12/8/12

Buttermilk Biscuits


Difficulty: Easy | Total Time: 50 mins | Makes: 8 biscuits
This simple recipe uses just six ingredients, and creates fluffy, light biscuits. The key to any biscuit is to keep your butter cold, so be sure to work fast to ensure flaky results.

Special equipment: This recipe uses a 2-1/2-inch round cutter to make 8 standard-sized biscuits, but you can use different-size cutters to make smaller or larger biscuits.

INGREDIENTS:



2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup cold buttermilk



INSTRUCTIONS:


Heat the oven to 425°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.


Whisk the measured flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda together in a large bowl to aerate and combine. Add the butter pieces and toss to just coat them in the flour mixture. Place the bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes.


Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, and working quickly so as not to soften the butter, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it’s in pea-size pieces. Drizzle in the buttermilk and stir just until a moist, shaggy dough comes together.


Generously dust a work surface with flour. Scrape the dough out onto the surface and dust the top with more flour. Using floured hands, gently pat the dough into a 1-inch-thick circle.


Using a 2-1/2-inch round cutter dipped in flour, cut out as many biscuits as possible (press straight down through the dough—do not twist the cutter, or the biscuits will not rise properly). Transfer the biscuits to the prepared baking sheet, spacing them at least 1 inch 
apart. Gather the scraps into a ball, pat it into a 1-inch-thick circle, and cut out more biscuits. Repeat as needed until you have 8 total. 

Discard any remaining dough.




Bake until the biscuits have risen and are golden brown on top, about 15 to 16 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly before servin

12/4/12

Been MIA...

Sorry everyone...

  I've been MIA because my netbook was down for the count!!!!!!!!  BUT I have a new charger and I am going to be back posting and I have LOTS of new recipes to share!!!!!!!!!

8/3/12

Navajo Tacos!

This one is unique... I wanna test it out for a new thing... See how the boys respond to it... To me it looks delish but they don't always like everything Momma does lol... Thanks again to Oh SO Delicioso!!!!



For Nates birthday my friend made him quite the birthday dinner. Navajo Tacos and cucumber lime aid. (my kitchen was packed away in boxes...) I wanted to make it for my family, and got the recipes from her. Its REALLY yummy. And although the dough looks like it would take a lot of work to make- its really easy.
It also makes a TON.
I halved the bread dough and would say it would still easily make 20-30 servings.
The dough below is NOT the halved version.

I have also have navajo tacos with philsbury biscuit dough- fried.
oo! comment #1 said to use rhodes roll dough. LOVE that idea.

Top the Fry bread with all your favorite taco mixings.
Refried Beans
Ground Turkey or Beef (cooked in taco seasonings)
cheese
olives
tomatoes
pico or salsa
avacado / guac
sour cream
lettuce etc

Navajo Fry Bread Recipe:

Let stand 5 minutes in a separate bowl:
2T yeast
1 Cup warm water
2tsp sugar

Cream together
1 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
3 tsp salt

then add and continue creaming
2 eggs
4 cups warm water
yeast,water and sugar mixture

5 cups flour, cover, let rise for 1/2 hour

Stir in 6 or 7 cups of flour and let rise in fridge for a few hours.
Roll into small balls and flatten thin and fry in heated oil.
depending on size of pan you can fry 2-3 at a time and it only takes a few minutes on each side. watch carefully.

Cookie Dough Truffles

OMW I LOVE her for sharing these on Oh SO Delicioso!!!!


These are TO DIE for {great for the upcomming holiday too!}. A friend introduced me to them last year in MI, and I so love her for it :) and lately I've been cravying them like crazy. I searched up the recipe and need to share it with you!
ps- its a Paula Deen Recipe, you know its good!

