Wednesday, November 25, 2009

German Pancakes

One of my favorite breakfasts as a child was German Pancakes.  We loved them.   Actually I think it was more about the cool whip than the actual "pancake" then.  But now it is about the whole experience.  I love the crispy and yet spongy texture, and the eggy, slightly salty taste mixed with the sweetness of the fruit and cream. Mmmm, I now wanting them again and I just ate them for breakfast.  Dinner maybe??

I made a double batch to feed 5 (it really feeds about 6-7, we had some leftovers) and then a 1/3 batch for my daughter (the 1/3 measurements are at the bottom of the recipe).  If you aren't GF just eliminate the xanthan gum.

German Pancakes (printer friendly)
2-4 T butter*
3 eggs
1/2 C flour mix
1/2 C milk
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp xanthan gum

1. Preheat oven to 435-degrees.  Place the butter in the pan and set in oven to melt.  If using a glass pan just set it in long enough for the butter to start melting, but not melting all the way so it doesn't get too hot and break when you pour the batter in.

2. In a blender add the eggs and flour and mix until thoroughly combined.  Add remaining ingredients.

Pour into pan.
I know it is blurry, but you get the idea. -- my 1/3 recipe is in the back.

Bake for 20 minutes.

 my 1/3 batch

This is my double batch, I love how it puffs up then falls as it cools, like a souffle.

3. Serve with fruit & whipped cream, or powdered sugar, or syrup if you so desire.

*more makes it richer, I usually do 2-3)

1/3 recipe measurements
1 1/2 T butter
2 eggs
3 T flour
1/8 tsp xanthan gum (add with flour)
3 T milk
dash of salt.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

BBQ Ribs and Beans

We love BBQ Country Style Spare Ribs, but who doesn't?  But today I was looking for something a little different to do with the ribs other than just BBQ sauce then served with a potato and veggie.  As I was thinking I came up with this.  It felt very cowboy-like.  It was delicious.  I ended up just serving it with carrots and canned apple pie filling as sides.  It was a wonderful meal and everyone ate it up.

BBQ Ribs and Beans (printer friendly)
3 1/2 lbs country style spare ribs
1 can chili beans
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can pinto beans*, drained
1 1/2 C BBQ sauce**
1 T A1 steak sauce

1. Add the ribs and beans to the crockpot

2. Pour in the BBQ sauce and A1, and stir
3. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8.  Use a slotted spoon to get the beans out of the crockpot so you don't end up with a lot of sauce.

*I used the ones I had frozen earlier
**I used 3/4 of a bottle of Kraft Original

Monday, November 23, 2009

Banana Cream Pie

My husband's favorite pie is Banana Cream.  It is also my daughter's.  I have been working on perfecting the recipe for several years and I think I am almost there.  Earlier this week my daughter had a church activity where she was to bring her favorite Thanksgiving recipe and, if she wanted, a sample to share.  She had a hard time choosing between mashed potatoes (apparentely mine are the BEST, even though they are pretty basic) and Banana Cream Pie.  She eventually chose the pie.  Then that evening I also had a church activity and had volunteered to take a pie - before I knew my daughter would need a pie the same day.  Then my husband, when he heard I would be making pies hoped there would be some for him.  Soooo, I made 3 Banana Cream Pies.  Each a little different, but all delicious.  This is the version I liked the best, for now.

Banana Cream Pie (printer friendly recipe)

1 8-9" Cookie Crust
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 T sugar
1 6 serving pkg Banana Cream Pudding
2 1/2 C milk
1/3 C whipped topping
1 banana
Whipped Cream

1. In a medium size bowl combine cream cheese and sugar.

Beat until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute.

2. In a separate bowl combine the milk and pudding and beat on high for 2 minutes.
3. Add about 1/4-1/3 of the pudding to the cream cheese mixture and stir together. 
4. Slice banana into the bottom of the prepared crust.

5. Pour cream cheese mixture over the bananas making sure all the bananas are covered.
6. Pour about a 1/2 C of pudding over cream cheese layer and smooth out.

