Saturday, February 28, 2015

Danish Rye pretzel cookies

Anyone ever have those Danish cookies in the blue tin?  I always loved the ones in the pretzel shape.  These cookies are like that only better!

Sugared Pretzel Cookies via smitten kitchen1 large egg, hard-boiled and cooled
10 T unsalted butter, softened
1/3 c plus 1 T  sugar
1/4 t salt
1 1/2 t vanilla
1 c unbleached  flour
1/2 c rye flour (medium or white will work)
1 large egg white, lightly beaten with 1 t water
4 t turbinado or clear sanding sugar

Place butter, sugar and salt in the bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Crack egg and peel shell. Separate yolk from white; discard or feed to your child who is freaky about hard boiled egg whites. mash yolk with a fork and dump into mixer bowl with other ingredients. Beat on med speed til light and fluffy, scraping down sides of bowl and beater with spatula as needed. Add vanilla, mix until combined. Add flours and mix at low speed until just combined. Using rubber spatula or your hands, reach into bowl and knead dough a few times into a cohesive mass.

Divide dough in half; place each half on a square of parchment paper. Form each into a log about 6 inches long (it will be about 1 3/4 inches in diameter) and wrap tightly with parchment, twisting ends to seal. Chill logs for 30 minutes, until semi-firm. (If you chill them longer, you’ll want to warm them up a bit or it’s difficult to work them into pretzel shapes.)

Heat oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Slice 1/4" off first chilled log and roll slice into a ball in palm of  hands; this softens dough. On a counter, roll ball into a 6" rope. Pick up each end of rope and fold turn it into center, pressing it into a pretzel shape. Transfer to baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, placing cookies 1" apart on prepared sheets.

Brush each pretzel cookie with egg white wash, then sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake cookies until they have golden brown edges, about 13-15 min. Remove from oven but let firm up on baking sheet for 5 min before transferring cookies to cooling racks.

Cookies stored in an airtight container between sheets of waxed/parchment paper will keep for at least 1 week.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Turkey meatball and orzo soup

Turkey Meatball and orzo soup adapted from Will cook for Smiles
1 lb ground turkey
½ c bread crumbs
1 egg
1 garlic clove
2 tsp fresh minced dill weed (1 t dried)
salt and pepper to taste
2 T veg oil
1 lg yellow onion, diced
2  carrots, shredded
1 garlic clove
2 T vegetable oil
4 c chicken or turkey stock
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 c orzo
1 t minced fresh dill weed (1/2 t dried)

Meatballs: In a mixing bowl, combine meat, crushed garlic, bread crumbs, egg,  dill, salt and pepper. Mix until all evenly incorporated. Divide it into sm meatballs and leave on a tray while saute veggies.
Preheat 2 T  oil in asoup pot, over med heat. Add onion and carrots. Raise heat to med-high and saute veggies until they begin to caramelize. Stir often. When golden, add garlic and lower heat to med. Saute til garlic fragrant. remove veggies, set aside. Add 2T oil and meatballs. Cook til mostly done, turning after bottom golden. Once meatballs almost cooked, add  veggies, bay, salt and pepper, and stock to pot.Cook, covered, for about 15 min. Add orzo and dill. cook til orzo done, 10 min. remove bay leaf and serve!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Mushroom Swiss Cheeseburger Mac

Mushroom Swiss Cheeseburger Macaroni via Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen
1/2 med onion, thinly sliced
8 oz mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb hamburger
3 T Worcestershire sauce
2 T Dijon mustard
Kosher salt
Fresh cracked black pepper
3 c beef stock
8 -12 oz elbow macaroni (or other short cut pasta)
3 T butter
3 T flour
1 c milk, warmed
2 c Swiss cheese, shredded
Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)

In large skillet, heat olive oil over med heat. Add onions and sautee, stirring occasionally, until they begin to turn golden brown. About 5 min. Add mushrooms to skillet and continue to cook an additional 5 min, then add garlic and cook and another min.Increase heat to med-high and push veggies to sides of pan. Add gr beef, breaking up with a wooden spoon and stirring into sauteed veggies. Cook until there is no longer any pink. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, pasta, and beef stock. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer, and cook  10-15 min (til pasta al dente), stirring occasionally to prevent the pasta from sticking. Meanwhile, in a med pot, melt butter over med-high heat. Sprinkle in flour and whisk for a couple of min. Add warmed milk, whisking constantly until thickened. Remove from heat and add Swiss cheese a little at a time, stirring until it is melted before adding more cheese (mix will be very thick). Stir cheese sauce into hamburger mixture. Garnish with chopped parsley

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Cheater Carrot Cake Jam

Quick & Easy Carrot Cake Jam for Baking via Wicked Good Kitchen
1 (12-ounce) jar orange marmalade,
½ to 1 t molasses
½ c  grated peeled carrots, about 1 med
¼ c  crushed pineapple, well drained
¼ c flaked coconut, or unsweetened flaked coconut
½ t cinnamon,
¼ t nutmeg
¼ t cloves
¼ t  vanilla ,
1 T tapioca flour or corn starch

In med pan (not over heat), combine all ingredients except tapioca flour and crystallized ginger; stir until thoroughly combined. Set aside for 5 min to macerate.Sprinkle tapioca starch evenly over mixture and stir well to incorporate. The residual juices in the pineapple and other wet ingredients will help to dissolve the tapioca. Over med-high heat, bring mix to boil while stirring frequently. Reduce heat to med-low and cook stirring frequently until thickened, about 1 to 2 min. Remove from heat and, if desired, stir in crystallized ginger. Cool completely before using in recipes.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Sugared Cranberries

These were also made for Thanksgiving 2014.  I absolutely love them and could not stop eating them!

Sugared Cranberries from Our Best Bites
12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
1 c sugar
1 c water
*additional sugar for rolling

Wash cranberries and discard damaged ones. Place in a bowl. Combine sugar and water in a pot and heat until simmering. Stir until sugar is dissolved and let cool for a few minutes until warm (not hot). Pour over cranberries and let sit in fridge, covered, overnight. Use a slotted spoon to remove berries from syrup. Set berries on a cooling rack that is placed over foil to collect drips. Spread berries out so they are not touching each other. Let dry for 1 hour. Roll berries a handful at a time in sugar.  Place sugared berries on a baking sheet, or foil, etc. and let dry for an hour or two.I prefer to store in the fridge in an airtight container.. Try not to stack them too deep, the more they rub against each other long term, the greater chance of  sugar rubbing off.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Bubble Up Pecan Pie

This was made for Thanksgiving dinner 2014

Pecan Pie Bubble Up via Plain Chicken
1 c Karo light Corn syrup
1 c sugar
3 eggs
1 t vanilla extract
1 1/2 c chopped pecans
1 (12oz) can Pillsbury Grands Jr. Biscuits

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly spray a 9x13"  pan with cooking spray. Set aside. Whisk together corn syrup, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Stir in chopped pecans. Cut biscuits into quarters and toss in pecan mixture. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake 25-30

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Tex Mex Ravioli Casserole

Easy Tex-Mex Ravioli Casserole via The Kitchen is My Playground
1 (24 oz.) jar salsa
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
2 t cumin
2 (20 oz.) packages frozen cheese ravioli, thawed
2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, rinsed and drained (3 c cooked)
1 c. chopped fresh cilantro
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1 1/2 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese

In a mixing bowl, combine salsa, tomato sauce, and ground cumin. Pour 1/2 c salsa mixture in bottom of a lightly greased 9 x 13"  dish. Place first bag of ravioli evenly over sauce, covering  entire bottom of  baking dish. Top ravioli evenly with  black beans, green onions, cilantro, and 1 c salsa mix. Layer remaining bag of ravioli on top of black bean/cilantro layer. Top with remaining salsa mixture; sprinkle evenly with cheddar cheese. Bake at 350F for 45 min. Let stand 5 min before serving.