Thursday, July 29, 2010

Mom's Peach Cobbler (or Pudding)

     My mom makes the best desserts. She has won the dessert contest at her company picnic several times. This is one of the winning recipes (She'll probably kill me for giving out all her secret recipes!). I'm not really sure if it's a cobbler or a pudding. It's a little like bread pudding with peaches in it...In any case it's amazing. There is nothing like old fashioned, warm, peach treats with a little ice cream on the side!
     One of the best things about this dessert is that it's super easy to make. You can use canned peaches if it's not the right season, but this time around I used fresh. My father in law just gave us about five pounds of local peaches that he had picked up, so we had some needed eaten.
     I love peaches, but I hate peeling them. I usually buy nectarines for that very reason. I looked up peaches in an old cookbook and it detailed a quick and easy way to get the skin off....Place a peach in a pan of boiling water for 15 seconds, then remove and submerge in cold water. The skin practically falls right off!
     I made a half recipe in an 8x8 pan, so you can do the same if you are only making it for a couple of people.

batter
1 big can + 1 small can peaches or 10-12 fresh peaches

3/4 c milk
3/4 tsp salt
1-1/2 c flour
3/4c + 1/3 c sugar
6 Tbl butter
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
topping
1-1/2 c sugar
3/8 tsp salt
1-1/2 Tbl flour
1-1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Grease a 9x13 pan
  • Put in the peaches. They will fill the bottom of the pan.
  • Mix batter and spoon over peaches.
  • Combine topping. Sprinkle over batter.
  • Pour 1-1/2 c boiling water over all of it.
  • Bake 50 minutes at 350*

Beer Batter Pizza Dough

This week we decided to have homemade pizza. We haven't made it in such a long time. As I was reading various blogs, I came across this recipe for Beer Batter Pizza Dough.  I didn't follow it to a T, mostly because I ran out of flour, but it is delicious! I read somewhere, sometime that you can replace up to 1/3 of your flour in recipes with oatmeal. Sometimes, if I make this substitute, I grind up the oatmeal so it is oat flour. This time, I used ground oatmeal, then added a little bit of oatmeal for texture. I also made one deep dish pizza, instead of two thinner crust pizzas. I lowered the oven temp to 350* and baked it a little longer to make sure it was done.
I will definitely be making this again...after I use what we froze because it makes a ton! The thick crust was amazing, but it did take much longer to cook. Next time, I might make a thinner crust plus breadsticks. Seriously, this is the best pizza crust so breadsticks would be fantastic.
     We prefer to use a dark, hearty beer like Guinness. We usually use a Trader Joe beer (Black Toad Ale) for this recipe because you can buy one bottle at a time for only $1, but not everyone lives near a Trader Joe's. 

2c warm water
2 Tbl honey
2 Tbl yeast
7-8 c flour (I used about 2 c ground oatmeal and 6 c flour)
2 tsp salt
4 Tbl olive oil
12 oz beer, room temp
toppings of your choice (We used sauce, mushrooms, pepperoni, ham, and cheese)
  • Mix the yeast with the water and honey in a small mixing bowl. Rest until foamy.
  • Mix 4 cups of the flour with the salt in a large bowl. Pour yeast mixture into the bowl with the flour mixture. Add the olive oil and beer. Stir to combine.
  • Add the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until the dough isn’t sticky. Once you’ve reached 7 cups of flour, turn the dough out of the bowl onto the tabletop and knead for a few minutes until smooth and elastic, sprinkling with flour as needed to keep it from sticking. You may not need the full 8 cups. Once the dough is soft, smooth and elastic.
  • Place in a deep, greased bowl and let rise 45-60 minutes, or until double in size. 
  • Once risen, you're ready to make pizzas! This makes 2 large or 4 medium pizzas. Divide the dough into 2 or 4 balls. This is the point where you would freeze any crusts you’d like to save for later—just wrap them well in plastic wrap. 
  • Preheat oven to 425°. Have all the topping ingredients assembled before rolling out the crusts. If you are using a pizza stone make sure it is also heating in the oven. Sprinkle a flat surface with flour and gently roll out the dough and place the prepared crust on a pizza paddle sprinkled with cornmeal or a perforated pizza pan.
  • Bake 5-7 minutes.
  • Add the toppings to each pizza. 
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the edges have browned.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Scotchilla Cookies

     Well, I don't know what is wrong with me. I wanted cookies again today. I tried feebly to resist, but broke down and made some. I had half a bag each of butterscotch chips and vanilla chips from previous cookie making experiences  (see here and here), so I just combined them and made a new twist on a basic cookie...I call it "The Scotchilla"--just to sound dramatic. If I could only change the font to Chiller or something!
     Anyway, enough of me being weird for now. These were amazing! Plus, the oatmeal and flax seed makes them healthy...or at least healthier, right?
     I put some on a cookie sheet in the freezer. I will add them to a freezer bag when they are frozen, so I can make them another time when I have a craving.

