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Friday, January 15, 2010

Layered Shrimp Dip

16 ounces, weight Cream Cheese, softened
1 bottle (8-9 Oz. Bottle) Cocktail Sauce Of Your Choice
2 pounds Cooked, Chopped Shrimp
1 cup Chopped Tomato
1 cup Chopped Green Onions
2 cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
    Layer in a dish as listed above.
    Serve with crackers, or toasted baguette.

    Mexican Bubble Pizza

    This is my own take on a recipe that I found in our neighborhood cookbook. We love it so much! I have experimented with different kinds of biscuit batters when I've forgotten to purchase refrigerator biscuits. Normal Corn bread batter will be great when you drop it  in a dumpling fashion on top right before baking.

    Mexican Bubble Pizza
    2 cans of chili
    1 can diced tomatoes
    1 tbsp taco seasoning
    1 can Pillsbury Grands golden corn biscuits or buttermilk biscuits
    2 cups shredded chedddar cheese
    Toppings: Lettuce, chopped tomato, salsa, olives, green onion, Sour cream

    Heat oven to 375 degrees. Pour chili and tomatoes into a pot on the stove. Warm the chili mixture, add in the taco seasoning stir untill hot. Cut each biscuit into 8 pieces. Add pieces into the chili mixture- stir gently just folding the mixture. Spoon into an ungreased 9x13 pan. Bake for 18-23 mins or until golden brown. Remove from the oven sprinkle with cheese and replace in the ove for 5-7 mins until the cheese melts. Serve with toppings on top.

    Thursday, January 14, 2010

    Low-Fat Broccoli Cheese Soup with a Twist!

    This Soup was a hit at my house! You won't even miss the cream, butter or flour in this gluten free lower fat version of the classic comfort food Broccoli Cheese Soup! I improvised a bit with the ingredients. The sweet pepper in this recipe adds a little more flavor and additional vitamin C.

    Low-Fat Broccoli Cheese Soup 
    with a Twist
    3 cups water
    4 Cups Broccoli florets
    1/2 cup  onion; chopped
    2 tbsp instant chicken bouillon or more to taste
    1/8 ts pepper
    1/8 ts nutmeg
    1 1/2 cups 1% milk or fat free evaporated milk
    2 average sized baked potatoes mostly peeled (I just used left overs cold right out of the fridge)
    1/2 green pepper roughly diced

    Heat 3 cups water in a large pot until boiling. Add broccoli, onion, and bullion. Cover, and cook until tender (about 10 min.) Place into your blender canister: half of the cooked veggies, diced green pepper and the potatoes. Blend vegetables with approximately 1 cup of the broth, until smooth. Pour the contents of the blender back into your soup pot. Add the milk and spices and heat through (don't let it boil again), stirring constantly. Serve with a sprinkle of shredded cheese.  Enjoy!

    Tuesday, January 12, 2010

    Adventures in Sourdough!

    I used the following recipe for my first attempt at Sourdough bread. I liked it but didn't love it for the following reasons
    1 it didn't turn out crunchy crusty enough
    2 it made a lot of bread, which actually turned out to be a great thing because I had more to share when our good friends came over and I think they liked it.
    3 I am not sure if the recipe can contain yeast  to qualify as an official sour dough bread
    4 the next day it was super crumbly
    Any readers with suggestions in the above mentioned arena's are more than welcome to leave advice--in fact I beg for it :)

    So the search for a perfect Sour Dough Recipe continues...

    Sourdough Bread I
    3/4 cup milk
    2 tbsp butter
    2 tbsp sugar
    1 tbsp olive oil
    2 tsp salt
    1 TBSP active dry yeast
    1/2 cup warm water
    2 cups sourdough starter
    5-6 cups bread flour approx.
    Cornmeal to sprinkle on pan


    In small saucepan, scald milk and butter. Set aside and allow to cool until lukewarm.

    In large bowl, add sugar, salt, yeast, and warm water. Pour in warm milk and melted butter. Stir until yeast is dissolved. Mix in starter. Add flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough is too thick to be mixed with wooden spoon.

    Turn dough out onto floured board and begin to knead for about 10 minutes, adding flour when dough gets sticky.
    Put dough in greased bowl and turn over so that dough top is greased. Cover and let rise in warm place for 60 minutes or until double in size.
    Punch down dough. Turn onto board and knead for about 3 minutes.
    Shape dough into a large round loaf or two small round loaves. Place on greased baking sheet sprinkled with corn meal Cover and let rise for 45 minutes or until double in size.

