Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Sour Cream Pancakes




I have probably made enough homemade waffles in my lifetime to circle the Earth twice. Pancakes on the other hand, don't make it on to the "menu" very often. Well, that may change. These sour cream pancakes are so light and fluffy, they are sure to be a hit with your family! I like BIG pancakes like the ones above, but feel free to make smaller ones if you want. This recipe made 13 five-inch pancakes, which is a "baker's dozen." Have you ever wondered what the term, "baker's dozen" means?  According to Dictionary.com, the definition goes back several hundred years ago to when a baker would give "13 items to the dozen as a safeguard against penalties for short weights and measures." You would think that considering I have been baking for almost 50 years, (I probably helped make my own cake for my second birthday),


and I am a great granddaughter of a baker, that I would know the definition of a "baker's dozen." Well, it's always good to learn something new! Isn't it?!?!?!?

Ingredients

2 cups white flour
3 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup sour cream
2 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In large bowl, put the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well with large spoon. Set aside.  In medium bowl, put the milk, sour cream, eggs, butter and vanilla extract. Combine well and then add to the ingredients in the large bowl. Mix well (it's okay if there are a few small lumps). Spray pancake griddle with non-stick spray and preheat. Pour enough batter onto the griddle to make a 5-inch pancake. Flip over when small bubbles appear and the bottom side is brown. Makes 13 pancakes.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Applesauce Spice Bread


This bread includes my "triple threat" of  favorite spices - cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger! I love, love, love those three flavors together. One thing I have discovered about ginger, though - a little bit goes a LONG way!  Dominic was telling me this afternoon, "I'm hungry!" When is he not hungry these days?!?!? It sometimes seems like he grows overnight! I gave him a piece of this bread and watched as he broke off half of it and stuffed the entire thing into his mouth. Yikes, I was more than a little concerned, because he has always refused to eat applesauce out of the jar! Well, guess what? He loved the bread and actually had a second piece. Cool, guess he's none the wiser that there is an entire CUP of applesauce in this scrumptious bread. I'm not going to tell him, are you?

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups white flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 cup honey
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 1.5 quart loaf pan with non-stick spray and set aside. In large bowl, put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Mix well with large spoon by hand. Add the honey, applesauce, eggs and butter and combine well.  Fold in the walnuts gently (if you want to use them).  Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the bread comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack about 20 minutes before removing bread from pan. Enjoy warm!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Golden Rich Cake

Every so often, I like to look through the magazine and newspaper clippings that belonged to my mother-in-law. Have you ever heard of the magazine, Woman's Home Companion? It was a monthly publication that was published from 1873-1957.  It ceased publication six years before I was even born! Anyways, when I "found" this recipe from February 1955 AND I had all the ingredients on hand, I knew I had to give this one a try. I think it's pretty neat that this cake recipe is almost 60 years old! When two of my favorite "taste testers" got a "sample," they gave the cake rave reviews. Lauren had a piece before she went back to college this past Sunday and told me, "this cake melts in my mouth!" Last night, Dominic remarked, "the cake is yummy!" Cool.  Do you have a bunch of leftover candy canes from the holidays? Instead of throwing them away or tucking them into the pantry (where they may get forgotten), crush them up and sprinkle on top of the cake! With a certain "holiday" coming up on February 14, how about making this cake for your "sweetie?" Did you ever notice that red and white are also the colors for Valentine's Day?!?!?!


Ingredients

2 cups white flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup margarine, melted
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. In large bowl, put all the ingredients in the order given and mix well by hand or with electric mixer for two minutes. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Frost with your favorite icing and sprinkle with crushed candy canes, if desired! Makes 20 servings.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Shrimp with Tomatoes and Peppers

Last night, the hubby was inquiring what was going to be on the "menu" for dinner. I told him, "well, it will be something involving shrimp!" That "something" turned out to be this:


This meal was so easy and quick to prepare, that I felt a bit like Rachel Ray, because I made it in less than 30 minutes! I am the "queen" of multi-tasking, so while I was working on making the shrimp with tomatoes and peppers, I was making a pot of white rice at the same time. My family and I recently went back to the East Coast to visit family and friends over the holidays. Since I love to cook and bake, I prepared a handful of meals at my parents house. One of the days that we were there, I was remarking to my dad that the biggest challenge to cooking a meal is to get everything to come out at the same time. Wouldn't you agree?!?!?

Ingredients

1 pound raw shrimp, raw or fresh
12-ounce package 3-pepper and onion blend,
  frozen
14.5-ounce can sliced stewed tomatoes,
  undrained
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2-3 dashes of cayenne pepper sauce,
  optional

I almost always use frozen shrimp and if you pour cold water into a small bowl that just covers the shrimp, it will defrost quickly! Remove shells, if necessary and then slice into bite-sized pieces. Set aside. In large skillet, put the stewed tomatoes and the 3-pepper and onion blend. Simmer on medium heat for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chili powder, crushed red pepper and cayenne pepper sauce, if desired. Stir well and then add the shrimp and continue to let simmer on medium heat until the shrimp turns pink. This will only take 5-10 minutes. Makes four servings.


