Sunday, March 30, 2008

Mimi's Buttermilk Spice Muffins

A few months ago, my friend told me to try these muffins at Mimi's Cafe. Last week when I had a craving for them I checked on the internet and found the recipe:

Buttermilk Spice Muffins

Muffin Batter:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine
3 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspsoons baking soda
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon buttermilk

Nut topping:
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. walnuts finely chopped
1/2 t. each of cinnamon and nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375°. In a mixing bowl, cream the sugar and the butter together with an electric mixer. When they are thoroughly mixed, add eggs and beat one more minute.Sift the flour into a separate bowl, together with the baking soda, nutmeg and the cinnamon.Add the flour and the buttermilk to the first mixture, mix at low speed until smooth. To avoid lumps in the batter, add the wet and dry ingredients alternately, in small amounts.

Make the nut toppping: Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.

Grease muffin tins with butter or margarine. You can also use paper baking cups. Fill each cup 3/4 full of batter. Add a full, rounded tablespoon of nut topping on top of each muffin cup of batter. Bake immediately or the topping will sink to the bottom of the muffin. Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. A toothpick inserted in the middle of the muffin should come out dry. Home ovens heat differently from commercial ovens so you may need to adjust the temperature or the baking time accordingly. (I baked mine for 20 minutes at 350) Recipe yields 12 standard-size muffins, or six Mimis size muffins. If using the jumbo muffin pans, reduce the oven temperature by 25° and increase the baking time 5-10 minutes.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Chorizo-Topped Pizza

8 oz. chorizo sausage
1 cup deli-fresh chunks salsa with corn and beans
Nonstick cooking spray
4 7-8 inch flour tortillas
1 cup shredded mexican cheese blend
1 avocado
4 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup snipped fresh cilantro
lime wedges

1. Preheat broiler. In large skillet cruble and cook sausage over medium hear until no pink remains. Drain in colander. In small saucepan heat salsa over medium heat until heated through.
2. Lightly coat large baking sheet with cooking srpay. Arrange tortillas, two at a time, on bakding sheet, top each with 1/4 cheese. Broil 3-4 inches from heat for about 2-3 minutes.
3. Top with 1/4 salsa, cooked chorizo, avocado, green onion, and cilantro. Add lime juice too taste.

I stole this recipe from my dentists office, who knew??? Questions, comments send to nniederhauser(at)msn(dot)com.............Thanks, and ENJOY :)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Turkey and Artichoke Stuffed Shells

These shells are a family favorite and bound to be one of yours, too! (Click on the word shells and it will link to the recipe.)

Creamy Pesto Pasta with Grilled Chicken and Roasted Asparagus

2 chicken breasts, grilled
1 bunch of asparagus, roasted
1 lb. pasta, cooked
1 container each Buitoni Alfredo & Buitoni Pesto (found in refrigerated pasta section)

Grilled Chicken
Season each side of chicken with salt, pepper and McCormick's Montreal Chicken seasoning. Grill 7-8 minutes on each side. Cut into strips and return any that are undone to the grill for another minute or so on each side. When all strips are finished, cut into bite sized strips. (I use an indoor grill because that's all I have right now.)

Roasted Asparagus
Trim asparagus and put on foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast at 425 for 15-20 minutes depending on thickness of stalks. (You could also use zucchini) Cut into 2 inch pieces.

I like to use bow ties or penne. Cook according to pkg.

Toss chicken, vegetables and pasta in a bowl. Spoon 1/2 of the container of alfredo and a heaping spoonful of pesto over the other ingredients. Mix together.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Vegetarian Minestrone Soup

6 c. vegetable broth (we used chicken broth b/c that's all I have)
2 carrots, chopped
2 large onions, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped (whatever does "ribs" mean?)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small zucchini, cubed
1/2 c. dry barley
1 can chickpeas, drained
1 T. parsley
1/2 t. dried thyme
1 t. dried oregano
28 oz. can crushed Italian tomatoes
1 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
grated cheese

1. Combine all ingredients except cheese in slow cooker.
2. Cover. Cook on low 6-8 hours, or until vegetables are tender.
3. Sprinkle with cheese.

e-notes: We have done this twice and really enjoy it. I think I do 2 zucchinis just because. I also add dry noodles because my kids are much more apt to eat anything if there is a hint of noodles in it. About an hour before eating (at like 5 hours), I add a 1/2 cup of dry macaroni noodles. Yum.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

4 chicken breast halves
2 15 oz. cans black beans, undrained
2 15 oz. can Mexican stewed tomatoes
1 c. salsa
4 oz. can chopped green chilies
14 1/2 oz. can tomato sauce
tortilla chips
2 c. grated cheese (we didn't do this much)

1. Combine all ingredients except chips and cheese in large slow cooker/crock pot.
2. Cover. Cook on low 8 hours.
3. Just before serving, remove chicken breasts and slice into bite-sized pieces. Stir back into soup.
4. To serve, put a handful of chips in each soup bowl. Ladle soup over chips. Top with cheese.

e-notes: We made this today and really liked it. I did not put the chips in bottom, but, rather, let us all "crush" in our own chips. The kids loved this part of it. It's tasty stuff.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Cinnamon Rolls

I was originally given this recipe as part of a wedding present. On the recipe card they are called Heavenly Cinnamon Rolls. They are heavenly indeed! I used to always use the icing at the bottom of this recipe, but I have since started using a favorite cream cheese icing recipe. To me it has a thicker, more spreadable texture, and a lot more flavor. I have included the cream cheese recipe after the original. Mmmm. I wish you could smell my kitchen right now.

