Category Archives: Recipes

Trying blogging again starting with an awesome secret recipe.

My lil’ sis has encouraged me to start blogging more. I’ll give it a try B. Here is an awesome recipe! If you’ve ever had an english muffin from Macey’s bakery or shaffers bakery, these are it. Not just a copy kat recipe, but the actual recipe. We got connections. :)

Mark has made these a few times. The trick to getting the flat shape it sandwiching them in between two cookie sheets. Use baking paper or two sil pat mats to avoid sticking.

englishmuffins

There are not a lot of instructions, you kind of need a basic knowledge of bread making. You might not need all that flour either. Start with 4 cups. And then only use enough flour so that as the hook is spinning the dough around it “cleans” the bowl. I just really need to make a video of it. I’ll work on that, in the mean time here is the recipe.

ENGLISH MUFFINS

1 Package Yeast active dry yeast; (equivalent to 2 1/4 teaspoons)
2 Cups Warm Water; (baby bottle warm)
1 1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoon Sugar
2 teaspoon Vinegar
5 – 6 Cups Flour

Mix water and yeast, let rest for about ten minutes making sure the yeast foams and is active.

After yeast foams, add all of the rest of the ingredients, starting with about 4 cups of flour and, start mixing (if you have a mixer, use your dough hook, if doing it by hand, you will need to start with 5 cups of flour).

Add flour a little at a time until you have a fairly stiff smooth dough. Take the dough on a lightly floured surface and start dividing it in halves. Ultimately you want 16 small little equal sized dough pieces.

Place a piece of parchment paper (or silicon mat) on the bottom of a cookie sheet. Roll and shape each of the small dough pieces into a round ball, and place on the cookies sheet, leaving enough room for them to spread out (I choose a 2 x 4 pattern, so they were laid out as follows):

0 0

0 0

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Then place a sheet of parchment paper on top of them, and place an empty cookie sheet on top of them, giving a little push to flatten out the top of the english muffins, but don’t squish them too thin. As they rise, the sheet will press down and make it so they rise out into an english muffin shape.

Let them rise until muffin sized (about 1.5 – 2 hours) and then bake at 350 degrees fahrenheit for ~15 minutes. Leave the cookie sheet on top of the english muffins while baking, this helps them keep they’re shape and stops them from browning too much (you don’t want them very brown since they need to be toasted).

Make-A-Mix Hot Chocolate

Last night…
Welly: ” I want some hot chocolate”
Me: “Sorry Welly, we don’t have any”
Welly: “Just look in a recipe book and make some”

He got me there.

Here is a really easy and tasty recipe for homemade hot chocolate. This is from the Make-A-Mix cookbook. There is a large quantity recipe that you can store in a large ziplock bag or in a container. Just as long as its air tight it will keep for A LONG TIME. Then there is a mini mix recipe that makes about two large glasses of hot chocolate. This is handy so you can try it out and see if you like it.

HOT COCOA MIX
4 1/2 cups regular powdered milk or 9 cups of instant powdered milk
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa

HOT COCOA MINI-MIX
2 TBSP regular powdered milk or 1/4 cup instant powdered milk
1/2 tsp. cocoa
1 tsp. sugar

To make Hot Chocolate:
Combine in a quart jar, cover and shake hard, or mix on low in a blender:
1/3 cup Hot cocoa mix made with REGULAR POWDERED MILK, or
2/3 cup Hot cocoa mix made with INSTANT POWDERED MILK
1 cup hottest tap water

We of course added marshmallows to ours after we added the hot water. Enjoy!

P.S. I made a BIG batch of this one year to serve to our Primary at a cold weather activity we had. It was way good!

Don’t save me a piece of that corn…

If you’ve ever seen Nacho Libre, you know that corn plays a fairly big role in the movie. It’s not just any corn, but some street corn on the cob with mayo, cheese, and cayenne. It looked good, and it seemed pretty easy to make, so we decided to try it tonight.


Welly helping us shuck the corn and get it ready to cook. He kept asking “Why does corn have so much hair?”


After we cooked the corn (can be grilled too if you prefer, we saw it both ways when looking at recipes online), we got all our fixins’ ready to assemble the corn. That is Queso Cotija (can use Parmesan cheese if you can’t find this authentic cheese, it really tasted similar to me), homemade mayo (we still just make our own mayo when we need some, it’s so much better than store bought and cheaper too), and a little cayenne pepper.


You just apply a generous amount of Mayonnaise to the cooked corn (who knew that butter and salt would be a healthier alternative to another cultures take on corn).


