Hey There Dutch baby…

Have you ever heard of a Dutch Baby? A German Pancake? I never had. I was looking on  my Nook app, “Big Oven”, for breakfast one day because I was feeling adventurous and was on a huge baking kick this summer (I have learned how to make the perfect sugar cookie complete with royal icing and cupcakes from scratch that I think are pretty darn good!)

Anyway, I digress. I ran across this recipe – SUPER SIMPLE

I will retype it just so it is here too: (this is not my own!)

Ingredients

Verified by stevemur

Servings            as postedMetric

Original recipe makes 4
1 cmilk
1 cFlour
1/3 cMargarine; or butter
1 dashFresh nutmeg
4 EGGS

The instructions are so easy:

– Preheat the oven to 425 degrees

– Choose your pan (we used a mini muffin tin)

– Put a small amout of the butter into your pan or each compartment and let it melt in the oven, do not let it get brown = burnt – yuck

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– Blend the eggs for a minute on their own

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–  Slowly add milk then flour

– Add nutmeg to taste

– Pour mixture over the butter

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– Let it bake for 20-25 minutes. That in itself is a show!

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Finish these off with powder sugar and syrup or fruit or whatever suits your fancy – even pop them plain. I love to make these and my son loves to eat them! Talk about a sugar overload. BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD mom!

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Here are a few other recipes that have popped up and looked great:

Related articles

Homemade Pizza Dough… Worth it!

I made pizza dough a couple of weeks back and made cheese pizza with it. I have to say, it was AWESOME! I think I will definitely make the effort to always make my own dough. We sprinkled some garlic salt along the edge right before we put it in the oven and it turned out great.

Here is the pizza dough recipe and the makings for a cheese pizza.

Dough:

  • 3 cups of BREAD Flour
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 1/2teaspon of instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 1 1/3 cup ice water
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt

Sauce (well worth making your own sauce!):

  • 1 can (28 oz) whole peeled tomatoes, drained
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Cheese (Perfect blend!)

  • 1 ounce parmesan cheese, finely grated (1/2 cup)
  • 8 ounces whole-milk mozzarella cheese, shredded (2 cups)

1. The dough: Process flour, sugar, and yeast in a processor until combined (I used my KitchenAide mixer with the dough hook attachment).

Dry ingredients to be mixed

Slowly add water; process or mix until dough is just combined and no dry flour remains, about 10 seconds. Let dough stand for 10 minutes.

Just before adding the oil and salt; let stand 10 min

2. Add oil and salt to dough and process until dough forms satiny, sticky ball that clears the sides of workbowl, 30-60 seconds.

Remove dough from bowl and knead briefly on lightly oiled counter until smooth, about a minute.

Be sure to have oil on the surface. This is STICKY dough!

Shape dough into tight ball and place in large lightly oiled bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours or up to 3 days.

Lightly spray bowl and plastic wrap with oil to prevent sticking

When you are ready to make the pizza (at least 24 hours later, per instructions), prep your work area with a lot of flour.

Pull the dough out of the refrigerator and divide it into two sections. Be sure to have a bit of oil on your hands as this dough is very sticky! Make sure to shape each section into a tight ball and place on a flat surface and cover with plastic wrap (sprayed with oil) and let them sit for one hour.

Letting the dough sit for two hours

After the hour, dust the dough and your work surface, well, with flour.

Work on flattening the dough into an 8″ circle and then gently pull it out to 12″ round.

Beginning to push dough out to 8″ diameter

With a little gentle pulling/pushing to dough got to 12″ in diameter

Transfer the dough to the pizza sheet or if you have  pizza stone, be sure you have turned your oven on.

  • If you have a stone reposition the racks to the higher positions and heat the oven to 500 degrees. I do not have a pizza stone so I set my oven to 450 degrees and bake for 10-15 minutes. This allows the crust and cheese to brown in areas without burning.

Sometime in there all of the ingredients for the sauce need to be mixed together. The food processor does this really well. Season to your liking after a taste test.

All of the ingredients for the sauce mixed at once.

