Thursday, January 30, 2014

Simple One Hour Bread

This is pretty good and considering it only takes an hour it is AMAZING.  I hate store bought bread so I usually make bread in my bread machine although it now seems to be on the fritz so I needed a recipe that I could just pop in the oven.  This seems to be it!

5 1/4 cups flour
3 tb sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp yeast
1 1/2 tb olive oil
2 cups hot water

Mix together the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Add the oil and water.
Mix for on minute (dough should be slightly sticky).
Knead the dough for five minutes (I have a kitchen aid mixer and used the dough hook).
Do not add flour once you start kneading (dough should be smooth).
Grease 2 9x5 loaf pans.
Divide the dough evenly between the two pans. (Make sure you pat it down to cover the whole pan).
Cover with a dishtowel and let it rise in a warm place for 25 minutes.
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Bake for 25 minutes or till it is golden brown.

Simple  One Hour Bread

Mix the dry ingredients then add the oil and water. Mix for one more minute until well incorporated. Dough should be sticky, if it is too dry, add more water. Then knead for five minutes (I use my stand mixer and dough hook). This step is important! Also, do not add any more flour once you start kneading. Dough should have a smooth consistency.
Grease two 9x5 loaf pans. Divide the dough between the two pans. Cover with a dish towel and let rise in a warm place for 25 minutes.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake loaves for 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
55 1/4    cup    flour
3    tablespoons    sugar
1 1/2    teaspoon    salt
1 1/2    tablespoon    active dry yeast
1 1/2    tablespoon    olive oil ( or vegetable oil )
2    cups    water ( hot )

5 1/4    cup    flour
3    tablespoons    sugar
1 1/2    teaspoon    salt
1 1/2    tablespoon    active dry yeast
1 1/2    tablespoon    olive oil ( or vegetable oil )
2    cups    water ( hot )


Cracker Barrel Broccoli Cheddar Chicken

This was really good, hubby said it was his favorite part of the meal.  I liked it also however I think my favorite part of the meal was the lemon potatoes.  My middle son Jacob helped me make tonight's meal we had a lot of fun cooking together and this dish was so easy that he was able to do most of the work himself.  ;-)

4 skinless chicken breasts
1 cup of Almond Milk ( Regular Milk Works)
1 cup of Ritz style cracker ( crushed)
1 Can of Cheddar Cheese Soup
8 oz of frozen broccoli
6 oz of cheddar cheese – shredded
½ tsp of salt
½ tsp of pepper
Preheat oven to 350
In a bowl whisk milk and cheddar cheese soup together
Grease and place chicken in a casserole dish – season with salt and pepper
Pour soup over the chicken, sprinkle the following on top – ritz crackers, broccoli, and cheddar cheese.
Bake uncovered for 45 minutes
Enjoy :)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Lemon Butter Potatoes

These were so wonderful, I think they are my new favorite potato.  Adding the parm at the end puts them over the top.
24 ounces petite klondike potatoes
⅓ cup low sodium chicken broth
½tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¼ cup butter, melted (no substitutes)
1 teaspoon oregano (or to taste)
1 tablespoon fresh minced garlic
¼ teaspoon red pepper flake(s)
1 shallot diced
salt and pepper
¼ teaspoon lemon zest
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
chopped fresh parsley
chopped fresh rosemary
chopped fresh basil
Set oven to 350 degrees. 
Butter a shallow baking dish large enough to hold the potatoes.
Peel and cut the potatoes into large wedges and place into the prepared baking dish.
In a bowl combine the broth, shallots, lemon juice, butter, oregano, salt, pepper and minced garlic (if using),
Mix well to combine.
Pour over potatoes in the dish and stir to coat well. 
Cover the dish tightly with foil.
Bake for about 40 minutes.
Uncover and turn potatoes.
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and return to oven (uncovered).
Bake for another 10 minutes, or until potatoes are done to desired tenderness.
Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley and finely chopped rosemary to serve.
Raegan Mirick's photo.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cupcakes

 My favorite cereal is Cinnamon Toast Crunch (we don't eat cereal often in our house) so when I saw a recipe for CTC cupcakes I decided to give it a try.  I used my vanilla cake recipe and added a little cinnamon and then whipped up some icing and we have a winner!

 1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). 
Grease and flour a 9x9 inch pan or line a muffin pan with paper liners. 
In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. 
Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla.  
Combine flour, baking powder, and cinnamon add to the creamed mixture and mix well. 
Finally stir in the milk until batter is smooth. Pour or spoon batter into the prepared pan. 
For cupcakes, bake 20 to 25 minutes.  
Cake is done when it springs back to the touch. 

