Friday, February 27, 2009

Muffins & Brownies/Two Food Processor Recipes

I love my kitchen appliances and gadgets:)

I used my food processor for two great recipes recently. I got these from a cookbook my mom gave me a long time ago called: Food Processor Techniques by the Editors of Consumer Guide. ©1982

I think I might have already shared this recipe from our lunch here with Nana, Papa, & The Twins but I’m not sure. Papa and Summer could not get enough of these and we all loved them! The adults ate them along with steaming cups of coffee.

Oatmeal Buttermilk Muffins
Makes 1 dozen
1 cup (250 mL) uncooked quick oats
1 cup (250 mL) buttermilk
1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour
½ cup (125 mL) packed light brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons (7 mL) baking powder
½ teaspoon (2 mL) baking soda
½ teaspoon (2 mL) salt
½ cup (125 mL) butter or margarine, melted and cooled to room temperature, or vegetable oil
1 egg

1. Combine oats and buttermilk in large mixing bowl; let stand 30 minutes.
2. Heat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C)
3. Insert steel blade. Measure flour, brown sugar, baking powder, soda and salt into work bowl; process, using on/off technique, until mixed.
4. Combine butter, egg, reserved oats and buttermilk; add to flour mixture in work bowl. Process, using on/off technique 5 or 6 times, just until flour is moistened; do not overprocess (batter should be lumpy).
5. Spoon into 12 greased muffin cups (cups should have 1/3 cup or 80 mL capacity), filling each cup about 2/3 full. Bake until golden and wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve hot.

This next recipe was a huge hit. My 14 - year old daughter is a brownie lover. These chocolate-y, fudge-y, bars transformed a bad day into a smile filled dance. We have made MANY brownie recipes over the years and this has been proclaimed her all time, best ever, most adored yet. She packed extra for friends at school and everyone who ate these went on and on about them. One friend pleaded we make these for her upcoming birthday gift!

Marbled Brownies
Makes 18 large brownies
1 package (8 ounces or 225g) cream cheese, at room temperature, cut into 4 pieces.
2 1/3 cups (580 mL) sugar
5 eggs
½ teaspoon (2 mL) vanilla
1 cup (250 mL) butter, at room temperature
1 cup (250 mL) unsweetened cocoa
1 ½ cups (375 mL) shelled walnuts (I used pecans)
1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
2. Using steel blade, process cheese, 1/3 cup (80 mL) of the sugar, 1 of the eggs and the vanilla until smooth; remove from work bowl and reserve.
3. Using steel blade, process butter and remaining 2 cups (500 mL) sugar until light and fluffy. Add remaining 4 eggs to butter mixture; process until smooth. Add cocoa and nuts to butter mixture; process until nuts are coarsely chopped. Add flour to chocolate mixture ; process, using on/off technique, just until flour is moistened.
4. Spread half of the chocolate batter evenly in greased 13 X 9 X 2-inch (33 X 23 X 5 cm) baking pan. Spoon cream cheese mixture over chocolate layer; top with remaining chocolate batter. Swirl slightly with spoon or spatula. Bake until center is fork to the touch, 35 to 45 minutes. Cool brownies in pain on wire rack; cut into bars.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sunday Meal & Recipes

Sunday afternoon, Blake got home from church with Braxton and I set about making lunch. Michael and Brandy (oldest son and his precious wife;) were on the way with Caden (my one year old grandson ) and I wanted to have something we could all enjoy. I got a family favorite whipped up and in the oven… Chocolate Pound Cake. It is the one I make each year for Matthew’s (college kid now;) birthday.
I made this in my new Pampered Chef mini bundt pan and LOVED how they turned out! Thanks, Vickilynn for telling us about these outlet specials! ( )

Chocolate Pound Cake III

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
3 cups white sugar
5 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water 1 cup buttermilk
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan. Mix together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the dissolved coffee and buttermilk. Pour batter into prepared pan.
3. Bake in the preheated oven for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 20 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2009 Printed from 2/25/2009

I sprinkled powdered sugar over the cooled cakes and they were delicious right then and just as good the next day!

Our meal was something I chose because it was the quickest thing in the new book my mom gave me [ Tex-Mex Recipes] and I had all the ingredients for it. Had NO idea if it would even be worth eating but needed something fast.

My son, Michael took the first bite and he said it was good. He ended up saying it was really good and every person following him said the same thing! TWO entire pans were gone without one bite left. It was so good!

