Three is Better Than One Muffins
The pot is on the stove and I have plenty of these muffins so come on over and visit a spell at Comfy Cook or My Sweet and Savory.
Three is Better Than One Muffins
Ingredients:
1/2 cup margarine, melted  (I used oil.)
1/2 cup Rice Dream or milk
1/2 cup Egg Beaters or 2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups combination of cranberries, blueberries and black berries
I used fresh blackberries and frozen blueberries and cranberries. Do not defrost until ready to use.
Method:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease or line 12 large muffin pans. There will be some left over to make a mini cake or two additional muffins.
In bowl, stir together the margarine, rice milk and eggs.
In another bowl, sift together the flour, 1 1/4 cups of sugar, baking powder and salt.
Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the wet mixture all at once.
Stir until blended. There will still be lumps. So not overmix.
Fold in the three kinds of berries.
Divide batter into prepared cups and sprinkle the remaining 4 teaspoons of sugar over the batter.  Another option is making a streusel with ground or chopped nuts, brown sugar and cinnamon and a slight amount of oil to make the streusel moist, not wet.
Bake for about 35 minutes or until golden. Check at 25 minutes.  The berries added moisture to the muffin and I think it needed more time than normal, for muffins.)
Simple Saturday – Garlic Rolls
Welcome to Simple Saturday!
Basic Dinner Roll Recipe
In bread maker (or you can do it the “old” way 😉
3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons yeast
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups water

 

Set bread maker on dough setting and press start. Grease 9×13 pan. When bread maker is done shape rolls, cover with a cloth and let rest (rolls should double in size). Bake 350 degrees for about 20-25 min.

Have leftovers? Stick them in the freezer and take them out on pasta night for Garlic Rolls.

Garlic Rolls

After defrosting, liberally brush with olive oil, sprinkle with lots of finely minced garlic, oregano, and finely grated Parmesan cheese bake until warm and crisp. Serve with pasta and salad – Yum!

Be sure to visit me over at Seaside Simplicity for more simple delicious recipes.

Have a great weekend!

BREAD – And YOU can make That Loaf ala Year on the Grill

Greetings! Here’s another YOU Can Cook That post when it should be I can Cook that. BTW, hi again, Dave here fromMY YEAR ON THE GRILL. The resident cook in training. Today, I am addressing only one blogger out there (but I suspect there are other bloggers who have not baked a loaf of bread on their own). So this post is directed at Lea Ann of MANGOS CHILI and Z. However it is dedicated to all those “want to be” bread bakers out there.

Now, on my own site, I joke that I am a master baker. Truth is, I have about a dozen loafs of bread under my belt, several trays of rolls and I regularly make hamburger buns, but I am far from a master baker. But, as I have said before, whenever I tackle a project, I do a great deal of research. So what I lack in actual experience, I make up for in book learnin’. I think I can help Lea Ann with her bread baking issues.

Her first issue is that her loafs were chunk hard. In her words, a brick.

You see, she recently was gifted a Kitchenaid mixer. WHOO WHOO! what a great gift! HOWEVER, it has a flaw. The flaw is that Lea Ann believed it’s hype. While it is great for mixing, and with the “dough hook”, it advertises itself as doing the kneading for you; in my opinion, I am going to guess that the kitchenaid over kneaded the dough. Too much kneading will cause the bread to be too hard. So, one suggestion, let the dough mix in the kitchenaid, but do the kneading by hand.

Next, she suggests that the dough does not rise.

OK, a couple of solutions. First, are you premixing the yeast in water. Just a little so that it is dissolved does the trick. And, if you are (as you should), be sure that the water is only luke warm. Just a shade above skin temperature, but not uncomfortably warm. Pee warm if you will (but don’t ask me how I know how warm pee is). If the water is too warm, the yeast will die and nothing will rise. Book says about 105 degrees, but no more than 110.

But yeast dough does rise best in a warm area. I keep the heat turned down in the house while my wife is away at her inconvenient day job. So, I need to find the warmest spot in the house to set my dough in while it is rising. Especially on cold days, I like to preheat my oven while my bread rises, and I set the rising dough on top of the stove. With the dough covered, this is by far the warmest spot, and I always get a great rise out of the dough. OR, you can just let the dough rise longer. Dough will rise in a refrigerator if you leave it long enough. Just because the recipe says to let it rise an hour does not mean it will hurt to let it rise three hours.

