Archive for October, 2011

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Happy Halloween!

October 31, 2011

Happy

Halloween!

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Pancakes!

October 30, 2011

We love pancakes.  I have a wonderful scratch pancake mix that I keep in the pantry.  It’s a perfect recipe for the pancake lover in your life.  So is this recipe.  It marries our favorite things, oatmeal cookies and pancakes.   The oatmeal cookie muffins reminded me how much we love this breakfast too.

The original recipe calls for nuts, but I don’t add them.  I guess it’s because I don’t add nuts to my oatmeal cookies.  If you do add them, please share.  I do like to brown the butter, but you don’t have to do that.  But if you want to try a new twist, try them with honey instead of the syrup.

The pancakes are a little darker than what I’m used to but that is due to the brown sugar in the batter.  They are a very moist and fluffy pancake with a hint of cinnamon flavoring…

Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes

  • 1 C Old Fashioned Oats
  • 1 C Flour
  • 1/2 C Brown Sugar
  • 2 t Baking Powder
  • 1/2 t Baking Soda
  • 1 t Cinnamon
  • 1/4 C chopped Pecans or Walnuts (optional)
  • 3/4 C Sour Cream
  • 3/4 C Milk
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 1 t Vanilla
  • 2 ripe Bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 C Raisins, soaked in warm water for at least 20 minutes
  • 1/4 C Butter, melted (brown the butter and you won’t be sorry)

In a large bowl, mix together the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and the nuts (optional).  In another bowl, whisk the eggs, sour cream, milk and vanilla together.  Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ones until just combined.  Fold the bananas and raisins into the batter.  Stir in the melted butter.

Heat a griddle over medium heat and use additional butter to the griddle.  Laddle the batter on to the prepared griddle, cook the pancakes until bubbles form on the tip and then flip them.

Serve with drizzled honey (oh yes!) or syrup.

Makes about 2 dozen pancakes.  Take the remaining pancakes and place them on a cookie sheet in one layer.   Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for about a half an hour, once they are frozen,  place the pancakes in a Ziploc bag and put them back in the freezer until you are ready to eat them.  This will prevent the pancakes from sticking together inside the bag and will allow for easy reheat on a busy morning.

On a separate note, I’ve been eyeing the pasta attachment for my kitchenmaid mixer.  Does anyone have one of those?  Any tips?

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Lemon Crinkle Cookie

October 26, 2011

I know it’s fall and pumpkin season, but I needed to share this simple lemon cookie.  I found this recipe a few months ago and kept forgetting to make it.  I made it over the weekend while Meeshie was out spending the day with her friends.  This one is being added to my Christmas cookie rotation, it’s that good.

This cookie has a great outer layer of crunch brought about from rolling the dough in powdered sugar.  When I sampled the raw dough (I know I shouldn’t with the raw egg, but I’m old enough to remember that was the best part of helping bake), it tasted like lemonade.  The inside of the cookie is light and soft a perfect contrast to the crunch, and because the powdered sugar is baked into the cookie, there is less mess.  A perfect grown-up cookie.

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

  • 1/2 C Butter, softened
  • 1 C Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 t Vanilla
  • 1 Egg
  • zest and juice from one Lemon
  • 1/4 t Salt
  • 1/4 t Baking Powder
  • 1/8 t Baking Soda
  • 1 1/2 C Flour
  • 1/4 C Powdered Sugar

In a large bowl, cream butter and granulated sugar together until light and fluffy.  Whip in vanilla, egg, lemon zest and lemon juice.  Scrape sides and mix again.  Stir in the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix again briefly.  Pour the powdered sugar into a bowl or plate.  Roll a golf ball sized amount of dough into a ball and roll in the powdered sugar.  Place about an inch apart on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake for 9-11 minutes or until the bottoms just begin to brown and the cookies no longer appear shiny.  Remove from the oven and cool cookies for 3 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Makes 2 dozen cookies.

Speaking of Christmas cookies, am I the only one that tries to add at least one new recipe a year to share?

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OMG It’s Pumpkin

October 22, 2011

We love cinnamon rolls.  I make them a few times a year, keep them in the freezer and then reheat them for a quick morning treat about once a month.  I even give them away at Christmas.  There’s nothing like the smell of cinnamon rolls while they bake in the oven, especially on Christmas morning.

