Milkmaid's Recipe Box

FOOD, FOOD, FOOD! I'm such a FARMER at heart-- even a CALF knows that so much in life is about the FOOD! (A bit of a "bio" about me can be found way down near the bottom.)

You can find a recipe index entitled "Labels" down along the right side, starting below the picture of the farm. Then, below the "Label" list are pictures of some of my old "standbys"-- click on their picture and it should take you to the recipe.

You will see no advertising on my blog; this means there is no monetary benefit for me having "visitors" or "joiners"-- having said that, if you do wish to JOIN my blog, you can do so by scrolling w-a-y down to near the bottom of the page...

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pine Bark Candy *

The toffee taste of this reminds me a 
little bit of a Heath® or Skor® candy bar.

It's almost a shame that something this tasty could come from  just 5 very common ingredients 'rubbing shoulders' in my 'lab'-- the end result is a tasty goodie that doesn't require a lot of fancy ingredients.  What is required?  After completed, ...plenty of willpower!

Ingredients:
  • 35 squares of saltine crackers
  • 1 cup butter 
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 of 12 oz.package milk chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.



2. Line a 15 by 10 by 1-inch jelly roll pan with aluminum foil.

3.  Very lightly spray foil with a non-stick cooking spray.



4.  Place saltine crackers, row by row, salty side up, in prepared pan.

5.  In a saucepan, boil butter and sugar for 3 minutes (set a timer for 3 minutes after mixture reaches a full boil).  You may reduce the heat just enough so that the mixture does not boil over the saucepan, stirring constantly.

6.  Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.  Mix well.

7.  Immediately and very carefully pour hot mixture evenly over crackers (with back of spoon, spread it evenly over crackers if necessary).

8.  Bake at 400 degrees for 3 and 1/2 minutes.

9.  Remove from oven, sprinkle with chocolate chips, and spread evenly with the back of a spoon when the chocolate chips are soft enough to spread. At this point, you can sprinkle crushed pecans on top.  (Pecans are not really needed, plus they are so expensive right now.  Instead, you could make this candy look a bit more 'festive' by adding your favorite kind of 'cookie sprinkles'.)

10.  Put the whole pan into the refrigerator for 3-4 hours, or into an unheated area until everything's cold/hard.

11.  Cut OR break into irregular shapes/pieces and store in a covered container (or Zip Lock bag) in the refrigerator or other unheated area.

13.  DELICIOUS!  (And, a bit 'addicting' if you like these flavors!)

 Here,... try a piece!
*The basic recipe came from:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/pine-bark-recipe/index.html

Another recipe for this is listed at:  http://krty.com/pages/2706688.php 

OR,...one more cook's way of making this is at:  http://www.mommyskitchen.net/2010/12/saltine-toffee-candy-aka-christmas.html , 

OR,... check out this cook's suggestion about heating the 'caramel layer' to a certain degree (a slower method) to end up with harder toffee-like caramel layer at http://www.feelslikehomeblog.com/2009/12/christmas-crack-also-known-as-cracker-candy-or-toffee-bark/

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Chicken or Turkey Veggie Casserole

Today, I picked clean two each of turkey wings and drumsticks for making this casserole.  I'm making turkey stock with what couldn't be used here.

In a large bowl, combine and stir until smooth:

2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 and 1/2 cups grated mild cheddar cheese
1 cup lite mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Mix in:

4 cups bite-sized cooked chicken  (OR left-over turkey works, too)
1 and 1/2 cups UNcooked macaroni noodles
1 and 1/4 cup milk
2 cups celery, chopped
1 small onion, diced
1 of 8 oz. can water chestnuts, drained

Chow Mein noodles OR crushed potato chips (dried bread crumbs might work, also).


Put mixture in a 3-quart OR 9x13-inch baking dish that's been sprayed with something like non-stick Pam.  I bake this uncovered.  Top with a layer of crumbled potato chips OR chow mein noodles after it has baked for about 45 minutes.   Continue baking for another 15-20 minutes OR until you know the celery and macaroni is cooked through.  (The water chestnuts will STAY crunchy!)

