Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Awesome Cinnamon Rolls

I saw these on a blog I frequent and figured it was time to pull out the bread machine I've had sitting under my cupboard for a year. I don't know if any of you have a bread machine, but these were the best and easiest cinnamon rolls I have ever made (probably because a machine made the dough for me, which I often fail at). I think I'll be making these a lot in the future to give away to visiting teachers, etc.

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm milk
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 egg, lightly beaten plus 2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
4 cups flour (Add a bit more if dough seems too wet after first few minutes of kneading in the bread machine.)
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons bread machine yeast
Filling (I doubled this since we like our filling, oh yes we do!):
2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup brown sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon milk
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
4 tablespoons (or less) butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla

Put the dough ingredients in the bread machine in the order listed and run on the dough cycle. After the dough cycle is finished, roll the dough into a large rectangle and spread it with 2 Tablespoons melted butter and 2/3 cup brown sugar mixed with 1 Tablespoon cinnamon.
Roll up and cut into 10-15 rolls and place in two greased round cake pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes or until browned. Spread the icing on as soon as they come out of the oven.
You can also cover the unbaked rolls with plastic wrap, stick them in the refrigerator overnight, and then bake in the morning.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Uncle Ken’s Pancakes

Uncle Ken's Pancakes

1 c. white flour
2 T. baking powder
2 T. sugar
¾ tsp. salt
2 heaping tablespoons of whole wheat flour
1 c. water
2 T. cooking oil
2 eggs

Mix the dry ingredients and then add the wet ingredients.

Note:  I wrote this recipe as Uncle Ken rattled off the ingredients at the last Thatcher family reunion on a paper towel.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Puffy Chilies Rellenos

2-4 oz.cans whole green chilies
8 oz. Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
1-12 oz. can refrigerated flaky biscuits


3 eggs, separated
¼ tsp salt
about 2 oz
. of taco sauce
warm with 1 can tomato sauce

Heat oven to 375°.  Grease cookie sheet.  Cut chiles lengthwise to make 10 pieces.  Remove seeds and ribs; rinse and drain.  Cut cheese into 10 pieces 3” x ½” x ½”.  Wrap each piece of cheese with piece of chili.  Separate dough into 10 biscuits. Press or roll out each to 4” circle.  Place 1 chili wrapped cheese piece onto each circle’ fold dough over to cover completely.  Firmly pinch edges to seal.  Form each into finger shaped roll; place seam side up on greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes or until light golden brown.  Meanwhile, prepare topping in small bowl.  Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. In second bowl, beat egg yolks and salt.  Gently fold egg yolk mixture into egg whites until just blended.  Spoon mounds of egg mixture over each partially baked roll, covering completely.  Bake an additional 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. In small saucepan, heat taco sauce.  Spoon over chili rellenos.

Strawberry Slush

1-12 oz. can lemonade
1-12 oz. can orange juice
1-46 oz. can Hawaiian Punch
2 ½ quarts fresh or frozen strawberries

Mix and add 6 cups of water.  Freeze 1-2 days.  Add 7-up or any lemon-lime soda to taste.  Makes around 5 gallons.

*Note - We served this at Brittany & Brian's reception. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

French Onion Soup

I did it. I finally made French Onion Soup. It's my favorite soup to get at restaurants and I've been wanting to try making it for years. It was an all day affair. Er, at least half the day. Not that I stood in front of the stove all day. And it wasn't hard. Just a process (cooking the onions in the oven and waiting and then a lot of stirring). But it was definitely delicious and very comparable to what I've had in restaurants.

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter , cut into 3 pieces
  • 6 large yellow onions (about 4 pounds), halved and cut pole to pole into 1/4-inch-thick slices (Make sure you get Yellow)
  • Table salt
  • 2 cups water, plus extra for deglazing
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (They recommend Swanson Certified Organic Free Range Chicken Broth )
  • 2 cups beef broth (They recommend Pacific Beef Broth)
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme , tied with kitchen twine (yeah, I didn't do this part--just added a little dried thyme instead)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Ground black pepper
Cheese Croutons
  • 1 small baguette , cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 8 ounces shredded Gruyère cheese (about 2 1/2 cups)
For the soup:
  1. Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Generously spray the inside of a heavy-bottomed large (at least 7-quart) Dutch oven with a nonstick cooking spray. Place the butter in the pot and add the onions and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, covered, for 1 hour (the onions will be moist and slightly reduced in volume). Remove the pot from the oven and stir the onions, scraping the bottom and sides of the pot. Return the pot to the oven with the lid slightly ajar and continue to cook until the onions are very soft and golden brown, 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours longer, stirring the onions and scraping bottom and sides of pot after 1 hour.
  3. Carefully remove pot from oven and place over medium-high heat. Using oven mitts to handle pot, cook onions, stirring frequently and scraping bottom and sides of pot, until the liquid evaporates and the onions brown, 15 to 20 minutes, reducing the heat to medium if the onions are browning too quickly. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the pot bottom is coated with a dark crust, roughly 6 to 8 minutes, adjusting the heat as necessary. (Scrape any fond that collects on spoon back into onions.)
  4. Stir in 1/4 cup water, scraping the pot bottom to loosen crust, and cook until water evaporates and pot bottom has formed another dark crust, 6 to 8 minutes. Repeat process of deglazing 2 or 3 more times, until onions are very dark brown. Stir in the sherry and cook, stirring frequently, until the sherry evaporates, about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the broths, 2 cups of water, thyme, bay leaf, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, scraping up any final bits of browned crust on bottom and sides of pot.
  6. Increase heat to high and bring to simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove and discard herbs, then season with salt and pepper.
For the croutons:
  1. While the soup simmers, arrange the baguette slices in single layer on baking sheet and bake in a 400-degree oven until the bread is dry, crisp, and golden at edges, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
To serve:
  1. Adjust oven rack 6 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Set individual broiler-safe crocks on baking sheet and fill each with about 1 3/4 cups soup. Top each bowl with 1 or 2 baguette slices (do not overlap slices) and sprinkle evenly with Gruyère. Broil until cheese is melted and bubbly around edges, 3 to 5 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.