Friday, July 21, 2017

Million Dollar Coconut French Toast



Counting change for our Europe trip! When I was younger my dad paid for pizza with change. I thought that was the most horrific thing that could happen. Now I am seeing the benefits of change! My dad gave us his loose change..over $800 dollars worth. We rolled it during breakfast.

Coconut French Toast

Ingredients:
2 eggs
2 1/2 Tb sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cup milk
1 cup flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
Texas toast cut on the diagonal
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut

Heat pan with veggie oil. Mix eggs, sugar, salt, extract, milk, flour, baking powder, and 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut in dipping pan. On plate mix rest of coconuts. Dip bread in egg mix then in coconut. Add to hot pan. Cook till done. Place on paper towel. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Breakfast Porridge


We had the chance to go to Hell's Kitchen in Minneapolis for dinner and were told to get the porridge. For dinner? So glad we did. This has become one of my favorite things to make.


My nut allergy children do not like this so I use nuts!! The original recipe calls for a different nut but I like to use almonds. The original recipe can be found at food.com.

1 cup wild rice
1/2 cup nuts
1/2 cup dried blueberries
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup maple syrup ( I use a very scant 1/4 cup almost 1/8)
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Rinse rice.
Cook rice in 4 cups water for 45 minutes. Drain.
Add all other ingredients and heat through.


Monday, July 10, 2017

Granola Smackdown


I love a food challenge! I love finding the best of the best recipes. These cookbooks hold the answer to what is the best granola question. If you like crunchy seeds go for the family cooks recipe. If you love a hint of orange in your wonderfulness then The 150 Best American Recipes is your recipe. If you love chocolate granola, Sweet in the book for you. These recipes I found were not better than one another but were stand alone great recipes for different occasions. All three are the best. Go to granola recipes.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Quinoa Potatoe Salad- A Thing of Wonder

The Splendid Grain by Rebecca Wood has some great recipes. We love a twist on a summer favorite, potato salad. The recipe below has my changes which includes leaving out pickles, olives and parsley.

Quinoa Potato Salad

Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds potatoes (or 1 pound box pasta for a pasta salad)
2-3 TB balsamic vinegar
1/2 tea sea salt
1/2 tea pepper
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 cups cooked quinoa (tricolored)
1/2 cup onion, minced
1/2 cup mayo
1 Tb Dijon mustard

Cook potatoes until tender but firm. Cube them. Sprinkle with 2 Tb balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. Let stand at room temperature until potatoes are cool. Add celery, quinoa, and onion. Gently toss to combine. Combine mayo and mustard. Fold into potatoes. Sprinkle with paprika.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Creme Brulee Wishes

I love creme brulee but rarely make it. If I had all the time in the world I would make the following different things.

http://www.kitchenbutterfly.com/2013/06/13/technique-how-to-brulee-without-broiler-or-blowtorch/

pumpkin creme brulee (The Weekend Baker pg 213)
ginger creme brulee (The Bon Appetit Cookbook pg 611)
coconut creme brulee (The Flavors of Bon Appetit pg 183)
stove top creme brulee (The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook pg 359)
Lime creme brulee (a small slip of paper in some cookbook)

Friday, June 30, 2017

Cinnamon Roll Heaven

I have been on a quest for great cinnamon rolls for years now. My mother in law makes the best rolls: orange rolls, cinnamon rolls, and dinner rolls. She makes them for Christmas gifts. They are a very worthy gift! 
I have never been able to get them just right. This recipe helped me achieve THE BEST cinnamon roll.


The recipe is originally from the Oregonian by Nicki Cross. I found the recipe in my 150 Best American Recipes cookbook that I have been using since 2006. I have loved everything I have made from this book. I have made changes to the original recipe.

Ingredients:
Dough
1 cup warm water (105- 115 degrees)
2 Tb active dry yeast
1 tea honey
1/4 tea ground cardamon
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup milk, heated to 110 degrees
10 1/2 Tb butter, room temp
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tea salt
7-8 cups all purpose flour (sticky dough)
Filling
8 Tb butter, melted and cooled
1 1/4 cup sugar
3 Tb cinnamon (I like Penzey's)
1/4 tea cardamon
2/3 cup melted butter for pans
1/4 cup sugar for pans

