Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Buttermilk Waffles

If you remember, I got a waffle maker for Christmas and I've been on the look out for waffle recipes to try. Well to no surprise the amazing Katie featured this recipe for Buttermilk Waffles and I knew I had to try it. This recipe did not disappoint and has earned a spot in my recipe box, as well as earning a Tot Approved award. I served it up with some bananas drizzled in natural maple syrup, theres no room in my kitchen for the artificial stuff. This is the second recipe I've used in my waffle maker and we have all ready abandoned ever going back to any store bought waffles, we freeze any left overs and then just pop them in the toaster to heat them up. I must give a big thank you to my wife for buying me the waffle maker and to Katie for the delicious waffle recipe.
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled to room temperatue
2 teasoons vanilla
2 cups Pastry or 1 3/4 cups All-Purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teasoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda

Ina a medium-sized bowl, beat together the eggs, buttermilk, melted butter or margarine and vanilla. In another bowl whisk together the dry ingredients. Combine the wet and dry ingredients just until almost smooth.

Spray your waffle iron with a non-stick cooking spray before preheating it. For an 8-inch round waffle iron, use about 1/3 cup batter. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the iron stops steaming. Yield; about ten 8 inch waffles


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Giant Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies

Oatmeal raisin cookies are my wife's all time favorite cookie, so when I found this recipe in my Cooking Light cookbook I had to make them. If you like your cookies fluffy and light then this is your recipe. My daughter loved making them and eating them, in fact I'm ashamed to say they did not last long.
I apologize for the photo, it's from my phone and it's the only record of these short lived cookies. I wasn't kidding when I said they didn't last very long.

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup stick margarine or butter, softened
2 large eggs
3/4 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice
1/4 cup regular oats
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup chopped pecans(omitted for peanut allergy)
Cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 375º.
2. Beat sugar and margarine in a large bowl at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended 9about 4 minutes). Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add applesauce and vanilla; beat well.
3. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, pumpkin-pie spice, and salt in a bowl. Add to sugar mixtures; beat well. Stir in oats, raisins, and pecans.
4. Drop dough into 24 mounds 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375º for 14 minutes or until almost set. Remove cookies from pans; cool on wire racks. Yield: 2 dozen


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Chicken Potpie

It's winter, even if the weather here doesn't feel like it, and it's time for great comfort foods. Well here's a great recipe for you. In fact it made plenty of left overs that were fought over for days to come, it almost got ugly let me tell ya'! I will be making this one again for sure, in fact it will likely be in my weekly rotation for many winters to come.
Prep: 40 minutes
Cook: 1 1/2 hours

9 cups water
1 tablespoon black pepper corns
2 1/2 pounds chicken pieces, skinned(making a stock?! I used bone in skin on chicken thighs)
3 celery stalks, each cut into 4 pieces
1 small onion, quartered
1 bay leaf
1/2 cups diced unpeeled round red potato
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 cup thinly sliced carrot
1/2 cup chopped leek (about 1 small)
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup frozen green peas
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup 1% low-fat milk
Cooking spray
Biscuit Topping

1. Combine first 6 ingredients in an 8 quart Dutch oven or stock pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and cook, uncovered, 1 hour. Remove from heat.
2. Remove chicken pieces from broth. Place chicken in a large bowl, and chill for 15 minutes. Strain broth through a cheesecloth-lined colander into a bowl; discard solids. Set aside 4 1/2 cups broth; reserve remaining broth for another use.
3. Remove chicken from bones; cut meat into bite-size pieces.
4. Preheat oven to 400º.
5 bring 4 1/2 cups broth to a boil in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add potato, chopped celery, bell pepper, and garlic; cover and cook 5 minutes. Add carrot and leek; cover and cook 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and peas; cover and cook 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
6. Combine flour, salt, and black pepper in a medium bowl. Add milk, stirring with a whisk; add to vegetable mixture. Cook over medium heat 3 minutes or until thickened and bubbly, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; add chicken.
7. Spoon into a 13/9 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Drop Biscuit Topping onto mixture to form 16 biscuits. Bake at 400º for 30 minutes or until golden. Yield: 8 servings (serving size: about 1 cup chicken mixture and 2 biscuits).

Biscuit Topping
2 cups all-purpse flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup 1% low-fat milk
1 1/2 tablespoon stick margarine or butter melted

1. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and garlic powder in a bowl. Stir in milk and margarine just until flour mixture is moistened. Yield; 16 biscuits.


