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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Crusty Overnight Bread

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon yeast
1 1/2 cups water

The night before:
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt and yeast. Add water and mix until all the flour is mixed in. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside (not in the fridge) for 12-18 hours. 

The next day:
Heat oven to 450 degrees. When the oven has reached 450 degrees, place a cast iron pot with a lid in the oven* and heat the pot for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, pour dough onto a heavily floured surface and shape (roughly) into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest while the pot is heating. Remove hot pot from the oven and drop in the dough. (I spray my hands with cooking spray first.) Cover and return to oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes remove the lid and bake an additional 10-15 minutes, depending on how dark you like your crust. Remove bread from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool.

*You don't have to have a cast iron pot for this. Anything that can take the heat, will hold at least 2.5 quarts, and has a tight-fitting lid will work. I use my Calphalon dutch oven or a round Corningware casserole dish. I've also heard of people successfully using clay pots with lids, a pizza stone with a bowl to cover the bread, the insert of a crock pot (as long as the lid's handle isn't plastic), or an old cast iron dutch oven. You could probably also use a baking dish covered with aluminum foil.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Clone of Red Lobster's Cheddar Bay Biscuits

2-1/2 cups Bisquick
4 tablespoons cold butter
1 heaping cup grated Cheddar cheese
3/4 cup cold whole milk
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Brush on Top
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
pinch salt

Preheat oven to 400.

Combine Bisquick with cold butter in a medium bowl using a pastry cutter or a large fork. You don't want to mix too thoroughly. There should be small chunks of butter in there that are about the size of peas. Add Cheddar cheese, milk, and 1/4 teaspoon garlic. Mix by hand until combined, but don't over mix.

Drop approximately 1/4-cup portions of the dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet using an ice cream scoop. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until the tops  of the biscuits begin to turn light brown.

When you take the biscuits out of the oven, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small bowl in the microwave. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder. and the dried parsley flakes. Use a brush to spread this garlic butter over the tops of the biscuits. Use up all the butter.

Makes a dozen biscuits.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Perfect Honey Wheat Bread

This recipe was shared with me by a woman at church. I think she found it in a RS cookbook. I love that it only has one rise. Choose the size recipe that fits your family.

10-12 cups whole wheat flour (or 8 cups whole wheat flour + 2 to 4 cups white flour)
2 rounded tablespoons dry yeast
500 mg vitamin C, optional
4 cups very warm water (125°)
⅓ cup vegetable oil
⅓ cup honey or sugar
1 tablespoon salt

In mixer bowl equipped with kneading arm, combine 6 cups flour, dry yeast, and vitamin C (crush tablet or empty a capsule). Add water, oil, and honey or sugar; mix well. Cover and let batter sponge for 15 minutes; this produces a lighter bread. Add salt and remaining flour, 1 cup at a time (½ cup at a time for smaller batches), until dough forms a ball and cleans the sides of the bowl; the amount of the flour needed may vary. Knead 5 to 7 minutes by machine or about 10 minutes by hand, until dough is smooth and elastic. Divide dough into equal portions. Shape into loaves. Place in greased 4" x 8½" loaf pans*. Cover with light cloth and let ruse until almost double. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from pans and let cool on wire racks. Rub a stick of butter on the tops, if desired, for a softer crust.
Yield: 4 to 5 loaves.

6 Loaves: Follow directions above.
12-16 cups whole wheat flour (or 12 cups whole wheat flour + 2 to 4 cups white flour)
3 tablespoons dry yeast
500 mg vitamin C, optional
6 cups very warm water (125°)
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup honey or sugar
1½ tablespoon salt

2 Loaves: Follow directions above.
6-7 cups whole wheat flour (or 5 cups whole wheat flour + 1 to 2 cups white flour)
1 rounded tablespoons dry yeast
500 mg vitamin C, optional
2 cups very warm water (125°)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons honey or sugar
2 scant teaspoons salt

*The recipe also includes the following note about pan size: "Using the right size pan is very important. Too much or too little dough results in a poor loaf of bread, particularly when using whole wheat. Whole wheat dough is heavier than white dough and cannot support itself in a wide pan. For best results, bake whole-grain bread in a 4 x 8½-inch or small bread pan."

