Friday, June 15, 2012

Mexican Rice

Jeff really liked this recipe.  Great Spanish Rice.  I blended a can of diced tomatoes for the tomato paste and used 1 t cumin seed and 1 t ground cumin.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Kona Inn Banana Muffins

*This might not seem like much, but using lots of bananas and beating them into submission give these an especially moist and delicious flavor.  I made 3 batches in a week's time!  We love muffins at our house!

1/2 cup vegetable shortening (I like using butter-flavored)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
5 very ripe medium bananas (thawed, frozen bananas also work well)
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I probably used more--some finely chopped, some coarsely chopped)

Makes 12 muffins

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and set a rack in the lower-middle level.  Smear the cups of a muffin pan with a little shortening, sprinkle with a little flour, and shake the pan to distribute the flour.  Turn the pan upside down over the wastebasket and shake out any excess flour.

2.  Peel the bananas, place them in a large bowl, and beat them well with an electric mixer.  The riper the bananas and the more you beat them, the more tender your muffins will be.  Don't expect absolute smoothness; there will always be a few lumps.  Set aside.

3.  In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Add the sugar, shortening, eggs, and walnuts tot he bananas and mix well.  Add the dry ingredients tot he banana mixture and stir just until the batter is thoroughly blended.

4.  Pour the batter into a large measuring cup with a spout and fill the muffin cups about 2/3s full.

5.  Bake for 15 minutes, then check the muffins for doneness.  A toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin should come out clean.  If not, bake for 5 minutes more and check again.  When the toothpick comes out clean, remove the muffins from the oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes.

Turn the muffins into a cake using the same recipe.  Butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans and divide the batter between them.  Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool the cakes in their pans for 10 minutes.  Loose the edges with a knife and turn each out onto a platter.  To give the cakes a nice finish, place 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar in a strainer and sift it over the cakes.  Serve with whipped cream.

Heath Bar Chocolate & Toffee Cinnamon Rolls

2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 package active dry yeast
4 1/2 cups flour, divided + more for rolling
1/2 heaping tsp baking powder
1/2 scant tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 (1.4 oz each) Heath bars, crushed (I used Heath baking chips)

1/2 lb powdered sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk
2 T melted butter
 pinch of salt
1 (1.4 oz) Heath bar, crushed

In a medium saucepan, combine milk, canola oil, and sugar.  Heat the mixture until just before it reaches the boiling point. Remove from the heat and let cool for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the mixture is lukewarm. If the mixture is too warm, it will kill the yeast.  Add the package of active dry yeast and stir.
Let the yeast rest for 10 minutes, then add 4 cups all-purpose flour. Stir well.  Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for at least an hour.
After the yeast rises, mix in 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir well.
If you are ready to make the cinnamon rolls, continue with the next steps. If not, cover the pot with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
Working on a well-floured surface, shape the dough into a rectangle.  With a well-floured rolling pin, roll the dough thin. Pour melted butter over the dough and spread with a brush or spoon.  Sprinkle cinnamon and Heath Bar bits over the butter.
Starting from the far edge, roll up the dough. Do it as tightly as you can without pushing all the butter out the sides. Cut the roll into pieces that are 3/4 – 1 inch wide.  Spray baking pans with cooking spray and place the rolls in the pans, leaving a small space between the rolls.  Cover and let the rolls rest for 20-30 minutes so that they rise a little.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the pans in the oven and bake the rolls for 10 to 15 minutes, or until they are light golden brown.
While the rolls are baking, make the glaze. Put powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Add vanilla extract, milk, melted butter, and salt.  Stir until the glaze is smooth.  Stir in Heath Bar bits.  Drizzle the glaze over the rolls while they are still warm.  Serve.
Makes about 18 rolls.
*I have to say, the picture from the site I got this recipe looks better than mine...I think that maybe I added the glaze a little too soon, maybe a little less milk.  These were good and fun for a mix up, but I still think good ol' cinnamon and raisin are my favorite.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Chicken Chimi in the Oven

Adapted from Allrecipes

*These were alright, I think it is a good beginner recipe.  I'm looking for something a little more like what I grew up with.  My recommendations:  more cheese, add a can of green chilies after blending, increase the chicken to bean ratio (use on 1/2 can of beans), and decrease the cinnamon.

Olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 container Rojo's Fresh Mild Cut Salsa (or another good salsa)
2 T chili powder
1/2 t ground cumin
1/2 t cinnamon (decrease next time)
3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
16 oz can refried beans
10 flour tortillas


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease baking dish (I used 2 medium ones).

2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic in oil until tender. Stir in salsa and water. Season with chili powder, cumin, and cinnamon. Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor, and blend until smooth. Return mixture to the saucepan, stir in the chicken, and cook until heated through.

3. Spoon an equal amount of refried beans down center of each tortilla, and top with equal amounts of the chicken mixture. Fold tortillas over the filling, and secure with toothpicks. Arrange seam-side down in the prepared baking dish, and brush with olive oil.

4. Bake 15 minutes in preheated oven, turning every 5 minutes, until golden brown and crisp.

Serve with a fresh Mexican salad

Liz's Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

*My sister-in-law makes the best Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies...I've loved them since the first time I tried them.  They are so good!  Once she posted the ingredients on this site and I had forgotten about it until yesterday.  Here it is I was making them, I thought to myself, "Can this ratio of fat vs. flour/oatmeal be right?  I'll just try one dozen and see how they turn out."  No wonder they taste like heaven!  Even my husband likes them (not a peanut butter lover).  Indulge yourself...and be sure to share them...the ratio is so tasty. 

