Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sweet Yeast Rolls and Cinnamon Honey Butter

These rolls are suppose to be like a certain steakhouse restaurant's rolls, but I didn't think they tasted anything like them. They turned out a little dry so next time I will use less flour. They were a little lacking in flavor but let me tell you, the honey butter made up for that. It is amazing and does taste just like the restaurant's cinnamon honey butter.

Rolls: (This is half the recipe. It made about 16-20 large rolls)
1 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
1/4 c. water
1 c. milk
1/4 c. sugar
3-4 c. flour
1 Tbsp. melted butter
1 egg
1 tsp. salt

Soften yeast in warm water with a teaspoon of sugar.

Scald milk; cool to lukewarm. Add yeast, sugar and enough flour to make medium batter. Beat thoroughly. Let stand until light and foamy. Add melted butter (which has been cooled), eggs, and salt. Beat well. Add enough flour to form soft dough.

Sprinkle small amount of flour on counter and let dough rest. Meanwhile, clean and dry bowl; grease clean surface of bowl. Knead dough until smooth and satiny. Put in greased bowl; turn over to grease top.

Cover, let rise in warm place until double in bulk. Punch down. Turn out on floured board. Divide into portions for shaping; let rest 10 minutes. Shape dough into desired forms. Place on greased baking sheets. Let rise until doubled.

Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes; reduce temperature to 350 degrees for 10 minutes more. Cool on rack.
Cinnamon Honey Butter
1/2 cup Butter
1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
1/2 cup Honey
1 tsp Cinnamon
Blend all ingredients at room temp.
Recipe Source: Meemo's Kitchen

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

April Fools Food

Last year I decided to be festive on April Fool's Day. I made"Hamburgers" and "French Fries and Ketchup" which were really just cookies, colored coconut and frosting for the hamburgers and I used Rhodes dough to shape French Fries then rolled them in sugar before baking. I took a letter sized envelope and cut it in half with zig zag scissors to put the fries in then colored frosting red for the ketchup.The idea came from Family Fun Magazine

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) margarine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs (1 is for the cookie glaze)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • Green food coloring
  • Red and yellow icing
  • 12 large (1.5 ounces) or 36 medium (.6 ounce) peppermint patties (you could also just use a chocolate cookie. I think I just made cake mix cookies for the patties)

  1. To make the cookie "hamburger buns," heat the oven to 375°. Use an electric mixer to cream the margarine and the sugar until fluffy (about 1 to 2 minutes). Add 2 eggs and beat well. Stir in the vanilla extract. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a separate bowl. Then, add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and blend well.
  2. For large "buns," drop the dough by rounded tablespoons onto a lightly greased baking sheet at least 1 inch apart (for medium-size buns, drop the dough by rounded teaspoons). Next, use the bottom of a floured glass to lightly press the dough into a circle. Then beat the remaining egg and use a pastry brush to "paint" it on top of each cookie. Sprinkle sesame seeds on the tops. Bake the large cookies for 10 minutes and the medium ones for 8 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown.
  3. While the cookies are cooling on a rack, make the "lettuce." Place the shredded coconut into a plastic bag. Add a few drops of green food coloring, close the bag, and shake until the coconut has turned a light green.
  4. To assemble the burgers, choose two cookies that are about the same size and shape. Spread icing ketchup or mustard on the bottom bun, add an appropriately sized peppermint patty, and sprinkle with coconut lettuce. Add a squirt of icing ketchup or mustard to hold the top bun in place. Arrange the hamburgers on a platter or wrap in foil. Makes approximately 12 large or 36 medium burgers.

Monday, March 28, 2011

BBQ Ranch Chicken and Cheddar Pizza Roll em' Ups

This is a great recipe if you have any left over bbq chicken you need to use up. Or use the recipe link below. You can use refrigerated pizza dough or I used this recipe for French Bread Rolls.  

BBQ Ranch Chicken and Cheddar Pizza Roll em’ Ups

1 Roll Pillsbury Pizza dough in can (or use other pizza dough of choice)
1/4 Cup prepared ranch dressing
2 Cups prepared shredded BBQ Chicken
1/4 Cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 1/2 Cups shredded smoked cheddar cheese
Ranch Dressing for dipping

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Open can of dough and press into rectangle. Spread or drizzle ranch dressing evenly over dough then top with evenly with chicken, cilantro and cheddar cheese. Starting at long end roll dough into a log shape. Using a sharp knife, cut 1 inch pieces and place onto a greased baking sheet. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with a side of ranch dressing for dipping.

Recipe Source: Picky Palate

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Sweet and Sour Chicken

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 eggs
2 tsp. salt
1 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Vegetable oil

1 c. sugar
1 c. white vinegar
1 c. water
4 Tbsp. ketchup
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350. Combine eggs and salt in a shallow dish and set aside. In another shallow dish combine flour and garlic powder; set aside.

Heat a small amount of vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cut chicken into 1 1/2-2 inch bite sized pieces. Dip chicken in egg mixture then roll in flour mixture. Place in skillet and brown pieces. You don't need to cook them all the way through. Just until they get a little brown on the outside.

While the chicken in cooking, in a small saucepan combine all sauce ingredients and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil 2-3 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat.

