If you'd like to try it...here is what you need... graham crackers - you need 7 crackers per house but plan for extras for breakage! royal icing (recipe below) cereal, pretzels, sprinkles, and candy for decorations Royal Icing 1/4 cup butter 2 egg whites 1 tsp vanilla 1/4 cream tartar 1-2 tsp milk 4 cup 10x sugar Beat well. Add more sugar if needed. We placed the icing in a small bag and snipped off a corner to pipe onto the house. First we cut points on two crackers for the ends of the house, to hold the roof. Then, using icing as glue, we attached the floor, sides and ends of the house, making a box. We allowed this to harden slightly before attaching the roof. Setting the house outside in the cold seemed to speed the process. While we waited, we spread icing on two crackers for the roof and the children attached Cinnamonn Toast Crunch for shingles. Then we attached the roof pieces to the house and again let it harden. Then the real fun begins! Decorate the house however creativity and imagination dictates!
Sunday, November 30, 2008
As promised, here is our favorite ways to use up all those turkey leftovers!All these recipes are favorites at our house. I usually put turkey leftovers in pint boxes for use in these recipes. When I my leftovers are gone, it is time to roast another turkey!
You'll notice most of these recipes are originally for chicken, but I find that roasting a large turkey is much cheaper and simpler way to prepare these recipes! Having cooked chopped turkey in the freezer is my life line to fast home cooked meals! I usually only buy chicken for grilling or for recipe that I want whole chicken breasts.
Chicken and Biscuits
2 cup cooked, chopped chicken (or turkey)
1 cup frozen or cooked vegetables (corn, peas, carrots)
Place chicken and vegetables in 2 qt casserole
3 T butter
3 T flour
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 c water
Melt butter in pan, add flour, salt and pepper. Stir to blend, lightly brown. Add water. Stir and simmer a few minutes. Pour gravy over chicken and veggies.
1 1/2 cup flour
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup milk
Mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles course meal. Combine egg and milk. Stir into flour mixture. Drop by spoon-full over chicken and vegetables.
Bake 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
Creamy Chicken Enchiladas
This recipe brings back memories of a former life as a traveling single when I'd beg Rachel to make this! And she usually complied!
2 T butter
2 chopped onions
2 (4.5 oz) can chopped green chilies (drained)
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, cut up
3-4 cup cooked cubed chicken (or turkey)
16 (8 inch) tortillas
2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup milk or cream
Melt butter in skillet, saute onion for 5 minutes. Add chilies, saute 5 minutes. Stir in cream cheese, add chicken. Cook, stirring constantly until the cream cheese melts. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of mixture in center of tortilla, roll and place, seam side down, in a lightly greased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle with cheese. Drizzle with milk. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 cup sour cream
2-3 cups chicken, cooked and chopped
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp poultry seasoning
Combine all of above. ( I use a large batch of homemade cream soup.)
12 lasagna noodles
2 cups shredded cheese
In greased 9x13 pan, layer noodles, soup mixture and cheeses. Repeat for three layers. Bake at 350 for 1 hour, covered.
Favorite Chicken Casserole
8 oz seasoned bread cubes
1 stick butter
1 cup broth
Mix together lightly. Place half of mix in a 9x13 greased pan.
2-3 cup cooked chopped chicken
1/2 cup chopped celery
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup cooked chopped vegetables (brocolli, beans, carrots, etc)
Mix. and place over bread. Top with remaining bread.
1 1/2 cup milk
Beat eggs and milk. Pour over casserole. Cover with foil and refrigerate over night. (May also freeze.)
1 can cream of chicken soup
Spread soup over top of casserole. Bake at 325 degrees for 40 minutes, uncovered. Sprinkle with 1 cup shredded cheese and return to oven for 10 minutes.
1 lb spaghetti, cooked
3-4 cup diced cooked chicken
2 can mushroom soup (or large batch of homemade soup)
2 cup chicken broth
1/4 tsp celery salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 diced onion
3/4 cup cheese
Mix all together. Place in 9x13 baking dish. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.
Chicken Rice Soup
Comfort food at it's best! And a recipe from one of my favorite Titus 2 ladies - Priscilla. Besides my mom and mother-in-law, Priscilla is the lady I most want to be like "when I grow up"!
3 quarts chicken broth
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
1/4 cup diced onion
3 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 pint corn
1 cup brown rice
seasoning as desired (I use salt, parsley and thyme)
Place in large kettle. Simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
(May also be made in crock pot.)
Southwestern Chicken Soup
1 quart broth
3 cup cooked chopped chicken
2 cup corn
1 quart tomato juice
1 pint diced tomatoes
1 chopped onion
2 chopped garlic cloves (optional)
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
3/4 cup brown rice
Combine in slow cooker. Cook on low for 4 hours. (Or simmer on stove for 1 hour)
Chicken and Dumplings
I love quick one-pot meals!