Another suggestion for Lea Ann is to do a second rise. That is, to do the initial rise, take the dough and hit it hard with a fist. the dough will partially collapse again. then, form the dough into the final product (a dome, a loaf or rope… or whatever). Place the dough on the baking surface, and return to that warm spot and allow to rise again. This second rise will be the one that adds bubbles and tenderness inside the loaf (making it soft).

And finally, to get a more crisp crust, that seals in moisture, take a cup of ice and dump that into the bottom of your stove as the bread is baking (at the beginning of the bake only). The steam will help to seal the crust faster and keep the moisture inside the loaf.

OK, as I promised Lea Ann, I have a wonderful no fail recipe for bread. When hunting for a “standard” bread recipe, I asked for a bit of advice from my favorite blog buddy,Mary from ONE PERFECT BITE. I was a bit surprised when she explained that she does not have a recipe of her own, but uses one from another blogger. Surprised until I found the site of said blogger. These are the famous Moomie’s Buns (I dream of having someone name buns after me one day, but I digress). If you google “Moomie Buns”, you will find about 212,000 links. I initially blogged this on my own site when I made Hamburger buns. Now that I am posting here, you can count at least 212,002. ClickHERE to get to my post on hamburger buns.

So, Here’s my Moomie recipe…

� 1 c water
� 2 tbsp butter or margarine
� 1 egg
� 3 1/4 c. flour
� 1/4 c. sugar
� 1 tsp salt
� 3 tsp instant yeast

� Place all ingredients in your bread machine. Select dough. Allow to run cycle.

Now, I have heard that Lea Ann does not have a bread machine. when I learned that, I had already made my loafs for this post. But, it is easy to do what a bread machine does on the “dough cycle”. Just add all the ingredients together in youkitchenaid bowl. Mix until it just forms a ball. Do not over mix.

Then, knead the dough into a ball shape, coat with a bit of oil and allow to rise for at least an hour, until it has doubled in size.

Punch the ball and allow it to collapse a bit (this is all a bread machine does on “dough cycle”).

� Dump out onto lightly floured surface. form into bread shape, or cut and form into bun shape. Place on greased cookie sheets or your bun pans, cover; rise about 30 to 40 minutes. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes til golden. Cool on wire racks.
I cut them into two loaf size, a little on the flat size, I was going to make Cajun Po’Boy sandwiches, so wanted that size.

OK, in the spirit of the original recipe, i made a few additions…

I added…

1 teaspoon of Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon of onion powder
and for an extra kick,
1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes!

This recipe is wonderfully adaptable. Add fresh herbs, a little cheese or what have you, and it should work fine. I never make the same loaf twice.

I also brushed the bread with some melted butter prior to baking and sprinkled some onion and garlic flakes on top of the loafs.

I bake bread on a cookie sheet, on parchment paper. Works great for me.

I wanted to include a picture of the ice cubes in the bottom of my oven as the bread was first going into the preheated oven.

It sounds so odd, but it does work to have some steam in the oven.

Lea Ann… You can do this, this recipe, this process has never failed me. There is something primal in making your own bread, knowing what you want to do with it and shaping it accordingly. Once you have some success, you will go crazy as a baker. ALMOST as satisfying as cooking over live fire… but just almost.

And look what I CAN COOK…

Shrimp Po’Boys, and plantain fries…

Come take a look at my site today for the Plantain recipe. and I will post the Po’Boyrecipe tomorrow on my site…

See you all next Thursday!

Dave here from MY YEAR ON THE GRILL.

TODAY I AM A MAN – Bar Mitzvah Boy Cooks Julia Child Puff Pastry

Hello again… Dave here from MY YEAR ON THE GRILL! I am very excited to come back for a second week of I CAN COOK THAT! Real quick, if you missed last week, I am a novice. For the last 8 months, I have been handling almost all of the cooking duties. Prior to that, I was a great eater, but rarely cooked. I am learning as I go, and am constantly surprised when I discover that I CAN COOK THAT!

And this week, I am making PUFF PASTRY WITH BLUE CHEESE FILLING!

Go ahead, if you read my post last week, you are saying it to your self, “What’s that goof doing, bragging about making the same dish two posts in a row???”

Well, yes… and no. There is a big big difference in the picture above, and the little picture to the left of last week’s post. That difference, I did not buy the Pepperidge Farms prepackaged frozen (and expensive) Puff Pastry. Instead, today I feel I made a giant step towards becoming a less frightened cook. Today I made a Julia child recipe.

MAZALTAF… Today I am a man!


