Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bacon Cheddar Muffins


These muffins are delicious! they have a nice bacon flavor and they are super moist. My two sons mentioned that they couldn't taste the cheese flavor wich I suppose is semi true. You get a hint of it and it also could be because I wasnt useing a true cheddar cheese..I put in whatever shredded dutch cheese I had. So Im betting that if you make it with real cheddar you will taste it more. The muffins are decent sized and semi dense so serving these with eggs or fruit is more than enough.
Bacon Cheddar Muffins..12
2 cups Flour
3/4 cup Sugar
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tspn. Salt
3/4 cup plus 2 TBLSPNS. Milk
1/3 cup Butter,melted
1 Egg, lightly beaten
1 cup(4ounces) shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/2 cup crumbled crisp-cooked bacon(6 slices)
Preheat oven to 350 or 180 celcius. Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper cups. Combine flour,sugar,aking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Combine milk,egg and butter in small bowl,mix well. Ad milk mixture to flour mixture;stir just until blended. Gently fold in cheese and bacon. Sppon evenly into muffin cups,filling 3/4 full. Bake 15-20 mins or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool muffins in pan for 2-3 mins and then transfer to wire rack. Serve warm or room temp with eggs or fruit. Happy New Year Everyone!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cookies


On a recent trip to a german grocery store my husband spotted small boxes of semi sweet chocolate chips. I was super excited because I cant find these in the netherlands. I was a bit miffed about the price but it was something I needed to try incase I needed them in a pinch. Thanks to my Dad and step mom I have a few bags to keep me going for awhile but I can't always expect them to send me baking items. I also found and bought a few cans of evaporated and condensed milk for some recipes I wanted to try. So today while cleaning up around the house I decided to try out these chips. I used a no frills recipe that produces a nice soft cake like cookie. The chips worked perfectly and if I can get over the price I will buy these when needed..why can't they sell peanubutter and mint flavored ones aswell??
Basic Chocolate Chip Cookies..several dozen
1 cup Butter,softened
1/2 cup Sugar
1 cup packed Brown Sugar
1 tspn. Vanilla
2 Eggs
2 1/2 cups Flour
1 tspn. Baking Soda
1 tspn. Salt
2 cups semisweet Chocolate Chips
Preaheat oven to 375 or 190 celcius. In a large bowl cream together the butter,sugars,eggs and vanilla;mix until smooth. Combine the flour,baking soda and salt;stir into batter and mix in chocolate chips by hand using wooden spoon. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 mins or until edges are golden. Make sure to not over bake these. They can go from a pale-ish golden color to dark in a matter of mins. Cool on sheet for 1 min and transfer to wire rack. They will be really soft at first but the longer they set the softer and more firm they become. Best served with one tall glass of ice cold milk.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Homemade Cool Whip & Graham Cracker Crust


If you were at my house earlier today you would have seen me dancing a jig around the house. I was so extremely happy with the fact that I made homemade Cool Whip!!! I have said it a hundred times and will continue to say it for the rest of my life: I took everything I had back home for granted. They don't sell Cool Whip in the netherlands and although I didn't buy alot back home I still had the knowledge of always knowing it was there when I wanted to make a pudding pie with a graham cracker crust. Thats another thing..they dont have those here either. So like anyone else wanting a taste from back home,I set out to find what I wanted on the internet! I found recipes for both and after my Dad and step mom shipped over some wonderful flavored puddings(I can only find one flavor here) and some unflavored gelatin I was set. I hit a panick spot when I didnt think I would beable to find powdered milk..but I did and was so happy.



I followed the directions to the "T" and seriously it's just like cool whip! Some of the recipes call for 1 tsp of Vanilla extract and others don't. I encourage you to use that or like me since I knew I was making a banana pudding I added in 1/2 tsp of banana flavoring. The reason I encourage it is because the recipe calls for 3 tablespoons of oil and I was a bit weirded out by that. I read some reviews that said it was oily tasteing and I didnt want to go threw all that hard work just to have it taste like that. So get creative with the extracts when making it and keep in mind that bolder flavors may only need 1/2 tsp. You need to really beat the mixture until it forms stiff peaks..I think it took me close to 10mins to get it but I was also using a handmixer. You come away with 2 cups wich is just fine when making a pudding pie. The graham cracker crust comes together with 3 ingredients and couldnt be easier. I'm really happy with the total results of what I made and look forward to making it again soon.
Homemade Cool Whip..2 cups
1 tsp. Unflavored Gelatin
2 tsp. Cold Water
3 TBLSPN. Boiling Water
1 tsp. Vanilla extract or other flavoring of your choice
1/2 cup Ice Water
1/2 cup Nonfat Dry Milk
3 TBLSPN. Sugar
3 TBLSPN. Vegetable Oil
Chill a small bowl. Soften gelatin with 2 teaspoons cold water,then add boiling water,stirring until gelatin is completely dissolved; Cool to room temperature. Place 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup dry milk in chilled bowl. Beat on high speed until mixture forms stiff peaks(took me almost 10mins) Add in sugar,still beating,then add in extract,oil and gelatin. Place in freezer for 15mins and then transfer to fridge until ready to use. Stir mixture before using to reatin creamy mixture.

HomeMade Graham Cracker Crust..one 9 inch pie crust
1 1/2 cups Crushed Graham Crackers
1/3 cup Sugar
6 TBLSPNS. Melted Butter
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon..Optional only
Heat oven to 350 or 180 celcius. Mix all ingredients togther and press into desired pie plate. Bake for 8mins:cool and fill with pudding.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Lemon Sugar Cookies


These are my most favorite cookie in the whole wide world. I look forward to baking these at certain times of the year. I don't bake them all the time though because of the preperation and the sweetness of the frosting..Im a very plain cookie person but these I always make an exception for. I have been eating these cookies since I was a kid. My mom made them at christmas time and usually at halloween and she would tint the dough orange. What I like most is that unlike the usual sugar cookie that uses vanilla flavoring,this one uses lemon and it makes all the difference in the world in my opinion. This recipe is easily doubled but do NOT increase the lemon flavoring amount. If you do you come away with a greasy dough thats way to overpowering on the flavor(trust me I know) and it doesnt taste good at all. I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas. I plan on enjoying the day tomorrow with all the various cookies I froze along the way and will be taking it easy with the family!
Ethel's Sugar Cookies..makes several dozen depending on your cutters
3/4 cup Butter( you can also use part butter flavored shortening)
1 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1/2 tsp Lemon Flavoring
2 1/2 cups Flour
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Salt
Mix butter,sugar,eggs and flavoring thoroughly. Stir flour,baking powder and salt together and slowly add to wet mixture. Cover and chill for atleast 1 hour.
Heat oven to 400 or 200 celcius. Roll dough to 1/8 of an inch thick on lightly floured surface. Cut with cookies cutters,place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake 6-8 mins or until a light golden color... do NOT over bake these cookies..it takes only a short minute for them to go from golden to dark. This recipe produces a nice soft cookie. Cool and frost.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Spritz Cookies


