Think Spring with Food… aka playing with your food :)

Posted on April 18, 2011
Filed Under Breads Biscuits and Rolls, Cooks in Training, Holiday cooking

You can do so much more with food than just eating it. I mean, yeah, eating is usually the end result, but how about having a little fun first? ???? It comes naturally, really. Kids do it without being taught… I remember using Bugles for fingernails, biting eyes and a mouth out of a round slice of bologna and using it for a mask, making roads with stirred up ice cream, shooting baskets with popcorn or M&Ms (in which the basketball net is your or your sibling’s mouth), and best of all was peanut butter playdoh… you could form a bowl and spoon and peas in the bowl, and then actually eat the ‘peas’, and well, eat the spoon and the bowl, too.

Now, I play with food in a more grown-up way. So does my mom. She made garden meatloaf a couple weeks ago for a group of school children.
spring-meatloaf.jpg

The middle 3 rows are obviously corn, tomatoes, and peas. The 2 end rows are potatoes and carrots, which are there, but underground, of course. :) She made sure to put a potato and a carrot against the edge of the pan so you could see it from the outside. And that’s not all… she put in mushroom pieces and the white ends of green onions and told the kids to look for slugs and worms. They had a heyday, digging through their meatloaf.

She also made bird-shaped dinner rolls, which were also a real hit.
spring-bird-rolls.jpg

When Mom emailed these pictures to us girls, my sister Jan wondered if she had taken progress pictures. I thought that was a bit strange that Jan would need progress pictures because she has proven herself quite capable of creating in the kitchen with no directions (more on that later). Mom didn’t have progress pictures, so, Jan, this portion of the post is just for you. Awww. :)

Roll a rope about 7″ long. Tie it in a knot. Fan out one end and make little snips for tail feathers. Put a sliver of almond in the head for the beak and cookies decorations or bits of raisins or something for the eyes… I used cloves.
spring-bird-rolls-making.jpg

spring-bird-rolls-unbaked.jpg

Let them rise and bake them. And TA-DA! fat little birds awaiting butter and jelly. Ok, that may be an unappetizing choice of words.
spring-bird-rolls-baked.jpg

If you notice that the one bird (lower right in the picture with 3 unbaked in a pan up there) has some brown on it… I was making mini cinnamon rolls with this same bread dough, so I made a cinnamon roll bird by rolling the dough extra thin and into about a 4″ wide strip, spreading on butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon, rolling it up, cutting about 7″ off, and knotting it the same as the rolls above. Then, glaze it.

———————————————————————————————————-

Another Spring thing we did was Bird Nests. This portion should be a Cooks in Training post, since my little cooks did these. Melt 1 cup of chocolate chips with about 1/2 cup of peanut butter and mix it with 2 cups chow mein noodles. You can either spoon them onto a plate of some sort and then make a little indent for the eggs to go in, or you can do it like the girls did and put them in little containers to keep them round. They put them in the freezer for about 10 minutes to harden the chocolate, then popped them out of the container with a spoon, put eggs in and put a chic— oops, I mean, a BIRD on top. Really, who ever heard of a little yellow chick sitting on a nest… of COURSE that’s a canary! :)
spring-nest1.jpg

spring-nest2.jpg
Uhhhh, is that what I think it is in Tiffany’s apron? How did part of her nest get there?!

spring-nest3.jpg

spring-nest4.jpg

Then, they took them in the dining room to eat some and Lexi in a very excited voice said, “Mom! Come look! If you’d ever make a river cake with beavers, this would make a PERFECT dam! See? Doesn’t that look just like a dam? All I did was flipped my nest upside down!” So, there you go… an idea for all those of you out there who are planning beaver cakes. :) Then, Tiffany flipped hers upside down on her chic-, uh, canary, and said, “Or, it would make a good hat too.” I think it looks more like a turtle shell, considering the size ratio of hat to bird. Wow, the possibilities are endless with this chocolate chow mein noodle combo! Ha.
spring-nest5.jpg
It tastes really good too. Could forget about the whole nest thing and just make these things and drop them on wax paper until they harden and you’d have a yummy snack. I’d double the amount of chocolate and peanut butter for that though. Meanwhile, Megan sits in her highchair, healthily eating peeled apple chunks.

—————————————————————————————————————–

Now, I want to add one more thing yet, even though it has nothing to do with Spring. It does, however, have to do with my sister Jan (who I mentioned up there) and playing with food (which I mentioned up there).
Once upon a time, Jan won a contest. It was a Make Real Food Look Like Something Else contest from a few years ago on my cooking blog. If you feel like checking out the entries, here’s the link: Contest
Jan won it fair and square, I might add… no rigging of votes by her big sister.
Here was her entry:
contest-jan-teacup-set.jpg
She has that miniature tea set  (in the back) as decor in her kitchen and made a little knock-off set from it. It’s all cake and frosting except the ‘coffee’ is chocolate syrup and the cup/pot  handles are piped chocolate covered with frosting. She had some truffles on hand, so she put 3 on a plate to go with the coffee. So, this lovely detailed 5-piece tea set coming from a lady who sees bird-shaped rolls and asks for progress pictures?! C’mon, Jan! :)

As I was looking at these contest pictures again, I saw this, so I’ll throw it in here because it DOES actually have to do with Spring. You could serve this for dessert at your garden-themed party…
contest-dirt-pudding.jpg
Dirt pudding, in which one of the ingredients is crushed Oreo cookies. I think this entry was submitted by Lavonne.

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

In other news, not really related to anything, but just something I’m excited about… I get to make a Lightning McQueen birthday cake tomorrow afternoon! I found this post with directions how to do it. ???? The one tomorrow will have cake under the racetrack and maybe a couple other differences. We’ll see how it all turns out, but the thing with having made it before is that I can learn from my mistakes. :)

Comments

7 Responses to “Think Spring with Food… aka playing with your food :)”

  1. Jan on April 18th, 2011 11:19 am

    Thanks, Kay! I’m honored.

  2. Beth on April 18th, 2011 11:31 am

    Neat-o! This being.awesome.in.the.kitchen obviously runs in the family! Loved the post & am looking forward to seeing how you could possibly improve on the Lightning McQueen cake! Have fun with it.

  3. Rosanne on April 18th, 2011 12:52 pm

    Have fun making the cake! And the garden meatloaf is so adorable!

  4. Liz on April 18th, 2011 8:46 pm

    If you would live closer a certain nephew would be begging for a Lightning McQueen cake. Well, he might beg anyway because he wouldn’t get the reasoning of not being able to transport a cake very good.

  5. Audrey on April 19th, 2011 8:33 am

    I remember when Jan won that competition and I was in AWE of her tea set. So pretty!

    I love that you are posting more often, Kay. I really enjoy the way you write and the pictures you take of your cooking and baking!

  6. Renita on April 19th, 2011 3:46 pm

    I didn’t realize the “greatness” in the kitchen runs so much in the family, WOW! The tea set is awesome. So when are you gonna show your brothers or dads’ work in the kitchen? Or did the girls “get it all”? :-) I enjoy the posts. Thanks.

  7. Kay on April 20th, 2011 7:21 pm

    Uhhh, Liz… the directions are right there! Make Lightning McQueen for his 3rd birthday! Worst case scenario, it would flop and you’d grab a DQ cake instead (did I just call a DQ cake ‘worst case scenario?!!!), but it would most likely end up great, and easier than you thought.

    Renita, my brother can make trifles that look like thick disks laying in the bowl. Seriously, they are so neat and perfect. He’s pretty handy with the grill and gourmet desserts and coffees.

Easter snack – Cooks in Training #6

Posted on April 13, 2009
Filed Under Breads Biscuits and Rolls, Cooks in Training, Holiday cooking

Ideally, I’d plan ahead and make Easter food to feature BEFORE Easter, huh? Well, sigh, that didn’t really happen this time.

I forget where I saw these little rolls… it was online last year sometime. The reason these are called an Easter snack is because they’re meant to symbolize the empty tomb. It’s pretty neat how it works. You wrap a marshmallow inside a crescent roll and while it bakes, the marshmallow melts and lines the inside of the crescent roll, leaving it empty inside!

