Saturday, March 24, 2012

Sourdough English Muffins

Sourdough English Muffins

1/2 cup starter
1 cup milk
2 cups flour (I use mostly whole wheat flour when I make these)

Mix together, cover loosely and set out overnight on countertop.

Then the next morning (or much later that day) mix these four ingredients in a bowl:
1/2 cup flour
1 T. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Sprinkle this mixture over dough and mix in.  It takes a while to mix it all in.  I do this by kneading it on the counter until it's not sticky anymore.  Then roll out to 3/4 inch thickness and cut with a 3" cookie cutter (or cup), it makes 12 muffins.  Then place on cornmeal sprinkled cookie sheet.  Sprinkle cornmeal on top, or just turn them once to coat both sides.  Then cover the muffins and allow them to rise for about an hour. 

Then bake them on lighly greased electric griddle with a lid or pan on top to trap the steam.  Bake at 275 degrees with a lid on.  They bake 10 minutes on each side.

Tiff's Tips:  I always double the recipe and then freeze the extras (after cutting them in half so they are easier to get apart).  These are a little bit of work, but I think they are worth it!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Chicken With Pasta and Pesto

I found this recipe on HERE and served it for our St. Patrick's day dinner.  I'm always nervous doing a new recipe for something like that - a holiday or when other people are over - but it turned out yummy!

3 chicken breats (I marinated it first and then grilled), cooked, boned and cut into bite-size pieces
12 oz. pasta (I use bow tie noodles)
1/4 c. dried basil
1/2 c. olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese, grated

In a blender or food processor, coarsely chop basil, 1/4 cup cheese, garlic and olive oil. (This is the pesto sauce.)

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.

In a saucepan, mix with chicken and pesto sauce; toss with remaining cheese. Cook until heated through.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Homemade Croutons

I saw this recipe on the Cake Boss.  I have made my own before and they are so delicious!

Homemade Croutons:

  • day old hearty bread, such as tuscan, italian, or country bread, (half loaf to yield 2 + cups croutons)
  • olive oil
  • dried oregano
  • salt
  • pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Trim the crust from day-old peasant-style bread and dice into 3/4-inch cubes.
  3. Toss with enough olive oil to coat, but not drench. Sprinkle lightly with dried oregano, salt and pepper. Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet.
  4. Bake approximately 10 minutes or until just golden brown and crisp through. Toss halfway through the baking time, to make sure the croutons toast evenly.
  5. Remove from oven and completely cool croutons. Store in an airtight container.

Whole Wheat Oat Rolls & Cheesy Bread

I thought this looked good - plus it's a local recipe.

Whole Wheat Oat Rolls
Recipes courtesy Denise Fairchild-Garcia of Kimberly, Idaho (from the Magic Valley Times News)

2 cups water
1 cup quick oats
4 tablespoons butter     
1/2 cup warm water
3 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt     
4 3/4 cups whole-wheat flour

Extra flour to make a soft dough

In a saucepan bring 2 cups of water to a boil and add the oats and butter. Bring back up to a boil and stir; cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm.

In a small, warm bowl, combine 1/2 cup warm water and the yeast with 1 tablespoon sugar. Set aside and let the yeast work.

In a large bowl combine the brown sugar, salt and 4 3/4 cups flour. Stir to combine the dry ingredients.
Add the yeast to the oatmeal mixture, then add that mixture to the flour. Stir to combine. Add enough flour to make a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured board and knead until smooth and elastic, adding only enough flour to get to that point.

Place the dough in a large glass bowl that has been greased, and turn once to oil the dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size, about 1 hour.

Punch down the dough and let rest, covered, for 10 minutes. Divide dough into two pieces. Either shape and bake as loaves, or divide into 18 pieces and shape as rolls. Place 9 rolls each in two greased round cake pans.

Cover and let rise for 45-55 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until browned.
Remove from oven and remove from pan onto a cooling rack. Let cool to warm, and serve.

Dee’s Cheesy Bread
1/2 cup softened butter
(not margarine)
3/4 cup real mayonnaise
1/8 cup parsley flakes
2 teaspoons granulated
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 cup grated cheddar
Mix well and spread on lightly toasted sourdough bread. Broil until melty and golden brown.

