Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I Did It----100 Followers, and a giveaway!

When I started this blog years ago it was just a place to write down my recipes so my daughters would have easy access. Well that was over 250 posts ago. And I love every minute of it. I've made friends all over the globe. Bloggers are a great cross section of people, we all eat so most of us cook. Each comment has encouraged me to keep blogging. When I hear that someone actually looks at my blog and creates something, my heart sings. I am adding a weekend craft, sewing, stamping, crafting with kids, etc. Thank you my friends!
100 followers deserves a giveaway--it will be a few of my favorite things (that can fit in a regional A box)!
One post to let me know what your favorite Everyday Insanity recipe is. Another post if you are a follower. Pretty simple.
Let the comments begin! Contest will be opened 48 hours, that means it closes Thursday September 1 at Midnight.
 Favorite things may include:

offset spreader
garlic and peppercorn rub
hand made cards
cookie scoop
cinnamon plus
etc!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

TWD Cornmeal and Fruit Loaf


Sometimes I'm amazed at how something so simple can taste so wonderful. Cornmeal and Fruit Loaf is just that: a quick bread using cornmeal and fruit. I like the texture cornmeal gives baked goods so I knew this would be a winner. This recipe called for a finely diced apple or pear. I found great looking ripe pears so I went with a pear. I also discovered a new fruit called an Apple Pear, it is crunchy and very sweet. Where have I been?



The recipe calls for 1/2 cup dried fruit, I had a fruitcake mix from King Arthur Flour that was perfect. Little bits of dried pear, apple, dates, golden raisins, apricot and cranberries dotted this moist loaf of bread.
I thought it was perfect. Our hostess is Caitlin at Engineer Baker, she will have the complete recipe. I baked this in Pampered Chef Stoneware Mini Loaf Pans. The recipe made 2 minis and one very small loaf that I baked in a paper pan, also purchased at KAF.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Secret Recipe Club--Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies


I've enjoyed belonging to The Secret Recipe Club. Each month I get to meet a new blogger and make a new recipe. This month I had the pleasure of checking out Amy's Cooking Adventures. Amy is someone I would like to meet because we have so much in common. Although I am much older than Amy we are a lot alike. Amy is a stay at home mom to two darling little boys, she believes in sitting down together as a family each evening. This is something that we have practiced for 35 years! She likes to sew and scrapbook (favorite hobbies of mine). And she believes in feeding her boys veggies, sometimes hidden in favorite foods, smart mother!

 I enjoyed perusing the many yummy dishes on Amy's blog. My short list included Caramelized Onion Bread, Bacon Corn Chowder and Jalapeno Pepper Jack Scones. But my desire to start baking with pumpkin won. I'm still loving garden fresh tomatoes, corn and zucchini but pumpkin cookies were calling my name! So I gladly made Amy's Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies, they did not disappoint! The recipe came together quickly and soon the smell of Fall filled my kitchen, I was happy. Amy's recipe called for a cream cheese frosting but for some odd reason I was out of cream cheese. How did that happen?? Walmart was out of the question, although it is only 3 minutes away. So I made do and whipped up a yummy browned butter frosting. Delicious. The cookies were excellent, my new go to recipe for pumpkin cookies. Thank you Amy.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Joy the Baker

2 cups all purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cloves
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
½ cup canola oil
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and spray the paper with cooking spray.
Stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices together in a medium bowl and set aside. 
In an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs and sugar until smooth and lightened in color, about 1 minute.  On low speed, mix the oil, pumpkin, and vanilla until blended.
Mix in the flour mixture to incorporate it.  Stir in the chips,
With a cookie scoop with 2 tablespoon capacity, scoop dough onto prepare cookie sheet at least 2 ½ inches apart.  Use a thin spatula to smooth and flatten rounds.
Bake cookies 16 minutes or until tops feel firm and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out dry.  Cool cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes.  Move to wire racks to cool completely.
Once cooled, frost cookies (recipe follows).  Store cookies in an airtight container once the frosting in dry.
Browned Butter Frosting 
1/2 cup butter
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
milk as needed
1 teaspoon vanilla
Cook butter on medium low heat till a light brown color, be careful, it burns quickly. Add browned butter to powdered sugar and whip, adding vanilla and milk as needed for spreading consistency. Frost cooled cookies with a small offset spatula (one of my favorite kitchen tools).


