Thursday, December 30, 2010

Favorite Recipes of 2010

     I can't believe I have been blogging for a year....and I can't believe it's the end of the year 2010. In the spirit of things, I'm posting about my favorite posts of the year. I tried to pick a couple meats, breads, and desserts. I'm not so great on the side dishes...maybe that should be my goal for this year. Anyhow, by category:

Beer/Pepperoncini Pot Roast



Mahogony Pork

Portobello Pizzas
 
Beer Batter Pizza Dough

Oatmeal Dinner Rolls

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Brownies with peanut butter frosting

Apple Cinnamon Babka. In fact, I'm making this for our New Year's Eve party tomorrow night.

Have a great New Year. I look forward to reading and trying out your new recipes.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Chocolate Chubbies

Sorry about the cookie overload on the recents posts. It goes with the season, right?
     I saw this post on Evil Chef Mom and knew I had to try them despite the name "chubbies." My circumstances were definitely not the same as hers, but she is right about one thing...sometimes you just need a cookie....and sometimes you need a Chocolate cookie!
     These were just the right cookie for me that day. Notice the amount of flour in the recipe...now notice the amount of chocolate...They were really more like brownies in the shape of cookies, which I think is the best of both worlds since I like the edges of brownies anyhow....and they never seem to come out of the pan in the perfect square shape like they should I've even tried that perfect brownie pan thing...it works...sometimes. Anyway, back to these cookies...They are so good! The only changes I made was that I used peanut butter chips instead of chocolate chips and I didn't add pecans or walnuts.

1/2 c unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
9 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
3 oz unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped (or 1/2c+1Tbl cocoa and 3 Tbl oil)
1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 c (12 oz) peanut butter chips (or semi sweet chocolate)
Optional: 1-1/2 c chopped pecans and 1-1/2 c chopped walnuts
  • Preheat oven to 350*. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper
  • Bring 1 inch of water to simmer in saucepan over low heat. Put the butter in a heatproof bowl and melt over the water in the saucepan. Add semisweet chips and unsweetened chopped chocolate. Stirring until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and let stand about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Whip the eggs on Medium until foamy. Increase speed to high, Add sugar, then vanilla. Whip about 3 minutes until eggs are very thick.
  • Reduce mixer speed, add warm chocolate. 
  • Stir in flour, peanut butter chips (and nuts). The dough will be somewhat soft.
  • Using a meatball scoop, place dough on cookie sheets about 1-1/2 inches apart. 
  • Bake immediately (if you wait, the cookies won't be shiny)
  • Bake until set around the edges 17-20 minutes. 
  • The edges should release easily even if the center of the cookie seems soft. Don't overbake.
  • Reduce mixer speed


    Cookies on FoodistaCookies

    Monday, December 27, 2010

    Minnie's Cookies

         I'm not sure who Minnie is or was, but she sure made a good cookie. These are my very favorite cookie. My Mommaw used to make these for us when we were younger. I think they might have been her favorite too, because I don't remember her making many other kinds of cookies.
         I always make these around Christmas and usually a couple other times a year, too. They are always a big hit with their simple peanut butter flavor. You can add some optional drizzle on top for a special treat.

    1/2 c sugar
    1/2 c honey or Karo syrup
    3/4 c peanut butter
    3 c Special K (or corn flakes)
    OPTIONAL: 1/2 c chocolate chips+1/2 c butterscotch chips= melt and drizzle atop
    • Bring sugar and Karo syrup to boil
    • Add peanut butter and Special K
    • Stir until coated.
    • Drop on cookie sheet or wax paper to cool. Drizzle if desired.


      Peanut Butter

      Sunday, December 26, 2010

      Snickerdoodle Swirls

           I came across this recipe while flipping through an old (2002!) Better Homes & Gardens Holiday Gifts magazine I had saved. I love this magazine because of all its great gift ideas and recipes. These swirls caught my eye because they are different...and they were on a huge spread on the page before the recipe section. I gave these to some friends in these great boxes that are perfect for giving away special treats.

           I really think my mom's snickerdoodle cookies are about the best ever. It might be because they are soft, while most people make kind of crispy or firm snickerdoodles. I'm not sure why, even people who usually make soft cookies, make firm snickerdoodles. I just looked in my history and realized I've never posted her recipe, so maybe I will get around to that one day. Until then, here is the recipe for the delicous and beautiful snickerdoodle swirls. These really do taste wonderful, and I think they would have to be firm in order to create the swirl.