7. Add the whipped topping to the remaining pudding and cover the pie.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow it to set up.  Top with whipped cream, if desired


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Cookie Crust

This is a crust my mom created that is heavenly.  Basically it is a sugar cookie.  We use it for cream pies, refrigerated cheesecake, strawberry pie, and, my husband's personal favorite, banana cream.  Perhaps the best part is that it the GF version just requires a change in flour, no xanthan gum necessary.

Cookie Crust (printer friendly)
1 C flour (GF or regular)
1 stick of butter*, chunked
1/4 C powdered sugar

1.  In a mixing bowl combine all ingredients

With your fingers, mix together until the consistency of dry sugar cookie dough.

This works best if your hands are cold and you just use the tips of your fingers.

Press into an 8"or 9" pie pan.

2. Refrigerate for about 10-15 minutes.  Cook for 10 minutes on 400-degrees. Allow to cool completely before filling.

This crust is great for strawberry pie, any cream pie, and no cook cheesecake. 

*Use salted or add a little salt if using unsalted.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Lemon-Onion Chicken and Gravy

The other day I got a bunch of meat on a fabulous sale.  Little by little we have been eating some and freezing the rest of the package.  One of the nights I needed something fast or we were going to end up going out to eat and I'm kind of tired of McDonald's.  So I started with a Rachel Ray cookbook again and found a recipe where she marinated slightly some chicken in lemon juice and salt and pepper.  You then used the chicken for something else, but I thought it would be good just as chicken.  This is what I came up with, the chicken was divine, the gravy only so-so, I should have added some basil or perhaps some coriander -- next time.

Lemon-Onion Chicken & Gravy (printer friendly version)
6 chicken breast halves, cut in thirds
1 lemon
salt & pepper
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 medium onion, sliced
1/4 tsp thyme
1 T potato flour
1 C water

1. Lay the chicken thirds on a plate and sprinkle with salt & pepper and the juice from the lemon.  Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes.
2. In a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat,  heat olive oil.  Add chicken.  Top with onion slices and sprinkle the thyme over the chicken.  Cover and cook through, about 10-15 minutes.

3. Remove chicken from pan and place on a plate and cover with tin foil.  Meanwhile, add flour to pan and scrape the drippings up.  Add water and whisk cooking until thickened. 

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Dried Beans

 A while back I mentioned using beans I had cooked from dried and frozen.  I freeze them in portions sizes equal to canned beans since most recipes call for canned beans.  The measurements are listed at the end.  You can do this with any dried beans you want except Kidney beans.  Apparently they have some issues, I just buy them canned.  Here is the process I use.  First sort the beans, removing the undesirable items like:
Split Beans

Shriveled &/or discolored Beans

And Rocks, yes I said rocks.

Next, place in a crockpot with 2x's the water as beans.  Or just fill the crockpot about 1/2 way with beans and then fill with water to the top.  

Allow to sit over night.  Dump water (makes the beans less gassy), and refill with water about 1 " over the beans.   Add about 1 tsp salt.  Make sure you add salt unless you buy unsalted beans, beans are like pasta & rice, no amount of salting will help if they aren't cooked in salt.  Set on high for about 1-2 hours to get the cooking process speeding along, and reduce to low and let cook for 8-10 hours.   The lower in elevation you are the less time you need and the higher the more time you need.

When soft, place in the refrigerator overnight to cool.  Then place in qt freezer bags. 
It is best to freeze the beans with some some juice so the beans don't dry out.  There is approx 1 1/4 C beans and 1/4 C juice in a can of beans.  Make sure to remove as much of the air as possible before closing the bag, it will help prevent freezer burn. 

You can use these beans as you would any canned beans, in casseroles and baked things or fresh.  They are delicious!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Apple Pie Filling

Don't these bottles look pretty.  Yesterday I made apple pie filling for the first time and it turned out fabulous (except for the one bottle that boiled all over the place, but I choose to forget that).  A friend gave us some as a Christmas present a few years ago and I have been wanting to do some ever since.  This year a neighbor let us pick apples from their tree so I was over flowing in apples and decided to give it a try.  Let's just say I will be doing this every year from now on.  It turned out so yummy.  I figure I can use it for pie filling, apple crisp, ice cream topping, oatmeal topping, to eat just plain, add to yogurt, etc., etc., etc. 

