November 28, 2010

Lion House Crescent Rolls

My mom has been making these rolls for special dinners like Thanksgiving ever since I can remember. They are very good - light, fluffy, and buttery.

I actually made these the day after Thanksgiving and stuck most of them in the freezer to eat later.

Lion House Crescent Rolls
from Lion House Recipes

2 Tbsp. yeast
2 c. warm water
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. butter
2/3 c. dry milk
2 tsp. salt
1 egg
5-6 c. flour
melted butter

Mix yeast and water; let stand 5 minutes. Add sugar, butter, dry milk, salt, egg, and 2 c. of flour. Beat together till smooth. Gradually add remaining flour till soft dough is formed. Turn onto lightly floured surface and knead till smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl; cover and let rise till double in bulk. Punch down; divide into thirds. Roll out 1/3 or dough in circle; cut into 12 pie-shaped pieces. Starting at wide end, roll up each piece into a crescent. Place on greased baking sheet with point on bottom. Repeat with remainder of dough. Brush tops with melted butter. Let rise till double. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes or until tops and bottoms are golden brown. Makes 3 dozen.

Mashed Potato Pancakes

An easy way to use up leftover mashed potatoes is to make pancakes. Make sure you use a non-stick pan; I used cast-iron.

Mashed Potato Pancakes

mashed potatoes
olive oil or canola oil

Form hamburger-sized patties with mashed potatoes - the thinner the better. Heat a swirl of oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add two or three patties to the pan at a time. Cook until golden brown. Carefully flip over and cook the second side until golden brown. Remove from pan and serve immediately with ketchup or sour cream.

November 27, 2010

Creamy Mexican Turkey Soup

It's probably a little late, but if you need to use up leftover turkey, try this soup. It's creamy (but no cream) and spicy. Actually, this would work with chicken instead of turkey.

I've been really enjoying my time off of work and doing some activities I haven't done in a long time. Some of the activities have been fun, and some have been chores. But it's great to break the rut and do something new, even if it meant not blogging. I have several recipes to share with you soon, once I get back in the swing of things.

Creamy Mexican Turkey Soup
from Recipe Girl

1 Tbs vegetable oil
1 large carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped (I omitted)
1 cup chopped yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups chicken or turkey stock or broth
1 can diced green chilies, drained
2 cups milk
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp ground cumin
2 cups shredded turkey
¾ cup corn, fresh or frozen
3 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese

1. In a large stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add vegetables and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes. Add chiles.

2. In a bowl, whisk together milk, flour, salt, chili powder and cumin. Increase heat to high and whisk milk mixture into soup. Stir until thick and bubbly, about five minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add turkey, corn, cilantro and cheese; stir until cheese is melted and soup is hot, 5 to 10 minutes.

November 22, 2010

Tin Roof Chocolate Pie

It would probably be helpful to somebody if I posted Thanksgiving recipes BEFORE Thanksgiving, but I'm not that organized. Here's the only one you'll get: Tin Roof Chocolate Pie, nicknamed Snickers Pie by my family. I made this for last Thanksgiving, which is where I got the photo. It's the pie in the middle.

I'm going to make this again for this Thanksgiving, so I'll have to get another photo of a cut piece so you can see the caramel and peanuts that are hiding under the chocolate mousse layer. This is a recipe that was a reader submission to Better Homes and Gardens about eight years ago. Since then it's become a family favorite!

The recipe calls for a deep-dish pie crust, but I just make a regular one and it all fits.

Tin Roof Chocolate Pie (Snickers Pie)
from Better Homes and Gardens

1/3 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 Tbsp. butter
1 baked deep-dish 9-inch pastry shell
20 vanilla caramels
1/3 c. heavy whipping cream
1 ½ c. lightly salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
½ c. milk
1 1/3 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
15 large marshmallows
¼ tsp. vanilla
1 c. heavy whipping cream

Optional topping ingredients
3 vanilla caramels
2 Tbsp. heavy whipping cream
1 Tbsp. butter
1/3 c. whipped cream
semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a small heavy saucepan, combine the 1/3 c. chocolate chips and 1 Tbsp. butter. Cook and stir over low heat until melted and smooth. Spread chocolate mixture around bottom and sides of the baked pastry shell; refrigerate about 15 minutes or until chocolate is set.

