Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Vegetable Broth

• 1 pound celery
• 1 1/2 pounds sweet onions
• 1 pound carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
• 1 pound tomatoes, cored
• 1 pound green bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
• 1/2 pound turnips, cubed
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 3 cloves garlic
• 3 whole cloves
• 1 bay leaf
• 6 whole black peppercorns
• 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
• 1 gallon water

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).

2. Remove leaves and tender inner parts of celery and set aside.

3. Toss onions, carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers and turnips with olive oil. Place vegetables in a roasting pan and place them in the 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) oven. Stir the vegetable every 15 minutes. Cook until all of the vegetables have browned and the onions start to caramelize, this will take over one hour.

4. Put the browned vegetables, celery, garlic, cloves, bay leaf, pepper corns, Italian parsley and water into a large stock pot. Bring to a full boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Cook uncovered until liquid is reduced by half.

5. Pour the broth through a colander, catching the broth in a large bowl or pot. The liquid caught in the bowl or pot is your vegetable broth it can be used immediately or stored for later use. Although the vegetables are no longer necessary for your broth they are delicious to eat hot or cold, don't waste them!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookie Sweet Rolls

From: Pioneer Woman

Prep Time: 1 Hour30 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Difficulty: Intermediate
Servings: 24


• 4 cups Whole Milk
• 1 cup Sugar
• 1 cup Canola Oil
• 9 cups All-purpose Flour
• 2 packages (4 1/2 Teaspoons) Active Dry Yeast
• 1 Tablespoon (heaping) Salt
• 1 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
• 1 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
• 1 stick Butter
• 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
• 1 cup Brown Sugar
• ½ cups Sugar
• 1 teaspoon Salt
• 1-½ cup Chocolate Chips Or Chocolate Chunks
• 1 cup Chopped Pecans (optional)


• 1 package 8 Ounce Cream Cheese
• 3 cups Powdered Sugar
• 1 stick Butter, Softened
• 1 cup Whole Milk
• 2-½ teaspoons Vanilla Extract
• ¾ teaspoons Salt

Preparation Instructions

Mix milk, 1 cup sugar, and canola oil in a pot. Heat until very warm but not boiling. Allow to cool until slightly warmer than lukewarm.

Sprinkle yeast over the surface of the liquid, then add in 8 cups flour. Stir gently until totally combined. Mixture will be very wet and sticky. Cover with a tea towel, keep in a draft-free place, and allow to sit for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, add in an additional cup of flour, as well as the salt, baking soda and baking powder. Mix until combined. Refrigerate dough, covered, until you need it. (Refrigerating the dough helps make it easier to handle.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread melted butter in the bottom of pie pans or 9 x 13-inch baking dishes.

Divide dough in half. Store one half in the fridge for another use. Turn the other half of the dough onto a floured surface. Roll into a large rectangle, about 24 inches wide by 10 to 12 inches deep. Add vanilla to melted butter, then drizzle mixture all over the surface of the dough. Use fingers to spread evenly. Mix sugar and salt and sprinkle it evenly over the butter. Follow with the brown sugar, chocolate chips, and chopped nuts.

Beginning at the side furthest from you, roll dough toward you until it’s in the shape of a tight log. Pinch the edges to seal. Slice into 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick rolls and lay, cut side down, in buttered baking dishes. Allow to rise for 20 minutes, then place in oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until deep golden brown on top.

Make the icing: Mix 1 stick butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, milk, vanilla, and salt in an electric mixer or until smooth and pourable.

Remove rolls from oven and allow to sit five minutes before drizzle icing all over the rolls. Be sure to get the icing all around the edges and covering the surface so they’ll be nice and moist! Sprinkle tops with extra chopped nuts.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

The whole world of my cinnamon rolls begins with this: four cups of whole milk.

This is a big moment, folks.

Pour it into a dutch oven or other pot.

Add a cup of sugar…

And a cup of oil.

Stir it together and heat it over medium heat. Don’t let it boil. Turn off the heat and allow it to cool a bit. You want it to be warm, but not too warm for the yeast.

When it’s cooled enough, sprinkle in the yeast.

Let it sit on the surface of the warm liquid for a couple of minutes.