I was sent a very large box from back home from my Dad and step mom and one of the things included was a complete cookie press. There were so many wonderful items in there that I can't get here in the netherlands and it's going to make baking and cooking even better. Thanks you two!! So today I made some spritz cookies. It always takes me a few sheets before I have the press working right but this one was really easy and I was squeezing out the fat little trees in no time. I put away a few in the freezer to enjoy at a later time. I'll be baking Sugar Cookies this week so stay tuned for that!
Spritz Cookies..several dozen
1 cup Butter
1 cup Sugar
1 large Egg
1 TBLSPN. Vanilla or 1 tsp. Almond Extract
1/2 tsp. Salt
2 1/2 Cups Flour
Decorations:sprinkles
Heat Oven to 350 degrees or 180 celcius. In a large bowl beat butter and sugar with a mixer on high speed for 5 mins or until light and fluffy. Add egg,vanilla or almond and salt,beat until blended. On low speed gradually add flour. Following the directions of your cookie press place dough into press and press out cookies about 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Decorate cookies with sprinkles. Bake fo 10-12 mins or until golden. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Peanut Butter Crinkles


I guess Im on a "crinkle" phase now. I found this recipe on another bloggers site and the second I saw them I knew I had to add it to my christmas baking list. I like anything that doesnt require a mass amount of time in the kitchen. It's not that I don't enjoy being in there but if you had a typical dutch kitchen then you would understand. I have a rather small kitchen with annoying counter tops and it makes rolling anything out a real pain. I am forever trying to invent new places to put items and I officially ran out of space along time ago. I'm going to attempt cinnamon rolls soon wich will be very interesting to say the least.
These peanut butter crinkles have a wonderful flavor to them and they arent over powering in the peanut butter area. You make them very much the same as my other crinkle cookies except here you gently smush the tops with the bottom of a glass. Super simple,great taste and perfect for giving away.
Peanut Butter Crinkles..makes several dozen;perfect for freezing
1 cup Butter
1 cup Peanut Butter
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 cup White Sugar
2 Eggs
2 tsp. Vanilla
2 1/2 cups Flour
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 cup Powdered Sugar or more for rolling
In bowl cream butter and peanut butter;add in sugar and brown sugar and mix until blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Whisk together flour,baking powder,soda and salt. Gently add to creamed mixture and mix until almost combined. Chill for 20mins. Heat oven to 350 or 180 celcius. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll tablespoons full of of dough into balls and roll into powdered sugar;place on baking sheet. Carefully press down on each ball with a glass to flatten tops slightly. Bake 10-12mins or until tops are crinkly and edges are set. Cool for one minute and transfer to wire rack.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Chocolate Crinkles


Holiday baking has begun!! I whipped up these cookies this morning,let the dough harden in the fridge and went about my day. I can't say enough positive things about this cookie. If you are wanting a combination between a brownie and a cookie then please make these! They are soft, chewy and oh so yummie. I think next time I will even add some walnuts in there. Over the next few weeks I will be baking alot of cookies and other goodies so please check back often for holiday recipes to try yourself!
The dough can be a little hard to handle..kind of sticky so I dropped the dough into the powdered sugar and then rolled it around and then shaped it into a ball. You could use a small ice cream scoop aswell and skip the sticky hands part.
Chocolate Crinkles..several dozen
1 cup unsweetened Cocoa powder
2 cups White Sugar
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
4 Eggs
2 tspn. Vanilla
2 cups Flour
2 tspn. Baking Powder
1/2 tspn. Salt
1/2 cup Confectioners' Sugar
In a medium bowl, mix together cocoa,white sugar and vegetable oil. Beat in eggs one at a time,then stir in vanilla. Combine the flour.baking powder and salt; stir into cocoa mixture. Cover dough and chill for atleast 4 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees or 175 celcius. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Roll dough into 1 inch balls. Coat each ball in confectioners sugar and place on cookie sheet.
Bake in oven for 10-12mins. Let stand on the cookie sheet for 1 minute before transfering to wire rack.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Cheese,Bacon & Potato Tart


I've been gone for a few days. My husband surprised me with a quick trip to London,England for my birthday and our anniversary. I had the time of my life and hope to go back again someday. I loved the food and the people and it's something I will never forget. We walked the entire time and needless to say I am beat down and having a hard time getting back into the swing of things. This is why this tart is so perfect! It only requires a few ingredients and you can leave it in the oven for an hour while you rest your feet in the morning:) The recipe calls for a 8 inch circle pan but I dont have one yet so I used my 8X8 square and it worked perfectly. Goes great with eggs and fresh fruit!
Cheese,Bacon&Potato Tart...serves 4-6
1 TBLSPN.Butter
1 lb. Bacon
1-1 1/2 lbs potatoes,peeled,sliced and divided
2 cups shredded Cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Heat oven to 400 degrees or 200 celcius
Spread butter in a 8 inch round pan,place bacon over butter,arranging in a spoke like fashion. Bring bacon up the sides and over the edge of the pan. Top with half the potatoes;sprinkle seasoning and half the cheese. Layer with remaining potatoes,season again and top with second half of cheese. Fold ends of bacon slices across the top; bake for about one hour or until potatoes are tender.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Busy Day Cake


This cake reminds me of a Bisquick recipe. I cant remember the name of it but it's the one with the broiled coconut topping. This tastes super close to that recipe. If you are short on time but still need a little something,then this cake will fit the bill. It has a very simple sponge texture with a light flavor to it..not overpowering or heavy,it would go great with a cup of coffee or tea. I just wish my broiler would have done a better job with the topping!!
Busy Day Cake
1 1/3 cups Flour
2/3 cups Sugar
2 tspns. Baking Powder
2/3 cup Milk
1/4 cup Butter,Softened
1 Egg
1 tspn. Vanilla
Topping:
1/4 cup packed Brown Sugar
2 TBLSPNS. Butter,softened
1 TBLSPN. Milk
1/2 cup Flaked Coconut
1/4 cup Chopped Nuts;optional
Beat the brown sugar and butter until combined. Add in milk and coconut and nuts of desired and spread onto warm cake.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees or 180 celcius.
Grease an 8X 1 1/2 round cake pan(I used an 8X8inch square pan) and set aside. In a mixing bowl combine flour,sugar,and baking powder. Add milk,egg and vanilla. Beat on low speed until combined and then beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Pour batter into pan abke for 25-30mins or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Spread topping onto warm cake and place in a broiled oven 4 inches from the heat for 3-4 mins or until golden. Makes 8 servings.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Biscuits Supreme