For lower fat version, I used reduced calorie and reduced sodium soup in addition to the reduced fat (lite) variety of mayonnaise.

Imitation Mint "Cookies"

These remind me of those good minty cookies sold by young girls each year.  IF you like minty things, you will like this good and simple-to-fix treat!   For me, these are as good as CANDY (I've included these in the 'candy' category, as well.)


When it comes to dipping the crackers into the chocolate, I use my little pinchy metal kind of tongs-- I just have to not 'grab them too tightly' or I'll break the edge off the cracker. 

Ingredients

  • 1 of 10 oz. bag of Andes Creme De Menthe Baking Chips*
  • 1 tube of Ritz crackers

Directions

  1. Melt the baking chips in the microwave, stirring at minute intervals until melted and smooth.  (Watch carefully.)
  2. Line a cookie sheet with foil (or waxed paper, or Saran Wrap).
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dip Crackers into melted minty chocolate chips until they are covered, let drip for a few seconds, wipe extra off bottom side on bowl edge, and put on lined cookie sheet, making sure they do not touch.  If you are particular about 'presentation', you can take a sharp knife and trim excess chocolate from around the edges after they cool.

*In the past, I've melted the same amount of Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips to which I added a few squares of the Andes Mint candy pieces and that works, too.  

Kids LIKE sprinkles and these can be added right after the cracker is dipped...



Chill until firm. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Strainers instead of a real sifter...

Meet my triplets...

I own two actual sifters (the kind specifically made for sifting flour, or other powdery things).  But, since watching Martha Stewart do kitchen things a long time ago, I switched to using these kinds of strainers ever since and use them for sifting flour and so much more.  (The regular flour sifter would make the powdered sugar get ticked off to the point of it being filled with static, etc.)  These are quite inexpensive, and......... they are multi-purpose in that I also grab them for what they were probably made for-- straining different kinds of liquids (chicken stock, included).   Also, after I pour unground wheat from one container to another in a strong outside wind, I like to bounce it around in a strainer like this-- any lingering fine dust slips out the bottom.  I like their little 'kettle resting' tabs opposite of the handle end.  My daughter Cheryl said that if she buys extra white sugar when it's on sale and it ends up with little clumps by the time she uses it, she just runs it through a strainer like this and everything's flowing just 'fine' in no time! These strainers just happen to be my preference for de-lumping things.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Greek Whole Wheat Bread -- Khoriatiko Psomi

When I did a Google search for this particular kind of bread, MANY sites/variations came up-- I chose this one.  Because this bread doesn't need 'hand kneading', I consider it very easy to make!
All bread photos in this posting taken by me, Doris.
This recipe is going into my "keeper collection'!  I tried to follow the recipe from the  website as closely as possible (measuring the water, weighing the wheat flour, etc.).  *Because my home-ground whole wheat may be a bit 'different', I ended up adding about 3/4 cup white all-purpose flour at the end of Step 3, and then letting the stand mixer's dough hook 'knead' it for about six minutes extra.   Almost all of what I'm posting comes from http://artisanbreadbaking.com/bread/khoriatiko/  (The guy on the website has posted some very descriptive and helpful photos of each step.)

After I made these first two 'rounds' of bread, I decided to double the following recipe and make FOUR more rounds of it.  The 'second time around', I kneaded the bread in the traditional way (using hands/muscles) because just maybe not everyone has a stand mixer with a dough hook.  I was very satisfied with the results.  (Pictures of last  four rounds of bread are at the bottom of this recipe.)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 Tablespoons dry instant yeast
  • 14.6 oz. water (use 'warm' water)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 large egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup non-fat milk (I used 2%)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (divided in half)  I used light flavored variety.
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter (divided in half)
  • 25 oz. whole wheat flour
  • 6-8 oz. raisins (very optional) 

DIRECTIONS:

1.  Place ALL the ingredients, using only half of the olive oil and half of the butter, in the bowl of a mixer and mix for 3 minutes (I used the paddle attachment of my Kitchen Aid mixer for this).

