Saturday, November 22, 2014

Amish Friendship Bread

Paige was begging for some Friendship Bread so we found a recipe for starter and began the process.  Then she convinced her Young Women leaders to bake the bread for a Beehive activity.  She used her starter (that was actually only nine days into the process) and then came home with one loaf of bread to bake and a "new" batch of starter to go forward.  Today she tried a new recipe with her starter, Snickerdoodles.  Here is what we did.  Bryn really loved the snickerdoodles Paige made today.

Do not use a metal spoon or metal bowl for mixing at any time.  Do not refrigerate.  When air forms in the bag, let it out and reseal.

    1 package yeast
    1/4 cup warm water
    1 cup flour
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup milk
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let it stand for 10 minutes.  In a separate bowl whisk together the flour and sugar.  Mix the yeast mixture, dry ingredients, and milk together.  Consider this day one.

Day 1 This is the day you received the starter.  Do nothing.
Day 2 Mush the bag
Day 3 Mush the bag
Day 4 Mush the bag
Day 5 Mush the bag
Day 6 Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup milk.  Mix well by squeezing the bag.
Day 7 Mush the bag
Day 8 Mush the bag
Day 9 Mush the bag
Day 10 Combine in a large bowl the batter from the bag, 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup milk.  Stir and pour four 1 cup starters into ziploc bags.  Keep one and give the others away.

To the remaining batter add and mix well:
1 cup oil         2 cups flour
1 cup sugar 2 tsp cinnamon
½ cup milk ½ tsp baking soda
3 eggs ½ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla 1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 large box vanilla pudding

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease and generously sugar (1/4 cup sugar mixed with 1 tsp cinnamon) two large loaf pans or one large bundt pan.  Pour batter into pans and sprinkle on top with the remaining sugar mixture.  Bake one hour.  Let stand 10 minutes before removing from the pan.

Optional: add 1 cup chopped nuts and/or raisins, chocolate chips, coconut, etc.

Here is where we found the snickerdoodle recipe (Paige just used some of our premade cinnamon sugar to roll the cookies in so we didn't follow that part of the recipe).  They have some other recipes we want to try with our next batch in another 10 days.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Thai Chicken Salad

This was off of Our Best Bites.  It is a delicious salad.  I didn't like the dressing she made, but I don't like most dressings.  I ate most of this salad without dressing, but I did use a little bit of Walden Farms Honey Mustard Salad dressing on some bites.  If you want the soy sauce/peanut butter dressing you'll have to go to her site.

I cooked the quinoa in chicken stock and I used rotisserie chicken.  I loved the fresh cilantro mixed in too!

1 cup coleslaw mix
1 cup shredded chicken
1/2 cup quinoa
1/4 cup edamame
2 tablespoons cilantro
1/4 cup diced cucumber

Mix together and enjoy!

Coconut-Almond Breakfast Quinoa

I was looking for healthy recipes the other day...I'm not positive, but I think I found this off of Our Best Bites.  It was almost like having dessert for breakfast.  I topped mine with unsweetened coconut flakes, and fresh berries.  It was so tasty!

1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup coconut milk
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Combine in a sauce pan and bring to a boil, then turn down low, cover and simmer 10-15 minutes.

I used the splenda brown sugar, and I waited to add the almond extract in at the very end of cooking so it had a stronger flavor to it.  Other toppings could be more milk, or honey, but I thought it was plenty sweet.  I actually had this with some egg whites 4 mornings in a row!

Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce

I found this recipe off of the Olive Garden website.  I used it for Alyx's dinner too and it was also very yummy.

1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup fresh Romano cheese, grated
6 egg yolks from jumbo eggs
Salt and black pepper to taste

Heat milk and cream in a heavy bottom saucepan until it begins to simmer.  Turn off heat.  Slowly whip in cheese, then remove from heat.  Place egg yolks in a separate bowl and slowly whip in a portion of the hot milk and cream mixture.  Slowly add egg yolk mixture back into remaining cream mixture.  Place back on very low heat and continually stir until simmering.  Take sauce off heat so it thickens.  Season to taste with salt and black pepper.  Serve over your favorite pasta.