I don’t have an actual recipe, but my little cooks will show you how it’s done…

Unroll refrigerated crescent rolls and separate into triangles. Butter the trianges.
easter1.jpg

Put a marshmallow on each crescent roll and sprinkle with cinnamon.
easter2.jpg

Fold the dough over and around till the marshmallow is all enclosed. Pinch seams to seal.
easter3.jpg

easter4.jpg

Bake at 375 for 12 minutes. And this is how they look! A couple of them were open, not sure if it was supposed to be like that or if the seams weren’t pinched shut well enough.
easter5.jpg

easter6.jpg

I hope you all had a happy Easter. We did. It started with an outdoor sunrise service at church. It was a perfect Easter morning… clear skies and a beautiful sunrise. The coffee, hot chocolate, donuts, and campfires were a nice addition too. :)

He is risen! Hallelujah!

Comments

2 Responses to “Easter snack – Cooks in Training #6”

  1. Sharon on April 13th, 2009 7:32 am

    Cute! The sunrise service sounds neat. We used to do that some where I grew up… would love to do it again. Maybe WI is too cold for that?

  2. Mom Martin on April 14th, 2009 11:28 am

    I didn’t know they are called Easter snacks. I have the recipe. They are delicious!
    Never went to a sunrise service…always wanted to do that. I guess it’s still too cold out here at Easter time.

Chili Soup and Fry Bread

Posted on January 27, 2009
Filed Under Breads Biscuits and Rolls, Soups

When it looks like this outside,
winter.jpg

it oughta look like this inside:
chili-fry-bread.jpg

“Huh?! Shouldn’t it be chili soup and cornbread?” you say.

Nope.

I do like chili soup with cornbread too. But not nearly as good as chili soup with fry bread!

I grew up with that combo. ‘Chili soup and fry bread’ was like ‘peanut butter and jelly’ or ‘cake and ice cream’ or ‘donuts and coffee’… where one was, it was a given that the other would probably be there too. I wonder if my mom grew up with the chili-soup-and-fry-bread combo too. The reason I wonder that is because my fry bread recipe comes from my aunt Dar. She gave me a little collection of recipes when I got married and this was one of them. Aunt Dar and my mom are twins, complete with rhyming names… Darlene Fay and Marlene Kay (just a little tidbit from my family tree).

Navajo Indian Fry Bread …I’ll bet you’ve got all the ingredients on hand for this. :)

Printable recipe coming soon

4 cups flour
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 cups warm water

Mix by hand. Set aside in a covered bowl for a few hours. Take out small bowl of soft dough and, with hands, stretch and flatten into shape of a pancake, round and flat. Melt 1 cup of shortening in frying pan. Deep fry at 375 degrees.
fry-bread1.jpg

When it looks likes this,
fry-bread2.jpg

flip it over, browning on both sides.
fry-bread3.jpg
Makes 8 pieces, about 4″ in diameter. This, by the way, is a little saute pan. I only made a half batch of fry bread because they don’t make good leftovers, so I just used a little pan. Another really good thing to do with this fry bread is to coat it with cinnamon sugar as soon as you get it out of the frying pan. Would make a good breakfast side dish or an after school snack. Yum!

HOT Chili Soup …as in spicy. This recipe did not come from a cookbook. This is from my kitchen, exactly how I like chili soup… 

Printable recipe coming soon

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 of an onion, chopped
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp. flour
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
1 16 oz can hot chili beans, juice and all, do not drain
2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 cup canned hot jalepenos, chopped
several shakes of Tabasco sauce

Brown beef with onion. Stir in rest of ingredients.
chili.jpg

Simmer, covered, for 30 min. Serve with sour cream, shredded cheese, and FRY BREAD. :) You could adjust the spiciness of this to your liking, maybe you don’t like your nose to run while you’re eating. This isn’t very juicy. Or brothy. Or whatever you call it when it’s chili soup. That’s how I like it. You could always add more diced tomatoes or tomato juice.
chili2.jpg

Comments

8 Responses to “Chili Soup and Fry Bread”

  1. Monica on January 27th, 2009 10:19 am

    Your chili recipe looks alot like mine…I had to come up with a new recipe after I got married because my husband likes his spicy, too!! I use chili-ready tomatoes instead of regular diced tomatoes and a pack of chili seasoning. I used to use spicy chili seasoning, but the kids won’t eat that!! He sometimes adds hot sauce for more zip!! Not sure how he would like the fry bread….he’s pretty stuck on cornbread in his chili. Puts me in the mood to make chili again, since they’re calling for a winter storm tonight!!

  2. Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary on January 27th, 2009 5:55 pm

    Your fry bread reminds me of what we make here in New England….dough boys. We cover ours in cinnamon sugar…yum! Soup looks great!

  3. Kay on January 27th, 2009 6:04 pm

    Mmmm, Lisa! Mom used to make dough boys too! She baked her own bread and on bread-baking days, she’d save some extra dough and fry dough boys for us for after school snacks.

    Monica, I never saw chili-ready tomatoes! Will have to look for that next time.

  4. Sandra on January 27th, 2009 9:47 pm

    Yah that Indian Bread is a hit at our house too!!The other nite I made chili w/out the bread that was a mistake!!I believe the recipe comes from Grandma Hershey.I haven’t found a recipe for chili soup that I can make off a recipe that turns out the same every time.So I will try yours!!Do your girls eat this if its spicy?

  5. Kay on January 27th, 2009 9:56 pm

    Nope. The girls don’t eat it if it’s spicy. I don’t blame them, so I make something else for them, or take some out before putting the spice in.

  6. Sheila G. on February 19th, 2009 5:25 pm

    I’m making this for supper tonight. It’s been a chilly day(for us southerners that is! ???? Hubby is always looking for something to try in his Fry Daddy so I’m going to give the Fry Bread a trial run too. BTW-Occasion is spelled w/ only one ‘”s”.–I’m not being picky I just figured you might like to know.

  7. April on March 21st, 2009 6:02 am

    I know this is a bit late commenting… But we call that bread Bannock! We grew up in Canada, NW Ontario and that’s the native bread. They also use a slightly different recipe and bake it in a cast iron pan or other pan. I like it batter the way you featured and I’ve got to make it and introduce my children to it!
    I enjoyed reading your site… lots of new stuff and I like that. I tend to collect a lot of recipes and not got to use most of them! LOl.

  8. Simple Bread Recipe on June 18th, 2009 8:44 am

    I was pulled up short by the mention of your Aunt Dar, because I’m an Aunt Dar too and have never heard of another one. It’s good to know I’m not alone :) I was attracted by the bread recipe, but it was the soup that really appealed. That one’s going to be appearing on my table very soon – it looks scrummy!

Parmesan Breadsticks and what they turned into…

Posted on August 11, 2008
Filed Under Breads Biscuits and Rolls

As I was saying in the last post, we had breadsticks with our ham meal that was featured and they went into the ‘don’t make again’ department.

And as I’ve said hit-n-miss in previous posts, me and making yeast breads from scratch don’t go together too well.

I don’t know, do you think those 2 facts had anything to do with each other?

Parmesan Breadsticks …recipe from an Easy to Bake Easy to Make recipe card
Printable recipe
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 envelope (.25 oz) quick-rising yeast
3/4 tsp. salt
1 cup warm water (120F – 130F)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Mix water and olive oil in a small bowl; add to flour mixture. Beat w an electric mixer on low speed until moistened. Beat on medium speed until well blended, about 2 minutes. Gradually add remaining flour until a soft dough forms. Turn dough onto floured work surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes.
parm-breadsticks1.jpgCover; let rest 10 minutes. Coat 2 large baking sheets with cooking spray. Divide dough into 16 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 12″ rope. Place on prepared baking sheets.
parm-breadsticks2.jpg

Cover; let rise until almost double in size, about 20 minutes. Lightly brush breadsticks with egg white.
parm-breadsticks3.jpg

Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
parm-breadsticks4.jpg

Bake at 400 until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Makes 16 breadsticks. I made an entire batch of 16 breadsticks and put the other half (unbaked) in the freezer to see if it works to get them out, thaw them, let them rise, put egg white and Parmesan on them and bake them for fresh breadsticks at another meal.
parm-breadsticks5.jpg
Ah, don’t they look just delicious?! Well, they’re not. They were dry and not very flavorful and you could smell the olive oil.

