Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pumpkin Butterscotch Muffins

It is that pumpkin time of year.  This is one of my favorite pumpkin recipes.  My kids love these!

Pumpkin Butterscotch Muffins
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 3/4 cups pumpkin
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 cups nuts, optional
  • 2 cups butterscotch chips
Combine all dry ingredients. Add pumpkin, eggs, and oil. Mix until smooth. Add nuts if desired and the butterscotch chips. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until done. Makes 18 muffins.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

White Bread

Yes, wheat bread is better for you.  Yes, I have a wheat grinder and 1500 pounds of wheat.  But white bread my friends, homemade, warm and slathered with butter is comfort food.  It also makes superior grilled cheese sandwiches.

Sassy's White Bread
  • 1-1/2 c. warm water
  • 1/4 c. demerara, turbinado or good ol' white sugar
  • 1 T. yeast
  • 4 c. flour
  • 1 t. salt
In the bowl of your standing mixer combine water and sugar.  Sprinkle yeast on top and let proof for 5 minutes.  (I never skip the proofing.  How will you know if your yeast did not activate, if the water killed it because it was too hot or if the yeast was just plain old dead?)  Once the yeast has become slightly foamy you know it is time for flour and salt.  Add in flour and then salt and knead with your dough hook for 5 minutes.  You may need to add a little more water or a little more flour depending on the consistency of your dough. Your dough should be nice and smooth and the sides of the mixing bowl should be clean.  Once your dough has kneaded for 5 minutes, shape into a ball, place back in mixing bowl and cover with a towel. Let rise 30 to 45 minutes, until doubled.  Once doubled, gently deflate and shape into a loaf shape. Place dough in a greased loaf pan, cover with towel and let rise 30 to 45 minutes, until almost doubled. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 35 minutes, until golden brown.  After removing from oven, let bread sit in pan for about 5 minutes.  This sort of steams the crust so it is not has hard and weird kids will eat it because the crust is not too hard/crunchy. This recipe makes a 12 inch loaf.  I have the Norpro 12 inch Nonstick Bread Pan.  It is a dream.  Just a little bit of nonstick spray and the bread just pops right out every time.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Black Bean Soup

There is nothing quite like the smell of new born babe...the best smell next to that would have to be bacon, onions and garlic frying.

You can use regular chicken broth or you can use this extra tasty stuff.

Black bean soup garnished with grated cheese and sour cream.

Hello my 32 faithful followers!  I am back. There is a chill in the air.  Cold enough to stay under the down comforter all night.  Cold enough to wear socks in the morning.  Cold enough to eat soup, chili and stew any night of the week.  I will definitely double this recipe next time.  My oldest was not feeling well and she did not eat any and there was only 1 bowlful left.  I like to have enough left for the next least for the 2nd born who despises the sandwich.  Even the 3rd born, the pickiest of pickies gobbled this down.  This says a lot.  If it is not Mexican or pizza or hamburgers...he would rather starve than eat.  He comes by this honestly.  I think Rowdy only ate peanut butter and jelly for the first 12 years of his life.  Since his momma wanted him to eat something hot, she started serving up grilled peanut butter and jelly.  I will have to do a post on the unusual art of the grilled peanut butter and jelly soon.

Black Bean Soup
  • 1 lb. dry black beans
  • 7 slices of bacon
  • 1/2 an onion
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 1 t. chili powder
  • 1 t. cumin
  • 4 c. chicken broth or water mixed with Better than Bouillon
The night before, pick through beans and remove any rocks, etc. and soak in a large bowl of water or in your crock pot.  The next day, drain and rinse beans thoroughly. Put beans in crock pot with chili powder, cumin and chicken broth. Chop bacon (I cut it up with kitchen scissors) into small pieces and throw in a medium sized frying pan.  Begin to cook over medium heat until some fat renders.  Add onion and garlic.  Cook until bacon is almost crisp and onion is clear.  This will smell heavenly.  Throw the bacon mixture into the crock pot and cook for 8 hours on low or 4-1/2 hours on high (I cooked my on high).  Just before serving remove half of the beans to a blender and blend until smooth.  Return to crock pot and mix thoroughly.  Serve with shredded cheese and sour cream. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cast Iron Cornbread

I grew up eating cornbread this way.  It is the yummiest way to cook it.  Nice and crispy, almost fried on the edges.  The only difference between now and then is that I add sugar.  I am half Yankee after all!  I just don't know how those Southerner's do it without sugar.

