Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Bread Bowls

I found this on and altered it just a little. I never realized how surprisingly easy it is to make bread bowls!

2 packages (.25 ounces each) active dry yeast
2 cups warm milk (110 to 115 F)
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons salt
6 cups all-purpose flour

Dissolve yeast in warm milk. Add shortening, sugar, eggs, salt, and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. (Note: this dough will be really soft.) Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth, about 6-8 minutes, or use the hook attachment on your stand mixer at low speed for 4-5 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down and turn onto a floured surface. Divide into desired number of pieces (8 small bowls, 6 medium, or 4 large). Shape each piece into a ball. Grease two baking sheets and sprinkle with cornmeal. Place four balls 3 in. apart on each prepared pan. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30-45 minutes. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.

Cut a thin slice off the top of bread. Hollow out bottom, leaving 1/4" to 1/2" shell. If desired, bake shells for an additional 5-10 minutes to remove some moisture and make bowls slightly stiff.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Roasted Baby Carrots

These are too yummy and just perfect for fall.

Note: "Baby Carrots" do not mean the little carrot nubs that I give to my kids for a snack. These are the baby carrots that are 5-6 inches long and most of the time still have the greens attached. I picked mine up at the farmer's market!

1 1/2 lbs of 5 inch long baby carrots, carefully washed,
greens cropped to 1 inch above top of carrot
1 red onion, peeled, cut into 8 wedges
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh chopped rosemary, or 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary
Garlic powder
Salt and pepper

1 Preheat oven to 400°F. Gently toss together the carrots, red onion, rosemary to coat with the olive oil. Lay out on a rimmed baking pan. Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

2 Roast for 30 to 40 minutes on middle rack or bottom rack, until well browned.

Serves 4.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

All the grocery stores here in Provo (maybe all Utah) make these in their bakeries. They are good but these are even better!

1 cup canned pumpkin
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. milk
1 cup chocolate chips
1 tsp. vanilla
Nuts (optional)

Dissolve baking soda in milk; set aside. In large bowl add pumpkin, sugar, oil, and egg; stir. Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda mixture. Mix well. Stir in chocolate chips and vanilla. Spoon in balls onto cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees 10-12 minutes or until done.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Pumpkin Muffins

This recipe makes a ton, you can freeze them and they make a great fast snack later.

I even like to think they are relatively healthy since they use applesauce instead of oil. To make them even healthier you can substitute 1/2 banana per 1 egg.

3 1/2 C flour 4 eggs
2 tsp salt 2/3 C water
2 tsp nutmeg 1 can pumpkin (16 oz)
2 tsp cinnamon 1 C applesauce
2 tsp baking soda Chocolate chips (opt)
2 1/2 C sugar

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix wet ingredients and slowly add to dry mixture. Mix until just combined- don't over mix. Pour into greased muffin tins. Bake at 350. For normal size muffines, bake 18-20 minutes. For mini muffins, bake 10-12 minutes.
Makes about 100 mini muffins or 3 dozen regular size.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Barley Soup

I must have been smoking something when I originally posted this in February. I had it written down somewhere else and made it from the posted recipe last night for the first time and it was WRONG. It still turned out okay, but not nearly as good as it should. My apologies to anyone who made the old recipe! Without further ado, here is the REAL barley soup recipe!


8 cups water
½ cup barley
½ tsp salt
2 bay leaves
8 tsp beef boullion
Bring to boil for 30 minutes

1 onion, chopped
1 lb. carrots chopped
Cook 5 minutes

2/3 head of celery
1 can stewed tomatoes, pulsed
{if you want to make this non-vegetarian, you can brown 1 lb. sausage, drain and add here}
Cook 10 minutes

Serve with cheese (I like grated parmesan, Matt likes cojack) and rolls.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Bran Muffins

Mix together and set aside:
2 cups boiling water
4 cups bran cereal (can be All Bran, Bran buds, Bran Flakes, Raisin Bran)
1 pound dates pitted and chopped (optional, but add a great flavor)

Sift together in separate bowl:
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
5 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
5 tsp. baking soda

Add into dry ingredients bowl:
1 cup salad oil
1 quart buttermilk

MIX EVERYTHING TOGETHER NOW, and then add 2 more cups of bran flakes.

Bake 400* F for 15-20 minutes. Yields 72 muffins. The great thing about this recipe is that the batter can be stored in the fridge for up to 6 weeks, so not all the muffins have to be made at once. You can make them at your leisure - or craving.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Help! I need a "spooktacular" appetizer!

Any ideas for a killer appetizer for an Adult Halloween Party this Saturday! Keep in mind, the hostess is an amazing cook -- I'm going to have to come up with something amazing even to be worthy of bringing it into her kitchen! Thanks for your help!

Munster Mushroom Chicken

This is a recipe I got from Mandy in college who got from her mom... but I've never seen it on paper. It's one of my family favorites - so I thought I'd pass it along so ya'll all can enjoy! (Strattons, lemme know if I missed a step... this is how I do it...)

Chicken breasts
8 oz. sliced mushrooms (if you have more, that's even better!)
A slice of Munster cheese for each chicken breast
Chicken broth

Cut the chicken breasts in half, place sliced mushrooms in the inside, put "lid" back on, then top again with sliced mushrooms. Place in glass dish with 1/2 in. of chicken broth on the bottom. Bake til juices run clear. When the chicken is cooked, place a slice of Munster cheese on top and back in the oven to melt. If you love mushrooms, you'll LOVE this!! I serve with mashed potatoes, and put some of the broth in the potatoes before I mash them. YUM!

Monday, October 22, 2007

One Pot Taco Soup

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 15 oz. can pinto beans
  • 1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans
  • 1 15 oz. can kidney beans
  • 1 15 oz. can red beans
  • 1 large can of stewed tomatoes
  • 1 med-large minced onion
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • 1-2 tablespoons cumin
  • Salt & pepper

Brown ground beef in a large stock pot. Add minced onion and garlic. Then add all the beans (juice and all), along with the tomatoes. Stir in the cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer on stove until warmed through. Serve with corn chips, a glob of sour cream, and some chopped fresh cilantro. I really like the cumin flavor, but add as much or as little of that as you like.

I sometimes do this in the crock pot as well. This is my "You've got to be kidding? Your parents, your 9 siblings and their families are coming for dinner, and they'll be here any minute???!!!" recipe. I buy all the bean varieties I can find on sale - usually during case lot sales. Everything is always on hand to put together a fool-proof dinner.

San Francisco Melts

These are a Mel original. She used to make them often when I would invade her house for Sunday dinner. I made them for the first time last night and they're as good as I remember!

grilled onions (cook until they are golden and begin to caramelize)
slicedturkey, I prefer deli turkey sliced thin, not shaved
swiss cheese, sliced thin
cheddar cheese, sliced thin
sourdough bread

For each sandwich, butter one side of two slices sourdough bread (like you're making a grilled cheese sandwich). Place buttered side down on a hot skillet (the easiest is an electric one). Put swiss cheese on one side and cheddar cheese on the other. As the cheese begins to melt, pile one side with as much turkey as you want. When the cheese is melted and bread is toasted golden, remove to a plate. Add onions, lettuce and tomatoes on top of turkey, top with the other half of sourdough bread. Cut in half and serve.

This is a meal in itself, but is also delicious as half a sandwich and soup. Enjoy!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Sugar Cookie Glaze

3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup water

In a saucepan melt over low heat. Once sugar and water have formed a nice glaze, add 1 Tbsp corn syrup and 3/4 tsp flavoring (almond extract is our favorite) and desired coloring. I will usually just dip the top of the cookie into the glaze then place it on waxed paper to set-up. This gives the cookies a really nice, smooth look. Then, if I am feeling ambitious I'll make a contrasting color to drizzle over the top!

Super Soft Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

These are PERFECT for cut-out holiday cookies. In fact, we just finished some ghosts and pumpkins!

2 cups sugar
1 cup margarine
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon juice
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp soda
6 cups flour

Cream first six ingredients, add soda and flour. Chill before rolling out. Cut and bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Cookies should be taken out just prior to them starting to brown! You can frost with butter cream frosting, but our favorite is a cookie glaze. Recipe to follow!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Fall Cleaning

Hello, all! Thank you to everyone who posts their amazing recipes! I know I love having a resource to consult when I'm making my menus every week! I'm going to do a little house cleaning and delete the 'chefs' that don't add recipes to the blog. Don't worry, it's nothing personal - you'll still be able to access the blog and keep up with the new finds. If you haven't posted before, now's a good time. If I take you off and you want to post something, just let me know and I'll re-add you.

Zucchini Brownies

These are the BEST brownies and the zucchini makes them so moist. Happy Eating!!!

Combine mixing well:

1 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. salad oil
1/4 c. water
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp soda
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 c. cocoa

Then add:
2 c grated zucchini
2 c. sifted flour
1/2 c. nuts (optional)

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes on a backing sheet or in muffin tins

Frosting (I always double the frosting but these measurements are for a single batch)
1/2 c. butter
6 tsp. cocoa
3 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
A pinch of salt
1 Tbsp. milk

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Pumpkin Bread

I am a lover of good pumpkin bread... and this... so far... is the best I've tasted and made. It's got a real yummy spice taste to it.

