Sunday, 10 March 2013

Berry Oat Muffins

I tried a Blueberry muffin recipe the other day, and was sorely disappointed.
Why I thought any recipe could top the one I already had, from my mom, I don't know!!

That was a moment of foolishness that I'll share with you openly, just don't expect me to tell you this kind of thing very often. And to think I was baking these in front of friends!  Sheesh.  Talk about embarrassing.

Moving on.

I may not have the prettiest pictures or the most entertaining writing style, but I can make a killer muffin.

Raise your hand if you agree.

Thanks.  I knew I liked you.


Berry Oat Muffins
Yields: 2 1/2 Dozen
Preheat oven to 400*
Bake for 17-20 minutes


2 Beaten Eggs
1 1/2  c Brown Sugar
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Soda
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 c Melted Butter
2 c Oatmeal
2 c Flour
2 c Vanilla Yogurt, mixed with 1/2 c water
2 c frozen fruit

Okay, I say frozen fruit, because 1. The berries don't break down near as bad if they're frozen and 2. You can use Strawberries (not my favorite for this recipe, but you can, juts dice them up small.) and you can use Raspberries (Soooo good. Like very delicious.  Intoxicating, I tell you!)

But my favorite is the Blueberry and Raspberry combo.  It's truly the best.  But you can do jsut one berry or all three.  And you can use fresh berries. The trick is to add them LAST of all and to gently mix them in with a wooden spoon or even just into the individual muffins and stir it around in the pan just before baking, but whatever you do will be fine.  Some people like their berries all smashed and mixed in to their muffins.

Beat your eggs with a fork first.  You don't have to pack your brown sugar, but I pack it in lightly.Other than that, mix it all up and bake 'em.
Raw Sugar. Pretty, isn't it?

If you want a fancy crumble topping, it's worth the extra work.  Buy yourself some raw sugar if you don't have any on hand. 
 I got mine in bulk at WinCo.   

Also make this:

Crumb Topping:
1/2 c Sugar


1/3 c Flour
1/4 C butter, cubed

To make this, keep your butter slightly cool, so pull it outta the fridge 30 minute before you need it.  Cut it up small and then mix it with a beater or in your Kitchenaide until it make a fine crumple.  Put some on top of your muffin before baking, and then add some of that raw sugar you got yourself.



It'll take your muffin from yummy to Awesome.

I also think these muffins taste better on Day 2.  And I'll warn you, just like any berry muffin, you gotta wait for them to cool a bit before you try to peel the liner away.  If not, you'll loose half your muffin to the liner.  Which is fine, I guess, if you like to lick liners clean.

Crumble will look like this when you're done beating it.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Wassail



12 oz frozen OJ
12 oz frozen Lemonade
1 gal hot water
2 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
2 tsp vanilla
3 TBS lemon juice

Mix well, esp. to dissolve sugar.  Can be served cold, but we like it just hot enough to drink.  I slice up lemons and oranges purely for looks. I keep it in the crockpot on warm throughout the day.... and refrigerate at night to serve the next if we have leftovers.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Lemon Meltaways

This is before frosting!




1 ¼ c flour
½ c cornstarch
1/3 c powdered sugar
¾ c soft butter
1 TBS grated lemon peel
1 TBS lemon juice *best if fresh squeezed!




Combine on low speed. Divide the dough in half. 


Shape each mound into a half inch roll, 6-8 inches long.  Work it like play dough.  Gently wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 1-2 hours or 30 minutes in the freezer.  

With a sharp knife, slice the roll into ¼ inch pieces.  It reminds me of banana slices for a sundae. Place on a cookie sheet and bake away!

Bake at 350* for 8-10 minutes.  They don’t brown or spread- they just get a little puffy.  Cook completely before frosting.

Frosting:
¾ c powdered sugar
¼ c soft butter
1 TBS grated lemon peel
1 TBS lemon juice *best if fresh squeezed!






Thursday, 8 November 2012

Sugar Cookie Bars


Okay, these are the best way to do sugar cookies FAST.  And I mean, FAST!

My life-long friend Mykalee share them with me, and I'm not sure where she dug this gem of a recipe up, but it's become a huge hit in our home.  recently, it was requested by several friends from the cast of The Wizard of Oz, and I am flattered they've loved them so much they want a copy of the recipe!  So, friends, here it is!




Sugar Cookie Bars
Yields: At least 3 dozen
Time: 45 minutes

1 c soft Margarine
2 c Sugar
4 Eggs
2 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Soda
5 c Flour

Yup, that's it.

 Mix all the ingredients well and then I do lightly grease my cookie pan before manipulating the dough into it.  I also spray my rolling pin and hands a bit too and it works so much easier than dusting with flour, IMO.

Get the dough in that cookie sheet until you've got one smooth and large rectangular cookie.  We'll cut it up AFTER we bake it.

Bake at 375* for 10-15 minutes.  It doesn't brown too much, so be careful of that.  If it's kinda fluffy, I give it an extra minute or two, and then test it with a toothpick.

After it's cooled completely, I lather on the frosting.  Sure you can cheat and use a jar.  I won't tell.

