Monday, October 31, 2011

Meatfree Monday: Pizza Dough

     What an month! There were five weekends in October, and we were out of town all of those but the wedding weekend. We are so tired and ready for some good food again. My body always feels so gross when I eat out all the time.
     For this meatfree post, I'm sharing a new pizza crust recipe. I really, really love my beer batter pizza dough, but sometimes I can't make it to Trader Joe's to get the beer I like to use for it. I found this recipe to use those times. I wasn't expecting a lot really. The recipe is so plain, but as we were eating it, there is just something special about it. I think it's light and complex. The longer you let it rise, the more complex the flavors become. I will definitely be making it again.  I also must explain, the picture has pepperoni in it. I know it's a meatfree post. But we really have made garden vegetable pizza and lots of other meatfree toppings since this first one, but for some reason I don't have a picture of those. This recipe is really for the dough, top with your choice of toppings.

from one of my new favorite cookbooks: Mark Bittman's
The Food Matters Cookbook: 500 Revolutionary Recipes for Better Living

 2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp yeast
1 tsp salt
2 Tbl olive oil

  • Combine dry ingredients. Stir in 1-1/2 cups water, The dough should be sticky and wet. 
  • Place in a warm spot, and set 6-12 hours. the longer the better.
  • Heat oven to 500*. Oil a baking sheet and spread on the dough. 
  • Drizzle with 2 Tbl olive oil and add pizza toppings. 
  • Bake 8-12 minutes or until cheese melts and crust is golden.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Meatfree Monday

     This October has  been crazy for us. We have been out of town or very busy every weekend, and most weeks too. I was in the wedding of one of my very good friends this weekend. It was lovely and perfectly Jenn. I was home about 2 hours the whole weekend between dropping off daughter, rehearsals, hair, girl time, wedding, and picking up daughter.
     What I'm trying to say is....there is no Meatfree Monday today. I hope to be back next week! Have a great week.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cheesy Chicken Pasta

     I love cheese dip. The Velveeta & Rotel dip is probably my favorite homemade dip. It's fast and easy. In five minutes, you have a snack for unexpected guests. Or a side for your tacos. Or a sauce for your pasta. I know Velveeta isn't healthy. At all. But, every once in a while it's ok to splurge. 
     I made this cheesy delicacy last night as a topping to our build your own bean taco or nacho bar. I knew we would have a lot left over so I had to come up with a way to use it up. This turned out even better than I had hoped. J said I could make it every week if I wanted to. I don't think I'll do that, although I wish I could eat things like that every week and not have to worry about it. 
    Like I said, we used what we left from our dinner last night, so if you want to snack on the dip before or after dinner it would be ok. Also I used garden delight penne to add in some veggies to this otherwise unhealthy dish, but you could use any kind you like.

1 lb Velveeta
1 can rotel
1/2 lb chicken, cubed
1/2 box penne
Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime seasoning
  • Boil pasta according to package directions.
  • Saute chicken sprinkled with Mrs. Dash.
  • Cube Velveeta and dump rotel on top. Microwave for 5 minutes, stirring after 3.
  • Drain pasta and combine with chicken. Pour cheese dip over the top. Stir to combine.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Old Fashioned Bread Pudding with Apples & Cinnamon Sauce

     For this month's Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned Gloria's blog: Canela Kitchen. I looked up canela and it means "cinnamon." I love cinnamon, so I knew right away that I was going to have a hard time deciding which recipe to pick. There were so many good recipes, especially dessert recipes! After I looked through the archives, and reading through most of the blog, I decided on a bread pudding. I had some old bread that I wanted to use up, and my grandpa always made bread pudding when he had old bread, so it held a bit of nostalgia for me.
     I mentioned in some earlier posts that we visited the local apple orchard and ended up with 24 pounds of apples. I thought I could use a couple up by adding some chopped apples to the bread pudding, and what goes better with apples than cinnamon? Not much I think. So, I changed the vanilla sauce to a cinnamon sauce. I think maybe Gloria would like this change since she likes cinnamon enough to put it in her blog title. Another change I made was to reduce the liquids in the recipe, thus taking away the need to bake with a water bath.

