Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Sandwich Bread

adapted from Joy of Cooking

Makes 2 loaves of sandwich style bread

4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 cup milk
1 cup water
2 tablespoons shortening or butter
2 tablespoons sugar or honey
1 tablespoon salt
4 to 5 1/2 cups bread flour

Combine lukewarm water and yeast in the bottom of a large mixing bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine milk, 1 cup water, shortening, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan. Stir and heat over medium low heat until sugar and salt has dissolved. Mixture should be lukewarm to the touch- but no warmer than 115ºF.

Pour warmed milk mixture into the yeast mixture, stir to combine. Add 3 cups of the bread flour and stir vigorously for 1 minute. Adding 1/2 cup of flour at a time, stir in flour with a wooden spoon until you can't anymore. Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and begin kneading with your hands- adding enough flour at a time to keep the dough from sticking. Depending on the humidity this can take a little or a lot more flour. Knead for a total of 10 minutes.

Set dough in a lightly greased large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 1 1/2 hours. Punch dough down, knead briefly, and allow to rise again for about 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk.

Divide dough in half and shape into two loaves. Place in two 9x5 loaf pans that have been lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 45 minutes. While the dough is rising the final time, preheat the oven to 425ºF.

Place the bread pans in the oven for 10 minutes.

Without opening the door, turn the temperature down to 375ºF. Bake for another 30 minutes. The bread should be golden brown and sound hollow when thumped on the bottom. Remove to cooling racks to cool completely.

This bread slices very well for sandwiches and is very slow to stale. It also stores nicely well-wrapped in a freezer.

**To make a whole-wheat or other grain variety, increase the yeast to 4 1/4 teaspoons, and swap out 2 cups of the initial addition of bread flour for your choice of flour. Whole wheat, rye, and oat flour all work very nicely.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Raspberry Cake

1 box white cake mix
1 3 oz. box raspberry flavored Jello
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup raspberries, crushed
4 eggs
1/4 teaspoon raspberry extract

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9x13 baking pan or 2 9-inch circle pans with cooking spray, set aside. Combine cake mix, Jello, water, and oil in a mixing bowl. Beat with a mixer on medium speed until well combined. In a small bowl, mix together eggs, crushed berries, and extract. Add to mixture and beat well until all combined. Pour into cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 20-25 minutes for layer cakes, or 25-30 minutes for 9x13 cake. Allow to cool completely before icing with butter cream.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Mutant Munchies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup plain M&M's

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine butter, peanut butter, vegetable oil, and vanilla in a bowl and mix with a hand mixer on low speed until combined. Add brown sugar and eggs, mix well. Add flour, baking soda, and salt, and using a wooden spoon, stir until the flour is fully incorporated. Mix in chocolate chips, coconut, cranberries and M&M's.

Drop by 2 tablespoon scoops onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for about 17 minutes. Remove cookies from cookie sheets to racks to cool completely.

Makes about 50 cookies.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Corn Muffins

Corn Muffins

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup corn meal
2 to 4 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup light olive oil

Preheat oven to 425. Prepare your muffin pan by spraying with cooking spray- both inside and around the cups.

In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt.

In a separate bowl, combine eggs, milk and oil. Add to the flour mixture, and mix just until combined and smooth- be careful not to over mix.

Spoon into your muffin pan, filling cups 2/3 full. Bake for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in a muffin comes out clean, and the muffins are browning around the edges.

Makes 12 standard size muffins.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Honey-Dijon Pork Roast

from Pillsbury Doughboy Slow Cooker Recipes

1/2 cup chopped onion
2 apples, peeled, sliced
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon coriander seed, crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (2-2 1/2 lb) rolled boneless pork loin roast
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon cornstarch

1. In a 4 to 6 quart slow cooker, combine onion and apples. In a small bowl, combine honey, mustard, coriander and salt; mix well. Spread on all sides of pork roast. Place pork over onions and apples.