4 cup broth
2 cup diced cooked chicken
1 can cream celery soup (or homemade soup)
vegetables as desired (peas, corn, carrots, etc)
Mix together in large pot or dutch oven. Bring to boil
3 1/2 cup baking mix (like Bisquik)
2/3 cup water
herbs (like parsley) if desired
Mix baking mix, water, and herbs. Drop dough by spoonfulls into slowly boiling pot. Reduce heat to medium low. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Cover and cook 10 minutes longer.
You could also use your favorite biscuit recipe for the dumplings.
Fast, easy, and so good!
4 (10 inch) tortillas
1 cup refried beans (optional)
1 cup shredded cheese - cheddar or Monterrey Jack
1/3 cup salsa
1 cup diced cooked turkey
olives, peppers or any other desired ingredients
Place two tortillas on baking sheet. Spread with refried beans. Mix cheese, salsa, turkey and any other ingredients together. Spread on tortillas. Top with second tortilla. Press firmly. Bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees. Cut in 6 to 8 wedges. Serve with salsa, sour cream or guacamole.
Chicken, Broccoli, Rice Casserole
1/2 cup diced celery
1/4 cup diced onion
1/3 cup butter
Saute vegetables in butter.
1 1/2 heads broccoli, chopped
1 cup rice
1 cup cheese
1 can cream soup
2 cups water
2-3 cups cooked chopped chicken
Mix all together. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.
Freeze Ahead Turkey Pot Pies
This is adapted from my mother-in-laws recipe, and probably the reason my husband loves turkey pie so much! She would make the small individual size pies. She didn't make a bottom crust for the pie, only spreading pastry over the top of the pies. Great memories were made by the boys of surviving on pie when mom and dad were away!
Pastry for 6 or more pies
12 cups cooked diced turkey
6 cup diced potatoes
4 cup corn
3 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup butter
1 medium onion
1 cup diced celery (optional)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp pepper
5 tsp salt
3 cup milk
5 cup broth
Cook potatoes and carrots until tender. Saute onion and celery in butter. Stir in flour, pepper, and salt. Gradually add milk and broth. Stir until thickened. Stir in potatoes, carrots, corn and turkey. Pour into prepared pie crusts. Top with crust. Cut steam vents. Crimp edges. Wrap securely and freeze. Makes 6-7 pies. Bake 375 degrees for 1 1/2 hour (or less)
For a smaller recipe for making turkey pie, go here!
More turkey ideas:
Curry in a Hurry - mentioned in my cream soup recipe
Turkey Salad - Mix chopped turkey with mayonnaise and pickle relish
Turkey and Filling - posted with the filling recipe
Turkey Melts - Spread bread (hopefully something crusty and homemade) with mayo or mustard, layer slices of turkey and some Provolone cheese, toast under broiler
And one more recipe from a reader!
Turkey Croquettes - Joanna 2 T. butter 2 1/2 T. flour 1 cup milk 2 cups minced cooked turkey 1 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. onion powder 1/8 tsp. pepper 2 T. minced parsley or celery 2 eggs, beaten 1 cup dried bread crumbs Make a white sauce of the butter, flour and milk. Add the finely chopped turkey and seasonings. Cool thoroughly and then shape into croquettes (approx. 1/4-1/3 cup each). Dip in crumbs, then beaten eggs and again into crumbs. (This part is messy, but you could freeze before doing this step to eliminate that, and then let thaw before baking.) Fry in oil for 3-5 minutes. I prefer baking them at 400* for 25-30 min. Serves 6.Well, hope you understand a little why I love leftover turkey!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Do you have any favorite family traditions? On our first Thanksgiving, Ed and I took a blank notebook and started a "Thanksgiving Journal". The goal was to jot down things we were thankful for, not only at Thanksgiving but any time of year. Well, I just pulled it out, and by the number of pages that are filled, we aren't a very thankful people! At this rate, this one book should last us through 50 years of marriage! But it has been written in at least once a year and hopefully as our children grow older, they can add to it as well.
Here is one excerpt from our journal, with a little editing, written about a year and a half ago, when our children were newborn, 1 1/2 and just turned 3.
"I am a wealthy woman.
No. Not the kind of wealth found in Hollywood or Fortune 500. In fact, to be honest, my life rarely feels like a millionaires! I'd more aptly describe my life as a circus juggler - who is dropping his balls! Keeping up with three children, three and under, can make me feel as if I'll lose my sanity before forty! Cleaning house seems like a completely hopeless task and errand running is highly complicated! When nap time arrives, I'm just relieved to stop answering question, breaking up fights, and balancing children's needs - to wash the dishes without slopping water and use the bathroom in peace!