Cookie Dough Truffles

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup semisweet mini chocolate morsels
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 1/2 pounds chocolate bark candy coating, melted

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl cream butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy. Add vanilla. Gradually beat in flour and add milk. Add chocolate morsels and pecans, mixing well. Shape into 1-inch balls. Place on waxed paper; chill 2 hours.
*Cook's Note: Since the dough is sticky, roll your fingers into flour. This will make it easier to roll.
Melt chocolate bark candy coating in a double boiler. Using 2 forks, dip cookie balls into candy coating to cover. Place on waxed paper and chill to set. Store in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Homemade Tortilla Chips!

All I can say is YUMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!!!


on Sunday I found myself in a bit of a scramble....We had gotten home from our big christmasidaho trip late friday night. Saturday unpacked and cleaned and managed to go to costco for milk eggs and a few other essentials. Sydney's birthday was Sunday and she decided right then and there she wanted tacos for her dinner. We grabbed all we could for the meal and headed home.

The next day (Sunday, Sydney's birthday) we had the whole feast laid out but I had forgotten chips. how on earth are you suppose to eat salsa without chips. So I started scrounging the internet for tortilla chip recipes. After reading a few I figured out how I would make them...and made them.
They were SO yummy and really very simple I know I will make these more often on taco night.
They are really really addicting when they are fresh out of the oven. They would hold up perfect in soups- especially taco and tortilla. (we had picked up the costco tortilla soup with the coupon for an easy dinner and this were nice with it. kept the crunch in all the soupiness)


you need :
1 T veg oil
12 corn tortillas
sea salt or kosher salt

with a basting brush oil each side of a tortilla
Stack all 12 and cut like a pizza


you will need 2 cookie sheets.
lay out in a single layer
and sprinkle with salt

Place both cookie sheets in oven at 350 bake for 10 minutes
then switch cookie sheets shelves.
(top cookie sheet move to bottom rack and vis versa)
you may need longer time or less...you know how your oven cooks...







Tips on Frosting Cupcakes

I found this over at Oh So Delicioso & I am bookmarking it for my own personal use seeing as she has a LOT of the same things I do!!!

I saw this floating around on pinterest...and three clicks later I found the original post.
I love it, and wanted to know this info for myself, so I'm book marking it in my recipe book blog

for more information, movie and explanations- even cupcake recipes.....go here

(Left to Right) Large round tip, Open star (Wilton 1M), Closed star (Wilton 2D), French tip

Chicken Tip

I buy roasted chicken for $4-$6 bucks and take all the meat off the bones while it's still warm. I divide the meat into 2 bags that provide chicken for 2 meals. Then I throw the bones, skin and scraps into a pot, cover it all with water and let it boil for an hour. It makes yummy chicken stock to use in soups and stews and I just freeze it in a freezer bag. It ends up being so worth it. Plus I don't have to cook chicken for casseroles, soups or enchiladas. It's so nice to just pull it out of the fridge and start assembling without the hassle of cooking and shredding first.

4/5/12

Version 2 - Flour Tortillas


This isn't quite the same as Gram Gram's Recipe but looks like something I wanna try to test and see how they compare taste wise... Once again Thanks Stella B!!!

We eat a lot of Mexican food at our house and prefer flour tortillas. Tortillas really aren't difficult to make at all. The process is pretty simple, the only time consuming part is waiting for the tortillas to cook. Fresh tortillas taste so much better than the store bought variety and this is one recipe I'll be using often.


Working at Don Pablos years ago, I watched the 'tortilla lady' make hundreds of tortillas with the help of machinery that rolled the balls and flattened them out. The restaurant also had a huge griddle to work with, making homemade mass production easy. I would never have guessed a home cook could make delicious tortillas without any special equipment.

I found this gem in The Pioneer Woman's collection and she does an excellent job explaining, so go there if you enjoy more photos. She used lard, I used Crisco and had great results. I would agree with her tips at the bottom the post. (using her tips, I only screwed up one that I left on the griddle and walked away...it turned into a tortilla cracker)


Flour Tortillas
2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp vegetable shortening or lard
1 cup very hot water

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut vegetable shortening into flour mixture with a fork. Add hot water and mix until combined. Knead 30-40 times in the bowl until a soft ball starts to form. Cover with plastic wrap for 1 hour to allow dough to rest. Divide and form into 16 balls. Allow balls to rest another 30 minutes on a sheet of plastic wrap. Heat a medium to medium-high griddle. Roll balls thinly on countertop (no dusting needed) and place on hot griddle for 20-30 seconds per side, or until brown spots form, tortillas are still soft, but not doughy. Stack and cover to keep hot until ready to serve. Cool completely before refrigerating. Refresh in microwave if needed.



