Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Glad to Be Back

I was delighted to return to the cyberhood and see that y'all kept up the chit-chat while I was gone. The recipes look great. Alison, glad to see some posts from you!

When recipes, time, and computer all coincide, I'm going to post my two Easter successes: Gumdrop Cake, one of Darren's grandmother's specialties; and Orange-White Chocolate Cheesecake... yeah, it was pretty good.

Got to rush!

-- SJ

Friday, March 25, 2005

One a penny, Two a penny

There's still time to mix up a batch of Hot Cross Buns for Sunday morning. These were easy and (we sampled one each last night) very delicious.

1 pkg active dry yeast
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. Salt
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup currants (can't find them around here, so I used raisins. A bit largish, but workable.)
1/4 cup diced citron, optional (I didn't use it. I'm not even sure what it is.)

Combine yeast, 1 cup flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a mixing bowl. Heat milk and butter to about 125 degrees (feels quite warm on your wrist), pour over dry ingredients and beat until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Gradually add remaining flour, beating well. Mix in currants and citron. Turn out on a floured board and knead until smooth and satiny. Place in a greased bowl and butter top lightly. Cover and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled.

Turn dough out on a floured board and knead lightly. Cut off pieces about the size of a golf ball. roll between the palms of your hands. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet, cover and let rise until almost doubled in size. With a razor blade or sharp knife, cut a cross in the surface of each bun. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack. Drizzle lemon glaze over tops of buns in a cross design:

1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
1 1/2 tbs. milk

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Spring ahead with a light salad

It's getting warmer here and I thought a nice light salad might be a good recipe to post. I can't wait to try this one...

Salmon-Asparagus Salad

1 lb. fresh asparagus, diagonally cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 lb. salmon fillets
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. red pepper
6 cups mixed salad greens
3 plum tomatoes sliced
1 cub shredded carrots
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
14 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup bottled vinaigrette dressing (or homemade)

Arrange asparagus in a steamer basket over boiling water; cover and steam 4 to 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Sprinkle salmon with salt and peppers. Grill, covered with grill lid, over high heat 10 to 12 minutes per inch of thickness or until fish flakes with a fork. Flake salmon into chunks and plate over mixed greens. Toss with tomatoes, carrots, goat cheese, pine nuts; drizzle with vinaigrette.

Serves 6
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 15 min

* Option: Use pre-grilled or smoked salmon to save prep time.
* Optional Subsitute feta for goat cheese

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Vegetable Cheese Rolls

One of our family friends made this recipe up. Ever since we tried it it has been a family favorite and requested for birthday meals. We even served it for my mom's surprise birthday party this past weekend. (Its her favorite meal)

1T. active dry yeast
1/4c. water
1c. milk, scalded
1/4c. honey
1t salt
2T shortening or oil
2c. wheat flour
1 1/2 c. unbleached white flour (my family grinds their own wheat and uses all wheat flour in this recipe so use whatever combination suits your situation)
1 beaten egg

Soften dry yeast in water. Combine milk, honey, salt and shortening. "Scald" in microwave; cool to lukewarm. Add 1c. wheat flour and 1c. white flour to liquid. Add yeast and egg. Stir in remaining flour or enough to make soft dough. Knead enough to make soft, but not sticky, dough. Cover while preparing filling.


Here is where you can be creative and add whatever sounds tasty to you. This is the combination our family likes.

cheese (1/2 mozzarella, 1/2 cheddar), shredded
1 red sweet pepper, chopped
1-8oz. pkg, fresh mushrooms, chopped
1 can chopped black olives

Cut dough in half and roll out in 9x16 (approx) rectangle on floured surface. Sprinkle with 1/2 of cheese and vegetables (kind of like a pizza). Roll tightly, as in a jelly roll and pinch closed. Slice into 2-3" rolls. (Should look like cinnamon rolls). Repeat with second half of dough. Bake at 375 til browned and cheese is bubbling. (approx. 20+ min)

Makes 12

Many Bean Soup

Coming from a large family I've tried my share of bean soups! This recipe is a version of bean soup that I actually took with me when I left home. It is easy and a great way to eat lots of beans and veggies.

4c. boiling water or tomato juice
1c. each chopped: onion, celery, carrots, potatoes, cabbage
1/8t. garlic powder
pepper to taste (optional)
4c. any combination cooked beans (soak and boil beans until tender)
1T. ham or veg. soup base/boullion (I found that I needed more to get the flavor I wanted)

Combine water and fresh vegetables and cook on stove top until tender. Add remaining ingredients and heat through.

Serves 6

Cabbage Soup in the Slow Cooker

Don't be frightened off by the title of this recipe -- cabbage can be very tasty and is cheap too! Since tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day I bought myself some cabbage earlier this week to make corned beef and cabbage. Around this time of year cabbage is VERY cheap (17 cents a pound). I had some extra so I decided to try this soup.

Cabbage Soup
Makes 8 servings

Half a head of cabbage, sliced thin
2 ribs of celery, sliced thin
2-3 carrots, sliced thin
1 onion, chopped (or you can substitute onion powder)
2 chicken bouillon cubes or substitute some of the water below with chicken broth
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 qt. tomato juice
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp. pepper
Water (see above note about chicken broth)

1. Combine all ingredients except water in slow cooker. Then add water to within 3 inches of top of slow cooker.
2. Cover. Cook on High 3 ½-4 hours, or until vegetables are tender.

Other variations...

* Instead of chicken broth or bouillon use beef broth or bouillon. Then add beef stew meat, precooked. Or up the slow cooker time if adding raw or browned meat. Cook till meat is done and vegetables are tender. This is very tasty too!

* Also, I only had a half a quart of tomato juice, so I finished up the other half with diced tomatoes and their juice. This adds the tomato texture and flavor without getting to saucy tasting.

* I didn't have any broth on hand so I used bouillon and added a bit of water to it first so they became liquefied before I added them to the veggies.

* I also added some HOT red pepper flakes to add some ZING to the recipe.

This was VERY tasty and is simple and cheap to make. It works both as a vegetarian and as a meat recipe. Of course, if you want a Vegan recipe just subsitute vegetable broth when it asks for chicken. Five Stars on this one.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Crock Pot Recipes?

Anyone want to give me some good crock pot recipes? Vegetarian or chicken? I just pulled out my old crock pot from college and made beans in it, but I am facing a lack of creativity in the kitchen. Maybe because no one has posted on here in over a month. HELP!