Monday, December 16, 2013

Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

3 Cloves Of Garlic Minced
4 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 10 3/4 oz Cans of Condensed Tomato Soup
2 Tbs. Tomato Paste
1 28oz Can Diced Tomatoes
3 cups Half-and-half
2 cups Chicken Stock
1/3 C. Dried Onions or 1 Onion chopped
1 Tbs. Dried Parsley
1 Tbs. Dried Basil
2 tsp. Dried Oregano
2 Cubes Chicken Bouillon
1/2 tsp Pepper
Salt to Taste
1 9 Oz Package Of Cheese Filled Tortellini
1/2 C. (+ more) Shredded Parmesan Cheese

In a big pot, Saute Garlic and onions in olive oil.  Add the Tomato Soup, Diced Tomatoes, half and half, chicken stock, dried herbs, chicken bouillon, pepper, and Parmesan cheese.  Let simmer for 45 minutes. Taste to see if it needs more salt.  If it does, add it 1/4tsp. at a time.

Add the cheese Tortellini, and let simmer for 45 minutes.  Serve with Parmesan Cheese sprinkled on top, and some yummy garlic bread.  Enjoy!

Friday, July 26, 2013

In a Pinch Fajitas

I haven't been to the grocery store in a couple weeks, so as you can imagine we were getting pretty low on supplies.  When I asked my husband what he wanted for dinner (I was praying he'd say takeout), he said Fajitas. Of course he said Fajitas, because the only 2 ingredients I had for them were chicken and tortillas.  Me being me, I started to search the pantry, and decided that I could make this work.  After a little creativity, this is what we ended up with, and they were DELICIOUS!

3-4 Chicken Breasts

3 Tbs. Olive Oil
Chicken Seasoning
Salt and Pepper
1 C. Italian Dressing
1 can Refried Beans
1 can Kidney Beans
2/3 C. Sour Cream
1 C. Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 Avocado (optional)
1 packet Taco Seasoning
Soft Flour Tortillas (or whatever you want)

Pre-Heat oven to 350
In a cast iron skillet (or a skillet that can go in the oven) heat the olive oil over medium heat until it is rippling, and just steaming.  While the olive oil is heating up, sprinkle your chicken breasts with the chicken seasoning on both sides and the salt and pepper. 

When the olive oil is hot, place your chicken breasts in the skillet and cook on both sides for 3 minutes. You want each side to be a little blackened.

While the chicken is cooking on each side, mix your taco seasoning and Italian dressing together.  Once your chicken has cooked on each side, turn off the heat, and pour the Italian dressing mixture into the skillet and coat the chicken.  Place a piece of aluminum foil over the top of the skillet, and place in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes or until cooked completely through.

While the chicken is baking, drain and rinse the kidney beans.  Place the refried beans, kidney beans, and cheese, into a microwave safe bowl, and heat in the microwave for about 5 minutes.  Take out and stir every 2 minutes.  When the refried beans and cheese are all melted and hot, stir in the sour cream until everything is smooth and creamy.

By this time the chicken should be almost done baking.  Slice your avocado into strips and place to the side.  Take your chicken out of the oven, and place each breast on a plate with the aluminum foil over it.  Let the chicken rest for 7-10 minutes.  Then slice into strips.

Heat your tortillas up until they're just warm, in the microwave, for about 30 seconds.  Then to assemble, take your tortilla and lay it flat on a plate.  Spread some of the refried bean mixture on top of it, then the sliced chicken, and then the avocado on top of that.  Then just roll up and eat. 

Your chicken has so much flavor that you're not going to need any taco sauce or extra cheese, and it is soooo moist and delicious!  I know this whole recipe sounds a little crazy, but one bite and you're going to be sold!  My husband said that this was one of his top favorite recipes of mine, so I think it'll stay in my "go to" file for sure!  Enjoy!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Baked Green Tomatoes

Since it's almost tomato season, I wanted to share one of my favorite recipes with all of you.  I promise, once you try green, they will become a summer staple.