The dry ingredients.

Throw in the buttermilk and the egg.  You could mix them in a separate bowl and then add them in, but then you would have another dirty bowl.

This batter will be nice and thick.

My skillet looks a little dry.  I am not that good at keeping it seasoned well, but the butter will help to season it some.

Here it is, just put in the oven (I forgot to take a picture before I put it in the oven).  Look what the butter does.  It sneaks up over the top.....

  • 1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (I use demerara)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 3/4 cups buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add egg and buttermilk and mix well. Once oven is heated to 425 degrees place 10 to 11 inch cast iron skillet into over with 4 tablespoons unsalted butter. Watch carefully to not burn butter, but melt the butter completely.  Be careful, the pan will be HOT.  Swirl the butter around in the pan and then pour in the batter.  Spread batter out evenly.  Return to oven and bake for 18 to 25 minutes, until toothpick test comes out clean.  Mine only took about 18 minutes, but my skillet is 11-3/4 inches. Slice into wedges and serve.  No extra butter needed.  This stuff is already very buttery.  I serve this last night with White Chicken Chili.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cheese Enchiladas With Homemade Chili Gravy

Bowl o' spices.

The roux.......

Once you have cooked the roux for 5 minutes or so, add the bowl o' spices and cook another 5 minutes until fragrant.

The finished sauce...yummy.

After putting about 1/2 a cup of sauce in bottom of a 13x9 inch pan, start assembling enchiladas, placing seam side down.  These babies are stuffed with cheese and finely diced onion.

Ready for the oven, sprinkle with more cheese and more diced onion.

I did alter the original recipe a bit.  First off, I double the recipe because we like to pan was not enough.  I also reduce the salt and cumin a bit and it was still very well seasoned. The recipe below will make about 2-1/4 to 2-1/2 cups sauce.

Chili Gravy
  • 1/4 cup lard or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (Mexican oregano if you have it)
  • 2 tablespoons dark chili powder
  • 2 cups chicken broth
Make a roux with vegetable oil and flour.  Cooking for about 5 minutes, until lightly golden and fragrant.  Add spices and continue stirring for another minute.  Add chicken broth, stirring to prevent lumps.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes.  It's that simple.  You now have homemade enchilada sauce, which will taste at least 1000 times better than anything in a can.

  • 12 to 14 homemade tortillas, but I suppose store bought if you must
  • 3 plus cups cheese
  • Diced onion, I like a lot, do what you like...maybe none.
  • Chili gravy
Pour about 1/2 a cup of sauce in the bottom of a 13x9 inch pan that has been sprayed with nonstick spray. Begin assembling enchiladas.  My tortillas were nice and soft because I had just made them so they were no problem to roll.  If your tortillas are a little stiff, warm them slightly (in microwave or in frying pan) to soften to they don't crack and break during assembly. Once your pan is stuffed full of enchiladas, pour the remaining sauce evenly over the top. Sprinkle with more cheese and onions.  Bake at 450 for 20 or so minutes, until sauce is bubbly and the cheese is melted.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Tortillas...Corn or Flour?

Flour or corn, corn or flour...what about flour-corn?  These are so tasty.  They are also much easier and faster than making straight flour tortillas.  This would really be a snap with a tortilla press...but I made my own.  I made a double batch, which was 30 tortillas.  From there I made the most awesome enchiladas with homemade enchilada sauce.  This truly was a labor of love.  Rowdy really likes enchiladas.  I am not a fan of canned sauce so I don't make them often.  Canned sauce tastes nothing like the real stuff, it doesn't even look like the real stuff.

