Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Weekend Sunday Bonus!

It's Memorial Weekend! The sky is sunny, coals will be getting hot on many BBQ grills and there is nothing like a fresh cold glass of lemonade to make the day (any day) complete! My friend Kelly shared this with me for homemade lemonade and I have to confess it has turned me into a lemonade snob - - - I just can't do frozen mixes any more. It is simply the perfect proportions! Enjoy the sunshine and a nice glass of lemonade!

Homemade Lemonade

1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 cup sugar
5 cups water

Find approximately 5 or 6 large lemons. Squeeze and mix 1 cup of juice with the sugar and water. Find a nice big glass with some ice (I really prefer crushed - see I am a snob) and enjoy!!!! A little sprig of fresh mint on top will make you feel like you did something really fun!!!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Saturday Special

This blog has been neglected entirely too long - so here we go - another attempt to bring back the fun of recipes, tips and just the plain LOVE of food! Today we have a "Saturday Special" - a recipe that is from my husband's grandma - so how can you go wrong? Homemade Oatmeal Rolls. These are so yummy - especially warm with some honey butter! Enjoy!

Oatmeal Rolls by Hollis Writebol

1 cup oatmeal
2 cups boiling water
3 T butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 T white sugar
1 1/2 t. salt
2 pkg. yeast
1/2 c. warm water
5 cups flour

Mix first 3 ingredients and let cool. Add sugar, salt, yeast and warm water. Add flour and knead. Let rise. Punch down and form into dinner rolls. Let rise again. Bake 20 - 30 minutes in a greased 9 X 13 pan at 350 degrees. Brush with butter when they come out.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Sugar Free Lemon Cheesecake

I made this recipe by combining some awesome ideas from the Sweet Treats section at the Active Low Carber Forums. The base is a standard low-carb cheesecake crust, the cake is a slightly tweaked version of the incredibly Bawdy's Cheesecake, and the topping is a higher-fat version of NancyLC's Lemon Curd.
Here goes:
Preheat the oven to 350*F.
First make the base by combining:
1.5 cups almond flour (if you have other nuts you like, feel free to throw a few crushed ones in - macadamias are great for this)5 tbsp melted butter5 tbsp granular Splenda
Line an 8x8 cake pan with greaseproof paper. The easiest way to get the paper to "stick" to the pan is to smear a little butter from the butter wrapper around the pan and press the paper into place.
Press the cheesecake crust mixture into the bottom of the pan, and pop in the oven for 10-15 mins, until the edges start turning golden brown. I find the pre-baking stops the base soaking up the cake batter and becoming soggy.
While the crust is baking, combine the following in a large food processor or mixing bowl:2 eggs1 tsp vanilla extract1 tsp lemon extractJuice of one lemon1 1/2 cups sour cream1/2 cup sugar-free vanilla syrup (or 1/2 cup of Splenda or equivalent sweetener)
Blend until combined. Then add:
16 ounces (2 packages) cream cheese (it's easier if the cream cheese is softened beforehand, and cut up into pieces before you add it)2 tbsp melted butter
I usually let the crust cool a while before pouring the batter on top. Then, I bake the cheesecake in my own improvised water bath. I plop the cake tin into a wok half-filled with water and then put the whole ensemble in the oven to cook. The water prevents the top of the cake from cracking. Alternative methods: a pan of water placed below the oven shelf you use for the cheesecake. This isn't absolutely necessary, so if you feel intimidated by it or don't have the pans, don't worry about it - it just makes for a prettier overall result.
Turn the oven down to 325* and bake for 35-40 minutes. IMPORTANT: After the cooking time finishes, don't open the oven door. Just turn it off, otherwise the whoosh of cool air will crack your cake. Leave the cake in the turned-off oven for an hour (more if you can), before letting it cool at room temperature, and then moving to the refrigerator.
While the cheesecake is baking, it's time to make the topping.
Grate the zest of two lemons into a bowl. (When you hit white, stop grating and move to the next section.) Add the juice of both lemonsStir in 3/4 cup of Splenda (or other granular sweetener)
Now, add two whole eggs, plus two egg yolks, and stir everything up.
The next part is to slowly, slowly cook the mixture so it turns to curd. Place your mixing bowl over a pan of simmering water, and keep the heat low-med. If you cook it too fast, you'll get lemony scrambled eggs. (I always found this double-pan method intimidating, but give it a try, it's not as hard as it seems.) It should take around 10-15 mins to cook. Keep stirring so the heat moves through the mixture evenly. It should start thickening, and once it reaches a pudding-like consistency, remove it from the heat.
Add 6 tbsp butter for a richer, creamier taste. It will melt and combine if you stir pieces of butter in immediately. This is optional, so you can skip it if you'd like to marginally lower the calories of the final product!
Put your lemon curd in a container and place cling wrap over the top so it's touching the mixture, otherwise a skin will form. Place in the refrigerator to cool and thicken. This can be used as a topping for more than just cheesecake - on low carb yogurts, flax muffins and more. It tastes like an extremely intense lemon custard.
Once everything is cool, you can remove the cheesecake from the pan and spread the lemon curd over it. The result is a deliciously creamy, rich cheesecake with tangy lemon topping. Heaven for lemon lovers.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Chicken Curry Divine