But in all of the wildness - I'll still say "I'm a wealthy woman!" I wouldn't trade places with anyone in the world! I get to cuddle up with a precious newborn...Snuggle with the toddlers while reading a book...Stay up late talking with my husband and best friend (who I still haven't run out of conversation even after five years!)...Take care of the wonderful home God has given us. My life is rich in those things that really matter - like Love, Joy, and Peace - the things only God can give."
What I found interesting, as I flip through the pages of our journal, is that we seemed to have written more often on the difficult days then the sunny happy ones! Why is it that hard times drive us to remember what we have been given from God?
This past week, I was at the lady's detention center Bible study. Going in, I was thinking of those dear ladies, most of them mothers, who were going to be separated from their families over the holidays. Yes, I know that it is through mistakes they have made or sins they've committed, but I still couldn't help but be discouraged for them. If I was in their shoes, could I find something for which to be thankful?
Our discussion that night centered on forgiveness and as we read verses about God's love and provision of salvation, I was encouraged. These are women who, like us, are claiming God's gift of His Son. Though they have little else that we may call important in life, they truly have the only thing necessary to be thankful!
I have been given so much, a loving husband, good health, dear children, abundant food, and comfortable home. But I am challenged to focus less on the material blessings this Thanksgiving, which can be here today and gone tomorrow, and instead, dwell on the riches of God through Christ Jesus, which never changes.
Here is the turkey, all ready to go in the oven.
The turkey smelled glorious and was HUGE! Almost 25 pounds, which needed 26 hours in the oven! Which means I had to smell that turkey for 26 hours! No wonder when I finally pulled it out of the oven, I tore off strips of turkey, which went straight into my mouth like a ravening beast!
This picture shows the turkey mid way through the roasting time. I took it out to remove some broth. While I was at it, I poured some broth over the turkey, then placed the lid on the pan for the remaining of the oven time. Sorry, I didn't get a picture of the final outcome before we began devouring it!
I don't want to brag but it was the best turkey I've eaten in my life!!! Wonderfully moist and incredibly seasoned! And the gravy made with the broth was good enough to skip the mashed potatoes!
Wow! How I love good food!
Deviled Turkey - Thanks, Crystal
1/2 Teaspoon Salt per pound of turkey (I use much less!)
2 Tablespoons Black Pepper
2 Tablespoons Sage
2 teaspoons Curry Powder
2 teaspoons Garlic Power
2 teaspoons Dried Parsley
2 teaspoons Celery seed
1 teaspoon Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Dry Mustard
1/4 teaspoon Allspice
3 or 4 Bay Leaves, crumbled
Mix all ingredients together. Rub bird well inside and out with vegetable (or Olive) oil. Make pockets with a sharp knife in the breast. Rub dry mixture all over bird. Any mixture left over, rub in cavity. Let set over night in fridge. Roast as usual.
Monday, November 24, 2008
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup warm water
2 cup warm milk
¼ cup butter, softened or melted
2 cup mashed cooked pumpkin
2 teaspoons salt
10-12 cup all-purpose flour
7 teaspoons dry yeast
In large mixing bowl, combine sugar, water, milk, butter, pumpkin, and salt. Mix well. Add 7-8 cups of the flour, and yeast. Mix, and then continue adding flour and kneading until dough is elastic and not sticky.
Place dough in greased bowl. Roll dough to grease top of dough, cover with a towel, and set in a warm place until doubled (about 1 hour). Punch dough down and divide into thirds.
Shape dough into rolls. I usually roll out the dough and cut with a biscuit cutter. But you can form the rolls by whatever method you choose.
Place on greased baking sheets.
Cover and let rise until almost doubled, about 30 minutes.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes, until tops are golden. Brush with melted butter as soon as they come out of the oven.
Yield: About 4 dozen rolls - depending on how large of rolls you make. You can easily make half a batch if you'd prefer a smaller amount of dough to work with.
Hand Kneading - First, get comfortable. I find it easier to knead with arms out stretched and locked elbows so that I can use my body's weight to help with the kneading. A kitchen counter can be higher then you can comfortably knead, at least if you are short like me, so you may wish to move to a table. Rub some vegetable oil on the table and your hands. Now position your dough in front of you and push the heels of your hands into the dough. Fold the dough over itself, and repeat. (This sounds complicated when written down. You need to come over so I can "just do it"!) In a few minutes, the dough will begin to feel smooth and elastic. To test if the gluten is developed. Pull a golf ball size ball of dough between your hands. It should stretch without breaking. Kneading is something that will come by practice and experience. Start with a small amount of dough (pizza dough is perfect) With some experience and strengthening of your arm muscles, you can knead large batches of dough. Sometimes it is easier to divide a large amount of dough in half and work with them separately. Or call in some reinforcements! One lady said that she would divide her dough in small amounts for one loaf of bread each and call all her children into the kitchen to knead for a few minutes! Family togetherness while providing daily bread!