3/4 c butter, softened
3/4 c sugar
3/4 c packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 Tbl milled flax seed
3 Tbl water
1 tsp vanilla (homemade)
1-1/4 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3 c Old Fashioned Oats
half bag butterscotch chips
half bag vanilla chips
  • Heat oven to 375*
  • Beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar. Add eggs, flax, and water. Beat well.
  • Combine flour, soda, cinnamon, and salt. Gradually add to butter mixture. Beat until well blended.
  • Stir in oats and chips.
Drop on cookie ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden.

submitted to
the Culinary Smackdown Battle: Cookies

Nutella Crackers

     Yesterday, I was craving cookies. We don't usually buy cookies to keep around the house, because we will eat them all in one or two sittings. I was lazy, but had to be creative to take care of my craving. I open the pantry and see crackers and Nutella...
     Hmmm...My thinking is people dip pretzels in chocolate...crackers are salty, Nutella is chocolate...it might work
     Later, when my daughter was eating a banana, I wondered how a banana would taste on these snacks. I didn't try it, but I'm sure it would be awesome.

Wheat Ritz crackers
Nutella
  • Spread Nutella on each cracker.
  • Enjoy. Sweet and simple.

Friday, July 16, 2010

blueberry muffins

     We went to u-pick blueberries last weekend which turned in to quite an adventure. We went before to get strawberries and the little on was content with hanging out in the stroller as we picked to our hearts content. This time around, she is a little older and realizes that it's more fun to walk around than sit in the stroller with nothing to do or get into. Well, one of my latest Goodwill finds was one of those baby leashes (is that what it's really called?) so you can keep hold of your kid but still let them have the freedom of walking around. Miss E thinks it's a game for now and loves her new freedom. So, off we go to the blueberry patch, kid on a leash in tow. I might have mentioned before: Miss E's very favorite food is "Bubbles" a.k.a. blueberries. We start picking, and she all of the sudden realizes what we are doing and goes nuts. She eats them off the ground, out of our box, off the trees. Some were green, some were blue...she wasn't discriminating. At least they don't spray their plants with any chemicals! Lesson learned: when picking blueberries, Miss E and Daddy go to the park!
     Enough of the story. We are all here for recipes, right? We decided to make the classic blueberry muffin with some of our freshly picked blueberries. There is just something special about the tart sweet taste of fresh blueberries that makes everything you make with them better! I might get motivated to make more treats with them....or we might eat them out of the box....or we might go pick some more!
Recipe from B Hand G New Cook Book 


1-3/4 c flour (I use half wheat/half white)
1/3 c sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 beaten egg
3/4 c milk
1/3 c cooking oil
3/4 c fresh blueberries (frozen if that's all you have)
1 tsp shredded lemon peel
  • In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in center.
  • Combine egg, milk, and oil. Add all at once to the flour mixture.
  • Stir till just moistened (will be lumpy). Stir in blueberries and lemon peel.
  • Grease muffin cups or line with cups. Fill 2/3 full. 
  • Bake in 400* oven about 20 minutes or till golden.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Jerk Chicken on Foccacia

I mentioned in a previous post my love for Ramsi's Jamaican chicken sandwich. Inspired by a recent post with a recipe for homemade foccacia, I decided to try to make the sandwich at home....and it saves a two hour trip to Louisville to eat at my very favorite restaurant!
The result??
Well, it wasn't quite the same, but when you make things at home they never are right? It was really good though and had the hints of flavor that reminded me of the real deal (without the spiciness that makes your nose run). I didn't leave the dinner table wishing I had just driven to Ramsi's...so I would definitely make this again when I'm longing for the "Jerk."
Following my penny-pinching budget, I made everything at home...including the Jerk seasoning and foccacia. Total cost: about $2.50 (for 4 servings...plus extra bread which my daughter loved)

foccacia
3 c flour (or bread flour)
1 Tbl dried rosemary
1 Tbl sugar
1 tsp salt
2-1/4 tsp yeast
3 Tbl olive oil
1 c warm water
2 Tbl olive oil
1/4 c Parmesan cheese
  • Mix 1 cup flour with rosemary, sugar, salt, and yeast. Add 3 T olive oil and water. Beat 3 minutes. Stir in remaining flour till dough forms and leaves sides. Knead 5-8 minutes till smooth and springy.  Place ingredients in a greased bowl and rise 30 minutes or until doubled.
  • Grease 2 cookie sheets with oil. Deflate dough and shape into two 10 inch circles. Cover with plastic wrap  and rise 30 minutes or until doubled. 
  • Preheat oven to 400*. Make finger dents about 2 inches apart in bread. Brush with 2 Tbl oil and sprinkle cheese on top. Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden. While baking...make the chicken.
Jerk Seasoning (makes 1/3 c)
2 Tbl onion powder
1 Tbl sugar
1 Tbl salt
1 Tbl garlic powder
1 Tbl thyme
1-1/2 tsp all spice
3/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp red pepper, ground (more or less as desired)