Once the sauce is complete. Spoon it onto the dough and spread it out leaving a 1/4 inch border at the edges.

Spread the sauce out on the dough

Once the sauce is spread, it is time to add the cheese mixture.

Cheese, this blend really makes the pizza

Place the pizza in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes for a nice browning of the crust and cheese.

Time to EAT!

I also add a little bit of garlic salt to the edge of the pizza right before I bake it  for a little extra flavor.

Would you make your own pizza or just stick with delivery or boboli? I would still buy  a premade pizza, however; there is something about a homemade pizza that makes me proud!

Best Chicken Recipe… in a while

So I am really in love with SmittenKitchen. She does a great job photographing her food and coming up with fantastic recipes.

While I was looking around on there one time I notice she had a recipe on there that she had adapted from America’s Test Kitchen. For some reason this piqued my interest, so the following day I had a few extra bills in my pocket waiting to be spent and I took my son and we went to Barnes and Nobel.

The first magazine I saw, low and behold…… America’s Test Kitchen! It was the The Best of America’s Test Kitchen: Best Recipes and Reviews 2012. I was estatic. I snatched it up right away.

I have it flagged with so many colorful post-its – its bordering on ridiculous.

The first recipe I made was the “Crunchy Buttermilk Baked Chicken”. It was delicious. My son loved it! We used boneless, skinless chicken strips rather than the bone in legs and breasts. Sometimes you just have make what the kid will eat!

This recipe is not my own. It is too good not to share! I know that you have to be a member to get access online and many may not run out and purchase a magazine each month, they are pricy.

Here  is the recipe:

2 cups of buttermilk

1/4 cup of sour cream

1 (1 ounce) packet of ranch seasoning mix

1 tablespoon of salt

3 pounds of bone-in chicken pieces (breasts, thighs, and drumsticks, or mix, breasts cut in half) skin removed, trimmed

5 slices of hearty white sandwich bread, torn into pieces (we used panko and flavored bread crumbs that we had in the cabinet)

Vegetable oil spray

Instructions:

1. Adjust oven rack to lowest and middle positions and heat oven to 450 degreees.  Whisk buttermilk, sour cream, 2 T of ranch seasoning, and salt together in a large bowl until the salt dissolves. Add chicken, toss, refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour, covered.

2. Get the bread crumbs ready. Either pulse them in the food processor until finely ground or like me, open the box and package they come in ;). If you are using your own bread bake the crumbs on a baking sheet on the middle rack, stirring occasionally, until light golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a shallow bowl.

3. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray lightly with vegetable oil spray. Remove chicken from brine, allowing excess to drip back into bowl, and dredge in bread crumbs, pressing to adhere. Transer to prepared baking sheet and spray lightly with vegetable oil spary. Discard the brine.

4. Bake on lowest rack until bottom of chicken is golden brown, about 10 minutes. Move baking sheet to middle rack adn reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees. Bake until chicken is golden brown and breasts register 160 degrees and legs/thighs register 175 degrees, 20-25 minutes. Serve.

photo from grandmaskitchen.com

You cannot go wrong with this simple meal. It was very good! The chicken was very moist.

Peanut Butter..Covered..Cake..Bites

Yesterday my husband did not get home from his job until 4:30 am (a long 12 hour day for him….poor guy) so I had it in my mind that my son and I would visit my favorite places – Michael’s, Target, and of course Joann.

We got a bunch of supplies to make all kinds of good treats, mostly Cake bites!

While we were at Michaels (they had a good sale – cheaper than Joann’s on candy coating and other things, FYI, if you want to make your own treats 🙂 ) we got many ingredients for the bites and some tools to make sugar cookies and royal icing later on.

When I got to the small book section they had I noticed Cake Pops by Bakerella. The price of the book was $19.95. I almost got it. I thought to myself, I bet my nook would be cheaper. Sure enough – $9.99! I have seen her site and know the author was on Martha Stewart, so I have had my eye on the book for a while.

We tried out the technique and it was so YUMMY!! Practice makes perfect.

I learned a few things while trying it out.

