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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Honey Yeast Rolls

2¼ tsp. instant yeast
1 cup warm water (105-115˚ F)
¼ cup honey
3 tbsp. canola oil
1¼ tsp. salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 cups bread flour
Vegetable cooking spray
2 tbsp. butter, melted
2 tbsp. honey

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the yeast and warm water. Add the honey, oil, salt, and egg and mix well. Add 3 cups of the flour and mix until the dough comes together in a sticky mass. Switch to the dough hook and, with the mixer on low speed, incorporate the remaining 1 cup of flour. Continue kneading on low speed for about 8 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, turn once to coat, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 30 seconds. Cover with a towel and let rest for 10 minutes. Punch the dough down and divide into 10-12 equal size pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth ball and place into a round, lightly greased 9- or 10-inch round baking dish (I use a glass pie pan), spacing evenly. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot for 20-30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375˚ F. Mix together the melted butter and honey, and brush the tops of the rolls with the mixture. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and the rolls are baked through. Let cool slightly before serving.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sweet Potato Casserole

2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup milk, cold
1 40-ounce can drained yams
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 dash cinnamon

1 cup corn flakes, crushed
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 cup coconut

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the milk.
In a separate bowl, mash the yams with a fork.
Add the yams, butter, eggs, sugar, and cinnamon to the cornstarch and milk and mix well.
Pour into a 9x13 glass baking dish.
Bake 20 minutes at 400 degrees.
In the meantime, mix the topping ingredients over low heat until combined.
Set aside until casserole has completed the 20-minute bake time.
Then carefully spread/sprinkle the topping over the casserole and bake for another 15 minutes, or until the topping begins to brown slightly.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tomato Soup

from Gypsy Café in Westwood, Los Angeles

1 tablespoon oil or butter
1 red onion, chopped
1 large baking (russet) potato, baked and peeled
4 cups tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups half-n-half
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon chicken soup base or bouillon
1/2 cup hot water
dash of dried oregano

Heat oil or butter in skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and saute until tender, about 5 minutes.  Place onion and potato in a food processor and puree until smooth.  Combine tomato sauce with baking soda in a stockpot or large saucepan, and add half-n-half.  Bring to a boil and simmer 10 to 15 minutes.  Add potato-onion mixture to tomato sauce and cook, stirring occasionally, until thick and smooth.  Add cheese.  Mix chicken base with water and stir into soup; simmer over low heat for 5-10 minutes.  Add dash of oregano before serving.  Approximately 150 calories per cup (using butter and regular half-n-half).

Friday, September 23, 2011

Beef Stroganoff

When I was a kid, beef stroganoff was one of our favorite meals. It was probably the most common birthday meal request in our home. Mom made two different recipes, and this was considered the "fancy one" because it's made with steak, rather than ground beef.

1½ pounds round steak
1 package Lipton onion soup mix
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
Fresh mushrooms
1 can beef broth
1 cup sour cream
¼ cup flour

Cut steak into 2 x ½-inch strips across the grain. Brown over medium heat in skillet, then turn heat to low. Simmer long enough to tenderize meat.

Add onion soup mix, soup, mushrooms, and broth. Bring to boil. Thicken with flour/water mixture. Add sour cream and serve over egg noodles.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Our Favorite Falafel

1 cup dried chickpeas
1/2 large onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper
4 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon baking powder
4-6 tablespoons flour
Soybean or vegetable oil for frying
Chopped tomato for garnish
Diced onion for garnish
Diced green bell pepper for garnish
Pita bread
Tahini sauce

Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 2 inches. Let soak overnight, then drain. Or use canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed.

Place the drained, uncooked chickpeas and the onion in th ebowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the parsley, cilantro, salt, hot pepper, garlic and cumin. Process until blended but not pureed.

Sprinkle in the baking powder and 4 tablespoons for flour, and pulse. You want to add enough flour so that the dough forms a small ball and no longer sticks to your hands. Turn into a bowl, covered, for several hours.

