Monday, February 25, 2013

Blender Whole Wheat Pancakes

These are delicious and light.  Do you have wheat, but don't want to grind it to make pancakes?  This is your recipe then. Let the blender do it.  

Blender Whole Wheat Pancakes
1 cup wheat kernels
1 cup buttermilk (you can reconstitute powdered buttermilk)
1/2 cup regular milk
2 eggs
2 teaspoons sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
5 Tablespoons melted butter
3/4 teaspoon salt

Put the buttermilk and the wheat kernels in the blender.  Blend on high for 3 minutes.  It should be smooth and thick.  Add the milk and blend for two more minutes.  Ad the rest of the ingredients and blend until the batter is smooth.  Pour right from the blender jar onto a hot griddle for pancakes.  Delicous served with buttermilk syrup.  Our recipe can be found here.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Cauliflower Soup

It's sure been soup weather around here.  Nothing's better on a cold day than a bowl of soup.   I served this with hot rolls to dinner guests.  It was delicious!

Cauliflower Soup
1 stick butter, divided
1 onion, diced
2 large carrots, diced
2 stalks celery with some leaves, diced
1 large head cauliflower, chopped
2 quarts chicken stock
6 T. flour
2 cups whole milk
1 cup Half and Half
1 Tablespoon salt, more or less to taste
1 heaping cup sour cream or lite sour cream ( I did add this, but I think it would be fine without it)
Gated cheese for garnish

In a  soup pot, melt 4 T. butter.
 Add the onion and cook until it starts to brown.
 Add the carrots and celery and cook for a couple of minutes.
Add the cauliflower and parsley.  Stir.
Cover and cook on low for about 15 minutes.
Add the chicken stock.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat.
In another pan, a medium saucepan, melt the other 4 T. of butter.  Add the flour and cook and whisk for a few minutes.  Then add the milk and whisk and whisk until well blended.  Then add the half and half.  Whisk it in.  Then add that mixture to the soup, stirring well.  Allow it to simmer for another 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the sour cream and stir until well combined and heated through.  Add salt and pepper and taste until you get as much as you like.   Top each bowl with some grated cheese.

Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Butterscotch Cookie Bars

These are delcious bar cookies-different than anything you've tasted before.
 1 bag butterscotch chips
  1/2 cup butter
 4 eggs
 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
 2 teaspoons baking powder
 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
 2 cupa brown sugar
 1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

 DIRECTIONS Place butterscotch chips and butter into a glass bowl or measuring cup. Heat in the microwave, stirring at 30 second intervals until smooth. Set aside to cool. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F Grease a 9x 13 inch pan. In a large bowl, beat the butterscotch chip mixture with eggs and vanilla until well blended. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the batter until evenly mixed. Mix in the brown sugar, and chocolate chips. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake for about 35 minutes in the preheated oven, just until the bars aren't jiggly in the center and a pick comes out mostly clean.  Don't overbake.   Cut into squares while warm.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Best Pizza Sauce and Breadsticks Ever

Happy Valentine's Day! Turn your breadsticks into hearts for the ones you love!

My friend had us over for dinner a couple weeks ago and we had the most amazing homemade pizza, breadsticks, and dipping sauce I'd ever had homemade before. I asked her where she got her I came home and started searching the site to find the recipes. It took me a while to find the recipes (they have a great organized site by category and type of food) so I wanted to post all three recipes I used in the same post for ease in the future. Here are the recipes with a couple of changes I did when I made it. Enjoy!

Garlic Bread Seasoning

1/2 c. powdered Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. basil
2 tsp. marjoram
2 tsp. parsley

Mix ingredients in a small bowl. Seal in an air-tight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Pizza Sauce


1 6-oz. can tomato paste
6 oz. water (just use the empty tomato paste can)
3 Tbsp. garlic bread seasoning (the stuff you just made in the recipe prior)
1 Tbsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. onion powder


Empty tomato paste into a bowl and add a third of the water at a time, whisking together until well blended. Add the other ingredients, stir to combine, and allow to stand until ready to use. It covers two average-sized pizza. You can freeze the remainder if you only do one pizza or just use it for dipping. If you do put in in the fridge or freezer in between servings slowly reheat it in the microwave at a lower cook power setting--30 seconds at a time--stirring in between. The reason for this is that the cheese in it could melt at a higher/prolonged power. This stuff is great for dipping with the breadsticks.

Breadsticks/Pizza Dough

1 1/2 c. warm (105-115 degrees) water
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. yeast
1/2 tsp. salt
3-4 1/2 c. flour

In a large bowl (the bowl of your mixer, if you have one), combine water, sugar, and yeast. Let stand for 5-10 minutes or until yeast is bubbly.