Mom's Refrigerator Pickles


My Adopted Grandma from back in grade school used to make these... They are the BEST thing EVER!!!!!!!!! I just found them on Stella B's Blog & I LOVE HER!!!!

Mom's refrigerator pickles are the best. We grew up eating these and I try to ration the container the entire year while we wait for the next cucumber growing season to begin. They go perfectly with grilled cheese sandwiches. The pickles are sweet, sour, crisp and they make you feel good because you made them:) I think they're comfort food for my family and I'm pleased to say that my kids like them too.

You will always find one or two cucumber vines growing around cages at my house in the warmer months. One would suffice, but I'm afraid of somehow the one and only plant dying and not getting any cucumbers for the year. One plant, if you continue to pick the cucumbers as they are ready and never let them over ripen, will give you cucs the entire summer until it literally freezes out. A four foot high, two foot diameter, sturdy cage will house one plant and keep it neatly in that space instead of crawling all over your garden. It makes it much easier to see how many you have on the vine and how big they are...so you can plan for the days to come. Okay, back to the recipe....

Burpless (the ones with tender, thinner outer skin and generally seedless that grow relatively straight and uniform in size) cucumbers are my favorite for this, but anything works. You don't want to use the ones they sell in the grocery store with the thick, green skin and yummy wax coating...blick. Use whatever size cucumber you prefer and dump all of the following in a gallon container. Or split it into smaller containers as long as the pickles are covered with the brine. You may need to make more brine to cover the pickles in smaller jars. Make the brine first so you know how many pickles it can handle.

Brine~
In an ice cream bucket or larger and mix (note, no cooking involved):

1 large white onion, sliced thin - I quarter the slices, mom doesn't
3 cups sugar
3 cups vinegar
1/3 cup salt
1 tsp celery seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds

Slice cucumbers and add to bucket until filled, but brine still covers the slices. Store in refrigerator until they are eaten, up to one year. I start fresh each year with the new crop. They never last that long.

I've tried cooking the brine and it really makes no difference. My mom never cooks the brine and hers are always better. Funny how that works, no matter what she does to the ingredients, it always tastes better when she makes it:) It works nicely to get your bucket of brine made with the first cucs and add slices as the plants ripen to the desired size. I've eaten them after only a day or two soaking and they're still good, so you don't have to wait months or whatever like other pickles.

HALF BATCH VERSION : Makes two 32 ounce jars
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vinegar
1/6 cup salt
1/2 Tbs celery seed
1/2 Tbs mustard seed
8-9 cups sliced cucumbers
1 large onion, sliced, quartered

Sunday's "Best" Dinner Rolls


I just found this recipe and I am gonna give it a go!!!

I adapted this recipe only slightly to speed the process because dinner needed to be served within a particular time frame and I only made half the recipe Terri wrote. She suggests using part of the dough for cinnamon rolls and after tasting these, I think Terri's spot on. These would make amazing cinnamon rolls! Check out her post for the original, perfect-as-written recipe and make these soon!!!

"Sunday Best" Dinner Rolls
recipe from Terri at That's Some Good Cookin', adapted slightly by Stella B's Kitchen
Terri's Original printer friendly version
Stella B's Kitchen's printer friendly version with adaptations as written below


2 Tbsp yeast
1/2 cup sugar plus 1/2 tsp, divided
2 cups warm water
1/2 cup melted butter, plus additional melted butter to dip rolls in
2 whole eggs
7 cups flour
2 Tbsp dough enhancer
1/2 cup powdered milk
2 tsp salt


Dissolve yeast in 1/2 tsp sugar and 1 cup warm water.


