Saturday, January 18, 2014

Cheddar Cheese Beer Bread

When it comes to minimum input and maximum output in the kitchen, beer bread is about as good as it gets. Five minutes of work rewards you with a heavenly aroma through the house and a warm, crusty loaf in just an hour.

This bread is delicious warm or at room temperature. You can serve it with a side of chilli or even a big bowl of soup, you can even use it to make sandwiches. Another thing you can do, which I've done over the holidays is after it's cooled, you can hollow it out and put a dip in the center and cut up the part that you cut out and us that bread for dipping.  And if that wasn'
t enough, it even  freezes beautifully.

There are endless flavor variations of beer bread possible; simply add whatever you desire to the basic dry mix. I did not add any herbs this week because Jonathan is on a "I will not eat anything that it green" kick right now. But just because I didn't add anything doesnt mean that you can't try experimenting with different herbs and beers. A darker beer will give you a deeper flavor.

I have to say that this is easy to make and the flavor profile is amazing.  I's still shocked by how few ingredients there are in a basic beer bread. Why pay $10 for a boxed mixed when you can make fresh at home for 1-2 dollars.  

Like always happy Baking and i hope you enoy this as much as we do.   

 
 
 




WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

Nonstick spray
8 ounces all-purpose flour
4 ounces whole-wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
4 1/2 ounces sharp Cheddar, grated
12 ounces cold beer,
.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED TO DO:

  • Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat the inside of a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with the nonstick spray and set aside
  • Whisk together the all-purpose flour, wheat flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add in the cheese and stir in the beer just to combine. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.
  • Bake on the middle rack of the oven until the bread is golden brown and cooked thru.  This will take about 50 to 60 minutes.
  • Best if served hot. 


Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Transfer the loaf to a cooling rack for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Chicken and Loaded Potato Casseerole



Chicken and Loaded Baked Potato Casserole must I say anything else? When I found this recipe I was ok I'll have to try it one day. Two months later I finally made it and now I keep asking myself, what the heck was I waiting for. This was so tasty that even my picky 5 year devoured everything on his plate.

I came across this recipe on Pinterest to which I ended up make a couple of modifications. As you all know by now with two small children, I prefer to cut out some of the bad when possible. In this case I cut out the heavy cream (it called for half a cup which i omitted completely) I also cut the butter amount in half, added olive oil to coat and made them crunchy .

This is one of those recipes that you want to make when you're going to be home as it takes about an 2hrs from start to finish, but is so worth the wait. It's comfort food without all the guilt and would be the perfect meal on a snowy winter day. I hope you all enjoy it as much and my family and I did.

Like always Happy Cooking!
Recipe adopted from:  http://www.deliciousasitlooks.com/2013/05/loaded-baked-potato-chicken-casserole.html




WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
  • 3 - 4 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed and diced small
  • 1 lb. skinless chicken breasts, diced
  • 6 slices of turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled (regular bacon works to)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 green onions, sliced thin
  •  salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
WHAT YOU'LL NEED TO DO:
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9" x 9" baking pan or casserole dish.
  • Drizzle olive oil over potatoes so that they are evenly coated.
  • Spread the diced potatoes in bottom of pan.
  • Place the diced chicken breasts evenly on top.
  • Season chicken with salt and pepper.
  •  Sprinkle with 1 cup cheese, and green onions.
  • Top with bacon crumbles, and then top with butter pieces. 
  • Cover with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour.
  • Uncover and bake another 30 minutes.
  • In the last few minutes of baking, sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and bake until melted.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Homemade Enchilada Sauce


 

So I've been trying  to stay away from as much processed foods as possiable. In some case you cannot avoid them, but in most cases you can. Today I made homemade enchilada sauce. It was so easy and to be honest it so much cheaper making it at home than it would be buying a can on the ready made. So this mommy, will not be buying the canned stuff again.

Also great thing about this recipe is that you can make a larger batch and freeze the sauce for another time. Nothing more helpful when rushing to put something together last minute.

Like always....Happy Cooking!

Inspired by: Emeril Lagasse

 

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

  • 3 tablespoons of Vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 10 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:

In a medium saucepan heat oil and then add flour and stir with a wooden spoon.  Cook for 1 minute.

Add chili powder and cook for 30 seconds.

Add stock, tomato sauce, suagar, salt, and cumin. Stir to combine.

 Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes.

The sauce will thicken and smooth out.

 Serve atop your favorite enchiladas. 


