Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Honey Butter

This recipe also comes from my "Christmas Recipes from the Lion House" cookbook. It was paired with the Lion House Crescent Rolls. I made it tonight to go with our cornbread and it was very yummy. Not so much "light and fluffy" as gooey, but very delicious. It made about 2 cups worth, so we have lots of left-overs.

Honey Butter

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1/4 tsp. vanilla

1 egg yolk

1 cup honey

Whip Butter. Add vanilla and egg yolk. Gradually whip in honey until light and fluffy.

Lion House Crescent Rolls

I have a cookbook with Christmas Recipes from the Lion House and that is where these rolls come from. They were so yummy! They were soft and fluffy and buttery. Deseret Book sells these and I always thought they were divine! I was excited to see that I actually had the recipe in my cupboard!

The only adjustment I made was with the cooking time. It says to bake for 15 minutes, but mine were done after 12.

So, I think I'm getting the hang of this bread thing. I've been having success lately. I've been wondering what could be the difference and I think it is the yeast I'm using. It is a brand called SAF and I keep it in the freezer. Before, I always used the individual packets and kept them in the fridge. So, if anyone is having trouble with their different breads rising, try that kind. All I know is that I sure am happy with the way my loaves and rolls are turning out lately!

Lion House Crescent Rolls

2 Tbs. yeast

2 cups warm water

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup shortening, margarine or butter

2 tsp. salt

2/3 cup nonfat dry milk

1 egg

5-6 cups flour

Melted butter or margarine

Mix yeast and water and let stand 5 minutes. Add sugar, shortening, salt, dry milk, egg, and 2 cups of the flour. Beat together until smooth. Gradually add remaining flour until soft dough forms. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. (Or, mix in a mixer and let that do the kneading for you for about 5 or 6 minutes.) Place in a greased bowl; cover and let rise until double in bulk. Punch down; divide into thirds. Roll each third into a circle and cut into 8 or 12 pie-shaped pieces. (the more pieces, the smaller the rolls.) Starting at the wide end, roll each piece into crescent. Place on a greased baking sheet with the point on the bottom. Repeat with the remainder of dough. Brush tops with melted butter. Let rise until double. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Enjoy with Honey Butter!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Soft Sugar Cookies with Butter Frosting

Noelle brought these cookies home about a year ago from a friend's house and I had to call and get the recipe right away. I really like how soft these are. They aren't too sweet, and the frosting is so good...it's butter, how could it not be good! We make these for just about every holiday as a fun activity for the kids. This recipe makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Soft Sugar Cookies
Cream Together:
1 cup margarine or butter
1 cup sugar
2 beaten eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Sift and Add:
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder

Add: 1/2 cup sour cream

Dough will be very sticky. Knead on floured counter, adding 1-2 cups more flour until not sticky.
Refrigerate 30 minutes.

Heat oven to 375. Roll out, cut into shapes, bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 8 minutes.

Butter Frosting
(frosts about 3 dozen cookies)

1/3 cup butter
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

In a mixing bowl, beat butter until fluffy. Gradually add 2 cups of powdered sugar. Beat in milk and vanilla. Slowly beat in the remaining powdered sugar. Add more milk if needed to reach spreading consistency. Add food coloring if desired.

Irish Soda Bread

I'd never had Soda Bread before I tried this recipe for St. Patrick's Day. The texture is like cornbread, and was a little sweet and very yummy! We'll be having it again for sure. It was great paired with soup. It was easy to whip together - but I went a little short on the baking time so the middle was a bit gooey. Make sure you bake it until it is nice and golden (more than mine!) - 50 - 60 minutes! I got this recipe from Allrecipes.
Amazingly Easy Irish Soda Bread
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup margarine, softened
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and margarine. Stir in 1 cup of buttermilk and egg. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly. Form dough into a round (flatten it out just a touch) and place on prepared baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine melted butter with 1/4 cup buttermilk; brush loaf with this mixture. Use a sharp knife to cut an 'X' into the top of the loaf.
Bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes Continue to brush the loaf with the butter mixture while it bakes. (I did it every 10 minutes)
We paired this bread with Irish Stew for St. Patrick's Day. Here's a picture and a link. It was good and we'll probably have it again next year, but it wasn't amazing enough for me to feature it here. I did use lamb, leeks and parsnips for the first time though! It needed a lot more salt than the recipe called for. If you're a whiz at knowing what spices would make something taste perfect, then maybe you can tell me what else the soup could use. I just follow the recipes!
Here's a link to the recipe on Allrecipes if you want it. Irish Stew