1/2 C. Flour
2 Eggs, Beaten
5 C. Cornflakes
S & P
1/4 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
2 Lbs. Firm Green Tomatoes, Cut Thick
Lemon Wedges and Ranch Dressing for serving

Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Place Wire racks in a cookie sheet.
Place flour, eggs, and cornflakes into 3 separate, shallow bowls.  Season each with S & P
Stir Cayenne into to Flour.
Coat each tomato slice 1. Egg 2. Flour 3. Cornflakes (press lightly to adhere.)
Place on the rack in layers and place in oven.
Bake for 15 minutes or until each tomato is crisp and golden brown. Rotating the slices half way through baking.
Serve with Ranch and Spritz lemon onto each slice. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Tex Mex Sloppy Joes

I like to mix up the regular sloppy joe on occasion because it's such a versatile food.  I love working with ground beef because you can add basically anything and it's going to be delicious.  This is one of my favorite sloppy joe recipes that I grew up with so I wanted to share it with all of you!
1 lb. Ground Beef
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 C. Ketchup
1 can (4oz) chopped green chilies
1/2 C. Beef Broth
1/4 C. Chili Sauce
1/2 tsp. Chili Powder
1/2 tsp. Ground Cumin
Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Pepper
6 Hamburger Buns
Sharp Cheddar Cheese Slices

In a saute pan, brown the ground beef.  Remove the beef and in the drippings cook the onion and garlic until they are soft.  Drain the rest of the grease.  Add the beef back to the pan and add the remaining ingredients.  Once everything is well combined, turn the heat to low and let simmer for 30-35 minutes.

Turn the broiler onto low and butter your buns.  Place on a cookie sheet and cover one side of each bun with a slice of cheddar cheese.  Place under the broiler and crisp up to your liking.  Remove and add your meat to the bun.  Enjoy!!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Crock Pot Chicken and Veggies

This was a quick meal that threw together by opening my freezer and fridge and looking to see what I had to made.  The result was delicious and turned out great, so my husband deemed it blog worthy.
Credit-My Retro Kitchen
3 Bonless, Skinless, Chicken Breasts cut into strips (frozen or thawed)
4 Large Carrots, peeled, and chopped into chunks
Small Can of Peas, Drained
a few button Mushrooms, chopped
5 Yukon Gold Potatoes, scrubbed, and cut in chunks
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1 can full of water
2 Tbs. Dried Parsley
2 Tbs. Dried Oregano
2 Tbs. Dried Basil
1 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Pepper
1/3 C. Dried Minced Onions
1 tsp. Minced Garlic
1/3 C. white Rice

Spray your crock pot with non stick cooking spray. Layer chicken strips in bottom.
In a bowl combine soups and water and whisk together. Whisk in garlic and onions, set aside.
Over the chicken sprinkle all your seasonings. Layer on the vegetables. The dump your soup mixture on top.
Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, stirring occasionally. 2 hours before it's done add in 1/4C. white rice and just stir into the mix. Recover and let sit for remaining 2 hours. Serve in a bowl with some crusty bread. Enjoy!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Flower Sugar Cookies with Sour Cream Icing

These are the cookies I grew up with my entire life.  My mom would make these once a month for us.  She loved them plain, and I loved them with icing.  I'm finding on pinterest the recipe is being called "Swig Sugar Cookies".  I've never heard of Swigs, but my Mom grew up in the area where Swigs is, so maybe she got it from them.  I have no idea.  All I know is that this recipe is my personal favorite sugar cookie recipe that I have on my blog.  Seriously, they are amazing!!
Credit-Vintage Revival
1 C. Butter, room temp.
3/4 C. Vegetable Oil
1 1/4 C. Granulated Sugar
3/4 C. Powdered Sugar
2 Tbs. Water
2 Eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Cream of Tartar
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
5 1/2 C. All Purpose Flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Credit-Vintage Revivals
Cream together butter, oil, sugar, and vanilla.  Add the eggs.  Mix in the dry ingredients on low, and add the water.  Add the butter and mix on medium until everything is combined.

Grease your cookie sheet, and get a plate that has 1/4 C. of Sugar dumped on top. Then roll your cookies into golf ball size balls.  Place on the cookie sheet, and then grab a glass cup.  Using the bottom of your glass firmly press into the sugar/salt mixture on your plate.  Using the bottom of the glass press on the top of the cookie until it flattens to about 1/2in and resembles a flower because the sides will break apart.  Do this with every cookie re-dipping your glass into the sugar and salt each time.

Bake for 8 minutes or until the bottom of your cookies are just lightly browned.  Serve plain or with sour cream icing.  (The Swig cookies you serve cold, I've never tried it but I bet it would be amazing!)

