Monday, September 30, 2013

German Pancakes

This is a delicious breakfast, or an even better quick and easy dinner.  We love breakfast for dinner occasionally, and these German pancakes make an easy one.  Add some bacon on the side, and you're all set.  This only feeds about four people, though, so if you have a bigger family, you'll want to double it and put it in two pans.
I'm usually a syrup girl, but on this puffy pancake, I like fruity topping.
German Pancakes
Turn your oven on to 450.  Spray a 13 x 9 pan with cooking spray, then put in 4 Tablespoons of butter.  Put the pan in the oven while the oven preheats to melt the butter.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, beat:
6 eggs, then add
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
Take the pan out of the now preheated oven and pour the batter over the melted butter.  Put the pan back in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes until puffy.  Cut and serve with syrup or fruit topping.  Here are some ideas for the fruit topping:
Cut up any kind of fresh berries or fruit.  Top with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of brown sugar.  Or here's a yummy fruit topping:
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen raspberries or strawberries, thawed
1 can pineapple tidbits or chunks, drained
1 banana, sliced
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
Top with the fruit, then the sour cream and brown sugar.  Yum!!!  I wonder if they really eat these in Germany?

Friday, September 27, 2013

Enchilada Casserole

 This recipe is old as the hills.  I got it from a college roommate. In our apartment my freshman year, we would take turns cooking, and I loved it when Kathy would make this casserole.   I've been making it ever since.  It's an easy and quick family meal.

 Enchilada Casserole 
1 lb. lean hamburger
1 onion, chopped
2 cans tomato sauce
Taco Seasoning, to taste ( I just sprinkle some in- about a packet-sized amount)
1 can corn, drained
1 can olives, drained and chopped
Dash of Tabasco sauce, opt.

Cook the hamburger with the onion.  Drain if necessary.  Add the other ingredients and simmer together for a few minutes while you butter on both sides:

6 corn tortillas

In a sprayed 2 qut. casserole dish, layer:
2 buttered tortillas
meat sauce
grated Mexican blend cheese
2 butter tortillas
meat sauce
grated cheese
2 buttered tortillas
meat sauce
Bake at 350 until  it's bubbly and hot and the cheese is melted.  20-30 minutes.

*Fun note:  Preparing this post got me thinking about my roommate Kathy and wondering what happened to her.  I looked her up on facebook, and since she looks just the same, I was pretty sure it was her.  I messaged her and, sure enough, it was her.  I noticed that we had 1 mutual friend- my niece, Sharla.  So, I asked Kathy how she knew Sharla.  Sharla is married to her cousin, Ladd.  So, it's a small, small world.  It was so fun to reconnect with her.  I love how food does that.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Ham, Swiss and Broccoli Roll ups in Basil Cream Sauce

I've made this recipe for so long I honestly can't remember where I got it.  I used to say it was my favorite of all the dishes I make.  I love the combination of the creamy basil sauce with the ham, Swiss and broccoli. Serve it over rice.
Ham, Swiss and Broccoli Roll-ups in Basil Cream Sauce
12 slices deli ham (I like Black Forest, but any kind will do)
12 slices Swiss Cheese
Broccoli spears (12 nice ones)
1 onion, chopped
4 Tablespoons butter
4 Tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried basil or about 10 leaves fresh, chopped fine
2 cups milk

Put the broccoli in a saucepan with water and salt and bring to a full boil.  Turn off the heat and put the lid on and let the broccoli steam while you prepare the sauce.
Saute the onion in the butter until the onion is soft.  Add the flour and cook and stir for a few minutes.  Add the milk and whisk until smooth.  Add the salt and basil.  Stir and cook until thickened.  Remove from heat.
Spray a 9x13 pan.  Lay out a piece of ham and put a slice of cheese on it.  Put a broccoli spear in the center and roll the ham and cheese around the broccoli.  Put seam side down in the pan and repeat for the rest of the ham and cheese.  Pour the white sauce over all (I always strain the leftover broccoli bits and put them in the sauce) and bake in a 350 oven until it's hot and bubbly and the cheese is melted.   Serve over hot rice.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Super Simple Snickerdoodles

Tonight for Family Night, Nathan was in charge of preparing a treat. He chose to make Snickerdoodles. I had a baby 3 weeks ago and am not up for a big cooking project. We found this recipe on a Duncan Hines cake mix that was super simple and delightfully delicious.

