Monday, March 30, 2009

Very simple and most delish French Bread

Everyone ranted and raved at our recent Relief Society Social when our good friend Christie served two fantastic recipes! A terrific french bread and a pulled pork. I'll share them in two entries so that they are easier to index. I've had a french bread recipe that I've used for years but after tasting Christie's, I'm replacing the old for hers! Loved it!

1 1/4 C very warm water
1T yeast

Dissolve yeast in water and add:

3 cups flour
1 T oil
1 T sugar
1/2 T salt

Christie mixes this in her kitchenaid mixer with the dough hook until dough is smooth and elastic. Then, she leaves it in the bowl, and covers it with a towel until doubled (about an hour). Punch it down, and flatten it down on counter top, (use olive oil on your hands and counter to keep from sticking) and roll it up (like cinnamon rolls, except Christie doesn't roll it out, she flattens it with her hands, maybe about 1-1 1/2 inch thickness). Pinch the seal together and tuck under and pinch the ends together. place on a greased cookie sheet, and let rise until doubled. Cook at 400 for 20 minutes (the browner it gets, the crustier it will be :) )

Christie also recommends adding 1-2 t dried rosemary, crushed, with the flour too. This is awesome with it. She has also added garlic and cheese after flattening it out, then roll it into the dough. Enjoy!!

Sweet Li'l Smokies

Jamie brought these tasty appetizers to a fun gathering a few years ago and we could eat them at every party! Definitely not low-fat or low-cal, so we make them once or twice a year! One thing's for sure, they'll all disappear quickly!
Li'l Smokies
Sugar Cider
Cut your bacon into pieces small enough to wrap one piece of bacon around each smokie. Hold the bacon in place with a toothpick. Line them up in a baking dish, then cover completely with brown sugar. Sprinkle the vinegar over top of the brown sugar. (Jamie was guessing about 1/4 - 1/3 cup.) Bake at 350° until the bacon is cooked. Last time I made them, I realized that they were almost gone before I grabbed the camera! VERY tasty! Enjoy!


This quick and easy old fashioned treat is much simpler than Grannie made! I'm not a big marshmallow fan but this recipe is one you can't stop at one little bite! Make it when you have lots of company or you'll eat the whole pan yourself!

1 bag of Hershey's Milk Chocolate Chips
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 Tbsp. Butter
1 - 1 1/2 cups salted peanuts
1 - 1 1/2 cups cashews
1 10 oz. bag mini-marshmallows
Heat all except the marshmallows in a large bowl in the microwave until barely melted. Do not overcook! Stir in the bag of mini-marshmallows. Pour into a buttered 9x13 pan or Tupperware. Chill, cut into squares. Walk an extra mile tomorrow! Enjoy!

Sweet and Spicy Chicken

Could this recipe be any more simple? It was so dang good and it can be ready in less than 15 minutes. (Not my photo, but it looks pretty close!)

chicken tenders or boneless skinless breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
3 Tbsp. Taco Seasoning

Toss the chicken pieces in the taco seasoning, coating all of the chicken pieces. Drop into a frying pan in about 3 Tbsp. of heated to sizzling olive oil. Toss around in the pan for a few minutes until the chicken is cooked well.

In a separate bowl, mix 3/4 cup of apricot pineapple preserves and 1 1/2 cups salsa. Pour over the chicken and heat until bubbling. Serve over hot cooked rice. Enjoy!

Pork shoulder roast with Rub

Also, from my friend, Christie, this pork roast was a huge hit at a recent Relief Society social! You'll love it and it feeds an army!

2 C roasted minced garlic (Christie just bought the minced garlic in a jar)
5 T salt
1/4 C Coriander seeds/ toasted and ground
2 T mustard powder
4 T dried chipotle peppers
2 T dried thyme
5 T dried rosemary
5 T lemon zest
2 1/2 t black pepper

1 Cup of rub does a 6 lb pork shoulder roast. Rub on roast. Cook roast at 250-275 for 6-8 hours, fat side up. Let stand 15 minutes before shredding. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Lovable but Lethal Pecan Rolls!