Sour Cream Icing
1/2 C. Butter, room temp.
1 2lb Bag Powdered Sugar (yes entire bag)
1 tsp. Salt
1/4 C. Whole Milk
Food Coloring of your choice

Mix all ingredients together adding the milk slowly until you get to the consistency you want.  Spread onto cooled cookies or cold cookies.  Enjoy!!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Creamy Mac and Cheese with Bacon

I love to experiment with comfort foods, and mac and cheese is one of the ultimate comfort foods in America.  Tonight's dinner experiment turned out great and that's why you are all going to get it on the blog.  It's Mac and Cheese with Turkey Bacon (that's my little "healthy" tip). That being said, nothing about this recipe is healthy, but it's 100% delicious!!
2 Tbs. Butter
1 pkg. Elbow Pasta, cooked according to package directions
2 Tbs. Flour
1/2 C. Half and Half
1 lb. Turkey Bacon, cooked
3 1/2 C. Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
16 oz. Full Fat Sour Cream

Grill up your bacon, let cool, and cut into pieces. (I cook mine in the wok because I like to use to bacon fat but that's optional.) Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a wok combine your butter and flour, whisk to make your roux. Then when your butter is completely melted, add your half and half, then your cheddar and stir until melted. Add a sprinkle of pepper. Add the sour cream and turn on low, stirring occasionally (you just want everything combined).

Cook your pasta according to package instructions. Drain, (but reserve 1/4 C. pasta water) and dump pasta with the pasta water, into your cheese mixture. Add the chopped up bacon, and stir until everything is well combined.

Pour your mixture into a 9x13 baking dish and sprinkle with some sharp cheddar cheese.  Place in the oven for 15 minutes or until the top is just lightly brown and crusty.  Take out and let sit for 10 min. before serving.  Enjoy!!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Easy Pizza Pockets

With Cheese on Top
So I have seen these pizza pockets all over "Pinterest" but there has been 1 major thing bugging me about them.  They never have any sauce in the recipes.  They are only meat and cheese.  This morning I came up with my own little twist on the average pizza pocket, and I have to admit that it turned out amazing.  Definitely a Hubby's top favorite recipe, and a recipe that will now be a staple at our house.  Anything easy, and delicious, is something I will make over and over and over!!  I made 2 different batches so I'll give you some pictures of both.  I hope you enjoy this one!

18-24 Rhodes Rolls, thawed
1 Package Pepperoni (regular size)
1 lb. Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1 8oz. can Tomato Sauce
1 tsp. Minced Garlic (I used the kind that comes in a squeeze bottle)
a Handful of dried Onions
1 Tbs. Dried Parsley
1 Tbs. Dried Oregano
1 Tbs. Dried Basil
Pinch of Salt
Pinch of Pepper

In a bowl combine tomato sauce, garlic, onions, dried seasonings, and salt and pepper.  Whisk until well combined.  Set aside.
Without Cheese on Top

On your counter put a handful of flour down and dip each thawed roll in flour. Then take your rolling pin and roll it into a small disk (about the size of an individual pizza).

Place on one side of the disc 4-5 Pepperoni slices, a sprinkle of Mozzarella Cheese, and then in the middle of the disk pour 2 1/2 tsp. full of sauce.

You're then going to fold the dough over to create a little pocket.  Fold over all the stuffing and pinch all the sides close. Then place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Once you have done this with each roll, take a sharp knife and cut a little hole in the top of each pizza pocket. Sprinkle on a little cheese, and cover with a paper towel for about 25 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 15-20 minutes until the edges are browned and the tops are very lightly browned.

Removed from oven and place on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes before eating.  Serve with ranch dressing, or anything you like for dipping, or just eat plain like we did in our house.  I promise you are going to love these, and the possibilities are endless.  We just used Pepperoni, but you could add olives, mushrooms, peppers, anything your little heart desires.  Enjoy your own pizza pocket for everyone in the family.  There's enough for everyone to have 2nd's and even 3rd's.  Great dinner!!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Tomato Baked Eggs

This is one of my most favorite recipes. I know it says eggs, but I like this recipe for Lunch the most.  It's deliciously creamy with a little kick of spicy.  Above everything else though, it's insanely easy, and it's the perfect meal for brunch or even Father's Day.  Just a little hint to one of our upcoming summer holidays.

