Saturday, October 28, 2017

Crock Pot Pasta e Fagioli

A chilly day here in the valley that started off with fog and still isn't above freezing.  It seemed like a good time to make something in the crock pot while watching college football and making Christmas greeting cards.  

Pasta e Fagioli

1/2# extra lean ground beef, cooked
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 medium onion finely chopped
3 oz pancetta
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz Cannellini beans

1 15 oz Light Red Kidney beans
 32 oz chicken broth
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp parsley
1 1/2 cups Ditalini
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese freshly grated

Cook ground beef in a large saucepan.  Add in garlic, onion and pancetta and cook until soft and put in the crock pot with the beans.  Add in chicken broth, oregano and parsley.  Cook over medium heat for 3 hours and add in the Ditalini.  Allow to cook fully before serving.

Top with freshly grated Parmesan.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Cinnamon Apple Scones

Scones are a great way to start off the day or warm up the house mid-afternoon with the comforting smell of cinnamon.  I had one apple left and decided to make these scones with it.

Cinnamon Apple Scones
2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar

1 apple – I shredded it
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, cold and cubed
1/2 cup apple sauce
1 large egg

Cinnamon and sugar topping

Mix all the dry ingredients together.  Using a pastry cutter, cut in the butter until the dough turns into coarse crumbs.  In a small bowl, mix together apple sauce and the egg.  Add into the dry ingredients and stir until it's completely combined. Turn out on to a floured surface.  Pat into a circle that is approximately 1/2 - 3/4" thick.  Cut into 8 slices and put onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Make sure they are spread out since the scores will spread slightly.  Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top.  Bake for 15 minutes at 400°.  Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack.  

Cinnamon Sugar

1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

I always keep an old salt shaker full of this on hand for lots of occasions.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Blackberry Peach Jam

I took the opportunity to combine some of the best Fall fruits and make a delicious freezer jam to enjoy later this winter.

Blackberry Peach Jam

3 peaches, peeled and sliced
2 cups blackberries
2 cups sugar
1 tbsp. lemon juice

Chop the peaches and blackberries into small pieces in a food processor.  Place in a large saucepan with the sugar and lemon juice.  Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.  Skim off foam from the top.  Continue to boil until it thickens.  Strain the jam to remove the seeds if preferred.  Place into containers that you can put in the freezer. Allow to cool completely before putting covers on containers and placing the freezer.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Swedish Meatballs

I have an admission to make…I’ve always used a packet to make Swedish Meatballs in the past.  Never again.  These are sooo much better.  The meatballs are nice and tender and the gravy is rich and creamy.
Swedish Meatballs

¼ cup panko bread crumbs
¼ cup milk
1 lb extra lean ground beef
¼ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp parsley
1 large egg

Place the panko bread crumbs in a bowl and pour the milk over it and allow to set for 10 minutes.  Add in the remaining ingredients and mix completely.  Scoop out into meatballs and place in a hot frying pan with 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. 
While they are cooking, start your sauce in a dutch oven.
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp flour
2 cups beef stock
1 cup cream
½ tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Salt & pepper to taste

Melt butter in the bottom of your dutch oven.  Stir in flour and allow to cook for a minute.  Gradually stir in the beef stock.  Add in the cream and Worcestershire sauce.  Allow to thicken and add in the meatballs as they are done.  Serve over noodles or mashed potatoes.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Pumpkin!  I’ve been baking pumpkins the last couple of weekends and using some while freezing the rest.  This is a recipe for a twist on your ordinary snickerdoodles with pumpkin and spices. 
Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

½ cup butter, softened
½ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
1/3 cup pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp cream of tartar
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 ½ cups flour
In a medium bowl, cream together the softened butter and sugars.  Add in the pumpkin and vanilla.  Gradually stir in the dry ingredients.  Using a cookie scoop, make balls of dough and roll in ¼ cup sugar and ½ tsp cinnamon mixture.  Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 350°

Monday, October 2, 2017

Cranberry Walnut Bread

A few weeks back, I had a Panera sandwich that was on Cranberry Walnut bread so I decided to try making my own bread.  It’s loaded with lots of cranberries & walnut…great for sandwiches.

Cranberry Walnut Bread

2 1/2 cups bread flour
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast (1 pkg)
1 cup warm water
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp extra light virgin olive oil
1/2 cup dried cranberries, minced
½ cup walnuts, chopped
Mix together warm water, honey, olive oil and yeast in a bowl and let it bloom for 10 minutes.  Increase speed to medium and knead for 4-5 minutes.  Add in dried cranberries and walnuts and knead until completely mixed.  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 and put into a greased loaf pan.  Allow the dough to rise again.  Bake for 35 minutes at 350°.