 

Easy Turkey Enchiladas


I've always taken pride in making healthy meals for my family. When I went back to work after a year and a half, buying a new house, and then having a second child. I found myself looking for shortcuts and not always making the right food choices, because "I didn't have enough time". Over the past year, and not getting all the "baby weight" off as fast as I did with Jonathan. I took a good look at the foods that I was making, and in some cases the carry out I was bringing home. And all I could think was no wonder it's been a long road. The processed foods, the lack of veggies, it's all affecting our health, and in the time that it would take me to make a "ready-made meal”, or use my short cuts, I could make something at home which was better for us.
And this recipe just happens to be one of the many new quick meals that I have come to use a lot.
 
Inspired by: Guy Fieri
 
WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
 
· 1 pound lean ground turkey
· 1 1/2 cups diced onion
· 1 1/2 cups finely diced zucchini
· 12 tortillas
· 2 1/2 cups enchilada sauce, you can buy the canned sauce, (try this homemade Enchilada Sauce it's so much better than the canned stuff.)
· 3 cups cheddar- jack shredded cheese
· 1 cup shredded lettuce
· 1 sliced avocado
· sour cream
 
 
 
 
 
WHAT YOU'LL NEED TO DO:
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x13-inch pan with nonstick spray.
 
Heat oil in a large skillet. Add ground turkey and break apart to crumble the meat.
 
Sauté the meat on medium heat until browned.
 
Once meat it browned, remove cooked meat to a bowl and set aside.
 
Return pan to medium heat and add onion and zucchini. Saute until just softened.
 
Remove the vegetables from the pan and add to the meat mixture.
 
Add 1/2 cup of sauce to the prepared pan and spread it around so it coats the entire bottom evenly.
 
Place tortilla on a work surface. Spoon 1/4 cup of the meat mixture down the middle.
 
Add 2 Tablespoons of cheese on top of the meat. And then top with 1 Tablespoon of sauce.
 
Wrap the tortilla around the filling tightly and place it seam-side-down in the pan.
 
Repeat the steps above with remaining tortillas and filling until you have finished filling until you are out of tortillas.
 
Place the tortillas side-by-side in the pan. It is recommended that they are snuggled in tightly so that they do not open when baking.
 
Pour remaining enchilada sauce over the top of the stuffed enchiladas and top with remaining cheese.
 
Bake for 30 minutes and then serve immediately with desired condiments.

Like always happy cooking!


 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Cinnamon Crumble Scones




This month's What’s Baking Challenge was Scones. I have to be honest I've been putting off making scones because it’s just one of those things that doesn't always come out looking like a true scone, but

this month I had no choice but to get it done, no excuses, no putting it off. I just had to roll up my sleeves and get it done.

I think the main thing holding me back was the fear that they wouldn't look like a scone. We all know that we eat with our eyes Frist. So if it didn't look like a scone then it wouldn't taste like one either.

The best way that I came up with to ensure that it looked like a scone was to bake them in a around dish. Which I'm happy to say was the best idea I had.

What I did was bake it until it was half way done then I took it out of the oven cut it triangles and then baked it on a cookie sheet unit they were completely baked.



Reicpe adpated from http://coffeetea.about.com/od/foodmeetsdrinks/r/Cinnamon-Scones-Recipe.htm



 
 


WHAT YOU'LL NEED FOR THE SCONES:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup oatmeal, quick or old- fashioned, uncooked
1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick chilled salted butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup 2% milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (like always use the real stuff, you'll thank me later)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
 
WHAT YOU''LL NEED FOR THE GLAZE:
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
3 to 4 teaspoons nonfat milk

WHAT YOU'LL NEED TO DO:

 Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray 12x 18-inch round pan with nonstick spray.

 In a large bowl, combine flour, oatmeal, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt; mix well. Cut in butter with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

In a small bowl, combine milk, egg and vanilla; blend well. Add to dry ingredients all at once; stir with fork or rubber spatula just until dry ingredients are moistened.

In another small bowl, combine remaining 2 Tablespoons sugar with the cinnamon; mix well.

Drop dough and spread in round dish.  Sprinkle cinnamon crumble mixture evenly over dough.

Bake half way and then cut into even triangels, then place on a cookie sheet and bake until golden brown.

Remove to wire rack; cool 5 minutes.

To make glaze: In small bowl, combine powdered sugar, vanilla and enough milk for desired consistency; mix until smooth.

Drizzle over tops of warm scones. Serve warm.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Round up for Childhood Treats with a Modren Twist

Guess what time it is...


