Saturday, November 14, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
The water significantly changes the texture of this cake. With water its a cake with cherries in it. Without water its a cross between cherry brownies and a cherry cake... very rich but really good.
Chocolate Cherry Cake
1 chocolate cake mix
1 C water (optional)
1 can (21 oz) cherry pie filling
1 ½ C chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together cake mix, water and egg until smooth. Fold in cherry pie filling. Pour into a greased 9x13 pinch pan. Bake 30-35 minutes or until cake springs back when touched. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the top of the cake and let melt. Once melted spread chocolate chips over the cake as frosting.
Cheesy Penne Pasta
1 lb penne pasta
2 C aged white sharp cheddar
½ C Whole Milk
¾ C Heavy Cream
Boil noodles. Drain and add cheese. Add Heavy Cream, milk and
Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo
3 T Margarine
1 lb chicken breasts
½ c chopped red bell pepper
2 C Fresh or frozen broccoli florets (thawed)
1 ¾ C Water
½ C milk
1 pkg Knorr Pasta Sides, Alfredo
Melt 1 T margarine in a skillet and cook chicken thoroughly. Remove chicken and set aside. Melt remaining margarine in same skillet and cook red pepper. Stir in broccoli, water and milk. Bring to a boil. Stir in Alfredo pasta. Cook 8 minutes. Return chicken to skillet, heat through.
1 C Rice
2 C water or chicken stock
1/2 cup carrot, diced
1/2 cup green onion, diced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup celery, diced
1/4 cup green pepper, diced
1/4 cup sweet red pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup almonds, sliced
salt to taste
1/4 tsp oregano
Sauté chopped vegetables in olive oil until clear, yet crisp: stir in oregano. Add rice and sauté until golden and fragrant. Add water or stock and bring to a boil. Cover and turn down to low and let simmer for 20 minutes. Add salt to taste. Dry-roast almonds in heavy skillet until lightly golden. Add almonds and mix.
One 3-4 pound chicken
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons minced thyme (optional)
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Rinse the chicken, then dry it very well with paper towels, inside and out. The less it steams, the drier the heat, the better.
Salt and pepper the cavity, then truss the bird. Trussing is not difficult, and if you roast chicken often, it's a good technique to feel comfortable with. When you truss a bird, the wings and legs stay close to the body; the ends of the drumsticks cover the top of the breast and keep it from drying out. Trussing helps the chicken to cook evenly, and it also makes for a more beautiful roasted bird.
Now, salt the chicken— rain the salt over the bird so that it has a nice uniform coating that will result in a crisp, salty, flavorful skin (about 1 tablespoon). When it's cooked, you should still be able to make out the salt baked onto the crisp skin. Season to taste with pepper.
Place the chicken in a sauté pan or roasting pan and, when the oven is up to temperature, put the chicken in the oven. I leave it alone—I don't baste it, I don't add butter; you can if you wish, but I feel this creates steam, which I don't want. Roast it until it's done, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove it from the oven and add the thyme, if using, to the pan. Baste the chicken with the juices and thyme and let it rest for 15 minutes on a cutting board.
JohnMorrell Polish Sausages (not Smoked) 48oz pkg
Hillshire Farms Pastrami 2-8 oz pkgs
1 LB Swiss Cheese
1/4 cup Dried Onions
4 pkg. yeast (or 4 T yeast)
1-2 tablespoons Poppy Seeds
1 egg beaten
8 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 cups of warm water
3-4 Tablespoon of sugar
4 tablespoons of salt
In the bowl of a mixer combine: 3 ½ C Flour, 4 T yeast, sugar, salt and water. Mix until smooth and set aside for 5 minutes. Then add 4 1/2 to 5 cups of flour making a ball of dough. Set aside while you prepare centers.
Take 16 polish sausages (I use John Morrell they taste the best) slit them down the middle making room for the cheese and the pastrami. Take 2 packages of Hillshire Farms pastrami and slice each package in 8 equal portions. Take 1 pound of swiss cheese and cut into 16 equal strips. Beat 1 egg to brush on later and you will also need 1/4 cups dry onion and 2 tablespoons of poppy seeds.
Take the sausages and open them up sprinkle approx. 1/2 teaspoon of dried onion inside, place pastrami and cheese on top of that. Once they are all prepared with the meat and cheese take the dough and cut it into 16 pieces. Roll each piece out flat into a triangle. Place the meat on the shortest end as long as there is enough room to fold over the ends to seal. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Place on a baking sheet Bake @ 375 to 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until brown. If you want to you can freeze them individually then wrap in plastic wrap and put in zip lock bags to keep fresh. From frozen they take 5 extra minutes to bake. Enjoy!
These are traditionally served with Yellow Mustard.
Friday, February 6, 2009
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Chicken Stock Recipe
1 Whole Chicken, cut into pieces (I obviously left it whole and it worked just fine. You can also use a carcass here instead of the whole chicken if that's all you have. OR you can use just legs and thighs, whatever you have on hand.)
4 Quarts Water (you may need to add more throughout cooking, next time I will start with 5 quarts)
2 Stalks Celery, quartered
2 Medium Onions, quartered
2 Bay Leaves
1 T Salt (optional, you can add it at the end if you want for seasoning sake or just leave it out)
Optional Herbs: Rosemary, Thyme, Parsley, Oregano. You can use fresh or dried but fresh has a more substantial flavor.