This one of those great dishes that you can slop on plastic plates for a Tuesday night family dinner or proudly serve at your Staurday night dinner party.

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can of chicken broth
1 bag of pre-cut broccoli
1 lg. can of cream of chicken soup
¼ cup of mayonnaise
¼ cup of sour cream
2 TBSP lemon juice
Curry powder (as much or as little as you like).
1/8 cup of white wine (optional)

Low Carb Topping:
Parmesan Cheese (dry, grated)

Regular Topping:
1 cup dry breadcrumbs stirred into 1 cube of melted butter

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In large pan simmer chicken broth and add chicken, turn chicken until meat is just barely cooked through. Drain and put aside.

Place bag of broccoli in microwave for approximately 5 minutes. Let stand. You can also mix the broccoli with cauliflower for a completely different flavor!

In medium sauce pan, combine a can of condensed cream of chicken, 1/4 cup of sour cream and ¼ cup of mayonnaise. Bring to simmer. Add curry (to taste or go by color - yellowish for a little curry and dark green for more flavor, my fav.), add lemon juice and wine.

Layer broccoli in bottom of clear Pyrex, place chicken breasts in single layer and pour sauce evenly over chicken. Liberally sprinkle with parmesan cheese for low-carb version of this dish or spread bread crumbs w/ butter for the original recipe.

Place dish in middle of oven rack and cook until golden brown on top (about 30 minutes). Best served over homemade mashed potatoes or white rice. 8 servings per recipe or 4 hungry Browns.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

French Class Chocolate Chip Cookies

Our French teacher, Kathleen, baked us these cookies for our class yesterday-- they were super soft and delicious. I asked her for the recipe and when she brought it in today I discovered (after using my French - English dictionary) what the secret ingredient was- instant vanilla pudding- YUMMY! Give them a try and ENJOY! ~ Esther

1 cup unsalted butter, melted, cooled
1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
102 g box instant vanilla pudding mix
2 tbsp milk
2 large eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp each: baking powder, baking soda
2 cups milk chocolate chips

In large mixing bowl, using wooden spoon, mix butter and sugars until creamy. Stir in pudding mix and milk, then eggs and vanilla. Add flour, baking powder and baking soda; stir until batter is smooth. Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop batter by heaping tablespoonsful on non-stick cookie sheets (about 12 per sheet). Bake, in batches, in preheated 350F oven 12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool 10 minutes on cookie sheet. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely. Store in airtight container.
Makes about 36.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Cinnamon Rolls

Now if you have gotten one of my recipes you know I don't always have exact measurements for everything! I just taste it until it taste good or it looks right. Sorry if this is scary for you. At least the roll recipe is pretty exact. If you have any questions just ask me.

