Sunday, May 24, 2009

Crockpot Mexican night


Saucy Chicken, Rice and Bean Ensemble
  • 2-3 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup green enchilada sauce (I used green salsa verde)
  • 1 can red enchilada sauce
  • 1/3 c. brown sugar
  • 1 c. rice, uncooked
  • 1/2 can black beans (or the whole thing if you want more)
  1. Combine all ingredients except rice in a crockpot.
  2. Add rice halfway through cooking time and finish cooking.
  3. I cooked on high for 4 hours and added rice after about 2 hours. Serve in tortillas (please the uncooked kind!) or over chips with cheese and sour cream.
  4. The beans and rice bulked it up, along with the sauce. It was really good and we enjoyed leftovers the next day.
You can also make this on the stovetop if you want to use canned chicken and already cooked rice. We found a really good dressing we love- jalapeno ranch by Litehouse in the produce refrigerated section. Cheapest at Walmart. Great in place of sour cream, but also good over salad and with carrots dipped in.

Teriyaki Pasta Salad- great for summer!

Teriyaki Pasta Salad
  • 3-4 chicken breast halves, cooked with Teriyaki sauce and cubed or shredded
  • 1 lb box bowtie pasta, rotelle, or whatever you like
  • 1-2 heads red or green leaf lettuce (or a bag of romaine like me)
  • matchstick carrot pieces (in a bag or sliced yourself, about 1 cup)
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 lb snow peas, cut into thin slices
  • toasted sesame seeds (optional)
  • Very Very Teriyaki sauce, shake bottle well first (made by Soy Vay- cheapest at Walmart)
  • 1/4 cup canola or olive oil
  1. Marinate chicken for at least 1/2 hour in Teriyaki sauce. Bake in broiler or BBQ, or crockpot...however.
  2. Cook pasta, drain. Tear the lettuce into bite sized pieces, place in large bowl. Add pasta when cooled.
  3. Add remaining veggies. Cool chicken, slice and add to salad. Make dressing and add to salad, a little at a time until taste desired is achieved. Sprinkle generously with sesame seeds. Makes a LOT of salad! Great for company.
Well, now I'm stealing recipes from my good ward cookbook. Thanks Hayley! This is a great tasting salad. This teriyaki sauce by Soy Vay is amazing. You can add extra to the salad to get the flavor you want. You can also make this salad with whatever veggies you want. It seems kind of strange to me to have lettuce in with pasta, but it tastes good. You could have it without as well, though! Nice change from your traditional pasta salad.

Pan Breadsticks

Pan Breadsticks
  • 1 T. yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 3 1/2-4 cups flour
Breadstick Spread:
  • 1/4 cup soft margarine
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp parsley flakes
  1. Put yeast into warm water. Let sit until yeast dissolves.
  2. Mix salt, sugar, and 3 1/2 cups flour in a separate bowl. Add yeast and water mixture.
  3. Blend well adding enough remaining flour to form soft dough. Knead dough for 3 minutes.
  4. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. After the 10 minute wait period is up, coat cookie sheet.
  5. Put dough in the middle of the cookie sheet and press to outer edges. I usually flour my hands lightly so the dough doesn't stick to them.
  6. Spread topping evenly over dough. Cut dough down the middle and across with a pizza cutter. Let rise to almost double.
  7. Cook for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees. Makes one pan of breadsticks.
These are great breadsticks that also double for sandwich rolls/slices for leftovers. Like focaccia bread. Not hard to make, and yummy.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sweet and Sour Crockpot Style

Sweet and Sour Crock Pot Chicken
  • handful carrots, sliced into matchsticks
  • 1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 2-3 chicken breasts (cut them up before serving, if desired)
  • 15 oz. pineapple tidbits, drained
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 T. veg. oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 4 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/4 c. cornstarch
  • 1 cup water
  • 2/3 cup cider vinegar
Throw everything in crockpot. I didn't even bother stirring cornstarch in that well and it all worked out fine. The cornstarch helps the sauce thicken up nicely! Really delicious. Fruits and veggies in one dish! Cook on low 7-8 hours or high 3-4 hours. Serve over rice .

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Chocolate Cookies with great dough

World Peace Cookies
Baking: From My Home to Yours, Dorie Greenspan

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 stick plus 3 tablespoons (11 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or a generous 3/4 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips (I like Ghirardelli)

Makes about 36 cookies.

  1. Sift the flour, cocoa and baking soda together.
  2. Working with a stand mixer beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add both sugars, the salt and vanilla extract and beat for 2 minutes more.
  3. Pour in the flour and pulse the mixer at low speed about 5 times, a second or two each time. Continuing at low speed, mix for about 30 seconds more, just until the flour disappears into the dough — for the best texture, work the dough as little as possible once the flour is added, and don’t be concerned if the dough looks a little crumbly. Toss in the chocolate pieces and mix only to incorporate.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, gather it together and divide it in half. Working with one half at a time, shape the dough into logs that are 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least 3 hours. (The dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months. If you’ve frozen the dough, you needn’t defrost it before baking — just slice the logs into cookies and bake the cookies 1 minute longer.)
  5. GETTING READY TO BAKE: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
  6. Working with a sharp thin knife, slice the logs into rounds that are 1/2 inch thick. (The rounds are likely to crack as you’re cutting them — don’t be concerned, just squeeze the bits back onto each cookie.) Arrange the rounds on the baking sheets, leaving about 1 inch between them.
  7. Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 12 minutes — they won’t look done, nor will they be firm, but that’s just the way they should be. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and let the cookies rest until they are only just warm, at which point you can serve them or let them reach room temperature.