  1. Super Moist cake mixture, it is good and nice as a cake, yet it can create a fairly moist bite. If you can only find this type of box mix use only 1/4 of the frosting to mix at first, test, and then add a little more, NO more than half the container to make the balls. We used the recommended 3/4 rule and they were moist, not mushy, and I would have preferred them a bit drier.
  2. Only pull out a few balls/bites at a time to coat as the lights and heat of the room will soften them.
  3. Melt only 12-16 oz of candy coat at a time. We made 47 bites and had 24 oz of melts and still have a bit left over. Melt for 30 second bursts at 50% power and mix well in between heating.
  4. Work on a technique that helps ease the bite off of the spoon withouth creating a mess or causing the bite to land so the uncovered bottom is exposed. A tapping/twisting technique worked well for me – GENTLY though.

This is a quick tutorial on Bakerell for her Red Velvet Cake Balls. This is how you would make most any cake ball. The instruction for Cake pops is slightly different in that the cake cools and isn’t used until the next day and the dipping technique is different.

What you need:

  • 1 box, 18.25 ounces, of cake mix. Make according to instructions – don’t forget about the high altitude adjustments if necessary.
  • 9×13 inch baking pan
  • Large mixing bowl
  • 16 ounce container of frosting
  • Large metal spoon
  • Wax paper
  • 2 baking sheets
  • Plastic wrap
  • 32 ounces of candy coating, you may get two different kinds, one for a drizzle and one to coat
  • Deep microwave safe plastic bowl
  • Toothpicks
  • Resealable plastic bag or squeeze bottle (optional) if you plan to do a drizzle (NOT much candy coating is needed for the drizzle – used a Wilton disposable bag and barely cut the tip off and I think 1/2 to 3/4 cup of candy chips was plenty to cover 46 cake balls)

I loved doing this and was so happy they turned out well the first time. They were rich, satisfying, and looked pretty and delicious. We dropped some off to our neighbors while they were out for a surprise and had to email the picutres to my husband (more or less to get praise and tease 😉 )

I had to do a large photo! They tasted too good and turned out well for a first try!

A whole PLATTER full just waiting to be eaten!

Have you made cake bites or pops and how did it turn out? I have heard some horror stories and seen some great successes.

Here’s to YUMMY treats!

Monday Morning mmm….

It was another COLD Colorado morning on Monday so I decided to make pancakes for breakfast. Well, at least for my son and I seeing how my husband usually wakes up a good hour or two after us and doesn’t eat until at least 11 am and when he does, it is Raisin bran and some sugary cereal mixed together.

That is besides the point.

We made Cinnamon Bun Pancakes from Howdoesshe.com. The recipe is here.

We did not make our own syrup as they did. None the less it was a delicious and filling breakfast that gave me the energy to do a good cleaning in the house. Well mostly, I ended up rounding up the following to take to goodwill:

141 CDs

50+ books

6 Pillows

1 Queen size comforter

2 Office supplies/crafting items

1 ceramic statue my mom gave me YEARS ago that has never been out. Sorry mom!

1 Orange cardboard/metal box from Ikea.

I tweeked my back carrying up all the books and CDs. Those were heavy. Bless my 4 year old for wanting to help. I  made him hold the door.

Anyways – it is always nice to cook with my son. He loves it!

Gathered all the dry ingredients

Gathered all the wet ingredients.

Put all together in a bowl to be mixed.

Let the little guy mix. He loves it and complains it is too LOUD! (We stayed in pj’s all day!!!!!)

Yes, I need a griddle! We chose to use the pumpkin cookie cutter at first, which in the end was quickly swaped for a Star.

Trick is not to over fill otherwise it spills over and loses some shape.

Much easier and appealing to eat!

Success! Two eaten, well 1.75 eaten. That is a good morning!

Definitely check out the recipe. They are delicious pancakes!

Pass (on) the Salt, Please

English: Spices in Mapusa Market, Goa, India.

Image via Wikipedia

I was looking through the February edition of InStyle magazine the other night and read a great article about cooking and spicing things up. I didn’t realize that these articles were in there from time to time. I mostly look at it for the fashion and to get outfit ideas.