2 Large Eggs
1/4 C. Marinara Sauce
2-3 Tbs. Parmigano Reggiano, Grated
1 Tbs. Cream
1/8 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
1/8 tsp. Pepper
1 tsp. dried Parsley
1-2 tsp. Olive Oil
Touch of Salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

In a small oven safe baking dish (I use my rachael ray dish) spread your Marinara sauce on the bottom.  Sprinkle red pepper flakes, parsley, and pepper over the top.

With a spoon make a little trough in the center. Crack your eggs into a bowl one by one to make sure there are no shells. Then place each egg in the center of the baking dish, and make sure the yolks stay intact.

On top of the eggs drizzle cheese, cream, and olive oil, and then just a touch of salt.

Bake for 10-12 minutes just until the only thing that jiggles are the yolks.  You want them to just be firm.  Then mix the yolk into the white, and then spoon onto buttered (yes, real butter) toast, and you're going to die!  It's delectable.  I hope you enjoy this as much as we do in our house!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Homemade Twinkies

I have long had an obsession with Twinkies.  I think they're amazingly delicious.  They are soft, chewy, moist, and full of delicious cream.  

Mine are not the typical twinkies because I add a little bit of "Flair" to these puffed little cakes.  I hope you enjoy my version....I've yet to have a complaint.  I've included the cupcake and layer pan directions.

2 C. Cake Flour
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/2 C. Butter, room temp.
1 C. Sugar
3 Egg Yolks
1 tsp. Vanilla
3/4 C. Milk, room temp.
Vanilla Buttercream filling (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 375F degrees.

Cream butter and sugar until soft.  Beat until light, and then one by one add your egg yolks while mixing.  Mix until light and creamy.  Add vanilla.

Beat in the milk and the dry ingredients, until well incorporated.

Bake in a greased layer pan for about 25 minutes. 

You can also bake in a cupcake pan.  You fill the cupcakes 1/2 full and bake for 25 minutes.

Vanilla Buttercream Filling
2 sticks unsalted Butter
3-4 C. Powdered Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla

Mix with hand mixers in a bowl until soft and creamy. 

Take an apple core or paring knife and create a hole length wise in the twinkie or in the middle of the cupcake. 

Fill a ziploc baggie with the buttercream and cut off the corner.  Pipe into the cakes.  (Just a note, I have shown the cupcake, and layer pan style.)  Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Corn Dog Recipe

Happy Fat Tuesday everyone!! In celebration of this great day, I am sharing my traditional Fat Tuesday recipe with y'all.  Every Fat Tuesday my husband and I make my corn dogs.  Not only are they delicious, and 100% NOT nutritious, but they're Amazing!  I know you'll try one bite and you're going to Love them! Have a Happy Mardi Gras!

2/3 C. Flour
1/4 C. Cornstarch
1/4 C. Cornmeal
1/4 C. Sugar
1 Tbs. Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp. Onion Powder
1 C. Buttermilk
8 Hot Dogs
8 Thick Wooden Dowels
Soy Bean Oil (I like to go with the healthiest oil when I'm making these, but you can use what you want.)

Preheat 4 inches of oil to 350 degrees.
Mix Flour, Cornmeal, Sugar, Baking Powder, Salt, Garlic and Onion Powder, and Buttermilk together, until well incorporated into a somewhat smooth batter.
Push each wooden dowel into the hot dog at least 3/4 of the way up.  I like to leave about 3 inches sticking out of the bottom.
Put Cornstarch into a pie plate and dredge each hot dog in the cornstarch.
Then dip and heavily cover each hotdog in the cornmeal batter. Circle around to get the top to twist a bit, and place in HOT oil. 
Fry for 3-4 minutes turning over 1/2 way through cooking.
After 4 minutes or when the outside is completely nice and really golden brown, pull out and place on a paper towel until it's cooled down a bit. 
Serve with Mustard and Ketchup.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Chocolate-Almond-Coconut Milk

Coconut water is HUGE right now, and rightfully so.  It's extremely healthy, and has a lot of good nutrients, but I'm sorry, it's disgusting.  I needed something with a lot of potassium and electrolytes, and I came across this beautiful product...Sambazon Protein Chocolate-Almond-Coconut Milk.  It's nutritious AND Delicious!  My only problem was shelling out $3 a day for it when I'm drinking 2 of them a day.  

As I was walking down the aisle in Whole Foods to go pick some up, I walked passed CANNED coconut milk.  Well this got me thinking (which is something I really try not to do) and I figured, why not make my own?  I mean I have an amazing blender that will blend anything, and this canned coconut milk is only $1 a can, so I'm going to do it. 