3 T sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 pkg Duncan Hines Classic Yellow Cake Mix
2 large eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.

Combine cake mix, eggs and oil in large bowl. Stir until well blended. Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place balls 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Flatten balls with bottom of glass.

Bake at 375 for 8-9 minutes or until set. Cool one minute on cookie sheets. Remove to cooling rack to cool completely.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Salted Caramel Bars

I have had this recipe to try for a very long time, but was afraid I'd like them too much and eat the whole pan.  We recently had a family reunion and I was supposed to bring desserts, so I thought it was the perfect time to try them. They were, as I suspected, very rich and very delicious.  I loved the salty, sweet taste. They were gone in a flash!
Salted Caramel Bars
Preheat oven to 325.  Prepare a 9 x 13 pan by spraying with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine with a handheld mixer:
1 lb. butter (4 sticks), soft at room temperature
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar 
2 Tablespoons vanilla
When well combined, add 4 cups flour.  Beat until a nice smooth dough forms.  
Press half of the dough into the prepared pan.  Put the remaining dough in the fridge for now.  Bake for about 20 minutes.  Let cool while you do the next part:
Unwrap one bag of caramels (about 14 ounces) and put them in a microwave-safe bowl.  Mix in 1/3 cup heavy cream and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.  Microwave on high for about 1 minute.  Stir.  Continue to microwave in 30 second intervals until the caramels and cream stir together and caramels are melted and smooth.  Pour the caramel mixture over the somewhat cooled crust.  Sprinkle 1 Tablespoon of coarse sea salt over the top.  Take out the other 1/2 of the dough and crumble it over the top of the caramel and salt.  Bake another 20 minutes or so, until the topping is browned.  Cool and cut into bars.  

Monday, September 16, 2013

Homemade Yogurt

My last post on making yogurt was long and probably a bit intimidating. So here are some pictures and a few words.
Step 1) Pour milk into your slow cooker and turn it on high. Let it heat until it reaches 180 degrees F. I put in about 2/3 a gallon.
Step 2) Take the pot out of the heating pot and let it get to a degree between 112 and 120 degrees. It gets there more quickly if you stir it.
Step 3) Pour about 1/3 cup of plain yogurt into a bowl.
Step 4) Whisk in a cup or so of the warm milk.
Step 5)When it's well combined pour it back into the slow cooker pot. Put the lid on.
Step 5) Wrap the pot in a bath towel.
Step 6) Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Once it reaches that temperature. Turn off the oven and turn the light on.
Step 7) Put the wrapped pot in the warm oven. Let it incubate for 8-12 hours.
When you take the lid off there will be a little layer of liquid on top of the yogurt. This is whey and contains the minerals and vitamins from the milk that has separated. Place a big bowl in the sink w/ a strainer on top. Put cheesecloth or a very thin cloth inside the strainer. Dump the yogurt into the strainer. Let it strain for as long as you want--15 minutes to 2 hours. The longer it strains the thicker the yogurt will get. You now have yogurt! I like to blend mine for a few seconds to make it completely smooth. Just don't blend it too long as it will liquefy.

Step 8) You can flavor it now or in segments later. I usually leave mine plain and flavor a bit at a time since I use it as a substitute for sour cream. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Honey Glazed Carrots in the Microwave

This is my go-to vegetable side, winter and summer.  We love these carrots and they are so simple and fast and healthy.  We eat them at least once a week.  
Honey Glazed Carrots
Peel and cut up desired number of carrots.  They kind of shrink, so do more than you think.  Put them in a microwaveable bowl.   Put in a hunk of butter, a little bit of water (Not much  maybe a couple of tablespoons) and put in a few tablespoons of honey.
Cover with plastic wrap.  Make a few slits in the plastic wrap.

Microwave until the carrots are soft. 
Remove the plastic wrap and serve.  I often add frozen peas at this point and put them back in until the peas are warmed.  