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Something Crafty

Weekends seem to be a great time to post 'Something Crafty'.





All supplies are from Stampin' Up! The 'misplaced' silver brads are actually the strongest magnets I have ever used. The white refrigerator makes a perfect backdrop. Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Cheesy Broccoli and Rice Casserole


Years ago when the kids were little we had a favorite chicken and broccoli casserole that contained cream of something soup and mayonnaise among other things. It was good but I really wanted to eliminate as many processed foods as possible. When I found this recipe on Mel's Kitchen Cafe I was excited, it was just what I was looking for and it was delicious. A new casserole to add to dinner rotation and hubby loves the leftovers for lunch. I did add some cooked diced chicken to make it more of a main dish.

Cheesy Broccoli and Rice Casserole
2 slices bread, torn into pieces
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons butter, melted; plus two tablespoons chilled
1 garlic clove, minced
2 pounds broccoli (about 3-4 medium heads of broccoli), florets cut into 1-inch pieces, stems chopped (stems have to be my favorite part of broccoli)
1 onion, finely chopped
1 1/4 cups long grain white rice
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/4 cups half-and-half
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
cooked diced chicken


Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9X13-inch baking dish. Pulse bread, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and melted butter in a food processor until coarsely ground. Add garlic. Set aside.
Microwave broccoli florets (save stems for later), covered, in a large bowl until bright green and tender, 2 to 3 minutes (no need to add water). Be careful not to overcook or they will become soggy and discolored. Melt remaining butter in a large pot over medium heat. Cook onion and broccoli stems until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, until rice is translucent, about 1 minute. Stir in broth, half-and-half, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often, until rice is tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Off the heat, stir in cheddar cheese, cayenne, remaining Parmesan and broccoli florets.
Pour the mixture into prepared baking dish and top with bread crumb mixture. Bake until the sauce is bubbling around the edges and the top is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Serve.


This is a great casserole for busy school nights. Make the casserole early in the day put it in the oven on time bake as you rush out to soccer. It will be hot and ready when you walk in the door. Your famished children will thank you. Serve with cut up watermelon and cantaloupe. Serve Pumpkin Cookies with Browned Butter frosting for dessert. Recipe coming.




Tuna Rice Comfort Casserole


Why make Tuna Rice Comfort Casserole?
  • inexpensive
  • quick
  • ingredients are always in the storage room
  • the kids liked
  • uses leftovers ex. rice, cheese, olives, onion, rice krispies, almonds
  • it says comfort   


Tuna Rice Comfort Casserole

½ cup chopped onion
2 Tablespoon butter
1½ cups cooked rice
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 can tuna, drained or cooked/canned chicken
1 cup shredded cheese
¼ cup sliced olives
1 ½ cup rice krispies
¼ cup sliced almonds
Sauté onion in 1 tablespoon butter, combine with soup, rice, tuna, cheese and olives. Pour in greased baker. Melt 1 tablespoon butter, mix with cereal and almonds. Sprinkle on top of casserole.
Bake uncovered at 325 degrees for 25 minutes.


Monday, August 22, 2011

TWD Vanilla Ice Cream--Rewind



Weather forecast: Hottest week of the year. Looks like a perfect time for making homemade ice cream. I have a Cusinart canister that has taken up permanent residence in my freezer. I decided to put it to good use. Actually I decided to make vanilla ice cream to use the egg yolks leftover from Dories Chocolate Meringue cookies. Two great desserts.


Dories Vanilla Ice Cream starts out by making a simple egg custard, it's not hard but does take a little time as the custard must be chilled before making the ice cream. But the wait was well worth it, we were greeted with rich creamy ice cream. I thought about putting hot fudge on the ice cream but it really stood on its own.
My canister is back in the freezer and I have tree ripened peaches. Sounds like a yummy flavor to me.
Please check one of my favorite blogs Cafe Lynnyloo she has the best photography, everything looks yummy. Lynne will have the complete recipe. Spend a few minutes on her blog--you will be glad you did.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken Enchiladas
This is a great recipe that come together in a flash. You will want to make it often.
8 flour tortillas
1/2 cup chopped onions
4 cloves garlic, pressed
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup sour cream
2 cups chicken broth
1 small can green chilies, I like the whole ones then I can clean them and dice the size I like
1 cup shredded cheese
3 cups cooked chicken or turkey--rotisserie chicken works well
Olives, sliced
Tomatoes, diced
Green onions, diced
Cilantro chopped