Frosted Toast Crunch™ Cupcakes


1/3 cup butter, softened

3 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Garnish, if desired

24 pieces Frosted Toast Crunch™ cereal 
  • In medium bowl, beat butter and powdered sugar with electric mixer on low speed until combined.
  • Beat in milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon on medium speed until fluffy.
  • Pipe or spread frosting on cupcakes. 
  • Garnish each cupcake with 1 cereal piece.
  • Sunday, January 26, 2014

    Menu for 1-27 to 2-2

    B- Cereal
    L- Corn Dogs
    D- Chicken and Dumplings

    B- French Toast
    L- Sandwich and Mandarin Oranges
    D- Out

    B- Mini Maple Cinnamon Rolls
    L- Baked Potato
    D- Cracker Barrel Broccoli and Chicken (NR), Lemon and Garlic Potatoes (NR) and French Bread

    B- Pancakes and Bacon
    L- ? and Apples

    B- One Eyed Sailor
    L- Caprese Grilled Chicken w/ Balsamic Reduction (New Recipe)
    D- Date Night

    B- Egg Boats (New Recipe)
    L- Homemade Pizza
    D- Mexican Fiesta Potluck Party

    B- Apple Strudel Muffins (NR)
    L- Chicken and Rice
    D- Leftovers

    Bacon Quiche

    I am assuming that this is very good, I made it for Life Group this morning at church and before I could get a slice it was all gone.  Hubby was sad that there wasn't enough for seconds and everyone's plates were empty so I guess it must have been tasty. 
    1 (9 inch) unbaked 9 inch pie crust
    8 ounces bacon
    2 cups sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
    1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
    3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    5 eggs, lightly beaten
    1/2 cups whipping cream
    1 tsp onion powder
    1 tsp garlic powder

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). 
    Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. 
    Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. 
    Drain, crumble and set aside. 
    Place crust in a 9 inch glass pie plate. 
    Sprinkle bacon inside of crust. 
    In a small bowl, combine Cheddar cheese, Monterey jack cheese and flour. 
    In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, cream, onion powder and garlic powder. 
    Add cheese mixture; stir well. 
    Pour mixture into pie crust. 
    Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 70 minutes, until set. 
    Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

    Steak Pie (Think pub food)

    I spent a couple of weeks in England one summer in college, one night we went to an old English pub the place was kind of dingy and honestly if we had been in the states there is no way I would have eaten there.  Looks can be deceiving though because the food was absolutely wonderful.  I mean lick your plate good!  This dish reminds me of something that I would see on a pub menu in a quaint little town in the hills of England.  It is nice and hearty the perfect dish for a cold winter night, there aren't a whole lot of ingredients but the ones that are in this dish work very well together.  There is a nice robust flavor that makes you want to go back for more.... and hubby did.... twice, but to his defense portions 2 and 3 were much smaller than his first piece.  ;-)   

    1/4 cup butter
    1 onion, diced (1 tsp)
    2 garlic cloves (2 tsp)
    1/2 tsp salt
    3 tbsp plain flour, seasoned
    2 cups of diced steak pieces
    2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
    1 tbsp tomato puree
    1 cup beef broth or stock
    1/2 cup parmesean 
    pie crust
    1 egg, beaten
    puff pastry

    1. Mix the steak pieces and flour in a bowl so the meat is coated.
    2. Melt the butter in a saucepan, then add the onion, salt and garlic. Cook for 1-2 mins.
    3. Add the steak to the pot and cook until browned all over.
    4. Stir in the worcestershire sauce, tomato puree and stock. Season with salt and pepper and reduce the heat, leave to simmer gently for 30-45 mins.
    5. Roll out your shortcrust pastry and line your 8-9" pie dish.
    6. Once the meat has finished simmering pour it into the middle of the shortcrust pastry and spread.
    7. Top with Parm Cheese
    8. Brush the edges of the shortcrust pastry with the beaten egg. Roll out the puff pastry and lay the puff pastry on top of the pie.
    9. Press the edges together and cut a few holes in the top of the pie (to let out any steam). Brush the top of the pie with the beaten egg.
    10. Bake the pie in the oven at 350 for 35-40 minutes.

