Wednesday, October 31, 2007

cookie failure

alright anne, here you go..except, I'm not posting a recipe..because I failed at it.

So, I pulled the Chocolate Chip and Pumpkin Cookie recipe from Mixing Bowls and Measuring Spoons ( one of the links on the cookin' sisters site)

and I must have somehow screwed them up because they don't taste like much. I was sure they would have more flavor, I think I must have missed an ingredient or a step or something. I wouldn't put it past myself. Although, upon reflection, I used Ghiardelli dark chocolate chocolate chips...and those are a tad bitter and BIG chips. I dont think I baked them long enough becuase the chocolate chips were not very melted. Also, my mom usually uses a melon scoop for transporting the clumps of cookie dough from the bowl to the cookie sheet, but I grabbed the ice cream scoop instead and then, as I continue to scoop, wonder why the heck these clumps are so big! They lookd more like chocolate chip pumpkiin muffin tops without the muffin bottoms! haha. Oh well, I guess the flavor of pumpkin can be subtle? I havn'et been cooking/baking/experimenting much because have been doing a lot of dancing so as to distract myself and not to think about unpleasant recent events. please say a prayer for the healing of broken hearts. Anyways, my next endeavor is also pulled from another linked blog site: Pink Lemonade Cupcakes, so keep your eyes open for that jewel..yum..

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ah the cooking blog is slow these days. Perhaps everyone is busy, too? This must be a busy time of year and homemade baking and cooking are hard to come by...let alone blogging about it!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Daniel's Dumplings

I finally made apple dumplings on Saturday afternoon and it was a lot fun! Anne came over with the baby and she, of course, helped me out. Truth be told, I'm not too good when it comes to dough so her tips were a huge help.

Apple Dumplings
An easy recipe for a warm fall treat
  • 4 apples, thinly sliced (the cook book is old and two apple of our modern size will work fine. I think apples were smaller back when this recipe was written)
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoons of Cinnamon

Mix all three ingredients together in bowl and set a side while making the dough.

  • 2 cups flours
  • 1/2 butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 5-7 tablespoons of ice water

In mixing bowl combine flour and salt. Cut in butter with two knifes or pastry blender. Add 5 to 7 tablespoons of ice water until dough in manageable. Once dough is manageable form a ball, then divide the ball into two smaller balls. Roll each ball into a 10 inch square (square-ish will work fine) then cut 4 equal size squares. In the end you should have 8 dough sqares.

Fill each square with about 2 tablespoons of apple mixture. Top off with a little butter. Pull 4 corners of square together and pinch together so no juices leak out. Egg wash can be brushed on top of dumplings if you wish. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

Serve to a loving fiancé and you have yourself a successful recipe!

Peeling the apples

Sugar, cinnamon, and set a side

The dough was a eaiser than it usually is for me

This part is always the hardest for me, not this time though, I'm a champ!

Butter on top and they're ready to be wrapped

My first, of many to come, Apple Dumplings!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Hoosier Chili

I posted a while ago about wanting to find a good chili recipe and I've found it! A friend let me borrow a really cool cookbook. It’s written by a woman who grew up on an Indiana farm in the 1950s, when horses still plowed the fields and soap and butter were homemade.

2 tbsp of butter
1 large white onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 lb of ground beef
1 28-ounce can of tomatoes
1 46-ounce can of tomato juice
1 lb can of kidney beans, drained
¼ tsp of sugar
½ tsp of ground cumin
To taste:
Ground red pepper
Chili powder
Salt & pepper

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet and sauté’ onion and garlic until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add 1 pound of ground beef and cook over a high heat, breaking up the meat into bite-size chunks, for 7 to 8 minutes. (This is where I transferred everything to a stock pot then I ->) Add the canned tomatoes, tomato juice, and kidney beans. Season the chili with sugar, ground cumin, and other spices from above. Cover and simmer, stir from time to time, for about an hour.

It seemed like I was using a lot of chili powder but this makes a very nice portion of chili. The seasoning will really just depend on what you want. Daniel loves hot food so this had just enough bite to it, not to much though. I also cubed two potatoes to toss in the chili and everyone seemed to really like it.

Recipe from Memories of a Midwestern Farm by Nancy Hutchens. I'm also going to try her recipe "Get you a husband Apple Pie". Since my soon-to-be husband’s favorite desert is apple pie I thought this sounded perfect.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Pumpkin Milkshake Experiment

I was in Spelunkers in Front Royal, VA, a couple weeks ago and saw they were selling pumpkin milkshakes. It sounded yummy to me, so I tried to make some:

2 scoops vanilla ice cream
2 tbsp. canned pumpkin
1/2 cup milk

If you really like pumpkin pie, or the taste of pumpkin, you will really like these. If not, I'd substitute the canned pumpkin for two generous squirts of Hershey's chocolate syrup.

Happy Fall!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Roasting Pot

This is a great and easy long as you can start dinner about 3 hours before you intend to eat it. I got it from my mother in law, who found it in the L. L. Bean cookbook.

Pot Roast
1 3lb whole chuck roast with fat on one side
1 T flour
2 c water
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
salt and pepper
2 bay leaves (optional)
1 t dried thyme
2 T dried parsley
chopped fresh vegetables of your choice

Sear roast all over, starting with the fat side. (If there's not enough fat, film the bottom of the pan with oil.) Remove the browned meat. Stir in flour, cook slowly, stirring a couple of minutes, then add the water a little at a time, stirring. Toss the chopped onion, carrot, and garlic into the pot. Lay meat on top. Salt and pepper all over. Add the herbs and bring to a boil. Drape a piece of foil over the meat and simmer very gently for 2 hours. Add cut up veggies and simmer another 40 minuts, covered, until veggies are just tender.