For sauce cook onion, garlic, coriander and pepper in butter until the onion is tender. Stir flour into sour cream, add to onion mixture.Stir in broth and diced peppers all at once. Cook and stir until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup cheese.
For filling, stir 1 cup of sauce into chicken. Place scant 1/2 cup filling on each tortilla, spread around and roll up. Arrange rolls seam side down in a lightly greased 8 1/2 x 11 inch pan. Top with remaining sauce. Bake covered in a 350 degree oven for about 35 minutes until heated thru.
Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake uncovered for about 5 minutes until cheese melts.
Garnish liberally with olives, tomatoes, onions and cilantro.
This recipe comes from Vittles Divine.

Linked to Recipe Sharing Monday at Jam Hands
Linked to This Chick Cooks







Friday, August 19, 2011

Crayon Muffins



When my 6 children were little I was always looking for fun craft ideas. Now blogs  have so many great ideas it can boggle the mind. But here is a fun easy craft to do with your pre-schooler.
I told my 5 year old granddaughter that we were going to break a few rules today--but only today.
We had the task to unwrap crayons and break them in small pieces. Crayon pieces were placed in mini muffin pans that had been sprayed with Pam. We mixed and matched colors, excited to see what we would make.

Crayon muffins were baked in a 200 degree over for 10-15 minutes. Watch closely and see the magic happen. Crayons cool quickly and pop right out. What fun we had seeing the color combinations we made. This was a perfect hour activity.
EJ was excited to tell her mom all about our activity. She explained to her mom, "First we had to break some rules".
Linked to Recipe Sharing Monday at Jam Hands

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Zucchini Bread with Apples, Coconut and Pecans

This zucchini bread is loaded, it is full of so many flavors and textures. There's a surprise in every bite. This recipe comes together easy, it smells delicious while baking and it is fun to share. This recipe filled 3 loaves in the Pampered Chef Mini Loaf Pan



 Zucchini Bread
from Joy of Baking
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
1 cup shredded raw zucchini (1-2 zucchini)
1/2 cup peeled and grated raw apple, (about 1 large apple)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground Cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup oil
1 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place rack in center of oven. Grease (or spray with a nonstick vegetable spray) a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan. I used Pampered Chef's Mini Loaf Pan, Set aside.
Toast the pecans or walnuts for about 8 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool and then chop coarsely. I also toasted the coconut for a few minutes in the same hot pan.
Grate the zucchini, using a medium grater, and then peel and grate the apple. Set aside.
In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ground cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside, .
In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract until well blended (about 2 minutes). Beat in the grated zucchini and apple. Add the flour mixture, beating just until combined. Then fold in the nuts and coconut. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the bread has risen and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50 to 60 minutes. Small loaves cooked about 30+ minutes
Place on a wire rack to cool and then remove the bread from the pan. Frost with cream cheese icing, if desired. Well wrapped, this bread will keep for several days at room temperature.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Secret Recipe Club--Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars

I belong to The Secret Recipe Club, Amanda is our amazing leader. She works hard to make sure that everyone participating posts at the same time so we can all see who our "Secret Recipe" blogger is. Occasionally life happens. When Amanda found out that one blogger was not being represented she sent out an SOS, several bloggers responded and we are having a special reveal for "Connor's Cooking". I spent 30 minutes enjoying this great blog and found many dishes I wanted to try. I saw a pasta primavera that looked wonderful, several pizzas, ice cream pies and more. But time was ticking and I had to make a choice.
Cookie bars are always top on my list of recipes to try. Basically cookies without all the work, got to love it.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars--inspired by Connor's Cooking
Mix together:
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Set aside
In a mixer bowl combine:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup peanut butter
Mix on medium speed about 2 minutes, add:
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
Mix until combined, turn mixer to low and add flour mixture, mix until just combined.
Add:
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup mini M&M's
1 cup Reese's Peanut Butter Chips
Pat mixture in a greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 until edges are light brown and center is set, 18-22 minutes.






Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Summer Veggie Saute for Two


This was a quick tasty meal for two using veggies from our very small garden. It is easy to alter depending on what veggies you like and have. I added some sauteed shrimp for a yummy light summer supper.

