About this Blog:

This blog began when long-distance friends looked for a way to share good food ideas. They post their tips, tricks, and recipes, along with the occasional story.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Be sure to eat them warm!

1 envelope active dry yeast
2 tablespoons warm water
3/4 cup lukewarm milk
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 TB and 2 tsp margarine
2 1/2 cups flour
Canola oil for frying

2 TB and 2 tsp butter
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2TB hot water

  1. Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water, and let stand for 5 minutes, or until foamy.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the yeast mixture, milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening, and 2 cups of the flour. Mix for a few minutes at low speed, or stirring with a wooden spoon. Beat in remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough no longer sticks to the bowl. Knead for about 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Place the dough into a greased bowl, and cover. Set in a warm place to rise until double. Dough is ready if you touch it, and the indention remains.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and gently roll out to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with a floured donut cutter. Well, now here you can be creative and braid them, twist them, make all sorts of shapes. I used a knife to cute mine. Let donuts sit out to rise again until double. Cover loosely with a cloth.
  4. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in confectioners' sugar and vanilla until smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in hot water one tablespoon at a time until the icing is somewhat thin, but not watery. Set aside.
  5. Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large heavy skillet to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Slide donuts into the hot oil using a wide spatula. Turn donuts over as they rise to the surface. Fry donuts on each side until golden brown. Remove from hot oil, to drain on a wire rack. Dip donuts into the glaze while still hot, and set onto wire racks to drain off excess. Keep a cookie sheet or tray under racks for easier clean up. This only covered about half the donuts. I used cinnamon and sugar to cover the rest! Make sure the donuts are still warm or the toppings won't stick!!!!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Soup, Bread, Salad Dressing

EASY Pasta e Fagioli

This is a very common soup that can be made in probably more than 100 ways. Here's mine

1/2 lb ground beef 2 table spoons bacon bits 1 tsp. garlic 1 tablespoon minced onion 1 tsp. thyme 2 cups chicken broth 1 chopped tomato 1/4 cup tomato paste 1 cup red beans (already pre soaked- You can use a can of red beans) 1/2 cup uncooked macaroni

Brown ground beef then rinse to eliminate the grease, return to pan. Add about a tablespoon of olive oil, bacon, and spices to meat mixture. Cook for a few minutes. I love the sizzling at this point!! Add broth, paste, and beans. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Add macaroni and cook for 15-20 minutes. Add sea salt as needed.
Home Sweet Home Bread
I cut this recipe in half and made only 1 loaf.
2-1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 envelopes FLEISCHMANN’S RapidRise Yeast
1-1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons salt
1-1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup water
In large bowl, combine 1 cup all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, undissolved yeast, cheese, garlic powder, and salt. Heat milk and water until very warm (120 to 130oF). Gradually add to flour mixture. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cover; let rest 10 minutes.

Divide dough in half; shape each half into 5-inch ball. Place each on greased baking sheet. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Make 2 (1/2 –inch deep) diagonal slashes across top of each loaf.

Bake at 375oF for 20 to 25 minutes or until done. Remove from sheets; brush with melted butter, if desired. Cool on wire rack

Creamy Italian Dressing

1/4 cup Miracle Whip or Mayo
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon canola oil

1 tsp. sugar

2 tsp. white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon parmesean cheese

1/2 tsp or each thyme, basil, and red pepper flakes

Whisk together and serve over salad. MMM....

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Thai meatballs

An EASY perfect light lunch.

1/2 pound of ground chicken (enough for 2 persons)
1 tsp coriander/ cilantro
1 tsp garlic
1 tsp minced onion
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp flour (wondraflour is great)
1 sprinkle sea salt
1 tsp. sesame oil

Mix together.
Roll into small balls and fry in canola oil.

Serve over rice or rice noodles.

Good flavor!

Honey Harvest Wheat Bread

1-1 / 3 cups warm water (100o to 110oF)

1 envelope FLEISCHMANN’S Active Dry Yeast ))
It actually called for TWO. One worked Great!!' It{s only one loaf!

1 / 3 cup honey

1 / 4 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon salt

3 to 3-1 / 2 cups whole wheat flour )
I used about 2 cups each whole wheat and unbleached white.


Place 1 / 2 cup warm water in large bowl. Sprinkle in yeast; stir until dissolved. Add remaining water, honey, oil, salt, and 1 cup flour. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. )Yeah RIGHT. I just keep it in the mixer for the next 10 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down; remove to lightly floured surface. Roll dough to 12 x 8-inch rectangle. ) I don{t have a rolling pin so I use a POM tea glass. Beginning at short end, roll up tightly as for jelly roll. Pinch seam and ends to seal. Place, seam side down in greased
9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
Bake at 375oF for 30 to 35 minutes or until done. Remove from pan; cool on wire rack. Brush with butter.