Here it is:
Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas (I doubled every one of the ingredients to make two pans)

2 cups shredded cooked chicken (I made up a pan of chicken breasts in the oven and shredded them with the slicer from my food processor)
1 ½ cups (6 ounces) shredded Mexican Cheese blend or cheddar cheese, divided I used 1 ½ cups of sharp cheddar
½ cup Hidden Valley The Original Ranch Dressing (I didn’t have this and read it wrong anyway. I thought it said powder mix and I substituted with Adobe seasoning)
1//4 cup of sour cream (I ended up adding a little more to make it creamy)
2 T. diced green chilis (I used whole can)
4 (9” to 10”) flour tortillas, warmed

Mix together chicken, ¾ cup of cheese, dressing, sour cream and green chiles in medium bowl. Divide evenly down center of each tortilla. Roll up tortillas and place, seam side down, in 9-inch baking dish. (I made two 13 X 9 X 2 pans)
Top with remaining ¾ cup of cheese. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and lightly browned. This looked a bit dry to us so I drizzled some left over melted butter around the edges and dry places.

Note: (from book) Purchase rotisseries chicken at your favorite store to add great taste and save preparation time.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Does anyone know what is going on with blogspot?
I used to be able to choose from a small list of fonts and could see my pictures before publishing the posts but can't do any of that now.

I read it is supposed to connect with google friend or something like that so maybe there are just some transition things going on.


Noted from Here & Biscuit Recipe

I have quite a few recipes to share and had planned to write about each meal and who we shared it with. Alas, the days have run in together, I have some scheduled writing on an article I’m working on and it is getting late.

Let me just share that on Friday… I took my darling granddaughter to her first movie at the theater! She is two and it was so much fun. I’m writing a short bit about it later. That was also the day our second washing machine stopped working (we have a front load and a top load --- long story as to how and why) and we had no idea if we’d need a new machine or not.
My niece Kinsey spent the night and she and Braxton played, watched movies, ate snacks, and more.

Saturday, we spent here tidying up things and welcoming in others. Michael, my oldest son and one of his best friend’s came to empty some things in the dumpster. We are paying for one and have finally filled it so they can take it out of my driveway.

A friend came right after that for a referral letter along with some coffee and conversation. We visited at the table until that evening and I saw my son, Brandon online. We had the rare and wonderful opportunity to “talk” online and I was so glad. After that, we left for my parents’ home where my daughter, Lauren, Braxton, and I took Kinsey (they were taking her the other 30 minutes to her mom’s/my sister’s) and ate dinner there.

On the way home, we picked up Emily, my grandgirl so she could spend the night with Nandy. She enjoys going to church with me on Sunday mornings and I am going to see about Wednesday evenings as well since I spend them with her anyway.

Sunday morning ended up with us here instead of at church. It was day number three with no washing machine. No clean towels or clothes to shower with!

I made up a batch of biscuit dough and Emily rolled and cut some herself. She had such a darling time and was occupied with her task all throughout the rest of breakfast preparations.

Here is the recipe we used from “The Encyclopedia of Country Living” by Carla Emery: {one of my favorite books!}

Buttermilk Biscuits
From Ruth Brant, Stayton, OR:
Combine 2 c. flour, 2 t. baking powder, 1 T. sugar, salt to taste, and 1 c. buttermilk. Mix, roll out, cut. Let stand 15 minutes. Bake 12 minutes in a 450-500 F oven.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Quick & Cozy Tortillas

Lunch today was quick, cozy and delicious! I grabbed my trusty recipe given a long time ago by my dear friend, KIM (smiling and waving) --- and made a batch of tortillas. I grated some cheese on these and sliced a few garlic cloves to throw in for the nutritional benefits. These were folded over and cut in four triangles each and served with a few dashes of hot sauce.

Tortilla Recipe

Here is a recipe I received from a friend here in Latvia. These are
the best that I've had and so easy! Here is the recipe just as I got it with my notes added at the end:

The recipe comes from the Wycliffe Cookbook. I use my food processor
and it works great for this recipe. I take the dough out when the
dough comes away from the bowl and forms a ball.

4 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt

Cut in
6 tablespoons shortening

1 cup water

Form a ball. Add more water if necessary, until bowl is clear of all
dough. Knead well on floured board and make balls the size of eggs.
I cut my dough into 14-18 pieces and this makes just the right size
for burritos and tacos.

Let stand for 15 mins. This is key in making the best tortillas as
the dough has time to rest and elasticity to form.