Then sprinkle/roll in the cheese.


Then finish it off with a light dusting of cayenne pepper.


Here is Welly so excited to try the new style of corn. He really bit into it with gusto!


Here is Welly realizing the new style of corn has cayenne pepper on it and that it’s too spicy.


Here is Welly getting some sweet sweet relief from a cold beverage. Don’t worry, we made him a new one without the cayenne and he loved it.

As you may have guessed from the title, I don’t think I’ll be making this corn again any time soon. It was ok, if anything, maybe too cheesy (we ended up kind of scraping off the cheese after a few bites, but I figure whats the point then). I guess if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. I love corn on the cob with some butter and salt, and while this wasn’t gaggy or gross, it wasn’t better than standard corn and it was more work and prep, and not as healthy. It was fun to try, and we can cross it off our bucket list, but I think it’s a case of it looks better than it tastes.

Fake Shake Recipe

I have been trying to cut out more sugar in my diet (there is diabetes in my family, and I have a pretty well documented love affair with sugar on this site). It can be pretty tough, but we have been trying some new recipes and incorporating some sugar free items into our cupboards.

Marky remembered his family used to make these fake shakes with milk, pudding mix, banana, and ice. He whipped it up the other night and I can’t believe I have been missing out on this all my life! It’s really tasty, the pudding mix makes it thick, the banana gives it body, and since they make so many different instant pudding flavors (and sugar free too might I add), the fake shake flavors are limitless!

Fake Shake Recipe:

  • 2 Cups Milk
  • 1 Banana
  • 1 Instant Pudding Mix (any flavor you like)
  • About 1 1/2 Cups Ice

Blend the milk, sliced up banana, and pudding mix until it is smooth. Add ice cubes to blender until the desired shake consistency is achieved (you can kind of play with this, but around 1 1/2 cups is what we usually use). Serve right away while it’s nice and cold.

We usually make this with chocolate pudding (you can still taste the banana, but it kind of tastes like a Wendy’s frosty I think, I’ve always wondered if they add banana flavor to their chocolate shakes). Vanilla pudding with some frozen strawberries would be great (strawberry banana is one of Marky’s favorites). You could even add little bits of fun stuff like cookies or candy like real shakes (would just need to add them at the end so they don’t get soggy). This is a fun recipe that uses ingredients most people have on hand and is really kid friendly (to make and eat). I won’t go as far as calling it a health shake, but it’s healthier than a real shake and has been helping me with my sugar intake.


Me and Welly enjoying our fake shakes!

Homemade Mayo-nayo-naise! With Powdered Eggs!

We haven’t bought mayonnaise at the store for quite a while. After we ran out last time, we decided to see how hard it would be to make our own. When we first started, we used raw egg yolks, and the mayonnaise was delicious and creamy and super easy to make, but I didn’t like the idea of giving raw eggs to my kids (even though the acid in the lemon juice is supposed to kill any salmonella, it’s still just weird).

We have been using powdered eggs in our baking for a while, and we love them in cookies especially because you can’t taste a difference and since powdered eggs are pasteurized, there is no risk of salmonella, so the kids (and me) can sneak some cookie dough without worrying. We decided to try the powdered eggs in the mayonnaise and see if it worked, and it ended up working great! I really can’t taste a difference, it uses up my food storage, and I don’t have to worry about feeding it to my kids!

A few notes. In the video, I stopped a bit early because I didn’t want the video to be too long (youtube has time restrictions so I was hurrying). So the mayonnaise will get thicker and a little lighter colored too (I have stopped measuring oil really, I just keep adding it slowly until I get the correct mayonnaise thickness and texture). Also, this won’t last as long as store bought mayo, after 3 -5 days you need to throw it out (that is why I make small batches, less waste and we can usually use it all up in those few days, besides it only takes about 5 minutes to whip up more if I need it). I want to try making my own ranch dressing with this mayo soon (I found a copy-cat recipe for hidden valley ranch that looks easy so I will tell you if it’s any good when I try it). We have also used it for burgers, tuna sandwhiches, deviled eggs, etc..

Homemade Mayonnaise Recipe (With Powdered Eggs!)

  • 1 Heaping Tbsp Powdered Egg
  • 1 Tbsp Water
  • 1 Pinch of Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard (Dijon or Spicy Brown is our fav)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 Cup Oil (Added really really slowly).

Cherry Chocolate Pecan Cookies

I’m really excited about these cookies. I’ve never made up a recipe before, so I was pretty proud of myself.