But it’s also the time of the year when I obsess over pumpkin: pumpkin whoopie pies, pumpkin pie, pumpkin roll, pumpkin muffin donuts are just a few of the things I love to make.  I saw this recipe for pumpkin cinnamon rolls and I knew that I had to make it.  The recipe needed to be altered due to the fact that I no longer have a bread machine, plus I doubled it to so that I wouldn’t have any leftover canned pumpkin.

All I can say is wow!  This is so good.  It’s an unexpected twist on a favorite.  I’m looking forward to enjoying this for breakfast the morning of Thanksgiving, too.  It’s a perfect make ahead dish that will really get you in the mood for fall.

If you do plan to freeze them, ice them and then wap them in Saran and then foil.  Reheat them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes if thawed and about 20-25 minutes if frozen.  You’ll know they’re ready to take out of the oven once you start to smell the cinnamon.  Just keep an eye on them, you don’t want them to dry out, you’re just re-heating them!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

  • Dough:
  • 1  C Milk
  • 4 1/2 t Dry Yeast (two packets)
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 1-14 oz can Pumpkin
  • 2 T Butter
  • 6 1/2 C Flour
  • 1 C Brown Sugar
  • 2 t Salt
  • 1 1/2 t Cinnamon
  • 1/2 t Ground Ginger
  • 1/2 t Nutmeg
  • Filling:
  • 1/2 C Butter, melted
  • 1 C Brown Sugar
  • 4 t Cinnamon
  • 1 t Nutmeg
  • 1 t Ground Ginger
  • 1 t Allspice
  • Frosting:
  • 8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1/2 C Butter, softened
  • 1/2 C Maple Syrup
  • 1 t Vanilla
  • 4 C Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 t Pumpkin Pie Spice

Combine the milk, butter and sugar in a sauce pan.  Scald the milk mixture.  Set aside for about 25-30 minutes.  Add the dry yeast  to the milk mixture and let it set for a minute.  Add the eggs, flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and pumpkin to the yeast mixture.  Blend well, the dough will be tacky.  Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a damp towel and let rise for an hour.

Generously flour the counter, place half of the dough on the counter and knead slightly.  Roll the dough into a 9×12 rectangle.  Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice in a small bowl.  Using your hands, spread some of the melted butter on the dough to cover , then add half of the brown sugar mixture.  Starting from longest side of the dough, tightly roll the dough toward you making sure to seal it once you have finished rolling it.  Use a sharp knife and cut the dough into 1 to 1 1/2 inch pieces.  Using some of the melted butter grease your pan(s).  I use the round aluminum cake pans, but use whatever you feel comfortable with.  I like the pans because they are easy to freeze, they allow for about 8 rolls and they are easy to give away.  Repeat with remaining dough.

Cover and let rise again for another hour.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

While they are baking, make the frosting.  Cream the butter and cream cheese together.  Add the syrup, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and powdered sugar.  Spread over the warm rolls.

This makes 4 pans of cinnamon rolls.

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Chicken Tortilla Soup

October 20, 2011

These last few fall days have really turned cold and wet.  It’s perfect soup weather, as far as I’m concerned.  My husband and I love soup.  I can eat it every day for dinner with some nice fresh bread.  Meeshie, on the other hand, is not a fan of soup, which I know I’ve mentioned before.  Is it wrong of me to then name some soup chili so that she’ll eat it?  Maybe, but what white lie have you told to get your children to eat a meal?

My husband has been asking me to make him some chicken tortilla soup that’s cheesy.  What I like about this recipe is that it’s cheesy, but that doesn’t take over the soup.  I love how the masa harina adds that underlying tortilla flavor.  This soup can be served with tortilla chips, sour cream, cheese and jalapeno.

Oh, and Meeshie ate it, although she did say she liked my regular chili much better.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • 1 T Vegetable Oil
  • 2 large boneless skinless Chicken Breasts (about 1 lb)
  • 1/2 C Onion, diced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced and seeded (optional)
  • 4 C Chicken Broth
  • 1 C Mesa Harina
  • 2 C Water
  • 1-28 oz Crushed Tomatoes
  • 2 t Chili Powder
  • 2 t Cumin
  • 1 t Tabasco
  • 2 C Sharp Cheddar, shredded
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3/4 C-1 C Sour Cream

Add the oil to a large pot over medium heat.   Add the chicken breasts to the pot, after seasoning with pepper and brown for 4-5 minutes per side.  Remove the chicken from the pot.