To make dough, combine first 8 ingredients with 3 1/2 cups flour. Mix until smooth.  Add salt with the 4th cup flour. Stir in enough flour to make a slightly stiff but stick to your finger tips kind of dough. I let my Bosch knead the dough for 5-10 minutes.
Place in greased bowl and rise until doubled 1 1/4 hours.
Make filling while raising-mix 1 1/4 cup sugar, cardamon and cinnamon together.
Punch down and rest 5 minutes.
Roll out to 15X20 rectangle.
Spread 1 cube of butter (8 Tb) on the dough. Sprinkle with sugar mixture. Roll jelly roll style and pinch edges shut. Cut into 16 slices.
Use 2 13X9 pans. Pour 1/3 cup melted butter in each pan and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Place cinnamon rolls in pans-8 slices per pan. Cover and let raise 45 minutes or until doubled.
Bake 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until 190 degrees in the center. Cool before frosting.

I like my rolls without frosting. I think they are great as is..but my family loves the extra sugar. The recipe I love the best is from a friend, Amber. It is divine.

Frosting Recipe
1 stick margarine (no butter)
4 Tb cream cheese (room temp)
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tea lemon juice
1/2 tea vanilla

Beat butter, cream cheese, and sugar for 12 minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Yes, margarine and yes, 12 whole minutes! It is worthy it. So yummy.




Sunday, June 11, 2017

Cheesy Mexican Pasta via The Weeknight Dinner Cookbook


http://barefeetinthekitchen.com/category/the-weeknight-dinner-cookbook/

I picked up a new cookbook at the library this weekend. When looking through cookbooks I sometimes find one or two recipes that I really want to try. I flipped through this one and almost every recipe was something I wanted to try! Easy and doable looking the title promotes Simple Family Friendly Recipes.

So I have made 2 of the recipes having the ingredients on hand. Everyone loved them. This one is a pasta dish that was easy and quick to whip up. This cookbook may be a birthday present to myself this year!

Cheesy Mexican Pasta

Ingredients (with my changes):
12 oz bite size pasta-cooked
1 lb ground beef- cooked then seasoned with spices
1TB chili powder
1 1/2 tea ground cumin
3/4 tea salt
3/4 tea pepper
1/2 tea paprika
1/4 tea oregano
1/4 tea garlic powder
1/4 tea onion powder
1/2 tea cornstarch

2 cups chopped zucchini
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes-not drained
1-2 cups fresh or frozen thawed, squeezed spinach

1 cup shredded cheese mix (colby jack)

Top with:
sour cream
green onions
cilantro

Directions:
While noodles cook. Brown meat. When almost done add all spices including corn starch. Add veggies (not spinach) and tomatoes and cook 6 minute with lid on. Stir and add frozen spinach,  replace lid to cook 6 more minutes until veggies are done to your liking. Add drained cooked noodles to pot. Sprinkle cheese on top and replace lid to melt cheese. Serve with toppings.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Bon Appetit Spaghetti and Meatballs


I do believe I have found my favorite meatball recipe. These are amazing...just absolutely fabulous. My coworker says, "I love me a meatball." Well, you would love this one. I make a big batch and freeze the meatball to use in little portions later. I also like to make the meatballs bite size and not super large..adjust cooking time for size of meatball.

Spaghetti with Sicilian Meatballs
The Bon Appetit Cookbook

Meatballs:
2/3 cup fresh breadcumbs made with crustless french bread
3 Tb whole milk
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup minced onion
3 TB fresh basil
1 large egg
2 clove garlic (recipe calls for 1)
1/2 tea salt
1/4 tea pepper
1 lb sweet Italian sausage ( I like to use half sausage and half ground beef)
2 TB pine nuts
2 TB dried currants (really are great!)

Sauce:
Olive oil
1 1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
2 28 oz can diced tomatoes
2 TB chopped fresh basil

Saute onion for sauce in olive oil until golden. Add all other ingredients and simmer 1 hour. Add additional fresh basil, salt, and pepper to taste.
While simmering make meatballs. Soak bread crumbs in milk for 5 minutes. Mix all other ingredients and roll into balls. Bake until light brown, about 30 minutes in a 350 oven. Add to sauce when ready to serve.