Buttermilk Waffles

The thing that is different about these waffles is that they use brown sugar and cinnamon. They were really good and simple. If you want fluffier waffles, separate the egg whites from the yolks. Make the recipe using just the yolks and beat the egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff peaks form. Add the whites to the completed batter by folding them in gently, leaving a few puffs of white. (Don't mix too much). Of course, we had ours on St. Patrick's Day, so the batter had to be green!

Buttermilk Waffles

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted

2 cups flour

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. salt

3 large eggs

2 cups buttermilk

1 tsp. vanilla

Beat the eggs until fluffy. Beat in everything else just until smooth.

Crockpot Beef Stroganoff

This recipe comes from My Kitchen Cafe and we really like it. I love that it is a crock pot meal, so it is very easy. It is also pretty healthy if you use fat free sour cream, "No Yolk" noodles (tons of protein and no fat or cholesterol), and serve a salad with it! We have used stew meat and it works great, but I think I might try a more tender cut of beef next time and shred it after it cooks.

Crockpot Beef Stroganoff

Place these ingredients in the crock pot:

2-3 lbs. stew meat

1 tsp salt

dash pepper

1 onion, sliced

Mix these ingredients and pour over the beef in the crock pot:

1/4 tsp. garlic salt

1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce

1 1/2 cup beef broth

1 Tbs ketchup

Cook on low for 7 hours or on high for 4 hours.

When cooked, whisk 1/3 cup flour and 1/3 cup apple juice together. Stir into crock pot. Cook on high for 30 minutes.

Stir in 1/2 cup sour cream and serve over noodles, rice or potatoes.

Total time: about 8 hours (on low)

Servings: about 8

Easiest Brownies in the World

I finally got the day right to bring treats to Activity Days! I made this quick pan of brownies for it and I have to admit, I tried one. I wanted to eat the entire pan. SO YUMMY! I adapted it from a recipe off My Kitchen Cafe - the chocolate chips are my addition! The picture makes it look like they aren't done in the middle. They are cooked through, they were just that moist. Of course, it wouldn't be me if there weren't some little mishap involved in the making of any treat! Someone turned off the oven before they were done and when I came down to check on them, I found that I had to put them back in for another 20 minutes. So, they went late to Ashlyn's Activity and they didn't cool all the way. Whatever...they were awesome!

Easiest Brownies in the World
1 12oz bag of chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet, but use whatever suits your tastes)
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs @ room temperature
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup chocolate chips
Heat the oven to 350.
Melt butter and 12 oz. chocolate chips in a saucepan. Stir constantly and remove from heat when melted.
Pour into a large bowl.
Blend in sugar.
Add eggs, blending fully one at a time.
Add flour and beat well for 3 or 4 minutes.
Stir in 1 cup chocolate chips.
Pour into a greased 9x13 pan.
Bake for 20 minutes at 350.
Reduce heat to 325 and cook 10 minutes more.

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

We have a hard time finding spaghetti sauce that we like, but we found a winner here. It isn't too spicy, too chunky, or too complicated. It is very easy and I've used it on Chicken Parmesan and Eggplant Parmesan. Everyone is different, but our family likes it!
Homemade Spaghetti Sauce ( from The Sisters Cafe)
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cans Italian diced tomatoes (I puree these)
1 Tbs. sugar
1/2 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until tender.
Add all other ingredients.
Simmer 10 minutes.

Baked Asparagus with Balsamic Butter Sauce

OK, so the butter in this makes it not quite "healthy", but it is so very yummy, and so very easy, that I say I'm allowed to eat it! It is asparagus, after all! Try it, you won't be disappointed. The Balsamic vinegar isn't overpowering - I thought it might be!

Baked Asparagus with Balsamic Butter Sauce

1 bunch fresh asparagus

2 Tbs butter

1 Tbs soy sauce

1 tsp. balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 400.

