Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Taco Salad

So, if you've been following me, you should know I do a lot of quick lunch recipes. Needless to say today's recipe follows that catagory.  I love salads and this is one of my favorites when it comes to lunch. It's quick and easy. Besides frying the ground beef, it's really a one dish meal.
The colors from all the ingredients stand out and the spicy ground beef with nachos cheese crispy chips are oh.. so good together. You are going to really enjoy this one. It doesn't take long to make so I put it together right before we eat so the salad doesn't get soggy. You can plate this recipe plain or add a side dish like spanish rice, refried beens, salsa & chips, guacamole and sour cream.

Taco Salad
Ingredients:

1 bag of lettuce(your choice)
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped onion (your choice)
1 can pinto beans(standard size,drained & rinsed)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sliced or whole black olives pitted(optional)
1lb ground beef (drain most of the oil)
1  packet taco seasoning
3/4 cup water
2 cups of crumbled nacho cheese chips( I used Doritos nacho cheese)
1/2 cup mayonaise




First, fry the ground beef in a frying pan, drain most of excess oil. Then add the taco seasoning packet and water until thickened, remove from heat when done and let set until your ready to put in the salad.
Now in a large bowl place, lettuce tomatoes, onions, beans, olives, cheese, chips( I take a cup of chips in my hand and crunch them one time, or your preference), mayo and then ground beef. Next take tongs or salad spoons and toss the salad to mix. You may need to season to taste with salt, pepper and or mayo too( I like extra mayo in mine).
For plating I served the salad with a side of chips & salsa and sliced avocado. Like I mentioned earlier,there are many sides you can serve with this, even just a warm tortilla shell. Well enjoy!




Remember, have fun and make it yours.



                                                      And that's the "DISH" for today!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Veggie Wraps

I don't know about you, but I like to change up what I'm having for lunch day to day, if I can. I always try to think of something different, then the regular sandwiches. So, the other day, I looked in the refrigerator and I seeTortilla shells. My first thought was a veggie wrap.  I start grabbing veggies, I think would be good in the wrap like cucumber, alfalfa sprouts, tomatoes, onions, lettuce and cheese. As for my dressing I find two items I can use, ranch dressing and cream cheese. Of course you could add more or less veggies  to your taste. For my husband's wrap I usually add ham or turkey lunch meat too. This recipe is easy and you can make adjustments anyway you like, use your imagination.

Veggie Wraps
Ingredients:

2 tortillas (I used burrito size,your choice of flavor)
4 oz cream cheese (soft, I used Philadelphia)
4 tbsp ranch dressing(I used fat free Hidden Valley)
1/2 cup thinly sliced cucumber
1/2 cup thinly sliced tomatoes
1/4 cup thinly sliced onions
1 cup alfalfa sprouts
1/2 cup shredded cheese(your choice)
1 cup shredded lettuce(your choice,I used a bagged lettuce)


First I heat my tortilla shell for about 20 seconds in the microwave safe plate.  Then spread cream cheese all over tortilla about 1 inch from sides. Next make a layer of each item cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, sprouts, lettuce and cheese. Then I drizzle the dressing over top.

For rolling, I start at one end, tucking in tortilla and roll(using both hands, it's usually pretty full). I don't tuck the sides in(you can if you like, but I like the open end look). Then I cut diagonally in half.

You can plate this with chips or a side salad(like potato or macaroni). You can make different variations with this idea like add lunch meat, tuna salad, chicken strips, sun dried tomatoes with pesto, mozzarella, fresh strawberries and balsamic vinegar, endless ideas. You could also do a dessert, nutella and marshmallow fluff, peanut butter and jelly, fresh fruit and cream just to name a few.

Remember, have fun and make it yours.

And that's the "DISH" for today!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Southwest Dippers with Sweet & Spicy Dipping Sauce

It was a sunny Saturday and Sunday.  It was beautiful here in Stockton Ca.  We really do need the rain for the farmers. My husband already started irrigating this past week. I hear the rain is coming soon. Cold rainy days are for soups and salads with home made bread Mm Mm. Though this has nothing to do with my recipe today, I just thought I would share with you.

 So, I am making appetizers for this evening. Something light that doesn't have to be heated constantly. I have this great idea for a recipe. I'm making a Southwest Dipper. This is a stuffed wonton shell, fried. It has many bold colors and tastes great.  As I always say, you can make some adjustments, use your imagination and have fun with this recipe.

Southwest Dippers
with Sweet & Spicy Dipping Sauce

Ingredients:
4 green onions finely sliced
1 cup diced small cooked potatoes(I used Simply Potatoes with onions and diced even smaller)
1 cup black beans(drained and rinsed from can)
1/2 cup yellow corn(drained from can)
1/2 cup  red bell pepper diced small
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 black pepper
1/2 tsp  garlic salt (optional)
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese(optional)
1 package round wonton wrappers
Oil (for frying)


Sweet & Spicy Dipping Sauce

Ingredients:

1/2  cup white vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocktail sauce(or 1/2 cup ketchup and 1/8 tsp horseradish)
1 tsp dried crushed red pepper

Dipping Sauce
In a medium frying pan or pan, combine vinegar, cocktail sauce, sugar and crushed red pepper.  Place on medium low heat.  Watching so it doesn't boil to fast. Stir until reduced down to a thicker consistency, about 5-7 minutes. Then turn off heat, and let stand till you are ready to plate your dippers.

