Friday, December 31, 2010

Almond Cookies

Almond Cookies
2 3/4 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. butter
2 eggs
1 tsp. almond extract
1/3 c. chopped almonds
1/3 c. slivered almonds
2 Tbsp. water

Combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
Cut butter into mixture until it resembles cornmeal.

In electric mixer, add one egg to the flour mixture, and the white from the other egg (reserving one yolk).
Add the almond extract and the chopped almonds and mix until combined.
Cover and chill for 30 minutes in the fridge.

Once chilled, form balls and place on greased cookie sheet.
Push slivered almonds into the center of the cookies.

Take the reserved egg yolk and mix it with the water.
Brush onto the cookies.

Bake at 325 for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown on top.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Zuppa Toscana Soup

Kale is my favorite green.  It holds up so well in soups!
I am not an Olive Garden fanatic, but supposedly this soup tastes just like theirs.
Zuppa Toscana Soup
Recipe from Kady Dommer
1 lb. Italian sausage
2 large russet potatoes, cut long ways then in thin slices
½ onion chopped
¼ c. bacon bits
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 c. kale, chopped
2 cans chicken broth
4 c. water
1 c. heavy whipping cream

Cook sausage then set aside to drain on a paper towel.
In large pot put water, chicken broth, onion, potatoes and garlic.
Cook until potatoes are almost done.
Add meat, salt and pepper, and simmer for ten minutes.
Add kale and cream.
Warm through and serve.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cinnamon Rolls

Does anything scream Christmas more than cinnamon rolls?
Probably, but these are up at the top of my list.
Perfect for snacking this holiday season!
Cinnamon Rolls
Recipe from Lyn Denna
3/4 c. milk
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter
2 Tbsp. yeast
1/3 c. warm water
3 eggs
5 - 6 1/2 c. flour

Place milk, sugar, salt and butter in a saucepan.
Heat until melted (don't let it boil).

Meanwhile, place yeast and warm water in a mixing bowl and sit to dissolve.

Add eggs and 5 c. flour to water and yeast.
Gradually add mixture in saucepan while mixing.
Mix until soft dough forms (about 5 minutes).
You may need to add up to 1 1/2 c. extra flour - dough should come away from the sides of the bowl and form a ball in the center.

While mixing, combine the following:
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter
1/4 c. flour
1 1/2 Tbsp. cinnamon
Nuts (optional) - I leave them out

Cut dough in half, and roll each piece out to a large rectangle. 
Sprinkle sugar mixture over entire surface of dough.
Roll up and cut into 1" rings.
Let rise on a sprayed cookie sheet for 30 minutes.
Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.

Top with Glaze:
2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. softened butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. water

Monday, December 20, 2010

Pot Pie

Did you make my Sunday Roast Dinner this weekend?  If so, here is a good idea for using up that extra meat.
Pot Pie
1 lb. beef (or chicken, turkey, etc.)
4 Tbsp. butter
2 potatoes, cooked and cubed
2 carrots, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 c. peas
1/4 Tbsp. flour
2 c. cubed cooked chicken/steak/roast
1 can chicken or beef broth (depending on meat of choice)
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. thyme

Melt butter in large skillet.
Add carrots and onions and cook until onions are tender.
Add potatoes and mix.
Sprinkle flour over vegetables, and stir to coat.
Continue cooking, about 5 minutes.
Pour broth into pan and stir continually, until thickened.
Season with salt, pepper and thyme.
Add cubed meat and peas.
Pour into prepared pie crust.
Top with crust.
Pinch off border, and poke several holes in the top with a fork.
Bake at 425 for 35-40 minutes.

Pie Crust
(Makes 2 double crust pies)
Recipe from Lyn Denna

3 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. shortening
1 egg, beaten
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
up to 3 Tbsp. water

Mix flour and salt.
Cut in shortening until well blended.
Add the egg and lemon juice, and enough water to make soft dough.

If you are feeding loads of people, or you are just afraid of making an actual 'pie', you can always pour the meat contents into a casserole dish, and top it off with the pie crust.  Way easier, without sacrificing flavor.

** If freezing this meal:
Let meat mixture cool to room temperature before placing in prepared pie shell.
Top with dough, pinch off the edges, and poke holes in the top.
Freeze for up to 3 months.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Roast, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

This is our classic Sunday Dinner.
We have it at least once a month.
Pretty basic, but this is the way I make it.