Soooooo…

After we were done eating, while I was cleaning up, I made the rest into croutons. I think there were 4 or 5 left over out of 8. I cut them up into chunks with a scissors…
parm-breadsticks6.jpg

then added about 1/2 tsp. of Italian seasoning and a couple shakes of salt to 1/4 cup melted butter and poured it over the bread pieces and tossed it till they were all coated.
parm-breadsticks7.jpg

Then I baked them at 400 for 10 minutes, turning them over once during baking.
parm-breadsticks8.jpg
Mmmmm! They were great! Probably the BEST croutons I’ve ever had! Kind of a roundabout way of making them though. Maybe they were so good because I may have gone a little overboard on the butter. And what isn’t good, laden with butter?!

Oh, and by the way, those extra breadsticks I put in the freezer, you know, the other half of the batch? Someday, I’ll get them out, thaw them, let them rise, put egg white and Parmesan cheese on them, bake them, chunk them up, drown them in butter and Italian sesoning, and eat them on a salad or in soup. Or just plain.

Comments

7 Responses to “Parmesan Breadsticks and what they turned into…”

  1. Barb on August 11th, 2008 8:51 am

    Wow, those croutons look really good. I have made croutons before, and they are way better than the ones you buy at the store.

  2. Rene on August 11th, 2008 8:51 am

    Kay — they looked great if that counts for anything. I’ve never had luck with yeast breads either. The only thing I make with yeast that turns out is pizza dough and really it’s my bread machine that does all the work. Do you have one of those? I’ve never tried making yeast dough for anything other than the pizza but I just might have to try it now!

  3. Katrina on August 11th, 2008 11:52 am

    Sorry the breadsticks didn’t taste as good as they looked. Great use of something you didn’t like though by making croutons. They look and sound yummy, too.

  4. Katrina on August 11th, 2008 11:55 am

    Oh, and maybe try drowning the breadsticks in butter next time, you know, places like Pizza Hut who have really good breadsticks, that’s what they do, they literally sit them in a pool of melted butter (an old roommate used to work there). Just an idea! ????
    Pizza Hut’s pizza is the same, baked in a pizza pan with tons of oily butter in it. So good, though!

  5. Roxanna on August 11th, 2008 8:28 pm

    Doesn’t saving something like that just make you feel so frugal? When I do something like that I always want to call my grandma and tell her because she is always so proud of me when I don’t throw stuff away! :) They look de-lish!

  6. Karen Layman on August 11th, 2008 9:28 pm

    Hey…..like they say…..”when life gives you lemons….make lemonade”. :-)

  7. Francie on August 14th, 2008 6:37 pm

    Yay! Someone else has kitchen disasters too! But what a way to make lemonade out of lemons. The croutons do look yummy.

Italian Breadsticks

Posted on June 25, 2008
Filed Under Breads Biscuits and Rolls

I keep up with about 45 blogs via my Google Reader, but I’m slipping behind now and there are 73 unread posts. They keep faithfully updating (as opposed to me) and I only check them now and then. I do keep up with Pioneer Woman though, no matter how busy I am. And no, it’s not just so I don’t miss when she’s giving away a big beautiful KitchenAid mixer in the Cooking part of her blog!

Thanks for all your tips on the whoopie pie filling and I’m glad to know that a few others make more filling than the recipe calls for. :) I wasn’t sure if you’d agree when I said that’s what I’m going to do from now on or if you’d have fits at all the extra fattening unnecessary filling that would make.

Also, Lorinda (Hi!, by the way. Glad to see you on here!), you said you’re experimenting with homemade pizza and wondered if I have any recipes on here. I do have one recipe on here: Saturday Night Pizza. The crust is homemade and is just tops! One thing I don’t do (yet) is make my own pizza sauce. I have a friend Linda who is known for her good pizza sauce, so maybe I’ll ask her for her recipe and start with that one, then try a few others. So far, I’m just buying Ragu pizza sauce from the grocery store.

Now, for the breadsticks. This is one of those recipes that I made awhile ago, featured here, and didn’t like it how it was and said, “Next time, I’m going to…”. So, here is ‘next time’ and the breadsticks were much better AND easier and faster! These are the breadsticks I had pictured with the glazed baby carrots and the zesty mozzarella chicken.

carrots6.jpg

Italian Breadsticks

Printable recipe 

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella or Italian blend cheese
Italian seasoning
1 can (11 oz) refrigerated breadstick dough
1 egg
1 Tbsp. water

Preheat oven to 375. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray. Unroll dough; separate breadsticks. Cut each strip in half crosswise. On a lightly floured surface, with floured fingertips, twist the 2 halves together. Put the breadsticks on the baking sheet and press down on the ends to prevent unraveling.
italian1.jpg

Beat egg w water. Lightly brush tops of breadsticks with egg mixture.
italian2.jpg Yeah, I know, the picture is crooked. That’s because I was holding the camera with one hand and brushing with the other hand.

Sprinkle with cheese and Italian seasoning.
italian3.jpg

Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Serve warm.
italian4.jpg

I was just thinking, I wonder how it would work to put melted butter on in place of the egg and water. Would be easier and seems like it would taste at least as good. I’ll have to try some of each like that next time and compare them.

Comments

2 Responses to “Italian Breadsticks”

  1. Linda on June 25th, 2008 6:44 pm

    Here is a spaghetti and pizza sauce I love. I have access to tomato sauce in #10 cans so I often cook up a big batch. If using a #10 can I usually add a little water to come closer to a gallon. The extra sauce can be canned or frozen. I haven’t gone to the work to downsize the recipe. There is nothing like fresh cooked sauce.

    4 Quarts Tomato Sauce
    3 Tbsp. Minced Onions
    1/2 Cup Sugar
    1/4 Cup Olive Oil
    2 Tbsp. Salt
    2 Tbsp. Dried Basil
    2 Tbsp. Dried Oregano
    1 Tbsp. Italian Seasoning
    1 1/2 Tbsp. Minced Garlic

    Bring to a boil. Simmer and serve.

  2. Kay on June 28th, 2008 8:58 am

    Thanks alot for the pizza sauce recipe, Linda. I’ll have to give it a try!

Let’s make dinner rolls in different shapes and sizes!

Posted on June 9, 2008
Filed Under Breads Biscuits and Rolls

Are Mondays crazy for you, too? They always are for me and I’m not sure why. Extra cleaning up from the weekend, more laundry, lack of energy? Anyway, today was one of them days and so the post I wanted to post this morning is happening now instead.

Speaking of Mondays, my family rarely gets anything special for supper on Monday evenings. In fact, I almost always make the same thing… fried chicken breasts and veggies and bread to go with it. That meal can be made from chicken-still-in-the-freezer to eating in under a half hour. That timing fits in well with my Monday schedule. Or lack of schedule… I don’t want to give the wrong impression here.

Last Friday evening, we tried something new. My sister was here and my mom and dad were coming for supper, so we decided to get fancy with the rolls. And if they didn’t turn out, it didn’t really matter because our extra people for supper were comfy guests. And my mom always likes kitchen experiments anyway. I took 2 loaves of thawed frozen bread dough (does ‘thawed frozen’ make sense?) and split each loaf in half, making 4 equal 4ths (I think my English is having a Monday, too. 4 equal 4ths sounds weird).

rolls8.jpg

4th #1: Divide it into 4ths. Divide each 4th into 3rds. Put 3 3rds each into 4 ‘holes’ of a muffin tin. Did you at all get that? It should look like this:
rolls1.jpg Should’ve rolled each ball a bit longer to get them more smooth, but they looked better in real life. At least I didn’t notice the roughness.