Add salt and stir. Add 1 1/2 c. flour and mix well. Gradually add more flour--about 3 cups give or take--until dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl and it barely sticks to your finger.

Spray a glass or metal bowl with cooking spray and place dough in the bowl. Cover and allow to rise for 45 minutes or until doubled.

To form the breadsticks:

Punch the dough down, remove from bowl and place on a lightly-floured surface. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Roll into a rectangle and cut into 12 strips with a pizza cutter.

Roll out each piece of dough into a long snake and then drape the middle of the long rope over your forefinger and twist the two strings of dough around each other until you reach the bottom of the ropes with your other hand. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining 11 pieces of dough. Try to space them evenly. I ended up using two cookie sheets and baked them separately.

I also made cinnamon breadsticks and formed them into hearts after rolling them into a rope. Form your breadsticks however you desire. Or spread your dough out on a pan to make a pizza.

Cover pan with a light cloth or sprayed plastic wrap and allow dough to rise for another 30 minutes. A method I use on occasion to help them rise quicker is to heat my oven to 150 or 160 degrees and turn off the oven, then put the cookie sheet in to rise in there.

When there’s about 15 minutes to go, preheat your oven to 375. When done rising, bake for 10-12 minutes or until barely golden. Or if your breadsticks are rising in the oven, take off the cloth or plastic wrap, then leaven them in there while it's heating up. Once it gets to temperature, set the timer for a minute or two less than the baking time. When they're done, rub some butter on top of the breadsticks (I like to fold the paper on the butter down a bit and rub the stick of butter on top of each stick) and sprinkle with garlic bread seasoning. Or sprinkle with cinnamon sugar--those were good too.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Chicken Chowder

This thick, delicious chowder is perfect on a cold day.  

Chicken Chowder
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Put the breasts in a large pot of boiling water to which you've added a tablespoon of Better Than Bouillion and some dried onion.  Boil until the chicken is cooked through.  Remove the chicken and let cool, then cut into chunks.

In the broth from cooking the chicken put:
1 quart chicken stock
1 large onion, diced
1 cup diced celery
1 1/2 cups diced carrots
3 cups diced potatoes

Cook until the vegetables are soft.  In a saucepan, make a roux:
Melt 1 cube (1/2 cup) butter.  Whisk in 1 cup of flour.  Cook the butter and flour for a few minutes, whisking with a whisk.  Then add 1 can evaporated milk.  It will be thick.  Whisk and cook a bit.  Add the roux to the pot.  Stir and stir until well blended and the soup thickens.  You may need to add some milk  to get the consistency you want.  Add plenty of salt and pepper.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Banana Cream Pie

This is the best banana cream pie recipe, and it's easy to make.  I got the recipe from the Our Best Bites cookbook.  Every recipe I've tried from these ladies is really good.   It makes 2 pies: one for you and one for a friend.  
Banana Cream Pie
1 small box of instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup cold water
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 pint heavy whipping cream
2 graham cracker crusts (or you can use any of the crusts that you purchase: Oreo, Nilla Wafer, etc)
2-4 bananas
1/3 cup powdered sugar

In a medium bowl, combine the pudding mix with the water and milk.  When well mixed, put in the fridge to set up for a few minutes.  While it's chilling- in another bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks form.  Fold  1/2 of the whipped cream into the pudding mixture. Put the filling back into the fridge while you slice the bananas into the bottom of the crusts.  Pour the pudding mixture over the bananas, dividing it between the two pies.  Mix the powdered sugar into the remaining whipped cream and divide it between the two pies and spread over the top.  Place the clear plastic lids over the pies and refrigerate for several hours.  

You can use this same recipe with chocolate pudding, omitting the bananas for  delicious Chocolate Cream Pies:

Friday, February 1, 2013

What's For Dinner?: February

 Coconut Curry over Rice

 Kay's Conglomerate Burgers/ Oven Roasted Sweet Potato Fries
 Vegetable Chowder/ Rolls

 Hungarian Beef over Baked Noodles

  Mad Hatter Meatballs over Mashed Potatoes/ Glazed Carrots

 Ono Burgers/ Oven Fries

 Breakfast Burritos
 Bean and Ham Soup

 Carne a Pizzaiola

New recipes to try this month:  (I'll post the recipes if they are good.)
Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup/ Crusty Bread
Broccoli Cheese Soup
Baked Ziti
Steaks with Hotel Butter/ Baked Potatoes/ Asparagus


Sugar Cookie Bars decorated for Valentine's Day

Fudgy Chocolate Silk Pie Valentine treat.

Butterscotch Cookie Bars
  Kettle Corn
Creamy Vanilla Frozen Yogurt