Cheese Sauce for Pasta

I tried this new recipe for Alyx's Baptism dinner.  It was so yummy, definitely a keeper!

4 cups heavy cream
1 cup butter
1 cup grated Swiss cheese
1 cup grated Colby Jack cheese
1  cup six cheese Italian (comes in a package already grated)
1 cup grated Mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese

In a medium sauce pan combine cream and butter.  Bring to a slow simmer, stirring constantly until the butter is melted.  Gradually stir in all the cheese.  Reduce heat to low and stir until all cheeses are melted.  Serve immediately.  Sauce will thicken as it cools.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Fish Tacos with Black Bean Salsa

I have discovered that I really enjoy recipes from Emeril Lagasse.  He is a chef, restaurateur, and best-selling author of multiple cookbooks.  His recipes are easy to follow and quick to accomplish.  These tacos are a delicious way to begin cooking from his recipes!  

Fish Tacos with Black Bean Salsa

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
¼ cup olive oil
1 jalapeno, minced (you can seed it if you prefer for a milder salsa—I seeded half of it but left the other half)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoons salt
2 pounds skinless firm white fish fillets (such as snapper), trimmed and cut into 3-inch pieces
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup cornmeal
½ cup olive oil
Eight 6-inch flour tortillas
3 cups thinly sliced or shredded romaine lettuce
4 lime wedges
½ cup sour cream (if desired)

1.     In a medium bowl, combine the black beans, ¼ cup of the olive oil, and the jalapeno, lime juice, garlic, and ½ teaspoon of the salt.  Set aside.

2.     Season the fish fillets evenly with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and the black pepper.  Dredge quickly in the cornmeal, shaking to remove any excess, and set aside.

3.     Heat a 12-inch sauté pan over high heat.  Toast each of the tortillas for 30 seconds on one side in the hot sauté pan.  Transfer to a plate and cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel to keep warm.

4.     In the same sauté pan, heat the remaining ½ cup olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add half of the fish fillets, and sauté until just cooked through, about 2 minutes per side.  Transfer them to paper towels to drain.  Repeat with the remaining fillets.

5.     To assemble the tacos, place 2 tortillas on each plate, and divide the shredded lettuce among them.  Spoon the black bean mixture onto the lettuce, and divide the fish fillets among the tortillas.  Squeeze the lime wedges over the fish, dollop with the sour cream, and fold the tortillas to close.  Serve immediately.

Raspberry Lime Rickey

We made this delicious drink to serve with fish tacos.  We weren't originally planning on having a special drink with dinner, but we decided at the last minute to add this drink to our menu.  Luckily--this is really fast to make.  We put the syrup into the mixture into the freezer so it would cool quickly.  Plus, the ice in the glasses helps make sure everything is icy and delicious. This delectable drink had even our naysayer of carbonation going for seconds!!!!!! 

Raspberry Lime Rickey

3 cups frozen raspberries (one 12-ounce package)
2 cups sugar
½ cup water
4 teaspoons grated lime zest
½ cup juice from 4 limes
Seltzer or club soda, chilled

1.        Make syrup:  Heat raspberries, sugar, and water in saucepan over medium heat until raspberries begin to release their juices, about 5 minutes.  Mash with potato masher until berries break down, then stir in lime zest and juice.  Simmer until mixture is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.

2.       Pour raspberry mixture through fine-mesh strainer set over bowl, pressing on solids to extract liquid (you should have about 2 ½ cups).  Discard berry solids.  Refrigerate syrup until completely cool, at least 30 minutes or up to 1 week.  To serve, combine 3/4 cup seltzer and 2 tablespoons syrup in tall, ice-filled glass.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Pad Thai

This is a vegetarian version of Pan Thai, but in the picture I added in cooked Shrimp.  It was delicious!