2.  Remove from mixer stand, remove the paddle attachment.  Cover the bowl and allow the dough to sit for 20 minutes.

3.  Uncover and, using the mixer's dough hook, 'knead' for 8-10 minutes.*

4.  Transfer dough to a larger bowl that's been lightly oiled. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise in a somewhat warm area for about one hour or until doubled.  (Give this dough a lot of room, as it may flow out of a smaller bowl.)

5.  Remove the dough from the bowl, give it a few gentle folds and return it to the bowl for another 20 minutes.

6.  Form into two boules (rounds).  Place each on parchment paper, cover and let rise for 30-40 minutes.  Since this is a rather soft dough, be careful not to let the dough rise too long, or you may wind up with a 'flat-topped round'.  You can also put the two pieces of dough in greased bread pans to form more-or-less sandwich bread.  In this case, let the dough rise until it is mounded above the edge of the pan, but before it starts to expand so much that it flows over the sides.  I know this sounds tricky, but once you've taken a look at things, you'll get the hang of it.

7.  When it's about raised (mounded) to the right size, PRE-heat the oven to 375-degrees.

8.  Mix the remaining tablespoon of melted butter and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and gently brush the mix on the loaves.

9.  Bake for 35-40 minutes, or to an internal temperature of 200 F.  (I can't believe I did this, but, for the last 5-8 minutes,  I actually stuck a digital temperature probe in from the side and let the bread bake until it reached 200 F.  The time was so close to being 'right on'!  Next time, I won't have to do that.)

10.  Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

In conclusion, I don't even know how to pronounce the name of this bread-- but, I DO know it tastes really good and it has a light texture in spite of the amount of whole wheat flour in it.

In fact, we liked this bread well enough that I made ANOTHER four rounds of it.  Each of the rounds in the following picture measures 8" at its base:

So long, for now... I have to get a knife, cut off a healthy slice and "sample' this.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Warmer 'thing'

My Uncle Fred, into his 90's, was aways thinking of ways to share the kinds of things (gadgets) that he liked in his own kitchen.  Thus, I ended up with a gadget just like his and I REALLY like it-- it's something I use A LOT!!
When something on the burner is 'done' and the other burners are still 'busy', or when I just want to make sure something stays warm without further cooking, it's so easy to grab this little metal thing.
As you can see in the next picture, it is two layers of metal with an air pocket in between...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Megan's Lemon Bars (M-m-m!)

This recipe for lemon bars seems to be almost everywhere in 'recipe world', and it makes for a real goodie!  I think that of all bars, this is one of my favorites.  For our Thanksgiving Day dinner today, in addition to some delicious dinner rolls, granddaughter Megan made and brought these--------- M-m-m-m-m-m-m-m!


Ingredients For Base:
  • 2 cups sifted flour 
  • 1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 cup butter

Ingredients For Top:
  • 4 large beaten eggs 
  • 2 cups white sugar 
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated lemon rind (optional)

Directions:

  • For the base, mix the butter into the flour and sugar.
  • Mix with pastry blender (or hands?) until it clings together
  • Press into a 13x9x2-inch pan.
  • Bake at 350-degrees for 20-25 minutes, OR until lightly browned. 

  • For the filling, beat together eggs, sugar and lemon juice.
  • Sift together flour and baking powder
  • Stir into egg mixture.
  • Pour over baked, cooled crust.
  • Bake at 350-degrees for about 25 minutes, or until just lightly browned on top (like in the above photo).
  • Cool.  When cool, sprinkle lightly with sifted powdered sugar.
  • Cut into bars, and serve.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pam's Apple Slices

For quite a few years, already, Pam has made a very large 19x13-inch panful of Apple Slices for Thanksgiving Day-- it has a bottom and top crust, and is so, so, so tasty!    Here is the one all ready to go for tomorrow...

Some like to drizzle a thin icing over the top, like in the next photo, but it is so good even without it.  With this recipe, you get apple pie flavor in something akin to a bar-- like this...
It was many, many years ago that I first enjoyed these-- Dolores S. made and brought these to a R.S. doing when we still had regular weeknight meetings in the 'old chapel'.  It was LIKE at first bite, and that hasn't changed.


Here's the recipe for it-- the following recipe is for a 15"x10"x1" jelly roll pan:

For the crust, you can use your own favorite, OR the store-bought rolled up version, or the one we like to use around here.....

Easy Pie Crust

I first got this from my sister Nadine and I like it because it is 'forgiving' in that it doesn't get all tough and crabby if I re-roll a part of it, or do some patching with it. 

This recipe makes 4 single, or two double crusts-- or, just enough for the 15x10x1" pan of 'Apple Slices'. 

INGREDIENT LIST:

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 and 2/3 cups shortening (or Lard)
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup cold water

DIRECTIONS:

1.  In a large bowl (or the bowl of a food processor, or Kitchen Aid stand mixer), combine flour, salt, and sugar.

2.  Add the shortening.  Mix until texture is quite fine (with the Kitchen Aid, I use the wire whisk attachment for this).

3.  Add a blended mixture of the beaten egg, vinegar, and cold water-- mix well  (I change to the regular mixer paddle on my Kitchen Aid for this).

You'll think the dough is 'much too moist', but you'll be adding more 'dusting' flour as you roll it out on a floured surface and it'll be fine.  Hint:  I roll it out on either floured freezer paper,  floured waxed paper, or floured Saran Wrap-- then I carefully lay my pie plate in the center of the rolled dough, flip everything over and peel paper off.  Trim.
--------------------------------------------------------
Apple Slice Filling:
1 cup crushed corn flake cereal (or the store-bought already crushed crumbs)
8 cups (8-10 medium) peeled, cored, sliced 1/4" tart cooking apples*
1 cup sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
For brushing on the crust:
egg white
2 tablespoons more of sugar
1/2 teaspoon more of cinnamon
  
DIRECTIONS:
Once you have the bottom crust in the pan, sprinkle evenly with the cereal crumbs (this is to absorb juices); layer apples over the cereal.  In small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and sprinkle evenly over the apple layer.  Cover with remaining crust dough.
For the 'brush on glaze':  In small bowl, beat the egg white with fork until foamy; brush over top crust.  In small clean/dry bowl, stir together the  2 tbsp. sugar and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon; sprinkle this very evenly over the top egg-white-brushed crust.
Bake for 45-60 minutes or until lightly browned.  
Icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

In small bowl, stir together all icing ingredients; drizzle over top of all while warm.  Cool.  Cut.  Enjoy. 
 ======================================
* Cooking ApplesGolden Delicious, Granny Smith, Gravenstein, Jonathon, Lady Apple and Rhode Island Greening.  (This list was in the original article from which I got the recipe many years ago.)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Pretzel Kiss Treats



Place little pretzel squares on an aluminum lined baking sheet, sit an unwrapped Hershey's Kiss* on the center of each.  Place into a PRE-heated 170-degree oven for almost 10 minutes, or until each kiss is soft enough for an M&M to be pressed into the top of each.  Let cool in refrigerator until set up/hardened.  Enjoy this small salty/sweet treat.

* I think it would be more economical to drizzle melted dipping chocolate (milk chocolate flavor) over the top of the pretzels-- or two separate drizzles of chocolate AND white chocolate over each.  Let your imagination rule!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Nut Cookies

Just 'for because', I drizzled some browned butter icing across their tops after they'd cooled for about 30 minutes....

Below:  The cookies made with the small cookie dough scooper thing are on the left, and the row with the bigger dough balls are in the single row on the far right side and are noticeable larger.

Below:  Larger cookies are in the front row...



This makes a large batch, but they don't last all that long... for your convenience, I'll add the measurement for a small batch in parenthesis.

Cream together:
2 cups butter, softened (1/2 cup)
2 and 2/3 cup brown sugar, packed (2/3 cup)

Add and mix well:
4 eggs (1 egg)
2 teaspoons vanilla (1/2 teaspoon)
2 teaspoons baking soda (1/2 teaspoon)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (1/2 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon salt (1/4 teaspoon)

Add:
3 cups all-purpose flour (3/4 cup)
6 cups quick, or old-fashioned oats (1 and 1/2 cup)
3 cups raisins (3/4 cup)*
1 of 12-oz. bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips**
2 cups chopped nuts, optional  (1/2 cup)

*I sometimes add a cup or two of dried cherries OR Craisins instead of the raisins.  Because the dried cherries are quite large, it works best to cut each into 2-3 pieces.

