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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Crock Pot Apple Butter

1- 48 - 50 oz jar unsweetened apple sauce or cinnamon apple sauce  storebought or homemade

3 lbs granny smith apples (peeled and diced into chips)
4 cups sugar
1 cup apple juice or cider
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp allspice

Peel and cut apples into small chips. Place all ingredients in the crock pot and stir. Cover and cook on low overnight (eight to ten hours). In the morning remove cover, stir and taste. Add more spices or sugar if desired. Remove the lid and change the temperature to high continue cooking for about 4 more hours, uncovered, until some of the liquid is gone and the apple butter has cooked down a bit. Rule of thumb a wooden spoon should be able to stand upright when you place it in the apple butter. Pour into jars and refrigerate or process in a hot water bath.   Process half pints for 5 minutes and pints for 10 minutes. The time starts once the water comes to a boil.  Serve over hot biscuits, toast, scones, etc.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Wholewheat Pancake Mix

These are my 2nd favorite all-time pancakes, but I think Baldy's #1 favorite.  I do love having this mix on-hand though.  From King Arthur Flour.

3 1/2 cups old-fashioned or quick rolled oats
4 cups whole wheat flour, traditional or white wheat
1 cup Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons baking powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon baking soda
3/4 cup vegetable oil

To make the mix: Grind the oats in a food processor until they're chopped fine, but not a powder. Combine the oats, flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on low speed, and drizzle the oil into the bowl slowly while the mixer is running. When all the oil has been added, stop the mixer and squeeze a clump of the mix in your hand; if it holds together, it's just right. If it won't hold together, stir in 1 tablespoon of oil at a time, until it does. Store indefinitely in an airtight container in the freezer.

To make the pancakes: Whisk together 1 cup (4 3/8 ounces) mix, 1 cup buttermilk (or 1/2 cup each yogurt and milk), 1 tablespoon orange juice, and 1 large egg. Don't worry if the batter seems thin at first; it'll thicken as it stands. Let the batter stand for 15 minutes before cooking.

Heat your griddle or pan till a drop of water sputters when you drop it on the surface. Lightly grease, and pour pancake batter by the 1/4-cupful onto the griddle. A muffin scoop works well here. Cook the pancakes till they're golden brown on the bottom, flip them over, and cook till golden brown on the other side. Serve with butter and syrup; fresh fruit is a plus, of course. Yield: 10 medium-sized (3 1/2") pancakes.

Whole Wheat Pancakes

A good basic recipe.

• 1 cup whole wheat flour
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 1 cup milk
• 1 egg
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Combine all ingredients and beat until well-mixed. Bake on a hot griddle and serve with fruit or syrup.

Eggs for a Crowd

I have fond memories of making this recipe with my mother-in-law for about 100 people at a Bylund Fest reunion. But it works well for crowds of signficantly smaller sizes as well.

• ½ cup butter
• 18 eggs
• ½ pound Ham, cut-up
• 1 cup sour cream*
• ¼ cup chives, chopped*  (*note: you can substitute ranch dip for the sour cream and chives).
• 1 cup milk
• 1 cup cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Melt butter in 9x13 pan in warm oven. Beat eggs, sour cream, and milk in mixer until well blended. Stir in chives and ham by hand. Bake at 325 for 30-45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese the last 5 minutes. (Note: you can easily half the recipe and make it in a 9x9 pan).

Salt Potatoes

Salt-encrusted baby potatoes a popular Rochester, NY side dish.

• 2 quarts of water (8 cups)
• 1 cup of salt
• 4½ lbs. small potatoes (white, red, or salt potatoes 1½-2 inches in diameter)
• ½ c. melted butter

1. In a large pot bring water and salt to boil. Add potatoes.
2. Boil about 20 minutes or until tender (red potatoes take a little longer).
3. Drain, but don’t rinse off salt. Serve hot with melted butter. Makes a great BBQ side dish.

Grandma Nibley’s Poppy Seed Dressing Salad

This salad and homemade dressing changed my life...probably the first salad I ever ate that I actually liked the dressing. From my friend Liz Cannon in college (that would be her Grandma Nibley).

• ¾ T poppy seeds
• ¾ c f vegetable oil
• 1/3 cup vinegar
• 1 t salt
• 1/3 cup sugar
• 1 T honey mustard
• Fresh spinach
• Romaine lettuce
• Bacon pieces
• Sliced Mushrooms
• Red onions, diced

1. Beat together dressing ingredients with a wire whisk.
2. Wash spinach and lettuce, dry, then tear into small pieces. Toss all salad ingredients together.
3. Add dressing right before serving.