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sour Cream Biscotti


I love biscotti because of its versatility. You can have a few for breakfast or after dinner for dessert. It is also quite expensive to purchase at the store. The hubby and I were having a discussion this morning as I was getting ready to make some monkey bread out of biscuits. I was explaining to him that if I had to go to the store and buy that type of bread, it would be a lot more expensive than what I could make it for!  A popular brand, Nonni's, makes biscotti. It costs about $3.00 for eight. If I priced out the ingredients, I can say with almost 100% certainty that I can make a lot more than eight for $3.00!  I can't wait for Santa to come to our house Christmas Eve and "sample" some of the biscotti!! Hopefully, he will give it a 10 out of 10!  Maybe I'll make a few more for his reindeer :)



Ingredients

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups white flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray two cookie sheets with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside. In large bowl, cream butter and sugar together with a large spoon or mixer.  Add the eggs, sour cream and vanilla extract until well combined. Add the flour, baking powder and soda and mix well again. On a lightly floured board, divide dough in half and then shape each half into a loaf that is 12 inches long and 5 inches across. Place one half on each of the cookie sheets and bake for 25 minutes or until starting to turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and let them sit on the cookie sheets for 15 minutes. Using a serrated knife, cut each loaf into 12 equal slices and place cut side down. Bake for another 10 minutes and then turn each slice over and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and then place on wire rack to continue cooling. Makes 24.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Monkey Bread


Given how much I love cinnamon and sugar, I can't believe I have never made "monkey bread" before! There are bunches of recipes out there that involve making your own dough from scratch and using yeast, but given the hubby bought three cans of Pillsbury Grands!  biscuits earlier in the week and we already had a can in the fridge, I figured I might as well use up a few of the cans we had.  If you can believe it, all four of the cans of biscuits were a different "style!" Good grief. I adapted a recipe I found on the Pillsbury website. There are dozens  of variations of "monkey bread" on their website, but I went with the one that had 809 people rate it! I figured it must be the best one. It takes no time at all to whip this up and the baking time is only a half hour. So, you could have this on your table for breakfast or brunch in about an hour :) An added benefit, when this is baking it will make your house smell AMAZING! My "cinnamon" boy, Dominic, was hesitant to try this when I told him it was "monkey bread." Once I explained to him that it was cinnamon rolls with "frosting," he gobbled it right down!!!! We moms always have a few "tricks" up our sleeves. Now, if I could just get him to try brussels sprouts, my favorite veggie! LOL.

Ingredients

1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 can (16.3 ounces) Pillsbury Grands! Homestyle
  Buttermilk biscuits, refrigerated
1 can (16.3 ounces) Pillsbury Grands! Homestyle
  Southern Style Buttermilk biscuits, refrigerated
1 cup light brown sugar,
  firmly packed
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 12-cup fluted tube pan (also known as a "bundt" pan) with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside. In gallon sized Ziploc-type bag, put the white sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Open each can of biscuits (you should have 16 total). With a knife or a pair of kitchen shears, slice or cut each biscuit into four pieces for a total of 64 pieces. Put all the pieces into the Ziploc-type bag, close it up and shake until all of the pieces are covered with the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg mixture.  Arrange evenly in the prepared fluted tube pan.  In small bowl, put the brown sugar and the melted butter. Mix until smooth with small spoon and then pour over the biscuit pieces. Bake for 30 minutes or until the monkey bread is starting to brown. Let cool at least 10 minutes on wire rack and then turn pan upside down onto a serving plate. Serves 12.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Lemon Whippersnapper Cookies

My husband belongs to two gyms. One is across the street from the large university around here and the other is in a mall.  As you might imagine, the gym across the street from the university is mostly frequented by college students. Some people at that gym even call him, "sir."  Anyways, earlier this week, I was asking him, "so, have there been a lot of college students working out, since it's getting close to exam week?" He said, "yeah, I was showing those "whippersnappers" how it's done!" Well, okay then. I don't even know the last time I heard the word, "whippersnapper." Probably a LONG time ago. Just for the heck of it, I looked to see if there is such a thing as a "whippersnapper" cookie. Guess what? There is!  


I could picture my in-laws possibly using the word "whippersnapper" at some point in their lives, but my husband?!?! My mind immediately sped forward to the hubby and I sitting on our porch in rocking chairs, about 30 years from now, saying, "look at those young "whippersnappers" riding their bikes down the street!"  Try making up a batch of these festive looking cookies around the holidays. They are a welcome break from chocolate! Well, all righty then, I guess I better "skedaddle" now!! 

Ingredients

1 (15.25 ounce) package lemon cake mix
8 ounce container whipped topping,
  (like Cool-Whip), thawed
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup powdered sugar

In large bowl, put the cake mix, whipped topping and the egg. Mix well with large spoon and cover with plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for four hours. When ready to make, preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray.  In small bowl, put the powdered sugar. Roll into 28 equal sized balls. This batter is really sticky, so put a little of the powdered sugar on the palms of your hands - it makes it easier to roll. Roll each ball into the powdered sugar until well coated. Place on the cookie sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes or until the cookies are set and just starting to turn light brown. Remove from oven and let sit five minutes before removing them to wire rack to continue cooling.