I went and bought one of the bottles so I could see the ingredients on the back.  I figured that the only important things to have to make this was dutch process cocoa, powdered sugar, almonds, vanilla soymilk, vanilla extract, and coconut milk.  Turns out I was right.  So instead of spending a ton of money stocking up on these delicious bottles for the week, I stocked up on the ingredients to make it. 

As I checked out with my ingredients I realized that I had spent about $20 on everything, and I bought 6 cans of coconut milk so I would have it on hand.  I knew I better make this work or I just wasted money on what could have gone to the real deal.

I got home, pulled down the Blendtec to see if my Chocolate-Almond-Coconut Milk really would blend.  (I know, my sarcasm is hysterical.)  After I experimented a bit and tasted the final product I was VERY happy.  It literally tasted the exact same, and I only used 1 1/2 cans of coconut milk for 2 quarts of the finished product.  So my friends, I am here to share the wealth with all of you!  Enjoy!

1 14.5 oz can Coconut Milk
1/2 of another 14.5oz can of Coconut Milk (I put the remainder in ice cube trays, froze them and saved them for next time)
1 1/2 Tbs. Dutch Process Cocoa
1/2-2/3 C. Powdered Sugar
1-1 1/2 C. Vanilla Silk Soymilk
1/2 C. Raw Almonds
2 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
6 ice cubes (just to make it cold. this is optional)

In your Blender, blend up the coconut milk, almonds, and soymilk. Blend until the almonds have broken down. Then add remaining ingredients and blend until it's the consistency you want. 

If you want it runnier add more soymilk. If you want it thicker add more almonds.  If you want it sweeter more powdered sugar. Creamier? more coconut get the idea.

Then I just pulled out some hand dandy mason jars, spaghetti jars, any jars, filled them up, and put them in the fridge to drink.  This recipe made 2 Quarts.

The best part is the little almond bits you get in every sip.  Put it on ice and drink it straight out of the jar. I hope you like it!!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Real Belgium Waffles

I have an amazing neighbor from Belgium.  She is absolutely darling, and is an amazing cook!  I went and visited her the other day and she had just made a batch of waffles.  She gave me one, and I swear I went into my own little Dreamland that was made of the most delicious things you could ever imagine.  I was running through fields of candy, cakes, and cookies.  When I finally came back to reality, I asked her if she would teach me how to make them.  She was so excited, and more than happy to teach me.  So I spent a day with her and watched her create this amazing masterpiece.  I asked her if she would allow me to post the recipe on my blog, and SHE was flattered!  I told her that I'm the one that will be eternally grateful.

The other day in the mail my "Belgium Pearl Sugar" came from Amazon, and I was so excited to think that I got to make my own waffles.  I was a little nervous about screwing it up, but she told me she would run over if I had any questions.  I've always been pretty good with yeast recipes, but I had her number on speed dial just in case.  After about 2 hours of preparing the dough I was finally able to cook them.  I'm happy to say that they turned out amazing!  Now all I need is for one of my friends to get pregnant, or married, so I can throw a Waffle Bar shower!  Trust me, once you try these you're never going to go back to regular waffles.

(I also wanted to let you know that I am making these in Utah, where it's cold, so the yeast directions should be adjusted to where you live.  If you live in a warm climate it will take a shorter amount of time, by about 30 minutes)

6 Tbs. Warm Whole Milk (no more than 110 degrees)
2 tsp. Dry Active Yeast
1/2 tsp. Sugar
1 1/2 C. Bread Flour (yes, it really has to be BREAD FLOUR)
1 tsp. Cinnamon
2 tsp. Vanilla Bean Paste (You can substitute extract, but the paste is amazing and if you don't have it, GET SOME! order on Amazon)
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 Large Egg
1 Large Egg Yolk
1/2 C. (1 Cube) Butter, slightly more cool than room temp. cut into chunks
1/2 C. Belgium Pearl Sugar (you can purchase on Amazon)

Warm up your Milk, and sugar until completely dissolved.  Making sure that the milk is no hotter than 110 degrees (I just make mine a little bit warmer than bath water), stir in the yeast.  Set in a warm room and let Bloom (about 10 min.)

While the yeast is blooming, mix together flour, cinnamon, and salt.  When they yeast has bloomed, mix into the flour mixture. Mix until it's just combined.  Add the vanilla bean paste, egg, and egg yolk. Mix on medium speed until just combined and no more.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm room for about 1 hour (30 min. in warmer climate).

