Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cookbook Nook: The Ice Cream Deck

Welcome to the first edition of Cookbook Nook, where we give you a sneak peek into some of our favorite cookbooks.  If you're like me, you love to order books online but hate to do so without being able to at least glance inside.

Today I'd like to give you a peak into an ice cream cookbook...uh...cook box...uh...neat little box of recipe cards.  Yeah, that's it.  It's called The Ice Cream Deck:  25 Recipes for Homemade Ice Creams and Frosty Treats.

I got it on clearance at Deseret Book recently.  It was hard to pass up at just $4.  It was shrink-wrapped, but I figured for four bucks I could chance not seeing inside.  It's such a cute little thing, I just had to share.
Awww....see?  Isn't it cute?
When you open the box, you see it's filled with recipe cards.  

Beautiful recipe cards with a lovely photo on the outside.  There's also an Introduction card with tips and tricks for making the best homemade ice cream.

Open the recipe card to see a beautiful list of ingredients and instructions.
 Here are a few cards that are lined up for me to try as soon as possible.  I'm especially excited to try to ice cream truffles!

This lovely little gem of a "cookbook" is published by Chronicle Books.    As of this posting there is a Kindle version on Amazon for $8.79.  But honestly, I'd rather have the real thing.  'Cuz really, sometimes I take the cards out just so I can look at them!

Okay, who's ready for ice cream?!?

Homemade Chicken Stock

I owe Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa, so much!  The kids and I used to love to watch her show on Food Network.  I found it so relaxing to watch her whip up all sorts of plain and fancy food.  But it was when I saw how she roasted chicken breasts that the quality of many of our meals changed for the better.
Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa
I now use nothing but bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts rubbed with olive oil and sprinkled with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, baked at 350 degrees for one hour.  After the chicken has cooled, I remove the meat and pull it apart into bite size pieces.  It's so moist and tender, even after it's been refrigerated.  I ALWAYS SAVE THE SKIN, BONES, AND PAN DRIPPINGS and place them in a bag in the freezer!!  This is what I use to make one of my favorite ingredients.....homemade chicken stock.

bones, skin, drippings from baked chicken
herbs of your choice

1.  Place chicken "scraps" into a large stock pot.  Chop veggies in half and toss in the pot.  (You don't even have to prep the veggies, beyond making sure that they are not dirty.  Carrot tops, celery leaves, and onion skins all add extra flavor.)
2.  Fill pot an inch or two above level of ingredients.  Bring to a boil, then to a simmer for several hours, adding more water as necessary.
3.  Once the stock is done, allow it to cool until it can be poured into freezer containers.  (I like to use these 32 oz containers from; they are awesome!)
32 oz plastic deli container
4.  Strain chicken stock through a sieve either before pouring into containers, or as you pour (depending on the size of your sieve).  Leave 1/2" to 1" head space.  Allow to cool until they are just warm before putting on lids, and placing in freezer.

To use:  Sometimes I remember to thaw a container or two, but usually I just run the container under hot water until the "stock block" slips out.  Then I put it straight into a pot on medium high heat until it has melted. This is great for homemade soups, risotto (obviously), and for cooking lima beans in instead of water.

Source:   adapted from Ina Garten's recipe

Stuffed Zucchini

I inherited this recipe from my husband after we were married. It's super easy, quick and incorporates lots of food groups (sort of)!

4 whole zucchinis
1 pound lean ground beef, browned and drained of excess grease
1 box wild rice (I use Rice A Roni in the 4.3 oz box), cooked
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Divide each zucchini in half. Scoop/cut out the insides, leaving a nice-looking "zucchini boat."
3. Bake zucchi for 15-20 minutes, just to soften the skin.
4. Layer each zucchini, beginning with meat and then with the rice.
5. Sprinkle as much of the mozzarella on top as possible!
6. Bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are nummy and nostalgic.

They remind me of many fall things - raking leaves and jumping in them, hay rides, the crunch of a fresh picked apple, football games, the harvest, the way the air smells in the late afternoon, and of course, watching - It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. Families stopped what they were doing to watch this. Friends came over because this was something to enjoy. It only came on once. There was no such thing as a DVD or a DVR. If you missed it you missed it.

In honor of The Great Pumpkin - Enjoy.

If your not a fan of pumpkin this works well with pureed Sweet Potatoes or Carrots.