Add the onions, jalapeno and garlic to the pot and saute for about 2 minutes, until tender.  Slowly add the chicken broth, chili powder, and cumin.  Combine the masa harina with the 2 C of water, whisking until well blended.  Slowly add the masa mixture to the broth mixture.  Allow to simmer and continue to simmer for 5 minutes.  This will eliminate the raw taste of the mesa harina.  Once the mixture has simmered, add the crushed tomatoes, tabasco, and the cheese.  Cut the chicken into small pieces and add them to the pot.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes.  Add the sour cream, stirring through and serve.

Serve with sour cream, tortilla chips, cheese, jalapeno, and green onion, if desired.

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Halloween Fun

October 17, 2011

Meeshie had her Girl Scout Halloween party today.  I’ve been working on the costume and finished it over the weekend.  She was a demented or evil fairy.  I made a black tutu and spray painted some pink wings black.  On the big day, she’ll also have glitter sprayed in her hair and on her body along with some mascara.  Girls!

I’ve taken a few pictures of the skirt, but haven’t had a chance to take care of the wings yet.  I’m hoping to get the whole thing together this weekend and share.

I did make these great cookies for the party, though.  My friend Carol gave me the recipe last week.  She made them last year and brought them to work, they were a big hit and I can see why.  Unfortunately, last year Meeshie’s school instituted a new policy with regard to snacks-they don’t allow any of them.  So, although in the past I’ve made some really cute teats: ghosts from the oreo truffles, pumpkins from small blocks of cheese, and witches hats with fudge stripe cookies and kisses, I was hesitant to make these.  But then I remembered the party with the Girl Scouts!

Thanks Carol!  These were a big hit with the girls and us!

Monster Finger Cookies

  • 1 C Butter, softened
  • 1 C Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 t Almond Extract
  • 1 1/2 t Vanilla Extract
  • 2 3/4 C Flour
  • 1 t Baking Powder
  • 1 t Salt
  • 1/4 C Almond Slices or Whole
  • 1 tube Red or Black Decorating Gel
  • Green Food Coloring

Beat the butter, sugar, egg, and extracts together.  In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture.  Add the green food coloring until you achieve the desired color.  (You can skip this step if you want them to look more mummy-like.)  Divide the dough in half, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Take out one half of the dough at a time and break off a small amount of dough.  Roll out between your fingers to create the knuckle shape.  Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet (or grease the pan).  Use a butter knife to make indents in several places to resemble the wrinkles in a finger.  Bake in a 325 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.  Let cool.

Once cooled, squeeze the red or black decorating gel onto the tip of each finger and gently press an almond on top so the gel oozes out from underneath.  I also used some red gel to give some of the fingers a cut, just be creative!

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

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Swedish Flop

October 11, 2011

Have you ever had swedish flop?  It’s a coffee cake with a crumble top, powdered sugar and cream filling.  If you’re lucky, you can find it with a fruit layer added to the cream filling, usually strawberry.  When I was a girl, it was one of our favorite desserts.  Our local grocery store sold it in the bakery section.  It always reminds me of my younger brother because he always requested it for his birthday.

I had forgotten about it until recently when I saw it at the grocery store.  I’m not sure how I came across it because I rarely go into the bakery section, but there I was and I bought it.  I thought that Meeshie would enjoy the crumbly filled goodness of this dessert, and she did.  Then once I got it home and ate it, I knew that I had to make it.

Except I had a hard time finding a recipe.  Apparently swedish flop is a regional thing.   Every where I looked, people were looking for the recipe but not many out of the Chicagoland area had heard of it.  In my quest, I found a recipe that sounded close to what I wanted so I used it as a starting point.  I don’t even remember where I found the recipe, so I can’t even link you back to the page.  The crumb topping smelled heavenly, but wasn’t quite what I was looking for.  No recipe mentioned fruit, and since I didn’t go to the store for this, I used some strawberry jam.

The filling reminded me of a frosting from my childhood.  Have you ever made frosting which requires you to cook some flour and milk on the stove to form a paste before adding sugar and butter?  I have.  We call it French Cream and I’ve made so many times I’ve lost count.  It’s a denser frosting that when whipped properly tastes light but works well for decorating instead of buttercream.  It was always our go to way to frost any cake and was super easy to adapt for other flavors.  I’m talking orange or strawberry Wyler’s instead of sugar for a flavorful frosting.

