Category Archives: food

Brownie Cheesecake

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Yep, that’s right.  Chocolate and cheesecake.  Twist my arm.  This is beyond sinful.  Oddly enough I looked for this recipe after my brother suggested it to me as something he made for a Superbowl party.  If my brother could do it, I had to be able to pull this off right?  Right!!  As you can see from my pictures I did not make any topping.  This is so incredibly rich that I just couldn’t handle it, but I know someone out there can!  This was really easy and came out wonderful.  I look forward to hearing about your take on it!

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Sweet and Sour Chicken

I was raised on the East Coast where easy access to really good Chinese food was a way of life.  Then I moved to Iowa.  The only 2 Chinese places where I live are buffet style.  They are not really anything to write home about.  To get to any major city from where I live is a min. 90 minute drive.  Kinda sucky, but these are the things we do for love!  I do actually enjoy the small town life I have here, but sometimes I just NEED some good Chinese food!  To be honest, this recipe is very time consuming, but so very worth it!  I have a super picky fiance and he actually loves this dish so much that he is always willing to help me make it (bum hand, I always need help of some sort).  This man does NOT know how to cook without me there to reassure him he wont burn down the house 🙂 but really he does quite well.  There is nothing bad about this dish.  Also, the leftovers are amazing!  I hope you decide to try it.  Be sure to let me know!

http://www.joyouslydomestic.com/2013/01/sweet-and-sour-sesame-chicken.html

Moms Potato Salad

Lynns Phone 306

I don’t know about you, but I cannot wait for spring and cookouts and bonfires and family gatherings and, WARM WEATHER!!!!  I have never been a fan of potato salad mainly because I don’t like mustard.  I know, I know, I must be insane.  Still, it is just gross to me.  Recently we ended up with far to many potato’s and eggs.  Mom decided she would make a potato salad.  Shocking enough I like it(of course she doesn’t use mustard!).  This is such a basic recipe, but something about it just tastes so good.  So if you have a picky no mustard eating family member, this is for you!

Ingredients

6-7 potato’s

6-7 eggs

1 medium onion

green olives

salt

Helmans Mayonnaise

Cut potato’s into small pieces and boil with  eggs.  Slice onion into very thin pieces and add to the boiling water.  Salt the water.  Chill eggs and potato’s in the fridge until cool.  Mix eggs and potato’s with Helmans Mayonnaise, reserving a couple eggs if you want to decorate the top.  Slice eggs and olives into pieces and decorate the top if desired.

Of course if you don’t like olives or prefer mustard you can always add or omit as you choose.  The onions boil down to almost nothing and even my super picky fiance doesn’t notice they are in there.  As always please let me know if you like the recipe!  Enjoy!

Mulitgrain Bread

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I don’t know about any of you guys out there, but I am finding it difficult to afford to eat better.  I have made some changes and found that making my own bread is a huge savings!  Not to mention that it tastes so much better than store bought.  I try to make this on Sundays and since it makes 2, I trade a loaf with a friend who has chickens and eggs.  Easy peasy!  I tried a few different recipes but this one from http://www.ourbestbites.com is by far the best.  You do need to devote a afternoon to this process but for the most part its just waiting.  The stand mixer does almost all the work, which for me is essential since I have very little use of my right hand.  There is very little kneading to do, and that small part is done for me by my amazing fiance who has gotten quite good at being my kitchen helper!  I really hope you enjoy this recipe.  I have not had one person tell me they are not in love with this bread.  Have fun and please let me know how it turns out!

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Multigrain Bread

Multigrain Bread

Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook

Ingredients

1 1/4 cup (6 1/4 ounces) seven-grain hot cereal mix

2 1/2 cups boiling water

3 cups (15 oz) all-purpose flour (not bread flour, I used white whole wheat flour)

1 1/2 cups (8 1/4 oz) whole wheat flour

1/4 cup honey

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled*

2 1/2 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast

1 tablespoon salt

Optional : 3/4 cup unsalted pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds (I used 1/4 cup each of slivered almonds, unsalted sunflower seeds and pepita seeds)

1/2 cup (1 1/2 oz) old-fashioned rolled oats or quick oats

*If you’re using salted butter, just decrease the additional salt by just a bit.

Instructions

Place cereal mix in bowl of stand mixer fitted with dough hook and pour boiling water over it; let stand, stirring occasionally, until mixture cools to 100 degrees and resembles thick porridge, about 1 hour.  Whisk flours together in separate bowl.