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

    Soft Pretzel Buns

    1 – 1/2 cups milk
    1/4 cup sugar
    4 to 4 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour (4 is plenty!!!)
    2 Tablespoons dry active yeast
    1 – 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
    8 cups water
    1/2 cup baking soda
    Coarse sea salt to sprinkle on top

    Heat milk and sugar to 120 - 130 degrees F.  
    Stir together; 3 1/2 cups flour, yeast and salt, mixing well.  
    Pour warmed milk and sugar in flour and stir to mix.  
    Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 5 to 8 minutes.  
    Working additional flour in as needed.  
    Pat or roll into a rectangle.  
    Cut into desired number of pieces.  
    Shape into logs for hot dog buns or round for hamburger buns or rolls.  
    Place on parchment lined baking sheets.  
    Spray with non-stick spray and cover with plastic wrap or tea towel.  
    Let rise until double in a draft free place, about 20 to 30 minutes.  
    Towards the end of the rise, bring 8 cups water to boil in a 5 quart pot or larger.  
    It’s important to have a large pot.  
    Carefully, add baking soda.  NOTE:  It will foam up very fast and then die down.  Hence, the need for the 5 quart, or larger, pot.   
    Add one piece at a time, flipping after 10 seconds and remove after 5 to 10 seconds with a large slotted spoon.  
    Drain well and place on parchment lined baking sheet.  
    Sprinkle with coarse sea salt immediately after taking out of water to ensure salt sticks.  
    Repeat with remaining buns or rolls.   
    Bake in preheated 425 degree oven on top rack and second to bottom racks.  
    Switch places on racks after 7 minutes, cook another 5 to 7 minutes until brown and hollow when tapped.  
    Place on cooling rack.  

    Best if eaten first day but will keep for several days on counter, if they last that long.  ;) Enjoy!

    Rocky Road (S'more) Bar Cookies

    One of my hobbies, besides cooking, is reading I have loved to read and have done so since I was a child.  Growing up I was hooked on Nancy Drew, Babysitters Club, Little House on the Prairie, the Mandi Books, Sweet Valley and the Boxcar Children just to name a few.  Now I love any book by Mary Higgins Clark and/ or her daughter, Diane Mott Davidson, Leslie Meier, and JoAnn Fluke. 

    For me reading is a great escape and when you combine two of my favorite things (cooking and reading) I am hooked.  This recipe is from a book by JoAnn Fluke... she recently compiled all her recipes from the books she has written into one cookbook and my wonderful husband bought it for me this year for Christmas.  This was one of the most exciting things, he got major points!

    Another one of my passions is cooking with my kids every night while making dinner one of them helps me, now don't get me wrong this can be stressful but it is also a special time for us.  It gives me one on one time with that particular child and we are able to talk without too many interruptions.  I remember cooking with my grandmother and it is one of my best memories of my childhood. 

    So today after school Nathan and I made these, it was very simple and he did most of it himself, don't worry I chopped the pecans and put it in and pulled it out of the oven.  I don't need any mad grandmother's ;-).  He is very excited to taste his creation (it is still cooling) but I can tell you that judging by the smell it is going to be good!!!

    24 graham crackers or 12 double ones (I didn't need near that many)
    2 cups mini marshmallows (white NOT colored)
    1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
    1 cup salted cashews (I used pecans)
    1/2 cup butter (this is on stick)
    1/2 cup brown sugar (pack it firmly into the cup)
    1 tsp vanilla extract (mine is from Honduras and is AMAZING)

    Spray 9x13 inch pan with non stick spray.
    Line the bottom of the pan with graham crackers.
    Sprinkle marshmallows on top.
    Next sprinkle on the chocolate chips.
    Now you add the nuts.
    In a small saucepan over LOW heat combine the butter and sugar.
    Stir constantly until the sugar has dissolved.
    Remove from heat and add the vanilla.
    Drizzle the mixture over the layers in your cake pan.
    Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. (Till the marshmallows are golden on top)
    Cool before cutting!

    Chicken Empanadas

    Last night I made chicken empanadas, they were so delicious.  I used the empanada recipe for the dough and then the fajita recipe for the chicken on the inside and they were amazing.  Drizzle some queso and hot sauce over the top and you have it made.

    2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
    1 large egg
    1/3 cup ice water (place it in the freezer before you start working)
    1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar (helps achieve tender, flaky dough)

    Place flour and salt in food processor bowl.
    Pulse to blend.
    Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal.
    Beat together egg, water, and vinegar in a small bowl with a fork.
    Add to food processor bowl.
    Pulse a few times, just until dough forms.
    Remove dough from food processor.
    Shape into a flat disk.
    Chill in fridge, wrapped in plastic wrap, 1 hour.