4th #2: This was the easiest one. Divide it into 4 balls. They seemed too big, so I pinched some off of each ball and gave it to Lexi to play with. So, now that the 4 balls are the right size, put them in the muffin tin. Then take a scissors and snip it almost the whole way thro’, first one way, then the other way. It should look like this:
rolls2.jpg

4th #3: You’ll need a bit of help from 4th #4 for this one, so don’t save it till last! Put the 2 together and roll into a 12″ circle. With a pizza cutter, cut it in half. Cut the one half into 4 or 6 triangles, then roll each one up starting at the wide end. Should look like this:
rolls3.jpg

4th #4: Roll it out into a rectangle about 6″ x 6″ and butter it. With a pizza cutter, cut it into 4 strips. Then stack the strips on top of each other and cut the other way, making 4 square stacks. Lay each stack sideways into a muffin cup. Should look like this:
rolls4.jpg

And now, you should have a total of something like this:
rolls5.jpg

Then, let them raise for about 45 min…
rolls6.jpg

Bake them for 25 min at 350.
rolls7.jpg

And you’ve got yourselves a fine assortment of rolls to pick from! Those stacked ones separated while baking, must’ve been because of the butter. Next time I’d skip the buttering. Lexi and Tiffany made the crescent rolls. The reason there are 6 crescent rolls and only 4 of the other kinds is not a thought-thro’ culinary reason. It’s simply because I’d have run out of room in the muffin tin and I only have one. They would’ve been a better size divided into 6ths instead of 4ths though. Some of them got pretty big.

They were fun to make. And it added more character to the meal. Ok, that may have bumped it up a level, saying a meal had character. The rest of the meal was glazed meatloaf, twice-baked potatoes in a casserole dish (instead of putting the potato mixture back into the shells), and peas. Our dessert was chocolate peanut butter milkshakes later in the evening.

Off-the-subject tidbits:
I’m still going to do ‘Out of my Comfort Zone’ posts, but they’ll be more hit-n-miss now instead of weekly. Also, I figured out a way (um, after talking to my tech support husband… maybe that should say ‘we’ instead of ‘I’) to do printable recipes now, so one of these days, I’ll start adding one to each post. And eventually making one for each recipe all the way back to the beginning. That last sentence makes me want to run and hide. Just kidding. It’s fun.

Comments

4 Responses to “Let’s make dinner rolls in different shapes and sizes!”

  1. Sharon on June 9th, 2008 9:22 pm

    Yay on the printable recipes!!! I was wondering when you’d get to that…but I’m a mom, too, so wasn’t going to bug you about it. Figured Shannon could figure it out if you couldn’t–I have great confidence in you!!! :-)

    Reading this reminded me of where you get your knack for neat ideas and ways of writing things–your Mom! Gotta love her.

  2. Annette33 on June 9th, 2008 10:03 pm

    Yes! Good idea on the printable recipes!

  3. fran’s kitchen on June 10th, 2008 5:06 am

    Those rolls look fun. Tasty too:)
    Wow, I’m excited about the printable recipes, thanks for putting the effort forth to figure it out.

  4. Lisa on June 10th, 2008 5:58 am

    I can only dream of heating up the oven. It’s going to be almost 100 here today! We are melting!! Those rolls sure look good though!

    I found a way to do really super easy printable recipe on my site! If anyone wants info feel free to email me at ghenne64@gmail.com and I can email you directions on how to do it. It’s a bit much to print here….but it’s easy, honest, lol.

Garlic Bread – easy and delicious

Posted on June 5, 2008
Filed Under Breads Biscuits and Rolls

I faithfully serve French bread of some sort whenever we have an Italian meal. The reason for that is because I serve hot bread or rolls or biscuits at every meal and that goes the best with an Italian meal.

Hmmm, that’s weird, I just skimmed what I wrote and it’s Italian and French and I’m saying it goes great together! I wonder what the French and Italian people would say about that theory! I’ve never been outside the US, except for Canada, so I don’t know that much about other countries, except from what I’ve read or heard. My dream is to someday fly over to Europe and spend 2 or 3 weeks there, just seeing the sites and hearing the people talk (I love the sound of French, the little bit I’ve heard) and eat a REAL authentic Italian pizza and see the Swiss Alps and then sail back to America on the Queen Elizabeth or Queen Mary. I think about that dream every time I think about anything Europe.

Anyway, this has nothing to do with France and Italy! We’re talking American-baked French bread from a grocery store bakery. Or worse yet, a popable can of French bread or Italian bread! I usually either do the popable can thing or take a bought loaf of French bread, cut it into diagonal slices, butter both sides and sprinkle garlic on one side, then broil both sides till they’re toasted. I’ve been dodging around a recipe I’d had for awhile, scribbled in my own handwriting, not sure where it came from. I was always afraid it would be too soggy and then I finally made it Tues evening to go with our meal of tortellini and Italian mix vegetables.

garlic-bread7.jpg

It was wonderful. And now I regret the last couple years of thinking about making it but saying “No, not this time.”

Garlic Bread

1 loaf French bread
1/4 cup butter
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. parsley flakes
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cut bread diagonally into 1/2″ slices, but not quite the whole way through.
garlic-bread1.jpg

Soften butter and mix it with the garlic powder, parsley and parmesan cheese.
garlic-bread2.jpg

Spread on both sides of each slice of bread.
garlic-bread3.jpg

Wrap in foil.
garlic-bread4.jpg

Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
garlic-bread5.jpg

Unwrap and cut the pieces the rest of the way apart. Serve immediately.
garlic-bread6.jpg

Man, that was so good! I could eat a piece or two right now! It was soft and buttery and chewy and looked good too. Sometimes I’ll still broil individual pieces of garlic bread, but this will definitely be on the menu more often! It’s so easy too! You don’t have to remember to watch it like you do when it’s under the broiler. I’ve wrecked many garlic bread pieces that way, or salvaged them by scraping off the burnt part. When I made this garlic bread, I made it a bit ahead of time and then threw it in the oven 15 min before mealtime.

Comments

8 Responses to “Garlic Bread – easy and delicious”

  1. Shannon on June 5th, 2008 9:57 am

    May I go with you to Europe? :) I want to go to Italy sometime too… and lots of other places. $$$??? Anyway back to the food, I am gonna try this. I love garlic bread.

  2. Karisa on June 5th, 2008 10:04 am

    I am going to try this tomorrow night when we have company. I think it would go wonderful with the Italian Chicken and Pasta that I am going to make. Thanks for posting this !!!! BTW — lets start to plan our trip to Europe. :)We didn’t get to Italy and that is one place I want to see someday :)

  3. Rene on June 5th, 2008 10:25 am

    That looks so good!! I usually buy the premade garlic bread but I think this would be more economical. I will definitely be trying it. Thanks for all the great recipes! My family thanks you too because they are pretty sick of my old standbys and enjoy the new creations I’ve been serving due to your inspiration.

  4. Jo on June 5th, 2008 12:44 pm

    My mouth is watering! Garlic bread is a favorite of mine, but I don’t make it often. Have to change that…

  5. Monica on June 5th, 2008 2:01 pm

    I love garlic bread and this sounds so good!!! I’ll have to try it. I’ve been to Europe, but it was not nearly long enough and I didn’t get to go to France or Italy, so I’d love to go back someday!!

  6. Lisa on June 5th, 2008 4:01 pm

    Looks great! I have been making garlic bread like this for 20 years. The only difference with mine is I use fresh chopped garlic. Either way I’m sure it’s delicious!

  7. barb on June 5th, 2008 4:15 pm

    Wow, you take such good pictures. That bread looks awesome. I am just curious, I wonder why you’re not supposed to cut all the way through?
    Thanks for another great recipe:)

  8. Liz on June 5th, 2008 4:32 pm

    That’s how my mom always made garlic bread when I was at home. I don’t think all seasonings were the same but it was the same idea.

Katie’s Strawberry Scones

Posted on June 2, 2008
Filed Under Breads Biscuits and Rolls, Breakfasts

I don’t know who Katie is, but her scones are GREAT!!!! This was one of those recipes that I saw and right away knew I had to make. I got the recipe off of a new cooking blog I found last week: Kelly Cooks…and Other Amazing Feats. I had fun browsing thro’ her other recipes too.

One thing that grabbed me about these scones was that they take fresh strawberries. We don’t have fresh strawberries around here yet, but I’ve still been getting them regularly because they’re perpetually on sale at the grocery store. And that has got to be one of my favorite fruits, especially cut up and mixed with sugar. As the season wears on and I’ve had lots of strawberries and foods with strawberries in them, I get over my craving, but for now, strawberries it is. Second to chocolate… which of course is a helpless non-stop year-round craving.

