Sunday, January 30, 2011

Amber's Asian Chicken Salad

This salad has been on 'to make' list for several months. I don't know why it has taken me so long to make it, because it is delicious. Amber got the recipe several years ago from a dear friend. This simple salad can be dressed up for a yummy luncheon or or served as a side with dinner.
I topped our salad with some rotisserie chicken for a complete meal. I had the leftovers for lunch the next day. I forgot to add the chicken, still yummy. This recipe came from my sweet daughter Amber over at Sassy Chronicles

Here is Amber's Asian Salad--Cindy Style

About 5 oz baby greens (it's super easy to buy a package of these at your grocery store, no washing, drying, etc.), I used romaine hearts, I buy a package at Costco and challenge myself to use all six heads! I cut the tough middle out, give the greens a rinse and spin them dry in my salad spinner--I love my spinner.
1 or 2 grilled chicken breasts (sometimes I just bake them in the oven if it's too cold to go out to the grill)
I used  chunks of  rotisserie chicken
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
Crispy fried noodles (like LaChoy) tip... if you don't think you'll be eating the entire salad in one sitting, serve these noodles on the side, they'll go soggy if you keep them in the fridge!
3 chopped green onions
chopped, toasted almonds (1/2 cup) I made sugared almonds--yummy!
chopped cilantro (1/2 cup maybe) Don't be tempted to omit this, it really adds fun flavor
chopped celery (1-2 ribs)
I added red pepper, because I love red pepper
carrots, I used my Pampered Chef Julieene peeler--fun tool
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup dark sesame oil
1/4 cup regular white sugar
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup canola oil
Whisk all ingredients together and serve with the salad. Simple, straight forward, tangy, sweet... Delicious!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

TWD Chocolaty, Nutty, Swirly, Sour Cream Bundt Cake

Jennifer at Cooking for Comfort is our TWD host this week. You will want to head over her way because this recipe is a keeper (aren't they all)! This sour cream bundt cake has delicious orange rind in the batter and a swirl of chocolate, pecans, cinnamon and nutmeg. This cake did not need a 'drizzle', it was yummy as is.
The instructions for the swirl were a little fussy. I was making two half size bundts so I just 'layered' the filling. That option seemed to work fine for my little bundts but when (very soon) I have occasion to make a full size bundt I will try the swirl.

 I ordered my half size bundt pans from King Arthur Flour. These are perfect for our smaller size family. I could just make half the recipe but it is so nice to have an extra bundt to freeze or share!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Homemade Burger Buns

Why would I make Hamburger Buns?
--I don't shop on Sunday
--I own a Kitchen Aid Mixer
--They just may improve the lowly Sloppy Joe
--Because I can!
I ran across this recipe on Annie's Eats, one of my favorite blogs. They looked easy and good and they were! I'm afraid I may never eat a Wonder Bun again. I can think of many uses for this tasty bun. Here is my slightly modified recipe.

Light Brioche Burger Buns
3 tablespoons warm milk
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3 1/3 cups flour
2 1/2 tablespoons soft butter
In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine first six ingredients. Mix briefly to combine. Add flour and mix until incorporated. Mix in the butter. Switch to the dough hook and knead on low speed for 6 minutes.  The dough will be tacky, resist the urge to add more flour.
Put the dough in a oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until double about an hour or two.
Divide dough in 8 pieces. Gently shape each portion of dough in a ball and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I couldn't fit all eight on my baking sheet, I didn't want pull apart buns. Let rise again until puffed and nearly doubled. This took less than an hour.
Put a 9x13 metal pan of water on the bottom rack of your oven. Preheat the oven to 400degrees with a rack in the center. Brush the top of the buns with a mixture of one egg and one tablespoon water. Sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds. Bake the buns 15 minutes rotating halfway through baking, until the tops are golden brown. I don't always rotate my baked goods (I'm lazy) but I'm glad I did as they were so evenly browned. I'm  now a rotating believer. Transfer to a rack and cool completely.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Quick Cream Biscuits

What do you do with heavy whipping cream that needs to be 'used'? Make Quick Cream Biscuits. They are delicious, easy and on the table in no time. This recipe is adapted  from Real Mom Kitchen. Try it.

