Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Oatmeal Wheat Bread

Homemade bread, fresh from the oven and slathered with butter. Nothing else is as good. This is an excellent bread I found at A Bountiful Kitchen go and check out her post because she also has an informative FAQ about bread making.

Oatmeal Wheat Bread

2 cups whole milk
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking) plus additional for topping
1/2 cup warm water
2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup honey
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 cups whole-wheat flour
About 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
Vegetable oil for oiling bowl
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water
2 8x4 loaf pans
Heat milk in a 1 1/2- to 2-quart saucepan over low heat until hot but not boiling, then remove pan from heat and stir in oats. Let stand, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until cooled to warm.
Stir together water, yeast, and 1 teaspoon honey in a small bowl; let stand until foamy, 5 minutes. Stir yeast mixture, melted butter, and remaining honey into cooled oatmeal.
Stir together whole-wheat flour, 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour, and salt in a large bowl. Add oat mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms. Turn out onto a well-floured surface and knead with floured hands, adding just enough of remaining unbleached flour to keep from sticking, until dough is smooth, soft, and elastic, about 10 minutes (dough will be slightly sticky). If using a mixer, or Kitchenaid, use dough hook and mix for about 10 minutes until dough forms a ball and all flour is mixed in. Add up to 1 cup of additional flour if needed. Transfer to an oiled large bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel; let rise at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1 hour.
Lightly grease loaf pans. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead several times to remove air. Divide dough in half and shape each half into a loaf, then place 1 loaf in each pan, seam side down, tucking ends gently to fit. Cover loaf pans loosely with a kitchen towel and let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Put oven rack in lower half of oven and preheat to 375°F. Lightly brush tops of loaves with some of egg wash and sprinkle with oats, then bake until bread is golden about 30 minutes. Remove bread from pans and transfer to a rack to cool.

Grilled cheese on homeade Oatmeal Wheat Bread

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Potato Soup

I don't like potato soup from a can but I saw a recipe at Batter-Splattered that looked really good. I would have posted a picture but go here and check out this picture because it is much better than the one I took. It turned out very well and I would make it again.

Potato Soup
Serves four to six depending on how big the bowl
2 T olive oil
2 carrots, chopped
One stalk of celery, chopped
1/2 c onion, chopped
1/2 t dried thyme
3 T flour
2 c chicken broth
2 c milk -- 2% works fine, I haven't tried it with skim
2 good-sized potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 c frozen or fresh peas
1/2 c frozen or fresh corn
1 c shredded cheese
1/2 c chopped ham
Chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add carrot, celery, onion, and thyme. Saute for 5 minutes or so, until vegetables are soft. Sprinkle flour over veggies and stir for two minutes. Gradually stir in broth, then milk. Add potato, peas, and corn, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potato is soft, about 20 minutes.

To make it naughty, you can add the cheese, stirring until cheese is melted and smooth. Then stir in the ham.
Sprinkle with parsley, salt and pepper.

Spanish Bar Cake

A&P's Spanish Bar Cake, I fondly remember them. Sadly I haven't had one in years but I had a craving so I searched for a recipe and made an attempt at recreating it. The cake turned out okay but it wasn't the cake I remember. I didn't have cloves so I used extra allspice which could have been part of why it wasn't the same. The frosting however was nothing like the original. I'm pretty sure the frosting on the original was cream cheese but I thought I'd try the one that was with the recipe I found.

I would still consider making this again even if it's not right it's still a nice raisin cake. I would use a different frosting though.

I found the recipe here.

A&P Spanish Bar Cake
4 cups water
2 cups raisins
1 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
2 eggs, beaten

Add water to raisins and simmer for 10 minutes. Add shortening and allow to cool. Sift together spices and flour, salt, sugar and baking soda. Add cooled raisin mixture and blend well. Add beaten eggs and nuts and stir well. Place into a 9-by-13-inch pan in a preheated 350-degree oven for 35 minutes, or until tester comes our clean. It can also be baked in a jelly roll pan for 25 minutes.
Frost when cool.