Summer Veggie Saute for Two
2 cups sliced veggies--zucchini, summer squash, carrots, red pepper, etc.
1/2 cup sliced onion
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 tomato, diced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon oregano
ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
fresh basil
cooked shrimp
Saute sliced veggies, onion and garlic in 1 tablespoon olive oil until crisp tender, about 5 minutes. Add seasonings and tomato. Top with shredded cheese and basil, cover and remove from heat. Top with cooked shrimp and a splash of fresh lemon juice and serve.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Everything-but-the-Kitchen-Sink Cookies



I realize I have many cookie recipes on this blog. Cookies are an instant reward type of cooking. Within 30 minutes I have a warm delicious treat. This recipe comes from the cookbook Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O'Conner, [Desserts for the Serious Sweet Tooth]. I read cookbooks like others read novels so I like information, background stories, tips, I want more than just recipes. I'm happy to say this cookbook is a great read.
This recipe was declared by hubby as 'The Best Cookie You Have Ever Made'. So try it and let me know what you think.


Everything-but-the-Kitchen-Sink Cookies
3 Cups Walnut or Pecan Haves
2 Cups (4 Sticks) Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
2 Cups firmly packed Dark Brown Sugar
2 Cups Granulated Sugar
4 Large Eggs
4 Teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
4 Cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 Tablespoon Baking Soda
1 1/2 Teaspoons Salt
4 Cups Crisped Rice or Crispy Rice Flakes Cereal such as Rice Krispies or Special K
2 Cups Sweetened Shredded Coconut
4 Cups Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
3 Cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place the Walnut Halves on a baking sheet and toast, stirring occasionally, until browned and fragrant, 6 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool completely. Chop coarsely.
In bowl of mixer at medium speed cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. beat in the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
Stir together flour, baking soda, and salt, add to creamed mixture to form a soft dough.
In a large bowl mix together the toasted nuts, rice cereal, coconut, oats and chocolate chips. Using a large wooden spoon combine mixtures. This takes a little patience and a strong arm.
Using a medium Pampered chef scoop place cookie on parchment lined sheets. Flatten balls slightly with two wet fingers.Bake until the edges of the cookie are light brown and crisp but the centers of the cookie are still soft and a little puffy. About 12 minutes. Cool cookies on the cookie sheet for a few minutes before moving to a cooling rack.
I made half the recipe and got about 4-5 dozen nice size cookies. If you want to make the whole recipe be sure you have huge mixing bowl. She also said cookies can be portioned by 1/4 cup and baked about 15 minutes.
This really is a yummy cookie. I think toasting the nuts adds so much flavor and crunch to an already yummy cookie. I also toasted the coconut for a few minutes.
Printable Recipe

Saturday, August 13, 2011

48-Hours


Just how many activities can one grandchild and two grandparents fit into 48 hours:
  • water coloring
  • bug catching/spider feeding
  • moon gazing
  • breakfast out
  • swimming pool
  •  zoo visit
  • bean burrito at our favorite fast food joint
  • crayon cupcakes 
  • otter pops
  • stories read
  • stories told
  • I'm thinking of...
  • tree climbing





How lucky can two grandparents be!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Simple Potatoes


My current quest is to serve and blog about more sides dishes. This yummy dish is about as simple and basic as it gets. It is quick to assemble, cooks in 15 minutes and will please almost everyone.

Simple Potatoes
cooked potatoes, diced or sliced
butter, melted
cheese, shredded
green onions, sliced
chopped fresh herbs
Gently mix  potatoes, green onions and shredded cheese. Drizzle with melted butter. Put in casserole and bake at 350 until potatoes are warm and cheese is melted. Top with chopped fresh herbs.  Serve with sour cream or Ranch Dressing.
When baking or boiling potatoes always cook extras for yummy side dishes.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Grilled Pork Tenderloin




Last time we visited Amber she served a grilled Pork Tenderloin, it was a life changing experience. Well, maybe not life changing but it opened a new food venue. I have always liked pork, pork has evolved over the years. It was once a very fatty meat that needed to be cooked forever. Now it is 'the other white meat' and cooking it is a breeze.


Pork tenderloin is sold in strips (the tenderloin) of about a pound each. This is 4 generous servings. Remove the 'silver skin" with a sharp knife for even cooking. The meat can be marinated in your favorite marinade. Our favorite recipe is to rub the prepared tenderloin with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Grill for 2 1/2 minutes on each side for a total of 10 minutes. Remove from grill and tent with foil for 10 minutes. Internal temperature should be 150 degrees. There will still be pink in the middle, this is OK. Resist the urge to overcook. Cooked correctly this meat can be cut with a fork.