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Autumn Chopped Salad

also known as The Salad Becca Makes That Denise Loves.
from Espresso & Cream.

6 to 8 cups chopped romaine lettuce
2 medium pears, chopped
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup chopped pecans (or candied pecans)
8 slices thick-cut bacon, crisp-cooked and crumbled
4 to 6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
Poppy seed salad dressing (I like Brianna's)
Balsamic vinaigrette (I like Ken's Lite Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette)

On a large platter, combine the lettuce, pears, cranberries, pecans, bacon and feta cheese. Drizzle generously with poppy seed dressing, followed by some vinaigrette. (I use about 60 percent poppy seed and 40 percent vinaigrette.) Feel free to experiment with the combination.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Macaroni Grill Penne Rustica

Adapted from Your Home Based Mom

12 oz. Shredded chicken breast
½ pack thick bacon
48 oz. (3 boxes) penne pasta
2 large red bell peppers- diced
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
½ tsp paprika

Gratinata Sauce:
2 tsp butter
2 tsp chopped garlic
1/3 cup apple juice + 2 tbsp red wine vinegar +enough chicken broth to equal 1 cup
1 tsp Dijon or dry mustard
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chopped rosemary
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
8 cups heavy cream

Sauté garlic in butter in large pan. Add apple juice, mustard, salt, rosemary, cayenne pepper, and heavy cream. Cook pasta according to directions. Cook bacon. Slice chicken into medium-bite size pieces. Combine sauce, cooked pasta, diced chicken, cooked bacon, bell peppers, parmesan cheese, and paprika and mix thoroughly. Spread in pans. Top with chopped rosemary and mozzarella cheese.

Bake @ 475 for 10 minutes. If frozen, thaw in refrigerator the day of. Cover with foil and bake @ 375 for 1 hour. Remove foil during the last 15 minutes.
Number of Servings: Yields one 8×8 and two 9×13 casserole dishes.
Preparation Time: More than an hour

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Chico's Chocolate Cheesecake

This cheesecake was one of the best things served at the Mexican restaurant I waitressed at in high school.

1½ cups vanilla wafer crumbs
½ cup powdered sugar
⅓ cup cocoa
½ cup melted butter

Combine. Pat down bottom and sides of 9-inch Springform pan.

12 ounces chocolate chips
3 (8-ounce) boxes cream cheese, softened
1 can (14½-ounces) sweetened condensed milk
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 300.Beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in milk until smooth.

Melt chocolate chips on low, stirring constantly. Mix a couple of spoonfuls of cream cheese to the chocolate to temper. Add chocolate, eggs, and vanilla to cream cheese. Mix until combined.

Pour over crust. Bake for about 2 hours. Edges will get lighter. When circle gets smaller, check for doneness. If it jiggles just a little, remove cheesecake from oven and cool.

(This often cracks when I make it, so if you're interested in presentation, I would suggest a water bath. Don't forget to wrap the bottom of the Springform in foil first. I won't make that mistake again.)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Multigrain Bread

from The Cook's Illustrated Cookbook

The original recipe makes 2 9-inch loaves. I have three loaf pans, so I 1½ the recipe. Those amounts are included between slashes.
1¼ cup (6¼ ounces) / 9.5 ounces / seven-grain hot cereal mix

2½ cups / 3¾ cups / boiling water
3 cups (15 ounces) / 22.5 ounces / all-purpose flour (not bread flour)
1½ cups (8¼ ounces) / 12.5 ounces / whole wheat flour
¼ cup / 3 ounces /honey
4 tablespoons / 6 tablespoons / unsalted butter, melted and cooled*
2½ teaspoons / 3¾ teaspoons / instant or rapid-rise yeast (active-dry yeast has worked just fine for me)
1 tablespoon / 1½ tablespoons / salt
Optional (I omit): ¾ cup unsalted pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds
Optional (I omit): ½ cup (1½ ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats or quick oats