Katie’s Strawberry Scones

2 1/4 – 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (depending on how ripe your strawberries are) I used 2 1/4 cups.
1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 stick (8 Tbsp.) butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1 egg
1/4 cup yogurt (I used strawberry yogurt.)
1/4 cup milk
2 tsp. orange zest  (I didn’t have oranges on hand, so I skipped this.)
1 cup fresh strawberries, diced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, combine egg, yogurt, milk, zest; whisk to combine thoroughly and set aside. In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, powder, salt, and whisk to combine. Using pastry cutter and two knives, cut butter into flour until all pieces are smaller than pea-sized. Add strawberries, and toss to coat.
scone2.jpg

Add wet ingredients to dry and mix in lightly with fork until dough just comes together. Turn dough out onto well-floured work surface and pat into large ball. Cut the dough ball in half.
scone3.jpg

Shape half of the dough into a flat disk shape and cut into 8 slices. Place on baking sheet and repeat with other half of dough. Sprinkle tops of scones with sugar. I shaped the disks right on the baking sheet. One thing I wasn’t sure about is if the wedges were supposed to be separate or still in a circle for baking. But it turned out great like this!
scone5.jpg

Place in the oven. Bake until slightly brown, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on a baking sheet for 10 minutes.

scone6.jpg
T
ransfer to a wire rack and let cool.

I think they’re best if you eat them while they’re still warm. To serve, I cut one in half and spread butter inside, then put a dollop of whipped topping on top. Just delicious!!!

scone11.jpg

These got rave reviews around here from all of us! I’d like to experiment a little with using different yogurt flavors and maybe even different fruits, in addition to or instead of the strawberries. Also, I’ll bet the orange zest really adds something too. I want to be sure and have that on hand next time.

Comments

7 Responses to “Katie’s Strawberry Scones”

  1. Kelly on June 2nd, 2008 6:11 am

    They look amazing! Good call on the baking separate or together — it never even occurred to me LOL

    I baked mine separated out, but, as you found out, it works both ways.

    Katie gave me one more AMAZING strawberry recipe, if you’re interested…they’re the best cupcakes I think I’ve ever had. Hands down.

    http://kellycooksandotheramazingfeats.blogspot.com/2008/02/famous-strawberry-cupcakes.html

    Enjoy!

  2. Arla on June 2nd, 2008 7:19 am

    Kay, you ought to try serving those with Devonshire whipped cream. Devonshire takes scones to a whole new level, trust me.

  3. Anna on June 2nd, 2008 7:40 am

    Those look good! My daughter’s teacher and teacher’s assistant both love scones. I think I’m going to make a little collection of good scone recipes and give it to them on the last day of school. This one is going on the list.

  4. Berneice on June 2nd, 2008 8:25 am

    these look wonderful. I had some of the best choc chip scones over the weekend. I might have to try it in here.

  5. Shannon on June 2nd, 2008 8:29 am

    We had wonderful scones over the weekend. I’m gonna try these!!

  6. Lisa on June 2nd, 2008 9:07 am

    Oh it’s almost strawberry picking time here in Rhode Island, so I think I will be saving this recipe for some fresh berries! Thanks!

  7. Rosalyn on June 2nd, 2008 1:32 pm

    I love scones…I’ll definitely have to try these when my strawberries are ready! :) Yummy! :)

It’s a beehive… honey and all!

Posted on March 5, 2008
Filed Under Breads Biscuits and Rolls, Side dishes

beehive1.jpg

These buns have tempted me for awhile now and this afternoon, I finally gave in and made them. And it was just as fun as I thought it would be, they turned out just as cute as I expected they would be, and they tasted just as good as I hoped they would be! Things don’t always go that well in my kitchen! With things that have no chocolate involved anyway.

I just realized that I LOVE honey. Almost every evening for supper, we have hot fresh rolls or bread of some sort and it’s always good ol’ strawberry jam that goes on the table. Well, these rolls are loaded with honey inside and out and they were so good! We may just deviate from the jam now and then. That reminds me of apple butter. We love apple butter too, my husband especially does. I’d like to find a good recipe and make it sometime, but I’m afraid it just couldn’t measure up to the stuff we had at Der Dutchman’s in Sarasota, FL. That’s what I always think of when I think of apple butter. Actually, I also remember my mom making it when I was young, I should ask her for her recipe.

Anyway, why am I talking about apple butter?! Back to the beehives…

Beehive Buns …taken from an Easy to Bake Easy to Make recipe card

1 envelope (.25 oz) active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (105F – 115F)
2/3 cup warm milk (105F – 115F)
1/2 cup honey, divided
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) plus 2 Tbsp butter, softened, divided
1/2 tsp. salt
3 1/2 -3 3/4 cups flour (I ended up using only about 3 cups because the dough seemed plenty stiff)

Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 min. Stir in milk, 1/4 cup honey, and 1/4 cup butter. Stir in salt and enough flour to form a soft dough. Knead dough on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, 6-8 min. Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in a warm place until almost double in size, about 1 hour. Lightly grease baking sheets. Punch dough down; divide in half. Roll each half into a 6″x12″ rectangle. Cut 1″ strips from long edge of each rectangle.

beehive2.jpg
Curl each strip into beehive shape with a wide base and narrow top onto prepared baking sheet.
beehive3.jpg
Cover lightly; let rise until almost double in size, about 15 min. Preheat oven to 375. Bake buns until golden, 15-20 min.
beehive5.jpg
Combine remaining honey and butter in a small saucepan. Heat until butter melts. Brush warm glaze over buns. Remove from baking sheet; place on wire racks. Yield: 1 dozen.
beehive4.jpg

These seriously are SO good! And it was nice to have a variation in shape and taste.

The rest of our meal was a rotisserie chicken (done at the local grocery store), carrots and dip, and oven-crisp potato wedges. The potatoes were also a new recipe, so I’ll add them here too.

Oven-Crisp Potato Wedges …from a misc recipe card in my stash of loose recipes

1 1/2 lbs small red potatoes
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 tsp. finely minced garlic
3/4 tsp. coarse salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 525. Quarter potatoes and place in large bowl.Drizzle olive oil over potatoes and toss. Sprinkle seasonings over potatoes; toss to coat well. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly spray with vegetable cooking spray. Arrange potatoes on prepared baking sheet.
potatoes1.jpg
Roast for 20 min, stirring once or twice during cooking. Raise heat to broil. Broil potatoes until crisp, watching closely not to over-brown, about 1-2 min. Serves 4.
potatoes2.jpg

I made a half batch and I also baked them at a different temp because I needed the oven for the beehive buns too. I baked them at 375 for about 40 min, then broiled them while glazing the buns. Worked great.

We liked these potatoes ok, but they were nothing special. We ate them with ketchup. I’ll probably make them again sometime, but they won’t be on the ‘definitely make again’ list like the glazed meatloaf is… that meatloaf is probably the new recipe on this site that I make the most often. It is hands down the BEST meatloaf I have ever had… without the carrots, that is!

Comments

11 Responses to “It’s a beehive… honey and all!”

  1. Carol on March 5th, 2008 11:12 pm

    Those Beehive Buns look absolutely delicious! I’m gonna have to try them sometime-I think my kids would love them.

  2. Freida on March 6th, 2008 8:14 am

    They look wonderful! Anything honey related is good in my opinion. WE are bread lovers too, so I really think we would all like them.

  3. Christy on March 6th, 2008 8:17 am

    Ummmm, I love honey butter. The buns look delicious!!! I usually bomb anything made with yeast, but I’m still tempted to try these.

  4. Shannon on March 6th, 2008 9:06 am

    The buns look very yummy, might have to try them. Eric really likes honey so I think he’d like them. -It looks funny to see people’s real names on the comments instead of their xanga name. :)

  5. Jo on March 6th, 2008 10:11 am

    Agreed with you on the meatloaf recipe–that’s my stand-by, too. Only I’ve tweaked the glaze to make it more of a sweet-n-sour flavor. One of the highest compliments I’ve ever gotten from my husband was that my meatloaf beats his Mom’s hands-down. ????
    The rolls look yummy and sound better!
    And one more thing—I have a recipe for Parmesan Potato Wedges that are DELISH. Want to try it?