Spray a 9x13 inch dish with non stick cooking spray. When chicken is browned, place in baking dish. Pour sauce over chicken and lightly stir to cover all the pieces. Bake for 45 min. Serve over rice.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Braised Balsamic Chicken

Very tasty and quick to make. The only thing I would do different next time is use all fresh herbs; basil, oregano, and rosemary. It will probably require more than is called for in the recipe since fresh herbs are not as strong as dried herbs. Just add to taste.

Braised Balsamic Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Olive Oil
Salt and pepper
1 tsp. rosemary
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
1/3 c. balsamic vinegar
2/3 of a 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes or use approximate amount of fresh chopped tomatoes.
2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/3 of an onion, thinly sliced

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat enough olive oil to put a thin layer in bottom of a skillet over medium heat. Brown the chicken and onions (2-3 minutes per side).  Add remaining ingredients to skillet and simmer for about 15 minutes. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Crockpot Salsa Chicken

I love a good easy crock pot meal and this one did not disappoint.

Crock pot Salsa Chicken

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup
1 cup salsa
1 package taco seasoning
1 cup sour cream
cilantro, for serving (optional)

Put chicken, soup, and salsa in slow cooker. Sprinkle taco seasoning over everything. Cook on low for 6 hours. If shredding the chicken, pull the breasts out and shred; return back to slow cooker. Stir in sour cream and heat just until everything is combined. Serve over rice or noodles or even in a tortilla.

Recipe and picture source: Fake Ginger

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Peanut Butter S'more Pie

I am on a peanut butter kick right now. I just can't get enough of the sweet/salty combination! I altered the original recipe to this pie quite a bit to help cut out unnecessary calories and fat. You can use regular for all the ingredients but it works with light too.

Peanut Butter S'more Pie

1 (8 oz.) pkg. Fat free cream cheese
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1/2-3/4 c. reduced fat peanut butter
1 (8 oz.) container fat free cool whip
Miniature marshmallows
Hot fudge ice cream topping
1 reduced fat graham cracker crust

Beat cream cheese, sugar, powdered sugar, and peanut butter in a large bowl with a mixer until blended. Gently stir in cool whip until blended.

Spoon mixture into crust.  Turn the broiler on low. Sprinkle marshmallows over the top of the pie. Broil  marshmallows just until they are toasty brown. You will want to watch this the whole time it is in the oven because it only takes a minute for the marshmallows to brown. Remove from oven. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or until firm. Just before serving, drizzle hot fudge on top. Keep leftovers in the refrigerator.

Recipe source: Kraft

Monday, March 14, 2011

Tri Color Pasta Salad

I took this to a baby shower and got so many requests for the recipe that I just had to post it.

Tri Color Pasta Salad

1 12 oz. package Pasta Rotini, tri colored, cooked and drained
3 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 can black olives, sliced
¼ cups red onion, finely diced
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
6 fresh basil leaves, cut into strips
4 tablespoons basil pesto
2/3 cup creamy Caesar dressing
2 teaspoons saute spice (equal parts black pepper, salt, and garlic powder)
½-1 cup toasted pine nuts

Cook pasta and coat with Caesar dressing while warm. Add the rest of the ingredients (minus the pine nuts) and toss. Top with toasted pine nuts.

Recipe Source: My Kitchen Cafe

Monday, March 7, 2011

Fontina Mac and Cheese

This dish was good but I wasn't terribly impressed. I love Fontina cheese but the flavor wasn't as spectacular as I was hoping it would be. Part of the reason I wasn't impressed is probably that I didn't use cream, I used half and half. It made it dry and not good for reheating the next day. Next time I make this I will definitely follow the recipe exactly.

Fontina Mac and Cheese

1 lb. small or medium pasta shells
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
1 cup heavy cream
8 oz. Fontina cheese, shredded
Pinch of grated nutmeg
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.  In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta according to the package directions just until 1-2 minutes shy of al dente.

Meanwhile, dice 4 tablespoons of the butter and place in a large mixing bowl.  Warm the cream in a small saucepan or the microwave.  Cover to keep warm.

Once the pasta is cooked, add to the bowl with the butter and toss to coat well.  Stir in the warm cream and the Fontina until the cheese starts to melt.  Mix in salt to taste, and add the nutmeg.

Pour the mixture into a buttered 2-quart casserole dish.  In a small bowl, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter.  Mix in the panko breadcrumbs and shredded Parmesan.  Toss with a fork to coat evenly with the butter.  Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture evenly over the pasta in the baking dish.

Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the topping turns golden brown, about 20 minutes.  Serve immediately.

Recipe source: Annie's Eats

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Best Peanut Butter Cookies

These are seriously the best Peanut Butter Cookies I have ever had!

Rich Peanut Butter Cookies

1 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 egg
1 1/4 c. all purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. peanut butter chips
granulated sugar

Heat oven to 375. In large bowl, beat brown sugar, peanut butter, butter and egg with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy (you can use your stand mixer). On low speed, beat flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir in peanut butter chips.

Shape dough into 1 1/2 inch balls. Dip tops of balls into granulated sugar. On ungreased cookie sheets, place balls, sugared sides up, about 3 inches apart (do not flatten).

Bake 9 to 10 minutes or until light brown. Cool 5 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to cooling racks.

Recipe Source: The Best of Betty Crocker 2010
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