This recipe makes 24 large rolls.

Scald 2 cups milk (5 minutes in microwave on HIGH). Then add 1 stick butter and stir until melted. Add 1 T salt and ½ cup sugar. Mix must be warm not hot. Add 3 beaten eggs. Dissolve 1 ½ to 2 T yeast in 1 cup of warm water. Add to mixture. Add 8 to 9 cups of flour (do this 2 cups at a time, stirring well after each addition--I add the flour two cups at a time and stir about 8 cups with a wooden spoon. I then knead one cup of flour in with my hands). Let rise 2 times. Divide dough in half. Roll out on a greased or floured surface into a large rectangle. Spread about a ½ stick softened butter over dough then sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Roll into one long roll and cut in 1 inch pieces. Lay on cookie sheets and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, until just golden brown. Do not over bake! Roll other half of dough the same way. Frost while hot with ¼ cup melted butter, a little milk, 2-3 cups powdered sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla, dash of salt.

Cream Cheese Icing
1 box powdered sugar
1 8oz. block of cream cheese
1 T milk
1 cap full vanilla

Combine all ingredients well. Use for cookies or cinnamon rolls.

All Bran Muffins

I am sure this recipe came off of a box of All Bran at one time, but it is never on the box when I buy the cereal nowadays. My kids LOVE these, and they are great if you are trying to add more fiber to your diet. I make the mix the night before and cook the muffins in the morning. They turn out great every time.
1 ¼ cups flour
½ cup sugar
1 T baking powder
¼ tsp salt
2 cups All Bran cereal (the sticks)
1 ¼ cups milk
1 egg
¼ cup vegetable oil

Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine cereal and milk. Let stand about 5 minutes or until cereal softens. Add egg and oil. Beat well. Add flour mixture, stirring only until combined. Pour into muffin tins. *I prefer not to use muffin papers for these because the muffin tends to really stick to the paper. I like to spray the muffin tin with non-stick spray and the muffins come out great. Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes.

Walnut and Date Whole-Wheat Round

unsalted butter, at room temp, for greasing the baking dish (or just Pam)
2 c. whole-wheat flour, plus a little bit more (can use white wheat or traditional)
1 T. brown sugar
1 t. salt
1 package (1 scant T.) quick-rise yeast (I used instant)
1 c. hot water
1 c. pitted dates, cut into quarters
1 c. walnut halves, toasted in a 325-degree oven for 10 minutes

Lightly grease a 9-inch round cake pan and lightly sprinkle the bottom with flour.

Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in the large bowl of a stand mixer. Add the hot water and beat on low speed; the dough will form and pull away from the sides of the bowl within 3 minutes. Add the dates and walnuts. Beat on low speed for 5 minutes, stopping to scrape down the beaters when the dough gets bound up.

With lightly-floured hands, gather the dough into a ball and roll it around in the palms of your hands to smooth it. Form into a ball and place in prepared pan; the dough shouldn't touch the edges of the pan. Use a sharp knife to cut a shallow cross in the top of the dough. Sprinkle the top lightly with flour. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at room temperature for 30 minutes or until it expands to fill to the edges of the pan. (In my cold house, it took nearly an hour.)

After the dough has risen for 15 minutes (or 45 minutes in my case), position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees. Discard the plastic wrap and bake the bread for about 35 minutes, until the top feels firm and is lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

This bread will remain soft for 2 days if stored at room temp. It can be wrapped and frozen. I thought it was GREAT. C didn't like the texture of the dates, but since he doesn't generally like dates, I wasn't surprised. The toasting of the nuts made a big difference. But YUM.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Honey Citrus Pork Chops with Cranberries

1/3 cup fresh, frozen, or dried cranberries; chopped
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 pork chops (boneless)
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons honey

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9x9 inch glass baking dish.

2. In a bowl, mix cranberries, marmalade, and cloves. Make a pocket in each pork chop; fill pockets with cranberry mixture. You can use both bone in or boneless chops. I find it's easier to make a pocket with the boneless pork chops.

3. Place the pork chops in prepared baking pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon 1 tablespoon honey over each chop. Bake uncovered about 45 minutes or until pork is no longer pink in the center.

Notes: For a more intense flavor, use 1/4 cup dried cranberries or cherries instead of fresh or frozen cranberries and do not chop.