Quick Cream Biscuits
2 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Add cream and mix together gently. Knead dough for about 30 seconds just till dough comes together. Don't over mix. Pat dough in a square about 1 inch thick. Cut with sharp knife into 12-16 'square' biscuits. Bake on parchment covered sheet at 425 for about 18 minutes.
If you served these with sausage gravy you would have one happy family!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

TWD Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins was the first recipe I made from Baking, From My Home to Yours. I had never rubbed lemon zest and sugar together. This little task is a sensory delight! I've been baking for over 40 years and Dorie continues to teach me new tricks.
This is a simple recipe that only dirties two bowls. Rub the sugar and lemon zest together, add the dry ingredients and stir. To the melted butter add eggs, vanilla, lemon juice and sour cream (I used plain yogurt). Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry and mix ever so gently, add the poppy seeds and you are ready to bake.

This recipe makes 12 muffins, Dorie suggests a light lemon drizzle. We don't drizzle or glaze at this house we frost! I made a yummy lemon cream cheese frosting. Delicious.
Our hostess this week is Betsy, check her blog for the complete recipe and take a look at her cute baby!TWD is an awesome baking group, take a moment and see what other talented bakers created.
My muffins are displayed on my newest setting of Fiesta Ware, the color is Paprika. I love it! Thanks Paul and Kaytie.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Jalapeno Poppers

It is cold and foggy in Utah, snow is in the forecast. This fun appetizer will warm you up! Don't wait for a party to serve Jalapeno Poppers, they should be enjoyed often. 

This is one tasty appetizer or party food. The recipe comes from Pioneer Woman, enough said. Just enjoy!
Wash and slice 18 fresh Jalapeno peppers in half. With a spoon scrape out seeds and membranes. I would wear rubber gloves to do this task. Peppers can leave nasty burns on your hands, I know.

Mix 8 ounces softened cream cheese and 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese together.
Stuff each pepper with cheese mixture.
Wrap 1/2 slice bacon around each half, secure with toothpick.
If desired brush with barbecue sauce or apricot jelly.
Bake 275 for about 1hour, or until the bacon is sizzling.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ham and Bean Soup

The holidays are over but my freezer holds the remnants of a delicious holiday ham. In a big freezer bag is a ham bone with lots of tasty morsels attached. I have good intentions but too often the bag gets hidden only to be discovered when it is past its prime.
Not this year. I made a tasty pot of Ham and Bean Soup, hubby loved it!
There are as many recipes for this simple soup as there are cooks. This pot tasted especially good so I wrote down the recipe!

Ham and Bean Soup
Put ham bone with plenty of meat attached in your big crock pot, add 3-4 cups of water. Let cook several hours until the meat falls off the bone. Refrigerate broth, remove fat. Cut meat in bite size pieces.
1cup dry white beans I used cannellini, cooked till soft or use 1 can of beans, drained
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 cup chopped celery
2 carrots, diced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 cups diced potatoes
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1 bay leaf
Saute onions, garlic, carrots and celery in a little olive oil till soft. Add broth, potatoes and seasonings. Cook till potatoes are tender. Add beans, ham and additional water. Taste to adjust seasonings, it may need salt.
Simmer for 20 minutes. Serve on a cold winter day with a loaf of crusty bread.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Just Family!

Our 5 married children all live in different states, we try hard to keep in touch. We blog, call, text, skype and send letters, cards and drawings. This is good but a surprise/unplanned visit is always a treat. When you don't know you are having company you don't stress about 'getting ready'. It is a good thing! My kids are great houseguests--they clean, cook and do laundry. I relax, read stories, laugh, get hugs and kisses and enjoy every moment. It is so fun watching your children parent. Being a grandparent really is fun.
So we were happy to welcome our son and his sweet wife and their 4 children. Gregory, the newest addition to their family was just 2 weeks old. They made the long journey from Texas and spent a week with us.

And a good time was had by all! Happy New Year, looking forward to good things in 2011.