Monday, February 28, 2011

Peach Oatmeal Muffins

The kids have been asking for these for breakfast and snacktime.
Turns out to be a good recipe for Grandma Ruth's frozen peaches.
Makes 24 Regular Sized Muffins

6 c frozen peaches or 2 c fresh
1/2 c unsalted butter
1 1/3 c sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
zest from 1 orange
2 lg eggs
1 T vanilla
1 c oatmeal
3 c white whole wheat flour
1 c sour cream
milk, up to 1 cup if needed

2 c powdered sugar
2 T orange juice, or more

Defrost peaches, drain and reserve juice from peaches.

Cream butter and sugar.  Beat in baking powder, soda, salt, and zest.  Add vanilla and eggs, beating eggs in one at a time.  Measure one cup of reserved peach juice and mix with sour cream.  If there isn't enough juice use milk in place.  Beat in oats.  Mix in one cup of flour, one cup of juice/cream, one cup of flour, remaining juice/cream, and then the last cup of flour.

Scoop into 24 muffin cups.  Bake at 350F for 20 to 25 minutes.  Cool pans on cooling racks.  Remove muffins.  Combine orange juice and sugar.  Add orange juice or sugar to make proper glace consistency.  Drizzle over muffin tops.

My Other Pie Crust

This is the Martha Stewart crust with sugar added.
This crust works better if you're concerned about the shape.
Double 9" Pie Crust

2 1/2 c flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 c sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter
ice water

Blend flour, salt, and sugar.  Cut in butter.  Stir in enough ice water until the dough starts to hold.  Form two discs, wrapping with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate at least 3 hours. 

I bake pies at 425F for 20 minutes.  Then lower the temp to 375F and bake at least another hour until bubbling in the middle, covering sides with foil.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Stuffed Greek Sandwich

I made this sandwich for the teachers' parent conference night.
I sent them in a medium sized pizza box.
Makes One 12" by 16" Sandwich

Bread Dough
1 3/4 c warm water
1 T yeast
1 T sugar
2 lg eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 c olive oil
1 c whole wheat flour
2 c white whole wheat flour
2 c bread flour

2 28 oz cans whole tomatoes
3 tsp garlic
olive oil
1/2 lb chopped salami
3 tsp garlic, minced
8 oz feta cheese, crumbled
12 oz jar artichoke hearts, drained
6 oz container olives, drained chopped
coarse sea salt
cracked pepper

Dissolve yeast in warm water with sugar.  Let rest 5 minutes.  Add remaining bread dough ingredients.  Knead 8 to 10 minutes to form a soft dough.  The dough should pull away from the bowl's side.  If not, add more flour.  Let rise 2 hours.

Meanwhile, empty 2 cans of tomatoes in a roasting pan.  Break tomatoes in half.  Sprinkle with 3 teaspoons garlic and olive oil.  Roast at 400F for 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Saute salami over medium heat.  Drain on a paper towel.  Chop artichokes and olives.  Mix salami with artichokes, olives, and cheese.  Season mixture with salt and pepper.

Role dough out to form a 15" by 20" rectangle.  Lay tomatoes in a single layer on dough.  You will have lots of extra tomatoes to use for something else.  Spread half the salami mix on top of the tomatoes.  Roll dough up like a jelly roll.  Flatten and roll out to another 15" by 20" rectangle.  Spread remaining salami mix on top.  Roll again.  And roll out to a 12" by 16" rectangle, or to your preferred thickness.  Sprinkle a baking sheet with corn meal or semolina flour.  Place sandwich on top of baking sheet.  Brush top and sides with olive oil.  Season top with sea salt and pepper.  Cover and let rise 30 minutes.  Bake at 350F for 35 minutes.  Cool and cut into squares.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Coconut Caramel Bars

These are like the Girl Scout Samoas only about 10 times better.
Makes a 9" x 13" Pan

1 can sweetened condensed milk
3 c sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 stick unsweetened butter
1 1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla
1 large egg
1 1/4 c a.p. flour
1 c semi sweet chocolate chips

Taking paper off the can, boil can of sweetened condensed milk in water for 3 hours.  Cool in pan.

Toast coconut in oven at 325F, stirring frequently until brown.  Cool on pan.

Using a mixer, beat butter and brown sugar with salt and powder to fluffy.  Add vanilla and egg, beating again.  With mixer on low, add 2 1/2 cups of the coconut, then all the flour.

Press in a 9"x13" baking pan.  Bake 15 minutes at 350F.  Remove from oven and pour sweetened condensed milk on top.  Gently spread caramel with a spatula as to not disturb the cookie layer.  Bake another 12 minutes.  Remove and immediately sprinkle chips on top.  Wait until chips have melted and spread.  Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup coconut.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Banana Cream Pie

This is Grandma Gentle's recipe. 
I just added a little salt, almond extract, and half-n-half.
Makes a 9" Pie
1 graham cracker crust, cooled
1 c milk
1 c half-n-half
3 egg yolks
3 T cornstarch
3/4 c sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 T unsalted butter
whipped cream, for serving

Mix 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium size saucepan.  Add milk and half-n-half whisking to prevent lumps.  Mix egg yolks with remaining 1/4 cup sugar.  Bring milk to a boil, stirring constantly.  Once thickened, slowly add to egg yolks.  Return yolks to saucepan and cook over medium heat for a couple more minutes.  Remove from stove top.  Add vanilla, extract, and butter.  Chill. 

