Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Glazed Poppy Seed Bread

This recipe is from My Kitchen Cafe (so all the side notes about butter extract are hers). It is yummy! I made small loaves, but they would made delicious muffins.

3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups sugar
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
1 1/2 teaspoons butter extract (or 1 tablespoon melted butter)
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons poppy seeds

(I could bring myself to buy butter extract after spying the list of unpronounceable ingredients so I subbed melted butter which is like, SO much healthier, but use whatever you prefer!)

1/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
3/4 teaspoon butter extract (or 1/2 tablespoon melted butter)

Line the bottom of the loaf pans with waxed or parchment paper and then grease and flour the entire loaf pan well.

In a large bowl whisk together the eggs and oil. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, salt and baking powder. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the egg/oil mixture and whisk to combine. Add 1/2 of the milk and stir together. Add another 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix well. Add the last half of the milk and stir. Finally add the last 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix. Add the extracts and poppy seeds and mix well.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pans, filling about 2/3 to 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 60 minutes checking often the last 10 minutes of baking to ensure the bread doesn't over bake. When completely baked, a toothpick inserted in the middle should pull out moist crumbs but not wet batter.

While the bread is baking, combine the glaze ingredients and mix well. Set aside.

Let the bread sit in the pan for five minutes. Run a knife around the edges and carefully remove the bread from the pans onto a wire rack. Brush the tops of the bread with the glaze while the bread is still warm. Continue brushing and/or gently pouring until all the glaze is on the bread. Cool completely before slicing.

Makes 2 (8x4 1/2 inch) loaves.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Oven French Fries

Here's how mom makes her super yummy oven french fries:

Peel the potato, rinse it off. Cut into french fry shapes. Place the cut potatoes onto a doubled paper towel. Using another doubled paper towel pat the potatoes until the moisture is removed. Place into a ziploc plastic bag. Pour about 1/2 tablespoon oil onto the cookie sheet and spread around with a brush or your fingers. Pour about 1/2 tablespoon to 1 tablespoon oil (depending on the amount of potatoes) over the potatoes in the ziploc bag. Seal the bag and squeeze it around until the potatoes are coated in oil. Spread onto cookie sheet. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 20 minutes, take a metal spatula and turn the potatoes over as well as you can. Continue baking until they are the crispness you like--5 to 20 minutes.

This way they do not stick to the pan and are easy to turn over!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Potato Pearl Salad

I know what you are all thinking . . . you can't mess with the potato in a potato salad.  We invited a couple of families over for dinner and family home evening.  I wanted to serve a potato salad with my pulled BBQ pork sandwiches but I forgot to buy the potatoes.  Then I remembered that I had tried this salad at a training meeting at the Church cannery.  This recipe uses the dried mashed potato pearls that you can buy at the cannery.  I imagine you could use any other mashed potato also.

The result?  The salad was a resounding success.  One of our guests said that it was the best potato salad he had ever had.  He said Idaho girls really know how to cook their potatoes.  Stephen and Derek LOVED the salad and requested that I only make this kind of potato salad in the future.  They loved the creamy texture the mashed potatoes gave the salad.  I'd love to know what you think about it.

1 cup potato pearls
1 1/2 cups very hot water (I microwaved it)
2-4 hard boiled chilled eggs, chopped
Chopped pickles or pickle relish 
1-2 tablespoons dried onion (I used chopped fresh green onions)

Mix potato pearls and water thoroughly.  Mixture will appear dry.  Chill.  Mix remaining ingredients into chilled mashed potatoes and fold in your favorite salad dressing.

1 cup real mayonnaise
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
Thin it with enough pickle juice liquid to make a dressing

No salt or pepper is necessary.  Decorate salad with sliced eggs, sliced olives, and/or green onions.  Sprinkle with paprika and chives.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Apple Cinnamon Cake

I made this cake for Bart’s birthday this year. We loved the lightly spiced cake with chunks of apples—it is a perfect fall dessert. The cake makes three very thin layers if baked in 9-inch round cake pans—perfect for a nice thick layer of buttercream between each layer. If you prefer thicker layers, try baking it in only 2 pans instead of 3.

