Monday, July 18, 2011

Simple Bread :)

This is a great everyday sandwich style bread
You'll need:
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 packs of yeast
  • 2/3 cup of sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoons of salt
  • 6 cups of flour (any combination of whole grains or white)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 bread pans
  • corn meal
  • cooking spray
  • large bowl
  • rubber spatula
  • a dish towel
Mix the warm water, yeast and sugar together in a large bowl.  Let stand for 15 minutes or until it becomes foamy.  Stir in salt & oil, then work the flour in one cup at a time with a rubber spatula.  Pick the dough out of the bowl and knead into a ball, add a little more flour if it feels to sticky.  Spray bowl with cooking spray and put the dough back in....cover the bowl with a dish towel and leave it alone for an hour so it can double in size.  Spray the bread pans and sprinkle some cornmeal in the bottoms, then divide the bread dough into two equal sized pieces, hand knead a few times and place in pans..... cover with a towel and let it rise again for about 40 minutes or until the dough has risen about two inches above the lip of the pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.   Cool completely before slicing.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Turkey Pot Pie

You'll need:
  • a double pie crust (those pre-mades from the store are ok too :)
  • a can of cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup of turkey gravy (canned gravy is fine if you don't make your own)
  • 3 cups of chopped left over roasted turkey
  • 2 cups of chopped mixed veggies of your choice (again.....frozen is ok)
  • salt & pepper

Mix the cream of chicken soup, gravy, turkey, veggies and salt & pepper in a bowl.  Pour into a baked pie crust, cover with un-baked pie crust, pinch down the edges, poke some vent holes and bake at 375 degrees until its golden brown :)

Whole Grain Pie Crust

I use this recipe for any variety of meat pies I might be making.   It's also great for quiche, fruit pies and apple dumplings.  This is a rich crisp crust so it's not ideal for meringue desserts though.  This recipe makes two crusts.

You'll need:
  • A flat surface and a rolling pin (I love my baking mat)
  • 1 & 1/4 cups of flour (an equal parts blend of white, wheat & oat works best)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons ice water
  • 1/4 cup fat free plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup buttery spread (we use Smart Balance)

Put flours, salt, yogurt and buttery spread in a bowl.  Mash with a fork until it become crumbly.  Then mix in water one Tablespoon at a time until a nice dough forms.  Split the dough into two equal sized sections and knead each by hand a few seconds.  The dough should feel smooth and soft but not sticky, if it does feel sticky put some flour on your hands and work it in.  Turn your dough out onto a floured surface and roll it flat into circles big enough to hang over the sides of your pie plate. Spray your pie plate with cooking spray and put the bottom crust in the pan (the dough should hang over the sides) gently push the dough down into place so it is covering the entire interior surface of the plate, then pinch the remainder of the dough around the lip of the plate.  Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees.  Remove the crust from oven and fill with whatever filling your using.  Then you can put your second piece of dough on top and pinch it over the already baked edges.  Poke a few vent holes in the top and bake until its golden brown.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Potato & Onion Sandwich Rolls

We make these rolls to go with turkey barbecue, but they're great for cold-cut sandwiches or just dinner rolls as well.

you'll need:
  • 3/4 cup of warm milk
  • 5 Tablespoons of warm water
  • 3 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 3 Tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 yeast packet
  • 1/4 cup dried minced onion or Onion Onion from Tastefully Simple
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 &1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup instant potato flakes
  • 3 cups white flour (you can use whole grain if you want, but then you won't have that old school Dutchy potato roll taste :)
  • cooking spray & corn meal
  • optional: egg whites to brush on before baking and a few extra sprinkles of Onion Onion (makes em look like you bought em)
Mix the warm milk, warm water, melted butter, sugar and yeast in a bowl and let it stand about 10 minutes until its foamy.  Then add the onion powder, onion flakes, salt, potato flakes & flour and mix with a rubber spatula until your dough has a nice consistency.  Next, split your dough into 8 equal balls,  knead each by hand a few minutes, then shape into patties.  Place on a cookie sheet that's been sprayed and corn mealed, cover loosely with plastic wrap and a dish towel then let them rise until they double in size.  Brush with egg whites and sprinkle on additional seasonings in you want, then bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until the buns are golden brownAllow to cool a few minutes, then slice :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


A few weeks ago I was passing through the living room with a load of laundry and I over heard my daughter say to her little brother "if you call them when your scared they'll come".  I was pressed for time, so I didn't stop to ask what she was talking about, and eventually the day took over and the moment got misplaced in my thoughts............until last night.

