Friday, July 29, 2011

Cookies And Cream Rice Krispie Treats

Random fact about me, I LOVE sleeping in! A lazy Saturday morning is such a wonderful thing to me. Considering that I wake up at 5 several days a week makes my late lazy mornings even more worth it. My husband on the other hand sees Saturdays as a day to get things done. He typically wakes up around 7 am and is ready to go out and work in the yard. I think he has this internal battle every Saturday. He is awake and wants to get to work, but he is also so sweet and doesn't want to wake me up. He usually resorts to reading the news on his phone and looking at me every time I slightly open my eyes to see if I am awake enough that he doesn't feel guilty getting out of bed. Really it is the sweetest thing and I love it. The funny part about it is that when I first met him he was the one that slept in forever!

Now on to the real reason you are reading this blog....the food! This morning (after I slept in of course) I realized that I needed to make some rice krispie treats. I haven't made these in years. I decided that I (of course) needed to spice it up a little bit. I have seen variations of cookies and cream rice krispie treats on other sites, but decided to just make my own combination of flavors and they turned out just how I wanted them to. I wanted them to still have the basic rice krispie treat flavor with just that little bit of goodness that oreo's add to most recipes. These treats are soft and chewy and oh so delicious!

Cookies And Cream Rice Krispie Treats

1 cube butter
8 cups mini marshmallows (or about 80 of the large marshmallows)
1 1/2 tbs milk
1 tsp vanilla
10 cups Rice Krispies cereal
25 Oreo cookies crumbled


Melt butter in a large pan over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until mostly melted. Add milk and vanilla. Continue stirring until completely melted and well blended. Cook for 2 minutes longer. While marshmallow mixture is melting combine cereal and oreos. stir to mix in oreos. Butter or spray with cooking spray a 9X13 pan. Once marshmallow mixture is melted remove from heat and add cereal mixture. Stir until well coated. With a greased hand or wooden spoon press mixture into prepared pan. Let cook. Once cooled cut into desired size pieces and enjoy.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Raspberry Frasier

This is my second month of being a part of the Daring Kitchen's Baker's challenge. This month was another fun one.  Jana of Cherry Tea Cakes was our July Daring Bakers’ host and she challenges us to
make Fresh Frasiers inspired by recipes written by Elisabeth M. Prueitt and Chad Robertson in the
beautiful cookbook Tartine. I have to be quite honest I had never even heard of a Frasier before. The more I looked them up the more I decided they are beautiful. This is my first attempt at making a Frasier. It was a fun experiment. There are a few things I will change next time I make one (for the look of it only, the taste was fabulous). A traditional Frasier is made with strawberries, but I love raspberries and have lots on hand!

I am going to give the recipe in sections and then explain how to assemble it at the end. If you are making the whole thing in 1 day it will take several hours. You can make parts of it ahead of time and then assemble it closer to when you are ready to eat it.

Chocolate Chiffon Cake

¾ cup + 1 tablespoon (195 ml) (4 oz/110 g) all purpose flour
Add 1/4 cup (60 ml) (3/4 oz/20 g) cocoa powder
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (4 gm) baking powder
3/4 cups (180 ml) (6 oz /170 gm) sugar
1/2 teaspoon (2½ ml) (1½ gm) salt, preferably kosher
1/4 cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) vegetable oil
3 large egg yolks
⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon (3.17 fl oz/95 ml) water
1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
5 large egg whites
¼ teaspoon (1¼ ml) (1 gm) cream of tartar
1. Preheat the oven to moderate 325°F (160°C/gas mark 3).
2. Line the bottom of an 8inch
(20 cm) spring form pan with parchment paper. Do not grease the
sides of the pan.
3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder. Add in all but 3 tablespoons (45 ml.) of sugar, and all of the salt. Stir to combine.
4. In a small bowl combine the oil, egg yolks, water, vanilla and lemon zest. Whisk thoroughly.
5. Combine with the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly for about one minute, or until very smooth.
6. Put the egg whites into a stand mixer, and beat on medium speed using a whisk attachment on a
medium speed, until frothy. Add cream of tartar and beat on a medium speed until the whites hold
soft peaks. Slowly add the remaining sugar and beat on a medium-high
speed until the whites hold
firm and form shiny peaks.
7. Using a grease free rubber spatula, scoop about ⅓ of the whites into the yolk mixture and fold in
gently. Gently fold in the remaining whites just until combined.
8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the
center comes out clean.
9. Removed the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack.
10. To unmold, run a knife around the sides to loosen the cake from the pan and remove the spring form
sides. Invert the cake and peel off the parchment paper. Refrigerate for up to four days.