1 cup butter
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cups canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground nutmeg
4 cups all purpose or whole wheat flour (if you grind your own wheat, soft white works best)
2 cups mini semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

1. Pre-heat oven to 375
2. In a mixing bowl beat butter for 30 seconds.
3. Add brown sugar and beat until fluffy.
4. Add eggs, pumpkin, and vanilla; beat well.
5. Add dry ingredients and chocolate chips beating until well combined.
6. Stir in nuts if using them (Dough will be soft.)
7. Drop dough from a teaspoon 2 inches apart onto a greased cookie sheet.
8. Bake in a 375 oven for 8-10 minutes.
9. Cool on wire rack

Source: Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

German Apple Pancakes

This here, is another way of saying, "Guess what, kids! We're having dessert for breakfast!"...And was also a tradition in my husband's family growing up.  It's a bit time consuming, but well worth it!  We love enjoying it for birthdays, holiday breakfasts and sometimes when we all just have a major sweet tooth.

Pancake Ingredients:
5T butter (to melt in bottom of pan)
6 eggs
1c All-purpose flour
1c milk
pinch of salt

*Featured above is my lovely Pampered Chef apple peeler which quickly 
peels, cores and spiral slices the apple! 
  1. Preheat oven to 400*, cut butter into chunks and put in a 9x13 pan, melt the butter in the oven while it is preheating.  In the mean time, make the pancake batter (keep an eye on that butter).
  2. In a medium or large bowl, mix the eggs, flour, milk and salt.  It will get super lumpy and thick.  Just keep whisking!  Sometimes I even use my blender for the pancake batter. 
  3. Take the pan out of the oven when the butter is just beginning to brown and sizzle.  Pour the pancake batter into the center of the pan so the butter spreads evenly to all sides. 
  4. Carefully put it back in the oven. Bake for 25 minutes.  (Towards the end of baking time, the sides of the pancake rise above the pan forming a puffy bowl-like shape, But don't be alarmed when it begins to deflate a bit after a minute or so...this is completely normal =) 
  5. While the pancake is baking, make the sauce:

Sauce Ingredients:
1/2c white sugar
1T corn starch
1tsp ground cinnamon
dash of salt
2T butter
1c boiling water
1/4 tsp orange extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced (other apple varieties will work, but just like a good apple pie, the tart ones are best)

  1. In a medium or large sauce pan, stir together the sugar, corn starch, cinnamon and salt.  
  2. Add butter and boiling water and bring the whole mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, until sauce begins to thicken.  
  3. Fold in the sliced apples until covered in sauce.  Lower heat.  Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the apples are tender.  
  4. Remove sauce from the heat and stir in the vanilla and orange extracts.  
  5. The sauce can be poured directly into the puffy pancake or on individual slices.
*For my family of 6, we double the whole recipe!
*Leftover sauce goes great over a toasted English muffin!
*Hope you're not on a diet today ;)

Source:  Adapted from Masterpieces From Our Kitchen: Virginia, MN High School Choir 1999

Southern Fried Corn

There are so many different ways to prepare fried corn. But, this is one of our families favorites.

4 slices of bacon
2 T. flour
1 c. water
1/4 c. milk
*1/2 small onion, chopped fine (optional)
salt & pepper to taste
6 ears of corn, cut off cob & scrape ears to get all the juice out

(When I don't have fresh corn I use frozen corn or canned corn. This recipe will use about 3 -4 cans of corn.)

In a cast-iron skillet, fry the bacon. In a large bowl, combine flour, water, milk, salt, pepper and corn removed from cobs. Mix thoroughly. Remove bacon pieces and pour in the corn mixture. Chop the bacon into pieces and add back into the mixture. Constantly stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan will prevent sticking. It will be thick and creamy.

adapted from Beth Taylor

El Torito Sweet Corn Cake

This is by far one of my family's all time favorite recipes. I serve it alongside chili or other tex-mex meals. I used to make the version that used masa harina and cooked it in a water bath. This version is much more convenient and tastes just as good.


1 (7 1/2 oz.) package sweet cornbread mix
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1 (15 oz.) can cream-style corn


1. In bowl, combine corn cake mix with melted butter. Add water, sugar and can of cream style
corn. Mix until ingredients are combined.

2. Pour mixture into a 9x5 inch loaf pan.

3. Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until liquid has been absorbed.

