Monday, April 29, 2013

Corn Bread

I do love a nice slice of corn bread, layered with honey butter or butter and fresh strawberry jam. Corn Bread is the perfect accompaniment with chili and stew. So why has it taken me 5 years to post a Corn Bread recipe? Simple--I couldn't find one that I loved. They were either too sweet (not a bad thing but I don't really want corn bread to count for dessert), too crumbly and dry, wrong texture etc.
I was determined to find a corn bread recipe that I could call my favorite. I often go to The Joy of Baking when I want yummy recipes--she does not disappoint. This site has great recipes and many video tutorials if you want to actually see someone making the recipe. Great for beginners.
Well The Joy of Baking came through again. She has many variations to this recipe and a great video. Here is the recipe I made. 

Corn Bread
Turn oven on to 400 degrees and put a cast iron skillet or a 9 inch cake pan in the oven with 4 tablespoons butter. When the butter melts remove from oven--don't burn the butter, although browned butter just might tasted good??
In large bowl whisk together:
1 cup corn meal
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
 In a smaller bowl whisk:
1 large egg
3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup milk (I used 1%)
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid ingredients add 2 tablespoons of the melted butter. Gently stir just until combined--don't over mix. Swirl the remaining butter around in the pan making sure the sides get buttered. Pour the mixture in the buttery pan and bake at 400 for 18 minutes. A pick should come out almost clean. Don't over bake--no one likes dry corn bread. I made this in a 9 inch cake pan. It was delicious. I will bake it in a cast iron pan next time and see if there is any difference.
Serve warm with honey butter. This is one delicious comfort food!
Printable Recipe

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Great American Brownie Pie

Brownies are one of my favorite food groups. I like cakey, chewy, with nuts, without nuts, frosted and unfrosted. So what makes this brownie recipe stand out? It has to be the addition of almond extract, almonds, maraschino cherries and white chocolate chips. Its fun pie shape was unusual and made a fun presentation. This made a delicious Sunday Dessert--everyone loved it. I'm happy to add it to my list of yummy brownie recipes!

Great American Brownie Pie
1/2 cup butter softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2/3 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup chopped maraschino cherries
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1 cup white chocolate chips (I used mini white chips)

Cream butter and sugar, add eggs, corn syrup and almond extract. Mix well. Combine flour, cocoa and baking powder, whisk to combine. Add to creamed mixture and stir gently. Drain chopped cherries on paper towels. Fold the cherries, almonds and chips into batter.
Spread mixture in a deep dish 9 inch pie plate that has been sprayed with Pam for Baking. Bake at 325 until a toothpick comes out clean--about 35-40 minutes. Cool. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, garnish with cherries and almond slices.
Recipe from Taste of Home Cookies--credited to Edie Despain from Logan, Utah.
Printable recipe

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Yucatan-Style Chicken, Lime and Orzo Soup

I'm excited to share my new favorite soup with you. It's still on the cold/freezing side in Utah so soup is on the menu. I love my 30 Minute Chicken Soup but I was looking for a chicken soup with rice. I was searching one of my favorite blogs One Perfect Bite and found this delicious recipe. Now it doesn't have rice but a rice shaped pasta called Orzo. I cook with Orzo often, Teryaki Salmon with Orzo pasta is a family favorite.

Yucatan-Style Chicken, Lime and Orzo Soup
3/4 cup Orzo (rice shaped pasta)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium white onion, diced
6 garlic cloves, pressed
2 jalapeno chilies, sliced (the size of jalapenos can vary greatly as can the heat in each chili, I used one large jalapeno and it was too hot. Next time I will use less.)
3/4 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in matchstick size strips
6 cups low salt chicken broth
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
Cook Orzo in boiling salted water until just tender, drain.
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and chilies. Saute until onion just begins to brown about 4 minutes. Add chicken and saute 1 minute. Add broth, lime juice and tomato. Simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 3 minutes. Mix in Orzo and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle additional cilantro on top.
Print Recipe

This soup was light and refreshing. The lime juice added a wonderful flavor and the jalapenos heated things up a bit. Thank you Mary for sharing a great recipe. One Perfect Bite is a blog you want to check daily--her photography is beautiful and her food ranges from homey to gourmet! You will always find something you can't wait to make. And Mary always leaves the sweetest comments on my little blog--what an awesome lady!

One Year Ago------Lemon Loaf Cake
Two Years Ago----Quiche Supreme --I know this is delicious, we had it tonight for dinner!
Three Years Ago---Little Citrus Muffins
Four Years Ago---Fresh Salsa

Sunday, April 14, 2013

BBQ Chicken Salad

Hello Again!

Jill here, Cindy's daughter.  Every once in a while I like to hack into my momma's blog and post a thing or two.

Recently, my handsome man Scotty started working nights, so I get to make tasty salads every night for dinner...he is a meat and potatoes kind of guy, so salads rarely (and by rarely, I mean never) make an appearance as the main dish on my menus. 