Pastry Cream

1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) whole milk
1/2 teaspoon (2½ ml) pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon (1/2 ml) (¼ gm) salt, preferably kosher
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (10 gm)cornstarch
1/4 cup (60 ml) (2 oz/55 gm) sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (1 oz/30 gm) unsalted butter
3/4 teaspoon (3¾ ml) (4 gm) gelatin
1/2 tablespoon (7½ ml) water
1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) heavy cream
1. Pour the milk, vanilla, and salt into a heavy sauce pan. Place over medium high
heat and scald,
bringing it to a near boiling point. Stir occasionally.
2. Meanwhile, in a stand mixer add the cornstarch and sugar. Whisk to combine
3. Add the eggs to the sugar and cornstarch and whisk until smooth.
4. When the milk is ready, gently and slowly while the stand mixer is whisking, pour the heated milk
down the side of the bowl into the egg mixture.
5. Pour the mixture back into the warm pot and continue to cook over a medium heat until the custard
is thick, just about to boil and coats the back of a spoon.
6. Remove from heat and pass through a fine mesh sieve into a large mixing bowl. Allow to cool for ten
minutes stirring occasionally.
7. Cut the butter into four pieces and whisk into the pastry cream a piece at a time until smooth.
8. Cover the cream with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap onto the top of the cream to prevent a
skin from forming. Chill in the refrigerator for up to five days.
9. In a small dish, sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let stand for a few minutes to soften.
10. Put two inches (55 mm) of water into a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer over a medium heat.
11. Measure 1/4 cup (2 oz/60 ml) of the chilled pastry cream into a small stainless steel bowl that will sit
across the sauce pan with the simmering water, without touching the water.
12. Heat the cream until it is 120 F (48.8 C). Add the gelatin and whisk until smooth. Remove from the
water bath, and whisk the remaining cold pastry cream in to incorporate in two batches.
13. In a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream until it holds medium stiff
Immediately fold the whipped cream into the pastry cream with a rubber spatula.

Simple Syrup

1/3 cup (2⅔ fl oz/80 ml) (2⅔ oz/75 gm) of sugar, flavored or white
1/3 cup (2⅔ fl oz/80 ml) of water
1. Combine the water and sugar in a medium saucepan.
2. Bring the mixture to a boil and let the sugar dissolve. Stirring is not
necessary, but will not harm the syrup.
3. Remove the syrup from the heat and cool slightly.
4. Transfer syrup to a lidded container or jar that can be stored in the refrigerator. Simple syrup can be stored
for up to one month.

Fraisier Assembly:

1 baked 8 inch (20 cm) chiffon cake
1 recipe pastry cream filling
⅓ cup (80 ml) simple syrup or flavored syrup (I used double what was called for)
2 lbs (900 g) Raspberries
confectioners’ sugar for dusting
½ cup (120 ml) (5 oz/140 gm) almond paste
1. Line the sides of a 10inch
(25 cm) spring form pan with plastic wrap. Do not line the bottom of the pan.
2. Cut the cake in half horizontally to form two layers.
3. Fit the bottom layer into the prepared spring form pan. Moisten the layer evenly with the simple syrup. When
the cake has absorbed enough syrup to resemble a squishy sponge, you have enough.
4. Hull and slice in half enough strawberries to arrange around the sides of the cake pan. Place the cut side of
the strawberry against the sides of the pan, point side up forming a ring.
5. Pipe cream in between
strawberries and a thin layer across the top of the cake.
6. Hull and quarter your remaining strawberries and place them in the middle of the cake. Cover the
strawberries and entirely with the all but 1 tbsp. (15 ml) of the pastry cream.
7. Place the second cake layer on top and moisten with the simple syrup.
8. Lightly dust a work surface with confectioners' sugar and roll out the almond paste to a 10inch
cm) round 1/16 inch (1.5 mm) thick. Spread the remaining 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of pastry cream on
the top of the cake and cover with the round of almond paste.
9. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
10. To serve release the sides of the spring form pan and peel away the plastic wrap.
11. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mixed Berry Ice Cream

My mom makes the most delicious ice cream every summer. Growing up we would always look forward to eating it. Since it is finally getting to be warm here I decided it was about time to make some ice cream. This isn't quite the recipe that my mom uses (don't worry I will post it sometime) but it is similar. To be quite honest the real reason I decided to make this ice cream over my mom's recipe is the fact that I had lots of raspberries and blackberries on hand.