4. Use an ice cream scoop to serve sweet corn cake as a side dish or for dessert. (Yes, it's that

Source: copycat recipe

Monday, August 29, 2011

Sweet Potato Puree

Before too long sweet potatoes will be in season. I love to go ahead and roast and puree them for the freezer so that I can pull out a bag to use them for Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Muffins (recipe found here).

Sweet Potato Puree
1-Preheat oven to 400
2-Wash your sweet potatoes.
3-Line your pan with aluminum foil (easier clean-up-trust me).
4-Place unpeeled sweet potatoes on the pan.
5-Roast in oven for about an hour (or a fork inserts easily).
6-Remove and let cool.
7-Scoop out the flesh and puree in a food processor until smooth.
8-Use in your recipe immediately or freeze for future use.

*I put 2 cup values (2 cups or 4 cups) into a freezer bags so that it's already pre-measured for making the Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Muffins.

Source: Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld

Reese's Cup Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

For you peanut butter and chocolate lovers out there...

The Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 sticks butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled

1.  Place oven rack in center position and preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour two 9" round cake pans.  Place a round of parchment paper or wax paper in the bottom of each pan.
2.  In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.
3.  In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy.  Add the sugar and beat for about 2 minutes, until thoroughly blended into the butter.  Add the eggs and yolks one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition and scraping the down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Beat in the vanilla.  Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk;  add dry ingredients in 3 additions and the buttermilk in 2 (beginning and ending with the dry ingredients).  Mix each addition only until it is blended into the batter.  Scrape down bowl and add the melted chocolate, folding it in with a spatula.  Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans.
4.  Bake for 26-30 minutes or until the cakes feel springy and start to pull away from the sides of the pans.  Transfer to wire racks to cool for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unmold them and peel off the paper liners.  Invert and cool to room temperature right side up.

The Frosting
2 cups powdered sugar
2 cups peanut butter
10 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2/3 cup heavy cream

1.  In a mixer bowl, combine all but heavy cream and mix with paddle attachment on medium speed until creamy.  Scrape down bowl with spatula as you work.
2.  Slowly add cream and beat on high speed until mixture is light and smooth, adding a bit more powdered sugar if frosting is too thin.
3.  Frost cake and enjoy!

NOTE:  I used a package of mini Reese's cups when decorating the cake.  I found it helpful to refrigerate them, as my hands are always warm and tend to melt the chocolate.  After unwrapping, turn the cups upside down and carefully slice in half with a paring knife.  There were enough in the package to decorate the top and base, with a few leftover to dice up and sprinkle on top.

Source:  Annie's Eats

Indian Naan

Last week I talked about loving naan, so I thought it would be appropriate to share how to make it in your own oven. Traditionally naan is made in a tandoori oven like in this video:

To cook naan in your home oven a *pizza stone will substitute for the tandoori oven.
You can eat your naan with any indian main dish, hummus, dill yogurt dip, honey butter, or make it into flatbread pizza.

1 tsp. active dry yeast
3/4 C. warm water
2 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1. tsp. sugar
pinch of baking soda
2 T. oil
2 1/2 T. plain yogurt

1. Dissolve active dry yeast in warm water (100 degrees F) and let sit for 10 min or until it becomes frothy.
2. Mix flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda together in a large bowl.
3. Add the oil and yogurt and mix. Dough will be crumbly like this:

4. Add the water/yeast mixture and make into soft dough.
5. Knead in bowl until the dough is smooth. (this will be a very sticky endeavor!)
6.Cover and keep in a warm place 3-4 hours. The dough will almost double in volume.
7. Pre-heat oven and pizza stone to 500 degrees. Then, set the oven to broil.
8. Dust the counter with flour and knead the dough for about 2-3 minutes. Divide the dough into six equal parts.

9. One at a time, roll each piece of dough into an 8-inch oval. (Use a dusting of flour to help prevent sticking.

10. Before putting naan in oven, lightly wet your hands, take the rolled naan and flip it between your palms and place on the pizza stone. (this will moisten the dough and stretch it out a bit more)

11. Bake 2-3 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly on top.
12. Remove from oven with a spatula or tongs and continue until all the dough is cooked.
13. Brush with butter, and enjoy!

*Check what kind of temperatures your stone can withstand, some stoneware can crack in extreme heat.