1/3 cup shortening
3 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk or cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Beat till smooth and creamy.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mac and Cheese - Fail!

I have been wanting macaroni salad for a few days and decided to make some last night. I had already started cooking the pasta when I realized I didn't have all the stuff to make it, one day perhaps I will learn to get all the ingredients together before I start cooking. So I figured since the noodles were already cooked I would make some macaroni and cheese. I had a recipe bookmarked to try and I followed the instructions except I used a cup of mozzarella and the rest cheddar. I don't know what happened but the texture of the sauce was gritty. Was it the mozzarella? Should I have cooked the flour longer? Total failure :-(

Monday, October 18, 2010

White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

 Wow, I haven't posted anything here since February. I intend to try and blog more often starting with this recipe for White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies. They weren't perfect but they were very good. I used sweetened Craisins and I thought they were a little too sweet and didn't have enough flavor. I would look for unsweetened cranberries next time. I also think a little orange zest would liven these cookies up. I ate most of these my self and I'd make them again.

Here's the recipe as written at the blog linked above

White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup dried cranberries (if using unsweetened dried cranberries increase white sugar to 1/2 cup)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Combine the flour and baking soda; stir into the sugar mixture. Mix in the white chocolate chips and cranberries. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. For best results, take them out while they are still doughy. Allow cookies to cool for 1 minute on the cookie sheets before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
Makes 18 cookies if using a medium sized scoop

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Everything But The Kitchen Sink Carrot cake

My dad loves carrot cake, so that is what he requested for his birthday this year. He always complains that I don't put enough stuff in. 'It would be better with some coconut' or you should have put nuts in it' he says, so I put everything but the kitchen sink in it.

I couldn't find a recipe with everything in it so I made it up using Laurie's Amazing Carrot Cake as a base. It wasn't a bad cake but no one was all that crazy about it either and now my dad swears he never requested coconut in his carrot cake, or pineapple, or nuts, 'I just wanted carrots and raisins' he says. Lies, LIES! I say.

I toasted the pecans, I liked them that way and I don't even like nuts plain and I was eating them out of the pan but Dad thought they tasted weird. He didn't like the pineapple which I've almost always put in carrot cake. Neither of my parents liked the coconut which I didn't even really notice it in the cake but the toasted on top I loved, I was eating that straight from the pan as well. Yum, toasted coconut. Mom complains about any spice but cinnamon. She thought the raisins were too dry, I thought I'd soaked them too long. She complained the frosting was too thin and dry and there wasn't enough of it. It was too thin I had to stick it in the freezer for a few minutes before I could finish decorating it. At least they gave me some feedback, normally I ask what they thin and all I get back was 'it was alright' or 'didn't like it'. We did all agree it was pretty.

Here's the recipe if you wan't to try it, or alter it.

Buttermilk Carrot Cake

1 3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. oil
1 c. buttermilk
4 eggs
1/2 tbs. salt
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmag
3 c. grated carrots
1. pecans, toasted and chopped
2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. wheat germ
1 c. raisins, soaked in water
1 sm can crushed pineapple, drained
1 c coconut

   Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix the wet ingredients including the carrots, raisins and pineapple. Mix dry ingredients including nuts and coconut. Stir together they wet and dry ingredients until combined.  Pour batter into 2 greased and floured 9 inch cake pans that have been liked with parchment paper. Bake about 35 minutes. Cool and frost.

Cream Cheese Frosting

4 tbs butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tsp lemon juice
pinch salt
3 c. powdered sugar
milk to thin

    Cream together butter and cream cheese. Add lemon juice. Mix in powdered sugar and milk if needed until it reaches frosting consistancy.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

It's not a food post but....

There was such a pretty site in the back yard today that I thought it deserved a post of it's own.
There were at least 10 of them roaming through the yard foraging for food. Doesn't the snow make such a pretty backdrop?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Cornbread gone WRONG!!