I love love love biscuits..but I can not make them..until now. For anyone who struggles like me to get the dough just right please try this recipe. I have tried dozens of others only to have mine come out hard as a rock and I really suck at cutting the butter into the flour, wich is why I have yet to actually make a pie crust. I was so happy when these turned out. They rose beautifully wich I think had something to do with the cream of tartar in there. When I make these again I will add more salt into it..that was my one and only complaint about this recipe. I notice that dutch food items arent loaded down with salt like they are in the U.S. All the butters I buy have no salt added so sometimes my recipes come out tasting not exactly right. It was the same with the bread here. My tastebuds about freaked out when I tasted dutch bread..the sugar and salt content wasnt there. I love these biscuits though and see me making them with gravy really soon.
Biscuits Supreme..makes 10-12
2 cups Flour
1 TBLSPN. Baking Powder
2 tspn. Sugar
1/2 tspn. Cream of Tartar
1/4 tspn. Salt
1/2 cup Butter
2/3 cup Milk
Preheat oven to 450 degrees or 230 celcius
Stir together all dry ingredients and cut in butter with two knives or pastry blender(I used my hands) until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in center and add the milk all at once;stir until moistened.
Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Quickly knead dough by gently folding and pressing dough 10to12 strokes or until nearly smooth. Pat or lightly roll dough to 1/2inch thickness. Cut dough with fkoured biscuit cutter and depending on the size of cutter will determine how many you have. Bake for 10-12 mins or until lightly golden in color. Serve warm with butter,jelly or gravy.
**UPDATE..I made these again a few days later,added 1/2 tspn salt and they were perfecto.**

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fruit Filled Oatmeal Bars


I love old fashioned recipes. One of my favorite cookbooks is the older Betty Crocker cookbook and Better Homes and Gardens Limited Edtion one that runs from 1930-2000. I recently aquired this one and fell in love with all the recipes. Today I set out to make the fruit-filled bars. This is a super simple recipe that is full proof and it goes great with a cup of tea or coffee. The only difference I made in this recipe is the way I cooked the apples. After they were soft I mashed them up instead of leaving them in chunks. I dont like hot chunky apples and this was more like an applesauce but thicker. Other then that I followed everything else.
Fruit-Filled Oatmeal Bars..makes 25 or so depending how you cut them up.
1 cup Flour
1 cup Quick cooking rolled Oats
2/3 cup packed Brown Sugar
1/4 tspn. Baking Soda
1/2 cup Butter or Margarine(I used butter)

**Apple Cinnamon Filling**
Peel,core and Chop 2 medium apples. In a medium pan combine apples,2 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon lemon juice,1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and a dash of ground cloves. Bring apple mixture to a boil,reduce heat. Simmer covered for 8-10 mins or till apples are tender.

In a medium bowl combine the fkour,oats,brown sugar and baking soda. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives,cut butter till mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 1/2 cup for the topping.
Press remaining crumb mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 9x9x2 baking pan. Spread with apple filling and sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.
Bake in a 350 degree oven or 180 celcius for 30-35 mins or until top is golden brown. Cool on wire rack and cut into bars.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

French Toast


If I was on death row and was only allowed one breakfast meal, this would be it. I love french toast that much. I like the simplicity of this dish and can be made at anytime. I made it for dinner tonight because breakfast for dinner is really cool. I served it along with scrambled eggs and bacon. There are many different ways to make this, including stuffed french toast, but I like it this way, with butter and maple flavored syrup. The vanilla and cinnamon add a very nice touch to this and one you will be glad you added.
French Toast
2 beaten Eggs
1/2 cup Milk
1/4 tspn. Vanilla
1/8 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
5 slices of White Bread or 5 1-inch slices of french bread
1 TBLSPN butter or cooking oil
Maple-flvaored syrup
In a shallow bowl beat together the eggs,milk,vanilla and cinnamon. Dip bread into egg mixture coating both sides(if using french bread,let is soak for 30 seconds on each side). In a skillet over medium heat,melt butter and add bread and cook on each side for 2-3 mins or until golden brown; add more butter as needed. Serve with butter and syrup. Makes 5 slices

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Crockpot Stuffed Peppers


This is a super basic recipe for stuffed peppers. I have never made these before so I didn't have any expectations when I made them. It's a good thing too since I wasn't a big fan of these. My new crockpot is totally awesome when it comes to cooking up the food..FAST!lol almost to fast. I have yet to have a recipe come out in the time it has stated. I am going to test it out with cooking a large roast in the next few days. Anyway back to this recipe. I think it would have been alot better if I pulled them out close to 2 hours before it was supposed to be done. The peppers were pretty mushy but the meat and rice stayed super moist and that was the best part of it all. I know alot of other stuffed peppers recipes call for tomato sauce but my husband isn't a huge fan of the red sauces so I left it out..next time I will add just a bit of it to give it a better flavor.
Crockpot Stuffed Peppers
6 large Peppers
1 lb ground beef,slightly browned(I used 2lbs)
2 TBLPSNS Minced Onion
1 tsp. Salt
1/8 tsp. Garlic Powder
1 cup cooked Rice
15 oz can Tomato Sauce
3/4 cup Shredded Cheese
Grease a large crockpot(I used a 6 quart). Cut tops off of peppers and take all the seeds out. If you want you can put the tops back on when you put them in the crockpot but I decided to leave mine off. Combine the rest of the ingredients,mix well and gently stuff all the peppers. I used 2 cups of cheese in the mixture aswell and couldnt tell there was any when we ate them. I would still add some but wait until the last 30mins to add your 3/4 cup to the top of the peppers. Cover and cook on love 6-8 hours or high 3-4 hours. ** I would also like to add that you can infact use raw hamburger when mixing it all up. I have issues with using raw meat like that but only because I worry about the greasy factor and not getting done when it's packed in there but I think Im the only one with that issue since most recipes call for you to use raw hamburger meat**

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds


I am sure there are 100's of blogs posting this same recipe for pumpkin seeds. I actually wasnt going to post about it because of that but this was my first time doing it so I thought I would blog about it. I think up until this point I have only had roasted pumpkin seeds once and it was so long ago I only vaguely remember it. I wanted to do this for the boys since they thought it was soo cool that you could eat the pumpkin guts..lol I was super impressed with them since they both actually ate part of the raw pumpkin when we were cutting it. I noticed something odd aswell. We tasted the american pumpkins that I grew and we tasted the dutch pumpkins that were given to us. The dutch pumpkin had a very nice sweet flavor,almost like cantaloupe and maybe the american one did too but we had such small ones to work with that we weren't able to get a nice bite from it. I have one pumpkin left and will be making my own puree in the next few weeks!

