Thursday, December 13, 2012

Busy People Hominy Chili

Hominy and Kidney Bean Chili

  • 1 Tb olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tea chili powder
  • 1/2 tea cumin
  • 1/2 tea granulated garlic
  • 1/8 tea cinnamon
  • 1 tea oregano
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with green chilis
  • 1 can (15 oz) hominy, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 med zucchini, diced
  • 1 cup fire roasted peppers, diced
  • 1 lb ground beef, browned and salted
  • 1/4 cup cilanto, chopped

Heat oil in dutch oven. Stir in onion and soften. Add spices and cook for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, hominy, beans, and zucchini. Add salt, pepper and chili powder to taste. Bring to a simmer and cook until zucchini is tender. Stir in ground beef, roasted red pepper and cilantro.

Serve with shredded cheese, more cilantro, and lime wedges.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

"Baked" Spicy Brownies Fairy Style

It is always great to learn something new when baking. I learned a lot this week while making brownies for my Baked Sunday Mornings group. My mother gave me a gift certificate to Penzey's Spices. I studied and found what spices I wanted to being chili pepper. I was reading another brownie cookbook and it said that chili powder is not good for brownies unless it is pure.

I immediately jumped up because I wanted to see that my chili powder was not pure...I always thought it was. To my wide eyed surprise I discovered that my chili powders had garlic and cumin in them!! Who wants brownies with that? Yuck. So one of the spices I purchased was pure chili so I could make chili brownies. Side note about my spices: How different could spices be? Well, I have never known what real cinnamon is until Penzey's. I will never go back!

The original "Baked" brownie is one of my favorite recipes. This one not so much. It could be that I have made 4 different brownie recipes recently. One of them "chili brownies" which were outstanding! Even though my husband claimed the cornmeal brownie to be the best on the planet.

So when I made these I was really expecting wowie zowie spicy brownies like the others I had just made. (Baked on the left and the other on the right)  The taste was mellow...but I could taste the ginger. I didn't like the taste of ginger in my brownie. If I made these again I would double the chili pepper and half the ginger. The texture was grand! They were beautiful with a crisp top crust. 

What do you do when you have so many baked goods? 

 We like to divide them up and deliver them. We call ourselves "cookie fairies". Most Sundays are spent baking and delivering to others. It is super fun!!

 This week we delivered: Brownies, Mayan Mystery Cookies, and Preacher Cookies.

Spicy Brownies

Yield: 12 large or 24 small brownies
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder (like Valrhona)
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder (I would double this)
2 teaspoons freshly grated cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger or
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (I would half this)
9 ounces good-quality dark chocolate (60 to 72%), coarsely chopped
2 ounces good-quality milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature (or 6 medium)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch glass or light-colored metal baking pan. Line the pan with parchment paper and butter the parchment. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, chile powder, cinnamon, salt, and ginger and set aside. Melt and combine chocolates and butter. Add both sugars, whisk until completely combined.
Let the mixture come to room temperature. Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until just combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate. Using a spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until there is just a trace amount of the flour mixture visible. Pour the brownie mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
Bake the brownies for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the pan comes out with a few moist crumbs. Remove the brownies from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before cutting and serving.
The brownies can be stored at room temperature, tightly covered, for up to 4 days.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

ABC Weekend Baker Brown Rice Pudding

Even the kids will like this one..and brown rice! A healthy dessert can't be beat. It is very rich..VERY.

Mix your cooked rice with brown sugar, raisins, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

Heat milks to barely boiling and add to rice. Mix until sugar has dissolved.

Bake until top is browned about 1 1/2- 2 hours.

The recipe says to wait 15 minutes until you serve. I couldn't wait!! But, learn from me and wait. It sets up that little bit while cooling and holds the cream better. The flavor is excellent! Everyone wanted more...even my picky kids. This is a keeper.

 Slow-Baked Brown Rice Pudding

Pudding Ingredients:
 1/2 cup raw long grain brown rice, cook al dente and drain
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup raisins (I didn't use)
1 tea vanilla
1/4 tea ground cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg
Pinch salt
1 can evaporated milk
1 1/2 heavy cream

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Pre Christmas Baking Ideas

I was thinking about all the things I want to bake this holiday season. A few are easy and others are more time intensive but worth it. Some of my favorite things I dream about are:

Sticky Toffee Pudding with Brandy Butterscotch Sauce

Christmas Yule Log

And I found a cookbook at the library that has a slew of recipes I want to try: cornmeal brownies, cranberry brownies, and malt brownies to name a few! The Ultimate Brownie book! -2012

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Baked Grits- The marriage of 2 cookbooks

This week for my Baked baking group we made grits. Which we personally love because we spent 5 years in the south! The only main problem is getting real stone ground grits here in the west. We made due with Bob's Red Mill because we ran out of our Mabry Mill Stone Ground Grits..Boo Hoo.

Everyone loved this. It was a nice compliment to our quiche!

With the leftovers you could make the Breakfast Grit Cakes from Modern Hospitality Cookbook.

These really wonderful grits especially with bacon! The only change I made was halving the pepper. I have made them before and prefer slightly less pepper.

I added this picture later..leftovers with ranchero sauce..yummy!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Wonder Cookie

I had the best cookies when visiting my brother and his wife. Her mother made chocolate chip cookies that were to die for. So my assistant and I made some.