3 ¾ cups (16 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup (8 ounces; 2 sticks) unsalted butter
3 cups (21 ounces) packed brown sugar
4 eggs
1 cup (8 ounces) unsweetened applesauce
2 apples, peeled and chopped into ½-inch pieces

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush the bottoms and sides of the pans (2 or 3 nine-inch round pans) with melted butter and line the bottoms with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and cloves. Set aside.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter and brown sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.

Set the mixer to low speed and add the eggs, one at a time, scraping thoroughly after each addition.

Alternately add the flour mixture and the applesauce to the butter mixture in three batches, starting with the flour. Scrape down the bowl after each addition and beat until thoroughly combined. Set the mixer to medium speed for about 20 seconds, then stop and scrape the sides of the bowl.

Add the apples and stir them in just until they are incorporated.

Divide the batter evenly among the cake pans (total batter weight is approximately 1980 grams). Bake about 30 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Allow the cake to cool for 20 minutes. Once the cake is cool, release it from its pan by running a metal spatula or knife along the sides of the pan. Flip the cake over onto another pan or cake board and peel away the layer of parchment.

Recipe Source: Confetti Cakes for Kids

Brown Sugar Buttercream

Even if you don’t plan to eat this frosting, you absolutely must make it at least once—just so you can see and feel the amazingly smooth texture. There is nothing gritty about this frosting in the least--it's velvety texture is a joy to work with. I used it on an apple-cinnamon cake, and the flavors went together perfectly. I think this frosting would also be delicious piped in swirls on top of zucchini cupcakes. Here’s what the author of the book I found the recipe in had to say about it: “This addictive buttercream is sweetened with brown sugar instead of granulated sugar, and the result is a creamy caramel flavor. For even deeper flavor, replace the light brown sugar with dark brown sugar.”

3 cups plus 2 tablespoons (22 ounces) packed light (or dark) brown sugar
1 cup (8 ounces) egg whites
3 cups (24 ounces; 6 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed and softened
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

In the bowl of a standing mixer, thoroughly whisk together the brown sugar and egg whites.

Set the bowl over a pot of boiling water. Whisking constantly, heat the mixture until all the sugar crystals have dissolved and the mixture is hot. Get it as hot as you can but be careful not to cook the eggs.

Put the bowl back in the mixer fitted with a whip attachment. Beat on high speed until the mixture forms a stiff meringue and the bottom comes to room temperature, about 10 minutes. I nestled a few bags of frozen vegetables around the base of my mixing bowl to help bring the temperature down. It still took just over 10 minutes to get to room temperature, though.

Stop the mixer and replace the whip attachment with the paddle attachment.

Set the mixer to low speed and add the butter, a few cubes at a time. When all the butter is incorporated, turn the mixer to medium speed and mix until fluffy.

Se the mixer to low speed and add the vanilla. Once the vanilla is incorporated, scrape the bowl and continue to mix on medium speed until you have a smooth, creamy texture. If the buttercream is too liquid, refrigerate until completely cool and stiff, then rewhip.

You can use the buttercream immediately, store it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or refrigerate it an airtight container for up to 10 days.

Recipe Source: Confetti Cakes for Kids

Friday, September 17, 2010

Grandma's Hamburger Buns

I just wanted to post these pictures, because I was really excited about them. I made Grandma's Hamburger Bun recipe for sloppy joes and they turned out great! Next time, though, I think I'll try the egg wash thing on the tops so they have a nice golden brown color when they come out. But I was pleased - they were delicious! Thanks for recipe, Grandma!

Prosciutto Pasta Toss (A.K.A. Ham-Pea Pasta)

We just tried this recipe last week and thought it was really delicious! My favorite part was that the whole thing took me literally 15 minutes to make - starting with pulling out the ingredients to ready to eat! It was awesome!

Recipe taken from the 2008 Quick Cooking Book, pg. 249.

1 package (16 oz.) linguine
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 pound thinly sliced prosciutto or deli ham, chopped
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook linguine according to package directions, adding peas during the last 3 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute the garlic, Italian seasoning and pepper in oil for 2-3 minutes or until garlic is tender. Stir in prosciutto.

