Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Scottish Scones ~ by Kelsey

Jessie is Scottish.  I am not.  But I can still make scones.  I got this from my Pillsbury cookbook.

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly grease cookie sheet.  Mix together the four, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Mix well.  With a pastry blender or fork, cut in the butter until crumbly.  Add milk all at once and stir just until moistened.  Gently knead dough (I do it in the bowl) 5-6 times.  Place on cookie sheet and press into a round about 1- inch thick.  Brush the top with 1 tablespoon melted butter.  Sprinkle the top with a little cinnamon and sugar.  Cut into 8 wedges.  Cook for 20-30 minutes.

Ranch Potatoes ~ by Kelsey

These are kinda like seasoned french fries, only I like to think that they are a little healthier since they are baked, not fried.

About six red potatoes, cut into smallish pieces
Packet of Ranch dressing, the dry kind
About a tablespoon of olive oil

Cut up the potatoes and put them in a gallon-sized Ziplock bag.  Add the oil and the Ranch dressing packet.  Zip the bag and mix together with your hands.  Prepare a baking sheet (they can really stick, so I put down tin foil and then spray it liberally with cooking spray) and then spread the potatoes out in a single layer.  I am still experimenting with the cooking temperature.  It seems that about 350 degrees for about 40 minutes works, but it depends on how big the potato pieces are, so you just have to keep poking them with a fork until they feel soft.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Mom's Apple Pie ~ by Sarah

My mom makes the best apple pie.  Her crust is what makes it.  It's flaky and delicious!

Pie Crust Ingredients:
1 1/2 c. butter-flavored Crisco
1 T white vinegar
1/3 c. ice water
1 egg
3 c. flour

Pie Crust Directions:
Mix the above ingredients just until well combined.  Let rest 15 minutes before using.  This recipe makes three crusts--so, divide it into thirds before rolling out.

Apple Pie Ingredients:
6 c. thinly-sliced, peeled Granny Smith apples
1 t. cinnamon
1 c. sugar
1 T. lemon juice
2 T. flour
1 egg, beaten

Apple Pie Directions:
Preheat oven to 350.  Peel and thinly slice apples.  I use my apple slicer and then thinly slice each section.
  Combine apples, cinnamon, sugar, lemon juice, and flour in large bowl.
Roll out 1/3 of the pie crust dough (using plenty of flour underneath) and put in a pie pan.  Pour in apples, then top with thin slices of butter. 
 Roll out another 1/3 of the pie crust dough.  Put dough on top of apples, trim edges, and crimp the top and bottom crusts together.  Slice a few holes in the top with a knife, then use a brush to thinly cover the entire top crust with the beaten egg.  Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon, then put strips of foil around the edges to prevent the crust from burning.
Bake for 45 minutes, then remove foil.  Sometimes the crust sticks to the foil a bit when you pull them off--I haven't figured out out to prevent that yet!  Bake another 10 minutes.  Remove and cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.
Delicious!  (Not very pretty, though, because you can see where the foil peeled off some of my crust!)  I would show a picture of the inside, but I'm taking it to North Powder with me and it won't be eaten until tomorrow!

Apple Smoothie Jello Salad ~ by Sarah

This is actually Angela's recipe.  (She is too scared of Blogger to post it herself.)  I've never made it, and never will because it contains bananas and they're disgusting, but she claims her kids (and my kids) love it.  It looks good and Angela's a fantastic cook, so I'm sure it's great if you like bananas!

1 6-ounce package strawberry Jell-O
3/4 c. boiling water
2 c. applesauce
2 ripe bananas, mashed
whipped topping for serving

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Stir in applesauce and bananas. Spoon into 1-quart mold and chill until firm. Serve with whipped topping.

Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding ~ by Sarah

WARNING: This recipe (one Molly found and is famous for) will likely cause you to gain a pound just from reading it.  But it's a lovely, lovely pound and well worth it!  I've never actually made it (but I've eaten plenty of it!), so these pictures were taken by my friend, Angela, who got the recipe from me the other day.  So delicious!

Molly made it for Kelsey when she was home a few weeks ago, and, according to Grace, Kelsey ate the entire pan almost entirely by herself.  Kelsey does not deny this accusation.