**Monday I will post a recipe for using the leftovers**
Sunday Dinner Roast
1 Beef Rump Roast
1 onion
salt, pepper and garlic powder
2 bay leaves

Season each side of the roast with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Slice onion and place over meat.
Place bay leaves on meat (not over or under onions).
**I LOVE to eat the sliced onions once cooked, but even if you don't they still provide the meat with some good flavor.

For the Crockpot:
Cook on low for 5-8 hours (depending on size)

For the oven:
Bake at 350 for 3-5 hours (depending on size) - about 1 hour per pound when frozen.

** I will occasionally peel potatoes and carrots and throw them in on top of the meat. Just season with more salt and pepper.

Mashed Potatoes
3-4 lbs. potatoes (Idaho, Red, Yukon, whatever)
1 stick butter

Peel potatoes if desired (I never do, even with baking potatoes.  I prefer the texture of the skin).
Cut potatoes into equal pieces.
Place in pot and cover with cold water, 1-2" above potatoes.
Generously salt the water (you want it to taste like salt water).

Bring potatoes to a boil.
Boil until fork tender, about 15-20 minutes.
Strain potatoes and return to pan.

Add butter and mash potatoes as much as possible.
Season with pepper (you shouldn't need more salt).
Add milk while continuing to mash, until desired consistency.

Once roast is cooked, remove from pan.
Discard any large fatty pieces that may be in the pan drippings.
Heat drippings over medium heat.

Add flour to drippings, mixing constantly with a whisk, to create a roux.
(You want it to be fairly thick; it should form a ball and stick to the whisk).  The amount of flour depends on the amount of drippings.
Once a ball forms, continue cooking, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes.
Gradually add water or beef broth (I always use water), mixing in slowly, until desired consistency is reached.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Garlic Cheese Twists

These are a nice alternative to regular breadsticks or rolls.
And they are fun to make!
Garlic Cheese Twists
1 loaf Bread dough (I use this recipe)
2-3 Tbsp. butter
garlic powder
Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. milk

Roll dough out into a rectangle shape, about 1/8" thick.
Using the back of a spoon, spread the butter over the entire surface of dough.
Sprinkle garlic powder and parmesan cheese all over butter.
Fold the dough in half, seasoned sides together, and pinch the edges together.

Use a pizza cutter to cut dough into thin strips.
Take each strip by the ends and twist 2 or 3 times.
Place on a greased cookie sheet.
Use a pastry brush and brush milk over each stick (to help with browning).

Let rise for 25 minutes.
Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
1 loaf of bread makes 12-18 twists.

**The bread dough I make uses Instant Yeast, so I only need to let it rise once.  If you use regular yeast, let it rise until double.  Punch it down, roll it out and then make your breadsticks.  You will then have to let it rise again before baking.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Butternut and Kale with Maple Mustard Sauce

Don't be afraid of the sauce!  The flavor combination is amazing!
Plus, the squash is boiled, not baked, so it takes much less time from start to finish.
Butternut and Kale with Maple Mustard Sauce
Recipe inspired by 'Cuisine at Home'

4 c. butternut squash, 1" cubes
4 c. stemmed chopped kale
1 can chicken broth
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 c. diced onion
1 1/2 tsp. dried sage
1/4 c. maple syrup
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

In medium saucepan saute onions in olive oil until translucent.  
Add broth and butternut to the pan and boil over medium-high heat until squash is almost cooked through, about 3 minutes.
Stir in kale and let stand, uncovered, 3-4 minutes.

Strain vegetables, and move to a serving dish.
Return empty pot to stove and add syrup, mustard, sage and salt and pepper.
Pour over vegetables and stir to combine.

Try this with Maple Glazed Pork Chops (or any chicken dish), and steamed veggies.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Swiss Chicken Casserole (Sunday Chicken)

I got this recipe from my mother-in-law and it is a regular go-to at our house.
Swiss Chicken Casserole
(Sunday Chicken)
Recipe from Lyn Denna

4 small chicken breasts
4 slices of Swiss Cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
3/4 can milk
Stove Top Chicken Bread Crumbs
2 Tbsp. butter

Layer chicken breasts in the bottom of an 9x9" baking dish.
Place a slice of Swiss over each breast.

In a separate bowl, combine the soup and milk.
Pour over chicken and cheese.

