Friday, October 30, 2015

Onion Rings

I am not going to lie, before my husband I despised onions. If it had onions in it, I wasn't eating it. But I do have to admit they aren't bad (cooked... I am still on the fence about raw onions.) I made these for a snack for us before we went squirrel hunting. They were so delicious and yummy. Now if I could only figure out how to make the Bloomin' sauce from Outback....

Onion Rings
1/2 c buttermilk
1 egg
1 large sweet onion
1/2 c all purpose flour
Old Bay to taste (I used about 2 tsp)
Salt and Pepper to taste ( I used about 1/2 tsp)
2 Tbsp olive oil
Pam Cooking Spray
1/2 tsp kosher salt


Preheat oven to 400
1. Whisk buttermilk and egg until blended.
2. Cut onion into 1/4 inch thick slices. Separate into rings. 
3. Dredge rings through flour, dip in buttermilk coating well, and dredge back through flour.
4. Heat olive oil in skillet. Fry onions in batches for about 1 minute on each side.
5. Place fried onions onto a aluminum lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray. 
6. Bake for 3 minutes, turn onions over and bake for an additional 3 minutes.
7. Remove from oven and sprinkle with salt.

Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread

My husband has been after me to make this bread. I finally made it and it did turn out really good. It does take some time and is probably more of a weekend project, but it is really good. It isn't that difficult but there is a lot of waiting. This would be really good to do when you have other things to get done that would take about an hour or so to finish. I also got to use my new rolling pin for the recipe. I highly recommend it (KMN Aluminum Rolling Pin).

Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread

**For the dough:
1 packet rapid rise yeast
1 c warm milk
3 1/4 c all-purpose flour
4 Tbsp butter at room temperature
1/4 c sugar
1 large egg
1 1/4 tsp course salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 c raisins
Olive Oil 
**For the filling
3/4 c sugar
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp water
1 egg, lightly beaten

1. In a Kitchen-Aid mixer bowl: combine yeast, warm milk, flour, butter, sugar, egg, salt, and cinnamon. Mix until dough forms. Then switch to dough hook and knead on low until dough is mostly smooth and clears the sides of the bowl (around 3 minutes).
2. Add raisins to the mixture and continue to knead for 3 more minutes. Until the raisins are evenly incorporated.
3. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, turning over to coat. Cover bowl with kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled. (About an hour)
4. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. 
5. Pat into a round and then fold into thirds. Then take the ends and told into thirds again. Pressing down to seal.
6. Return to the bowl, cover and let rise again until doubled. (about 40 minutes)
7. Butter a 9 x 5 loaf pan and make the filling. Make the filling by combining sugar, cinnamon and water into a bowl. Whisk until well combined. 
8. Return dough to floured work surface. Roll dough into a 10 x 2 inch rectangle. 
9. Brush lightly with egg and sprinkle the filling. Leave a thin border around the edges.
10. Fold the edges of the long side about 1 inch.
11. Begin on one end, roll the dough up into a tight spiral log. Gently pressing as you go.
12. Pinch the seam shut and place, seam side down, into the loaf pan.
13. Cover loosely with towel and let rise for about 30 more minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425.
14. Once the loaf has risen, brush the top with the remaining egg and put into oven to bake for about 45 minutes. Rotate halfway through the baking time. (Mine was getting really brown on top so I placed a tin foil tent on top and continued to bake the rest of the way.)
15. Let cool for 5 minutes and then place on wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Buttermilk Biscuits

Who doesn't love a good crumbly, melt in your mouth biscuit? I absolutely love them and have tried ever different kind of canned biscuit and never got the results I wanted... until I found this recipe! It is adapted from an Amish cook book that I picked up. Amish cooking is something that I have really enjoyed. Their recipes are simple but make some of the most delicious food you will ever eat. I highly recommend picking up a book or two if you see any. This recipe was adapted from Classic Pennsylvania Dutch Cooking. These really take no time at all to make.

The original recipe called for vegetable shortening, I substituted lard in at a 1:1 ratio. Lard actually is better for you since shortening has a lot of chemicals. Also, if you do not have any buttermilk you can make some by adding 1 Tbsp cider vinegar or lemon juice to 1 c milk (my friend Ashlee told me that little nugget of information! I never have to buy butter milk AGAIN!)

Buttermilk Biscuits
Makes 16 biscuits
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c lard
1 egg, lightly beaten
2/3 c buttermilk


Preheat oven to 400*F
1. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
2. Cut lard into chunks and add into the flour mixture. Use a pastry cutter and cut into the mixture. 
3. Stir in egg and buttermilk, mixing well.
4. Knead lightly on floured surface and pat or roll to about 3/4-inch thickness. (I left mine a little thicker. Better too thick than thin.)
5. Using a floured biscuit cutter, cut biscuits and place onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
6. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Eggplant Tortellini with Peppers

I never had tried eggplant let alone cooked one before this. Not only are the wonderful to eat but they have a very nice smell when they are cooked. I do want to try other recipes with eggplant after this experience. This would be really good served with some french bread or other crusty bread.

Eggplant Tortellini with Peppers
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 med. eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 bell peppers, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
3 c vegetable broth
1 lb cheese tortellini
1/4 c parsley
1/2 c grated Parmesan 

1. Heat oil in a large skillet.
2. Add egg plant, bell peppers, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper. Cook until the vegetables begin to soften (between 6-8 minutes)
3. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook for 1 more minutes.
4. Add the broth and tortellini. Simmer, covered, stir occasionally, until tortellini is cooked and most of the broth is absorbed. (12-15 minutes)
5. Stir in parsley and add 1/4 c Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle with remaining cheese before serving.

