Sunday, October 3, 2010

Butterscotch Pull Apart Bread

This is what we enjoyed for breakfast this morning.  Mmmm Mmmm Good Stuff!  This recipe is a tradition at my house on General Conference weekend and on Christmas Day. It is so yummy and very easy to make. Give it a try!

Butterscotch Pull Apart Bread

24 Rhodes Frozen Dinner Rolls (not Texas rolls)
3 oz. pkg Butterscotch Pudding (cook & serve)
1/2 c. Butter (melted)
1/2 c. Brown sugar
Chopped Pecans
1 tsp Cinnamon

Place frozen rolls in greased bundt pan.  Sprinkle 1/2 of the 3 oz pudding pkg over rolls (save rest for another batch).  Mix melted butter and brown sugar together.  Pour over rolls and pudding.  Sprinkle with chopped pecans.  Sprinkle cinnamon.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise over night (start late at night).
In the morning, bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Turn upside down on serving tray and enjoy! 

Let me know how you like them! 

Friday, September 10, 2010

Pear (or Peach) Tarts!

I'm SO sorry. That was kind of a mean tease promising you a recipe like that! I really did mean to post it sooner than this. But I didn't get to it that night and then it was labor day weekend and then I had knee surgery last week. I thought I'd be able to log more computer time while I was laid up, but mostly I've just been sleeping as much as I can. Every time I try to get started something distracts my attention! I got this recipe out of a baking cookbook my mother gave me ages ago. Don't tell her, but I never cook anything out of it. Oh it is GORGEOUS. There are pictures of all the food and lots of things sound really delicious, but it calls for a lot of gourmet ingredients that I don't have on hand and never think to buy. Who has ever even heard of Muscovado or superfine sugar anyway? Anyhow I had some fresh pears that I had been canning but had a few leftover that were almost on their way to the compost pile. So I pulled out the book to see what I could find.

And I found these.

And even though they called for Ready Made Pastry Puffs, I decided it was worth the trip to the grocery store just to find them.

Because they looked really good...

I did try to find a recipe to make my own Pastry Puffs, but apparently they take 2 or 3 days to make and I'm not that patient. So I went out and bought them. I found them in the freezer section. I think they were Pepperidge Farm.

As you can see from the pictures there are a few ways you can do them. The picture with the whole half pear is how the recipe called for them to be made. They were good. But they were a little too much fruit in my opinion. And that way (with the rounds) wasted a lot of the pastry puff. I did ball up the leftovers and reroll them out, but they weren't near as flaky when I did that. So the second time around I did them square (wasting NONE of the yummy pastry puffiness!) and used less fruit. I thought these were absolutely divine! Hope you find them as delectable as I (and everyone else who tried them ;) did!

Pear tart made with a whole half fruit on a round pastry.

Peach and Pear tarts made with 1/4 of a whole fruit on square pastries.

Pear (or Peach) Tarts

1 sheet Frozen Puff Pastry
1/2 C Butter
1/2 C Brown Sugar
1/2 - 1 tsp Cinnamon (depending on your taste)
2 - 6 whole fresh Pears and/or Peaches, depending on how you do the tart...
(*You could probably use canned if you really want to, but I can promise they wouldn't be NEARLY as yummy!)

OK, so to start you'll have to thaw the frozen puff pastries for about 40 minutes, or until they are workable. Then on a lightly floured surface roll out the pastry. Cut out 3-4 inch round circles OR cut in desired size squares (I think I did 16 per pastry sheet). Place the circles on a large baking sheet and prick each several times with a fork. Chill for 30 minutes (or just until you have the fruit prepared is fine!)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cream together the butter, brown sugar and add cinnamon. Set aside.

Prepare the fruit. If using pears peel them with a vegetable peeler. Slice them in half and use a melon baller or cookie scoop to scoop out the seeds. Cut out the rest of the stem with a knife. If you are doing a lot you will want to 1) do this assembly style (i.e. peel 3-4 at a time, then cut them all in half, then take out all the center, etc) AND 2) put them in cold water and/or sprinkle them with "Fruit Fresh" to keep them from browning. (You can find Fruit Fresh in the canning section. Now is the perfect time to get it. It is packaged in what looks like a plastic spice container. The brand I've seen has a lime green lid).

If using peaches you'll want to boil some water in a medium stock pot. Drop the peaches in for about 30 seconds. Place them directly in ice water. The skins should then just slip off. Cut them in half and remove the seed. Again if you are doing a lot, put the in water and/or use the fruit fresh to keep them from browning.

Take out the pastry puffs and spread a little of the the butter-sugar mixture over each.

If you want to use a whole half of the fruit as in the first picture....Slice them fruit halves lengthways - but keeping them intact at the tip. Fan out the slices slightly. (I had a really hard time keeping them in tact, it would take some practice, but mine still looked really good, so it probably doesn't really matter...ha ha!) Place the fruit half on in the center of the pastry puff.


Slice the fruit thinly. Place about 1/4 of the fruit, fanned out on the pastry puff.

Make small flutes around the edge of the pastry circles/squares or simply fold over the corners. You could even fold almost over all of the fruit if you wanted. Place the rest of the butter sugar mixture in the microwave for 30-60 seconds, enough time to melt it. Brush each tart with the melted butter mixture.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes until the pastry is well risen and golden. Serve warm with a little cream, ice cream or by themselves. They are delicious any way you slice it!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Anyone want to know how to make these?

Coming VERY soon.... (maybe tonight if I can swing it...)

UPDATE: So sorry to keep you waiting! It is quite simple, but I just don't have time to type it out right now. We are headed out on the open road for the weekend, so perhaps on Monday! Happy Labor Day all!!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Chicken Noodle Soup with Mashed Potatoes

So, I have not in the past done pictures with my posts. Mostly because I'm not good at presenting or photographing food. But most recipe blogs have photos of the food and so I will make an attempt. I really hope it doesn't drive all my visitors away...ha!

