Moving through life one recipe at a time

Moving through life one recipe at a time

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Sauerbraten (German Pot Roast)

The husband travels to Germany on occasion and was craving some German Pot Roast also known as Sauerbraten! I looked at many different recipes and decide that Alton Brown wouldn't send me in the wrong direction.

I confess that I did make changes to the original recipe. I omitted the Juniper Berries as those were not available at Wegmans. I did not sear the meat prior to marinating. I also used the slow cooker on low for about 12 hours instead of cooking in the oven.

Many of the reviews said that there were too many gingersnaps and to use 1/2 the amount of sugar. I followed those tips however I think it needed the full amount of both (18 cookies instead of 10 and 1/3 cup of sugar instead of 1/4). The broth/liquid wasn't thick enough and it was very acidic/tangy. I did throw in 2 potatoes that were wilting on my counter tops as well.

I would also vent the slow cooker lid to reduce the liquid and help make it less soupy.

The slow cooker the meat became more pot-roast like instead of slice-able. Tender and yummy, just not what (I believe) it should have resembled.

This was served over fresh and homemade spaetzle!

Adapted from Alton Brown
Serves 2 1/2 very hungry adults

2 cups water
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, additional for seasoning meat
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
6 whole cloves (1/4 to 1/2 tsp ground cloves)
12 juniper berries (optional)
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 (3 1/2 to 4-pound) bottom round (I used Chuck Roast)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup sugar
18 dark old-fashioned gingersnaps (about 5 ounces), crushed
1/2 cup seedless raisins, optional

In a large saucepan over high heat combine the water, cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, onion, carrot, salt, pepper, bay leaves, cloves, and mustard seeds. Cover and bring this to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Pat the bottom round dry and rub with vegetable oil and salt on all sides.

When the marinade has cooled to a point where you can stick your finger in it and not be burned, place the meat in a non-reactive vessel and pour over the marinade. Place into the refrigerator for 3 days. If the meat is not completely submerged in the liquid, turn it over once a day.

After 3 days of marinating, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Add the sugar to the meat and marinade, cover and place on the middle rack of the oven and cook until tender, approximately 4 hours.

Remove the meat from the vessel and keep warm. Strain the liquid to remove the solids. Return the liquid to the pan and place over medium-high heat. Whisk in the gingersnaps and cook until thickened, stirring occasionally. Strain the sauce through a fine mesh sieve to remove any lumps. Add the raisins if desired. Slice the meat and serve with the sauce.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


While tasty I did NOT have the correct technique. These were a pain to make and made a mess of my kitchen!

The dough was very sticky and elastic-y. It was like a very thick pancake batter. This made it difficult to push through the metal colander. It was also problematic when the colander fell into the boiling water and all the dough cooked into each little draining hole.

Next time, I'll put it in a plastic bag and cut off the corner off it. Then I'll dribble the spaetzle dough into the hot water. When it floats it is ready to be fished out of the water!

I served this with our Sauerbraten pot roast!
sticky batter!

connected chopsticks with twist ties
to make a frame. This sort of worked...
balanced the colander over the
 boiling water. How could this end poorly?

Spaetzle Dumpings

Adapted from All Recipes
Makes 2 servings (even though the recipe says this would serve 6)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup milk (almond milk worked)
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
1 pinch freshly ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

  • Mix together flour, salt, white pepper, and nutmeg. Beat eggs well, and add alternately with the milk to the dry ingredients. Mix until smooth.
  • Press dough through spaetzle maker, or a large holed sieve or metal grater.
  • Drop a few at a time into simmering liquid. Cook 5 to 8 minutes. Drain well.
  • Optional: Saute cooked spaetzle in butter or margarine. Sprinkle chopped fresh parsley on top, and serve

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Gingerbread Cookies

Super easy! I made the dough the night before and refrigerated the dough overnight. Leave the butter and egg on the counter for 1-2 hours so it is at room temperature. The butter will cream better if it is on the warmer side. 

When cutting out the cookies keep the other portion of dough in the fridge. Instead of re-rolling the scraps right away, use the chilled dough and put the scraps into the fridge. Alternate until the dough is all used up. 

We made cats, mice, and men! The icing recipe is the one I used with the sugar cookies. This takes food coloring very easily and hardens quickly. I used the recipe without the almond extract and did not add any coloring. Once the icing is dry the cookies are able to be stacked. 

We are looking forward to making these around the holidays!