It's my turn to host the What's Baking Project! I was super excited to have the opportunity to host once more. I put a lot of thought into what I wanted to do, and decided that since it's September and it's back to school, it would be neat if we baked a childhood treat with a modern twist. I had a few ideas that I wanted to do, but  to be honest this month has been very stressful and busy that I didn't get around to making what I was really planning on making.  I'll just have to save that one for another time.  

So the next best thing was going with Twix bars.  I remember as a kid getting a Twix bar every Sunday after church. It's just one of those childhood memories that I'll never forget.




Kate from Kate recipe box mixed up a batch of Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, which reminds her of the cookies that her mother would bake for her as a child. 


Heather from hezzi-ds books and cooks Zumbaed her way into creating Caramel filled Chocolate chip cookies.  So easy I can't wait to try this. 

 


Eva from Eva bakes was able to relive a moment of her childhood when she baked up a batch of oatmeal cream pie cupcakes.  Which look amazing!


Angela from The Tiny Tyrant's Kitchen recalls her favorite childhood treat as being chocolate cupcakes.  Angela was able to Jazz them up by making them into salted Carmel cupcakes. 

Nicole from Seven ate nine Tried to save everyone’s waist line by baking up a batch of healthy leman squares.

Ok everyone now last but not least we have Jaida from Sweet Beginnings who transformed her childhood treat of chocolate chip ice cream,  into a Mint Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies.  OMG!  This is going on my baking bucket list. 

 

 
Thank you to all the took part in this month's What's baking.  Next month our host will be Jaida from Sweet Begginings and we'll be baking up batches for scones sweet or savory.  Time to start thinking on which direction I want to go with that one. 
 
Like always happy baking!
 
 
 


 

 
 
 



 

 


Twix Bars







Guess what time it is....It's my turn to host the What's Baking Project! I was super excited to have the opportunity to host once more. I put a lot of thought into what I wanted to do, and decided that since it was September and it's back to school, it would be neat if we baked a childhood treat with a modern twist. So I decided that I would make me some Twix bars. I remember as a kid getting a Twix bar every Sunday after church. It's just one of those childhood memories that I will never forget =)
 
I remember a while back I had come across this recipe for homemade Twix bars about, and I knew that I had to try them. With that said, I did make them , however I never had a chance to create a blog post for them. Time kept passing me by, and I just needed the right time to make them again. Lucky for me the right time just happened to be when I needed something for my What's Baking submission this month
 
This recipe does take a while from start to finish, but it was so worth it! I even ended up make a second batch because they were just that good. My family and I loved them so much that they disappeared within a matter of a few days.
 
 
Stay put my recap on all the submissions for this month's whats baking.  Like always happy baking.
Recipe source: King Arthur Flour

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

Shortbread layer

1 cup salted butter, at room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups of Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

Caramel layer

2 cups caramel, cut into small chunks
3 tablespoons heavy cream

Chocolate layer

3 cups chopped milk chocolate or dark chocolate, melted
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening (optional)

WHAT YOU'LL NEED TO DO:

Preheat your oven to 300°F. Spray a 9" x 13" pan lightly with cooking spray, and line with parchment paper, and set aside.
FOR THE COOKIE LAYER:

In a stand mixer, beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla.

Add the flour.

The mixture may seem dry, but will come together as you continue to beat at medium speed.

Once combined take the dough and press it evenly into the pan.

Prick the crust all over with a fork. The holes will allow steam to escape and the crust will bake evenly with fewer bubbles.

Bake the crust until it's lightly golden brown on top and the edges are deeper golden brown, about 35 to 45 minutes.

Remove from the oven and immediately run a knife around the edges to loosen the crust.

Set it aside to cool completely.

FOR THE CARAMEL LAYER:

Melt the caramel and cream over low heat in a small saucepan.

Pour the caramel over the cooled crust and put it in your freezer while you prep the chocolate layer as it makes it easier to cut the into bars once it's harden up.

FOR THE CHOCOLATE LAYER:

Melt the milk chocolate slowly in a double boiler.

If it seems very thick, add a tablespoon of shortening to thin it.

Once melted take off the heat and set aside while you cut the cookie/carmel layer.

After the caramel layer has chilled firm, cut down the length of the pan, splitting the bars into two long, narrow bars.

Then cut each long strip into "fingers".

Dip the chilled bars into melted chocolate and place on parchment paper to set for several hours.

Pour yourself a tall glass of milk and enjoy!