1 stick unsalted butter
1 c. sugar
1 1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. vanilla extract
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 1/2 c. heavy cream
12 croissants
1/2 c. raisins (We always leave these out.)
3/4 c. bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped small

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a food processor, combine butter and sugar and process until well blended.  Add cinnamon and vanilla and pulse to combine.  While the processor is running, crack 5 eggs into the mixture.  Turn off the processor and scrape down the sides.  Add heavy cream and pulse to combine.  Lightly butter a 9x13-inch pan.  Break croissants into 1-inch pieces and layer in the pan.  (If the croissants you buy are large, they may not all fit.)
Scatter the raisins (if you are including them) and shaved bittersweet chocolate over the top, and gently mix to incorporate.  Pour the egg mixture over the croissants; soak for 8 to 10 minutes.  You will need to push croissant pieces down during this time to ensure even coverage by egg mixture.
Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for additional 10 minutes to brown the top.  The croissant bread pudding is done when the custard is set, but still soft.  Allow to cool.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Lemon Pork Marinade ~ by Sarah

I was looking for a quick pork marinade this morning that didn't require special ingredients I didn't already have in the house.  I found this on and it was excellent.  It makes the pork very lemony, so if you don't like lemon, this won't be for you!  Definitely made the meat tender and juicy, though.

1/4 c. lemon juice (I just happened to have half a fresh lemon, so I used fresh.)
2 T. vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic
1 t. salt
1/4 t. oregano
1/4 t. pepper

Mix the above ingredients in a resealable plastic bag.  Add 4 boneless pork chops and seal.  Make sure pork is totally coated and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, turning over periodically.  Grill meat on the barbecue and enjoy!

Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies ~ by Kelsey

I don't remember where I got this recipe.  They are my favorite cookies, though!

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup chocolate chips

Cream butter, brown sugar and white sugar.  Beat in eggs, then vanilla.  Combine flour, baking soda, and salt.  Stir into the creamed mixture.  Mix in the oats and chocolate chips.  Bake for 12 minutes at 325 degrees.

Spaghetti Salad ~ by Sarah

This recipe came from Wes's mom, and it's always a favorite.  Take it to a barbecue this summer and I guarantee you'll have someone ask you for the recipe! 

1 pound uncooked spaghetti
2 packages Italian seasoning mix
sliced olives
Salad Supreme or Salad Elegance seasoning
red wine vinegar

*I didn't put specific amounts of some ingredients because it's all a personal preference.  I always use two cucumbers, two medium-sized cans of sliced olives, and a whole package of grape tomatoes or three regular-sized tomatoes.  With the salad seasoning and vinegar, add until it tastes right to you.  (Usually about 1/2 a bottle of salad seasoning and a few generous dashes of vinegar.)

Cook spaghetti according to package directions.  Rinse with cold water and place in large bowl or Tupperware container.  Mix the Italian seasoning according to package directions, but mix it as if you were only adding one package of seasoning even though you're adding two.  Pour over spaghetti.  Chop tomatoes and cucumbers and add to bowl.  Add olives, salad seasoning, and red wine vinegar.  Toss well.  Toss well again before serving and use a spoon to scoop the "good stuff" back on top of the noodles because it tends to sink to the bottom.

Since Kelsey doesn't like tomatoes, she varies this recipe a bit.  Instead, she adds strips of yellow, red, and orange bell peppers and chunks of feta cheese.  A delicious way to change it up!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Chicken Cacciatore ~ by Sarah

I got this recipe out of the newspaper a few years ago.  It is delicious and my family loves it!  Easy, too!

2 t. olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper to taste
1 bell pepper cut into strips (I used half a green and half a red.)
1 regular-sized package sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 c. dry red wine
1 1/2 c. marinara sauce
2 T chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add chicken.  Season meat.  Cook 4 minutes per side.  Transfer chicken to a plate--set aside.  Combine bell pepper and mushrooms in skillet over medium heat.  Sprinkle with salt.  Cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add wine and cook 2 minutes.  Stir in sauce; heat.  Return chicken to skillet; reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.  Flip the chicken at least once.
Top with fresh Italian parsley.  (But, if you're like me and accidentally buy cilantro instead of parsley, using dry parsley flakes is fine.)
I serve it with noodles.  (Usually I cook penne, but halfway through cooking them tonight I realized there were weevils, so I had to use regular spaghetti.)

The sauce is the best part, but it doesn't make a whole lot of it, so if you're feeding more than just a couple people, you might want to double the sauce. 

Monday, March 22, 2010

Spicy Confetti Joes ~ by Sarah

This is an Oregon Beef Council award-winning recipe that Kelsey and I acquired from them a number of years ago.  I modified it a little because it was too rich.  (It originally called for 3 cups of ketchup!)  It's super easy and delicious!

2 lbs. ground beef
1 med. yellow onion, diced
1/2 each red, orange, yellow, and green bell peppers, diced (Or any combination of bell peppers--sometimes not all colors are available.)
1 15-oz. can tomato sauce
1 c. (approx.) ketchup
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 t. Tabasco sauce (More if you want more kick!)
8 hamburger buns (Try whole wheat--you won't even notice!  Less fat and calories, more fiber!)

Brown ground beef.  Add onions and peppers.  Saute until vegetables are tender--about 5 minutes.
(It looks so colorful and pretty!)

