Sunday, November 22, 2009

Perfect Whole Wheat Bread

This is a recipe that is from the "Bee Prepared" 3 ring binder that I have. My friend made it and it was so good!

2 Loaves Recipe

1 TBSP instant yeast
2 1/2 cups hot water
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup honey or raw sugar
1 TBSP salt
6-7 cups whole wheat flour

Combine all ingredients. Kneed for 10 minutes. Form into loaves. Place in prepared bread pans and let rise until doubled. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes

4 Loaves Recipe

2 TBSP instant yeast
5 cups hot water
2/3 cup oil
2/3 cup honey or raw sugar
2 TBSP salt
12-14 cups whole wheat flour

Combine all ingredients. Kneed for 10 minutes. Form into loaves. Place in prepared bread pans and let rise until doubled. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Twice Baked Potatoes

Here are 2 different Twice Baked Potato recipes.

Twice Baked Potatoes - Food Network

4 large russet potatoes, each about 3/4 pound each, scrubbed and dried
2 to 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup sour cream
1 scallion, finely chopped
Freshly grated nutmeg, optional
½ cup shredded sharp cheddar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the potatoes directly on the rack in the center of the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Pierce each potato in a couple spots with a fork and continue to bake until tender, about 30 minutes more. Remove potatoes from the oven, and turn the heat down to 375 degrees F.

Hold the potato with an oven-mit or towel, trim off the top of the potatoes to make a canoe-like shape. Reserve the tops. Carefully scoop out most of the potato into a bowl. Take care to leave enough potato in the skin so the shells stay together. Mash the potato lightly with fork along with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the butter and sour cream. Stir in the scallion, nutmeg, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Season the skins with salt and pepper. Refill the shells with the potato mixture mounding it slightly. Sprinkle the cheese on top of the potato filling. Brush the reserved top with the remaining butter and season with salt and pepper.

Set the potatoes and lids on a baking sheet, and bake until heated through, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

Twice Baked Potatoes - Daisy Brand Sour Cream

8 medium Russet potatoes
4 strips diced turkey bacon (I used regular bacon)
3 finely chopped scallions
2 ½ cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup Daisy Brand Sour Cream
¼ cup heavy cream
½ cup whole milk
1 heavy pinch salt
1 heavy pinch pepper
1 heavy pinch chili powder (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Thoroughly wash and dry potatoes. Wrap in aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Poke holes in the potatoes and return to oven for another 30 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork. Meanwhile, fry and chop the bacon. Chop the scallions. Remove the potatoes and cool for 10 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees. Slice off the top 1/3 of each potato lengthwise. Holding each with a clean towel, hollow out the potato skins with a spoon leaving about 1/4 inch of the potato on the inside to prevent potato from falling apart during baking. In a large bowl, combine potato interior, butter, sour cream, 1/2 cup of the cheddar cheese, heavy cream, milk, salt, and pepper. Mash until smooth. Stir in bacon and scallions. Fill each potato skin with the mixture. Top with remaining 2 cups of cheddar cheese. Sprinkle each with chili powder as desired. Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese melts. Serve immediately.

My Notes: The Daisy Brand potatoes weren't warm enough for me, so either turn the temperature up to 375, cook them longer than 15 minutes (after filled) or warm the cream before adding it to the potatoes.

French's Crunchy Onion Chicken

French's Crunchy Onion Chicken

2 cups (4 oz.) FRENCH'S® Original or Cheddar French Fried Onions
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
4 (5 oz.) boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 egg, beaten

Place French Fried Onions and flour into plastic bag. Lightly crush with hands or with rolling pin. Transfer to pie plate or waxed paper. Dip chicken into egg; then coat with onion crumbs, pressing firmly to adhere. Place chicken on baking sheet. Bake at 400°F for 20 min. or until no longer pink in center.

My Notes: I really liked the texture and crunchiness of this recipe, but it didn't really have a lot of flavor. We just used BBQ sauce on ours and loved it.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thanksgiving Dinner Timeline

1 Week Before...

Shop for as many groceries as possible and don't forget to buy your Turkey!

