Sunday, March 1, 2015

Quick and Easy French Bread

This is a recipe I found on 
2 1/2 cups warm water
2 Tbsp. yeast
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. salt
5 1/2 cups flour
1 egg white (or 2 Tbsp olive oil)
DirectionsPreheat oven to 450*F.
In a large bowl, mix warm water and yeast until yeast has dissolved.  Next add sugar, salt and flour. Knead ingredients together till it’s a soft uniform dough.
Now place a thin towel over the bowl with the dough in it and let it rise in a warm place for 15-30 minutes.
Separate dough into two, and begin shaping dough into long loaves, and place on a baking sheet.
Make slits with a knife and brush with egg white or olive oil. If you are garnishing with herbs or cheese, do so now.
Cover the dough with the towel once more and let rise 5 minutes or so (the longer the better).
Remove towel, and bake for 12-15 minutes or until tops are brown and crusty. I did 19 minutes.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Pork & Veggie Eggrolls

This started as an attempt to make Lumpia, a Filipino eggroll, I ate a lot as a teenager in the Bay Area. Alas, there are no lumpia wrappers to be found around here, so I ended up using eggroll wrappers....which means they are eggrolls, not lumpia. But they turned out AWESOME! I'd seen several people comment on some lumpia recipes that they added cilantro for an extra kick, and I DO love cilantro, so I went for it. These did NOT disappoint. I'm already craving them again and it hasn't been a week! To be completely honest, adding the onion powder was a mistake (I thought I'd grabbed the garlic powder). But, the end result was so yummy, I'm keeping the onion powder in there.

1 lb ground pork, browned and set aside (drain grease, leaving just enough to coat the skillet for veggies)

Add to skillet:
1/2 cup onion, minced (I just tossed everything in the food processor)
1/2 cup carrot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced (or 2 tsp minced garlic from a jar)

Saute 2-3 minutes, then add:

1/2 cup cabbage, minced
1/2 cup green onions, minced
1/2 cup cilantro, minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp soy sauce

Saute another 2 minutes and add pork back in, stirring to combine.

Scoop 3 Tbsp onto each eggroll wrapper and roll up.
Cook for 5 minutes or until golden brown in vegetable oil that is 375 degrees (medium heat).

A good sweet chile sauce from the asian market will put this over the top, but it's pretty good even without the sauce. We bought something called 'Dragon Fly Sweet Chile Sauce.' Makes 15 large eggrolls Note: These should freeze well. Store wrapped rolls in freezer bag, then thaw before frying. Next time I'm going to freeze half so we have 2 meals for the prep time of 1.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Petite Vanilla Scones (Starbucks copy)

For the scone:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, diced
1 small box (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix
1 vanilla bean, scraped (or 1 Tbsp vanilla extract)
1 large egg
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp heavy cream

For frosting:
2 Tbsp butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
2-3 Tbsp heavy cream

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt in a large bowl. Add cold butter and cut it in using a pastry blender or two butter knives until it forms small crumbs.

Stir in pudding mix, Make a well in the center of the mixture and add vanilla, egg, and 1/2 cup heavy cream. Stir gently with a fork until just incorporated. Bring the dough together with your hands.

Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface.  Form into two small rounds. Cut each round into 8 triangles and place on prepared baking sheet. Brush each triangle with a little of the remaining 1 Tbsp cream. Bake for 8 - 10 minutes until just golden. Cool before frosting.

To make the frosting: Beat butter and sugar with a hand mixer until crumbly. Beat in vanilla and 2 Tbsp cream.  Add more cream as needed for desired consistency. Frost cooled scones with a knife.  Let frosting harden, then serve.

Perfect Potato Soup (Pioneer Woman)

6 slices thin bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 whole medium onion, diced
3 whole carrots, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
6 small russet potatoes, peeled and diced
8 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
3 Tbsp flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp salt (more to taste)
black pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoons cajun seasoning
1 tsp minced fresh parsley (optional)
1 cup grated cheese of your choice

Add bacon pieces to a soup pot over medium heat and cook until crispy. Remove bacon and set aside.  Pour off most of the grease, but do not clean the pot.

Return the pot to medium-high heat and add the onions, carrots, and celery. Stir and cook for 2 minutes, then add the diced potatoes. Cook for 5 minutes, seasoning with salt, pepper, and cajun spice.

Pour in the broth and bring to a gentle boil.  Cook for 10 minutes, or until potatoes are starting to get tender. Whisk together flour and milk, then pour into soup and allow the soup to cook for another 5 minutes.

Remove 1/2 to 2/3 of the soup and blend in a blender/food processor until completely smooth.  Pour it back in the soup pot and stir to combine.  Let it heat back up and taste for seasoning, adding more of what it needs.  Stir in cream, then parsley.

Serve in bowls garnished with parsley, grated cheese and crisp bacon pieces.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

"Orange Frog Eye" Jello Salad

This isn't actually frog eye salad, but it's close enough to make kids think it is (pineapple, orange, coconut).  And since they *like* frog eye, that's what we called it.  ;>

1 8oz cream cheese
1 small box of lemon jello
1 cup boiling water
2 ice cubes
1 20oz can crushed pineapple, drained
1 14oz can mandarin oranges, drained
1 small jar maraschino cherries, drained (halved grapes would be a good sub)
1/2 to 3/4 cup coconut flakes
1 8oz container Cool Whip

Whip the cream cheese.

Dissolve jello in boiling water, then add 2 ice cubes.  Add to cream cheese.

Add drained pineapple, mandarin oranges, cherries, coconut and stir until combined.

Chill until partially set, then fold in Cool Whip.  [I let it set overnight and added the Cool Whip the next day before serving…this worked fine.]

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Six Week Bran Cereal Muffins

This muffin batter throws together in a few minutes and stores well for 6 weeks.  Bake as many or as few muffins as you like.  Just make sure you give the batter 8 hours in the fridge before baking your first batch.

5 1/2 cups all-natural bran cereal (I used All Bran and it's just about the entire box)
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup wheat germ
2 1/2 cups white sugar
5 teaspoons baking soda
1 pinch salt
4 cups buttermilk (make your own by adding 4 Tbsp vinegar to 4 scant cups milk, let sit for 10 min)
1 cup neutral oil (like canola or vegetable)
4 large eggs, beaten

Optional additional ingredients for baking:
*frozen berries, small pieces of frozen fruit
*chocolate chips
*raw sugar for muffin tops

In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.
In another bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir just until everything is moist. Scrape the muffin mix into a large container with tight fitting lid. Label the container with the date the batter was mixed (or the date it will expire).  Store in refrigerator for up to 6 weeks.  Wait at least 8 hours before baking first batch.

To bake, preheat oven to 400 degrees.   Add any fruit or choc chips to the portion of batter you are going to bake.  Spray muffin tin with olive oil or non-stick spray.  Fill cups 2/3 full.  If desired, sprinkle lightly with course sugar.  Bake for 15 - 20 minutes for standard size muffins (10-12 for mini). Muffins are done when a toothpick comes out clean.

Allow muffins to rest in the tin for 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.  These muffins taste best when they are cold from the fridge!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Overnight Baked French Toast