Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fluffy Dinner Rolls

We had these rolls last night with my potato soup and it was so good! These rolls are so easy and they are nice and quick too. I'll be making these again and again! This recipe is from Jamie Cooks It Up.

3/4 cup milk
4 Tbsp. butter
3/4 cup hot water
4 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
4 - 4 1/2 cups flour
1 heaping Tbsp. yeast

Pour your milk into a microwave safe container. Add your butter to the milk and put it in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 170 degrees. While the milk is getting nice and toasty, turn on the tap to get your hot water. Temperature is important to making these rolls rise quickly.
Put your milk/butter and hot water in the bottom of your Kitchen Aid Mixer. Add the sugar and salt. Then add 2 C of the flour...let it mix for 1 minute.
Add the yeast. Turn the mixer on and add the rest of the flour 1 C at a time.
You have enough flour when the dough scrapes the side of the bowl clean. Mix on medium speed for 5 minutes.
Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 5 minutes. You need the plastic wrap to trap the heat.
Coat the inside of a 9x13 pan with some butter.
Spray your counter, or a cutting board with cooking spray. Lay your dough on top of it.
Take a sharp knife, spray it with cooking spray and cut your dough into 12 pieces. Make them as equal as you can.
Gently round them into balls, and put them in your buttered 9x13 pan.
Put the pan into your warm 170 degree oven. Let them rise for about 20 minutes or until they have risen about 1 inch above the rim of the pan.
Leave your pan in the oven and turn the heat up to 350 degrees. Bake for 15 minutes. This time includes the time it takes the oven to increase in temperature. If your oven takes a long old will of course need to increase the time baking. Bake until golden brown.
Brush with a little softened butter and serve warm. Yah- I don't do this, I don't feel a need for the extra butter.

Tuscan Pasta

I had seen this pasta on a couple different blogs and really wanted to make it. When I went to make it for dinner tonight I noticed that it called for 1/2 cup olive oil! How is it a light pasta dish when there is 1/2 cup oil? So I decided to come up with my own version. I hope you like it!

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cut into cubes
1 lb. penne pasta
1 (14.5 oz.) can of petite diced tomatoes
1/2 small onion, finely diced
2 Tbsp. garlic bread seasoning
2 Tbsp. olive oil
grated mozzarella cheese for garnish

Cook pasta until al dente, rinse, drain, and set aside. In a large skillet heat 2 Tbsp. of olive oil over medium heat, once hot add onion and cook until translucent. Add diced tomatoes, garlic bread seasoning, and chicken. Bring everything to a simmer and let simmer for 5 minutes. Add penne pasta and stir to combine everything. Cook everything for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until everything is hot. Top with mozzarella cheese if desired and serve immediately.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Butterfinger Cookie Bars

I usually make a treat once a week for Nate. This was our treat this week. I saw the idea over at Kaitlin in the Kitchen.

2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
about 8-10 fun size butterfinger candy bars, chopped (or any candy bar of your liking)

Cream butter and sugars until fluffy. Add baking soda and salt, then mix. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until just incorporated. Add flour and mix until well blended. Pour batter into an even layer in a greased 13 x 9 baking pan. Bake in at pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean (they should be a dark golden brown). As soon as they come out of the oven, sprinkle chocolate chips over top and let set for about a minute or two. The chocolate chips should be melted and easily spreadable. Spread them in a even layer over the bars, then quickly before the chocolate sets, sprinkle on your chopped candy bars. Let cool before cutting into bars.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Savory Chicken Wings

This was the other appetizer I served during the football game tonight. Nate loves the hot wings I make and so I knew wings would be on the menu. The other night I found this idea on a recipe blog, Kaitlin in the Kitchen, and knew I wanted to try these. I don't like spicy things, so I figured these wings I would actually try. They were really good! Both Nate and I really enjoyed them and they will be a definite game day food at our house.

1 bag frozen chicken wings (they are usually about 2.5 lbs.)
1 cup bottled Italian dressing (I used fat free)
1/2 cup soy sauce

Lay your chicken wings evenly in a pan with high sides and bake in a 450 degree oven for 20 minutes without any sauce on them. Whisk together soy and Italian dressing. After the 20 minutes, remove them from the oven, and pour half of the sauce on them and return to the oven for another 15 minutes, then remove, flip them with a pair of tongs and pour the rest of the sauce on and return to the oven for 10-15 more minutes or until they are brown and cooked all the way through.

Pizza Bites

It's game day! While Nate is busy cheering on BYU he will be snacking on chicken wings and these pizza bites. I've had these bookmarked for so long and I thought today was the perfect day for them. The recipe is from Our Best Bites.

