Occasionally my handsome hubby and I find ourselves chilling together, flipping thru channels on the tube and come across shows that we honestly never would have thought that we would watch when we were younger. Documentaries, This Old House, the Antiques roadshow, travel shows etc. Basically the things that are on all day Saturday that your dad would be watching when you wanted to watch cartoons as a kid!!!
Anywho I find myself yelling "stop!" . . . "Go back to that they were cooking something," which just thrills my hubby to death because the cooking shows that I find are the ones that I thought were so boring as a kid but now have me rummaging in my pantry and flouring up my kitchen. Which is how this recipe came about. I saw Foccacia bread being made on TV and came up with my own recipe. I am now HOOKED on Foccacia bread and will make it every chance I get. It is crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. I seriously wanted to cry when my husband cut himself a second piece at lunch today! (the ultimate compliment!!!) It was soooo good! I just can't help but toss in sun dried tomatoes and caramelized onions into just about everything! I love them! They certainly kicked Foccacia bread up a huge notch for me! A new fave was made! Caramelized Onion and Sun dried Tomato Foccacia Bread Recipe by: Emily
4-4 1/2 cups Flour
1/2 cup Warm Water
1 tsp Dry Yeast
2 tsp Salt
1 cup Warm Water
1 medium Onion, sliced very thin and caramelized
1/4 cup Sun Dried Tomatoes, in oil, chopped
1/2 tsp dried Basil
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, shredded
1.Mix together 1 tsp yeast, 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup warm water in a large bowl, cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to sit in a warm place over night. (This allows a "sponge" starter to form as a base for the dough.)
2. Slowly add 1 cup of warm water to the "sponge". Then mix in 2 teaspoons of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of basil, and 4 cups of flour. Add 2/3's of the caramelized onion and 1/4 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes to the soft dough and knead on a floured surface adding more flour as needed until a firm dough forms. (Kneading takes about 8-10 minutes)
3. Place the dough into an oiled bowl turning dough over once to cover the entire surface lightly with oil. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for about an hour, or until double in size.
4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured sheet pan or a baking stone and stretch into an 11 or 12 inch circle. Brush the top with olive oil and then sprinkle remaining onions over the top. "Dimple" the dough with your fingers and then sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and 1 teaspoon of coarse salt over the top.
5. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, until browned. Transfer bread to a wire rack to cool. Slice into wedges and enjoy!
To caramelize the onion, I slice it very thin and cook it for about 45 minutes to an hour over medium low heat with a little bit of sugar in a frying pan until very soft and caramelized. You may need to add a little bit of water throughout the cooking process to keep the onions from drying out.
Mensch! Another Christmas has come and gone . . . too soon! I was a major slacker about blogging during this month . . . but I did make a ton of goodies and we had some great food . . . which is piling up in my fridge waiting for creative uses!
For breakfast Christmas morning we ate a Christmas wreath! (How festive are we!) I made it the day before actually and just iced it before we tore into it. I filled it with my favorite things in cinnamon rolls . . . chocolate chips, pecans, brown sugar and cinnamon! My mom always made cinnamon rolls with chocolate chips and that is just the way I like them! (I am NOT a raisin fan . . .) It was great to wake up, open presents, eat breakfast, and hit the hay again for a little more snoozing. This Christmas just flew by! Which means school will be starting again in a little over a week! I need a little more breather time I think . . . or at least some serious fun for New Years to prep. for the coming semester! We'll see if I can get anything else whipped up in my kitchen before spring semester begins!
Dough Recipe Recipe by: Mama P1/2 cup Warm Water
1.5 Tbsp Yeast
1/2 cup Oil (I like to use butter instead)
2 cups Milk
1/2 cup Sugar
2 tsp Salt
6-8 cups Flour
Dissolve yeast in warm water. Mix milk, sugar and salt in a sauce pan and scald. After the milk mixture is cool add the eggs, oil an d yeast mixture. Add enough flour to make a soft dough. Cover and let rise until doubled in size. Roll out the dough into a rectangle until dough is about 1/3 an inch thick. Spread dough with melted butter, then sprinkle generously with cinnamon, sugar (white or brown), chocolate chips, and pecans. Roll into a log and transfer to a large sheet pan or pizza pan. Shape dough into a circle and crimp connecting ends together. Slice a little more than half way through the dough to form a circle of connected cinnamon rolls that you can fan out and over lap into a wreath shape. Raise until double and then bake in a preheated 375degree oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown on top.