Form the chickpea mixture into balls abut the size of walnuts, or use a large cookie scoop.

Heat 3 inches of oil to 375 degrees in a deep pot or wok and fry balls at once for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Stuff half a pita with falafel balls, chopped tomatoes, onion and green pepper. Drizzle with tahini thinned with water.

Makes 5 servings.

Fettuccine alla Carbonara

Recipe from Baci Trattoria in Salt Lake City.

6 slices bacon or 1/3 cup ham cut into narrow strips
1/2 clove garlic, finely minced
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup frozen peas
1 tablespoon salt
8 ounces dried or 16 ounces fresh fettuccine
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped

Place bacon or ham in a heavy saute pan over medium heat. Cook bacon until crisp, ham until hot, adding minced garlic about 30 seconds before the meat has finished cooking. Add cream and peas and cook at a slow rolling boil for four minutes. Set aside.

Fill heavy stock pot with half-gallon of salted water. Bring to a boil. Add dry fettuccine and cook for 8-10 minutes or cook fresh fettuccine for 3-4 minutes. Drain and rinse well with cold water.

Toss fettuccine with cream mixture, then add Parmesan cheese. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Baked Zucchini Fries

About 1 pound zucchini
1/2 cup Italian-seasoned panko bread cumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (the crumbly stuff, not shreds)
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
Combine bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Set aside.
Whisk 2 eggs together in a shallow pie plate and set aside.
Cut the ends off the zucchini and then cut the zucchini in half so you have two short, stubby pieces. Set one piece on its end and cut it in half lengthwise. Cut that half in half, making 2 planks. Repeat with the remaining halves (so you'll get 16 planks per zucchini).
Stack 2 planks on top of each other and cut into strips. Thicker strips will yield "meatier" fries with more zucchini flavor while thin strips will be crispy and taste virtually nothing like zucchini. When all the fries are cut, blot the pieces with a paper towel.
Working with a small handful at a time, dip the zucchini sticks in the egg, shake them to remove any excess, and then roll them in about 2-3 tablespoons of bread crumbs at a time, adding more as needed; you just don't want to work with all the bread crumbs at once because they'll soak up moisture from the egg and won'mt stick to the zucchini.
Place the coated strips of the prepared baking sheet and repeat until all the zucchini strips have been coated.
Bake for 10-12 minutes in the prepared oven then remove from oven, flip the fries, and bake for another 10-12 minutes or until the zucchini is not soggy and the coating is crisp and golden brown. Serve immediately with pizza sauce or buttermilk ranch dressing. Serves 6-8 as a side dish.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Speedy Rolls

2 tablespoons dry yeast

2 cups warm water, divided

1 cup instant powdered milk

½ cup sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons salt

½ cup butter, softened

6 cups flour

Combine 1 cup of the warm water with the yeast; set aside. In mixing bowl, mix together the other cup of water with the powdered milk, sugar, eggs, salt, butter and 1 cup of the flour. Add the softened yeast and blend. Pour in remaining flour slowly while mixing and knead for 10 to 15 minutes. Place dough in an oiled bowl and let rise until double in size (about an hour). Punch down dough and divide in half. Roll out each half into a large circle on a floured surface and cut with a pizza cutter or knife in to 12 segments. Roll up ‘croissant-style’ and place on greased cookie sheets. Let rise for 15 minutes, then bake @ 350 for 12 to 14 minutes, or until golden.

Strawberry Bread

2 cups fresh strawberries

3 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar + some for sweetening the strawberries
1 Tbs cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
turbinado sugar, for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans.
Slice & chop the strawberries, and place in medium-sized bowl. Sprinkle lightly with sugar and set aside while preparing bread mixture.
Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda in large bowl; mix well. Blend oil and eggs into strawberries. Add strawberry mixture to flour mixture, blending until dry ingredients are just moistened. Divide batter between the two pans. Sprinkle desired amount of turbinado sugar on top.
Bake for 60-65 minutes, or until tester inserted comes out clean. Let cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn loaves out, and cool completely.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Coconut Bread

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
2 teaspoons coconut flavoring
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup shredded coconut

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons margarine or butter
1 teaspoon coconut flavoring

Preheat oven to 375. Grease and flour (or use the baking Pam spray with flour in it) one regular (9"x5.25") loaf pan or two mini (about 8"x4") loaf pans

Beat eggs in a large bowl. Add sugar, oil, and coconut flavoring and blend well. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Alternate adding dry ingredients and buttermilk to the wet mixture. Fold in shredded coconut.