So, on the surface, it looks like I am repeating a recipe. But, in fact, the spirit of my series is to be amazed that in fact, I CAN COOK THAT. And much of learning to cook is to develop a skill, and then build on it. Trust me, there are so many layers to this recipe that I would never have attempted when I first took over the cooking duties in my household. It has taken me months of cooking every day to get to the point where I would be confident enough to try one of Julia’s recipes.

Be warned in advance that the entire process takes several hours. It is not hours and hours standing at a counter, but it is 5 minutes out of each hour. But, in the end… I could not have been more pleased…

Here’s what Julia says…

French puff pastry dough is paper-thin layers of dough separated by paper-thin layers of butter; when it goes into the oven, the dough layers puff and the pastry rises. Properly made, it is flaky, light as a feather, and tender. It is used for making patty shells, turnovers, puffed cases for various foods, Napoleons and other dessert pastries, and cookies.

(Note: Granular “instant-blending” all-purpose flour needs no sifting. To measure it for this recipe, dip a dry-measure cup into the bag of flour, shake cup to level flour even with lip of cup, and pour measured flour into mixing bowl.)

OK, let’s get to it… Here’s what I did…

First, as always, assemble your ingredients in advance…

For the pastry which Julia calls,

THE DETREMPE,

you need…

1/3 cup salad oil

3 cups granular “instant-blending” flour

A mixing bowl

2 tsp salt dissolved in ¾ cup cold water

2 or more Tb additional cold water if needed

2 sticks (1/2 pound total) unsalted butter

And her is how Julia tells us to make our own puff pastry (Her words are in red, my commentary is in black)…

With a rubber spatula, blend the oil into the flour in the mixing bowl. When mixed, blend in the salted water, pressing firmly with your spatula, then with your fingers. Add more water by droplets until you have a firm but pliable dough. Knead as briefly as possible into a cake 6 inches in diameter. Wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate for 1 hour.

THE DOUGH AND BUTTER PACKAGE

2 sticks (1/2 lb.) chilled, unsalted butter

Just before proceeding to next step, pound the butter with a rolling pin, then knead with the heel of the hand to smooth out butter and get out all lumps. Butter must be cold but malleable. Form it into a 5-inch square. I did this between sheets of waxed paper… worked very well, and was easy to clean up. Also, be sure that the butter is still mostly cold. If it is too soft, it will not work as well. Use your rolling pin and whack away.

Roll dough into a 10-inch circle, place the butter in the center of the dough-circle, then bring the edges of the circle up over the butter to enclose it completely. Do not stretch dough at sides of butter; press dough well together on top and seal by pressing with fingers.

FIRST TURN (“Premier Tour”)

Sprinkle board and top of dough lightly with granular flour, and roll dough rapidly and evenly into as perfect a rectangle as possible, about 6 by 16 inches. Keep lifting dough and sprinkling underside and top lightly with flour as necessary, to prevent sticking.

Then, as though you were folding a long sheet of letter paper, lift up the bottom (one of the small ends) of the dough and fold it over a third of the dough;

lift the top and fold it down to meet the bottom edge of the first fold, making three even layers of dough.

SECOND TURN

Turn dough so that the top edge of top layer is to your right; roll into a rectangle as before, and fold again in thirds. Wrap in a large sheet of waxed paper, then in a plastic bag or damp towel, and chill for 1 hour.

THIRD AND FOURTH TURNS

Make two more turns in the same manner: wrap and chill again for 1 hour.

FIFTH and SIXTH TURNS

Repeat with final two turns, then let dough rest for at least 2 hours or overnight before rolling or shaping. Dough will keep for several days in the refrigerator, or may be frozen.

(Notes: Work as rapidly as possible so butter does not soften; if dough softens and is hard to handle, stop where you are, and chill. Whenever dough seems rubbery and is hard to roll, or retracts after rolling, stop where you are; wrap and chill dough until it has relaxed. If dough is too cold, leave at room temperature until butter has again become malleable.)

And here’s the final product… Note the bundle in the wax paper above. The recipe makes a double batch. Like the Pepperidge Farm stuff, it freezes just fine. It sounds very time consuming, but honestly, it takes five minutes a “turn” or hour. Then pop it in the fridge and go about your chores, or sit and eat bon bons and watch Oprah reruns (I played Sit and Go on-line Poker games). While the entire process took about 6 hours, in fact, I probably only spent 20-30 minutes total at the counter. And Julia was absolutely right, the colder the dough is, the easier it is to work with. Once it starts sticking to the rolling pin, you will need to immediatly get it back in the fridge.