2. Cover; cook on low setting for 7 to 8 hours.

3. remove pork from slow cooker; place on serving platter. Cover with foil.

4. In a small saucepan, blend water and cornstarch until smooth. Add apple mixture and juices from slow cooker; mix well. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils, stirring occasionally. cut pork into slices, serve pork with sauce.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Braised Chicken with Lemons and Honey

Serving Size : 4

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 whole chicken, whole, no skin, R-T-C -- cut into pieces
1 whole yellow onion -- sliced
12 whole garlic clove -- peeled
1 Preserved Lemon -- cut into chunks
1 cup chicken stock
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup almond slivers -- toasted

  1. In a large, deep fry pan over high heat, add oil and chicken. Cook chicken, turning only once, for approximately 5-8 minutes until golden brown. Remove chicken to a plate and set aside. Reducing heat to medium, add onion and cook for 1 minute than add garlic and cook for another minute.
  2. Preheat oven to 350.
  3. Return chicken to pan, add the lemon, chicken stock and honey. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Cover pan and place in preheated oven.
  4. Cook chicken in the 350 oven for 35-40 minutes, or until cooked through.
  5. Remove chicken to a serving platter and bring the sauce to a boil on the stove top. Cook until reduced to desired consistency. Serve sauce over chicken pieces and sprinkle with almonds.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 413 Calories; 16g Fat (34.1% calories from fat); 35g Protein; 35g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 98mg Cholesterol; 976mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 4 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 3 1/2 Fruit; 1 1/2 Fat; 1 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Onion Soup Au Gratin

from Pol Martin's Supreme Cuisine

2 tbsp butter (I used olive oil)
3 Spanish onions, thinly sliced
1 cup dry white wine (I omitted)
5 cups warmed beef stock
1 bouquet garni (thyme, basil, bay leaf, and parsley) (I used dried herbs, about 1/4 tsp each)
1 cup grated Gruyere or Emmentaler cheese (I used fontina, and much less of it)
salt and pepper
large slices toasted french bread

Heat butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and brown 35 minutes over medium low heat. Stir several times during cooking and do not allow onions to burn.

Pour in wine and cook 6 minutes over high heat.

Add beef stock, bouquet garni, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir and cook soup 30 minutes over medium heat, do not cover.

Place 2 tbsp. of grated cheese in the bottom of each ovenproof soup bowl. Ladle in soup and add toasted bread. Top with remaining cheese.

Set bowls on ovenproof platter and place in the middle of a preheated oven set at broil. Brown 8 minutes, serve hot.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Buttermilk Oatmeal Bread

Buttermilk Oatmeal Bread

2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
1/2 cup buttermilk

  • Stir together the flours, oats, yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl; add the butter, buttermilk and yeast mixture and beat with an electric mixer until the ingredients are well blended.
  • Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  • Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl; cover with a tea towel and let the dough rise in a warm place until it is doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  • Punch the dough down and let it rise again, covered with a tea towel, for 45 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350° and oil a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan.
  • Punch the dough down again and place it in the loaf pan; bake for 35-40 minutes or till the loaf pulls away from the side of the pan and loaf sounds hollow when you thump it.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Chicken Vegetable Dish

from Fix It and Forget It

4 skinless chicken breast halves, with bone in (I used frozen boneless, skinless- still frozen)
15 oz can crushed tomatoes
10 oz pkg frozen green beans
2 cups water or chicken broth ( I used chicken broth)
1 cup uncooked brown rice (used Uncle Ben's original wild rice blend)
1 cup sliced mushrooms (forgotten)
2 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/2 tsp garlic, minced (used 1 large clove)
1/2 tsp. herb blend seasoning (eliminated since I had the Uncle Ben's spice packet)
1/4 tsp dried tarragon (I used 1/4 tsp Penzey's Parisienne Herb Blend)

1. Combine all ingredients in slow cooker
2. Cover. Cook on High 2 hours, and then on low 3-5 hours

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Chile-Cheese Party Potatoes

yield: 12 servings

1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 (8 oz) container sour cream
1 (4.5 oz) can chopped green chiles
6 oz. (1 1/2 cups) shredded colby-monterey jack cheese blend
1 (32 oz.) pkg. frozen southern-style cubed hash brown potatoes
3 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup finely crushed nacho-flavored taco chips

1. Spray a 4 to 6 quart slow cooker with cooking spray. In medium bowl, combine soup, sour cream, chiles and cheese. Mix well.