4 Days before...

Thaw Turkey

3 Days before...

Make Mashed Potato Casserole

2 Days before...

Make Cranberry Centerpiece with floating candles
Fill Car with gas

1 Day before (in the morning)...

Veggie Tray with Spinach Dip
Cheese Ball
Red Jello Salad
Green Jello Salad
Pumpkin Pie
Cranberries (or can be made the day of if you want them served warm)
Thaw Cool Whip for Pumpkin Pie
Set out butter so that it softens
Put Cream Soda in fridge
Don't forget about dinner tonight!!

1 Day Before (in the evening)...
Make Brine & Brine Turkey

Day of...

Blueberry Muffins (eat for breakfast!)
Cook Turkey
Mashed Potatoes
Green Bean Casserole
Cauliflower with Cheese Sauce
French Bread or Rhodes Rolls

Friday, November 13, 2009

Paula Deens Holiday Hosting Guide

Paula Deen has a free Holiday Hosting Guide available! I love Paula and have 3 of her cookbooks, so I'm really excited about this.

(Make Ahead) Mashed Potato Casserole

This is such an easy dish to make for Thanksgiving. It can be made up to 3 days ahead and cooked the day of Just remember to bring it to room temperature before putting it in the oven.

Mashed Potato Casserole

5 lbs potatoes (about 8 large)
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese (thawed)
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp garlic salt
½ tsp pepper
¼ cup butter

Cook and mash potatoes. Beat cream cheese and sour cream until smooth; gradually add to potatoes. Beat in garlic salt and pepper. Put into buttered shallow casserole dish (9x13 works great). Dot with butter. Bake, covered at 400 for 50-60 minutes.

May refrigerate up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before baking.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Mini Pumpkin Tarts

These are the perfect bite size pumpkin treats! I love making these for Thanksgiving because they are so easy and look so pretty.

Mini Pumpkin Tarts

3 packages (15 tarts each) prebaked frozen mini pastry shells (we used Athens Mini Fillo Shells)
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
2 cups (plus extra for garnish) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 teaspoon (plus extra for garnish) pumpkin pie spice
1 (3.4 oz) package cheesecake-flavor instant pudding and pie filling
Mint leaves (for garnish)

Remove the shells from the freezer and let them thaw at room temperature for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the pumpkin, whipped topping, and pumpkin pie spice in a medium bowl, whisking until smooth. Add the pudding mix and whisk until smooth and thick. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the filling into each of the shells (you can also pipe the filling with a pastry bag or a plastic sandwich bag with one corner snipped off), then top the tarts with whipped topping, a sprinkling of the pumpkin pie spice, and a mint leaf, if you like. Makes 45 tarts.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Maple-Pecan Chicken

I found this recipe online and amazingly had all the ingredients on hand! I made this recipe the same night I found it. That has never happened before :)

Maple-Pecan Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/4 lb)
1/4 cup pure maple or maple-flavored syrup
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 cup Progresso plain panko crispy bread crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (I used my Nut Chopper for this)

Heat oven to 400°F. Line baking sheet with foil; spray with cooking spray. Between pieces of plastic wrap or waxed paper, place each chicken breast smooth side down; gently pound with flat side of meat mallet or rolling pin until about 1/2-inch thick. In shallow dish, mix together maple syrup and mayonnaise. In another shallow dish, mix together panko and pecans. Dip chicken into syrup mixture, then into panko. Place on baking sheet. Spray top of chicken with cooking spray. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut (165°F) and coating is golden brown.

My Notes:
This recipe was very sweet. A little too sweet for me, so we added barbecue sauce to the top of the chicken and that worked out great!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Tool of the Month - Nut Chopper

I bought this last year from Williams-Sonoma and LOVE it!! Hannah loves to chop the nuts for me, and it is easy enough for her to turn the handle. Nuts come out perfectly for all your holiday baking!