In a 3+ cup measuring cup, pour in the tomato sauce.  (This should be almost two cups.)  Add ketchup until the measuring cup is full to the 3-cup mark.  Pour sauce, Tabasco, and brown sugar into the meat mixture and mix well.  Simmer for at least 10 minutes.  Serve on toasted hamburger buns. 

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bricks ~ by Sarah

Don't let the name fool you, these babies are delish!  (I think the name stems from the fact that it takes a sharp, sturdy knife to get them out of the pan.)  A teacher at my school always brings these to potlucks and I always eat more than my fair share.  (Sorry, fellow TDMS teachers.)

1 c. white Karo syrup
1 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. peanut butter (creamy or chunky)
6 c. Special K cereal
1 1/2 bags chocolate chips
1 bag butterscotch chips*

Bring Karo syrup and sugar just to a boil and then remove from heat immediately.  Add peanut butter.  Mix well.  Add cereal and mix well.  Press mixture into the bottom of a 9x13-inch, buttered pan.

Melt chips over boiling water.
Pour evenly over cereal mix.  Refrigerate at least an hour to solidify the chocolate layer.

These are VERY rich, so a little piece will go a long way!  

*My partner teacher's mom makes these, also, but she uses peanut butter chips instead of butterscotch chips, so you might give that a try.  I really love butterscotch, so that's what I used.

Salmon or Chicken Marinade ~ by Sarah

I love salmon, but let's face it, it pretty much tastes like whatever ingredients you use to prepare it.  This marinade recipe came from Wes's mom and it's delicious.  It can also be used on chicken...

cracked pepper, to taste
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. soy sauce
2 T rum (or a little more if you really like rum's flavor)
3 T lemon juice (freshly-squeezed or bottled)
5 whole cloves, smashed

In a 9x13-inch baking dish, mix the above ingredients.  Place meat in marinade and refrigerate for a few hours.  Flip meat over and continue marinating for a few more hours.  Grill, bake, or fry meat in your desired fashion.  So good!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Orange and Raspberry Cake ~ by Molly

 Since I don't have an oven in Saarbr├╝cken, I've been stockpiling recipes I find for a while. When I went home, I decided to try this one I had found on for Grace's postponed birthday party. The frosting is DELICIOUS (but then again, when is frosting not delicious?)

1 box white cake mix (Giada recommends Duncan Hines, but Betty Crocker worked just fine)
1 large orange, zested
1 1/3 cups no pulp orange juice (Mom bought the frozen kind, so I had to prepare it first)
3 egg whites
2 T oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 8-inch cake pans.
In an electric mixer, whisk cake mix and orange zest until well incorporated. Add orange juice, egg whites and oil.
Mix on low for about 30 seconds, then medium for two minutes, scraping the sides  occasionally.
Divide batter evenly and bake on the center rack for about 30 minutes, or until it passes the toothpick test.
Let cool for about 15 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack for about another hour.

1 stick unsalted butter, just under room temperature
1 brick cream cheese
1 bag powdered sugar
1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam

Mix butter and cream cheese until smooth. Slowly add powdered sugar and mix until well blended. Add jam. If the frosting is too thick to spread, add water, one teaspoon at a time, until it's spreadable.

Place one cooled cake on a baking platter round side down. Spread on a thin layer of frosting. I now know that putting this in the freezer for about a half hour would have my life much easier. I went ahead and immediately spread on a thin layer of jam, which got messy with the the soft frosting beneath it.
Place the next layer on the cake. Again, I should have put this in the freezer for a little while to harden the frosting/jam in the center. I had issues keeping my top layer from shifting around and squeezing out the middle layer while I finished frosting it.
Frost the rest of the cake and store, covered, in the fridge. Allow to sit for about 30 minutes at room temp before serving.

Had I known better, I would have put this in the freezer until the frosting was solid before adding the next layer.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tater Tot Casserole ~ by Sarah

This is a staple in our house.  Wes and the kids love it!

1 1/2 to 2 pounds ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic (I use the pre-minced, jarred stuff to save time) 
seasoned salt, garlic salt, pepper to taste
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 empty soup can filled with milk
1 1/2 to 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 bag of tater tots or Crispy Crowns (I prefer them because they're smaller and cook through better.)
dried parsley

Over medium heat, cook onion, garlic, and ground beef until beef is just browned.  Season well.  Spread beef mixture in the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch pan.  Dump tater tots on top of beef mixture and spread them out evenly.  In a medium mixing bowl, whisk cream of mushroom soup and one can of milk until smooth.  Add all but 1/2 cup of cheese and mix well.  Pour soup mixture over the tater tots evenly.  Sprinkle parsley on top.
Cover tightly with foil and bake at 425 for about 25 minutes (until it's really bubbling).  Uncover and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.  Bake about 10 more minutes--until cheese is melted thoroughly.  Remove from oven and let sit about 5-10 minutes before serving.  It will be very hot!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

French Breakfast Muffins ~ by Kelsey

These are quick and easy.  This recipe only makes about 14 muffins, so you might need to double it.