Roll THIN with a rolling pin to about the size of a salad plate.
Place in a hot, ungreased skillet (an iron skillet works best) and
cook until bubbles start to form or it becomes somewhat transparent.
About 2 minutes on one side. Turn and cook one minute longer. You'll
get the hang of it as you try it.

Store in a ziploc if you do not use the whole batch. We often use
them for breakfast burritos with eggs and salsa, or for sandwich
wraps and snacks.

For the record, we have frozen the dough before and cooked them
after it's thawed to make fresh tortillas, and it's been just fine.

Sandy's Notes:
I used the food processor for mine as well. I usually put the dough pieces in a covered bowl but this time to save on clean up, I put them back into the food processor bowl. I covered the center hole with a clean dish cloth and covered the dough pieces. After waiting the 15 minutes suggested, I made up all the tortillas as once.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Little Bit on My List Making Lately

In spite of what appearances here would indicate … I am still cooking. Smiles.

We have been very busy here and I was working on Master Shopping Lists forms for all the places we shop. My husband did the Excel format because I always get it all mixed up from where I want it. Now we have an Excel book and in the book … the separate list.

It isn’t actually a book but a file that opens other files. I’ll figure the whole Excel thing out one day.
Anyway, food supplies are very low but we are going to get some this week so I’m looking forward to bringing my present menu plan to life.

I have used the same basic idea for menu planning for years now. There is an article I wrote on it and if I ever figure out the linking to different posts thing --- I’ll include one at times JUST like this;)
Instead of hand writing the whole thing now though… I just print a calendar of what month I’m on and fill in main dishes (printing the recipe or writing the cookbook’s title/page # on) and then add sides or recipes to sides. That is of course all dinners. We repeat breakfasts and lunch ideas so often I am random in printing the lists for them. I might make a two sided sheet with “Breakfast” ideas on the left and “Lunch” on the right. Just for a quick memory jog or to let the kids know what they’ll be having.

There are also some kitchen cleaning check lists to keep me from spending so much time “catching up” on heavy cleaning jobs. Things like “cleaning the space above cabinets” so dust doesn’t build up and start flying in our food kinds of things. Smile.

Here is a neat and random video on making art from coffee and cream to add some interest to this post.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Homemade Pizza

Easy Pizza dough recipe
From All (shared with me by Kim of }

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast (sometimes I use a smidge more)
2 cups warm water (110 degrees to 115 degrees)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 cups all-purpose flour

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add oil, salt and 2 cups flour. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. (I use my food processor) Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rest in a warm place for 10 minutes.
Divide dough in half. On a floured surface, roll each portion into a 13-in. circle. Transfer to two greased 12-in. pizza pans; build up edges slightly. Bake at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
I make this dough in my food processor. I let the machine knead so skip that step because I don't want the dough to be tough. I let mine stand up to 30 minutes. Then roll out and top and bake. You can back the crust alone first if you like a crunchy crust. I like mine more soft and tender, so don't prebake.

To make the bottom of the crust crunchy you can oil the bottom of the pan before putting in the crust, and when it comes out it's golden brown and slightly crunchy. And does not stick to the pan.

Pizza Sauce
Just mixed tomato sauce with Italian seasoning, sautéed garlic, basil and paprika.
We had a nice evening here at home. Today was filled with celebrations and surprises and with those came non-stop activity!

Our DIL came to visit and we had homemade pizza and peanut butter brownies (recipe shared on this blog in the 2008 posts) and watched American Idol. I’m not a fan but with a DIL and a daughter swooning over it, I complied. Smiles.
I’m exhausted and beyond ready for bed so forgive the choppiness of this post!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

More Making Biscuits Pictures

Making Biscuits

We had a cozy dinner here with Nana, Papa, Summer, & Seth tonight. It was wonderful to all be together. Papa watched the news and paid close attention to the weather. He quietly attended to that entertainment while all the commotion of cooking was going on. He came in a few times to read the paper and the share the forecast for the next few days with us. He was amazed at how cold it is supposed to get here tonight (17 to 20 degrees) and for the high expected tomorrow (45) so he warmly welcomed his hot cup of coffee.

Braxton and the twins played between squabbles and had to be quietened down more than once. Their highlight of the evening was making their own little biscuits! Each got a turn on the old step stool from Mamaw’s house at the work table to pat, roll out and cut tiny dough circles for dinner.


