Thursday, September 23, 2010

People will always follow a good example;
be the one to set a good example, then it won't be long before the others follow.How lovely to think that no one need wait a moment, we can start now, start slowly changing the world!How lovely that everyone, great and small, can make their contribution toward introducing justice straightaway.And you can always always give something, even if it is only kindness!

~Anne Frank

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Everything bread

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Romertopf Clay Baker bakes an awesome Country chicken

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I picked up this clay baker at the "Midwest's Largest Garage sale" last Friday for $2. It is a Romertopf clay baker and it even came with the instruction book- I looked them up and they sell for about $50. I thought it would be similar to the pampered chef deep covered baker and it was. The only real difference is that the clay baker needs to be soaked for 15 minutes and then placed in a cold oven. I followed the chicken recipe that came with the baker. It turned out great!!

Country Chicken

3 1/2 pounds

salt and pepper

1 yellow onion

Celery Tops

2 Tablespoons melted butter

White wine
Small vegetables- potatoes, onions, carrots, turnips

Water the pot. Wash the chicken and rub the inside with salt and pepper. Place the yellow onion in cavity of the chicken. Place in bottom of the pot. Brush with melted buter, if desired season with salt and pepper and thyme. Wine may be added for flavor. place vegetables around chicken. sprinkle with minced parsley. Cover pot and place in a cold oven. Bake at 450 degrees. for 85 minutes.

Making : Rustic Pita Bread

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These were so easy to make and were great filled with homemade Chicken Salad

Homemade Rustic Pita Bread:

{makes 8 whole pitas or 16 halves}

1 1/8 cups Warm Water
1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
3 cups All-purpose Flour
1 tablespoon Olive Oil, plus more for coating bowl
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt

In a bowl stir sugar into warm water. Sprinkle the active yeast over top and let sit to proof for 10 minutes. Next, stir in flour, salt and olive oil. Knead until soft and barely sticky. Coat a bowl with olive oil, place the dough in the bowl and cover with a warm damp towel. Move to a warm place to rise and double in size.

Once raised, remove dough and preheat oven to 500 degrees. On a lightly floured surface roll the dough into a 12 inch rope. Cut into eight pieces. Roll into balls and cover with a damp towel while rolling one dough ball at time to approximately seven inches in diameter.

Place 1 to 2 pitas on a cooling rack or directly on your oven rack. Bake for 4-5 minutes or until puffed in center and golden around the edges. Remove and place under a damp towel to soften and cool.

Repeat with remaining pitas.

Once cool store in a plastic bag and refrigerate for a couple days or freeze up to two months or cut in half and fill! Enjoy!

recipe from Simply Scratch

Tortilla and Black Bean Pie

A super easy fast Vegetarian meal- Served with Rice and salsa

From Martha Stewart everyday Food

Serve this brightly colored, layered tortilla pie with salsa and sour cream on the side. You can assemble the pie ahead of time, then bake it just before serving.

Note: To trim tortillas, center the bottom of a springform pan on top of a tortilla. Trace around it with a paring knife. Remove excess.

Prep: 25 minutes
Total: 1 hour

Serves 6

* 4 (10-inch) flour tortillas
* 1 tablespoon canola oil
* 1 large onion, diced
* 1 jalapeno chile, minced (remove seeds and ribs for less heat)
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
* Coarse salt and ground pepper
* 2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, drained and rinsed
* 12 ounces beer, or 1 1/2 cups water
* 1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn
* 4 scallions, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
* 2 1/2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using a paring knife, trim tortillas to fit a 9-inch springform pan, using the bottom of the pan as a guide. Set aside.
2. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onion, jalapeno, garlic, and cumin; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, 5 to 7 minutes.
3. Add beans and beer to skillet, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until liquid has almost evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in corn and scallions, and remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Fit a trimmed tortilla in bottom of springform pan; layer with 1/4 of the beans and 1/2 cup cheese. Repeat three times, using 1 cup cheese on top layer. Bake until hot and cheese is melted, 20 to 25 minutes. Unmold pie; sprinkle with scallions. To serve, slice into wedges.

Baking: Caramel Crumb Bars

Caramel Crumb Bars Are perfect with a Cup of Tea

8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
½ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2½ cups all-purpose flour, divided

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
¼ cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt (optional)
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened, condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a 9x13x2-inch pan with parchment paper.

For the dough:
In an electric mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed, beat the butter with the sugar and salt until soft and light, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the vanilla.