Dippers

In a large bowl combine onions, potatoes, black beans, corn, red bell pepper, salt, pepper, cheese and garlic salt.  Mix well and season to taste if needed. Next, take your wonton wrappers and place out on working area (I used two wrappers together for each dipper, they kind of stick together anyway when you take them out of the package). Brush a little water around the outer edge of half a wrapper( this will help seal the sides after you fill them). Now take a teaspoon of the mixture and place in the center of the wrapper. Then bring the two sides together, pressing the edges together as you go down from one side to the other.  Be careful not to over fill, the sides won't close or they will come apart in the fryer. This part  is the longest part if you are doing this alone and your doing whole pack of wrappers(doubled there are 30). From filling, to sealing, to frying, it takes about 45 minutes. If you have help, it's even faster. When you double the wrappers like this recipe, you have some filling left over. Which you can make many things with.  You can fill a tortilla shell, phillo dough, use as a relish or side dish.

 

Now for frying, you can use a frying pan with oil or a deep fryer ( which I chose to use).  If you are pan frying, place on medium heat. When hot, fry dippers in oil (about 5 at a time) until golden brown on each side. Use the same frying instructions for the deep fryer. When done, place on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any access oil.

When you take your first batch out of the oil, you are going to want to take one, and dip it in the sauce that's sitting on the stove.  Oh, so tempting, but you do have to taste it, right. This a perfect blend to me, you taste all the flavors. Then when you dip it into the sauce, oh boy...it's so sweet and then you get that spicy tangy flavor from vinegar and pepper.


Next, take the dipping sauce an place it a small condiment cup or container. Place sauce on the serving platter you are going to use. Then arrange dippers around the sauce (You can plate this however you like).

I added some onion greens and strips of bell pepper for garnish on edges of platter.
Servings per recipe is 6. Serving size is 5 dippers(for the doubled wrapped).

 Use your imagination and enjoy!


Remember, have fun and make it yours.



And that's the "DISH" for today!







Friday, February 24, 2012

Pan Fry Apple Crisp......

Apples and cinnamon fill the air. It is such a comfort feeling when you have this aroma in your home.  Warm and inviting.

Yesterday, I was making lunch for my husband and thought, what am I going to make him for dessert. In my fruit bowl I had some apples, healthy right? I know he likes cinnamon too. So I think, what can I make that is quick with these, because he will be coming in soon for lunch. Something on the stove top would be the fastest. So, I came up with this recipe. Pan Fry Apple Crisp.

You can adjust these recipe more or less to your taste. It's quick and easy. I orginally served this alone in a dessert cup. Then we realized, this would be awsome on top of a scoop of vanilla ice cream. So later in the day I just had to go to town and buy some vanilla ice cream. Using this as a topping on ice cream made it so much more creamer. The warm crisp just melts the top of the ice cream.  Then you take that first bite.....Mmmmmm.

Here's the recipe, enjoy.

Pan Fry Apple Crisp
Ingredients:
4 medium size apples
3/4 cup brown sugar
4 tbsp butter(1/2 of a stick)
Carmel topping(optional)
1 cup oatmeal(I used quick oats)
1/2 cup chopped pecans(your choice of nuts and optional)
2 tsp cinnamon(or to your taste)
Lemon juice(optional)
Kosher salt(optional

First, peel and cut apple into four wedges around the core. Cut the wedges into slices. The I place apples slices in microwaveable dish or bowl, sprinkle some lemon juice over apples then place in microwave for about 8 minutes (apples should be tender not completely soft), turning apples around half way through time. In the meantime, in a large frying pan, place butter to melt, on medium to low heat. When apples are done, place in frying pan as well. Cook apples in butter for about 5 minutes, then add, cinnamon, brown sugar, oatmeal, nuts, carmel and salt.  Stirring while it cooks for about another 5 minutes or so. Until apples are soft or to your preference. When done let sit for about 5 mins.

You can eat this just as a crisp or have it over your ice cream. You can adjust this recipe however you like. More oatmeal, less nuts or a different kind of nut. Like I always say use your imagination.


Remember, have fune and make it your!

And that's the "DISH" for today!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Coffee Time....

Coffee anyone?


For many of us we start our day with a cup of coffee.  I know for me my favorite iced coffee is a Starbucks Carmel Macchiato (the regular is the best but these days, I have to go the light version and have a nonfat) and for a hot coffee the White Mocha.  These drinks I would call a splurge. I could only buy them once in a while due to price, but their the best in my opinion.

As a consumer we have a lot of options at the stores to make our own drinks at home as well, like the various flavored powder mixes and the liquid flavors. You can even get these in sugar free flavors.

I would take leftover coffee that was brewed from morning and place in a container and refrigerate it.  Later in the afternoon, when I have that coffee craving, I would make an iced coffee.  You can use items  you have on hand in your cupboard or refrigerator.  Just use your imagination.

Today I am going to share how I make my Iced Coffee DD style.  It's very simple. You may think, it's not going to be the same as a Starbucks. Your are right, but hopefully it will satisfy that craving you have until you get the real thing.