And, that’s all there is to it. I read this recipe a dozen times before trying it. I was actually surprised how easy it all came together. Of course, it takes a lot of time, and for the better part of a day, there is flour all over your kitchen counter top. It begs the question, would I do it again over just buying the pre-made stuff? Yep, in a heart beat. It is easy to make ahead of time, it is MUCH less expensive to make vrs buy. And, to be honest… The fact that I can cook a Julia Child recipe is just about as exciting as it gets.

OK, while I went into much more detail last week about how to make the cheese stuffing, here are Julia’s instructions…

FEUILETEE AU ROQUEFORT
( Roquefort Cheese Case)

( As a first course, or main-course luncheon dish)

For a 16-inch case serving 6 to 8 people

Puff pastry (1/2 the amount made in preceding recipe)

1/2 pound Roquefort cheese

About 2/3 cup thick cream sauce

Egg glaze (1 egg beaten with 1 tsp water)

Roll puff pastry into a rectangle 16 inches long and about 8 inches wide. Cut in half lengthwise and refrigerate one half until you are ready to use it. Roll out other half to widen it by 2 or 3 inches. (It should be about 1/16th inch thick.) Run cold water over a cookie sheet and shake off excess. Fold the widened strip in several places so you can lift it easily. Unfold it on the cookie sheet. Prick a 4-inch strip down the center at ¼-inch intervals with a fork, to keep bottom from rising when baked.

Cut the Roquefort cheese into slivers and place down the center of the dough strip, leaving a 1-inch margin all around. Cover with the cream sauce, then fold the margin of the dough up over the cheese filling on all four sides.

Paint the dough margin with cold water; cover rectangle completely with the second strip, and seal the 2 dough layers firmly by pressing with your fingers. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Just before baking, preheat oven to 425 degrees, paint top of case with egg glaze. Then draw the tines of a fork over the glaze. Bake for 20 minutes at 425 degrees; lower thermostat to 350 degrees and bake 30 minutes more.

Serve hot with a white burgundy wine or a rose. If it is to be used as a main course for luch or supper, serve a green or mixed vegetable salad

I have much more details about how to cook the Thick Cheese Sauce on last week’s post that you can read by clicking HERE. The knowledge and ability to make a roux, turn pastry dough and accent to create this dish were great learning opportunities for me. I was intimidated by all the procedures, but I researched the techniques, studied the recipe so I was prepared, learned from my previous attempts and got the results I was after!

Banana Date Coffee Cake

Just in case you’re looking for a “healthy” sugar-free snack in keeping with any New Year’s resolutions…here you go!

This is a recipe I used to make all the time in college. At the time, I was doing a lot of work with Native Americans, and it seemed like most of them were diabetics. For some reason, unbeknownst to me at this present time, we had a lot of potluck-type things. The Native Americans were sooooooo excited that this recipe has no sugar (other than the minimal amount on the coconut and dates). I used to place a stack of recipe print-outs right next to the pan of coffee cake. I lost the recipe, but found a very similar one online, which I then fixed–the guy had added sugar! No!! He ruined the very essence of it!!–So, I brought it back to its former healthful, delicious, sugar free glory. Enjoy.

Banana Date Coffee Cake

  • 1/2 cup butter – softened
  • 2 medium bananas
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 and 1/4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 and 1/2 cups chopped dates
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • For Topping:
  • 1/2 cup (heaping) chopped dates
  • 1/2 cup (heaping) flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup (heaping) chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 13×9 baking pan with a generous coating of cooking spray.

Cream butter and bananas in a mixing bowl. Add eggs, water and vanilla extract and mix well.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix well. Add chopped dates and mix well.

Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth out evenly with the back of a spoon.

Combine all topping ingredients in a small bowl or cup and sprinkle topping evenly over batter.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cream of Broccoli Potato Cheese Soup & Sour Cream Biscuits




CREAM OF BROCCOLI POTATO CHEESE SOUP
2 cups frozen hash browns
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, minced
1 Vidalia Onion, chopped
1 large crown broccoli, chopped
3-4 cups boiling water (depending on desired consistency)
2 tablespoons Better Bouillon
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
salt & pepper to taste
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1/2 cup salted butter, softened
3 teaspoons minced garlic, jar
dash of white pepper
3/4 cup grated aged cheddar cheese

  • Whisk together the 1/2 cup salted butter, minced garlic and white pepper.
  • Fold in grated cheese
  • In a large skillet cook over low heat until it all melts together.
  • Add frozen hash browns and saute’ until golden brown.
  • Add onions and celery. Cook until translucent.
  • In a large saucepan whisk the bouillon into the hot water.
  • Add the carrots, potatoes, celery, broccoli pieces and onions.
  • Simmer on low 1 hour until all vegetables are soft and tender.
  • Mash vegetables.
  • Add cheese and blend well.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

