Wednesday, June 28, 2006

An Apple for the Teacher

This Sunday I took Apple Cake to Sunday School so that there would be an option other than dough nuts! This was a really easy recipe to make. It got rave reviews from the class.

Apple Cake

1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
5 1/2 tablesppons butter, toom temp
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 medium granny smith apple

Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease a 9 inch baking dish or pie pan. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt. Combine 1/2 cup sugar with the cinnamon and set aside. In the bown of a mixer, cream the butter and remaining sugar. Beat in the egg until blended. Add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk, beting until combined.

Spread half the mixture in the baking dish. Lay the apple slices on the batter so they just cover the batter. Sprinkle half the sugar cinnamon mixture over the apples. Put remaining batter over apples. Sprinkle remaining cinnamon sugar on top. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown and apples start to bubble. Remove from oven and enjoy!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Philip's "Phave"

Can you imagine a college freshman being picky? Well, my brother is picky about his desserts. This is one of the few that he likes. It is a symphony brownie. This is better with the Symphony bars with nuts, but he doesn't like nuts; so, we either use the plain symphony bars or Butterfinger chocolate bars. This is a very EASY but yummy brownie. I think he likes it!

Symphony Brownies

1 pack Martha White brownie mix (for a 13 X 9 pan)
3 symphony (or Butterfinger, really any chocolate bar you want)
ingredients called for on back of brownie mix (probably oil, water, and egg)

Follow mixing instructions and preheating instructions on back of brownie mix. Spread half of batter in the bottom of a 13 x 9 pan. This may seem difficult, but it is possible. I've done it many times! Place the 3 bars on top of this batter. Sometimes I break the bars to spread over the batter evenly. Spread the remaining batter on top of the chocolate bars. Again, this may seem hard, but YOU CAN DO IT!!!! :-) Bake for 31-32 minutes. Yes, a strange time, but it works. Enjoy!

HINT: If you can't wait for it to cool to cut it, use a plastic knife. If pulls right through without crumbling the brownie! Pretty neat stuff. Try it some time!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Sunday Dinner

One of my favorite things to do is make Sunday lunch for my family. During the school year, my parents invite college students over for a home cooked meal; so that makes it even better. Because they are moving, we haven't had anyone over this summer. But that doesn't me WE don't need to eat. One of our all time favorites is chicken breast supreme. Although I know how to make this, and have done it before, Mama is usually the cook on this one. It is a GREAT meal to serve on Sunday, in that it cooks while you're at church.

Chicken Breast Supreme
8 chicken breasts (this is a LOT of chicken, we don't usually use this much)
1 package chipped beef or 4 oz dried beef
8 slices bacon (we use turkey bacon)
1 can cream of mushroom soup (we use 98% fat free)
1/2 pint sour cream (1 cup) (I sometimes use yogurt)

Line 13 X 9 pan with chipped beef.

Place chicken on top of beef and bacon on top of chicken. Mix soup and sour cream. Pour over chicken and bake in 275 F degree oven for 3 hours. If you want a very soupy sauce, cover with aluminum foil. I think the ideal method would be 1.5 hours covered, 1.5 hours uncovered. This makes for a very moist piece of chicken.

Serve with rice, vegetable, and fruit. This week we have fresh green beans (just cook in water with bullion), white rice (I prefer brown), and watermelon (YUMMY!).

Friday, June 23, 2006

Monkey Bread

I'm working in the pediatric ambulatory clinic this summer. Many of the kids who come in are there for a "well child" visit. If they truly are a well child and are toddlers, these kids are ALL OVER the place, just like monkeys. Thus, in honor of the little "monkeys" that I work with this summer, I present for your tasting enjoyment (visual enjoyment if you just like dreaming about how the food would taste!)...monkey bread.

I have seen much debate over the name of this treat. It's been from monkey bread to bubble bread to pluckin' bread to (according to Paula Dean) gorilla bread. I am a bit partial to monkey bread. From what I understand, the name comes from the method of eating it. You pick off the pieces just like a monkey would!

This version comes from my mom's friend in Virginia.
Monkey Bread

4 10-pack biscuits (There is a 4 pack that Pillsbury sells fairly inexpensively that is perfect for this)
3/4 cup sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 cup margarine or butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cut biscuits in quarters. Combine sugar/cinnamon. Put in a bag or bowl with a lid. Add biscuits and shake the bag. Place biscuits in a greased bundt pan.

Melt the margarine. Add sugars and stir. Pour this mixture over the biscuits. Bake for 35 minutes. Let cool. Invert onto serving plate and go to picking like a monkey!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Roasting Away

The title of this post not only refers to the weather here in good ole Mississippi, it refers to my food tonight! If you've never roasted vegetables, you are missing out! Roasting brings out flavors in vegetables that you don't taste otherwise. I think one of my favorite veggies to roast is asparagus. Of course, this is more of a spring veggie. Tonight, after finding a piece of left over grilled chicken that needed to be eaten and remembering that I had two zuccini in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator that I bought a week and a half ago, I decided to roast the zuccini to eat with the yummy grilled chicken from my Daddy!