Combine chicken and water in a large sauce pot or stock pot. Bring to a boil and boil for about 30 minutes to remove any impurities. Skim off the foam that has formed. Add remaining ingredients. If you are using fresh herbs be sure to tie it up in some cheesecloth before putting it in the water. Return to boil then reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 hours or until the chicken is tender. Remove from heat and skim off any additional foam. Line a colander with cheesecloth and place the colander over a large bowl. Pour stock through colander and let the chicken cool. If you wish, allow stock to cool until the fat solidifies and then return to a boil in a large sauce pot. From here you can can the stock as is or you can make it into soup.
For Canning: ladle hot stock into jars leaving 1 inch head space. Adjust lids and process in a pressure canner: pints for 20 minutes at 10 pounds pressure (15 pounds if you live above 1,000 ft altitude) and 25 minutes for quarts.
For Soup: Combine 4 quarts chicken stock, about 2-3 cups celery (depending on how much you want), 2-3 cups sliced carrots, 1-2 cups chopped onion, salt and pepper to taste in a large stock pot or sauce pot. Brig mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until carrots are tender. Adjust seasonings as desired, you can add bouillon as well if you want to. Serve from here or can as follows: pints 1 hour and 15 minutes, quarts 1 hour and 30 minutes at 10 pounds pressure (15 pounds if you live above 1,000 ft altitude).
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Fruit butter is made by cooking fruit pulp and sugar to a thick consistency that will spread easily.
Conserves are jam-like products made with a combination of two or more fruits, nuts, and raisins.
Jams are made by cooking crushed or chopped fruits with sugar. Jam can be made of one fruit or a combination of fruits, they do not hold the shape of the jar.
Juice strained from fruit is used to make jelly. It holds its shape when removed from the jar but can be spread easily.
Marmalade is a soft jelly containing small pieces of fruit and peel evenly suspended int he transparent jelly.
Fruit is preserved with sugar so it retains its shape, is transparent, shiny, tender and plump. The texture can vary from the thickness of honey to that of a soft jelly. A true preserve does not hold its shape when spooned from the jar.
The recipe didn't turn out exactly as planned. That could have something to do with the fact that although I read the directions, I didn't fully read the directions if you know what I mean. First, you're not supposed to multiply the recipe, just make it as is. We tripled it. Second, you are supposed to add the pectin, let it boil then add the sugar. I added it all at once and then boiled it. Third, the recipe calls for 1 C unsweetened pineapple juice and I think I may have added an extra cup. Fourth, the recipe calls for 4 C of sugar. I only used about 8 C total (it should have been 12). Fifth, (yes I know I did a lot of things wrong) the yield says about 4 half-pints so we expected to make a total of about 12 half-pints. We made 15 half-pints and still had some left over that we put in a zip-loc container and froze.
Even for all the things I did wrong it turned out well. It tastes really good. The sugar doesn't overpower the Kiwi and the pineapple makes a great combo. If you want to learn more about Kiwi here's a link to wikipedia, it's actually pretty cool. Did you know it's actually a berry? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiwifruit
3 C chopped and peeled kiwi
1 package powdered pectin
1 C unsweetened pineapple juice
4 C Sugar (I used 2 2/3 C per recipe)
Combine kiwi, powdered pectin and pineapple juice in a large sauce pot. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add sugar, stirring until dissolved. Return to a rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary. ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water canner. (you have to adjust for altitude, this time is for sea-level processing)
Sunday, January 11, 2009
These turned out pretty well for the most part. They are still on the tart side, definately not as sweet as the Ocean Spray Craisins you can purchase at Costco, but still quite good. They are also much more sticky and it was bit of a pain to remove them from the drying racks. Next time I think I may not let them sit in the water for so long (pull them out just as they pop) and I'll let them cool before trying to make sure they are all popped.
Have you ever tried drying cranberries? Any tips or ideas would help.
Prep Time: 10 minutes (it took me about 20 mintues between picking over and removing the bad ones and getting them cooked a bit in the boiling syrup)
Cook Time: ~8 hours (I had to cook mine for about 18)
· 1 bag (12 oz) fresh whole cranberries
· 1 C sugar (or sugar substitute of your choice)
· 1/2 C water
Preheat oven to 200 F (or turn your dehydrator on high)
1. Put cranberries in large skillet, and pick through to remove soft and/or brown ones.
2. If sweetener is powdered, dissolve in water. (comparison of sources of "liquid Splenda"). Pour over cranberries and stir.
3. Heat on medium high until cranberries pop, about 4-5 minutes. Stir every minute or two. When all seem popped, turn off the burner and let them cool for 10 minutes. (If you heat the syrup before hand the cranberries will cook faster)
4. Squish them down with the back of a large spoon. Don't worry if it seems they are melding together. Let cool another 5 minutes or so.
5. Cover baking sheet with three layers of paper towels and a piece of parchment paper. If using a food dehydrator lightly spray trays with cooking oil.
6. Spread cranberries on the parchment or tray. If unpopped ones remain, squish them down now.
7. Put in oven and turn heat down to 150 F. Leave your dehydrator set at about 150 F.
8. In 2-4 hours, replace parchment and flip paper towels over. (You don't have to do this, but it speeds up the process.) If you are working with a dehydrator, just let them sit.
9. Start checking after 6 hours. Total time depends upon humidity and other factors. It usually takes me about 8 hours. It also depends on whether you want to dry them to the point where they still have some "give" or whether you like them "crispier". (It took me about 18 hours to dry them to the point where they were leathery with a little give)
10. Separate them, and store covered (zip-type bags or a food saver works as well).