We have the good fortune of living next to a house full of single guys. The reason this is great for us is because they have raspberry and blackberry bushes. The main guy in charge of the house actually hates berries. I almost died when he told us this. How can anyone hate berries I thought? He then proceeded to tell us we could pick all the berries we want. This guy instantly became my favorite neighbor and I have been in heaven ever since. Every couple of days I take my bowl and go pick a bunch of berries. The only thing that gets in my way is occasionally a few wasps (yes I have an irrational fear of wasps), otherwise I am happy as a lark. We have eaten them plain, in yogurt, cereal (my husband's new favorite is captain crunch with raspberries) and I am saving a bunch so I can make jam! Obviously with all these berries I needed to make some ice cream. This is so very delicious and fits perfectly in one of those smaller ice cream makers.

Mixed Berry Ice Cream

1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 banana
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 lb berries (I used a mixture of raspberries and blackberries)

Place juice in a blender. Add the banana and berries. Blend until mostly smooth. Pour into ice cream maker and add whipping cream and sugar.  Freeze according to your ice cream maker's recommendations.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Roasted Tomato Soup With Basil

It is no secret that I am a picky eater. One of the many things that I don't really enjoy eating are tomatoes. I don't like fresh tomatoes. The weird thing about my dislike for tomatoes is that I love ketchup, tomato soup, pasta sauce, and some salsas. My absolute favorite of these items is tomato soup. I love a nice bowl of tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich. My mom would always make that for us on a cold or rainy day. Well it is summer now, and we don't really have cold days for at least a few months, but I do for some reason have a lot of tomatoes. What better thing to do with fresh tomatoes than turn it into a delicious homemade soup.

Roasted Tomato Soup With Basil
  • 4 lb tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 6-8 garlic cloves, left unpeeled
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano, minced [use only 1/2 tsp if you used dried]
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced [use only 1 tsp if using dried basil]
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat to 350°F.

Arrange tomatoes, cut sides up, in 1 layer in a large shallow baking pan and add garlic to pan. Drizzle tomatoes with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast tomatoes and garlic 1 hour, then cool in pan on a rack. Peel garlic.

Cook onion, oregano, basil, and sugar in butter in a 6- to 8-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, garlic, and stock and simmer, covered, 20 minutes.

Puree soup in batches in a blender (use caution when blending hot liquids).  Stir in cream and salt and pepper to taste and simmer 2 minutes.

Divide soup among 8 bowls.

 Recipe Source: Adapted slightly from Caroline

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Oriental Chicken Salad

I know many of you have probably had this salad before. It is a great easy salad to through together and is always a crowd pleaser. This was one of the only things I requested to be served at one of my bridal showers. I absolutely love it. The thing about this salad is that I forget about it for a while but when I remember it again I am so excited and love every second of eating it!

I must be honest I have one other reason why I was really excited to make this salad. Do you see the bowl that the salad is in? I don't think the picture does it justice but it is the coolest bowl. My sister in law gave it to us last year and I enjoy any excuse to use it. Really I should have just taken a picture bowl so you all could enjoy the beauty and color of it! I guess you will just have to use your imagination, but just know that it is awesome.

Oriental Chicken Salad

1 lb shredded cooked chicken
4 tablespoons toasted slivered almonds
4 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 head raw cabbage, chopped
2 pkgs chicken flavored Top Ramen (broken and uncooked)
4 stalks green onion, chopped (optional)
4 tablespoons sugar
1 cup oil (I used mostly olive oil with a few tbs sesame oil)
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
6 tablespoons vinegar

In large bowl mix together the chicken, almonds, sesame seeds, cabbage, broken Ramen noodles and onion. In a separate bowl whisk together sugar, oil, salt, pepper, vinegar, and seasoning packets from the ramen noodles. Pour mixture over salad. If you like the noodles crunchy then serve immediately. If you prefer soft noodles then store in an airtight container overnight stirring occasionally.