All you have to do is choose your vegetable, prep it, spray with cooking spray or olive oil, sprinkle with good seasoning, and cook. For the zuccini, I washed it, cut in round, and seasoned with garlic powder and Tony's. Preheat the oven to 425 F and cook the vegetables for 15 minutes or until tender. Enjoy with what ever your little heart desires. Any leftovers make GREAT add-ins for omlettes, one of my FAVORITE quickie meals. That's my comfort food.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Rolling Away

I have a cookie cookbook called The Cookie Bible. After purchasing it, I promptly didn't use it; so, I recently had my dad pick out several cookies he wanted to try. The cookie for this week is cinnamon roll cookies. This is a refrigerated cookie that is rolled. It turned out really good. In fact, I was told that Monday night, Daddy very dramatically slammed the cookie container shut, slid it away from him and said, "I could eat ALL of those!" My mom's comment, before she knew the name, was "It tastes like eating a cinnamon roll." I'd say these were a success.

Cinnamon Roll Cookies
1 cup butter flavor Crisco shortening (I used regular flavor)
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Sugar mixture
4 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon

Combine shortening and sugar and beat at medium speed until well blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla until well blended. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Add to creamed mixture; mix well. Turn dough onto a sheet of waxed paper. Spread into a 9X6 inch rectangle (mine was larger) using a rubber spatula. Sprinkle 4 Tablespoons sugar mixutre to within 1 inch of edges. Roll up jelly-roll style into log (be careful not to let dough crack). Dust with remaining sugar mixture. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap; refrigerate 4 hours or overnight (I did overnight).

Heat oven to 375 F. Spray cookie sheet (or use baking stone) with cooking spray. Slice dough 1/4 inch thick. Place on prepared sheets. Bake for 8 minutes or until lighty browned on top. Cool on cookie sheets 4 minutes; transfer to cooling racks.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Simple yet...simple

What's for treat this week in "The Link" movement class? Take a wild guess. If you guessed the ever classic Rice Crispy Treat, you're right! This is such a simple but fun treat for kids. It's fairly simple to make but has the tendency to be messy and stick and shown by my mess...

All you need for this is 4 cups of mini-marshmallows, 3 T margarine or butter, and 6 cups of rice crispy cereal. The first thing you do is melt the butter in a sauce pan over LOW heat...

When the butter has melted, put the marshmallows in and stir until they are melted...
When they have melted, remove from heat and stir in the cereal. ONce combined, put in a greased 13x9 pan. Press down with wax paper that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Cut into desired number of pieces when cool. Feel like a kid again and enjoy!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Upon inspiration from Anna at Cookie Madness and in need of an easy snack to take to Bible study tonight, I made the ever popular cracker candy. I made some slight modifications to the recipe. I also found that I prefered the candy straight out of the refrigerator rather than at room temperature. But then again, that tends to be how I like fruit as well...wait...that doesn't really make much sense does it? Candy...fruit? Anyway...

Cracker Candy
24 whole wheat saltine crackers (covers bottom of 13 X 9 pan)
1 stick margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar
hand full of pecans (optional)
2/3-1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 F. In a 13 X 9 pan place a sheet of parchment paper. Cover this with the saltine crackers. Put pecans on top of crackers. Melt margarine in a sauce pan. Add the sugar and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes. Immediately pour over crackers and spread. Place in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately put chocolate on top. After a minute or so, spread the now soft chocolate. Place in refrigerator and chill for at least 30 minutes. Remove from pan and paper. Break into toffee pieces and enjoy!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Meat and Potatoes

Today was Father's Day, as everyone knows. I gave my dad a book called The Physics of Superheroes. I don't think he was expecting it but was really excited about it. If you were wondering, he is a physics professor!

Anyway, his request for lunch was brisket and potatoes. Not really my kind of meal, but, hey, it's his day! Soooo...I researched mashed potatoe recipes (I don't make many potatoes). I found one that was for buttermilk mashed potatoes and one for garlic mashed potatoes. We LOVE garlic, after discovering it while living in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. It is delicious after roasting! Anyway, I combined the two recipes and came up with this delicious mashed potato, and I'm not even a potato person.

Garlic Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
4 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut in small cubes
6 cloves garlic, peeled
3/4 cup buttermilk
1-2 T butter/margerine
2 t salt
fresh ground black pepper
sprinkle of chives

In a pot, cover the potatoes and garlic with water and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to medium and cook for 20 minutes or until fork tender. Drain. Begin to mash with a potato masher. Add margarine. Mash. Add buttermilk and salt and mash. Add pepper and stir. If you need more buttermilk for the desired consistency, feel free to add it. Put into serving dish, top with chives, and enjoy!

Good compliment to brisket, roasted asparagus, squash, and peaches! This was our Father's Day meal.