SOURCE   www.breadworld.com-recipes

A tip for adding honey is to spray the measuring cup with PAM or simply add the oil first!
I want to try Home Sweet Home Bread next. Check it out!!

Monday, April 16, 2007

chocolate-chip biscotti

Last summer, for a friend's wedding, I baked over 200 biscotti, all because I happened to mention to that friend's mother a great recipe I'd found, months before the July ceremony. The bride's mother had flipped when she heard me mention the Italian cookie, and she begged me to make some for the wedding favors, which were personalized coffee bags with individually wrapped biscotti.

I made three kinds: double-chocolate, lemon pistachio, and chocolate anise. What I made today was a variation of the last one--I left out the anise (many people dislike it) and, because of availability issues, used salted, not unsalted, butter, compensating by neglecting the additional salt completely; and I combined bittersweet and semisweet chips to get the full cup. Here's the original recipe, though, taken from Giada De Laurentiis' Family Dinners.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temp
(1 tsp. ground anise seed)
2 large eggs
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350degrees. Line a large, heavy baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar, butter and anise seed in a large bowl to blend. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the flour mixture and beat until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Form the dough into one long 3-inch-wide log. Transfer it to the prepared cookie sheet. Bake until light golden, about 30 minutes. Cool on baking sheet for 30 minutes.

Place the log onto a cutting board. Using a serrated knite, cut the log into diagonal 1/2 to 3/4-inch slices. Arrange the slices cut side down on a cookie sheet. Bake until pale golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool completely.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


The Greek chicken marinade I love was on this weekend's menu. After we'd had pitas and salad with it twice and after we'd begun sopping up the remains onto bread like a dipping sauce, we had another idea: paint the marinade onto sliced bread.

Mom had bought eight long hoagie loaves at Sam's Club a few days ago--for the grand total of $2.86, I believe, so I took half of one loaf, sliced it into 1/2 inch chunks, and set them on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Then I coated each with the marinade, using a pastry brush.

Following a crostini baking tip from a cookbook, I put the breads in a 375degree oven for 9 minutes. The result was crusty, crunchy, flavorful crostini that we all loved. I think they'd be great as appetizers, with salads, or with pastas. Easy, cheap, and tasty!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Cooking with Silicone

This morning I had my first experience with silicone baking.

I had been craving muffins and found a silicone muffin "pan" at the outlet yesterday. I later told my mother about it and she had a regular muffin tin to give to me as well. SO I did a comparison cook this morning.

I did not use paper liners for this "experiment".
I did spray with no stick spray- in both types.

-The silicone cooked completely in 15 minutes The recipe had said 25!
-The smell was odd. Perhaps -first time being used?-- Yes I had washed it!!
-It was jiggly and a little difficult to maneuver.
-I am pleased with the results.

Has anyone else baked with Silicone? What were your findings?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Whoopie Pies

Yesterday I was absentmindedly typing the object of my desire into the recipe search engine only to realize I had typed "whoopee cushions". Therefore this is how they are presently so named in my household.

1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa
1/4 c. hot water
1/4 c. butter (half stick)
3/4 c. sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/3 c. flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 c. milk (only used about 1 tablespoon of it)

In a tiny bowl combine cocoa and water. Stir to smooth and Let set.
IN the mixer, (or use a hand mixer) cream the butter and sugar. Add Vanilla.
Add cocoa mixture and egg. Just keep the mixer going.
Combine the dry ingredients and add alternately with the milk. I did not need more than a tablespoon of milk.

Keeping the size consistent drop onto greased baking sheets. I used a stone. Bake at 350 F for 10 minutes. Touch them and if they respond like a sponge, they are done.
Let cool on wire racks. Clean the mixer for frosting.

1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons of flour
1/2 cup milk
8 tablespoons butter
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or your choice - perhaps almond or mint would be tasty!)

IN a small sauce pan whisk flour and milk until smooth keep whisking until it reaches a thick consistency on medium high heat. Place in a small bowl in the freezer to cool momentarily.

Back in the mixer cream butter, sugar and vanilla, add the chilling milk and whip for about 10 minutes or until super soft and fluffy.

Spread filling on 1/2 of the cookies and top with the others.

Keep in refrigerator.

I was inspired to make these by Shanna's blog entry about the sweet shoppe near her school. I remember making these with my mother as a child. Having a mixer (Kitchenaid) is a real blessing!