Gingerbread Cookies
Adapted from Wegmans Recipes
Makes 3-4 dozen (depends on cookie cutter size)

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg, room temperature
1/3 cup molasses
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 - 1/2 tsp ground cloves
3 cups all-purpose flour
Icing from Sugar Cookie recipe

In a stand mixer add butter, brown sugar, and salt to mixer bowl. Cream on medium speed until combined and lightened, scraping bowl and paddle as needed.

Add egg; mix to combine. Add molasses; mix to combine. Turn off mixer.

Sift together baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, ground cloves, and flour into separate bowl. Add dry ingredients to molasses mixture. Mix on low just until combined.

Separate dough in half and form each half into a disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Using rolling pin, roll out one disk of dough on lightly floured surface to a circle about 1/4-inch thick.

Cut out cookies. Transfer to parchment paper-lined baking sheet, spacing about 1/2-inch apart.

Bake one sheet at a time on center rack of oven 12-14 min, or until cookies are firm but not dry. Cool for 2 min and remove from baking sheet.

Chef Tip from Wegmans:

To control the thickness of any rolled-out cookie dough, use rubber rolling pin rings or roll it between two thin strips of wood or Plexiglas (1/4-inch thick). They will help ensure even thickness of the final product.

Incorporate some of the "scrap" dough into the next piece of dough to be rolled out. This way, you won't be left with only scrap dough when finished.

Turn the sheet pan around halfway through the baking process to ensure even baking of the final product.

Set the timer for about half the time recommended, especially with new recipes. This lets you fine-tune the baking time without fear of over-baking the cookies.

For a crispier cookie, bake additional 2-4 minutes. 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Turkey Meatloaf

I'm not crazy about meatloaf but my family loved this! I actually made it ahead of time and froze it wrapped up in tinfoil. I let it defrost in the fridge over night and then baked it for almost 2 hours.

When making the loaf shape lean towards flattening so that it will cook evenly. No pictures this round! We ate it too quickly :)

If you are freezing the meatloaf I'd suggest the ketchup topping after the loaf has defrosted.


Turkey Meatloaf
Adapted from Ina Garten
Serves 8-10

3 cups chopped yellow onions (2 large onions)
2 tablespoons good olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried) or oregano
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
5 pounds ground turkey breast (Optional: use a combination of turkey sausage and turkey breast)
1 1/2 cups plain dry bread crumbs
3 extra-large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup ketchup

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a medium saute pan, over medium-low heat, cook the onions, olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme until translucent, but not browned, approximately 15 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, and tomato paste and mix well. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Combine the ground turkey, bread crumbs, eggs, and onion mixture in a large bowl. Mix well and shape into a rectangular loaf on an ungreased sheet pan. Spread the ketchup evenly on top. Bake for 1 1/2 hours until the internal temperature is 160 degrees F. and the meatloaf is cooked through. (A pan of hot water in the oven under the meatloaf will keep the top from cracking.) Serve hot, at room temperature, or cold in a sandwich.

Monday, September 7, 2015

BBQ Ribs

Ribs were on sale at the market so I figured - Why not?! For $15 bucks we had a great meal for two and we know it would have been a lot more if we had them at a restaurant!

The only tricky part was removing the membrane. If this is your first time making these I recommend watching some YouTube videos. I did marinate the ribs overnight in the fridge.

These were amazing! The meat fell so cleanly off the bones and the rub was a perfect mix of sweet and spicy.

BBQ Ribs
Adapted from Chowhound
Makes: 4 to 6 servings

3 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons ground mustard
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 full racks ribs (about 5 to 6 pounds)
Favorite BBQ Sauce (I used Sweet Baby Rays)

  • Place all of the ingredients except the ribs and BBQ sauce in a medium bowl and stir to combine; set aside.
  • Pat the ribs dry with paper towels. Remove the thin membrane attached to the underside of the ribs by doing the following: Flip the ribs over so they’re bone-side up.
  • Starting at the end of 1 rack, slide the tip of a paring knife between the membrane and the bone, then lift and cut through the membrane. Grasping the membrane with a paper towel, pull it toward the other end of the rack and completely remove it. Repeat with the second rack.
  • Place each rack on tin foil.
  • Evenly coat both sides of the ribs with the spice rub. Pull the foil up and over each set of ribs to create 2 completely enclosed packets.
  • Place the packets side by side on a rimmed baking sheet. Cover the baking sheet tightly with the remaining 2 pieces of foil. (At this point, you can roast the ribs immediately, but for the best flavor and texture, refrigerate them for up to 24 hours.)
  • Heat the oven to 325°F and arrange a rack in the middle. (If you rubbed the ribs in advance, remove them from the refrigerator and set aside at room temperature while the oven is heating, at least 20 minutes.)
  • Place the ribs in the oven and roast until fork-tender, about 2 hours. Remove ribs from tin foil and place under the broiler until the sauce caramelizes about 5 minutes. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Pizza Dough

This had rave reviews from the family! There was silence while we all ate and a few thumbs up signs were flashed. I was asked to make it again too! Hurrah!

