I think I’m getting better at this yeast-bread thing – bodes well for 2013! (Happy New Year!)
I made two mini french bread loaves and they rose and baked perfectly! Sure, I still need to work on ‘form’ but I can’t wait to cut a slice, just for sampling purposes, of course.
In honor of John’s birthday, we had cake for breakfast! *grin*
This is a homemade yellow layer cake with chocolate buttercream frosting. It’s not the neatest decorating job, but at least now I know what a cookie gun can do well, and can’t, in terms of frosting. (Next time I will use an icing bag to manually control the flow of frosting better. Notice how I blamed the tool instead of the user – hah!) Still it tastes really good, which is the most important part!
Here’s the recipe for both the yellow cake and the chocolate buttercream frosting, although I switched out some fo the all-purpose flour for some cake flour to give it a slightly finer texture.
Happy Birthday, John!
I tried another recipe from my friend Barbara Mack’s book, Easy, Fabulous Bread Making: A collection of quick, no-knead, homemade bread recipes – just a basic white bread – and it came out just perfect!
I didn’t actually have the patience to let it sit overnight in the refrigerator, as per directions, so I let it rise in a pretty cold kitchen for a while, then punched it down and let it rise in the glass pan and then baked it.
It made the most delicious peanut butter and jelly sandwich I’ve ever had! Absolutely nothing like homemade!
I just ran across this article about a small winemaker who is putting an ingredient list on his wine labels. After reading the article, I learned a lot and applaud his decision and integrity, and am now going to be looking suspiciously at every bottle I buy – DOH! Anyway, maybe this will start catching on more, at least among smaller artisan wineries. Click here to read about Ingredient Lists on Wines.
Yup, I whipped up some muffins made from raisin bran cereal, of which we had much, and of the mostly stale variety! I love finding a new use for things I’d otherwise have to throw away, and as often as we found ourselves with a partial box of stale raisin bran sitting around (shall have to investigate that), I just never got around to making these before.
I took the basic recipe from the web and then tweaked it a little to add a bit more flavor and pizzazz – raisin bran muffins just SCREAM pizzazz, don’t they. Here’s the recipe below (or you can see it on our recipes page, including an easily printable copy – click here.)
Raisin Bran Muffins
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/4-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3 cups raisin bran cereal
1 1/4 cups milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
(also need some crumbled bran flakes and sugar for topping)
Mix the first five (dry) ingredients together in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, mix cereal with milk, and let set for a few minutes to soften the cereal. Add the egg and vegetable oil and stir until blended.
Add the flour mixture to the cereal mixture, stirring only until ingredients are blended well.
Either use cooking spray in a muffin tin or line the muffin tin with paper muffin liners. Then divide the batter between all twelve muffin spots – they will be pretty full.
Before putting the muffins in the oven, sprinkle a little bit of crumbled bran flakes and then sprinkle a little sugar over each muffin, for a crunchy topping.
Bake at 400F for 25 minutes. Cool on wire rack. (recipe from foodfollies.com)
I know these LOOK like regular, ordinary pancakes…
But they are really BANANA PANCAKES! Didn’t see THAT one coming, did you! Did you!!?? Did…. never mind. Anyway, they were delicious. We even had a special tiny pancake left over for the dog, who also approved.
Here is our recipe, adapted from a basic one we found on the web.
2 1/2 cups Bisquick
2 cups milk
1 cup mashed bananas
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 c. wheat germ/ground flax (optional)
Beat ingredients until well blended. For thinner pancakes add more milk, a little at a time, as needed. Pour by 1/4 cupfuls onto hot griddle – we recommend greasing the griddle beforehand. Cook until edges are dry. Then flip and cook until golden. Yields 12-13 pancakes, depending on size, etc.
You can also find an easily printable version of our recipe by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page: Banana Pancake Recipe. (It’s under Side Dishes in our recipe categories, but that’s really only because we don’t have a breakfast category… yet!)
This the kind of meal that comes about by scouring the refrigerator and cupboards to see what you can use! We had leftover cooked chicken, lots of fresh green onions, cheese, burrito shells, etc., so we went for the Chicken Enchilada option.
I made a cheese sauce with extra sharp cheese, and mixed that into the shredded chicken and chopped green onions and other spices for the filling. (So, technically, that makes this NOT an enchilada since we had no green chilis, but the spirit is there!) Then, we rolled it into burrito shells, topped with canned enchilada sauce (Ahhh, THERE’S the enchiladas! Nevermind what I said before!), and lots of shredded cheese, and then baked the whole thing for 45-55 minutes or so.
This is the result, served with a side of refried beans, which we found in the cupboard at the last minute and mixed with salsa for extra kick:
They were fantastically tasty, seen here topped with sour cream. I think we drank Lime Seltzers with the meal, which went really well. I love it when a plan comes together.
Our first homemade ice cream of the season – seriously chocolate ice cream with crumbled up chocolate-covered mint cookies! (You know, the kind sold by that national group of girls every spring? Yeah, them.) This is just our usual chocolate ice cream recipe with the cookies added, so I’m not including a how-to – just a how-delicious!
It’s 85 degrees with 100 percent humidity. You happen to have a nice bunch of fresh kiwi fruits in the refrigerator. Do you just cut them up and eat them?
Well, you could. And it would be delicious. But even better because of the high temperature, make kiwi sorbet! Here’s the recipe we used, pieced together from various versions found online to make our own:
Kiwi Sorbet Recipe
4 or 5 kiwis
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
2 cups ice cold water
ice cream maker of some sort
Cut your kiwi up into small pieces into a medium sized bowl. Sprinkle the lemon juice over it. Then sprinkle the sugar over it and mix it up a bit. Cover it and put it in the refrigerator for an hour.
Take the kiwi out of the fridge, and put it in a blender or food processor and blend/mix until it’s puree. Some chunks are okay. Add the corn syrup and the cold water and mix until blended – won’t take long – a few bursts is all. Final concoction may seem a little liquidy, but that’s just right. (If you don’t want the little seeds in your sorbet, this would be the best point to put the liquid through a strainer – if you still had chunks in your puree though you’ll have to manually make sure those get into the final mix of course.)
Pour it into your ice cream maker and follow manufacturer directions. Put in freezer!
And *poof* – hot day deliciousness…
Both John and I really love adding green onions to many of our meals, and after doing a little research on the internet (just search for ‘regrowing green onions’), we decided to try a very simple experiment.Take the root ball end of the green onion (ours had a little green up top still, as you can see in the image) and put it in a jar of water in a sunny place. It will regrow at an alarming rate! This image, taken yesterday, shows growth of only about a day and a half. This morning it was even more surprising – like some kind of fragrant alien flora or the vegetable equivalent of a tribble.
After reading some of the suggestions online, I think I’ll be planting these in soil after a few weeks/months too, and see where it goes from there. It’ll be fun to try this with other herbs too (basil was suggested in one article – buy a clipping and root it in water before planting), although eventually we’re going to run out of counter space and have no place to chop up the onions in the first place… or maybe that’s their evil plan to begin with!