Serve over pasta.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Smitten Brownie Cookie


Brownie Roll-Out Cookies
Recipe from Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt (slightly rounded)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Whisk dry flour, salt and baking powder in bowl and set aside. Mix butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and cocoa in mixer. Gradually add flour mixture, and mix until smooth. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least one hour.
Roll out cookie dough on floured counter. Cut into desired shapes, brushing extra deposits of flour off the top. (It does disappear once baked, though, so don’t overly fret if they go into the oven looking white.) Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 8 to 11 minutes (the former for 1/8-inch thick cookies, the latter for 1/4-inch cookies) until the edges are firm and the centers are slightly soft and puffed.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Monday, May 8, 2017

River Run Biscuits

Really Big Buttermilk Biscuits River Run cookbook
Ingredients:
5 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tea baking powder ( I used 1TB)
1 1/4 tea soda
1 tea salt
12 Tb cold butter (I use frozen and shred it into the food processor)
2 1/2 cup buttermilk (I had success with 1 cup heavy whipping cream and 1 1/2 cup milk)

Oven 450 on greased sheet.
Use food processor
Add buttermilk and mix briefly
Knead briefly...gently fold
Pat into 1 1/2 or 2 inches..cut
Sides touching
Bake 15-20 min. Allow to cool

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have made browned butter rice krispy squares and been amazed! I never thought about browning butter for chocolate chip cookies. I saw many recipes and finally decided to make these beauties. So great. The recipe I tried is from Lauren's Latest blog. I was going to try other recipes..but I think I don't need to.

BROWNED BUTTER CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup salted butter {2 sticks} (all I had was unsalted..but it seemed fine)
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, whisked
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I only used 1 1/2 cups and it was plenty)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat, then bring to boil. Once it starts boiling, swirl the pan constantly until the butter passes the foamy phase and becomes a deep amber color. (I didn't swirl...I was busy making lasagne but watching it closely) Remove from heat. Cool 20 minutes. (I was doing other things and waited longer than 20 minutes but it was okay)
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir dry ingredients together to combine.
  4. Add sugars, eggs and vanilla to cooled butter and stir to combine. Pour flour mixture to butter mixture and stir until dough comes together. Add in chocolate chips and stir again briefly to incorporate.
  5. Using a medium 2-tablespoon cookie scoop, drop the dough 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes until edges are lightly golden.
  6. Cool cookies 5 minutes on baking sheet before transferring to cooling rack. Store in airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. (Mine didn't last that long!)

Monday, May 1, 2017

Cheese Steak Philly

My friend gave me her favorite recipes for a Christmas gift. I thought this idea was so clever! I ran to the store to pick up the ingredients for a cheese steak philly. Never have dared make these even though we love them. There is an art here..not too soggy but not dry. Flavorful but not one ingredient stealing the show.
I went to Harmon's to pick up deli roast beef. The meat person asked me what I was making and got so excited when I told her. She told me what kind of meat I needed and how to barely heat. When she asked what kind of cheese I was using I told her about the sauce made with Velveeta cheese. No lie she about had a real heart attack and said I could NOT use Velveeta on such a good meat. The meat was pricey. So she talked me into some wonderful cheese slices.
Wanting to be true to the recipe I did make the cheese sauce..and we all LOVED it. Thanks Camille Cottle.

Cheese Steak Philly
Sauce:
8 oz Queso Blanco Velveeta
1/2 tea pepper
1/4 cup milk

Sandwiches:
6 TB butter
1 onion, sliced thin
1 each red, yellow, green bell pepper, sliced thin
2 lbs thinly shaven roast beef
6 sub rolls

Melt all sauce ingredients in pan. Add milk as needed if too thick. In fry pan saute onion and peppers in butter till soft or crunchy depending on preference. Add meat at last minute just to warm not to cook. Assembly sandwiches.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Frango (like) Mints


Candy seems to be my nemesis. When we first got married I tried making caramel and it broke the glass container it was in when we tried to remove it. Since then I have had a fear of candy making. I continue to try of course. This recipe is one that I can successfully make. I have had the recipe since around 1996.
I was in a group of recipe sharing ladies who would meet once a month and share recipes and the fruits thereof. We could sample and know if we would like to take the recipe. It was so great. I was in the presence of amazing cooks. Most of which I have lost touch with over the year. This is a great sadness and regret of mine.
Ladies would come and go but there was a core 4-5 of us that stayed for years! This recipe came from a 1 timer..didn't even write the name on my old 3 X 5 card. She said the mints came from a famous Frango mint take off. She was mind blown when none of us had heard of Frango Mints. If they are like this recipe they must be really good.

