May 28, 2010

Shoyu Chicken

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I thought I would share this with you today as many people will be looking to BBQ over this weekend for Memorial Day gatherings.  While searching on for chicken recipes I came across this recipe for Shoyu Chicken.  It looked too good to pass up!  This recipe has a mixture of sweet/heat that I LOVE!  It uses chicken thighs which I liked because it is less expensive than chicken breasts (however you can probably use chicken breast too - just make sure to pound them out to flatten some).

While your over there at why don't you check out my profile?  I have been a member of their community for years now and have done several reviews of recipes I have saved in my recipe box.  You just may find something you like!  I would have to say that my two go to sites for recipe searching is and  I love that people review the recipes and make comments about what they may have done to change it up some.  To see my profile on AR you can click HERE

The recipe for Shoyu Chicken, found by clicking HERE, says this is often served with rice.  Well, I am here to say it also goes really well with homemade potato salad and roasted asparagus! When we finished eating Grumpy's words were "It was very edible."  Guess that means its a keeper!

May 27, 2010

Bow Tie Pasta with Garlic and Olive Oil

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This week the theme for IHCC (I Heart Cooking Clubs) is garlic breath :o) 

While garlic breath may not be pleasant to be around, it sure is enjoyable to eat the food that causes it!

I decided to go with something simple - Linguini with Garlic and Oil.  Bittman says linguini is traditional but any type of pasta would work - which is what I used - any type of pasta.  I love bowtie pasta and thought it would not only be easier to eat but prettier.

Bow Tie Pasta with Garlic and Oil
How to Eat Everything by Mark Bittman

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
1 or 2 small dried red chiles or red hot pepper flakes to taste
1 pound long, thin pasta like linguine or spaghetti, or any other pasta
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves (optional)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it.  Put the oil, garlic, chilis and a pinch of salt in a small skillet or saucepan over medium-low heat.  Let the garlic sizzle a bit, shaking the pan occasionally, just until it turns golden, about 3 minutes.  Turn off the heat if pasta isn't ready.

Coo pasta until it is tender but not mushy.  When it is done, drain it, reserving a bit of the cooking water.  Reheat the garlic and oil mixture briefly if necessary.  Dress the pasta with the sauce, adding a little more oil or some of the cooking water if it seems dry.  Taste and adjust the seasoning, then toss with parsley if your using it.

I went with Bittman's suggestion of garlic, oil, and fresh herbs.  I have a nice pot of basil thanks to my son & DIL  - so I skipped the parsley and used fresh basil leaves.  I also added some grated fresh parmesean just before serving.  YUMMY.  Grumpy and I both enjoyed this dish and will definitely be a regular on our table!

May 25, 2010

Fleur de Sel Caramels

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You don't see candy on this blog very often.  That is because I am not really that good at candy making - certainly not because I don't love it!  However, my intense love of all things with fleur de sel and caramel could no longer be ignored.  I had to make these caramels!

  Oh yeah.  So good.  So evil and so time consuming!

I was nervous because the one other time I tried to caramelize sugar I really messed up good.  I took my time though, didn't rush things, followed the recipe exactly and it worked!  I swear it took me forever to wrap these little babies.  I also swore we were going to be allowed only one a day after having to do the tedious wrap job.  Then I ate one.  Suddenly, all that wrapping didn't seem to matter anymore and at least 10 more mysteriously disappeared.  Needless to say, the next day I took the majority of them work and I got rid of them as quickly as possible (not without downing  about 3-4 more before I pawned them off).  That evening before we went to bed I went to the cupboard to see if Grumpy decided to eat them.  Yeah, I was going to be evil and eat what I left him.  But.  He beat me too it!!!  LOL  They were gone!  Oh well.  I think I better leave these alone for a while.  I could gain every pound I lost back eating these babies!

Fleur de Sel Caramels

1 cup heavy cream
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon fleur de sel
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water

Line bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, then lightly oil parchment.
Bring cream, butter, and fleur de sel to a boil in a small saucepan, then remove from heat and set aside.
Boil sugar, corn syrup, and water in a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Boil, without stirring but gently swirling pan, until mixture is a light golden caramel.

Carefully stir in cream mixture (mixture will bubble up) and simmer, stirring frequently, until caramel registers 248°F on thermometer, 10 to 15 minutes. Pour into baking pan, sprinkle with a few more fleur de sel crystals if desired and cool 2 hours. Cut into 1-inch pieces, then wrap each piece in a 4-inch square of wax paper, twisting 2 ends to close.

May 23, 2010

He never ceases to amaze me...

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Just when I think I know him, Grumpy surprises me.  Like with these scones.  Grumpy won't eat biscuits.  Well, Grumpy prefers to not eat biscuits. So, since these scones are like biscuits I didn't expect him to really like them.  I made the scones, kept one for me, left one at home for Grumpy and took the rest to work to give to a friend who was having a birthday.

Later that evening when I was home I asked Grumpy if he liked his scone.  He said yes, it was good.  Hmmm.  What was up with that I thought?  I decided to take his word for it and make them again on Saturday morning but halved the recipe since I didn't want 8 scones here in the house and just two of us eating.  I didn't see him eat his first scone, but Sunday morning, when he sat down with his coffee, he had a plate with a scone on it to go with his coffee!  Hmm, must be he wasn't just placating me!  LOL.

Scones are something that has been on my list of new things for me to try for a while now.  Since my tortillas last week I have been more intent on making things I had on that list!  These scones were very simple to make.  To find what I wanted - I went googling for photos of scones.  I wanted to make one that would be yummy and pretty.  I came across the photo on Baking and Books - she had adapted her recipe from  I made a few changes - such as subbing 1 cup of white whole wheat, used the heavy cream, used my food processor to mix, brushed the scones with heavy cream and sprinkled with large sugar crystals prior to baking.  I went with heavy cream because I read earlier in my reseach about how to make scones that heavy cream made the dough moister and it didn't dry out as quickly.  That is very true!  I had a scone the day after I made them and it was very moist.  Not dry at all!

Maple Scones with Maple Glaze
adapted from Baking and Books and

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed
 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 sticks chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup pure maple syrup

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Put flours, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in food processor.  Pulse 8-9 times to combine.  Remove lid and drop in 1-1/2 sticks butter pieces.  Pulse until dough starts to form a crumb like texture.  Drizzle in heavy cream and maple syrup all the while continue to periodically pulse the processor.

Remove dough from processor.  Knead gently about 5 times. Pat into 8" round.cut dough into 8 wedges. Transfer wedges to baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart. Brush with some heavy cream and sprinkle with large sugar crystals.  Bake 20 minutes.

When cooled, drizzle with powdered sugar mixed with enough maple syrup.  I did not measure and I did not follow the recipe on either page for the glaze. 

May 21, 2010

Crab Cakes, Curried or Plain

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This week for I Heart Cooking Clubs the theme is Mystery Dinner - Potluck.  I had been wanting to make crab cakes for a while so I found Mark Bittman's recipe and went with it.  This was my first time making crab cakes and it won't be my last!  I decided to take a chance and made them curried instead of plain.  I really liked the curry in the coating and Grumpy enjoyed them!  He had (and still has) no idea there was curry involved.  he he.  I love it! 

Crab Cakes, Curried or Plain
Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything

1 pound fresh lump crabmeat, picked over for cartilage
1 egg
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper (optional)
1/2 cup chopped scallion (optional)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons bread crumbs, preferably fresh, or cracker crumbs, or as needed
About 1 cup all-purpose flour for dredging
Curry powder (optional)
2 tablespoons peanut, extra virgin olive, or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter or more oil
Lemon wedges and/or Tartar Sauce

Mix together the crabmeat, egg, bell pepper, scallion, mayonnaise, mustard, and some salt and pepper. Add enough bread crumbs to bind the mixture just enough to form into cakes; start with 2 tablespoons and use more if you need it.

Refrigerate the mixture until you're ready to cook (it will be easier to shape if you refrigerate it for 30 minutes or more, but it's ready to go when you finish mixing).

Season the flour with salt and pepper and add some curry powder if you like. Heat a large skillet, preferably cast-iron, over medium-high heat for 2 or 3 minutes. Add the oil and butter and heat until the butter foam subsides. Shape the crabmeat mixture into 1- inch-thick cakes, dredge each in the flour, and cook, adjusting the heat as necessary and turning once (very gently), until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Serve with lemon wedges and/or tartar sauce.

May 19, 2010

Flour Tortillas - 3 WW Points Plus

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30 years since High School that is!

It has actually been more than 30 years since I made homemade flour tortillas.  The last time I made homemade tortillas I was in 9th grade and we made them in my home economics class!  

As many of you regular readers know, Grumpy is not a fan of Mexican food.  When I mentioned on Facebook that I was making these and we were going to have Chicken Fajita's for dinner my ever faithful blogging friend Cristine just had to comment.  ;o)  We have a lot of fun over there talking about food - you should join in on the fun!

May 17, 2010

Justin loves rice pudding......and me!

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There are certain things my boys like.  Like rice pudding.  My oldest son Justin loves rice pudding.  The creamier, thicker, the better (his words last night!).  I was able to have a day all to myself on Sunday so I had a list of things I have been wanting to make that I decided to pull out and see what I could do about it.  Rice pudding was on the top of my list and giving some to Justin was next on that list!   I was lucky enough to see both sons on Sunday as Christopher was visiting Justin and he came over with him to pick up some rice pudding.  I had a double son hug (more than once! ;o) on Sunday!)

For this rice pudding I decided to use what I had left of my Silk Vanilla Milk.  I have found that I really love to cook and bake with the Silk Milk!

Creamy Stove-Top Rice Pudding

8 cups Silk Vanilla Light Milk
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup long grain white rice
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup Silk Vanilla Light Milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla (I use clear)
Cinnamon to taste

In a large saucepan combine 8 cups silk milk, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup rice.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.

While rice is cooking whisk the eggs, milk, salt and vanilla together.  Set aside.

Pudding should be thickened after the 1 hour cooking time.  Drizzle egg mixture into pudding mixture while whisking quickly to prevent making eggs scramble.  Continue to cook for at least 2 minutes.  Set aside to cool.  Sprinkle with cinnamon to taste when ready to serve.

May 16, 2010

That craving

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I was having that craving.  You know, that fleur de sel with chocolate craving? 

Then I saw these strawberries at the grocery.  They looked perfect, no blemishes and were huge.

How could I resist?  I knew then and there I was dipping them in some chocolate.
Then sprinkle with some fleur de sel


May 15, 2010

Pizza Dough

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When the boys were younger we would do pizza and a movie on Friday night when we could.  Precious memories of my boys and I sitting down in the living room, lights out, eating pizza and watching tv.  I also have memories of their cousin's Jamie & Eric telling me I should go in the pizza making business - they loved my homemade pizza's!  LOL.  Grumpy is always harassing me about the "perfect pizza crust".  We all know what I think of what Grumpy thinks is good or not...for the most part.  He can really be hard to please!  You couldn't guess that could you!  For someone who loves to cook and bake it is not always fun when you want to experiment and the one who eats it with you is so picky you have to worry about who is going to eat it if he won't!

I finally found a recipe for pizza dough that Grumpy and I both enjoyed when I found the Cooking Light Deep Dish Pizza recipe - which by the way is still my favorite.  I think maybe because there is a little sugar in the dough.   However, last night Grumpy told me I was "closer" with this recipe.  In his opinion I think I am never going to get "it".  He has in his mind a dough he had at a pizza parlour where worked when he was younger that to him was "perfect".

The recipe that is "closer" is from Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything" and is my submission to the IHCC (I Heart Cooking Club) theme of the week - "Movie Night."  It is a good, basic crust that is firm on the bottom (that is probably the best feature for me!).

The recipe for the pizza dough is found on page 178 of How to Cook Everything.  Bittman recommends using the food processor but I chose to use my bread machine for kneading and rising the dough.  It is easier (and less messy) for me this way because when there is a "chill" in the air still my dough has a warm place to rise!   Bittman says to use all-purpose or bread flour.  I didn't have bread flour so I used all-purpose.  The only other thing I did differently was I used 1 cup of white whole wheat flour in place of the 1 cup of the white flour.
Will I make this recipe again?  Sure will.  It was easy and I liked how the bottom doesn't get soggy and fall out on you when you pick up a slice.  Also, Grumpy liked it enough to eat about 3 pieces!

Pizza Dough
Adapted from Bittman's "How to Cook Everything"

**I made changes according to my own preference with flour, salt and procedure.  For Bittman's instructions on using the food processor, click HERE.

2 cups All-purpose flour
1 cup White Whole Wheat flour
1 cup lukewarm water
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Place ingredients in the bread machine in the following order:
  1. Water
  2. Oil
  3. Flour
Make a well in the flour using the back of a spoon and place the yeast and salt in the well.
Close the lid of the bread machine, choose the dough setting and push start.

An hour and half later you will have a nice ball of risen pizza dough.  Turn the dough out onto your counter.  Spread a small amount of olive oil over the a pizza stone (not required) and rub the oil between both hands to prevent dough from sticking to your hands.  Place the dough in the center of the stone and spread it out using both hands.  Top with your favorite toppings.

I made a meatloaf pizza!  I decided that I wanted to use up some of the leftover meatloaf we had for dinner earlier this week.  I did not use any of the "stuffed" part of the meatloaf because I was feeding this to Grumpy also, and he didn't care for the stuffing.  I made the topping as follows:

1 cup ketchup
1-2 tablespoons dijon mustard
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Mix together and spread over top of the pizza dough.  Then top with chunks of leftover meatloaf, sprinkle with Cheddar and Montery jack cheese, sprinkle with some diced red pepper and bake at 450 degrees until pizza dough and cheese is slightly browned.  Let cool approximately 10 minutes before cutting and enjoy!

May 13, 2010

Don't you get tired of the same old thing?

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I am always on the lookout for something new to do with ground meat.  Mainly because I always have so much ground venison in my freezer.  One day on Facebook, Mindi of Mindika Moments posted a photo of a meatloaf she made.  Of course, I had to go look and tonight I ended up making her recipe.  I myself loved it.  I loved the Gorgonzola cheese and the balsamic glaze topping the meat.  Grumpy liked the loaf but didn't care for the cheese and he refused to drizzle the glaze on top - he topped his with ketchup.  To me, that just did not mix well (with the Gorgonzola) but he ate it.  This is a great recipe if you like Gorgonzola and balsamic!  I highly recommend heading over to Mindika Moments for her recipe for GORGONZOLA STUFFED MEATLOAF WITH BALSAMIC GLAZE and make it soon!

May 12, 2010

Kellogg's Bran Buds Crunchies

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But it's not.  It's a Bran Bud Crunchie and it's compliments of FoodBuzz Tastemaker Program and Kellogg's All-Bran cereal!

This morning when I woke up - at all of 4 A.M. I sat on my couch for about 30 minutes wondering what to do because I just couldn't sit still anymore.  I know, I know, for some of you that is an ungodly hour....but for me, I'm used to it.  

Not too long ago I used the All-Bran Shreds I received to make some Cranberry-Pecan Muffins and I still had two boxes of unopened cereal so I decided to go to and look for a recipe that would be quick, easy, and that used the Bran Buds.  This cookie fit the bill - and it tastes awesome (like a snickerdoodle - but crunchy!)

Kellogg's Bran Buds Crunchies

2-3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons cream of tarter
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degree.

Stir together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl beat oil, sugar and eggs until well blended.  Add flour mixture together with Bran Buds and mix well.  Using tablespoon, measure and shape into balls.  Roll in sugar/cinnamon mixture.  Place on baking sheet and press cookie slightly with fork tines.  Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

May 11, 2010

It ain't a hot wing if...

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Well, I don't live in Buffalo and I'm not an expert, but I've been to Buffalo and I'm a New York-er, so.....close enough!  Oh, and BTW, when I lived in Iowa and people found out I was from NY they automatically assumed I was from the City - which I am not...and I have only been there once in my life!  I'm a NY'er but I'm a Northern NY'er!  ;o)  Another thing that they would say would be "your not what I would expect of someone from NY" - meaning, I was outgoing and friendly - something they assumed NY'ers were not.  It always amazes me that when you say your from NY people automatically think of the city - NY is such a huge state and there is more to it than the city!  There are Up-staters (north of the city), Western NY'ers, Central NY'ers and Northern NY'ers.  I also want to yell from the ceilings that Northern NY'ers are not Up-staters!  lol.  We are much farther north than than that!  Yeah.  We are almost in Canada ;o)  Hence my eh's every so often.  Hmm, I wonder.  Does that make me "almost" Canadian?  Oh heck, just call me a Yankee.  ;o) Anyway, now I got that out of the way let me tell you about Buffalo Hot Wings!

While wings that are breaded and fried then coated in a sauce are good....nothing beats a real wing made the buffalo way.  I say don't even call it a buffalo wing if you haven't cooked it like one!  A real buffalo wing has no breading and is coated in Frank's Red Hot and Butter Sauce.  Yum yum yum.  Grumpy likes to make the wing sauce just to dip his fries in!

It has been a long, long time since I've made wings.  I think it would be safe to say that I only make them about once a year.  The last time I made wings was for the FoodBuzz 24,24,24 that I participated in back in October....and then they weren't Buffalo Hot Wings.  The best place (besides home) to get wings in our area is at Doug's Tavern in Heuvelton, NY.  I'd link you to them, but they don't have a website.  If you are ever in Northern NY and near Heuvelton, I suggest you definitely try their wings.  Wing night Wednesday can be pretty hectic (we have waited a long, long time to get our wings) but its worth it.  When we can't go out and want to have them at home I always make them this way:

 Deep fry your wings for the recommended time.  I usually deep fry 10-13 minutes and sometimes even longer.  Grumpy likes them crispy.  While wings are deep frying you can mix your sauce.  You will need 1 cup of Franks Red Hot Sauce and 1/3 cup butter. This is our preferred way.  You can adjust the amount of hot sauce to butter ratio depending on how hot you like your wings.  Melt the butter and stir in the sauce.  When the wings are done place them in a deep bowl that has a lid.  Pour the hot sauce over the wings, place the cover on the bowl and give it a few good shakes. 

Serve the wings with blue cheese dip and celery sticks.

If you want to switch these up a little and it doesn't matter to you if your eating "authentic" buffalo wings, you can do a few different add in's like I have listed below:

When the sauce is incorporated (butter & hot sauce blended) add some of one of the following:

**Note - all the below are guides - please adjust amounts to your own tastes.
  • Honey Garlic Wings:  Stir in 1/4 honey and 3 large cloves minced garlic (fresh is best)
  • BBQ Buffalo:  Stir in 1/4 cup BBQ sauce of our choice with hot sauce mixture (my favorite is Sweet Baby Ray's or KC Masterpiece)
  • Maple Hot Wings:  Stir in 1/4 cup pure NY Grade A (what we use) maple syrup with hot sauce
OR skip the hot sauce all together and make up the following sauces:
  • Honey Mustard Wings:  1/2 cup honey, 1/4 cup dijon mustard, 1/4 cup stone ground mustard
These are ways I have eaten wings and I know are good!  Enjoy!

May 10, 2010

Experimenting and the winner of Cascadian Farms Giveaway

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This is my brownie I am experimenting with.  I am just in the beginning stages...still has some work but its a good concept! 

I need to make it a few more times I think before I have it the way I want it.  It needs something else...and I have an idea...I just need to try it!  ;o)  Keep your eyes open for this one, it is already yummy....but will be even yummier soon!

Now for the giveaway winner....
I need to apologize for not naming the Cascadian Farms Giveaway winner before today.  We have a lot of things going on here and because I have a large list of subscribers to my newsletter (who were automatically entered into this giveaway) it took me some time to get the list printed out, cut out and name pulled!  In any case, the winner of this giveaway is Tess C.!  I will be contacting you soon for your info so MyBlogSpark and Cascadian Farms can send you your prize pack.  Congrats!

May 08, 2010

Yogurt Biscuits - How to Cook Everything

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Last week when I was visiting Natasha's blog, Living in the Kitchen with Puppies, I clicked on the badge for I Heart Cooking Clubs.  I have seen the badge around but never took the time to click it until last week!  Well, after I clicked the badge and was taken to the page for I Heart Cooking Clubs, I knew I had gotten myself into something.  You see, what the group of bloggers do there is they cook from a cookbook and post on their blog, then link back to I Heart Cooking Clubs.

The cookbook they are cooking from for the next 6 months is Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything.  That was the clincher for me.  I have had that book for a few years and believe it or not, never made anything from it!  I decided then and there, this was the push to get me to crack that big ole' book open and start cooking.  The theme for this week was Breakfast in Bed.  Appropriate for Mother's Day (which, I'm sorry to say, I don't know if I ever remember being served breakfast in bed....ever!)

I loved that the recipe I was looking at used yogurt or buttermilk.  I had some Greek yogurt in the fridge that I needed to use up and I wanted biscuits!  Biscuits slathered with some of my homemade Raspberry Rhubarb Jam.  Now that I know how to make these biscuits and have them turn out yummy.  I will be making them again....especially when we have some fresh strawberries in season (which is soon!) for some yummy ole strawberry shortcake!

Bittman's Yogurt or Buttermilk Biscuits
Makes 10 or more (I halved the recipe and got 4 large biscuits)
Time:  20 - 30 minutes

**Note:  one thing that stuck with me and I believe is what made my biscuits turn out so yummy was we are told in the book that "the more butter the better."  This prompted me to use more than I would have if I had just halved the recipe!

The recipe listed is the full recipe - I made 1/2 of this by cutting all ingredients in half except for the butter, which I used 3-1/2 Tablespoons of

2 cups all-purpose or cake flour, plus more as needed (I used all-purpose)
1 scant teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2-5 tablespoons cold butter (more is better)
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons yogurt or buttermilk

Below is how I mixed my ingredients - Bittman has two sets of instructions in his book...I took the easiest way!
Heat the oven to 450 degrees.  Mix the dry ingredients together in a food processor.  Cut the butter into bits and pulse it in the food processor until thoroughly blended.

Using a large spoon, stir in the yogurt until mixture just forms a ball.  turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it 10 times;  no more.  If it is sticky, add a little flour, but very little; it should still stick slightly to your hands.

Press the dough into a 3/4 inch thick rectangle and cut into 2-inch rounds.  Put on ungreased baking sheet.  Gently reshape the leftover dough and cut again.  Bake for 7 - 9 minutes or until the biscuits are a beautiful golden brown.  Serve within 15 minutes for them to be at their best.

May 06, 2010

No Bake Cookies

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Yes, that's it.  Its all her fault.  :-p

My biggest addiction is coffee.  My biggest temptation is the Karma Latte (made with low-fat milk please) with the house blend (I believe that is Laughing Llama).  Two - three times a week I head into Jernabi Coffee to feed my addiction.  If I could afford to go every day I would go.  As it is I buy 1/2 a pound of ground Mysore Nugget on a regular basis to feed my addiction every morning at home ... and no.  I. do. not. share.  Not willingly anyway.(**see note). 

I'll bet your wondering what does this have to do with cookies?  Well, the fact of the matter is Annette decided to make some no bake cookies to sell in her coffee shop.  Sinful woman putting that temptation in front of me.  If there is anything I like as much as my's chocolate, fudge like cookies.  Namely, No Bake Cookies.  No Bake Cookies can be super tricky to make and not everyone can make them and be successful.  Heck, I'm not always successful myself.  I've not cooked them long enough and I've cooked them too long.  Annette made them perfectly.  So perfect I went in two days in a row and bought a cookie each time I went in.  My third day she had just eaten the last one herself!!!  The nerve!  haha.  She promised to have them there again the next day she worked so I'll be looking for one come then....but in the meantime I could not stop thinking about them.

I started thinking about how would they be with Nutella instead of peanut butter?  Or maybe I should put some unsweetened coconut in them.  I thought about them so much I ended up making them.  I know what your thinking....she's on a diet.  That dirty 4-letter word.  Well, I am following that 4-letter word, but I am also exercising my butt off so I'm allowed.  So. take. that. Grumpy.  he he.

HoneyB's No Bake Cookies

2 cups granulated sugar
1 stick butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons cocoa
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut
2-1/2 cups quick cook oatmeal
3/4 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky - but I used smooth)

Mix sugar, butter, salt, cocoa and milk in large saucepan.  Bring to a boil and cook for 10-15 minutes.  I cook until the syrup looks like its starting to thicken a little bit (on my stove - 10 minutes, the low heat is hotter than normal).  I believe other recipes may say to bring to a soft boil stage - you can do this with a candy thermometer or you can do the soft ball test by dropping some of the syrup in cold water.  If it forms a soft chocolate candy ball - then it is ready.

Quickly stir in vanilla, peanut butter, oatmeal and coconut.  If it starts to harden too quickly, stir in just a little more milk to loosen it up.  (this did happen to me this time).  Spoon out onto wax paper by tablespoons.  Let cool.  Cookie should set up.  No matter what, you still have yummy fudgy goodness.  I feel I would rather cook it a little too long than not long enough - it is easier to fix by adding the milk if that happens.  If its not cooked long enough then you have runny cookies and it is harder to fix them!

**NOTE:  Jernabi Coffee has not given me anything nor have they paid me anything to talk about their product.  I am sharing this with you because I love their freshly roasted, freshly ground coffee (done right on their premises!) and I personally enjoy a cup at home every single day.  I told you I was addicted!

May 05, 2010

Virtual Supper Club's brunch for Mom's day!

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Virtually, these look so yummy.  In person, they are so awesome!  This month was my choice for our Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club theme and I chose Mother's Day Brunch!  I've been on that brunch/breakfast kick for a little while now and it looks like there is no end in sight for the very near future either!  ;o)

Two of our VSC Members had to step down for a while due to busy schedules but we had two more happily step up to take over for them!  We will miss Aggie and Helene but we can still visit their blogs!  Two new members happy to join us are Patsy and Sandi.  I would like to introduce you to Patsy of Family, Friends, and Food and Sandi of Whistlestop Cafe - our two newest members of our VSC.  Welcome Patsy and Sandi! 

Now, lets see what we all cooked up for our Virtual Mother's Day Brunch!

Val - Sweet Potato and Canadian Bacon Hash
Jamie - Mushroom Frittata
Patsy - Triple Fruit Scones
Sandi - Grits Casserole with Pesto Butter
Shelby - (that be me!) Waffles with Two Berry Syrup (link next to my name will take you to where the recipe is located - links next to other VSC members will take you to their blog)

May 03, 2010

Grilled Shrimp with Chipotle Raspberry BBQ Sauce

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On a regular basis, on Facebook,  I will tell people what we are having for dinner and then ask what they will have on their table.  Recently, my cousin Cheryl told me they were having Grilled Chipotle Shrimp.  Being the shrimp lovers that we are, I had to know how she made it!  She graciously sent me this very simple but delicious recipe - 2 ingredients!  :)

Cheryl's Chipotle Grilled Shrimp

1 lb jumbo shrimp (I used raw, peeled and deveined)
1 bottle Sweet Baby Ray's Chipotle-Raspberry BBQ Sauce

Marinate shrimp (Cheryl marinates all day) then grill until shrimp are done (approximately 10 minutes).  Enjoy with a nice big salad!  Thanks Cheryl!!

Other Summertime fun recipes you may enjoy!
Roquefurt Burger with Onion Jam from Healthy Delicious

May 02, 2010

Foodbuzz Tastemaker brings us All-Bran

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Not too long ago I was lucky enough to receive some All-Bran cereal compliments of FoodBuzz Tastemaker Program and Kelloggs.  Muffins, as many of you know, are one of my favorite things to make and have for breakfast.  Bran, being at the top of the list!

Since we have been eating pretty low carb I decided that introducing some carbs back into our diet, I should go with some higher fiber, whole wheat muffins.  We had friends over for the weekend and breakfast was going to be eggs over easy, turkey sausage, and these yummy muffins!  I want to thank FoodBuzz Tastemaker Program and Kelloggs for sending the All-Bran cereals (wheat flakes, nuggets, and shreds).  This was my first of many recipes I will be making using the cereal!

Cranberry-Pecan Muffins

1-1/4 cups white whole wheat flour (I used King Arthur)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups All-Bran Orginal
1-1/2 cups fat free milk
1 egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl mix 2 cups All-Bran Original cereal and 1-1/2 cups milk.  Let sit 2 minutes or until cereal has softened.  Add eggs and oil and beat well.  Stir in cranberries and pecans.  Add flour mixture, stirring only until combined.  Using 1/3 cup measure, place in muffin cups lined with paper liners.  Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes.  Serve warm.
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