Then add eight of the nine cups of flour.

Stir it gently to combine. It’ll be super wet and stick.
And that’s what you want.

Then place the lid on the pot and allow to sit in a draft-free place for one hour.

I love using heavy cast iron pots for yeast doughs, as they tend to trap in the warmth and give the yeast more of a yeast-happy environment.

Here it is an hour later!

Time to add in an additional cup of flour…

A good tablespoon of salt (don’t skip this!)

A heaping teaspoon of baking powder…

And a scant teaspoon of baking soda.

Stir it around…

Until it’s all combined. It’ll take a little time to get everything incorporated.

After it’s all combined, you can either proceed with the rolls OR cover the dough and keep it in the fridge for awhile. The dough really is easier to work with if it’s cooler…but I’m usually too impatient for that step.

In any event, when you’re ready to make the rolls, divide the dough in half. You can make a double batch of these rolls, OR you can make another variation: cinnamon rolls, caramel apple rolls, orange rolls. Change things up!

Melt a stick of butter. Add in 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.

Then roll out the dough in to a large rectangle: around 24 inches long by 10 to 12 inches deep.

Pour the butter over the dough, then use your fingers to smear it evenly all over the surface.

That is one big rectangle of dough.

Sprinkle a mix of white sugar, brown sugar, and salt over the top.
Just like chocolate chip cookies!

Grab some chocolate chips or (in my case) chocolate chunks. You can buy the chunks as is (the shortcut) or you can buy squares of semi-sweet chocolate and chunk it up yourself.

Mmmm. This is looking very promising.

NOTE: In the recipe below, I call for chopped pecans to be added at this step. Totally optional!

Next, begin at the side of the dough the farthest from you, and begin rolling the dough into a long log. Your fingers will act as a typewriter in a sense; you’ll go all the way down, rolling as you go, then back the other way, still rolling as you go.

This is about 3/4 of the way done.When it’s totally rolled, pinch the seam to get it to seal.  Done!

Now use a sharp knife to cut 1/2 to 3/4-inch slices…

Then lay them in a buttered pie pan, cake pan, or rectangular baking dish.

Cover it with a tea towel…
Let site only for 20 minutes or so.

After 20 minutes, pop ‘em into a 375 degree oven and bake ‘em till they’re nice and golden and bubbly.

But while they bake…make the icing. You’ll want to pour it on while the rolls are still warm.  You must trust Pioneer Woman.

Powdered sugar (sifted if you’re motivated; unsifted if you’re like me), softened butter, softened cream cheese, vanilla, salt, and milk.

Salt, because you’ll die from the sweetness otherwise.

Mix it until it’s very pourable. Not just spreadable—pourable.

Then as soon as the rolls are out of the oven…

Pour it over the top.

Mmmm. Warm rolls with cream cheese icing.
There’s nothing better. Nothing.

Completely drown the rolls in icing—you want them positively swimming in the stuff. It’ll melt and run down into the cracks and crevices of the rolls, and your life will finally, at long, long last, make sense.
I will tell you that with this experimental batch of icing, I initially only added 3/4 cup of milk. That’s the batch you see here, and I wound up having to spread it with a knife. Ultimately, I determined that an additional 1/4 cup of milk was necessary to avoid having to spread.
Sprinkle the tops with more chopped nuts, if you’re into that kind of thing, then remove them and serve!

Or you can let them cool, then refrigerate them till the next day. Just nuke ‘em before you eat ‘em.

It’s the right thing to do.

Chicken Bundles:

3 cups cooked chicken, chopped (can use canned or rotisserie)
1 8 ounce brick of cream cheese
1 small jar pimentos
1/4 cup chopped green onions or scallions
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp thyme
2 packages Pillsbury crescent rolls or sheets

Combine the chicken, cream cheese, pimentos, green onions, garlic powder and thyme in a bowl. Unroll the crescent rolls and pinch them together to form two rectangles (or if you are using the sheets, just unroll them). Cut the big rectangles into four little ones (that's a total of 8). Spread 1/3 cup of mixture on four of the rectangles. Cover with the other four. Pinch the edges together with a fork. Bake 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

If you end up with a lot of leftover filling, open a box of Stove Top chicken stuffing, mix it up and spread it on top of the filling in a microwave safe casserole, heat and serve. It's just as quick and really tasty.

