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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

baby cocoon

I just had to share this knitting order I finished last night. I've seen many pictures of these baby cocoons floating around pinterest and etsy but hadn't had anyone ask about them yet. I'm so glad I finally got to play with this! It turned out super cute, especially with the matching bonnet. Gonna have to make another I think!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Loaded Mashed Potatoes (baked)

These might not need a recipe... but they were so good I thought I would just put it out there.
I peeled and boiled a 5lb bag of michigan potatoes, just to tender and then mashed them by hand. To this I added a stick of butter, a pint of sour cream and 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese. I also added turkey bacon that was cooked until very crispy and then cut into little pieces.
I put this into an oven safe bowl and covered it with foil and baked it at 375 for 20 minutes. Right before serving, I put it under the broiler for a few minutes until the tops of the potatoes started to brown.
Dinner was so good that the whole family was silent! That NEVER happens!!
I served this with turkey bacon layered meatloaf and green beans from our garden last summer.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Molasses Oatmeal Cake

Something about winter, and especially this winter, makes me crave molasses. I got this oatmeal cake recipe a few months ago and it seemed the perfect vehicle for adding molasses to yesterday's menu.

In a big ceramic bowl, I put in one cup of oats, 1 cut up stick of butter and 1 1/2 cups of boiling water. Pour the water over top and let it sit for 15-20 minutes.
To this I added 1 cup of raw sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup molasses. Stir together and then add 1 egg, 1/2 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp salt. Mix this and then add 1 1/3 cup flour and stir until just mixed.
Pour into an oiled cake pan and bake st 350 for 40 minutes.

Friday, January 27, 2012

tangerine soaked, raw sugared, dehydrated baby carrots

and I have to say- they are awesome! Next time I will make much more! They are the perfect little guilt free, sweet snack.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

fruit and veg in the dehydrator

It's hard to keep the family full of fresh vitamins all winter long, even with the freezing and canning I do in the summer. Another way to get the kids to eat plenty of real nutrients is by making apple chips. I found apples really cheap at the grocery this week so I bought a few bags and got them in the dehydrator.

I've found the trick to be to slice them really thin and not to rush the process. It takes a few days unless you can afford one of the high powered dehydrators. Apples take at least two full days. Bananas take three or four.

Next up, though, is carrots soaked in tangerine juice and a little raw sugar. I'll let you know how it goes.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Peach Shortbread Bars

I made this recipe for Christmas too but that time I used blueberry jam. This time I wanted a real taste of summer since we're in the deep january freeze common to Michigan.

The shortbread dough is
4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
4 sticks of butter
2 cups of sugar
4 egg yolks

Cream the butter, sugar and then eggs. Add dry ingredients until just mixed. Seperate into 2 rounds, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze until hard (at least 2 hours).

Preheat over to 350

Line a 9x 13 pan with foil (this helps the bars pull out of the pan). Grate the frozen shortbread dough to cover bottom of pan. Spoon in your filling (I've been using freezer jam that I made over the summer). Grate more frozen shortbread on top.

Bake 50-60 minutes and then let cool on a wire rack. Use the foil to lift the bars out of the pan. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Cornmeal Parmesan Crackers

A week ago, we can down with a nasty stomach flu bug. One by one, we all went down with it. So all week everyone had pretty sore bellies. I was tired of feeding the kidlets store bought saltines, so I made these cornmeal parmesan crackers.

3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 1/2 tsp baking powder plus 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp of brown sugar or raw sugar 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk (milk plus 1 Tbs vinegar)
1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Mix, in that order, like any bread dough. Wrap it in cheesecloth and put in the fridge for a bit. Roll out and cut into shapes.
Paint on an egg wash and sprinkle sea salt on top.
Bake 15-20 minutes on parchment lined cookie sheets in the 350 degree oven.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Naan bread and Butternut Squash Sauce over Pasta

I'm not very good with yeast breads. I think maybe I'm just not patient enough to let them rise properly. But naan bread is one I can make. Add a Tbsp of yeast and 2 Tbsps of sugar to 1/2 cup warm water. Let is sit and get foamy (5 minutes, max). To this add 1 cup of flour, 1 tsp salt and 1/4 cup clarified butter. Kneed this with enough four to make a good dough; about 3 minutes. Put it in an oiled bowl and let it sit an hour.

For the pasta sauce, I started with 2 onions, sliced, cooked slowly in butter until very soft and carmalized. I added garlic, 2 tsp rosemary and 2 tsp salt. To this I added a jar of the butternut squash I grew and canned this fall. And then 3-4 cups of half and half. Don't let the creamer boil- or scorch or the flavor will be changed. Once the squash is re-softened and the creamer is warm, put the sauce in a blender and blend until smooth. Once it is smooth, add 1/4 cup onion and chive cream cheese.

Mix this with your pasta of choice in an oven safe dish. I put fried onions over top before baking (20 minutes at 400)

After the dough rises, make 6 seperate loaves and put them on oiled cookie sheets. These bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Finished dinner- it was amazing!!