Apple Pie Filling (printer friendly recipe) 
Yield: 7 quarts
4 1/2 C Sugar
1 C cornstarch
2 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
10 C water
3 T lemon juice
1 t salt
5 1/2 - 6 lbs. apples

1. In a large pot on medium heat, combine the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and water.  Allow to cook, stirring until thick an bubbly.

 Isn't this pretty?
2. Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice and salt.
3. Peel/Core/and Slice the apples.*  Place them tightly into quart jars.

4. Pour the sauce over the apples leaving a 1/2" space at the top.  If the sauce is too thick to go down, heat over low until it is a little warmer.  I kind of dilly dallied in getting the apples done and this happened to me and after I heated it slightly it worked just fine.

 5. Wash rims and place two piece lids on as directed on the box.
 6. Process in a boiling water canner for 40 minutes. 

*I own an apple peeler/corer/slicer that I used to peel the apples.  I didn't core or slice with this tool since the slices would have been too thin.


I then used an apple wedger to make the wedges.


You could do the peeling, coring and wedging by hand, it would just take a little longer.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Seven Layer Dip

In case you haven't figured out, I love Mexican.  Tonight we did simple and easy.  While Seven Layer Dip is traditionally served as an appetizer, I like to have it for dinner, with it light on the sour cream.  Yum!

Seven-Layer Dip (printer friendly recipe)
2 cans Refried beans
1 C Sour Cream (2 C if using as an appetizer)
1/2 pkg taco seasoning (opt -- 1 pkg if doing 2 C Sour Cream)
2 C Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1 small onion, chopped
1 med tomato, chopped
1 sm can sliced olives (not shown in photo)
Corn Chips or taco shells

1. Layer Refried Beans on the bottom of a 9x13 pan.  Layer the Guacamole on top (as much as you like, I did 1 1/2 avocados worth).  Next combine sour cream and taco seasoning, if using.  Spread on top of the Guacamole.  Layer Cheese and then top with onion, tomato and olives.
2. If you want you can add chopped avocado, shredded lettuce, jalapenos, black beans, or any other mexican like thing you think is yummy.
3. Serve with corn Chips, or use as a filling for a taco shell.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Cookie Dough Brownies

Can you think of anything that could possibly be a yummier combination than brownies & uncooked cookie dough???  I think not!  I got this idea at from the National Cookie Network which led me to Let's Get Cookin' that had the recipe.  Once I saw it I had to try it and it was DIVINE!!  I ended up making the non-GF brownies too thick so the GF ones tasted the best.  I used my version of Carol Fenster's brownie and it is delicious!  Then I used my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe to make the dough. I realized as I wrote this I have never posted these two recipes, a travesty that MUST be addressed.  Look for individual posts of these in the near future (after my daughter finishes these brownies and the Chocolate Cookies to Die For that are currently in the freezer).

I do have to admit that the original recipe called for a 9x13 pan of brownies, but my GF brownie recipe makes an 8x8 pan.  I didn't really want to do much math so I just baked it in an 11x7 pan and then had a little thicker cookie dough, nothing bad about that.

If you have your own chocolate chip cookie dough you love just take the recipe and use the same amount of butter, sugars, vanilla, salt & flour.  Then sub 1/4 C milk for each egg.  Don't use the baking soda or powder since they are a part of the recipe to help the cookies bake well.  You also don't need xanthan gum since it also helps the BAKED cookie hold together and the dough doesn't need that.

Cookie Dough Brownies (printer friendly)
3/4 C butter, softened (or substitute)
3/4 C brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt (opt.**)
1/3 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 C milk (or substitute - I'd use coconut for this recipe)
1 2/3 C flour
1 C chocolate chips - mini would be best,
3/4 C flaked coconut
3/4 C walnuts, chopped

1. Allow your brownies to cool.
2. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugars, salt (if using), and vanilla.  Beat in the milk.  Gradually add the flour until it is fully mixed. 
3. Add chips, coconut and walnuts.
4. Spread dough over the brownies
I plopped the dough on and then spread it out.

5. Refrigerate until the dough is firm.

**I used salted butter so I omitted the salt.  If using unsalted butter you will probably want to add salt.


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