Friday, April 30, 2010

Cinnamon Rolls

I made half a batch of cinnamon rolls the other day....not sure why...probably because I crave sweets nowadays like a mad woman! Anyways, they were good but not GREAT! I have a recipe from my friend and oh my they are so much better! Granted these were far easier to make so that is a plus.

My comment for the dough is use it when you make it or let it get warm if you put it in the fridge because when I was trying to roll it out it kept contracting back in....I'm not a pastry chef so I didn't think about it being to cold. I eventually got it to work. And I'm not sure if it's because the dough was cold or it's just her recipe but once I put them in the pan they barely rose anymore and I left them for a couple hours just because I couldn't get them in the oven to watch them for the 15min. The other recipe I have when we cut them and put them in a pan they double in size.

Oh and one more helpful hint. Use a piece of thread or dental floss to cut's so easy and they don't get smooshed! Just slide the thread/floss under the dough and then criss cross it and you have a perfect cut.

One more thing...I didn't use coffee in the icing because I do not like the taste of coffee!

I say they weren't as good as my friends but Daniel's co-workers were in heaven! See, we weren't totally bad I gave over half of them away...I'm not that glutenous!!:)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Oatmeal Crispies

I made these smaller than PW said to, just for fun. I added butterscotch chips to the batter and was very happy with the result. I didn't have pecans, but I think they would taste very good in them. Below you will see I rolled the dough into 5 skinny logs about an inch in diameter.

I got a little over 7 dozen in all! They turned out a very cute and bite size. The only real change I made was to use half shortening and half butter instead of all shortening. For some reason I just couldn't do all that shortening that she called for. What is shortening anyway? I like butter cuz I know where it comes...shortening I am not so sure. I will be making these again! --Carissa

Artichoke Dip

I made this as an appetizer for my parents and we all enjoyed it.  I think it needed fresh spinich leaves, but it was plenty creamy enough and had more than enough artichokes. 

I asked the baker at the grocery store to cut a baguette into slices, toasted them plain in the oven for about 10 minutes, and served that with the dip- yummy!

Chicken Spaghetti

I made this at my mom's house last week and we all enjoyed it!  We love chicken spaghetti, and were a bit curious if we would miss the velveeta cheese and rotel we usually use- we didn't!  I would put a bit more chedder cheese next time, but it was yummy and easy! 

I used a whole roasted chicken from the store and tore it apart- yummy!  I think cooking the noodles in chicken stock made a big difference.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Breakfast Bowls

I worried I didn't have all the ingredients for this recipe...but it did not seem to matter at all. It was wonderful just like I made it. I fixed this for 5 people....I used 6 eggs, and a good splash of low fat milk. I saw no need for the half and half. I had 3 bacon slices on hand, so browned those, then sautéed some onion, red pepper, and mushrooms in the bacon fat (didn't use any butter).
After spraying my bowls with Pam (which just made sense to me, though PW does not mention it), I divided this mixture between my bowls, along with the crumbled bacon, slightly chopped fresh spinach, and chopped up cheddar and Monterey jack cheese (I didn't bother to grate it).
Then I poured the beaten eggs and milk over it all and sent it to the oven to bake, and bake, and bake....Hmmm, I found that after several ins and outs of the oven, I think I baked these a total of 40 minutes. That is twice as long as the 15-20 that PW recommends. I am not sure what the problem was there...But in the end, they were delicious and cute, and a fun breakfast for guests (of Carissa and her girls!).

Because of the questionable baking time, I almost think these would be nice to pre-bake till jiggly, then refrigerate and heat up the next morning for a really simple breakfast. I will give that a try next time. I love to find ways to make a nice breakfast easy by doing much of it the day before.

Of do have to have small oven-proof dishes for this recipe...which I think is probably not really common for most kitchens. I just bought 8 of these antique bowls about 8 years ago. I love adding this recipe idea to my collection! Just use what you like in an omelet...most any breakfast food will do!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Spicy Pulled Pork

My favorite recipe so far in this cookbook!

I had never purchased or cooked a pork shoulder and thought I should give this a try. Surprisingly inexpensive meat and really simple recipe! I wouldn't call it spicy but definitely flavorful.