  6. Kay Martin on March 6th, 2008 1:11 pm

    Yeah, Jo! I’d love to try them! We like potatoes as a side dish better than pasta or rice, so I’m always looking for new things to do with them so it’s not the same old thing every time… which is why I tried those up there. :)

  7. Heidi on March 6th, 2008 1:15 pm

    the beehives are so cute. i will have to try those sometime as well as the potatoes. they looked yummy, and potatoes are our fav side dish as well. love the new site. =)

  8. Gina on March 6th, 2008 3:24 pm

    You did a great job on those be hives, their very cute and look delicious. Apple butter, I love the apple butter made from zuchine. But prefer it because it is not as strong of a flavor as real apple butter, so depends what you like.

  9. Sharon on March 12th, 2008 2:57 pm

    These look delicious, you reminded me that I should dig out the honey more often. Strawberry jam is our main staple, as well as apple butter. The best apple butter (according to me) is my grandmother’s cooked-over-an-outdoor-kettle variety, and my uncle still makes and sells it. This past fall I wanted to try to make some, and found this method,
    http://quiltofgrace.blogspot.com/2007/10/apple-butter.html
    tried it, and it turned out great! There’s always the faster make-it-in-the-oven method with applesauce, but I don’t like that stuff as good…

  10. Sharon on March 12th, 2008 3:08 pm

    Okay, now I’m stuck on apple butter: This recipe
    http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/All-Day-Apple-Butter/Detail.aspx
    looks about the same and gives more details on amounts of ingredients.

  11. Cheryl on March 12th, 2008 8:02 pm

    I made those rolls. Oh delicious. I tripled the batch and only glazed one pan. My children are fussy about sticky hands. I will keep that recipe.

It’s a Winner!

Talking about the Red Lobster biscuits here. I tried the recipe from Heidi and it beat the other one! Those were EXACTLY like the ones at Red Lobster. It does have twice the butter though too, so I’m sure that helps! Freida, you’ve gotta try these sometime. I think the secret is (besides the extra butter!) beating the dough with a wooden spoon for 30 seconds. Let me tell you, that’s HARD work! But I could notice a big difference after I did that… it was much fluffier.

So, here it is, the biscuits that make you think you’ve got a seafood dinner coming up next. But then you’re glad after all that you are in the comfort of your own home when you jerk back to reality as your 22-month-old spills soup on her lap.

Red Lobster Biscuits

2 cups Bisquick
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2/3 cups milk
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Mix Bisquick, cheddar and milk into soft dough. Beat w/ a wooden spoon for about 30 seconds. Add melted butter and garlic powder. Spoon onto greased cookie sheet. Smooth down tops. Bake for 8 to 10 min at 450 degrees.
While baking, melt butter in pan and stir in garlic powder. When done, brush butter on top and serve hot.
Heidi adds “This is how I have it written out, so I’m guessing you do the butter and garlic powder twice. I don’t know, its been so long since I have made them. I’m going to try them again and see, but I guess if you think that sounds like a lot of garlic, I would leave it out when I brush the butter on.” I did both the butter and garlic twice (once mixed in the dough and once brushed on top).
biscuits

Thanks Heidi! And Freida!

Comments

4 Responses to “It’s a Winner!”

  1. Emily Beachy on February 28th, 2008 5:21 pm

    These are EXACTLY like Red Lobster!!! Yru a little sea salt sprinkled on top yet too! WOW!

  2. Shannon on July 10th, 2008 5:34 pm

    I made these tonight. Eric thought he was at Red Lobster!!! :) Fettucine Alfredo, Shrimp Scampi and these biscuits!!!!

  3. Marissa on July 23rd, 2008 8:04 pm

    I made these last night to go with ceasar salad… so good! My usual biscuits turn out like hockey pucks! Thanks for the great recipe!

  4. Kris on August 4th, 2009 8:26 pm

    Wow! These look delish! Thanks for sharing the recipe.. I’m going to make this one later on. :)

Soup, Salad, and Red Lobster Biscuits

Posted on February 16, 2008
Filed Under Breads Biscuits and Rolls, Soups

soup6

You know the term “just quick throw a soup together”? Well, I don’t see it that way!!! Every time I make a soup from scratch, it’s alot of work. But I do get a satisfaction out of starting with raw whole veggies and ending up with a good soup. And it’s fun to make… I just don’t buy the thing of it being ‘quick’. Any comments on that?

This soup is actually pretty easy though because the only raw veggies in it is potatoes and onions.
soup1

Chunky Potato Soup    . ..I’m not sure where this recipe comes from, it’s handwritten it on a blank cookbook page

3 med red potatoes
2 c. water
1 sm onion, chopped
3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. flour
Crushed red pepper flakes
Black pepper
3 cups milk
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup cubed ham

Peel potatoes and cut into 1″cubes. Cook until tender.
soup2
Drain, reserving liquid.
Saute onion in butter until tender, but not brown.
soup3
Add flour, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Cook 3-4 min.
soup4
Add potatoes, 1 cup liquid, milk, and sugar to saucepan. Stir well. Add cheese and ham. Simmer 30 min, stirring frequently. Serves 12. Very good! That red pepper gives it some kick and extra flavor.
soup5 I know my dipper for the soup is way too big! I bought a smaller one just this morning.

Red Lobster Biscuits    …from Freida

Preheat oven to 450. Mix 2 cups Bisquick, 1/2 cup water or milk, and 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese. Drop onto a greased baking sheet and bake for 8-10 min. After baking and while still hot, brush on 1/4 cup butter mixed with 1 tsp. parsley flakes, 1/2 tsp. garlic salt or powder, and 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning. Serve hot!

biscuits I have tried to copy Red Lobster biscuits SO often! I think every time we go there, we say we’ve gotta figure out how to do them. And this is the closest I’ve gotten to them yet! Still not quite as light and moist, but very close. Definitely the best biscuit recipe I’ve tried so far! You know they’ve gotta be good though… the tops are laden with melted butter! You really oughta try them!!!!!
EDIT: This was my 1st attempt. Then, I got another recipe, which is better… so if you try the biscuits, please use this recipe
instead.

Comments

One Response to “Soup, Salad, and Red Lobster Biscuits”

  1. kitchens on May 13th, 2008 12:07 am

    I love soup so thick you have to eat it with a fork!

Italian Bread Wedges

Tired of scones by now?

This recipe is taken off of ilovecooking’s site. She has progressive pictures too, but I’ll put mine on anyway in case you don’t get over to her site. She posts new recipes pretty often (with pictures) and it’s very interesting!

Italian Bread Wedges

1 T. dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 t. sugar
*edit* 2 Tbsp oil, sorry! Thanks, kanadian_mom!
1 t. salt
2 1/2 to 3 cups flour
1/3 cup Italian salad dressing
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. dried oregano
1/4 t. dried thyme
dash pepper
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (I used more.)

In mixing bowl dissolve yeast in warm water and sugar. Let stand 5 minutes. Add oil, salt and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough.. Knead until smooth and elastic. (I do this in my kitchen-aid.) Place in greased bowl, cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 40 minutes. Punch dough down. Press onto greased 14 inch pizza pan.
wedge1
Spread with salad dressing. Combine seasonings. Sprinkle over dressing. I mixed the seasonings in the dressing before spreading. I figured it would get more evenly seasoned that way. I also used creamy Italian dressing (instead of regular) because that’s what I had on hand.
wedge2
Top with cheese.
wedge3
Bake at 425 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.
wedge4
I usually cut into 16 slices. Serve with pizza sauce for dipping. These look good and are good! It’s made alot different than pizza as far as the sauce and seasonings, but it’s amazing how much it tastes like pizza! It’s easy to make and looks very nice to serve. Yum!

And here was the rest of our meal… fried chicken breasts, cooked veggies.
wedge5

Bread-making… sigh!

I am so impressed with good bread-makers. Mom used to make it all the time. I should try it again, I guess. Maybe I get discouraged too easily. Anyone have any good tips for an amateur bread-maker like me (other than ‘just use frozen bread dough’)?