Homemade Chocolate Mints

2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cube margarine (I used butter once and it was a disaster)
1 cup plus 2 T powdered sugar (or more as needed)
2 eggs well beaten
1 tea vanilla
2 tea peppermint extract ( I accidentally used "mint" one year and it was like toothpaste-yuck)

Melt chocolate chips over low heat. Cool. In large bowl cream margarine and sugar. Add beaten eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Mix in cooled chocolate and finally peppermint extract. Drop by teaspoonful on wax paper covered cookie sheet. Chill. (can use almond, run, or coffee instead of mint)

Monday, April 17, 2017

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

Joel says that these cookies are his favorite. I checked this book out of the library mostly because I saw this recipe and thought, "Gross. That sounds disgusting. I must try it." The recipe uses bacon fat. I have made these several times because we do love them. I can't pinpoint which bacon is best but it does make a big difference. The bacon grease can change these from "GREAT" to "What is that taste..Bacon?"

Irma's Chocolate Chip Cookie 
(Made in America Cookbook)

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tea baking soda
1/2 tea salt
8 Tb (1 stick) butter, room temp
1/2 cup bacon fat (dripping from bacon-stored in fridge)
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 tea vanilla
2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts (wish my girls didn't have nut allergies!)

Cream butter, bacon fat, and sugars until super light and fluffy up to 5 minutes. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Add vanilla then dry ingredients. Spoon in chocolate chips.

Bake 350 for 11 minutes. Best fresh.

I have been freezing my cookie dough in dollops. I freeze them by the dozen and can bake 1 dozen fresh when needed. I love this because I can always have fresh cookies within 20 minutes.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Taste of Italy-Tiramisu

Tiramisu (from Italian, spelled tiramisu, meaning "pick me up", "cheer me up" or "lift me up") is a popular coffee-flavoured Italian custard dessert. (Wikipedia)


I have never been one for soggy cakes like Tiramisu, Trifle, or some puddings that are really cakes in disguise. But when in Rome..literally, I tried tiramisu. Okay..it wasn't really Rome it was Florence, Italy. I had other treats in Rome. When in Italy, I loved Tiramisu. It was heavenly and didn't have a soggy cake texture at all.

So I thought I would try my hand at making this fun dessert at home. I used mascarpone cheese, which is worth the extra expense. I used ladyfingers which were hard to hunt down but worth it. I was telling my daughter that it was very similar to a recipe I have for "Mexican Lady Cake". The process was similar, ingredients different, and the end result different. I liked the recipe I found at Mel's Kitchen Cafe because it used hot chocolate instead of coffee which we do not drink or care for the flavor of.

The cake is delightful. It does bring cheer to the soul as does reminiscing about the wonderful place where I discovered that I really loved Italian food, Italian people, and the beauty of Italy. This adult went on an after hours adventure to find great dessert! I succeeded.


Tiramisu-Italian Lady Cake
Mel's Kitchen Cafe Recipe (with my changes)
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 ½ cups good-quality hot chocolate, 1 1/2 cup water and 6 TB hot chocolate powder (Ghirardelli)
  • ½ teaspoon rum extract
  • ½ tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • About 36 crisp ladyfingers cookies/biscuits (I used 1 package with 28)
  • 1 tablespoon natural cocoa powder- I would half this-my kids thought it was too bitter
DIRECTIONS
  1. Make the hot cocoa with 1 1/2 cups hot water and 6 TB Ghirardelli hot chocolate powder. Once it is lukewarm, add the vanilla and imitation rum extract. Due to the high cocoa to water ratio, whisk the cocoa mixture frequently to keep the cocoa suspended.
  2. Set a medium saucepan over medium heat and fill with about 1-2 inches water. Let it come to a simmer while you proceed with the recipe. In a medium bowl (an appropriate size to be placed on the pan that is heating), beat the egg yolks at low speed with a mixer (hand or electric) until just combined. Add the ½ cup sugar and salt and beat at medium-high speed until pale yellow, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula once or twice. Add ¼ cup cream to the yolks and beat at medium speed until just combined, 20 to 30 seconds; scrape the bowl. Set the bowl with the yolks over the saucepan of water that has come to a simmer. Cook the egg yolk mixture, stirring constantly and scraping along the bottom and sides of the bowl with a heatproof rubber spatula, until the egg yolk mixture coats the back of a spoon, about 4 to 7 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir vigorously to cool slightly, then set aside to cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
  3. Add the mascarpone cheese to the cooled mixture and beat at medium speed until no lumps remain, about a minute. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and set aside. In the now-empty bowl (no need to clean the bowl), beat the ½ cup heavy whipping cream at medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, fold 1/3 of the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture. Then gently fold in the remaining whipped cream until no white streaks remain. Set the mixture aside.
  4. Give the hot cocoa mixture a good whisk to combine. Pour it into a shallow baking dish like a pie plate. Dip 1 ladyfinger into the hot cocoa at a time, allowing it to soak up the hot cocoa for about 1-2 seconds per side (I way over soaked mine-soggy in places). Transfer each ladyfinger immediately to an 8-inch square baking dish. Lay the cookies side-by-side to create one even layer. You may have to trim/break the soaked cookies to fit the pan. After finishing the first layer of ladyfinger cookies, spread half of the mascarpone cream mixture evenly over the ladyfingers, spreading to the edges of the pan. Using a small fine-mesh strainer, sprinkle (I would half this) 1/2 tablespoon of the natural cocoa powder over the mascarpone layer.
  5. Repeat the soaking process with the ladyfingers, creating one more layer of ladyfinger cookies over the mascarpone/cocoa layer. Spread evenly with the remaining mascarpone mixture. Dust with the final 1/2 tablespoon of natural cocoa powder. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours to chill and set. This can be made up to 1 day in advance. Cut into squares and serve.