Iced Coffee
Ingredients:

Coffee(your choice, I use a very strong bold flavor)
Creamer(your choice, I use something not so great for you but rich in flavor, whipping cream)
Ice(crushed or cubed, I prefer crushed)
Sugar (optional,your choice)
Carmel topping(chocolate syrup or topping of your choice)
Cinnamon
Liquid Flavoring (your choice, on hand I have banana, hazelnut, coconut and vanilla)
Whipped topping (optional)

You will see I didn't place how much of each item you need.  Everyone likes there coffee different, some a lot of coffee little cream, some little coffee a lot of cream and the same with flavoring. I would say just use your judgement. You are going to be the drinking this.

First I take a 12-16 oz. glass or plastic cup(I use these clear plastic cups with lids at home. You can get them at Smart and Final.)and place my ice in the cup. Then I pour my cream in, then coffee, sugar and or flavorings. Next drizzle topping in drink(I use Carmel a lot and sometimes I drizzle on the inside of cup before I put ice in.)  I take a straw then stir around, top with whipped cream, cinnamon and place my lid on cup.

There you have it, your own version of iced coffee.

Remember, have fun and make it yours!

And that's the "DISH" for today!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Bye Bye Fat Tuesday and Hello Lent......

Well, yesterday was a day to indulge in what ever you wanted. Whether you have that passion for something sweet, milky, silky, smooth, melt in your mouth creamy chocolate! Or you have that passion for something savory, crispy, crunchy, salty seasoned, bursting in your mouth gourmet potato chip! These sound so great, it makes me want to get up and get a snack now.  Unfortunately if you are doing lent, you have to give something you like up. My something happens to be corn chips. I love the salty, crispy chips.

Today I'm going to share my tuna salad recipe I make at home. This is very easy and you can make anything out of tuna.  Just use you imagination.

Tuna Salad Sandwich
Ingredients:

1 can tuna(any type, I use chunky white in water)
1/4 cup sweet relish(you can use diced up sweet pickles with some juice if not relish)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup diced onion(white or red)
1/2 cup mayonnaise(more or less to your preferences)
1/2 diced tomatoes(optional)
Salt and Pepper (to your taste)
Bread(of your choice)


In a large bowl combine tuna, relish, cheese, onion, mayo, tomatoes and mix. Salt and pepper to taste.
Then spread tuna salad on your choice bread and plate.  We often make tuna melts, where you butter the bread and place in a frying pan till crispy on the outside. Then I place the tuna salad in between bread and fry for usually less than a minute on each side. You can also  have the tuna salad  placed on a bed of lettuce with a side of dressing and garlic bread or crackers. How about a dip served with crackers or sliced baguette. A very light and healthy lunch, snack or dinner  idea.

Imagine all the possibilities with tuna. 

Remember, have fun and make it yours!

And that's the "DISH" for today!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Pretzel Time.....




OK, so I was talking to my camping cousin Tina and she wanted to know if I would make a soft pretzel . And so the search began. I googled to see what information was out there and then had to figure out how I was going to make it mine. I ended up with three recipes and so came to be a recipe of my own. In making any recipe we always learn if it doesn't quite turn out how we envision it to be, we know what we have to do different the next time it's made. This is what I went through with my pretzel recipe. So take a look at the recipe. There are a lot of variation you could due with this dough like, add shredded parmesan or asiago cheese, jalapeno & shredded cheddar cheese, Italian herbs with garlic,and on the sweet side, cinnamon sugar just to name a few. You could make a combination platter with all those flavors. This recipe make about 12 pretzel depending on what size you make. I fit 6 to a baking sheet. Well, give it a try, plain or flavored, flat or fluffy(hahaha. just in case it doesn't rise). I'm sure this is going to taste good.


Soft Pretzels
Ingredients:

4 tsp rapid rise yeast           
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water

4 cups flour(I used all purpose)
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1tbsp oil

Baking Soda solution
1/3 cup baking soda
3 cups hot water
1/4 cup  kosher salt, for topping

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast with 1 teaspoon of sugar in 11/2 cups warm water stir and let stand for about 10 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl (I used my counter top mixer) combine flour, brown sugar, salt, oil and then add yeast mixer. Mix and then knead 6-7 times until smooth, not sticky and form into a ball, place in a greased bowl, turn over until coated with oil.  In a warm place cover and let rise until doubled in size about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a medium size bowl dissolve baking soda in hot water.

After dough has rise, place onto a slightly floured surface and cut with pizza cutter into 12-14 strips depending how large or small you want them.(or however you choose to divide). Roll each piece into a rope(I sprayed the area I was working on with cooking spray not flour it's easy to roll) and twist into pretzel shape then dip into hot baking soda solution. Next place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper and sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
Bake for 10 minutes. As these pretzels bake, they smell so good. The aroma is a buttery scent filling the air. Wait and you will see what I'm talking about.

They should have a nice brown pretzel look. Now I know, the baking soda solution is what gives that brown color to the pretzel. I definitely noticed that on my first batch. The part on the dough that didn't get the solution wasn't as brown.

Remove from oven and brush with sweet butter.  Of course before you even plate them, you are going to break one apart, watch the steamy goodness rise up and with that buttery scent, take a bite. 
You can plate the pretzels how ever you like. I served mine with mustard and nacho cheese sauce for dipping.

Remember, have fun and make it yours!


And that's the "DISH" for today!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Sesame Seed Cookie.......with less then half the sugar of a normal cookie.