2. Arrange half of potatoes in sprayed slow cooker. Top with half of sour cream mixture; spread evenly. Top with remaining potatoes and sour cream mixture; spread evenly.

3. Cover; cook on high setting for 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours. Sprinkle onions and chips onto potato mixture before serving.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Corn Crepes

from 1,000 Mexican Recipes by Marge Poore
makes 16 crepes

2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil, for frying

1. Put all the ingredients except the oil in a blender and blend for 15 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the jar and blend 20 seconds. Transfer the batter to a deep bowl and let stand at room temperature at least 1 hour before cooking. Cover and refrigerate up to overnight if made ahead.

2. Lightly oil a 6 to 7 inch crepe pan or 8 inch nonstick skillet and heat over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, give the batter a good stir to remix, and pour about 2 tablespoons of batter into the pan and quickly tilt the pan in all directions so the batter runs evenly over the entire surface.

3. Cook about 5 seconds, or until the surface looks dry and the edges are lightly browned. With a small flexible spatula, lift and turn the crepe. Cook about 5 seconds and flip crepe out onto a plate. Repeat with the rest of the batter. Oil the pan if crepes begin to stick and stir the batter frequently to keep it well mixed. Stack the cooked crepes; they are ready to use.

**Note: Crepes may be cooked ahead, cooled, wrapped in plastic wrap, and refrigerated up to 3 days or frozen up to 1 month. Return crepes to room temperature before separating to prevent crepes from sticking together. Handle carefully, they are tender.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Pita Bread

from King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion

makes 8 pitas

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons dough relaxer (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup (8 ounces) water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

In a large mixing bowl, or in the bowl of an electric mixer, combine all the ingredients, mixing to form a shaggy dough. Knead the dough by hand (10 minutes) or by machine (5 minutes) until it's smooth. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and let it rest for 1 hour. It will become quite puffy, though it may not double in bulk.

Turn the dough onto a lightly oiled work surface and divide it into 8 pieces. Roll two to four pieces into 6-inch circles (the number of pieces depends on how many rolled-out pieces at a time can fit on your baking sheet). Place the circles on a lightly greased baking sheet and let them rest, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 500ºF.(Keep the unrolled pieces of dough covered. Roll out the next batch while the first batch bakes.) Place the baking sheet on the lowest rack in the oven and bake the pitas for 5 minutes; they should puff up. (If they haven't puffed up, wait a minute or so longer. If they still haven't puffed, your oven isn't hot enough; raise the heat for the next batch.) Transfer the baking sheet to the oven's middle-to-top rack and bake for an additional 2 minutes, or until the pitas have browned. Remove the pitas from the oven, wrap them in a clean dish towel (this keeps them soft), and repeat with remaining dough. Store cooled pitas in an airtight container or plastic bag.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Raisin Scones

Servings: 12

2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup butter -- chilled
1 cup raisins
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 egg white
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar

Combine dry ingredients.

Cut in butter unti mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in buttermilk and raisins until just moistened.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently no more than 6 times. Pat into an 8 inch circle. Cut into 12 wedges.

Place wedges 1 inch apart on a baking sheet. Beat egg white until foamy. Brush over scones. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 425 until golden brown.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 196 Calories; 8g Fat (36.3% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 29g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 21mg Cholesterol; 323mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1/2 Fruit; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 1 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

NOTES : Any dried fruit works excellent in this.