Machine Kneading - If your electric mixer is equipped with a dough hook, you can knead your dough in your machine. After adding your flour, turn your machine to medium speed. Usually you will knead for about 1/3 the time of hand kneading, about 5-7 minutes. Just stay close to your machine. Occasionally the dough will all go to one side of the bowl and cause your machine to "walk" off your counter! I caught my machine just as it was falling this week! You can check your gluten develop by stretching the dough, as mentioned above.
Bread Machine - I have no experience with bread machines but I understand that you can use them to mix and knead your bread even if you prefer to shape your dough and bake it in your oven instead of finishing it in your bread machine.
2 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup milk
Mix flour, salt and baking powder.
Cut in softened butter. Mix in milk. Roll out dough.
Place in two ten inch pie pans. Save some dough for top crusts.
2 cup cooked cubed potatoes
4 cup cooked diced chicken (or turkey)
2 cup corn
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Mix. Place filling in pie crusts.
I added some carrots as well, I like the added color.
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup broth
1/2 tsp salt
1 heaping tablespoon flour
Whisk all together. Pour over filling. Place top crust. Crimp the edges.
Since I had more filling and used my deep dish pie pans, I didn't have enough pastry dough for a top crust. Should I mix up more? No, time to get creative. Grab some cookie cutters and we'll have us some hearts...
Now one pie for supper and one for the freezer!
Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.
Toasty golden brown and smells delicious!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
It is such a time saver to make several recipes, while I'm "in the mess"! Today I made three white bread recipes. I don't usually make white bread, as we greatly prefer whole grain bread. But I wanted to do some experimenting and get some pictures before I posted some new recipes on the Home Joys newsletter and the blog.
Here is the results! Wish I could send the taste and smell to you as well! You just need to come visit! Now I have some bread for the freezer, as well as some to give for gifts this week!
Miracle Bread. As good as it looks! We had to cut into these to have with our soup at lunch!
Country White Bread. Look for this recipe soon!
Pumpkin rolls. These taste wonderful but are a little harder dough to work with. I want to adjust the recipe a little more.
This recipe makes a chewy Italian style loaf and is perfect for beginning bakers. I think I was about ten when my mom taught me to make this bread.
There isn't anything particularly "miraculous" about it, so don't worry if you aren't feeling very wonder-working! But if you have never made bread, pulling a fragrant loaf of homemade bread from the oven, can truly seem like a miracle!
2 cups boiling water
2 T butter
2 T sugar
2 tsp salt
Cool to lukewarm.
1/2 cup lukewarm water
2 T active dry yeast
1 T sugar
When part 1 is cooled, combine it with part 2. Add 6 to 6 1/2 cups of flour.
Mix well. Place in greased bowl and roll dough to grease the top of the dough.
Let rise for 30 to 60 minutes.
Divide dough in half and roll out as you would pie dough.
Roll up as a jelly roll. Place it on a greased baking sheet.
Make diagonal slits across the top with a sharp knife.
Do the same with second ball of dough. Let rise about 1 hour or until double.
Beat 1 egg and 2 T milk. Brush egg mixture over top of bread.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds or poppy seeds.
Bake at 425 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Try to let it cool before cutting into the loaf! Bet you can't! This bread is awesome with butter and a sprinkle of garlic powder!
I'm not an expert, but here is a little bit of what I understand about flour. When we talk of flour, we are usually referring to wheat flour. Of course there is other flours such as rice flour, rye flour, etc but wheat flour is what we commonly use for baking in America. There is two types of wheat, hard winter wheat and soft spring wheat. Soft wheat is ground for use as pastry flour. It is sometimes also called cake flour. It is good for any baking EXCEPT for yeast breads. Hard wheat flour is necessary for successful bread baking. Most of the flour sold is "all-purpose". This is a mixture of hard and soft wheats and can be used for all baking, including bread. Some flour is specified "bread flour" and is specifically for bread baking. For making white bread, I use "unbleached" all purpose flour since it has a few less added chemicals. Usually I use Pillsbury brand or something similar. Whole wheat flour is where I really get picky. Wheat comes in red wheat and white wheat. Red wheat is darker in color and has a stronger flavor and is what you will find in grocery store whole wheat flour. I buy Prairie Gold wheat, a high protein white wheat grown in Montana. I grind my own wheat berries but I know that bulk food stores sometimes also sell Prairie Gold flour. It is far more expensive then generic flour, but I think it is worth it!
If you are new at baking bread, I recommend making white bread first. Learn to work with yeast, knead dough and form your loaves with white bread. If your goal is to make whole wheat bread, after you successfully make white bread, you can slowly replace a few cups of white flour with whole wheat. Give yourself time to adjust to using new flours. Some people also need to allow their bodies time to adjust to eating more fiber.