Source: An Indian woman on YouTube, but now I can't find her. I am pretty sure she can cook naan blindfolded though.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Pasta de Teague

My husband and I made up this recipe one night and it's been a favorite ever since. It's kind of a "make-your-own" pasta like you see in Italian restaurant menus because you can put as much or as little of what you like with just a few basic ingredients. Feel free to add other things you think would be great additions!

3/4 - 1 package non-long-noodle pasta (bowtie, penne, cartoon shapes...something fairly bite-size)
2-3 Italian sausages (we typically use mild, I don't think the brand matters)
2-3 tsp minced garlic
Olive oil (3 T or more)
Roma tomatoes, to taste
1-2 red bell peppers
Basil, thyme, and oregano--preferably fresh--to taste
Salt, pepper, and whatever spices your tastebuds desire--to taste
1 1/2 - 2 C shredded parmesan cheese (opt.)

1. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
2. While the water for the pasta is cooking, remove sausage from skins (I think it's easiest to slice lengthwise down the middle then pull the skin from the top...) and begin cooking in skillet on medium - medium-high heat (...with the flat part down first).
3. While the pasta and Italian sausage is cooking, slice and chop your vegetables.
4. Once the Italian sausage is cooked enough to cut with a wooden spoon, add the vegetables to the skillet and continue cooking.
5. When pasta is cooked, strain and return to pot. Toss with olive oil, add skillet contents and all remaining ingredients, toss again.
6. At this point you can serve as is OR transfer to a baking dish, cover with parmesan cheese, and broil in oven until cheese is melted. Makes approximately 4 servings as a main dish.

Source: brainpower

Friday, August 26, 2011

Beef Tips

One of the tastiest and easiest meals my mother passed down to me are these delicious beef tips. Often I'll put the ingredients together in my removable slow cooker on Saturday and store it in the fridge. Then I'll set it in the cooker before we leave for church Sunday morning.

1 lb. beef tips (any cut of beef roughly chopped)
1 can golden mushroom soup
1 can French onion soup
1 package dry onion soup
Hot cooked rice
*[Ingredients are easily doubled for guests or delivering a meal to someone else]

1. Place all ingredients in slow cooker.
2. Cook on low for 5 to 6 hours.
3. Serve over hot, cooked rice.

Source: My awesome mom, Beverly

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Classic Waffles

A few years ago, Mr. Blue Eyes gave me my most prized kitchen possession. My Waffle Iron. "Why in the world is a waffle iron your most prized possession?" you ask. Because it's not just a waffle iron. It's a CIRCUS waffle iron. Made by Williams-Sanoma. And they don't make them anymore. AND it is TOTALLY Awesome. What other waffle maker can make an Elephant, a Big Top, a Clown, and a Lion? None. I mean, check this out!

That's right. That's a waffle Elephant. And it is Totally. Freakin'. Awesome.

I did find out that you can get other circus waffle makers here. And while they're not the same, and totally not as cool (no Big Top), I'm sure they do just fine...maybe. (And now you know what a snob I really am! :) )

However, this post is not about my waffle maker. It's about the fact that since we got this waffle maker, we are Waffle SNOBS. No more Krusteaz mix-the-water-in mix for us. It's all about homemade goodness.

This recipe came from the Williams-Sanoma booklet that came in the Circus Waffle Maker. It is the recipe that brought us down (or shall I say, UP?) to our waffle-snobby selves. I'm not going to lie: these waffles are not for a morning where you need to whip up a quick breakfast. But they don't take all morning to make either. Trust me when I say, the time is well worth it. Nothing says, "I love you, Family," more than these light, fluffy, waffles.

Enjoy this recipe. I also have a few other waffle recipes that have passed the waffle snob test. Stay tuned for more.

Classic Waffles (aka: The Waffle Snob's Beginning)

1.5 Cups Flour
1/2 Cups Cornstarch
1 Tb Baking Powder
2 Tb Corn Meal (that's right, corn meal. Gives it a special little bite!)
3/4 tsp Salt
1/2 Cup (1 stick) Butter, melted
3 Eggs, separated
1 3/4 C Milk
1 tsp Vanilla
2 Tb Sugar

1. In a Large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, corn meal, and salt. This is also when I put my butter in the microwave to melt and plug in my waffle iron.