I only needed to cook the roast 5 hours but it was a little under 5 pounds and I did not roast it uncovered for 20 minutes to get the skin crispy - it didn't really have a skin. As I shredded the pork I got rid of as much fat as possible and also removed the fat from the pan juices before pouring it back over the shredded meat. Served it with lime wedges and warm tortillas.

Everyone in the family loved it (which rarely happens) and I will be making this again and again. Makes a lot - so good for a large group or plenty of leftovers!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Peach Crisp with Maple Cream Sauce

Another 10 in our book!!

Daniel and I both really enjoyed this...maybe a little to much as I made it Saturday and we ate the last two servings today! I'm not usually big on the actual fruit as much as the crisp part but I have to say the peaches in this were great and I ate them as well! I think the lemon adds a lot of flavor. I used two bags of frozen peaches which was the perfect amount for the crisp.

My suggestion would be to cut the sauce in half, it makes a lot and unless you want to drown your crisp in it or drink it from a straw has she suggests:) you'll have a lot left over. I probably have more than half left. But I would definately make it just not as much!

We also ate ours with ice cream too....why not go all the way right!! I loved it with it b/c I love crisps a la mode but Daniel thought it took away from the sauce so he only did ice cream once.

sorry no picture....

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Blog Award

I am not sure at all how we all got this blog award...BUT....we are the feature blog today at Canon Printer Ink

Thanks for the award!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

I made this yesterday for smallgroup, and I think it went over well…at least I hope that it did. I must admit that sometimes I’m guilty of having “blonde moments” and I definitely had one while making this cake. So if this tip seems like common sense to you, I apologize, but before making this cake be prepared. When I was at the last step of the recipe (the part where you flip the cake upside-down), I realized that my skillet was 12 inches……and I don’t have any plates that big. I was frantically looking around for something to flip this cake onto before it cooled, all I could come up with was a charger. Not only did I forget to get a plate big enough, but the charger that I decided to use was plastic, so the edges were burnt off. Sometimes I just have to laugh at the things I do. Anyhow, here is the cake that I took on a burnt charger to smallgroup.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Exciting news about PW!!

No, Ree is not pregnant--they are making a movie of her life! Can you believe it!! I just read this in the food section of my local newspaper today. Columbia Pictures reports it has made a deal to develop "The Pioneer Woman" as a romantic comedy starring Reese Witherspoon as the famous food blogger Ree Drummond. No release date has been set.

I wonder who Marlboro Man will be....? This just goes to show you that all things start don't think what you are doing can't go somewhere one day! I love it! ~Janice

Monday, April 12, 2010

Peach Crisp with Maple Cream Sauce

I made this dessert to top off our Easter meal, and while it was good, I preferred PW's blackberry cobbler. Like the cobbler, it's also fairly easy to make, so that's a big plus - and ours tasted good with canned peaches (I'm really lazy sometimes!!). But the best part about this dessert is the maple cream sauce!! YUMMY!

Patsy's Blackberry Cobbler

Loved this recipe as well - super easy and very tasty. It takes just a few minutes to make, and is probably great with any fruit that you may choose to use. Also, the ingredients (with the exception of the self-rising flour - I didn't have any in my pantry, but I do now!) are things you pretty much always have on hand, so it's a great recipe to have in your repertoire if you need a last-minute dessert. We served ours with vanilla ice cream, and everyone enjoyed it!

Pizza Crust, Potato-Leek Pizza & Tomato-Basil Pizza

We LOVED this pizza crust!! I was a little nervous to tackle it (prior to making this crust, I had exactly one disastrous experience making a bread product involving yeast), but it was incredibly easy to make and it turned out delicious! We will definitely be making this again, and again, and again... :) Out of the two pizza recipes in the cookbook, my hubbie definitely preferred the tomato-basil pizza (he said that the potato-leek pizza tasted like a "baked potato with cheese" - not his bag when it comes to pizza, I guess!). If a baked potato pizza sounds good to you, though, be sure to slice your potatoes PAPER THIN, or you'll end up with a crunchy baked potato pizza. On the tomato-basil pizza, my only recommendation is to go light on the pesto - if you use too much, it can get a little oily. Otherwise, enjoy! This is a great pizza crust!