For some reason, it seems that whole wheat flour is a little more challenging to work with. The area where the wheat is grown, the protein level of the wheat, and other factors will all affect the outcome of your bread. I don't want to scare anyone from making whole wheat bread because we love the 100% whole wheat bread that I make. It just may take a little more practice to perfect. I plan to share some special tips on making whole wheat bread some other day.
You'll probably notice that bread recipes usually don't give a specific amount of flour. The recipe will usually say something like 5-6 cups of flour, or add flour until it makes a soft dough, or add flour until the dough cleans the side of the bowl. What does this mean? Unlike making cakes or cookies, bread dough's need of flour will vary depending on the humidity of your home. You will use more flour on a rainy humid summer day then on a cold winter day with the heat on. Adding too much flour will make your dough more dry and crumbly. Start by adding the smallest amount of flour listed in your recipe. Then slowly add flour, a half cup at a time. The goal is a dough which is soft and workable but not sticky and unmanageable. If you are mixing your dough by hand, add flour slowly and work it into the dough before adding more. Use the least amount possible while still being able to handle the dough. You will soon know by feel when you have added enough flour. If you have a mixer with a dough hook, add flour slowly until the dough pulls from the sides of the bowl. It is important to add all your flour before you begin kneading the dough. Stop your mixer and feel the dough. It should not be excessively sticky. When you determine that you've added enough flour, then begin your kneading. The advantage of using a machine to knead, besides being faster, is that slightly less flour can be used resulting in a lighter loaf. If you knead by hand, oil your counter instead of flouring it.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
6 cup mashed sweet potatoes
1 cup brown sugar
4 eggs, beaten
1 stick butter, melted
2 tsp vanilla
Mix all together. Spread in 9x13 pan.
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cup nuts (or less)
1/2 cup and 3 T butter, softened
1/2 cup and 3 T flour
Mix topping ingredients. Sprinkle on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
1 stick butter
1 1/2 cup celery ( I don't always have this.)
1 small onion
1/4 tsp poultry seasoning
1/8 tsp sage
1 T parsley
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
3/4 cup milk
Saute chopped celery and onion in butter. Mix with bread and seasonings. Beat egg with milk and mix into bread. Put in greased 9x13 pan. Cover. Bake at 325 for one hour.
This can easily be frozen ahead.
For turkey and filling casserole, add 3 cups cooked chopped turkey and mix well before baking.
Our favorite way to make filling is fry it in a skillet on the stove instead of baking. It only takes about 15 minutes and it is crunchy and "oh, so good!"
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Remove the gibblets. (They will be inside the cavity somewhere in a white bag.)
Wash turkey well, dry turkey with paper towels. Salt the cavity.
Rub outside of turkey with olive oil.
Stick meat thermometer into the turkey. (I skip this.)
Place breast down on a rack in your large roaster. (I don't have a rack, and it works fine.)
Roast one hour at 350 degrees to destroy surface bacteria.
Adjust heat to 180 to 200 degrees for a turkey of any size. Roast one hour per pound.
Once the turkey is done, it will not overcook. You can leave it in the oven for an additional 3 to 6 hours and it will not overcook.
Just a tip: if you have a newer oven, if may have a safety mechanism that will turn off the oven automatically after twelve hours. Since for me, this is usually in the middle of the night, before I go to bed, I turn off my oven, then quickly turn it on again. Then I don't have any surprises in the morning!
I usually get a very large turkey (over 20 pounds) because I like to have lots of leftovers. I was told that turkeys over 20 pound have a greater to meat to bone ratio. I'll chop up the cooked meat, put it in pints and use it for any recipe calling for cooked chopped chicken. A great time saver! But this size turkey can be a real pain to thaw! I can barely fit it into my fridge! I found a simpler way, that I think is rather safe. I place the turkey in a large ice chest, and fill with cold water. The turkey will thaw faster if the water is changed often. I sit in on the counter next to my large laundry sink. It is rather easy to pull the plug on the ice chest, drain out the water, and then refill several times until it is completely thawed.
Note: A reader just told me that she uses an large electric roaster for her turkey. No cluttering up your oven for those long hours!
Chili pizza. I made my chili a little thicker than usual and spread it on the crust and added cheddar cheese. It was a hit.
Chicken Bruschetta Pizza. I spread the crust with pesto then add chopped chicken, diced tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.
3 cups fresh Basil
1/2 cup Italian Dressing
1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese
Process all in blender. Can be frozen or refrigerated.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
When The Happy Housewife asked for granola recipes, I knew I had to share mine. I have adjusted this recipe for the last several years and we think it is about perfect! It makes a large batch but doesn't last long at our house! Our three year old is usually up at 7:00 asking for "oatmeal". We all like to eat it with my homemade yogurt! The peanut butter flavor is very mild but we think it adds just the right touch!