Drain linguine; add to skillet and toss to coat. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Yield: 6 servings.

*Substitutions - We used less linguine (since we cook for 2) and a little less of the spices. However, we kept the amount of the peas the same, and kind of just guessed on how much deli ham to use. Instead of shredded Parmesan, we used the Shake Bottle kind <-- cheaper. :) And instead of fresh garlic, we used dried, minced garlic (we weren't sure what the recipe was calling for anyway. . .). It was so good that it was completely gone at the end of this meal! Yummy!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Carrot Pancakes with Cream Cheese Spread

Yum! Enough said.


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons finely chopped pecans
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Dash nutmeg
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup packed brown or granulated sugar
1 cup milk
2 cups finely grated carrots
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream cheese spread:

4 ounces cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar (approximately--adjust amount as desired)
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 dash ground cinnamon


In a bowl, combine flour, pecans, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and nutmeg.

In a separate bowl, combine egg, brown sugar, milk, carrots, and vanilla; mix well.

Stir carrot mixture into dry ingredients until moistened. Pour batter by 1/4 cupful onto a greased hot griddle. Turn when bubbles form on the top of pancake; flip and cook until golden brown.

For topping, blend cream cheese, powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla until smooth. Sprinkle with cinnamon, and serve with pancakes.

Cheddar Spirals

Sunday's Dinner. I served this with ham. I used my crock pot that has two separate sides and did the noodles on one side, and wrapped the ham in tin foil and cooked it on the other side. It worked out great!

16 ounces spiral pasta
2 cups half-and-half cream
1 can (10.75 oz) condensed cheddar cheese soup
1/2 cup butter, melted
4 cups (16 oz) shredded cheddar cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. In a 5-qt. slow cooker, combine the cream, soup and butter until smooth; stir in the cheese and pasta.

Cover and cook on low for 2 1/2 hours or until cheese is melted.

Easy Minestrone

Monday's Meal

4 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 medium zucchini, halved and sliced
1 1/2 cups shredded cabbage
1 can (16 oz.) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz.) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 1/4 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups cooked elbow macaroni
5 Tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese

In a 5- qt. slow cooker, combine the first 11 ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until vegetables are tender. Just before serving, stir in macaroni and heat through. Serve with Parmesan cheese.

Waikiki Chicken

Tuesday's Dinner. This is a recipe that our cousin Susan posted on facebook. We thought it was yummy too. We served it with rice.

2 lbs. chicken
1 cup soy sauce
2 cups brown sugar
1 Tablespoon ginger
1 Tablespoon garlic, minced
14 oz. pineapple chunks
1 bell pepper
1 small onion

Combine all the ingredients and cook in a slow cooker for 1 hour on high. Turn to low and cook 6-8 hours longer until cooked through. Serve over rice.

Chewy Chocolate No-Bakes

This is a fun variation of no bake cookies. They taste a little less sweet and a lot more chocolatey than the boiled kind of no-bakes.

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
5 tablespoons light butter
14 large marshmallows
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups oats (quick or old-fashioned, uncooked)
2/3 cup (any combination of) raisins, diced dried mixed fruit, shredded coconut, miniature marshmallows or chopped nuts

Melt chocolate chips, butter, and marshmallows in large microwaveable bowl. Microwave on High 1 to 2 minutes or until mixture is melted and smooth, stirring every 30 seconds Stir in vanilla. Stir in oats and remaining ingredients.

Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto waxed paper. Cover and refrigerate 2 to 3 hours. Let stand at room temperature about 15 minutes before serving. Store tightly covered in refrigerator.

Makes about 36 treats.

Recipe source: Quaker Oats magazine

Pork Carnitas

Wednesday's Dinner. I also think this meat would be delicious on corn tortillas with just the onion and cilantro. Yummy!

1 boneless pork shoulder or loin roast (2-3 lbs.) trimmed and cut into 3-inch cubes
1/2 cup lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
12 flour tortillas, warmed
2 cups shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
2 medium avocados, peeled and diced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 medium onion, diced
shredded lettuces
minced fresh cilantro, optional

In a slow cooker, combine pork, lime juice, salt, pepper and pepper flakes. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour; stir. Reduce heat to low and cook 8-10 hours longer or until meat is very tender.