I’m sure that in the history of the world someone thought up these cookies too, and maybe there is even recipe like this one on-line this very minute! But after not having the right ingredients for a different kind of cookie, I used what I DID have in my pantry; a cherry cake mix, half a bag of mini chocolate chips and some pecans. I love cherry and chocolate together, so I figured it was a winning combination (again I’m not the first to figure this out)!

These cookies were fast and easy and turned out pretty good (polishing my nuckles).

Cherry Chocolate Pecan Cookies

1 Cherry Chip boxed cake mix
2 Tablespoons of Oil
1/4 cup of water
1/2 cup -1 cup mini chocolate chips
2/3 cup pecans

In a large bowl combine the cake mix, oil and water. Mix until all ingredients are wet (try not to over-mix) then add the chocolate chips. I used mini, but you could use whatever size of chocolate chips you have on hand. Place the pecans in a sandwich bag, then using a rolling pin or something similar, crush the pecans to smaller pieces. Add them to the dough and mix until combined.

Drop golf ball sized dough on to a lightly greased cookie sheet about two inches apart. Bake at 350 degress for 10-12 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet and cool on a rack.

Notes: Okay, I’m actually not 100% if it is golf ball sized, I use my medium sized ice cream scoop, and they were pretty good sized. I just couldn’t decided if it was ping pong ball sized or golf ball sized. I love using ice cream scoops for cookies, it makes the cookies all come out the same size and really takes the guess work out of how big the dough balls should be.

I also didn’t grease my pan. I use a Silpat Mat. I love my silpat mat, it eliminates greasing the pan and it makes for easy clean up. A great investment in my opinion.

I thought that the cookies needed a little something extra so using a few leftover chocolate chips, I melted them in a bowl in the microwave and then using a sandwich bag like a pastry bag I piped some melted chocolate onto the cookies.

Canned Peach Cobbler

A fast and easy dessert with basic ingredients that the kids can help you with.

Canned Peach Cobbler

1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon orange OR almond extract (optional, each extract will give the dessert a different hint of flavor)
2 cups canned peaches

Preheat oven to 400°F.
Pour melted butter into a 9 inch square baking dish. I just put it right in the square GLASS baking dish and microwaved the butter in the pan.
In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, sugar and a pinch of salt. Stir in milk and extract of your choice, if using; mix only until combined.
Pour the batter over the melted butter in the baking dish.Ladle fruit over the top of the batter.
Bake in preheated oven for 25-35 minutes, or until batter rises to the top.
Serve as is. Good served warm or cold. Great with homemade whipped topping or vanilla ice cream!

Tip: We like to keep a few shelf stable whipping creams in our fridge. Shelf life is usually a couple months and with it in the fridge its ready to go! We use the Gossners brand.

I think I’m turning Chinese, I really think so….

I’ve never attempted making Chinese food before, but I really wanted to add it to our repertoire of theme nights. I was really excited to try out something different, but a little unsure of how it would turn out. I was looking for something similar to the famous Tiny Spicy Chicken from Mandrian Garden in Logan. It was close, but not the same. It was more sweet than spicy. Both the boys ate it up, so it wasn’t really that spicy.

My favorite part of the whole dinner was the ham fried rice and watching Mark and Welly bug each other with the chop sticks.

Both recipes were easy, but a little time consuming, but not too bad. I think next time I wont bread my own chicken, the meat department at Macey’s in Logan has these great bite sized chicken pieces already breaded, ones with like sesame seeds on them and one that is seasoned with a spicy buffalo, hot wing type stuff. I would use the plan ones with the sesame seeds on them. Then I would just have to make the tiny spicy sauce and the rice.

For decorations I went really simple, just using what I had on hand, a tablecloth, fake flower, red chargers and some candles. I did buy the chopsticks from Macey’s and they were pretty inexpensive. I also thought they were sturdy enough to wash and reuse. So that was handy.

Mood music was a little hard for me to come up with. I didn’t know what to search for, so I ended up using Pandora. I typed in Traditonal Chinese and it was fine, but not exactly what I had playing in my head. I’ll have to work on the music for that.

Tiny Spicy Chicken
4-5 chicken breasts cute into bite size pieces
1/2 t. garlic salt
2-3 eggs beaten
Corn Starch (I used a whole box)
Oil for frying
Sauce:
2 t. Sambal Oelek chili paste
1/4 c. ketchup
1/4 c. chicken broth
1/4 c. white vinegar
3 t. soy sauce
1 1/2 c. sugar
6 t. brown sugar

Cut chicken into bite size pieces and sprinkle with garlic salt. Refrigerate at least an hour! Then coat chicken pieces with egg then dip in corn starch making sure that each piece if heavily coated. Heat about some oil (enough to cover the chicken) in the bottom of a pan and deep fry chicken on medium heat until brown. Place deep fried chicken in a baking dish and pour sauce over the chicken. Place chicken and sauce in oven and cook for 45 minutes @ 350º, stirring every 15 minutes.