*If you’re using salted butter, just decrease the additional salt by just a bit.
Place cereal mix in bowl of stand mixer fitted with dough hook and pour boiling water over it; let stand, stirring occasionally, until mixture cools to 100 degrees and resembles thick porridge, about 1 hour.  Whisk flours together in separate bowl.
Once grain mixture has cooled, add honey, butter, and yeast and mix on low speed until combined. Add flour mixture,  ½ cup at a time, and knead until cohesive mass starts to form (note: I don't need all of the flour. I suspect it's the high altitude. Go by look and feel and stop adding flour if you need to!) 1½-2 minutes; cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let dough rest for 20 minutes. Add salt and knead on medium-low speed until dough clears sides of bowl, 3-4 minutes. (If it does not clear sides, add 2-3 tablespoons additional all-purpose flour and knead until it does. Don’t add more, unless the dough is still really sticky and you didn't use all your flour already.) Continue to knead dough for 5 more minutes. Add seeds (if using) and knead for another 15 seconds. Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and knead by hand until seeds are dispersed evenly and dough forms smooth, round ball. Place dough in large, lightly greased bowl; cover tightly with plastic and let rise at room temperature until nearly doubled in size, 45-60 minutes.
Grease two /or three / 9×5 inch loaf pans. Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and divide in half / or thirds. Press 1 piece of dough into 9×6 inch rectangle, with short side facing you. Roll dough toward you into firm cylinder, keeping roll taut by tucking it under itself as you go. Turn loaf seam side up and pinch it closed. Repeat with second piece of dough. Spray loaves lightly with water or vegetable oil spray. Roll each loaf in oats to coat evenly and place seam side down in prepared pans, pressing gently into corners. Cover loaves loosely with greased plastic and let rise at room temperature until nearly doubled in size 30-40 minutes. Dough should barely spring back when poked with knuckle.
When rising bread nears the top of the pan, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Bake until loaves register 200 degrees on a quick-read thermometer, 35-40 minutes. Transfer pans to wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Remove loaves from pans, return to rack, and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours, before slicing and serving, or storing.
Storage: Bread can be wrapped in double layer of plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days. Wrapped with additional layer of foil, bread can be frozen for up to a month.

Chicken Paprikash

8 (5- to 7-ounce) bone-in chicken thighs
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, halved and sliced thin
1 each large red and green bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, halved widthwise, and cut into ¼-inch strips
3½ tablespoons paprika, divided
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon dried marjoram
½ cup dry white wine
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
½ cup sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 300 degrees. Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add 4 chicken things, skin side down, and cook without moving until skin is crisp and well-browned, about 5 minutes. using tongs, flip chicken and brown on second side, about 5 minutes longer; transfer to large plate. Repeat with remaining 4 thighs and transfer to plate; set aside. When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove and discard skin. Discard all but 1 tablespoon fat from pan.

Add onion to fat left in Dutch oven and cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add bell peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are browned and peppers are softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in 3 tablespoons of paprika, flour, and marjoram and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add wine, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pit; stir in tomatoes and 1 teaspoon slat. Add chicken and any accumulated juices, submerging them in vegetables; bring to a simmer, then cover and place pot in oven. Cook until chicken is no longer pink when cut into with paring knife, about 30 minutes. Remove pot from oven.

Combine sour cream and remaining ½ tablespoon paprika in small bowl. Place chicken on individual plates. Stir a few tablespoons of hot sauce into sour cream to temper, then stir mixture back into sauce in pot. Spoon sauce and peppers over chicken, sprinkle with parsley, and serve immediately with buttered egg noodles, rice, or mashed potatoes.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Candy Cane Bread

2 cups sour cream
1 1/2 tablespoon SAF yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
Approx. 6 cups flour