These pumpkin seeds have a very nice flavor to them. You can make these several different flavors but I went ahead and did the traditional recipe. They came out perfectly crisp and the texture is very much like eating a sunflower shell so if you are like me you can eat a handful but thats about it. My jaw hurts from all the crunching!
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Preheat oven to 275 or 135 celcius
1 1/2 TBLSPNS melted Butter
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/8 tsp. Garlic Salt
2 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
2 cups Raw Pumpkin Seeds;clean all pumpkin goo off of them
Combine melted butter with the rest of the ingredients;pour over pumpkin seeds and mix threw. Spread them out in a shallow pan and Cook for one hour,stirring occasionally. You want to make sure the seeds are nice and crisp;mine were done in an hour but if you find they are still not crunchy enough leave them in longer.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Chicken Enchiladas


Wow I can't believe we are already into November! I love this time of year because it means christmas is getting closer! I am a christmas fantatic and always look forward to the baking and decorating. I laugh everytime I post my food because seriously I very rarely take a decent shot of my food..lol It's the one thing I don't have patience for. This meal was so good, I mean really good. I switched up the recipe a bit to fit my families needs. The original recipe called for only 1 1/2 cups of chicken and seriously that isnt enough when you are feeding two growing boys and a husband who loves meat. I bought a small chicken and used it all in this recipe. I also used more cream of mushroom soup( for those that live in NL I bought the dry mushroom soup pack and it says to add 1 liter of water but if you cut it by half or a little more you get a great cream of mushroom soup..do not add milk but water instead and it's more than creamy. If you make it that way leave out the 1/4 cup milk it calls for in the recipe) I added more cheese and left out onions. I bought mild chiles but wow they still packed a punch. I made sure I took all seeds out of the jar(mine didnt come already chopped up) and Im so glad I did. We all loved it except for the youngest one who politely ate all the chicken and left the chiles and ate an apple instead..lol
Chicken Enchiladas..makes 8 my way with leftovers or 6 using this recipe
1/2 tspn Garlic Powder
1(4 ounce) can diced Green Chiles
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup(I upped this probably by another can)
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1 1/2 cups cubed cooked Chicken(I added close to 4 cups)
1 cup shredded Cheese,divided (I added 3)
6 Flour Tortillas(We made 8 but our tortillas were slightly smaller)
1/4 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees or 175 celcius. Lightly grease a large baking dish. In a medium saucepan combine the cream of mushroom soup,sourcream,garlic powder,chopped green chiles,half the cheese and milk. Stir until combined and warmed. Then add your chicken and I let it cook on low for a few mins to heat the chicken up. I used a half a cup of the mixture on each of the tortillas and rolled them up and placed them seam side down in the baking dish. I had some left over so I poured the rest on top and then added the remaining cheese and baked it for 35 mins. This is a easy dish in wich you can add and take away anything you want. I would have added black olives but there are two members in the family who dont like them:(

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Cupcakes


Happy Halloween!! Our celebration is now very low key since we have moved to another country. However that doesn't stop us from having a good time at home. A friend back home sent me cupcake liners and toppers to make our day more special and I totally appreciate it. I got up this morning and started in on the cupcakes for the boys as a surprise for when they come home. I made extra to make sure they could also share with a few of their dutch friends. This is a moist chocolate cupcake and is very airy and this is my go to chocolate cupcake recipe from now on!
Cocoa Cupcakes~18 cupcakes
2 cups Cake Flour(I used self rising)
1 1/2 cups Sugar
3/4 cup Cocoa(I used unsweetened)
1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
1 1/2 cups Buttermilk
1/2 cup Butter,softened
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 or 180 celcius
In a large mixing bowl cream butter and sugar.Add in eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add Cocoa powder and buttermilk,mix on low speed at first making sure to scrap the bowl on all sides and then bring the speed up more to mix it well. Add your baking soda and salt to you flour and add in a little at a time to batter. Mix until just blended and fill your cupcake liners..how much depends on how many cucpakes you wanted. I filled mine a little over half. Bake 20mins,cool and frost.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Crack Macaroni and Cheese


Nope thats not a typo! We couldn't get enough of this stuff. There was complete silence from the boys as they ate (and let me tell you that is something that rarely happens during dinner time). The oldest passed on dessert so that he could get a smaller helping of crack n cheese instead. When the youngest ate it without complaint, I knew I had a winner. We are addicts and we don't care!

Back home I made another homemade version that didn't really turn out well here. I used cheddar cheese and when I used dutch cheese in place of cheddar it was a disaster. The cheese fell to the bottom and clumped..and it was just gross. I had to come up with a new way to make it.(For those who are new to my blog,you can't really buy cheddar cheese here. They have it in small bags but it costs alot and I don't like the taste of their version of what cheddar cheese is). I found various recipes on the internet and combined several of them to get just the right amount of cheese and milk and this was so perfect.
If I had to come up with one thing it would be that we have all decided that we arent a crumb topping family. I never added it to my old version and the next time I make this(I will be making it over and over again) I will leave it out. I will include it in the recipe incase you are a crumb topping family. This dish will serve atleast 6 peeps.
Crack Macaroni and Cheese..Serves 6 350 or 180 celcius
Topping:
3 TBLSPNS melted Butter
3/4 cup crushed Butter Crackers;Saltines would work fine too
While cooking pasta,crush crackers into large crumbs. Melt butter in saucepan,pour over crackers,mix and set aside. Heat oven to 350 or 180 celcius. Grease a 2 QT casserole dish and set aside.
2 cups dry Macaroni:cooked and drained
3 TBLSPNS Butter
1/4 cup finely minced Onion
3 TBLSPNS Flour
3 cups Milk
3/4 tsp Salt
3/4 tsp Ground mustard(decided not to add this)
1/4 tsp Pepper
4 cups shredded Cheese..use all one kind or several kinds
I always add my seasonings in with my milk before hand so that I don't need to worry about measuring it out when everything is needing to be added. If you havent done so,cook your pasta;drain and set aside. In a medium pan over medium heat melt butter and add onions.Cook for 2-3 mins until they become semi translucent. Add the flour;cook for 1-2 mins stirring constantly..DO NOT let it turn brown or burn. Stir in milk and seasonings: cook stirring frequently until mixture boils and becomes thick. Stir in cheese and turn off the heat. Pour cheese sauce over macaroni and mix. Pour this mixture in the greased casserole dish; sprinkle topping all over and bake for 35 mins or until bubbly and hot in the middle. On a side note I also didnt add in the onions but all the recipes out there call for them. We arent big onion eaters at all.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Cocoa Brownies