Maybe you’re wondering what goes wrong. Dinner rolls are a problem for me too. Tough, don’t raise well, too airy in the top half (huge air pockets), and they don’t even taste good, just sorta blah.

Anybody on a diet? This meal is for you!

445 calories… including dessert! Not bad!

diet meal

Garlic Chicken Kiev
Chewy Pizza Bread
Cauliflower and Broccoli
Strawberry Pie

These recipes (except the caul and broc, that’s just cooked frozen veggies) all come from Betty Crocker’s Eat and Lose Weight Cookbook . After each recipe is a chart with as much info on it as you’d find on a nutrition label. I’ll just list the calories, carbs, and protein. If you want more info than that, let me know.

Garlic Chicken Kiev

3 Tbsp reduced calorie spead, softened (I used low-fat butter, half the calories of reg butter)
1 Tbsp chopped fresh chives or parsley (I used 1/2 Tbsp of each)
1/8 tsp garlic powder
6 skinless boneless chicken breast halves (1 1/2 lbs)
2 cups cornflakes, crushed (about 1 cup)
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk or skim milk

Mix spread, chives, and garlic powder, shape into rectangle, 3 x 2 inches. Cover and freeze about 30 min or until firm.     Trim fat from chicken. Flatten each chicken breast half to 1/4-inch thickness between wax paper or plastic wrap.     Heat oven to 425. Spray square pan, 9 x 9 x 2 inches, with non-stick cooking spray. Cut chives mixture crosswise into 6 pieces. Place one piece on center of each chicken breast half.
diet chic1  Fold long sides of chicken over chives mixture; fold up ends and secure with toothpick.
diet chic2  …yeah, as simple as that! Ha! It took me a long time to make these things and I used up to 4 toothpicks per piece! In a perfect world, chicken breast halves would all be shaped the same and be 4 ounces each!      Mix cornflakes, parsley, and paprika. Dip chicken into milk, then lightly and evenly coat with cornflake mixture.
diet chic3  Place chicken, seam sides down, in pan. Bake uncovered about 35 min or until chicken is no longer pink in center.
diet chic4   6 servings. Per serving: 190 calories; Carbohydrates, 9g; Protein, 25g        These tasted great! Nice and moist chicken! The fresh spices (or is it herbs?) give it lots of flavor! I’ll know more what I’m doing next time and hopefully the whole folding thing will go smoother and faster!!! Will definitely make again!

Chewy Pizza Bread

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup regular or non-alcoholic beer (Since I didn’t have beer on hand, I used Diet Coke)
1/2 cup speghetti sauce
1/3 cup shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
Chopped fresh basil leaves, if desired (I didn’t do that)

Heat oven to 425. Spray round pan, 9 x 1 1/2 inches, with non-stick cooking spray. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl. Stir in beer just until flour is moistened.    Spread dough in pan. Spread speghetti sauce over dough. Sprinkle with cheese.
diet bread1  Bake 15-20 min or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Sprinkle with basil. Serve warm.
diet bread2    6 servings. Per serving: 145 calories; Carbohydrates, 29g; Protein, 4g      If you keep in mind that this is a diet dish, it’s actually very good! The problem was that there was too little cheese, but that’s diet for ya! I guess we’re just too used to stuff loaded with cheese… refer to previous post! I was surprised about this bread. I thought it would be biscuity, but it was actually more like regular raised bread, only more dense. It’s very filling, too. By the way, the Diet Coke seemed to work great as a substitute!

Strawberry Pie with Meringue Crust

2 egg whites
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 cup sugar
1 pkg (1.1 oz) vanilla fat-free sugar-free instant pudding and pie filling
1 cup skim milk
1 1/2 cups frozen (thawed) reduced-fat whipped topping
1 pint strawberries (2 cups), sliced

Heat oven to 275. Spray pie plate, 9 x 1 1/4 inches, with non-stick cooking spray. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in medium bowl with electric mixer on high speed until foamy. Beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time; continue beating until stiff and glossy. Do not underbeat. Spread mixture evenly on bottom and halfway up side of pie plate. I put it to the top of the pie plate instead of halfway up.
diet pie1  Bake 40 min. Turn oven off; leave meringue in oven with door closed 1 hour. Finish cooling meringue at room temperature.
diet pie2     Beat pudding and pie filling with milk about 45 seconds, using wire whisk. Fold in one cup of the whipped topping. Layer half of the pudding mixture and half of the strawberries in crust; repeat.    Cover loosely and refrigerate till firm, at least one hour, but no longer than 8 hours. Run knife around edge to loosen crust. Top each serving with some of the remaining 1/2 cup whipped topping. I put the 1/2 cup Cool Whip on top right away and garnished it with a strawberry so that it would look more attractive sitting on the table during supper.  Cover and refrigerate any remaining pie.
diet pie3  8 servings. Per serving: 85 calories; Carbohydrate, 16g; Protein, 2g       This is just tops (for a low-cal dessert). The crust is great (meringue goes good with this pie), but it’s not too sturdy when you try to get pieces out of the pan. It kind of crumples up with the pie server sliding under it, so you don’t really end up with a picture-perfect piece. But the taste with fresh strawberries makes up for it! Yum!

By the way, one serving of the veggies was 25 calories . Not sure of the other specs on it.

1 recipe without a picture and 1 picture without a recipe

First the picture:
date pinwheel These are date pinwheel cookies made by my mother-in-law. I don’t have the recipe and don’t want the recipe, because just the fact that I’m married to her son guarantees that I’ll get to taste these now and then. They are her specialty and they look hard to make… you should see the rolls of them before she cuts and bakes them… it’s rolled very thin!   They are just delicious!!!!

————————————————————————-

Now for the recipe. The reason I don’t have a picture is because I used Shannon’s camera. But now that I’m ready to feature this, he has his camera. So, I may edit it later to add a picture. I made it on Christmas Eve.

Christmas Banana Bread   …from the 2004 Quick Cooking Annual cookbook

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups ripe mashed bananas (about 3 medium)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I’m going to use milk chocolate next time )
1/4 cup chopped maraschino cherries

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Beat in the bananas just until combined. Stir in the walnuts, chocolate chips, and cherries.     Pour into a greased 9″x5″x3″ loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 70-80 min. or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 min before removing from pan to a wire rack. Yield: 1 loaf.      This was VERY good, but then I love banana bread! The cherries in it made it look more festive, and they tasted good too. I know it’s past Christmas now, though. Next year, I want to make a real fruit cake. I saw all the fruits featured in the middle aisle with the baking stuff at the grocery store all Christmas season, but didn’t try it this year.

—————————————————————————

Now, I’m going to throw out a question, just out of interest and because I love to hear from you too… What is the theme/color of your kitchen? And anything else you’d like to say about it.

Mine is Coca-Cola. It started a couple years after we were married when we saw some kitchen Coke stuff one time and thought it would be neat. Then, when you keep your eyes peeled for it, it’s amazing how much there is out there!!!! So, my colors are red and black… which is why the colors of this site will always be red and black.

Fire up the grill!

I’m going to feature our supper last night. Some of us around here have been sick, so suppers haven’t been happening much this week… until last night. We made up for it then!!!!

Grilled Shrimp & Mushrooms
Stuffed Baked Potatoes
Grilled New York Strip Steak
Sauteed Mushrooms
Texas Toast
Veggies & Dip

Our friends who came over last night supplied the steaks… these are, incidently, the same friends I mentioned a couple weeks ago who brought hot ready-to-eat carry-out pizzas over for supper. Anybody else have friends like that?

Grilled Shrimp & Mushrooms

55 large (not jumbo) shrimp
Butter
Lawry’s seasoning salt
Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Meat Magic seasoning
Sliced mushrooms

There is actually no recipe for this… it was created by Shannon. He doesn’t measure ingredients or anything, but I know that it uses pretty much butter and less mushrooms than shrimp. Thaw the shrimp under cold running water. Mix the shrimp, butter, and seasoning all together in a bowl and skewer it on skewers, putting a mushroom on now and then.
grill shrimp
Grill it till browned. You can either serve them on the skewers or slide them off in to a bowl. Serve with cocktail sauce. So delicious! They cool quckly, so it’s a good idea to put them in a bowl that’s been heated up or eat them right away… or both.
grill shrimp done

Stuffed Baked Potatoes (also known as Twice Baked)     This recipe comes from a Weber Gas Barbeque Cookbook (came with our Weber grill).