8 oz rice noodles, flat
1 Tbsp canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced through garlic press
2 cups shredded Savoy cabbage
2 carrots, julienned
5 egg whites, lightly beaten
3 cups bean sprouts
1 cup green zucchini, julienned
1 cup green onions, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish

3 Tbsp rice vinegar
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 Tbsp reserved noodle water
2 Tbsp molasses
2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce

Cover rice noodles with boiling water in a a ceramic bowl.  Cover and let stand for 20 minutes to soften noodles.  Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons noodle water.

In a small bowl, whisk together all sauce ingredients.  Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Stir in garlic, cabbage and carrot.  Stir-fry for 5 minutes.  Make a well in the middle of the pan and scramble the egg whites.  Add noodles and sauce and cook for 5 minutes.  Add bean sprouts, zucchini and green onion and cook a little longer to heat through.  Remove from heat and serve.  Garnish each dish with chopped cilantro.  Serves 8

Coconut Macadamia Halibut

Tonight I made up my own recipe, I thought it was yummy.

I dipped the halibut in beaten egg white, and then dipped it in a mixture of raw shredded coconut, chopped macadamia nuts and a little bit of creole seasoning.  I then baked it in a 350 degree oven until flaky, turning it over about halfway through.  I served it with a little bit of mango salsa.  Very delicious!

Mango Sticky Rice

I love this little Thai restaurant on 12th street in Ogden.  Everything I've tried there I love, but my favorite is their Mango Sticky Rice dessert.  Basically its sticky rice, with a half a fresh mango and a yummy coconut sauce.  I crave this dessert!  So when I made Pad Thai at home, I figured I could also make me some dessert.  This is my version of the sauce

The Coconut Sauce

1 can coconut milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Mix and heat until warm.  Serve over fresh cut mango and rice.

This sauce is actually good on strawberries and raspberries and just about everything.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Broccoli Beef

We'll be making this again soon. It is SO good and it's much better than what you can buy at a Chinese restaurant!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Macaroni & Cheese

I'm working on a food storage plan called "Not Your Mother's Food Storage." The idea is to make a list of meals you can make quickly and easily (and that your family will eat) and have those foods readily available in your food storage, whether that is in your pantry, cold storage, freezer, or fridge. This is one of the recipes I wanted to try to see if we liked it before going out and buying a lot of processed cheese to keep in storage. Good news is it is one of the best Mac & Cheese recipes I've ever tried. It's TONS better than that stuff in the blue box.

Macaroni & Cheese
6 T. butter
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. onion powder
2 cups milk (or use reconstituted powdered milk or 1 cup evaporated milk and 1 cup water)
8 oz. processed American cheese
2 cups dry elbow macaroni, boiled until just tender and drained
Grated cheddar cheese, optional
1 cup saltine or Ritz crackers, crushed, optional
2 T. butter, melted, optional

Melt 6 T. butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Whisk in flour, salt, and onion powder until smooth and bubbly. Slowly add milk while whisking. Simmer until mixture thickens. Cut the processed cheese into cubes and add to the white sauce. Stir until melted and smooth.

Pour sauce over macaroni and mix through. You can serve it this way, or make it into a casserole by placing the macaroni and cheese in a greased 8x11” casserole pan. Top with grated cheddar cheese. Combine crushed crackers with 2 T. melted butter and put on top of the cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Cinnamon Chip Loaf

Cinnamon Chip Loaf
from King Arthur Flour

I made this a couple days ago when I was trying to decide what to take to my Relief Society Get-to-know-you Social.  You can go to the website listed above to get the exact recipe from King Arthur Flour.  I'll summarize what I did in the instructions below.  I doubled the recipe and made 6 of my small loaves.  Then I doubled it again and made three large loaves (8 1/2" x 4 1/2") I think.  My kids thought this bread was "delicious, very good, delectable, insanely amazing, 'twas yummy, 'truly scrumptious.'"  (That last description was vocalized in song.  We watched Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang a couple weeks ago.)  Next time I make the bread I'll try to take a picture.  My little loaves were beautiful.