Sauce:
Place all the ingredients in a sauce pan and cook on medium heat until sugar is dissolved stirring constantly. Do not boil or double the sauce recipe.
The chili paste is easily found by the soy sauce or Chinese food section of your grocery store.

When I made this I doubled the chili paste and it was still not spicy enough for me. I think next time I’ll cut down the sugar.

Ham Fried Rice
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil or vegetable oil
3/4 cup cold cooked rice
2/3 cup diced fully cooked ham
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Dash pepper
1 dash chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce

In a skillet, cook and stir eggs in a little oil over medium heat until eggs are completely set. Remove and set aside. In same skillet, cook the rice, ham, garlic powder, ginger, pepper and chili powder if desired until heated through. Stir in soy sauce and reserved eggs. Serve immediately.

We just had ham and eggs in our ours….you can put in peas and carrots if you want. I also added a tiny bit more soy sauce. I think next time we’ll try using Spam instead of ham too.

Such a fun dinner! Gotta try it!

Heather has really nice **HUGE** buns.


The rolls without icing, picture stolen from Heathers blog.

In the search for the perfect cinnamon roll recipe, we checked with Mark’s sister Heather to see what she had. She is a great cook and has some pretty great recipes on her recipe blog! These cinnamon rolls are light and huge, and just the right amount of sugar and cinnamon filling. Her recipe is really our new favorite and I think it’s safe to say the search for the perfect recipe is over. Heathers original recipe was for 2 sheets, but since our machine can’t handle that much dough, we halved it and it still turns out fantastic.

The recipe makes 12 rolls, which are pretty good sized, but after watching a Travel Channel show that had these massive buns from a place in Texas, Mark had the idea to make 6 rolls from Heathers recipe instead of the 12. After cutting them to 6 pieces he put them on a small cookie sheet, making them rise up super huge.

As you can see, the roll next to my head is pretty huge.


It should really be a Cinnamon bun for two.

Try this recipe! It is so good!

Giant Cinnamon Rolls

Dough
1 Tbsp Yeast
2 1/4 cup Warm Water
1/3 cup Honey
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
1 large Egg
1 Tbsp Salt
6 cups All Purpose Flour (I prefer unbleached)
2 Tbsp Vital Wheat Gluten
Filling
1/4 cup Butter or Margarine
1/2 cup Sugar
2 Tbsp Cinnamon

Preparation
1. Mix yeast, water and honey and add 1/2 cup flour to feed the yeast.
Mix lightly and let it sit for a few minutes.
2. Stir in the oil, egg, and salt. Mix.
3. Add flour a cup at a time, using somewhere around 6 cups, give or
take, depending on the weather. You want a soft, slightly sticky dough
that pulls away from the sides of the bowl, but not stiff.
4. Turm your mixer on and knead the dough. Knead for 10 minutes! The
kneading is the key.
5. Place dough into an oiled bowl, cover with a damp tea towl, and let
rise for about 30 minutes.
6. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into a long rectangle.
7. Spread 1/4 cup of softened butter over top to within an inch of one
long edge.
8. Mix the sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle the mixture over top.
9. Roll dough and pinch seam to close.
10. Cut the roll into 12 slices and place 3 across and 4 down on one
large greased cookie sheet.
11. Cover the pan and let rise until doubled.
12. Bake @ 375* F till done. Check on them @ 20-25 minutes, as they
are done when lightly browned. Let cool in pan.

Heather also had a great idea about not icing them all at once, but just icing them when you eat them. That way you can pop the roll in the microwave for 15ish seconds and warm it up, and then ice it and have the icing stay on top of it instead of sliding off the side in the microwave. We just use a basic vanilla icing recipe, but you can do whatever you prefer. Here are 2 icing recipes that should work fine if you need them, though I have never personally made these icing recipes, we just sort of eye ball the basics for our icing, if you try these let us know if they are good or bad.

Basic Buttercream Icing Recipe

Cream Cheese Icing Recipe

Who’s Fryin’ Bologna?

We stumbled onto this guy on youtube a while back, and decided he was just too good to keep to ourselves. He’s that rare chef that makes you ask yourself the important questions like “Am I under utilizing my sink as counter space?”.

All joking aside, I really do want to make a bologna sammich now.