Red Velvet Whoopie with Cream Cheese Filling


For the pies:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder (can be upped to 1 cup if you want more cocoa flavor)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 ounce (one small bottle) red food coloring
1 cup buttermilk

For the filling:

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 1/2 cups (one 16-ounce box) confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


For the pies: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt onto a sheet of waxed paper.

In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, shortening, and both sugars on low speed until just combined. Increase the speed to medium and beat until fluffy and smooth, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and red food coloring and beat just until blended.

Add half of the flour mixture and half of the buttermilk to the batter and beat on low until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the remaining flour mixture and 1/2 cup buttermilk and beat until completely combined.

Using an ice cream scoop, drop batter onto one of the prepared baking sheet and repeat, spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Bake one sheet at a time for about 10 minutes each, or until the cakes spring back when pressed gently. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the cakes cool on the sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.

For the filling: In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese and butter on medium speed. Add the sugar and beat on low speed until combined. Add the vanilla and increase the speed to medium, beat until creamy and smooth, about 4 minutes.

Assembling the whoopie pies: Spread filling onto the flat side of one cake using a knife or spoon. Top with another cake, flat-side down. Repeat with the rest of the cakes and filling.

Alternatively, you can use a pastry bag with a round or star tip to pipe the filling onto the cakes, which will give you a smoother, neater presentation.

Pineapple Casserole

From: Paula Deen


1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups grated sharp cheddar
2 (20-ounce) cans pineapple chunks, drained, and 6 tablespoons pineapple juice reserved
1 cup cracker crumbs (recommended: Ritz)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted, plus extra for greasing pan


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease a medium-size casserole dish with butter.

In a large bowl, stir together the sugar and flour. Gradually stir in the cheese. Add the drained pineapple chunks, and stir until ingredients are well combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish.

In another medium bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, melted butter, and reserved pineapple juice, stirring with a rubber spatula until evenly blended. Spread crumb mixture on top of pineapple mixture. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Servings: 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 25 min
Difficulty: Easy

Bread Bowls

• 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
• 2 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 7 cups all-purpose flour

• 1 tablespoon cornmeal
• 1 egg white
• 1 tablespoon water

1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

2. Add salt, oil and 4 cups flour to the yeast mixture; beat well. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well with an electric mixer at medium speed after each addition.

3. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes.

4. Punch dough down, and divide into 8 equal portions. Shape each portion into a 4 inch round loaf. Place loaves on lightly greased baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in bulk, about 35 minutes.

5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

6. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Brush with remaining egg mixture, and bake 10 to 15 more minutes or until golden. Cool on wire racks.

7. To make bowls: Cut a 1/2 inch thick slice from top of each loaf; scoop out centers, leaving 3/4-inch-thick shells. Fill bread bowls with hot soup and serve immediately

Optional Recipe:


2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (110 degrees to 115 degrees)
1 cup warm milk (110 to 115 degrees F)
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons salt
6 cups all-purpose flour


1.In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, shortening, sugar, eggs, salt and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

2.Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into eight pieces; shape each into a ball. Grease two baking sheets and sprinkle with cornmeal. Place four balls 3 in. apart on each prepared pan. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.

3.For bread bowls, cut a thin slice off the top of bread. Hollow out bottom half, leaving a 1/4-in. shell (discard removed bread or save for another use). Fill with chili, chowder or stew.

Use olive oil and added a Tbsp. of sugar. I made 6 bowls, which were a good size. (A secret I learned from Alton Brown from the Food Channel - place the dough in an oiled bowl or tall container. Cover with a cloth. Boil water and pour into a bowl. Place both in the oven. The steam creates the perfect temperature for rising the dough. Works great every time!)

For those who find these TOO simple in taste, add 2 tblsp Garlic Powder to the recipe and when putting egg wash on, sprinkle garlic and oregano over both times. This helps the flavor of the bread tremedously!