Now of days, it seems like everyone is watching their sugar, and for good reasons. Today I'm going to share a simple cookie recipe, that I used in my bakery. It calls for Splenda brown sugar. If you don't have Splenda brown sugar, then you can use Splenda sugar. I've done that before and the only difference is the cookie is not as dark. My father in law really likes these cookies. He likes them baked till they are dark. So he can really taste the toasted sesame seeds. It's more of a crunchy cookie then a soft. Well, take a look at the recipe and have fun with it. There are a lot of possibilities to add to this cookie too.

Sesame Seed Cookie
Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened or room temp(1 stick)
3/4 cup splenda brown sugar (or just splenda)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1 large egg
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl (I used my counter top mixer) combine butter, sugar, salt, baking soda, vanilla and egg until creamy.  Add flour and mix until smooth. Then add sesame seeds.

Next, line baking sheets with parchment paper(or use cooking spray ). Place cookie dough on sheets with small ice cream scoop (mini size not standard scoop) or by teaspoon.  Place in oven and bake for 12-15 minutes. Depending on how you like your cookie. If you want a more crunchy toasted sesame seed, then you will bake for at least another 10 minutes. For a more soft cookie, you want to bake for less time. You just have to check, because every oven is different. When done, remove from oven and let cool.

Now you can plate or package your cookies and Enjoy!

These cookies have 4 grams of sugar per serving which is two cookies (mini size).
Not bad for a some what sugar free cookie.

Remember, have fun and make it yours! 

And that's the "DISH" for today!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Coffee & Crepes

How does Banana Carmel Cream Crepes sound!
For breakfast you ask, yes indeed. These crepes are made with  a pancake batter thinned out. I was having coffee this morning and thought, what am I going to have for breakfast. At first, I was going for biscuits. Then pancake and french toast came to mind. I chose the pancake because I thought, it doesn't have to be heavy I can make them light and thin like a crepe. The fruit I had on hand was bananas.  So I will give you the recipe and remember you can improvise, experiment and use what you have on hand.

Crepe (Pancake)
Ingredients:

1egg
1 1/4 cup Milk
2 Tbsp Oil
1 cup Flour (I used all purpose)
2 Tbsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Sugar
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar 



 








In a mixing bowl combine flour, sugars,salt, baking powder. Then add egg,oil and milk. Whisk together until smooth. Sometimes you see some lumps but if you let the batter sit for a minute and whisk again they dissolve. Heat frying pan on low (you can use cooking spray on pan  before you place batter in). After pan is heated pour about 1/2 cup batter in pan, lift pan off burner and make circular motion to spread batter to edges. Place back on burner. Just like pancakes you will see the bubbles form. If your good with the frying pan you can flip crepe over in pan. If your not like me I take  plastic wide spatula and loosen around the sides and underneath then flip. It doesn't take long to cook. You want it kind of flimsy. When cooked remove and place on plate and continue with the next one. This should make about 5-6 crepes(depending on how thick or thin you make them).
 
Banana Filling

2 Bananas
1 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp Margarine
2 Tbsp Carmel topping
Whipped Topping(optional)
Oil

Slice bananas up. In a frying pan, place enough oil to fry banana slices till brown on each side. After banana slices are brown, remove bananas and place on a dish. Drain any excess oil from pan. Place pan back on stove heat on low. Place brown sugar, margarine and melt(I had little lumps of brown sugar for awhile, I pressed them out as I stirred). Then add Carmel topping and stir. Then add bananas back to sauce and stir around sauce. Let sit until your ready to assemble crepes. You can turn off if the crepes aren't done yet. Then you can reheat if needed before you place on crepes(the sauce should be warm when placed on crepes).





To assemble the dish, get the plates you are going to be using. Place crepe on plate. Spread a layer of whipped cream over crepe (I had some whipped cream and cream cheese whipped together for a topping  already on hand). Then place a spoon of banana sauce over cream side of crepe(single layer bananas across the side of crepe,you don't want it to think ,then it will not fold well). Fold crepe in half. Then in half again. Place in middle of plate and drizzle Carmel over top. 

When I folded the crepe, the cream and the warm sauce starting oozing out the sides OMG...
Of course I had to have some of this. So I took my fork and knife and dug in. Not too much though, it was sweet, but oh so good. There was even a little crunch from some of the brown sugar. If you let it sit a little bit the crepe absorbs the sauce and still Mmmmmmm!






I also did a crepe with just a layer of cream in the middle and the banana sauce over the top of crepe. 
You can make this with anything you like. How about using some Nutella instead of bananas with a chocolate drizzle. Or another one of my favorites is, blackberries cooked down with a little sugar, instead of bananas. Don't forget about nuts,you can use those too. You can also just make this recipe for dessert. Use your imaginations.

Remember have fun and make it yours!

And that's the "DISH" for today!

Friday, February 17, 2012

What a day!

Today I did quite a few errands. Went to see family members too. So I went to my sister & brother in law's house. My sister in law invited my husband and I to have dinner. Of course we accepted, who wouldn't.  As we were eating dinner, I noticed she had this recipe with a picture on it. It was linked to other recipes on a paper that fan folded. It was a recipe for pork chops with apples and onions. The picture looked pretty good. She said was going to try this recipe. I had to take a look at the ingredients. It looked so easy, I wanted to try it too! Of course. you know I was going to adjust the recipe and make it mine. I'm going to give you the ingredients for the recipe.  There are different ways to adjust this though. Your just going to have to try what ever you like. I will throw in some suggestions at the end.

