Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Chewy Cornmeal Rolls

So I figured I would try this a few days back...they're a little different from your average dinner roll because they have cornmeal in them...but they are divine! I'm pretty sure these are Joseph's favorite rolls...ever.

Makes: 24-30 rolls

1/2 cup shortening
2 cups milk
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tsp. yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
5 cups flour
2 eggs

Prep Notes:

These rolls take a while to mix they aren't fast prep rolls...make sure you start them plenty in advance of when you want to eat them.

Melt shortening in top of a double boiler set over high heat. While the shortening is melting gather the milk, cornmeal, sugar, and salt. Once the shortening is all melted add the gathered ingredients and mix well. Bring to a boil...okay the cornmeal mixture won't really be boiling...but once the water begins to boil (a nice rolling boil), boil for 10 minutes...stirring continually. The mixture should make a nice thick cornmeal mush. Cool this mixture to lukewarm.

Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water in a large mixing bowl. Add in the cornmeal mixture, eggs, and flour - add the flour a little at a time - until it creates a soft dough. Knead dough on a floured surface until smooth and elastic.

Transfer dough to a greased bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm area until double in size - usually 2 - 2 1/2 hours.

Lightly grease two 13x9 baking sheets or baking pans. Rolls the dough into balls. Arrange 1/2 in apart in pans. Cover and let rise in a warm area until double in size - usually 1 1/2 - 2 hours.

Bake at 375 until light golden brown on top...about 15 minutes.

Baking Powder Biscuits

I love homemade biscuits, especially in the morning for breakfast with sausage gravy. These have become one of my favorite biscuit recipes...they are so fluffy and delicious...especially right out of the oven.

Makes: 12-16 biscuits

2 cups flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup milk

Prep Notes:

If you don't have a pastry cutter (like myself), a fork will usually work just as will only take a little more time to cut the shortening into the flour. Also, when kneading the dough...don't over will make for not-so-fluffy biscuits.

In mixing bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture looks like fine crumbs...the shortening bits should look like tiny peas. Stir in milk until dough leaves side of bowl. The dough should be soft and sticky.

Place dough on a floured surface. Knead lightly...about 10-12ish times. Roll or pat the dough until it is about 1/2 in thick. I use an upside down small cup to cut out my biscuits...the cutter-outer needs to be around 2-2 1/2 in around.

Place on ungreased baking sheet about 1in apart for crust sides, or touching for soft side - I like the soft sides! Bake at 450 for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to prevent the bottoms from continuing to cook.

Like I said above...these are best right out of the oven with sausage gravy. Enjoy!!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Sweet n' Sour...

I had been craving Chinese food for like months...and then I remembered that mom would make this yummy sweet n' sour recipe. I called her up and made it...boy was it delicious!!! I like it with chicken, but pork is always yummy too.

Makes: about 4 servings

2 medium chicken breasts
pork (same equivalent of chicken)
1 egg
1/2-1/3 cup flour
1 Tbsp. corn starch
1/3 cup vinegar
1 medium green pepper
1/2 medium onion (I don't like this, but others seem to)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 20 oz. can of chunk pineapple - still in juices
1 Tbsp. soy sauce

Prep Notes:

I would cut up the vegetables while the chicken is cooking. Doing this saves time and makes it possible for you to add it right into the sauce when you're ready for it.

Cube chicken breasts (or pork) into approximately 1 inch cubes. Beat the egg in a bowl. Dip the cubed chicken in the egg and then in the flour, creating a breading. Melt grease in a large sauce pan (or you can use olive oil) until hot. Placed breaded chicken in pan and cook until it is browned and cooked. Remove chicken from the pan and drain any excess oil or grease.

In the same sauce pan mix the corn starch and brown sugar, soaking up any oil or grease in the pan. Stir in the pineapple with the juices, vinegar, and soy sauce, mixing it until the sugar is dissolved. Boil sauce mixture, stirring constantly. Once it is boiling add the chicken back into the pan with the sauce.

Reduce the heat so the the mixture simmers. Cover the pan and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add peppers and onions. Cover again and simmer for about 5 more minutes.

Serve over rice and enjoy!!!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Warm Apple Crisp

Of all the recipes that I love to make, this is my absolute favorite one to make and then eat right out of the oven. Over the years I have perfected it to the point that I don't really use a recipe anymore...which can be tricky when trying to share how to make it with other people. It's pretty much just some of this and a little of that, with a sprinkle and a dash of those...but I'll try to list some kind of recognizable measurements for you guys. Just remember that you can make it to fit how you like it.

Makes: one 9x13 crisp

about 8 medium sized apples
1/2 to 1 cup sugar
lemon juice

3ish cups of oatmeal
1/2 to 1 cup flour
1/2 to 1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 to 2 sticks of butter

Prep Notes:
Like I said above...these measurements are just approximates...feel free to add or take out some of it to make it just how you like it.

Peel and slice the apples into a 9x13 baking dish until about 3/4ish full. Sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add just a splash of lemon juice and then stir until apples are well coated with sugar mixture.

In a medium sized bowl mix all of the crisp ingredients besides butter. Melt the butter in a smaller bowl, then pour over dry crisp ingredients. Mix all together with a fork until everything is well moistened.

Pour crisp over sugared apples. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes or until the crisp is a nice golden brown.

You can serve it hot right out of the oven with vanilla ice cream or let it cool for about an hour before serving. Enjoy!!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Apple Pie

Usually I don't make pies all that often around my kitchen because making pie crust intimidates me. But I went for it the other day and made homemade pie crust and a yummy apple filling. I decided to do a lattice top...honestly just to say that I had done it, and it turned out pretty great. Joseph liked the pie so much that he ate about half of it in one sitting!!!! Hope you enjoy!!

