Friday, April 24, 2009


Pizza Dough

1 cup hot water
2 TBS olive oil
1 TBS yeast
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
approximately 2 1/2-3 cups flour
Dissolve yeast & sugar in hot water. Let stand for 10 minutes. (Should get foamy) Add oil, salt, and gradually add flour. Knead into ball & cover with oil. Let rise in bowl until 2X size. (I stick mine in the microwave-to rise) Roll out on stone and bake at 350 until cooked through middle. 12-20 minutes, depends on your topping

Chicken Enchiladas to die for!!!

Chicken Enchiladas with Roasted Tomatillo Chile Salsa

Roasted Tomatillo Chile Salsa:
1 pd tomatillos, husked
1 white onion
4 garlic cloves
2 jalapenos
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
½ c chopped cilantro leaves
½ lime, juiced

Extra-virgin olive oil
½ medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 ½ tsp ground cumin
¼ c all purpose flour
2 c chicken stock, store bought
Chopped cilantro leaves
1 deli roasted chicken (about 3 pds) boned, meat shredded
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
10 large flour tortillas
2 c sour cream
Chopped tomatoes and cilantro leaves for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

For the salsa: on a baking tray, roast tomatillos, onion, garlic and jalapenos for 12-15 minutes. Transfer the roasted vegetables and any juices on the bottom of a tray to a food processor. Add the cumin, salt, cilantro, and lime juice and pulse mixture until well combined but still chunky.

Enchiladas: meanwhile heat a 2 count of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and caramelized-this should take 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin then cook for a further minute. Sprinkle on the flour and stir to ensure the flour doesn’t burn then gradually add the chicken stock to make a veloute. Continue stirring over a low simmer until the flour cooks and the liquid thickens. Turn off the heat, add half of the roasted tomatillo Chile salsa, some additional fresh cilantro and fold in the shredded chicken meat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Change the temperature of the oven to 350 degrees and begin assembling the dish. Take a large baking dish and smear the bottom with some of the reserved tomatillo salsa. Now take the tortillas and briefly flash them over the stove-top flame (or put them briefly under the broiler if using an electric stove) Using a shallow bowl, coat each tortilla lightly with the reserved salsa mix. Put a scoop of the chicken-enchilada mix on top of the tortilla followed by a sprinkle of the shredded cheese. Fold the tortilla over the filling and roll like a cigar to enclose it. Using a spatula place the tortillas in the baking dish and continue to do the same with all the tortillas. Finally pour over some more of the salsa and top with remaining shredded cheese. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes until bubbly and cracked on top. Garnish with cilantro and tomato.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hard Boil Eggs

Since more people hard boil eggs for decorating and eating around Easter I thought I'd share this little tip. These always turn out well for me. There are probably lots of ways to do it without the shell breaking, but I don't like the yolk dark yellow or greenish. What other ways do you do it?

Perfect Eggs

For foolproof hard-cooked eggs, place eggs in a single layer in saucepan; add cold water to cover by 1 in. Cover saucepan and bring water to a boil. Remove from heat. Let eggs stand, covered, in the hot water for 10 minutes for large eggs. Rinse in cold water and place eggs in ice water until completely cooled.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Whole Wheat Tortillas

I wanted to make good homemade tortillas, just for fun. I've tried several recipes and they were total flops. This one was the best one with whole wheat that I tried. I got it from The Sisters' Cafe blog. The tortillas are really good and fairly simple and have few ingredients. Try them for the sweet potato bean burritos I posted recently. They taste great baked!

Whole Wheat Tortillas

from The Sisters' Cafe

3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup hot water
1/3 cup oil

Mix all ingredients thoroughly in mixer. Remove from mixing bowl and knead on countertop until smooth (add a little white flour if the dough is too sticky). Divide the dough into 12 balls, and let rest (covered) for about 15 minutes. Dough should still be really soft, but pliable. (It helps to have a cold rolling pin or a nonstick mat). Roll each ball into a very thin circle. Heat a heavy skillet or griddle(ungreased) to medium high heat. Cook tortillas until brown flecks appear, about 20-30 seconds then flip over and repeat for about 20 seconds more. Don't overcook. Make sure to watch them carefully. If they are overdone they will be crispy. Use immediately, or wrap in plastic or place in an airtight container to refrigerate or freeze. To warm, wrap in damp paper towels and microwave 15-20 seconds.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

French Bread

Warning: you will never buy store French bread again!

