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Real Gingerbread House

21 Dec

This is the first time I have ever made the gingerbread for a gingerbread house instead of using a pre-made kit or simply using graham crackers. We ate half of the gingerbread when it was fresh and warm out of the oven then used the rest for the house.

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Here is the recipe:

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Soft and Chewy Gingerbread Bars 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, softened (save wrapper)

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg

3/4 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup molasses

little bit of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger and salt

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Line jelly roll pan with parchment paper and rub with the butter wrapper, set aside

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.  Stir in egg, vanilla and molasses.  Whip 1-2 minutes.  Stir in remaining ingredients and mix until dry ingredients are just combined.  Press into prepared pan and bake 20-22 minutes or until edges are barely starting to brown.  Cool completely.

Fresh Bread

9 Oct

There is no smell in the world quite like the smell of homemade bread baking in the oven.

bread

And now that most people have traded their popsicles and fruit salads for pumpkin and hot beveragaes I thought I would give all you wonderful people a super easy recipe for homemade bread.  And the best part is it doesn’t require a bread machine or kneeding.

I want to get better at making bread, fancy bread with sunflower seeds and cranberries in it or even rye bread.  Some day I will be a bread superstar.  But until then I will make this bread and my family will think I am awesome because they don’t know any better =)

Ingredients:

3 cups flour

1/4 tsp instant yeast

1 1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups water

1.  Mix: In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt.  Stir in water.  Don’t fret over the shaggy. sticky dough.

2.  Rest: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.  Let the dough rest at room temperature for at least 12 hours, preferably 18.  Dough is ready when dotted with bubbles.

3.  Deflate: Lightly flour a wrok surface and scoop dough onto it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it once or twice.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap; let rest 15 minutes.

4.  Shape:  Dust dough lightly with flour; gently and quickly shape into a ball.  Coat a cotton towel with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal.  Put dough seam side down on a towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal.  Cover with another towel and let rise for 2 hours.  When it is ready, dough will have doubled and will not readily spring back when poked.

5.  Bake:  At least half an hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees.  Put a 4- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in the oven as it heats.  Carefully slide pot out of oven.  Pull off top towel.  Slip hand under bottom towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up.  Cover pot with lid and bake 30 minutes.  Remove lid and bake another 10 minutes, until beautifully browned.  Cool on rack (yeah right- I don’t have the patience for that!  I am diving right in!).

Cookie Dough

27 Aug

Not like the raw egg has ever stopped me from eating cookie dough before but…

here is an eggless cookie dough recipe for y’all.

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Since it has been too hot to turn on the oven for the past few days (AND I NEEDED COOKIES) I decided to make some family friendly cookie dough that can’t possible give us all salmonella.  Hooray- go me.

Here is the recipe from over here

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (Ghirardelli is my fave)

DIRECTIONS

  1. With your mixer, cream together butter and brown sugar. Add in vanilla and salt, mix.
  2. Add in flour. The mixture is going to be crumbly at this point.
  3. Add in 2 tablespoons of milk and mix. Now the dough will look like the cookie dough you’re used to seeing.
  4. Fold in 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips and 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips.
  5. Store leftovers in the refrigerator. Freeze for up to three months.

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So even if it is too hot to fire up the ol’ oven you can still enjoy a delicious cookie snack without making your family sick.

Pizza

22 Jun

Thanks everyone for hanging in there with me.  I knew that having another little human in or life would be demanding I just didn’t equate all the other craziness that summer brings with it as well.  Mostly all good things but still a very busy life with late nights and many curve balls.

Anyways just wanted to say thank you for sticking with us during this time of business and transition for our family.

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We went to Pizza Luce during one of my prenatal visits and Jared and I ordered the Ruby Rae- here is their description:

“Ruby’s a saucy little number—a delicious upside down pizza pie with the red sauce on top! Spinach, bruschetta tomatoes, Italian sausage, and extra mozzarella cheese. Sprinkled with parmesan cheese and spicy crushed red pepper.”

We ate this pizza and were hooked.  We loved the spinach on the bottom and the sauce on top made it really different and delicious.  As well as loads of garlic.  Wow.

So of course a week later we were at home reminiscing about how much we loved the Ruby Rae pizza and wanted it again.  Since Duluth is an hour an a half away we had to think up a better solution than taking a three hour round trip drive for a pizza.  Solution: Make our own!

These are some pictures from before Hudson was born, a time when we had a bit more sanity.  Sanity?  Whats that =)

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Mission accomplished

Berry Pancake

28 Apr

Made this berry pancake a few mornings ago and it was a big hit with the family.  I loved the taste but even more I loved that I didn’t have to hang out in front of the stove all morning flipping gobs of individual pancakes.  AND you cook it in a cast iron skillet which makes it very nice to look at =)

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Here is the recipe from recipegirl.com:

4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 cup Gold Medal® All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup halved raspberries
powdered sugar, syrup and/or freshly whipped cream for topping

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Use a blender or hand mixer to combine the eggs, milk, flour, sugar, lemon zest and salt.

3. Heat a 12-inch cast iron skillet over high heat on the stove. Add the butter and melt. Pour the batter into the skillet, then scatter the berries on top. Put the pan in the oven, and bake until puffed and cooked through, about 20 minutes. Slice and serve, topped with powdered sugar, syrup and/or freshly whipped cream, as desired.

Gluten Free Churros

13 Apr

I had to make snack for our ECFE class a few mornings ago so I wanted to try out a new recipe, Churro Chex Snack Mix:

My sister is gluten free and I am always on the lookout for recipes and snacks for her.  Being Gluten Free would be pretty darn difficult and she makes the best of it but I know she misses eating things like churros so I hope this recipe brings back the good ol’ days for her.

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Ingredients

9 cups rice Chex cereal
1 cup cinnamon chips
¼ cup butter or margarine
½ cups powdered sugar
¼ granulated sugar
teaspoons cinnamon

SIDE NOTE: I couldn’t find cinnamon chips anywhere so I used this instead and it worked out great (bought this at Target)

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Directions

In a small microwavable bowl, zap cinnamon chips and butter for 1 minute; stir until smooth. Microwave about 30 seconds longer if needed.

Drizzle mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated.

In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, sugar, and cinnamon.

Toss the coated Chex cereal into the sugar mixture.

Spread on a piece of parchment until cooled.

I wanted to make it kinda cute for the kiddos so I put the snack mix into a sandwich ziplock bag and separated the middle with a clothes pin to make it look like a butterfly.  I have seen this done on pinterest with google eyes and pipe cleaner antenna.  Got a bit late as I was making these and gladly got out the sharpie to finish off the snack.

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Green Pistachio Cake

25 Mar

Here is a quote from the blog thepioneerwoman.com:

“Warning: This is an extremely complicated recipe. Enter only if your skill level in the kitchen is very advanced. You have to forage for native-grown pistachios, then brine them and extract the nutmeat from the shells at just the right time. After that, you have to go through a lengthy process of drawing out the natural oils from the pistachios, which you’ll add to the cake, then rub on your wrist for good luck.

Okay, so I’m just kidding.”

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Pretty funny eh?

The truth is, this is a super easy recipe that takes so little work you will have plenty of time to paint your nails, sort your socks and watch some funny youtube videos.

I made this cake on St Patty’s Day, since it is green from the pistachio flavor and not just food coloring.

I’m sure there is a much more tasty and impressive recipe than this one, but oh well.  There is always next year. right?

You can always make this cake but be sure to whip this out next year for your favorite Irish holiday.