    1/4 cup vegetable oil, divided
    3 tablespoons lemon juice
    1 garlic clove, minced
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 teaspoon onion powder
    Dash hot sauce
    Freshly ground black pepper
    1 1/2 pounds meat (boneless, skinless chicken breast, skirt steak or peeled and deveined shrimp)

    In a heavy duty resealable plastic bag, combine 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, hot sauce, salt, pepper and your choice of meat.
    Seal and toss the bag around to coat.
    Marinate in the refrigerator. (I leave mine in for a few hours)
    *Cook's Note: 15 minutes for shrimp, 20 minutes for chicken and 1 hour for skirt steak.(I cut my meat into thin pieces)
    After it has marinated heat your skillet and cook chicken until it is done!
    Egg wash:
    1 large egg
    1 tablespoon water

    Whisk together egg and water for egg wash.
    Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
    Remove dough from fridge and allow to rest 5 minutes at room temperature.
    On a lightly floured surface, with a floured rolling pin, roll out dough as thin as you can – to about 1/8 inch thickness.
    Cut twelve 4-inch circles (Scraps can be re-rolled.)
    Place one heaping tablespoon meat mixture (I add some shredded cheese also) on one half of each circle, leaving a 1/2-inch border.
    Brush egg wash on empty side of circle, fold dough over to make a half-circle and close edges, then crimp edges with a fork.
    Arrange empanadas on the prepared baking sheet.
    Brush with egg wash.
    Bake 10 minutes.
    Turn empanadas over, brush other side and bake 10 minutes longer, until lightly browned on both sides. Cool ten minutes on a wire rack before serving.

    Monday, January 20, 2014

    Cheesy Tortellini

    This was born out of necessity... well that and the fact that I was craving tortellini for some odd reason.  I took the cheese sauce recipe from one of my favorite Paula Deen dishes and added it to some pasta to make a wonderful combination of CHEESE!  In our house you can never, ever, ever have too much cheese!  With that thought in mind I remembered how amazing the Parmesan Crusted Steaks were so I made the "crust" and put it on top.  Everyone raved about how good this dish was and my neighbor said it was one of the best things he had ever eaten!!!  I served this with Pea Salad and Cheddar Biscuits and we are all beyond stuffed.

    20 oz tortellini
    2 tablespoons butter

    2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

    1 1/2 cups warm milk

    1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

    1/8 teaspoon dry mustard    

    Dash hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco)

    Dash Worcestershire sauce

    2 cups grated Cheddar

    1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan                               

    Salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Parm Crust
    2 sticks butter
    1 cup Panko
    1 cup grated Parmesan
    1/4 parsley
    1/2 TBSP Kosher salt
    1/2 TBSP cracked black pepper
    1/2 TBSP fresh minced garlic
    1/2 TBSP Wocestershire

    Mix all of the ingredients together until blended.
    Cook tortellini according to package directions.
    In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and stir in the flour. 
    Cook until smooth and bubbly, about 1 minute. 
    Gradually add the warm milk and stir until combined.  
    Stir in the seasonings and cheese.  
    Constantly stir until cheese is smooth, thick and melted.
    Pour tortellini and cheese sauce into a baking dish.
    Sprinkle cheddar on top.
    Bake at 350 for 20 minutes after 10 minutes top with parm and then continue to bake!

    Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies with Caramel Glaze

    These cookies are insanely amazing, my oldest son says that they are the best thing I have ever made.  I also loved these cookies, there are so many layers of flavors!  The caramel melts in your mouth just as you are getting your first hint of the soft but crunchy cookie.  These cookies were easy to throw together but taste like you spent forever in the kitchen making them.  I feel like next time we have people over this will definently be on the menu!
    • 1 cup soft butter
    • 1 ½ cups brown sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 2 ¼ cups flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 cup toasted pecan pieces
    • Brown Sugar Caramel Glaze
    • ½ cup brown sugar
    • ½ cup heavy cream
    • 2 cups powdered sugar
    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare two sheet pans with silpats or parchment paper.
    2. In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream together the butter and the brown sugar until fluffy. 
    3. Add the eggs and the vanilla and combine well.
    4. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda and kosher salt and then add to the butter and sugar. 
    5. Add the pecans and mix in well.
    6. Scoop the cookies out onto the prepared sheet pans and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. 
    7. Let cool while you prepare the caramel.
    8. Put the powdered sugar in a heat proof bowl (like a pyrex).
    9. In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar and heavy cream and stir together and cook until simmering. 
    10. When boiling remove from the heat and add to the powdered sugar.  
    11. Whisk until smooth.
    12. Drizzle the glaze over the cookies and let cool until the cookies set up, about 30 minutes. 
    13. Serve immediately or stir in an airtight container. 
    14. These also freeze well.

    Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies with Caramel Glaze

    Sunday, January 19, 2014

    Menu for 1-20 to 1-26

    B- French Toast
    L- Homemade Pizza
    D- Tortellini, Pea Salad, Cheddar Biscuits

    B- Muffins
    L- Corn Dogs and Oranges
    D- Fajita Chicken Empanadas, Rice and Beans

    B- Cereal
    L- Sandwich and Apples
    D- Cheeseburger (Pretzel Bun New Recipe), Baked French Fries and That Corn

    B- Pancakes and Bacon
    L- Leftover Cheeseburger Patties
    D- Steak Pie (New Recipe), Glazed Carrots, and Macaroni and Cheese

    B- Cinnamon Bread
    L- Broccoli Cheese Soup
    D- Leftover Soup

    B- Biscuits and Gravy
    L- Leftovers (We had a lot of leftovers this week!)
    D- Ground Beef and Potato Casserole, Corn on Cob, Popovers

    B- Quiche (New Recipe)
    L- Roast, Potatoes, Carrots
    D- Leftovers

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014


    One of my favorite things we get when at The Lady and Sons in Savannah are the hoecakes they are so delicious!  My husband made fun of the name... till he ate one.  Although, just so you know the term hoecake is from 1745 when they cooked these on a type of iron pan called a hoe.  I made these and topped them with some honey butter and they were so great!  Hubby, myself, and neighbor really enjoyed these the kids not so much.  My neighbor might have had 4.  ;-)
    1 cup flour
    1 cup cornmeal
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp pepper
    1 tb sugar
    4 tb butter (melted)
    1 cup milk
    1 egg
    butter for griddle
    Mix together all ingredients except the butter for the griddle.
    Place butter on the griddle over a low medium heat.
    Scoop hoecake batter onto griddle as you would pancakes.
    Cook until lightly browned on one side and then flip.
    Cook on second side until lightly browned and then remove to a serving platter.

    Tuesday, January 14, 2014

    Shepherd's Pie

    This dish was amazing and while it is not a true "shepherds pie" (I used beef not lamb) it is so good.  Everyone loved it, this dish was wonderful it had a little bit of a tang to it that made it even tastier.  I hope that you love this dish as much as we do, it is perfect for a cold winter night.

    1 tablespoon vegetable oil 
    1 onion, chopped (I used 1 tsp onion powder)
    2 cloves garlic, minced (I used 2 tsp garlic powder)
    1 teaspoon dried thyme
    1 teaspoon dried rosemary
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon pepper
    1 pound lean ground beef
    4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
    1/4 cup Heinz Tomato Ketchup (I used tomato sauce)
    3/4 cup Heinz® Tomato Juice (I used tomato sauce)
    2 tablespoons Heinz Worcestershire Sauce
    2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
    1 cup frozen mixed vegetables (such as peas and carrots) (I used corn, I had an open bag)
    3 cups cooked, warm, mashed potatoes 
    2 tablespoons butter
    1 clove garlic, minced (I used 3 tsp garlic salt and 2 tsp onion powder)
    2/3 cup warm milk 

    1. Heat oil in a skillet set over medium heat. 
    2. Add the onion, garlic, thyme, rosemary, and half of the salt and pepper. 
    3. Cook, stirring often, for 5 to 7 minutes. 
    4. Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C).
    5. Crumble meat into pan and cook until brown all over. 
    6. Sprinkle with flour. 
    7. Stir in ketchup, tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce and mustard. 
    8. Simmer for 5 minutes. 
    9. Stir in mixed vegetables. 
    10. Transfer to a 9-inch (23-cm) baking dish.
    11. Whip the potatoes with the warm milk, remaining salt and pepper, butter and garlic until very fluffy. 
    12. Spread potatoes evenly over meat mixture. 
    13. Bake for 35 minutes or until potatoes are golden.
     Classic Shepherd's Pie Recipe

    Monday, January 13, 2014

    Amazing Chocolate Cake

    This chocolate cake is beyond amazing.  It is soooo good.  The only thing I can think of that even compares to it is the Chocolate Molten Cake you get while on a cruise.  My husband who is definently not a fan of chocolate cake said this was one of the best cakes he had ever had.  He LOVES coffee so once I told him there was coffee in the cake I think he was hooked.  :-) I hope you enjoy it as much as we all did!

    2 cups all purpose flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    3/4 cup baking cocoa
    2 cups sugar
    1 cup canola oil
    1 cup brewed coffee
    1 cup milk
    2 eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    Sift together dry ingredients in a bowl. 
    Add oil, coffee and milk; mix at medium speed for 1 minute. 
    Add eggs and vanilla.
    Beat 2 more minutes. (Batter will be thin.) 
    Pour into two greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans (or two 8-in. round baking pans and six muffin cups). 
    Bake at 325° for 25-30 minutes. 
    Cool cakes for 10 minutes before removing from pans. 
    Cool on wire racks.