These are unbelievably wonderful! And I believe, if you share them with someone you love, the fat grams and calories all disappear when you invert them in the pan! If you really want to kill someone with love, spread a layer of cream cheese frosting over top just before serving! Doug would describe these as "lethal". But... oh, sooooooooooooo good!

1 cup crushed pecans
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter

Using a 12 muffin pan, put 2 teaspoons of brown sugar, 2 teaspoons of butter and cover the bottom of each muffin cup with pecans.

2 cups bisquick
2/3 cup smashed bananas
1 tsp. cinnamon

Mix well and knead. Roll into a rectangle on a floury counter top. Spread 2 more tablespoons of melted butter across the roll. Spread 1/2 cup of caramel topping evenly over that. (You can use the kind you dip apples in or ice cream topping or about 16 caramels, melted with 2-3 tablespoons of evaporated milk .) Sprinkle with more brown sugar (about another 1/4 cup). Roll it tightly and slice into 12 pieces. Place each piece into the muffin tins on top of the butter/nut mixture. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes. Do not overbake! Remove from the oven and flip the pan upside down onto a cookie sheet or foil covered counter. Leave upside down for about 2 minutes so that the butter mixture settles into the roll. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Wisconsin Cheddar and Chive Biscuits

One of our favorite restaurants is Red Lobster. Quayd loves it because of the "all you can eat shrimp". (Remember, he'd love a shrimp birthday cake!) I love it because of the cheesey biscuits served before the meal. I found this recipe in a cookbook given to me by my mom years ago and it's as close as I've come to matching Red Lobster's. As a matter of fact, they may even be better! The secret to making great biscuits, according to my Grannie from the deep woods of North Carolina, is not over-mixing them. The butter and flour may still be "clumpy, but they'll turn out real good!"

3 1/2 cups flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
10 Tbsp. butter, chopped
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
4 tbsp. fresh chives, chopped
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (I use milk and lemon juice)
Preheat oven to 400°. Grease a baking sheet. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper into a large bowl. Rub the butter into dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Add the cheese and chives and stir to mix. Make a well in the center of the mixture. Add the buttermilk and stir until the batter comes away from the sides of the bowl. Drop in 3 tbsp. mounds spaced 2-3 inches apart onto baking sheet. Bake for 12 -14 minutes until golden brown. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Stuffed Strawberries

I first made these for my favorite niece, Brooke's bridal shower. It's a simple frosting recipe that works on just about anything, so I figured, why not strawberries? How could strawberries and cream cheese be anything but delish!? Well, last night, my friend, Jeana, did suggest that they could be chocolate dipped strawberries! FYI, creating two quarts of these beautiful babies takes about 30-40 minutes. But, clean-up is very tasty!

2 cups powdered sugar
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla

2 quarts fresh strawberries

Mix the frosting until fluffy. Do not removed the caps from the berries. Cut strawberries in fourths from stem almost to the cap. I use my Pampered Chef Decorating Press to stuff the strawberries with the frosting. If you don't have a press, you could put the frosting in a heavy zip-lock bag and cut one tip off the corner of the bag. Open the strawberry a bit and fill with frosting. The close the strawberry back enough that the frosting oozes out the sides a tiny bit. Chill until served. Note: You can make these about four hours in advance but make sure the place the filled strawberries on a few layers of paper towels to store because the sugar in the frosting will cause the strawberries to become a bit juicy. Enjoy!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Super Yummy Healthy Cookies

At least that’s what Doug thinks because they have coconut, nuts and raisins in them. I made these cookies years ago when I was out of chocolate chips and in the mood for cookies. They've been a huge hit ever since!

3/4 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter flavored Crisco or real butter
2 eggs
2 ½ whole wheat cups flour (it gives a nutty flavor)
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Baking soda
1 tsp. Baking powder
2 tsp. Vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup raisins (soaked in hot water for about fifteen minutes, then drained)
1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped pecans

Mix sugars, butter and eggs until creamy. Add dry ingredients until mixed. Place teaspoonful of dough on pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 375̊. Makes about 60 cookies. (Note: craisins work great instead of raisins!) Enjoy!