2 cans cherry pie filling
maraschino cherries
slices of green gumdrops

Thin Icing:
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Heat sour cream over low heat until luke warm.  Mix together the sour cream, water, butter, sugar, salt and eggs in mixer.  In a separate bowl, mix yeast with 2 cups of the flour and slowly add flour/yeast mixture, beating until smooth.  Mix in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle.  Knead about 10 minutes.  Place into a greased bowl and turn dough over so greased side is up.  Cover tight with lid (spray lid if needed).  Let rise about an hour, or until doubled in size.  Heat oven to 375.  Punch down dough and divide into 3 equal parts.  Roll each part into a 15- x 6-inch rectangle and place on greased baking sheet.  Cut dough with kitchen shears, about 1 1/2 inches on each side, leaving 3 inches in the middle.  Cut them at 1 1/2-inch intervals.  Spread filling in middle and criss-cross strips over the filling.  Stretch the dough to 22 inches and curve to form cane.  Pinch the ends together to prevent filling from coming out.  Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.  While it's warm, brush with butter and drizzle icing on top.  Add maraschino cherries and gumdrop slices to look like holly leaves.  Makes 3 candy canes.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Bee-bim Bop

Bee-bim=mix, bop=rice, so this common Korean dish is mixed rice. We made it for the first time before we brought Tyson home, and the kids love it so much it's become a regular in our dinner rotation. The meat is essentially bulgogi, and you can use any combination of veggies that you'd like.

2 cups white rice

2 cloves garlic, minced
2 green onions, chopped
5 teblespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sesame seeds, roasted (optional)
1 tablespoon sesame oil (optional)
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 pound tender, lean beef (such as sirloin tip)

2 carrots, peeled and julienned
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced1 pound fresh spinach, washed
1 (6-oz.) bag fresh spinach
8 ounces bean sprouts

Other ingredients
4 eggs
salt and pepper
vegetable oil for frying

Serve with
Sriracha (Asian chili sauce)

Cook the rice in a rice cooker or on the stove.

Mix all the marinade ingredients in a large bowl or gallon-size plastic bag.

Slice the beef across the grain into very, VERY thin slices. (You'll want a good, sharp knife for this.) Add the beef to the marinade. Seal the bag and mix it together with your hands, then squish the beef (we tell the kids to "give it a massage") for 2-3 minutes. This makes it nice and tender. Set the beef aside.

Break the eggs into a large measuring cup. Beat the eggs with a fork until the whites and yolks are completely mixed together.

Put a teaspoon of vegetable oil into a small nonstick frying pan and heat over medium heat for about 1 minute. Pour about 1/4 of the egg into the pan. Rotate the pan quickly so the egg spreads out in a thin layer on the bottom. Cook the egg for 1 minutes. Using a wide spatula, flip the egg over and cook the other side for 1 minutes. You now have an egg "pancake." Flip the pancake out onto a cutting board and leave it there to cool. Repeat until you've cooked all the egg, adding a little more oil, if needed. When the pancakes are cool enough to handle, stack them on top of each other to make a neat stack. Rill up the stack tightly. Cut the roll into 1/4-inch slices. Put the slices into a medium-sized bowl, unroll them, and toss them around a little, so they look like a bunch of yellow ribbons. Set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large frying-pan or wok over a high flame and stir-fry the carrots over high heat until tender. Empty the carrots into a bowl and set aside.

Repeat with the mushrooms.

Blanch spinach in a pot of boiling water for 2 minutes, drain, and let cool for a few minutes, then squeeze some of the water out. Put 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil into the frying pan and stir-fry the precooked spinach for 2-3 minutes until tender. Empty the spinach into a bowl, season it with salt and pepper, and set it aside.

Boil 1 cup of water and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large saucepan. Add bean sprouts to the boiling water. Cover the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain the bean sprouts and empty them into a bowl.

Put the large frying pan over high heat. Heat the pan for about 30 seconds. Take the bowl of beef and marinade and dump it into the frying pan - all of it at once. When the beef hits the hot pan, it will sizzle loudly. Using a spatula or a wooden spoon, spread the beef out in the pan. Stir for 2-3 minutes until all the red meat turns brown. Turn off the heat. There will be cooked beef and some gravy in the pan.

To serve, put the rice, the bowls of egg strips and vegetables, and the pan of meat where everyone can reach them. Each person puts a pile of rice in the middle of a soup bowl or plate and some meat and vegetables on top. (Be sure to pour a couple of spoonfuls of meat juice on your rice.) Top with egg ribbons. If you like spicy food, add some Sriracha.

Now "bee-bim" everything together. It's ready to eat (with some kimchee on the side, if you like.)