{Summer & Seth}


Nana wrote the recipe down and took one she had been waiting to get on making all-purpose flour into self rising. (For every one cup of all-purpose flour, you just add 1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder and ½ teaspoon of salt)

J.P.'s Big Daddy Biscuits

Servings: 6

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon white sugar
1/3 cup shortening
1 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Gradually stir in milk until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.
3. Turn out onto a floured surface, and knead 15 to 20 times. Pat or roll dough out to 1 inch thick. Cut biscuits with a large cutter or juice glass dipped in flour. Repeat until all dough is used. Brush off the excess flour, and place biscuits onto an ungreased baking sheet.
4. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges begin to brown.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2009 Printed from 2/4/2009

As the biscuits were cooking in the oven, I made a batch of rice fried in the WOK and tomato gravy in a cast iron skillet. When the rice was hot enough, I filled a small bowl for the children and tossed an onion/pepper/garlic mixture in the rice still in the WOK and heated all until it was hot.

For the tomato gravy, I drizzled some olive oil in a cast iron skillet and let it start heating up. I sprinkled some flour in and used a whisk to stir this all until it was smooth and starting to turn golden or golden brown. I added milk and kept stirring until it was smooth and at the exact consistency I wanted it. Then, I added a box of chopped tomatoes, a small sprinkle of sugar, sea salt and freshly ground pepper. As soon as it was hot enough, we made the plates up. Hot biscuits, tomato gravy over them or on the side and rice served on the other side. We had ice tea with lemon, water, or milk to drink.

My mother said she hadn’t had tomato gravy like that since her own precious mother made it! Papa loved it and the kids ate it up. My husband even got home in time to eat a plate of lunch and he commented a few times on how good the meal was.

I’ll try to figure out a way to share the biscuit making pictures of the kids. The twins are Summer & Seth (four years) and the Army jacket is Braxton (five years).

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Culinary Catch Up

It is a busy time so I’m gathering recipes as I try them and will post in groups as I go. I’ve mentioned this before but will repeat for new readers:)

Today was our "Weekly Wednesday" with my DIL and grandbabies. She is expecting our third grandchild and has been having a time with nausea. We are preparing our lunches according to what she can tolerate per week.

This week she was craving eggs and even though I cannot access my cookbooks at the moment (my husband runs a business from our home and there are floor to ceiling boxes right in front of my cookbooks right now) --- I remembered a recipe in one my old cookbooks. It was a Mexican style egg dinner dish and I thought it would work for lunch.

Basically, I made rice and scooped it with an ice cream scooper into a bowl. I softly fried and egg making sure it was all cooked BUT kept the yellow center from cooking all the way. I slid the egg on top of the rice and sprinkled Watkins basil over that. Served with salsa, sour cream and pan roasted garlic.
We really liked it!

We wanted a quick dessert since we got a late start and made this using the cupcakes variation:

SIX MINUTE CHOCOLATE CAKE - from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks At Home

1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup sifted sucanat
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup brewed coffee
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons organic apple cider vinegar

Glaze: (I didn’t use)
1/2 pound bittersweet chocolate
3/4 cup hot water, milk, or half-and-half
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

To make cake, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and sugar into an ungreased 8-inch square or 9-inch round baking pan. In a 2-cup measuring cup, measure and mix together the oil, water or coffee, and vanilla. Pour the liquid ingredients into the baking pan and mix the batter with a fork or small whisk. When the batter is smooth, add the vinegar and stir quickly.
There will be pale swirls in the batter where the baking soda and vinegar are reacting. Stir just until the vinegar is evenly distributed throughout the batter. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Set the cake aside to cool, and if you choose to make the glaze, reset the oven to 300 degrees.

For the glaze, melt the chocolate in a small oven proof bowl or heavy skillet in the oven for about 15 minutes. Stir the hot liquid and the vanilla into the chocolate. Spoon the glaze over the cooled cake. Refrigerate the glazed cake for at least 30 minutes before serving.

To make a dozen cupcakes, follow the recipe directions, mixing the batter in a bowl. Pour the batter into a cupcake pan lined with paper baking cups, and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. While the cupcakes bake, prepare the glaze. When the cupcakes are ready, remove them from the oven and spoon on the glaze. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
*I didn’t refrigerate*

I have adorable pictures of Emily stirring the cake batter, licking the bowl and all of that but they are on my phone. I have to get an adapter before I can download them onto a computer!
Caden was penguin stepping all over the kitchen with cupcake liners he kept finding floating down from the work table. He was getting every crumb off!

My husband had one on his way out to work and we filled a container for Brandy to take home.
Our visit was spent in the kitchen and a bit of resting in the living room and we talked some between taking care of the kids!

Next post: Dinner this evening with Nana, Papa and the Twins!