Daily Tidbits

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Pot Pie

Printable Recipe
Serves 4

2 pie crusts
1-2 cups leftover beef roast or roasted chicken, cut into chunks
1 cup leftover gravy (or make your own)
½ cup chopped onion
1 cup leftover veggies or frozen
1 cup cooked potatoes, diced

Prepare pastry for double crust pie. (Basically roll one out for the bottom and put it in a deep pie dish, and roll out the second one to go on the top!)

Mix all the leftovers together and pour into the pie crust. You can reheat it all if you want. Place the second pie crust over everything and pinch the edges together. Make some small cuts in the top crust for venting.

Bake at 400 for about 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

Holly's Note:
This is a fun way to use up those leftovers. I do this a day or so after I've made pot roast in my crock pot.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Brownies for a crowd

Printable Recipe

6 eggs, well beaten
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups butter
6 squares unsweetened chocolate
3 cups flour
3 t. vanilla
3 cups chopped nuts, optional

Melt butter and chocolate squares together over low heat until completely melted. Beat eggs, add sugar and the butter/chocolate mixture. Mix well. Add flour, vanilla and nuts, if desired. Mix well. Pour into a large, greased jelly roll pan (about 17 x 12). Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes, no longer.

Holly's Note:
I received this recipe to fix these for a church activity. I had to borrow a large pan. It needs one of those commerical jelly roll type pans like you would find at a church or cafeteria. i need to get one! These were easy and delicious. They're fairly dense. Be aware that it makes a lot though.

French Bread

Printable Recipe
Makes 2 loaves

2 ¼ cup warm water
2 T. sugar
2 pkg. active dry yeast (4 1/2 t.)
1 T. salt
2 T. vegetable oil
6 cups flour

In a large mixer, combine water and sugar and yeast. Allow it to soften/proof for about 5 minutes. Add salt, oil, and half the flour; mix well. Add remaining flour. Let it sit for about 10 minutes. I just set my timer. Stir the dough down and allow to rest 10 more minutes. Repeat until dough has been stirred 5 times. It takes about an hour. I just go about my business listening for my timer. It's also very forgiving and if you can't mix/rest 5 times, 3 or 4 is ok too.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead 2 or 3 times. Divide dough into two loaves. Roll each loaf into a 9x13 inch rectangle (give or take). Roll from long side and pinch edges.

Place on baking sheet sprayed with Pam. Cover and allow it to rise about 30 minutes. Again, it's really forgiving if you're in a hurry and can't let it go that long. With a sharp knife, cut 3 gashes at angle on top of dough. Bake 400 degrees for 30 min, checking at about 20 minutes.

Holly's Note:

Delicious! I found the original recipe at Real Mom Kitchen. There are some awesome recipes there. This is a delicious bread that is fairly easy. The original recipe said that it was really soft, so I spritzed water on one loaf. Both loaves came out nice and brown. Once they cooled, both were soft, but still crusty. They were pretty dense loaves. I think they need a bit more than 30 minute rising time.

They are perfect with the Carrabba's Italian Seasoning mix. I also think it would be a great food storage recipe, because it doesn't need anything special or extra. It's nice and basic.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Italian Seasoning Dip...Carrabba's Style

Printable Recipe

1 T. crushed red pepper
1/2 T. black pepper
1 T. dried oregano
1 T. dried rosemary, crushed
1 T. dried basil
1 T. dried parsley
1/2 T. garlic powder
1/2 T. garlic, minced
1/2 t. sugar
1/2 t. salt

Stir/grind it all together and put ~1-2 Tablespoons on a shallow plate. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over and mix it together. Dip warm French Bread into it and enjoy.

Holly's Note:
This is a work in progress. I've found several listings for this recipe online and I've since modified it. The original recipe was too heavy on the garlic and pepper, so I halved both and added a bit of sugar, which really finishes it. I will probably continue to tweak this, as I'm sure you will if you try it. It also needs a full-bodied, extra virgin olive oil, not a light one.

Ever since I discovered Carrabba's restaurant, I have been trying to duplicate the herb seasoning they use with olive oil and warm french bread. I would always ask the server what was in it, and then try and remember all the ingredients. Now that my local Carrabba's has closed, we can at least enjoy the seasoning/oil mix at home. If anyone can duplicate their Marsala sauce, please let me know!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Baked Pork Chops with Parmesan-Sage Crust

Serves 4

1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs made from crustless French bread
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)
1 T dried rubbed sage
1 t grated lemon peel
2 large eggs
1/4 cup flour
4 bone-in center-cut pork loin chops (each about 1 inch thick)
2 T (1/4 stick) butter
2 T olive oil
Lemon wedges (optional)
Orange wedges (optional)
Preheat oven to 425°F.

Mix breadcrumbs, cheese, sage and lemon peel in pie dish. Whisk eggs in medium bowl to blend. Place flour on plate; season generously with salt and pepper. Coat pork chops on both sides with flour; shake off excess. Dip chops into eggs, then coat on both sides with breadcrumb mixture.