Have I mentioned that I love Fall? I love it when the nights get a little cooler, when you can leave your doors open and the fan on a little longer and when you can make soup to warm the soul! This soup tops the list as my one of my daughters favorite(!) meals of all time. She requests it often and praises it each time I make it. And I can't simply just make Chicken Noodle Soup anymore....I have to make mashed potatoes to go with them. In our house we put them in the bowl first and pour hot soup all over the top.

I know, it sounded strange to me at first too. This is one of those things that came from my husbands family. But trust me, it's worth trying.

Now many of you may be much experienced in the art of throwing together a "Mustgo" soup. (It's been in the fridge for a week and now it "mustgo"...ha ha!) Over the years I have become very comfortable with this type of thing. But it was not always so. There was a time when I was ALWAYS tied to a recipe. But as life gets busier, I've found flexibility is always an asset worth having. So with that in mind here's my "recipe" for chicken noodle soup.

Kristy's Chicken Noodle Soup (or Stew, depending on ingredients)

Chicken - cubed or shredded
Chicken Broth
Onions, peeled and chopped
Carrots, sliced
Celery, sliced
Potatoes, cubed or mashed
Egg Noodles, homemade (recipe below) or store bought
Salt and Pepper to taste

Other things you could add:

Green beans (fresh or frozen)
Squash, cubed
Tomatoes, chopped

OK. OK. I know there are those ought there going "GIVE ME SOME MEASUREMENTS YOU CRAZY LADY!" But honestly, when I make my soup I really just throw stuff in until it seems right. And you too can be free from the traditional recipe. Come one. Give it a try.

So your first step is usually getting the chicken started. Last night I used a combination of left over grilled boneless skinless chicken breast and what was left from a rotisserie chicken we'd had for lunch on Saturday. The grilled chicken I cut up in bit size cubes. If you have raw chicken you can boil it, grill it or bake it, then cube it. I also used the chicken off the bones of our rotisserie. This will also give your broth a nice start. Put your chicken bones in a good stock pot and cover at least half of the bones with water. Boil the bones for "a while", probably a good 20-30 minutes. I usually cover mine. The steam helps to loosen all the meat, especially if the bones aren't completely covered.

Homemade Noodles

It's usually at this point I make the noodles. You can really make these any time before you start. Homemade noodles should have a little time to dry out before you throw them in so you could even do them several hours before dinner.

For my noodles I use the following proportions: 1 egg, 1 tsp salt, 1 TBLS milk (and YES, I used almond milk in these last night...) and about 1 C of flour. For a batch of soup to feed my family (2 adults and 2 children that eat "real food") I would make a double batch of noodles.

You want to mix your egg, salt and milk together first. Then add the flour until you have the right consistency for noodles...a little sticky, like bread dough. Roll them out to desired thickness and cut. I find it easiest to roll it up, make the cuts, then unroll. Let your noodles sit out and dry for a bit before you throw them in the soup.

Meanwhile back on the stove....

When the meat is falling off the bones strain the broth from the bones. In your stock pot heat a little olive oil and saute your onions until translucent. For this batch of soup I used a whole large onion. We like onions. If you don't, I would use a little less. You could probably skip this step if you want and just throw the raw onions into the soup, but I think sauteing the onions 1 - really improves the flavor and 2 - improves the texture. It makes them softer and sweeter, less distinct.

When your onions are nice and soft, put your water you used to boil the bones in back in the stock pot. This will be the start for your broth. Add more chicken broth until you have enough for the batch you want to make. This is where you have to use your judgement. My family loves this and will eat a lot of it. So last night in addition to the broth I had from the chicken I added probably a good 6-8 more cups of broth. I like to add ready made broth because it tends to improve the flavor of the soup. You can used canned broth or chicken bouillon. I don't really have a preference. Last night I used both.

Chop your veggies and add to the soup. You want to make sure and add your crunchier veggies right away because they will take a while to get soft. Carrots are always the first thing I get in there. If you like soft green beans (and you want them in your version) they need to go in quickly as well. Pick all the useable meat off the bones once they are cool enough to handle. Add the chicken to the soup and let it boil until the veggies are desired tenderness. Add the noodles and cook for 5-10 minutes more. Adjust the seasoning and serve over a heap of your best homemade mashed potatoes.

For classic Chicken Noodle Soup stick with the onions, carrots and celery. If you want more of a Chicken Stew that's when I add the green beans and sometimes chunks of potatoes, instead of making mashed. Last night I didn't have celery, so I just left it out and it was still delicious. Just play around with it. Put in what you have and what you like. Anyway you serve it though, there's nothing like a bowl of hot Chicken Soup to let your family know you really care!

(If you REALLY want some measurements, here is about what I would put in for a small pot of soup...enough to feed 2-3 people, with maybe a bowl of leftovers: 4 C chicken broth, 1/2 onion, 2 carrots, 1-2 stalks celery and 2 potatoes. This can be a base and then you can add more stuff as you need.)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

No Bake Peanut Butter Cheerio Treats

These are SO yummy! And a little addicting. I had to remove myself to the other room in order to stop eating them. My husband was skeptical when he saw the ingredients. He didn't think they would work together, but he was proven wrong! (Again ;)! Ha Ha!

Peanut Butter Cheerio Treats

3 TBLS Butter
16 oz bag marshmellows
1/2 C Peanut Butter
5 C Cheerios (Generic is fine)

Spray a 9x 13 pan with cooking spray. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in marshmallows. Heat until melted and add peanut butter. Remove from heat. Fold in Cheerios until coated. Smooth mixture into pan and let sit until cooled (if you can!). Enjoy!