Saturday, January 30, 2010

Lionhouse Rolls

These rolls are so delicious.... so delicious!!! I had high expectations when I picked them to make for hubby's welcome home dinner because I have heard only good things... no, only great things about this recipe. And it didn't disappoint. My oldest daughter ate her weight in them...
And the best part is that they freeze wonderfully and you can have rolls all week long or month long. You just pop them in the microwave for a few seconds and they taste fresh as fresh!

Lionhouse Rolls
*From the Lionhouse in Salt Lake City

2 tablespoons active-dry yeast
2 cups warm water
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter or shortening
1 egg
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
2/3 cup nonfat dry milk
5-6 cups flour

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, (I use my Bosch) combine yeast and water. Let stand 5 minutes. Add sugar, shortening, salt, dry milk, 2 cups flour and egg. Beat together until very smooth. Add remaining flour gradually (about 1/2 cup at a time) until a soft but not sticky dough is formed. Turn dough onto a lightly floured board and knead until it is smooth and satiny. Or if you are using a Bosch just let it mix for 7 -10 minutes. Return dough to an oiled bowl and cover to let rise until doubled. (about 1 1/2 to 2 hours)

Separate dough into three portions. Roll out each portion into a circle and cut into 8 pie-shaped pieces(triangles) (or 12 pieces if you want smaller rolls). Roll up crescent-style and place on baking sheet. Cover with saran wrap that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes - until nicely browned. Makes 2-3 dozen rolls.

*I have to admit that I got tired of rolling out the dough so for the last bit of dough, I just broke off balls, rolled them in my hands and placed on the cookie sheet. These turned out just fine. Not the pretty crescent roll shape but apparently the shape doesn't matter to my family. ;)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Malted Milk Ball Brownies

You must make these... I repeat, you MUST make these. Even if you are not a Malted milk ball (or Whopper) fan, you MUST try these. I had to make some treats for a few visits I was making, and I had seen this idea somewhere in internet land a long time ago. I just happened to have 2 theatre candy size boxes of Whoppers and knew it was time. I'm so glad I gave most of these brownies away because I can guarantee you that I would have eaten the entire pan by myself... I was hiding the few that were left from my kids because I wanted them ALL to myself. It's not often that I become this selfish, so you know these must be outrageously delicious!

*You may use any Brand of brownie mix or your own homemade brownie mix, but I STRONGLY recommend Betty Crockers Hershey Triple Chunk brownie mix. I just can't guarantee the fantastic results without using this exact mix. You won't be sorry... trust me.

Malted Milk Ball Brownies

1 package of Betty Crocker Hershey Triple Chunk Brownie Mix
1-3/4 cups chopped malted milk balls, divided
1 cup milk chocolate chips
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Prepare Brownie batter according t package directions; stir in 1 cup malted milk balls. Spread int a greased 13x9x2 inch baking pan.
Bake at 350 degrees fr 28-30 minutes or until a tthpick inserted 2 inches frm an edge cmes ut with moist crumbs. Cool completely on a wire rack.
In a small saucepan, melt chocolate chips and butter over low heat. Remve from the heat. Stir in milk and vanilla until smooth. Spread over brownies. Sprinkle with the remaining malted milk balls. Refrigerate fr 10-15 minutes or until set. Cut into bars.

I apologize for the crappy picture. It was late, I was drooling, the kitchen was dark, there was a glare, I ran out of clean white plates... I have a lot more excuses, take your pick.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Spicy Asparagus Spears


How often do you eat asparagus? We don't eat it often... but I am trying to incorporate more vegetables into our meals besides the green beans and corn from a can. Asparagus is super healthy for you, and even if you use butter to cook it with like in this recipe, I think it evens itself out in the healthy category. ;)

This was part of the hubby's Welcome Home dinner you can read about below.

It's also a great contribution to Trim and Bushy Tailed Tuesdays! Make it tonight!

Spicy Asparagus Spears

2 tablespoons Butter

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

Crushed Red Pepper flakes to taste

1 - 3/4 pounds fresh asparagus, trimmed (I used one bundle)
In a large skillet, melt butter. Stir in the onion powder, seasoned salt, Cajun seasoning and red pepper flakes. Add asparagus spears, stirring gently to coat. Cover and cook for 5 -7 minutes or until crisp-tender, stirring occasionally.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Welcome Home Dinner!

My hubby just came home from a 2 1/2 week Army course that was brutal. He was so exhausted, he could barely stand up. We were so excited to get him home! I made this special welcome home dinner for him, and the very best part about the dinner is that it took hardly anytime at all. A rocking crockpot recipe, a make ahead pie, a side dish that took 6 minutes, and the other side dish that was just boiling time... Awesome. Oh, the rolls took a little bit of time, but believe me, they were worth it!!! No time in the kitchen meant I got to spend more time snuggling with my honey.