Thank you Mel for sharing a wonderful recipe and giving such clear instructions.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Baked Pumpkin French Toast


Sometimes you find a real gem on the internet! This recipe was such a find. The website is fun..life, love, and sugar. How can you not love that title. She mentions that the original recipe comes from the pioneer woman. Love her too!

I was on a quest to find fun recipes for Thanksgiving. My sister was creating a multi-day menu of wonderfulness for when our whole Zisette family would be in town.
We didn't make this at Thanksgiving but it remained on my mind as one I had to make. So months later I finally made it and it is fantastic. A great fun change when a big breakfast meal is needed.


Overnight Pumpkin Spice Baked French Toast Casserole
Ingredients
Casserole
1 loaf Sourdough Or French Bread 
8 whole eggs
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cups Sugar
2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin

Topping
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon (1/2 tsp + 1/2 tsp)
1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice (3/4 tsp + 3/4 tsp)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, cut in pieces

1. Grease a 9 x 13 casserole dish with butter.
2. Tear bread into chunks and evenly lay out in dish.
3. Whisk together eggs, milk, cream, sugar, pumpkin and vanilla. Pour evenly over bread.
4. Cover and store in fridge for several hours or overnight.
5. In another bowl, mix 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 3/4 tsp pumpkin spice and salt. Add butter and mash into the dry mixture until it all comes together. Store this mixture in the fridge overnight.
6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees the next morning.
7. Remove casserole and pre-made topping from fridge. Crumble pre-made topping and sprinkle over the top of the casserole.
8. For some extra topping to cover areas that aren't covered by the pre-made topping (I like the cinnamon and spice on every bite!) combine 2 tbsp flour, 2 tbsp brown sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 3/4 tsp pumpkin spice (same stuff as the pre-made topping, minus the butter). Sprinkle over top of casserole and pre-made topping.
9. Bake for 45 minutes for a softer, more moist texture. Bake an hour or more for a firmer, less moist texture.
10. Enjoy.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Life Changing Pancakes


Another winning recipe from The Family Cooks by Laurie David. The oat pancakes use almond flour with make these delicate and wonderful. The recipe calls for blueberries...they are great alone. Tender and light.

1 1/2 cup milk
3 eggs
1 Tb maple syrup or honey
1 1/2 cup almond flour
1 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
2 tea baking powder
1 tea salt

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend for 30 seconds. Pour into bowl and let set for 15 minutes before heating on griddle.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Peasant Soup


I got a new cookbook! The Family Cooks by Laurie David. I have made so many amazing recipes and just love this book. One of my favorite recipes is the individual lasagnas. I would say that this soup recipe is my FAV from the book so far.


I have made some changes..additions really. The soup is very forgiving and amazingly yummy.


Peasant Soup

1 medium onion 
4 cloves garlic
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 large carrot, sliced thin (my addition)
1/2 cup pink lentils ( I have not used)
2/3 cup semi-pearled farro (I used whole farro and soaked it overnight)
2/3 cup pearled barley
6 cups chicken broth (original recipe says 4)
Salt and Pepper to taste

I cook the veggies until starting to soften. Then I remove them and add the chicken broth to the pot. Bring to boil and follow the times and additions below.