Ingredients:

4 pork chops (of your choice, I usually use a center cut)
Olive oil (or cooking)
2 Medium Apples peeled/sliced, not too thick (your choice)
1/2 White Onion sliced in wedges
1/2 cup of Water
1/2 tsp of Crushed Garlic (or chopped)optional


Place Olive Oil in a frying pan.  Then when oil is heated, put pork chops and garlic in frying pan. You can add a little salt and pepper to your taste on top of pork chops( or any other seasonings you want to try). Cook the pork chops till close to being done. Next, take the pork chops out of pan and place on a dish. Now place the apples,onions and water into frying pan. Then place a lid on the pan  and cook for about 15 minutes. Until the apples are tender. then place porch chops back in pan to finish cooking. When the pork chops are done you can plate them on a platter or individual dishes. I would place the pork chop on the dish first, then top with apples and onion.

There are a couple different ideas I have for the apples. How about instead of apples, just before serving use applesauce and heat that in the pan with onions. It should cook down a little. OK, this one sounds weird but what if you tried the apple pie filling and used that instead of apples. I would probably do that one because I like the sauce sweeter and the filling is sweeter than just the apple sauce, you also get the apples.
Try it and use your imagination. By the way the ingredient I omitted from this recipe is sour cream. Which was to be added to the sauce once it was done at the end.

Remember, have fun and make it your!

And that's the "DISH" for today!



Thursday, February 16, 2012

What's is a Kalache?


So, Yesterday I was having a conversation with my sister. She said, her neighbor told her about this bread roll called Kalache that she had in Texas.  My sister right away tried to look it up on the intranet. She said she couldn't find anything, so I tried while was on the phone with her. I found the correct spelling for them and the business her friend was talking about. And so the search began. I searched the intranet for this recipe. There must be millions of recipes out there, wow. So, I picked the two I liked the best and Made It mine!
I research the presentation of them,  ingredients, instructions and an created a recipe I thought I would enjoy. It could be a sweet or savory roll. I chose to do savory. Before I share my recipe and experience.
I just want you to know, it tasted how I envisioned it would be. Unfortunately I don't have many pictures this time. You all can envisioned it, I'm sure.You can be like me and make adjustments, add flavors and seasonings to the dough too. You can use this dough like a pastry (fruit filled or cheese filled) or with something savory (like fill it with bacon & scrambled egg, just ground sausage,cheeses & herbs, hot dog, sausage links etc.).  Well have fun with this and enjoy,

Dough
Ingredients:

2 pkgs Rapid Rise Yeast
3/4 cup Luke Warm Water
1 cup Sour Cream ( I used a light)
1/2 cup Butter (I used 1 stick unsalted butter)
1/2 cup Sugar (save 1tbsp aside)
1 1/2 tsp of Salt
2 Eggs
4 1/2  cups of Flour (I used all purpose)

Add yeast to water and 1 tablespoon of sugar and let stand for about 5 minutes. You can warm the sour cream and butter about 40 seconds in microwave. The butter should be close to melted. You can also warm  them individually if easier then combine. In another small bowl ,slightly beat 2 eggs.

Now in a large mixing bowl (I used my counter top mixer) place flour, sugar,salt, butter, sour cream and eggs, beat on low with dough hook until its starts coming together on hook ,then add yeast and water mixer. If the dough looks like it might be too tight (stiff) then add a little more warm water. You want the dough soft and a little sticky to your finger. After dough is mixed, while the dough is still in mixing bowl I knead it about 4 or 5 time. Then let the dough rise till doubled in size about 30-40 minutes in a warm place.

Next step you divide the dough into the size you need for your roll. I made 6 rolls weighing about 50oz. The rest of the dough I put in the freezer(We will see how that turns out). So on a cookie sheet, I placed parchment paper, then I formed my dough into a balls then slightly flatten it like a disk. I placed them evenly apart so when they rise again they wouldn't stick together. Next you have to cover and let the rise till doubled in size, about 3o minutes. (The dough is so light, I was afraid to roll out, but was fine.)

In the meantime while the dough is rising you should be getting your fillings ready. I used a fully cooked beef brat sausage.

When the dough has risen, on a floured surface place the dough and roll out with rolling pin, ablong shape.You want enough dough, so that when you place the link at the top of dough and start to roll there should be at least a half inch on each side. You should able to roll link at least 3 times in dough. As you roll the link fold sides in. Place on tray already lined with parchment( I used the same tray). Next you want to brush the top of  dough with a beated egg and also while your rolling the dough around the link you can put a little on that last flap of dough to ensure it doens't come apart too much.

Ok, now bake at 350 degrees for 25- 30 minutes
The Bottoms get a lot browner. The tops just golden brown, light.

I wrapped one in parchmant paper for the "to go "". You will aslo see I put sesame seeds
on one and on another a little garlic salt on top. These were about the size of a 6 inch sub.

You are going to love the aroma this puts out while they are baking. Wonderful, my  house smelt so good.

Well, there you have it, have fun and remember, make it yours.

And that's the "DISH" for today!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day!


Sorry, this Happy Valentines Day greeting is kind of late.  It was a busy day for me. Running around, doing errands, helping and visiting family members.  Today, I spoke with my uncle Joe. I haven't talked to him in a about a month. I call him Bargain Joe. He seems to find all the bargains when he goes shopping. Usually if he knows it's something I'm interested in he will call me. He finds some really good bargains in Lodi. If he shares any bargains with me, I will share them with you.

