What’s for supper?

Here is what we’re having this evening (my husband reads my blog, so now he’ll know what to get in the mood to eat  ):

supper  
Turkey loaf, steamed broccoli, baked potatoes, and crescent rolls

We eat at 6:30, so around 4:00, I’ll get the meat in the oven (30 seconds). Around 5:00, I’ll scrub the potatoes and wrap them in tin foil and put them in the oven (5 min). Then around 6:00, Lexi and I will set the table, Lexi will make the crescent rolls, I’ll get the broccoli to cooking, and we’ll get ‘extras’ on the table like butter, jelly, S&P, and sour cream. Around 6:15, I’ll get the meat and potatoes out and put the rolls in, pour water, dish stuff out, and we’re ready to eat!

This is one of the easiest meals there is! I’ll get a picture of it on the table this evening, edit the post to add it in, and see if you think it looks like I fussed over it for longer than 35 min!

And, another good thing, cleanup is a snap because even with 4 things, I’ll only have dirtied one baking sheet (rolls) and one kettle (broccoli). The potatoes will have tin foil and the meat has it’s own disposable container…
supper meat

Edit:
Here’s my plate at mealtime…
plate And it actually didn’t take 35 minutes. I had time to kill hit-n-miss between 6:00 and 6:30.

Cooking From Scratch, er, Scraps

scraps1

Do you ever do this? Go leafing thro’ a magazine and clip out the recipes that reach out and grab you before throwing the magazine away? Then what? I have all mine in a folder and my goal is to try every single one and then make a decision between A or B:
A. Throw it away
B. Paste it into my ‘blank’ cookbook (that isn’t so blank anymore)   In case you don’t know what a blank cookbook is, it’s set up like a cookbook with all the different categories (breads, meats, main dishes, veggies, desserts, etc), but the pages are either lined or blank. I got mine from mimmistidbits about 5 years ago and love it!
scraps2 scraps3   

The clipped recipe I’m featuring this time is:

Pecan Cinnamon Buns    …from a Bon Apetit magazine

Filling:
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup pecans, toasted, chopped
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
Combine everything except the butter in medium bowl. Stir in melted butter (filling will be dry and crumbly).

Dough:
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 1/2 cups (or more) all purpose flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
9 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, divided (I divided it before it was melted, then melted each part separately…
pcb1
Preheat oven to 425. Spray 10″ diameter cake pan with 2″ high sides with nonstick spray. Whisk 2 1/2 cups flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Stir buttermilk and 6 Tbsp melted butter into dry ingredients until blended. Transfer dough to lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, adding more flour by teaspoonfuls if dough is too sticky, about 8 turns (I added probably at least an extra 1/2 cup). Roll dough out on lightly floured surface to 12×10″ rectangle. Brush dough with 1 Tbsp melted butter.
pcb2
Sprinkle filling evenly over dough, leaving 1″ plain border on 1 long side. Press filling gently into dough to adhere.
pcb3
Beginning at long end opposite plain border, roll up dough jelly roll style. Pinch border of dough to seal. Cut dough crosswise into 8 equal slices. 
pcb4
Place 1 bun in center of prepared cake pan; surround with remaining 7 buns, spacing apart (buns will expand to fill spaces during baking). Brush tops of buns with remaining 2 Tbsp melted butter.
pcb5
Bake buns until golden brown, about 23 minutes (some filling may come out sides of buns). Cool buns in pan on rack 5 min.
pcb6
Drizzle icing (recipe below) over warm buns, then serve warm or at room temperature.  
pcb7 The only round pan I had that was big enough was my springform pan. Turned out to be handy because I just took the sides off and the rolls were easily accessible!

Mascarpone Icing
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. mascarpone cheese (an Italian cream cheese available at many supermarkets)
2 Tbsp. buttermilk
Whisk in medium bowl until smooth.

And now the real question: Will this recipe… A. Get thrown away or B. Go in my blank cookbook?

The answer is A. One reason is because I don’t keep unsalted butter, buttermilk, and mascarpone cheese on hand, so I’d always be substituting salted butter, reg milk with vinegar, and cream cheese anyway. Also, while they were really good, they weren’t quite as light as reg cinnamon rolls.

One thing that I really liked about this recipe, though, was that I didn’t have to get up early to have hot fresh cinnamon rolls for breakfast! No waiting for it to rise twice!

