Monday, May 25, 2015

Lil Frenchies....sooo good

Lil Frenchies are my version of French Breakfast Puffs.
 they taste like an old fashioned donut
rolled in butter, cinnamon sugar, oh my

my kids have consumed them for years
their job was to dip in butter than roll in cinnamon sugar

yes, you can make them in muffin pans
you have to admit lil balls are so cute
mix shortening, sugar and eggs
today we are using organic coconut oil
number 1 daughter does not go near shortening

nicely mixed

add a little flour, mix, then a little milk, mix 
a little flour, mix, then a little milk, mix 
until you've added all the milk and flour

fill muffin tins 2/3 full
or Babycakes Pop maker  to the top
 love my Babycakes Pop Maker
it gives that fried crunch without the oily mess
melt butter
roll lil frenchies while still warm
in butter then cinnamon sugar
 try to fill dish!!!!

French Breakfast Puffs

12   muffins or 36 balls

1 1/2  cups flour King Arthur Gluten Free flour or regular flour
1 1/2  teaspoons baking powder
1/2  teaspoon salt
1/4  teaspoon nutmeg
1/2  cup  sugar
1/3  cup shortening
2   egg
1/2  cup milk
1/2  cup  sugar
1  teaspoon cinnamon
6  tablespoons  butter, melted, - more butter needed with balls

 Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper liners.  Stir flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg together; set aside.  In mixer cream 1/2 cup sugar, shortening and egg.  Add flour mixture and milk alternately to creamed mixture.  Beating well after each addition.  Fill muffin cups 2/3 full.  Bake for 20-25 minutes. 

Combine 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon.  Remove muffins from tins immediately dip in butter then cinnamon sugar mixture.  Serve warm.
For Babycakes Pop Maker
Balls - let batter sit 5 minutes after mixing, batter will thicken
fill bottom of pop pan,  close, wait 5 minutes open, done
pop out roll in butter than cinnamon sugar

 NOTES : Taste like donuts, great with a cup of blueberries added.
Next time we are going to dip them in chocolate and see if they taste like those store bought donuts we all hate to admit we love.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Here Chicky, Chicky, Chicky................

One Pot Traditional Chicken Dinner
                                          super yummy, super simple,
                                                              put together in 15 minutes walk away
                                                                                          Dutch Oven 2hrs ready to serve
                                                                                                               Crockpot  8hrs ready to serve

OMG Deliciousness everyone loves

quarter potatoes
lay in the bottom of pot
first person that complains about skin
hand them a peeler
add chunked up onion
baby carrots
 if you don't feel like peeling the big guys

lots of celery big 2-3" chunks

 sweet potato, squash, mushrooms, green beans
asparagus did work since they were the big fat toughies
 all extra  yum if you want extra veggies

put chicken on top of veggies rub with seasonings,
forget to take photo
bake in a dutch oven
use an oven bag in a 13x9x2 pan
pop in oven, wait patiently 

in the oven potatoes will brown so plop a few on top

in the summer - chicken salad sandwiches with any leftover chicken
in the winter - the drippings make an awesome chicken soup

3 - 4  lb chicken
5-7  lbs roasting chicken
2 cups potatoes
1 cup onion or 1 med onion
3 cups veggies
1-2 tsp poultry seasoning

Preheat oven to 350°F.  In Dutch Oven or opened Cooking Bag placed in 13x9-inch baking pan place chicken, rub seasoning over chicken, add vegetables, I like to place some vegetables under chicken.  Bake in lower half of oven 1 ½-2 hours, depending on chicken size. Remove from oven. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut open bag. Serve chicken and vegetables with pan juices.
3 - 4  lb about 1 ½ hours with veggies
5-7  lbs about 2 hours with veggies
Crockpot instructions:
Place vegetables in crockpot, add deskinned chicken , rub seasoning over chicken.  Cook 8 hours on low, 4 hours on high. 
Veggies don't brown I put them all under chicken.
I take the skin off I don't like the idea of my veggies swimming in chicken fat.  Leave the skin on if you don't care where your veggies have been swimming;0)

Barbeque rub is great especially if you want to make chicken salad with the leftovers

1 tsp each Rosemary and garlic, salt and pepper to taste

Rotisserie Style seasoning
adapted from
A Year of Slowcooking
2 tsp kosher salt (if you'd like it as salty as the ones in the store, add another 1 tsp.)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper
pinch of chili pepper (probably not necessary)
1 tsp garlic powder

Monday, May 11, 2015

Lil Balls of Goodness

Lil Balls of Goodness can be made with Philly Cheese Steak, Italian Sausage, 
Pizza toppings, Western,
let your imagination run wild

so yummy I doubled the batch to freeze some for late night snacking
 I guess my guests didn't know that - they ate 44 balls
gluten free flour or your standard flour works great
Originally I made these with Italian Sausage Filling
today I'm trying the philly cheese steak inspired by Rachel Ray
mini muffin tins work but the baby pop balls are so cute
I love the baby cakes pop maker  I've never made a cake in it!!!
you are tricked into believing you are eating fried foods - but your not!!
clamcakes,  donut holes, corn dogs omg goodness
Mom's checking the recipe
that's how I know she doesn't like what she sees me doing in the kitchen
and she did correct me good thing someone is paying attention

dice your peppers and onions really fine
big junks will be hard to place in tins
scramble Hamburg you want it to be small
cooking through till no longer pink

add Worcestershire sauce, onions, peppers
cook until translucent - just the way you like them on a Philly Cheese Steak
set aside to cool
mix the flour, baking powder, onion powder
 make sure baby pops maker warming up
add eggs and milk
mix till it looks pretty
then add cheese and meat filling
now it may not look so pretty
give that ugly duckling a moment 
OMG Lil Balls of Goodness 
these would be great in kids lunches even sneak veggies into the mix
dip in spicy mustard for extra pow!!