Sift together:
3½ cups flour
1½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda

Beat together:
3 cups sugar
1 cup salad oil
2 cups pumpkin (sm can)
4 eggs
2/3 cup water
3 tsp. cinnamon
3 tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. ginger

Mix with dry ingredients and blend well. Bake in greased & floured loaf pans at 350° for 1 hour.

(When I do the small loaf pans, I decrease the oven temp to 335° and only bake for about 30-40 minutes. One batch will make 16 small loaves.)

Green Rice

Lots of Veggies and Really Yummy!

1/4 cup oil
1 tsp salt
2 cups uncooked rice
2/3 cups chopped green peppers
1 cup chopped green onions (about one bunch)
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
4 cups chicken broth
1/8 - 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

Combine all ingredients in 2 quart casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Fluff with a fork prior to serving!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Parmesan Chicken

When Matt requested parmesan chicken, I looked on and found this one. I made it Friday and it was really easy and really good.

2 chicken breasts
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 T. grated parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/2 egg
1 1/2 tsp melted butter

Flatten chicken to 1/4-inch thickness. In a shallow bowl, combine bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, basil and melted butter. In another bowl, beat the egg. Dip chicken into egg, then coat with crumb mixture. Place in glass baking dish sprayed with Pam. Cook at 375 for 30-35 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Serve with whole wheat pasta and marinara sauce. **This recipe is for two people, so adjust for your family!**

Friday, October 12, 2007

Hearty Vegetarian Chili

I found this recipe in a magazine and made a few little alterations to better suit our tastes. It really is fabulous -- and if you don't tell people it's meatless, I doubt they'd notice!

1 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped green pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium zucchini, peeled and finely chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped
3 tablespoons cornmeal
1-2 tablespoons chili powder
1-2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cans (15 ounces each) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained

In a large heavy pot, saute onion, green pepper, and garlic until tender. Stir in zucchini and carrots; add cornmeal, chili powder, paprika, sugar, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Cook and stir for 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes and beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 35-45 minutes.

Top with sour cream, chopped green onions, and chopped fresh cilantro.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Homemade Hummus

1 can garbanzo beans
5 T. tahini
½ t. sea salt
1/3 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 ½ to 2 lemons)
2-3 cloves garlic
3 T. extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup water (more or less to achieve desired consistency)

Blend in a blender
Makes 2 ½ to 3 cups.
Store in fridge.

I love to use this on sandwiches instead of mayo/mustard. Spread it on toasted bread and top with tomatoes, sprouts, turkey and spinach. Yummy!

From Feeding the Whole Family

Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes

A Rachael Ray that is aimed to please. I LOVE tomatoes... and this roasted grape tomato flavor is the best!!

1 pound pasta cavatappi or orecchiette
2 pints grape tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, grated
A few drizzles of extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
Freshly ground black pepper
20 leaves fresh basil, roughly chopped or torn
1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Preheat oven 425°F.

Place a large pot filled with water over high heat and bring up to a boil to cook the pasta. Once boiling, add some salt and the pasta, and cook until al dente according to package directions. Reserve about a 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid before draining the pasta.

While the water is coming up to a boil to cook the pasta, place the tomatoes on a cookie and grate the garlic over them.

Drizzle with some EVOO and season with some salt and pepper. Transfer cookie sheet to the oven and roast tomatoes for 8-10 minutes or until the tomatoes start to burst. Remove from the oven, discard the garlic cloves and transfer roasted tomatoes to a large serving bowl. Add the reserved pasta water and, with a potato masher or a fork, lightly smash the tomatoes. This is a great job for a K.H. (kid helper)!

Add basil, drained pasta and Parmigiano cheese and toss to coat.

Toss to combine, taste and re-season with some salt and pepper then serve.

I served with grilled chicken with some EVOO and Durkee brand Grill Creations Italian Herb Seasoning on it. Yum!

Pesto Beef with Grape Tomatoes and Fresh Mozzarella

This dish makes a beautiful presentation that will "wow" your family and friends (Mandy, did it accomplish that?) Plus, it's easy! (this is what the cookbook said, not my verbiage but still thought I'd add it for some humor)

1 T. olive oil
2 t. dried minced onion
1/2 c. prepared pesto sauce
1/2 t. black pepper
2 lbs. round steak, cut into six pieces
2 pints grape tomatoes (about 4 1/2 c.)
1 lb. fresh mozzarella, drained, sliced, and brought to room temperature by serving time

  1. Grease the slow cooker crock pot with olive oil (leave excess in the crock). Add the onion, pesto, and pepper to the crock, and stir to combine.
  2. Add the steak to the crock and turn the pieces with tongs to coat with the pesto mixture; add the tomatoes.
  3. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours.
  4. To serve, use clean tongs to place steak in individual bowls. Top each serving with slice of mozzarella, and some of the tomato mixture.