A few nights ago, I started throwing things together for a salad and by the end I had created something delicious. I'm going to take you step by step through the process, there is no real recipe here. And, although all the components might not seem to work, they really me on this one!!

First, let's make the dressing. a few weeks ago my mom posted this Honey Mustard Sauce. As is turns out, it makes a fabulous salad dressing. seriously folks, do yourself a favor and go make this dressing right now. It's very simple but the flavor will amaze you. It will keep in your fridge for atleast a week, probably longer but it's never lasted that long in my fridge. It may seem a little *Ahem* fattening, but come on...we are eating salad for pete's sake. We can afford a few extra calories, right?? :) I'm sure you can slim it down easily with low-fat mayo if you feel the need.

Next, cook up some chicken.  I love the chicken tenders from can cook two or twenty, it just depends on how many people you are feeding.  Put them in the pan frozen, and squeeze a little bit of BBQ sauce (I like Sweet Baby Ray's) on the frozen chicken. Put a lid on the pan and cook it on medium heat for 10-12 minutes.  when it's done, slice it up, and throw it in a bowl with some more BBQ sauce.

This chicken can be made and refrigerated for a few days, so I usually make enough for a few salads. This will cut down your prep and clean up time on an already quick meal!

Next, let's make the salad.  Slice up some Romaine. I love slicing lettuce...there is something about the sound of a blade slicing through crispy lettuce that is almost therapeutic. Is that weird? Probably. I'm weird. 

I also like to julienne carrots in there. Have you ever used a Julienne peeler? It's quite possibly the best $10.99 you will ever spend...not kidding. I use this thing nearly every day...salads, stirfry, pasta dishes, soups, you name it!

Mine is from Pampered Chef. If you ever use carrots, this needs to be in your kitchen.

After you julienne your carrots, thinly slice some green onions to throw in there too. Oh, and grate a little sprinkle of cheddar cheese in there to, just to add a little more depth.

The last thing for the salad is your "crunch". Normally, I would use croutons, but these crispy wonton strips are the perfect amount of texture and crunch needed to complete your salad.

You can find them in the produce section with the salad toppings (or you can make you own, but who has time for that these days? right??)

Throw it all in a bowl (and decorate it with your beautifully julienned carrots...appearance is everything, afterall) and serve it up!!  It's fresh and hearty, without being too heavy.  There is a great range of flavors and textures that all work perfectly together.

So, quick recap...

- Honey Mustard Dressing (I usually double this recipe to use several times)
- Chicken sliced and tossed with BBQ sauce
- Romaine Lettuce
- Julienned carrots
- Green onions
- Grated cheese
- Crispy wonton strips

* And any other goodies that suit your fancy...this is America afterall, you can put what ever you want in your salad :)

Thanks for letting me stop by, I'm sure you'll be seeing me again!!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Craft Day and Hot Dog Cookies

I am the lucky Aunt to several cute little gals. We enjoy getting together for a craft day. It was Spring Break so the timing was perfect, we had a whole afternoon to enjoy. Luckily Candise was in town so I had help--help is always good when it is 6 to 1!
We started the day by making collages. We scoured the craft section at Walmart and found plenty of choices. Half sheets of white core board provided the canvas, tacky glue was thick enough to hold things in place. After a few minutes of inspiration the girls were ready to create, and creat they did! I was impressed with their creativity and thier ablilty to stick to a task.

While the collages dried and the little girls played Rachel and Mandy--both budding bakers were game for making 'Hot Dog' cookies. I had the dough made and the girls created. I saw the cookies on Erin's Blog, Making Memories...One Fun Thing After Another. It is part of her blog header and every time I open her blog I had to smile--hot dog cookies!
The girls had fun and the 'hot dogs' were really just yummy butter cookies with 'ketchup' and 'mustard' frosting! Check Erin's Blog for the complete recipe.
We had a great afternoon and left with the promise together again soon.


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Sunshine Breakfast Casserole

Several years ago we were invited to a Ward Party and asked to bring this casserole. The recipe was given to me by a dear friend and great cook Marlene Black. It has become a family favorite ever since. Now, it probably won't win any beauty pageants but once you taste it you won't care. This is what breakfast should taste like. Serve with some fresh salsa, or Pace brand. Add a fruit salad and some juice and you will be able to feed a crowd and enjoy the meal with them.
We had a crowd here for breakfast this morning--this was perfect.

Sunshine Breakfast Casserole
6 cups frozen hash browns--thaw (you will have about 4 cups)
1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
3 cups grated cheese (I used 1 cup Extra Sharp Cheddar and 2 cups Jack Cheese--but use what you love)
6 eggs beaten
1 pound diced bacon
1 large onion, diced
Cook diced bacon until crispy, drain off most of the grease then add onions, cook till soft. Let cool slightly
Mix all ingredients together, pour in a 9x13 pan that has been sprayed with Pam. Smooth mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 to 40 minutes until set and bubbly. Cool for 15 minutes before serving. Serve with fresh pico or diced tomatoes and green onions.
Printable Recipe

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Coconut Lime Dessert

You know I love a good chocolate dessert but lately I have been craving citrus! It started with Lemon Pie Bars and now I have a wonderful lime/coconut dessert. This dessert is made in the food processor, it comes together in a moment but the waiting time is difficult. This no bake dessert needs to chill for several hours. The good thing is that you can make it a day or two ahead. Keep it in the freezer, remove 10 minutes before serving and it is just delicious.
This recipe came from Jill's high school friend Sarah. She blogs at Red Head Recipes. Thanks Sarah for one great recipe.