Mini Muffin Philly Cheesesteak Bites
2 lbs ground beef
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 1/2 c.  flour, I’ve been using
King Arthur  Gluten Free Blend
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups cups milk
2 eggs
1 tsp onion powder
1 ½ cups shredded provolone cheese
, Salt and pepper 

Prepare the filling, In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, brown the meat. Once brown, add the onion, peppers and Worcestershire, and cook for 1-2 minutes  just how you like them in a philly cheese steak. Remove from heat ,let cool.

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, egg, milk, and onion powder, mix lightly.    Add cooled meat mixture and 1 1/2 cups of cheese.  Season with salt and pepper.
Plug in my favorite BabyCakes Pops Maker preheat.  using a tablespoon fill each pop just over half full, don’t worry Mom will remind you,  takes 5 minutes to cook and be a pretty golden brown.
If you don’t want to make cute balls use mini muffin pans and
Bake at 375 for 15 minutes or until golden on top.

Makes 48 balls 
freezes well really well I managed to freeze four before they all disappeared just to test it out

Other Fillings in place of Philly Pepper Steak
Italian Sausage Filling
2 lb sweet or hot Italian bulk sausage,  2 peppers, 1 1/2 cups onion, 1 tsp Italian seasoning, 1 ½ cups pizza cheese, pizza sauce for dipping.  scramble the sausage sautéing until brown, add the onion, peppers  and cook for 1-2 minutes, cool.  mix cooled mixture, cheese, Italian seasoning into biscuit batter.  
I use a chicken sausage so it isn't greasy

Ham and Cheese
1 lb ham diced, 1 cup swiss cheese diced, 1 small onion diced,  mix into biscuit
Pizza Filling
1 c Mozzarella cheese, grated , 2 cups Pepperoni, 1 tsp italian seasoning, finely chopped Pizza Sauce, warmed

Western Filling:1 ½ cups provolone, 1lb ham, cut into fine squares, I want to try American cheese but am afraid it will ooze! 1 green pepper, minced,  1cup  onion, minced

Spinach Artichoke from Rachel Ray – can’t wait to try it!!
1 10-ounce box frozen spinach, thawed squeeze excess liquid, 4 ounces cream cheese, diced small,  2 14-ounce cans artichokes, drained and chopped, 1 cup parmesan cheese
Chicken-Broccoli Mixture
1 lb cooked chicken diced, 1/2 cup onion, diced, 2 cups cooked chopped broccoli, if frozen thaw & squeeze the liquid out or you'll have soggy bites, 1 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, diced, ½ tsp basil,   if I have carrot I add it, it looks pretty
I like my onion a little soft I soften for 30 seconds in microwave.
Spinach Ricotta  - still working on this one a girl can only make so many balls in a day
CheeseBurgerthis one just needs to be tested
ground beef, cheddar cheese, chopped pickles, onion powder, dipped in ketchup
hmmmmm wonder how I could do a barbeque.....................
Let your imagination go wild!!!!!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Just Perfection Beet Salad

We're going to take the toasted almonds you didn't burn, the roasted beets
and make an amazing Beet Salad!!


you did a great job on the almonds and beets
when your ready the salad will take minutes to put together 
It all depends who your sharing with on how you want to plate a salad
Arugula has a nice zing that balances with the sweet beets & balsamic dressing
this is the main dish instead of a side I plated BIG

goat cheese isn't as salty as feta - go ahead give it a try
you'll never go back

Beet Salad just isn't the same without toasted almonds

drizzle dressing over salad
mine glopped no chance for a redo
time to dig in

Beet Salad

8 cups arugula (10oz package)
1/3 cup roasted almonds, toasted
4 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled
Maple Balsamic Dressing or your favorite Balsamic Dressing
Put the arugula on a serving platter and then arrange the beets, almonds, and goat cheese on top. Drizzle with Maple Balsamic Dressing, if desired, sprinkle with salt and pepper, serve warm or at room temperature.  If you like a lot of dressing toss arugula with some dressing.

