Archive for February, 2011

Oreo Muffins

February 17, 2011

Ok…so is there really a better way to eat oreos????  Probably not.  And I don’t know why I think I am going to build a better mouse trap, but here goes.

Found this recipe by accident on Kraft Foods.   I don’t normally read the reviews, but I did this time.   The recipe met with very mixed reviews.  Some said good just as is…others, too dry….still others, not sweet enough.  I took the advice of one lady, so this is the recipe as I made it.

OREO MUFFINS

1-3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup  sugar plus 1 Tbsp
1 Tbsp. CALUMET Baking Powder
1/2 tsp.  salt
1/3 cup cold margarine or butter
1/4 cup sour cream
1   egg
1 cup milk
16   OREO Cookies, coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)
Mix together dry ingredients…all but oreos.  Mix together wet ingredients.  Combine, but don’t over mix.  Let set a few minutes to soak up the moisture and then stir in oreos.  Bake in sprayed muffin tin or use liners in your tin at 350 for 30 minutes.  Cool and try them out.
Before I go on, I have a little side note….
MIL got me and the girls a bunch of these last year.   They are the bomb!!!!  They are thin and don’t hang on to the muffin/cupcake and just need a quick swish in the dishwater.  Unlike the colored ones, which are cute and have their place, but  hang on to half your muffin only to dump out in your lap and you have to scrub the ridges, even after soaking.  I love ’em.  She just got me some more from one of her catalogs and that was a good thing.  They do tend to disappear every once in awhile….unseen in an empty sandwich bag or in a pile on the counter that you dump in the trash.  I use them all the time…unless, that is,  the goodies are going to school.
These are ok…they are moist enough..could use a tablespoon more sugar.  I don’t know what I was expecting, but………I guess this wasn’t it.  I might make them again, but I think I would rather dunk the 16 oreos.
…..NEWSFLASH…..
They appeared on the scene just before a nasty spring snow storm blew through.  They weren’t unexpected.  We were just unprepared.  A little girl and a little boy….Espresso and Cappuccino.

What a Wonderful Surprise!!!

February 16, 2011

What a day this has been. Woke up to the wind blowing a gale…not only do I have a headache from it, but the hay stack blew down.   Didn’t get the garbage to the road in time.  I tried, but couldn’t get traction on the ice and the driver didn’t see me in time or he would have stopped.  Then I had to go to work.  Change Valentines Day to Easter for Hallmark.  Thought it would only take a couple of hours, but no…it took twice that long.  I stopped in the middle to come home and make a hot meal for my Honey and build his lunch…then back to town and finish up.  I was in a hurry to get home, so forgot to stop and get gas….hope I have enough to get back.  Well, when I got home there was a wonderful surprise on the table.  A package from BrazenBite……made me very happy.  And what was inside??????

Lots of fun stuff………Along knit scarf…denim blue…fades from light to dark and is soft as butter.  A woven shawl, so light and airy…perfect for cool summer evenings.

Trader Joe’s French Roast Coffee….dark and rich….just the best ever.

Tom Yum Paste…hot and sour….never used it before, but says to cook shrimp and mushrooms in it…can’t be bad then…I will let ya know.

A cute red heart shaped candle…I have red scattered throughout my house, so it will easily find a special home.

More Trader Joe’s…candy this time…Dark chocolate covered caramels…my favorite and milk chocolate English toffee…my Honey’s favorite.

Rice Candy…must admit that I don’t think I have ever tried this….it says it has a childrens sticker inside….so I may share with the gkids…or not

Trader Joe’s PeanutButter Filled Pretzels…they are simply the best…no box or grocery store variety can compare.  If you live near a Trader Joe’s…you don’t know how lucky you are.

What can I say but, THANK YOU…THANK YOU…THANK YOU.  I am getting a box together for you and was going to bring it when we come in May, but I may just hurry things along.

Summer Sausage

February 15, 2011

Sounds like an odd time of the year to be making Summer Sausage, but I found an old recipe of mine and thought I would try it.  The recipe calls for it to be cooked in the oven and this is a good time of year to use the oven.

SUMMER SAUSAGE

5 lbs hamburger

3 tsp garlic powder

5 Tbsp sea salt

3 tsp mustard seed

3 Tbsp cracked black pepper

2 tsp liquid smoke

I threw it all in Layla again with the dough hook.  Don’t get me wrong, you have to use a rubber spatula to get it all mixed, but it sure is easier than by hand.

I divided the mixture into four parts…..1.25 lbs each, huh….and formed it into sort of square logs, removing any air pockets.

Roll it in heavy duty foil and poke on all sides.  I used a meat fork for the poking.  A dinner fork just didn’t cut it.  Bake on a rack on a cookie sheet at 350 for 2 hours and then reduce the heat to 200 and bake for 4 more hours.

