Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Bake Sale

Saturday our Boy Scout Troop is having a bake sale at the Raddison for some conference that the Oneida tribe is hosting. There are 1600 people expected to attend. The money raised will go directly into the boys Scout Savings Account to pay for things like camp, scout outings, etc. So, I will be baking my heart out the next two days. Here's what I'm planning to make:

Lemon Biscotti
Cinnamon Sugar Almonds (the thought here is maybe someone wants a "healthy" snack...or at least a bit healthier than cake and cookies...)
Caramel Apple Bread
Chocolate Mint Cookies
M&M Bars (I'll post this recipe soon!)
Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Icing (maybe...)
Rosemary Brown Butter Popcorn (Is it odd to have popcorn at a bake sale? I thought it might be nice to munch on while they are in the conference...not sure...)
Some plain old popcorn (?)

So, you probably won't see me again until Monday since the kids are off tomorrow and Friday and then the fun weekend!! See you then with the recipe for M&M bars!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Venison Stew

Friday was another cold and rainy day here in Wisconsin. Great weather if you're a duck. I'm not a duck and I'm not enjoying it. Top that off with three coughing kids and you've got a ton of fun, let me tell ya. So, we needed comforting and soothing and relaxing. What better than a vat of stew? Yes, I mean a VAT of stew. I inherited this problem from my mother...I over cook. When it was just Tim and me it was a pretty big problem, but now that I have 4 additional healthy eaters, it's a bit more manageable. We have a freezer full of venison and we've slowly but surely been eating away at it, but it's hunting season again and I still have venison in the freezer, so I guess we'll have to eat even more venison and cut back on my beloved chicken. So, I wanted a recipe for venison stew that didn't include gravy mix because 1) I'm out and 2) we don't need all the extra salt. So, online I go...and I find a recipe that I fully intended to use as written...until I started making it and realize that there is NO seasoning in it whatsoever....unless you count the beef bouillon. So, I tweaked it and added some spice and some of this and that, some more veggies (because what's stew with only 2 potatoes in it??) the results were pretty tasty. Enjoy!

Venison Stew

2-3 pounds venison stew meat
4-6 cloves garlic
4 tbsp butter
1/3 cup flour
5 potatoes, peeled and chopped
5+ carrots, peeled and chopped (adjust the amount to your liking)
1 onion, chopped
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1-2 cups chopped celery
5-6 tsp beef bouillon (1 tsp=1 cube)
1 tsp crushed rosemary
1 tsp marjoram
water (7ish cups?)

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour

Cut meat into bite size pieces. Toss with 1/3 cup flour. Pan fry meat in hot skillet with butter and garlic until browned.

Dissolve bouillon in some hot water. Add browned meat and add enough hot water to cover meat by 1 inch. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 2 hours. Add vegetables and spices and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender. (I added my veggies the first time I brought it to a boil and made sure there was enough water that the veggies were covered.) Before serving, melt butter in a small pan and stir in flour. Stir this mixture in the stew and it will thicken.

**Edit 10/25/09: I made this again today, but used Country Herb Seasoning (found at Aldi's) and it was insanely awesome!!)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pumpkin Seeds

Rugby carved pumpkins at school on Friday. They take them to the Navarino Nature Center for their annual Fall Event (that's tonight, btw!). They have them lit and along a trail and it doesn't start until 6:30, so it's plenty dark to see them and the cool designs the kids carved into them. Normally, we don't carve our pumpkins. I have the kids paint them so that right after Halloween I can use them to make pies and the seeds are an added bonus. This year, the seeds are the main event since Rugby and Riley weren't able to be convinced to paint the pumpkins. Rugby was really excited about roasting seeds, though....he brought home 4 pumpkins worth after their carving event at school and we had 2 pumpkins that they carved here at home, so it's a nice amount of seeds to work with. Most of them were just olive oil and sea salt, but one batch I did get to make the "Martha Stewart" way. Years ago, I had seen her make these and tried them and INSTANTLY loved them. Then I forgot about them and now I haven't made them in a few years again. Today we made them and Rugby is also in love with them. Enjoy!

Martha Stewart Pumpkin Seeds

Seeds from 1-2 pumpkins
5 tbsp sugar, divided
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cumin
cayenne pepper, to taste
1 1/2 tbsp oil (I use EVOO or butter for this)

Preheat oven to 250. Line baking sheet with parchment paper before placing seeds on the baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour or until dry, stirring every 15 minutes or so.