Monday, September 9, 2013

Kalua Pork and Coconut Rice

One of my husband's favorite foods is Kalua Pork from Hawaii.  I got the recipe from a lady who lived in Hawaii for many years.  It's very simple.  You can use the least expensive pork roast, so it's not very expensive, either. It's delicious served with rice.  I recently saw this recipe for coconut rice on The Sister's Cafe website and made it with the Kalua pork.  They were delicious together.  The pork is salty and went so well with the sweetened rice.  But plain rice is delicious, too.

Kalua Pork Roast
4-6 lb. pork roast
1-2 Tablespoons Sea Salt
1-2 Tablespoons Liquid Smoke

With a sharp knife, cut slits into the roast all over.  Put the salt in the slits and rub all over the roast.  Then rub the Liquid smoke all over it and put it in the crock pot( the lady I got the recipe from always put it in a roasting bag and then in the crock pot.  That sure makes clean up easy!)  Cover and cook on very low for many hours, depending on your crock pot.  I like to cook it overnight, and half the next day on Sundays and eat it for Sunday lunch.  I add about 1 cup of water because my crock pot cooks fast.  When very well done, shred the meat.  Be sure you mix the juices back into the meat.

Coconut Rice
1 can coconut milk
1 1/2 cups dry, rinsed rice (I always use short grain)
1 cup water
4 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Put all in the rice cooker and turn on.  You can also cook it on the stove.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Sara's Pizza Dough and Homemade Pizza Sauce

Until I tried this recipe, I was never a big fan of homemade pizza. This crust changed that for me. I use it every time I make homemade pizza. Enjoy!

Pizza Dough
1 cup warm water
2 T softened butter
1 T yeast
2 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 t salt

Mix water, butter and yeast and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Add sugar salt and flour. Mix and knead for 2 minutes. Roll into a ball and let it rise for 20 minutes. During this time I usually make my pizza sauce (see below) and prepare my toppings. Roll out dough, top with sauce, cheese and any toppings of your choice. Bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes, until crust is golden. Our family usually makes several small pizzas (each kid likes to make their own, and I've found that 15 minutes is too long for the smaller pizzas, so I start checking ours at 10 minutes.

When we had 2 children my husband went back to university full-time to get his MBA. During this time the budget was extra tight and I had a whole bunch of tomato sauce in my cupboard that I figured I could be doing more with. I asked around and a friend gave me this recipe for pizza sauce. It is super inexpensive, flavorful and easy to make.

Pizza Sauce

1 can tomato sauce
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. parsley
1 tsp. onion powder or minced onion
1/2 tsp. pepper (NO SALT--the tomato sauce is salty enough)

Simply mix all ingredients and spread on your crust. The "recipe" I was given was very vague as to the amounts of each spice. So, add more or less of each, according to your taste. I find that this isn't quite enough to cover all the little pizzas we make with the dough recipe (above), so you could double it and save/freeze the remainder for the next time.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

What's For Dinner? September

Here's what for dinner in September.  This month's menu plan includes a lot of old standbys from my cookbook.  I'll have to take pictures and post the recipes.

1. Ragu Bolognese-  this delicious homemade sauce makes a big batch.  You freeze 2/3 of it for later or to share.  I love those kind of recipes.  It simmers on your stove for several hours.  I made it yesterday for today's dinner, and my house smelled so yummy all day!
2.  Chicken Pot Pie- Easy and yummy.
3.  Barbecued Hamburgers and Portabellas (Labor Day tradition!) 
4.  German Pancakes with fresh peach topping
5.  Broccoli/ Ham Roll-ups
6.  Zucchini Italian Frittata
7.  Chicken Parmesan
9.  Blender Whole Wheat Pancakes - I love this healthy recipe because you don't even have to grind the wheat.  The blender does it for you!

10. Enchilada Casserole - another old standby.  I got the recipe from a college friend, and have been making it ever since!
11.  Lazy Sister Chicken
12.  Skillet Beef Stew over noodles -  This a yummy 30 minute meal.
13.  Pasta with Roasted Summer Vegetables - I'm excited to try this recipe Kristen posted last month. (Don't you love her dishes?)

16.  Bacon and Bleu Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts
17.  Andelin's Gable House Cheese Broccoli Soup

Fresh Apple Cake with Cream Sauce

Browned Butter Brownies