Tequila Lime Chicken

From Applebee's, via topsecretrecipes.com.

1 cup water
1/3 cup teriyaki sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon mesquite liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup tequila

4 chicken breasts

Mexi-Ranch Dressing
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons minced tomato
1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon minced canned jalapeno slices
1 teaspoon minced onion
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon Tobasco
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon cumin
dash garlic powder
dash ground black pepper

1 cup shredded cheddar/jack cheese blend
2 cups crumbled tortilla chips or fried tortilla strips

Prepare marinade by combining marinade ingredients. Add chicken and chill for 2 to 3 hours (not more, or the lime juice may toughen your chicken).

Make the Mexi-ranch dressing by combining all of the ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix will until smooth, then cover and chill until needed.

When  you are ready to prepare the entree, preheat the oven to high broil. Also, preheat you grill to high heat. When the grill is hot, cook the marinated chicken breasts for 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until they're done.

Arrange the cooked chicken in a baking pan. Spread a layer of dressing over each piece of chicken (you'll have plenty left over), followed by 1/4 cup of the shredded cheese blend. Broil the chicken for 2 to 3 minutes, or just until the cheese has melted.

Spread a bed of 1/2 cup of the tortilla strips or crumbled tortilla chips on each of four plates. Slide a chicken breast onto the chips on each plate and serve with your choice of rice, and pico de gallo or salsa.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Microwave Caramels

1 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup light corn syrup
1 pound light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, melted

Blend the first 4 ingredients in a large microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave on high for 12 minutes, stirring every 3 minutes.  Mix in vanilla.  Pour into buttered 9x13 pan.  Chill overnight.
Pour melted chocolate over caramels.  Cut into 1-inch squares.  You may substitute almond bark for chocolate chips, or increase the amount of chocolate and dip caramel squares into chocolate to coat all sides.  Makes 10 dozen.

Tiger Bark

2 (12-ounce) bags white chocolate chips
3 heaping spoonfuls peanut butter
1 (12-ounce) bag milk chocolate chips

In microwave melt the white chocolate chips and peanut butter together, stirring regularly until melted.
Pour onto a baking sheet and set aside.  In the same bowl, melt the milk chocolate chips and drop by spoonfuls on the above mixture and swirl.  Freeze for 30 minutes.  Break into small pieces and refrigerate.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sunny Lemonade Cookies

2 cups sugar
2 cups butter
4 eggs
1 cup lemonade concentrate, plus 1/2 cup for glaze
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
4 drops yellow food coloring
1/4 cup grated lemon zest (about 4 large lemons)
6 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
pinch of salt
clear decorating sugar (found by the sprinkles)

Cream together sugar and butter until light and fluffy.   Add eggs, 1 cup lemonade concentrate, lemon juice, food coloring, and lemon zest.   Mix until well combined and fragrant.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.   Add dry ingredients to wet, and stir until combined.

Drop onto a greased cookie sheet and bake at 400º for 8-10 minutes.   Remove from oven and brush with remaining lemonade concentrate.   Sprinkle with decorating sugar.

Number Of Servings: About 4 dozen...this recipe could easily be halved

Marie Callender's Cornbread

Recipe from TopSecretRecipes.com.

1 1/4 cups AP flour
3/4 cups cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1/4 cup shortening
1 egg

Honey Butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup honey

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the milk, shortening and egg and mix only until the ingredients are well combined.

Pour the batter into a greased 8x8-inch pan.

Bake for 25 to 20 minutes, or until the top is golden-brown. Let the cornbread cool slightly before slicing it with a sharp knife into 9 pieces.

For the honey butter, use a mixer on high speed to whip the butter and honey together until smooth and fluffy.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Funeral Potatoes

There are plenty of great recipes out there for "cheesy potatoes." This is the one I asked sisters to make for funerals when I served as the Compassionate Service Leader.