      Makes about 60 cookies
      1/3 c sugar
      1Tbl cinnamon
      1/2 c butter, softened
      3oz cream cheese, softened
      1 c sugar
      1/2 tsp baking powder
      1 egg
      1 tsp vanilla
      2-2/3 c flour
      1 Tbl butter, melted
      • For cinnamon sugar mixture, combine 1/3 c sugar and 1 Tbl cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.
      • Beat the 1/2c butter and cream cheese for about 30 seconds. Add the 1c sugar and baking powder. Beat until combined. Add egg and vanilla. Then add flour.
      • Divide dough in half. Roll one half of the dough between 2 sheets of wax paper into a 12x8 rectangle. Remove top sheet of wax paper. Brush dough with half of melted butter. Sprinkle with 2 Tbl of the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
      • Starting from one of the short sides, roll up jelly-roll-style, removing wax paper as you roll. Seal edges. Repeat with remaining dough, butter, and 2 Tbl cinnamon-sugar mixture.
      • Roll each log into remaining cinnamon sugar mixture. Wrap each log in wax paper. Chill in the refrigerator for about 4 hours or until firm.
      • Using a sharp knife, cut dough into 1/4-inch thick slices. Place slices 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. 
      • Bake @ 375* for 8-10 minutes or until edges are firm. Cool about 1 minute, then transfer to wire rack.


      Cinnamon- القرفه on FoodistaCinnamon- القرفه

      Monday, December 20, 2010

      Menu plan Monday

      Just a quick note to share my menu for the upcoming week. I probably won't get the recipes posted until after Christmas sometime. Like all December's, this one has been crazy!
      I look forward to all the good food and time spent with family while trying to keep the season in perspective.  Merry Christmas to all of you!

      Breakfasts:
      Omelets
      Brown Sugar Cinnamon toast
      Turkey sausage, egg, and cheese roll ups
      Holiday Do-nuts (an old family recipe)

      Dinners:
      Stromboli and salad
      Italian Chicken and Potato bake and green beans
      Captain Crunch Chicken Nuggets, Mac N'Cheese, Broccoli
      Homemade Chicken Pot Pie, salad
      Meatloaf, Mashed potatoes, salad
      Crock Pot Spaghetti

      Monday, December 13, 2010

      Pork Tacos with homemade tortillas

           When we go to Mexican restaurants, which is probably more often than our budget allows, my husband almost always orders a pork dish. I'm, really trying to do a better job of sticking to said budget. This recipe is one that I came across (bravo.tv) that seemed relatively healthy and easy to make at home.
           I used premade salsa, but you could definitely make your own for an even fresher taste.

      Tortillas:
      ¾ cup oats, pulverized
      1 ½ cup flour
      ¼ cup olive oil
      ½ cup cold water
      1 Tbl salt 
      Filling:
      2 lbs pork butt
      2 Tbl chili powder
      1 Tbl garlic powder
      1 Tbl onion powder
      Salt & Pepper
      Water
      Salsa 
      Optional toppings: cheese, sour cream, guacamole
       
      • For the Tortillas: Place dry ingredients in a stand mixer with dough hook. Add wet ingredients and knead for 5 minutes. Allow dough to rest for at least 20 minutes. Using a tortilla press, press golf ball size portions between parchment paper. On a dry griddle over medium-high heat, cook tortillas until lightly brown.
      • For the Pork Carnitas: Season and rub pork with spices, salt, and pepper. Roast for about an hour or until meat is done. Discard liquid. 
      • Pour roasted tomato salsa over pork and reserve in warm place.
      • To Assemble: Warm tortillas wrapped in a damp towel in a low oven. Place tortillas on plate. Top with pork and salsa

      Friday, December 10, 2010

      Apple Dumplings & Mtn Dew

           I first had this recipe at one of our small group meetings. The friend who made it tortured us as we tried to guess the addictive ingredient that helped make this taste so good. While her husband wasn't giving in, she finally caved and told us there was Mountain Dew poured over the top before the dumplings were cooked. Yes, Mountain Dew! I think it must make the sauce crystalize or something. But one thing I do know, is that this is a delicious treat.
           I made this for a breakfast pitch in and I had no leftovers. You could also make this for dessert or take them to a dinner party, too.
      From Allrecipes.com

      2 large apples, peeled and cored
      2 cans refrigerated crescent roll dough
      1 cup butter
      1 1/2 cups white sugar
      1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
      1 (12oz) can Mountain Dew
      • Preheat the oven to 350*. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
      • Cut each peeled, apple into 8 wedges and set aside. Separate the crescent roll dough into triangles. Roll each apple wedge in crescent roll dough starting at the smallest end. Pinch to seal and place in the baking dish.
      • Melt butter in a small saucepan and stir in the sugar and cinnamon. Pour over the apple dumplings. Pour Mountain Dew over the dumplings.
      • Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until golden brown.

      Monday, December 6, 2010

      Menu Plan Dec. 6-Dec. 9

      I guess I forgot to post my menu plan in time to link it with the others at OrgJunkie, but I'll go ahead and post it here. As always, December is proving to be extremely busy with lots of travel and eating out. This is not good for our pocket book, but nothing can be done about that. I was trying to stick to familiar favorites this week to make it a little less stressful.

      Breakfasts
      English Muffin Sandwich
      Best Ever Pancakes
      Apple Pie Oatmeal
      Omelettes

      Snacks
      fruit and yogurt parfaits sprinkled with Uncle Sam Cereal 
      fruit-bananas, apples
      carrot sticks
      rice cakes and peanut butter

      Dinners
      Enchilada Chicken
      Meatloaf
      Grilled Cheeseburgers
      Ham Steak

      Thursday, December 2, 2010

      Apple Cinnamon Babka

      After watching an episode of Seinfeld last night.....