SOUR CREAM BISCUITS
2 3/4 cups self rising flour
1 cup butter, melted
1 cup sour cream

  • Preheat oven 450 degrees
  • Mix all ingredients together.
  • Drop evenly into muffin tins.
  • Bake for 15 minutes.
  • Makes 12 biscuits.
We interrupt this regularly scheduled meme to bring you Grumpy Guy Salad & Garlic Cheese Bread
GRUMPY GUY SALAD
1 head romaine salad, cut into bite sized pieces & washed

1 orange, peeled, sectioned and cut into pieces
1 kiwi, peeled and chopped.
1 small bunch scallions, sliced thin
1 ripe pear, chopped
1 small bunch asparagus, blanched and cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup snap peas, cleaned & halved
1/3 cup peanut oil
3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons sugar
salt & pepper to taste

  • Wash and prep fruit and veggies.
  • Place in a large salad bowl.
  • Whisk together the peanut oil, champagne vinegar, sugar, salt & pepper until well blended.
  • Pour over salad and toss well.
  • Serve with Garlic cheese bread

GARLIC CHEESE BREAD
1/2 cup salted butter
3 cloves garlic
dash of white pepper
3/4 cup grated aged cheddar cheese
sourdough bread

  • Melt butter in a small sauce pan.
  • Mash garlic cloves.
  • Add garlic and cook until golden.
  • Add cheese, salt and pepper whisking until well blended.
  • Spread on sourdough bread.
  • Broil until golden.
Spooky Witch Hands – Monday Munchies

This spooky witch hands were so easy that I can’t even call it a recipe. They are simply Pillsbury bread sticks – unrolled, sliced in half and then formed into long finger shapes (keeping every 5th one a little shorter and fatter for the thumbs), add sliced almonds for the fingernails and bake for 15 minutes at 375. Serve them with some marinara for dipping for a snack, use them on your Halloween party buffet, or serve in bowls of chili or spaghetti for a perfectly spooky meal!

Pumpkin Bread~ Simple Saturday with girlichef
There were several recipes linked last week that I was definitely going to make. Um…where did the week go? Out of those recipes, I made exactly ZERO. Best intentions… but I did make a super moist, insanely addicting loaf of Pumpkin Bread that was super simple to whip up. It’s a quick bread…which means, among many other actual definitions…that I can mix it by hand…sans mixer. You see, my kitchen is small and any big appliances…like my beloved KitchenAid…are kept in the basement and I have to haul them back and forth when I need them. Yeah, not so simple when you’re feeling lazy. So, hand mixing works just fine for a quick bread like this.
Girlichef’s Pumpkin Bread

yield: 1 loaf

1 1/2 c. AP flour (or 1/2 AP, 1/2 WW)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. sea salt (don’t leave out the salt…it’s important…it enhances the flavors)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
few fresh grates of nutmeg
2 XL eggs
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. Buckwheat Honey (or regular)
1 c. Pumpkin Puree
1/2 c. oil
~1/2 c. pecans, chopped, whole, pieces…however you want ’em

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Combine first 6 ingredients in large bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, beat together all remaining ingredients, except pecans. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just combined. At this point, fold in your pecans and pour into a foil-lined loaf pan OR pour the batter into the foil lined pan and sprinkle the pecans over the top (easier to appease the non-nut lovers…they can just pick them off). Bake in preheated oven for 50-60 minutes…or until it passes the toothpick test. Don’t overbake it…it’s so moist and delicious and reminiscent of pumpkin pie. And addicting. Seriously addicting.


Pumpkin Apple Muffins: What Did You Bake Today?
It’s autumn. Finally. I love the crisp mornings and the cool evenings. It’s also time for apples and pumpkins, two of my favorite ingredients. This lovely recipe combines them both in a moist, filling treat.Pumpkin Apple Muffins:

2 1/2 cups flour (white or wheat)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp pumpkin spice
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup oil
1 1/2 cups peeled, finely chopped apples
In a large bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients and set aside. In another bowl, combine eggs, pumpkin and oil. Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients. Stir just until moistened. Stir in apples. Spoon batter into greased muffin cups and sprinkle struesel topping over batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Streusel Topping:
2 Tbls flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbls butter
Cut butter in to other ingredients until crumbly.

What Did You Bake Today?