Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Whole Wheat Bread

My sister-in-law just bought a Bosch and was asking me for a good whole wheat bread recipe. I immediately knew just the one!

I got this recipe from my aunt, Janell (the one who's a fabulous cook and I get lots of recipes from). I love how this recipe doesn't have the same texture and heaviness that most homemade whole wheat bread recipes have. And if you have a Bosch, it's a BREEZE to make!

Here's what you'll need:

3 1/2 C. hot water
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
3 T. instant yeast
2/3 C. oil
1 C. honey
1 C. all purpose white flour
3 T. gluten
2 T. dough enhancer
12 C. whole wheat flour (I grind my own using white wheat)
1 1/2 T. salt

For best results, grind your own wheat to make your own whole wheat flour. (If you have any flour remaining after making this recipe, place in a Ziploc bag and freeze. That will help to preserve the nutrients and help to make it stay fresh for longer.)

Using a Bosch mixer, combine ingredients in the order given; mixing well after half the flour, then add the other half of the flour and salt.
Add a little extra white flour if dough is too sticky. Knead in mixer for 8 minutes. Divide into 5-6 loaves. Place into greased loaf pans and rise in a warm spot for about 45 minutes - 1 hour.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Allow to cool completely before slicing (if you can stand it).

It is so delicious and light and tender! Give this healthier recipe a try!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Black Bottom Cupcakes

Would you like to know what pure joy looks like? Let me show you...


And lucky for you, I'm sharing the recipe.

I have no idea where I got this recipe, other than from my blue recipe box. I made them for all of the hard workers digging potatoes up at my in-law's farm, my hubby being one of them. When he came home from working all day and trying one of these morsels of pure joy, he told me that they were the best cupcakes I'd ever made.

Now, just so you understand the magnitude of this, getting a compliment out of him is like having a meteorite crash in your backyard. It RARELY happens. And for me to not even ask him what he thought of them or try to coax it out of him, it's just so incredible. So, for him to just come right out and tell me something was that good, that means it really is that good.

Black Bottom Cupcakes are like a combination of chocolate cupcake and chocolate chip cheesecake. A winning combination in my book! You really must try them, and as you eat them, bask in pure joy.

Here's what you'll need:

1 1/2 C. flour
1 C. sugar
1/4 C. cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. water
1/3 C. oil
1 T. white vinegar

8 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
1 egg
1/3 C. sugar
1 C. mini chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 18 muffin pans with paper baking cups. In a large bowl (I used my Bosch), combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. (Give it a few good spins in your mixer.)
Pour in water, oil, and vinegar; mix until blended.
In a small separate bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in egg and sugar, then stir in chocolate chips.
Scoop chocolate batter into prepared muffin pans, dividing evenly.
Spoon a heaping Tablespoon of cream cheese mixture onto center of batter.
Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the chocolate cake part comes out clean. Cool cupcakes for 10 minutes in pans, then remove to a rack to cool completely.
Frost with your favorite chocolate frosting.
Makes 18 of these morsels of pure joy.
If you'd like an easier option, you can just make up any chocolate cake mix and use the same cream cheese recipe for the filling. The one time I've done that, the white part gets nearly completely submerged by the chocolate, which makes for a fun surprise.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Since getting our computer back, fixed and no files lost, I decided I'd better go through my pictures and make a list of what's on my computer waiting to be put on my food blog. Guess how many I found.....65!!! I believe I did this not too long ago and even finished those recipes. Now I have 65 more! I guess that's what I get for taking the summer off.

In an effort to catch up, I've posted four recipes today. So keep reading to see what else has been cooking around here.

Almost every Sunday, my hubby and I like to try a new recipe for some kind of cookies. When we tried this recipe from my friend, Marcel, we both agreed, this is why we keep trying new recipes. We find gem recipes that are definite keepers, like this one. Thanks, Marcel!!!

Here's what you'll need:

1 C. butter
2 C. sugar
3 eggs
2 medium mashed ripe bananas
4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
chocolate chips
chopped walnuts (if desired)

Cream butter. Add sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add alternately with mashed bananas.
(If I remember correctly, I added the bananas and then the flour. They turned out just fine.)

Add chocolate chips and walnuts, if desired.
Drop on greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 400 degrees for 9 minutes with a regular oven or 7 minutes with a convection oven.


Do you think I added enough chocolate chips???

Mini Meatloaves

My kids thoroughly enjoy this recipe! They think it's so fun to get their very own mini sized meatloaf. And even better than that, they love the surprise that's inside of them!! I love how easy these are to make. Thanks to Kraft for the recipe!

Here's what you'll need:

1 lb. ground beef
1 (6 oz.) pkg. Stove Top Stuffing mix
1 C. water
2 T. A-1 sauce (opt.)
1 tsp. garlic powder
favorite BBQ sauce
shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix meat, stuffing mix, water, A-1 sauce (if desired), and garlic powder until well combined. (And as usual, I doubled this recipe in the pictures.)
Press into 12 medium muffin cups sprayed with cooking spray; make an indentation in the center of each with the back of a spoon.
Fill with BBQ sauce.
Bake for 30 minutes or until meatloaves are cooked through. Top with shredded cheese and continue to bake until the cheese is melted.
Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Another fun reason why I like this recipe is because you can totally change up the flavors! Here are some variations you should try as well:

Italian - instead of the garlic powder, substitute it with 1 tsp. Italian seasoning. Instead of the BBQ sauce, fill the meatloaves with spaghetti sauce. And instead of the shredded cheddar cheese, substitute it with Mozzarella.