But if you want the best stuff, go with this:

Frosting:
1/2 c Butter
1/2 c butter flavored Shortening
1 tsp Vanilla
pinch of Salt
5 T Milk
4 c Powdered Sugar


This makes a LOT of frosting and I use ALL OF IT.  I know, I know, but seriously, they're kinda thick cookies, so ya know.... just do it!

Sprinkle if ya want!  And then slice with a cookie cutter.  They're pretty rich, so I go at least 8 across and 5 down, but sometimes it's better to go even a bit smaller.

Enjoy!


This recipe is also works wonders for Fruit Pizza.  Just sayin'.

Quik 'n EZ Breadsticks

These are a huge hit at my house. I'll forever be in debt to my friend Jamie at Jamie Cooks It Up for sharing this one!

I don't think my version has altered from hers in any significant way, so this recipe is courtesy of her! I use different salt and less butter, but it's her recipe all the way.


Quik 'n EZ Breadsticks
Yields: 36 small bread sticks
Time: 45 minutes

*I have started using Bread Flour for bread sticks and rolls, and have seen a big improvement, but you can use either for this recipe, I have found.

1 1/2 c warm water
2 T sugar
1 T yeast
1/2 tsp salt
4 c flour
1/3 c melted butter
Grated Parmesan Cheese
Seasoned Salt

-Mix the water, sugar and yeast, and let it sit 5 minutes.

-Add the salt and one cup of flour at a time.

-Mix on HIGH for 5 minutes, then let it rest for 5 minutes.

-I roll the dough out until it's a pretty good sized rectangle that I can then manipulate into a lightly greased cookie pan.

-Spread dough out with your fingers and then I softly smooth with a large cup or rolling pin.

-Brush on melted butter, sprinkle seasonings and cheese.

-Slice with a pizza cutter, before baking! Sometimes I go three rows, sometimes I just do long sticks and only half the pan before cutting them into 1" sticks.

-Raise in a pre-heated 170* oven for 15-20 minutes, and then just crank up the heat and finish baking at 350* for 12-15 minutes or until they're brown enough for ya.


MY SECRET TRICK....

So....
After I've got it all smoothed out, but BEFORE I season, I take a thick piece of tin foil and wedge it down one third of the way through the pan.  I salt and cheese the 2/3 side.  Then on the other side, using the foil as a 'wall' I spread lots of brown sugar and cinnamon on.  Then we have dessert.  I just open a jar of quick and easy frosting, from Pillsbury or Betty Crocker and VIOLA!  Cinna sticks.


Use a little extra butter.

Spread it around....

Slice a portion: about 1/3 of it or so.

Add a tinfoil wall.

Spread brown sugar and cinnamon on one side.  Either side. ;)

Finish slicing it up.

Bake as directed.... and you'll have cinna sticks!


Sometimes I 'wall' it half way, other times, we skip the bread sticks and just do easy Cinna Sticks for a crowd.  When I'm feeling ambitious, I make homemade frosting.  But suffice it to say, we use this trick A LOT.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Zucchini Bread

What a delight and sheer compliment to have another recipe requested!  Thanks Joy for asking!  it sure makes my heart smile.

I searched and baked and read and compared a lot of zucchini bread recipes that would work well for baking them in a jelly roll pan (aka Cookie Sheet here in Idaho).  FINALLY, after  a lot of wasted flour, because let's face it, I had plenty of zucchini to spare, I found one.

Even my wonderful neighbor was in on the process.

I love using the cookie sheet because something magical happens.  The bread disappears faster.  Which is good.  There is something psychological with little kids and  the way food looks.  Okay, the same applies to adults.

If the bread LOOKS like a brownie, all the better!

So while this recipe can be made in regular bread pans, why bother?  You can have warm, delicious zucchini bread in under 30 minutes!

Shall we?

Zucchini Bread
Serves: varies (make one Jelly Roll pan)
Time: 10 minutes prep, 20 minutes to bake

3 eggs
1 c oil
2 c grated zucchini (I leave the peel on)
2 c sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
3 c flour
3 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
3 tsp vanilla
 1 c chocolate chips (optional, but are they, really?)

bake at 350 degrees.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Fruited Chicken Salad


Fruited Chicken Salad
10+ servings

Ingredients:
5-8 c cooked Bowtie Pasta, cooled
3-4 Chicken Breasts, cooked and diced, and cooled

2 cans drained Mandarin Oranges
2 cans Water Chestnuts, dice a bit
Large Bunch of Grapes, halved

Dressing:
1 c Mayo
1/2 tsp-1tsp Curry

Combine  ingredients in a large bowl. Mix dressing ingredient well, then coat ingredients well by stirring well. Refrigerate before serving.  You can absolutely half the recipe, but it keeps really well in the fridge for several days, so I always make a huge bowl of it.  I apologize the ingredient measurements aren't spot on, but it's a very forgiving recipe, one that I just whip up and never really need exact measurements for.

Warning: If your pasta and chicken isn't cooled really well, it will ruin the dressing, in a bad way. I recommend making your chicken well in advance.