When you take it out of the oven, depending on the quality of hamburger you use, you will find alot of shrinkage.  I used one of those 5lb chubs you can get at the grocery store.  I was not going to use burger from the beef we raised last year.  Maybe next Fall, if we have any left.

The foil will look really icky, so rewrap it and put it in the freezer….that is what you don’t slice and enjoy now.

Happy Valentines Day!!!!!!!!!!!

February 14, 2011

BrazenBites sent me this recipe a while back and I haven been saving it for Valentines Day Brunch.  With my Honey working swings, I usually cook a meal about noonish and then send a lunch.  Anyway…….this recipe is from Two Peas and their Pod by Josh and Maria.  OMG….these are wonderful. Not the most slimming recipe, but enjoyable and worth the “sin” …whatever that is.   I am going to just copy and paste the recipe because it is perfect just how it is and I wouldn’t change a thing.

CINNAMON STREUSEL PANCAKES

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cinnamon Streusel:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks

1. First, make the cinnamon streusel. In a medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter. Mix together with your hands or a fork, until you have a crumbly mixture. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, and salt.  In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, oil, and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir just until combined. Do not over mix, batter will be slightly lumpy.

3. Heat a griddle or pan to medium low. Coat with cooking spray. Drop 1 cup of batter onto heated skillet.  Add 2 tablespoons of the cinnamon streusel. Cook on the first side until bubbles begin to form, about 2-3 minutes. Carefully flip pancake over and cover very generously with cinnamon streusel.  Cook for another 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Continue this process to make the rest of the pancakes.

4. Serve warm with maple syrup and butter.

Makes 6 very large pancakes

 

Okay…….so I didn’t follow it exactly.  No syrup.  These really don’t need it.

Hope you and your Sweetie have a wonderful day!!!

Spring Is Right Around the Corner

February 13, 2011

Sorry for the short break.  I’ve been enjoying the nice weather and NASCAR started their season on Friday.  But I haven’t stopped cooking.  Made a strawberry pie for my Honey.  Ya can’t get much more Springy than that.

Strawberry Pie

4 cups fresh, hulled and halved strawberries

1 1/2 cups water

3/4 cup sugar

2 Tbsp cornstarch

1 3oz box of strawberry flavored gelatin

1 baked and cooled pie crust

Get your pie crust baked and our of the oven to cool.  Combine water, sugar and cornstarch in and pan and bring to a boil.  Boil until clear and watch it closely so it doesn’t scorch.  I didn’t and I am still trying to get the pan clean.  Remove from heat and add gelatin.  Arraign the strawberries in the cooled pie shell and then pour gelatin mixture over and chill for several hours.

I’m not real sure where this recipe came from.  I think it was one of those freebies that come with magazine ads in the mail. This sure beats that unknown goo from the grocery store that passes as pie filling.   The filling has a great flavor, but next time I will make a graham cracker crust.  The bottom of the crust seemed to disappear under the filling.

Now I have a question for you.  How do you pre-bake your pie crusts??  I have tried the prick it with a fork thing, but always get filling leakage underneath.  Lately I have been filling the crust with some old bean I have in a jar.  But some of those pesky beans always stick to the crust and I always manage to knock a chunk of the crust off.

Strawberry Pie, NASCAR and mid 40 degree weather in February.  I sure hope Mother Nature isn’t playing a cruel joke on us.

When Men Bake Cookies

February 10, 2011

Got and email with this picture from a friend of my Honey.  The same one who gave me his Mother’s Buttermilk Pie recipe.  Just cracked me up…….

Have a great day!!!!!!

Birthday Leftovers

February 8, 2011

Not much left of the requested big ole chocolate cake…..especially after that humungus dinner.  This is a great chocolate cake recipe…soft, moist and crumbly and best of all chocolatey.  And the frosting…a fudgey delight.

OIL CHOCOLATE CAKE

2 cups sugar

1 cup oil

2 eggs

1/2 cup water

2 tsp espresso powder

3 Tbsp cocoa

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup boiling water

Cream together sugar and eggs, then add eggs.  Dissolve espresso powder and cocoa in 1/2 cup water.  Add that and vanilla and thoroughly combine.  Add dry ingredients alternately with boiling water.  Bake in greased 10X13 pan for 30-45 minutes.

MAGIC CHOCOLATE FROSTING

Combine in the top of a double boiler over boiling water:

1 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk

1 Tbsp water

1/8 tsp salt

2 1oz squares of unsweetened chocolate

Cook over boilng water until thick, stirring frequently.

 

And guess what Girlie got for her birthday???????

I believe she has a matching picture of me in her camera.

 

Potato-Oatmeal Bread

February 6, 2011

This definitely is NOT your run of the mill dreaded (by my Honey) mamby pamby white bread.