When the dough has had time to rise, put back on the mixer and slowly mix in the chunks of butter 1 at a time. You don't want the butter to melt which is why you want it chilled.  You want chunks of butter throughout your dough.

When your butter is mixed in, place dough on a cutting board and knead in the pearl sugar until well combined.  Cut into 12 small balls, and space out on cutting board.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in a small room to rise for 30-45 min. (45 if you want it more chewy, and 30 if you want more dense.)

Heat your waffle iron to medium-hight heat. Spray with cooking spray and place the dough in the center of the iron.  Cook until the outside is golden brown, and the sugar has crystalized the outside.  Serve hot with any toppings you like. This recipe will make about 12.

If you are making a waffle bar, serve with whipped cream, strawberries, melted chocolate, syrup, any fruit you would like, and cream.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Best Brownies

As I was baking my brownies today, I realized that I had never share my recipe on the blog.  WHAT?!  How could I have done this?  I mean everyone needs to know how to make brownies.  It should be a law.  So today I am going to share my favorite and most delicious brownie of all time recipe (at least in my opinion).
2 Sticks of Butter
1/3 C. Cocoa
2 C. Flour
2 C. Sugar
4 Eggs
4 tsp. Vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Over medium heat, melt the butter and cocoa until smooth.  Pour into a mixer and add the eggs, vanilla, and sugar.  Mix until creamy, and add the flour.  Mix until well incorporated, and do not over stir.

Line a 9x13 baking dish with parchment paper and pour the batter into the dish.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool for 10 minutes and then frost.

Frosting Recipe
1 cube butter
1/3-1/4 C. milk
3-3 1/2 C. Powdered Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/4 C. Cocoa
Pinch of Sea Salt

Mix all together until it's the consistency that you would like.  (If you want it more runny add 3 C. Powdered Sugar, for firming add 3 1/2 C.)

Pour over warmed brownies and let harden just a bit.

I serve with Vanilla Ice Cream.  Enjoy!!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Utah "Mormon" Scones

Growing up in Utah I was raised on Hot Scones.  Every year they would have a big festival in my hometown and a group would set up a tent and sell the most amazing hot, buttery, flaky, and delicious, scones.  They seriously were to die for.  Well a little later on in my life (yes, just this year) I was looking through my Dad's recipes when I came across the group's recipe that sells the scones.  He used to work for them when he was little, and he has the recipe!  I about died, and I knew I had to share it with all of you.  It's just too good to not share, and everyone across the country deserves to try the Utah "Mormon" Scones!!  Enjoy!
1 C. Warm Water
1 C. Warm Milk
1 Tbs. Dry Active Yeast
3 Tbs. Sugar
1/4 C. Melted Butter, cooled
1 Tbs. Salt
5-6 C. Flour
Vegetable Oil for Deep Frying
Combine warm water and warm milk.  Stir in the sugar.  Add dry active yeast and stir lightly.  Allow yeast to activate, about 10 minutes.  

In a stand mixer, fitted with a bread hook, add milk mixture and melted cooled butter.  Add the salt.  Start the mixer and add the flour one cup at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.  Dough should be slightly sticky but workable.  Cover the dough in the bowl with a towel.  Set in a warm place and allow raise until double.

Pour your oil in a large pan (with sides deep enough to fully immerse the scones) or a deep fryer and heat slowly over medium to medium high heat.  While the oil is heating, roll the dough out onto the counter, without flour, into a large rectangle about 1/2 inch thick.  You may choose to butter the counter lightly.  Using a pizza cutter, cut into squares. 

Heat oil to between 350 – 400 degrees and cook scones until golden brown.  Serve immediately with honey butter or buttermilk maple syrup.  Delicious!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Buttermilk Belgian Waffles

We love waffles at our house.  I have a strict rule though, that any cakey breakfast like pancakes, waffles, crepes, and so on; have to contain Buttermilk.  It is my secret ingredient in not only my main dish, but also the delicious syrup you pour over it.  I can't take credit for the syrup because my amazingly talented sister is the creator of the Buttermilk syrup.  Anyway, back to the waffles.  So I love a waffle that is crisp and hot on the outside and soft, moist, and melts in middle.  I know your waffle iron has a lot to do with how they turn out, but once you perfect the cooking time on your waffle maker you're golden!  So here is my recipe for my Buttermilk Belgian Waffles:
2 C. Flour
1/2 tsp. Salt
2 Tbs. Sugar
1 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1 3/4 C. Buttermilk
1 cube Butter cut in 1/2
1 tsp. Vanilla Bean Paste (or vanilla extract)
2 Eggs, separated
Separate your eggs.  In a mixer combine dry ingredients.  Melt 1/2 of your stick of butter (4 Tbs.) and combine with the butter milk and egg yolks.  On a slow speed, slowly pour your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients.  Mix in the Vanilla Bean Paste, just until combined.