Snap ends off asparagus and place on a cookie sheet. Spray asparagus with cooking spray and season with a little salt and pepper.

Bake for 12 minutes or until tender.

Melt butter in the microwave. Stir in soy sauce and vinegar. Pour over baked asparagus and serve.

Anniversary Chicken

I'm not sure where I got this recipe, but it is so good that I feel I should credit someone for it! I use Hidden Valley Ranch, made from the package of seasonings. (It is the only Ranch that I like) Although I'm sure freshly cooked and crumbled bacon would take this dish to a whole other level, I have used the pre-cooked, pre-crumbled, packaged bacon with great results. It is quick and easy and very tasty!

Anniversary Chicken

2 Tbls. vegetable oil

6 chicken breasts

1/2 cup Teriyaki basting sauce

1/2 cup Ranch dressing

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

3 green onions, chopped

crumbled bacon

Preheat oven to 350.

Heat oil and brown chicken for a minute on each side.

Put chicken in a greased 9x13 dish. Brush with Teriyaki sauce, spoon on ranch, sprinkle with cheese, onions and bacon.

Bake for 35 minutes or until cooked through.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Easy Red Beans and Rice

We love this meal. We have it a couple of times a month. It is cheap, easy, healthy and delicious! It isn't spicy, so add your own hot sauce! I'm sure this isn't 'real' southern Red Beans and Rice, but everyone we have served it to has loved it. I usually use light kidney beans or red beans. They taste the best. The picture is when I made it with dark kidney beans - those weren't as good. I have used all kinds of different sausage. The recipe originally called for turkey sausage, but our favorite has been beef bratwurst. We've made it using crumbled sausage (ground up) and that was good too. We puree the tomatoes because Ian doesn't like the chunks. The recipe originally came from Allrecipes. Hope you like it as much as we do! We generally have it with Grandmother's Buttermilk Cornbread (also from Allrecipes.) Can't get any better comfort food than that!

Easy Red Beans and Rice

1 pound sausage (if using links, cut into 1/4 inch slices)
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
3 15oz. cans kidney or red beans, drained
1 28oz. can whole, peeled tomatoes, or diced tomatoes pureed in blender with 1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
3/4 tsp. salt
2 shakes pepper

In a large skillet over low heat, cook sausage for 5 minutes. Add onion and garlic. Saute until tender.
Pour in beans and pureed tomatoes. Season with oregano, salt and pepper. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Serve over rice.

Glazed Lemon Scones

These are delicious! The instructions say to use mostly your hands, and while other tools would work (say, a spoon, for instance) it was so much fun to roll up my sleeves and get my hands working with this dough! I have made the glaze with lemon juice from a bottle before, but this time, I actually squeezed the lemon myself, and the taste was amazing! Great with the bottled juice, but a whole new level with fresh juice! This is a really girly food, so it is a big hit at brunches! They take about 40 minutes to make and make 8-12 scones.
(Disclaimer: Scones, to me, are big, fluffy fried pastries covered in butter and cinnamon sugar from county fairs, but every magazine calls these scones, so what do I know?! They are more like a glorified biscuit. - I had to add that for Ian, we debated the name while he ate them!)

Glazed Lemon Scones from Family Fun Magazine

2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbs. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
3 Tbs. cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 cup heavy or whipping cream, plus a little for brushing
1 egg yolk, slightly beaten
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Lemon Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. lemon extract
1Tbs. melted butter
2 Tbs heavy or whipping cream

Heat oven to 400.
Grease a large baking sheet (preferably not a dark one)
Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add lemon zest and toss with your hands, zestfully :)
Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Mix together the cream, egg yolk, and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients and mix just until the dough holds together.
Scrape the dough onto a floured surface and, with floured hands, knead the dough 3 or 4 times to form a ball.
Flatten it to about 3/4 inch thick.
Cut it into 8-12 pieces as you would a pie.
Transfer the pieces to the baking sheet leaving at least 1/4 inch between them.
Brush the tops with a little cream.
Bake for 16-18 minutes until slightly brown.
Let cool for a couple of minutes and then transfer to a wire rack.
While the scones cool, mix the ingredients together for the glaze with a whisk until smooth. If necessary, thin the glaze with water 1/2 tsp. at a time.
When the scones have cooled for 10 minutes on the rack, drizzle them with the glaze and serve!