Of course I didn't come up with this on my once again goes to Chickens in the Road.

This is actually the lid to my cast iron dutch oven, which can also be used as a frying pan if you flip it over.  I am using it as the base of my tortilla press.  I put a towel under to protect the counter.  On top of the pan is a large Ziploc that has been cut down the sides.  In the center is a 2 ounce ball of dough.

This is the dutch oven pot.  I placed in on the ball of dough and pressed down quite hard.

Here is the pressed dough ball.

I rolled it out even further with a rolling pin.

Then cook the tortilla in a cast iron skillet, about 45 seconds per side.  I know that my pan looks unseasoned.  This happens when you cook a bunch of tortillas in it.  When I was done, I rinsed the pan and oiled it with a paper towel.

Soft Flour-Corn Tortillas

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups masa harina
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup shortening or lard
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
Mix the flours and salt in a medium-size bowl. Cut in shortening with a pastry cutter. Stir water in (add a little at a time after the first cup) and mix the dough as much as possible with a fork or spoon. Knead, adding water, until you have a pliable dough. (Not too wet! Be careful adding the water after the first cup. You may not need the entire cup and a half.) Cover bowl and let rest for about 20 minutes. Sprinkle a bit of flour in the bowl and knead again briefly. Divide dough into 14 to 16 balls.  I weighed out my dough into 2 ounce portions and ended up with 15 tortillas per batch. Place a cast iron skillet on high heat. (Cast iron works best–you need something that can take high heat with no oil.)  Flatten your tortilla with what ever method you prefer.  I do not have a tortilla press, which would be handy.  Maybe I will ask for one for Christmas.  In the meantime, I used two cast iron pans.  I cut open a large Ziploc bag and placed 1/2 of it on one pan, then placed a ball of dough in the center.  Next, I folded the other 1/2 of the bag over the dough ball and pressed down quite hard with another cast iron pan.  This did not get the dough quite as thin as I wanted, so I just used my rolling pin, on top of the plastic to spread the dough out a little more.


Hey What's For Dinner

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Breakfast Casserole

Another great recipe from Chickens in the Road.  I could have just made eggs, bacon and toast with butter this morning.  Everyone likes that, well almost everyone.  Instead I decided to make this most delicious casserole, but kids are weird.  Just plain old weird.  This casserole has all the same ingredients you would get with buttered toast, bacon and scrambled eggs with cheese.  I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin' it is the same thing just in a different shape.  Some children looked at it like it was from Mars.  I think it is delicious. Super Yummy.  I'll say it again, kids are weird.

You could easily prep the day before baking, cooking bacon, cutting bread, grating cheese and then just throw it together in the morning. 

Place bread in 3 quart baking dish and toss with butter.

Now toss the buttered bread cubes with cheese.

Mix together sour cream, eggs and milk.  Pour over bread, mashing down a little to be sure to get all the pieces wet. Sprinkle crumbled bacon on top and cover with aluminum foil.

Here is the finished product!  All puffed up with cheesy, buttery, bacony goodness.

Ultimate Breakfast Casserole
  • 4 cups cubed bread, I used homemade white bread
  • 1/2 c. butter, melted
  • 2 c. cheese, I used Mexican blend
  • 8 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 pound bacon, fried and chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Spray a 3 quart or 13x9 inch casserole dish with nonstick spray.  Spread cubed bread in pan.  Toss with melted butter.  Now toss with cheese. Combine eggs, milk and sour cream, and salt and pepper to taste.  Go light on the salt...bacon is already salty. Pour over bread cubes, pushing the cubes down slightly to be sure all pieces are wet. Sprinkle chopped bacon over the top. Cover casserole with aluminum foil and bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes. If you like vegetables for breakfast, you could easily toss in diced onion and green peppers with the eggs before pouring over the bread.  You could really add anything you want. 

Friday, October 8, 2010

Easy Orange Chicken

My second born chick loves Panda Express Orange Chicken.  She usually picks Panda for her birthday lunch.  I found this sauce at Costco and was quickly coerced into buying it.