Once and awhile I crave brownies. It isnt often though because they are always a little bit on the decadent side to me. I can eat one and I'm happy for the next 6 months. It was time again to make a batch when a very nice blogger by the name of Decora sent me a kilos worth of dutch cocoa in thanks for something I sent her. I've never baked with unsweetened cocoa before and now I understand the wonderful flavor of it. So thank you Decora! This brownie recipe is super simple and there are probably a thousand better recipes out there..but this works for us. Feel free to add in another cups worth of whatever you like..m&m's,nuts,peanutbutter chips. I added in 1/2 cup of creamy peanutbutter to ours and we loved it.
Cocoa Brownies
1/2 cup Butter.melted
1/2 cup Unsweetened Cocoa
1 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
2 tsp Vanilla
1/2 cup Flour
1/4 tsp Salt
1 additional cup of whatever you want in there.
Preheat oven to 350 or 180celcius. Grease 8 inch sqaure pan and set aside. In medium bowl combine melted butter and cocoa and stir until cocoa is dissolved. Add sugar and mix well. Add eggs one at a time and mix well after each one. Stir in vanilla, flour and salt and mix until you no longer see flour(make sure to NOT overmix). Stir in the additional ingredients of whatever you like,mixing in and then spread into the pan. Bake for 25 mins making sure to not overbake. I tend to like mine a little on the underdone side and by the time it cools off it has finished baking on the inside. 25 mins worked for us with having the toothpick inserted in the middle coming out jsut about done. Cool slightly and serve with vanilla ice cream or alone.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Maple Apple Crisp


I'm a fairly big fan of apple crisp. I have weird issues with hot apples but there is something really good and comforting about a bowl full of apple crisp with vanilla ice cream. I must admit though that I get bored with the same cinnamon,nutmeg flavor and every so often I will stray away from the original and try something new. Then I am always reminded that it isnt always a good thing to mess with what you consider to be ok in the first place. I was drawn in by the Maple in the title. I quickly went down stairs and set out to make it. The topping isnt your traditional crisp in the sense that it's not really crispy at all,more soft but equally tasty in my opinion..and I think alot of that had to do with the amount of butter that it called for. I added flour to the apples after I cut them to soak up some of the maple syrup in hopes that it would thicken it up a bit. The recipe calls for Real Maple Syrup,however I cant stand the taste of it and used regular maple syrup that I picked up at an american food store in Amsterdam. When the timer went off I noticed that it was really runny and the topping hadnt browned up so I left it in 15 mins longer. By then the juices had thickened up a bit and the topping had a nice brown color to it. I let it sit for awhile and tasted it. I was super disapointed that the maple syrup didnt come threw more. It still has a very nice flavor with just a hint of maple but I was hoping for a little more. My husband said he loved it this way and prefered for it to not be over powering with the maple. My two sons actually licked their plates clean so all in all it wasnt a total failure but not something I would make twice. I wasnt turned off by the runny juices in it..it went really well with the vanilla ice cream. It was a nice change but Im moving on to something else.
Maple Apple Crisp
5 Granny Smith apples;peeled,cored and thinly sliced
3/4 cup Maple Syrup
1/2 cup Flour
1/2 cup Oats
1/2 cup packed Brown Sugar
1/2 cup butter softened
Heat oven to 375 degrees or 190 celcius. In a bowl combine the butter,flour,oats and brown sugar mixing until it resembles a crumb type mixture;set aside. In a 8x8 inch pan spread the apples and pour maple syrup over the top and mix until all apples are coated. Sprinkle topping over the apples and place into oven. Cook for 35 mins or until the topping is golden brown. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Crock Pot Marinated Chicken


I had made a crockpot meatloaf the other day and decided not to blog about it. The reason being is that it was the first and last time I will ever make one in the crockpot as long as I live. There is something really gross about cooking raw meat in it's own fatty juices all day and when you take it out it has a thick layer of fat underneath the meat..eewww! I've never had that with anything else I have cooked in a crockpot and I will never forget it either.

I found this recipe from another website and decided to give it a go. The trick with this recipe is to make sure you marinate the chicken overnight. It keeps the meat super moist and it makes all the difference in my opinion. I made the mistake of pairing this chicken with nasi rice wich wasnt good at all. You have two totally different flavors begging for your attention. What this chicken cries out for is either asian noodles or fried rice. I ended up going back into the kitchen and pouring some of the marinate juice over it all and then it was perfect. I used a teenie weenie chicken since I have yet to find a fatty here so mine was done in 3 hours. I will give you the original time although I need to say that alot of people complained on the website saying it was to long of a time and was done in about 4 hours. So keep that in mind if you decide to make this.
Crockpot Marinated Chicken
1 (3lb whole chicken),skin removed
1/2 cup Chicken Broth
1/3 cup Soy Sauce
1/3 cup Olive Oil
1/4 cup Honey
1 tspn Worcestershire Sauce
2 tspns Balsamic Vinegar
2 tspns Lemon Juice
1 tspn Sesame Oil
2 tspns minced Garlic
Remove skin from chicken and empty inner cavity of contents within. Pat dry and place in a bowl or large zip lick bag. In a bowl combine all other ingredients and mix well. Pour over chicken and marinate overnight,turning once or twice. Place chicken in crock pot,pour juice over the top..making sure the breast side is down,cover and cook on low 8 or high 4 hours. The first time you make this I would really watch to see how long it takes or you could come home to a seriously dried up chicken.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I'm in love..


Oh my I am so happy. Back home I was the crock pot queen. I used it several times a week and just loved it. When we moved to the netherlands everyone I came in contact with had never heard of a crock pot. I was so down about that. After a year of being here a friend spotted one and told me about it. I went down with my husband a few days ago and happily plunked over the to big amount in my opinion and bought it! It's a 6.5 liter and has a LCD screen and comes with 3 settings. I have visions of soups and stews and roasts and just everything cooking in there. Stay tuned for crock pot recipes!!!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Spicy Potato Wedges


I realise this isnt the most attractive photo but that shouldn't stop you from trying this recipe. If you are looing for a side dish of potatoes with a "kick" then this is for you. I made homemade sloppy joe's lastnight and this went perfect with it. I have stopped telling my youngest son what certain ingredients are when Im cooking and the result has been him cleaning his plate and asking for seconds for the past year. This isnt so spicy that you cant serve it to kids but if they do have an issue with it then by all means possibly leave some of the ingredients out. I didnt put the Cayenne pepper in it but only because we didn't have any.
Spicy Potato Wedges
1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
1 TBLSPN Chili Powder
2 tspns. Onion Powder
2 tspns. Garlic Salt
1 tspn. Sugar
1 tspn. Paprika
3/4 tspn. Salt
1/4 to 1/2 tspns. Cayenne Pepper
3 1/2 lbs. Large Red Potatoes,cut into wedges( I used regular potatoes instead)
In a lrge bowl combine the first 8 ingredients; add potatoes and toss to coat. Arrange in a single layer on greased baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees or 200 celcius for 30-35mins or until potatoes are tender and golden brown,turning once. Serves 4-5. I put all of mine on one sheet and baked it for close to an hour.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Taco Bell Sauce


One of the fast food places we miss is Taco Bell..well my husband and oldest son miss it more than I do. They loved the quesadillas there and although I can make my own we still missed the special sauce that came along with it. I searched online for a copy cat recipe and found one that got really good reviews. I made it lastnight and my husband loved it. He said it had the right amount of kick that the original had. I tried some aswell and thought it was pretty good. I am not a fan of overly spicey sauces or food so it took one normal size bottled water for me to eat half of a quesadilla. So all you expats out there who are missing Taco Bell give this a try at home.