Recipe Source: Adapted from CD Kitchen

Monday, July 18, 2011

Cookie Salad

A friend of mine from a few years back was so excited when she found out I had a blog. She told me that I had to post the recipe for the zebra cookies. I honestly had no idea what recipe she was talking about. I even googled zebra cookies to see if it would trigger a memory of some recipe I had made for her a few years ago, but it didn't work. I thought of all my cookie recipes and couldn't think of any that would even remotely resemble zebra cookies. I gave up the search and quickly forgot about her request. I'm sure she was frustrated that I never posted the recipe. She recently sent me another message asking me again to post the zebra cookie fruit salad thingy. This time the light went on! I knew exactly what recipe she was talking about and I am so excited to share it with all of you. Many of you might know this recipe. I personally like any way to get more fruits and veggies in, but in some sort of delicious unhealthy way. The fruit in this salad makes me feel a little bit better about eating all the cookies that are in it too! This is definitely a crowd pleaser for any age group!

Cookie Salad


2 cups cold buttermilk

1 (5.1 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix

1 (12 ounce) container frozen whipped topping and thawed, or 12 oz heavy whipping cream whipped and lightly sweetened.

2 (11 ounce) cans mandarin oranges, drained

1 can pineapple

1 (11.5 ounce) package fudge striped shortbread cookies, coarsely crushed

In a bowl, whisk the buttermilk and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Fold in whipped topping and oranges and pineapple. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Fold in crushed cookies.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Chocolate Caramel Brownies

I am all about anything unhealthy that involves chocolate. These brownies have been at the top of my favorite list for as long as I can remember. You really can't beat a brownie that has all sorts of yummy caramel oozing out of the middle. My sister especially has become an expert at making these. She made these for our last family get together and it just reminded me how much I love them! These brownies are bound to impress any guests and if you have any left overs then that means you get to eat them!

Chocolate Caramel Brownies

1 box Swiss chocolate cake mix (Swiss chocolate cake mixes can be hard to find, any chocolate cake mix will work just fine)
1 cube (1/2 cup)  butter softened
1/3 cup evaporated milk

6 oz semi sweet chocolate chips

40 caramels
1/2 cup evaporated milk

Mix the first 3 ingredients, press half into a 9X13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 6 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with 6 oz chocolate chips. In a medium sauce pan mix 40 caramels and 1/2 cup evaporated milk. Cook over medium low heat stirring frequently until melted. Drizzle over chocolate chips. Crumble remaining brownie mixture over top. Bake for 12-15 minutes at 350. Serve warm if you like gooey brownies or refrigerated if you want them to stay together.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

I don't know if any of you have heard of co-ops. I am fairly new to them. I know there are several different types of co-ops, but the type I'm talking about is the kind you get fruits and veggies from. There is one in our area that we get a laundry basket full of fruits and veggies for $15. You don't know what you are going to get each week, but I think that is half the fun. This week I got some broccoli (along with a lot of other good stuff) and the first thing I thought of to make with it was this recipe.

This is another one of my mom's recipes. She would make this for us all the time growing up. It is still one of my favorite recipes. The flavors just mesh so well together. I also love it because it has my meat and my veggies all in one dish. Ok to be completely honest my favorite part is the buttered croutons on top, but who wouldn't love croutons with a little extra butter?

Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup miracle whip
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp curry powder
1 package frozen broccoli (enough to cover bottom of pan)
4 chicken breasts or about a lb cooked and cubed (see *note)
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
buttered croutons

Cook broccoli as directed on package. Lay broccoli in bottom of 8X8 casserole dish. Lay cubed chicken on top of broccoli. Mix soup, miracle whip, lemon juice, curry powder, and cheese in a medium size bowl. Spread mixture over top of chicken. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Half way through baking process add buttered croutons.

*Note: I often cook a bunch of chicken in a crock pot with a little bit of chicken broth. Once it is cooked I shred it and place about a pound of chicken into a freezer bag and place them in the freezer. I can then pull out a lb at a time and use them whenever I need chicken.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Honey Sweetened Applesauce

There is this wonderful thing in our area called Bountiful Baskets. It is a co-op organization where you get a laundry basket full of fruits and veggies for a really good price. I have just recently started buying produce from them and have loved it! The only downfall is that a laundry basket full of fruits and veggies can sometimes be a lot for me and my husband to get through. I am proud to say that we have eaten most of it without too much going bad first (if you know my husband you know this is practically a miracle). Well I had a few apples left over and am planning on getting another basket this week so I decided to make some applesauce out of it. I LOVE homemade applesauce. We grew up on the homemade kind. My mom would always bottle a bunch every year or so. I didn't really ever try the store bought kind until later on in my life and let me tell you there is no comparison! Maybe it is because I am in charge of how sweet it is, or maybe it just tastes better because it is fresh, but there is a huge difference. This was my first time trying it with honey as the sweetener and I think it turned out quite fantastic. This makes a fairly small batch so feel free to double or triple it.

