Friday, May 19, 2017

Italian Bread

The smell of bread baking on a chilly Spring day is always welcome.  This is a great bread to make to serve with soups or dips or slice it and make garlic bread.

Italian Bread

2 1/4 cups bread flour
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast (1 pkg)
1 cup warm water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp honey
2 tbsp extra light virgin olive oil

Mix together warm water, honey, olive oil and yeast in a bowl and let it bloom for 10 minutes.  In your mixing bowl combine 2 cups of bread flour and the salt.  When the yeast mixture is ready, pour into the flour with the mixer with the dough hook on a low speed.  Let the dough come together and gradually add in the additional 1/4 cup of flour.  Increase speed to medium and knead for 4-5 minutes.  Remove from the mixer and pour 1 tbsp. of olive oil in the bowl and turn the dough so it's covered on all sides.  Cover the bowl with a towel and allow the dough to rise for an hour or until it has doubled.  Turn out and shape into a loaf on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Allow the dough to rise again.  Cut 3 slits 1/4" deep into the top of the dough.  Bake for 20 minutes at 400°.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Grilled Apricot Chicken Skewers

Perfect grilling weather is here and I combined some chicken with fresh apricots and peppers for an easy outside dinner.

Grilled Apricot Chicken Skewers

1# chicken tenders (cut into small skewer size pieces)
2 apricots
red & orange peppers 
Salt & freshly ground pepper


2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. white wine
1/2 tsp chipotle powder
1/4 cup apricot preserves

Cut the chicken tenders, apricots and peppers into skewer size pieces.  Carefully thread onto the skewers and season.  Grill until nice grill marks appear and turn.  As the second side cooks, brush on the sauce.  

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Blueberry Lemon Cookies

Soft lemon cookies with bursts of blueberries make these cookies a light dessert or leave them without icing and you can convince yourself they are a great breakfast...yes, that happened.  I use frozen blueberries just so they keep their shape a little better.

Blueberry Lemon Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tbsp lemon zest
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk
2 1/4 cups flour
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Cream together butter and sugar.  Add in eggs and lemon zest.  Alternate adding in the remainder of dry ingredients and milk.  Scoop out onto parchment lined baking sheets.  Bake for 12 minutes at 350°.  

Allow to cool before icing.  

Icing -

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
juice from 1 lemon

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Orange Sour Cream Cookies

These cookies are a light, soft cookie filled with orange flavor that are perfect for a Springtime treat.  

Orange Sour Cream Cookies

1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups flour
zest from 1 orange

Orange Icing 

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
juice from 1 orange

Cream butter and sugar in a medium sized bowl.  Add in eggs and sour cream.  Add in the dry ingredients and orange zest.  Scoop out dough onto parchment lined baking pans.  Bake for 10 minutes at 350.  Let the cookies cool completely before icing.  In a small bowl, mix together the powdered sugar and orange juice.  Spread icing on top of the cookies and allow to set.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Italian Round Steak

All the Italian flavors you love that are easy to make in the crock pot.  The only additional thing you need to do is make some of your favorite pasta to serve it on.

Italian Round Steak
1.5# round steak, cut into ½” strips
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
½ tsp Italian seasonings
½ cup onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 cups cooked pasta

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.  Season round steak strips and place into the hot pan.  Sear on both sides before placing in the crock pot.  Add in the onions and garlic and cook an additional minute or two.  Place tomatoes and Italian seasonings in the crock pot and stir.  Add in browned meat with onions and garlic to the tomato mixture.  Stir. Cook on medium for 6 hours.  Serve over cooked pasta.  Sprinkle Parmesan on top.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Dark Chocolate Waffles

This is a delicious way to pamper yourself on a weekend morning.  Dark chocolate, strawberries and whipped cream are a wonderful combination to serve for breakfast or as a dessert.

Dark Chocolate Waffles

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
3 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup dark cocoa (I use King Arthur Flour Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa)
2 large eggs, separated
3 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup milk

Sift all dry ingredients and zest into a large bowl.  In a small bowl, beat egg whites until light and fluffy.  Gradually mix milk, egg yolks, butter and sour cream.  Gently fold in beaten egg whites into dry ingredients.

Bake per your waffle makers instructions.

Makes 9 waffles

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Chicken Carbonara

Chicken, bacon and cheese...who could ask for more but then you add in some pasta and you have a delicious meal.  

Chicken Carbonara

1# chicken tenders
4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2" pieces, cooked and drained
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup Parmesan, grated
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup cream
2 tbsp parsley
8 oz fettuccine

Cook bacon pieces and then place them on paper towels to drain off the excess grease.  Cook the chicken tenders in the same pan and add in the garlic for the last minute of cooking so it doesn't burn and get bitter.  In a small dish, combine the cream, eggs and Parmesan.  Stir until completely mixed together.  Cook your pasta and drain (reserve 1/2 cup pasta water in case you need it).  Stir cream mixture into the hot pasta and then add in the bacon.  Cook for a few minutes until the noodles are coated (do not boil or else you'll have scrambled eggs).  Season with salt and pepper to taste and add in parsley.  Serve with chicken tenders on top and sprinkle some additional Parmesan over the pasta.