3 lg baking potatoes
3 Tablespoons softened butter or margarine
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Tablespoon fresh snipped chives
2 Tablespoons grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup broccoli florets

Wash and dry potatoes. Prick with fork. Bake until done, about 1 hour. (Mine took 1 1/2 hours @ 400, but they were BIG). Halve potatoes lengthwise. Carefully scoop out pulp, reserving 4 shells. (I just cut the top 1/4 off, then let the shell pretty thick. It doesn’t break as easy then when your scoop out the pulp.)
grill shells
Mash potatoes with butter while still hot. Blend egg yolks and sour cream; mix with potatoes, chives, and salt. Mound mixture into reserved shells
grill filled potato
and place in a foil pan.
Place pan in center of cooking grate of gas grill (over indirect/medium heat) and cook until potatoes are heated through, about 20 minutes. Top each potato with cheese and continue to cook until cheese has melted. Garnish top with cooked broccoli florets before serving.    I usually do them in the oven instead of the grill… bake on ungreased cookie sheet @ 375 for 20 min, then top with cheese, bake 5 min longer. Garnish top with broccoli.
grill done potato

Grilled New York Strip Steak

4 12-oz. New York Strip Steak
Lawry’s seasoning salt
Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Meat Magic seasoning

Again, no actual recipe here, but this is how Shannon does it… Trim fat off,
grill trim
then let set till room temperature. Put seasoning on just before putting on the grill. Don’t put seasonings on ahead of time because the salt in them pulls out the moisture. In a charcoal grill, over to the one side, have HOT coals piled up almost up to the grate. The heat should be so intense that you can’t hold your hand there, even for a second. Sear the steaks there for about 1 1/2 minutes, then flip over to regular coals to finish grilling.
grill steaks  How long it takes depends on how much heat there is. Grill until steaks reach an internal temperature of 145 – 150. We like A-1 sauce with our steaks… ok, Ruthie, just some of us do.
grill steaks done

And, you can’t have steak without…
Sauteed Mushrooms

1/4 cup butter
2 8-oz cartons whole mushrooms, washed

I don’t know an actual recipe for this, but this is how I do it… When butter is about all melted in frying pan, put mushrooms in. Fry over medium/high heat stirring and flipping pretty often until they look darker and smaller and done… not sure exactly how to descibe it, ya just kinda know.    Line a bowl with paper towel and scoop mushrooms into bowl. Then, pull the paper towel out from under them and serve them in the bowl. (The paper towel gets rid of some extra grease.)
grill saute mshrm

Texas Toast

Loaf of French bread
Lots of butter
Garlic powder

Again… this is just how we do it. Slice the loaf on an angle into 1″ thick pieces. Spread butter heavily on both sides. Sprinkle garlic powder on top… less for this kind of meal, more for an Italian meal.
grill toast
Put under broiler for a few minutes, but don’t forget about it or you’ll be reminded by smoke curling out of the oven… been there, done that!    When the first side is done, get them out, flip them over, and broil the other side. You shouldn’t have alot of other stuff going on while doing this, like fussy babies or making veggie trays or very involved conversations. Texas toast is what we call this bread, so if that’s an incorrect term, then we’re talking about a different Texas.
grill toast done

Veggie Tray

Baby carrots
Broccoli
Cauliflower
Green Peppers
Ranch veggie dip

Yeah, ok, this was more for healthy looks than anything. The guys didn’t even touch it. It was the only thing on the table not loaded with calories.
grill veg

We didn’t have dessert, but later in the evening, we ate some of the irrestistable Raspberry Cream Cheese Rolls that were left over from when I made them (again already) yesterday morning.

Comments

An entire meal of new recipes!

Posted on December 7, 2006
Filed Under Breads Biscuits and Rolls, Desserts, Seafood, Side dishes

Flavorful Fish Fillets
Dilled Green Beans
Mini Italian Biscuits
Strawberry Yogurt Trifle

1 meal

This past summer, for awhile I was doing the meals they already put together in the Quick Cooking and Taste of Home annual cookbooks. It had kind of (well, totally actually) petered out, so I thought this would be a good time to start it again. I’m going to try to do one every week. This one comes from the 2006 Quick Cooking annual cookbook. I just got this one from one of my friends ( appalolly  on xanga) for my birthday in October.

These recipes always say “Prep/Total Time: 20 min.” or some other little minutes. Three of these recipes say 20 and one says 15 min. From the time I started making supper till it was on the table was an hour and 5 min… not too bad, considering there were a few minor interruptions from the kids. But I do always kinda chuckle at the times they put on recipes!

Flavorful Fish Fillets

1 pkg (18.7 oz) frozen breaded fish fillets
3 T. olive oil
1 jar (26 oz) speghetti sauce
3 T. prepared horseradish
1 cup (4 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese

In a large skillet, cook fish in oil for 4 min on each side or until crisp and golden brown.
1 fish1Meanwhile, in a lg saucepan, combine the speghetti sauce and horseradish; cook until heated through. Spoon over fish; sprinkle with cheese. Cover and remove from the heat. Let stand for 5 min or until cheese is melted. Yield: 4 – 5 servings.
1 fish2
My opinion: Very good! Would definitely make again! Very easy to make! I wasn’t sure about pasta sauce with fish instead of tartar sauce, but it was just tops!!! Way too much sauce though… next time, I’d cut the sauce in half. I served the rest of the sauce with the meal to spoon on extra, but we didn’t really need it.

Dilled Green Beans

1 cup water
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
2 T. chopped onion
2 t. beef bouillon granules
1/2 t. dill seed
2 pkgs (9 oz ea) frozen cut green beans

In a lg saucepan, combine the water, green pepper, onion, bouillon, and dill. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 min. Add the beans. Cover and simmer 8-10 min longer or until beans are crisp-tender; drain. Yield: 5 servings.
1 beans1 Oops! I see I didn’t drain them!
My opinion: Good, but nothing outstanding. Wouldn’t make again. With that much work, esp for a side dish, it should be dancing with flavor. It had extra flavor, but not as much as I was hoping it would.

Mini Italian Biscuits
For those of you who have this cookbook, I added the biscuits in here because I think meals should have 3 things, not counting dessert. This recipe comes from the same cookbook.

2 cups biscuit/baking mix
1/2 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
2/3 cup milk

In a bowl, combine the biscuit mix, cheese, garlic powder, oregano, and basil. With a fork, stir in milk just until moistened. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 450 for 7-8 min or until golden brown. Serve warm. Yield: about 3 dozen.
1 biscuits
My opinion: Very good outstanding flavor, but too dry. But then, all my biscuits always get dry, so I would take any advice on making moist biscuits that just melt in your mouth! I’m going to find out if I’m doing something wrong and keep trying these biscuits because they are sooooo good!

Strawberry Yogurt Trifle

5 cups cubed angel food cake
1 carton (8 oz) vanilla yogurt
1 cup whipped topping, divided
3 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1 Tablespoon flaked coconut, toasted (optional , I didn’t have any toasted and didn’t feel like toasting 1 tablespoon, so I skipped it completely)

Place cake cubes in a 2-qt bowl.
1dessert1
Combine the yogurt and 3/4 cup whipped topping; spoon over the cake.
1 dessert2Top with strawberries and remaining whipped topping. Sprinkle with coconut. Yield: 4-5 servings.
1dessert3
My opinion: Another keeper! A look at the ingredients tells you that you couldn’t go wrong. I made a half batch. These are the changes I would make next time… I would make 2 layers (cake, goop, strawberries, cake, goop, strawberries, rest of whipped topping) instead of all the cake on the bottom. It’s better to have more cake touching the yogurt part, I think. Also, I would make a little more of the yogurt mixture next time… it just ‘lubricates’ everything nicer.

We both thought this was a very good meal! Especially the dessert and the fish.

Tomorrow afternoon, Lexi and I are planning to make her birthday cake (it’s supposed to be a house). I’ll post it on here then… if we get done before midnight! Also, I’ll put her other 3 birthday cakes from previous years on with it.