Monday, September 19, 2011

French Bread

I made french bread! And it turned out good! (I feel like doing a little jig!) I am never buying french bread from the store again...well, at least not in the near future. But this was so crispy on the outside and soft and delectable on the inside, it makes it worth it to plan ahead a little.

French Bread
6 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 tablespoon cornmeal
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water

In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, yeast and salt. Stir in 2 cups warm water, and beat until well blended using a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.
On a lightly floured surface, knead in enough flour to make a stiff dough that is smooth and elastic. Knead for about 8 to 10 minutes total. Shape into a ball. Place dough in a greased bowl, and turn once. Cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled.
Punch dough down, and divide in half. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover, and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll each half into large rectangle. Roll up, starting from a long side. Moisten edge with water and seal. Taper ends.
Grease a large baking sheet. Sprinkle with cornmeal. Place loaves, seam side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly beat the egg white with 1 tablespoon of water, and brush on. Cover with a damp cloth. Let rise until nearly doubled, 35 to 40 minutes.
With a very sharp knife, make 3 or 4 diagonal cuts about 1/4 inch deep across top of each loaf. Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) oven for 20 minutes. Brush again with egg white mixture. Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until bread tests done. If necessary, cover loosely with foil to prevent over browning. Remove from baking sheet, and cool on a wire rack.

Source: All recipes

Friday, September 16, 2011

Cranberry Orange Scones

Well, now that I know how easy scones are, I kinda want to have them every week! Probably not a good life choice if I want to loose weight. These ones are easy and super yummy! Try to restrain yourself though...

Cranberry Orange Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
10 teaspoons sugar, divided
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup cold butter
1 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup half-and-half cream
1 egg

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon orange juice

In a large bowl, combine the flour, 7 teaspoons sugar, orange peel, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs; set aside. In a small bowl, combine the cranberries, orange juice, cream and egg. Add to flour mixture and stir until a soft dough forms.

On a floured surface, gently knead 6-8 times. Pat dough into an 8-in. circle. Cut into 10 wedges. Separate wedges and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush with milk; sprinkle with remaining sugar.

Bake at 400° for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack. Combine glaze ingredients if desired; drizzle over scones. Combine orange butter ingredients; serve with warm scones. Yield: 10 scones.

Source: Taste of Home

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

BLT Salad

Yet another nice and refreshing salad.  I really liked the creamy dressing for the salad. Heather even ate the salad a little bit. Delish!

...and sorry, no photo...oops.

BLT Salad
6 c. torn lettuce
1 1/2 c. cherry tomatoes (you could also use regular tomatoes)
3/4 c. mozzerella cheese, shredded
3/4. cheddar cheese, shredded
10 bacon strips, crumbled
1/2  chopped green pepper
1/2 c. chopped red onion
1/2 chopped cucumber


1 c. plain  yogurt
2/3 c. mayonnaise
1/8 c. sugar
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. garlic powder

In a large salad bowl, combine the first nine ingredients. Just before serving, whisk the dressing ingredients. Pour over salad. Toss to coat.

Source: Adapted from Taste of Home

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fish Burgers

Umm...yum! That's all I gotta say. Everyone loved these. We fought over the last one... ok, not really. Perfect for a summer meal!

Fish Burgers

1 lb. fresh or frozen fish (If frozen, thawed)
3/4 c. bread crumbs
2 green onions, sliced
2 Tbs. Cilantro, snipped
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tbs. soy sauce
1 Tbs. lemon juice
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 recipe Lime Mayonnaise
Sandwich buns and lettuce

Coarsely grind or chop fish into small chunks. Add the next 8 ingredients. Combine.

Line a tray with foil, divide into four 1in patties. Place on tray and refrigerate for 30mins -8hrs. (Don't skip this step! It helps to hold it all together.)

Heat oil in skillet over med-hi heat. Add patties. Cook 4-6 mins per side until cooked through. Serve with lime mayonnaise on buns with lettuce.

Lime Mayonnaise

In a bowl stir together 1/4 c. mayonnaise, 2 Tbs. minced red onion, and 2 tsp. lime juice. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Meatless Mexican Lasagna

Mmmm...we had this meal during our vegetarian week (yep, I'm just now writing it, I don't have a photo). We shared with the missionaries. It was delicious. Everyone had seconds. The leftovers were even good! I mean, they were better than the average leftover.

2 c. frozen corn, thawed
1 can (or 2 c.) black beans
1 can Italian or Mexican style diced tomatoes
1 can chopped green chilies (4 oz, or 1/2 c. if you chop your own)
3 green onions, sliced
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 corn tortillas (6 inches)
1 1/2 c. shredded cheese
Plain yogurt or sour cream

Combine the first seven ingredients. Place two tortillas in an 11x7x2in baking dish coated in cooking spray. Spread with half or the corn mixture, sprinkle with cheese. Repeat layers. Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 15-20 minutes or until heated through. Let stand 5 mins. Garnish with yogurt or sour cream. Makes 6 servings (291 cals each).