2. In two small/medium-sized bowls, separate the egg yolks from the whites.

3. Add the milk and the vanilla to your egg yolks and whisk together. Set aside.

4. Beat the egg whites till soft peaks form. Add sugar and then beat until stiff peaks form.

5. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and mix until everything is wet and all the large clumps are smooth. Don't over mix!

6. Stir in the butter.

7. Fold in the egg whites. Don't over mix! (This is key to the fluffiness. But I'll tell you, I've over mixed a couple of times...and they still turned out!)

8. Pour into your hot waffle iron (don't forget to spray it if needed) and... Voila! Totally Awesome Waffles.

9. Top with your favorite toppings: syrup, Peanut Butter, jam, whipped cream and fresh fruit. Whatever suits your fancy!

Source: Williams-Sanoma


Buttermilk Pound Cake with Buttermilk Custard Sauce

Well, anyone who has read my recipes will figure out that I tore this one out of a magazine.  Source is referenced below.  The article was about seven pound cake recipes but this is the one that spoke to me.  Does cake speak to you?  Does it whisper sweet nothings in your ear?  I tried this one out this past weekend because Mom and Dad were visiting and also I have this really cute beehive cake stand that was just screamin' for a job to do.  This was a very easy recipe and thanks to my Crisco Spray with Flour, it slid right out of the pan, no worries.

1 1/3 cups butter, softened
2 1/2 cups sugar
6 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
 Buttermilk Custard Sauce (ingredients/instructions listed separately)

1.  Preheat oven to 325.  Beat butter at medium speed until creamy--I use my stand mixer.  Gradually add in the sugar, beating at medium speed until light and fluffy.   Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing just until blended after each addition.

2.  Add flour to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour.  Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition.  Stir in vanilla.  Pour  batter into a greased and floured 10-inch (12-cup) tube pan ( I use Crisco Spray with Flour--less mess, same success).

3.  Bake at 325 for 65-70 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pan on a wire rack 10-15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (about 1 hour).  Serve with Buttermilk Custard Sauce--also very good plain or with chopped fresh fruit (I am trying it with mangoes next time).

Buttermilk Custard Sauce

2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp. cornstarch
3 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1.  Whisk together the buttermilk, sugar, cornstarch, and egg yolks in a heavy 3-qt. saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly, and boil 1 minute.

2.  Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla.

3.  Serve warm or cold.  Store leftovers in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 1 week.

Source: Kathleen Smith/Southern Living Magazine

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Stove Top Roast Chicken

This recipe is so easy and versatile. It tastes like roasted chicken and was created out of desperation for something different with little time left before dinner needed to be on the table. "Roast" extra and use the leftovers for Green and Pasta Salads, Chicken Sandwiches, Soups, many Mexican style dishes. Serve slices as a "roast" or as individual pieces.

10-14 boneless, skinless Chicken Tenderloins
Non-Stick Vegetable Oil Spray
1 medium to large onion chopped
1 medium to large green pepper chopped
Onion Powder
Lemon Pepper
water as needed

1. Spray large skillet with non-stick spray
2. Place Chicken in skillet. Sprinkle light to medium with Onion Powder and Lemon Pepper - cover
3. Cook on medium high for 8 minutes adding 1/4 cup water after first 4 minutes if chicken is sticking
4. Turn Chicken over and sprinkle lightly with Onion Powder and Lemon Pepper. Add chopped onion and green pepper. Add 1/2 cup water and cover
5. Cook on Medium high until chicken is light brown (7 -8) minutes. Remove Cover
6. Turn Chicken over and cook uncovered until onions and peppers start to and water is evaporated (2-4) minutes
7. Add 1/3 cup water and stir gently. This will create a light sauce on the chicken. Remove from heat and serve.

Source: A Jennie Original

Spinach Meatballs

It seems that the only protein I can get one of my children to eat is in the form of either meatloaf or meatballs. Really?? So in order to broaden our horizons, I found a recipe for these spinach meatballs, compliments of Gina's Skinny Recipes.

