Thursday, December 30, 2010

Countdown to 2011: Main Dish

I am joining Finding Joy in My Kitchen's Countdown to 2011.  Today I am posting some of the main dishes we tried. 



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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Must Try Tuesday: December 21, 2010

Kayotic Kitchen

Photo by Kayotic Kitchen

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Creatively Domestic

Photo by Creatively Domestic

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Recipe Shoebox

Photo by Recipe Shoebox

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Friday, December 17, 2010

Recipe: White Sandwich Bread for the Bread Machine


After doing our moldy bread science project last month, I realized that I needed to make a change.  It took over two weeks for a speck of mold to grow on our commercially made bread.  While that sounds great, if you stop to think about it, maybe not so much.  It means that the bread has so many chemicals to prevent mold.  Do I really want that many chemicals in the babies?  I don't think so!  So, I made it my personal quest to find a bread that was quick, soft and tasty and would be a great replacement.  After several attempts, I believe I have accomplished the mission.  This bread is so simple to make and after it bakes it is so soft.  The perfect sandwich bread, toast bread or whatever bread.  The texture is light and the crust is soft.  My family loves the taste which I consider a win-win. 



Now, if you have been making bread in a bread machine, the traditional method is to put all of your wet ingredients in first, then the dry and lastly the yeast so it does not touch the liquid.  In this recipe, you proof the yeast first and then add the rest of the ingredients.  Don't be afraid!  Trust me on this.  You will love the results.  I also make my bread on the dough cycle and then after the cycle is finished, I knead it a couple of times and then put it in my bread pan for it final rise. Then I bake it off at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.  If you don't want to go through the extra steps of baking it outside your bread maker then just put it on your white or basic cycle and wait for the wonderful smell of yummy goodness to fill your house.

Enjoy!



White Sandwich Bread

1 cup warm water
2 tbsp sugar
2 1/2 tsp yeast
1/4 cup oil
3 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp salt

Place the water, sugar and yeast in the pan of the bread machine.  Let the yeast dissolve and foam for about 10 minutes.  Add the oil, flour and salt to the yeast mixture.  Select basic or white bread setting. 

NOTE:  You may also use the dough cycle.  Once the cycle is complete, remove dough and knead a few times then place in bread pan.  Allow to rise about an inch above the rim of the baking pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Recipe: Cheddar Cheese Soup


It was actually cold enough last week for us to have not one, but TWO nights of soups.  Can you believe it?  There was much excitement in our house...lol!  This recipe is a favorite.  Who doesn't love cheese and more cheese?  Certainly not us.  This is a quick and easy soup that comes together in a cinch.  It takes more time to grate the cheese than it does to make the soup.  And it is smooth as velvet and has the most delicious cheese flavor.  Bonus:  No need for Velveeta!  This makes a small pot so I always double the recipe because my family eats it up.

Enjoy!


Creamy Cheddar Cheese Soup

1 onion, finely diced
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp AP flour
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup green onions, optional
crumbled bacon, optional

In a saucepan, saute onion in butter until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Blend in flour.  Add stock and cream, whisking to break up any flour lumps.  Cook until thick.  Add cheese and stir until melted.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Add garnish such as green onions and bacon.



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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Party Ideas: School Christmas Party

This year I am planning the holiday party for my oldest daughter's classroom.  This is our first year at the school and they do things a bit differently than we have done at any of our previous schools.  We are doing the party during their lunch so we need a meal and some craft or games as well.  I love themes.  I thought a "Let it Snow" theme would be cute especially because we are in Texas and today it is 78 degrees outside.  Snow at Christmas is not typical here.

Here are some ideas I have come across.  I have a few treats of my own that I am going to try and will share those with you later. 

Enjoy the inspiration!


Photo by BH&G

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This Chick Cooks

Photo by This Chick Cooks

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From Apples to Zucchini

Photo by Apples to Zucchini

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Crazy Domestic

Photo by Crazy Domestic

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Our Best Bites

Photo by Our Best Bites

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Recipe Shoebox

Photo by Recipe Shoebox

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Must Try Tuesday: December 14, 2010

Yummy!  That is all I can say about all of the recipes that have been floating around the blog this past week.  My mouth was watering over some of the creative desserts that I saw.  I am going to be busy this week making some of these for my family and friends. 

Enjoy!

Caramel Crack
Siggy Spice

Photo by Siggy Spice

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Prudence Pennywise

Photo by Prudence Pennywise

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Peppermint Plum

Photo by Peppermint Plum

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Brown Eyed Baker

Photo by Brown Eyed Baker

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Recipe: Peanut Butter Fudge


We are in the home stretch now!  I can't believe it is two weeks until Christmas.  I don't have everything done yet and my sister's family will be here next weekend.  Yikes!  I am in a time crunch so I will keep this simple. 

Peanut Butter + Fudge = Yummy Goodness!

I dressed up the fudge just a bit with a chocolate and peanut topping.  I mean, after all, it is the holidays so why not?

Enjoy!


Peanut Butter Fudge

2 cups sugar
1 5-ounce (2/3 cup) can evaporated milk
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup peanut butter
2 cups mini-marshmellows
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped peanuts

Line a 9" baking pan with foil, extending the foil over the edges of the pan.  Butter the foil and set aside.  Butter the sides of a heavy saucepan.  In the saucepan, combine sugar, milk and butter.  Cook and stir over medium-high heat until mixture boils.  Reduce heat to medium and continue to boil at a moderate, steady rate for 12 minutes, stirring frequently.  Remove saucepan from heat.  Add peanut butter, marshmellows and vanilla; stirring until mixture is combined.  Pour and spread evenly into the prepared pan.  Let stand until fudge is firm, about 2 hours.  Use foil to lift fudge out of pan.  Place chocolate chips in microwave for 1 minute and stir.  Microwave about 1 minute more or until melted; stirring after every 15 seconds.  Sprinkle fudge with chopped peanuts and drizzle chocolate over peanuts and fudge. 


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Linked To:
 * Simply Sweet Home:  Holly Bloggy Christmas Recipe Party
 * Fresh from the Farm:  Holly Jolly Christmas Recipe Swap

Week 11 Twelve Weeks of Christmas: