January 30, 2013

Sticky Rolls

Noah, our 15 year old, likes to whip up yummies in the kitchen from time to time.  Last month I had a horrible flu bug so baby and I slept in.  When we dragged ourselves out of bed I came downstairs to find baked oatmeal already in the oven and almost ready to devour! He's such a blessing!  The other day he found this recipe and wanted to try it.  Of course we tweaked it a bit.  (Don't we always?!)  --  (FYI...it took about 2 hours start to finish.  It was easy, but you have to wait for the rolls to rise.)

Sticky Rolls

18 frozen rolls (We used store brand, but Rhodes makes a nice frozen roll, as well.)
3 1/2 oz. pkg. butterscotch pudding mix
3/4 c. brown sugar (packed)
3/4 c. chopped pecans
1/2 c. melted butter

Grease a 9x13 baking dish.  Lay out the rolls in the pan. Melt butter and drizzle over rolls. Mix together dry pudding mix, brown sugar, and pecans; pour over the rolls. Cover with aluminum foil and place in an oven that was preheated to 170 degrees (the "warm" setting on our oven).  Turn the oven off and set a timer for 30 minutes.  Turn the oven on to "warm" again.  Once it's preheated once again turn it off and set the timer to 30 minutes.  (This process is helping the rolls thaw and rise.  OR...you can cover the rolls in plastic wrap and let it sit for 24 hours.  We're not that patient.)  Set oven to 350 degrees and bake for 25 minutes, until golden.  Cool a bit before serving. 


Hey, don't forget to go on over and check out the new Facebook page!  When we get to 200 "likes" I'll have a giveaway!

January 26, 2013

Sour Cream Donuts

Another pin win...kinda...with tweaks (you know me!).  This recipe comes from HERE, though I have tweaked it..quite a bit.  When I made it the first time at the beginning they were overcooked.  The time was off.  All of them were a bit dry.  I didn't overwork the dough compared to this time, either.  This time all I did was add more sour cream and cook them less than directed.  The original recipe says it takes an hour. Between mixing the dough, clean up, then rolling, cutting, frying, and clean up...plan for more like 2 hours!  The family thoroughly enjoyed them!  (As did I!  *smile*)

A few things first, though...  make the dough the night before!  The dough needs to sit in the fridge for a least an hour so if you try to whip these puppies up in the morning your gang is going to be storming the kitchen like Normandy to get something to eat! Consider your self warned by someone who knows.  (The first time "breakfast" ended up being "brunch". A-hem.)

Don't try to surf the web, read a book, go watch TV, or anything else that will take your attention away from this little project!  You MUST WATCH THEM!!  They need to be flipped here and there...see below.

Sour Cream Donuts

2 1/4 cups cake flour (I used Seal of Minnesota)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt (iodized)
3/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/c c. sugar
2 T. shortening (I used lard)
2 large egg yolks
1 c. sour cream
shortening to fry with (I think I used about a half a canister in the fry daddy)
Vanilla Glaze

3 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 1/2 tsp. light corn syrup
1/4 tsp. salt (iodized)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup T. hot water (may need a bit more...you want a smooth, semi-runny consistency)

In a separate bowl stir together flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg together.
In a stand mixer (use the paddle attachment) mix the sugar and shortening or lard for 1 minute on low speed, until sandy consistency. Add the egg yolks, then mix for 1 more minute on medium speed, scraping the sides of the bowl, until the mixture is light colored and thick.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in three separate additions, alternating with sour cream, mixing until just combined on low speed and scraping the sides of the bowl each time. The dough will be sticky, like cookie/biscuit dough.
Transfer the dough to a clean bowl and refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap. (anywhere from 45 minutes to 24 hours, but I'm warning you...don't do this in the morning...mixing and waiting and cooking will be a BIG mistake!  Don't say I didn't warn you!  *smile*)
Heat shortening in a deep fryer (You can use a deep pan and a candy thermometer to measure the temperature, heat oil (at least 2 in/5 mm deep) to 325°F.)  
Roll out the chilled dough on a generously floured counter or cutting board to 1/2 in/12 mm thick, or about 8 in/20 cm in diameter, flouring the top of the dough and the rolling pin as necessary to prevent sticking. Cut into as many doughnuts and holes as possible, dipping the cutter into flour before each cut. Fold and gently reroll the dough to make extra holes (working with floured hands makes the dough less sticky), and cut again.   
Shake any excess flour off the doughnuts before carefully adding them to the hot oil a few at a time, taking care not to crowd them. Once the doughnuts float, fry for 10 seconds, then gently flip them. Fry for 40-55 seconds (depending on how big they are), until golden brown and cracked, then flip and fry the first side again for 35-55 seconds (again, depending on how big they are), until golden brown. Transfer to a rack set over paper towels/absorbent paper.  
Place the confectioner’s sugar, corn /golden syrup, salt, vanilla and hot water in the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. With the machine on low, blend until the mixture is smooth and all of the sugar has been incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl if necessary. If the glaze seems too thick, add more water, a teaspoon at a time. If you made it too runny, add a smidge of confectioner's sugar.
To glaze, dip one side of each hot doughnut into the warm glaze, and let dry before serving.


January 18, 2013

Rosemary Chicken Chowder

I found yet another soup/chowder recipe on Pinterest.  This time, though I tweaked it quite a bit.  You can go check out the original version HERE if you like.  I made it a bit simpler, a bit more economical, and gluten free!  (As usual, this recipe fed our 11 member family...you might want to cut it in half if you don't want as much, but like many chowders and soups it's super yummy the second time around!  I suggest you make single servings and freeze them for lunches and such.