**Note: I made these again and this time I added mushrooms and used chicken broth instead of vegetable broth. It was even better!!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Homemade English Muffins

One thing that I have learned through creating this website is that I obviously have a thing for carbs! Oh well.. it could be worse... right? English muffins are some of my favorite breakfast items. I love a freshly toasted English muffin with butter and jelly! This recipe ends up coming to around 8 cents per muffin not to mention they are fresh and delicious!

English Muffins

1 package active dry yeast
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 c warm water
1/2 c whole milk
2 Tbsp butter 
3 c flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 c cornmeal (optional)

1. In a small bowl, mix the yeast, sugar, and warm water. Let sit about 5 minutes, until foamy on top.
2. Combine 1 1/2 c of flour and salt in large bowl. Mix well. 
3. In another microwaveable bowl, combine milk and butter and microwave for 30 seconds, stir and microwave for 30 more seconds. Continue until the butter has melted.
4. Pour the yeast mixture and milk mixture with the flour. Stir until it makes a pastry mix. Add 1/4 c of flour at a time until the dough forms a soft, slightly sticky ball that pulls away from the bowl.
5. Sprinkle flour on countertop and coat your hands (this is the messy part). Knead it for 5 minutes. 
6. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in the bowl that has been coated with non stick spray. Lightly spray the top of the dough and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise for 45 minutes to an hour. It should double in size.
7. Punch dough down, shape it into a ball again. Cover and let rise again for 45 minutes to an hour or until doubled again.
8. Punch dough down again and place it on a well floured countertop. 
9. With a rolling pin, roll dough until its close to 3/4 inch think (err on the side of caution). Using a biscuit cutter, cut dough into circle. (Cut as many, re-roll the ball and cut out again)
10. Place the cut dough circles on a sheet pan that has been sprinkled with cornmeal and sprinkle the tops (optional). Cover loosely with a damp towel and let rise until they are doubled in size.
11. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Carefully place muffins in skillet. Cook the muffins in the skillet until they are golden brown and crispy on each side (about 4 - 6 minutes each side.) 
12. Let muffins cool on wire rack. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Pecan Crusted Chicken with Tortellini

Being from the south fried chicken is a staple and so good but on my quest to cook and eat better I have messed chicken and made it a little better to eat. This is so good and the pecans give it a crunch. We ate this dinner until we both could not move from the table.


 Pecan Crusted Chicken and Tortellini Noodles
For Chicken:
4 chicken breast, cut in halves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 c finely chopped pecans
3/4 c panko bread crumbs
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 Tbsp olive oil

For Tortellini:
1 package of refrigerated cheese filled tortellini
1/2 c butter
3 garlic cloves. thinly sliced
3 Tbsp basil
3 Tbsp parsley
1/4 c Parmesan Cheese (optional)

1. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper while preparing tortellini according to package.
2. Mix the pecans and bread crumbs in a bowl 
3. Place egg in a second bowl
4. Put chicken in egg and let it drip and then dredge through the pecan mixture, pressing firmly to adhere.
5. Heat olive oil in a skillet and cook the chicken on medium high for 2 minutes on each side until done.
6. Whip skillet clean.
7. Melt butter in skillet and add garlic, saute for 5 to 7 minutes, until the garlic is a light brown color. 
8. Remove from heat and stir in basil and parsley. Add in the tortellini.
9. You can sprinkle with cheese before serving.

adapted from Southern Living Feel Good Food

Monday, October 19, 2015

Crockpot Broccoli Cheese Soup

Fall is the best time of the year, its when we got married, football is back, hunting, the leaves, and of course it is the best time to make soup. 

One of my favorite memories was coming home from practice in the fall time and mom was making soup. 

This soup is delicious and even better in a bread bowl!

Crockpot Broccoli Cheese Soup

4 Tbsp butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 16 oz bag of frozen Broccoli
1 12 oz can evaporated milk
1 10.5 oz can of cream of mushroom soup
1 10.5 oz can of cream of celery soup
1 10.5 oz can of cream of chicken soup
1 lb Velveeta Cheese, cubed
1/4 tsp pepper

1. Spray crockpot with Pam cooking spray
2. Heat butter in a skillet and saute onion
3. In a large bowl mix all of the ingredients and pour into the crockpot
4. Cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4 hours

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Bread Bowl

Surprise, another post on bread. Please tell me someone who does not want to eat soup from a bread bowl. I would not believe you. This bread is so good by itself and even better with your favorite soup in it. The Crockpot Broccoli Cheese Soup is so good in it.

Easy Bread Bowl

1 1/2 c warm water
1 packet instant yeast
1 Tbsp sugar
3 1/2 c bread flour
2 tsp salt
Glass container with ice with baking

1. In mixer, dissolve yeast and sugar in water for about 5 minutes, until foamy.
2. Add 3 cups of flour and salt, mix. Adding the rest of the flour 1/4 cup at a time, until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. You might have to add extra as needed. Knead until smooth for about 5 minutes.
3. Place dough in lightly sprayed bowl and cover with a damp kitchen towel for 30 minutes to rise.
4. Preheat oven to 500 and place the container with ice in the oven. Punch dough down and divide into 4 equal sized pieces. 
5. Shape each piece into a ball and place on a lightly sprayed baking sheet. Score the top of each roll. Sprinkle with salt and spray warm water and let rise for 15 minutes.
6. Put in oven for 2 minutes, then reduce heat to 425 and bake for 16 more minutes or until golden brown.