**  If I were making these cookies JUST FOR MYSELF to pig out on (I'm dreaming!), I would also add a 10-oz. bag of Andes Creme De Menthe baking chips; and I would add the full amount of the 'optional' chopped nuts. 


Form into balls, by hand or with scooper thing.  Sometimes, I use the smallest scooper I have-- the golf ball in the picture is a bit too big to fit INTO this scoop...




Other times, when the cookies are for 'big people', I use the larger scoop that, as you can see in the next picture, is a bit bigger than the golf ball.  I adjust baking times according to the size of the cookie ball....

Bake on parchment lined pans at 350-degrees for anywhere from 12-14 minutes or until set up and lightly browned.  (At 12 minutes, check your first batch to see how your oven does with these.)

Cool on the pans for about 5-10 minutes and then transfer to a cool surface, or a wire rack.  Freeze extras just as soon as they're cool.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

IF you wish to drizzle them with the same kind of icing I used, this is the recipe for that:
This is also my favorite 'drizzle' for cinnamon rolls, coconut chew bars, or pumpkin bars, etc.

Heat ½ stick butter in pan only until golden brown in color (stirring all the while).  Quickly add about two Tbsp. milk to stop the browning, and then some SIFTED powdered sugar until you have the amount and consistency of frosting you need to drizzle OR spread.  It may be necessary to add tiny amounts of more milk to get the right texture.   I drizzle this icing over whatever is 'drizzable'.  (You have to get on with this 'drizzling' quickly before it thickens too much to be 'drizzable'.)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Coconut Cookies

(I first made these on June 7, 2008)

FIRST:

Mix together and spread 2 cups coconut and 2 cups oatmeal (old-fashioned, OR quick) on a shallow cookie pan and heat in a 350-degree PRE-heated oven until coconut is rich golden brown-- watch carefully, and stir as needed. When finished, it should look something like this...
Set aside until you do the following.

SECOND:

Mix the following ingredients together—
3/4 cup softened butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed (I used dark brown this time)
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs, slightly beaten

2 cups flour
1/2 cup 100% whole wheat flour

Now, stir in the browned coconut and oatmeal mix and stir until well blended.

Form into 1.5" balls.  Lightly press with hand, or bottom of a glass.  BAKE 13-14 minutes at 350-degrees or until their tops aren't so soft (I bake mine on a shiny surfaced pan that's lined with parchment paper and they are done in about 13-14 minutes.)

Peanut Butter 'Combo' Cookies

I call these 'combo' because I combined whole wheat flour with the white flour, and I also halved the amount of butter I'd usually put in these.  They are just a little bit more chewy than regular peanut butter cookies sometimes are and hubby likes them like this...

INGREDIENTS:
 
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar (I used dark)
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder (I like Argo's aluminum free)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup 100% whole wheat flour
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose white flour

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350-degrees.

First, mix together the sugars, peanut butter, butter and eggs in large mixing bowl.  Add the baking soda, baking powder and salt and mix briefly.  Stir in flour(s) and mix only until it's all incorporated.

Shape dough into 1 and 1/4-inch balls (I used small cookie dough scoop).  Place about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet (I used parchment paper).  Flatten in crisscross pattern with fork dipped into sugar.

In my oven, at 350-degrees, I baked these for 13-14 minutes or until their tops were not 'sinking soft'.  Cool about 5 minutes before removing from rack.  Cool on wire rack.

Makes 3 dozen large(r) cookies, or about 5 dozen small ones.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Graters

I'm reminded of an old tune, "..♪...it may be silly, but ain't it fun! ♪"  Ah, yes-- it might be silly to like gadgets, but,...  gadgets that make food preparation easy without being expensive can be a good thing!


Above:  For years, I've had the grater on the left-- it has places for 'small grating' and 'larger grating'.  I thought all was good-- that was, until Paula brought me the grater on the right with the much larger grating openings.  Now, when I don't need 'small/medium  gratings' and I'm in a hurry, I grab the one of the right (I like it!).  On the plate, you can see the size of cheese that each of the 'grate holes' make.

There's something else I like the large grater for:  When a recipe calls for softened butter and I only have 'cold stuff', I quickly grate it and in almost no time at all,-- like magic!-- the butter has softened.

Slicer Thingy

Here's another gadget my elderly Uncle Fred had sent to me back in the mid-80's.  The original picture on the packaging showed them to be a sort of  'tomato saw' with which you could end up with a bunch of uniformly sliced (sawed) tomatoes. 

Below:  One side of its blades has little 'saw teeth'...
While I do have a regular egg slicer, I find myself grabbing this little 'saw', first, when making egg salad sandwiches-- and then doing the chopping with the metal kind of meat chopper which I pictured in a different posting under GADGETS.

Monday, November 14, 2011

CrustLESS Pumpkin Pie

I LIKE pumpkin pie.  Even if I have a 'Doris proof' pie crust recipe from my sister Nadine, I don't enjoy making the crust part.  And, the crust of a pie isn't my favorite part, anyhow, so,......................... years (YEARS!) ago, in a meeting, I learned I can have this 'good for me' treat without the bother of making a 'fat-filled' crust.  Read on...

Photo by Doris

For years, now, this is the only kind of pumpkin pie we have at Thanksgiving, or other gatherings-- Cheryl is an expert at making this in a very large baking dish and having it be perfect every time. 

If you want to follow your own special recipe, OR the recipe on the can of pumpkin, do that.  Then, instead of pouring the prepared filling into a crust, you just pour it into a 'prepared' pie plate or other baking dish.  You prepare the dish of your choice by lightly oiling it and dusting that with flour (dumping the excess flour out).  Just like preparing a pan for baking a cake. That's it.  You will determine when your 'pie' is done by inserting the blade of a very clean knife into the center-- if it comes out 'clean', it's done!

For 'just because', I altered the recipe on the can as follows:

Ingredients:
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons of flour (because I used more liquid with the honey and syrup)
  • 1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
  • 1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
Directions:

I put the above ingredients into my Kitchen Aid bowl in the order given, letting everything mix a bit after the addition of flour.  After mixing for a while, I added the pumpkin and evaporated milk and continued on until all was very well blended.  Done!

Because I doubled the above recipe, I baked this in a glass 9x13-inch baking dish at 400-degrees for 10 minutes, then turned heat down to 350-degrees for almost an hour.  

IF you are following the single recipe on the can of pumpkin, bake it accordingly and I think you'll be happy with the results.  BUT!, since all ovens vary, check on the progress during the last 15 minutes, or so.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Honey Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Give these a 'SCHMELL' and see what ya think!  I think it's fair to say this was a hit over deer hunting season when we had our son and his family visiting here from "out of State"... bread + toaster = YUM!!
Photo by Doris

INGREDIENTS:

1 and 1/2 cups milk
1 cup raisins

1 cup warm water with 1 teaspoon sugar in it (water must be between 110-115 degrees).
2 tablespoons active dry yeast

3 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup honey (If you don't have honey, use 1/2 cup white sugar)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, slightly melted
2 cups all-purpose white flour
2 cups 100% whole wheat flour (If you don't have this, use about 1 and 1/2 cups white flour in its place.)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
4 or 5 MORE cups all-purpose white flour
.....................................
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup packed brown sugar (You can use white sugar for this.)
2 more tablespoons cinnamon (For weaker cinnamon taste, use only 1 tablespoon)
....
Small amount of butter for buttering the tops of baked loaves