    1/2 cup sugar
    4-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
    1/2 cup hot coffee
    4-1/2 teaspoons butter
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla

    Moist Chocolate Cake Recipe

    Sunday, January 12, 2014

    Menu for 1-13 to1-19

    B- Cereal
    L- Corn Dogs and Pretzels
    D- Shepherd's Pie and Biscuits (This was AMAZING!!!)

    B- Muffins
    L- Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
    D- Mc Donald's (My mother took the kids (and us) to Mc Donald's)

    B- Cookies (Don't judge... they had oatmeal in them so that makes it ok right?)
    L- Mini Pizzas
    D- Crunchy Chicken, Roasted Potatoes, Corn on Cob, Hoecakes and Honey Butter

    Thursday (Bunco)
    B- Pancakes and Bacon
    L- Ham and Cheese Rollups
    D- In laws came over and brought Pizza Hut!

    B- Pancakes
    L- Chicken Bites and Fruit
    D- Free Chinese Food

    B- One Eyed Sailor (Maybe this will actually happen this week)
    L- Taco Soup
    D- Cajun Chicken Pasta and French Bread

    B- Hashbrown Casserole
    L- Ground Beef and Potato Bake and ?
    D- Leftovers

    Friday, January 10, 2014

    Ground Beef Wellington

    This was ok, however for some reason it was sort of tangy.  I am not exactly sure how I feel about this dish hubby loved it, the neighbor liked it, I was indifferent and none of the kids ate it.  So I guess we aren't much help.  

    1/2 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
    1 tablespoon butter
    2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
    1/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
    1/2 cup half-and-half cream (I used whipping cream)
    1 egg yolk
    2 tablespoons finely chopped onion (I used onion powder)
    1/4 teaspoon salt 
    1/2 pound ground beef
    1 tube (4 oz) crescent rolls (I used puff pastry)
    1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

    I also added 1/2 a cup of Parmesean and 2 tablespoons of garlic powder to the meat mixture!  I also added some garlic salt to the leftover sauce mix!

    In a saucepan, saute mushrooms in butter until softened. 
    Stir in flour and 1/8 teaspoon pepper until blended. 
    Gradually add the cream. 
    Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. 
    Remove from the heat and set aside.
    In a bowl, combine the egg yolk, onion, 2 tablespoons mushroom sauce, salt and remaining pepper. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. 
    Shape into two loaves. 
    Separate crescent dough into two rectangles on a baking sheet. 
    Seal perforations. 
    Place meat loaf on each rectangle. 
    Bring edges together and pinch to seal. 
    Bake at 350° for 24-28 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into meat loaf reads 160°. 
    Meanwhile, warm remaining sauce over low heat; stir in parsley. 
    Serve sauce with Wellingtons.  
    Yield: 2 servings.

    Ground Beef Wellington Recipe

    Converting to Crock Pot

    I saw this on Pinterest and found it interesting so I thought I would share.

    Angel Hair with Walnuts

    This dish is great, everyone liked it, except my two boys, four out of six people isn't too bad! (If you have been reading my blog you know there are 5 people in my family but we always have someone from the neighborhood eat dinner with us.)  Just so you know what to expect be prepared that this has a very earthy/nutty flavor, if you aren't in to that then this is not the pasta for you.  I love the extra crunch that the pecans gave it for some reason it makes me feel super sophisticated.  ;-)

    8 ounces angel hair pasta (uncooked)
    1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons minced garlic
    1/4 cup olive oil
    1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I used pecans)
    1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
    1/2 cup shredded Romano cheese

    Cook pasta according to package directions. 
    Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute garlic in oil until tender. 
    Stir in the walnuts, pepper flakes and salt. 
    Cook for 2-3 minutes or until walnuts are toasted. 
    Remove from the heat; stir in parsley. 
    Drain pasta; add to skillet. 
    Add cheese; toss to coat.

    Angel Hair with Walnuts Recipe

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

    Braided Nutella Bread

    First of all I know this recipe looks like there are a lot of steps I broke it down this way because for me it is easier to keep my place.  As I am typing this the amazing aroma of chocolate is filling my home.  This bread makes my house smell like a bakery which I am honestly completely fine with.  I love the smell of fresh baked bread and when you add chocolate in the mix I think we have perfection, and I am just talking about the smell, we haven't even started talking about the taste yet. 

     I absolutely adore the way it looks on a platter it is gorgeous (yes I talk about food like it is a person).  The braids make it so fun yet elegant looking, the wonderful part is that it is so simple!  People will think that you worked incredibly hard and yet it takes just a couple of minutes to make something so beautiful.