Rosemary Chicken Chowder

2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons butter
2 yellow onions, diced
3 tsp. minced garlic
3 lb. chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
8 cups chicken broth  (or 8 cups hot water and 8 tsp. chicken broth powder --I buy it at our local bulk store)
2 tsp. dried rosemary
2 bay leaves
2 lbs.  unpeeled red potatoes, cut into bite size cubes
1 cups milk

1 cup cream cheese  (1 block) -- room temp  
                               (let it sit out for about 30-45 minutes or warm in the microwave for about 20 seconds)
1 lb. dried northern, white kidney, or cannellini beans (soaked and cooked prior -how to HERE)

                      (or you can use 3 - 4 cans)
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste

Heat butter and olive oil in a dutch oven or stock pot.  Add onions and saute for 5 minutes.  Add garlic and saute for 1 minute.  Add chicken breast pieces and heat until cooked through.  Add potatoes, rosemary, bay leaves, and chicken broth; cook on high until boiling.  Turn down to medium and simmer for 20 minutes (or until the potatoes are tender). Remove bay leaves.  Heat 1 cup of milk in a sauce pan, add cream cheese and whisk to blend in the cream cheese (or microwave milk and add cream cheese and blend in a blender).  Stir milk/cream cheese mixture into pot ingredients and heat through. 

Serve with crackers, croutons, and of course bread or rolls and butter!  

January 14, 2013

Baked Potato Chowder

Another Pinterest WIN for ya'll!  This recipe was super easy! It comes from the Mama Loves Food blog. I didn't tweak it at all...except for the name.  I think "chowder" is more appropriate than "soup".  It was perfect all the way around!  And the majority of the household enjoyed it! 

Baked Potato Chowder

5 pounds russet potatoes, washed and unpeeled.  (Diced into 1/2 inch cubes)
1 medium yellow onion, diced (I diced it into itsy bitsy pieces...hubby doesn't like onion chunks in his food) 
5 teaspoons minced garlic (10 cloves)
8 cups chicken broth (I use instant broth powder from our local Amish bulk store)
16 oz. cream cheese, softened (2 blocks)
1 T. seasoned salt
crumbled bacon, shredded cheese

Throw potatoes, onion, garlic, seasoning salt and chicken broth in a large crock pot.  Cook on high for about 4 hours (until potatoes are soft).  Take out half the potatoes and blend in a blender with the cream cheese, add to the rest of the potatoes/broth mixture.  (Or you can use an stick blender to blend about half of it.)  I did this process and then put the crock pot on warm until dinner..about three hours.  We topped it with cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon.  It served the 11 of us very well (most had seconds, some thirds) and there's a bit left for a few bowls tomorrow for lunch.  It was deelish! Enjoy!

January 10, 2013

Chicken Taco Chili

Well hay there ya'll!!!  Remember me!?!  I'm so sorry for being MIA for a few months.  My Etsy shop got super busy.  The open house I had was a great success, too, and before you know it I was up to my eyeballs in signs, stencils, and paint! 

 (The kiddos for our annual "line up on the steps after we decorate the tree" photo.)

Then, as things were winding down for the shop and Christmastime was here we were all busy enjoying the moments and then we all went and got sick.  We had a small break of illness in time for Christmas week and then the little guy and I got sick again.  I'm still a bit under the weather.  The house is a bit bare.  Christmas decorations are packed away and I have yet to decide where to put all my "usual" decorations.  (And yet to find some towels.  I packed away my regular kitchen towels to put out my Christmas ones and I just can't find them.  So we're still using Christmas towels in the kitchen.  *sigh*)  I want to re-do the living room, kitchen, and dining room (with all things I have on hand, of course), but I haven't felt inspired to do so.  However, I have been inspired to cook a few decent meals! 

 (Little Man smashing up his birthday cupcake...and very happy, might I add!)

After perusing Pinterest I found a recipe for Chicken Taco Chili. I've made a chicken taco chili recipe before and they didn't really love it. I've also heard of some of the epic fails that some Pinterest pins may be. So I had my doubts.  But... It smelled mighty good. And it looked pretty good. I had to wait on the results from the judges family.  After a few minutes of nibbling and tasting I asked who liked it and much to my surprise everyone.  Ev. er. y. one. had their hands up!  Even the little guy!  (He turned 1 in November, by the way!)  It was a hit!  They told me I must share it with ya'll!  Even told me to take a picture! (Even though my food styling skills are soooo bad!)

Chicken Taco Chili

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I cut each breast into thirds)
packet taco seasoning (I use my homemade taco mix HERE)
1 tbsp chili powder

1 can black beans  (soup can size...15 oz??)
1 can kidney beans
1 can corn kernels
16 oz tomato sauce
28 oz diced tomatoes

Place the ingredients in the crock pot in the order listed (I like the seasoning on the chicken to give it better flavor).  Cover and cook for 6 hours on high or 10 hours on low.  The last hour or so I stirred it up and broke the chicken up into bits.  Super easy!  I served it with sour cream, cheddar cheese (mexican cheese blend would have been yummy!), and tortilla chips. 

It was super yummy!  Very heavy on the chicken, though, so it's not as economical for us. There's only enough left for my hubby to take for his lunch tomorrow. Boo.  I like leftovers for lunch the next day! I think next time I might do 4 chicken breasts and then double the rest.  (Oh, and, I did 32 oz. of tomato sauce, and 14 oz.-ish diced tomatoes)

Hope you like it!  Let me know what you think! 
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