Makes: one 9in pie

Pie Crust:
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp. shortening
4 to 6 Tbsp. water

Pie Filling:
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
splash of lemon juice
7 cups sliced apples (peeled)

Prep notes: The amount of ingredients for the pie crust make 2 pie if you only want one then just half it. Also, don't get discouraged if the pie crust happened to me sooo many times...just keep trying!!!! I honestly don't know how much lemon juice I use in my pie making...that's why I said a splash. To be honest, it's just enough to moisten the apples so the flour and sugar stick, plus it gives the pie a little kick to a good way.

In a medium bowl mix the flour and salt to make the crust. Cut in shortening (I use a fork) until mixed with flour to make particles about the size of peas. Add water a Tbsp. at a time until flour mixture is moistened and leaves the sides of the bowl. Divide dough into two equal parts. On a floured surface, flatten two parts into rounds (do not roll into balls - this makes the dough crack when rolling it out). Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 45 minutes. Cooling in the fridge helps set the shortening making it slightly firm and less likely to tear, and flaky when baked.

While dough is chilling, mix up the pie filling. Peel, core, and slice apples into a large bowl. Add all other ingredients and stir until apples are well coated with the flour/sugar mixture.

Pull pie dough out of the fridge. Roll out on a floured surface to the proper size for your pie pan. Make sure when you are rolling that you roll from the center out toward the edges. Carefully remove from rolling surface and place the first round into the bottom of the pie pan, pressing it firmly on the bottom and sides of the pan.

With the second crust you can do two things: leave it whole or make a lattice top. If leaving it whole, just spoon apple mixture into the pie pan. Place the second crust on top, make at least four slits in the top of the crust to left the warm air out...this will also prevent the crust from inflating and bubbling in spots. Trim off any excess crust using a butter knife...just trim it up to the edge of the pie pan. Using warm water, wet the rim of the first crust and then gently pat the second crust down so they stick. You will then want to "flute" the edge...I do this by using my thumb and forefinger, and slowly and gently pressing the edge of the crust between them as I slowly twist my wrist. Sorry if that doesn't make's something that took me a while to learn.

If wanting to do a lattice top, then cut rolled out crust into about 10 to 14 strips. Place half of those strips across the pie top (after filling with the apple mixture of course). You will then want to gently fold back the alternating strips and add the other half of the strips going the other at a time. It takes time and can be tricky your first time, but it looks pretty awesome when you get it done. Gently press the edges of the strips to the bottom crust, and then if there is extra bottom crust hanging over the edge fold if up and over the strip edges to create a complete rim. It's ok if this rim is a little will prevent the pie filling from bubbling out of the open spots in the top. "Flute" this top just like explained in the above paragraph.

Sprinkle top of pie with sugar or a mixture of cinnamon and sugar (doesn't matter which it with either). Bake at 425 for 30 to 45 minutes or until the top crust is a pretty golden brown and the filling is starting to bubble and juice. Remove and let cool for at least an hour...and uncooled pie is difficult to cut without breaking the crust tops. 

I top my pie with vanilla ice cream, but whipped cream topping is tasty too. Enjoy!!!!!!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Girls' Night Pizza

I call this Girl's Night Pizza because I perfected the topping and all that with my bestie, Becky Loew, over the many nights her mom would leave us alone in the house with pizza fix-in's. So...this recipe is dedicated to her!!!!

Makes: 1 rectangle cookie sheet pizza

Pizza Crust:
2 1/2 to 3 cups flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. yeast
3 Tbsp. oil
1 cup warm water

Pizza Toppings:
1 tiny can of tomato paste - water down to desired thickness of sauce
Black Olives
Mozzarella Cheese - shredded
Italian Sausage
Bell Pepper

Prep notes: To be completely honest, I don't use all of the toppings that I listed, they are just some of the most used pizza toppings that I know of. Feel free to use what ever you really want on the pizza...after all, you are the one that will be eating it. Also, when getting the warm water, make sure that it is warm...too hot or too cold will cause the yeast not to activate.

In medium bowl, mix yeast, salt, and sugar. Add warm water and oil. Let sit for a while so the yeast can activate and start to grow. Add flour by the 1/2 cup until the dough is no longer sticky to touch. Knead until springy and smooth. Cover with plastic and let raise until about double it's size.

Oil a rectangular cookie sheet and then spread the pizza dough into the pan. Spread desired amount of sauce onto crust...I don't like a ton of sauce, so the one can lasts me through two pizzas, but hey...others' may like more sauce. Sprinkle a thin layer of cheese over sauce. Add any desired toppings. Cover completely with cheese...I put on enough that you can't see the toppings underneath.

Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes or until the cheese on top is a nice brown and the crust is browned as well. Remove from over and cut into desired size pieces. Enjoy!!!

Shepard's Pie

I needed another ground beef recipe and something to do with leftover mashed potatoes. I came up with this age old classic. It's hearty and taste great on a chilly day with homemade bread.

Makes: 1 square baking dish

1 lb ground beef
1 can of mixed vegetables
1 packet of brown gravy mix
3-5 medium potatoes (depends on how much you want)
sliced cheese ( I prefer cheddar)

Prep notes: You can use leftover mashed potatoes from a different meal or just make them fresh for this...either way works great.

Peel and cube potatoes. Cover with water and boil until soft. Drain and mash. I mix a little of butter and milk into my potatoes to make them creamy.

Fry hamburger in pan until browned. Drain grease from the meat and then add the mixed vegetables. Mix the gravy packet as instructed on packet and then add to pan with meat and vegetables. Stir often until heated.

Pour pan mixture into a square baking dish. Spread potatoes evenly over the meat mixture. Add cheese slices over the potatoes. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. I then like to turn the oven to broil and let it brown the cheese on top...about 5ish minutes.