I made the dough in the morning before work and let it sit on the counter covered with plastic wrap all day. The dough rolled easily and I baked on a silpat mat.

I used canned tomato sauce that I doctored up with garlic power and Italian seasoning. The grown up pizza had brisket, pepperoni, and red onion. I used a mix of Mexican and mozzarella cheese. The kids decided to turn theirs into calzones and used mozzarella cheese and pepperoni.

Pizza Dough
Adapted from Piecrust and Pasta
Makes 4 half sheet size pizzas 

4 1/2 tsp active dry yeast (2 packets)
1 teaspoon honey
2 cups warm water, 110 to 115 degrees F
6 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for brushing

In the bowl of the mixer dissolve the yeast and honey in the water. Let sit for 5 minutes.
Add the flour, salt and olive oil. With the dough hook, mix on low speed for about 5 minutes. 
Place dough in a well oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
Let it rise for at least one hour - two hours and up to the whole day. 

[Note: For overnight, put it into an oiled zipper freezer bag to refrigerate or freeze. Before using, let come to room temperature on the counter. It will expand so if your bag is small, you may want to transfer to a bowl for the duration.]

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Pinch off a piece of dough the size of your fist. Liberally sprinkle your counter with cornmeal and roll the dough ball with a floured rolling pin to a thin circle about 1/8 thick. Add your favorite toppings and bake 15 minutes or until browned on the edges and the cheese bubbles.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Quick Rise Bread

I was making pasta and sauce for dinner and really wanted some fresh bread to go with it. Since it was getting late in the day I needed bread that would rise quickly and I didn't want something that would be too dense. 

This recipe was perfect! I halved the recipe and then split the dough into 6 blobs. These blobs were put into an oiled jumbo size muffin tin. The bread had a nice crispy crust and the inside was soft.

I'll be making these again!

Quick Rise Bread
Adapted from:
Makes 12 fist size rolls or 2 loaves of bread

5 cups white all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups warm water (110 F - 115 F)
1⁄4 cup cooking oil

In stand mixer with a dough hook add 4 cups flour, sugar, salt, and oil.
In small bowl combine water and yeast. Let it sit for 5 minutes. 
On slow speed, add yeast mix into the flour mix.
Add the remaining flour in increments until dough is no longer sticky.
Knead for about 5 minutes until dough is elastic and smooth.
Place dough back into bowl and cover with a damp towel and let it rise until double its size- about 1/2 hour. (I put it in my oven on the Proof setting for 35 minutes).
Punch it down and divide dough into two pieces (or into the muffin tins).
Preheat oven to 400F.
Roll pieces long enough to fill two well oiled loaf pans and leave to rise until dough has reached the 
rim of the pan. (I put into the oven once it preheated and didn't wait for it to rise to the rim of the pan).
Bake loaves for 40 minutes. Rolls bake for 20-25 minutes.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Oven Roasted Potatoes

Potatoes are one thing that someday I'll be able to cook without fear! I haven't been able to time the correctly to be ready with the rest of the food. This means I start the potatoes very early so they will be done before I cook the rest of the meal. These are

Oven Roasted Potatoes

Potatoes (1/2 to 1 per person)
a healthy drizzle Olive Oil
2 tsp herbs (Oregano, Italian Seasoning, parsley)
Cracked black pepper
1-2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup chicken broth

Preheat oven to 400F.

Wash and scrub potatoes. Cut potatoes into a large dice.

In a large bowl combine olive oil, herbs, and seasoning. Stir in potatoes until all of it is coated. If you need to add more olive oil.

Put in a 9x13 baking dish. Add a splash of chicken broth and bake until fork tender. Depending on the size of the potato that could be between 30-60 minutes.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Rice Pilaf

I grew up eating the boxed rice pilaf and I had a craving for it the other day. The boxed stuff has a lot of sodium so I was curious about making it at home from scratch. This was so easy and I don't know why people use the boxed mix.