1 cup oil
1 cup honey
1/4 cup water
1 cup peanut butter
Heat until warm and combined.
Add 2 tsp vanilla.
12 cup rolled (old fashioned) oatmeal
2 cup wheat germ
2 cup coconut
2 cup sunflower seed
Mix dry ingredients together. Pour in oil mixture and mix well. Spread in two cookie sheets. Toast in 275 degree oven for one hour. Stir every 15 minutes.
Tips: I place one pan on the upper oven rack and one on the lower rack and switch them each time I stir. After cooling, raisins or other dry fruit may be added, but we usually don't. You may also add nuts to the recipe. I let out the nuts in an effort to lower the cost. I buy most of the ingredients at our local bulk food store. Raw wheat germ and raw sunflower seeds are much cheaper then toasted. I figure I'm going to toast them in the recipe anyway!
Friday, November 14, 2008
The Worn Out Woman: When Life is Full and Your Spirit is Empty
by Dr. Steve Stephens and Alice Gray
"When your life is full and your spirit is empty" - probably can describe all of us at some point!
Actually my husband hated seeing me read this book! :-) "Do you really feel worn out?" he would ask! Well, depending on the day, or time of day- sometimes I do! But I can't say that I would describe "worn out" as my normal state of being.
Still, worn out or not, this book was very encouraging. In short, easy to read chapters, the authors hit subjects from worry to clutter, dealing with difficult people to starting your day out right. In each area, they point to Christ as the only source of peace and give many practical tips to encourage positive change in your life. I think any woman could find something useful in these pages.
Chicken Alfredo Pizza
Spread your crust with alfredo sauce. You can buy a jarred sauce or use this recipe.
(Saute diced garlic clove and T onion in oil. Mix and cook garlic and onion with 4 tsp flour, 2 tsp cornstarch, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper, 1/8 tsp basil, 1/8 tsp parsley, and 1 1/4 cup milk into white sauce. Add 4 oz cream cheese and 2 T Parmesan cheese and melt.)
Sprinkle cooked chopped seasoned chicken, 3 cup mozzarella cheese, and 1 to 2 cup diced tomato on crust.
(Go to www.tammysrecipes.com for complete details on her awesome pizza!)
Partially bake your pizza crust. Spread with 1 pint refried beans. Brown 1 lb ground beef, 1 chopped onion, and 1 pepper. Add a packet of taco seasoning, 1 pint corn, and 1 cup chopped tomatoes. Spread on crust. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese. Bake 400 for 10 minutes. Serve with lettuce, sour cream and salsa. A very hearty and filling pizza!
Barbecue Chicken Pizza
Spread bbq sauce on crust. Sprinkle chopped cooked chicken and grated cheddar cheese. Bake.
Sprinkle cooked sausage, ham OR crumbled bacon on crust. Sprinkle with 2 cup hash brown potatoes. Top with 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese. In bowl, beat together 6 eggs, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper. Pour over crust and toppings. Mushrooms may be added if wished. Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes.
Priazzo - or Pizza Pie
Divide pizza dough in four. Using two 9-inch pie pans, press one ball of dough over the bottom and sides of each pan. Sprinkle 1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese on dough. Cook 1 lb ground beef, 1 chopped onion, and 1 chopped pepper. Spread over dough and cheese. Divide 18 slices of pepperoni and 1 can of mushrooms into the pans. Roll out remaining dough and cover pies. Crimp edges. Spread 1 can (14 oz) of pizza sauce over dough. Sprinkle 2 1/2 cup cheese on top. Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
Sausage Sandwich Squares
Divide pizza dough in two. Cook 1 lb sausage, 2 chopped peppers, and 1 chopped onion. Roll out half the dough and place in greased jelly roll pan. Spread sausage over crust. Sprinkle with 3 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese. Roll out second half of dough and place over cheese. Seal edges. Cut slits on top. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Cut into squares. This is a favorite hot or cold at our house!
And More Options!
I didn't mention it in the above recipes, but any stromboli, calzone or sandwich squares looks great with an egg wash on the top crust. Beat an egg with 1 T water. Add seasonings as desired (garlic powder, parsley, oregano, Parmesan cheese.) Brush over dough before baking. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired. Makes the top crust look great - but not truly necessary if you don't have the time or desire!
Okay...Make me stop!!! Can you tell we love pizza and all things related to pizza! I'm getting hungry for pizza!
Did I miss your favorite? Do you have any other pizza making tips or variations? I'd love to hear them!
If you have trouble with a soggy crust, Hannah shared this tip.
Before placing your sauce and toppings on the crust, bake the crust for 7 minutes. Take out the crust, spread on the sauce and toppings and bake for 8 more minutes.
