Saturday, March 29, 2008

Oatmeal Applesauce Bars

I think my last several posts for Saturday Stirrings have been oatmeal related. I guess I'm thinking about extra fiber lately! This is an adaptation of your standard oatmeal raisin cookie.

Visit DeeDee at It Coulda' Been Worse for more Saturday Stirrings recipes. Thanks for visiting!

Oatmeal Applesauce Bars

2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup stick butter or margarine
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
3 cups quick cooking or old fashioned oats
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup raisins, chopped nuts, or semisweet chocolate chip, if desired

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Mix all ingredients except oats, flour, and raisins in a large bowl. Stir in oats, flour, and raisins.

3. Spread dough into 9x9 ungreased squared pan. Bake about 25 minutes or until light brown. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into 2 inch squares. Makes about 16 squares.

Kolacky - Nut Rolls

We make this for Easter, and the fillings can vary. Below is the nut filling, but you can also use poppy seed pastry filling, raspberry or apricot dessert filling. This is my great aunt's recipe (grandma's twin).

1/2 cup lukewarm water
2 packets of yeast
2 Tbs sugar
1/2 cup margarine
4 cups flour
1 cup milk
3 egg yolks
1 tsp salt
2 Tbs sugar

4 1/2 cups walnuts
2 cups sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup butter (not margarine)
1 Tbs evaporated milk
3 Tbs honey

1. Mix warm water, yeast, and sugar and let stand.
2. Blend margarine and flour as for pie dough.
3. Warm the milk, yolks, salt, and sugar, then add yeast mixture and combine with flour.
4. Cover and let rise double.
5. Punch down, divide into 4 pieces.
6. Using a rolling pin, roll out each piece. Spread filling, the form into roll. Put on greased cookie sheet.
7. Oil rolls before covering to rise.
8. Let rise double, bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
9. For filling, mix dry ingredients. Add combined milk and honey to dry mix. Mix thoroughly and scatter over dough.

Makes 4 rolls.

Paska - Easter Bread

This is our family's traditional Easter bread. This is my great aunt's (grandma's twin!) recipe, and I have many fond memories of baking this bread with my mom and sister.

5 cups scalded milk
2 Tbs salt
1 scant cup of sugar
1/2 cup oil
3 packets of yeast
6 egg yolks, plus a few drops of yellow food coloring (I leave out the food coloring)
1 cup golden raisins (cook in hot water for a few minutes) (optional)
1 tsp vanilla
1 small can Carnation milk
1/3 cup buttermilk
about 13 cups flour
1 stick of margarine or butter

1. Scald milk. Add salt, sugar, oil, and butter. Let cool.
2. Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water and let set a while.
3. Beat egg yolks and coloring. Add raisins, vanilla, Carnation milk, and buttermilk.
4. Add flour and yeast mixture. Knead until you see bubbles in the dough (at least 12 minutes).
5. Place loaves in bread pans or round baking dish. For round loaf, also braid small ring of dough to represent the crown of thorns. Let rise until doubled.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 to 35 minutes.
7. Brush tops with egg whites beaten with water for shiny appearance.

Makes 6 loaves.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Semi-Homemade Pizza

It's time for Random Recipes again! Our "topic" is pizza.! I could eat pizza every day and not get bored. There is just so much you can do with it.

I don't have a pizza recipe per se, but I'll share what I do when making pizza at home.

one prepared store-bought pizza crust (I like Boboli thin crust.)
your favorite spaghetti sauce (really, what's the difference between spaghetti sauce and pizza sauce?)
small amount of olive oil
garlic powder
chopped basil (either fresh or dried)
shredded mozzarella cheese
your favorite toppings - our current favorites are turkey smoked sausage and bell peppers

Pre-heat oven according to directions on the pizza crust. Well, the directions are not ON the crust. They are on the package from whence the crust came.

Place your store-bought pizza crust on a pizza stone or pizza pan. Yes, the directions may say that you can bake it directly on the rack, but I don't want to clean up a messy oven if the sauce or cheese spills over.

Brush the crust with a small amount of olive oil. You can either use a pastry brush or your fingers. I use my fingers. Why dirty another utensil that you are going to have to wash?

