Monday, August 17, 2009

Dilled Ranch Dressing

I love dill, I love ranch dressing, combine the two and you have heaven. Yum!

Dilled Ranch Dressing

Step 1:
15 saltines
2 cups dry parsley flakes, minced
1/2 cup instant minced onion
2 tablespoons dry dill weed
1/4 cup onion salt
1/4 cup garlic salt
1/4 cup onion powder
1/4 cup garlic powder

Step 2:
2 cups mayo
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Step 1:
Dump all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until completely powdered.

Step 2:
Combine 1 1/2 Tbsp. dry mix and all ingredients from step 2. Let chill in the fridge overnight to let flavors marry.

Serve over a crisp green salad.

Sweet Citrus Chicken Bake

I am always on the lookout for easy and quick week night suppers, ones that my husband will love the taste of as much as I love the easy clean up. I have found one and here it is...

Sweet Citrus Chicken

1-2/3 cups hot water
1 pkg. (6 oz.) STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix for Chicken
6 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1-1/2 lb.), pounded to 1/2-inch thickness
2/3 cup orange juice
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted

Heat oven to 400ºF.

Add hot water to stuffing mix; stir just until moistened.

Place chicken in 13x9-inch baking dish. Mix juice, sugar and butter until blended; pour over chicken. Top with stuffing.

Bake 30 min. or until chicken is done (165ºF).

I make this on a regular basis. It is that good!

Cinnamon French Toast and Bacon Candy (or Maple Roasted Bacon)

I try to cook breakfast at least once on the weekends. Most of the time it is plain old fried or scrambled eggs, biscuits and sausage, you know classic breakfast. Then sometimes it my personal favorite of French Toast. Nom, nom, nom!

This weekend I tried making it with Cinnamon Raisin Bread and it worked but I most likely won't use it again (note the almost burnt look in the picture, it's not burnt, it's raisins). So without further ado- the recipe.

Cinnamon French Toast

1 cup whipping cream
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons honey, warmed in microwave for 20 seconds
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 (1/2-inch) slices day-old or stale bread, your choice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
splash good vanilla extract
4 tablespoons butter

In medium size mixing bowl, whisk together the cream, eggs, honey, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. You may do this the night before. When ready to cook, pour custard mixture into a pie pan and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Dip both sides of bread into mixture and place in prepared pan (read below directions), you do not want to let the bread sit in liquid.

Over medium-low heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a saute pan. Place 2 slices of bread at a time into the pan and cook until golden brown. Remove from pan and place on cooling rack. When all bread it done place cooling rack in the oven for 5 minutes.

Serve warm with butter and syrup. Yum.

Maple-Roasted Bacon

3/4 pound thick-cut smoked bacon (16 slices)
1 to 2 tablespoons good maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place a baking rack on a sheet pan and arrange the bacon in 1 layer on the baking rack. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the bacon begins to brown. Remove the pan from oven and brush the bacon slices with maple syrup and bake for another 3 to 5 minutes, until the bacon is a warm golden brown.

Serve warm.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Amish Friendship Bread

You know that starter that you always turn down when asked to take some- yes that one. Stop refusing it- it is wonderful. Take it, follow the directions and bake this...

Just incase you don't have any starter circulating around you, just make your own.

Amish Friendship Bread Starter

Mix 1 pkg. yeast
1 c. flour
1 c. sugar

Slowly stir in a combination of 1 c. milk and 1/4 c. water. Let stand in a glass or pottery container for 24 hrs.

Add 1 c. flour, let stand in warm place for 2-5 days.

Now follow the friendship bread instructions.

Note: Never use metal containers or utensils.

Amish Friendship Bread Directions


Day 1- This is the day you receive the batter; do nothing
Day 2- Squeeze the bag
Day 3- Squeeze the bag
Day 4- Squeeze the bag
Day 5- Squeeze the bag
Day 6- Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk. Put in larger ziplock bag and squeeze until mixed
Day 7- Squeeze the bag
Day 8- Squeeze the bag, of you notice a sour smell it is okay, completely normal.
Day 9- Squeeze the bag
Day 10- Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk to the batter in a large bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon or spatula. Pour four 1 cup starters into ziplock bags. Keep one starter for yourself and give the other three to your friends along with the instructions.