1 roll refrigerated pizza dough (or you can use homemade dough)
pizza sauce
melted butter
garlic bread seasoning
shredded mozzarella cheese
pizza toppings of your choice (I used turkey pepperoni, green peppers, and onions)

Preheat oven to heat specified on pizza dough package. Usually it's 400 degrees.
Unroll your pizza dough onto a lightly floured surface. Pat or roll the dough so it's about 12" by 8". You're going to want to cut it into 24 squares, so just eyeball it if you need to. Use a pizza cutter to slice the dough into 24 squares.
Place cheese and desired toppings on each square. Just eyeball how much. You just need to be able to enclose the toppings in the dough so keep that in mind.
When all of your dough squares have cheese and toppings on them, carefully lift up each square and wrap the dough around the toppings. Pinch to make sure each ball is sealed shut and then place them seam side down in a lightly sprayed pie pan (or similar sized dish).
Brush the tops of the dough balls with melted butter and then sprinkle with the garlic bread seasoning.
Cook them in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown on top. Keep an eye on them! Doughs vary, so I'd check them after even 10 minutes.
Serve warm with warmed pizza sauce on the side for dipping.

These were so fun and they are perfect football food!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Cajun Pork Roast

Such an easy and yummy recipe! Seriously, so easy. The original calls for the roast to cook on low for 12-15 hours. I didn't have that kind of time, so I just cooked it on high for 4 hours and then on low for another 2 and it still turned out really well! This recipe comes from Lovely Little Snippets.

3 lb. pork roast
6 cups water
4 chicken bullion cubes
4 Tbsp. Cajun seasoning

Dump all of the ingredients on the slow cooker, and set on low for 12-15 hours. Shred and serve.

French Bread Rolls

Nate is a huge fan of rolls. I don't make rolls or bread too often because carbs aren't the best thing for my diabetes. However, Nate had been asking for them for a while so I figured it was time to give in. I saw this recipe over at The Skillet Sisters.

1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 Tbsp. active dry yeast
2 Tbsp. white sugar
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. salt
4 cups all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, stir together warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. To the yeast mixture, add the oil, salt, and 2 cups flour. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead* until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
Deflate the dough, and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 12-14 equal pieces, and form into round balls. Place on lightly greased baking sheets at least 2 inches apart. Cover the rolls with a damp cloth (or greased saran wrap), and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Bake for 12-13 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown. Makes about 16 rolls.

*I just used my bosch mixer with the dough hook.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Steak Stir-Fry

So good! I really, really enjoyed this recipe. This tasted much better than some of the dishes I've had at restaurants. I loved this dish! I am going to be making this again soon! I adapted this idea from one over at The Daily Smash. Enjoy!

1- 1 1/2 lbs. steak, sliced into thin strips
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup soy sauce
olive oil
vegetables of choice (I used broccoli, green pepper, onion, and carrots)
hot cooked rice

In a large skillet, heat a tablespoon or so of olive oil, once hot, cook the beef. Be careful not to over cook your beef, you don't want it to be tough. If sliced thin it should take just a few minutes. Once done, remove from pan and set aside. Empty any grease from pan. Heat another tablespoon of olive oil and saute vegetables until they become crisp-tender. In a bowl, combine cornstarch with water and mix well, then add brown sugar, ginger, chili powder, garlic powder, pepper, and soy sauce. Pour that mixture into the skillet with the vegetables and bring to a boil. Simmer for 2 or 3 minutes or until thickened. Add beef back to the skillet and heat through. Serve over hot cooked rice.

Homemade Slurpees

I saw these over at Taste and Tell and knew we had to try them! Such a fun hot weather treat and I like that you can make them any flavor you want!

makes 2 slurpees
2 cups ice
about 1 cup carbonated beverage (I used sprite)
1 Tbsp. pre-sweetened Kool-Aid*

Put the ice in a blender. Add enough carbonated beverage to just make the ice float. Add in the pre-sweetened Kool-Aid. Blend until slushy. Serve at once.

*all I had was unsweetened Kool-Aid so I just mixed the flavor packet and 1 cup sugar, and then added a Tbsp. of that

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Taco Stuffed Shells

This is a recipe from my childhood. I got a kid's cookbook that I think was published by Betty Crocker or Better Homes and Gardens, I can't seem to find it anywhere online or I would show you. It had a lot of fun and yummy recipes. Two of the recipes I remember making were mini cinnamon sugar soft pretzels and these taco stuffed shells. I looked everywhere online for the recipe, but couldn't find it so I just had to wing it. I think they turned out really well and they were even good left over. Enjoy!

1 lb. ground beef
8 oz. jumbo pasta shells
1 small onion, finely diced
1 green pepper, finely diced
1 envelope taco seasoning plus the water it requires
1 recipe of Zesty Mexican Tomato Sauce
shredded cheddar cheese
tortilla chips, crumbled for garnish (optional)

Brown the ground beef. Halfway through cooking time add the chopped pepper and onion. Add the taco seasoning plus the water it requires and finish cooking the meat. While the beef is cooking, boil the pasta shells until they are just shy al dente, they will finish cooking in the oven. Rinse and drain the shells and let cool for a few minutes. Prep sauce. Pour enough sauce into a 9x13" glass baking dish to cover the bottom. Once the beef is finished and the shells are cool, gently spoon beef into the shells and place finished shells in the baking dish. Once finished, pour remaining sauce over the stuffed shells. Cover and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. After 30 minutes uncover the stuffed shells and top with shredded cheese. Return to oven and bake another 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Just before serving top shells with some crushed tortilla chips and sliced olives. Enjoy warm.

*updated 04/06/13*