Shred pork with a fork. Spoon about 1/3 cup of filling down the center of each tortilla; top with cheese, avocados, tomatoes, onion, lettuce and cilantro if desired. Fold in bottom and side of tortilla. Serve with salsa.

Lemony Turkey Breast

This week I've actually prepared dinner every night in the crockpot! I know it's a shock that I even planned ahead and prepared dinner. It has been wonderful to have it all ready, however I think my crockpot cooks hotter than the ones they use in the cookbooks because we have been having dinner done around 4:30 every night.

All of these recipes are out of Taste of Home. This was Thursday's Meal.

This turkey breast was delicious. I even made homemade mashed potatoes, stuffing, pumpkin pie squares and pumpkin pie! I figure I shouldn't have to make Thanksgiving Dinner now, right?! I'm actually considering doing all my Thanksgiving meal in a slow cooker this year. I found a stuffing recipe and a sweet potatoe recipe too and a different turkey recipe, so then I can have the oven for rolls and just add in the vegetables and it should be yummy...I love Thanksgiving food!

1 bone-in turkey breast (5 lbs.), halved
1 medium lemon, halved
1 teaspoon salt-free lemon-pepper seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic salt
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

Remove skin from turkey. Pat turnkey dry with paper towels; spray turkey with nonstick cooking spray. Place breast side up in a slow cooker. Squeeze half of the lemon over turkey; sprinkle with lemon-pepper and garlic salt. Place lemon halves under turkey. Cover and cook on low for 5-7 hours or until meat is no longer pink and a meat thermometer reads 170 degrees. Remove turkey and keep warm. Discard lemon.

For gravy, pour cooking liquid into a measuring cup; skim fat. In a saucepan, combine cornstarch and broth until smooth. Gradually stir in cooking liquid. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Serve with turkey.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits

This is our new favorite biscuit recipe, courtesy of Land of Lakes.  Be sure to roll the dough thick (3/4").  You should only get 8 biscuits!

Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup shortening
3/4 cup buttermilk

Heat oven to 425 degrees.  In large bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt.  Cut in shortening until crumbly.  Stir in buttermilk just until moistened.  Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; knead until smooth (1 min.).  Roll out dough to 3/4" thickness.  Cut into 8 (2") biscuits; place 1" apart on cookie sheet.  Bake for 10-14 minutes or until desired brownness (I like mine golden brown on top and bottom).  I usually double this recipe.  The biscuits freeze and reheat in the microwave well.  These biscuits are INCREDIBLE with sausage gravy, or in a Egg McMuffin.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Black and White Wedding Cake

I received a request Thursday afternoon to do a wedding cake for a reception Saturday afternoon. This is the quickest I have ever completed a wedding cake (especially considering that it was my work week on and I had to work every day during those three days plus give a talk and play the piano for a Stake Baptism on Saturday morning)! This is also the first time I have made a square wedding cake. I e-mailed the bride pictures of cakes to see what styles of decorating she liked best, then I got right to work.

The cake itself is chocolate fudge with vanilla buttercream frosting. The cake top is fresh flowers that I ordered from a florist. The rest of the cake is edible.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Oven-Fried Chicken Chimichangas

Who doesn't like a good Mexican meal?  And what could be better than a good Mexican meal that ISN'T fried?  Our family loves these chimichangas, and I think yours will, too.  This is a basic recipe.  Feel free to play around with adding additional ingredients.  I think the chimichangas would taste great with the additions of Cafe Rio or Mexican/Spanish rice and black beans!  Oh, and since you're saving so many calories by baking these, you should definitely serve Fried Ice Cream for dessert.  Married to a Mexican has a great video to show you how!