Fairchild-Garcia said her roll recipe is great either plain or with the cheese and ham.

“I put a small handful of ham and cheese chunks into each roll as I’m forming the roll,” she said. “The roll dough will then rise one more time before baking in the oven. I like to make a double batch because they freeze really well and you can pull them out for easy use later on.”

As she pinched the ham-and-cheese mixture into dough pouches, placing each newly formed roll into a baking pan, Fairchild-Garcia described her cooking background.

Her rolls are just one family-and-friend favorite. One dish she can’t leave home without is Dee’s Cheesy Bread. The sourdough used in the recipe is storebought, but the topping is her own.

“It took a lot of trial and error, mostly error, to get this just right,” she said. “But everyone loves it.”
Fairchild stresses that the success of the recipe is in sticking to it.

“Use real butter, no margarine, and real mayonnaise,” she said. “The rest is parsley flakes, garlic, grated Parmesan and grated cheddar cheese.”

Her trick in getting the bread extra crispy is to cut the sourdough in half and lightly toast it first, then spread on a thin layer of the mix before setting the bread under a preheated broiler.

“Watch for it to get melty and golden brown. When that happens, it’s ready,” she said.
The dish is great for parties.

“I’ve learned to make extra because you think two pieces of toast is enough and it’s not. People can’t seem to get enough,” Fairchild-Garcia said.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Black Bean Soup

I know this soup is a favorite at Tonya's house.  Olivia loves it too and requested it for our weekly menu.

Black Bean Soup

1 T olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3/4 C diced carrots (about 2 med carrots)
3/4 C diced celery (about 2 ribs)
1 C diced onion (about 1 sm-med onion)
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 3.5oz can green chilies
2 cans low-sodium beef broth
1 t kosher salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/2 t chili powder
1/4 t cumin
1/2 t dry oregano leaves
1 bay leaf
Optional Toppings: sour cream, tortilla chips, grated cheese, chopped cilantro, etc.

Place a large stock pot on the stove-top and set to medium-high heat.  When pan is warm, add olive oil.  Add carrots, celery, onion, and garlic and saute 4-5 minutes.
Add in the black beans, chilies, and beef broth. Stir to combine and then add the salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and bay leaf.

Simmer uncovered for about 20-25 minutes or until carrots are tender.

Remove from heat. Remove bay leaf from soup. 

Place soup in a blender. (You could use an immersion blender in place of this step) Place lid on blender, but remove the stopper in the lid to let heat escape. Place a paper towel over the hole to avoid splatters. 

Puree soup until completely smooth.  Optionally you could pulse until a semi-chunky soup is achieved. Squeeze in the juice from one lime and pulse to combine.
Ladle into bowls and top with desired toppings. Serve with extra lime wedges.  Makes about 8 C soup.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Oreo Cookies

Clayton just informed me yesterday was Oreo's 100th birthday (they had an Oreo bday party at school).  AND I happened to make some too.  I've tried other recipes before and they didn't work out.  I don't know if it was me and I messed it up or the recipe.  Anyway, this is a tried and true recipe from my neighbor.  I have tasted these cookies many times and finally asked for the recipe.  Yummy!

1 Devil's food cake mix
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs

Mix the above ingredients.  Roll the dough into balls and place on a cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes (I use stoneware and it took more like 11 or so minutes).  Place cookies on cooling rack.

4 oz. cream cheese
2 TB butter
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups powder sugar

Mix ingredients and put on the cookies once cooled.  Yummty!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Crock pot Chicken Cordon Bleu

We tried this recipe on Sunday and it passed the test.  Easy, easy and yummy!

recipe from:
  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 ounces sliced ham
  • 4 ounces sliced Swiss cheese
  • 1 (8 ounce) package herbed dry bread stuffing mix
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
Mix together the cream of chicken soup and milk in a small bowl. Pour enough of the soup into a slow cooker to cover the bottom.
Layer chicken breasts over the sauce.
Cover with slices of ham and then Swiss cheese.
Pour the remaining soup over the layers, stirring a little to distribute between layers.
Sprinkle the stuffing on top, and drizzle butter over stuffing.
Cover, and cook on Low for 4 to 6 hours, or 2 to 3 hours on High.