I don't know what happened with this recipe but it didn't turn out at all. It's quite similar to the one I usually make, a little more salt and baking powder, a little more oil and one egg instead of two. The batter was thick and airy, not airy in a good way. Other recipes I've made for corn muffins have had a similar texture but they've smoothed out while they've baked. This turned out dry and the top was lumpy. I won't be trying this one again.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Jamaican Beef Dumplings

Here's another appetizer I made for New Years Eve. We don't eat appetizers often, really only on New Years Eve. Then we have a whole meal of finger foods. I knew if I didn't make them this year that I would have to wait another year before I could try them.

I was most interested in trying them because I've never tried curry powder before. I was honestly hoping they would be more flavorful than they were. It wasn't bad but I didn't think it was good enough to make again.

The recipe is here at The Given's Chronicles.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Dip

I saw this dip at From Laptop to Stovetop and thought it looked great. I'm not usually one for spicy things like buffalo chicken but the picture on her blog looked so appealing and we had all the stuff already in the house so I figured it would make a good dip for New Year's.

I halved the recipe because I didn't want to waste all that stuff if no one liked it. The general consensus was that it was good, not hot but it tasted a bit to strongly of the hot sauce.

Franks's Redhot Buffalo Chicken Dip

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup blue cheese or ranch salad dressing
1/2 cup Frank's RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce OR Frank's RedHot Buffalo Wing Sauce
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese OR shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cans (9.75 oz each) Swanson White Premium Chunk Chicken Breast in water, drained

Preheat oven to 350.
Stir cream cheese till smooth and mix in the remaining ingredients.
Bake 20 minutes, stir and bake till heated through.
Garnish and serve with veggies or crackers.

I used the ranch dressing and mozzarella instead of the blue cheese. Cheese with visible streaks of mold running through it has never appealed to me. I added extra mozzarella to the top before baking. I served it with wheatables and club crackers, the club crackers were a little light and airy and didn't really stand up to the dip well.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Lemon Bars

My mother requested lemon bars for New Year's Eve and I thought I would try the one I found at Dinner with Julie because it had way less butter than most recipes. The crust was crisp but it wasn't all that great. The filling was a bit stickier than other recipes I've tried. I used bottle lemon juice, I think it might have been better with fresh juice. I don't think I'll be making it again especially for my mom, she didn't like it at all. If you're looking for a less fatty version you might want to try it any way.


I think I've already failed at my New Year's resolution to blog more because I'm just now getting around to posting the things I made for New Year's Eve.

Haystacks are quick and easy to make. I guess you would categorize these as cookies at least that is what I'll be tagging them as. I usually make these for Christmas but we had plenty so I held off on making them. I don't know why I only make these for holidays even if I don't want to have to eat them all myself I know I can count on my sister to eat half of them herself.

Easiest recipe ever.

1 bag of butterscotch chips
half to 3/4 bag chow mien noodles

That's it! Melt the butterscotch and mix in the noodles. Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper. Let cool.

I like a thinner coating of butterscotch on mine so I add a lot of noodles, if you like a thicker layer of butterscotch add less. I've also seen versions with nuts added and there's no reason you couldn't use chocolate chips instead of butterscotch. I did have a little trouble getting my chips to melt smoothly. Does the weather effect melting things like it does making candy? Because it was raining.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Paula's pajama party onion burgers

I completely forgot to take pictures of this one, but it wasn't liked enough in my family to matter. It wasn't bad but it wasn't fantastic either. It was similar to SOS except extremely oniony, maybe too oniony. The filling stayed in better on toast than hamburger buns. I made the sandwich the way Paula suggested with mayo and mustard and topped with onions, I didn't think the mayo flavor came through so you could skip that and save on fat.

If you want to try it the recipe is at the Food Network site.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

I'm not a big fan of new year's resolutions but I would like to make more of an effort to blog on a regular basis.

The first thing I did this year was to sleep in. Well I made it to about 8:30 before the cat decided I needed to get up and since I didn't go to bed until about 1:30 I would've been happy with a couple more hours. I also joined cookeatshare.com this morning. They were already indexing some of my recipes so I figured I'd get more people coming here if I actually joined up.

I hope everyone has a fantastic 2010 full of love, luck and laughter!