3 cups bread in 1 inch pieces (or use enough to fill up your 9x13 pan)
2 chopped apples
2 cups hot milk
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbl butter
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Sauce:
1 cup sugar
2 Tbl butter
3/4 cup water
1-1/4 Tbl cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 - 1 tsp cinnamon (to taste)

  • Put bread and apples into 9x13 baking dish. (Use an 8x8 dish if you like a thick pudding)
  • Mix eggs, milk, butter, sugar, honey, vanilla, and nutmeg.
  • Pour egg mixture over the bread and apples. 
  • Bake @ 350* for about 40 minutes or until golden brown.
  • For the sauce: Mix sugar, butter, water, and cornstarch in a heavy saucepan. Heat and stir until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and cinnamon. 
  • Cool before pouring over pudding.
linked up to
and 



Meatfree Monday: Peanut Butter & Jelly with Bananas

     This isn't much of a recipe really. It's one of our favorite lunches when we don't have leftovers. We always have the ingredients on hand. It's just and improvement on an old favorite.
     Sometimes we change it up a bit and have peanut butter/nutella/banana or peanut butter/apple/honey sandwiches.

2 slices whole wheat bread
all fruit preserves (we like strawberry or raspberry the best)
natural peanut butter
sliced banana

  • Spread peanut butter on one slice of bread. Spread jelly on the other. Top one side with slices of banana. Add the the other slice on top to form sandwich.

Meatfree features of the week...
a small collection of my favorite meat free recipes that I come across as I search the web each week. All the recipes that I post from various blogs will be stumbled to bring a little extra love to their posts...and if you happen to be one of my featured recipes you can grab my "I was featured on Meat Free Monday" button for your post.




40 Cloves of Garlic Spaghetti from Cinnamon Girl
MMMM....Garlic!






















Honey Pumpkin Bran Muffins from Sugar Plum
These look like a great fall breakfast, don't they?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Burger or Hot Dog Buns

     I know this is a little late. We are still grilling here, in spite of the cooler temperatures. I just love grilled foods. For a long time, I wanted to try my hand at homemade burger and hot dog buns. I love homemade breads, and I knew this would be no different. The recipe is originally from allrecipes and had so many good reviews, so I figured this would be a good place to start. These buns were fairly easy to make (for yeast bread) and added that homemade roll taste to our otherwise boring grilled hot dogs. I used white whole wheat flour instead of of all purpose flour.
     These buns freeze well too. We ended up with 16 hot dog buns, and we only needed 8 for the meal. We froze them and had them again a couple weeks later, and they tasted great.

1 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup butter
4-1/2 cups flour (take out 1/2 cup + 1 Tbl if using whole wheat)
2-1/4 tsp yeast (or 1 pkg)
2 Tbl sugar
1-1/2 tsp salt
1 egg

  • In a small saucepan, heat milk, water, and butter until very warm.
  • In a large bowl, mix 1-3/4 cup flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Mix milk mixture into flour mixture, and then mix in the egg. Stir in remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. When dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, or about 8 minutes.
  • For burger buns:Divide dough into 12 equal pieces. Shape into smooth balls (for burger buns) and place on a greased baking sheet. Flatten slightly. Cover and rise for 30-35 minutes.
  • For hot dog buns: Divide dough into 16 pieces. shape each piece into a 6x4 rectangle. Starting with the longer side, roll up tightly and pinch edges to seal. Let rise about 20-25 minutes. 
  • Bake at 400* for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

anyone know how to get those stupid white corners off?
     These apple muffins with a crumbly cinnamon sugar topping will make your house smell so good. A perfect breakfast on a crisp, Fall morning. I enjoyed mine with my favorite Black Magic coffee from our local coffee shop. They are moist and cinnamony (That's a word, right? Well, it should be) and irresistible. I kept thinking that they remind me of something, but I can't quite put my finger on it.
     I actually used both whole wheat and white flour this time around. If you prefer to use all whole wheat, just use 1/2 cup minus 1Tbl instead of 1/2 cup white.

2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
2 apples, finely chopped
1/2 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
4 Tbl butter, melted
4 Tbl brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

  • Place muffin cups in pan. 
  • Combine flours, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
  • Stir in apples and sugar.
  • Place milk, eggs, and butter in a separate bowl and mix. 
  • Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and gently stir until just combined.
  • Divide batter evenly into muffin cups. 
  • To make the topping, mix brown sugar and cinnamon together. Sprinkle over the muffins.
  • Bake in 400* for 20-25 minutes or until risen and golden.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Grilled Scotch Chops

     When I decided to make this recipe, I thought we had bourbon. That is what David Zinczenko said to use in his recipe. The day came to make it, and I found that we only had scotch but no bourbon (I feel like that should be some kind of country song). I guess the hubs was feeling a little crazy that day. So, the recipe became scotch chops instead. I think they would be great with bourbon, but they are amazing with scotch!
      I wish I would have made some different sides. The mac n' cheese just didn't seem to fit with such a "fancy" meat. This is what it means to live and eat with a two year old...fancy meat for mom and dad; mac n' cheese for everyone.

1/3 cup scotch (or bourbon)
1/4 cup honey
3 Tbl soy sauce
1 Tbl brown sugar
1 Tbl olive oil
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp black pepper
pork chops (or chicken)

  • Mix the booze, honey, soy sauce, sugar, oil, ginger, and peppers in a large bowl. Set aside about 1/4 cup of the marinade.
  • Add chops to the rest of the marinade and toss to coat. 
  • Grill.
  • Nuke the remaining marinade on high for about 90 seconds and spoon over the chops.

Braided Sausage Bread

     I love breakfast for dinner. Actually, I love breakfast for any time of day. There is just something about sausage, eggs, or bacon. That is just my kind of food, I guess. A couple of weeks ago, I decided that we should have breakfast for dinner once  a week. We don't always get to have a good hot breakfast during the week, so if we have it at dinner, I can still eat the foods I love.
     I loved how this turned out. It reminded me of my favorite bakery's sausage rolls, but without the time and commitment of a yeast roll. Actually, for the amount needed you need to have two packages of crescent rolls, but for some reason I only bought one. So we had one sausage braid and one phyllo wrapped roll. Both were delicious, but I just hate working with phyllo. I'm pretty sure when package in my freezer is gone, I'll never buy it again. That's for another post though.

1-lb turkey sausage
4 cups mozzarella cheese
1 tsp hot sauce
1 Tbl parsley flakes
1 egg
2 pkgs crescent rolls

  • Brown sausage. Mix in cheese, hot sauce, parsley, and egg. Stir and heat until cheese is melted.
  • Unroll both packages of crescent rolls and press together making a long rectangle. (If your baking sheet isn't long enough, make two shorter rectangles instead) On the long edges of the rectangle, make two inch slices every two inches. These slices will make the top braid.
  • Place sausage mixture down the middle of the rectangle. 
  • Criss-cross your sliced edges to make a braid. 
  • Bake according to crescent roll package directions.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Snickerdoodle Cookies

     When I was younger, my mom always made snickerdoodle cookies. She says they are the easiest to make with little notice, because you pretty much always have the ingredients on hand. It's true. For something that is so easy to make with what you already have, these sure do taste great.
     I've made them for many different occasions. This particular batch...well double batch...was for all the kiddos at my church. The cookie bakers don't have to be the little old ladies. I don't want to be in charge of all of the kiddos (I'm retired from  teaching after all), but I will bake them cookies and send them home. Your welcome.
     I've also tried some variations, such as adding in toffee chips. That has been my favorite addition.

1 cup shortening(or part butter/part shortening)
1-1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2-3/4 cup flour
1 tsp soda
2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
4 Tbl brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

  • combine shortening, sugar, and eggs. Mix well. 
  • Add flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. 
  • Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl.
  • Roll dough into balls, and then roll in cinnamon/sugar mixture.
  • Place on cookie sheet.
  • Bake 8-10 minutes @ 350*. Cookies should just start to crack on top.
Linked up to
Sweet Treats Thursdays
and
and 


Monday, October 10, 2011

Meatfree Monday: Polenta Pizzas

from Trader Joe's website
     This week's recipe is so easy when you use store-bought polenta. You could, of course, make your own too. We enjoyed this pizza with mushrooms and cheese, but you could add any toppings you would like.
     We used the recipe and polenta from Trader Joe's. You can view it here: Trader Joe's Polenta Pizzaiola. The only difference I might make in the future would be to add salt or some seasoning to the polenta.



Meatfree features of the week...
a small collection of my favorite meat free recipes that I come across as I search the web each week. All the recipes that I post from various blogs will be stumbled to bring a little extra love to their posts...and if you happen to be one of my featured recipes you can grab my "I was featured on Meat Free Monday" button for your post.




Pizza Margherita  from Pennies on a Platter
Follow the link to see the pictures of this amazing looking pizza! YUM!


The Voluminous Oatmeal Trick by Chocolate Covered Katie
This links to a lot of great oatmeal flavoring ideas!




















Bento Boxes from Meet the Dubiens
These little lunches are so cute! What a fun way to eat Peanut butter and jelly!


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Paper Bag Apple Pie

     Admittedly sticking a paper bag into a hot oven is generally not considered good practice. My mom says she remembers Mamaw making this pie when she was little, and the oven was smoking!  It's just the ink burning off the bag. Keep the bag away from the burners, and you'll be fine. My mom has entered this pie into dessert contests and won!
    This was my first try at the paper bag pie, and it was so good. My husband, who has just recently decided that he liked apple pie (or any cooked fruit) said it was the best pie. Ever. He described it as "warm crusted apple-y goodness." He's so good with words.
     You can "cheat" and use store bought crust, but I strongly encourage you to use the homemade crust below. It's the perfect flakiness and flavor. I guess I can't complain about J's choice of words. Ha!

