Monday, April 18, 2011

Tomato Garlic & Herb Bread

I've been on a little bit of a bread kick lately.  For years I could NEVER make a decent loaf of bread, or rolls, or anything using dough!  But then a couple years ago my mom came over and SHOWED me every little step.  So now I'm getting a little daring, and have been experimenting and tweaking my recipe a little.  This is the latest........Tomato Garlic & Herb.  I had some leftover sun dried tomatoes from a pasta that I made, so I chopped them up and put them into the dough.  It was so good, especially toasted with laughing cow cheese spread on it, or on a turkey sandwich!  My little girl, Macie, ate about 1/3 of a loaf while it was warm.  While I was trying to get a picture of it she kept stealing little bites, then she stole the whole slice, haha.  That's why I added the pictures......I thought it was funny. 

When I did it, I halved my usual bread recipe, so it made 2 loaves instead of 4.  If yours makes 4, I would probably double these ingredients. 

Favorite bread recipe
1/2 cup hopped sun dried tomatoes (you can get these in the bulk bins at Winco for way cheap)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbs Italian seasoning (or you could do whatever herbs you like)
1 egg (for egg washing the crust)

Make your dough, and add the the tomatoes and spices for about the last 2 or 3 minutes of kneading.  Then separate into equal pieces and shape into a ball, then flatten them just a little.  Place them on a greased cookie sheet to rise.  When they are about double, cut three slits in the top of each one, and brush them with the beaten egg.  Bake at 425 for about 20 minutes.  The crust will be dark and shiny, and the bread should sound hallow when you tap it.  Cool on wire racks. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

I tried this today, and it was SO YUMMY hot out of the oven!  All I did was use the whole wheat recipe that I usually do, and added the cinnamon swirl.  But just use the bread recipe you're used to making, doesn't have to be whole wheat.........

your favorite bread recipe

Make your dough, then when you're ready to put it into the pans, roll each loaf out into a rectangle.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.  Roll up and pinch the edges shut.  Then pinch the ends together and fold under (to make it look pretty).  Put it the pans and let rise like normal and bake.  My little girl LOVED this!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Spinach salad with Teriyaki Bowties

Oh my goodness. This salad is scrum-didily-dumpcious! I may or may not have have halved the recipe (which still makes a ton), and then ate the whole thing by myself in two days! Klay hates any cold pasta salad so he didn't didn't like it. But if you're into that kind of thing, you must try this.  
16 oz. Bowtie pasta, cooked and cooled
1 - 2 bags of fresh baby Spinach
2 small cans Mandarin Oranges
1 cup Craisins (I left this out)
1 Red Pepper, chopped
1 can Water Chestnuts (I didn't have any so I left this out too)
1 bunch Green Onions, chopped
1 cup Honey Roasted Peanuts or Cashews
1/2 cup fresh Parsley (optional)
1/4 cup Sesame Seeds, toasted (optional)
2 cups torn cooked Chicken (optional)

1 cup Vegetable Oil
2/3 cup White Wine Vinegar
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
2/3 C. Teriyaki Sauce
5 Tbs. Sugar

Cook bowtie pasta according to directions, drain and cool while whisking the dressing together in a large bowl. Marinate cooked bowtie pasta in the dressing for 1 hour or longer in the fridge. (I was too hungry so mine only sat in the fridge for about 15 min!) Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl and pour the teriyaki sauce and pasta over the salad, toss together and serve. If it's just a few of you, make individual salad servings; keeping the salad and bowtie sauce separate for the rest of the week (no one likes a soggy salad).

This really is like PARTY size. I mean, ward party or Johnson family party size. If I was going to take it to an all girl's lunch I would probably still half it! Well, maybe not because then I could eat the other half myself again!

Recipe from The Sisters Cafe.

Two Week Menu Part II

Pesto Chicken
Chicken Tinola
Italian Chickini
Orange Thai Beef Skewers
Grilled Tilapia with Pineapple Salsa
Split Pea Soup
Egg Salad Sandwiches
English Muffin Breakfast Pizza
Crockpot Mac & Cheese
Salad Night

I could still use and idea or two.  What are you doing?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Broccoli Cheese Soup

My sis in law told me about this recipe blog and said everything she makes is absolutely delicious. Well I checked out Mel's Kitchen Cafe and it really did all look so yummy! So I made my 2 week menu (thanks Stevie!) using tons of her recipes. Tonight I made this Broccoli Cheese Soup with the Divine Breadsticks from her blog (posted below) and it was a FABULOUS dinner for a rainy day. I doubled the soup recipe so we could have plenty of leftovers for this rainy week.

