwave for the prescribed time- 3 1/2min. Then add these to the wok with your onions.

Add to it 1-2 tsp of Teriyaki Sauce


And then your noodles


Then stir in your dressing! That's right dressing. Use as much or as little as you would like. I used just enough to coat and dress the noodles.


and then add your chicken


Cook it all together to combine and warm everything through. Then serve! Delicious, Quick, and Easy!








Enjoy!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Crescent rolls



I love Crescent Rolls...as in could(have)eaten an entire tube of these delectable rolls of yumminess. But I do not always have these in stock. Which is devastating! But thanks to the wonderful folks over at Google I can find a recipe to make my own!

As follows
:
Easy Homemade Crescent Rolls
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup water, warm (100-110F)
1/2 cup milk, warm (100-110F)
1 tbsp sugar
2 cups bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp butter, room temperature

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, or in a large bowl if you prefer to mix by hand, combine yeast, water, milk and sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes, until foamy. Add in bread flour and salt and mix well with a dough hook. Cut the softened butter into three or flour pieces and drop them into the dough, letting the mixer blend them in.
Knead (with a mixer or by hand) for about 2 minutes. Cover the bowl and let rise for 45 minutes in a warm place.
Preheat oven to 400F.
Turn risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Press it out into a circle with your hands, then use a rolling pin to roll it out into an even, 10-inch circle.
Use a pizza cutter or a sharp knife to divide the circle into 12 triangles (just like slicing a pizza).
Starting with the outside edge of one of the triangles, roll the edge towards the center of the “pizza.” Once rolled, curve the roll slightly into a crescent shape and place on a parchement-lined baking sheet. Repeat with all rolls. Cover rolls with a clean dish towel and let rise for 20 minutes.
Melt additional 1 tbsp butter in a small bowl. Brush tops of rolls with butter butter.
Bake for 14-18 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 12 rolls.

So while my dough rises I'll check out other fancy creations to use this dough for. Pictures to follow!
***********Updates*****************
Dough after first rise


Dough rolled out


Parchment


Cutting into shapes


All rolled up


Second Rise


*****************************
I think these rolls are good for dinner rolls. But Crescent Rolls they are not! Crescent rolls are sweeter. So going forward I think I make the dough slightly sweeter. But they are easy to make and delicious.

All Puffed up


Brushed with Butter


In the Oven


All Done


***********************************************
Time for Lunch!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Healthy Chicken Nuggets




My dear friend G has a son who is picky eater. She asked for a recipe that children would love to eat and is healthy for them. I know that my daughter loves to eat chicken nuggets. I also know that few of us actually know what is in a nugget and I personally have never seen the "nugget" on a chicken. Below is a healthy option that you can make with your kids! Cooking with your children helps them develop a sense of family togetherness and responsibility. This is an easy recipe that they can learn and as they grow prepare on their own. Its quick and delicious making it a weeknight staple in this house!

Crispy Chicken Fingers with Honey-Mustard Sauce

1-1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut across into 1/2" slices
1/2 cup lowfat plain or Greek Yogurt
Cooking Spray
4 cups whole-grain corn cereal such as Corn Chex or corn flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Honey-Mustard Sauce (recipe follows)

Preheat the oven to 400F. Combine the chicken and yogurt in a shallow dish, turning the chicken to coat it with the yogurt. Cover and chill for 15 minutes. Coat two baking sheets with cooking spray.



Put the cereal in a seal-able plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin(this is perfect for little helpers). Transfer the crumbs to a shallow dish and season them with the salt and pepper. Dip each piece of chicken in the cereal to fully coat(also a great task for little helpers) and arrange on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until cooked through, about 8 minutes. Leave the chicken on the baking sheets to cool slightly It will become crisper. Serve with the mustard sauce on the side.

Honey-Mustard Sauce
1/3 cup Dijon Mustard
2 teaspoons Mayo
2 tablespoons honey
In a small bowl, stir together the mustard and mayo until smooth. Stir in the honey.



Crispy Chicken Fingers: Serves 4 - Serving Size 10 chicken fingers (You won't be able to eat them all) 262 calories, 2g fat, 35g protein, 23g carb, .5g fiber

Honey-Mustard Sauce: Serves 5 - Serving Size 2 Tablespoons
97 calories, 3g fat, 1g protein, 19g carbs

I like to serve this alongside a green vegetable such as peas or green beans. My daughter like french fries so for a healthier option you can cook up some small potatoes. You can coat them in a little olive oil with salt, pepper, and parsley flakes and bake on a sheet pan in the oven for 15-20min For adults you can serve this with a small side salad.

Enjoy!

What's On Hand Potato Soup



Today I am experimenting with a potato soup Recipe. I found the following online:
1 large potato , per person
¼ cup chopped celery , per person (include leaves)
¼ cup chopped onion , per person
¼-½ cup milk or ¼-½ cup half-and-half or ¼-½ cup cream
salt and pepper , to taste

Directions:

1
Peel and cube potatoes.
2
Put in a saucepan along with the onions and celery.
3
Add water, but don't quite cover the vegetables.
4
Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and simmer for 25 minutes, or until all of the vegetables are very tender.
5
Using a potato masher, coarsely crush the potatoes, but don't mash them--you want chunks left.
6
Add enough milk or cream to thin to desired thickness and add salt& pepper to taste.
7
(It will take a lot of salt!).

Instead I did the following:
Take 1 bag of small yukon gold potatoes. Wash, dice, and place in pot.
Chop one small onion and add to pot
Grate 2 peeled carrots and add to pot
Fill pot with 2 cans of chicken broth and 1 can water
Add 2 bay leaves, salt, pepper, celery salt, and a dash of garlic herb seasoning. 1 pat of butter and stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then let simmer as per instructions above. I plan on thinning it out with some milk and adding cheese with chopped up bacon.

Pictures to follow!
********************************
Update:

I did not add any milk. Once the veggies simmered for 25min I mashed them with a potato masher. It created a nice base for the soup with chunks of potato. I then decided it wasn't as thick as I would like so I made a rue. I took 2tbs of butter and 2 tsp of flour and blended them on the stove. I added it to the soup. I then added 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese. Stirring on low heat to combine. I added some parsley flakes. Then I cooked some bacon (5 strips) and crumbled into the soup.
Bailey gives it two paws up!