Friday, June 24, 2011

Whole Wheat Bread

That flat rock is my first try
   I've searched for years for a delicious wheat bread recipe that would raise well.  Lets face it, wheat bread is usually heavy and slow to raise.  My friend Eva and The Momma's loaves are always tall and tasty, so I asked them for the recipe... Turns out I already have it (Marilyns Famous Bread Recipe), but my loaves were not that great - they were flat!  I'm not a horrible bread maker, so I was puzzled.  I don't use a bread maker or mill my own flour, but I use quality flour.  Turns out, The Momma has changed the recipe slightly... So here is the adjusted recipe from The Momma**.

 Hand Method: (yields 3 loaves)
1/3 C honey
1/3 C oil
3 1/2 C Warm Water
2 tablespoons yeast
1 tablespoon salt
3-4 C whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons TB Dough Enhancer
    (I made my own, but if you want, you can add lecithin (you can get this from a health foods store - use the same amount of yeast)

Combine the warm water, yeast, and 2 Cups of fresh whole wheat flour in a large mixing bowl. Allow to sponge for 15 minutes. Add the honey, oil, dough enhancer, salt and 4-5 cups additional flour until the dough begins to clean the sides of the mixing bowl. Do not allow the dough to get too stiff (too dry). Dough should be smooth and elastic. It is a common mistake for the beginning bakers to add too much flour.

Knead the bread by hand 7-10 minutes or until it is very smooth, elastic, and small bubbles or blisters appear beneath the surface of the dough.  Six to ten minutes of kneading  should be sufficient to develop the gluten if you are using fresh flour. If you are kneading by hand, be sure to add the minimum amount of flour to keep the dough soft and pliable by using a tsp of oil on your hands and kneading surface.

Turn dough out onto floured surface, shape loaves and place in prepared greased loaf  pans.  Cover with a towel and allow to rise in a slightly warmed oven or other warm place until doubled in size (about 30-60 minutes).

Bake loaves for 25-30 minutes in a 350º oven.  Bread is cooked through when it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, and when the top and sides are a golden brown color. I like to take a stick of butter and run it over the fresh baked loaves. 

My family was thrilled to have good fresh wheat bread and I'm tickled to have a great recipe and wanted to share it with you.  If you need to see the recipe for a bread machine or are just curious, click the link above for Marilyn's bread.

**The Momma and Eva both use a Bosch or similar type bread machine for mixing and kneading. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Lemon chicken with White Wine and Parsley

   I love to find a great recipe, using chicken, and when it incorporates lemon, it is an even bigger hit.  One of our favorite dishes is Lemon chicken with White Wine and Parsle, that I discovered in my autographed copy of Tyler Florence's Eat This Book, Cooking with Global Fresh Flavors , which I won from Debra at  Our Imperfect Life. It has so many wonderful recipes that I look forward to trying on my family (Whipped Sweet Potatoes and Bananas with Honey, Sauteed Feta Cheese, Crispy Potato Pancakes with Cinnamon Apples and Fresh Thyme, etc. ).


  • 4 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts (about 11/2 pounds)
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, with rind, cut in thin rounds
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley


Put the chicken breasts side by side on a cutting board and lay a piece of plastic wrap over them. Pound the chicken breasts with a flat meat mallet, until they are about 1/4-inch thick.

Put some flour in a shallow platter and season with a fair amount of salt and pepper; mix with a fork to distribute evenly. In a wide bowl, beat the eggs with 3 tablespoons of water to make an egg wash. Heat the oil over medium-high flame in a large skillet.

Dredge both sides of the chicken cutlets in the seasoned flour, and then dip them in the egg wash to coat completely, letting the excess drip off. When the oil is nice and hot, add the cutlets and fry for 2 minutes on each side until golden, turning once. Remove the chicken cutlets to a large platter in a single layer to keep warm.

Toss the lemon slices into the pan and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant. Add the wine, broth, and lemon juice, simmer for 5 minutes to reduce the sauce slightly.

Roll the butter in some flour and add it to the skillet, this will thicken the sauce. Stir to incorporate and dissolve the flour. Reduce the heat to medium-low and return the chicken to the pan; place the lemon slices on top of the cutlets. Simmer gently for 2 minutes to heat the chicken through. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with chopped parsley before serving.

 I hope you get the chance to try this tantalizing chicken dish, maybe some carrots, steamed snow peas, peasant bread, and Fettuccine Alfredo.

Marilyn's Fettuccine Alfredo

The one pasta dish that my family request frequently is Fettuccine Alfredo.  For years I did the Philly Cream Cheese version, and it is good, but it wasn't quite the right taste and texture.  It wasn't until we were having dinner with my friend Marilyn, that my whole family went crazy over her version and she willingly gave me the recipe.  I love it because it so simple and tasty.