Ovens can vary, so experiment with your oven for what bakes a pizza to your particular wishes. Sometimes it helps to turn off the oven, crack the oven door open, and allow the pizza to sit for a few minutes before taking out.
Roll out your pizza dough. Place toppings on dough. Roll up the dough jelly roll fashion and place on greased baking sheet. Bake at 425. Length of time will depend on the size of your stromboli.
Great party idea - especially for children. They love to roll out and place toppings on their very own pizza!
Divide your dough into 6, 8 or more pieces. Roll the dough thinly. Place on a baking sheet. Add sauce and toppings. Bake.
Calzones or Hot Pockets
Make a batch of pizza dough and divide it into six balls. Then roll out each ball very thinly (1/8 inch). Spread on sauce and desired toppings. To keep from overfilling, I only place the toppings on half of my dough circle. You can have each person fill their own calzone. Just mark the tops somehow so you knows whose is whose after they bake! Now fold the dough into a half circle, covering the toppings. With a fork, squeeze the dough together. For an extra precaution, I folded the edge up again and again pressed it with a fork. Place on greased baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 12 minutes. If you don't overfill, children can pick them up with their hands and eat them like a sandwich. They would also be great frozen and reheated for lunches.
Roll out dough and place in desired pan. Brush with melted butter or olive oil. Sprinkle with desired seasonings. We like garlic powder, Italian seasoning, Parmesan cheese, and Mozarella cheese. Bake at 425 for 8-10 minutes. Slice into thin strips. Serve with pizza sauce for dipping! We love these and they are so simple!
(Hint: If you serve these when the youth come over, make double what you expect them to eat and anticipate no leftovers!)
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
My mom made pizza every Saturday night for years and I can't even begin to imagine the hundreds of dollars (probably more like thousands with the crowd she was feeding) that she saved compared to us all heading to the local pizza place every Saturday night! Get your family hooked on homemade pizza and you might spoil them for anything else! My husband just doesn't get thrilled when the guys at work decide to order in pizza! He still laughs at how in our dating days, almost every Saturday night found us eating pizza at my parent's house before heading off for the evening. My family acted like they liked to have us around, it sure made a cheap date, and we knew we couldn't get better food anywhere else! (Though I'm not saying we never eat out! I've had some hectic days that Ed's words "I'm going to go pick up some Stromboli at Brother's" were music to my ears!)
I put this recipe in one jelly roll pan OR divide it into two small round pizza pans. If you prefer a thinner crust, you can divide it into more pans.
1 cup warm water
1 T yeast
1 tsp sugar
3 cup flour (white, whole wheat, or a combination)
3 T oil
1 tsp salt
In a bowl, mix the water, yeast and sugar together.
Let sit for a few minutes until it just starts to bubble.
Add flour, oil, and salt. (I've added two tsp of Italian seasoning, just for fun!)
Stir well. You may need to use your hands to form a smooth ball of dough.
Rub a small amount of oil on your counter. Knead the dough for about five minutes. Place in oiled bowl and cover with a towel.
Allow to raise until the dough doubles (about a half hour). Turn onto your oiled counter. Cut dough into as many pieces as you wish. Allow dough to rest for a few minutes. (You can skip the rest period but it makes it easier to roll out.) Roll your dough until it is big enough for your pan or pans.
Cover with cloth and allow to rise double.
Spread with sauce.
Sprinkle with desired toppings.
Bake at 425 degree oven for 15 minutes. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
I prefer to mix and knead pizza dough by hand. It is such a small amount of dough to get an electric mixer out. But if I double the recipe, I often use my mixer with a kneading hook. If you have a bread machine, you could stir and knead on the "dough cycle" - not the "bread cycle". At least that is what I've heard! I have no experience with bread machines.
The above directions are what I consider ideal. But what if you don't have much time? What if you woke up from a Sunday afternoon nap and are hungry for pizza? Or you just got back from a full Saturday of shopping and everyone is hungry now? Here is a couple other options that work quite well!
30 Minute Pizza
Mix up the ingredients as above. Knead dough. Immediately divide into desired portions. Roll out and place in pans. Spread with desired toppings. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Eat!
Make Ahead Pizza
(Melody shared this method with me. She often makes up her pizza Saturday morning, puts it in the fridge, then can clean up her kitchen for the day, knowing supper is ready!)
Mix. Knead. Roll out. Place toppings. - all as listed above. But instead of baking, place pizza in the refrigerator. When time to eat, remove pizza. Place in oven and bake.