Breakfast Casserole

I have always made a standard egg casserole for Christmas morning or Saturday morning Conference and have thought it was super yummy...until I found this one! It comes from The Food Network and has a lot more flavor (The recipe only calls for 6 eggs, but I put in 12). We're not fans of a lot of spicy food in this house, so I was nervous about the spicy pork sausage, but it actually isn't very spicy at all! It is made the night before which makes it easy. The bread layer soaks up the egg and makes for a great light texture (It doesn't look or taste like bread after it is cooked).
Breakfast Casserole
12 eggs
1 cup half and half
2 Tbs. chopped green onions
1 1/2 tsp. salt
6 slices Texas Toast (Thick cut white bread)
1 pound spicy pork sausage, cooked
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
Beat the eggs, half and half, green onions and salt together.
Grease a 9x13 pan.
Place the bread in the pan, breaking into pieces if necessary to fill the bottom.
Sprinkle the bread with the cooked sausage and cheese.
Pour the egg mixture over the entire pan.
Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 and cook for 35 minutes or until the egg mixture is set.

Grandmothers Buttermilk Cornbread

This is the best cornbread I have ever had. I LOVE it. I could eat an entire pan. Just the picture makes my mouth water. It is so very moist and yummy. Mmmmmmm...cornbread...

Grandmother's Buttermilk Cornbread (from Allrecipes)

1/4 pound of butter (1 stick)
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 375. Grease an 8 inch square pan.
Melt butter in a large microwave-safe bowl. Stir in sugar. Quickly add eggs and beat until well blended.
Combine buttermilk and baking soda. Stir into sugar mixture. Add cornmeal, flour and salt and mix until blended, but a few lumps remain. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
If you double the recipe, use a 9x13 pan and bake for 40 minutes.

Friday, March 6, 2009

In The Beginning...

I am sure that I am like most college kids. When I arrived at college, I knew how to make a mean batch of mac 'n cheese, a decent bowl of ramen noodles and I could open a can of soup or a box of cereal like a pro. Beyond that, however, I did not have a clue how to make anything that wasn't processed. I loved to eat though and thought that the situation wasn't acceptable.

I couldn't actually admit that at 18 I didn't really know how to cook anything. So, I took careful notes about how my roommates prepared their food. Mostly, they were eating the same things I was. One day, I got lucky. A roommate of mine got out a package of raw chicken. That got my attention. I saw her bring a pot of water to a boil on the stove. Easy; I did that every day for mac 'n cheese. She then took a piece of chicken and dropped it into the boiling water. She let it cook for 13 minutes (I timed her) and then took it out. Voila...cooked chicken. I didn't take any interest in what she did next with it. I had gotten my answer. I could totally cook chicken!

So, the next time I was home alone, I got out my chicken and boiled it. I was very proud of myself and excited to feast on something I had created that wasn't from a box or can. I sat down, mouth watering and took a bite. It tasted like...boiled chicken. It wasn't horrible, but it was bland and a little stringy. I got out my salt and went to town on that sucker.

I always thought my roommate was an idiot after that and went back to my cold cereal and canned soup. (I wonder what she actually made with her boiled chicken...)

Symphony Cookies

I really am going crazy! For the second week in a row, I have made treats for Ashlyn's Activity Days and for the second week in a row...they aren't having Activity Days.
Oh well! As Noelle put it, "I'm glad you're going crazy, Mommy!"
Maybe I'll luck out and the treats I make next week will actually be for something real!

These cookies were yummy and easy. If you like Symphony candy bars, you'll like them! (Symphony bars are chocolate bars with little bits of toffee and almonds in them.)