This was a fantastic meal!!! It got rave reviews from all of us... especially the hubby.

His welcome home meal consisted of:

Southern Pot Roast
Spicy Asparagus Spears
Crash Hot Potatoes
Lionhouse Rolls
Frozen Orange Dream Pie

I'll start with the pot roast recipe, and then post the other recipes in separate posts.
Southern Pot Roast

1 boneless beef chuck roast (2 1/2 pounds)

1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning

1 package (9 oz) frozen corn, thawed

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1 green pepper, chooped

1 can diced tomatoes, undrained

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

Cut roast in half; place in a 5 qt slow cooker. Sprinkle with Cajun seasoning. Top with corn, onion, and green pepper. Combine the tomatoes, pepper, and hot pepper sauce; pour over vegetables. Cover and cook on low for 5 - 6 hours or until meat is tender. Serve corn mixture with a slotted spoon.
I cooked this roast for about 7 hours and it was so tender... It just fell apart. And the vegetable mixture!!!! Wow, it was so so so good. Don't be decieved by looks and leave it in the crockpot. You must eat the veggie mixture with the pot roast. The flavors are delicious!

*I found this recipe in an old Quick Cooking magazine.
** The recipe for the Crash Hot Potatoes is from The Pioneer Woman. Go HERE for the recipe.

Friday, January 22, 2010

American Sandwich Bread

I'm on a quest for the perfect homemade bread recipe. I am trying to make my own bread for us and never buy store bought again. So, it's pretty important that I find a great recipe. I found this recipe in The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. I thought it was a pretty good recipe, but not spectacular. My kids loved it, but they are bread lovers and will eat any bread... it's me who's the picky one this time. Ha, ha!
The recipe was specific on having the temperature of the milk be 110 degrees, but I'm too lazy to get out my thermometer and get it to that exact temp. Who does that? Is that even possible? But I don't think it would change the taste of the recipe... although the picture of their bread loaf was taller and fluffier than mine. It's a great bread recipe, but not the perfect one I'm looking for. So... back to my quest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know!!

American Sandwhich Bread

1 cup whole milk
1/3 cup water, warm
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 tablespoons honey
3 3/4 cups bread flour, plus extra for the counter
1 envelope (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant or rapid rise yeast
2 teaspoons salt

1. Whisk the milk, water, 3 tablespoons of butter, and the honey together in a large liquid measuring cup. Mix 3 1/2 cups of the flour, yeast, and salt together in a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook. With the mixer on low speed, add the milk mixture and mix until the dough comes together, about 1 minute.

2. Increase the speed to medium low and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. (If, after 5 minutes, more flour is needed, add the remaining 1/4 cup flour, 1 tbsp at a time, until the dough clears the side of the bowl but sticks to the bottam.

3. Turn the dough onto a clean counter and knead by hand to form a smooth, round ball, about 1 minute. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and wrap tightly with plastic wrap.Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and gently press it into a 9 inch square. Roll the dough into a tight cylinder and pinch the seam closed. Place the loaf seam side down in a 9 inch loaf pan, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until it has nearly doubled in size and springs back slowly when indented with a finger, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

5. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Brush the loaf with the remaining 1 tbsp butter. Set the loaf pan on the oven rack and place an empty metal loaf pan next to it. Fill the empty pan about half full with the boiling water. Bake until golden and the center of the bread registers 200 degrees on an instant read thermometer, 40 to 50 minutes. Flip the bread out onto a wire rack and let cool to room temperature before slicing, about 2 hours.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Buttermilk Pancakes

I'm a sucker for breakfast food. I especially like a good pancake. I always have buttermilk in my fridge that needs to be used, so I was searching for a pancake recipe that needed buttermilk. I found one on All Recipes that is so delicious!! I like to make a double batch and then freeze the leftovers. That way, during the week when the kids want a hot breakfast before school, I just pop them in the microwave and Voila!, a warm, yummy breakfast without all the hassle.
I have a Blueberry Buttermilk pancake recipe on my site, but it's a bit more time consuming and I wanted simple. Here is your perfect pancakes for tomorrow morning. Make them and be happy!
Buttermilk Pancakes
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp white sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup milk
3 eggs
1/3 cup butter, melted
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together buttermilk, milk, eggs, and melted butter. Keep the two mixtures separate until you are ready to cook.
Heat a lightly oiled griddle over medium high heat. You can flick water across the surface and if it beads up and sizzles, it's ready!
Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, using a woden spoon or fork to blend. Stir until just combined. Do not over stir! Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/2 cup batter for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Fishing Pond

This is the cutest snack I have seen in a long time and it fits right in with my Trim and Bushy Tailed Tuesdays. It's super simple and my kids went wild over it. I actually had a lot of fun eating it too.
I found the idea while perusing the Family Fun website.

