Saturday, May 20, 2017

MARSHMALLOW CREAM FUDGE

Yield: Approximately 2 1/4 lbs.

Grease 8” square pan with butter

Combine:
        1/2 cup sugar
        2/3 cup evaporated milk
        1/4 cup butter or margarine (butter is best!)
        1/4 tsp. salt

Bring to a full boil, stirring constantly.

Add: 1 package mini marshmallows

Boil 5 minutes over moderate heat, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat.

Add: 1 12-oz. Package (2 cups) chocolate chips (I prefer Nestle’s.)
Stir until melted.

Add: 1 tsp. Vanilla
        1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional.)

Pour mixture into greased pan. Chill until firm.


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

HOMEMADE DUTCH OVEN BREAD

I found this recipe on Facebook on Tasty from Buzz Feed.  It was a first-time success!  The only problem was that it seemed way too salty (this from a person who likes lots of salt!)  I have adjusted the recipe and tweaked it a bit.  This is a chewy crusty bread that is absolutely delicious!  The recipe makes 1 loaf.


INGREDIENTS

2 cups lukewarm water (between 90˚-110˚F)
2 tsp. granulated sugar (needed to allow the yeast to bloom)

1 envelope dry active yeast (2 1/4 tsp.)
600 grams all-purpose flour (about 4 cups, lightly packed and leveled off)
2 1/2 tsp. Salt (original recipe calls for 1 1/2 Tbsp., but it is way too salty!)

PREPARATION

1. Stir sugar and yeast packet into water and allow yeast to bloom. (A light foam should appear on top of the water after about 5 minutes. This means the yeast is alive and active.)

2. In a large bowl, mix flour and salt thoroughly with a whisk. Once incorporated, create a well in the middle and pour in the water/yeast mixture.

3. Mix by hand, wetting your working hand before mixing so the dough doesn’t stick to your fingers (or use disposable kitchen gloves.) The water and flour should come together and a form rough dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour in small increments, about 1 tablespoon at a time. If the dough is too dry, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Once the dough has come together, cover it with plastic wrap lightly sprayed with pan spray, and let it rise until it doubles in size (about 1.5 to 2 hours).

4. Uncover the dough and give it a few pokes with your finger. If the dough has risen properly it should indent under the pressure of your fingers and slowly deflate.

5. Using your hand or a rubber spatula fold the dough. Starting from the rim of the bowl, work the dough loose from the sides and fold it up and towards the center of the bowl. Rotate the bowl and repeat until all the dough has been pulled from the sides and folded towards the center. Once finished, cover and allow the dough to continue to rise for another 1.5-2 hours, or until double in size.

6. Gently remove dough from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface and sprinkle a small amount of flour on top of the dough. 

7. Using your hands, begin to shape the loaf. Fold the dough over itself several times to form a ball, then claps together the seams of dough together. Place the dough seam-side down in a clean bowl that has been coated with olive oil and flour. Cover and let rise for 1 hour.

8. Meanwhile, take a 6-quart seasoned dutch oven (or heavy cooking pot with oven-safe lid) and place it inside the oven. Preheat the oven to 450˚F/230˚C and allow it to heat up with the pot inside for 45 minutes. MY NOTE:  If your dutch oven has legs, put it on a cookie sheet so it will not get caught on the oven rack.

9. Remove the pot from the oven and place it on a trivet or heat-safe surface. (Be careful! It’ll be VERY HOT.) Turn the proofed dough over onto a lightly floured surface.  Shape into a round ball with seam side down. Carefully place it inside of the pot. Cover with the lid and return the pot to the oven. NOTE:  If you are careful, you can open the oven door, pull the cookie sheet with the dutch oven forward, remove the lid, then slide the dough into the pot.  Much easier than lifting a hot dutch oven out of the oven.

10. Bake at 450˚F/230˚C for 45 minutes, removing the lid for the last 15 minutes. NOTE:  I keep forgetting to take the lid off, and it comes out fine.

11. Remove bread from pot and allow to cool for 10 minutes before cutting. NOTE: I find it easiest to slip a spatula under the bread, place a hot pad on top,and lift it out.

Monday, December 26, 2016

SOUR CREAM SUGAR COOKIES

My daughter, Heather, gave me this recipe.  She got it from a friend.  It is the best sour cream sugar cookie I have ever tried.

Yield: 2 to 5 dozen, depending on how thick and how big. This recipe makes a soft cookie.


Decorating is not my forte.  You can probably do much better! :)

Combine and set aside:
     6 cups flour     
     1 Tbsp. baking powder                                
     1 tsp. baking soda                  
     1 tsp. Salt

In mixer bowl combine:
     1 cup sour cream
     2 cups sugar

Add and mix well:
     1 cup shortening
     4 eggs
     1 tsp. vanilla

 Slowly add dry ingredients and mix well.

Chill about 15 minutes (can be longer, even overnight.)
Preheat oven to 350o.
Shape into balls, or roll to about 1/4" to 1/2” thick and cut into shapes.
    
Bake until barely light brown on the bottom, about 
5-9 minutes. They may seem underdone, but they aren’t.



Remove from oven and transfer cookies to cooling rack.

Frost with Butter Cream frosting (see recipe in DESSERTS/SWEETS.)

Saturday, September 17, 2016

ITALIAN SODAS



Fill a pint container half full with ice cubes.
(Don’t overfill or there will not be enough room for 
the rest of the ingredients.)

Add:
     1 cup club soda
     3 Tbsp. half and half
     5 Tbsp. raspberry syrup*

OPTION:  Top with whipped cream and a raspberry

Stir with straw and enjoy!

*Use bottled syrups such as Torani, DaVinci, etc., 
or make your own (see my Raspberry Syrup recipe 
under Desserts/Sweets.)

*Other syrup flavorings can be used.




RASPBERRY SYRUP







YIELD: Approximately 
1 pint syrup 
1/2 cup jam









1. Combine in heavy 3-quart saucepan:
        1 cup sugar
        1 cup water
        2 cups clean raspberries

2. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat, then reduce heat and
    simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Place wire sieve over medium-large bowl.
4. Pour mixture into sieve and let it drain into the bowl.
5. Gently press mixture to get as much syrup out of it as you can.
6. Let sit a few minutes until it is drained.
7. Pour clear syrup into storage container.
8. Scrape raspberry residue into small container (about ½ cup size)
    and use as jam.

Use syrup on pancakes, in smoothies, over ice cream, in Italian Sodas (see recipe under BEVERAGES,) etc.




Wednesday, August 31, 2016

MINI PIZZAS

Yield: 6 mini pizzas

Using a round biscuit cutter (about 3 ½”-4” in diameter, cut out six rounds from tortillas.
Place each round in the bottom of a muffin tin.

Place about 1 Tbsp. Pizza sauce into each muffin cup.
Sprinkle with granulated garlic 
Add you favorite toppings, finely chopped(onion, bell pepper, 
     mushrooms, olives, etc.)
Sprinkle on Italian herbs
Add about 1 Tbsp. Shredded mozzarella cheese
Top with chopped pepperoni (I cut pepperoni slices into sixths,)
     sausage, or any other favorite pizza meat.


Bake at 350o for about 12 minutes.


Monday, August 22, 2016

ONE PAN PASTA

Found this on Facebook from MetaBlasts 8-15-2016, and he said he got the idea from Martha Stewart. I have tweaked it some.

YIELD: Serves 2 medium servings  





1. Place about 2 oz. dry spaghetti into frypan with straight sides 
   (I actually used a cast iron pan with slightly angled sides.)

If you like your pasta al dente, continue to step 2. If you like it cooked more, add the 1 cup of water right now and turn burner to medium high. Let it cook while you dice veggies. Make sure you stir it a bit so pasta won’t stick to itself.

2. Cut up and place into frypan around pasta:
     1 cup thinly sliced onions (sliced on the vertical.)
     1/2 red bell pepper, chopped in large pieces (or any color you 
        want; if you want heat, use 1 chili pepper.)
     About a dozen cherry tomatoes sliced in half 
        (or equivalent in other tomatoes.)
     1-2 large garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced.
3.  Top with Leaves from 1-2 sprigs fresh basil
4. Drizzle with olive oil.
5. Add:  1 cup water

6. Bring to boil, then turn down to about medium, making sure water continues to lightly boil. Pay attention, and stay with this. Use tongs to gently stir. Cook 10 minutes or until water is gone.

7. Turn off heat.
8. Add and stir in about 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese.
9. Add leaves from another sprig of fresh basil and stir in.

Options: 
Add sliced mushrooms
Add your favorite meat (chicken, shrimp, thin slices of beef, etc.)

NOTE:

* How to cut onions: Peal onion, then slice through it at the equator. Place cut side on board and cut vertically, very thin.


* A sprig of basil is the leaves from about a 4” stem.