Spoon spaghetti sauce over crust, spread to within 1/4 inch of edge. Sprinkle garlic powder and basil evenly over the sauce.

Top with shredded mozzarella, as much or as little as you like. Then scatter toppings over cheese. I like to finish with just a little more cheese over the toppings, but that's a personal preference.

Bake according to directions on pizza crust package. I always take my out before it's done, but I'm impatient like that. I just like it that way, or maybe I've learned to like it that way because that's always how it is because I can't wait. I could blame it on being a middle child like the Pioneer Woman does, but I'm not a middle child, so I really can't use that excuse.
Now, get on over the Pam's blog to check out her pizza recipe and post your own if you so desire!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Easter Dinner Menu Plan

We are hosting Easter dinner again this year. Although I have a note on my fridge with the menu plan, I thought I'd share, just in case anyone needs inspiration! This may change slightly. It all depends on how many guests we have.

Carolina-Style Pulled Pork Sandwiches - we did this last year and it has a HUGE hit!
Cole Slaw - my MIL is bringing
Broccoli Salad - also brought by my MIL
Hard Boiled Eggs - the nieces and I will be decorating them this week
Roasted Green Beans
Miracle Mashies
Hot Fruit Salad
Decadent Peanut Butter Pie
Easter Bread - mom's recipe, will post soon!

Decadent Peanut Butter Pie

I found this recipe on Peace & Carrots. Thanks for sharing, Jeni!

Decadent Peanut Butter Pie

1 prepared chocolate cookie pie crust
1 cup creamy peanut butter
½ cup sugar
8 oz cream cheese (at room temperature)
12 oz container Cool Whip
1 jar (11.75 oz) hot fudge topping

Combine in a medium bowl the peanut butter, cream cheese and sugar. Gently fold in 3 cups whipped topping. Spoon mixture into the pie shell. Using a spatula, smoth mixture to edges of pie. Reserve 2 tablespoons of hot fudge topping and place remaining hot fudge topping into microwave-safe bowl or glass measuring cup. Microwave for 1 minute, then stir.Spread hot fudge topping over pie to cover the peanut butter layer. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Just before serving, spread the remaining Cool Whip over the hot fudge layer, being careful not to mix the two layers. Place the reserved hot fudge in a small plastic bag and knead for a few seconds. Cut a tiny hole in the corner of the bag and drizzle over pie. Do the same with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter going in the opposite direction of the hot fudge topping.

Carolina-Style Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Carolina-Style Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2005
Show: Emeril Live
Episode: BBQ Across America

1 bone-in Boston butt pork roast, 6 to 8 pounds
1/2 cup Essence, recipe follows
1 cup hickory, mesquite, pecan or apple wood chips, soaked
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Hamburger or hoagie buns, lightly toasted if desired, for serving

Coat the pork evenly on all sides with the Essence, rubbing the seasoning into the meat well with your hands. Wrap the pork in a double layer of plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 2 days.

Make a homemade smoker: Start by using a large roasting pan about 11 1/2-inches long by 15 inches wide. Place a piece of dampened paper towel laid out at both ends of the roasting pan. Place 4 small, 1/2-ounce glass bowls or other small heatproof bowls on top of the paper towels, 1 in each corner of the pan. Be sure that the bowls are inverted. Lay the wood chips in the center of the roasting pan. Place a second, smaller roasting pan, (about 10 by 13 1/2-inches), inside the larger pan. Lay 2 more pieces of moistened paper towels at either end of the small roasting pan. Place 4 more bowls inside the small roasting pan, 1 at each corner as before. Position a small baking sheet on top of the glass bowls inside of the small roasting pan.

Place the pork on the baking sheet and position the "smoker" over 2 burners over medium-low heat (or over an indoor grill set at medium heat). Once the wood begins to smoke, wrap the entire roast and roasting pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Continue to cook the pork on the stovetop for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

After 2 hours, transfer the "smoker" to the oven and bake the roast until the pork is fall-off-the-bone tender, about 3 to 4 hours.

Remove the pan from the oven and let rest, covered, for 1 hour.