Symphony Cookies from The Sisters' Cafe
1 c butter
3/4 c brown sugar
1 small box of instant vanilla pudding (or chocolate)
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 giant Symphony bar (with toffee bits), chopped

Cream butter, sugar, pudding mix, and vanilla until light and fluffy.
Add eggs and beat until creamy.
Combine flour and baking soda.
Add to butter mixture, stirring until combined.
Stir in chopped chocolate.
Drop by spoonful on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake at 375 degrees for 9-10 minutes

Spinach, Orange and Cranberry Salad

OK, so this recipe isn't "impressive," but if you're looking for ideas for something to eat...and you don't want to eat fat, and you're trying to cut calories...you might be interested in this. (Story of my life this year!) My brother Russell - my competitor in our "Biggest Loser" contest - gave me this idea. I eat this almost every day for lunch - or some variation of it!
All it is: spinach leaves, orange slices and dried cranberries. What? No Dressing? Yep, you actually don't need dressing if you get some fruit in each bite. Plus, the vitamin c from the oranges helps in the absorption of the iron from the spinach. (HA! I sound like I know what I'm talking about.)
If we had some kind of meat the night before for dinner, I'll sometimes slice it up and put a little on top...then I feel indulgent!
It actually is really yummy and I look forward to eating it!

Chicken and Corn Chowder with Sweet Potatoes

I love that this recipe has sweet potatoes in it! (Noelle hates that it does!) This was a great soup and was relatively easy to prepare; lots of chopping and dicing! It took me about 1 hour to make. It comes from one of my new favorite sites: My Kitchen Cafe. Just about everything on there that I have tried has been delicious! I made a couple of little changes to fit what I had on hand. I didn't have the corn muffin mix, so I used the dry ingredients from my favorite cornbread recipe and it worked great.
This recipe makes A LOT! I actually had to transfer it from my huge pan to my ginormous pan about halfway through. I would say it could feed 10 people easily.
Chicken and Corn Chowder with Sweet Potatoes
3 cups whole milk (I didn't have whole milk so I used 2 cups 1% and 1 cup cream)
2 Tbs. sugar
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
(Or you can use 1 cup of a yellow corn muffin mix in place of the previous 5 dry ingredients)
2 T. butter
1/2 onion, chopped fine
3 garlic cloves, minced (or 1 1/2 tsp.)
1/2 tsp. ground cumin (I actually didn't have any of this, so I didn't add it)
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
2 quarts chicken broth
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 " cubes and cooked
2 sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1/2" pieces
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
3 cups frozen corn (not thawed) (I used 3 14oz. cans of corn and it worked great)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (I -of course- used dried parsley)
1/2 tsp. salt (add more or less to your liking)
3 shakes pepper

Mix milk and muffin mix in bowl until well combined.
Meanwhile, heat butter in large pot over medium heat until foaming.
Add onion and cook until softened, about 8 minutes.
Stir in garlic, cumin and oregano and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add broth, chicken and sweet potatoes.
Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer until sweet potatoes are just tender, about 8 minutes.
Stir in milk and muffin mixture and simmer until soup thickens, about 10 minutes.
Add cheese and corn and cook until cheese begins to melt, about 2 minutes.
Stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper.

French Bread Rolls

I made these rolls last night to go with our Chicken and Corn Chowder and they were yummy. More importantly, however, THEY WORKED!! I have no luck with bread, as I've mentioned before, but these rose beautifully. I loved kneading them. I'm sure it would've worked to knead them in my Bosch Mixer, but I did everything by hand. (It was very stress-relieving with the rhythmic motion!) They can be made when you have few ingredients on hand and for people who can't have milk or eggs.

These were easy to make and took about 2 hours from start to finish. They had the crunchy exterior and the soft interior like a loaf of french bread. I love that it made only one dozen - just right for our family dinner with a couple left over.
French Bread Rolls (yet another wonderful recipe from My Kitchen Cafe)

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, stir together warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
To the yeast mixture, add the oil, salt, and 2 cups flour. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
Deflate the dough, and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces, and form into round balls. Place on lightly greased baking sheets at least 2 inches apart.
Cover the rolls with a damp cloth (or greased saran wrap), and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Bake for 12-13 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown. (Mine were ready after 10 minutes)

Have a taste with some homemade strawberry jam and you will be in heaven!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Frosted Banana Bars

I made these yesterday for a friend's birthday and thought it was a great new way to use up some ripe bananas! This recipe comes from Allrecipes. I've never seen my kids squeal for another piece of anything quite so frantically! Well, Gracie did that the first time she had jello - but it was her first real taste of sugar and she couldn't get enough!...ah, but I digress. The point is, they couldn't get enough!
I used up the remainder of the Cream Cheese Frosting I made for the cinnamon rolls a few days ago. This was quick to whip together - even with my best little man "helping!"
Frosted Banana Bars