1 1/4 cups water
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 egg
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 tablespoons Baker's Special Dry Milk or nonfat dried milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 cup cinnamon chips

Place half of the flour in your mixing bowl with the rest of the dry ingredients.  Stir with a spoon to make sure it is all mixed together well.  Cut butter into little pieces and put in mixing bowl.  Add warm water and mix well.  After mixing a little bit, go ahead and add the egg and vanilla.  Gradually add the rest of the flour until a soft dough forms.  (For a double batch I used about 7 1/2 cups of flour).  Let the dough knead for 5 to 6 minutes, adding the cinnamon chips after 3 minutes of kneading.  (I used the cinnamon chips Valerie gave me to try.  She purchased them at The Prepared Pantry.  Today we are going to Idaho Falls and will extend the trip to purchase some more cinnamon chips in Rigby.)  Let the dough rise until doubled in size, approximately an hour.  Form into loaves.  (King Arthur says this should make one 2-pound loaf).  Let rise in greased loaf pans until doubled.  While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the bread for 40 to 45 minutes, tenting it lightly with aluminum foil about halfway through baking. The bread's crust will be golden brown, and the interior of the finished loaf should measure 190°F on a digital thermometer. Remove the bread from the oven, gently loosen the edges, and turn it out of the pan. Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing.  I can't remember how long I baked the bread, but it didn't take the full 40 minutes.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Crockpot Mushroom Pork Chops

I've been searching for a mushroom pork chop recipe since Jaret and Sam's wedding luncheon. This isn't exactly the same as the Lion House version, but it is so very delicious and tender. This recipe can easily be halved.

Crockpot Mushroom Pork Chops
9 pork chops, boneless
1 T. butter
1 T. olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 onion, chopped
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups chicken stock
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1 cup half and half
cornstarch and cold water to thicken
Sprinkle pork chops with salt and pepper and then brown pork chops in butter and oil. Remove pork chops and place them in the crock pot. Add chopped onions and sliced mushrooms to skillet and saute until tender. Add garlic and saute for another 2 minutes. Add chicken stock and vinegar, and reduce until half. Add cream. Thicken as desired. Pour over pork chops and cook on LOW 7-8 hours or on HIGH 3-4 hours.

Note: Even though I thickened the sauce at the beginning, it needed thickened again before serving. I just removed the lid from the crockpot, added more cornstarch/water mixture, and turned the crockpot on high. I let it simmer, uncovered, for about 15-30 minutes until the sauce was thick. Next time I will just thicken it before serving.

I served this with mashed potatoes and broccoli. For anyone who cares, the sauce is only 50 calories per serving! Also, to make my mashed potatoes less fattening (but no less tasty), I always use lowfat buttermilk (rather than butter and milk or cream) to make them. They always turn out delicious!

Makes 9 servings of 1 pork chop and about 6-7 tablespoons of gravy.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Crockpot Potato Soup

Easy. Creamy. Filling. Delicious. Very inexpensive. What more could you ask for in a soup recipe?

Crockpot Potato Soup
4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 onion, diced (or 2 T. dried minced onion)
1 clove garlic, minced (or 1/4 tsp. garlic powder or granulated garlic)
3 cups water
1 T. chicken base
3 T. butter
2/3 - 1 cup half and half
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Toppings: bacon bits, sour cream, chives, additional shredded cheese

Place potatoes, onion, and garlic in 5 or 6 quart crock pot. Mix chicken base into water, and pour over potatoes. Cut butter into chunks and sprinkle on top of potatoes. Place lid on crock pot and cook on HIGH for 4 hours, or LOW for 8 hours.

Use a potato masher or the beaters of a hand-mixer to mash the potatoes in the crock pot until coarsely mashed and soup is slightly thickened. Mix in the half and half and the cheese. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Serve and garnish individual servings with desired toppings.

Note: My crock pot has a rubber seal and retains the moisture very well. If some of the moisture is lost during cooking, you may need to add additional broth. I made this soup over Christmas break. Mom and Dad loved it, and so did Jaret, Jesse, and Kaysen.

This recipe will make about 4 servings and is my adaptation of The Crockin' Girls Loaded Baked Potato Soup.