Crust: (makes 2-freeze one for later or make 2 pies!)
2 cups flour (take out 1/4 cup for whole wheat flour)
2/3 cup shortening
1-1/2 tsp salt
7 Tbl milk

Pie:
7 cups sliced apples (I used a combination)
2 Tbl flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
Topping:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup butter
  • Combine apples, sugar, flour, and cinnamon. 
  • Arrange in unbaked 9" pie shell.
  • Mix ingredients for topping and sprinkle over apples. 
  • Place pie in large brown paper bag, folding the open end of the bag over several times. Secure with paperclips. 
  • Place bag carefully on a cookie sheet and bake in 425* oven for 1 hour. 
  • DO NOT LET PAPER BAG TOUCH THE TOP BURNER!
  • Split bag from the top when opening.


Linked up to
and 
Sweets for Saturday




Cream Cheese and Apple Crescents

     I wondered at the beginning of the week if I would be tired of apples by the time I got to this point. I can happily say that I am not! We have had such a variety of meals and snacks that it's not just a repetition of flavor over and over.
     Last night I remembered this blueberry cream cheese danish and I wondered if a similar idea would work with apples. Only I wanted it to be for breakfast, so I made a few changes. These were fabulous! They just melted in your mouth...or maybe that was my mouth melting because I ate them right out of the oven. In any case, they were so good.
     I will make these again. The only change I might make when I make these again is that I wouldn't dice up the apples and mix them with the cream cheese. I might spread the cream cheese on, sprinkle with the cinnamon, top with apple slices, then roll up. I don't think this difference would affect the flavor, but it might make the appearance a little better!

4oz cream cheese
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 Tbl + 1 tsp agave nectar
1 Tbl + 1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 apple, diced
1 pkg crescent rolls

  • Combine cream cheese, vanilla, agave, brown sugar, cinnamon, and apples.
  • Unroll the crescent dough from tube. Spoon the filling onto each triangle. Wrap the points around the filling.
  • Bake according to roll directions or until the tops are golden.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cinnamon Apple Breakfast Pockets

     I have been buying plain yogurt for nearly a year now. It's very versatile, and you can add honey, fruit or whatever you want to flavor it. This week, I splurged a little and bought a big tub of Stonyfield Vanilla yogurt. I'm not sure I will be able to buy another brand again. It's so much creamier and smoother than other brands.
    When I was thinking of what to make for breakfast, I wanted to include yogurt and apples. Sometimes, fruit and yogurt just isn't enough to keep me filled up till my next meal, so I needed to have a grain too. Pita Pockets are perfect for this sort of thing. Fill them up with all the good stuff and you have a quick and easy, ready to go snack. When I was in Germany, several years ago, we ate many meals of pita pockets filled with various fruits or vegetables.
    I really enjoyed this breakfast. Really, you can't go wrong with fruit and yogurt. The pita just made it easier to eat, and J had the ability to eat a healthier breakfast in the car.

serves 2
2 whole wheat pita, split in half
about 12 Tbl vanilla yogurt
1 apple, cored and thinly sliced
cinnamon

  • Preheat broiler.
  • Place pita halves on baking sheet and broil for about a minute on each side. You just want it to be warm and lightly toasted.
  • Open each pocket and put 3 tablespoons of yogurt in each half. Put 1/4 of the apples in each half and sprinkle with cinnamon.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Black Cherry Baked Apples

    I've started experimenting with apples this week. My idea tonight started with traditional baked apples. I prefer to have sliced apples, so I combined the two into this unusual and delicious treat. This is a fairly healthy apple dessert recipe. There is no added sugar, besides from the cherry Pepsi.

4 baking apples (I used golden delicious and jonathon)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup dried cherries
1 cup cherry cola

  • Preheat the oven to 375*
  • Core and slice apples and place in 8x8 dish.
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon and dried cherries. Drizzle cherry cola on top.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until apples are tender.

Open Faced Turkey, Apple & Cheese

     I love fall, especially the apples. This week is apple themed, not only in my "totschool" with my two year old, but also with most of our meals. We started the week off with this wonderful cinnamon maple quinoa, and this morning we had an old favorite: apple pie oatmeal. We also had my mom's famous brown bag apple pie a couple of days ago, but I'm saving the post for all the sweets link ups later this week.
     For lunch today, we didn't have leftovers. I have seen a lot of recipes using apples and cheese, so I thought I'd try my hand at that. I was concerned that I wouldn't like the sweet and savory together, but I really did. In fact, I liked it even more than I had hoped. I plan to make this again! The dijon mustard and muenster were the perfect compliment to the sweetness of the apples.