To the remaining batter add:
1/2 c. oil
1/2 c. apple sauce
1 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
1 t. almond extract
3 eggs
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
2 c. flour
1/2 c. milk
1/2 t. baking soda
1 large box instant vanilla pudding
2 t. cinnamon

Pour into two large, greased and sugared (with cinnamon and sugar mixed) loaf pans. You can sprinkle some extra cinnamon and sugar on top. Bake 325 for 45-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Opt.: add 1c. chopped pecans and/or 1/2 c. raisins, if desired.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Fresh Lemon Mousse

Once a month my girls and I have a poker night, no husbands, spouses, boyfriends or children. We generally tend to drink Margarita's, eat a yum dinner and there's is always a whole lot of laughing.

This month is my turn to bring dessert so I scoured my Barefoot Contessa cookbook and found the Fresh Lemon Mousse from her very first cookbook, aptly titled Barefoot Contessa Cookbook and made it.

Normally I would have been leary to make something like this, leary because you not only have to fold in whipped egg whites, and I am always afraid I'll fold too much and end up with runny mousse, but because you have 3 sets of folding to do. It is a five step process to make and I actually had to start over once because I accidently used the egg white instead of yolks in the first step, making the lemon custard. Ugh. I am making it sound like I am a scaredy cat in the kitchen, so not true, but this recipe was a challenge. So worth it though! Just look at it and when you taste it, lord have mercy. You know serve it with vanilla wafers, low brow it out a little and it would be just like a lemon pie. Mmmhhhh.

Fresh Lemon Mousse
Barefoot Contessa


3 extra-large whole eggs
3 extra-large eggs, separated
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4 lemons)
Kosher salt
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup good bottled lemon curd, at room temperature
Sweetened Whipped Cream, recipe follows
Sliced lemon, for garnish


Step 1:
In a large heat-proof bowl, whisk together the 3 whole eggs, 3 egg yolks, 1 cup sugar, the lemon zest, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for about 10 to 12 minutes until the mixture is thick like pudding. (I change to a whisk when the mixture starts to get thick.) Take off the heat and set aside for 15 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours, until completely chilled.

Step 2:
Place half the egg whites and a pinch of salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and continue to beat until the whites are stiff and shiny. Carefully fold the beaten whites into the cold lemon mixture with a rubber spatula.

Step 3:
Place the cream in the same bowl of the electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (no need to clean the bowl) and beat on high speed until the cream forms stiff peaks. Carefully fold the whipped cream into the lemon mixture.

Step 4:
Fold in the lemon curd, and pour into a 7-inch-diameter, 3-inch-deep souffle dish.

Step 5:
Decorate with sweetened whipped cream and lemon slices that have been cut into quarters. Chill and serve cold.

Sweetened Whipped Cream:

1 cup cold heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place the cream, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on medium and then high speed until the cream just forms still peaks. Spoon the whipped cream into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip.

You have to try this one- even if you only make it the one time. It is completely a summer dish and is going to go lovely with the other dishes the girls bring. Can't wait to eat it up tomorrow evening. XOXO.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Tuna Salad with Apples

Growing up my mom would make her tuna salad slighly like the recipe following. Instead of using chopped dill pickles she use relish, yuck! but I never seemed to mind as a child. You know now that I think about it really the only thing the same about my moms recipe and mine is the tuna and apples. Oh well, she still beats me on some other dishes.

You'll see that I am very specific on the list of ingredients normally to each her own but the tuna really matters.

Tuna Salad with Apples

2 5 oz. cans Chicken of the Sea Solid White Albacore Tuna in Water, drained
1 medium to large Red Delisious Apple, chopped chunky
1 cup dill pickles, chopped chunky
1-2 Tbsp. Mayo (Hellman's, Blue Plate, etc. just make sure it good mayo)
1/2 tsp. pepper
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. garlic powder (not salt)

Mix all the ingredients together and serve on lettuce, bread, with crackers or chips. So yummy.

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