Note from Mel: To make my life easier, while the soup is coming together, I put the chopped broccoli in a large glass bowl, cover with saran wrap and microwave for about 3-4 minutes. It cooks perfectly and just in time to add it to the soup.

*Serves 4
1 can chicken broth (about 1 3/4 cups of broth) - I did 3 cups water w/ 3 chicken bullion cubes
1 small onion, diced
1/3 c. flour
1/4 c. butter
Pepper to taste (I used about 1/2 teaspoon)
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, preferably sharp or extra sharp
1/2 cup shredded swiss cheese
2 1/2 to 3 cups chopped, lightly steamed or blanched broccoli

Simmer chicken broth and chopped onion for 15-20 minutes in a covered small saucepan, until onions are soft. Heat milk in microwave for 1-2 minutes. In a separate medium-sized stockpot, melt butter then add flour and pepper. Cook together for a couple of minutes, then whisk in warmed milk. Stir and heat together on medium-high heat until soup starts to thicken. Next add chicken broth and continue to stir until well blended. Add cheeses and steamed broccoli. Serve immediately.

Divine Breadsticks

Also from Mel's Kitchen Cafe. Easy and delicious with just a little planning ahead.

*Makes about 20-25 breadsticks, depending on how thick or thin you cut them

1 ½ cups warm water
1 tablespoon instant yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
3 ½ cups flour (Mel says - I usually use a combination of unbleached all-purpose flour and white whole wheat flour but use whatever you have on hand!)
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, melted (for the baking sheet)
Mix all ingredients (except melted butter) in a large bowl or electric mixer and knead for three minutes. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spread melted butter onto an 11X17-inch baking sheet. Roll out the breadstick dough about 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick and cut into strips with a pizza cutter. Twist slightly if desired and place about 1/2-inch apart on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with garlic salt, herbs of choice (I vary this depending on my mood but it usually consists of rosemary, basil, or thyme in some form and crushed finely) and parmesan cheese. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise 30 minutes. Bake 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees until golden brown.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A spin on tacos

 I love tacos. They are fast and easy so we eat them a lot. Since we eat them so much, I have a few minor variations we use.

1 lb hamburger
1 can of refried beans or 1 can of any kind of beans, rinsed (we love each for it's own reasons so we switch it up)
1 8 oz can of tomato sauce
taco seasoning

Prepare meat as usual but when you add taco seasoning add the beans and tomato sauce. (I don't think I use the whole can of sauce. Maybe 3/4 the can? Just add until you get the consistency you like.) It makes it more of a burrito-taco than just plain hamburger. Squeeze a lime on it and top with cilantro if you want a gourmet taco! (We all know my love of cilantro) So this isn't a special recipe, just a new idea on an old meal!

Easy Roast Pork & Veggies

My Mother-in-Law made this the other week and it was delicious, so I tried it the other day and mine turned out the yummy and JUICY.  It only takes like 5 minutes of prep, so it's very easy.

Pork Loin/Roast (I'm sure this would work with tenderloin too, just don't cook it as long)
Grill seasoning (I use Mrs. Dash, my Mother-in-Law used McCormick, both were really good.)
Any other fresh veggies you want.  I just used carrots and potatoes, because that's all I had.  But Donna also did Onions, Green Beans, and mini Peppers.  Asparagus would be really good too. 

Heat oven to 450.  Rub roast with oil, then rub with grill seasoning.  Put in glass pan or roasting pan.  In a large bowl, put a couple tablespoons of oil.  Then wash and cut up your veggies and add them to the bowl.  Salt and pepper them really well, then toss it all together.  Pour the veggies around the roast in your pan and cover with foil.  Bake at 450 for about 30 minutes, then take off the foil and let it cook for about another 10 minutes.  Check for doneness. 

*These leftovers make the BEST sandwiches.  Thinly slice the cold pork and put it on rolls with mayo and mustard and salt & pepper (& lettuce if you want).  Just like a turkey sandwich, but these are SO GOOD!