For the icing I just mixed 1/3 cup softened butter, about 1 1/2 cups powder sugar and a couple of tablespoons of milk until I got the consistency that I desired and drizzled it over the top. You can also add green food coloring if you want to.
I feel like someone is standing above our town dumping bag after bag of snow over us! Does anyone else feel this way? It wouldn't get on my nerves so much if we could just stay inside and didn't have to venture out into it . . . or if I just went outside to watch it fall rather than donning my boots to dig my car out . . . oh well . . . I knew it was coming I was just hoping that it would stay off of the roads this year!
Dare to dream! In fact my hometown is getting dumped on which is VERY unusual since it is a hoarding place for snowbirds to go and get away from cold weather. But talking to my Mutti revealed that they too have been getting snow . . . and she is thrilled! Of course she was raised in the colder parts of the state . . . whereas I am a light foot in the cold/snow department. When I first started college my little sisters were always so excited when we talked on the phone and they heard that it was snowing . . . of course they have never experienced the joys of traipsing across campus hoping not to fall and and biff it in front of a cute guy or getting to class looking like a wet dog! (You missed out ladies!) Snow is a good time to do some baking though! I love being all warm inside and turning on some Christmas tunes . . . rocking out to Jingle Bells and enjoying the scents of the season wafting through my house! In fact baking this year has led me to a new love! Biscotti! I have found/seen some great biscotti recipes but when I found this one and saw how easy it was . . . it won over my kitchen! Plus my handsome hubby got in on the game as my chocolate drizzler! These are going to be great to give away this year! Chocolate Chip Biscotti Recipe by: Betty Crocker
1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker chocolate chip cookie mix
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup toasted chopped hazelnuts (I used sliced almonds)
1/2 cup cherry-flavored dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1.Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, butter, egg, flour, hazelnuts and cranberries until stiff dough forms. Shape half of dough at a time into 8x2 1/2-inch rectangle on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on cookie sheet 15 minutes.
2. Cut crosswise into 3/4-inch slices. Place slices, cut sides down, on cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, turning once, until crisp. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely, about 20 minutes.
3. In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips, with 1/4 tsp cooking oil, on High 30 to 60 seconds; stir until smooth. Drizzle chocolate over one side of each biscotti. Let stand until chocolate is set. (The oil helps keep the chocolate from drying out and becoming discolored and white) Okay after trying these cookies I am major hooked! They are DELICIOUS! They have a great cookie taste/texture left even though they are crispy! They are great!
I am sitting here waiting for 5:00 to roll around so that I can e-mail in my second to last final (yep he won't take it before 5:00 . . .) while indulging in yet another piece of fudge! (Hey I have been very stressed!) My mother makes the absolute best fudge that the world has ever seen! Her recipe is a little piece of heaven on earth (one that has paid a visit to my hips this week)! Growing up I always looked forward to my mom making homemade candies and bringing treats around to friends and neighbors! We had one Christmas cassette tape in particular that we played over and over, which I just loved, until someone yelled to turn it off. I would pop it into our big silver stereo (complete with record player and A-track), turn it up and go in the kitchen and help my mom, unless the candy was really hot, then I would lean away from the counter and watch her work . . . stirring quickly, sometimes spilling red food coloring on a good dish cloth, checking the candy thermometer's temperature not wanting to cook anything too long, buttering pans and unrolling wax paper, wondering aloud if she had added vanilla in already, then adding some more . . . it was always entertaining to watch! (Thanks Mutti!)
Their were always so many goodies that we looked forward to and so many recipes from family members and friends to pull out from different cookbooks, or that were written on envelopes from old letters, or on certain recipe cards that we identified by saying "its the one that had something spilled on it remember" or "it was written on the back of a grocery list." (those were treasures . . . we never re-wrote them, because they were better the way that they were!) Oh memories! But of all the goodies that were made I think fudge and toffee were the best! I tried to make toffee the first year that I was married and it just didn't turn out as good as my moms . . . but when I make my mom's fudge it just always is sinfully good! (Which is very dangerous during finals week!) I promise you that this is the best fudge you will ever have! It is SUPER rich and creamy and doesn't have that "cocoa" texture that some fudges do! Fudge Recipe by: Mama P
1 can Evaporated Milk
2 Giant plain Hershey or Symphony Chocolate bars
1/2 cup Butter (use the real deal!)