Melt butter with oil in heavy large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork chops to skillet and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer skillet with pork to oven. Bake until pork chops are crisp on the outside and meat thermometer inserted into pork registers 150°F, about 20 minutes.
Transfer pork chops to plates. Garnish with lemon wedges and orange wedges, if desired, and serve.

Holly's Note:
This is another Epicurious recipe. I thought it was way over-rated. The crust was too thick and quite flavorless. I won't make it again. If you make it and like it, let me know. Serve it with Roasted Sweet Potatoes.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Honey Glaze

2 1/4 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), peeled, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces (about 7 cups)
6 T (3/4 stick) butter
3 T honey
1 t. fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Arrange sweet potatoes in 13 x 9 inch glass baking dish. Melt butter, honey, and lemon juice together over medium heat until smooth. Pour butter mixture over sweet potatoes; toss to coat. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Bake sweet potatoes until tender when pierced with skewer, stirring and turning occasionally, about 50 minutes.

Holly's Note:
My girlfriend sent me this recipe from Epicurious. Normally I hate mushy sweet potato casserole like you get at Christmas and Thanksgiving. But, she swears by this way of cooking sweet potatoes, and as I'm really wanting to venture out in my vegetable cooking, I am going to try this. Perhaps putting it on my blog will push me to actually do so. If you try it first, leave a comment!

Cinnamon Rolls

Printable Recipe

5 to 6 cups flour
1 yellow cake mix
2 pkgs (1/4 ounce each) quick-rise yeast
2-1/2 cups warm water (120° to 130°)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1 t. ground cinnamon

Combine ~4 cups flour, dry cake mix, yeast and warm water until smooth. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Roll each portion into a 14-in. x 10-in. rectangle. Brush with butter; sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side. Cut each roll into 12 slices; place cut side down in two greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pans. Cover and let rise until almost doubled, about 20 minutes.

Bake at 400° for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 20 minutes. Frost warm rolls with Homemade Frosting.

Holly's Note* (amended):
This was a Taste of Home recipe that I'd had in my file for ages. It's easy to make and my family loved them. The rolls end up being quite large. Next time I won't let them raise as long, and I'll cut them smaller. It makes about 2 dozen, so I froze the unbaked rolls. When I wanted to make them again, I just pulled a bunch out of the freezer and placed them in a greased muffin tin. I put the muffin tin in a cold oven and left it overnight. The next morning, I removed the thawed, raised rolls, pre-heated the oven to 400 and baked them as normal. They were delicious.

I think they would be good with a white cake mix or even a lemon one.

Homemade Frosting

Printable Recipe

6 T. butter, softened
~3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 t. vanilla

Mix it all together, adding more liquid or sugar depending on the consistency you want. Makes about 2 cups.

Holly's Note:
This is the same recipe as Homemade Chocolate Frosting, without the cocoa and adding a bit more sugar. I rarely measure the sugar and milk anyway, just mixing it until it's the consistency I want.

Gingerbread Muffins

Printable Recipe

2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
2-1/2 t. baking powder
2 t. ground ginger
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. ground cloves
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup molasses

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, salt and cloves. In another bowl, whisk the egg, milk, oil and molasses until smooth; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.

Fill paper-lined muffin cups about half full. Bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

Holly's Note:
This recipe originally came from Taste of Home magazine. It includes a homemade lemon curd topping, but we prefer the muffins without it. These are a nice change of pace.

Apple Streudel Muffins

Printable Recipe
Makes about 12 muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. soda
1/2 t. salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup butter, melted
1-1/4 t. vanilla
1-1/2 cups tart apples, peeled and chopped

1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 T flour
1/8 t. cinnamon
1 T cold butter

1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 to 2 T milk
1 t. butter, melted
1/4 t. vanilla
1/8 t. salt

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, butter and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened (batter will be stiff). Fold in apples.

Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 2/3-3/4 full. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon; cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over batter.

Bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over muffins.

Holly's Note:
This recipe originally came from Taste of Home magazine. These are better when made with Granny Smith apples. The glaze is a nice touch, but the muffins are good without them. My husband says they're good with vanilla ice cream! The photo doesn't do them justice. I need to get a better one.

Friday, January 9, 2009

A Travesty

Our favorite restaurant closed. It's a travesty. We were just there for dinner on December 30th. We love the Sirloin Marsala. Their Marsala sauce is divine. We often wished we could just buy it by the bucket. In the summer they serve Trout Nocciola, which was divine. And that delicious spice/oil mixture that comes with the bread? And the Sogno di Cioccolata? Oh my! I will miss all of that.

Many evenings, my husband would pick up take-out for dinner and bring it home with him. We will certainly save money now, but I'm so disappointed that Carrabba's is closed. The next closest one to us is in Orem, Utah. Sigh.