Pour into prepared pan(s). Bake larger pan for 1 1/4 hours. I haven't timed the smaller pans yet, but I'd start checking at about 50 minutes. I'll update this next time I make it. Or if you do, let me know.

Make syrup when the bread is about 10 minutes from being finished. In a small saucepan bring sugar, water, and butter to a boil and let boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add coconut flavoring.

When bread is finished baking, move pan(s) immediately to a cooling rack. Pour syrup over the top of bread. Let stand at least an hour or two.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Arroz con Pollo y Frijoles

This recipe is easy, inexpensive, and our whole family loves it! I use a greater proportion of rice and beans to chicken than the original recipe calls for. My recipe below feeds our family dinner, with leftover rice and beans. But if you're serving more people (or your kids eat more than mine) go to this link for the original recipe that calls for 2½ pounds of chicken. Also, I substitute diced tomatoes for Rotel, since my kids are pretty sensitive to spicy foods.

1 pound chicken thighs
1 teaspoon garlic salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
¾ cup long-grain rice
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
1½ cups chicken broth
1 16-ounce can refried beans
½ cup shredded Jack cheese

Season chicken with garlic salt and pepper. Coat a large skillet with cooking spray. Place chicken, skin side down, in skillet and brown over medium-high heat for 7 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Remove chicken from skillet.

Remove all but 2 tablespoons of drippings from skillet. Add rice and brown over medium heat for about 2 minutes stirring constantly. Add tomatoes and broth; blend well. Place chicken on top of rice. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender and chicken is no longer pink. Remove chicken from skillet and keep warm.

Drop beans by tablespoonfuls into the rice; sprinkle cheese onto rice and beans. Heat for 5 minutes, or until beans are hot and cheese has melted. Serve with chicken.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Mint Lemonade

1 (12 ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 fresh lemon
1¼ cups white sugar
½ cup fresh mint leaves

Pour the lemonade concentrate into a large pitcher. Stir in enough water to make 1 gallon. Grate the zest from the lemon and add to the pitcher, then squeeze the lemon juice from the lemon into the pitcher. (Don't worry about keeping the seeds out. You'll be straining it all later.) In a small bowl, crush the mint leaves into the sugar using a muddler or a wooden spoon. Stir into the lemonade. Cover and chill for several hours, then strain to remove the leaves and zest before serving. Serve over ice and garnish with a sprig of mint.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Tuscan Tomato Soup

recipe from Chef's Table restaurant in Orem, UT

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 small-medium onions, small dice
5 cups diced & seeded tomatoes (or 3 14.5-oz. cans diced tomatoes, slightly drained)
2 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup basil pesto
Salt & pepper to taste

Heat oil in a medium large soup pot. Add onions and cook over moderately low heat until completely transluscent. Add tomatoes and warm to a simmer. Add chicken stock and bring to simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes to allow for interchange of flavors.

Add whipping cream and pesto. Blend to desired consistency in food processor or blender, or with immersion blender. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Serve with warm bread or grilled cheese sandwiches.

*Becca's notes: I use cans of fire-roasted tomatoes (Hunt's brand) when I make this soup. I like the depth of flavor they add, plus the little bits of black roasted tomatoes make the soup look more interesting.

*I’ve made this with homemade pesto, and also with a store-bought version from Sam’s Club. I’ve had good luck freezing pesto, so if I buy Sam’s 22-oz. jar I freeze the extra in 1 cup amounts for this soup and in ice cube trays for pasta sauce.