Honey Sweetened Applesauce

2 lbs apples cored, peeled, and chopped
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup water or apple juice

  1. Mix apples with honey and place in saucepan. Over medium heat, bring apples to a boil. Maintaining a medium temperature will allow the apples to release their juices but if there is any concern about scorching or burning, add water or apple cider 1/4 cup at a time as needed.
  2. Allow the apples to boil, stirring often, until soft, usually 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Once the apples are soft, taste for sweetness. Add additional honey and/or spices if using.
  4. Boil another five minutes or so to blend the flavors. Do not overcook or the honey will begin to turn the sauce very brown and possibly scorch.
  5. Remove the pot from the heat. If canning the sauce, use a hot pack method and a hot water bath. If the applesauce is to be frozen, allow the sauce to cool completely before storing in airtight containers.
Recipe Source: Adapted from Seasonal Cooking @ Suite 101

Friday, July 8, 2011

Honey Sweetened Whole Grain Carrot Cake

It was my sister-in-law's birthday at the end of last month and we decided to surprise her with a little family surprise party. I was put in charge of making the cake. This is never a problem because I love any excuse to make a dessert! My sister-in-law is much healthier than I am, and really enjoys using whole grains in everything and not using refined sugar. Since this was her party I decided to make a cake that would be to her liking. When I found this recipe I knew it was perfect for her cake. The only thing I didn't know is whether or not it would taste good. I also like eating healthy things, but they have to taste good! I made a little mini cake to test it out. To my surprise it actually was really good. We even took it over to some friends house and they all liked it too! The only picture I have of it is before we cut it. I decided we shouldn't cut it until the birthday girl got to see it, so sorry for no inside pictures.

Note: This recipe makes 1 8X8 pan. I actually doubled it and divided it between 3 round cake pans. I'm sure the doubled recipe would also work great in a 9X13 pan. I also doubled the frosting. For my 3 layer cake it was enough, but there was no extra and I wish I could have put a little more in between the layers. Also if you are not a huge fan of coconut flavor you can use butter instead of the oil in the frosting. I am not a huge fan of coconut and didn't mind the frosting, but it was getting pretty close to the line of too much for me.

Honey Sweetened Whole Grain Carrot Cake

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
1/4 cup of honey (I added a few extra tbs for good luck)
2 tablespoons of lemon or orange juice
2 eggs
1 tablespoon of vanilla
3 ounces of whole wheat flour, by weight
3 ounces of whole grain oat flour, by weight
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 cups of shredded carrots (use your food processor shredding disc)
1/4 cup of chopped walnuts (optional- I opted out)
Heat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 x 8 baking dish and set aside.
You want your coconut oil to be in a liquid form for this recipe. That happens at 76 degrees F. If your oil is not warm enough to be liquid, heat it until it is. Be careful not to let it get hot, as it will prematurely cook the eggs in the next step.
Put the coconut oil, honey, orange juice, eggs and vanilla extract into the work bowl of your favorite food processor fitted with a multipurpose blade. Process for two minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the whole wheat flour, whole grain oat flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl. Whisk to combine well. Add the shredded carrots and walnuts. Stir well.
Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir until just barely combined. Too much stirring will result in a tough carrot cake. Transfer to the greased baking dish. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 to 45 minutes.

Honey Sweetened Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup of coconut oil, at room temperature
2 tablespoons of honey

Beat all three ingredients together until well creamed. You can do this with a stand mixer, hand mixer or with a wooden spoon. I wouldn't recommend the last one unless you are using it as part of your exercise program!

Recipe Source: Heather Krasovec

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Pancakes

I am a breakfast lover. Whenever I have time I love making a warm breakfast. I love pancakes, but always seem to play around with the ingredients. I love that pancakes can be so versatile. This was the recipe I came up with this morning and my husband and I both loved it. They are very filling and keep you full for quite a while.