Potato-Oatmeal Bread

1 cup mashed spuds (room temp at least)

2 Tbsp butter

1/2 cup warm water

1 Tbsp yeast

2 Tbsp sugar plus a little

1 1/2 cup warm milk

1 Tbsp salt

1 1/2 cup oatmeal

5 cups flour  (2 whole wheat, 3 All purpose)

Proof the yeast in warm water with a little sugar.  When bubbly, add to the rest of the ingredients…minus 3 cups of flour… in the mixing bowl and knead till combined.  Add the remaining flour one cup at a time and knead until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl.  Transfer to a lightly greased bowl and cover and let rise until double.  Punch down and form into two loaves.  Let rise again and then bake for 10 minutes at 425, then knock down the oven temp to 350 and bake till the loaves make that hollow sound when you thump the….about 35-40 minutes.  remove from pans and cool on a wire rack and enjoy!!!!!

About the spuds…..It is a rare occurrence around here when we have left over mashed taters.  We are in Idaho ya know.  And yesterday was no exception.  I made some instant and added the butter to them.  Seemed to work fine.   I will be interested to see if real vs instant makes any difference, because this is a keeper recipe.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY GIRLIE!!!!!!

Requested menu:   home grown fried chicken

mashed taters (from our farmer friends)and gravy

home grown corn (frozen of course)

homemade bread (good thing recipe made 2 loaves)

and a big ole chocolate cake

Guess I had better get busy!!!!!

School Birthday Treats

February 4, 2011

It sure is hard to believe Girlie is as old as she is.  Time sure does go by fast anymore!!!  But at any rate…aren’t they cute???   Don’t they look like an ice cream sundae? Got the idea from bakerella.  She does some really cute things, but most are too complicated for me…but they are fun to look at.

You start with the cupcake part.  Any flavor.  I was going to use strawberry, but none at the store.  I got a white cake mix and added strawberry flavoring and a bit of red food coloring.  Fill the cups about half full instead of the usual 2/3.  You gotta have room to hold the rest.

Then you make ganache ….chocolate of course while you are wating for the cakes to cool a bit.  I am getting really lazy any more.  I heat up the cream in my 8 cup glass measuring cup in the microwave.  Stir in the chocolate chips and there ya go.  It also makes it easy to fill the cupcakes.  The more the better.  After all it is chocolate.

Then make basic buttercream frosting.  Pipe it on so it looks like whipped cream.  I used a 2C tip, but any flower tip will do.  Sprinkle the sprinkles on after you frost each one, or they won’t stick!!

Then plunk a round red candy on top.  They didn’t have any jawbreakers or fire balls at the store, so I used some kind of sour something or other.  That ought to pucker them kids up….LOL

You do end up with a ton, so be prepared for that.  Of course I had tooooo much frosting and ganache.  Oh well, I am sure I can find a use for it.

They all got delivered to the Mrs. Hess’ fourth grade class this morning in one piece.  Along with the gob of frosting on my shoe that I didn’t notice I slopped.  Big Sigh………..

Yes…..It’s Been Cold Here

February 3, 2011

Boy, the way the weather has been this winter I was beginning to think that we might have just missed the below zero weather, but alas, it found us.

How cold has it been???

The hens have all but quit laying.  Two eggs a day is all the ole girls will give up and I can’t say as I blame them.  The cats refuse to go out.  It’s much nicer to lounge on the back of the couch in the sunshine.  Everytime the door opens, the dogs have their noses in the door wanting in, or they are curled up on the patio chair pads.  The kids and I have added insulated coveralls to our wardrobe for doing chores.  And my Explorer, which has to sit outside because there is no room in the garage, will start, but doesn’t really want to.  When it does there is the loudest screeching noise as the belt slips around until it warms up.  In other words…………

So we need a good hot breakfast.  How about home made chorizo, potatoes, eggs a bit of cheese??  Works for me.

Fry up some spuds, add chorizo and fry till done, throw in some scrambled eggs and when they are about done, add cheese.  Simple enough.

CHORIZO

5 lbs ground pork

3 medium yellow onions

1 poblano pepper

8 cloves garlic chopped

3 Tbsp paprika

5 tsp salt

1 Tbsp cumin

1 Tbsp oregano

2 tsp cayenne pepper

3 Tbsp dried crushed red peppers

1/2 tsp cinnamon

I ran the onions and pepper through the grating blade on the food processor.  I had plenty of juice from that mixture and the pre-chopped garlic, but if you think you need a little more liquid use a tad bit of dry red wine.   I put it all in Layla with the dough hook and let it mix away.  Every once in awhile I brought up any unmixed sausage from the bottom with a spatula.  No raw meat under my fingernails or in my rings!!!!

My tablespoons measurements are heaping and all of them are to taste.  To try yours out and make sure you are happy with it, fry a little patty and taste test.  This recipe is NOT that greasy red stuff that you buy in the casings at the grocery store that turns everything red.

UPDATE……….

The 4BT is here!!!!!!!