Friday, January 13, 2012

Simple Waffles On New Waffle Maker

We had an amazing Christmas even though I spent Christmas day at the fire station. My wife surprised me with a gift that wasn't on my list but I had mentioned several times, a waffle maker. She bought me the Black & Decker 3 in 1 Grill, Griddle, & Waffle Maker. So far I love this thing! It's got removable grates, which after the torture of cleaning my last waffle maker those are a must! Also it's got an adjustable thermostat, which I haven't played with a whole lot, but we'll see how helpful that really ease later. I also got me the Chicago Metallic Baking Essentials Cupcake/Batter Dispenser, which is something I really wanted. I've used it about three times and the last time I tried a different recipe that was just to thick for it, but it worked great for the thinner batters.

The first time I decided to use my new waffle maker I used the recipe that was included in the manual, which is a pretty good recipe. It also freezes nicely and I just tossed it in the toaster to warm it up. As you can see this waffle maker makes square waffles, which is actually pretty neat. I'm considering looking for a whole wheat waffle recipe and using it to make a breakfast sandwich.

2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Lightly brush waffle cooking plates with vegetable oil. Close unit and preheat at WAFFLE setting.
2. In medium bowl, Beat until smooth.
3. Pour 1 cup batter evenly on preheated cooking plate. Close unit; bake until light goes out (about 5 minutes).
Makes: 2 (4-sectioned) waffles


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Make-Ahead Ooeh-Gooey Sticky Buns!

I made these for the morning that we celebrated Christmas, which was actually Christmas Eve as I had to work on Christmas Day. My wife and I always tried to have something delicious before we had our daughter and that was used to be the packaged cinnamon roles. Well with my daughter's peanut allergy it's safer and easier to fix everything from scratch, like I need more reasons! Well I found this recipe in my go to cook book, The Complete Cooking Light cookbook, that has almost any recipe I would want to make. This recipe is great and I am hard pressed to go looking for another recipe. I will be doing this recipe again because it's so GOOD!
Prep: 40 minutes
Rise: 8 hours 45 minutes
Cook: 23 minutes

1 package dry yeast
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 cup warm water (100º to 110º F)
4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup evaporated fat-free milk, divided
14 cup water
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Cooking spray
1 1/4 cups packed dark ground sugar, divided
1/2 cup dark corn syrup (I used dark Agave Nectar with excellent results)
2 tablespoons stick margarine or butter
3/4 cup chopped pecans (I omitted these for my daughters peanut allergy)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1. Dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon granulated sugar in 1/4 cup warm water in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups level with a knife. Place 3 3/4 cups flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, nutmeg, and salt in a food processor; pulse 2 times or until blended. Combine 2/3 cup milk, 1/4 cup water, and egg. With processor on, slowly add milk mixture and yeast mixture through food chute; process until dough forms a ball. Precess 1 additional minute. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will be tacky).
2. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place(85º), free from drafts, 45 minutes or until doubled in size. Combine remaining 1/3 cup milk, 1 cup brown sugar, corn syrup, and margarine in a small saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Divide pecans evenly between 2 (9-inch) round cake pans coated with cooking spray. Top each with half of brown sugar mixture.
3. Punch dough down; let rest 5 minutes. Roll into a 24x10-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface; coat dough with cooking spray. Combine remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl; sprinkle evenly over dough, leaving a 1/2 inch border. Beginning with a long side, roll up jelly-roll fashion; pinch seam to seal (do no seal ends of roll). Place long piece of dental floss or string under the roll; slowly pull ends to cut though the dough. Arrange 12 slices, cut sides up, in each pan. Cover with plastic wrap coated with cooking spray; let rise in refrigerator 8 to 24 hours or until doubles in size.
4. Preheat oven to 375º.
5. Bake rolls at375º for 23 minutes. Run a knife around outside edges of pans. Place a plate upside down on top of each pan; invert onto plate. Yield: 2 dozen


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy New Years!

I know it's almost a week overdue, but Happy New Year just the same. I've been having some technical difficulties with our internet connection and being unable to upload photo's, hopefully that will be taking care of early next week. Also I have been struggling lately with where I'm headed with the blog this year and just not wanting to set down to work on the blog.  I've gotten to prepare some amazing recipes and made some great friends, but I've been really wanting to focus on a few recipes and become more comfortable with making those recipes, like making my Grandmother's noodles for example. I also have been mulling over the idea of creating my own personal list of recipes that every one should know how to make. I'm not sure what those recipes should be just yet, but I've got a few ideas.

It's funny I started writing this post with no clear idea where I was headed with my blog or where I was headed with my cooking this year. It looks like I may be changing directions and featuring fewer new recipes, but it looks like I just decided where I'm headed this year. I know 2011 was a great year and I have no idea what 2012 will hold, but I can't wait to get this year started.

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