½ cup butter, softened
1 ½ cups white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (I used four ripe bananas)
Frosting (use store-bought cream cheese frosting or make your own from the version below)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a jellyroll pan.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the sour cream and vanilla.
Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; stir into the batter.
Finally, mix in the mashed banana.
Spread evenly into the prepared pan(s). Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Allow bars to cool completely (or as long as you can stand it!) before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting ( from My Kitchen Cafe)

8 ounces cream cheese
½ cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups confectioner’s sugar
2-3 tablespoons milk

Combine butter and cream cheese and mix well, then add vanilla and sugar and mix again, then add milk for desired consistency.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

This recipe is from My Kitchen Cafe. I made it last night for dinner and it was so yummy! I accidentally used Teriyaki Marinade instead of Soy Sauce, (I was in a hurry and didn't read the label...doh!)but it is made up of mostly soy sauce any way! Also, I only baked it for about 35 minutes and it was perfect! It was quick and easy! I served it over rice for the family and I had it in a salad (watchin' the carbs!) and I'm willing to bet mine tasted every bit as good as theirs - maybe better!

Sweet and Sour Chicken
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
1 cup cornstarch
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup oil
Cut boneless chicken breasts into chunks. Season with salt and pepper. Dip chicken in cornstarch and then in egg. Fry in a little oil until brown but not cooked through. Place in a single layer in a baking dish. Mix sauce ingredients (below) together and pour over chicken.
¾ cup sugar
4 tablespoons ketchup
½ cup vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic salt
Bake for one hour at 325 degrees. Turn chicken every 15 minutes. If you like extra sauce, make another batch of sauce and bring it to a boil on the stove top. Stir constantly and let cook over medium heat until thickened and reduced - about 6-8 minutes.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Chicken Divan

Or as Russell always called it growing up, "Chick in dee truck!"

We love this dinner and it is one of the few that even my pickiest eaters gobble up. Cut up the chicken and broccoli really fine and babies can't get enough! I am frequently asked for the recipe.

This recipe comes from my Mom, but I have altered it a little, so here's my version.

Chicken Divan

2 bunches fresh broccoli, cut and steamed
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
4 cups chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 Tbs. lemon juice
1 tsp. salt
3 or 4 chicken breasts cooked and cubed
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (Plus some to sprinkle on top)

Preheat oven to 350.

Put cooked broccoli in the bottom of a greased 9x13 baking dish.
Melt butter in a saucepan. Blend in flour. Add chicken broth. Cook and stir until thick and bubbly. Stir in Cream of chicken soup, lemon juice, salt, Parmesan cheese and a dash of pepper.

Pour half the mixture over the broccoli. Top with the cubed chicken. Pour the remainder of the sauce on top. Sprinkle additional Parmesan cheese on top. Bake for 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Broil until top browns just a little.

Serve over rice (which, of coarse, you cooked while it was in the oven!)

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

This recipe comes from The Sisters' Cafe and here is my take on it. It is definately more noodles than soup - but that is the way Ian likes it! I made it twice in the last 2 weeks for sick friends. Just what the doctor ordered!
Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
28 oz. chicken broth
1 cube (or 1 Tbs.) chicken bouillon
2-3 carrots, sliced
2-3 celery stalks, sliced
1/2 medium onion, chopped fine
8 oz. noodles (I used No Yolk wide egg noodles - lots of protein, no fat!)
1 pound chicken, cooked and diced
2 cans cream of chicken soup
12 oz. evaporated milk
Boil broth, bouillon, carrots, celery and onion for 20 minutes or until tender.
Cook noodles with another chicken bouillon cube and drain.
Add noodles, diced chicken, cream of chicken soup and evaporated milk. Heat, add a few shakes of pepper and serve!
(Goes awesome with my homemade bread recipe!)

Oatmeal Cookie Bars

I made these as a Treat for Ashlyn's Activity Days...too bad my brain doesn't work anymore and I made them a week early! (Hopefully the neighbor kids appreciated the mistake!)

Oh well, I'll just have to bake something yummy again this week! ;)

This recipe is adapted from the "Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Bars" from My Kitchen Cafe. I merely substituted Reeses Pieces Baking chips for the chocolate chunks. The peanut butter flavor was just right!