    So now the important part how does it taste?  I am completely convinced that anything with Nutella is bound to be quite tasty.  For me this is over the top, the dough for the bread is nice and soft but has a little crunch and the chocolate just oozes out of it.  It might be messy but it is beyond worth it.  I hope that you enjoy this sweet treat as much as I did!     
    1/2 teaspoon yeast 
    1 cup warm water  
    2 1/2 cups all purpose flour 
    1 teaspoon salt 
    1 tablespoon sugar 
    1/2 cup Nutella  

    In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in ¼ cup of the water. 
    Let sit for 10 minutes to activate.
    Meanwhile, combine flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. 
    After add yeast and the remaining water, mix on low with a dough hook attachment. 
    Turn speed up to medium, and knead dough for about 7 minutes.
    Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl. 
    Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap, and then set in a warm place. 
    The dough is ready when doubled in size - about an hour.
    On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to form a rectangle, roughly 12 x 15”. 
    Spread Nutella in an even layer on the surface, leaving a ½ inch border of dough.
    Roll tightly and place on a parchment-lined / silicon-lined baking sheet that’s been sprinkled with cornmeal. (Make sure you pinch to seal it.)
    Cut the dough down the middle with a knife, leaving one end intact. 
    Twist ends overtop each other, making sure to turn cut side toward the top. 
    Cover dough loosely with plastic wrap and let sit 20 minutes.
    Preheat oven to 350°F.  
    Bake bread for 20 minutes. 
    Raise temperature to 425°F and bake until lightly browned on top, about 5-7 minutes more.
    Remove from oven, and let cool before serving.
     Braided Nutella Bread | Inspired by Charm

    Wednesday, January 8, 2014

    Smothered Chicken Breast

    This chicken was great hubby, the kids, neighbor, and I really enjoyed it.  I was sad though because my chicken shrunk quite a bit while cooking so there wasn't enough for us to have seconds.  :-(  Hubby was also sad because there wasn't enough for him to make a lunch for work tomorrow.  I guess this means that we will be adding this into our semi regular rotation!

    4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp lemon pepper seasoning
    1 tb oil
    8 bacon strips
    1 medium onion (sliced)
    1/4 cup packed brown sugar
    1/2 cup Colby-Monterey Jack cheese

    Sprinkle chicken with salt and lemon-pepper. 
    In a large skillet, cook chicken in oil for 6-7 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 165°; remove and keep warm.
    In same skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. 
    Using a slotted spoon, remove to paper towels. 
    Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings. 
    In drippings, saute onion and brown sugar until onion is tender and golden brown. 
    Place two bacon strips on each chicken breast half.  
    Top with caramelized onions and cheese. (I popped mine under the broiler for a few minutes to melt the cheese)
    Yield: 4 servings.

    Smothered Chicken Breasts Recipe

    Tuesday, January 7, 2014

    That Corn (I didn't name it someone else did)

    Let's face it corn is boring, well at least I think so.  There are only so many things you can do with corn, so I went in search of a recipe to excite us a little bit.  According to hubby and the kids this did it, even my pickiest eater asked for seconds and two of the three kids went back for thirds. 

    3 cups corn (I have used frozen, fresh and canned. They all work. If you use canned make sure to drain)
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 Tablespoons of sugar
    1/4 cup butter
    1/2 cup water
    1 Tablespoon of flour
    1/4 cup of milk

    Melt the butter in a large skillet.
    Add the corn to the skillet and “fry it for about 5 minutes.
    Mix in all the other ingredients and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes or until completely warmed through and until the sauce thickens.
    Serve while still hot.

    For a LARGE crowd, you can also double or triple the recipe and  just dump everything in the slow cooker and cook on low for 4-6 hours and it will turn out just as good.

    Raegan Mirick's photo.

    Salted Caramel Deep Dish Cookie Pie

    This pie was good, not the most amazing pie I have ever had but it was still pretty tasty.

    Cookie Pie
    1 cup butter (softened)
    1 1/2 cups brown sugar (packed)
    1 tsp. vanilla extract
    2 eggs
    1 tsp. baking soda
    1/4 tsp. salt
    2 1/2 cups flour
    12 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
    1 cup caramel bits
    sea salt

    Salted Caramel
    4 tb. butter
    1 cup brown sugar
    1/2 cup cream
     3 tsp. vanilla extract
    sea salt (to taste)

    Preheat oven to 350
    In a large mixing bowl cream together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy
    Add salt and the soda and gradually mix in the flour
    Stir in chocolate chips
    Coat a 12 in cast iron skillet with spray (I used a 9 in pie plate)
    Press half the cookie dough into the skillet
    Top with caramel bits
    Sprinkle with sea salt
    Top with remaining cookie dough
    Bake 25-30 minutes (Mine took closer to 45)