Follow recipe as given, but use an inverted oven safe cereal bowl as a form, spray with Pam, and simply take an appropriate size cut of dough and wrap it around the bowl. Be sure its not overly thick unless you really like thick bread. Bake for 12-15 min.and you have a perfect bowl every time.

Fantastic recipe! I usually make 6 bowls and I've never had them flatten out. I think the cornmeal helps to keep them from spreading. Adding a little sugar to feed the yeast also helps, and I always store my yeast in the freezer so it stays fresh longer (it also improves the proofing).
TIP: For the second raise period, split up into individual bowls on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper. DO NOT reknead the bowls- avoid handling them directly before baking so they will stay raised.

Krista's Toffee Delights

• 2 cups crushed chocolate graham snacks (such as Nabisco Teddy Grahams®)

• 1/2 cup melted butter

• 1 (8 ounce) package toffee baking bits (such as Heath Bits 'O Brickle®)

• 6 (1.4 ounce) bars chocolate covered toffee, crushed (such as Heath®)
• 1 (12 ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips
• 1/2 cup chopped pecans
• 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Spray a 9x13 inch baking pan with nonstick spray. Stir together crushed chocolate graham snacks and the melted butter; press evenly into the bottom of the pan.

2. Bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven; layer the toffee baking bits, crushed toffee candy bars, chocolate chips, and chopped pecans evenly over the crust. Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the layers.

3. Bake in the preheated oven until set, about 20 minutes. Cool overnight before cutting.

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

• 5 pounds red potatoes, cut into chunks
• 1 tablespoon minced garlic, or to taste
• 3 cubes chicken bouillon
• 1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
• 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
• 1/2 cup butter
• salt and pepper to taste

• In a large pot of lightly salted boiling water, cook the potatoes, garlic, and bouillon until potatoes are tender but firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, reserving water. In a bowl, mash potatoes with sour cream and cream cheese, adding reserved water as needed to attain desired consistency.

• Transfer the potato mixture to a slow cooker, cover, and cook on Low for 2 to 3 hours. Just before serving, stir in butter and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Notes:  These were fabulous! Everyone from Thanksgiving wanted the recipe. Followed exactly but next time I think I will cut the butter in half. Heres a hint to keep the potatoes from getting soggy in the crock. Lay a clean terry kitchen towel across the top of the crock then put the lid on. The towel absorbs the steam instead of it running back into the potatoes.

Also always use either russet or Yukon Gold potatoes rather than red skinned.

This recipe makes AWESOME garlic mashed potatoes when you use the Garlic and Herb Cream Cheese plus add garlic salt, oregano, and 1 cup of an Italian Cheese Blend - we were in heaven!!  I made mine three days early and refrigerated the stoneware crock until I was ready to cook them.

Once was pinched for time, and set the Crock on HIGH for 1 hour - they still tasted just fine, so I'm not sure 3 hours on LOW is necessary. (Tip: halve the time if you're cooking on HIGH - 3 hours on LOW equals 1 1/2 hours on HIGH, just a helpful thing to know when cooking with Crock-Pots.)

Juicy Roasted Chicken

• 1 (3 pound) whole chicken, giblets removed
• salt and black pepper to taste
• 1 tablespoon onion powder, or to taste
• 1/2 cup margarine, divided
• 1 stalk celery, leaves removed
• Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

• Place chicken in a roasting pan, and season generously inside and out with salt and pepper. Sprinkle inside and out with onion powder. Place 3 tablespoons margarine in the chicken cavity. Arrange dollops of the remaining margarine around the chicken's exterior. Cut the celery into 3 or 4 pieces, and place in the chicken cavity.

• Bake uncovered 1 hour and 15 minutes in the preheated oven, to a minimum internal temperature of 180 degrees F (82 degrees C). Remove from heat, and baste with melted margarine and drippings. Cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest about 30 minutes before serving.

Note:  I sliced 8 garlic cloves and put in cavity, under skin and on top YUM! I also sliced 2 small lemons and put one in cavity and the other on top. Put 1/4 cup butter in cavity and 1/4 cup sliced butter on top. Put cut celery in cavity, and then salt/peppered all over. Roasted for 2 hours - turned out perfect. The GRAVY was AWESOME!! Some flour with the oils, then chicken broth and all the browned bits from the pan and juices from carving.