Meatball Ingredients:
1 lb lean ground beef
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp fresh parsley
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp olive oil

Sauce Ingredients:
1 tsp olive oil
3 cloves smashed garlic
28 oz can crushed tomatoes (I used Tuttorosso with Basil)
1/2 onion, unchopped

1. In a large pot, add olive oil and garlic. Cook on medium heat until garlic is golden brown.
2. Add tomatoes and onion and simmer 15-20 minutes.
3. In a large bowl, combine meat, spinach, bread crumbs, egg, garlic, parsley, and cheese. Mash with hands until all ingredients are well combined.
4. Roll meatballs to about the size of a tablespoon.
5. In a large skillet, allow olive oil to heat at medium.
6. Add meatballs to hot oil and cook until cooked through and brown, about 10 minutes.
7. When done, place meatballs on a plate lined with paper towels.
8. Once excess grease is absorbed, add meatballs to tomatoe sauce and continue simmering in sauce for an additional 15-20 minutes.
9. Remove onion from sauce and serve meatballs over your favorite pasta.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Orange Biscuits


1/2 cup cold butter (1/4 cup for the orange glaze and 1/4 cup for the bicuits)
1/2 cup orange juice (preferably fresh)
1/2 cup sugar
2 t. grated orange zest


2 cups all purpose flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
3/4 cup milk
1 to 2 T. butter for brushing on the uncooked biscuit dough
1/4 cup cinnamon sugar (mix about 1/4 cup sugar with about 2 t. cinnamon)


1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Grease a 12 muffin tin. (Note this recipe does not work with muffin liners.)
2. To make the glaze, combine 1/4 cup of the butter with the orange juice, sugar, and orange zest in a saucepan. Stir over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and then cook for 2 minutes.
3. Divide among the muffin cups.
4. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium size bowl. Cut in the remaining 1/4 cup of butter until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
5. Add the milk, stirring with a fork until the dough forms a ball. Turn it onto a counter, knead it briefly (4 turns or so), and roll it out into a 1/4 inch thick rectangle, roughly 12x8 inches.
6. Brush with the softened butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar.
7. Four your hands and roll up the dough, jelly roll style, then cut it into twelve 1 inch slices. Place a slice in each glaze filled muffin tin.
8. Bake for approx. 18 minutes or until the biscuits are golden brown. Run a knife around each biscuit, then turn them out, glazed side up, onto a cooling rack with a baking sheet or waxed paper below. Makes 12 biscuits.


Taters Ole'

My mother-in-law, the recipe guru, put this one together on her own with intent of making her own "copy-cat" recipe from Taco John's Potato Ole's.  The basic recipe is easy and can be topped with your own likings.  Ole'!  [o-lay]  =)

1 15oz can refried beans
1-2 lbs prepared taco meat (depending on how meaty you like it)
1 small can of diced green chiles or 1 10oz can Rotel (diced tomatoes with green chiles), I've also used 1c of's very flexible.
2lb bag of tater tots or tater rounds
2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
Sour cream
Sliced olives
Shredded lettuce

1.  Spread refried beans evenly in the bottom of a 9x13 pan
2.  Layer taco meat, green chiles (or salsa) and tater tots over the beans (in that
3.  Bake according to the tater tot directions.  Usually 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
4.  Remove from oven, sprinkle cheese over hot tater tots and bake for another 5-7
     minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly
5.  Top with your favorite mexi-toppings =)

Goes great with a side of yellow hominy cooked with butter and salt.  Mmmmm!

Source:  Debbie Hancock

Easy Rolls

These are my most favorite rolls to make and favorite to eat!

2 Tbs. yeast
1/2 c. warm water
3 c. milk
2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. sugar
3 eggs
2/3 c. shortening or oil (I always use shortening) 8 c. all purpose flour or more

Dissolve yeast in 1/3 c. warm water, set aside until puffy. Mix milk, sugar, salt, and shortening in saucepan; heat to scalding. After cooled, pour milk mixture into mixing bowl; add beaten eggs and yeast. Mix in flour to make soft dough. This is pretty sticky and soft, you made need to add more flour. Knead 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Let rise for 1 hour.

Punch down. Pull off desired amount and shape into rolls. Let rise in greased floured pans for 30-45 minutes. Bake at 400 degrees for about 10-15 minutes or until lightly brown on top. Butter the top and eat! Wow! Look at that roll! YUM!!

adapted from Bobbie Syphert's recipe.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Whole Wheat Waffles

Even picky eaters will eat these and they are so easy to make. I usually make several batches at one time so that I can have something quick to warm up for breakfast. Since they're made with whole wheat they are very filling so it doesn't take many to make a meal!