I served with brown rice and added more of the juices over the rice and put the beef on top the rice.

Recipe says it can also be used with chicken instead of beef.

the everyday low-carb slow cooker cookbook

Chocolate Pound Cake with Berries

2 sticks butter or margarine

1/2 c. shortening
1 T. vanilla
3 c. sugar
5 eggs
3 c. flour
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/4 c. cocoa
1 c. milk

Cream margarine and shortening. Add vanilla, sugar and eggs one at a time. Mix dry ingredients and add to above mixture alternating with milk. Bake in bundt (or is it just bunt?) pan at 325 for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

I top with fresh or thawed frozen strawberries and raspberries and whipped cream.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Baked Ziti

1 lb. ziti, cooked al dente
1 lb. Italian sausage or hamburger (I use turkey sausage)
2 jars spaghetti sauce (you can make your own, but this makes it really quick)
1 lb. ricotta cheese
6 oz. shredded Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1 T parsley flakes
1 lb. shredded mozzarella

Brown meat, drain fat. Add spaghetti sauce and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes. In a separate bowl, combine ricotta, eggs, Parmesan and parsley. In a greased large casserole or 9x13" pan, pour a small amount of sauce to cover the bottom. Layer half the noodles and half the ricotta mixture. Cover completely with sauce. Spread about half the mozzarella cheese over. Layer remaining noodles, ricotta and sauce. Cover completely with mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 to 45 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and just begins to brown.

This also freezes well. Do not put on last layer of cheese before freezing. Take straight from the freezer and bake at 350 for 60 minutes. Add top layer of mozzarella during final 20 minutes of baking.

Bruschetta and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts

I got this from the Kraft Food & Family magazine. It was super easy.

1 can (14-1/2 oz.) Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained
1-1/4 cups KRAFT Shredded Low-Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese, divided
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 pkg. (6 oz.) STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix for Chicken
8 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (2 lb.)
1/3 cup KRAFT Roasted Red Pepper Italian with Parmesan Dressing {I just used the Sun Dried Tomato dressing I already had}

PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Combine tomatoes with their liquid, 1/2 cup of the cheese, the basil and dry stuffing mix; stir just until moistened.

PLACE 2 chicken breast halves in large freezer-weight resealable plastic bag. Pound chicken

with side of heavy can, rolling pin or meat mallet until chicken is 1/4-inch thick. Repeat with remaining chicken breast halves, adding 2 at a time to bag. Place chicken, top-sides down, on large cutting board; spread evenly with stuffing mixture. Starting at one of the narrow ends, tightly roll up chicken. Place, seam-sides down, in 13x9-inch baking dish. Drizzle evenly with dressing.

BAKE 40 min. Sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Bake an additional 5 min. or until chicken is cooked through (170°F) and cheese is melted.

**My changes: Since there are only two of us, I just made two chicken breasts and cooked the rest of the stuffing in a Pyrex dish as a side. I think the next time I make it, I will cut up the chicken and make it like a casserole instead of rolling the chicken. It will cook faster and last better as leftovers!**

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Mini BBQ Meatloaf

This is one of my attempts to find quick, relatively cheap meals. We both liked this one.

1lb ground beef
1 pkg(6 oz.) stuffing mix
1 cup water
1 tsp. garlic powder
3/4 cup BBQ sauce
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375. Mix meat, stuffing mix, 1 cup water and garlic powder until well blended. Press into 12 muffin cups sprayed with cooking spray. Make an indentation in the center of each with spoon. 2. Spoon BBQ sauce into center of each meatloaf. 3. Bake 30 min. or until meatloaves are cooked through. Top with cheese; continue baking 5 min. or until cheese is melted.

Makes 6 servings.

**I think next time I make this, I'm just going to mix the BBQ sauce into the meat mixture at the beginning instead of spooning it on top.**

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Creamy Garlic Penne

1 (13 1/2 ounce) can of skim evaporated milk
1 1/3 cups skim milk
3 tablespoons flour
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons vegetable bouillon powder {I just used chicken}
3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-size pieces
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper {I left this out}
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1 cup chopped fresh tomato
3 cups penne pasta (10 ounces)
2 tablespoons grated light Parmesan cheese
chopped fresh parsley

Whisk both milks into flour in large non-stick frying pan until smooth. Add garlic and bouillon powder. Heat and stir on medium-low until boiling and thickened. Keep warm on low, stirring occasionally.

Sauté chicken in olive oil in non-stick frying pan for 5 minutes until slightly browned. Sprinkle with cayenne and pepper. Add tomato. Toss well until hot. Add to milk mixture. Stir. Keep warm.

Cook pasta in boiling salted water for 10 to 12 minutes until just tender. Drain.

Turn pasta into serving dish. Pour sauce over top. Toss to coat. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and parsley.