I'm sure you could substitute all kinds of things to create different variations: dried cranberries and white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, etc.

Oatmeal Cookie Bars

1 3/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup oatmeal
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
12 ounces semi sweet chocolate chunks (I used Reeses Pieces from the baking aisle)
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional - I left these out)

Preheat oven to 375.
Whisk together dry ingredients and set aside.
Beat butter, sugars, egg and vanilla till fluffy and add dry ingredients.
Stir in chocolate chunks and walnuts.
Press into a greased 9x13 inch pan and bake for 18-20 minutes until light golden brown.
I have pressed it into a small sheet pan and baked for 18 minutes.

Basic Sweet Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

I actually got up at 5:30 this morning to make these for Ian to take to work for his team. I love this recipe and the cream cheese frosting makes these cinnamon rolls

It took me 2 hours from start to drool (wish I could eat them!).

Basic Sweet Rolls (from Bosch)

1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cup milk
1/2 pound butter or margarine
6 cups flour
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. SAF yeast (heaping)
aprox. half stick of butter or margarine, melted
brown sugar
Frosting (see below)

In small saucepan, melt butter with milk and water over low heat. Put into mixing bowl and add 4 cups flour, eggs, sugar and salt. Mix well. Add 2 cups flour and yeast. Mix well. Scrape down sides of bowl and then mix in more flour until sides of the bowl come clean.

Knead for 3-4 minutes.Place dough in greased bowl and let raise until doubled (about 30-40 minutes).

Punch down and turn out onto oiled counter. Roll out 3/4 inch thick (about 12"x24"), spread with melted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon.

Start at longer edge and roll. Cut into 24 rolls and place in 2 9x13 pans (greased).

Let rise for additional 30 minutes and bake at 375 for about 20 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting ( from My Kitchen Cafe)

8 ounces cream cheese
½ cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups confectioner’s sugar
2-3 tablespoons milk

Combine butter and cream cheese and mix well, then add vanilla and sugar and mix again, then add milk for desired consistency.

Best Bread Recipe EVER!

OK, it is The Best Recipe for me because it is the only one that hasn't ever failed! (Yes, even Laurie's "Never Fail Rolls" don't rise for me!)

I've gotten a lot of requests for it lately, so here you go. There are different quantities for 6 loaves, 4 loaves and 2 loaves. Ian likes this bread better with whole wheat flour. I am currently trying to use up white flour that is in our food storage, and it almost feels sinful! It is very yummy! It is great both ways.

This only takes me about 1 hour 15 minutes from start to scrumptious!

Bosch Basic Bread Recipe (4 loaves)
4 cups hot water
6 cups flour
2/3 cup oil
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup Gluten
2 Tbs. Dough Enhancer
3 Tbs. SAF Yeast
2 cups flour
1 Tbs. salt
additional flour

Pour hot water in mixing bowl. Add 6 cups flour, oil, honey, gluten, dough enhancer and yeast. Mix well. Add 2 cups flour and salt and mix in. Within about 1 minute, add additional flour (1/2 cup to 2 cups) a little at a time.

**Tip** STOP adding flour as soon as the sides of the bowl come clean. If you add more, the bread will be heavier and denser. Be warned - it is a sticky dough!

When appropriate amount of flour has been added, knead for 8-10 minutes. Turn out onto oiled (not floured) counter top. (Oil your hands to work with the dough - then it won't stick to you.)
Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces, shape into loaves and place in greased loaf pans. Let rise for 30 minutes.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

I follow the directions exactly! I'm too scared of failure not to! Maybe one day I'll add lemon juice instead of gluten and applesauce for oil. Actually, why don't one of you do that and let me know how it turns out! I can't risk it!

Ingredients for 2 loaves:
2 1/2 cups hot water
4 cups flour
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbs. Gluten
1 Tbs. Dough Enhancer
2 Tbs. yeast
1 cup flour
1 Tbs. Salt.
Additional flour as needed.

Ingredients for 6 loaves:
6 cups hot water
8 cups flour
3/4 cup oil
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup Gluten
2 Tbs. Dough Enhancer
4 Tbs. yeast
4 cups flour
2 Tbs. salt
Additional flour as needed.