Well this filling incorporates that method.  The key to the filling (or frosting) is to make sure that the flour and milk mixture incorporates itself into a paste, much like mashed potatoes.  Then you must make sure that the paste is cold, stick it in the fridge or freezer if needed before incorporating it into the rest of butter mixture.

Swedish Flop

  • Cake
  • 1 package Dry Yeast (2 1/4 t)
  • 1/2 C Milk
  • 1/2 C Butter, cold
  • 2 C Flour
  • 1/2 t Salt
  • 2 Egg Yolks, beaten
  • 1 t Vanilla
  • Topping
  • 1/4 C Butter, cold
  • 1/3 C Brown Sugar
  • 1 t Cinnamon
  • Filling
  • 3 T Flour
  • 1/4 t Salt
  • 1/2 C Milk
  • 1/2 C Butter, softened
  • 1/2 C Powdered Sugar
  • 1 t Vanilla
  • Additional Powdered Sugar for dusting

In a small sauce pan, scald the milk and set aside for 20 minutes to cool.  While the milk is cooling, sift the flour and salt and then cut the butter into small pieces.  Cut the butter and flour mixture together until incorporated into pea sized pieces.  Add the yeast to the milk and let sit for 5 minutes or until frothy.  Mix the eggs and vanilla together.  Add the yeast mixture to the eggs and then combine that into to the flour mixture.  Form into a ball, leave in the bowl, cover and refrigerate for one hour.

While the dough is resting, combine the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon together until crumbly.  After an hour, remove the dough from the bowl and spread into a well-greased pan.  I used a 10×7 inch pan, but you the recipe called for a 8×8 inch one.  I’ve always had sweedish flop in the shape of a long coffee cake not a square one so that’s why I used the longer pan.  Spread the topping over the dough.  Cover and let rest in a warm place for one hour.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes.  Remove and cool.

While the cake is cooling, prepare the topping. Mix together the flour and salt in a small sauce pan over low heat.  Add the milk and stir constantly until the flour mixture has thickened to a paste.  Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.  Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla together until light and fluffy.  Gradually add the cooled flour mixture.  Mix until creamy.  Split the cake in half length-wise and spread the filling on the one layer.  Add the top layer and sprinkle with powdered sugar.  You can add a layer of fruit such as jam on top of the filling before adding the top layer if you like.

Enjoy!

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Cheeseburger Chili

October 9, 2011

I made cheeseburger soup a while ago.  I made it and then the weather got so warm that I forgot about it.  Then I made it again and remembered that I had not shared it.  When I made it, I told Meeshie that it was cheeseburger chili instead of soup.  She won’t eat any soup, but she loves chili.  Plus, the consistency did reminds us of chili instead of soup.

The beauty of this soup is that it’s quick.  It can be whipped up during the week for supper.  It doesn’t have to sit on the stove for a long time to taste good.  Oh, and it tastes exactly like cheeseburger.  I think it’s the combination of the mustard and Worcestershire that does it.

We love soup, my husband and I.  We could easily eat soup everyday of the week once the weather turns cold.  We don’t, though, because Meeshie doesn’t like soup and I don’t like to make more than one thing for dinner.  I’m not a restaurant, I’m a mom that has a full-time job doing the best I can.

Serve this with some really fresh crusty bread and savor the fact that you are eating a soup/chili that tastes just like a cheeseburger!

Cheeseburger Chili Soup

  • 1 T Olive Oil
  • 1 C White Onion, diced
  • 1 lb Ground Sirloin
  • 1 T Flour
  • 3 T Tomato Paste
  • 1 T Mustard
  • 1  T Worcestershire
  • 1/4 C Sour Cream
  • 1-14 1/2 oz can Beef Broth
  • 1-10 1/2 oz can Beef Consomme
  • 6-8 oz shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 6 slices Bacon
  • 1 C Tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 C Green Onions, diced

Cook bacon until crispy, chop and set aside.  While bacon is cooking, add olive oil to a stock pot.  Add onions and cook for about three minutes.  Add the ground sirloin and cook until browned.  Once, browned add the flour, tomato paste, mustard, Worcestershire, salt and pepper, and sour cream.  Stir until everything is coated.  Slowly add the beef broth and consomme.  Let simmer and add the cheese, and half of the bacon.  Continue to cook until the cheese has melted.  Serve with remaining bacon, tomatoes and green onion.

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I’m Wingin’ It!