Chicken Pot Pie

Though this chicken pot pie was good, it wasn't as great as some other recipes I have tried. I must admit that I didn't have time to make the pie crust, so I cheated and used a store-bought crust. With regard to the filling, though, the consensus at our house was that it was too rich and thick (ha! - and this is comfort food we're talking about, I guess we're just really picky...). I was really surprised by the direction to use an entire cup of flour - if I decided to try this recipe again, I would definitely cut down on that. I did like her use of white wine, though, and will probably incorporate that in the chicken pot pie recipe that I like a bit better.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

chili and cornbread

sorry for the lack of pictures - we were in somewhat of a hurry.  why i always decide to cook on the night's we have small group starting at 6:30 remains a mystery.

the chili was great.  it wasn't hot enough for my taste buds (and I don't like super spicy things), so I would suggest using "original" not "mild" tomatoes with green chilis.  I added those and kidney beans to it - definitely a good idea in my opinion.  served it with some grated cheddar and a dollop of sourcream. 

the cornbread was just okay, to me.  cooking light has a recipe that uses cream corn, green chilis, and cheddar and i prefer that one to this one.

French Pastry Puffs

At our first get together Carissa asked if we liked to cook or bake? At the time I didn't really get the question. Now that I've been on the journey I know that I love baking and I cook so we have something to eat. My latest baking adventure started at 10pm when I realized I needed to take munchies to Bible study in the morning. I went through both cookbooks to realize I only had a little of this and none of that in my pantry. I did have all of the ingredients for the French Pastry Puffs, or at least that's what I thought. I ended up not having the nutmeg. I'm still in awe that it wasn't in my spice wheel. Since I didn't have it I added cinnamon. I'm not sure but I'm guessing that makes them less French?! Anyway, they weren't that great. They weren't that bad. They were good just not GREAT. If I'm making homemade, I want a little more WOW to them. I'm wondering if the missing nutmeg was the WOW. Anyone know? Regardless, I saved 3 and took the other 15 regular size muffins to Bible study and they were all gone and a few of the older ladies asked for the recipe. Guess that's a good sign?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Twice Baked Potatoes

After finding that my cousin is allergic to potatoes I went home and made all things potato.  I needed to eat some and thank the good Lord I have no potato allergy.  I simply love potatoes as does the hubs.

I must confess I had a friend in HS whose mom made the best twice baked potatoes I have ever had.  So, going into this recipe I had my doubts.  No one could beat Matt's moms recipe.  Her's had a creamy goodness that made my heart melt.

(sorry about the shadow, it was taken in haste!)

I ended up having to doctor PW's up.  I hate admitting that but they just didn't do it for me.  I ended up whipping out my mixer and adding some cream cheese into the mixture to add a bit more flavor and still I wasn't impressed.  I don't know what was missing, but these did not do much for me. 

They weren't bad, just not great.  I don't know that I would make these again. 

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Comfort Meatballs

I used 1 lb hamburger meat and 1/2 pound hot breakfast sausage (just because that is what I had).  You couldn't taste the extra seasonings at all. 

I loved that she used oatmeal- it really helped them hold together, better than breadcrumbs in my opinion.

I also LOVE her tip to make them ahead of time and let them form in the fridge- it worked perfectly!  It was so much easier to roll them in flour and lightly brown them.  The other meatballs I have made fell apart in the pan- I will do this again!

I also liked that the meatballs weren't swimming in sauce- just lightly covered with it.  I ended up with about 34 good size meatballs.

On a side note..Carissa, these taste EXACTLY like the meatballs you brought us after Brayden was born.  I have been looking for a similar recipe and this is it!

Blackberry Cobbler...but mine was Peach and Raspberry

This was very easy to make - probably the easiest I have ever done :)  I used frozen peaches and raspberries and made it ahead of time. 

I had to cook mine about 15 min longer and up the temp at the end and it was still not fully cooked in the middle.  I am not sure if the extra liquid from frozen fruit made the difference- BUT, it was DELICIOUS!  Actually a bit too sweet- next time I will cut down on the sugar added on the top. 

I totally forgot to take pictures again! 

Pizza Crust

We too made the pizza crust several days ago... so here are Lil & Ev's cousins Gabe & Elias with their pizza creations...

Definitely a fun dough for kids to work with. I used whole wheat for 1 of the 4 cups of flour and we all loved the crust. My husband even commented on his own that it was a nice crust. I don't think I've ever used yeast where I didn't have to knead it, so that was a nice surprise! The boys made their pizzas from half the dough, then I put the rest covered in the fridge and saved it for the next night.