2 cups flour
2/3 cups sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 egg
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
6 tablespoons of unsalted, melted butter, slightly cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease muffin pan.  Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.  Whisk egg until frothy, then add to it the milk, butter, and vanilla.  Blend into the dry ingredients just until mixed.  Fill muffin cups about 2/3 full.  Bake for 15 minutes, rotate, and cook for five minutes more.  If you want, you can dip the tops in melted butter and then roll them in cinnamon and sugar.  I am trying to be good, so I leave that part out!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Chocolate Eclair Cake ~ by Sarah

This recipe comes from my other favorite cookbook.  It's called Pioneer Cookbook and it's a collection of recipes put together by people living in the North Powder area.  This is a very easy, very delicious dessert!  (It does need to be refrigerated for at least 8 hours, so plan for that!)

2 small packages vanilla instant pudding
3 c. milk
1 box graham crackers
1 medium-sized Cool Whip
1/3 c. cocoa
1 c. sugar
1/3 c. evaporated milk
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter
1 t. vanilla
chopped pecans (optional)

Combine pudding and milk and beat until thick; fold in Cool Whip.

In a 9x13-inch dish, layer bottom with graham crackers (whole, not crushed).  Put a layer of pudding mix over crackers, then another layer of crackers and pudding mix, ending with crackers on top.

Make the icing.  Bring the cocoa, sugar, and evaporated milk to a boil in a small saucepan.  Let cool 1 minute.  Add stick of butter and vanilla.  Mix well.  Pour over cake.  Add pecans if desired.  Refrigerate at least 8 hours before serving.


I would take a picture of a cut piece for you, but, sadly, I made this dessert for my friend and her family, so I won't be enjoying any.  Darn!

Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Icing ~ by Sarah

This is a recipe from my Pioneer Woman cookbook.  I made them last Sunday up at Mom's and they were delish.  Wes even ate three in one sitting--and he doesn't normally like sweets!  They are a lot of work, though.  Definitely something you do when you have lots of time and other people watching your kids!

1 qt. whole milk
1 c. vegetable oil
1 c. sugar
2 packages (4 1/2 t.) active dry yeast
9 c. all-purpose flour
1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
1 scant teaspoon baking soda
1 T. salt

2 cups melted butter, plus more as needed
1/4 c. ground cinnamon for sprinkling
2 c. sugar, plus more as needed

Maple Icing:
2 lbs. powdered sugar
1/2 c. whole milk
6 T. (3/4 stick) butter
1/4 c. strongly brewed coffee
dash of salt
1 T. maple flavoring or maple extract

For the dough, heat the milk, vegetable oil, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat; do not allow the mixture to boil.  Set aside and cool to lukewarm.  Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit on the milk for 1 minute.  Add 8 cups of the flour.  Stir until just combined, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and set aside in a relatively warm place for 1 hour.  Remove the towel and add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the remaining 1 cup of flour.  Stir thoroughly to combine.  Use the dough right away, or place in a mixing bowl and refrigerate for up to three days, punching down the dough if it rises to the top of the bowl.

To assemble the rolls, remove half the dough from the pan.  One a floured baking surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 30 x 10 inches.

To make the filling, pour 1 cup of the melted butter over the surface of the dough.  Use your fingers to spread the butter evenly.  Generously sprinkle half of the ground cinnamon and 1 cup of the sugar over the butter.  Add more if desired.

Beginning at the long end farthest from you, roll the rectangle tightly toward you.  Use both hands and work slowly, being careful to keep the roll tight.  Some filling might ooze out the side, but that is normal!  When you reach the end, pinch the seam together.  With a sharp knife, make 1 1/2-inch slices.  One log will produce 20 to 25 rolls.

Pour a couple tablespoons of melted butter into the desired pie pans or baking dishes and swirl to coat.  Place the sliced rolls in the pans, being careful not to overcrowd.  Repeat with the rest of the dough.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Cover the pans with kitchen towels and set aside to rise on the counter top for at least 20 minutes before baking.  Remove the towel and bake for 13 to 17 minutes, until golden brown, but not overly brown.

While the rolls are baking, make the icing.  In a large bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, butter, coffee, and salt.  Splash in the maple flavoring.  Whisk until very smooth.  Taste and add in more maple, sugar, butter, or other ingredients as desired.  The icing should be thick, but still pourable.

When the rolls are done, and while they're still warm, generously drizzle icing over the top.  Be sure to get it all around the edges.

*Note...Having step-by-step pictures in her cookbook was very helpful.  If you want to see pictures of each step, click this link: