Thursday, July 31, 2014

Witch Hats

Luckily my food blog isn't popular.  Lucky because if it was, then it might be a problem that I post holiday recipes LONG after the holiday has passed.  Oops!

My son's preschool had a Halloween celebration last year and asked for donations.  I signed up to bring a treat.  Feeling a little buried with work and being a mother, I searched for an easy treat to make.  These witch hats were exactly what I was looking for and my son loved them!




Ingredients:

1 package of  Keebler Chocolate Striped Shortbread Cookies
1 package of Hershey's Kisses, unwrapped
1 container white frosting
green or orange food coloring

Directions:

Drop a few drops of food coloring into the white frosting and stir until well combined.  Smear a dollop of frosting on the bottom of a Hershey's kiss and stick it to the bottom (chocolate side) of the cookie.

You want the frosting to smush out from underneath the kiss so you can see the color of the frosting.

Wa-la!  Witch hats!



Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Chicken and Wild Rice

As much as I try to back off using Cream of.....anything.  

I just keep going back to the comfort in a can!  

This was a really filling meal that the whole family enjoyed!


Chicken and Wild Rice 



Ingredients:

1 6 oz package long grain and wild rice mix
1 medium onion, chipped (1/2 cup)
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoon  fresh basil or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
2 cups chooked chicken, shredded
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

Directions:

Prepare the rice according to the directions. 
 Preheat oven to 350º.  In a large skillet, melt butter and cook onion and celery until tender. Stir in soup, sour cream and basil.  Stir in cooked rice and chicken. 

Transfer mixture to an ungreased 2-quart baking dish.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Bake, uncovered, for about 30 minutes or until heated through. 

Enjoy. 









Monday, July 28, 2014

Root Beer Pork

The best place to search for new recipes is the Internet.  Raise your hand if you use Pinterest!  The Internet is where I find a majority of my meal ideas, but occasionally, I'll find one in a magazine as I'm flipping through its pages.   I found this one in a magazine, but the irony is, it credits the recipe to allrecipies.com.  

Go figure!


Root Beer Pork



Ingredients:

2 pounds pork tenderloin
1 12 oz can of root beer
1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce
Hamburger buns


Directions:

Place the pork in the slow cooker; pour the root beer over the meat.  Cover and cook on low about 5-6 hours or until well cooked and shreds easily. 

Drain well and stir in BBQ sauce.  Serve over hamburger buns. 


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Cinnamon Rolls


A stand mixer was something I always knew I wanted.  I would say, "In the future, when I have a bigger kitchen to store it."  I knew it was a great tool to have in the kitchen, but it wasn't like I was feeling inconvenienced because I didn't have one.  

Little did I know!

Last October, my husband and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary.  Yea!  And one of his gifts to me was to finally get me a stand mixer.  

My life changed that day.  

I'm not kidding.  

When I say I wasn't feeling inconvenienced or anything it's because I didn't KNOW how amazing these things are!  It's like having a handy helper in the kitchen.  I'm in love.  I've used it almost every single day since I've gotten it.  Everything from making these amazing cinnamon rolls to shredding chicken to making a cheese ball.  

One of the first things I made was my first-ever cinnamon rolls.  Wow... why didn't I get a stand mixer years ago?  These were awesome!



Cinnamon Rolls



Ingredients:

Dough:
1 cup of warm whole milk (110ºF)
2 eggs at room temperature (put them in a bowl of room temperature water to speed up that process)
1/3 cup of margarine (melted)
4 1/2 cups of bread flour (or more)
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of white sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons of dry yeast

Filling:
1 cup of brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon
1/3 cup of unsalted butter, softened

Frosting: 
1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
3 oz of cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup of butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
 1 small pinch of salt
drops of water

Directions: 

Using your stand mixer, pour in the warm milk and add dry yeast and 4 teaspoons of sugar (taken from the 1/2 cup of sugar you will use later).  Whisk quickly to mix and cover with a kitchen towel for about 10 minutes. 

Once it is bubbly and puffed up, attach the hook attachment and mix on low speed.  Add melted margarine, eggs and remaining sugar.  Now start adding the flour and salt, one cup at a time.  You may end up using more than 5 cups of flour.  Let the mixer work the dough on the slow speed for about 10 minutes.  Do this until the dough does not stick to the bottom of the bowl.  Or you can check it by getting a small piece of the dough and squeezing it between your finger and thumb.  If it doesn't stick, the the dough is ready.  

Place plastic wrap over the top of the dough (touching the dough) to cover it.  Let it rise for about 1 hour or until it doubles in size.  Keep it in a warm place.  I put it in near the dryer.

Sprinkle some flour over a clean surface and put the dough over it.  You'll need to stretch the dough using a rolling pin.  Shape it to about 16x21 inches in a rectangle.  Now spread the 1/3 cup of softened butter all over the dough. 

Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle this over the dough.  The butter should hold the mixture in place. 

Now roll the dough VERY TIGHTLY, the long way.  Then cut the dough into 12 pieces.  Cut in half first, then half of that then half of that...and so on. 

Lightly grease a 9x13 metal pan and place the rolls inside.  Cover and let rise for about 30 minutes or until they double in size.  Keep in a warm place. 

Bake rolls at 350º for about 15 minutes until golden brown. 

While baking, make the frosting:

In your stand mixer, add the cream cheese and butter and whip with the whipping attachment until they are evenly combined.  Add the vanilla and then the powdered sugar.  You will need to add a few drops of water to help it combine.  

Spread the frosting over the rolls once they come out of the oven, while they are still warm. 





Baked Salmon with Tomatoes and Green Beans

It's taken me a very long time to convert to eating salmon.  The only fish I usually eat is sushi.   And I only eat the safe stuff that has cream cheese in it too.  But, knowing the health benefits of eating fish, I make sure to serve it to my family regularly.  This all-in-one dish is an easy way to get an entire meal prepared and it includes salmon.  Bonus!


Baked Salmon with Tomatoes and Green Beans

 
Ingredients:

A couple handful's of grape tomatoes, sliced
A couple handful's of green beans
Salmon (as much as you think you'll eat)
Butter
Olive Oil
Garlic and Herb dry seasoning

Directions

Lay the tomatoes on one side of a casserole dish, salmon in the center and the green beans on the other. 

Drizzle olive oil over the veggies and place a few dollops of butter (or margarine) over each section and sprinkle with the Garlic and Herb dry seasoning. 

Bake at 350º until the salmon is cooked through.  About 20-30 minutes. 

**The first few times I made this the green beans needed more time than the salmon, so now I saute the green beans a bit before I put the in the dish so they'll be ready in time.  I also take aluminum foil and cover just the green bean side to help them cook faster.