Once grain mixture has cooled, add honey, butter, and yeast and mix on low speed until combined.  Add flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, and knead until cohesive mass starts to form (*note: some at high altitudes have noted they have not needed all of the flour, go by look and feel and stop adding flour if you need to!) 1 1/2-2 minutes; cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let dough rest for 20 minutes.  Add salt and knead on medium-low speed until dough clears sides of bowl, 3-4 minutes (if it does not clear sides, add 2-3 tablespoons additional all-purpose flour and knead until it does.  Don’t add more!) continue to knead dough for 5 more minutes.  Add seeds (if using) and knead for another 15 seconds.  Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and knead by hand until seeds are dispersed evenly and dough forms smooth, round ball.  Place dough in large, lightly greased bowl; cover tightly with plastic and let rise at room temperature until nearly doubled in size, 45-60 minutes.

Grease two 9×5 inch loaf pans.  Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and divide in half.  Press 1 piece of dough into 9×6 inch rectangle, with short side facing you.  Roll dough toward you into firm cylinder, keeping roll taut by tucking it under itself as you go.  Turn loaf seam side up and pinch it closed.  Repeat with second piece of dough.  Spray loaves lightly with water or vegetable il spray.  Roll each loaf in oats to coat evenly and place seam side down in prepared pans, pressing gently into corners.  Cover loaves loosely with greased plastic and let rise at room temperature until nearly doubled in size 30-40 minutes.  Dough should barely spring back when poked with knuckle.

Thirty minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees.  Bake until loaves register 200 degrees, 35-40 minutes.  Transfer pans to wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes.  Remove loaves from pans, return to rack, and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours, before slicing and serving.

Storage: Bread can be wrapped in double layer of plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.  Wrapped with additional layer of foil, bread can be frozen for up to a month.

For those without a stand mixer, Cook’s Illustrated recommends:  “Stir wet and dry ingredients together with a stiff rubber spatula until the dough comes together and looks shaggy.  Transfer the dough to a clean counter and knead by hand to form a smooth, rough ball, 15-25 minutes, adding additional flour, if necessary, to prevent the dough from sticking to the counter.  Proceed with recipe as directed.”

King Cake

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Ok, lets just start off with me saying I know Mardi Gras is over.  However, I have a niece who just loves these king cakes!  My brother in law came down to visit yesterday so I decided to try my luck with this recipe.  Now normally I am not the best at following directions, but for this recipe I followed to the letter and the result was great!  Everyone loved the cake and went on and on about how much better it was than the store bought ones.  This really is not a hard recipe, just a lot of steps.  I wish I had taken more pictures for you guys but I was trying to fix my laptop on the phone with my brother in Albany, NY and fielding multiple phone calls from work!  So while you only get one picture of the finished product, I now have a working laptop and can post again!!  YAY!  I looked over many recipes on Pinterest while trying to decide how to make this and here is the one I chose.  The directions are very detailed and easy to follow.  If you decide to try it, please let me know what you think!

 

http://www.barbarabakes.com/2011/03/mardi-gras-king-cake/#_a5y_p=1166494

Italian Chocolate Cake

I came across this recipe (not for the first time) here Chew Nibble Nosh. Looking through the recipe I thought it looked interesting 😉 then a friend told me that his mother used to make something like it when he was a kid! That was it – I had to make it!

So I looked through the ingrediance again……Riccotta?! Um OK……2 pounds?! Wow 😉

I have to admit that I expected 2 things

1 – it was going to be REALLY rich. And
2 – it was either going to be fantastic or a complete flop LOL

Well it was FANTASTIC! And while yes it was rich it wasn’t near as rich as I expected 🙂 And it looks like so much more work than it is! It’s really easy!

SO give it a try! It’s DELISHIOUS!!

By the way – make sure you have a good deep pan! This cake is HUGE! LOL

Italian Chocolate Love Cake

Cake
1 chocolate cake mix plus the ingrediance to make it
2 lbs Riccotta Cheese
4 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Frosting
1 small box instant chocolate pudding
1 cup milk
1 small tub cool whip

Directions

Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prep a 9×13 pan (grease and flour).

Prepare the chocolate cake according to package directions. Put in the bottom of the 9×13 pan

In a separate bowl combine the Riccotta, 4 eggs, sugar, and vanilla and beat until smooth. Pour on top of the chocolate cake mix. Yes I know this seems backward but trust me it will end up in the middle/bottom of the cake!

Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Let cool COMPLETELY before frosting! Overnight in the fridge is best!

Frosting
Combine instant pudding and 1 cup milk. Fold in the tub of cool whip until no white streaks are left. Spread over cooled/refrigerated cake.

Pizza a Roll-ups

Ok so this has been waiting since Wednesday for me to write and post. Sorry, I’ve been out job hunting and it’s exhausting and between job fairs and a few interviews I’ve just been pooped lol.

This is a bit of a follow up to the 40 Minute Rolls recipe because that’s you’re ‘crust.’

So! Make you’re bread dough! Split it in half. Set one half to the side and roll out the first half into a large rectangle. Get it pretty thin because it’ll double in size (thickness) in the oven.