This is a great option if you are out with friends but will be returning to your house for food! We did this one year when we went Christmas caroling and I think the pizza turned out better then usual! But maybe we had just worked up good appetites!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
The goal in working with yeast is to keep it warm. Be Goldilocks and aim for not too hot and not too cold, but just right! If you can bathe your baby, or yourself, without scalding either of you, you can successfully work with yeast. Too hot of temperatures will kill the yeast. Eventually, after your loaf has risen to the size you wish, you will bake it in the oven and basically "kill" the yeast and stop the rising process. It will not actively grow any longer. Cool temperatures will not kill the yeast but it will not grow until it is brought into warmer temperatures. Some recipes call for placing your dough in the refrigerator over night to add more depth of flavor. This doesn't kill the yeast but does make it go dormant and halt it's activity.
I use the SAF active dry instant yeast. It is much faster working then regular yeast. You can find small packets at the grocery store but it is far cheaper to buy yeast in bulk. I get mine at Martin's Farm Market. Look for it in the refrigerator. It comes vacuumed packed but after opening the package, it is best to keep your yeast in the refrigerator or freezer. It will stay fresh for months when kept cold.
Many bread recipes call for mixing yeast, warm water and a small amount of sugar in a bowl first. Allow this to sit for a few minutes. The yeast should start to feed on the sugar and become bubbly. This is the way our grandmothers tested their yeast to see if it was active and alive before adding their precious flour.
The water used in bread baking should always be lukewarm, not hot. I find 100 to 110 degrees is about right but it isn't necessary to check the temperature. When I first was married, I thought our tap water didn't get hot enough. So I heated my water up in the microwave. Bad move! After ruining two batches of bread (I truly understand now the fear of killing your yeast!) I decided that the tap water is warm enough. It would be better to use room temperature water then water that is too hot! If you can comfortably put your wrist in your water, it should be good!
All bread is basically a mixture of flour, liquid, sweetener, and yeast. A great loaf of bread can be made with only those four things. Salt, eggs, milk, fats, spices and all the other various ingredients found in recipes, are added for flavor, nutrition, or richness.
Now, I'd like some help from you! What bread baking questions do you have? Is there a specific area of bread baking you struggle with? What kind of bread would you specifically like to learn to make? Do you experienced bakers have any tips or tricks that you'd like to share? Do you have any special recipes that you would like to share? Please let me know if any of the directions are unclear, inaccurate or confusing. There is always more for me to learn!
Probably the best way to learn to make bread is to "just do it"! Pick a recipe and make it over and over until you are completely familiar with the process! Even if it feels awkward at first, it does get easier with practice! Most of us didn't do so great on our first try riding bicycle either! And watching someone make bread can be a real boost, too! So if you are a local, give me a call and come on over on our next baking day!
And, again, my disclaimer! :-) I'm not saying that everyone should or will want to bake their own bread! I make bread at least once a week. I throughly enjoy everything about creating, smelling, and, of course, eating homemade bread! But bread baking works well with my stage of life right now when I'm home most of the time with my little ones, who take naps! Your life is probably entirely different then mine - and bread baking may not be in your goals at all! Or maybe you'd just like to learn to make your Grandma's dinner rolls for once a year at Christmas! Far more important then the bread we eat, is the relationship we have with the Bread of Life and how we are building our relationships with the people God placed in our lives. I'd hate to come to the end of my life and hear my children say that they wish their mom would have baked less bread and had more time for them!
But if bread baking IS something you wish to do...let's get started!
Sunday, November 9, 2008
I'm again very pleased with the results of using the floating row cover. Since our first frost, and the disappearance of the little white cabbage worm butterflies, I've kept the broccoli uncovered. I've only found two worms in the many heads we've eaten. It is a whole lot easier to harvest the broccoli when it isn't covered with the row cover. But the protection is invaluable! I think this is the greatest advantage of planting broccoli in the fall. In the fall, it is getting cooler by harvest time. In the spring, when you begin picking the broccoli, the weather is turning warmer and infestation is a lot harder to control.
I tried growing broccoli for several years with absolutely no success! I know the discouragement of total crop failure! So if any aspect of gardening is discourages you, keep trying, learn all you can and maybe a huge crop is awaiting you!
Friday, November 7, 2008
I wanted to try making my own calzones. The response from tonight's experiment was a huge success according to the family! The children picked them up and ate them with their hands! They would also be great frozen and reheated for lunches. You could call them "hot pockets," if you wish.
First, make a batch of pizza dough and divide it into six balls. Then roll out each ball very thinly (1/8 inch). Spread on sauce and desired toppings. To keep from overfilling, I only placed the toppings on half of my dough circle.
My toppings tonight were alfredo sauce, chopped cooked chicken, and brocolli.
Oops! Almost forgot the cheese. And a little Italian seasoning. You could put up a toppings bar and have each person fill their own calzone. Just mark the tops somehow so you knows whose is whose after they bake!
Now fold the dough into a half circle, covering the toppings.
With a fork, squeeze the dough together. For an extra precaution, I folded the edge up again and again pressed it with a fork.
Continue with each circle. Bake at 425 degrees for 12 minutes.