Lasagna Sandwiches

A great alternative to a basic grilled cheese. Great with fresh summer tomatoes. From Janessa Sealy at recipe swap.

• French bread
• 2 T butter
• ¼ cup sour cream
• ½ t oregano
• ½ t basil
• ¼ t seasoning salt
• 2 T dry chopped onion
• 8 slices of tomatoes
• 8 slices of bacon
• 4 slices of mozzarella

1. Slice fresh French bread. Butter one side of each slice.
2. Mix sour cream, oregano, basil, seasoning salt, and onion.
3. Spread sour cream mixture on the inside of a slice of bread, top with bacon, tomatoes, and cheese.
4. Grill sandwiches over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes on each side until golden.

Cranberry Chicken

Time: 5-10 minutes prep, 1 hour baking
Serves: 8-10

• 8-10 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
• 1 8oz bottle French salad dressing
• 1 16oz can whole cranberry sauce
• 1 package dry onion soup mix

Mix dressing, cranberry sauce and onion soup mix. Pour over chicken. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 1 hour. This recipe is easy to half or double and it always tastes great. Good served with rice or couscous.  (Note: this recipe does okay in the crockpot too).

Angel Hair Pasta

From Wendy Jones and good 'ole recipe swap. One of my all-time favorite quick dinners (about 15 minutes start to finish), and with almost all essentially shelf-stable ingredients...fresh basil and mozzarella really do add to it. Serves: 3-4

• 2 cloves of garlic, minced
• 1 can 14.5 oz of Italian-style diced tomatoes
• ½ t oregano
• ½ cup shredded mozzarella
• 1 T fresh basil, chopped
• Salt and freshly-ground pepper
• Angel hair pasta

1. Heat a little olive oil in a medium sized pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant.
2. Add can of tomatoes (do not drain), breaking up larger chunks into smaller pieces. Stir in oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened.
3. Meanwhile cook the angel hair pasta according to package directions. Drain well.
4. Serve tomato sauce on top of pasta. Garnish with mozzarella. Great with a green salad and garlic bread.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Cauliflower Popcorn

This is our latest compromise on how to eat cauliflower--Curly's favorite vegetable.  She usually likes it steamed.  Baldy and I prefer it roasted.  But this version is a perfect blend of the two--lightly roasted to enhance flavor but still crisp-tender so Curly loves it.  Also the curry powder flavor is very understated.  From Mel's Kitchen Cafe.

1 medium head cauliflower
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon curry powder

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.

Wash and core the cauliflower and cut the florets into bite-size pieces. Place in a large bowl. Toss the cauliflower with the olive oil, salt and curry powder.

Turn out the cauliflower onto a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 16-18 minutes, stirring every 6-7 minutes, until the cauliflower is browned in spots and is crisp-tender. Serve immediately.

Baked Brown Rice

Note:  This recipe creates a nice-textured brown rice that is not mushy!  This recipe easily doubles for a 9X13-inch pan.  I almost always make a double batch and freeze half of it for another meal in a quart size ziploc bag.  Then I put in the the fridge the night before to thaw (or defrost in the microwave), then warm up in the microwave by cooking it for 2-3 minute intervals stirring in between.

1 1/2 cups brown rice (our favorite is 1 cup rice, 1/2 cup unrinsed dry quinoa)
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or water (if using water, add 1 teaspoon salt)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8X8-inch or 9X9-inch baking pan. Place the rice in the prepared pan and pour in the liquid. Stir to equally distribute the rice. Cover tightly with a double layer of aluminum foil and bake for 55-75 minutes (usually about 65-70 minutes). Keep your eye on it.  If your rice still has a bit of liquid on the bottom, then keep cooking it.  But don't over cook it and burn the bottom.   Remove from the oven when neither wet nor too dry and let sit for five minutes before removing the aluminum foil and fluffing with a fork. Keep your eye on it and make sure it doesn’t dry out and burn on the bottom  Makes about 3 1/2 cups of cooked rice.  From My Kitchen Cafe.

Before baking, slice one small yellow onion into dices or half moons and caramelize and brown in 1 teaspoon of olive oil until golden and soft (about 10 minutes in a nonstick skillet). Stir onion into rice and broth mixture and bake according to recipe.

After removing rice from the oven and letting it sit for five minutes, remove aluminum foil and stir in the zest and juice from 1 lemon, 1/2 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon sugar and 1/2 apple, finely diced.