1 packet of active dry yeast
1/3 c. very warm water (105*-115*)
1/2 c. warm milk (scalded then cooled)
1/3 c. of sugar
Sugar for filling (brown or regular)
1/3 c. unsalted butter for dough, softened
at least a stick of butter for filling, softened
butter for icing
1 tsp. salt
1 egg
3 1/2-4 cups of flour

Soft butter (again don't know exactly how much, at least a tbls. per roll) if unsalted add a pinch of salt. You've seen how I slather the tops with the icing so depending on how naughty you want to be determines the amount of gooey butter. You can always add more if it doesn't seem like enough.
Powdered sugar (add until it taste good and sweet enough)
teaspoonish of vanilla
a little milk just to loosen up the icing - like a tbls. at a time, you don't want it runny
If you like the orange flavor- add a tsp. or so of orange zest, depending on how strong you want the orange flavor

In a large bowl dissolve yeast in warm water. Then stir in milk, sugar, butter, salt, egg, 2 cups of the flour. Mix with a spoon until smooth. Mix in enough flour to be able to handle the dough and it's not to sticky. Kneed the dough on a floured surface until smooth and elastic (like a few min.) Place in a greased bowl and then flip it over in the bowl so that the greased side is up. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm spot until it doubles in size. Mine doesn't always double so let it rise for about an hour and if it stops rising then it's probably done. If you poke it an indent should stay. Punch down the dough and divide it in half. Roll out half the dough on a floured surface into a rectangle shape. It should be about 1/4-1/2 an inch thick. Smother with softened butter (I don't know exactly how much but it should cover the whole surface) Then sprinkle with white sugar or brown sugar, nuts, raisins, any dried fruit, and cinnamon. Again, I don't have a measurement for all of this, just cover it with sugar and a light dusting of cinnamon and it will be good I promise! Then roll it into a log and slice it, about 2 inch slices. Place them on a buttered pan leaving room for rising. Cover them and let them rise again for about 40 min. I've skipped the second rising and they rise a lot when they cook so I don't know if it's necessary but that's what the recipe says. Heat oven to 375* and bake for about 25-30 min. or until the tops are browned. If they seem like they're browning to quickly before the inner dough has a chance to cook, cover with foil until the last few min. Glaze while still hot. I make a bunch of these, put 6-7 of them in a disposable foil pie pan (3 for a dollar at dollar tree) cover with foil and give them to my neighbors on Christmas Eve. I put the glaze in a ziplock and a little note on top with cooking instructions. My neighbors love them. It's not very expensive but a very yummy gift. Oh, you can keep these in the fridge covered and raw for a few days and cook them right before you want them. You can even freeze them raw. I'll e-mail the little note I use for gifts.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Grandma's Great Meatloaf

It has been a long time since our last post and for that we apologize. With it being Wild Card Wednesday and since we are in the fall season, what better thing to post than a great meatloaf recipe! This is comfort food at its best! This is my grandma's recipe and while I am partial, it is honestly one of the best meatloaf recipes I have had. My mom and I recently made this for dinner and my husband's response was, "A meatloaf I don't have to put ketchup on is a good meatloaf." He has asked for it again so it must be good! With a side of some great mashed potatoes, you can't go wrong with this meal!

Grandma's Great Meatloaf
1 egg beaten
2/3 cup milk
3 slices bread crumbled (I use seasoned bread crumbs)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 medium onion finely chopped
1/2 cup finely shredded carrot
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon prepared mustard

Mix the first eight ingredients. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into a loaf. Place in a greased 9 x 5 x 3 loaf pan. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, ketchup and mustard. Spread over meatloaf. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 - 70 minutes or until no pink remains. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!!!!!