In another small saucepan, combine 20 caramels and the 1/3 c. heavy whipping cream. Cook and stir over medium heat until the caramels are melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in the peanuts. Spoon peanut mixture into pie shell, cover and refrigerate while preparing chocolate mixture.

For chocolate mixture; in a medium saucepan combine milk, 1 1/3 c. chocolate chips and the marshmallows. Cook and stir over low heat until chocolate and marshmallows are melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla; set aside until cool.

When chocolate mixture is cool, beat the 1 c. heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form. Fold into the chocolate mixture. Spoon chocolate mixture over peanut layer in pie shell. Refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours.

Before serving, in a small saucepan, melt 3 caramels, 2 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream and 1 tablespoon of butter over low heat. Let cool slightly. Top each serving with caramel mixture, whipped cream, and remaining chocolate chips. Serve immediately.

November 20, 2010

Easy Pork Enchiladas

I love how simple these enchiladas are, yet they are still very tasty.  I have to admit I've not followed the amounts for the ingredients listed in the recipe.  I just add how ever much looks right.  I also have used pork tenderloin, not pork loin.  Tenderloin is less fatty and always very moist. I've used both whole wheat and corn tortillas with success.

UPDATE 1/31/16: I added one can of white kidney beans since my pork loin was on the small side.

Pork Enchiladas
Recipe found on the internet, not sure where

1 pound pork loin, quartered lengthwise and halved crosswise
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
coarse salt
2 tsp. olive oil
2 c. mild green salsa (try making your own)
8 corn tortillas (6-inch)
3/4 c. grated Monterey Jack cheese
1 plum tomato, diced, for garnish
sour cream, for garnish

Dust pork with cumin and oregano and salt.  In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat; swirl to coat bottom of pan.  Add pork; cook until browned on all sides and slightly pink in the middle, about 8 minutes.  Transfer to a cutting board; let rest 10 minutes before slicing thinly.  Set skillet aside.

Preheat oven to 450.

Warm tortillas according to package instructions.  Place on work surface.  Evenly divide sliced pork, half the salsa, and half the cheese among the tortillas.  Roll each tortilla into a cylinder; place seam side down in a 9x13 inch baking dish.  Top with salsa and remaining cheese.  Bake until cheese is melted, 8-10 minutes.  Serve garnished with tomato and sour cream.

November 19, 2010

Maple-Oatmeal Scones

This recipe was recommended to me by a friend. While it's time to express thanks, let me say how grateful I am for this friend. Not only is she a wonderful friend, but she is also an expert baker! She shares recipes and baked goods with me on a regular basis.

The maple and oatmeal flavors are subtle, but definitely detectable. I am still working on my mastery of scones - getting the dough to be the right texture and shaping them is somewhat of a mystery to me. As this happens a lot to me with scones, I think it's me, not faulty recipes. Actually these scones turned out better than most I've attempted.

Maple-Oatmeal Scones
from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

For the Scones:
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup quick-cooking oats, plus additional for sprinkling
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup cold buttermilk
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
4 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk or water, for egg wash

For the Glaze:
1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the flours, oats, baking powder, sugar and salt. Blend the cold butter in at the lowest speed and mix until the butter is in pea-size pieces. Combine the buttermilk, maple syrup and eggs and add quickly to the flour-and-butter mixture. Mix until just blended. The dough may be sticky.

Dump the dough out onto a well-floured surface and be sure it is combined. Flour your hands and a rolling pin and roll the dough 3/4 to 1 inch thick. You should see lumps of butter in the dough. Cut into 3-inch rounds with a plain or fluted cutter and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Brush the tops with egg wash. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are crisp and the insides are done.