I will give you a onion turns green so you should use the white onion.

Rice Pilaf
Adapted from All Recipes 
Serves 4

2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup orzo pasta
1/2 cup diced white onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup uncooked white rice
2 cups chicken broth or veg broth
1/2 cup slivered almonds (optional)

Melt the butter in a lidded pot over medium-low heat. Stir in almond and orzo pasta until golden brown. Add onion and cook until onion becomes translucent, then add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Mix in the rice and chicken broth. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender, and the liquid has been absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

Saturday, July 18, 2015


I'm not sure where my Snickerdoodle recipe came from but it is a handwritten card in my recipe binder. It is a quick and pretty little recipe!

I use my smallest cookie scoop and these are about the same size as a Nilla wafer.

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 2/3 cup flour
1 tsp cream of tarter
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
Sugar coating: 2 tbsp sugar + 2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400F
In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar and then mix in eggs and vanilla
Add in dry ingredients and comibne until a sticky ball forms.
Shape into balls (I use my cookie scoops) and roll in the cinnamon sugar mix.
Bake 8-10 minutes. Cookies won't turn brown but the bottom edges will start to turn a light golden.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Soft Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

WOW this is my 200th post!! I'm glad its a festive recipe!

I made these fun decorated sugar cookies for a bachelorette party!

The dough was easy to work with, the recipe is easy to double, and they were quite tasty!

The Sugar Cookie recipe was adapted from Sallys Baking Addiction. The icing recipe is adapted from All Recipes.

I doubled the cookie recipe and it made 60 cookies. The cookies were about 3 inches big. I used the Wilton 4 Piece Wedding Cookie Cutters. Unfortunately the bells did not frost easily and didn't look like bells so the evidence was consumed.

This is a recipe for softer sugar cookies but if you prefer a crispier cookie roll the dough thinner and cook for an extra minute.

You'll want the eggs and butter to be room temperature but you want the dough to be cold when you are ready to work with it.

While my dough was cooling in the fridge I made these cinnamon/sugar Snickerdoodle cookies!

I let the cookies cool for about 6 hours before adding the icing. After icing them I let them harden for 4 hours before stacking and bagging them.

It was about 2 hours of effort (making dough, cutting, putting in the oven) but a lot of other hours of waiting while chilling the dough and cooling the cookies and drying the icing.

Note: I also use this icing for my Gingerbread Cookies!

Soft Cut-Out Sugar Cookies
Adapted from Sallys Baking Addiction
Yields: 18 medium size cookies or 30 smaller cookies

3/4 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened to room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

In your stand mixer beat the butter until creamed and smooth.
Add the sugar and beat on high speed until light and fluffy.
Add the egg, vanilla, and almond extract and beat on high until fully combined.

In a different bowl mix the flour and baking powder.
With the mixer on low slowly add in the flour until just combined.

Chill dough in fridge for about an hour or up to a day. If more than an hour, cover the dough so it doesn't dry out.

Remove dough from fridge and divide the dough in half. Put on piece on floured surface and put other half in the fridge. Roll to about 1/4″ thickness and cut into desired shapes. Put on cookie sheet (with parchment paper or Silpat mat) and place back in the fridge for 10-20 minutes. This allows the dough to firm back up and prevents spreading.

Re-roll the remaining dough and continue cutting until all is used. I alternated pieces in the fridge and pieces to work with so that the dough was a little cooler.

Bake for 8-11 minutes, until very lightly colored on top and around the edges. My cookies took 10 minutes. Allow to cool on baking sheet and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.

Make the icing and decorate the cooled cookies!

Adapted from All Recipes
Makes enough for 1 dozen cookies

1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons milk
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional, I would omit next time)
Food coloring (Wilton Gel Food Colors)

In a small bowl, stir together confectioners' sugar and milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup or milk by the 1/4 tsp.

Divide into separate bowls, and add desired food coloring to each. The food colors I used were very strong and ONE drop was plenty.

Put frosting into bag and snip the corner to easily frost the cookies. An easy way to add the frosting into the bag is to use a drinking glass and that holds it open while you put the frosting in.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Balsamic Glazed Steak and Veggie Rolls

Was this fancy looking? Was it labor intensive? Was it yummy? Will I make this again? Yes for all!