Fiesta - substitute the garlic for 2 tsp. chili powder, sub the BBQ sauce for salsa, and substitute the cheddar for Mexican style cheese.

Mediterranean - sub the garlic for 1 tsp. dried oregano leaves, the BBQ sauce for chopped, roasted red peppers, and the cheddar for traditional crumbled Feta cheese.


Microwaved Corn on the Cob

We planted a garden this year. We even tried two varieties of corn - a super sweet yellow and a super sweet red. We were so excited about it! But thanks to the weather this summer, our garden didn't turn out very well. We had four corn stalks that made it out of the ROWS that we planted. And of the four stalks, we got about eight tiny ears. Bummer, cuz we like corn on the cob!

So, the following pictures are of corn we got at the store. But this technique of cooking it is wonderful since it is quick and easy - and that's how I like things!

Here's what you'll need:

however many ears of corn you want

Shuck the corn, but still leaving a thin layer of the husk still on. Pull off any excess "hair".

Place however many ears can fit into your microwave in a single layer. I can fit four in mine. Microwave on High power for approximately 5 minutes. Remove from the microwave (be careful, they'll be hot!). Shuck the rest of the way.

If you'd like, and most people do, smear it down with butter, add some shakes of salt and pepper, then chow down. But if you're like me, just enjoy the natural sweetness of corn on the cob without all the extras.

Egg Salad with Avocado

A while ago, I decided to cook out of my sister's cookbook for an entire month. One of the recipes I tried, we LOVED! But there are two requirements for one to enjoy this recipe: 1. you have to like egg salad, and 2. you have to like avocado. If you fit these requirements, I think you'll love this recipe like we do.

Here's what you'll need:

10 hard boiled eggs
3 T. mayo or Miracle Whip
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 avocado, mashed, and 1/2 avocado, chopped
salt and pepper
tomato slices

Using a pastry blender or fork, mash together hard boiled eggs and half an avocado.
Stir in mayo or Miracle Whip, mustard, and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper.
Carefully fold in chopped avocado.
Divide egg salad among toasted bread. Top with tomato slices and lettuce.

Yum, yum, yum!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Cruise Food

My hubby and I got back a few days ago from a cruise we took to the Western Caribbean with some friends of ours to celebrate our 10 year anniversaries. We had such a great time!

Before our cruise, we had heard so much about the food you constantly eat on a cruise. Well, I was amazed at how BEAUTIFUL everything looked! I don't take the time to make my food look good, so I thoroughly enjoyed the extra work those on the cruise went to to make our food look spectacular.

Here's a taste of some of the delicious dishes we had...

Chilled Strawberry Soup

Crab Cakes

Ice Cream Pie (to celebrate our anniversary - they even sang to us too!)

Escargot (I was so proud of myself to trying it and I actually quite liked it)

Herbed Chicken Fingers with Melon and Cucumber scrolls

Fresh Fruit Cheesecakes

Black Forest Cake

Tuxedo Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Prime Rib and Au Jus with Onion Rings and Baked Potato

Lobster and Shrimp (my FAVORITE meal)

Stuffed Mushrooms

Assorted Fresh Fruit with Mango Coulis
So much fun!!! I may go on another cruise just to admire the food!

Hearty Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yesterday, I hosted a playdate for some friends of mine and their kids. Everyone was to bring something to munch on, so I decided to make these hearty chocolate chip cookies. Most kids like chocolate chip cookies and I like that these cookies are actually quite good for you.

None of the kids (or the ladies) guessed that they have healthy ingredients. Hee, hee, hee. I feel so sneaky!!

Here's what you'll need:

1 C. shortening
1/2 C. butter (1 stick)
1 C. sugar
1 C. brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. powdered milk
2 C. all purpose flour
1 C. whole wheat flour
1/4 C. ground flaxseed
2 C. rolled oats
2 C. chocolate chips or raisins

Mix shortening, butter, and sugars. Add eggs one at a time. With the mixer still running, add soda, salt, and vanilla. Turn off mixer and add powdered milk, all flour, and flaxseed. Dough will be stiff. Stir in oats and chocolate chips. You can chill the dough until you're ready to use it, or just use it immediately. It can be refrigerated for up to three days.

Using a medium cookie scoop (about 2 T. dough), scoop balls and place on an ungreased baking sheet. You can freeze them at this point. When frozen, remove from the baking sheet and place in a freezer bag and keep in the freezer for up to a month. Or bake at 350 degrees for 11-14 minutes, depending on if you want them chewy or more firm. If you're baking with a convection oven, only bake for 8-10 minutes.

Yummy!! And you don't have to feel guilty if you and the kids eat a few. Enjoy!
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