I used broccoli and red potatoes.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I stole this one off a box. But it's yummy.

I won't pretend this is a creative, innovative dish. Nope, I stole it (as if I don't steal all my recipes) straight off the back of the Stove Top Stuffing box. But it's really yummy. And quick, which is perfect for when I get off work at 5.

There are four variations. I've only made the Bruschetta one (it's in my oven right now, and smelling quite good...) but I want to try the others too.

Easy Layered Chicken Bake

All types call for:
1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed
1 pkg (6 oz) Stove Top Stuffing

Bruschetta-style includes
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
1 can (28 oz) Italian-style stewed tomatoes, well-drained
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken in 13x9 inch baking dish. Sprinkle with seasoning. Combine stuffing mix with 1 1/2 cups of water
2. Spread add-ins over chicken. Sprinkle with topping. Top with stuffing mixture
3. Bake 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Other styles:
1/2 tsp of poultry seasoning;
add-ins: 1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup mixed with 1/2 c of milk; 2 cups frozen green beans
toppings: 1/2 mozzarella cheese; 1/4 sliced almonds

Cheesy Mushroom and Broccoli:
1/2 tsp garlic powder
add-ins: 1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of broccoli soup mixed with 1/2 cup of milk; 1 jar (4 1/2 oz) of sliced mushrooms, drained
toppings: 1/2 shredded cheddar cheese

1 Tbsp chili powder
add-ins: 1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes, well drained; 1/2 cup salsa; 2 cups frozen corn
toppings: 1/2 cup shredded Mexican-style cheese; 1/2 cup sliced green onions

They say you can "mix and match" toppings and add-ins, but I'm not sure which ones I would want to mix. My buzzer just sounded, so it's time for me to mangiare!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Helpful Link

Here is a link to Danielle Bean's quick recipes post. Lots of experienced ladies dishing out the convenience recipes over there. I've already printed my copy and am scanning it for dishes that fit the eczema diet. Go get your copy now!

Just in Time for the Fall Weather

It's supposed to be 58 degrees here tomorrow! Enough of this 90 degree weather. Thank goodness.

Sweet Potato Casserole
3 lbs canned sweet potatoes, drained
1 3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 tsp finely grated orange zest
1/2 cup OJ
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened

Topping: 3/4 c chopped pecans, 1/4 c brown sugar, 3 T melted butter

Grease a 6 cup casserole dish and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ingredients. Using a potato masher, mash to make a smooth puree. Spread the mixture evenly in the baking dish. For the optional topping combine those ingredients in a small bowl and spread on top of the puree. Bake at 375 until the top begins to brown about 1 hour.
Adapted from Sleep On It by Carol Gordon

I would suggest using only 1/2 tsp orange zest (it's very zesty, you know). Also less salt. I used canned yams instead of sweet potatoes (who knows what the difference is between them anyway). Quite a nice side dish. Sweet enough to be a healthy dessert.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Loving to Cook for My Love

Dear Fellow Bakers,

My fiancé, Daniel, loves pie, apple crisp, apple cider...anything made with apples and his heart is content. I want to surprise him with apple dumplings as autumn is approaching. I’ve looked at many recipes and they all look like they would taste good but does anyone have an apple dumpling recipe they've used and know is delicious?

The Future Mrs. Daniel Smith

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

More zoup!

My grandma loves to tell this story: when she came down to help my mom after Laura was born during a blizzard in February, Grandma made a pot of soup for dinner. I guess I enjoyed it because when I was finished I held out my bowl to my grandma and said: More zoup!

Anyway, I didn't find this particular soup that delicious, but it fit the diet and Laura (and Peter) found it post -worthy. So here ya go...

Chicken and Rice Soup
1 2/3 pounds chicken (I used drumsticks. Peter prefers dark meat.)
5 cups water
1 bay leaf
parsely, dried - a dash (fresh 1/4 cup)
1 onion, chopped
Place these ingredients in the crockpot on low for four hours. Remove chicken from broth. Cut into bite size pieces. Discard bay leaf. Pour broth into a pot on the stove.
1 cup carrot, chopped
3/4 cup rice
Add these ingredients to broth on the stove. Add the chicken to the broth. Simmer, covered for 30-40 minutes, until rice is tender.

How could I forget?! Salt and pepper! And plenty of it!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Traditional Meat Loaf

A meal that will warm a home with tradition and good smells!

1 lbs lean ground beef
¼ cup milk
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
¼ tsp sage
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground mustard
¼ tsp pepper
1 garlic clove, finely chopped or 1/8 tsp garlic powder (I used garlic clove)
2 slices bread with crust, torn into mall pieces
1 small onion, chopped to make 3 tablespoons
1/3 cup ketchup, chili sauce or barbecue sauce (I used ketchup)

1 egg

1. Heat oven to 350°F

2. Mix all ingredients together except ketchup. Make a 8x4 loaf from the meat mixture. Place on an ungreased pan with some sort of edge so juices won't drip off. Spread ketchup over top of the loaf.

3. Insert meat thermometer so tip is in center of load. Bake uncovered 50-60 minutes or until thermometer reads 160°F. Let loaf sit for 5 minutes before serving.