I updated the instructions below to be a bit more efficient. It took me about an hour and I had some downtime while I was waiting for things to cook.

To make this faster you can prepare the veggies the night before or purchase the pre-cut veggies. It also could be made with leftover veggies or the random veggies wilting in your drawer.

Remember that the smaller you cut the veggies the quicker they will cook. My veggies were a bit bigger and I crowded the pan and it took about 10-15 minutes until tender.

veggies all sliced

Rolled meat and kept closed with a toothpick

Topped with the balsamic sauce

Balsamic Glazed Steak Rolls
Adapted from Picture the Recipe
Yields 8 rolls and fed 2 hungry grownups

For the Steak
1 lb sliced skirt steak or top round cutlets
Salt & Pepper
3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce
1 tbsp olive oil

For the Veggie filling
1 carrot
1 bell pepper, any color
1/2 a zucchini or summer squash
5-6 green onions
2 cloves of garlic or 1 heaping tsp of garlic powder
1 tsp Italian herb seasoning

For the Balsamic glaze sauce
2 tsp butter
2 tbsp finely chopped shallots
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup beef broth or red wine or water

Cut the steak into 3 inch wide strips or separate the steak cutlets.
Season the steak pieces with salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce.
Marinate for 1/2+ hours.

While the steak is marinading... Melt butter in a large saucepan on medium heat.
Add the shallot and saute it for a minute or 2 until they turn soft and translucent.
Add the balsamic vinegar, brown sugar and beef stock and stir.
Bring sauce to a boil and then simmer until reduced by half, stirring occasionally. It will become thicker and syrupy. Turn the heat off and transfer the sauce to a bowl.

While the steak is marinating and sauce is reducing...Cut carrot, bell pepper and zucchini into matchstick size pieces, little longer than the width of the steak strips.

After the sauce is put into a different bowl, add a little olive oil and the garlic to the same pan.
When hot add add veggies, Italian herbs, and salt. Stir fry until tender. The smaller the slices the faster it will cook. (aka true matchstick size will cook quickly, mine took about 10 minutes...oops!).
Transfer the veggies to a bowl.

To assemble the steak rolls...
Lay out the strips of steak and place the veggies on one end and roll! Secure it with toothpick. Repeat the same with the other rolls.
Add some oil to the pan and heat for a couple minutes
Put the beef rolls in the pan, seam side down and pan fry for a couple minutes. Then turn roll and cook it on all sides in the same way. Cook until you’re desired done-ness.

Remove the toothpick and serve with the balsamic glaze sauce spooned over the top of each roll.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Vanilla Cheesecake with Graham Cracker Crust

After you go camping and you have leftover graham crackers...what to do?? So far I've made Martha Stewart's Key Lime Pies and now these yummy mini cheesecakes!

I've adapted this recipe from Tyler Florence's Ultimate Cheesecake recipe. Overall I halved the recipe. Instead of 1.5 eggs I used 2 eggs. Instead of 1 cup sour cream I used 1 cup of vanilla Greek yogurt. I omitted the lemon zest and vanilla extract. I reduced the sugar from 1/2 cup to 1/4 cup after reading a bunch of other recipes.

I didn't have any blueberries or fresh fruit to turn into a sauce to drizzle over the top so I put a little Strawberry Jam on mine.

These came out very soft unlike traditional cheesecakes. They freeze well. They are also delish out of the freezer and defrosted for about 10 minutes!

Vanilla Cheesecake with Graham Cracker Crust
makes 8 mini (6 oz ramekin) servings

2 cups finely ground graham crackers
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 stick unsalted butter, melted

1 (8oz) block, softened cream cheese
2 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
In a food processor pulse the graham crackers, cinnamon, and melted butter.
Spoon into the glass bowls and use another bowl to press the crackers in. Put it to the side.
Using an electric mixer or stand mixer, beat the cream cheese on low speed for 1 minute until smooth and free of any lumps. 
Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and continue to beat slowly until combined.
Gradually add sugar and beat until creamy, for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add vanilla yogurt, scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. 
Pour the filling into the crust-lined pan. 
Put the ramekins on the cookie sheet and then place in the oven. 
Place a large pan of water in the bottom rack of the oven. 
Bake for 30 minutes. The cheesecake should still jiggle (it will firm up after chilling). 
Crack the oven door and let the cheesecake sit for another 30 minutes. 
Chill in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for at least 4 hours. 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Irish Soda Bread Recipes x3

I had some leftover buttermilk from the Broccoli Slaw and I was thinking of what else I could make... Irish Soda Bread! It is a little late past St. Patrick's Day but it is a recipe I've been waiting to try!