Oven-Fried Chicken Chimichangas
1 1/3 cups picante sauce (we use Pace)
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano leaves, crushed
3 cups finely chopped cooked chicken (3 breasts was perfect)
2 cups shredded cheese
4 green onions, chopped (optional)
12 (8") flour tortillas, warmed (if you use bigger tortillas, you will probably only need 10)
butter, melted

Mix picante sauce, seasonings, chicken, cheese, and onions (and additional add-ins such as rice and black beans, if desired).  Place about 1/2 cup mixture in center of each tortillas.  Fold in sides, and begin to roll loosely (you need to leave enough room for steam expansion while it cooks or the tortilla will burst open on a side).  Place seam-side down on baking sheet.  Brush with melted butter (all over; turn it so you can brush the bottom, too).  Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes until golden.  Garnish with additional cheese, guacamole, sour cream, and hot sauce or salsa.  Makes 12 chimichangas.  You can freeze or refrigerate leftovers and re-heat them in the microwave.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Classic Grilled Burgers

This is the second time we've made this recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe.  The first time, I followed the recipe exactly.  The second time, I knew I could play around with the seasonings a little, so I used seasoned salt (much less than called for), black pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. But do NOT leave out the A-1 Steak Sauce!  And a toasted, good-quality bun really does make all the difference.  You must try it if you've never had a hamburger on a toasted bun... it takes this recipe to a "gourmet" level!

Classic Grilled Burgers
2 pounds ground beef (preferably not extra lean)
2 teaspoons seasoned salt
2 tablespoons A-1 sauce
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup room temperature water
In a medium bowl, mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Form the beef into patties about 1/2-inch thick and about 1/4-inch larger in diameter than the buns you’ll be using (I used a burger press and made 8 burgers with 2 lbs of meat; or half the recipe and make 4 burgers).  Refrigerate the patties until ready to grill. Cook the burgers on a preheated grill over medium-high heat until the burgers are cooked to your liking. The last two minutes of grilling, butter the inside of the bun and slap it on the grill to toast while the burgers finish cooking.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Pillsbury Rolled Sugar Cookies

This recipe is from Mom's Pillsbury cookbook. Bryant made them for us today, and frosted them with Vanilla Buttercream frosting (from my 101 Gourmet Cupcakes cookbook).

Rolled Sugar Cookies
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter, softened
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
3 cups Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

COMBINE 1 cup sugar, butter, milk, vanilla and egg in large bowl; blend well. Add flour, baking powder and salt; mix well. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate 1 hour for easier handling.

HEAT oven to 400°F. On lightly floured surface, roll out 1/3 of dough at a time to 1/8-inch thickness. Keep remaining dough refrigerated. Cut with floured cookie cutter. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Sprinkle with sugar, if desired.

BAKE 5 to 9 minutes or until edges are light brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheets. Cool completely. Frost with frosting, then decorate as desired.

High Altitude (above 3500 ft.): INCREASE flour to 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons. Bake as directed above.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
8 T. (1 stick) butter, room temperature
3 3/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
3-4 T. milk or cream
2 tsp. vanilla extract

PLACE butter in a large mixing bowl. Beat until light and fluffy, about 30 seconds. Stop beating before adding sugar to avoid a large mess.

ADD sugar, 3 T. milk or cream, and vanilla extract. Beat frosting starting on slow, increasing your speed until frosting is nice and creamy. Add up to 1 more tablespoon milk or cream if frosting is too thick.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I made these cookies as a surprise for Alyssa and Joshua when they got home from their first day of school. I was surprised at how delicious these cookies are! They are what we each consider “the perfect oatmeal cookie.”

3 cups (10 ½ oz) old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (5 oz) all-purpose flour
½ cup (2 oz) toasted wheat germ
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup (2 sticks—8 oz total) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (7 oz) granulated sugar
1 cup (7 ½ oz) packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups (8 ¼ oz) raisins (or substitute 12 oz coarsely chopped good-quality chocolate to make oatmeal-chocolate chunk cookies)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Stir together oats, flour, wheat germ, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl.

Put butter and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add oat mixture; mix until just combined. Mix in raisins.

Using a 1 ½-inch ice cream scoop, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing 2 inches apart. Flatten slightly (cookies will spread quite a bit when they bake).

Bake until golden and just set, about 11 minutes, rotating halfway through. Let cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks; let cool completely. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days. (I like to freeze the leftover cookies for longer storage.)

Recipe Source: Martha Stewart’s Cookies