Sunday, January 31, 2010

Peach Crunch Cake

Thought I'd try this yummy Peach Crunch Cake that Bakerella shared. It was super easy. I used our frozen fresh peaches which were tasty. Jimmy said he would have liked more peaches so next time I'll probably use twice as much fruit. I liked the brown sugar with the pecans (I didn't have walnuts). It was more moist than I expected, but it was very much like a cobbler. Give it a try... plus, it will make your home smell yummy. ... that cozy home-cookin' feeling.

Peach Crunch Cake (Bakerella)

24.5 oz jar of sliced peaches in light syrup
1 package yellow cake mix
1 stick butter (1/2 cup), cut into 16 pieces
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Layer ingredients in a 13 X 9 dish, in order starting with the peaches.

Bake for about 40 minutes.

Serve warm or cold… with or without ice cream.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Homemade Chocolate Glazed Donuts

Holy Moly! These were GOOD! Well, we thought so anyway. All the praise goes to Jane. Bless her google reader sharing little heart! So, thanks Jane!!

I really don't fry food that often. Really. But then I saw this recipe and kind of had to try it. Try them. You'll love them. They were that enjoyable. You'll have to guess if I used soy milk or Earth Balance (what the?) or food coloring. Okay, some of you might like the food coloring, but can I just say that it freaked me out? It totally did. Scared the dickens out of me. I also didn't let it rise long enough in a "comfy" place (either time - mostly because my kitchen was cold as ice) and they were just fine...

Here's the link.

•One 1/4-ounce package active dry yeast
•2 tablespoons warm water (98 degrees)
•3/4 cup warm soy milk (or milk)
•2-1/2 tablespoons margarine or butter
•1 egg
•1/3 cup granulated sugar
•1 teaspoon salt
•2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
•3 cups vegetable or canola oil
•I also added a bit of food coloring for fun

•In a medium bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water.
•Add the soy milk, margarine or butter, egg, sugar, and salt, and blend with an electric mixer until smooth.
•Add half the flour and mix for 30 seconds.
•Add the remaining flour and knead the dough with flour-dusted hands until smooth. (I did the whole thing in the Kitchen Aid)
•Cover the bowl of dough and leave it in a comfy, warm place until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour. You can tell that the dough has risen enough when you poke it with your finger and the indentation stays.
•Roll out the dough on a heavily floured surface until it's about 1/2 inch thick.
•If you don't have a doughnut cutter, simply use a drinking glass about the same diameter as a 14-ounce can. You should be able to get about 12 to 14 donuts this way.
•Now it's time to get creative -- it's time for the holes! Find the cap to a bottle of lemon juice or Worcestershire sauce, or any other small cap with a diameter of about 1 1/4 inches. Use this to punch out holes in the center of each of your donuts.
•Place the donuts on plates or cookie sheets, cover, and let stand in the same warm, comfy place until they nearly double in size (about 30 to 45 minutes).
•Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium heat (to about 350 degrees). It is easily tested with scrap dough left over from punching out the donuts. The dough should bubble rapidly. I also found it helpful to place a small carrot in the oil while frying -- prevents burning, I've heard.
•Fry each doughnut for about 30 seconds per side, or until light golden brown -- the color is key.
•Cool 5 minutes on paper towels


What you'll need . . .(NOTE: I found that this made WAY too much glaze, but it's what the original recipe calls for . . . I'd advise making half, but it's up to you.)

•5 1/3 tablespoons Earth Balance or butter
•2 cups powdered sugar
•1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
•1/3 cup hot water
•1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Love note from Mary... or just a note. Take it however you want.

I didn't want my glaze as thick as hers was pictured so I didn't add quite as much chocolate and was happy with the result. Still plenty chocolaty and gooey, but not pasty/thick like frosting. Anyway, take it or leave it and I'll never know unless you bring me some. You should make them though...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Cranberry Thumbprint Cookies

Pre-heat oven: 375
Bake : 10 min

Thumbprints cookies:

2/3 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg Yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 slightly beaten egg whites
1 cup chopped pecans
cranberry sauce (recipe below)

Beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed 30 seconds.
Add sugar. Beat until combined, scraping bowl.
Beat in egg yolk and vanilla until combined.
Beat in as much flour as you can.
Stir in any remaining flour.