5 cups Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
1 cup Miniature marshmallows
1 cup chopped nuts, optional
1. Chop the chocolate bars and set aside along with the 1 cup of marshmallows.
2. Melt butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat, add sugar and evaporated milk. Bring to a boil and cook for 4 minutes then remove from heat.
3. Add the chopped chocolate, mini marshmallows, and chopped nuts to the milk and sugar mixture. Stir until the choclate and marshmallows are melted. Pour into a 9x13 pan that has been lined with foil and then butter. Refrigerate until firm, cut into squares. Indulge and melt with pleasure!
Today is the day that my handsome husband has spent countless nights dreaming about . . . his last day of college!!! (Well until graduate school . . .) Yes my Toph is graduating with a Bachelors degree in Sociology! Congrats, congrats handsome! He is so excited and I am so very proud of him! To celebrate we went out to eat and then watched the new batman movie (it came out today on DVD . . . um I think I closed my eyes through most of it!)
I decided that I had better post something without chocolate in it to break up my ever increasing baking blogs. (I made fudge yesterday . . . had to be done . . . I don't want everyone thinking that our house is overran with sweets . . . it really is not!) With the snow making its presence known their is absolutely nothing more comforting than a hot bowl of soup to warm you up and make you forget about getting to dig your car out! I personally love asparagus and I especially came to love Spargal (white asparagus) while living in Germany and Austria . . . but I have yet to see it in the US. If you ever see it or get the chance to eat it . . . DO! In Germany they smother it with melted butter and toasted bread crumbs! It is an absolute delight! Love it! Love it! Asparagus soup is a close second though and I love the wonderful taste and texture that roasting them gives them. Asparagus Soup with Garlic Croutons Recipe by: Emily 1/2-3/4 lb Asparagus
2 1/2 cups Chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup half and half
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 cup Shallots, minced
2 Tbsp Chives, chopped
1/2 tsp Thyme
1. Place the asparagus on a cookie sheet and coat with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and then lightly salt and pepper them. Roast the asparagus in a 350 degree preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. (I like them soft!)
2. Saute the shallots in 1 tsp of olive oil in a large sauce pan until translucent (5-8 minutes). Then add the chicken stock and thyme and bring to a simmer.
3. Coarsely chop the roasted asparagus and add to the chicken stock. With a hand blender puree the stock and asparagus until smooth. Season liberally with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Turn the heat off and add the half & half and chives. Serve with additional roasted asparagus spears and garlic croutons if desired.
4-5 thick slices of regular white, french or Italian bread
3 Tbsp Butter
Cube the bread slices and spread out on a cookie sheet. Melt the butter and use a pastry brush to coat the bread cubes on all sides. Sprinkle lightly with garlic powder, tossing to coat well. Sprinkle with parsley flakes, salt and pepper. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 3 minutes, toss croutons again then continue baking until golden brown. Serve on top of soup. Enjoy!
Paula Deen owns the key to part of my husbands heart! He served his mission in the south and ever since has just loved southern cooking. When we had only been married a few weeks he gave me a few cookbooks that I love . . . one of them being from Miss Paula! Her recipes are overall simple to make and are "down home" all the way!
I made this pork loin using Paula's herb crusted pork recipe (which was SOOOO delicious!) and came up with a cabbage gratin to serve with it weeks ago and have been meaning to blog it . . . but it hasn't happened until today! Oh well. This is my little break from writing my Political Geography paper.
I can only take so much world economics in my head at a time! I am writing about Post-Cold War Russia . . . it's very interesting . . . but lets talk cabbage! I love cabbage! It is such a great veggie to add to just about anything (I think!) . . . toss in some bacon, cheese, cream, and caramelized onions and I am set for life! My mom always made amazing stir fry with long strips of cabbage in it and I loved it! Mmmmm!