This is safe cookie dough to eat (no eggs) and let me tell you, this cookie dough rocks! The cookies are also really tasty, though I think they taste best cool when the chocolate chips aren't so melty.

Conquering wheat bread

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

Makes 2 (8x4 inch) loaves

  • 3 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 c. vital wheat gluten (optional)
  • 1 1/4 T. instant yeast (or quick-rising- I use SAF)
  • 2 1/2 c. very warm water
  • 1 T. salt
  • 1/3 c. oil
  • 1/3 c. honey or 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 1/4 T. bottled lemon juice
  • 2 - 2 1/2 c. whole wheat flour (I usually do 1 of these cups wheat, and then another 2-2 1/2 cups white- I need more flour for mine) do a couple of these cups white flour-you may need more- just use enough so the dough forms a ball on the dough hook)

  1. Mix together first three ingredients in mixer with a dough hook.
  2. Add water all at once and mix for 1 minute; cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Add salt, oil, honey or sugar and lemon juice and beat for 1 minute. Add last flour, 1 cup at a time, beating between each cup.
  4. Beat for about 6-10 minutes until dough pulls away from sides of the bowl. This makes a very soft dough.
  5. Preheat oven for 1 minute to lukewarm and turn off. Turn dough onto oiled counter top; divide, shape into loaves, place in oiled bread pans.
  6. Let rise in warm oven for 15-20 minutes until dough reaches top of pan. Do not remove bread from oven; turn oven to 350 degrees F and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on racks.
After about 6 failing attempts at making wheat bread, this recipe finally worked for me! Yay! It is so good and tasty. The following recipe is a non-SAF recipe that takes a little longer, but also worked, and I've tried SO MANY recipes I have to post the ones that were fool-proof!
Wheat Bread that worked for me
3 1/2 c. of very warm water
1 1/4 T. salt
1/2 c. honey
1/4 c. oil
6 c. wheat flour
3-4 c.white flour (until dough isn't sticking on sides of bowl)
1 1/2 T instant yeast or 1 3/4 T regular yeast (I used regular active-dry yeast here)

Combine all ingredients (yep...just dump it all raising the yeast before), then put in the wheat flour, then add the white flour. Add one scoop at a time until the dough forms a soft ball in middle of mixer and pulls away from the sides. Knead about until dough is soft. It will be sticky and stick to your fingers.

Remove dough and place in large bowl with a glop of oil in the bottom. Place all dough in bowl and then turn over so oily side is up. Cover with greased foil--just lightly cover. When double in size, knead lightly and divide dough in 1/2 so you have two equal dough balls. Place in greased bread pan. Tuck all corners under, and lightly oil top of bread with oiled hands.

Let rise until almost double, about 30 minutes-1 hr and then place in pre-heated oven at 350 degrees. (I let rise in oven...setting the heat to 150, then canceling, then adding the bread to the oven so oven is just warm, but not on)
Bake about 30-40 minutes. You can cover the loaves the last 15 minutes of cooking to avoid excessive browning. This recipe works, but it is a little too much for my kitchenaid to handle, because of all the flour used (these make bigger loaves).

Another bread recipe (I've tried so many and only a few work, so I have to remember them!)

Honey Wheat Bread (light wheat bread)
-makes one loaf, I use my bread machine dough setting to mix the dough, then place it in a pan to rise, then cook

1 cup warm water (110-115 degrees F)
1 tablespoon milk
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons instant active dry yeast
1. *Combine first 6 ingredients in a large mixing bowl; stir.
2. Add flours and yeast, and knead until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10-15 minutes. Place dough in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover with a clean towel and let rise until doubled, about 40 minutes.
3. Punch dough down; knead for a few minutes until smooth and then form into a loaf. Place in greased loaf pan and cover. Let rise in a warm place until almost doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. If loaf starts browning too soon, lightly lay a piece of foil on top of the loaf to prevent too much darkening.

  • Honey Wheat Bread (I half this and put this in my bread machine, but made as is is great,too.  Great recipe! from favfamilyrecipes)
  • 3 cups really warm water
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. yeast (or 2 yeast packets)
  • Dissolve and wait until yeast froths then add:
  • 1/4 c. shortening
  • 1/4 c. honey
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • about 6 cups of flour (I use all wheat)

  • Add flour a cup at a time until you have a soft dough. Knead and put into a bowl. Cover with a cloth and let raise about an hour or until it has about doubled in size. (It raises much better if you put in front of a window with the sun shining in or on top of a warm oven).
  • Knead again and place bread into baking tins and raise again for another hour.
  • Bake at 350 for 30 minutes until brown on the top. Butter the top of the bread while still in the oven and let cook another 2 min. Remove and let cool about 10 minutes in the pans, then turn out and cool 10 more minutes before slicing.
  • Makes 3 regular or 2 large loaves.