In heavy stand mixer, add remaining sugar, water, eggs, 1/2 cup melted butter. Add bloomed yeast and mix until combined.


Add flour, powdered milk, dough enhancer and salt. Mix on medium low speed (KitchenAid speed 2 or 3) for 8 minutes. Turn off mixer and rest dough for 10 minutes.


Mix dough again on same speed for another 8 minutes, until dough is very smooth and elastic. Turn off mixer and rest dough for 10 minutes.


After dough has rested for 10 minutes, begin forming rolls. Butter two 9x13 inch metal pans. Divide dough in quarters. Out of each quarter, make 10 balls or rolls. {finished roll will be double the size of the dough} Dip each rolled ball in melted butter to help rolls separate easily after baked and give them a beautiful, golden color. Rolls fit four across and five down to fit 20 in a baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap.


**OR, use half the dough as rolls and make cinnamon rolls out of the second half of dough!


Set rolls in a warm place and allow to rise until nearly doubled in size. About 30-45 minutes. When ready, remove plastic wrap and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Brush hot rolls with butter, if desired.




*Terri's recipe calls for 3 eggs and enough additional flour, up to an additional cup, to make dough the right consistency. I also substituted vital wheat gluten for dough enhancer as I could not find it in my local grocery store.


Sunday Best Dinner Rolls were impressive to me because of how quickly they were made (in yeast dinner roll terms) and they tasted great two days later! The third day we refreshed them slightly in the microwave. My experience with homemade rolls is dry and oddly dense/textured after a day or so, and these were still pretty close to first day baked after two days. I can't wait to try this recipe as cinnamon rolls this weekend when I make them for my family.

4/4/12

Semi-Home Made Chicken Pot Pie (In Under 30 Minutes!)

This recipe I came up with on the fly and it was AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ingredients:

3 Grilled Chicken Breasts cut into 1/2" chunks
or 1 can of chicken breast broken into small pieces
2 cups frozen mixed veggies
1 package frozen spinach - thawed & drained
4 small cans cream of chicken soup or 2 family size cans
1 cup milk
1 package Grands Biscuits with Layers
2 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tbsp perfect pinch - roasted garlic & red pepper flake

Directions:

Bake biscuits by directions - pulling them out 3 minutes before they are done baking & spread a bit of butter on the top of the biscuits & then bake the last few minutes till golden brown.

Combine all the other ingredients in a soup pot & stir until thoroughly combined & flavors meld together. Spoon into bowl & split biscuits in half on top!

Taco Soup

This recipe is courtesy of my lil sis Jo :) With MY own twist of course ;)

Ingredients:

1 15oz can of petite diced tomatos
1 pound ground beef
1 can corn
1 29oz can of pinto beans (or two 15oz cans)
2 packets of taco seasoning
1 tbsp Allspice
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 medium oinion - minced
1 box of chicken or veggie stock
3 packages ramen noodle soup (the plastic wrapped not the cup of noodles)

Directions:

Brown the ground beef in the pot & add onion & cook over low heat till they are translucent. Drain off any remaining oil. Add ALL other ingredients (except the noodles from the ramen noodle soup). 15 minutes before serving break apart the ramen noodles into the pot & bring to a full boil & then lower to a simmer.

Serve with shredded cheddar cheese, pico di gallo, sour cream & shredded lettuce on top!!!

3/21/12

Homemade Vanilla Extract; cheap and YUM!

Found this recipe at Just West of Crunchy and I think I may try it as Gifts for Christmas this year!!!


Let’s get this vanilla party started!
Making your own vanilla extract; make is SUPER yum…while saving SUPER dough…seriously! When I first came across this post in November of last year I KNEW I had to prepare and make it for Christmas 2012 gifts. Why it had never crossed my mind before, I have no idea…but how awesome…make your own vanilla extract, save LOTS of money, give it out as super-thoughtful Christmas gifts…that’s a LOTTA wins in my book! But the thing about making your own is, it takes 4-6 months to ‘cure’, or become vanilla extract, so if you are reading this in March…GET TO PREPARING now so you’ll have it ready by Christmas time.