Get out a large cookie sheet and parchment paper (my best baking friend!)

DO NOT ADD SAUCE! Add you’re toppings – I used cheese, pepperoni, sausage, and Canadian Bacon.

Starting at one ‘short’ side of your rectangle start rolling 🙂 moisten your fingers with a little water to seal the end.

Place on the cookie sheet to rest while you repeat with the other half of your dough.

Cover your rolls with a towel and turn on your oven to 425 degrees.

Once your oven is preheated (remove towel 😉 ) bake for 20 minutes.

While they are baking put your sauce in a small pan to warm for dipping.

Once your roll-ups are done baking turn on the sauce to warm. Cut the rolls into slices about 1/2 to 1 inch.

Serve with sauce and enjoy!!!

Leftovers? What are those?

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40 Minute Rolls

**Note: picture borrowed from Taste of Home***

Last night I was getting ready to make dinner – hamburgers and fries. Now I’m out of Everything right now so I knew I’d have to make the buns for the burgers. I pulled up this quick and easy recipe I’ve made before from http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/40-minute-hamburger-buns. While pulling out the ingrediance realized that I was out of eggs to 😦 . Well shoot what am I going to do? It’s too late to run to the store! Internet to the rescue! I looked up ‘egg replacements’ and I think I liked them better than with the egg in them!

Try them and you may never buy buns again!

So here’s the recipe

Ingrediance

2 Tbs Active Dry Yeast
A little over a Cup of hot water
1/4 Cup Sugar
1/3 Cup Oil
1 Egg or replacement (1/3 Cup water, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 Tbs oil)
1 tsp salt
3 1/2 Cups flour

Directions

In a bowl put Water, Yeast, Sugar, and Oil. Set aside for about 5 minutes to Bloom (it’ll get all bubbly 😉 )

In a small bowl slightly beat the egg or combine the ingrediance for the replacement.

Prepare your mixer with the dough hook. Put the flour and salt in the bowl. When the Yeast mixture is ready add it and the egg (or egg replacement) to the flour and salt. Mix on medium for 3 – 5 minutes until a soft dough forms.

DO NOT LET RISE

Seperate into 12 rolls onto a greased or parchment covered cookie sheet. Yes they will seem small. Cover and let rise while your oven preheats (about 10 to 15 minutes).

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and bake for 10 – 12 minutes (mine usually take about 11 lol) until the tops are a nice golden brown.

Give them a few minutes to cool enough to handle.

Ham and Bean Soup

Hi everyone! Sorry I haven’t been posting theses last couple weeks, I’ve been trying to find a new job and I just haven’t stopped running 😦 , and my poor house is showing the results lol. But I decided to take a day off of running and spend it catching up on my house work and do a little in the kitchen – here is the result ;).

The cold weather turns my thoughts to soups. The old standby that comes in a can works in a pinch but if you take a few minutes in the morning add in a crock pot and presto you have a yummy homemade soup that tastes great and was super easy!

Ok so I’m gonna be honest. I’m NOT a bean eater normally but I love ham and bean soup! The combination of flavors……..YUM!

So here’s the super easy recipe:

1 48oz Chicken Stock plus 3 Cups Water
1 Decent sized ham hock
1 large Onion – chopped
4 stalks of Celery – chopped
4 – 6 large Carrots – peeled and chopped
3 or 4 cloves of Garlic – chopped
2 or 3 bay leaves

1 48oz jar of precooked Navy Beans drained
1 package spiral sliced ham – Chopped into bite sized pieces (I found this right by the cubed ham)

In the morning place the first 7 ingredients in the crockpot and turn on low for 6 to 8 hours (or while your at work 😉 ).

Add the ham and beans for about an hour – just long enough to heat through.

Serve with a good crusty bread for dipping and enjoy.

Krista ❤

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Rainbow Cupcakes

So for my job I work with people with intellectual disabilities.  Basically I assist with skills needed to remain living on their own.  I also do respite with a couple young adults.

Today I was working with one of my respite kids whose 18th birthday happens to be tomorrow.  One of the goals we work on is cooking  so I gave her a few options for her birthday cake.  She chose rainbow cupcakes!  Basically its a super easy recipe since I used boxed cake mix.

Prepare one white cake mix as directed and divide into 6 equal bowls.  Add food coloring gel to each bowl with a toothpick and stir with a spoon. I use gel to avoid extra liquid in the batter. I bought mine at Walmart in the cake decorating isle.  Put a teaspoon of each color in the cupcake liners.  The batter doesn’t need to cover the whole bottom.  It will spread out as you add the layers of color.  Fill 2/3 with batter and bake as directed on the box. The end result makes for some colorful tasty fun! This recipe can be adapted to most any color scheme. Red white and blue for the 4th of July or black and white for your zebra loving teen. The possibilities are endless!  

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