We served it to our son Paul, he said he wanted it for every meal of his visit. It is that good. Serve it with your favorite dipping sauce, honey mustard is good. Or just enjoy it plain, it really doesn't need anything.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Very Chocolate Zucchini Bread


'Tis the Season', the zucchini season that is. Good cooks everywhere are trying to find ways to cook or disguise zucchini. This chocolate bread is perfect. It is very chocolaty, the zucchini adds moistness and a fun texture. It comes together quickly and is perfect to share. This recipe comes from Sugared Whisk, a very fun blog.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread
1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place oven rack in the center of the oven. Grease a 9″x5″x3″ loaf pan and set aside.
-Grate the zucchini, using a medium sized grater; set aside.
-In a large bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and allspice; set aside.
-In the bowl of your electric mixer, or by hand if you prefer, beat the oil, sugars, eggs, and vanilla until well blended (about 2 minutes). Fold in the grated zucchini. Add the flour mixture, beating just until combined, then the chocolate chips and nuts. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the bread has risen and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 to 65 minutes.
-Place on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes, then remove the bread from the pan and cool completely on wire rack.
-I have also baked this in smaller pans for gift giving. I have a pampered chef stoneware pan with four mini loaves, this recipe filled 3 of them.
Linked to This Chick Cooks
               Cast Party Wednesday

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

TWD Carrot Spice Muffins


Why I liked Carrot Spice Muffins
  • they contain carrots so I'm sure they are healthy
  • they contain oil, it is always the right temperature
  • they are easy to mix together, wet ingredients into dry ingredients
  • they contained 3 of my favorite ingredients, toasted pecans, coconut and dates
  • they had a perfect dome, something that doesn't happen very often
  • they were delicious
  • the recipe can be found on Nancy's blog, as well as many other great recipes and fun information
  • check the TWD blog roll, I often say, 'why didn't I think of that' when I see how others interpreted the recipe
  • purchase Baking From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan, it has become my 'Baking Bible'


Monday, August 8, 2011

Teriyaki Chicken





 Years ago (20+) Greg was Mayor of our small city. The local newspaper had a write up about mayors in the area and their favorite foods. It could have been a slow news day, I'm not sure. Whatever the case my sweet Mother-in-Law sent the yellowed news copy to me. The recipe was Teriyaki Chicken. So I tried it and am happy to say it is still a delicious dish, twenty years later. I think years ago I baked it but we are in a 'grill mode' and chicken thighs are meant to be grilled. 

Teriyaki Chicken
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, pressed (original recipe called for 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder)
2 teaspoons grated ginger
black pepper to taste
The fresh garlic and ginger are recent additions, did they have fresh garlic and ginger 20 years ago?
3 pounds chicken--we like boneless, skinless thighs
Combine all ingredients to made a marinade. Pour over chicken. Refrigerate several hours or overnight. Grill boneless skinless thighs for 10 minutes on each side. Marinade can be strained and boiled for 10 minutes as a sauce to drizzle over chicken or rice. Add corn on the cob, and watermelon and this is one tasty summer meal.


Linked to Tasty Tuesday

Friday, August 5, 2011

Nutty Granola Clusters

 I love granola with milk, fruit or yogurt, I also like to eat granola for a snack. This is the perfect snacking granola, it is soft almost like a chunk of a oatmeal cookie. Did I mention that it is delicious and quick to make.
I found the recipe at The Red Spoon, a great blog with beautiful photography--check it out
.
Nutty Granola Clusters
2 cups old fashioned oats
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped assorted nuts, toasted
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
1 egg white
Preheat oven to 325-degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl mix together the oats, flour, brown sugar, salt and nuts.
In a microwave safe bowl heat the butter and honey together until the butter is melted. Pour over the oat mixture and stir until combined.
Whisk egg white in a small bowl until frothy. Add to oat mixture and mix until incorporated.
Evenly spread oat mixture onto parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Let granola cool completely, then break apart into clusters. Serve with milk,  fruit or yogurt.
The clusters remind me of a chewy granola bar. If you like crunchy granola check out this or this, both excellent.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Grilled Pizza


I have a new favorite food--Grilled Pizza. It is the best. Now I do love almost any kind of homemade pizza but I think of homemade pizza as a winter food. Who wants to heat up the oven to 500 degrees in August? Grilled pizza is all over blog land right now for good reason. IT IS DELICIOUS!
So after reading up on the subject and talking to Chersten our daughter-in-law who has been making grilled pizza for months because she lives in El Paso we felt confident to try a grilled pizza.
Mel's Kitchen Cafe has a great step by step tutorial that we found helpful.. So, here is a bit of information that could be helpful as you grill pizza.
I think any pizza dough would work. I adapted this recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe.



