Friday, February 6, 2015

Undrunken Apples

I have my favorite barbecue restaurant and I love their cinnamon sugar apples or drunken apples as they call it.  I was craving them the other day so decided to try out making my own.  I researched some recipe and found that interestingly they were made with a little bit of alcohol..hence the name, even though all the alcohol is gone in the cooking process.  Pretty clever....but since I did not have any alcohol in the house I substituted my latest guilty pleasure instead.  It turned out amazing!! They whole house smelled incredible and the kids ate every bit of them.  Definitely worth the time to peel and cut the apples.  This made a great side dish to go with chicken potpie.

Undrunken Apples
adapted from food.com
Makes 6-8 servings

12 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into thin slices.
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 Tablespoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup Diet Mountain Dew (or regular Mountain Dew or lemon lime soda)

Mix apples with the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg
Mix in the soda
Heat over medium heat in a large pot until apple mixture is juicy and the juice comes to a boil.  Boil for 20 minutes stirring often.  Remove from heat and....
ENJOY!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

No Starter Sour Dough Bread

A couple of years ago my family fell in love with garlic sour dough bread.  It is a lot more expensive than the regular bread, so we only buy it every once in a great while.  I always wanted to make it, but don't have the patience to wait and keep up with the standard sour dough starter.  I came across this recipe from Averie Cooks it looked so yummy that I decided I might be able to actually make it myself. Due to my craziness I ended up creating my own recipe and surprisingly it turned out fabulously!  The family gobbled it up!  The only thing I will do different next time is not divide the dough in to two loaves.  I will only make one, so that the bread is a little bit thicker.  It was still an huge hit though.
No Starter Sour Dough Bread
1 (5-6 oz) container of plain Greek Yogurt with "active cultures" (the normal one serving size)
1/2 -1 cup sour cream (or more Plain Greek Yogurt)
1 teaspoon yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 Tablespoons Ranch dressing
3-4 cups four

In a stand mixer dissolve the yeast in warm water and let sit for about 5 minutes until it gets a bit bubbly.   Add and mix the yogurt, 1/2 cup sour cream, ranch, salt, garlic and garlic salt.  Add the flour 1 cup at a time mixing for about 5-7 minutes.  It should be a heavy wet dough.  If it is dry or crumbly add more sour cream until the dough is the right texture (I ended up using 1 cup of sour cream).

Remove dough from bowl kneading it with your hands just a bit to create a large ball. Place ball in a large greased bowl, cover loosely with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray and place in a warm area to raise for about 6 hours.

After the 6 hours (you can let it raise for more)
Remove from the bowl and lightly knead it for a couple minutes.  Pat the dough into a large round mound and place on a greased cookie sheet. Cut an "X" in the center of the loaf with a serrated knife.
 Lightly cover it again with greased plastic wrap and let it raise for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place a shallow pan of water on the bottom rack of the oven (this is the secret for the perfect crust).
When oven is ready place your cookie sheet with your dough on it on the rack above the water.
Bake 50-60 minutes or until the bread is a dark golden brown and sounds hollow when you tap on the top of it.
Remove from pan on to a wire rack and rub top with butter.  Allow to cool. (This is the part my children had a hard time with for they did not want to wait)

Slice and enjoy!!


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Cheesy Mushroom Chicken

This chicken took a bit to prepare, but was so worth the time.  It was heavenly!! My family ate every bit of it.
Cheesy Mushroom Chicken
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup diced onions
2 Tablespoons butter

Melt butter in a saute pan over medium heat.  Cook the mushrooms and onions until tender.  Remove from pan and set aside.

12 chicken tenders (or 3-4 chicken breast cut in to tenders)
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic
Olive Oil

Mix flour, bread crumbs, seasoning salt and garlic together in a shallow bowl.
Heat 1-2 tablespoons of Olive Oil in the saute pan (use the same one you cooked the mushroom and onions in) on medium high heat.
Dip each chicken piece in the flour mixture to coat each side.  Place in saute pan.  Cook until browned and then flip and cook the other side (approximately 3-4 minutes each side).  Add a little more oil as needed.  You will have to cook them in batches.  Place them in a lightly greased 9x13 casserole dish when browned.
Pour the mushroom/onion mixture evenly over top of the chicken.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Then make the sauce.
Sauce
2 Tablespoons flour
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons Balsamic Vinegar

Melt butter on medium high heat.  Add garlic and saute  for 1 minute.  Stir in flour until it is a paste. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook stirring constantly.  Bring to a boil and stir until sauce thickens just a bit.  Pour over top of the chicken.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes then top with:
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella or Swiss cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Return to the oven and cook 10 more minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.