Since I don't do this in parts and I couldn't decide which recipe to make, I decided to make all 3!

I adjusted each recipe for 2 cups of flour and updated all the ingredient measurements. I did not use caraway seeds or the chocolate chips for a more even comparison.

I baked Recipe 1 and Recipe 2 as suggested. I baked Recipe 3 at 350 for 40 minutes. Recipe 1 follows an authentic Irish Soda Bread recipe. Recipe 2 was sweeter and moister. Recipe 3 was similar to a biscuit texture.

For a different variation use chocolate chips for the raisins.

If you give them a try let me know what you think!

Below are the original recipes:

Recipe 1
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp Caraway seeds (Optional) or 1/2 cup chocolate chips (Optional)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Put the dough on a well floured surface and knead until no longer super sticky. Place on a cookie sheet and slice the top lightly with an "X"

Bake 10 minutes at 375 and then 40 minutes at 350.

Recipe 2 followed Recipe 1 without the salt but the addition of sugar, eggs, and melted butter. I didn't use the caraway seeds. However, the recipe called for "T" and "t" which I didn't realize until after that "T" means Tablespoon and "t" means teaspoon. So the recipe wasn't followed as closely as planned, at least I can't remember. At any rate...

Recipe 2

3 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups raisins
2 cups buttermilk
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp melted butter
1 tbsp Caraway Seeds (Optional) or 1/2 cup chocolate chips (Optional)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Grease and flour the cake pan. Pour batter into the pan.

Bake 45 minutes at 350.

Recipe 3 follows closely to Recipe 2 but calls for the butter to be cold instead of melted and for 1 egg instead of 2 eggs and no baking powder. There is also a difference in the flour to buttermilk ratio. I didn't use the orange zest.

Recipe 3

4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup raisins
1 3/4 cups cold buttermilk
4 tbsp sugar
1 egg, beaten
4 tbsp cold butter, cut into pieces
1 tsp grated orange zest (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Put the dough on a well floured surface and knead until no longer super sticky. Place on a cookie sheet and slice the top lightly with an "X"

Bake 45 minutes at 375.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Chicken Fajitas

I was looking for ways to change up our regular grilled chicken and this is one of the new recipes that I tried!  This recipe is adapted from Simply Recipes.

It was nice that this whole meal could be prepared on the grill since it has been so hot outside! 

I made a couple substitutes based on what was available in the house. I used lemon juice instead of lime juice, garlic powder instead of garlic cloves, and red pepper flakes instead of jalapeno.


Chicken Fajitas
Serves 4

1 pound of chicken breast
3 peppers, sliced into stripes
2 small onions, sliced into stripes

2 tbsp lime juice or lemon juice
3 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced or 1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder or 1/4 tsp of cayenne powder and 1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and minced or 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Butterfly the chicken breast. Put into a pie plate.
Combine all marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Pour over chicken.
Marinade for 1 hour at room temperature or in the fridge for 4-6 hours.

While grill is preheating, put the veggies on a large piece of tinfoil, fold the foil in half. Fold the edges in to form an envelope/packet. Put on the grill for 10 minutes while grill continues to heat.
Grill the chicken for 3-6 minutes per side. Once cooked remove from heat and onto a plate to rest. 
Continue to cook peppers and onions until charred.
Slice chicken and serve on a tortilla.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Mild Taco Seasoning

This mild taco seasoning was adapted from The Daily Meal and was kid approved (at least this time!). It was determined to be not too spicy and not too bland. I did a heaping scoop for the cilantro and oregano but then to make it less green and more red I added a few more sprinkles of paprika until it looked like the packet stuff. 

Mild Taco Seasoning
for 1 pound of meat

1 tbsp chili powder (or 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper + 1/2 tsp paprika)
1 pinch of ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried cilantro
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Lemonade Yogurt Popsicles

Another stolen recipe from Angela! She made these the other night and I had to make them at home! These are very refreshing and tangy!

If you use an ice cube tray: Pour mix into the wells. Cover the top with tin foil and put popsicle stick into each cube hole.

Variations: try using substituting limes or oranges for the lemons!