DIRECTIONS:
  • Warm the milk in a small sauce pan on the stove until you see little bubbles forming around the edge (stir occasionally).  Remove from heat and stir in the 1 cup of raisins so they can 'plump up' a bit while the milk cools to being just 'warm'.  When the milk is almost cooled down enough to being 'only warm', go to the next step...
  • Dissolve yeast in the warm water w/teaspoon of sugar and set aside until yeast is bubbly/frothy (about 10 minutes?).  Make sure the water is at the correct temperature or the yeast won't activate as well.
  • Mix in the slightly beaten eggs, honey, coconut oil (or butter), salt.
  • Stir in the cooled milk w/raisins.
  • Add the flour gradually-- using my Kitchen Aid mixer with the paddle attachment, I first add 2 cups of white flour; the first tablespoon of cinnamon; then, 2 cups of whole wheat flour.  At this point, like I remember my mother suggesting, I let everything 'rest' for about 10 minutes to allow gluten to form.
  • Finish with adding the rest of the white flour until you have a kneadable dough.  Sometimes, and I don't know why it isn't always the same, I will end up using a TOTAL of 2 cups wheat flour and 7 cups white flour (counting the amount I use on the table for the final kneading period).
  • But!!, don't add so much flour that the dough is NOT sticky at all-- a totally NON-sticky dough will end up making a 'heavy' loaf of bread.  So, a little 'sticky' is a good thing!
  • Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for a few minutes (3-4?) until smooth.
  • Place kneaded dough ball in a large, buttered, mixing bowl and turn dough ball over to grease the underside of the dough.
  • Cover with a warm, damp cloth and let rise.  If you let it rise in an oven with just the oven light turned on, it seems the temperature says pretty much just 'right for it'.  Allow to rise until doubled, usually about 1 to 1.5 hours (check on the progress after 30 minutes and then as often as needed to prevent it from rising 'too much').
Now is a good time to prepare three 9x5-inch loaf pans.  I first grease the pans well and, per daughter Paula's suggestion, I cut a piece of parchment paper to just cover the bottom of the pan and grease that, also.
  • Roll risen dough out on a lightly (very lightly) floured surface and into a large rectangle, about 1/2-inch thick.  How long should the rectangle be?  I lined up my three 9x5-inch loaf pans next to the edge of the rectangle and made my roll as long as the 'line up'.  Roll up tightly (starting along the LONG edge), tucking as you roll.
  • Cut long roll into thirds, tuck ends under, pinching the long seam together to seal the goodness inside.
  • Place loaves into well greased/prepared 9x5-inch loaf pans, and lightly grease their tops.
  • Let rise in warm place (I put the pans back into the 'lighted' oven), uncovered, for almost an hour. When they have risen enough, I CAREFULLY take them out of the oven and turn the oven on.
  • Bake in PRE-heated oven at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until loaves are lightly browned and sound hollow when tapped on.  If you notice that the tops are browning too rapidly, you can rest a sheet of tin foil over the tops of all three loaves.
  • Remove from oven when done, and let cool on rack.
  • Take melted butter and spread on tops of loaves with pastry brush, or paper towel.
  • After a few minutes, remove bread from pans.  With that piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, they always come out very easily for me.
  • Allow to cool before slicing.
  • Guard it, or.........watch it DISAPPEAR!
If something about this recipe is NOT easy to understand, post a comment and I'll get back to you.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Hamburger 'Choppers'

Two kinds of hamburger busters....
So many years ago, when I was working with Young Women, we had a pizza party at Carol H.'s house.  With a nifty metal gadget exactly like the one the left, she was breaking up chunks of hamburger in her frying pan.  Nifty!   It didn't take me long to have one of my own.  Then, as time went on, I fell for some non-stick frying pans and I knew the sharp metal edges on this chopper would make owies in them.   So,........................ I found another use for the metal gadget:  I use it in any glass container and gently chop boiled eggs prior to making egg salad sandwiches.  It's quick and works slicker than snail snot (that's a description I learned from our fix-it guy Mike).    So,.........................

After watching some shows of Living with Amy on Channel 11 each morning at 9 O'clock, I noticed her breaking up chunks of browning hamburger with the kind of plastic gadget pictured on the right-- the kind that can't hurt a kettle/pan.  Thanks to Pam, I ended up with one of my own.  I use it so much.