Fishing Pond Snack
1/2 block cream cheese, softened
Blue food coloring
Fish shaped crackers
Celery

Mix blue food coloring into the cream cheese until smooth. Put into a shallow bowl. Add fish crackers around the "pond" or you could put them into a separate bowl. Use the celery sticks as fishing rods by dipping them into the cream cheese and then "catching" the fish crackers.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Pizza Pockets

I made these on a lazy Saturday afternoon before my New Year's Resolutions... ha, ha
They are super yummy and would be a great finger food for a party or get together, but I really can't say just how healthy they are. ;) Everying in moderation, right?
Try these for your next party or lazy day Saturday lunch. They are delicious! My husband ate 5 of them!
Found these at My Sisters Cucina.

Pizza Pockets

1 package egg roll wrappers
Pizza or Spaghetti Sauce
Mozzerella Cheese
Pepperoni
Oil for frying
Lay out your egg roll square so it looks like a diamond and assemble filling in the order of ingredients listed above across the center horizontally. Use 1 to 2 Tbsp sauce, 1 handful of cheese, and 2 pepperoni's for each roll. Then fold up the roll just like an envelope bringing the bottam corner to the center first, then the 2 sides folded in, and close the roll bringing the top corner down to close the envelope off. (see pictures below)
Fry at 350 degrees in il for a total of about 2 to 3 minutes browning each side.
Remove and drain on paper towels. You can serve with extra sauce, but we didn't need it.

Friday, January 15, 2010

All-American Beef Chili

I got this recipe from the America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. I altered it slightly to meet my needs and I think it turned out just perfect. The spices give it such a nice aroma. It's perfect for these cold days of winter. I turned it into a crockpot recipe so there is hardly any work involved either. Don't you just love those kind of recipes?

All-American Beef Chili

2 onions, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup chili powder
1 Tbsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
salt
6 garlic cloves
2 pounds ground beef
2 cans dark red kidney beans, rinsed
1 can black or navy beans, rinsed
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (28 oz) can tomato puree

* Instead of tomato puree, I used a can of Campbell's tomato soup. I also halved the recipe with great success.

Break ground beef into chunks in the bottam of a crockpot. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir gently. Let simmer on low for 6 - 8 hours.

**The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook does not have this as a crockpot recipe. It is cooked on the stove top following different steps.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Mini Mango Pies

Are you ready for the first recipe of Trim and Bushy Tailed Tuesdays??
These are so easy and so cute and most importantly soooo good! Plus they are on the healthier side of the sweet category.
I absolutely LOVE mangos. So I'm always trying to figure out different ways to use them. Not that I'm above eating them right from the peel with juice dripping down my face, running all over my hands, and overflowing on the counter... I actually prefer them that way. But I wanted to come up with a kid friendly recipe. These tiny pies are absolutely perfect. My kids loved them, I loved them, and the hubby approved too.

Mini Mango Pies
1 package of Mini grahm cracker pie crusts
1 package Jell-O Instant Vanilla Pudding and Pie Filling (3.4 oz box)
1 cup cold milk
1 cup frozen whipped topping (thawed)
2 Mangos - save several slices for topping and chop the rest into chunks
Pour milk into a medium bowl. Add Pudding mix and whisk for 2 minutes. Fold in one cup of whipped topping. Gently add the chopped mangos and stir until just combined.
Spoon into mini pie crusts.
Top with whipped topping and sliced mangos.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.
I let my kids put on their own whipped topping and mango slices. It was definitely a hit! The filling by itself is incredibly delicious. I served the leftover filling as a special treat for lunch the next day.

For more delicious mango recipes check out Gourmet Mom on the Go: Mango Recipes. The National Mango Board is sponsering a Mango and Mom recipe contest. For more info: Mango Contest. I can't wait to try out all those delicious mango recipes.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Goals for a Food Lover


I'm excited for the new year and all of it's possibilites. This year I have set some Food goals that will be fun. Feel free to join me... or just sit back and laugh at my feeble attempts, either way I hope you enjoy my adventures.

MONTHLY MENUS - I'll be planning monthly menus at the beginning of each month. I'll break it down into weeks and have a grocery list already written for each week of the month. That way I'll be going to the store once a week and have all the ingredients I need to make all the meals that week. Just for fun, I'll post my monthly menus on here. Or would you rather me do it weekly? Any thoughts?

TRIM AND BUSHY-TAILED TUESDAYS - In case you didn't know and so we're on the same page, "Bushy tailed" is a synonym for healthy. I will be posting more healthy recipes on Tuesdays. I'm especially looking forward to finding some yummy healthy snacks for the kiddies and for me.

BREAD - Need I say more? I want to bake more bread, rolls, and baked goods. I even want to attempt to grind my own wheat?? We'll see how that goes... It may not be as intimidating as it sounds.

FOOD STORAGE - I'm also going to be posting some recipes that help you dig into your food storage and rotate foods. It's not as hard as it sounds, I promise! This will also help you get an idea of what types of things to put in your food storage.