Monday, March 29, 2010

Paula Deen's Ultimate Coffee Cake

If you are ever in a pinch and need a breakfast or brunch item to bring to a gathering, this one is perfect.

I made this for brunch with my family the last time my sister was here visiting. It was nearly gone even before the eggs and pancakes came off the griddle. This is ooey and gooey and sticky sweet. I loved it!

The best part is that it is so easy to make. Throw it together the night before and bake it off in the morning. Your friends and family will thing you are so talented. Just nod, smile and say thank you. They don't need to know you didn't slave over this all morning!

**Against Me!, Don't Lose Touch** "Constant entertainment for our restless minds. Constant stimulation for epic appetites"

Ultimate Coffee Cake
Source: Paula Deen
Yield: 8 servings

16 to 18 unbaked frozen dinner rolls
1 (3-ounce) package regular butterscotch pudding mix, not instant
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted

The night before place frozen rolls in well greased Bundt pan. Sprinkle dry pudding mix over rolls. Sprinkle brown sugar over pudding mix. Sprinkle chopped pecans over brown sugar. Pour melted butter over all. To prevent the dough from forming a hard crust while its rising overnight, cover with a damp towel or tightly wrap with plastic wrap. Let rise overnight at room temperature, about 8 to 10 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake in oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Turn pan over onto a serving platter to remove. Serve by pulling apart chunks with forks.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Favorite Wheat Bread

I've been a bad blogger! I swear I've been meaning to post, life has been wild the past couple weeks. Work is crazy and by the time I get home and have time to write a post, I'm half asleep on the couch. I'm learning about policy, rule making and building codes. My brain is mushy by the end of the day!

During my time away from the blog a friend asked if I had a wheat bread recipe I would be willing to share (hi Ashley!). I can't believe I haven't shared this already! I make this bread quite often. It is my favorite wheat bread, it isn't whole wheat but it is soft and it comes out perfect every time. This is a great sandwich bread.

Favorite Wheat Bread

Source: All Recipes
Yield: 3 loaves (I usually halve this and make one big loaf)

3 cups warm water
2 packages active dry yeast
1/3 cup honey
5 cups bread flour
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon salt
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted

In a large bowl, mix warm water, yeast, and 1/3 cup honey. Add 5 cups white bread flour, and stir to combine. Let set for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly.

Mix in 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1/3 cup honey, and salt. Stir in 2 cups whole wheat flour. Flour a flat surface and knead with whole wheat flour until not real sticky - just pulling away from the counter, but still sticky to touch. This may take an additional 2 to 4 cups of whole wheat flour. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with a dishtowel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled.

Punch down, and divide into 3 loaves. Place in greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans, and allow to rise until dough has topped the pans by one inch.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes; do not overbake. Lightly brush the tops of loaves with 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine when done to prevent crust from getting hard. Cool completely

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Molasses Glazed Walnut Scones

I've been eyeing this scone recipe for a few months now. I've never made scones and really...I didn't think I even liked them. Something about this recipe sounded really good. I think it was the glaze!

I didn't have any pecans so I used walnuts instead. I feel like you could even use almonds. Also, I didn't have maple extract so I used a tablespoon or so of real maple syrup. I had just put the scones in the oven to bake when I noticed that I forgot to put in the sugar. DUH! It was too late and I figured when they came out they would be duds.

Nope! They were awesome. The glaze adds so much to them and made up for the fact that I forgot the sugar! The egg yolks make for a soft scone instead of one that easily falls apart. I will definitely make these again...with the sugar!

Molasses Glazed Walnut Scones
Source: Bon Appetit
Yield: 8 scones

2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3/4 cup pecans, toasted, broken into pieces
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon maple extract (I used maple syrup!)

2 tablespoons whipping cream (I used skim milk)
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon mild-flavored (light) molasses

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400°F. Combine flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl; whisk to blend. Add 6 tablespoons butter; using fingertips, rub in until butter is reduced to pea-size pieces. Mix in pecans. Whisk buttermilk, egg yolks, and extract in medium bowl. Add to flour mixture. Toss with fork until dough comes together in moist clumps. Gather dough into ball. Press dough out on lightly floured surface to 8-inch round; cut into 6-8 wedges.

Arrange wedges 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 16 minutes; transfer to rack.

Whisk remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar, 4 tablespoons butter, and cream in heavy small saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves. Remove pan from heat. Whisk in powdered sugar and molasses. Spread glaze over warm scones. Let stand until glaze sets, at least 30 minutes. (Who can wait 30 minutes????)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup

I don't normally eat chicken but I had such a craving for a good, hearty, chicken noodle soup. At first I thought I would go all out and make my own chicken stock. But then when the time came to buy the ingredients and make the soup I decided to go for organic chicken broth instead. I did compromise and made the egg noodles from scratch. I loved that part.

Since we don't really eat chicken in our house we didn't have any leftover chicken kicking around. I bought one of those small rotisserie chickens near the deli counter at the grocery store. The cold ones are nearly a dollar off so it worked out well. I got a lot of meat off it. The cats got to have some too.

The noodles were easy to make. My suggestion would be to roll them real thin and let them dry for quite a while. Mine ended up being pretty thick and stuck together. Still...they were delicious!!

**Alkaline Trio; Dine, Dine My Darling** "Let's dine, dine, dine my darling, Let's have our last supper, a toast to lovers And we'll dance real sweet and slow."

Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup
Source: ME!
Yield: 4 servings

1 large onion, chopped
2-3 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
Olive Oil
1 box chicken brother (or make your own)
1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
Rosemary and Thyme
Egg Noodles (recipe below)

Heat the olive oil and then add the onion, celery, and carrots and cook a couple minutes until really fragrant. Becareful not to brown the onions. Add the stock and herbs and bring to a simmer. Now add the chicken and noodles and let cook on low for 30 or so minutes to get all those flavors developed.

Egg Noodles
Source: One Tree Past the Fence
Yield: A bunch. :)

3 egg yolks
1 whole egg
3 tsp. cold water (I ended up using about 6 Tbs.)
1 tsp. salt
2 cups of flour

Beat the egg yolks and the egg together with the cold water and salt. Gradually spoon in the flour. Dough will be pretty stiff. Knead until fairly smooth and then roll out thin. Cut into strips and allow to try a few hours.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Sweet and Sour Tofu

This, my friends, is an awesome and easy vegetarian meal.

Seth suggested that we have stir fry and I gave him a look like, "you've got to be joking me." I SUCK at doing anything to tofu but baking or grilling it. It always sticks to the pan and falls apart and tastes more like oil than anything else.

Not this time. I found this great recipe and it turned out perfect. I wouldn't have changed a thing. The tofu was flavorful and stayed together. The veggies and sauce were perfect. This is going to be added to my list of recipes that I use often.

Sweet and Sour Tofu
Source: Adapted from (Never Home)Maker
Yield: 2-4 servings (we ate it all)

1 tbsp cornstarch
3/4 cup vegetable broth
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp ketchup (I used homemade with chipotle peppers)
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, sliced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 14 oz package of firm or extra firm tofu, pressed and cut into 1 inch cubes

In a large bowl, mix together the cornstarch and vegetable broth, then add the vinegar, sugar, ketchup, soy sauce, ginger and cayenne pepper until well mixed. Add tofu and marinate an hour or so.

In a large skillet or wok, stir-fry the garlic, onion, and carrots in oil about 5 minutes.

Add the pepper and mushrooms and stir-fry for another 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the sauce mix (NOT THE TOFU) to the veggies and cook until mixture thickens, approx 5 to 7 minutes.

Add tofu and allow to cook at least 5 more minutes.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

White Hot Chocolate

I stayed home sick the other day. I hardly got off the couch and when I did the cat gave me the dirtiest look! He was so happy to have me stay home so he could snuggle and cat nap with me.

In the middle of the afternoon I wanted something warm for my scratchy throat...but I also wanted something sweet. Hot chocolate! Oh...but....I can have hot chocolate any time. This was a special time. I was sick after all! White hot chocolate. Perfect.

This so sweet and wonderful. I made mine with skim milk but if you prefer something else go ahead! Extra points if you serve in a bright and colorful mug in the winter time!

White Hot Chocolate
Source: ME!
Yield: 1 serving

1-1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 bar of white chocolate (I used Ghirardelli)
1/2 t. vanilla
Shake of cinnamon

Heat the milk until hot...not boiling. Add chopped white chocolate and stir until it is all melted. Stir in vanilla and a shake or two of cinnamon. Heaven!!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Baked Onion Rings

Onion rings are a treat that I love but EVERY TIME I have them I feel so sick to my stomach after. The same with anything fried. My stomach just can't handle it. I had to make a rule that no matter how much I want something fried...I just can't do it.

I could, however, enjoy onion rings if they are baked! And boy are baked onion rings amazing. I tried two recipes and have decided on a favorite. It isn't the healthier option although that one was great.

The picture below is of the healthier version using flax seed. You can find her recipe here. I thought they were really good but it was a bit of a process to make them.

A few nights later I made a Martha Stewart version that I really loved. It wasn't complicated. Just straight up delicious. And I didn't have a belly ache after!! I served these with homemade chipotle ketchup. If you have never made homemade ketchup....DO IT!

Baked Onion Rings
Source: Martha Stewart
Yield: 4 servings (that is what she claims but that served me and Seth)

1 1/2 cups cornflakes
1/2 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup flour
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 medium sweet onion
2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a food processor, pulse cornflakes and breadcrumbs until fine crumbs form, then transfer to a medium bowl. In another medium bowl, whisk together egg, buttermilk, flour, and cayenne and season with salt and pepper.

Dip onion rings in egg mixture (letting excess drip off) and dredge in cornflake mixture; place on a large plate. Pour oil onto a rimmed baking sheet. Place in oven and heat 2 minutes. Remove sheet from oven and tilt to coat evenly with oil. Arrange onion rings on sheet. Bake, turning once, until onion rings are golden brown, about 16 minutes. Season with salt.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Everyday is Valentine's Day.

I made these little delights for Valentine's Day to share with my husband and my in-laws. It has only taken me a half a month to upload the pictures and write some text!

Valentine's Day isn't really that big of a deal at our house. We tend to either make a really nice meal or go do something out of the ordinary. This year we went to the Seadog for brunch. It was fantastic.

I used my mother's Sugar Cookie recipe for these cookies and frosted them with royal icing. You will find my notes and a link for more info on royal icing in the Sugar Cookie link. Frosting cookies with royal icing is a process! I spent a full afternoon doing this! BUT they are so pretty!!