1 small-medium onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 Tbsp. butter
1 28-oz. bag shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed
2 c. sour cream
1 10-oz. can cream of chicken (or cream of mushroom) soup
2 1/4 c. shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350.  In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic and saute until the onion is translucent and the garlic is fragrant.  Remove from heat.  Add the thawed hash browns, sour cream, cream of chicken soup, chee se, salt, and pepper and combine well.  Add additional salt and pepper if necessary.
Spread the mixture into a 9×13″ dish and bake for 50-60 minutes or until the casserole is hot in the center and the cheese is bubbly throughout.  Serve as a main dish with a salad and fruit or alongside roasted ham, turkey, chicken, or beef.  Makes 6-8 main dish or 10-12 side dish servings.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Scot's Macaroni & Cheese

12 ounces elbow mac (about 3 cups)
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups milk (or equivalent from powdered milk/water)
1 egg, slightly beaten
8 ounces Velveeta, cut into smaller cubes
4-8 ounces sharp cheddar

Preheat oven to 375°. In a large pot of boiling water, cook macaroni with oil and salt until al dente. Drain.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add flour. Whisk together and cook for about 1 minute. Add milk and egg. Cook and stir for 1 minute. Stir in Velveeta cheese and half the cheddar; cook on low heat until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth.

Add cooked macaroni to sauce. Stir over low heat for 1 minutes. Taste and add pepper and extra salt, if necessary. Pour mixture into a large greased 9x13-inch pan. Top with remaining cheddar and cover with foil. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, until cheese on top is melted and macaroni is bubbly throughout.

Cool slightly and serve.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Red Enchiladas

1 (46-ounce) can tomato juice
1 (7.75-ounce) can El Pato tomato sauce
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Cold water
Vegetable or canola oil
Corn tortillas
Shredded cheese

Mix tomato juice, El Pato, and sugar in a large saucepan. Bring to boil. Combine equal amounts cornstarch and water. Pour slowly into sauce while whisking vigorously.

Meanwhile, heat about a half inch of oil in a small skillet. Once oil is hot, fry each tortilla for a few seconds, until soft. Drain on paper towels.

Layer tortillas, sauce, then cheese on each plate. Top with sour cream and lettuce.

Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Casserole

4-5 flour tortillas, torn
8 ounces sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 (4-ounce) can green chiles
2 cups (approx) shredded chicken, or a (10-ounce) can of chunk chicken
Shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients except cheese in a bowl. Spray an 8x8 glass pan. Spread mixture evenly in pan. Bake, covered, for about 25 minutes. Uncover, top with shredded cheese, and bake for another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Poppy Seed Chicken

8 chicken breasts
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cups sour cream
3 cups Pepperidge Farm Dressing (Not "Cubed," the bread chunks are too big.)
2-3 tablespoons poppy seeds
2 sticks butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350. Cut chicken into bite-sized chunks. Brown in a hot skillet. Spread across the bottom of a 9x13 casserole, or 2 8x8s.

Mix soup and sour cream; pour over top of chicken.

Mix together dressing, poppy seeds, and melted butter. Spread over top of soup.

Bake 30 minutes until bubbly throughout.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Lori's Baked Chicken

1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. paprika
¼ tsp. white pepper
6 boneless skinless chicken thighs*
1 can (10 1/2 oz.) cream of mushroom soup
1 c. cream, or 3/4 c. evaporated milk (for low fat version)
1 clove minced garlic
Chopped parsley

Mix salt, paprika, and white pepper. Thoroughly rub mixture into chicken pieces. Place chicken in one layer in shallow baking dish or pan. Dilute soup with cream/milk and mix in a clove of minced garlic, pour over chicken; sprinkle with parsley. Bake uncovered at 350 for 1½ hours.

Makes 6 servings.

**Reduce cooking time if substituting breasts.

Chicken Satay

Serves 6.

2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
½ cup soy sauce
Juice of ½ lemon or lime (about 1½ tbsp fresh)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons curry powder (can use less)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cubed or cut into strips

In a mixing bowl, combine marinade ingredients. Stir in chicken to coat and refrigerate. Let the chicken  marinate for at least 2 hours or even overnight. Preheat grill to high heat. Weave chicken onto skewers, then grill about 5 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Chicken Marsala

¼ cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour for coating
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon garlic powder
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups sliced mushrooms
½ tablespoon chives
1 cup Marsala wine
½ cup cooking sherry
½ cup chicken broth
¼ cup heavy cream

In a gallon freezer bag, mix together the flour, salt, pepper and oregano. Add chicken breasts to bag, one at a time. Pound to approximately ¼-inch thick, then coat in flour mixture.

