Friday, January 29, 2010

Sugar Cookies

I made trial run sugar cookies this afternoon. A dear friend from high school is getting married at the end of February and her bridal shower is coming up. I'm unable to go because of all sorts of reasons but I'm making these cookies, the chicken salad, and doing some other things. Like most everything else I make I found the best recipe here for what the bride wanted. They're thick, soft, and with homemade icing.
Not the shapes I'm going to use for the shower but...
...I just got this huge tube of all sorts of shapes. It was fun to use them.
Homemade frosting. I'm going to stick with white for the shower.
Dan came home while I was making them and held MG. We might or might not have let her taste of the dough.
The end product.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Shrimp and Corn Chowder

I got this recipe from RealSimple, and it was quick and easy and really good. I have never cooked with leeks before, and I really liked the flavor they gave to the soup. In the magazine the recipe is actually called "Shrimp and Corn chowder with fennel," but I couldn't find fennel at the store, so I left it out. I also added a cup of chicken broth because it didn't seem to have enough liquid. It still turned out great.

2 tbsp unsalted butter

2 leeks (white and light green parts), chopped

2 tbsp a.p. flour

1 8oz. bottle clam juice

3 cups milk

3-4 potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes (I didn't bother to peel them)

3/4 lb. med. cooked peeled and deveined shrimp

1 10oz pkg. frozen corn

2 tbsp. parsley, chopped

1 lemon, squeezed

Heat the butter in a large saucepan over med. heat. Add the leeks and season with s&p and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender; stir in the flour

Add the clam juice, milk and potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occastionally, for 12 minutes or so. Stir in the shrim and corn and cook until the potatoes are tender and the shrimp and corn are heated through, 3-5 minutes. Stir in the parsley and lemon juice.

(Image and recipe courtesy of

Friday, January 15, 2010

Beer Bread

This is delicious!! It's also really easy. I had it mixed and in the oven in about 3 minutes

3 cups flour (sifted - I just spooned it into the measuring cup)
3 teaspoons baking powder (omit if using Self-Rising Flour)
1 teaspoon salt (omit if using Self-Rising Flour)
1/4 cup sugar
1 (12 ounce) can beer (All we have in the house these days is light beer so I'm not sure how it would taste with dark. I would think only better, but I guess that depends if you like dark beer.)
1/2 cup melted butter (1/4 cup will do just fine and I highly recommend 1/4 cup. I started with 1/2 cup and it bubbled over and filled my kitchen with smoke so I had to finish baking it in my toaster oven.)

1 - Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2 - Mix dry ingredients and beer.
3 - Pour into a greased loaf pan.
4 - Pour melted butter over mixture.
5 - Bake 1 hour, remove from pan and cool for at least 15 minutes.

6 - NOTES: Sifting flour for bread recipes is a must-do. Most people just scoop the 1 cup measure in the flour canister and level it off. That compacts the flour and will turn your bread into a "hard biscuit" as some have described. That's because they aren't sifting their flour! If you do not have a sifter, use a spoon to spoon the flour into the 1 cup measure. Try it once the "correct" way and you will see an amazing difference in the end product.

I found this recipe at Recipe Zaar and it's amazing. The photo is from there too.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Paula's Chicken Pot Pie

I read about this over at Bless Us Oh Lord a long time ago but recently made it for my in-laws. They loved it and so did we. It's added the recipes made in our home!

2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast (I used more)
2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots
1/2 cup frozen green peas
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of chicken soup (I used the fat-free can)
1 cup chicken broth
Salt and pepper, optional
1 1/2 cups instant biscuit mix
1 cup milk
1 stick melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a greased 2-quart casserole (I almost used the wrong pan), layer the chicken, eggs, carrots, and peas. Mix the soup, chicken broth, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Pour over the layers. Stir together the biscuit mix and milk, and pour this over the casserole. Drizzle butter over the topping. Bake until the topping is golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Rotting Fruit

I had some rotting bananas that needed to be used before they went bad so I did some baking yesterday. The banana bread I made Charlie-friendly (aka dairy free) for a package I'm sending to Anne. I also have a huge can of pumpkin that needs to be put to use so I'm either going to make pumpkin bread or pumpkin cream cheese muffins for a friend of mine that lent me her high chair over the Christmas season when my house was filled with babies.

Banana Bread
2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 eggs, beaten
1-1/2 cups mashed banana (5 medium)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cooking oil or melted butter or margarine
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (omitted for Charlie's sake)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of one 9x5x3-inch or two 7-1/2x3-1/2x2-inch loaf pans; set aside. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside.

2. In a medium bowl combine eggs, banana, sugar, and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy). Fold in nuts. Spoon batter into prepared pan(s). If desired, sprinkle Streusel Topping over batter.

3. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes for 9x5x3-inch pan or 40 to 45 minutes for 7-1/2x3-1/2x2-inch pans or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean (if necessary, cover loosely with foil the last 15 minutes of baking to prevent overbrowning). Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack. Wrap and store overnight before slicing.

4. Makes 1 loaf (16 slices)