I have been paying $10.95 for a 4oz jar of vanilla extract (the good stuff), because you really can taste the difference in your baked goods and homemade ice cream! This recipe…EVEN using premium liquor…only cost $5.50 to make the same 4oz jar; sweet! You could absolutely make it for much cheaper by using other liquor as well! I decided to get fancy and have some fun with my vanilla, so I used several types of liquor to produce several vanilla extracts; Vodka (Grey Goose), Rum (Bacardi), Tequila (Cabo Wabo Blanco), Whiskey (Maker’s Mark), and Whiskey Bourbon (Eagle Rare).


Depending on how much you want to make for your personal stash and gift-giving purposes; here’s a guide for vanilla bean to liquor ratio:

1lb of vanilla beans to 1 Gallon of Liquor = 32, 4oz bottles of vanilla extract

½ lb of vanilla beans to ½ Gallon of Liquor = 16, 4oz bottles of vanilla extract

So once you decide how BIG you’re going to go; here’s what you need:

Ball (Mason) Jars – I choose Ball because they are Made in the USA…and you can find them everywhere (Walmart, Target, your favorite grocery store) gallon, quart, pint; you choose the size you want depending on what liquor or liquors you’re going to use. For example I used two quart jars (vodka & rum) and three pint jars (tequila, whiskey, & bourbon whiskey).

Vanilla Beans – Based on the research I did, you may want to stay away from any vanilla beans coming from Mexico, due to the fact they add coumarin to the beans, which is banned by the FDA because it can cause liver and kidney damage. So make sure you always buy Mexican vanilla products from a reputable supplier. I purchased my Madagascar vanilla beans from Olive Nation using the coupon code (hhm2012) I found here, during my recipe search…and I am VERY happy with the quality of the beans; they were moist, plump and long. And a bonus; I received the 10% off AND they shipped free (and quickly!)

Liquor – This is where you can have fun! While ‘typical’ vanilla extract is made using vodka or rum, by all means feel free to use tequila, whiskey, bourbon or any other liquor that strikes your fancy! The flavor of the liquor won’t be very pronounced in the final product; it will come through more-so as background notes of flavor!

Time - HA! But seriously, add this to your ingredient list! It takes 4-6 months of your vanilla beans getting drunk on their liquor extractor before you’ll have true vanilla extract; so plan ahead!

Get to it!


I used 2oz of vanilla beans (about 18 individual beans) in the pint jars and 4oz of beans (about 36 individual beans) in the quart jars (and I added 2 extra beans to the dark liquor batches).

Prepare the beans by slicing them straight down the middle, starting an inch down from the top (this way you’ll be exposing the beans to the liquor while keeping the bean connected at that top inch).


My 3yo (4yo next month) was the official "bean hander" and "bean shover in jars"!
Add sliced beans to the jars (I found bending them in half and then placing (shoving!) them inside the jars was the best way to prepare them), so when I added the liquor, all the beans were submerged.

Next, drown those beans! Add liquor; feel free to sample said liquor prior to drowning the vanilla beans, we do prize quality control!

If you’re doing different flavors/liquors, make sure you label the jars so you’ll know which is which when the time comes to reveal the true vanilla extract connoisseur you are!


Now, agitate the jars. In other words; Shake it Like a Polaroid Picture…feel free to get the kids involved in the shaking/dancing!

Tuck the jars away in a dark place, cool if possible. There they’ll sit for 4-6 months and get happy. It’s a great idea to dance (shake!) your jars about once a month, this will ensure maximum flavor in your finished product…so shake it!

When you are ready to bottle, you’ll need amber (dark colored) bottles to store/save/gift your vanilla extract in. These can be found at most Craft and Kitchen stores, and you can also find them online. Please refer to this post for the final bottling step and if you want/need to order your amber bottles online, please click thru their affiliate link in that post; it’s the LEAST I could do to say thank you for sparking my interest and getting me motivated :)