1/2 cup shortening  (I used butter-flavored)
1/2 cup butter
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 T milk
1 1/2 cup flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup quick cooking oats
2 cups chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the milk and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the peanut butter mixture.   Add oatmeal.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Drop by tablespoons onto ungreased baking sheets.
3. Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are golden. Allow cookies to cool for 1 minute on the cookie sheet before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

Sugar Cookie Icing

From Allrecipes

*Yummy frosting, easy to use, dries fairly quickly to make stacking cookies simple.

2 Cups confectioners' sugar
2 1/2 T cream
4 T butter
1 t vanilla extract

1.  In a saucepan, over medium heat, heat cream and butter until butter is melted.  Stir in vanilla and sugar.  Remove from heat, and beat with an electric mixer until thick and smooth.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Slow Cooker Pineapple-Pork Tacos

*These were so tasty; though, I've got to be honest, it was all the great toppings that really got me going.  I easily ate 3 myself.  I think this would work really well with leftover pork roast. Any pork shoulder roast I saw at the store was easily more than 1 pound so I ended up using country pork ribs (a less-expensive fatty cut).  The fat in the ribs didn't work as well in a crock pot, but after I trimmed them up, it was still time I make pork roast, I'm going to save some just for these tacos!

Adapted from Betty Crocker

1 1lb boneless pork shoulder roast, trimmed
1 package (1 oz)  taco seasoning (I used 2 T of the taco seasoning mix)
1 can (8oz) pineapple tidbits in juice, drained
2 t lime juice
1 package taco shells

cheddar cheese
sour cream

1.  Spray slow cooker with cooking spray.  Place pork in slow cooker; sprinkle with taco seasoning mix. (Here I added the pineapple juice, can use a little chicken stock--just drain after cooking, then add seasoning mix).  Cover, cook on low for 7 to 9 hours or until pork pulls apart easily with fork.
2.  Remove pork from slow cooker; shred pork.  Stir in pineapple and lime juice.
3.  To serve, divide pork among taco shells and top with garnishes.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Challah Bread Dough

*This made such a beautiful and delicious bread!  I love making dough in my bread machine--so simple and the bread came out perfectly cooked.

Bread ingredients:
2 large eggs (at room temperature) plus enough warm water to equal 1 1/2 cups
1/4 c oil
2 T sugar
2 t salt
4 1/2 cups bread flour
2 t active dry yeast (or 1 1/4 t bread machine yeast)

Glaze: 2 beaten egg yolks plus 1 T water
Topping: 1 1/2 T poppy seeds

1.  Place bread ingredients into bread machine and run on dough setting.
2.  Place dough on a lightly floured surface.  Divide into thirds, making 3 13-inch long ropes with tapered ends.  Pinch ropes together at one end, braid together.  Pinch together at other end and secure braid.
3.  Transfer braided dough to greased baking sheet; cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until double in size.
4.  Combine glaze ingredients and brush onto braid.  Sprinkle with poppy seeds and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or until done.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Adapted from Allrecipes

1/4 cup warm water
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 (5 ounce) can evaporated milk
3/4 cup white sugar
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
3 T olive oil
1 egg, beaten
2 t pumpkin pie spice
5 cups all-purpose flour, or more if needed

1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 T pumpkin pie spice
2 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
1/2 c raisins

1/2 t vanilla extract
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 T butter, melted
1 cup confectioners' sugar

1.  Pour the warm water into a large mixing bowl, and sprinkle yeast over the water. Allow to stand until the yeast begins to form a creamy foam, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in evaporated milk, white sugar, pumpkin, olive oil, and egg. Mix until thoroughly combined. Mix in 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice, then add about 5 cups of flour, or as needed to make a stiff dough. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Dough will be slightly sticky. Form the dough into a ball, place into an oiled bowl, cover with a cloth, and let rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes. (The dough will rise, but it won't double.)

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 11x16inch baking dish.

3. Punch down the dough, and roll it out to a rectangle shape on a floured work surface until it measures about 18 inches wide and 26 inches long. Brush the dough with 1/4 cup melted butter. Mix the brown sugar, spices, and raisins, and sprinkle the mixture evenly over the dough. Roll up the dough the long way, and pinch the seam closed, then cut the dough into 12 equal-sized pieces with a sharp knife. Lay the rolls into the prepared baking dish.

4. Bake in preheated oven until lightly golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes.

5. Mix icing and spread on rolls while still warm.

*This was a fun way to have pumpkin, but I will admit, I like regular cinnamon rolls better.  Great icing!

Pumpkin Chocolate chip Bread

3 cups sugar (this seemed a bit excessive to me, next time I'll half it)
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin
4 eggs
2/3 c oil
2/3 c apple juice*
3 c flour
3 t cinnamon
2 t ginger
1 t ground cloves
2 t baking soda
1 1/2 t salt
1 c chocolate chips (to be added last)*

*A variation of this recipe would be to add orange juice and sweetened dried cranberries in place of these ingredients.

Combine wet ingredients.  Mix well.  Combine dry ingredients.  Add to wet.  Beat until just moistened.  add the chocolate chips (or cranberries).  Pour batter into greased and floured pans (I would use parchment paper on the bottom of your pans).  Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes.  Cool in pans for 10 minutes.  Makes 6 mini loaf pans for 2 large loaf pans.

*A sweet dessert bread.  My kids and I liked it--my husband doesn't think pumpkin and chocolate chips go together (his loss!).