French Bread
1/2 c warm water
4 1/2 teaspoons yeast
2 c hot water
3 T sugar
6 full cups flour, divided
1 T salt
1/3 c oil

Dissolve yeast in warm water.

Combine 3 cups of flour with hot water, sugar, salt, and oil. Add yeast and remaining flour. Allow dough to rest for 10 minutes and then stir down. Repeat the rest and stir down 4 times.

Turn onto a floured surface and divide into 2-3 parts. Roll into a "9x12" triangle and roll up like a jelly roll. Arrange the seam side down on a greased cookie sheet. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes. Slash diagonally 3-4 times then brush with beaten egg.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes (closer to 20). Makes 2-3 loaves.


Breakfast Crepes

4 eggs

4 T melted butter

2 2/3 cup milk

2 c flour

1 t salt

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Pour a small amount onto a greased, hot griddle (325 to 350 degrees) and spread until thin. Turn halfway. You can also pour into a frying pan and use the pan to spread the batter until thin. This makes about 18 8" crepes. Top with fruit and whip creme, powdered sugar, etc. I have tried these with whole wheat but they do not work as good. The best mix I have found is to do 3/4 c wheat and 1 1/4 c white flour. I haven't tried using a finer grade wheat flour yet.

Individual Meat Loaf Cups

This was my April Fool's Dinner this year. I plan to make them again but without the food coloring in the potatoes!

You can find the original recipe here.

Meat Loaf
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
3 tablespoons ketchup
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Potato Frosting
3 cups mashed potatoes
Food coloring

1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 12 muffin tin cups with foil bake cups.

2. In a large bowl, mix together all of the meat loaf ingredients until well combined. Divide the mixture evenly among the lined cups (the liners should be about three quarters full).

3. Place the filled muffin tins on cookie sheets and bake the cupcakes for about 15 minutes or until cooked through.

4. Divide the mashed potatoes among three small bowls and stir a few drops of food coloring into each batch to create blue, yellow, and pink pastel frostings. Spread a generous dollop on each cupcake.

Makes 12 cupcakes.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Addictive Sweet Potato and Bean Burritos

These sound unusual, but meatless main dishes can be very fulfilling and at our house we all love sweet potatoes or yams or whatever you call them. This recipe came from allrecipes and for some reason we always use black beans instead of kidney and I added the spices to the onion and garlic and sauteed a little bit before I added the beans to bring out the flavors, but the rest was basically the same. For our little family, I usually do half the recipe. And you may be tempted to skip the baking step for the sake of time, but don't do it. They are so much better baked.

photo from
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups cooked black beans (original recipe says kidney, but black is so good)
2 cups water
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
4 teaspoons prepared mustard
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
3 tablespoons soy sauce
4 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes (baking them the slow way in the oven really makes them sweet and yummy)
12 whole wheat tortillas (these are the best whole wheat ones I've made)
1 cup shredded cheese (use whatever kind you have)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Heat oil in a medium skillet, and saute onion and garlic until soft. Stir in beans, and mash. Gradually stir in water, and heat until warm. Remove from heat, and stir in the chili powder, cumin, mustard, cayenne pepper and soy sauce.
  3. Divide bean mixture and mashed sweet potatoes evenly between the warm flour tortillas. Top with cheese. Fold up tortillas burrito style, and place on a baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven, and serve.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Monkey Bread

My boys LOVE to help make this easy Monkey Bread and then of course to devour it ALL!

3 (12 ounce) packages refrigerated biscuit dough (lights ones work well, too)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup margarine or butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

Grease a bundt cake pan. Mix white sugar and cinnamon together. Cut refrigerated dough in half, roll into balls, roll in cinnamon sugar mixture, and then place in pan. (This is the part my boys love to do!) If you add nuts or raisins (I don't), layer them in between the dough.

In a small saucepan, melt the margarine with the brown sugar over medium heat. Boil for 1 minute. Pour over the biscuits.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.
Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a plate. Mmmmm!