    Combine butter, brown sugar, cream, and vanilla over medium heat
    Cook and stir for about 8 minutes until it starts to thicken up
    Turn off heat and add sea salt
    Let cool 5 minutes before using

    Salted Caramel Deep Dish Cookie Pie

  • 1n 1 cup butter (softened)
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 12oz semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup caramel bits
  • sea salt

  •

    Monday, January 6, 2014

    Texas Roadhouse Rolls

    Texas Roadhouse Rolls

    These rolls were good however they are not "Texas Roadhouse Rolls".  I expected them to be much lighter and fluffier and mine didn't turn out quite as fluffy as I had hoped.  However the flavor was great and I guess that was the redeeming factor here.  My neighbor says that they are good enough to eat by themselves, so they must be good I even think he might have even gone back for thirds.  ;-)


    1. 4 tsp active dry yeast
    2. ½ cup sugar
    3. ½ cup warm water
    4. 2 quarts all-purpose flour (7-8 cups)
    5. 2 cups milk, scalded and cooled to lukewarm
    6. 2 whole eggs
    7. 3 Tbsp butter, melted and slightly cooled
    8. 2 tsp salt


    Dissolve yeast in warm water with a tsp of sugar; let stand until frothy.

    Combine yeast mixture, milk, ½ cup sugar and enough flour to make a medium batter (about the consistency of pancake batter).

    Beat thoroughly.

    Add melted butter, eggs, and salt. Beat well. Add enough flour to form a soft dough.

    Sprinkle a small amount of flour onto counter and let dough rest.

    Meanwhile, grease a large bowl.

    Knead dough until smooth and satiny and put in greased bowl; turn over to grease top. (I used the dough hook on my Kitchen-Aid to knead this for about 4-5 minutes).

    Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in bulk.

    Punch down.

    Turn out onto a floured board. Divide into portions for shaping; let rest 10 minutes.

    Shape dough into desired forms.

    Place on greased baking sheets.

    Let rise until doubled.

    Bake at 350°F. for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Baste immediately with butter.

    Sunday, January 5, 2014

    Menu for 1-6 to 1-12

    B- Leftover Muffins
    L- Corn Dogs
    D- Ribs, Green Bean Bundles, Macaroni and Cheese

    B- Pancakes and Bacon
    L- Cheese Quesadillas
    D- Meatloaf, Corn (New Recipe), and Twice Baked Potatoes

    B- Cereal
    L- Mini Pizzas
    D- Smothered Chicken Breasts (New Recipe Pg 130), Rice Pilaf, Cheese Biscuits and Broccoli with Parmesan

    B- Cinnamon Bread (This didn't end up happening lol)
    L- PB and J Spirals (New Recipe)
    D- Potato Soup

    B- Cereal (I can't seem to get moving here lately)
    L- Tacos
    D- Chicken, Angel Hair with Walnuts (New Recipe pg 210),Glazed Carrots, and Popovers

    B- Biscuits and Gravy
    L- Sandwich, Corn Dogs, and Mini Pizzas (Cleaning out the fridge/freezer)
    D- Beef Wellington Bundles (New Recipe pg 257), Green Beans and Potato Salad

    B- Cinnamon Rolls
    D- Leftovers

    Mandarin Orange Glazed Muffins

    Hubby and our neighbor loved these.
    2 cups all purpose flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp kosher salt
    1/4 tsp baking soda
    1/2 cup Sour Cream (I used a substitute not sour cream)
    1/2 cup buttermilk
    1/2 cup mandarin oranges in a can (chopped or processed into small pieces)
     1/2 cup mandarin orange juice (from the can of oranges)
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
    2 large eggs
    1 teaspoon melted  butter
    powdered sugar
    4 tsp mandarin juice
    Preheat oven to 350°F.  
    Line muffin tins with paper liners.
    Whisk flour, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and baking soda in medium bowl. 
    Whisk sour cream, buttermilk and juice in small bowl to blend. 
    Using electric mixer, beat sugar, butter, and oranges in large bowl to blend. 
    Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition until mixture is light and fluffy, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl. 
    Beat in dry ingredients in 3 additions alternately with sour cream/buttermilk mixture in 2 additions. 
    Mix just until blended. 
    Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
    Bake muffins until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 20 – 22 minutes. 
    Cool in pans 5 minutes. 
    Remove muffins from pans and cool on rack.

    Mix together melted butter, juice and enough powdered sugar to make a glaze.  
    Drizzle or pipe glaze over tops of warm muffins.

    Makes 48 mini muffins or 12 large muffins. 

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