In a large skillet, melt butter and oil over medium heat. Place chicken in the pan, and brown on each side. Remove chicken to plate. Saute mushrooms and chives. Pour in Marsala wine, sherry and chicken broth. Reduce by a third; thicken the sauce with a flour and water slurry. Reduce heat to low, then add cream. Season to taste. Spoon sauce over chicken and serve with noodles.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Peach Cobbler

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk
1 (21 ounce) can peach pie filling OR

  • 3-4 cups peeled and sliced fresh peaches
  • 2 tablespoons - 1/4 cup brown sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice

If using fresh peaches, mix those four ingredients together and let them sit while you go through the other steps.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place butter in a 13x9-inch pan and melt in the oven while it's heating.

In a medium bowl, mix together flour, sugar, and baking powder. Stir in milk.

Remove pan of melted butter from oven. Pour mixture into pan but DO NOT STIR. Spread peaches (and juice) onto batter without stirring.

Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes, until fruit is bubbly and batter is set and golden brown.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Layered Mint Chocolate Brownies

from the Worldwide Ward Cookbook

1 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour

Mint Frosting:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 pound powdered sugar
1-3 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon mint extract
Green food coloring

Chocolate Topping:
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 1/2 tablespoons butter

Mix butter, cocoa and sugar; add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one. Stir in flour. Spread into a greased 9x13-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Let cool completely. (You can cover the pan and put it in the fridge to speed up the process.)

Mint Frosting:
Mix butter and powdered sugar. Add only enough milk to make a smooth consistency. Add mint extract and enough food coloring for a light green color. Frosting will be thick. Spread over brownie layer. Refrigerate until frosting is firm.

Chocolate Topping:
Melt chocolate chips and butter in microwave (1-3 minutes, depending on your microwave). Stir well to combine. Drizzle over frosted brownies. Refrigerate until topping is set.

Let brownies sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before cutting. Cut into 24 small squares with sharp knife.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Hershey's Party Brownies

½ cup + 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
6 tablespoons cocoa
½ cup sifted flour
½ cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla; beat in eggs. Blend in cocoa. Stir in flour and nuts

Bake in greased 8x8-inch pan 30-35 minutes. Cool. Cut into squares.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Potato Skins

1 large baked potato

bake however you like - I use a metal skewer through the center of the potato in a 450 degree oven for 45-60 minutes. Cut in half lengthwise, scoop out the mush (eat as a baked potato or make mashed potatoes, etc.), and cut into chip size pieces.

1 T. olive oil
1 t. grated parmesean cheese
dashes of salt, pepper, garlic powder

Mix and brush both sides of the potato skins. Bake at 450 or 475 degrees for 7 minutes, flip, and bake for another 7 minutes. Add grated cheese and bacon bits (or whatever you like - be creative!) and put back into the oven until the cheese is melted (2 minutes). Top with sour cream, chives, etc.

Buffalo Chicken Wings

~10 wing portions
1/2 cup flour
1/8 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. cayenne
1/8 tsp. salt

Mix the dry ingredients and coat the wings. Put in a container, cover, and refigerate for 60-90 minutes. The flour will mix with the juices and get a little gummy. This is what you want. Skip this step and they just won't turn out right. You have two options for cooking. Traditionally, fry in 375 degree oil for 10-12 minutes. If you want to cut down on the calories and oil, bake in the oven at 450 degress for 40-45 minutes, flipping the wings halfway through. I decided to bake them. I used a cooling rack on a rimmed cookie sheet.

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup hot sauce (if you want the real taste, use Frank's hot sauce)
dashes of pepper and garlic powder

Melt the butter and add the hot sauce. This proportion is for a medium hotness. If you want mild, use more butter and less hot sauce (or vice versa if you want hotter - you can also add powdered cayenne pepper). Mix the wings with the sauce in a large bowl and enjoy. Serve with celery and blue cheese dressing.