To make the glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar, maple syrup and vanilla. When the scones are done, cool for 5 minutes and drizzle each scone with 1 tablespoon of the glaze. Sprinkle some uncooked oats on the top, for garnish. The warmer the scones are when you glaze them, the thinner the glaze will be.

November 17, 2010


Mostaccioli is a cheesy baked pasta dish, similar to lasagne, but not quite as labor intensive. My mom made it often when I was growing up.  And every time she would her eyes would get wide and she'd rub her hands together in delight as she said "I'm making mostaccioli tonight!"

For some reason, I really like using cheddar cheese in this dish instead of mozzarella. Isn't the orange pretty?

Mostaccioli pasta are very similar to penne; the only difference is that they may not be ridged.  But if you look close, you'll see that my pasta have ridges, even though they were marked as mostaccioli.  So use whatever!

from my mother

½ c. chopped green pepper
½ c. chopped onion
1 lb. ground Italian sausage
16 oz. tomato sauce
½ lb. grated sharp cheddar or mozzarella
½ c. Parmesan cheese
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. coarse pepper
2 14-oz. cans diced or whole tomatoes
16 oz. Mostaccioli noodles

Sauté the pepper, onions, and sausage. Chop and add tomatoes, tomato sauce, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Cook noodles according to package. Place 1/3 meat sauce in bottom of greased 2-qt. pan. Cover with half of noodles, 1/3 remaining meat sauce, and half of cheese. Layer with the rest of noodles, sauce, and cheese; cover the top with all the Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350˚ for 30 minutes uncovered.

November 15, 2010

Apple Pudding Cake with Butter Sauce

At my bridal shower at college thrown by my roommates, all the guests brought a recipe written on a cute recipe card. This was the perfect gift! I still have all the recipe cards from the shower, but this recipe definitely has been made the most.

This cake rocks - it's super easy, super delicious, and super comforting. It really requires very little expertise, and served warm with an amazing sinful sauce and aromatic spices, it's perfect for a cold night.

You'll never have too much of this sauce. But, if you'd like to limit the amount of melted butter, cream and sugar you consume, I've successfully halved the sauce recipe and still felt there was enough to go around.

Apple Pudding Cake with Butter Sauce
from Melissa B

1 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 c. butter
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 c. flour
½ tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg
2 apples, peeled and grated

Mix all cake ingredients with electric mixer, just until blended. Put in greased 8x8 glass pan. Bake at 350˚ for 35-40 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

½ c. butter
1 ½ tsp. vanilla
1 c. sugar
½ c. cream
2 dashes nutmeg

Combine sauce ingredients in saucepan until melted. Serve cake warm with sauce.

November 13, 2010

Raw Tuscan Kale Salad

Kale Recipe #2 from Heidi Swanson. I wasn't sure if raw kale would be edible. Plain, it has a rather unique taste. But doused in lemon, Pecorino cheese, and garlic, kale shines. This salad reminds me of a caesar salad.

Kale is nutritionally a powerhouse, so I'm glad I've found some delicious ways to eat it.

Raw Tuscan Kale Salad
from 101 Cookbooks

1 bunch Tuscan kale (cavalo nero or lacinato kale)
2 thin slices country bread, or two handfuls good, homemade coarse breadcrumbs
1/2 garlic clove
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus a pinch
1/4 cup (or small handful) grated pecorino cheese, plus additional for garnish (or use Parmesan)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for garnish
Freshly squeezed juice of one lemon (scant 1/4 cup)
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Trim the bottom few inches off the kale stems and discard. Slice the kale into 3/4-inch ribbons. You should have 4 to 5 cups. Place the kale in a large bowl.

If using the bread, toast it until golden brown on both sides and dry throughout. Tear into small pieces and pulse in a food processor until the mixture forms coarse crumbs, or crumbs to your liking.

Using a mortar and pestle or a knife, pound or mince the garlic and 1/4 teaspoon of salt into a paste. Transfer the garlic to a small bowl. Add 1/4 cup cheese, 3 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, pinch of salt, pepper flakes, and black pepper and whisk to combine. Pour the dressing over the kale and toss very well (the dressing will be thick and need lots of tossing to coat the leaves). Let the salad sit for 5 minutes, then serve topped with the bread crumbs, additional cheese, and a drizzle of oil.