1-lb chicken, cut into bite size pieces
  • Heat oil to medium. While warming place chicken in bag and cover with about 2 Tbl Jerk seasoning. Shake to coat. 
  • Place chicken in skillet and cook. I sprinkled some extra seasoning on during cooking.
  • When bread is done, cut each circle into 6 triangles. Place one triangle on each plate, top with chicken and another triangle to make each sandwich.
posted on

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Spiced Apple Cinnamon Butterscotch Chip Cookies

We had to go to a wedding over the weekend. This is the first time we have left our daughter with a friend for more than a half hour (aaahh, the joy of having no family nearby). One of our good friends just loves her to pieces and volunteered to entertain her for a few hours.
As part of her payment, I decided to make cookies for them. When we were at the store I bought butterscotch chips, but didn't just want to make oatmeal butterscotch cookies---so normal! So I googled (is that a word now, because the editor is underlining it like it's not...) some recipes and found this one. And, I just love the blog I found it on, too!

Here's the recipe...I didn't change a thing!
1/3 c shortening/butter combo (half butter/ half shortening) 
1/2 c applesauce
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1-1/4 c flour
1/3 c sugar
2 Tbl brown sugar
1/2 tsp soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 c butterscotch chips
  • Preheat oven to 350*
  • Cream sugars and butter. Add eggs and vanilla. Stir in applesauce.
  •  Combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. 
  • Stir about 1/3 of dry mixture into wet. Repeat until all combined. Stir in chips.
  • Grease baking sheets. Spoon on batter.
  • Bake 12-15 minutes until firm and golden.
 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Leftover bun garlic bread

Need a way to use your leftover hot dog buns after a cookout? Make garlic bread!
This super easy way to use extra supplies tastes great and is really quick to whip up. Plus, everyone gets their own little garlic bread loaf.
Total cost: free because we didn't buy the buns!

leftover hot dog buns
butter
garlic powder
Italian seasoning
Parmesan cheese
  • Preheat oven to 350*
  • Split each hot dog bun into two pieces. 
  • Butter each piece of bread. Sprinkle with garlic powder, Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake until edges are toasty and golden.

Monday, July 5, 2010

French Vanilla Ice Cream

My second contribution to our Independence Day bash was homemade vanilla ice cream laced with peanut butter cookie dough. We like to get creative with our add-ins.It turned out delicious and creamy. I was a little worried that the cookie dough would have a weird texture when frozen, but it was soft and tasty.
This is a bit of an expense to make...but once a year for a cookout-it's totally worth it!
Total cost: about $8.50 (makes 19 servings 1/2 c/serving)

Recipe from Kitchen Aid Ice Cream Maker Attachment book (add in opt)
2-1/2 c half-and-half
8 egg yolks
1 c sugar
2-1/2 c whipping cream
4 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
Optional Add ins: 
1 1/2 c Peanut butter cookie dough (store bought) or chopped cookies, nuts, cookie dough, candy, etc

A couple of years ago, we added Girl Scout Tagalongs, which was fantastic!
  • In medium saucepan, over medium heat, heat half-and-half until very hot but not boiling, stirring often. Remove from heat; set aside.
  • Place egg yolks and sugar in mixer bowl. Attach bowl and wire whisk to mixer. Mix (speed 2) for 30 seconds or until well blended and slightly thickened. 
  • (on speed 2) Gradually add half-and-half. Mix until blended. 
  • Return half-and-half mixture to saucepan. Cook over medium heat until small bubbles form around edge and mixture is steamy, stirring constantly. Do not boil.
  • Transfer half-and-half mixture into large bowl, stirring in whipping cream, vanilla, and salt. Cover and chill at least 8 hours
  • Assemble and engage freeze bowl (or put together your ice cream maker if your not using the Kitchen Aid)
  • (speed 1) Using container with a spout, pour mixture into freeze bowl. Continue (speed 1) for 15-20 minutes or until desired consistency. Add optional 1-1/2 c add ins during last 1-2 minutes of freeze time.
  • Serve immediately for soft serve ice cream....or freeze in air tight container for 5+ hours for hard ice cream

Donna's Pasta Salad

I hope everyone had a wonderful Independence Day.  We actually bought fireworks this year. It was pretty exciting to watch 30 something men lighting things on fire and running away--haha.We did have a great time having a cookout with several of our friends. Of course we celebrated with lots of great food. One of my contributions was my aunt Donna's pasta salad. This colorful salad is chilled, sweet, and loaded with veggies, which makes up for the homemade ice cream w/peanut butter cookie dough! My family has this pasta salad at just about every family gathering.
I used whole wheat pasta, but you could use regular pasta if desired. 
Total cost: about $7 (serves 10-12)....less than $1/person!