Marilyn's Fettuccine Alfredo


1 Stick butter
1 C. sour cream
1 beaten egg
1 C. grated parmesan cheese
dash of nutmeg

The Method
Melt 1 stick of butter and 1 C. sour cream in a sauce pan.  As soon as it is melted, take it off the burner, put in 1 beaten egg.  Add 1 C. parmesan cheese, dash of nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.  Stir until smooth.

Mix with 1 package of cooked fettuccine noodles, Serve immediately.  I sometimes add a touch of dried parsley for a nice touch of color.

Cinnamon Butter

When we have the opportunity, we love to stop at Sante Fe Cattle Co. in Broken Arrow, OK.  The rustic western theme, paired with movie and real cowboy pictures, unique decor (including a massive ceiling fan),awesome food and fun atmosphere makes us anticipate each visit. Between the bucket of peanuts my crew loves to munch on and starting with their homemade biscuits with Cinnamon butter, we've yet to have a bad experience.  Yummo! 

This is the closest I've come to their Cinnamon Butter

1 Stick of butter
1 Tablespoon honey
2 teaspoon Cinnamon

Whip the butter, add in the honey and cinnamon, chill a bit if it's too soft. Taste great on Country Biscuits

Country Store Biscuits

My family loves biscuits, especially the ones from Cracker Barrel because they are so light and fluffy.  Though you use Bisquick, they don't taste like it.  After searching and different trials and error with recipes, this is the closest that I've come from Recipezaar

It makes about 10 biscuits
15 minutes prep time

2 1/4 C. Bisquick - (I use Heart Smart Bisquick)
2/3 C. buttermilk
1 tsp. sugar
1 Tbsp butter, melted
also, melted butter for brushing on the biscuits

  • Preheat oven to 450.

  • Mix the Bisquick, buttermilk and sugar together in a bowl.

  • Add the melted butter into the batter.

  • Stir until a soft dough forms.

  • Turn out onto a well floured work surface.

  • Knead 20 times (this is a very forgiving dough), and don't be afraid to get additional flour into the dough.

  • Roll 1/2 thick, or thicker if you prefer towering biscuits.

  • Place close together on an ungreased baking sheet.

  • Brush tops with melted butter.

  • Bake for 8 to 10 minutes; I usually find 8 minutes is enough.

  • When you remove the biscuits from the oven, brush the tops with melted butter again.

  • Nutrition Facts
    Serving Size 45 g

    Amount Per Serving
    Calories from Fat
    % Daily Value*
    Total Fat            3.0g          5%
    Saturated Fat     0.8g         4%
    Cholesterol         4mg         1%
    Sodium           316mg        13%
    Total Carbohydrates  
                          19.4g          6%
    Dietary Fiber     0.7g          3%
    Sugars             3.2g        Protein             2.6g

    Vitamin A 1% Vitamin C 0%
    Calcium 12% Iron 5%
    Nutrition Grade B-
    * Based on a 2000 calorie diet

    Sunday, June 12, 2011

    Marilyn's Carrots

    One late afternoon, I was helping a Marilyn (who is an awesome cook)  prepare a meal at church.  The thought of fixing carrots for 400+ people was daunting - especially since I held the peeler in my hand.  I should have signed up for something different, but what I learned was a fantastically easy way to fix delicious carrots for either a large or small group.  Here is her recipe:

    1. Peeled and sliced carrots, cook them until tender. To make this really easy, I love to use baby carrots.  They are just the right size and already peeled.
    2. Put the carrots in a baking dish
    3. Sprinkle with brown sugar
    4. Melt butter, mix with a little ginger and honey to taste.  The butter should come up 1/4 of the way on the bottom of the dish.
    5. Pour over carrots.  I like to sprinkle a little chopped parsley - makes it look pretty.
    6. Cover with foil and bake.  Since the carrots are already tender, you don't have to bake this very long at all. 

    Friday, June 10, 2011

    Martha's Fudge Sauce

      Years ago, when I was growing up, my mom used to love watching Martha Stewart.  She saw her make some delicious fudge sauce one day and decided it had to be good. Martha has changed her original recipe since then, and I didn't find the original recipe on her website, It is so awesome on ice cream, that I wanted to share it with you.

    Martha Stewart Fudge Sauce

    1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 cup light corn syrup
    1/4 cup light cream 
    1/8 teaspoon salt 
    1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
                (I leave out the above salt if I only have regular butter)

    1/2 teaspoon vanilla or Kahlua
               (I like to use Kahlua because it enhances the chocolate flavor)


    1. Combine all ingredients in saucepan except for vanilla.  
    2. Cook over med. heat.
    3. Stir until mixture boils.
    4. Set timer and boil for 2 minutes, I stir mine constantly so it does not stick
    5. (Don't boil for more than 3 minutes or it will become like fudge).
    6. Turn off heat and stir in vanilla.
    7. Store in refrigerator up to a week.
    8. Can reheat in microwave for a few seconds at a time or place in pan of hot water until sauce warms and thins.

    Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

    I'm sure they had ulterior motives, but I'm not sure I cared.  Honey and the kids gave me a 6 qt. ice cream maker for Mother's Day this year.  I was very anxious to try it out and since we consume an embarrassing amount of Blue Bell Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, I decided to try that first.  We make a huge amount of ice cream each year, but most of it is Frosty Ice Cream (like a Wendy's Frosty) and we have actually burned a motor out on a ice cream maker in one summer before.  Ice cream is really the only sweet that we keep in the house - dangerous isn't it?  Here is the recipe I used and got rave reviews.  I have included measurements for a 4 qt. and 6 qt recipe.

    Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

                                       4 qt.                6 qt. 

    Milk                               2  2/3 C           4 C

    sugar                            2 C                 3 C

    salt                               pinch               1/4 tsp

    Half and half                   2 2/3 C           4 C.

    Vanilla extract                4 tsp.            2 Tbsp

    Whipping Cream             5 1/3 C            8 C

    Mint extract                   1 1/3 tsp         2 tsp

    Green food coloring        1/2 tsp         2/3 tsp

    Chocolate chips              10 2/3 oz        16 oz
                                         or                 or
                                        1 1/2 C        2 1/3 C

    Scald milk until it bubbles from around the edge of the pan.  Remove from heat.  Add sugar and salt.  Stir until dissolved.  Stir in Half and Half, vanilla and whipping cream.  Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.

    While it is cooling, take the chocolate chips (I used 1/2 semi-sweet and 1/2 dark chocolate) and chop them into finer bits.  A food processor is an awesome tool here.  Make sure they are just smaller bit, not pulverized!  If your local store carries Nestle Toll House or other brand of Mini chocolate chips, they are perfect.  My friend Amy used 1/2 C. Andes Thin Mints Baking Chips and 1 cup Semi sweet chocolate chips and her family loved it.

    Take the chilled mixture from the fridge, add the mint extract and green food coloring to it.  Pour the mixture into the ice cream canister and follow the ice cream maker's directions and freeze.  I found that allowing the ice cream to freeze and then adding the chocolate chips works great - after about 25-30 minutes or whenever it stops!

    We'll just see how long the 1 1/2 gallons of this yummy concoction lasts.  It is definitely cheaper than the $6 a gal (or $3.98 if I really watch for a sale)!  I'd love to hear if you try this how it turned out for you and how you like it! 

    Thursday, June 9, 2011

    Blueberry Muffins

    Blueberry Muffins
    from the Muffin Lady

    Our family loves when I make fresh blueberry muffins
    2 rounded C. flour
    1 C. sugar
    1 tbsp. baking powder
    1 tsp. salt 
    2 eggs
    1/4 C. oil (I use olive oil, but you can use what you have on hand)
    4 tbsp. butter, melted
    3/4  C. milk
    1 tsp. vanilla
    8 oz of frozen blueberries or 1/2 pint fresh berries.  
    Preheat oven to 350º. Sift all dry ingredients together.  make a well in the center.  Add the eggs, oil, butter, milk, and vanilla.  Gently hand-mix until all the liquid is absorbed.  Fold in the blueberries. I use 1/3 cup of batter in each parchment paper** lined 12-muffin unit. Bake  for 30-40 minutes, depending on the doneness of the muffins in the center of the tin.  When you press against the tops of the muffins, they should be firm to the touch. 

    ** Handy Hint: I use parchment paper cut up into squares  about 5 1/2 x 5 1/2 is a good size.  The muffins don't stick to the paper and allows you to fill a tad bit more than regular muffin/cupcake paper liners.  Pretty cheap as well.  Just form the paper in the muffin hole space and add about 1/3 C. of the muffin batter.

    Blueberry Syrup

    Every June
    Skaggs Berry Farm
      beckons  us
    luscious plump berries
    eager fingers search
    buckets fill
    victory is sweet

    Mother Earth News

    Picking with the Princess
    Blueberry Syrup

    4 cups Blueberries
    2 Tbsp. lemon juice
    1 cup water
    1-1/4 cups sugar

    In a 3 qt saucepan, cook berries, water, and lemon juice on high heat to boiling.  Boil for 2 minutes, mashing berries with a  large spoon**.  Add the sugar and cook over high heat to rolling boil for 30 seconds.   Cool.  Will keep in refrigerator up to 2 months.  Makes 3 1/2 cups of syrup. 

    We love this on waffles, pancakes, french toast with some whipped topping or just take a spoon and enjoy before anyone wakes up. 

    **I have found that if I don't want a really lumpy syrup, I put mine in the food processor or blender for a few seconds.  If the syrup mixture is really hot, you need to let it cool before putting it in the blender or the heat may build up and you'll have a mess.