With a hand mixer, whip your egg whites until stiff peaks are formed. Slowly fold in egg whites to your batter with a rubber spatula.

Heat up your waffle iron.  Melt your other 1/2 stick of butter and using a pastry brush, dip bristles in butter and spread on your hot waffle iron.  Then scoop about 1/3 cup of the batter into your belgian waffle maker.  You just want it to be full but not overflow.  If it does go over the sides, just scrape it off because you want a nice clean edge.

Let cook until golden brown.  Serve with butter, syrup, nutella, strawberries, powdered sugar, whipped cream, chocolate, the possibilities are endless.  My own personal favorite is to butter it, then put a over easy egg on top, pour the buttermilk syrup on top of that, and then dive in.  I love the soft egg yolk melts all over my waffle.  :)  That's me though.  

I hope you all enjoy your Waffles!!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Homemade Bread Crumbs

Anytime you have the chance to make something homemade vs. buying it in the store, I say DO IT!  I normally can't make homemade bread crumbs because we use bread so quickly at our house.  I knew we would be gone the whole week of Christmas and I had a fresh loaf of bread that was going to be home.  I stuck the bread in the fridge so it would be ready when I got home.

When I got home I let the bread sit in the fridge for another couple of days (just because I was lazy) and then pulled it out this morning.  I pulled out my trusted coffee grinder (which I grind EVERYTHING in) and started breaking up the bread.  (This is also a great way to clean your coffee grinder after making coffee with it.  I learned that trick back in college.  Coffee grinds are so hard to get out, so put a fresh piece of bread in your grinder, grind it a few times and the bread will pick up all of those little coffee pieces.)

So here is what you need....1/2-1 Loaf of white or wheat bread (and you want it cold)
Coffee Grinder or Food Processor
Ziploc Baggies (to freeze in)

Step 1.
Pull Your Grinder out
Step 2.
Break your bread into little pieces and put in the grinder and grind.
Step 3.
Dump into Zilpoc baggies that have been marked with the name and date and throw in the freezer until you need them.
If you want to snazzy up your crumbs you can also add any herbs you like as well.  I will sometimes add parsley, oregano, and basil to the bag, shake it up and then freeze it.  You can also bake the crumbs under the broiler for a minute if you want them crisp.  I have found that I like them a little soft when I am making my Meatloaf or Meatballs because it makes the dinner more moist.  Do whatever you please.  It's completely up to you.

I love making homemade bread crumbs because you know exactly what goes into it, you don't have to throw away old bread, and you can freeze them for whenever you need them.  It's a great way to save money and time.  Have a great day!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Cinnamon and Sugar Toast

So I know all of you are reading the title of this recipe and thinking, "Why in the world do I need a recipe for cinnamon Toast?"  The fact of the matter is, that you don't.  But if you want to have the greatest Cinnamon and Sugar Toast you have ever had in your entire life, I highly recommend this recipe.  Follow to a "T" and you will not regret it.  It's amazing, and will blow any Cinnamon and Sugar Toast you have had in the past, out of the water!!
2 Slices Thick White Bread
4 tsp. Sugar
1/8 tsp. Cinnamon
unsalted REAL Butter

Preheat Broiler on Low
Mix the cinnamon and sugar in a little bowl while you lightly toast your bread.  When the bread comes out of the toaster slather it with butter and sprinkle 2 tsp. of the mixture on each piece of toast.  (This is the magic part) Take the 2 slices on buttered toast with the cinnamon and sugar, place on a cookie sheet, and place under the broiler for about 1 minute until the sugar has melted.  It is AMAZING!  

When the sugar melts and hardens a little with the broiler it just sends this ordinary breakfast favorite over the top.  I promise once you try having cinnamon toast this way you will never go back to the old toast, butter, and sprinkle.  Enjoy!!