Once custard is room temp, slice bananas and place on crust.  Pour custard over the top.  Chill pie.  Serve with whipped cream.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Polish in their roots, these pierogies seem close enough to a Chinese dumpling that Jack will gobble them up.

Charlie's menu request last week was, "Babies."
Even after a really cruel and disturbing story by Rob on what pierogies
really are, Charlie still keeps these on his favorites list.
Makes 30 Large Pierogies
Adapted from Tasty Kitchen

2 c white whole wheat flour
2 c a.p. flour
2 eggs
16 oz. sour cream
1 tsp salt

4 russet medium to large potatoes
2 T sugar
half and half
4.5 oz pepper jack cheese (I used Kraft Pepper Jack singles.)
3 green onions, sliced thin

Final Step
2 T butter
sea salt & cracked pepper

Using a mixer with a dough hook, combine dough ingredients and knead on low until soft dough forms. If the dough sticks to the sides of the bowl, add a little more flour until the dough pulls away from the sides.  Remove from mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap until ready to use.

While dough is kneading, peel and boil potatoes in salted water.  Drain.  Empty potatoes into mixer bowl used for dough.  Beat on medium with sugar and enough half and half to create a soft potato.  Add cheese and onions.  Season with salt.

To conserve on dirty dishes, boil clean water in the pan used to boil potatoes.  Divide dough into 30 portions.  Roll each piece into a circle and top with a scoop of potatoes.  I used a 1 1/2" cookie scoop.  Fold circle in half, press edges, and pleat to hold potatoes inside.

Heat a skillet on medium high heat with butter.  Boil pierogies a minute or two until they rise to the surface.  Drain and saute in skillet.  I boiled and sauteed four at a time so as to not crowd the skillet.  Season with sea salt and pepper.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Cooked Carrots

These were the first thing to disappear on three little boys' plates, last night.
2 lbs cut or mini carrots
olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 c chicken stock
1/4 c sugar
1 T lemon juice
1 T unsalted butter

Heat a 2-quart dutch oven or pan with lid over medium-high heat.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Add carrots and salt.  Stirring frequently, cover with lid and cook 15 minutes or until the carrots start to brown. Add chicken stalk and sugar reduce heat to keep a low simmer.  Cook another 10 minutes covered.  Uncover, add lemon juice.  Raise heat to medium and cook another 10 minutes until most but not all of the liquid disappears.  Add butter.  Gently toss and serve.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Raisin Pockets

I added red food coloring and shaped these as hearts for Valentines Day.
Charlie suggested we make these at Easter too.
Makes 24

1 orange (used 3 Mandarin)
1 lemon
15 oz raisins (used golden to color)
2/3 c brown sugar

2 sticks unsalted butter
1 c sugar
1 T baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla
1 T lemon juice
1/4 c milk
3 c ap flour

Zest lemon.  Reserve zest for cookie dough.

Zest orange or mandarin oranges.  In a medium saucepan, squeeze juice from orange and lemon.  Add raisins, orange zest, and brown sugar.  Bring to a boil.  Remove from heat.  Let sit 5 minutes to soften raisins.  Puree.  Chill in the fridge or freezer.

Place lemon zest, butter, and sugar in a mixing bowl.  Mix on medium high to fluffy.  Beat in baking powder and salt.  Beat in egg.  Beat in vanilla and lemon juice.  Add milk in two additions as to not splatter.  Gently stir in flour.  Chill dough in plastic wrap for 3 hours.  Divide dough in thirds.  Generously flour a rolling surface.  Roll out one third of the dough, keeping the other portions in the fridge.  Cut into 2" to 3" circles or other shape.  Place on a cookie sheet.  Top with a generous amount of filling.  Top with a second cutout, gently pushing on edges to seal.  Chill cookies on cookie sheet for 30+ minutes.  Bake 20 minutes at 350F, rotating from upper third to lower third (or lower to upper) of the oven half way through.  Cool a few minutes on pans.  Transfer to cooling racks.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Royal Icing

Royal Icing
5 egg whites
1/2 c sugar
1 T water
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
Combine and cook over simmering water to 160F.
Add pinch of salt. Whisk eggs with mixer on med-high to soft peaks. Beat in 2 tsp lemon juice and 5 cups powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time. Beat in 1 tsp vanilla and 1/4 tsp almond extract. Add water or sugar to reach desired consistency.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Potato Gratin