1 cucumber, cubed, no seeds
1 tomato, cubed, no seeds
1 onion, cubed
8oz cheese, cubed
1 bell pepper, cubed
1 box of whole wheat pasta (penne, bowtie, spiral, etc--or use half boxes for variety!)
We double the following ingredients for the sauce---the more the better!...but if you want to go easy, just use these measurements...
1 c mayo
1/4 c sugar
1 tsp vinegar
2 Tbl milnot (or whipping cream)
  • Cook noodles as directed. Drain. Cool.
  • Add veggies and cheese. 
  • Coat with dressing. 
  • Refrigerate a couple of hours before serving.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Pasta w/Veggie Sauce

Like a mentioned in my last post I have to hide most vegetables for my family to eat them...well, it's really for my husband to eat them. Baby E loves her veggies. She also loves this pasta dish. Though you can still taste some of the veggies (carrots and bell peppers) that make up the sauce, my husband was still able to eat it because the texture of the cooked veggies didn't bother him since they were pureed into a sauce. He noticed the broccoli that was not pureed seemed to tone down the taste of the bell peppers (which is what he hates). Maybe next time I will puree some of the broccoli into the sauce too.

1 chicken bouillion cube
3 Tbl oil
1 bell pepper (I used orange) cut bite size
1 carrot, cut bite size
1 bag steamfresh frozen broccoli
3 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbl onion powder
1-lb chicken, cut bite size
12 oz whole wheat penne pasta
Parmesan cheese
  • Combine bouillion, oil, onion powder, and garlic. Toss w/vegetables. Keep broccoli separate from peppers and carrots. Roast in 350* oven for 20 minutes or until tender.
  • Remove from oven and set aside.
  • Roast chicken in oven for 20 minutes or until done.
  • While chicken is roasting, puree peppers and carrots to make sauce. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  • Toss together sauce, broccoli, chicken and pasta. Top with Parmesan cheese to serve.
posted on

    Meatballs w/Hidden Veggies

    Anytime I want my family to eat any vegetables (without complaining) besides broccoli or corn, I have to hide them in their food. Sometimes I puree them, and sometimes I finely grate them. These meatballs have zucchini and carrots in them. I didn't say a word about the hidden veggies until the next day after the leftovers were eaten *evil grin*.

    1-lb ground beef (or turkey) (I actually used beef this time!)
    1/2 c Italian seasoned bread crumbs
    1/2 c grated carrot
    1/2 c grated zucchini
    1 egg
    1 jar pasta sauce (or make your own
    12 oz whole wheat spaghetti (or regular)
    • Combine meat, bread crumbs, carrot, zucchini, and egg. Mix well. 
    • Use Meatball Scoop  to make meatballs.
    • Place meatballs on baking sheet. Bake at 350* until done (20-30 minutes)
    • While meatballs are baking, heat pasta sauce (or make your own) and boil spaghetti. 
    • Put cooked meatballs in pasta sauce and pour over spaghetti. 
    • Top with Parmesan cheese.

    Saturday, July 3, 2010

    Fajitas w/Veggies

    I  have never ordered fajitas at a restaurant. I always think they smell so good when the waiter walks by with them on the trays,.but I have favorites from which I don't like to stray.  I decided I would try to make these at home and thought since I'm trying to add in more veggies I could add them to the fajitas. I used steak, but you could probably use chicken or pork if desired.
    They were wonderful!
    Cost: about $5 (4 servings)

    1/2 c salsa
    2 Tbl mayo
    2 Tbl oil
    1/2 tsp garlic powder
    1/2 tsp Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime seasoning
    1 lb sirlioin steak
    2 yellow bell peppers, quartered
    1 zucchini, cut into 4 long wedges
    4 whole wheat tortillas
    • Combine salsa and mayo. Set aside.
    • Combine oil and garlic powder. Brush on steak and veggies. 
    • Grill steak and veggies.
    • Slice steak into thin strips.
    • Put reserved salsa mixture on each tortilla. Top with steak and a slice of pepper and a zucchini wedge.

    Special Note

    For the present, anonymous comments are not allowed at Robin, Restored due to the large number of spam comments that make it through Blogger's spam filter. I'm sorry about those of you who comment as Anonymous and sign your names. I'll try later to enable the function again.
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