Adapted from the Raw Tuscan Kale Salad with Chiles and Pecorino recipe in Melissa Clark's In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite.

November 11, 2010


There was some gorgeous Tuscan kale at the farmer's market that I could not pass up. I made two scrumptious recipes with kale courtesy of Heidi Swanson. That girl knows something about flavor! Stay tuned for the second recipe.

This hearty, thick soup is a great way to use up stale bread. It's also meatless and super healthy. I really loved the lemon zest - it added, well, zestiness!

from 101 Cookbooks 

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
4 celery stalks, chopped
3 medium cloves garlic, chopped
2 medium carrots or equiv. winter squash, chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 pound cavolo nero (lacinato kale, Tuscan kale), stems trimmed off and leaves well chopped

4 cups cooked white beans or 2 14-oz. canned beans
1/2 pound crustless loaf of bread (whole wheat works well)
1 1/2+ teaspoons fine grain sea salt
zest of one lemon
lots of well-chopped oily black olives

In your largest thick-bottomed pot over medium heat combine the olive oil, celery, garlic, carrot, and red onion. Cook for 10 -15 minutes sweating the vegetables, but avoid any browning. Stir in the tomatoes and red pepper flakes, and simmer for another 10 minutes or so, long enough for the tomatoes to thicken up a bit. Stir in the cavolo nero, 3 cups of the beans, and 8 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the greens are tender, about 15 minutes.

In the meantime, mash or puree the remaining beans with a generous splash of water - until smooth. Tear the bread into bite-sized chunks. Stir both the beans and bread into the soup. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the bread breaks down and the soup thickens, 20 - 30 minutes. Stir in the salt, taste and add more if needed. Stir in the lemon zest.

Serve immediately, or cool and refrigerate overnight. Serve reheated, or "ribollita" meaning reboiled, the next day ladled into bowls. Finish each serving with a drizzle of olive oil and some chopped olives.

Makes a large pot of soup - enough for 10 servings.

November 7, 2010

Mixed Greens with Pomegranate Lemon Dressing

This salad is the perfect combination of simple ingredients. Pomegranates are delightful - fresh, crunchy, and gorgeous.

Mixed Greens with Pomegranate Lemon Dressing
from Baked Bree

For the dressing:
1/4 cup pomegranate juice
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Put all of the ingredients into a blender. Give the blender a whirl.

Taste the dressing to make sure that the seasonings are balanced. Test the dressing on a lettuce leaf.

To make the salad:
mixed greens
1/4 cup pepita seeds, toasted
1 pomegranate
salt and pepper
Pomegranate Lemon Dressing

Slice the pomegranate in half. Give it a gentle squeeze to loosen up the seeds. Then turn it over, and beat it with the wooden spoon.

Arrange some greens on a plate and scatter some pomegranate seeds and pepita seeds on top of the greens. Drizzle some dressing on top and season with salt and pepper.

November 5, 2010

Buffalo Wings

I never knew the attraction of buffalo wings until my husband introduced them to me. He craves them at times, and I have to admit the cravings get me too now! We don't like them too hot. Frank's Red Hot Sauce (despite the name) really isn't too hot, in my opinion.

Traditional buffalo wings are deep-fried. I've tried several baked versions, but this one is my favorite. Buffalo wings are excellent dunked in bleu cheese dressing.

Spicy Buffalo Wings
from Mangio Da Sola

1.5 to 2 lb chicken drummettes
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp seasoning salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1 egg
2 Tbsp milk
about 1/4 cup canola oil
1/3 c. Frank's Red Hot Sauce
3 Tbsp. butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Combine flour, seasoning salt, pepper and granulated garlic in a one-gallon plastic bag.
In a bowl whisk together egg and milk. Put chicken wings in the egg wash first and coat. Transfer the wings to the plastic bag with flour. Seal the bag and shake to coat.

Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Lay wings in single layer. Drizzle with canola oil. Bake for 20 minutes. Turn and bake for an additional 20 minutes. Wings should be golden brown and crispy. Prepare the wing sauce while your drummettes are cooking by combining the Red Hot Sauce with the melted butter. Toss the wings in a bowl with the sauce and serve.

November 2, 2010

German Chocolate Cake

This is a classic recipe - exactly what you expect: moist, chocolate cake with sweet coconut-pecan frosting. This recipe is one my mom has made for a long time, so it's tried and true.

German Chocolate Cake
from my mother

½ c. boiling water
2 ½ c. cake flour or 2 c. flour
1 4-oz. bar sweet cooking chocolate
1 c. butter, softened
½ tsp. salt
2 c. sugar
1 c. buttermilk
4 egg yolks (reserve whites)
4 egg whites, stiffly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda

Coconut-Pecan Frosting
1 c. evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. sugar
1 1/3 c. flaked coconut
3 egg yolks
1 c. chopped pecans
½ c. butter

Heat oven to 350˚. Grease two round pans. In small bowl, pour boiling water over chocolate, stirring until chocolate is melted; set aside to cool.

In large bowl cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition. On low speed, blend in chocolate and vanilla. Mix in flour, soda, and salt alternately with buttermilk, beating after each addition until batter is smooth. Fold in egg whites. Bake approximately 40 minutes. Frost with Coconut-Pecan Frosting.

For frosting: Combine evaporated milk, sugar, egg yolks, butter and vanilla in small saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until thick, about 12 minutes. Stir in coconut and pecans. Beat until thick enough to spread.

November 1, 2010

Pasta e Fagioli

I found this recipe for Pasta e Fagioli (pasta and beans) and bookmarked it, wondering where to find borlotti beans (also known as cranberry beans). Then a week or two later, I found them at the farmer's market! The pods and the beans themselves are white or green with red speckles.

I loved this soup. It's another classic example of fresh, Italian cooking where simple preparation becomes fabulous.

If you can't find borlotti beans, substitute canellini beans.

UPDATE 11/18/10: I found dried cranberry beans at the grocery store!  They are Bob's Red Mill brand.  I'm excited to make this again using the dried beans.

Pasta e Fagioli
from Rachel Eats
serves 4

4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 medium red onion very finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small chili very finely chopped
1 medium carrot very finely diced
1 stick celery with leaves very finely diced
a sprig of fresh rosemary or 1 tsp. dried rosemary
1 cup of peeled, deseeded and chopped tomatoes (fresh or canned)
16 oz. shelled fresh or canned borlotti (cranberry beans) or 5 oz. dried beans
4 c. water
a parmesan rind
salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 oz. dried pasta (small shells work well)

If using dried beans, see note below. For fresh or canned beans, start the recipe here:

In a large heavy based pan warm the oil and add the onion and garlic; gently saute until soft and transparent. Add the celery, carrot, chili and rosemary. Stir once or twice to coat with oil, and then allow to cook gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the tomatoes, stir and leave to bubble away gently for another 10 minutes.

Add the beans, stir to coat them thoroughly and then add the water and parmesan rind. Cover the pan and bring to a gentle boil and then turn down the heat cook the soup at a lively simmer for about 30 – 40 minutes or until the beans are fully tender. Canned beans will only need about 20 minutes.

Remove the parmesan rind and the rosemary. Puree about half of the soup using an immersion blender. Season the soup with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Check the soup for density, it should be liquid enough to cook the pasta in, so you may need to add a little more water. Bring the soup to a steady, moderate boil and add the pasta. Check the pasta package for boiling time. Stir occasionally while pasta is cooking. Stop cooking once the pasta is tender but firm to the bite.

Allow the soup to sit and settle for about 10 minutes before serving. Serve with a dribble of extra virgin olive oil and some freshly grated parmesan if you like.

If using dried beans: Soak them for 12 hours or overnight. Drain, cover with fresh water and cook for about 1 and a half hours or until they are nearly cooked (subtract 30 minutes from your usual cooking time), they will finish cooking in the soup. Drain and set aside.