Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Blog Transfer

Because of some weird computer issues I've been having, I've found that wordpress is working better for my blogging. So, please go visit my new blog pages.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


With the recent trend of "deceptive cooking," I've found a way to try and include veggies I normally can't tolerate in our diet. I've always had an issue with the textures of foods, especially anything slippery or slimy like pudding, jello, yogurt, pumpkin pie, squash, etc. However, I know that I need to be able to get things like pumpkin, squash, beets & spinach into my system. So when I saw "Deceptively Delicious" on the shelf at the grocery store (and for a discount), I decided to grab it. I'd also gotten a "sneaky veggies" type book at the library, but the Seinfeld book looked more appetizing.

The basic premise is that you steam your veggies and puree them. Then you include the puree's in other foods that you would normally make. So my first recipe was for Aloha Chicken Kabobs, although I just did them as chicken nuggets.

1 cup bread crumbs (whole wheat if you can find them)
1/4 flaxseed meal
1/2 cup sweet potato puree
1/4 cup pureed pineapple
1 TBSP low sodium soy sauce
1 large egg white
1/4 unsweetened coconut (if you can't find that, just rinse the sweet coconut)
1 pound chicken breast, rinsed, dried, & cut into fingers or nuggets
1/4 tsp salt
2 TBSP flour
1 TBSP olive oil

1. IN a bowl, mix the crumbs & flax meal and set aside.
2. IN a second bowl, combine the sweet potato and pineapple, soy, egg, & coconut. Mix with a fork.
3. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken pieces with salt & then flour. Dip the chciken into the puree mixture and then roll it in the breadcrumbs until fully coated.
4. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cookin spray and set it over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add the olive oil.
5. Addthe chicken in a single layer and brown for 3-4 minutes on one side, until the coating is crisp & golden (reduce heat if browning too quickly). Turn the skewers and cook 4-5 minutes on the second side, until the chicken is cooked through and browned all over.

These were REALLY good. The pineapple was subtle but tasty. Hubby LOVED these.

To puree the sweet potato: Cut the potato into 1-2 inch chunks. Steam until soft. Peel off the skin & place flesh in blender. Puree, adding small amounts of the steaming water if necessary to make mixture more moist.

I don't have a photo right now, but I'll be making these again, so I'll post one later.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Cinnamon Rolls

I've been making a whole lot of cinnamon rolls lately, for various things. I've been craving Cinnabon, but we don't have one around, so this is as close as I've come so far. I think I really need the strong cinnamon for these to taste "just right." I haven't tried it yet, but I think these could easily be made without the pecans and be just as good. I've been using individual boxes of sugar/fat free pudding because they are just over an ounce. The original recipe called for a half box of normal instant pudding mix, & I didn't feel like trying to measure that out more than once. You can do either and it turns out fine.

Cinnamon Pecan Rolls
adapted from a recipe found on AllRecipes.com

1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 small box sugar/fat free instant vanilla pudding mix (approx. 1.3 oz.)
1 cup warm milk
1 egg, room temperature
1 TBSP sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4 cups bread flour
1 packet(.25 oz) OR 2 1/4 tsp yeast

Place items into bread machine pan in order listed. (The yeast should not touch the liquid until the machine is turned on.) Set the dough machine to dough cycle and press start.

Place the above items, except flour, into a mixing bowl and combine slowly until all ingredients are combined. Slowly add the flour until it is all encorporated. Change to a dough hook, or place on a well floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. Cover dough with wax paper and a towel & place in a warm place to rise until doubled.

In the meantime combine the following in a bowl and set aside:
1 cup brown sugar
4-6 teaspoons ground cinnamon (according to flavor preference)
3/4 cup chopped pecans

Also coat the bottom and sides of a 9x13 pan with butter.

When dough has risen, turn it onto a floured surface and roll into a 17x10 inch rectangle. Spread entire rectangle with 1/4 cup softened butter or margarine. Spread sugar & nut mixture over butter.

Roll up the dough starting on one of the long sides. Slice the finished "log" into 15 pieces (or 18 for slightly smaller rolls) and place into the 9x13 pan. Let rise again in a warm place until doubled (45-60 minutes).

Preheat the oven to 350*. Bake about 20 minutes or until top edges are just turning golden brown. Turn rolls onto a cooling rack to cool thoroughly if you are going to freeze them for later. Otherwise, serve them warm, straight from the pan & spread tops with icing.

(I found this was a little too heavy on cream cheese flavor for me, so I halved the amount of cream cheese the second time & it was better.)

Cream together & spread on warm rolls:
4 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 tsp milk

Friday, November 9, 2007

Up at 5 am

It's 5 am and I'm awake whether I like it or not. Apparently, over the course of two days, my body decided it can survive on just 5 hours of sleep. Great...perhaps that's also why I'm sick. But the lack of sleep was worthwhile since I had fun making a bunch of baked goods for the big sale at church. I didn't keep track of everything, but it had to have been something like a gross of cookies (at least), 4 dozen cinnamon rolls, a bunch of mini quick breads, and some beer bread. It seemed well received and when I arrived at the sale three hours after it started, a lot of it was already sold.

I should have gotten the baking out of my system with all of that, but I still had a bunch that I wanted to get done yesterday to send out to people. Unfortunately my errands took all day and then I started feeling yucky. I'm not sure I will have time to do it today either, so my BGEX girl, may have to wait another few days. :-( I suppose I could start on it all now, but that would guarantee that I'm not getting anymore sleep, and that doesn't seem like a good idea if i'm trying to fight off germs. Like anyone wants my germs on their food anyway.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Baking Exchange

My baked goods arrived today from my secret baker. She sent snickerdoodles and some yummy breadsticks. I think Brian was even more excited to open the package than I was since I've been talking about it for a couple of weeks now and waiting anxiously for it. I told him we had to take a picture before he could eat anything and he was being very impatient:

Cheezy Halloween Hats

I saw these in a halloween magazine and thought they were cute. They are supposed to be witches hats. You just use cresent dough, mix up some cream cheese, parmesan, & chopped up pepperone. Spread on one cressent triangle, place another triangle on top & pinch together to form a "calzone." Fold up the bottom to make the brim of the hat. Spread with egg wash & sprinkle with a bit of cheese & pepperoni for decoration. Their picture was cuter, but the hubby really liked these. We had them with spaghetti. They are pretty big though and could be a meal in and of themselves.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Mmmmm, cheese

I jumped on the cheesy potato soup band wagon and tried this on Monday. I needed something quick & easy, and this fit the bill better than other recipes I could find without having to look very hard. I apparently had used up all of our broccoli already, so I had to use broccoflower instead, which B. likes better anyway. I used red skin potatoes and left the skin on some, so I got red specks of color from those and green from the veggies. It looked quite pretty. I want to add some diced ham to this next time as I think it will make it even yummier (although topping with bacon is really good. I added a little bit extra cheese because I wanted it a little more thick & creamy. I baked up a couple of pillsbury whole wheat frozen dinner rolls and they were great for dipping in the "broth." This will definitely be on our list to make again, when my mom's creamy potato soup (no cheese) won't quite hit the spot.

Thanks Nikki for a great recipe: http://crazydeliciousfood.wordpress.com/category/soup/