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Pancakes


1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
2 tbs peanut butter (I used Adam's crunchy but any kind would work)
2 tbs honey
1 cup white whole wheat flour
2 tbs golden flax seed
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

Preheat a nonstick griddle to 350 degrees. In a small mixing bowl combine the buttermilk and the egg. Whisk until incorporated. Add the peanut butter and honey mix until well combined. In a separate medium size combine the flour, flax seed, salt and soda. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix just until incorporated. You do not want to over mix. Pour approximately 1/3 cup mixture at a time onto the griddle and spread out slightly since the batter is quite thick. Brown on both sides turning once. Enjoy with butter and pure maple syrup.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Cream Biscuits

Recently I have been trying to live on a budget. Mostly I have realized how much money I can spend simply on food. I have never really made myself have a budget before so this has been a good experience. Well this recipe came about because we ran out of milk and I have used all my budget this month so I refuse to go get more. It is breakfast time and most things I make call for milk. I thought of biscuits and decided those could work. I found this recipe that called for cream (instead of milk and butter) and decided to try it. This recipe is the easiest biscuit recipe I have ever made. I LOVE that you don't have to cut in the butter. Yet they are still soft and delicious.

Cream Biscuits


3 tablespoons melted butter
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the surface
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Sift two cups flour, the baking powder, salt and (if using) sugar into a large bowl. Fold in 1 1/4 cups cream. If the dough is not soft or easily handled, fold in the remaining 1/4 cup cream, little by little.

Turn the dough onto a floured surface, mound it into a ball and, using your hands, gently press it to a thickness of about 3/4 inch. It does not need to be completely smooth across the top. Cut into rounds, 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Gather dough scraps and continue to make rounds. Place the biscuits on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat liner. Brush the tops with the butter. Bake until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve immediately, or flash freeze* for future use.

*To flash freeze, place the unbaked biscuits on a lined baking sheet and place in the freezer until completely frozen (about 1-2 hours). Once frozen, the biscuits can carefully be placed in a ziploc bag and removed for baking as needed. Biscuits can be baked straight from the freezer, and additional few minutes baking time will be needed, usually around 3 to 5.

Recipe Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Friday, July 1, 2011

Chicken Croquettes

I have been eating this recipe since I was a young child! It is one of those family favorites. I of course love the taste of these but I also love them because I can make a bunch of them and freeze them. Yes I do like pretty much any dinner I can freeze and pull out when I don't feel like making something. Growing up my mom would always make them using packaged crescent rolls. I recently decided I wanted to try and make the dough from scratch. I absolutely love them both ways. The only reason I like the homemade dough better is because it is homemade. I love knowing exactly what is in my food, and knowing that it is all natural.  These are really quite easy to make and making your own dough really doesn't add that much extra time or effort. If making your own dough intimidates you then feel free to use the store bough crescent rolls. Trust me they really are great either way!

Chicken Croquettes

3 tablespoons melted butter
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the surface
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

4 oz cream cheese
1 lb cooked shredded chicken
1 small can mushrooms (optional)
1 cube melted butter
crushed seasoned croutons or bread crumbs
salt, garlic powder and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Sift two cups flour, the baking powder, salt and (if using) sugar into a large bowl. Fold in 1 1/4 cups cream. If the dough is not soft or easily handled, fold in the remaining 1/4 cup cream, little by little. Place dough in the fridge while you prepare the filling.

Mix cream cheese, salt, garlic powder, pepper, chicken, and mushrooms.  Add more salt, pepper and garlic as desired. I find that it is easier to mix if the chicken is still warm and cream cheese is at room temperature. Set aside.

Turn the dough onto a floured surface, mound it into a ball and, using your hands, gently press it to a thickness of about 3/4 inch. With a rolling pin flatten ball out into a large circle approximately 1/4 inch thick. With a pizza cutter slice into 8 triangle shaped slices (cut as if you were cutting a pizza).
Put a small amount of chicken mixture in the center of one of triangle.  I divided the mixture evenly between the 8 triangles and it was the perfect amount. Roll the dough around the chicken mixture and seal. Dip in butter and roll in croutons or bread crumbs. Bake for 12-16 minutes or until light golden brown. Serve warm with gravy (and mashed potatoes if you like).

 Roll out dough, cut into 8 pie shaped pieces and place a tbs or two of chicken mixture on each slice.

 Roll up into balls pinching any open areas to seal in chicken mixture.

Roll ball in melted butter.

Then roll in bread crumbs.

Place on baking sheet and bake for 12-16 minutes until golden brown.