Taco Bell Quesadilla Sauce
1/4 cup Mayonaise
2 tsp minced Jalapeno slices
2 tsp Jalapeno juice..from the jar
3/4 tsp. Sugar
1/2 tsp. Cumin
1/2 tsp. Paprika
1/8 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
1/8tsp. Garlic Powder
Dash of salt.
** Mix all together and spread on either one or two of your soft tacos and then make you quesadilla as normal. If you want to re create a taco bell quesadilla it calls for steak or chicken and one cup each of cheddar cheese and monterey jack. You also need 2 slices of american cheese or more cheese if you dont want to use those. I havent tried it this way yet but we plan to. The sauce makes enough for two quesadillas or more if you go less on the sauce.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Vanilla Cupcakes


For the most part I avoid my children's school like the plague. I don't believe I need to be hovering over them all the time and honestly..I couldn't stand school when I was in it so I can't imagine spending lots of time there now...don't be alarmed,I attend all parent/teacher functions and make sure my children are where they need to be learning wise. I of course believe we should all be involved when we find something that interests us. So when my youngest son came to me and said that they were having a sugar feast at school on friday I knew right away what to make!!!

My son is in the "Groene Kikkers" class wich means in english: Green Frogs. I love and collect frogs so after checking somethings online, I set out to make them. I have been hearing about Billy Reeces amazing vanilla cupcakes on several blogs and decided that since I needed a large amount I would make these. As it always happens I never have everything I need to so I end up having to make up a few things as I go along. Everything turned out fine and the cupcakes were indeed perfect! I love the very vanilla taste of these and when you pair them with Buttercream Icing..well you are in for a winner. this makes a big batch..about 30 to be exact..wich is what I came away with. The recipe calls for not self rising cake flour..well I only had self rising and I ended up adding half a tablespoon of baking powder since I had to add in regular flour anyway. I didnt have whole milk,but used 2% instead and still everything worked out fine.
Billy's Vanilla Cupcakes
1 3/4 cups Cake Flour
1 1/4 cups Flour
2 cups Sugar
1 TBLSPN Baking Powder
3/4 tspn Salt
1 cup unsalted Butter,cut into 1-inch cubes
4 Large Eggs
1 cup Whole Milk
1 tspn Pure Vanilla Extract
** Preheat oven to 325(160-170celcius). Line cupcake pans with paper liners;set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachement,combine flours,sugar,baking powder,and salt;mix on low speed until combined. Add butter,mixing until just coated with flour. On a side note I dont yet own a kitchen aid mixer and insted used my hand held one and it worked fine. In a large glass measuring cup,whisk together eggs,milk and vanilla. With mixer on medium speed,add wet ingredients in 3 parts,scraping down sides of bowl before each addition; beat until ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat. Divide batter evenly among liners,filling 2/3 full. Bake,rotating pan halfway through,until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean..about 17-20 mins(mine were done in 20) Transfer to wire rack and cool completely. Repeat process with remaining batter. Yields about 30 cupcakes.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Taco Salad


As I have said many times,when you live abroad many of the things you loved in your home country arent available in your new one. It's up to you to recreate those wonderful dishes. The problem with that sometimes is that you cant find the original ingredients. I found that out with cream of mushroom soup. I have yet to find it here. While speaking with another expat she told me to look for the powder form of mushroom soup and add only enough water to make it into a thick form of the cream of mushroom soup we are used to. I found it,tried it,and thankfully it worked! I am more lucky in the mexican food products. You can find a variety of mexican food items in certain stores here in the netherlands. I find myself looking with wide eyes when I see how much more we have to pay for those items but it's got to be done if you want it.

Taco salad is such an easy meal to make and you can add or take away things depending on your families likes. You might want to add in more of the ingredients or maybe add in mild flavored jalapenos,this is just a rough list of whats in there.I will give you our version of it and hope that you make it. Alot of times taco salad calls for Catalina,Thousand Island or Ranch Dressing to be added. I find that those take away from the over all taste so I came up with my own version of a dressing wich I will include. This also makes alot. It will easily feed 8 people or with our family of 4 we can eat once and have enough for leftovers tomorrow. Also with any of my recipes feel free to add in onion as you like it. We are not an onion eating family so whenever it calls for it I leave it out. Feel free to add one onion chopped up and cook it along with the beef. **For those living in NL,I went to Albert Heijn and bought two medium cans of the red kidney beans..not the super tiny can.**
Taco Salad
1 1/2 lbs of Ground Beef
1 packet of Taco Seasoning
1 can of Kidney Beans; drained and rinsed
1-2 cans of chopped Black Olives;drained
2 large Tomatoes;seeded and chopped up
2 cups or more of your choice of Shredded Cheese
1 1/2 heads of Lettuce;chopped up or torn into pieces
1 bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos
**Dressing**
Between 1 and 1/2 cups of Sour Cream
Mild Flavored Taco Sauce
Brown the ground beef in a large pan. While that is cooking take your lettuce and tear it into pieces and put in a large serving bowl. Take your tomatoes,seed it and chop it up and add it to the lettuce. When your ground beef is brown,drain if needed and add the kidney beans. Then add your taco seasoning and fill the packet just under full with water. Mix it together,bring to a boil and then turn the heat down and let the beef,kidney beans and seasoning packet simmer for about 10mins. After you have simmered it you need to turn the heat off and let it sit while you make the other ingredients to give it some time to cool off before adding it to the lettuce mixture. Meanwhile add in your olives,cheese and take your bag of doritos and crush the chips inside. I find that simply opening up the bag and carefully crushing the bag all over works best. Take your dressing recipe and again this is just simply eyeballing it and going from there. I added in a bowl about 1 1/2 cups of sour cream and then tipped the jar of taco seasoning in there a few times. It gives it a very nice creamy texture. I also didnt add the dressing into the mixture but left it out instead to let everyone decide how much of it they wanted. When your beef mixture has cooled down for maybe 10 mins add it to the lettuce mixture and toss to coat. I added two dollops of the dressing and was one happy camper:o)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Old Fashioned Coffee Cake