Here is my version of orange chicken.  The first thing you may notice is that there is no breading and the chicken is not deep fried.  True, I didn't deep fry the chicken, it was a hit none the less.  I will say it was a little spicy for the pickiest of eaters, but he did choke down a few bites.

Orange Chicken

  • 1 jug Panda Orange Chicken sauce
  • Chicken tenders, enough to feed your crew
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Steamy hot white rice
  • About 3 T. canola oil
Rinse chicken tenders in cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.  Sprinkle salt and pepper over the tenders.  Place oil in frying pan and heat on medium high heat.  Place chicken tenders in the pan, not touching (you may have to do batches if you are making a lot), and brown on one side, 3 to 5 minutes. Flip chicken and brown other side, cooking through.  If doing multiple batches, just set cooked chicken on plate and cover with foil to keep warm.  Once you are done cooking chicken, return all chicken to pan on medium low heat. Pour in desired amount of orange sauce and cook just until sauce is hot. Serve over steamed rice.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

My Favorite Sugar Cookie!

I found this recipe at Savory Sweet Life. These are now my favorite sugar cookies ever!  Crisp and sweet.  My daughter whipped these up this afternoon for Bible Study. 

Sugar Cookies

  • 1 cup salted butter
  • 1-1/4 c. sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/3 cup demerara, coarse sugar crystals or regular granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together butter and sugar until it is nice and creamy. Mix in 1 egg yolk at a time and vanilla extract. Add flour, baking soda, cream of tarter, and salt until cookie dough is completely mixed. Be sure to scrape down the bowl to be sure everything is mixed. Using a medium scoop, form dough balls and roll them in sugar crystals. Place cookie balls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper 2 inches apart from one another. Bake for 12-14 minutes until the edges just start to brown. Remove from oven and allow cookies to remain on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Cheese Burger Soup

This is one tasty, hearty soup.  Excuse my terrible photography skills.  I am a work in progress.

Please serve Cheese Burger soup and any other meal at your table with The Perfect Dinner Roll.

Every one at our house loves this soup.  Even Rowdy Jr. the pickiest eater next to my good friend in Mississippi likes this soup.  Now I am not picking on my friend....just givin' her a shout out so that she knows we still love her California.  This is another great recipe from Lynn's Kitchen Adventures.

Cheeseburger Soup
  • 1 pound hamburger
  • 1 red onion, diced fine
  • 2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 6 cups chicken broth (I use Better Than Bouillon)
  • 8 cups diced peeled potatoes
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 cups milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
In a 5-qt. Dutch oven or similar pot, brown beef with onion, parsley and basil. Drain off excess fat. Add broth and potatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt butter. Add flour, making a roux; cook and stir for 3-5 minutes or until bubbly. Add about a cup of milk and whisk until smooth.  Add to soup pot and bring to a boil; boil 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add remaining milk, cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Once this is mixed well, remove from heat and add in sour cream and stir until melted and well combined. 

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Pecan Pie Muffins...for pecan pie lovers only.

Fill the muffin cups about 2/3rds full.  This recipe makes between 8 and 10 muffins.

These delicious little babies have no leavening agent except the eggs.  As a result they will just rise to be level with the muffin cup.

I found this recipe at PW's Tasty Kitchen.  My husband's favorite pie is pecan pie so I knew I had to try these.  These are not to be messed with.  Don't change a thing.

Pecan Pie Muffins

  • 1 cup Packed Light Brown Sugar

  • ½ cups All-purpose Flour

  • 1 cup Chopped Pecans

  • ⅔ cups Softened Butter

  • 2 whole Eggs Beaten
Preheat oven 350 F.  Grease your muffin pan well.  In a medium bowl, stir together brown sugar, flour and pecans. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and eggs together until smooth. Stir into the dry ingredients just until combined. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Cups should be about 2/3 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.  This made 10 muffins for me, but this will vary depending on the size of your muffin pan and how much batter you put in each cup.

I have a feeling serving these as dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream would be amazing!

Hey What's For Dinner


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