Definitely a keeper!
Enjoy!






Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Auntie K's Dinner Rolls

A few months ago my Aunt called and told me about a new roll recipe she was making.  She is the bread professional so I could not wait to try it out....they were AMAZING!! The rolls turn out light and delicious!  It was quick and easy to make.  My family thought they were in bread heaven!!
Auntie K's Dinner Rolls
Put in a bowl and set aside:(don't stir)
1/2 C. warm water
Sprinkle 2 T. yeast in water
Sprinkle  2 T. sugar on top
In a stand mixer add the following and mix:
2 cups hot water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil (I use canola)
2 tsp. salt
3 eggs
Now add the yeast mixture and 4 cups of flour

Add about 4 more cups of flour-l cup at a time-dough should be a little sticky
Mix until the dough is mixed well and forms a ball.

Place the dough in a large greased bowl (or I use the mixing bowl), lightly cover with plastic wrap and let dough double in  size -at least 1 hr.
Shape in to rolls and place on a greased pan
Let rise at least 1/2  hr.
Bake 400 degrees for about 12 minutes-or until golden brown on top and bottom.


*You can make dinner rolls, sweet rolls, scones etc out this dough.
For Cinnamon Rolls-Roll out, spread with butter sprinkle with cinnamon 
and sugar.  Roll up and cut rolls( I use double  thread  to cut rolls)  
You can make your own frosting or I use the Whipped  vanilla frosting 
in the can.

Delicious!!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Breakfast Cupcakes

You have probably already heard this, but I am not a breakfast person.  So when I make breakfast it shocks my family!!  They are wondering what is really going on, what the special occasion might be. They absolutely loved this one and it makes a great freezer meal for easy good breakfasts.
Breakfast Cupcakes
from Betty Crocker
1 bag (20-26 oz) bag of shredded hash brown potatoes (thawed)
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
6 eggs
2 Tablespoons milk
3/4 cup diced ham, cooked sausage or crispy cooked bacon pieces
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Place a foil liner in each of the 12 regular sized muffin cups.  Spray with cooking spray.
In a large bowl mix the potatoes, oil, salt and pepper.  Divide evenly among cups and press lightly.
Bake 45-55 minutes or until golden brown.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and milk.  I added a dash of pepper.   Then stir in your choice of meat and the cheese.  Firmly press the potatoes in the muffin cups with the bottom of a 1/4 cup measuring cup.  Top each with about 1/4 cup of the egg mixture.
Bake 13-16 minutes or until a knife inserted in the cent of the egg comes out clean.
 Cool 5 minutes and serve or freeze.

I made a double batch and froze half of them!
Will be making more!!
Enjoy!


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Italian Ranch Dressing

A few weeks ago I was making a pasta salad and went to my fridge thinking I had some Italian Dressing in there only to open the fridge, do the normal search and come up empty handed.  That's is when I decided to get a bit creative and came up with this recipe...which to my surprise was SO DELICIOUS in the pasta salad, that we started using it on regular salad.  The kids loved it!  It may look daunting because of the ingredient list, but it is pretty quick to whip up a batch.
Italian Ranch Dressing
1 packet Ranch dressing mix
3/4 cup oil
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon mayonnaise
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese.

Mix together.  Refrigerate and shake or mix before serving.

Enjoy!


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving Faves- Chocolate Cream Cheese Pie

Thanksgiving dinner is not complete without dessert and lots of it.  I don't make a lot of pies though out the year, but our Thanksgiving consist of plenty or pies!  Growing up I remember Grandma, my mom and aunts making lots of pies.  You had plenty of great options.  I also remember the men always undoing the top button on their pants to make room for more pie.  HAHA!!  I have carried on the pie tradition anyway and we wear sweats to avoid the pants thing.  My youngest daughter has become my pie maker and this is one of her favorites.  It takes two faves and puts it into one pie.  SO DELICIOUS!!

Chocolate Cream Cheese Pie
1 baked pie crust
Cream Cheese Layer
1- 8 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
1 cup whipped cream or whipped topping
Mix cream cheese, sugar and milk together until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream.
Place mixture in the pie crust.

Chocolate Layer
1 large (6 1/2 cup serving) instant chocolate pudding
2 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1 cup whipped cream or whipped topping
Mix the pudding mix with the milk.  Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave. Stir into the pudding mix.  Fold in the whipped topping.
Spread over top of cream cheese layer.
If desired grate a small amount of chocolate on top of the pie. Refrigerate for a few hours, if you can wait that long!
Serve with whipped cream on top!!

Happy Thanksgiving!


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