Cabbage, Caramelized Onion, and Bacon Gratin Recipe by: Emily
1/2 Cabbage head, shredded
1 1/2 cups heavy cream or 1/2 & 1/2
1 1/3 cup shredded cheese, Parmesan or Italian blend
1 large Onion
5-6 Strips Bacon, chopped
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1. Thinly slice the onion and cook it in a frying pan with the one teaspoon of sugar over medium low heat until caramelized. Add the shredded cabbage and cook for a few minutes until the cabbage and onions are mixed and the cabbage begins to soften. Pour cabbage into a casserole dish and spread out.
2. Crisp the bacon in the cabbage frying pan, lower the heat and add the cream, 1 cup shredded cheese, salt and pepper. Once the cheese has melted pour the cream mixture over the cabbage and top with additional cheese if desired. Bake in a 325 degree oven for 20-30 minutes, until the gratin is bubbly and the cabbage is cooked. Enjoy!
Wowser! Another Thanksgiving has come and gone and from the looks of many blogs it didn't phase anyone! Me . . . I have been battling a nasty sore throat, flu, earaches etc. The past few weeks and have had no gumph to blog! Now with finals hovering over me waiting to pounce on me next week . . . I am ready to take a minute and share one of my new favorite creations! Sun dried Tomato and Artichoke cheesecake. . . Okay it is an appetizer cheesecake . . . meaning it is meant to be enjoyed on crackers or crusty bread! It was one of my contributions for our Thanksgiving feast and was a total delight! My handsome husband and I also whipped up some pretty mean cream pies including chocolate, praline pecan, and coconut cream. I love pie! My mom always makes so many different kinds and our favorite day after Thanksgiving breakfast is . . . pie! A great breakfast to prepare for a killer day of shopping! Yes the gals in my fam are crazy and we wake up 5 minutes after going to bed to hit the sales! This year wasn't so bad though . . . we avoided the stores that had blood trails leading into them and seemed to be done faster than in years past! Then of course we converged at my Mutti's and made some darling Christmas trees! (We are so crafty!)Savory Sun Dried Tomato and Artichoke Cheesecake Recipe by: Emily
3 packages Cream Cheese, at room temperature
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup Sun Dried Tomato's in Oil, chopped
1 medium Onion, sliced thin
1 14 oz Can Artichoke hearts, coarsely chopped, reserve 2 Tablespoons of the liquid
4 oz Feta Cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, shredded
1 tsp dried Basil
1 tsp Sugar
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1 1/2 Tbsp melted butter
1 clove Garlic, minced
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1. Caramelize the sliced onion with 1 tsp of sugar over medium low heat for about 30 minutes in a pan. Set aside onions.
2.Mix the bread crumbs and 2 tablespoons melted butter together and press into the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan.
3. Beat the cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth with a hand mixer. Add the feta cheese and beat until well mixed.
4. Add the eggs, basil, salt, pepper, garlic, and the reserved 2 tablespoons of artichoke liquid and mix until just incorporated.
5. Fold in the sun dried tomatoes, caramelized onion, Parmesan cheese and artichoke hearts. Pour filling into the prepared 9 inch spring form pan and bake in a 325 degree preheated oven for 35 minutes. Allow cheesecake to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes on a wire rack and then chill for at least 4 hours before serving. To serve slice cheesecake into wedges and spread on crackers or toasted or crusty bread. Enjoy!
Welcome to my kitchen! Pull up a chair and settle in. I love to cook and this is a fun and easy way to keep track of my recipes. I wish you success in your kitchen and many happy meals spent with those that you love!
Chocolate is cheaper than therapy and you don't need an appointment!
Pirate Cake- Marshmallow Fondant
Pink Birthday Cake
Chocolate Cupcakes with Penuche Frosting
Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
Angel Food Cake with Lemon Curd and Raspberries
Double Chocolate Whopper Pie
By:Emily I am thankful for the times when our dinner table is surrounded by familiar faces, where extra chairs are brought in and the place settings vary due to the great number gathered. I am grateful for the stories reminisced and the examples set for posterity. I marvel at the spread before us and smile knowing that it was made with love from recipes shared and passed around for generations. It is moments like this where the sound of laughter bouncing off the walls and excited voices ringing throughout the room make me most thankful for what I have and who I am.