Friday, June 16, 2006

One of our Christmas morning traditions is to open presents while our breakfast casserole cooks. It is made the night before and sets overnight. Then, as the presents as opened a wonderful aroma a casserole waftst through. This is an easy, savory bread pudding type casserole. I just made it for a baby shower brunch and it didn't take much hands-on time.

Breakfast Casserole
6 slices of bread (wheat or white), cubed
1 lb sausage, cooked and drained
4 eggs
2 cups milk
1 t mustard
salt, pepper
1-2 cups cheese (I use 1)

Put bread on bottom of 13 X 9 casserole pan. Top with cooked sausage. Combine and whisk eggs, milk, mustard, salt, and pepper. Put cheese on top of sausage. Pour egg mixture over all. Cover and let sit in refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight. Remove from refrigerator and uncover. Cook for 30-40 minutes or until slightly browned and bubbly.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

When someone mentions strawberry shortcake for dessert, I think most people think of either bisuit style cakes or the store-bought sponge cakes. I don't. This is what I think of...a homemade cake in a pie pan! This is my strawberry shortcake. The cake recipe comes from Southern Sideboards. I served this at a Sunday School get-together and everyone loved it. They couldn't believe there was no vanilla and thought it had an original flavor.

1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon each butter, shortening
1/2 cup milk
ice cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Stir together dry ingredients. Cut in butter and shortening. Stir in milk. Put in 8 inch pie plate. Sprinkle with extra sugar and dot with butter. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream, berries, and cool whip.

Friday, June 09, 2006

When I was little, we would get sandwiches from Sal and Phil's that were SOOOO good. Little did I know that this was the classic muffuletta. Fast forward 20 years and I have to turn in some recipes for a Mortar Board smorgasboard cookbook. I decided that I wanted to make something different. My idea...a muffuletta pinwheel. So, my loving mother finds an olive salad recipe, and I use that as the filling of the pinwheel. Today, the clinic I am working in had a farewell party for a nurse, so I decided to take these; however, I didn't have all the ingredients I needed, so I modified the recipe. This is a better recipe and more my own. If you need a simple, delicious appetizer and like muffulettas, this is for you!

Muffuletta Pinwheels

2 packs of cressent rolls
1 10 oz. bottle of spanish (green) olives
1 10 oz. bottle of black olives
5 garlic cloves, minced
a dash garlic powder
~1/4 cup olive oil (I didn't measure this. Just put enough that it looks "right" to you)
8 sliced deli ham
4 slices provolone cheese
5 cheese Italian blend (if desired)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Chop the olives (both). Mix with garlic, garlic powder, and olive oil. Open the crescent rolls (there are four "rectangles" per package). Press down each rectangle until slightly larger than it started. On one long side place the ham (torn in half). The ham should cover the long side. Take half a slice of cheese and place of the ham (this is torn in half as well). Spoon some olive salad over this. I didn't measure how much, but if there is too much you'll know; it won't roll! Sprinkle the extra cheese on this if using it. Roll from the stuffed side toward the other. Use a serrated knife to cut the pinwheels. Place in a greased round cake pan (as you would place cinnamon rolls) almost touching. Bake for around 11 minutes or until slightly browned. Remove and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Need a sweet treat without chocolate? That's what I prefer. I know, I know...what kind of female am I? Odd I guess! This is a great recipe to do with children. It's fun and interactive. We actually have a picture of me and mama making these cookies when I was about two! Oh, the memories! What are these cookies I speak of...the ever popular snickerdoodles!


1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
¼ cup milk
3 ¾ cups flour
1 t cream of tartar
½ t baking soda
½ t salt
3 T sugar
1 t cinnamon

Preheat to 375. Mix butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and milk. Mix together dry ingredients. Blend in dry ingredients. Shape dough into balls. You may need to refrigerate for a little for ease of handling. If you don't have time for that, just use spoons, as seen in the picture above. Roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake for 8-11 minutes or until set. Immediately remove from baking sheet and allow to cool on cooling rack. Enjoy!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Real Biscotti

What goes with coffee better than coffee cake? Biscotti! This wonderfully crispy, textured cookie is not only flavorful but great for dipping. Yes, some people may claim that it is not edible UNLESS it is dipped, but I argue differently. You simply must have a good recipe. However, if you insist upon dipping there are many different options for the dipping liquid. Try coffee, tea, or milk. I'm sure hot chocolate would even work!

The recipe I use is from Giada DiLourentes. Because of this, I tend to think that it is more accurate to the Italian roots of this cookie. Although the original recipe calls for citrus zests, you can play around with what you add into the dough. I've done almonds, bluberries, craisins, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, and pecans; all of these were delicious. My only warning is to put these INTO the dough. As you see from the picture, I put the WCC's on top of the dough. This doesn't work well. The chips just browned and fell off! Here is the recipe. Also, I use corn meal and have used splenda with no negative consequences. Put this to use and ENJOY!!!