Sprinkle an even layer of bread crumbs over chicken mixture.
Dot with butter.

Bake at 350 for one hour.
** If you notice your bread crumbs start to brown early in the baking period, cover the dish loosely with tin foil.  This will keep the top from burning.  Remove foil 10-15 minutes before removing dish from oven so crumbs can crisp up again.)

Serve over mashed potatoes or rice.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Ham Lasagna Roll-Ups

This is a good alternative to your everyday lasagna.

Try switching ham for salami, prosciutto, pancetta, etc.
Ham Lasagna Roll-Ups
Recipe from Giada De Laurentiis

Bechamel Sauce:
2 Tbsp. butter
4 tsp. flour
1 1/4 c. whole milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
pinch ground nutmeg

8 oz. ricotta cheese
5 oz. frozen spinach, thawed
1/2 c. parmesan cheese
3 oz. sliced ham/proscuitto/pancetta
1 large egg, beaten
salt and pepper to taste
12 lasagna noodles
marinara or spaghetti sauce

Prepare lasagna noodles according to package directions.
Prepare Bechamel sauce (like a roux), and spread in the bottom of a 9x13" baking dish.

Mix ricotta, spinach, parmesan, 1 c. mozzarella, proscuitto or ham, egg, salt and pepper in bowl.
Lay out noodles individually, and spread cheese mixture over entire length of noodle.
Roll up noodles, and place on Bechamel sauce.
Cover each noodles roll with a spoonful of marinara sauce.
Sprinkle remaining mozzarella and additional parmesan on top.
Cover tightly with foil.
Bake at 450 for 20 minutes.
Uncover and bake until cheese becomes golden, 10-15 minutes longer.

** For Freezing:
Prepare lasagna rolls but do not bake.  Cool in fridge and then put in freezer.

This picture shows the "assembly line"...
Spreading on the noodle (below)
rolled up and placed on sauce (left)
covered with sauce and cheese (right)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Pantry Secrets Wheat Bread

I don't make wheat bread very often, but when I do this is my recipe of choice!
Wheat Bread
Recipe from Pantry Secrets

5 c. freshly ground wheat flour
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 Tbsp. salt
3 rounded 1/2 Tbsp. Saf-Instant Yeast
2 1/2 Tbsp. (quarters) liquid lecithin
1 3/4 c. hot tap water
1/4 c. applesauce

Combine flour, sugar, salt and yeast and mix.

Combine applesauce with water.

Add lecithin and water/applesauce mixture to dry ingredients.
Mix for 8-10 minutes with kneading blade.
Lay out on greased surface and knead 4 times.
Cut in half.
Shape into loaves.
Let raise for 25 minutes.
Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Hash Wraps

Hash Wraps
Recipe from Lyn H. Denna

1 can corned beef hash (or 2 c. leftover mashed potatoes/hashbrowns)
1 can corn
1 egg
1/2 package bacon

Mix potatoes, corn and egg.
Wrap in bacon and place on slotted baking pan.
Bake at 400 for 40 minutes, or until bacon is crispy.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Reeses Peanut Butter Popcorn

We are on a definite popcorn kick at our house these days.
I have about a billion recipes stashed away just waiting to be made, but this one had the word 'Reeses' in the title so of course it made the top of the list.
Reeses Peanut Butter Popcorn
Recipe from Our Best Bites
1/4 c. popcorn (or about 10 cups of popped popcorn)
1 c. honey roasted peanuts
1 1/2 c. Reese's peanut butter chips
1/3 c. semi-sweet chocolate chip
1 1/2 tsp. vegetable shortening or oil

Pop popcorn.
Remove any un-popped kernels.
Place peanuts and popcorn in a large bowl.
In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the peanut butter chips and vegetable oil or shortening and heat for 2-2 1/2 minutes or until smooth, stirring every 30 seconds.
Drizzle the melted peanut butter chips over the popcorn and peanuts and toss to combine.
Spread the popcorn onto a wax paper-lined baking sheet.
In a Ziploc bag, heat the semi-sweet chocolate chips until just melted and smooth (about 1-1 1/2 minutes, mashing the bag every 20-30 seconds).
Cut a small corner in the bag and drizzle the chocolate over the popcorn.
Allow to stand long enough to become solid (you can transfer the pan to the fridge or freezer to hurry this step along).
When done, break the popcorn into small pieces and enjoy!