    Preheat oven 400 degrees F. Using a sharp knife, slash an X on the 
    bread top. Bake for 40 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when tapped on.

    Monday, January 11, 2010

    How to prepare a Steakhouse Baked Potato

    Try this once and you'll never go back to the boring old tinfoil method!

    Steakhouse Baked Potatoes
    8 baking potatoes
    1 tablespoon EVOO or canola oil
    2 teaspoons coarse sea salt

    Scrub your potatoes until completely clean. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Use a fork to poke holes in each potato. Brush each potato with oil and roll in coarse salt. Place directly on baking sheet and bake for about 1 hour, or until tender. Serve with a choice of toppings. OOOOH!!

    Sugar Cookie Perfection

    As a young girl I remember going to the old Morman Handicraft in downtown SLC , where my Grandma worked year round. At christmas she was Mrs. Claus and kids would come in to sit on her lap. She would make the most wonderful sugar cookies to hand out. We all loved to go and visit her a Christmas so we could have a cookie and sit on her lap! Cooking brings such great memories back to me. This recipe turns out such great sugar cookies every time, I use them for every holiday!
    Sugar Cookies 
    1 cup butter
    1 ½ cups sugar
    3 eggs
    1 tsp vanilla (or almond extract)
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 3/4 tsp soda
    6 cups flour
    1 tsp lemon juice
    1 cup sour cream (or you can use plain yogurt)

    Cream shortening and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix again.  Pour in the sour cream and lemon juice until incorporated.  Add dry ingredients and stir. Chill for 1 hour. Roll out and cut into desired shapes. Bake at 350° for 10 min on a cookie sheet lined with parchment.

    Friday, January 8, 2010

    The Year of the Brownie

    Cupcakes were huge in 2009, and rightly so because they are just so cute and fit so nicely in your hand! You could even have one for each hand and they do have less calories in them that a real cake don't they???ha ha ha!
    Anyway- Yesterday I was watching Studio 5 and they mentioned that they thought that 2010 would be the year of the Brownie. They featured these Morroccan Spiced Brownies that I thought looked interesting,  and also showed a couple of different and exotic brownies, they all sound so delicious. There are so many different way's you can change up a basic brownie to make it original. I thought I'd keep it semi-simple but different than the usual-- so here you go.

    Raspberry Rocky Road Brownies 
    1 box Brownie mix (or other favorite brownie recipe)
    2-3 cups fresh or frozen raspberries, divided in half
    1 cup roasted salted almonds or pecans.
    2 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
    1/3 cup chocolate topping

    Prepare brownie batter as directed. Fold in 1 cup raspberries, and ½ cup almonds.
    Bake in a 9x9 pan at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out slightly moist. Evenly sprinkle marshmallows and nuts over the brownies. Place under the broiler for 1-2 minutes or until the marshmallows turn slightly golden brown. Allow to cool to room temperature before cutting, and then top with remaining raspberries and chocolate topping.
    Makes about 12 individual brownies.
    **Try cutting them out with a heart shaped cookie cutter and voi-la a sweet-heart treat for your special Sweetheart!

    Brownie Tips
    1. Always hand stir brownies
    (This helps to prevent over-mixing, and reduces air in the batter which will result in a cake-like brownie. We want fudgey chewy, not cakey.)
    2. Don't over-beat the batter
    (Activates the gluten in the wheat, which results in a tough brownie. We want melt-in- your-mouth texture, not tough!)
    3. Don't over-bake
    (Dries the brownie out - better to under-bake and let them set up. Brownies are done once an inserted toothpick comes out slightly moist.)
    4. Cool completely before cutting
    (They will stick to the pan or to the knife, but if you want a warm gooey brownie, go for it but you may benefit from the use of a spoon :)

    Thursday, January 7, 2010

    Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

    If you love love love the flavors of Chicken Cordon Bleu but hate the hassle of making the real thing this one is for you. I came across this recipe and made it for dinner the other night but improved it as I went along. I like this recipe for a couple of reasons Firstly because there are lots of opportunities to decrease the fat involved and Secondly it's a piece of cake to make! Enjoy!

    Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole
    1 1/2 Cups ham, cubed
    1 1/2 Cups cooked chicken, cubed (Approximately 2 breasts)
    3/4 lb Shredded swiss cheese
    1 small bunch green onion, sliced
    4 Tbsp butter or margarine
    5 Tbsp flour
    1 cup half & half (or sub with milk)
    2 cup milk
    1 Tbsp dijon mustard
    salt & pepper to taste
    3 cups crushed cornflakes
    4 Tbsp butter

     Put the chicken, ham, half the cheese, & onion in a bowl. Set aside. In a pan melt 4 T of butter. Add the flour to make a roux. Pour in the half & half and milk and mix until smooth and thick. Add more flour if needed. Salt & pepper to taste. Stir in mustard. Pour sauce over the chicken mixture. Mix well and pour into 9x13 baking dish. Melt 4 T of butter and mix with cornflakes and the rest of the grated cheese. Toss over the chicken mixture. Bake for 25 minutes at 375°. Eat with rice, we like the brown variety at my house!

    Tuesday, January 5, 2010

    Veggie Pizza

    Veggie Pizza

    2 8oz pkgs cream cheese
    1/2 cup mayonnaise
    1 packet dry ranch salad dressing mix
    2 tubes Pillsbury crescent rolls
    Assorted Raw vegetables:
    Broccoli, carrots, celery, green onion, olives, tomatoes, cauliflower, peppers and what ever else sounds tasty to you.

    Soften cream cheese. Stir in mayonnaise and dressing mix. Allow to sit. Grease a large cookie sheet and smash rolls to the bottom to make a crust.
    Bake a crust according to package directions. Let it cool. Spread cream cheese/ranch mixture on crust and then top with your favorite vegetables. It tastes better when the veggies are chopped small, almost minced. Chill until you serve it.

    Sunday, January 3, 2010

    2010 My Sourdough Goal

    Anyone who has worked with sourdough knows that it isn't an exact science. Just google "sourdough" and start reading- there are volumes of information! I am still rather new to this and just trying to figure my starter out. I have in possession this great, sourdough start that is older than me, from my Uncle in Cali. I've had it for a year now and have kind of played around with it for a whole year but haven't made any growth in my sourdough skills :) I've tried to make a couple of things the most memorable were the rotten tasting pancakes and my brick hard bread! One of my new year resolutions is that this is the year that I will figure out the best sourdough bread recipe and conquer it! So expect to see quite a few sourdough recipes over the coming year! This won't be easy since I recently burnt out the motor in my Kitchenaide mixer (it was only 6 years old?)--I am now saving up for a Bosch. I'm finally getting serious about sourdough! Wish me LUCK because I'll need it!~

    Sourdough Pancakes with Sour Cream and Blueberry topping

    Sourdough Pancakes  
    with Sour Cream and Blueberry topping

    Night before: remove starter from the refrigerator and either get it to room temperature or use warm water. Empty all of the starter into a large clean bowl and add: 1 - cup water, 1 1/2 - cup flour and 1 - teaspoon sugar. Mix well, cover with several folds of damp paper towel or a dish towel, to keep crust from forming, and leave overnight at room temperature. 

    Next morning: take out 1 - cup of the replenished starter and put back in a well scalded container for refrigeration for use next time. To the rest of the starter add: 3+/- tablespoons sugar, 1/2 - teaspoon salt, 1/4- cup vegetable oil, 2 - eggs well beaten. IF the batter is too runny at this point add around 1/4 cup flour at a time and mix well. Check that it's mixed thoroughly then add 1/1/2 - teaspoon baking soda. Beat thoroughly with the beater to make sure all the soda is well blended.  let it sit for 3-5 mins before you cook them.

    Serving Instructions:  As each cake comes off of the griddle, add a spoon size glob of sour cream rather than butter... on top of the very top cake in the stack spoon on blueberries and juice then sprinkle on some powdered sugar. Will serve 2 - 4 hungry folks. Enjoy em while their hot, Mmmm. good! 

    Friday, January 1, 2010

    Whole Wheat Blender Pancakes

    Fast and almost easier than Bisquick but definitely healthier!

    Whole Wheat Blender Pancakes

    Combine in blender the following ingredients and mix on high speed 2 for 3 minutes:
    1 C. wheat kernels (or a mix of wheat, oats, kamut, spelt, etc.)
    1 C. milk

    Add and mix for 2 more minutes:
    1/2 c. milk

    2 eggs
    1 tsp. salt
    1/3 c. oil or unsweetened applesauce
    1 Tbsp. honey

    Blend well. Just before cooking add:
    1 Tbsp. Rumford Baking Powder (Rumford’s is double acting and will make them fairly fluffy)

    Blend in gently. Pour batter onto hot griddle or waffle iron.

    Variations: add in at the same time you add the egg. Half a ripe banana, handful of berries, etc. The options are endless.