Saturday, June 28, 2008

Easy Whole Wheat Bread

I have found a great recipe for making whole wheat bread in my bread machine! I looked in a lot of recipe books, and lots of different websites, so this recipe is a combination of what I've read.

Don't forget to check out other great recipes at the new home of Saturday Stirrings at I Throw Like a Girl.

3/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
2 T vegetable oil
2 T sugar
1 t salt
1 cup bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 packet of rapid rise yeast (or 1 t)

Place all ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the the manufacturer. Select Whole Wheat cycle and Regular bake time; press start.

After 5 minutes, check how the dough is kneading. It may need either 1 T of flour or 1 T of water, depending on the consistency.

Once the bread is done, allow it time to cool on a wire rack before cutting.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Homemade Ketchup

Sorry I'm late posting my Random Recipe today. This sort of fits with the Fourth of July side dish theme. Everybody (except me) loves ketchup with their grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, right? Melanie had a blog post questioning whether ketchup could be considered a vegetable. With this recipe, it can!

Homemade Ketchup
from Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld

1 6 oz can tomato paste
1/2 cup carrot puree
1/4 water
2 Tbs apple-cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp chili powder, or to taste

1. Stir all the ingredients together in a big saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the mixture has reduced by about half, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool before serving.

2. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or freeze in 1/4 cup amounts in zipper-lock bag for up to 3 months.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Banana Oatmeal Cookies

I saw this recipe at Genesis of a Cook and wanted to try it. I love to bake, but we are trying to stay away from lots of extra sugar and white flour. So a recipe with bananas and rolled oats sounds healthier to me.

I did have to make a few adjustments to the original recipe that I read. I don't know if it was an altitude difference, but with only 1 1/4 cups of flour the cookies flatten out way too much. So I added about another 1/2 cup of flour and they looked better. This made about 3 dozen cookies for me.

These are not overly sweet and I think they would make a great afternoon snack (or bedtime snack!).

1 3/4 cups flour (I used 1/4 cup of wheat flour, and 1 1/2 cups of white flour)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
6 tbsp. butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup rolled oats
2 bananas, ripe

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a small bowl, stir the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together, set aside. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars until smoothly blended. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until blended.

3. Slowly add the flour mixture with the butter mixture, mixing just until it is incorporated. Stir in the oatmeal. Use a large spoon to mix in the ripe bananas and mash, mixing just until they are evenly distributed.

4. Drop by tablespoonfuls of dough onto prepared baking sheets. Bake until edges are lightly browned and the tops look dry, about 18 minutes. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Crockpot Cream Cheese Chicken

I "borrowed" this recipe from the Crockpot Lady, but changed a few things for our family. That's one of my favorite things about cooking - you don't always have to precisely follow a recipe. Just use it for inspiration.

Crockpot Cream Cheese Chicken

8 frozen chicken breast tenderloins or 4 frozen chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup (or you can use cream of mushroom or cream of celery)
1 can of water (measured in soup can)
1 packet of Italian dressing seasoning
1 8 oz package cream cheese (I used 1/3 less fat)
1 package frozen broccoli

Put first four ingredients in crockpot. Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours. Thirty minutes before serving, use two forks to shred chicken. Then stir in frozen broccoli and block of cream cheese and cook on high for remaing 30 minutes. Serve over rice or pasta.

** This turned out fabulous! A bit like broccoli and chicken alfredo. I served this over whole wheat pasta.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Taco Junk

Since it's been hotter than blazes this week, I am transitioning to my "summer cooking mode." Which means crockpot meals and anything that doesn't require the oven.

I think I found this recipe in an e-mail, but I can't remember, so I don't know who to give credit to. This is a fabulous recipe! We used mild salsa, but you can kick it up and use medium or hot, depending on your preference. And we don't eat beans in this house, so I subsitituted extra firm cubed tofu instead of the beans. The tofu takes on the flavor of whatever it's with, so it makes a great addition to a lot of dishes. Also, we used ground turkey instead of ground beef.

For more recipes, don't forget to check out Saturday Stirrings at It Coulda' Been Worse.

Taco Junk

1 lb . ground beef cooked and drained
1 can corn
1 can tomatoes
1 can pinto beans
1 pkg. dry ranch style dressing mix
1 pkg. dry taco seasoning mix
2 cups salsa

Put all the ingredients in crockpot and cook on high for 4 hours. Serve over brown rice. Garnish with shredded cheese or sour cream.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Frozen Fruit Smoothies

Today's Random Recipes theme is drinks, milkshakes, etc, etc. This is my all-time favorite way to make smoothies. And it's so simple!


Take about a cup of frozen berries or other frozen fruit. Place in the blender or a cup large enough for an immersion blender to reach the bottom. Pour in about a cup of skim milk. Blend. No ice. The frozen fruit is enough to make the smoothie thick and creamy! Add a little sugar or Splenda to sweeten, if necessary. The only fruit that needs sweetener is peaches.

If you want to use fresh fruit, then you will need to use ice cubes.