Lemonade Yogurt Popsicles 
makes about 5 pops

2 lemons, about 1/2 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 vanilla yogurt  (regular or Greek style)
Honey (optional)
Popsicle mold or ice cube tray

Zest the lemons, use only the color part and not the white part underneath.
Juice the lemons.
Mix juice and zest into the yogurt.
Taste, if it is too tart add 1 tbsp of honey until it tastes how you want.
Carefully pour into the molds and freeze 6+ hours

To remove from the popsicle mold: place pop under warm running water for 15-20 seconds and then try to remove. If it doesn't come out put under water and repeat.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Key Lime Pie

Boy it is hot out already!! This is Martha Stewart's Key Lime Pie recipe. My cousin made this pie for us last summer and it was so tart and refreshing!! I have been looking forward to making this for quite some time.

One of the perks of this pie is that you can make it ahead of time. I also took a peek at the Pioneer Woman's Key Lime Pie Sorta Recipe and hers is pretty similar except that instead of room temperature she makes hers as a refrigerator pie  and chills it for 1 hour or more prior to serving. She also uses 2 eggs instead of 4. Maybe next time I'll use 3 eggs?

I used regular limes instead of key limes since there weren't any at the store. I made these in small bowls so that each was a serving and could be stored for a little longer. I used about 2 heaping tbsp of graham cracker crumbs in each and then pressed them in using the bottom of one of the other bowls. The filling was about the same thickness as the graham crackers, so if you'd prefer less crust use less of the crumbs. As these are a lot smaller I baked the crusts for 10 minutes and baked the pie with the filling for 9 minutes. 
Key Lime Pie
Makes 1 pie or 10 ramekins

1 1/4 cups graham-cracker crumbs (1 - 1 1/2 packs of graham crackers)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
Pinch of salt

Filling (makes about 2 cups worth of filling):
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup fresh Key-lime juice
1 tablespoon grated Key-lime rind

3/4 cup heavy cream, chilled

Heat oven to 375°. Put graham crackers in the food processor and pulse until combined. Add butter, sugar, and salt and continue to pulse until combined. Press into a buttered 8-inch pie plate (or whatever container you are using), and bake 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Let cool completely.

In a mixing bowl, combine condensed milk, egg yolks, lime juice, and rind. Pour into the prepared, cooled crust.

Lower oven to 325°. Return pie to oven, and bake approximately 15 to 17 minutes, until the center is set but still quivers when the pan is nudged.

Remove from oven, and let stand until cool. Prior to serving, whip cream until stiffened. Decorate pie with whipped cream, and serve at room temperature.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Maple Walnut Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

My neighbor makes this dressing all the time so I had to steal it from her :) Thanks Angela! This Maple Walnut Vinaigrette Dressing is adapted from The Yummy Life.

It took about 5 minutes to take all the ingredients out and put it through the food processor. This made about 9 oz of dressing which is almost a regular size bottle of dressing.


Maple Walnut Vinaigrette Salad Dressing
approx 9 servings

1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper or 1/4 tsp black pepper
1 teaspoon ground dry mustard
1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
4 tablespoons olive oil

Combine all ingredients except the oils in a food processor. 
Blend until well combined and walnuts are pureed. 
With food processor running, pour olive in a slow steady stream through the feed tube. 
Transfer to jar or other airtight container and chill in fridge.

Note: If the dressing is thicker than you like, add water 1 tablespoon at a time until it's the desired consistency.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Broccoli Slaw

This is the broccoli slaw recipe from Smitten Kitchen. I loved this! It was refreshing and surprisingly light. 
I did use real buttermilk instead of my usual substitute (milk + white vinegar) because I wasn't sure of the flavor impact.

Next time I would add some dice chicken, or red cabbage or maybe sprinkle some crispy bacon pieces on top because...why not?! If I added more I would make more dressing too.

Broccoli Slaw
makes about 9 cups

2 heads of broccoli (florets and stems)
1/2 cup thinly sliced almonds or walnuts
1/3 - 1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)

Buttermilk Dressing:
1/2 cup buttermilk, well-shaken
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
Salt & Pepper

Trim broccoli and cut into bite sized pieces using a knife, food processor, or mandolin slicer.

Toss the sliced broccoli with the almonds or walnuts, cranberries or raisins, and red onion in a large bowl (I used my largest cooking pot). 

In a small bowl, whisk all the dressing ingredients together. Pour the dressing over the broccoli and toss it well. Season with additional salt and pepper if you'd like.

Store in the fridge until ready to serve for up to a week.