The wonder Bug can make a great cookie.

Mix the creamy ingredients until just so..fluffy about 5 minutes.

These cookies are the end of my chocolate chip cookie journey. Thanks Amy!!

                  Chocolate Chip Cookies

Mix in order:

  • 2 cubes margarine
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tsp vanilla
  • 5 cups flour
  • 2 tsp soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 packages chocolate chips

Mix in order given. Before adding dry ingredients (after the eggs) beat with kitchen aide like crazy for about 2-3 minutes. Bake 375 degrees for 10 minutes.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Southwestern Chowder

Something wonderful about winter coming on and having soups and chowders. I love them. The perfect companion to bread, my all time favorite.

This is an easy and soothing chowder.
Southwest Chowder
  • 5 potatoes, peeled and diced

Boil and drain most of liquid. Remove half of potatoes to a blender and add:
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 Tb chicken bouillon

Return to pan and add and heat:
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup diced cooked chicken
  • 1 can white beans, drained
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 2 Tb sugar- I use raw
  • 1 tsp chili powder
Serve with cilantro and shredded cheese.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Fast and Reliable Pie Baked Sunday Mornings

In baking for Baked Sunday Mornings this time, I deviated from the book and  I used another recipe for the crust because I did not have time to wait 30 minutes while the crust chilled. When that happens I use my fallback recipe. It lacks flavor but wow does it hold up to any kind of filling. It is very quick and easy..and if it breaks..its okay..just press it back together.

It is a moist pie crust and does better when rolled into the pie plate rather than folded and put in.

This recipe for Buttermilk Pie (recipe) was easy to whip up.

The directions were easy to is typical of these cookbooks.

I wondered why we should add flour before the filling..anyone?

I also was shocked when I put the pie in the oven to discover that I had forgotten one of the main ingredients!! The maple syrup was sitting on my counter. So I whisked it the pie shell and added another 1/2 tea of flour to the top.

I needed to cook the pie an extra 20 minutes! The center was still very wet. I finally just pulled it out and hoped it would firm up while cooling. It did which made me wonder if I had over cooked it! 

It really was a mellow and wonderful pie. It is humble!! A quick dessert if you needed something fast and reliable. If you have time, check out what my fellow bakers thought of this.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Brain Food- Crockpot Cabbage Rolls

I suppose these are not the most attractive food. ST calls them brains. They are tasty and a fun change. Fairly easy..the crock pot does most of the work.

Take 12 Napa cabbage leaves and boil them about 3 minutes until limp. Drain them on a towel until dry.

Place you filling inside your cabbage leaf and roll it up.

Place in your crock pot.

I like to put my sides in first so no filling falls out.

Fill up the crock pot with your cabbage bundles.

And top with your sauce. Cook on LOW for 7 hours.

Swedish Cabbage Rolls
Mable Hoffman's Crockery Cookery

12 cabbage leaves

Filling Ingredients:
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 tea salt
  • 1/4 tea pepper
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/3 cup uncooked rice

Mix and fill your cabbage leaves.

Sauce Ingredients:
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 Tb brown sugar
  • 1 Tb lemon juice
  • 1 tea Worcestershire

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Corned Beef Hash full of memories

About twice a year I make corned beef and cabbage. It reminds me of my grandmother. She would make corned beef in a crock pot with a can of beer and it was the best dinner ever. She always had meat, potato, a couple of veggies, and always a bread. She had this yellow basket that was at every meal with bread in it. And my grandmothers pie was the best!! She would always have apple and in the summer strawberry pie with fresh strawberries from the garden. I love my grandma. I still remember it.

With the leftovers, I like to make corned beef hash. My moms signature dish, in my mind is hash. We lived on hash..everything but the kitchen sink leftover hash. It was cheap and easy. I bet my brother, Rob, would say my mom's signature dish is shepard's pie but it is hash.

Corned Beef Hash
The Good Enough to Eat Breakfast Cookbook-with my changes

2 lbs potatoes, diced after cooked- while potatoes cook preheat oven to 500 degrees.
1 tea salt
4 Tb butter
1/2 tea pepper
1 1/2 tea paprika
1 cup onion, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup corned beef, cubed

In cast iron skillet (must be cast iron!) melt butter with salt, pepper, and paprika over high heat. When the butter starts to brown add the veggies. Stir till brown. Add potatoes and stir to coat. Add corned beef. If there is sticking add a tad water. Place in oven for 10 minutes and bake 500 degrees until a little crunchy.

Great with a good ol southern biscuit!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Lemon Meatloaves

I made this about 4 years ago. It is one of my favorite things to make and yet...I forgot about it. How is that possible?

Little miniature yummy. And they cook much faster than a regular loaf-bonus.

Lemon Barbecued Meat Loaves

Meatloaf Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground chuck (I also have used 1 lb ground beef and 2 sweet sausage links)
  • 4 slices dried bread, cubed
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tea seasoned salt

Sauce Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tea dry mustard
  • 1/4 tea ground allspice
  • 1/4 tea ground cloves
  • 6 thin lemon slices

Mix all loaf ingredients and shape into 6 loaves. Use greased pan. Bake 350 for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile whisk sauce ingredients. After 15 minutes, baste loaves with sauce and top with lemon slice. Bake 30 minutes longer.