I had a friend come over yesterday for a visit and I decided to make a coffee cake. This isnt something you normally serve in the netherlands but since she is an american I knew she would love this aswell. I liked the cake, alot although I must say it makes alot of the topping so if you arent big on a bunch of it then I would suggest you cut the recipe down a bit wich is what I will do myself the next time I make it. I notice as I get "slighty" older I appreciate getting together with a good friend and talking about things. It helps even more when you live abroad and you are able to talk with someone from your own country. I hope you will make this recipe. It's easy,smells great and tastes even better!
Old Fashioned Coffee Cake
Streusel Topping:
1 1/2 cups ground Graham Crackers
3/4 cup finely chopped Walnuts
3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 tspn ground Cinnamon
1/4 tspn ground Cardamom(I didnt have any and used nutmeg instead)
1/2 unsalted Butter,melted
BATTER:
2 cups Cake Flour
1 cup Sugar
2 1/2 tspns Baking Powder
1/2 tspn Salt
1/2 cup unsalted Butter,softened
2 large Eggs
2 tspns Vanilla Extract
1 cup Milk
Preaheat oven to 350 or 180 celcius. Lightly grease either a 8 inch pan or 9 inch spring form pan. In a medium bowl combine the ingredients for the topping and set aside. In a large bowl add flour,baking powder, and salt;whisk together to mix.Add butter,eggs,vanilla,and milk;beat until mixture is smooth and thick;about 2 mins. Spread half of the batter into your greased pan and sprinkle with half the topping mixture. Spoon remaning batter over the topping,and then sprinkle the remaining topping over the batter. Bake 60-70mins or until toothpick comes out clean. If baking in a spring form pan,allow the cake to set for 15 mins and cool off a bit. Loosen side of pan and continue cooling on wire rack.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes


Is there anything better than a side dish of creamy cheesy Au Gratin potatoes?? I can't think of to many. You can make this into a main course by adding in a cup or 2 of diced up ham. I like it as a side dish with a roast or steak. As the weather gets cooler my need to make comfort food becomes greater. I've been reading a ton of recipes and I have some things coming up so stay tuned. I have decided to tackle my fear of bread making so hopefully I will have a succesful post about it. I will be making some stews,soups aswell as showing you how to make some traditional Dutch meals at home. It's fun to try food from another country that you can make yourself at home. I hope everyone has a great week! On a side not the recipe calls for Russet Potatoes. If you are in the U.S. thats no problem but if you live outside of it you don't come in contact with those. So use any large potatoe that you can come across when making these. I have left the onion as being optional here only because whenever I have had these from someone else and they include them I have never liked it. The onions were pale and a bit slimy looking so unless you are a die hard onion fan I really dont think this dish needs it.
Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes
4 russet potatoes,peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1 onion,sliced into rings(optional)
salt and pepper to taste
3 TBLSPNS Butter
3 TBLSPNS Flour
1/2 teaspn Salt
2 cups Milk
2 cups shredded Cheese
Preheat Oven to 400 degrees F or 200 C. Grease a 2 quart dish. Layer 1/2 of potatoes into bottom of the dish. Top with onions if you want and then layer with the remaining potatoes. If you dont use the onion just put all the potatoes into the dish and then season with the salt and pepper. In a medium sized saucepan,melt butter over medium heat. Mix in the flour and salt and stir constantly with a wisk for one minute. Stir in milk a little at a time to avoid lumps in the sauce. Cook until mixture has thickened. Stir cheese in all at once and continue stirring until melted..about 30 to 60 seconds. Pour cheese over the potatoes and cover the dish with aluminum foil. I made sure I sprayed the foil with some baking spray to make sure that it didnt stick to the cheese. Bake for 1 hr 30 mins. Take the foil off the last 15-20 mins if you want to the cheese to get a bit of color.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Soft Oatmeal Cookies


You know what I love most about these cookies?? Everything! They are so incredibly soft and the aroma that fills the house while you are baking is out of this world. It reminds you of home and what mom used to bake..something I hope the boys remember about me: The times they came home to a house that smelled of freshly baked cookies and a glass of milk and a plate full of cookies waiting for them. I live only 10mins from the border of Germany and I love that because I am able to head over to the groceries stores there and find more of what I want. I walked threw the baking isle and found small bottles of butter vanilla extract. I bought some and figured I could use them in alot of recipes. I used it on this recipe and I cant tell you how wonderful the flavor is. The bottles contain 1/2 teaspoon each so I used half a teaspoon of that and another 1/2 teaspoon of the regular vanilla incase for some reason the flavor didnt come across. I didnt have to worry because WOW these were good. It gave it almost a buttery butterscotch flavor. I look forward to using the extract in many other things. These are really soft so make sure that when you take them out of the oven you let them sit for a few minutes before you take them off and move them to the wire rack.
Soft Oatmeal Cookies
1 cup Butter
1 cup Sugar
1 cup packed Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tspn Vanilla
2 cups Flour
1 tspn Baking Soda
1 tspn Salt
1 1/2 tspn Cinnamon
3 cups Oats
Preheat oven to 375 or 190 celcius. In a bowl mix together the flour,baking soda,salt and cinnamon;set aside. In another bowl combine the butter,sugar,brown sugar and eggs:making sure to mix throughly and until fluffy. Add the flour mixture and mix in oats by hand with a wooden spoon. Drop onto lightly greased cookie sheet and bake for 10 mins.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Buttermilk Muffins


These muffins come from a resturant called Mimi's Cafe. It's a resturant my step mom loves to go to. I was thinking about her and when I saw this recipe on another website I knew I had to make them. I remember going there with her once and we had a giant pumpkin muffin and it was so good. I wish I could get a recipe for that one. I think the boys will be extra happy this week with my muffin choice for them. The original recipe also called for chopped walnuts but I didnt have any so I left those out.

Buttermilk Muffins
2 1/2 cups Flour
2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Butter,softened
3 Eggs
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
3/4 cup plus 1 TBLSPN Buttermilk
Topping
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
Whisk together flour,baking soda and nutmeg. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar until smooth;add eggs. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk,beating just until combined. Fill cups 3/4 full making sure to either grease the muffin tins or use paper liners and sprinkle 1 tblspn of topping on top. Bake at 375 degrees or 190 celcius for 20-25 mins or until tooth pick comes out clean. On a side note I never used 1 tablespoon of the topping on each one. I actually thought that was to much and just used 1 teaspoon. Makes around 12

Friday, September 5, 2008

Snickerdoodles


Snickerdoodles remind me of something your grandma would bake..they have an old fashioned element to them that is wonderful. I whipped these up this morning and when my boys came home for lunch they mentioned how nice the house smelled..like a cookie factory: ) It took me several batches to get it down right. I made several of them to small wich resulted in a crunchier cookie wich my husband just loved. I made them into 1 inch balls wich the recipe called for and thats when I got the big fluffy cookie. I will be making these again very soon. The recipe says to leave the dough in the fridge until chilled to make it easier to roll into balls. I made the dough lastnight and let it sit until this morning and it was very easy to work with.
Soft Snickerdoodle Cookies
1 cup Butter
1 1/2 cups Sugar
2 Large Eggs
2 3/4 cups Flour
1 tspn Baking Soda
2 tspsns Cream of Tartar
1/4 tspn Salt
3 TBLSPNS Sugar
3 tspns Cinnamon
** Mix butter,sugar and eggs throughly in a large bowl. Combine flour,cream of tartar,baking soda and salt in a seperate bowl. Blend dry ingredients in butter mixture. Chill dough in fridge. In a seperate bowl combine the remaining sugar and cinnamon. Roll one inch balls between your hands and then rool into sugar/cinnamon mixture. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10mins;Remove from sheet immediately.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Poor Man's Steak