Frying pan? Who needs a frying pan?!

grilled cheese

You flat-top stove owners, have you ever done this? Works like a charm! I’ve been doing this for years and my stove top still shines up as good as new. Turn the heat pretty low… you can actually see where I have it.

I am still using a kettle for the tomato soup though. Ha. …although, I’ve had boil-overs of unwatched tomato soup that would look like I was trying it without.

This is the only thing I do right on the burner though. What about you?

“Give Me 5 or Fewer”

I just really like that section in my Quick Cooking Annual Cookbooks… with only 5 ingredients in a recipe, there’s a better chance that I’ll have them all on hand.   I do have a cookbook that most recipes have about 15-25 ingredients… the stuff in that cookbook dances with flavor! I’ll feature it sometime. But for now, we have…

Easy Cherry Tarts       …from the 2003 Quick Cooking Annual Cookbook

1 tube (8 oz) refrigerated crescent rolls
1 pkg (3 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 cup canned cherry pie filling (I used strawberry, it’s better  And I also put it in the food processor to get rid of the big chunks)
1/4 tsp. almond extract

Place crescent dough on a lightly floured surface; seal seams and perforations.
tart1
Cut into 2″ circles. Place in greased miniature muffin cups.
tart2
In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Place about 1/2 tsp in each cup.
tart3
Combine pie filling and extract; place about 2 tsp in each cup.
tart4
Bake at 375 for 12-14 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool. Refrigerate until serving. Yield: 2 dozen.
tart5
tart6   These little things are GOOD! And yeah, easy too! But mine did get a bit messy. The filling bubbled over out of the cups and they didn’t look near as neat as they do in the cookbook.   But I would recommend them!

Traditional Scandinavian Christmas Eve Dinner

This was definitely a highlight of 2007! Seth and Kris and Seth’s sister Melinda cooked a Scandinavian meal for our family on Christmas Eve. Seth and Mel are part Norwegian.

Here’s a sample of the meal…
scandinavian1

Starting at the top is Swedish Meatballs…
scandinavian swedish meatballs These were really good, and tasted pretty ‘American’.

Next (going clock-wise) is Lefse…
scandinavian lefse We spread butter on it, like you do on bread, rolled it up and ate it. I could’ve eaten more of this!

Next is Swedish Tea Ring and cheese…
scandinavian tea ring These were as good as they looked, comparable to glazed cinnamon rolls.

Next is Fauteemons (the English term for that is ‘love knots’)…
scandinavian fauteemons This was a pastry-type thing with powdered sugar on. Tiffany ate several of these! They were really good!

Next is just a piece of cheese from the tea ring plate.

Next is Christmas Potato Casserole…
scandinavian potatoes This was my favorite! I’m not sure if it is a Scandinavian food, but Kris said her MIL makes it along with the meal. I don’t know what all was in it, but it was SO good!

Next is Cream of Mush…
scandinavian cream of mush This was really good too, but a little more bland. It’s rice and a bunch of milk, simmered for a few hours. The rice gets so soft that the grains aren’t recognizable anymore. The dish is coated with thick cooked cream, then the mush is poured in and butter drizzled over.

And in the middle is Lutefisk…
scandinavian lutefisk The first clue that you might not want to take alot of this is the smell!  I took a very small portion and wasn’t tempted at all with seconds! It’s a very strong fish flavor. It seemed pretty common that people don’t like it until they acquire a taste for it. 

Butter, butter, butter!!!!
scandinavian butter This was a dish of melted butter on the table to drizzle over the lutefisk (it needed all the help it could get! ) and over the cream of mush. Lots of butter was used with this meal… mmmmm!!! 

And 2 more things that I didn’t get a picture of with the rest of the meal are the orange salad…
scaninavian orange
and the Triple Layer Chocolate Silk Pie…
scandinavian pie
scandinavian pie piece   
These were not traditional, they were just to go with the meal… like we needed more food! I think Kris actually invented the silk pie recipe.

Just a couple extra pictures yet…

scandinavian table The table is set.

scandinavian cooking Cooking the meal… Seth and Melinda. I didn’t get a good picture of Kris, who actually made most of the meal.

Are any of you familiar with any of these foods? I’m thinking about moving over to Sweden or Norway!