Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cranberry Orange Pancakes

Tonight was a breakfast for dinner night. We like to have those every once in a while, and with our oven broken, we thought tonight would be a great night for pancakes. We tried the Cranberry Orange Pancakes from Baking Serendipity. They were delicious, and we even froze some leftovers for breakfast later on.

Cranberry Orange Pancakes

1 cup all purpose flour (I used whole white wheat flour)
2 cups whole wheat flour
4 tbsp sugar, divided
3 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3 eggs
6 tbsp canola oil
3 cups milk
1 tbsp orange juice
zest of two medium sized oranges
1/2 cup fresh cranberries (I used craisins, and still cooked them to soften them up as suggested below)

Zest two oranges into a small bowl and set aside. In a saucepan over medium heat, dissolve one tablespoon sugar into one tablespoon orange juice. Add cranberries and stir gently until cranberries pop and soften. (This should take two-three minutes.) Remove from heat and set aside. In a larger bowl, combine flours, remaining three tablespoons sugar, baking powder and baking soda. In one more separate bowl (sorry about the dishes) beat eggs, oil and milk. Add gradually to the dry ingredients, mixing well. Fold in orange zest and cranberries. Spoon batter onto a hot, greased griddle or large skillet. Flip when the edges begin to dry, cooking evenly on both sides. Serve with maple syrup.

Note: I would have enjoyed a little bit more of an orange flavor. Maybe adding 2 more Tbs. would do it. I also added about 1/2 c. flour.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

I got this delicious recipe from my sister in law Michele.  We loved it so much!

Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

1 apple cored and grated
1 T lemon juice
2 cups freshly milled whole wheat flour (regular ww flour is fine too)
2 T sugar
2 t baking powder
3/4 t salt
3/4 t baking soda
2 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
1 1/2 C buttermilk
1/2 C applesauce (no sugar added)
2 eggs
2 T oil

Core apple and either in a food processor, or a hand-held grater, shred (I leave the peel on). Put the shredded apple in a bowl and add the lemon juice to it. Stir to coat, preventing oxidation.

In large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients and slowly add them to the dry ingredients, mixing until well-incorporated. Let batter rest while griddle heats up.

Pour batter, by the 1/4 cup, onto a hot griddle and cook until bubbles on top start popping. Flip and cook another minute or two longer. Remove to a plate.

Serve with your favorite preserve or syrup.

Makes about 1 dozen.

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

This was the second part of our Valentines Day Dessert...are you noticing a theme? Yeah, we like peanut butter and chocolate. I got this from my Taste of Home Cookbook. They are great brownies, but I think they are a little cakey for my taste...that's just me though.

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies
1/2 c. butter, softened
2/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 Tbs. milk
3/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c. creamy peanut butter
1/4 c. peanut butter chips
1/3 c. baking cocoa
1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars. Add eggs and milk. Mix well. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt, add to creamed mixture and mix well. Divide batter in half. To one portion, add peanut butter and peanut butter chips, mix well. To the other portion, add the cocoa and chocolate chips, mix well.
In a greased 9" square baking pan, spoon chocolate batter in 8 mounds in a checkerboard pattern. Spoon seven mounds of peanut butter batter between the chocolate batter. Cut through batters with a knife to swirl.
Bake at 350° for 25-30 mins, or until toothpick comes clean. Cool on wire rack.

This recipe is linked to Sweet as Sugar Cookies Sweets For a Saturday.

Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream

Daniel gave me an ice cream maker for Christmas (yes, he did go over budget, yes it was a total surprise, and yes I was overjoyed by the gift). I hadn't used it yet because, well, I have no idea actually. I was going to blame it on the cold weather, but we had store bought ice cream in the freezer (and ate it too), so that's not a great excuse. Anyway...I tried it out for Valentines day dessert. I am never going back to store bought! It was so creamy and SO good. Yes it took some planning, but it is cheaper than what you get at the store and oh so much better!

Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream

1 c. creamy peanut butter
2/3 c. sugar
1 c. whole milk (I used 2%. My guess is it just takes longer to thicken.)
2 c. heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. chopped chocolate peanut butter cups (about 15)

1. In a med. mixing bowl, use a hand mixer on low speed to combine the peanut butter and sugar. Blend until smooth. Add the milk and mix on low speed until the sugar is dissolved, about 1-2 mins. Stir in the cream and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate 1-2 hours, or overnight.

2. Pour into ice cream maker and mix until thickened. About 5 mins before desired thickness is reached, add the peanut butter cups. Let mix completely. Ice cream will be soft and creamy. If you would like a thicker ice cream put it in the freezer for 2 hours. Remove 15 mins before serving. Makes about 6 cups.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Clam Chowder

I was trying to find a good Clam Chowder recipe in my cookbook collection. I came across 3-4 that all sounded good, but I liked one thing about this one, and another thing about that. So…I threw the three recipes together, throwing out what I didn’t like and adding what I did,  and this is what I came up with.

Clam Chowder
½ c. precooked crumbled bacon, or chopped ham (we used ham because that’s what we had)
2 cans (6.5oz) chopped or baby clams (drained, reserve the juice)
4 potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 tsp. Worcestershire
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. sage
1 tsp. parsley
dash black pepper
dash of cayenne pepper
2 tsp. salt
4 tsp. chicken bouillon
3 c. water
1 onion, chopped
½ c. butter
¾ c. flour
4 c. milk

1. Drain the clams. Reserve the juice, and add enough water (if needed) to make one cup. Set  both the clams and the juice/water mix aside.
2. Put chopped potatoes, carrots, and celery, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, sage, parsley, peppers, salt, and bouillon in a large pot.  Add the water and clam juice. This should be enough water to just cover potatoes. If not, add a little more. Boil for about 15 minutes, or until potatoes are soft.
3. Lightly mash the potatoes.
4. In a saucepan, melt butter. Add onion. Sautee 2-3 minutes or until onions are crisp-tender.  Whisk in flour and gradually add milk whisking constantly. Whisk until roux is thick. Add to pot, bring to a boil.
5. Add clams and bacon/ham. Heat through.
6. Serve with crackers or some yummy homemade bread!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Tex-Mex Tortilla Soup

This was delicious! It's like enchiladas in a soup. We loved it! It is super quick and easy...always a plus. I got this recipe from my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. I did change a couple of things. We didn't have as much chicken as it called for, so I added a whole green pepper,  and more corn than it called for. Also, I am not much of an onion person so i only did half a medium onion, instead of a whole one. I also added a bit more cumin and pepper. We garnished with cilantro and it was amazing! Sorry, no pic today.

Tex-Mex Tortilla Soup
1 to 1 1/2 lbs. chicken
3 cans (14oz) chicken broth (I used bouillon cubes)
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 med onion chopped
1/4 c. sweet green pepper
1-2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 c. frozen corn
Tortilla chips

Possible Garnishes: avocado, cilantro, jalapeƱo, lime wedges.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Reese's Chewy Chocolate Cookies

It's time for our bi-weekly excuse for dessert...we are having the missionaries (from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) over for dinner tonight. I decided to make cookies. I felt obligated to taste them (just in case they aren't any good). They are great!

Reese's Chewy Chocolate Cookies
2 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 c. butter or margarine
2 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 2/3 c. peanut butter chips

1. Heat oven to 350° F.
2. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Set aside. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Gradually add flour mixture, beating well. Stir in peanut butter chips.
3. Drop by rounded teaspoon-fulls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-9 mins. (Do not overbake, cookies will be soft. They will puff while baking and flatten while cooling.) Cool slightly, remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.

Makes about 4 1/2 dozen.