This is good with rosemary, onion, or garlic
sprinkled between the layers too.
4 medium baking potatoes, sliced as thin as possible
2 T butter, melted
2 oz parmesan cheese (1/2 c, finely grated)
1 c milk

In a 11"x7" dish, place a layer of potatoes.  Reserving a third of the cheese for the top, lightly sprinkle with salt, pepper, butter, and cheese.  Place another layer of potatoes, and sprinkle again with salt, pepper, cheese, and butter.  Continue until all the potatoes are used up.  Pour milk over the layer of potatoes.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and reserved cheese.  Bake uncovered at 425F for 45 minutes.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Rhubarb Berry Custard Pie

Just made this with Grandma Gentle's summer blackberriers and our own rhubarb.
A little taste of summer in single digit temps.
1 1/2 c sugar
3/8 c flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
4 c rhubarb
4 c strawberries or other berry
double pie crust

Mix all ingredients.  Place in pie crust.  Bake 15 minutes at 425F.  Reduce oven to 375F, cover edges in foil, and bake another 75 minutes.

Tomato Soup

I probably make more of this than any other soup.
10 servings

1 T butter
2 large onions, diced
1 lb carrots, chopped
4 celery ribs, chopped
1 large can tomato juice
2 6 oz cans tomato paste
2 c chicken stalk
1 T dried basil
1 T dried oregano
1/4 c sugar

In a large pot, saute onions, celery, and carrots in butter for 10 minutes over medium heat.  Stir in remaining ingredients, minus cream.  Simmer 1 hour.  Puree.  Remove from heat.  Add desired amount of cream. Serve.

Burger Buns

These are my standard sandwich bun.
Even Jack ate these pretty easily.
Makes 16 large, 24 medium, or 32 mini buns

1/2 c warm water
1/4 c sugar
4 tsp yeast
1/4 c unsalted butter, melted
1 c warm milk
1/2 c dried milk
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 egg yolks
1 whole egg
5 cups white whole wheat flour
1 egg white mixed with 1 T water, for egg wash
seeds, if desired

Mix warm water with 1 tablespoon of the sugar and yeast.  Let sit for 5 minutes.  Add other ingredients.  Knead 8 minutes.  Grease bowl and cover.  Let rise 1 hour.  Shape into balls. Let rise 30 to 45 minutes until puffy.  Brush with egg white wash.  Bake 10 to 15 minutes at 400F.  Cool on cooling racks.

Pie Crust

Makes 1 double crusted pie
I like my crust sweet.

2 3/4 c flour
2/3 c sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into chunks
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
whole milk, half and half, or cream

Mix flour through salt.  Cut in butter to pea size pieces.  Combine yolks, vanilla, and enough milk to reach the 2/3 cup mark.  Stir milk or cream into flour mix.  Form two discs, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

White Chocolate and Cranberry Chocolate Cookies

Peanut butter chips would be a good substitute for
the chocolates and cranberries.
Makes 24 cookies

3/4 c cranberries
1/2 c unsalted butter
3/4 c sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 T corn syrup
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c  cocoa powder
1 1/2 c flour
1 c white chocolate chips
1 c semi sweet chocolate chips

Pour boiling water over cranberries.  Let stand in water, 5minutes.  Drain.

Beat butter, sugar, salt, soda, and syrup to fluffy.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  Beat in cocoa powder.  Gently stir in flour, chips, and cranberries.  Let dough rest 30 minutes.  Using a 1 1/2" cookie scoop, bake 12 minutes at 350F.  Cool a minute or two on pans then transfer to cooling racks.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Chocolate Cupcakes with Creme Anglaise Buttercream

I tried to combine some of my favorite chocolate cakes.
I was going to decorate these as rabbits for the Chinese New Year.
Decided it was too much trouble with all the snow shoveling.
Makes 24 cupcakes

2 1/2 c flour
1 1/4 c cocoa powder
2 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp salt
10 T unsalted butter
2 1/2 c sugar
2 large eggs
1 egg white
1 T vanilla
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 c milk

5 egg yolks
1/2 c milk
2/3 c sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
3 sticks unsalted butter

Line two 12 cup muffin tins with cupcake liners.  Spray liners with cooking spray.  Whisk flour through salt.  Cream butter and sugar.  Beat in eggs and white, one at a time.  Beat in vanilla.  Alternate additions of flour with sour cream and milk, beginning and ending with flour.  Spoon batter in, not filling too far.  Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.  Cool.

Using the mixer whisk attachment, beat egg yolks with 1/3 c sugar until they hold a ribbon.  In a medium size saucepan, heat 1/2 c milk with 1/3 c sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt to simmering.  With mixer on low, slowly add to egg yolks.  Return to stove top.  Cook on medium heat until it begins to boil.  Strain and pour back into mixing bowl.  Add vanilla.  With whisk attachment, mix until the eggs have doubled in volume.  Set aside.  Beat 3 sticks of butter until it slaps the side of the mixing bowl.  Slowly pour the eggs into the butter while continuing to mix.  Beat on high until smooth and shiny.