In a medium bowl, mix salt, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne (I do a little shake), and 3 tbsp sugar. Set aside.

In a non-stick skillet, heat oil. Add seeds and 2 tbsp sugar. Cook until seeds begin to caramelize (45-60 seconds-ish). Pour seeds into the spice mixture and toss to coat. Allow to cool before eating. They will last 1 week in an airtight container...if you can resist them that long!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

LF Chicken and Dumpling Soup

The other day, while we were all sick, my mom brought me Taste of Home's BIG BOOK OF SOUP. There are a TON of recipes in this book that I'd love to make. So, expect to see some soup here soon!

So, last night, it was 4:30 and I hadn't given any thought to dinner. AT ALL. Nothing thawed, no leftovers, nothing I could just throw on the table. I opened this book and this recipe just jumped out at me. I had everything in the house and it was QUICK. Love that! So, here's the recipe...Enjoy!

Low Fat Chicken and Dumplings

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2" cubes (I cut mine smaller because of the babies)
2tbsp butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cans chicken broth
3 cups water (I used 4, just because)
4 medium carrots, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped (I used a bit more since all I had were the inner ribs with the leaves...used the leaves, too!)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
rubbed sage, crushed rosemary, and taste. I think I used about 1/2-1 tsp combined
1/4 tsp black pepper

In a large skillet, pan fry the chicken in the butter and garlic cloves. In your stock pot, bring to a boil the broth, water, vegetables and seasonings. Add chicken to this. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered about 30 minutes.

3 egg whites
1/2 cup cottage cheese
2 tbsp water
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup ap flour

Beat the egg whites and cottage cheese in a mixing bowl. Add water and salt. Stir in flour, making sure to mix well.

When soup has simmered for 30 minutes, bring the soup back to a boil and drop dumplings into the soup by the tablespoonful. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 15 minutes longer. DO NOT LIFT THE LID WHILE SIMMERING. Serve immediately.

(Looking for a use for the egg yolks?? How about this recipe? YUM!)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Weird popcorn

This post is from the archives of It's A Boy's Life For Me. An oldie, but a goodie from August 25, 2007. This was 15 days after I had Tucker. It was probably one of the first days that I was alone with all 4 kids after I got home from the hospital. Since it involves a recipe, I thought I'd post it over here. I was craving it today, anyway. :) Enjoy!

August 25, 2007

Of all the time I got to spend in the hospital with nothing to do but watch TV, I took the time to catch up on the happenings at the Food Network. One of my favorite chefs is Michael Chiarello. There's something about him and his shows that's mesmerizing. The show that I happened to catch, he was making Brown butter, rosemary and lemon popcorn. Interesting flavors to put on popcorn, but I like rosemary and lemon so I thought I'd try it. Tonight. The flavor is really light and it's a nice change to regular popcorn. The weird part of this is though that RUGBY LOVES IT. Riley rolled his nose up, tried it, and wasn't impressed. Rugby went nuts for it. I'll make it again, I'm sure! Here's the recipe if you wanna try it yourself:

Brown Butter, Rosemary, and Lemon Popcorn
Recipe courtesy Michael Chiarello

1 cup popcorn
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary leaves
2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

Heat the popcorn and oil in a 1-gallon, heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. When the popcorns starts to pop, cover the pot tightly and continue to cook until all the popcorn pops, about 2 to 3 minutes, shaking the pot occasionally. Pour the popcorn into a large bowl.

In a medium saute pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter and cook until it is brown, shaking the pan occasionally. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the rosemary to the butter and pour the butter mixture over the popcorn. Toss well. Add the salt and pepper and lemon zest. Toss well.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Lemon Biscotti

About 2 years ago, the church we were attending had a "Ladies Tea" social event. There were all kinds of yummy treats to go with the tea, too. It was a really nice night to socialize and it was NOT for the kids, so I got to go alone which was also super nice! One of the yummy treats that we had that night was Lemon Biscotti. It was AWESOME. The hostess, Dagney, was kind enough to share the recipe with me...and it's been in an e-mail folder ever since. It happened to come up in a convo the other day again and I thought it'd be nice to try and make it. It sounded easy enough. So I did and it was wonderful, just like I remembered. YAY! I love when that happens!

Friday, Tim had a bake sale at school he wanted to take something for so he had me whip up another batch. They didn't really sell. Apparently no one knew what they were. So one lady tried them and then bought a bunch. Then she told another lady about them and she bought the rest! I guess they had to know what they were, then everyone loved them!

Here's the recipe. Enjoy!