Coconut Lime Dessert
1 sleeve graham crackers
1/2 cup coconut
2 tablespoons brown sugar
6 tablespoons melted butter
Put graham crackers, coconut and brown sugar in food processor till crumbly. Add melted butter, pulse. Press crumbs in a 10 inch tart pan that has been sprayed with Pam. I used 3,  6 inch pie pans--perfect for sharing. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 for a crisper crust or put in the freezer for 15 minutes.
2 8 ounce packages cream cheese
1 can cream of coconut,15 ounces--found on the drink aisle
1/2 cup fresh lime juice, 3 or 4 large limes
grated zest from 1 large lime
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Wipe crumbs from food processor, put in cream cheese--it can be cold, coconut cream, lime juice, zest and sugar. Process until very smooth and creamy. Scrape mixture in a large bowl. Add cream to the bowl of the food processor (no need to wash--isn't this easy) watching closely turn food processor on for a few seconds--it will whip the cream. If you overdo it you will get butter--which isn't a bad thing but for this recipe we want whipped cream. Fold cream into cream cheese/lime mixture pour into pan(s). Freeze for 4 hours. Remove from freezer 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy one delicious dessert!
To make this gluten free--just pour mixture into ramekins or individual small bowls. It is delicious without the crust.
Printable Recipe

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Time for General Conference

Twice a year we are privileged to hear from our church leaders. It's something I look forward to with great anticipation. Messages of encouragement, spirituality and church doctrine are given. It is always positive and can be a great blessing to anyone who will take the time to listen. Try it--you might like it!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Frosted Peanut Butter Cookies

It's a yummy cookie with peanut butter chips. Peanut butter frosting and chocolate frosting layer to make this one amazing cookie! It takes a pound of butter and most of your afternoon but when you are done you have 48 delicious cookies that are meant for sharing. I would share them quickly or you just might eat more than you want! I found them on Jenn's Blog, Eat Cake For Dinner.

Frosted Peanut Butter Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, 7 ounces
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
3 1/2 cups cake flour (yes, cake flour, keep a small bag in your pantry for such occasions)
1 (12 ounce) bag Reese's Peanut Butter Chips
Cream butter, sugars, salt, baking powder, baking soda and vanilla. Add eggs and mix well. Add flour and chips, stir gently.
Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop dough on parchment lined sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 13-14 minutes or until set.
Cool completely and frost with peanut butter frosting. Then frost with chocolate frosting, being careful to leave a small space between the edge of the two frosting layers. Makes 48 delicious cookies.

Peanut Butter Frosting
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter frosting
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
milk or cream to reached spreading consistency
Cream together  butter, peanut butter and vanilla until light and fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar. Add enough milk or cream to reach a spreading consistency.

Chocolate Frosting
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
milk or cream
Beat butter, cocoa and vanilla until combined. Gradually add powdered sugar. Add milk/cream until spreading consistency. I tasted the frosting and thought it needed more chocolate flavor. I had 3/4 cup chocolate ganache in the fridge. I warmed it and mixed it in. I declared it delicious!
    [Printable Recipe]

Monday, April 1, 2013

Pink Salad

This salad has been a family favorite for years.  It was first brought to Grandma's 80th birthday party by a dear friend, Jillian.  Since then the recipe has been passed around the extended family.  It resurfaced recently and we have enjoyed it all over again!  It was the perfect salad for my daughter to take to a gathering with some of her friends today, and there was enough for my husband and I to enjoy for lunch too!
It is one delicious salad. Perfect for any gathering.

Pink Salad 
Romaine Lettuce
Red Leaf Lettuce
Cooked Bacon--about 6 slices, diced
Mozzarella or Jack Cheese, 1/4 inch dice
Dried Cherry and Berries Mix
Sugared Almonds--1 cup sliced almonds, 1/4 cup sugar. Heat in a non-stick pan over low heat till sugar is dissolved and almonds are a light brown. Keep a close eye on this--they are easy to burn.
Diced Cooked Chicken--if you want this to be a main dish salad.
Pink Dressing
1/8 of a Red Onion (yes this is enough)
1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Dried Mustard
3/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Oil
Using a immersion blender or food processor blend onion, vinegar, sugar, salt and dried mustard. Slowly add oil and blend until you have a beautiful thick, creamy, smooth pink dressing.
Mix together all salad ingredients, dress salad just before serving.
(Printable Recipe)