Quick Pizza Dough
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon yeast
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons Pampered Chef's Parmesan-Garlic Seasoning
In bowl of mixer stir together flour, salt and seasoning. Mix water, yeast, honey and olive oil together, let sit for a few minutes. Turn mixer on low and slowly add liquid, knead for a few minutes until dough comes together and forms a ball. Pour a little olive oil in a bowl add dough and oil all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest 30-45 minutes while preparing pizza toppings.

My favorite pizza sauce is Quick and Easy Pizza Sauce it originates from Cooks Illustrated. It is a fresh sauce and makes up in minutes.

We used one recipe of dough, one recipe of sauce and 8 ounces of shredded mozzarella cheese. This made enough pizza for 5 adults and 2 little kids--with no leftovers! We also topped our pizza with fresh pineapple, fresh basil, pepperoni, sliced olives, red pepper and red onions. I would also like to add mushrooms, ham and parmigiana-reggiano cheese. I have yet to try fresh mozzarella cheese, but it is on the list! Enjoy grilled pizza--it is a slice of summer!
Linked to Full Plate Thursday

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Roasted Red Potatoes

When I plan my menus for the week I often just jot down a main dish and make sure I have ingredients to prepare it. I guess I just assume that yummy side dishes will appear. So an ongoing goal of mine is to actually plan side dishes. Make them and include a few on my blog.
A side dish can be as simple as a bowl of chilled watermelon or as complex as twice baked potatoes.
I had company today, Greg grilled the meat I had a bowl of chilled melon, a dish of strawberries and some yummy roasted red potatoes. We also had fresh corn on the cob, but somehow we forgot about it. Stuff happens. But the potatoes were a hit, all 6 adults agreed they were blog worthy! This side will appear often in our dinner rotation.



Roasted Red Potatoes
4 red potatoes, scrubbed
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons Panko Crumbs
2 tablespoons fresh grated  Parmigiana Reggino cheese (I buy a wedge at Costco, it last longer if wrapped in foil)
Salt, pepper, smoked paprika, Pampered Chefs Crushed Peppercorn and Garlic Rub--or whatever your favorite seasoning is
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Slice potatoes into wedges and place in bowl. Toss in olive oil until coated and then add all remaining ingredients and toss until evenly coated.  Bake in a Pampered Chef Bar Pan that has been drizzled with a little olive oil. Bake in preheated oven 30-40 minutes or until desired degree of crispness, turning wedges over halfway through baking.


This recipe was inspired by Amber's Delectable Delights--a blog full of yummy food. I bookmarked several recipes I want to make.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

TWD Cocoa Almond Meringues



I almost didn't make this weeks recipe. Some weird monsoon has hit our dry state. Can I just say that I don't do humidity, I feel like I am in Chicago. I know high humidity can cause problems with meringues and since I have already had one cookie recipe fail this week (nothing to do with humidity) I didn't want another failure.
But I checked out a few other TWD blogs and decided this was a cookie I had to try.


I've never made a Meringue cookie so I threw caution to the wind (or humidity in this case) and baked them any way. They came together quickly, I do love watching egg whites turn into snowy white meringue. They bake over an hour at two different temperatures. I just trusted Dorie on this one and she was spot on, again. They are crispy on the outside and chocolate chewy on the inside. Perfect. Next time I will add some chopped pecans or coconut along with the chocolate chips.
Mike has all the info on his blog The Ugly Food Dude. I enjoy Mikes blog--he pretty much tells it like it really is.
I baked one pan on parchment and the other on a silpat liner. Cookies slid off the silpat whereas they had to be coaxed off the parchment.
This is a fun cookie, I'm glad I tried it--thanks TWD for getting me out of my comfort zone, again.