On the lowest speed, beat in 2¼ cups of the flour, scraping the bowl and paddle with a rubber spatula and continuing to mix just until the dough is smooth, and the flour has been absorbed.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and scrape ¾ of the dough into the prepared pan. Use the palm of your hand to press the dough down evenly, without compressing it too much. Chill the dough-lined pan. Work the remaining ¼ cup flour into the remaining dough with your fingertips, so that it forms 1/8- to 1/4-inch crumbs. Set aside at room temperature.

For the filling:
In a medium saucepan, bring the butter, corn syrup, brown sugar, optional salt and condensed milk to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Allow the mixture to boil gently, stirring often, until it starts to thicken and darken slightly, about 10 minutes. Pour into a stainless-steel bowl to cool for 5 minutes.

Remove the dough-lined pan from the refrigerator and scrape the cooled filling onto the dough, using a small offset spatula to spread the filling evenly on the dough. Scatter the crumb mixture on the filling.

Bake until the filling is bubbling gently and is a deep caramel color and the dough and crumb topping are baked through, about 30 minutes.

Cool in the pan on a wire rack until lukewarm, 15 to 20 minutes. Lift the slab of baked dough out of the pan and onto the cutting board before it has cooled completely. Cut the slab into 2-inch squares.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

German pancake

With Late school starts every Thursday - there is a little extra time to make Breakfast-

This pancake puffs up over the top of the pan- it has an eggy- soft middle and is browned and crusty on the outside. We served it filled with apple slices tossed in cinnamon and sugar.

4 eggs
2/3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup milk
3 T butter

Butter a heavy 10 inch oven proof skillet
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Beat eggs with a fork to blend
Slowly add flour, beating constantly
Stir in salt and milk
Pour the batter by teaspoons into the batter, spreading evenly
Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes and then bake another 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven and sprinkle with powdered sugar and heated maple syrup.

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Thursday, September 02, 2010

Andreas pecan divines

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Thanks for the great recipe Gerry!


1 Cup butter melted

1½ cups granulated sugar

¾ cup brown sugar

2 tsp vanilla

2 tsp baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 beaten eggs

2½ cups flour

1½ cups chocolate chips

2 cups chopped pecans


Mix melted butter, white sugar, and brown sugar together. Add the vanilla, baking soda, salt and mix. Add eggs and stir to incorporate. Add half of the flour, the chocolate chips, and pecans. Stir well. Add remaining flour and mix thoroughly.

Drop by teaspoon full onto a greased cookie sheet. If dough is too sticky to handle refrigerate it for a few minutes.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes until nicely browned.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

mandarin pork and spinach salad

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Marinade ingredients:
1 (11/2 pounds pork tenderloin
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
2 T brown sugar
2 T bourbon

Salad ingredients:
1 pound spinach torn
1 (11 ounce ) can mandarin oranges, drained
1 red apple- cored and cubed
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions

1/4 cup oil
2 T red wine vinegar
1 1/2 T sugar
1 T sesame seeds
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp hot sauce

Partially freeze pork. trim excess fat and cut crosswise into 1/4 inch slices and cut each slice in half.

Place in a 12x8x2 inch baking dish. Combine the rest of the ingredients and pour over pork. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours

Drain pork and discard marinade. Cover dish with wax paper, and microwave at medium power 12 to 14 minutes and or until pork is done, stirring every 4 minutes. Drain.

Prepare dressing: Combine all ingredients in a 2 cup measuring cupa and microwave at high 1 to 2 minutes, stir.

combine spinach, orange, cubed apple, and green onions in a large bowl.
Top with pork, pour hot dressing over the salad. Toss and serve immediately. Garnish with apple wedges, if desired. Makes 6 servings.

Lemon Thyme tea bread

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A great way to use Lemon Thyme from the Garden- We loved this Sweet Bread!
1 3-ounce package cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon snipped fresh lemon thyme or thyme
1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
1 recipe Lemon Glaze (see recipe below)

1. Grease and lightly flour an 8x4x2-inch loaf pan; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter with electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy. On medium-low speed, gradually add the sugar, beating well. Add the egg and beat mixture until combined.
3. In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture and beating well after each addition. Stir in lemon thyme and lemon peel. Spread batter into prepared pan.
4. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove the loaf from pan; place on the rack.
5. Drizzle Lemon Glaze over the warm loaf. Cool completely. Makes 1 loaf (16 servings)
Lemon Glaze
In a small bowl, stir together 1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel. Stir in enough lemon juice or milk (about 1 teaspoon) to make a drizzling consistency.

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