Maple Balsamic Dressing

Roasted Beets

Baby Spinach works well or half arugula half baby spinach

Toasting Almonds

Toasted Almonds
yummy toasted almonds make any dish better
toss on salad, add to chicken salad, seafood stuffing
sprinkle over green beans, broccoli
add to brownies, sprinkle over ice cream


start with sliced roasted almonds
why? because the raw don't have as much flavor
and toasting gives more flavor than the roasting
trust me I've tried - just toast the roasted almonds
In a large sauté pan toss a thin layer of almonds
over medium heat, watching closely
stirring often 
one distraction they'll burn
overcrowding will result in brown patches with uncooked almonds
my pan is definitely overcrowded
what can I say I give good advice I just don't take it
hmmmm....they smell so yummy
don't burn your fingers sneaking some out of the pan
Toasted Almonds
2 cups of sliced roasted almonds
When the pan is preheated, spread only enough almonds to cover the pan in an even thin layer.
Stir  frequently (about once every 30 seconds) to prevent the nuts from burning.
The stove top method is quick and easy, the almond slices tend to roast a little unevenly, so it's important to keep the almonds moving.

Remove the almonds from the pan when they are done toasting.
The almonds should take between 3 and 5 minutes to toast on the stove top.
Remove the almonds from the heat just before they begin to develop browned edges  otherwise they will start to burn.

Immediately pour the toasted almond slices into another dish to cool.  Store in glass jar after they are cooled.

You can toast in the oven but I always burn them it's that distraction thing
you look away things start smoking!!


Simply Done Roasted Beets

Love my Roasted Beets
 so simple to make
so yummy to eat

enjoy them warm, with a little butter if you must
chill them for a salad
sneak them when no one is looking
yes I love beets
greens cut off and saved
little squiggly things trimmed

usually I wrap each beet in tin foil
bake on a cookie sheet no clean up needed
why I decided it was good plan to have to clean purple gizzz out of the pan?

Roasted Beets

Wrap the beets individually in aluminum foil and place them on a sheet pan.
Roast them for 50 minutes to 1 hour, depending on their size, until they are tender, test with a small sharp knife.
Or you can stick them in a covered casserole and have a mess to clean up.
Unwrap each beet and set aside for 10 minutes, until cool enough to handle.
Peel the beets with a small, sharp knife skin should peel of easily. 
I wear rubber gloves or rub the skin off with a paper towel to keep my hands from turning purple.  Slice or chunk , enjoy warm with a little butter or on a beet salad

Maple Balsamic Salad Dressing

Maple Balsamic Salad Dressing

Photos are forthcoming
I'm  serious
in the meantime dogs are out of the kitchen

Maple Balsamic Dressing

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup maple syrup, don't cheat use the good stuff
2 teaspoons country-style Dijon mustard
2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh garlic
1 teaspoon salt

Combine all salad dressing ingredients in small bowl; beat with wire whisk until well mixed.

I recycle jars, lots of jars, put all the ingredients in a jar, put the lid on tight, shake, so much easier
Refrigerate until serving time.

add crumbled bacon omg so freakin good
your tastebuds will demand more

you can cut the recipe in half but then you'll just find yourself making more

Great on Beet Salad

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Italian Meatballs my Nonna would be proud

All I remember of my Nonna is good food, real good food
Nonna's cooking oozed love
Mom had to take notes when Nonna cooked so we have some recipes
I think Nonna would be proud of my Meatballs
first put dog outside of the kitchen
ignore sad brown eyes
 if you don't have a good ground beef you won't have good meatballs
don't over mix ground beef rumor has it makes the meat tough
I took photos the best photos ever
of the ground beef with crumbs, cheese, seasonings
misplaced them I know how does that happen on a digital camera
30 yrs I've been making meatballs
my aunts would always asked why I stand over a hot stove frying the meatballs
just put them in the oven they said
it's quicker, it's easier, just do it
look Aunties - I put them in the oven
you are very wise women
place cooked meatballs into the my spaghetti sauce
simmer, at least 1/2 hour
put in the crock on low for 4 or more hours
serve with pasta or in a nice subroll
we use the gluten free sour cream biscuits for subrolls
Three Bakers makes an awesome Gluten Free Sub

 Italian Meatballs
1 1/2  pounds   hamburger
2      large   eggs, beaten
3/4  cup  bread crumbs,   4c Gluten Free Italian is great or crumb 2 slices gluten free bread
1/3  cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/2  teaspoon      salt
1/4  teaspoon      pepper
1 clove  garlic, minced
  small  onion, minced

Place all ingredients in bowl, mix thoroughly without over mixing into mush.  Roll into balls about 2".  Cook in fry pan over low heat 15 minutes each side.  Place cooked meatballs in sauce, simmer 1 hour.  No longer.

Instead of frying bake at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes because it makes the Aunts happy

 NOTES : If using unseasoned bread crumbs add 1 tsp Italian seasoning
Basic Tomato Sauce
1 med onion, minced
2 oz olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-12oz can tomato paste
1- 16 oz can sauce
1- 28 oz can crushed tomato
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp sweet basil
Over low heat, sauté garlic & onion in oil in a large stock pan.  When onion is translucent add paste and a little water, stir.  When hot add the crushed tomatoes and sauce, sugar, seasonings.  Simmer at least 2 hours.
I sprinkle 1/2 tsp baking soda and stir until it stops frothing to cut the acidity of the tomatoes.
Still looking for my original notes to see where I learned this.