October 7, 2011

We are lovers of wings in our house.  My husband loves them because he thinks they are such a guy food.  Like watch some hockey or football on television and enjoy some good wings guy food.  Meeshie loves them because they’re perfectly proportioned.  I like them because they’re good and there are a million ways to make them.

Sometimes we grill them.  Sometimes we roast them in the oven.  Sometimes we make them extra spicy.  Sometimes we marinade them for a few hours before we prepare them.  Sometimes we deep fry them.  One thing is always the same, though, we always devour them.  They are perfect as an appetizer for a group, or a meal for you and your honey.

This recipe came to me from my friend Nicole.  And even though she and I have never met, I know we could on like a house on fire.  Plus, I think that her husband and mine would get along very well.  They like a lot of the same foods.  When she posted this recipe, I could not wait to make it.

This recipe has great make a head potential if you’re having a gathering.  I can see cooking the wings in the crock pot the day before and then broiling them right before serving the day of your party.  Have I mentioned how forgiving it is too?  I seem to keep forgetting to add the ginger and garlic at the beginning of the cooking process and remember them about an hour later.

I drizzled the sauce on the wings and spread it with the back of a spoon, making sure not to have the spoon touch the sauce in the bowl.  Then I served the remaining sauce on the side with the wings, along with some sour cream.

Slow Cooker Sticky Wings

  • 3/4 C packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 C soy sauce
  • 1 T minced or grated fresh ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 t cayenne pepper
  • 4 lbs whole chicken wings, (Use kitchen scissors or a sharp knife to separate wings at each joint. Discard the wingtips and cook the remaining two sections)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Vegetable oil spray
  • 1/4 C water
  • 1/4 C tomato paste

Stir 1/4 C of the sugar, 1 T soy sauce, ginger, garlic and 1/4 t cayenne pepper into crock pot. Season chicken with salt and pepper, add to slow cooker and toss to coat. Cover and cook until chicken is tender, about 4 hours on low.

Position oven rack 10 inches from broiler element and preheat broiler. Place wire rack in aluminum foil-lined rimmed baking sheet and spray with vegetable oil spray. Transfer chicken to prepared baking sheet and discard braising liquid in the slow cooker.

Combine remaining 1/2 cup sugar, 3 T soy sauce, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, water and tomato paste in a medium bowl. Brush the chicken with half the mixture and broil until lightly charred and crisp, about 10-15 minutes. Flip chicken
over, brush with remaining mixture and broil until lightly charred and crisp on second side, about 5-10 minutes.

Serve them alone or as a companion to your favorite spicy wings.

Here’s the original post.

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Raisin Oatmeal Cookie Muffins

October 4, 2011

I’m always looking for a great breakfast meal.  I especially love a grab and go one.  That’s why the muffin was invented, right?  To grab and go on those mornings when you don’t have time to either sit down and eat or you don’t have time.  A muffin is its own package and you can either eat it in your car, or you can eat it when you get to work.

This muffin brings two great things together, cookies and muffins.  As a matter of fact, I have an oatmeal cookie pancake recipe that I now have to make this weekend.

I’m wondering if you are a raisin soaker?  I can say that I’m a fan of soaking your raisins.  I like that a simple step can add so much to a recipe.  That extra level of plumpness really adds something to the recipe.  I like to soak them in warm water for at least a half an hour, but that’s your call.

These are a perfect companion to these cool fall mornings.  I can also see that the raisin could be replaced by dried cherries, strawberries, or blueberries.  I suppose you could use cranberries, but I’m not a fan of them, but if you do make them that way, I hope you share.

Raisin Oatmeal Cookie Muffins

  • 4 C Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
  • 2 C Flour
  • 1 1/2 t Baking Powder
  • 1/2 t Baking Soda
  • 1 t Salt
  • 2 t Cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 C Butter, softened
  • 1 C Sugar
  • 1 C Brown Sugar, packed
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 t Vanilla
  • 1 C Sour Cream
  • 1 1/2 C Raisins

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  In another bowl beat the butter and sugars until fluffy.  Add the vanilla and beat in the eggs, one at a time.   Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.  Add in the sour cream and then add the raisins.  The batter will resemble wet cookie batter.  Measure the batter into a prepared muffin tin (I don’t use paper liners, but feel free) about 3/4 full.

Bake in a 375 degrees oven for 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden and a cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean.  Transfer to a wire rack and allow them to cool completely.

Thanks studentmamacook for posting this great recipe!

Linked here today!  Whoe doesn’t love maple?  And maple muffins?!

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