Thursday, February 25, 2010

Meatball Subs

These are an easy, delicious meal using leftover meatballs and spaghetti sauce.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Peanut butter fudge
My friend, Lauren, and I made this delicious fudge just the other day.  We enjoyed working together to make it, and take pictures of the process!  

3 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
1 (7 oz.) jar marshmallow creme
14 oz peanut butter
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
1 Tablespoon shortening

Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, set aside.
In a saucepan, combine sugar, milk, and butter.  Bring to a boil, and cook 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat.  Stir in the marshmallow creme and peanut butter.  Gradually stir in the flour.  Pour into prepared dish, and let cool.
  If chocolate is desired:  
In a small saucepan melt shortening and chocolate over medium-low heat, just until smooth.  Pour on top of cooled fudge.  
Cut fudge into 1 inch squares.
Store in the refrigerator.  Serve chilled.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hashbrown Casserole

1 pound shredded hashbrowns, thawed
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/8 cup onion, finely chopped
1 cup shredded cheese, cheddar or colby-jack
1 can (15 oz.) cream of chicken soup
Preheat oven to 350° F.
In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients.  Stir until well combined.
Grease a glass baking dish.  One batch will fit nicely in a 8x8 pan, but a 13x9 dish will work too, the casserole will just be thinner, and may require less baking time.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, stirring once or twice.
The hashbrowns should be completely cooked, very soft, and the edges of the casserole should be slightly browned.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Chips and dip!

Today we had a tea party.  We had a ripe avocado so I decided to make some dip.  I had a great idea to use the skin as the dish to hold the dip!  (I think I watched too many cooking shows!  lol)  But it worked great!

I sliced the avocado length wise, and took out the pit.  I used a spoon to scoop out all the fleshy part.  I mixed up the fleshy part with a little garlic salt, ground red pepper, and paprika till it was creamy.  
In the smaller end of the skin I placed several Tablespoons of sour cream.  (Filling not quite a third of the skin.)
Next I filled a little less than a third more of the skin with salsa.
Last I put the mixed up avocado in the end of the skin.  I dusted the top with red pepper and paprika, and served with corn tortilla chips!  Delicious!!!

Friday, February 5, 2010


I've never eaten nor baked this type of bread before, but I thought it would be fun to give it a try.  Ciabatta is an Italian bread. I think it is pronounced, Chee-bot-ta or Chuh-bot-ta.  
The starter, or sponge, for this bread must be made at least 12 hours, but no more than 24 hours in advance.  So I made the sponge last night and then mixed up the dough in the later morning today.  

Step 1:  Making the starter, or sponge.  In a small bowl mix together 1/8 teaspoon dry active yeast and 2 Tablespoons warm (110 F.) water.  Stir, then let mixture sit for 5 minutes.  The mixture should be creamy looking, the yeast will have dissolved, but it won't be bubbly.  Add 1 cup of flour and 1/3 cup warm water to this mixture.  Stir for 4 minutes.  Cover with plastic wrap.  Let the mixture sit on the counter for at least 12 hours, but no longer than 24 hours.

Step 2:  In a small bowl heat 2 Tablespoons milk to 110 F.  Mix 1/2 teaspoon yeast into the milk.  Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes.

In a stand mixer ( I used our Bosch mixer) mix together sponge (starter), the milk/yeast mixture, 2 cups flour Tablespoon olive oil, and 2/3 cup warm water.  Mix just until flour is mixed in.  Add 1-1/2 teaspoon salt.  Mix for 8 minutes.  
Step 3:  Transfer dough to an oiled, glass measuring bowl. (To oil it rub the bottom and sides with olive oil, this helps the dough come out later)  Set dough in a warm place, cover with a towel.  Wait 1-1/2 to 2 hours, until dough has doubled.  
(I guess it was too cold in my kitchen so my dough wasn't rising.  I turned the oven on to a low temp. then put the dough on top of the stove.  I let it rise just a little too long so it was a little more than doubled, but I think thats fine.)

Step 4:  Divide dough in half, place each half on a piece of parchment paper that is about 12" by 6".  (We didn't have any parchment paper, so  I tried putting one loaf on foil, and the other on a greased baking sheet.   The one on the baking sheet didn't slide onto the hot pan very well.  :(  Kinda crumpled up.)

Step 5: Let the loaves rise until doubled, or about an hour.  Place baking stone in oven, and preheat to 425 F.  (We don't have a baking stone so I used a large flat cast iron pan.)  The stone (or pan) should be hot when the dough is placed on it.  Slide the dough carefully onto the stone (or pan).  Bake for about 20 minutes until nicely browned.  Cool slightly before cutting.


1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 Tablespoons warm water (110 F.)
1/3 cup warm water (110 F.)
1 cup flour

(Other ingredients)
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 Tablespoons warm milk (110 F.)
2/3 cup warm water
2 cups flour
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1-1/2 teaspoons salt

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Baked Oatmeal
This is a common breakfast at our house.  Its great to make it the night before, and have breakfast ready and waiting!

Baked oatmeal is a recipe that can be easily modified.  Sometimes we flavor it with vanilla extract, other times with cinnamon.  Try adding apples, raisins, dried cranberries, or chocolate chips.
3 cups quick-oats
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tsps. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla or cinnamon
1 cup milk
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 350.  (If you use a dark baking dish like I did preheat to 325.)
In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients.  Mix thoroughly. 

Grease a 8 "x 8" baking dish. Pour batter into greased baking dish and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.  Edges should be golden or dark brown.  Center may look wet.