Source: Taste of Home

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Chocolate bowls

What better to have homemade ice cream in than chocolate bowls! Daniel and I made these for our date last weekend. The instructions call for a small balloon. We had what we thought were small balloons, but the bowls were a lot bigger than we were expecting. Yep, we filled the larger bowls... Probably water balloon size would work best.

Chocolate Bowls

Melt whatever chocolate you want to use in the microwave 30 seconds at a time until melted. (We used  semi-sweet chocolate chips.) Let cool to room temperature. Using the back of a spoon, put chocolate onto the bottom of a blown up balloonto make a bowl shape. Make it thick enough for a bowl, but watch out! They get a little top heavy. Put a dollop of chocolate on some wax paper. Place the chocolate covered balloon on the dollop. Let sit until hardened. If you are impatient (we were) put it (carefully) into the fridge to harden. When the bowl is hardened, slowly let the air out of the balloon. And there you have it, a perfect ice cream bowl.

Monday, September 5, 2011

(Fresh) Peppermint Ice Cream

Well, we tried to grow a garden this year. We got about 5 peas, 15 green beans, and 25 carrots, about 2 c. spinach, and a small mint plant. Everything else was eaten by something...grr. I have been wanting to try this ice cream all spring as I watched my mint sprout and develop, and grow. I finally had enough mint to make it the other day! So, I tried it, we fed it to friends, and the consensus was: it was delicious. I feel so awesome when I can use fresh things to make what could be made with an extract or something. Oh, and it totally tastes fresh and crisp (is that the right word?). Give it a try:

Peppermint Ice Cream

1 c. whole milk
1 1/2 c. packed fresh mint leaves
3/4 c. sugar
pinch salt
2 c. heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. peppermint patties, torn (10-12 patties)

In a med. saucepan set over med-low heat, bring the milk just to a boil. Remove from heat and add the mint leaves; let steep for 20-30 minutes. Blend the milk and leaves. (If you want a mild mint flavor pour the milk through a strainer. Keep the milk, discard the leaves.)
Add the sugar and salt to the milk mixture. Use a whisk to combine until sugar has dissolved. Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate, 1-2 hours (longer is totally fine).
Freeze according to manufacturers directions. Five minutes before frozen, add the patties. This ice cream turns out more like soft serve. If you would like a harder ice cream, freeze it for about 2 hours. You may need to remove the ice cream about 15 mins before serving to let it soften a bit.

Source: Adapted from Cuisinart

Friday, September 2, 2011

Lemon Poppy seed Scones

These were hot, so the lemon curd melted a bit, but still delicious!
 For some reason I've been needing a lot of comfort food lately. I am stressed out for some reason. Maybe it's because I am letting Josh cry it out...and I hate it just as much as he does...but you know, a 18.5 lb 5 1/2 month old does not need fed 3-5 times a night. I am graciously getting up once with him, but that's it! So maybe that's why I am stressed. Maybe I'm tired...Maybe I...It doesn't matter. For some reason I've been craving comfort food, and this just happened to hit the spot. Yum!

I have always been afraid of making scones for some reason...I don't know why. Maybe the name implies hard work? I dunno. It wasn't until this morning that I realized they were just like making biscuits, but you add a couple extra ingredients. Why have I been so afraid? These were so easy, so delicious, and quick to put together. The only long part was the baking (for the scones) and the lemon curd took a while to thicken, but I'd say a pretty easy meal. Awesome!

Lemon Poppy seed Scones

    2 eggs
    1 cup sugar
    6 tablespoons butter, melted
    1/4 cup lemon juice
    2 tablespoons grated lemon peel

    2 cups all-purpose flour (I added more just seemed a little too sticky. Maybe it was more humid today than normal?)
    1/4 cup sugar
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1 tablespoon poppy seeds
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/3 cup cold butter
    3/4 cup milk
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    1/4 - 1/2 tsp. almond extract (My addition. I just love the flavor it adds)
    Additional sugar


    In a heavy saucepan or top of a double boiler, beat eggs and sugar.
    Stir in butter, lemon juice and peel. Cook and stir over low heat or
    simmering water for 15 minutes or until mixture reaches 160° and
    is thickened. Cover and refrigerate until chilled (may be stored in
     the refrigerator for up to 1 week).
    For scones, combine the flour, sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder,
    baking soda and salt in a bowl. Cut in butter until mixture
    resembles fine crumbs. Combine milk and lemon juice; stir into crumb
    mixture just until blended (dough will be soft).
    Turn dough onto a floured surface; knead gently six times. Shape into
    a ball. Pat dough into an 8-in. circle; cut into eight wedges.
    Separate wedges and place 1 in. apart on a greased baking sheet.
    Sprinkle with additional sugar.
    Bake at 425° for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove
    from pan to wire rack. Serve warm with the lemon curd. Yield: 8

Source: Taste of Home

By the way...These are NOT low in calories. 419 calories a piece!