1 slice whole wheat bread
about 1 tsp dijon mustard
about 1 tsp mayo (with olive oil)
mustard greens
1 onion slice
2 slices deli turkey breast
1/2 an apple
slice of muenster cheese
black pepper

  • Preheat broiler.
  • Spread mayo and mustard on bread. Layer on greens, onion, turkey, apple, and cheese. 
  • Broil about 4 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.
  • Sprinkle with fresh ground black pepper.

Menu Plan: October 2-7

     The menu plan is better late than never as they say. I was working on it, then I threw out the whole thing and started over. I needed to find recipes that included apples since we picked so many last weekend. I don't want to just make desserts, and this is the perfect opportunity to try some different things.

Breakfasts:
Maple Cinnamon Quinoa
granola bar with apple slices
Apple Pie Oatmeal
Baked Apple Pita

Snacks:
Brown Paper Bag Apple Pie (post on Thursday night)
other various apple snacks
not microwave popcorn popcorn

Dinners/Lunches (leftovers):
Vegetable Lasagna
Dinner w/Friends: Lunch: Open Faced Turkey, Apple, and Cheese
Grilled BBQ Chicken and Corn on Cob (from Farmer's Market!)
Apple Home Fries breakfast for Dinner
Stir Fry
Omelets

Linked up to Menu Plan Monday

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Meatfree Monday: Cinnamon Maple Quinoa with Apple

     I've been hearing about and seeing a lot of recipes using quinoa lately. It seems to be pretty high in protein and fiber and is gluten free. It pretty much seems like the perfect food. I tried to buy it one time when I made this recipe. It was so expensive at around $10 a pound that I used brown rice instead.
     I was at Trader Joe's a couple of weeks ago (Oh, how I wish it were closer!), and I noticed they had 1lb boxes for only $3.99. That is less than half of what the other store was selling it for. Of course, I bought it and that brings us to my Meatfree Monday post for this week.
     The original recipe is from Jessica Seinfeld. I did change it quite a bit though. For one thing, we picked about 24 pounds of apples yesterday, so I wanted to use some of them!
     I loved this breakfast. This is a great alternative to oatmeal in the mornings, and I'm excited to use quinoa again. My husband's only complaint was the addition of almonds...which he only noticed when he was almost done eating it. I think he should eat blindfolded anyhow.

1-1/4 c water
1 c quinoa
1 Tbl butter
1/2 cup sweet potato puree (or pumpkin)
2 Tbl maple syrup
1 Tbl brown sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch salt
2 Tbl almonds
1 apple
1 Tbl brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

  • Boil water. Add quinoa and reduce to simmer. Cook 12 minutes, uncovered. Remove pot from heat, cover and let sit for about 5 minutes.
  • Melt butter. Stir in sweet potato (or pumpkin), syrup, milk ,cinnamon, brown sugar, and salt. 
  • Stir the sauce into the quinoa.
  • Make topping: chop almonds and apple. Combine with brown sugar and cinnamon.
  • Divide quinoa into bowls and top with the apple mixture.

  






Meatfree features of the week...
a small collection of my favorite meat free recipes that I come across as I search the web each week. All the recipes that I post from various blogs will be stumbled to bring a little extra love to their posts...and if you happen to be one of my featured recipes you can grab my "I was featured on Meat Free Monday" button for your post.


Pumpkin Mac N Cheese from My Fabulous Recipes
Pumpkin might be my favorite thing about fall...pumpkins and apples!
































Caprese Grilled Cheese by Closet Cooking
Well, pretty much anything Kevin makes looks amazing!

Where did I go on Facebook?

    While I'm still mildly annoyed that facebook has yet again changed it format, I've become used to the new design. Although I'm still working out a few things that will make it easier for me to tolerate.
     I thought that I had fixed all the things that annoyed me the most, like my news feed not being in chronological order. That's the OCD in me I guess. If you are wondering how I did that: Basically, I created a list of "everyone" and now use that instead of the "news feed." It makes it just like the old facebook.
    The problem with my new "everyone" list is that I forgot to add pages in. I wondered why I wasn't getting updates from my favorite pages, so I went back in to make sure the pages were all checked too. If you aren't getting updates from your favorite pages...including Penny Pinching Provisions... then create a list of just pages or make an everyone list like I did.

In food news, I'm working on my menu this week and trying to find a lot of great things to make with the 24 pounds of apples we picked yesterday!

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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