1 3/4 c. whole wheat flour (I've been using white wheat)
2 tbs. sugar
1 tbs. baking powder
2 eggs
1 3/4 c. milk
1/2 c. oil or melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla

**Spoon the whole wheat flour into the measuring cup-that will prevent it from "packing" and making the waffles too dense.
1-Sift the dry ingredients into one bowl.
2- In a separate bowl mix the wet ingredients.
3-Combine & cook.

A treat at our house is to get a can of cherry pie filling and whipping cream to go on top of the waffles. What's some of your favorite waffle toppings?

Recipe source: unfortunately I'm not sure where I got this from. I had it up on another blog of mine with a link (the link is no longer valid). Searched a few I know have whole wheat recipes on them with no success. If anyone has used this recipe and knows where it's located please let me know so that I can give credit where credit is due!

Soft Caramel Dip

I love this yummy dip.  It reminds me of all things fall, so I'm posting it today in honor of our first day of school which also reminds me of fall (even though technically it's still summer!).  I usually serve it with cut up apples and bananas, but you could experiment with other fruits as well as pretzels and various types of cookies (I bet Ginger Snaps would be awesome).  It's normal for small bits of caramel to never quite get mixed in.  Think of those as hidden treasures.

1 8-oz. pkg cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
50 store-bought caramels, unwrapped

1.  In a mixer, blend the cream cheese and sour cream together until smooth.
2.  Melt caramels in a microwave safe bowl.
3.  Immediately pour caramel into creamed mixture and blend well until smooth.
4.  Eat right away or store in the fridge.  You may need to warm it a bit in the microwave if it is too stiff from refrigeration.

Source:  my recipe box (no clue where it came from, sorry!)

Greek Flatbread Pizza

This is an absolute favorite at our dinner table, and probably the only recipe I have ever created myself. This pizza is so good, it doesn't even need any sauce! This recipe makes 2 personal size pizzas, but can easily be adjusted to make more.

The Crust:

You will need-
*2 T. Olive oil
*1 t. Minced or pressed garlic

I am in love with Naan (which seems like a departure from the "greek" theme, but it is delicious bread). If you are cooking for more than two, I would recommend Toufayan brand pita bread which comes in a 5 pack.

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

2. Mix about 2 Tbls. of olive oil with 1 tsp. of minced or pressed garlic.

3. Place the flatbreads on a baking sheet or stone and use a basting brush to spread the garlic and oil mixture.

4. Warm the bread in the 450 degree oven for 2-3 minutes, then remove to add your toppings.

The Toppings:

You will need-
*Shredded Mozzarella or Italian Cheese blend
*Feta Cheese
*1/2 an onion, grilled
*1 Tomato
*Fresh Spinach
*Left-over rotisserie or oven-baked chicken.

1. Slice the onion into thin strips and saute in oil or butter on med. heat until soft and caramelized. About 10 minutes.

2. While the onion is grilling, slice the tomato into wedges or thin rings, whichever you like.

3. Pull some meat off the chicken. Make the pieces bite-size.

Assembling the Pizza:

1. Sprinkle each warm, prepared flatbread crust with mozzarella cheese.
2. Layer several spinach leaves on top.

3. Continue to build your pizzas with the chicken, tomatoes, grilled onions and a feta cheese.

4. Bake at 450 degrees for 5-8 minutes or until the toppings are warm and the mozzarella cheese in melted. Serve immediately.

Greek Flatbread Pizza
Serves 2
1 pkg. Stonefire naan flatbread
2 T. olive oil
1 tsp. minced or pressed garlic

1/2 C mozzarella
1 tomato, sliced
1/2 an onion, sliced and grilled
1/2 C fresh spinach
1/2-1 C left-over rotisserie chicken pieces pulled from the bone
feta cheese (for sprinkling on top)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Take the flatbreads out of the package and place them on a baking sheet or stone. Prepare the flatbread crust by mixing the olive oil and garlic together and brushing the mixture onto one side of the bread. Place the bread into the oven and warm for 2-3 minutes. Remove from oven.
Sprinkle the mozzarella on the bread and arrange several spinach leaves on top. Then, add the rest of your toppings as desired.
Bake at 450 degrees F. for 5-8 minutes or until the mozzarella is melted. Serve immediately.