I add:
1/4 cup brown rice. Set timer for 50 minutes
2/3 cup pearled barley at 45 minutes
1/4 cup black rice at 40 minutes
2/3 cup farro (and lentils) at 15 minutes
1/4 cup rinsed quinoa at 15 minutes

Simmer until tender. Add veggies and season as needed with salt and pepper. I have added orzo to this also! Anything goes. So yummy. Farro can be purchase at the health food store. I keep mine in the freezer. It is really good in this soup.



Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Ranger Bob's Lasagna

Ranger Bob Lasagna

Ingredients and directions:

1 1/2 lbs hamburgers ( I like to use 1 lb hamburger and 1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage)
1 1/2 tea salt
1 1/2 tea garlic salt
1/2 tea pepper
1 tea lemon pepper
1 TB sweet basil
1 1/2 tea Italian seasoning

Cook meat with spices. Drain grease. Add:
2 6 oz tomatoe paste
1 can whole tomatoes (I use a large can not 14 oz)

Simmer 30 minutes.
While simmering mix very well:

2 beaten eggs
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 tea parsley flakes
1 tea salt
1/2 tea pepper
24 oz Ricotta cheese

Boil lasagne noodles with salt and 1 TB olive oil (until Al Dente). ( I don't always use the oil)

Layer in greased lasagne pan (bigger than 13 x 9 pan OR 13 x 9 pan and a 8 x 8):
Noodles
Ricotta cheese mixture
1/2 lb Mozzarella Cheese-shredded
Meat sauce

Noodles
Ricotta cheese mixture
1/2 lb Mozzarella Cheese-shredded
Meat sauce

Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees.


Monday, March 20, 2017

Dance Camp Oatmeal



Years ago I went to a week long family dance camp in upper Idaho. The camp was set on Lake Coeur d'Alene. Breathtakingly beautiful area. The camp was set up for meals family style and for breakfast every morning there was an oatmeal bar. The oatmeal was amazing with toppings like brown sugar, yogurt, granola, and fruit. I got the recipe and it has been one of my go to brunch recipes ever sense. Through the years I have added, tweaked and enjoyed this recipe. My latest tweaking is found below. Although different I will always refer to this as family camp oatmeal.



1/2 cup steel cut oats
1/2 cup bulgar wheat
1/4 cup pearled barley
6 cups water

Add above and boil 10 minutes. Then add:
1/2 cup rolled wheat or rolled triticule flakes
1/4 cup rinsed quinoa

Boil for 10 minutes. Then add:
1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats

Cook till thick about 5 minutes. This makes quite a bit but I like to put it in the fridge and use it everyday until it is gone. It reheats well with a little liquid added.

I like mine with brown sugar and a tad of cream. But yogurt and granola are great on it also.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Great Cookbook and Hot Chocolate


There is something soothing about hot chocolate. For me it is peace in a cup. Now that I have had this recipe I am a tad picky about my hot chocolate peace. I have tweaked the recipe and am now using:

1/2 cup hot milk
1/2 of a 3.5 oz bar of Lindt or Scharffen Berger chocolate bar

Mix till chocolate is melted. Enjoy.

Best ever and so simple.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Christmas Leftovers Hooray!! Baked Pasta with Ham, Tomatoes, and Cheese

I saw on Facebook that someone likes to make ham soup with leftover holiday ham. I wanted to comment with a link to my favorite Christmas ham leftover recipe. To my astonishment I did not have the recipe on my little food blog. How do I have over 300 recipes and not have this gem? This is a whole family favorite.

Baked Pasta with Ham, Tomatoes, and Cheese
adapted from Bon Appetit The Christmas Season cookbook recipe

12 ounces rigatoni (or penne), cooked al dente
1 1/2 cups diced cooked ham
4 large roma tomatoes, diced
1 cup crumbled Feta
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup cottage cheese
1/4 cup hot pasta water (I save more just in case it is dry)
1 1/2 tea dried thyme
1 cup whipping cream

Mix cooked pasta, ham, tomatoes, Feta, Mozzarella, cottage cheese, and thyme. Pour into greased 13 X 9 pan. Pour whipping cream and pasta water over. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to blend. Cover with foil. Bake 15 minutes. Stir to mix melted cheese. Cover again and cook 45 minutes longer.

My friend adds in mushrooms every time she makes it. Sadly, my girls do not like mushrooms.