I got this recipe after reading about it on another blog. I headed over to her blog and jotted down the recipe myself. I will include the link to her blog at the end. This meal starts the night before wich is just perfect for me. I wanted to get some other things done today and was able to now. The meal was comfort food at it's best and will become a permanent fixture at our table. My two sons actually licked the plates clean..lol http://ayearatoakcottage.blogspot.com/2008/08/simple-womans-day-book.html
POOR Man's Steak
1 cup Water
1 cup Cracker Crumbs
1 tspn Salt
1 lb Ground Beef
All Purpose Flour
2-3 TBLSPNS Butter
1 (10 3/4) can Condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup Milk
** Line a pan with sayran wrap or in my case aluminum foil and make it big enough to wrap over and cover the meat mixture. Mix the 1st 4 ingredients together and pat down into pan;cover and put in fridge over night. Next day cut meat into 6 slab and coat with flour making sure to shake off any excess. Melt the butter in a pan and brown the meat on both sides. Place into 9x15 pan. Mix the cream of mushroom soup with the one cup of milk and bake at 160 celcius or 350 degrees for 35-45 mins. Serve with mashed potatoes and a veggie.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Crescent Chicken Roll Ups


I havent been able to find refridgerated biscuits here yet but they atleast have the crescent rolls. After talking to a friend about how she makes her chicken rolls I decided to give it a go myself. I learned that next time I need to stuff them less because if you dont you tend to end up with a somewhat doughy middle. How much and what you use as your chicken mixture is up to you. You could infact get pretty creative with these but the basics include cut up pieces of chicken( I made a roasted chicken the day before and put some extra chicken aside for this),shredded cheese and cream cheese. There is no set amount to use so eyeballing it is what I suggest. Here is a rough recipe for it.
Chicken Rolls Ups
1 container of crescent rolls
1/2-1 cup cooked cubed or shredded chicken
1 cup or more shredded cheese
6 pieces of bacon,cooked and crumbled
One packet of cream cheese;using only enough to mix it together
Mix all ingredients together. Unroll the crescent rolls and put a small amount of the mixture just bellow the wide part of the dough. I used to much so next time I will try maybe 2-3 tablespoons. You want to make sure the rolls will cook all the way threw. Starting at the wide end of the dough,roll it over the mixture,pinching the edges to seal and place seem side down on the baking sheet. Bake according to the crescent roll instructions..mine was 200 celcius for 10-12 mins. Serves 6. I made a cheese sauce to go on top of mine but you dont have to or you could use maybe a mushroom sauce isntead.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Peanutbutter Cookies


I decided that atleast once a week I would try out a recipe from the blogs that I visit. I can't believe how many wonderful cooking blogs there are. I thinking blogging in general is so cool because you come across people you wouldnt normally meet in life and you get a peak into their world and can taste the food as if you were a guest in their home. I've always been curious about people and I'm one of those people that when I drive by someone's home I like to look in the window and imagine what it looks like on the inside and when I smell something cooking Im always super curious as to what they are baking. We have turkish neighbors and the smells coming out of their place is amazing! They told me I could come over and eat with them anytime and Im thinking that time might be soon..lol


So on to my first recipe. I wanted to bake some peanutbutter cookies so I closed my eyes and clicked on a blog and typed in peanutbutter cookies in the search blog section. I landed in The Sunday Baker's blog and found a recipe. You can find her blog on the right side and if you have a few minutes you really need to head over there. She has some wonderful recipes to try out and I plan to do more of that. These cookies were wonderful,super soft and oh so peanutbuttery. My oldest son had a friend over and I gave him a cookie. You have to realise that in the netherlands these kinds of cookies just don't exsist. You bring up peanutbutter and chocolate up to a average dutch person and you get a look of disgust from them. They would never combine the two in any form and don't even get me started on peanutbutter and jelly and how they cant comprehend that one either. So I handed the boy a cookie and he looked at me and said "Pindakaas Koekje?" Pindakaas is the dutch word for peanutbutter and when translated it means peanut cheese..lol we get our cookie name from the dutch form Koekje. Anyway he had never heard of it and took a big bite and smiled..lol He said it was "Lekker" wich means good. Thats one dutch boy down and a bazillion more to convert..lol


I had to change a few things about the recipe. She actually made a filling to go on the inside wich I will try at a later date but I didnt have the ingredients on hand. Also her recipe called for 1/2 butter and 1/2 cup shortening. I cant get shortening here unless I visit a Toko and then they sell it in a tiny can for alot of money. There is another version of it here but alot of people have said they didnt like it so for now I used all butter wich produced a super soft cookie..wich I love anyway. I didnt change anything else. Thanks Tanya for a great recipe and we look forward to trying out more!

Peanutbutter Cookies
1 cup Butter( the original is half butter,half shortening)
1 cup Peanutbutter
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Brown Sugar
3 Eggs
1 tspn Vanilla
3 cups Flour
2 tspn Baking Soda
1/4 tspn Salt
** Preheat oven to 375 or 190 celcius. Mix the flour,soda and salt in a bwl and set aside. Mix remaining ingredients together,beating it until it's smooth and fluffy; add the flour mixture and mix until combined. After this point I guess you can decide what size you want to make them. I wanted a ton so they would last all week so I made small ball sizes and then dipped my fork and make the famous criss cross shape when pressing the douch down. Bake them for 7-8 mins and depending on the size you can get atleast 3 dozen out..wich is what I did.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Fried Aubergine


When moving to a new country you quickly learn that what you call something isnt always what another country calls it. Take for instance our green peppers..here in the netherlands they are called Paprikas..yep just like that spice we sometimes use. However if you want to use the Paprika spice..it's still called paprika. There is even a paprika flavored chip here. Speaking of chips..Cool Ranch is called Cool American because ranch dressing doesnt exsist here!! how can you not have that? Im resorting to making my own now or I swap spice packets with people in trade for ranch packets..lol Anyway my really long story revolves around my trying to find Eggplant or as the dutch call it Aubergine. I always feel like I'm crazy when I cant find a name for something here and noone ever knows what Im talking about until I google it or stumble upon it in a store. I love eggplant! Well I should say I love fried eggplant. I haven't actually had it to many ways but Im going to try more with it and grow my own next year..along with some green peppers..uhhh..Paprikas:) My kids love fried egg plant and we eat them like potato chips..they are that good and super simple to make!
Fried Eggplant
1 eggplant..any size
Flavored Bread Crumbs
2 Eggs
** Peel the skin off the eggplant,slice it semi thin..you dont want it to thick or it wont really xrisp up. Beat your eggs in one dish,add your bread crumbs in another. Dip them in egg and then in your bread crumbs and fry over medium heat in some oil.It doesnt take long,you just want to the bread crumbs to turn a nice brown color.** So simple and so yummie.