Friday, October 29, 2010

Granola

Bedtime snack or breakfast cereal? Both!

I don't use shredded coconut for my granola. I like the look and texture of toasted chipped or flaked coconut in this. To toast coconut, spread the flakes on a baking sheet in a 300F oven. Stir every 5 minutes or so. When the coconut starts to get some brown around the edges, it's done.

My favorite nuts in this granola are a mix of sliced almonds and chopped macadamia nuts. It lends itself to endless variations.

I'm not a fan of raisins or other dried fruits, so I generally leave them out.


4 cups oats
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup nuts, coarsely chopped or sliced
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 - 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup dried fruits (optional)

Preheat oven to 300F and place rack in center of oven.
Line a good sized baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, coconut, nuts, and salt.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Remove from heat. Stir in the honey, syrup, and vanilla. Toss gently to make sure all dry ingredients are coated with the butter mixture.
Spread on the baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes, stirring every five minutes. Do not overbake.
Spread on a fine mesh wire rack to cool. The granola will be sticky when it comes from the oven, but becomes crisp and dry as it cools.
When it is completely cooled, stir in your choice of dried fruit.
Store in an airtight container or plastic bag.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Spicy Cinnamon Pumpkin Muffins

It is rare that I post a recipe I have not yet made or tasted, but these just sounded good. A friend here in Amarillo got the recipe from her daughter-in-law in Houston. She said these are really good with just a enough bite to makes your tongue tingle and taste kinda like it was made with red hots! I can't wait to make this and I want to make a second batch using gingerbread instead of white cake mix.


Mini Muffin pans
1 can (15oz) solid pumpkin
1 Box white cake mix
1tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
powdered sugar

1. Heat oven to 350F. spray muffin tins with no-stick cooking spray and set aside.

2. Combine pumpkin, cake mix, cinnamon, ginger, cayenne pepper in mixing bowl. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes.

3. Spoon 1 1/2 tablespoons of muffin batter into each cup. Bake on center rack for 15 min. Dust with powdered sugar if desired.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Almond Cookies

These are thin and crisp cookies with a strong almond flavor. I found the recipe as written allowed too much cooking time. The time shown here is shortened from the original. I suggest you start with the shorter time and check the cookies. If you need to bake them longer to suit you, then add time. Ya can't uncook 'em! Watch carefully as they bake, since these cookies can go from done to burned very quickly!

Mom used to make cookies with a similar taste, but she flattened the cookies and sprinkled them with sugar. I tried it with this recipe, but all I achieved was getting a wad of cookie dough stuck on the bottom of the glass.

These cookies have a really nice almond taste.

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
8 oz. almond paste
1 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup nut meats, chopped fine (optional)

Cream the butter, sugar and egg.
Add the almond paste, flour, baking powder, baking soda and almond extract.
Beat until smooth.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Drop dough by teaspoon on parchment.
Bake at 350F for 9-11 minutes. Cool before taking off cookie sheet.

Dilled Potatoes

Recently I had dinner with friends; each of us brought a dish to contribute to the meal. Among the wonderful foods was dilled potatoes. With permission, I include the recipe. The gentleman who prepared these potatoes has a cooking blog and as a bonus, I link you to his blog, where this recipe can be found.

Ingredients:
2-4 Russet potatoes
Salt to taste
1/8th cup Onion, diced
Non Stick Spray
Dill

Pare and cut the potatoes into thick slices.
Add the salt, non stick spray and about 1/8th cup of diced onion. Not much onion is needed, but more can be added.
Place on a single layer on the baking pan.
Bake for 20-30 minutes at 425F.
When tender, sprinkle with dill.

Be sure to visit Noms Cooking blog for this and other interesting and delicious recipes and tips, complete with pictures.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Butterscotch Cookies


I've been working hard at using up the "stuff" that has tucked itself into the freezer. Today I vowed to use up the cup of butterscotch chips that have hidden themselves under the coconut.

I had to modify a recipe since I had only one cup of the chips...not enough to substitute in a chocolate chip recipe. My measuring cup that measures in ounces came in handy for this.

They came out pretty good, if I do say so myself.

Ingredients
3 oz granulated sugar (that's approximately 1/3 cup rounded)
3 oz brown sugar
1 stick of butter
1 large egg
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
generous pinch of salt
1 cup butterscotch bits

Heat oven to 375 degrees
Mix sugars, flour, butter, egg, baking soda and salt in large bowl.mix in butterscotch chips.
Roll into 1" balls and place about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet or stone.
Bake about 10 minutes or until light brown (centers will be soft).
Cool slightly; remove from sheet and finish cooling on wire rack.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pizza dough


I was in the mood for pizza tonight AND I felt like making my own dough. Sometimes I want pizza and give in to laziness and call my local pizza parlor and order one. Ah, but not tonight. I wish I had green peppers on hand, or bacon, or mushrooms, or ... All I had was cheese, pepperoni and a little hamburger meat. It was still good.

Here's the dough recipe:

1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
2 cups bread flour
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons white sugar

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine flour, oil, salt, sugar, and yeast mixture. Stir well to form a stiff dough. Cover and let rise until doubled (about 30 minutes).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Turn dough out onto a WELL floured surface. Be sure to flour your hands, too, because the dough will be soft and a bit sticky. Knead, allowing the dough to absorb enough flour to make it workable.

Spread the dough onto a pizza pan. Cover with sauce, cheese and toppings. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown (about 20 minutes).

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My sweet daughter introduced me to a brand of pizza sauce she uses. Unfortunately, it is not available here in Amarillo. I came home with 4 cans and tonight I opened the last can. We need this brand here. Oh, it is good. I guess it's time to go to NY again!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Grandma's Corn Casserole

I was craving corn casserole and I have no business fixing it just for myself. I would eat the whole thing! Fortunately, I got a call last week to come to supper and bring a dish. Ah, saved. I could feed my craving in a reasonable way and my friends, too.

5 eggs
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup milk
4 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 cans cream style corn
1 can whole kernel corn (frozen corn can be cooked and used)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Butter a large oblong glass pan
In a large bowl, lightly beat eggs.
Add butter, sugar and milk. Stir.
Mix in cornstarch (small amount of liquid into cornstarch, stir smooth, add to rest of liquid in bowl.
Stir in the corn.
Pour mixture into baking dish.
Bake for 1 hour.