Sunday, July 17, 2011

Fried Bread and AmAzInG Honey Butter!

ok ... it's been a LONG while since we've posted {me too} ... I guess I've been in a cooking rut and just do the same things over and over! I'm trying hard to break that so I will try to get some posts up soon of some of the new things I'm trying out in the kitchen :) Sharon ... Thanks for jumpstarting this blog!! You are amazing!

so the other night we decided we needed a little bedtime snack and there is nothing better then fried bread and honey butter! so I called Momma Cindy and between Sis, Nin and her I got this yummy recipe! ENJOY!!

2 Tbsps sugar
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp yeast
2 Tbsp oil

mix this together in a big metal bowl {I just used my kitchenaid and left it in the bowl to rise}

then add: 1 1/2 cups of warm water and mix it until it dissolves.
then add: 3 1/2 cups of flour {can add a little more if it's really sticky}

let this rise with greased plastic wrap or a hot dish towel over the top. once it's raised up {usually an hour} break pieces off, flatten and cook in hot oil on the stove top.

NOW for the topping! I found this recipe on Our Best Bites and I made half of what they called for and it was the perfect amount!

1 cube butter
3/8 cup honey {just over 5 Tbsps}
1/2 cup powdered sugar {just under 1/2 cup}

whip this together until smooth and it is perfection!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Lemon Strawberry Jar Cakes

Get posting ladies! I want to see your latest!

Lemon Strawberry Jar Cakes

Cake Ingredients
1 box lemon cake mix
1 small lemon jello instant pudding mix
4 large egg whites
1 cup sour cream
1/2 milk
1/3 cup oil

Buttercream Frosting Ingredients
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups confectioners sugar
2 tbls Milk

Berry Filling Ingredients
Thick strawberry (or raspberry) Jam

Candied Lemons Ingredients**
(totally not necessary)
2 lemons thinly sliced
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

If you are going for the gold and making the candied lemons, they need to be made a day or two in advance (I had no idea). Boil sugar and water in a sauce pan over medium heat. Place slices in pan and simmer for 5-7 mins. Place lemons on cooling wrack and cool until hard. )A really long time.)

To the cake:
Preheat oven to temp indicated on your box cake. Mix cake ingredients for 2 mins. on medium setting. Fill sprayed and floured mason jars half way with batter. Place jars in a 9X14 pan that is filled with a 1/4in of water. Place in oven and cook for 30-45 mins (depends how large your jars are, the small ones I did took 30mins, the 1/2 pint jars took 35. Insert fork and just test every 5 mins to see when done.)

While cake is cooking make your frosting. Cream butter and shortening together then add sugar,vanilla and milk. You might need to add more sugar or milk to thicken or thin. Place in fridge while waiting for cake to cool.

Once your cakes are done place jars on a cooling wrack and wait until they are 100% cooled. If you decide that just spooning jam and frosting on top isn't "cool" enough or rather the cake to frosting ratio just won't cut it, then you can be ambitious and layer. Knock the cake out of the jars. You'll have to rewash the jars as they are all crumby and not nice looking. Cut cakes into 4ths, place one layer into jar, spoon in a dollop of jam then frosting, place next cake slice and repeat with dollops and layers. Top with frosting and lemon slice.

Sometimes I get a little too ambitious, this was one of those times.
You got the "easy" recipe, keep it that way. Here are the Do's and Don'ts I learned on the first go around of these delicious cakes.

DO stick to a recipe.
DON'T think that because you don't stick to recipes while cooking you can do the same thing while baking. Baking and cooking are totally different.

DO use milk when the recipe calls for milk.
*DON'T use whipping cream in place of milk thinking that it is "heavier" and "yummier" and therefore will make the cake taste better.

DO use jam for your berry filling.
DON'T try to make your own berry filling, especially DON'T use cornstarch and gelatin to thicken your mashed up strawberries.

DO start with a small amount of milk *not whipping cream* when mixing your frosting, add more later if you need to thin.
DON'T dump in a large amount of milk all at once and then have to use an entire bag of powdered sugar to thicken resulting in a week of frosting sitting in your fridge and you eating a spoon full every time you enter the kitchen.

In the end, this CAN be super easy, make it that way.
Did you see my ridiculous Jello floating around on pinterest? Try it our next year, it gets every talking about how cool you are : )

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pineapple Mango Salsa Pork

Hello all! I'm Sharon Johnson. Jennie B. is a fabulous friend of mine and asked if I would contribute to this great cooking blog. You can find out WAY more than you probably want to know about me by checking out my blog HERE. Thank you so much for having me!
Now that I am home to actually cook I've been doing a lot of playing around in the kitchen. Sometime this "playing" ends in absolute disaster and we all end up at Wendy's for dinner but typically I am pleasantly surprised with the results of my little concoctions and we all end up well fed and happy. I'm glad Kerry is a sport and eats what is on his plate, regardless of how it looks.

My concoctions start out usually on the internet and with my nose in our cupboards and recipe books. I get a good idea of what we have for ingredients and then search to see what sort of dishes sound good. When reading different recipes I just pull general ideas of what goes well together, how to cook and so forth then I head to the kitchen and don't look back. I hardly ever measure (this applies to cooking NOT baking, baking I measure) and throw in everything "to taste" (there is a lot of double dipping going on when I cook....eash.)

I have found that cooking this way I have learned much faster than when I used to cook straight from a cook book or recipe. I have found out quickly what spices go well together and which ones don't as well as what cooking techniques are really necessary and which ones can be bypassed. For me, I am a visual and "experience" learner, by doing it myself, messing up myself, I learn much quicker than just by reading and doing (unfortunately this learning technique was much of my problem in my teenage years. )Try it out, I dare you. My recipes will make you try as, like I said, I'm not much of a measurer.

Pineapple Mango Pork Salsa
2 Thick Pork Chops
1/4 Pineapple
1 Mango
Brown Sugar
Garlic Salt
Sea Salt
Sprinkle pepper and Sea salt on both sides of your Pork Chops. Brown on both sides in a skillet on the stove. After browning (seriously it's like 30secs on each side) I place the entire skillet in the oven at 425 degrees for 15-25 mins. Cooking time totally depends on how thick your Pork is. Because I have a freakish phobia of eating uncooked meat, I always cut open and make sure it is totally done. It always is, but I still check.

While that is cooking I work on my salsa. Coarsely chop your mango and pineapple and throw into a metal bowl (it doesn't have to be metal but for whatever reason I really do find it helps it marinate with the sugar a bit better.) Add a TBL or 2 of brown sugar, a dash of garlic salt, and a little pepper. Season to taste. Mix. Let sit until Pork is done.

Take pork out of oven, place on plates and spoon salsa over pork.
That is it! Easy Peasy. You could throw the salsa in a pan and heat if you would like or even add the salsa to the pork in the oven right at the end of it's baking time but for me, it is just as good cold and then you have one less dish to do.

Let me know if you try this Pork out, and what you did do, what you didn't do and what you thought with the finale. It's a good one, and super hard to screw up, if not impossible.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Creamy Veggie Pasta

A friend that went to an upscale culinary school taught me to make this and it's amazing, and fast.

1 zucchini, 1 yellow squash, and several mushrooms, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2-3 Tbls butter
garlic, minced (she used a ton, I used 2 tsp of pre-minced garlic)
1 1/2 c. Spaghetti sauce
1/4 c. heavy cream
Noodles, 1 lb. (or around 4-5 servings)
Oregano (she used fresh...I used Italian Seasoning)
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, to taste

Bring water to boil and add pasta. Cook to al-dente.
In large skillet heat butter and saute onion over med. heat. Add garlic and cook another minute. Add chopped vegetables and cook another 5-7 minutes. Stir in seasonings. Add tomato sauce and stir until bubbly then add cream while stirring.
Add drained pasta and top with parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

the yummiest carmel corn ever!

1 square of butter
1 lb. of brown sugar {about 2 1/2 - 2 3/4 cups}
1 cup of karo syrup
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
Several bags of butter popcorn already popped {I usually just pop up 3 bags of microwave popcorn but you can stove pop some too}
Bring butter, brown sugar, and karo syrup to a boil, then add sweetened condensed milk. Keeping stirring and cook this mixture to a soft ball stage. Then pour over popped butter popcorn. I just kept adding popcorn until I thought it looked like there was enough.
ENJOY!! :)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Nielsen's Breadmaker Wheat Bread

This is really easy, and REALLY good!

4 1/2 c. hot water
5 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
2 T. Instant yeast
1 c. oil
1 c. sugar
7 1/2 c. white flour
1 T. salt

combine hot water, wheat flour, and yeast in a bosch mixer; knead for 5 min. Cover and let it sit for 15 min. Add oil, sugar and part of white flour. start kneading and add salt and remaining flour. knead on low until blended, then high for 5 min.
Knead on counter top and cut into 1 lb. loaves. Let rise
Bake 350 for anywhere from 20-35 min. (depending on oven and loaf size)
Makes 5 loaves

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Easy Sausage Alfredo

1 package jimmy dean italian flavored ground sausage
1 small red pepper chopped
1/2 large onion chopped

cook in large frying pan covered, check and stir often until sausage is cooked through, drain.

1 bottle ragu garlic alfredo sauce
black pepper (optional)

I used this on 1/2 lb. wheat penne pasta, but you could use any kind you want.