My two year old has nightmares a few times a month... not just your normal little scarymares, he has full blown night terrors complete with thrashing, screaming, kicking and punching. He doesn't wake up while this is happening to him........................ but I do.  Last night was a particularly bad night for him, I was in an out of his room almost every hour throughout the night. 

Around 3 a.m. I woke up again, but not because he was screaming..... I heard his VOICE, clear as a bell, calling for Sully..... it was beautiful and melodic and was kind of an alien sound to me, because my little guy doesn't talk much to begin with (I spend most of my day trying to determine what he wants by decoding patterns of grunts and hand gestures)  AND HE WAS CALLING OUR DOG...... who passed away last year.  His song turned to a question and then to a series of oooooo's and awwwhs, then to delighted two-year old chatter.  I waited and listened until his voice tapered off to just happy little whispers, then I snuck in to peek,  he was sleeping soundly with a smile on his face.

Some angels have fur :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

4 dollar pizza :)

This is so fun to make! and it's a great kids activity :) divide the dough up, and let em go crazy, they love to decorate their own little pizzas.

You'll need :
  • 1 pack of yeast (if your using whole grain flour, get the special yeast for whole grain flour)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2.5 cups of flour (we use a blend of white, wheat & oat flours)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons corn meal
  • 15oz. can of pizza sauce (or three big sliced garden tomatoes, if you use fresh tomatoes add your own seasoning after you arrange them on the crust)
  • 16oz. block of mozzarella cheese
  • cookie sheet with raised edges
Stir the yeast and sugar in a bowl with the warm water then let it sit for about ten minutes while you grate the cheese.  When the yeast looks foamy, add the olive oil, salt and flour, and mix thoroughly, leave it sit for a few minutes while you clean up a bit :)  Heat your oven to 450 degrees, Spray your cookie sheet with cooking spray and sprinkle corn meal evenly on the sheet. Roll you pizza dough into about twelve equal sized balls. Place the balls of pizza dough on the sheet, place them equal distances from one another, then press them all flat with your fingers until the entire sheet is completely covered with dough. At this point you can leave the dough rise for a bit if you want a thicker crust, 15 or 20 minutes is good, or if your in a hurry you can just top with sauce and cheese and stick it in the oven for 20 minutes or until in looks done to you :)


Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Zombie Maker Martini

In case you haven't heard the Zombie Apocalypse is upon us.  BE PREPARED, It only makes sense to have the appropriate drink in hand.
you'll need:

  • 3oz. Vodka
  • 4oz. cranberry juice
  • 1oz. triple sec

~ combine all ingredients over ice in a martini shaker, shake a bit, then strain into a martini glass :)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Chicken & Seasoned Dumplings

This is one of our house favorites, I used to fall back on chicken pot pie for making use of the leftover chicken, but rolling out pot pie dough is not easy with a toddler under foot,  so now we do dumplings :)

You'll need:
  • A left over rotisserie or roasted chicken (preferably beer can chicken)
  • 2 cups chicken broth (if you don't have it add extra water)
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 green onions
  • stalk of celery
  • 1 cup carrots
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • diced red potatoes
  • 4 tbsp dried onion flakes (divided)
  • 4 tbsp dried parsley flakes (divided)
  • season salt
  • 1 tbsp tarragon leaves
  • half cup of Greek yogurt
  • 1 and a half cups flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • salt & pepper
  • Parmesan cheese
Start with the dumplings:
    Mix flour in a bowl with the baking powder, a few pinches of salt & pepper, and 2 tbsp each of the onion flakes and parsley flakes.  Break in eggs and add the Greek yogurt. Mash together with fork until its crumbly, then hand roll into super ball sized balls.

    Boil down your chicken in 3 cups of water in a big sauce pan with a lid until you can easily pull it off the bones.  Remove the bones and discard.  Add garlic, lots of salt & pepper, tarragon, season salt, chopped green onion, celery, potatoes, carrots & peas and simmer until the potatoes are almost cooked.  Add the chicken broth and bring back to boil, add hand rolled balls of dumpling dough and let them cook for about 10 minutes with lid on.  Stir and serve topped with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Lazy Sausage and Egg Casserole

  • 1 pound sausage
  • 12 eggs
  • tater tots
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 4 tbsp parsley flakes
  • 4tbsp dried onion flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cooking spray
Brown sausage in frying pan, then spread evenly across the bottom of a sprayed casserole dish.  Beat eggs, milk, parsley, onion flakes, milk, salt & pepper separately.  Pour the egg mixture over sausage in the casserole dish, top with the shredded cheeses, then put a layer of tater tots on top.  Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the tots look crispy.  Let cool for 15 minutes before cutting.

I've made versions of this dish with left over ham, bacon and even tuna or just all veggies, and its always great!