So I just got home and figured, I better get to my blog.
Today I made my Red Velvet Cupcakes. A good friend of mine  took some to her work. I like to bake and help my friends. This friend has helped me a great deal so I didn't mind getting everything ready and meeting her at 6:45am this morning. This was my bakery recipe and  is really good. I never did understand why they called it Red Velvet when it's really a chocolate based cake before the red coloring. Oh, well it's good anyway.

This recipe makes one 8 inch double layer cake or 24 standard cupcakes.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) butter,softened
1 1/2 Cups Sugar
1/2 Cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Baking powder
1 tsp Vanilla
2 Eggs
1 Cup of Buttermilk (or regular milk and add 1 Tbsp Vinegar to it, makes like a buttermilk)
2 tsp White vinegar
2 Tbsp (1oz) Liquid Red food coloring
2 1/2 Cups of Cake Flour ( or sifted regular flour not self rising)

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

3 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream
1 Cup Cream Cheese softened
1/4 Sugar

Decorations(Optional)


First, in a mixing bowl combine butter,sugar,cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, baking powder and vanilla until creamy. Then add eggs until blended. Next on low speed, stir in buttermilk, red food coloring and vinegar until blended. Add flour one cup at a time until well blended.

Peheat oven at 350 degrees. Spray two 8 inch cake pans with cooking spray and fill  evenly with cake batter. Bake in oven for 25-30  minutes. If cake is still wet, bake additional 5 minutes at a time until done. This cake usually is more dense and moister then regular cakes. To make cupcakes line two cupcake trays with cupcake liners and fill cups between 2/3 and 3/4 cups with batter. Bake for 15 minutes, if still wet bake additional 5 minutes at a time until done. Let your cakes cool then frost. You can use a premade frosting from store or the one I listed, a light whipped cream cheese frosting.

For the cake place cooled cake on a cake plate, cake stand or whatever you'd like to present it on. Then frost cake. Using the frosting for the filling as well. If  you have leftover cake trimmings, you cans crumble them down really fine and sprinkle along outside around the cake. The same for the cupcakes after their frosted( I usually take the not so great looking cupcake and crumble it up and use it for the sprinkles).


For the Whipped Cream Cheese frosting, place cream  and sugar in mixing bowl(I used my counter top mixer). Beat untill thick and  firm,but not like butter (sometimes if the cream is over whipped it looks like whipped butter).Then add soft cream cheese and beat again until a creamy firm mixter(sometimes you do  have some little lumps of cream cheese). The frosting should be thick enough to pipe on a cupcake or spread over a cake.You can frost anyway would like. I chose to use a large star tip to pipe frosting on cupcakes. Then you can decorate how ever you would like with edible hearts, with crumbs or just plain.

Remember, have fun and make it yours!


And that's the "DISH" for today!

Monday, February 13, 2012

A light snack with something warm to drink...mmm.

On a day like today, it's time for baking. So today I going to do my recipe for a quick snack cake  Banana Nut Cake Loaf. Sometimes I call it bread instead of loaf because that's what it looks like to me. You can make this recipe without nuts, add chocolate chips or whatever else you would like. You can even substitute the bananas, like cooked down apples with cinnamon sugar, peaches and pecans etc. The cake mix of course can be changed too. How about a chocolate...mmm. You just have to use your imagination
Once you get this in the oven baking and the aroma fills the house, it becomes a comforting feeling. So don't forget while the cake is cooking get your warm drink ready.


List of Ingredients:                                                           

1 Box of White Cake Mix(I used Betty Crocker)
3 Eggs
1 Cup Sour Cream
1/3 Cup of Oil
3-4 Ripe Bananas
Walnut (optional)
Chocolate Chips (optional)


First put cake mix (dry) in a mixing bowl, I used my counter top mixer. Then add sour cream, eggs, oil and bananas. Mix ingredients for about 3 minutes on medium (just like you would a regular a cake mix). You can add any of your optional ingredients after mixed or before you mix the batter.



Next spray, cooking spray in the pans you are going to use. I used a regular loaf pan. You can use mini loaf pans as well. Now pour the batter in your pans.  Preheat oven to 375 degree, then bake for 25 minutes and check. If the loafs are not done, I usually do another 5 minutes at a time until done. The sides are usually darker then the top.

Remove from oven and let cool, after cooled remove cake from pans. Then slice loaf and place on a plate or cake dish, whatever you would like and serve.



Here are some great serving ideas.

1. Place a slice of cake on middle of dish drizzle a vanilla or chocolate frosting over the top.
2. Place a slice of cake on middle of dish (imagine peach and pecan) and place a scoop of vanilla or pecan  praline ice cream on top and drizzle with Carmel.
3. Place a slice of cake on middle of dish  (imagine apple with cinnamon sugar) and place a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top and sprinkle touch of cinnamon.

You can use any flavors of ice cream or topping to make this special. or just eat it plain and enjoy!



Remember, have fun with it and make it yours.


And that's the "DISH" for today!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Inspired by a birthday.

Yes, todays idea of thought was inspired prior to attending  a family members birthday party (which was quiet fun I'd say). Today I am going to share a crafty idea on how to make some Gift Tags( round and square). Items that you have on hand, that you've been saving now you can do something with. I will show you how to take cupcake liners, party favor bags, ribbon and paper and make something special.



Items you will need:
(All your choice for occasion or whatever you have at home)

Cupcake liners
or Party Favor Bags
Ribbon
Paper ( I used white business card computer paper and card stock)
Glue Stick, clear colored  (optional)
Scissors
Paper whole puncher
Pencil
Cookie cutter round 2inch(or you could use the bottom of a glass)
Tape (optional)


First decide which design you would like to do round or square.
For the round need to take your paper( I used the card stock for the round) and outline the cookie cutter
on it. Then cut circles out with the scissors.



 Spread  out the cupcake liner so its flat. Put some glue on back of the paper. Now place the paper circle in the inside of the liner and start folding in the sides. Now take the whole puncher and place a whole on the liner towards the top. Then cut the ribbon (length of your choice)place throught the whole in liner and tie a bow or knot(whatever you would like).  You can write on the paper then fold the edges back in towards center and there you have it.



For the square, I just tear one business card off the business card paper. Then I take a party favor bag
and with the scissors I cut a square size off (Close to size of business card). Place the piece of party  favor bag on top of card and while holding together make a whole punch on top. Place desired piece of ribbon through whole and tie or knot the ribbon. Now you will see I also made another square  gift tag. I fold another business card in half. The same instruction apply for this card as the first one. I might add, you can use the glue stick on the back of the party bag. Then place it on top of paper too, if you do not want the loose look.


Ok, so you can really use your imagination on this one. These can be used for any occassion too.




This craft is something fun and simple your kids could help you do.
So have fun and remember, make it yours!

And that's the" DISH" for today!



                                                        

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Soup and sandwiches go great together on a day like today. No sun, slight breeze, to me it looks like the fog will be rolling in. Though it's only early afternoon. Time for lunch! Today I'm going to share my deli sandwich recipe. You can use any type of bread, lunch meat, cheese and lettuce. It's all about your taste.
I make my own red wine vinaigrette for the sandwiches. You can use any type of condiment you'd like though. This recipe serves 2 or for light eaters 4.

Domenica's Deli Sandwich
with Red Wine Vinaigrette

1 Baguette of your choice (12 in)
9-12 oz  Lunch meat of your choice ( I use peppered Turkey & Black Forrest ham)
4 Slices of Cheese of your choice ( I use Cheddar for Ham and Smoked Gouda for Turkey)
2  Roma Tomatoes Sliced (optional)
1/2 Red Onion sliced (optional)
1/2 Spring Mix Lettuce (I used the bagged type)

Vinaigrette

3/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar of your choice( I use a Pomegranate red wine vinaigrette)
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1TBP Sugar

Adjust ingredients to taste, I have to every time for some reason. But I always get it the way I like.
I place my vinaigrette in a squeeze bottle so it's easier to put on sandwiches.
For assembling I cut the baguette in half. Then cut the halves but not all the way through (you can if you'd like though). Pull bread apart a little. Then squeeze on vinaigrette both sides of bread. I start at the bottom of bread and place lunch meat first then lettuce( its multi colored so it makes the sandwich stand out)sliced tomatoes, sliced onions then cheese and of course the top half of bread. You can squeeze some more vinaigrette over top of lettuce and or sandwich if you like.

I wrap the sandwiches in wax paper then tie butcher string  around the middle of wax paper. If you don't have wax paper you can use syran wrap or just place toothpicks in the center of them. It's a great presentation if you are taking these out to someones house, event, party etc. I you don't have butcher string you can use any type of wrapping string or ribbon even.




                                                         Remember make it yours.

                                                      And that's the "DISH" for today!





Friday, February 10, 2012

It's Friday and after work you just want to relax.  Normally my husband and I would be going out for dinner, but today we decide to stay in. So off I go to the cupboard. I'm thinking nothing really heavy but comforting. I have a box of fettuccine Alfredo and some frozen shrimp in the freezer. I decide to make Garlic Shrimp Fettuccine. A simple dish anyone can make. You can serve this by itself, with garlic bread and or a salad.  You can use many things to top these fettuccine noodles, chicken, ground beef, pork and steak. You could even do veggie fettuccine. So take a look at the recipe below and make it yours!

Garlic Shrimp Fettuccine

1 Box Fettuccine Alfredo (I used Pasta Roni)
12oz Frozen Shrimp (1 bag medium size,cooked,peeled and deveined)
1 Stick of Butter or Margarine
1/4 cup of Olive Oil (or cooking oil)
TSP of Crushed Garlic ( or onions if no garlic)
Dash of Garlic Salt
Dash of Black Pepper

Defrost Shrimp, if you are using frozen shrimp. In the mean time, prepare boxed fettuccine as directed.
In another sauteing pan melt butter and add Olive oil.  Then add garlic,black pepper,garlic salt and saute. After about 5 minutes add shrimp to garlic butter mixer and saute until shrimp is to your liking(5-7 minutes).
I find the shrimp gets done around the same time as the Fettuccine.
For plating I place a serving of Fettuccine in the middle a plate and then take a scoop of  garlic shrimp and place it on top of fettuccine. I always add a little extra garlic butter sauce too. You can add some parmesan cheese also.

Remember, use your imagination

And that's the "Dish" for today!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Valentine Gift....

Everybody loves Chocolate! Here is an easy Valentine Day gift idea.
With everyone being so busy these days, no one has time to really shop. Baking comes
from the heart. Even if it doesn't look the like the picture in the recipe.

In my family it was kind of a joke at first. The joke was made by me and my sister as we watched my mom try a new recipe. It looked not so much like the picture or how we invisioned it to be. Well we started saying from then on "It's Rustic".  So whenever we made something that didn't look that great but tasted good, we would bust out laughing "its rustic". Mom got a laugh out of it too.

So today I am going to give you a quick 
gift idea you can make from home.

A Heart Shaped Brownie...
Some items you will need:

1 Box of Brownie mix ( I used Ghiradelli)
1 Ready to use frosting ( I used Betty Crocker  chocolate and vanilla)
Decoration Sprinkles (Optional)
Heart shaped cookie cutter
Ribbon(optional)
Plastic container ( paper bag or box)
Heart Dollie(optional)

First you need to bake your brownies as directed on the box(to your preference, I choose really moist,stick to the roof of your mouth). After baking let them cool. Placing them in the freezer about 30 minutes or so helps with the cut outs.

Now while in the pan I cut out my heart shapes. Then I took a metal spatula removed them individually from
the pan. You can remove them what ever way is easiest for you. Then I had some heart shaped dollies so I placed the brownies on the dollies (if you don't have dollies just place the brownies on the table,plate,wax paper or tin foil).  Then take your container of frosting and heat it up in the microwave for about 30-40 seconds at a time until the right drizzle consistency(like chocolate syrup).  Now take a regular teaspoon and stir up frosting and then starting from the top of brownie work you way down to bottom zig zagging(it doesn't have to be completely covered unless you want it that way). If your using two colors, I drizzle one at a time. Then take your sprinkles or nuts, whatever topping you would like to use(maybe just leave it plain) and sprinkle on top.


Let the brownies sit so frosting gets a little firm. While the frosting sets get your containers or bags whatever you are going to be using ready. I happened to have had some containers on hand so I used those. You can use a brown bag, party favor plastic bag,a box even some saran wrap. For the tie I used ribbon. You can use  any style of ribbon,string or even tape. Use your imagination.

 














Here is my finished Valentine Day gift.  I hope you have fun with this idea. Don't forget to make it yours.

And that's the "Dish" for today!












Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Well, I never have been someone to follow a recipe to the T. I have always had to improvise for something.  Usually when I'm making a new dish I pull out at least two recipes if not more and check out the ingredients. I compare them, then I make it my own by picking the ingredients I want from each for my recipe.  When I
don't have those certain ingredients I improvise.  Using something I have on hand instead of whats listed.  You will see this in my Taco Pizza recipe below....

Taco Pizza

Ingredients:
16 Inch Crust

4 cups Flour (  I used GM all purpose)
1 packet of rapid rise yeast ( I used red star)
1 cup Milk (warm)
1Tsp Sugar
1 Tsp salt
Olive Oil or any cooking oil

Pizza Topping

1can Pizza sauce (1-2 cups of sauce)
1 can Refried Beans ( small standard can 16oz)
1 Packet of taco seansonings
1lb Ground Beef (or ground turkey or chicken)
2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese (or your choice)
Sliced Black Olives (optional)
Diced Onions (optional)
Shredded Lettuce
Sliced Avocado (optional)
Diced Tomatoes (optional)

Warm milk(in a large enough bowl or measuring cup to hold two cups of liquid) in microwave for about 1 minute, then add sugar stir, then add yeast, let sit. Now place flour in a bowl, add salt, then milk mixture. Mix together by hand or in a mixer with bread hook. Add oil as needed for smooth texture. If dough is dry add a little warm water. Place dough back in bowl and let sit.

First let me tell you, you can use all the ingredients for the topping or just a little. Make it your own!
Mix the beans with the pizza sauce and the taco seasoning(I used spaghetti sauce it worked just as well. I had quite a bit of leftover sauce though). Fry the ground beef and drain the oil put aside. Prep the cheese, olives, onions, lettuce, tomatoes and avocado.
Now take your pizza pan or sheet pan and rub it with oil or you could use a cooking spray. Take the dough, place on floured surface so you can roll it out to the size of the pan. Once you've done that, place dough in pan and press it out to the sides. I like my crust a little thick so I pushed more dough to the out side of pan. If your putting it on a round pan ,for the thick crust I roll the edges under. You can make it however you like, thin crust or thick. Once dough is ready spread you bean and sauce mix over top of dough then spread ground beef and some cheese( maybe half the amount listed). Bake at 400 degrees for about 15-18 minutes or more. Depending on how you like the crust. When baked to your liking remove from oven, let cool 5-10 minutes. Then add lettuce,onions, cheese, tomatoes, olives and avocados. You can put the veggie toppings on however you like as much or little as you like. Then sit down and enjoy!

And that's the Dish for tonight!


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The time has come! I finally have my chance to express my passion of baking, cooking and everyday life experiences. You'll never know what I'm going to post from one dayto the next. Life experiences change daily. With so much negative in the world today, I always look forward to a new day being optimistic. You will see some days I might post a quote, a statement, a recipe and or a question. Who knows maybe just venting to release some emotions. Sharing your feelings with those who have been there or are going through
a similar situation, helps start a healing process. Of course along with feelings comes food and that means recipes. The recipe that I'm make might reflect how I felt that day.

So remember, never give up, if you don't succeed try and try again. Been there done that.

And that's the dish for today!
Taco Pizza....
Recipe to follow tomorrow....