      I wondered what "Babka" is.
      I decided to try to make a version of this using apples that are going soft...and my new cinnamon chips I found at the store this week. I agree with Jerry on cinnamon.This is no "lesser babka."

      The verdict? It's like apple pie and cinnamon rolls and coffee cake all rolled in to one! Amazing. I have plans to put other fruit/chip/nut combinations together to make new flavors.

      start start 4 hours ahead!
      Dough
      4 oz warm milk
      1-1/2 tsp yeast
      1/4 c sugar
      1 egg, plus 1 yolk
      2-1/4 c flour (I part whole wheat)
      1/4 tsp salt
      5 Tbl butter, cut into pieces, room temp
      Filling
      2 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
      1 cup cinnamon chips
      1 c brown sugar
      Streusal Topping
      1/4 c butter
      1/2 c flour
      1/2 c brown sugar
      2 tsp cinnamon
      • Dissolve yeast in warm milk. Let stand until creamy.
      • Whisk eggs, sugar, and yeast mixture until combined. 
      • In bowl of stand mixer, combine flour and salt. Add egg mixture and beat until flour is incorporated. 
      • Add butter and knead 10 minutes until a smooth dough forms.
      • Cover and let rise until doubled, about an hour 

      • Butter a 9x5 loaf pan. Add parchment paper. Butter the parchment paper.
      • Punch down the dough and let rest 5 minutes. 
      • Roll dough into a 16inch square. Brush edges of the dough with egg wash.
      • Spread apples, cinnamon chips, and brown sugar over dough leaving about a half inch around edges. 
      • Roll dough up, pinching sides to seal as you go. 
      • Twist  the rolled dough 5-6 times to make it longer, then fold into a horseshoe shape.
      • Cross the ends to form a figure eight and twist a couple more times. Fit the twisted dough into the prepared pan. 
      • Let rise 45 minutes.

      • Preheat oven to 350*
      • To make streusel, combine butter, flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Using fork (or pastry cutter), cut into butter until mixture is about the texture of coarse bread crumbs. 
      • Sprinkle on top of loaf. 
      • Bake 50 minutes, rotating pan after 25 minutes.
      • Turn temperature down to 325* and bake 20-30 more minutes, until golden and knife comes out clean.
      • Don't underbake. Cool on wire rack.

      Grilled/baked chicken parmesan

           I love Italian food. I used to always order Chicken Parmesan...before I discovered Chicken Marsala...and Chicken Lasagna.
           Generally speaking, Italian dishes are not very good for your waistline, but this version of a classic dish is actually pretty healthy...and it still tastes great, too! You really don't even miss the breading that generally comes on chicken parmesan.
      Adapted from  Biggest Loser Family Cookbook
      The original recipe says to grill the chicken...but it was 25* yesterday. I added in alternative directions.
       

      1 lb chicken breasts
      Olive oil in sprayer
      Salt, to taste
      Pepper, to taste
      1/2 c marinara of your choice
      mozzarella cheese, shredded
      parmesan cheese
      • Preheat oven to 350*
      • Preheat grill to high. (or preheat skillet to med-high)
      • Mist both sides of chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the chicken (or cook in skillet) until no longer pink inside. Transfer to baking dish.
      • Heat the sauce on low until warm. Top each piece of chicken with about 2 tablespoons of sauce, followed by mozzarella and parmesan cheese. 
      • Bake for 3-5 minutes, or just until the cheese is melted.

      Healthier Joe Pasta

           I mentioned before that my family ate sloppy joe sauce instead of spaghetti sauce when I was younger.I guess it came from my mom growing up in a family of 5 kids. I think Mamaw wanted to make everyone happy, so they had a choice of sandwich or pasta.
           Our favorite was always No-Fuss, but I haven't found that in years. In my previous post, my homemade version was fantastic, but not really very healthy. I have come up with a better way that still tastes great. You could still serve this on a bun if you wish. We chose whole wheat pasta this time around.
      Total cost for dish (with pasta): $4.75/6servings

      1 lb ground meat (chicken, turkey, beef)
      1 Tbl vinegar
      2 tsp Worcestershire
      1-1/2 tsp honey
      1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
      1/2 c chopped onion
      1/3 c chopped green bell pepper
      8 oz tomato sauce
      1 (12oz) bottle  Chili Sauce
      1/4 tsp chili powder
      1 box pasta (or buns/bread)
      • Brown meat. 
      • Meanwhile, combine vinegar, worcestershire, and honey.
      • Drain meat. Add onion, bell pepper, tomato sauce, chili sauce, red pepper, chili powder, and vinegar mixture. Stir to blend.
      • Bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer 20 minutes or until thickened. 
      • Serve over cooked pasta or on toasted buns.

      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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