The boys were not big fans of my Goat cheese/Arugula/Pear pizza, but I thought it was great.

I think it was the "salad on a pizza" factor they didn't go for.

Chicken Pot Pie

I think this is by far my favorite recipe I have made out of her cookbook!  It was SOOOO yummy!  And really pretty easy. 

I used a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken, half and half instead of cream, and watched the serving size! 

I made the crust earlier in the day and put it in the fridge- it was perfectly pliable when I let it sit out for about 5 minutes.  I rolled it out to fit a 8x11 glass pan. I thought I would want crust on the bottom, but I surprisingly didn't :) It made 2 batches of crust- 1 left over to take to a friend who just had a baby!

The flavors were delicious, it was creamy, but thick, and the crust was super easy.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Pizza Crust

I was very impressed with PW's pizza crust! It had great texture and was easy to work with!

My girls LOVED it...they treated it like play-do that they could eat!

I let them make small individual pizzas....when I could get them to stop playing with it!

For the large "grown up" pizza I made one of my husband's very favorites! Buffalo Style Chicken Pizza! If you want a happy hubby, surprise him with this for dinner...after your dough is rolled out, spread it with a thin layer of blue cheese salad dressing, the on top of that put a mixture of rotisserie or even leftover grilled chicken that has been diced then tossed with Buffalo sauce...I use Frank's (see picture below) You can get it anywhere, from Kroger to Walmart!
Then top the chicken with grated mozzarella cheese. Then dip the baked pizzas in more blue cheese as you eat it. I must warn you...your husband will be so happy he will request this often!

These are some of the pictures of the individual pizzas my girls made. I will definitely be making this crust again, I really did like it alot! --Carissa

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Cheesy Macaroni and Cheese

OK, let me confess, all the mac and cheese made around our house, is made by opening a box. :) But I decided to give this recipe a go and I am so glad that I did! The recipe was easy to follow and the only addition I made was adding some powered garlic. As mentioned in my previous posts, our family loves garlic. One small variation that I made from the recipe was I used cheddar cheese made with 2% milk. I have recently returned to Weight Watchers, so anywhere I can cut back on calories, I will try. I served the mac and cheese with a pork loin. All three of us liked the dish very much. The only thing I will do different next time is to wait and make this dish when our son is not in the kitchen with me. The steps that required the continuing wisking was not easy when you have a 16 month old pulling on your leg. :) All in all, it was a great side dish and we had plenty left over for the next night.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Low-Fat Linguine with Clam Sauce

I thought this was pretty good, my husband and 4 year old liked it even more than me. I misread the recipe when I was shopping for my clams. I somehow only got home with half the amount of clams that I needed, so I subbed in mushrooms for half of the clams. It was really good that way, I would recommend adding mushrooms! To make it low fat I used 2% milk instead of cream. In the cold milk I dissolved 1 teaspoon of cornstarch to help it thicken. I didn't miss the cream at all! Don't forget the Parm cheese, that really added alot of flavor. I would make this again, it was easy to make as a spur of the moment dish since you can keep the clams in the pantry. --Carissa

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Penne Alla Betsy

From all the alterations I made to this recipe, I’m not sure I can still call it by this name. I remember Anne used chicken instead of shrimp for this recipe, so I tried that as well. For the pasta I used whole wheat pasta, and I omitted the wine and basil. I wasn’t too thrilled with this dish, but maybe if I hadn’t made so many alterations I would've been.

Simple, Perfect Enchiladas

I am not an enchilada aficionado in the least; however, I shocked myself with how delicious these were. I thought this recipe was exhausting, but the final product was totally worth it. What makes this recipe truly delectable is the fresh cilantro….....and the green onions…….oh and the green chilies…mmm and the olives…..ok seriously who am I kidding?! It was all so fantastic and you’re just going to have to see for yourself!
My busy stove

Perfect Pound Cake & Holiday Bacon Appetizers

I got these two off of the PW’s website. While the pound cake was tasty, it was definitely not pretty. Obvious Tip- be sure to grease the bundt pan well so that it comes out in one piece.
For the appetizers, which we decided should be named Bacon Buddies, I put them in the oven at 345 degrees for 25 minutes. I was probably the only one who didn’t like these, but the majority of people liked them.