Cover and chill dough for and 1 hour or until dough is easy to handle. (optional)

Grease cookie sheet; set aside.
Shape dough into 1 inch balls.
Rolls balls in egg whites , then in nuts.
Place 1 inch apart on the prepared cookie sheet.
Press your thumb into the center of each ball.
Bake in a 375 oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.
Fill center with cranberry sauce (recipe below)

Cranberry Sauce

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 12 oz bag cranberry
1 diced apple
2 tsp corn starch

Bring water sugar to a boil.
Add cranberry, return to boil.
Cook 10 min, until pop open.
Take out a cup of liquid and add corn starch to it. Mix until dissolved.
Add the apple to the pot on stove.
Add liquid mix back to it the pot.
Stir. (You can mash cranberry's more depend on your liking).
Take off the heat.

Cool and refrigerate.

Cranberry Pistachio Cookies

This is a fun Christmas cookie because of the green pistachio and the red cranberries.
Start with a sugar cookie dough. I use this recipe for sugar cookies.
Add 1/2 cup of chopped pistachios and a 1/2 cup of chopped dried cranberries (or cherries) after you add the dry ingredients in you sugar cookie dough. Then you can either add white chocolate chips with the pistachios and cherries or you can dip the cookies in melted white chocolate after the cookies are cooled, or you can skip the white chocolate altogether.

Sugar Cookies

This is my favorite sugar cookie recipe. I don't usually roll them out and cut out cute cookies, I just scoop them like I would chocolate chip cookies. You can roll this recipe out, but you will have to add more flour or refrigerate them for a while. I also like to use this as a cookie base for cranberry pistachio cookies (recipe to follow).

2 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients. Spoon balls onto ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 8 to 10 min or until golden brown. Let stand on cookie sheet two min. before removing to cool on wire racks.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

help with sugar cookies!!!

I really want to make homemade sugar cookies but haven't been very successful in the past. What is your favorite recipe? Please post if you have a yummy easy one. Does anyone have any tips for me to make perfect sugar cookies??

Friday, January 15, 2010

Sweet and Sour Chicken over Brown Rice

This was in our local paper and is a healthier alternative than the fried version that we love so much (though not quite as good) and we all liked it.

1 diced green pepper
3 green onions, thinly sliced
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
1 cup pineapple tidbits, drained

In pan with 1/4 cup oil, brown: 2 cups cubed chicken

Remove chicken from pan and saute vegetables for 3 minutes.

In bowl, combine:
2 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp vinegar
2-3 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1 cup chicken broth
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt

Stir ingredients to make sure that cornstarch is dissolved. Pour over vegetables and cook and stir until thickened. Add chicken and heat through. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve over rice.

BROWN RICE (Also from paper - worked beautifully and tasted delish! Yeah - I know it's just rice - but seriously...)
This works with both white and brown rice or half and half.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In greased glass 9x13 pan, place:
2 cups rice
4 cups water
1 tsp salt
Cover tightly with foil. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from oven. Fluff and serve. Perfect every time. Note: This works well if you are also baking another item and can all be done together.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Just because it looks so dadgum good.

Today might be the day that I start drinking coffee. And Kahlua. Because this looks mighty tasty. And I'm not sure hot chocolate will cut it anymore after seeing this. Unless one of you geniuses could come up with a way to make a non-coffee, non-alcoholic (but still oh-so-delicious) version of it for me please. That would be great. Oh, don't worry. I probably won't. Unless tomorrow is really bad...

Oh. I. Won't... Really.

Or, will I?

Have I worried anybody yet? Mom? Heather??

No? Anybody?

Okay, I'm done. Goodnight.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Don't try this at home!

Be sure you don't try substituting cherry pie filling for the apples and cranberries with cinnamon, etc. in the Cranberry Crunch recipe in the family cookbook (from Lion House). I had my heart set on it and had no baking apples, so invented the cherry version. All the topping stuff sank! No crispy crunch on the top. (Not that we didn't eat it--we did, and it was full of calories and yummy flavor, just soft.).

Friday, January 1, 2010

Microwave Caramel Popcorn

A friend gave us a Christmas gift and note with a package of popcorn and the dry ingredients in a baggie for this treat. Unfortunately Owen and I ate it up before anyone else got home. Not a recipe for the whole family, unless you only need a taste!

Microwave Caramel Popcorn Recipe #78693

1 bag of micro-wave popcorn
  • 1/4 lb margarine or butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup miniature marshmallow
    1. Pop the micro-wave popcorn and put in a bowl.
    2. Place margarine, brown sugar and marshmallows in microwave proof bowl; microwave for two minutes.
    3. Stir well and pour over popcorn.

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