While the pork rests, make the barbecue sauce by combining the white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes, and hot sauce in a non-reactive mixing bowl. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.

Uncover the pork, and, using 2 forks, shred the meat. Discard any large pieces of fat. Place the meat in a large bowl and pour the barbecue sauce over the pork. Toss to combine. Serve the pork on hamburger or hoagie buns that are lightly grilled or toasted with coleslaw and pickles.

Emeril's Creole Seasoning (Essence):
Recipe from New New Orleans Cooking by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch, Published by William and Morrow, 1993.

2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.
Yield: about 2/3 cup

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Pecan Pie Muffins

This a Paula Deen recipe, so if you're a fan, you'll have to call these Pee-can Pie Muffins. Where I grew up, we called them "peh-cawns." How do you say pecan?

For more great recipes, visit DeeDee at It Coulda' Been Worse, our host for Saturday Stirrings.

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour 8 muffin tin cups or use paper liners.

In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and mix well. Add the flour and stir until just combined. Stir in the pecans.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling about two-thirds full.

Bake for 25 minutes. Serve warm with more butter!

(from Paula Deen Celebrates)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Turkey Chili

Pam is hosting a Tex-Mex Random Recipe exchange! I have a few Tex-Mex recipe in my "arsenal," but this is by far our favorite. This is adapted from Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld.

Turkey Chili

1 T. olive oil
1/2 c. chopped red onion
1 lb lean ground turkey
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. chili powder, or to taste
1 t. salt
1/4 t. sweet paprika
1/8 t. pepper
1 (15 oz) can chopped tomatoes
1 (26 oz) carton reduced fat low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 c. red pepper puree*
1/2 c. carrot purree*
1/4 c. cornmeal
2 T. flaxseed meal
1 pkg extra firm tofu (cubed)

1. Heat large pot over medium heat. When the pot is hot, add the oil. Add the onion and cook until it begins to soften, about 2 minutes

2. Add the turkey and season with the garlic, chili powder, salt, paprika, and pepper. Cook, stirring occassionally, until the turkey is no longer pink, 5-6 minutes.

3. Stir in the tomatoes. Add the broth, red pepper puree, carrot puree, cornmeal, and flaxseed meal, and stir well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered 15-20 minutes. Stir in the cubed tofu and heat thru. (The longer the tofu is in the chili, the more it will absorb the taste of the seasonings.)

* Prepare purees ahead of time by steaming or roasting your vegetables until soft, then pureeing in a food processor or blender with a small amount of water. You can also take the short cut of using prepared baby food carrots and roasted red peppers in a jar.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Hot Fruit Salad

I am putting together my Easter dinner menu and this sounds good! We'll also be having Pulled Pork Sandwiches (recipe coming soon), Miracle Cauliflower Mashies, and roasted green beans.

For more Saturday Stirrings, click on over to It Coulda Been Worse.

Hot Fruit Salad
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
Ready In: 1 Hour 40 Minutes
Yields: 12 servings

1 (20 ounce) jar chunky applesauce
1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling
1 (15 ounce) can sliced peaches, drained
1 (11 ounce) can mandarin orange segments, drained
1 (8 ounce) can pineapple chunks
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pour the applesauce, cherry pie filling, sliced peaches, mandarin
oranges, pineapple, brown sugar and cinnamon into a slow
cooker. Cover, and cook on Low setting for 90 minutes.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Crockpot Granola

DeeDee at It Coulda' Been Worse hosts Saturday Stirrings so we can share our favorite recipe. This would be in my crockpot right now, except I am almost out of oats, so it'll have to wait until next week. But I can still drool.... I like mine with craisins and pecans!

And please feel free to stop by my main blog - Not a DIY Life. Thanks for visiting!

Homemade Granola
5 cups of oats (not quick cooking)
½ cup oil
½ cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup coconut

Cook on low in a slow cooker for 5 hrs or until brown. Stir occasionally. Keep cover cracked. Add raisins or dried fruit. If you don't care for coconut, you can modify this by adding any nuts or dried
berries you like.

UPDATED TO ADD: makes about 6 cups, 1/4 cup serving = 165 calories