The article discussed the seven essential spices to have in order to add some pizzaz to your meals.

The seven are:

1. CORRIANDER – grind and use to give a floral flavor to marinades. It goes really well with citrus.

2. CINNAMON – This adds a “bittersweetness” to savory stews.

3. NUTMEG – this spice is at its best when it is grated. It complements sweet potato dishes and quiches.

4. CUMIN – This spice is definitely something to add to your chili and Mexican dishes.

5. PAPRIKA – This spice will add depth to many poultry and tomato dishes.

6. FENNEL – This spice goes well with fish, it has a slight hint of licorice.

7. CHILI POWDER – This spice will turn up the volume on many dishes that vegetarian or have meat. Use just a pinch.

The article also provided some great spice combinations worth trying in a recipe or two:

2 Parts TUMERIC+ 2 parts CUMIN + 1 part BLACK PEPPER – this combination is great for soup stocks, as a rub on chicken or toss with winter vegetables such as acorn squash and sweet potatoes along with olive oil and salt (then roast)

            

4 parts CUMIN + 2 parts GROUND CORRIANDER + 1 part GROUND CARDAMOM – the “three C’s” as the South calls it. Use in chili as the main spice blend and on braised short ribs or roasted mushrooms.

        

3 parts SUMAC + 1 part DRIED MINT +1 part DRIED ORANGE ZEST = This is thought of as a finishing spice. It will kill all flavor. Mix it into greek yogurt and it becomes the ultimate dip for vegetable trays, a healthy substitute for mayo and a great complement to a braised lamb.

         

Another great tip – Reach for the white peper instead of the black. It is lighter and more delicate than the heat of the black pepper. It is great in everything.

Lastly, what is the difference between SPICE and HERB:

“The classic or old school definitions, spices are derived from bark, buds, fruit, roots, seeds, and stems while herbs come from plant leaves. Today’s experts are less rigid. The consensus is that if its’a dried plant product that seasons and enhances the flavor or your dish, then it is considered a spice. Whe the prossay “herbs,” they are generally talking about the fresh version of the plant.”

Instyle Magazine,  February 2012, Entertaining Section

Baby It’s Cold Out – Time for Soup

So I plan my meals one week at a time. I scour the local paper, Real Simple, my 3 ring binder busting at the seams, online, etc. to find meals for a picky 4 year old and a husband who lives on Raisin Bran, Doritos, and sandwiches. That can be tough for me, as I really enjoy cooking.

Today is Beef Stew (which will go over egg noodles once it is done) in the slow cooker. As I am getting all my ingredients out I had to get the crock pot out and take the latest meal I made in it out (Lasagna on Wednesday).

Slow Cooker linersI was so happy that I used a liner! It saved a messy clean up and I get to put the next meal in. Worth getting every time!

The recipe is as follows:

3# of boneless beef chuck cut into 1.5″ pieces. (This time I bought stew meat.)

3 Tbsp of flour

1 tsp of salt (I like Kosher salt for cooking and seasoning)

1/2 tsp of pepper

3 Tbsp of Canola oil

3 cups of beef broth

2 onions, halved and sliced thin

2 garlic cloves, crushed

3 Carrots sliced (I had a bag of shredded carrots, so I used that, my 4 year old may eat them if they are cut up smaller)

3/4 tsp dried thyme

1 package of egg noodles cooked (I used whole wheat, since I had them)

1/4 cup of parsley for garnish

Instructions:

1. Combine beef, flour, salt, and pepper to dredge the meat.

2. In a large skillet, over medium heat, brown the meat in small increments and put on a plate.

3. Pour broth into same skillet and bring to a boil. Remove from heat.

4. In a slow cooker, large enough to hold it all, combine onions, garlic, carrots, beef, broth and thyme. Cover and cook for 8 hours. Remember not to lift the lid as heat gets out and extends the cooking time. Don’t forget to use a liner and be gentle when initially mixing the ingredients – you don’t want to rip it!

5. Skim off any fat from the liquid in the slow cooker. Serve over the noodles and garnish with parsley.

Enjoy!