Lemon Biscotti

2 3/4 cup ap flour

1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp lemon rind
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, divided
1 tbsp lemon extract
1 tbsp vegetable oil
3 large eggs

2/3 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, and baking powder. In another bowl, combine lemon rind, 1 tbsp lemon juice, lemon extract, oil and eggs. Whisk until well combined and add to flour mixture, stirring until well combined. (I start with the whisk and then finish it with my hands) It will be dry and crumbly. Turn dough out on a LIGHTLY floured surface and knead lightly 7-8 times.

Divide dough in half. Shape each portion into a log about 8 inches long. Flatten each log to a 1 inch thickness. Transfer to parchment lined (or sprayed) baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer dough to cooling rack. Reduce oven temp to 325. Cool for 10 minutes. Slice diagonally into 1/2 inch wide pieces. You should be able to get 10-15 pieces from each log of dough. Place pieces, cut side down, back on the baking sheets and bake for 10 minutes. Turn cookies over and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to cooling racks to cool completely before proceeding.

To make the drizzle, stir together the powdered sugar and 1 tbsp remaining lemon juice. Add more juice a little at a time to get the drizzle to the consistency that you want. Drizzle over cooled biscotti and let it dry completely before putting away.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New posts!

I'm working on a couple new posts. They should be ready soon!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Banana Bread Pudding

I've been making all kinds of yummy treats lately! This one is no exception. I was in the mood for some kind of banana pudding and THOUGHT that this is what a good friend of ours had made that I'd thought was so good....I was wrong, but it was good anyway! My hubby said I better watch out or my FIL will be here all the time since this is one of his favorite treats.

Banana Bread Pudding

1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

2 1/2 cups scalded milk

Set aside.

In a 2 quart casserole, layer:
4 slices bread (I cubed mine)
3 mashed bananas
4 more slices bread
3 more mashed bananas

Pour custard over this. Set casserole dish in another larger dish of water and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until set. Enjoy!

**Tim said that I should have made a brandy sauce for over it and it'd have been perfect. Also, a double batch will fit in a 9x13 cake pan, but you'll need a rather large pan for the water bath to do that.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Taco Seasoning

We go through a TON of taco seasoning. Last winter, we had taco night every Wednesday because right after school the kids had church, then we had 1 1/2 hours until wrestling practice to make supper, eat and do homework before we had to be back to school so it was crazy around here those nights and tacos are EASY and QUICK. LOVE THAT!! So every Wednesday was Taco night. There was a time or two where I was out of taco seasoning. OOPS, now what do I do?! Find a recipe for some and HOPE that I have everything in the house....lucky for me, I'm a spice collector. I have oodles of spices, most are common things, but there are a few things that are for more cultural dishes. This recipe takes things you probably already have...with the exception of cumin, these are ALWAYS in my house and have always been. Cumin is something that I started to keep in the house after I found a recipe for Pumpkin Seeds. I'll have to dig that recipe out for you, too. It's another good one and 'tis the season for pumpkin seeds!

Taco Seasoning

1 tbsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp sea salt (or iodized, whatever)
1 tsp black pepper
cayenne pepper to taste

Stir together. Add to one pound ground meat, add some water and fry until heated through.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Indian Tacos

We love Indian Tacos. My husband's mom has a super fantastic recipe for Fry Bread. I used to have it, but when we moved, it's lost in a box somewhere and we haven't unpacked it yet. So, I called her and she just happened to have it handy the other night when we wanted to have them. WOOHOO! This is one of those recipes that you just have to play with it. If you've made bread, you know the texture of the dough and this should be similar, but the weather plays into how much flour the dough will accept. It's worth trying, though!

Fry Bread

4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2-3 tbsp oil
2 cups water or milk
flour-enough to make a soft dough, start with 2 cups

Mix all the ingredients. Add more flour as needed to make a soft, smooth dough. After the initial mixing of ingredients, it works best just to work the dough with your hands. When your dough can form a ball, let rest for 15 minutes.

Heat your oil to 375. To fry, I like to use a golf ball sized piece and work into a thin, flat round like a pancake. Fry until golden, flip and fry the other side. Repeat until the dough is gone. You can vary the size of the pieces to get the size that you like, but they should be rather thin when you fry them.

Top with taco toppings for Indian Tacos. Use two as a bun for hamburgers. Make a long one to use as a bun for hot dogs. Top with butter and cinnamon sugar or you could top with powdered sugar for a dessert. They are completely yummy no matter how you use them!