"As you create a home, don't get distracted with a lot of things that have no meaning for you or your family. Don't dwell on your failures, but think about your successes. Have joy in your home. Have joy in your children. Have joy in your husband. Be grateful for the journey." - Marjorie Pay Hinkley
Black Pepper Beef
6 Ingredient Chicken Enchiladas
Spicy Turkey, Spinach Lettuce Wraps
Roasted Garlic and Mushroom Lasagna
Warm Goat Cheese, Asian Pear, Crispy Prosciutto and Leek Salad
I don't think our kids know what an apron is.
The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath, because she only had a few, it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and they used less material, but along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.
It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.
From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.
When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.
And when the weather was cold, grandma wrapped it around her arms.
Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.
Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.
From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.
In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.
When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.
When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.
It will be along time before someone invents something that will replace that 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes.
In an authentic Chinese meal, the last course is soup because it allows the roast duck entree to "swim" toward digestion.
When a source of Vitamin C (orange, lemon, grapefruit, strawberry, tomato, potato, etc.) is eaten with meat or cooked dry beans, the body makes better use of the iron in the protein food.
Within 2 hours of standing in daylight, milk loses between half and two-thirds of its vitamin B content
In the United States, a pound of potato chips costs two hundred times more than a pound of potatoes.
The largest living organism ever found is a honey mushroom, Armillaria ostoyae. It covers 3.4 square miles of land in the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon, and it's still growing.
The dye used to stamp the grade on meat is edible. It's made from grape skins.
The colour of a chilli is no indication of its spiciness, but size usually is - the smaller the pepper, the hotter it is.
Lemons contain more sugar than strawberries.
Eating an apple will wake you up better and give you more energy than caffine will.
Each American eats approximately 22 pounds of tomatoes yearly. Over ½ of the tomato consumption is in the form of catsup and tomato sauce.
We are eating 900% more broccoli than we did 20 years ago . . .In 1970, consumption of broccoli was only a half a pound per person. Today, the average person in the United States eats four and one half pounds a year.
Pumpkins are fruits, not vegetables and were once recommended for removing freckles and curing snake bites! Also In early colonial times, pumpkins were used as an ingredient for the crust of pies, not the filling.
Pasta made its way to the New World through the English who found it while traveling through Italy. The English made pasta by cooking it for about a half an hour and then smothering it with cream sauce and cheese. This was the beginning of Macaroni and Cheese!
Frankfurter sausages were first created in China
In total there have been 37 different kinds of animals in animal crackers since 1902. The current crackers are tiger, cougar, camel, rhinoceros, kangaroo, hippopotamus, bison, lion, hyena, zebra, elephant, sheep, bear, gorilla, monkey, seal and giraffe.
Bananas are about 99.5% fat free and the inside of a banana is a berry.
The first strawberries were discovered in Virginia.
Apples are a member of the rose family and there are 7,500 apple varieties grown in the world.
There are about 600 kernels on each ear of corn and a cob of corn ALWAYS has an even number of rows on it. Each tassel on a corn plant releases as many as 5 million grains of pollen.
The average person in the United States eats 140 pounds of potatoes every year. Bet you didn't realize that the potato was the first vegetable to be grown in space!
The Average Person Eats Almost 1500 Pounds Of Food A Year!
It has been traditional to serve fish with a slice of lemon since the Middle Ages, when people believed that the fruit's juice would dissolve any bones accidentally swallowed
Bakers used to be fined if their loaves were under weight, so they used to add an extra loaf to every dozen, just in case -- hence, the expression "baker's dozen"
A portion of the water you drink has already been drunk by someone else, maybe several times over
There are about 100,000 bacteria in one litre of drinking water
Peanuts are used in the manufacture of dynamite
In France, people eat approximately 500,000,000 snails each year
Did you know that cream is lighter than milk and that it takes about 10 lbs of milk to make 1 lb of cheese. Also straight from the cow, the temperature of cow's milk is about 97 degrees Fahrenheit.
Your more likely to be hungry if you are cold.
A messy kitchen is a happy kitchen and this kitchen is delirious!
Countless numbers of people have eaten in this kitchen and went on to live perfectly normal lives!
There is only one difference between a long life and a good dinner... that in the dinner, the sweets don't last. - Robert Louis Stevenson