God bless your table tonight!
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
Now, if you look closely, the expiration date for the beef was the day after I bought it, but I got it home, used 1.5 pounds right away, divided the rest up, and put it in the freezer. So don't be afraid to check the meat case when you go to the store...they have to get rid of product all the time, and reduce it drastically to get it sold. Otherwise, they have to throw it out. But if you snap it up, you could save money...and who doesn't want that?
FOR THE CILANTRO CREAM SAUCE:
Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a container. Refrigerate until ready to use. This is best made early in the day so the flavors have time to develop.
In a large skillet, brown the beef, garlic and onions together over medium heat.
Remove the pan from the heat and set aside. Lightly spray a deep dish pie plate, cast iron skillet or other oven proof casserole pan with some non-stick cooking spray.
Mix up the cornbread according to the box directions. You'll want to follow the directions for "cornbread" on the side of the box. (The back of the box has directions for corn muffins.)
Pour the meat filling into the pan and smooth the top.
Sprinkle the cheese over the meat. (Alternatively, you can stir the cheese into the meat mixture instead of putting it on top.)
Gently spoon the cornbread batter over the cheese, and spread to the edge of the pan. There should be just enough. It doesn't have to be perfect either, as long as it's covering most of the meat, it will be fine.
Bake at 400 degrees for 25030 minutes or until the cornbread is a nice golden brown. Let stand for 10 minutes. Serve with the Cilantro Cream Sauce (although plain sour cream or salsa is also great).
This made enough for 2 nights, and David had seconds both nights. (I won't tell you how much sauce he used...it was downright illegal!).
God bless your table tonight!
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
So...I decided to make Paula Deen's Chocolate Bread Pudding, (which I've made several times before) and bake them in individual foil liners (using a muffin tin). I also made Chocolate Cake Ball Lollipops (for the first time). I actually followed The Pioneer Woman's Recipe for the cake balls, because her posts are always very detailed along with gorgeous pictures of the process.
A couple of notes....I cut the bread into fairly small cubes for the pudding, and used mini-chocolate chips. If you read the reviews on the website for Paula Deen's recipe, everyone believes 2 teaspoons of almond extract is too much, and I totally agree...that amount would overwhelm the chocolate flavor. I only used 1/2 teaspoon, and I think it's just right.
When I made the cake balls, I did add about one teaspoon of shortening to the candy melts to make it a bit thinner and easier to work with. I used one box of devil's food chocolate cake mix and coated 1/2 the balls in white candy melts, and 1/2 in dark chocolate candy melts. When you dip the cake balls, make sure to use a deep bowl or large, deep mug to complete submerge the cake balls. Rotate the balls right after they're dipped, so the coating is nice and smooth. I used a 1 inch sheet of styrofoam to stick the cake ball lollipops in while they dried.
Here's a pic of the chocolate bread pudding...
And here's the cake ball lollipops...
Even though they look fancy, the cake ball lollipops were not hard to make at all. They did take some time. You have to bake the cake, crumble it up, mix it with the frosting, form the mixture into balls, freeze them for one hour, and then dip them in the candy melts. But it was FUN! Seriously...these were fun to make, and I cannot wait to make more for a bake sale, birthday party, baby shower, etc. You can color the white candy melts any color you want. I poured the leftover candy melts into miniature squeeze bottles (available at Walmart) to make the chocolate swirls.
If you have a party to go to, I encourage you to try either one of these recipes. They are super cute and everyone will rave over them. I got several lovely compliments at the social...which was very humbling. I really hadn't been in the mood to cook or bake since Easter (I guess I was a bit burned out), but these desserts were just the thing to help me get creative again.
Monday, April 20, 2009
What do you think? I really love it!
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Light Wheat Rolls
Now, in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the yeast mixture, sugar, salt, butter, egg, and whole wheat flour. Let it go for a couple of minutes on low speed. You don't want to beat this to death...otherwise you'll develop too much gluten from the flour and your bread will be tough.
Add the all-purpose flour, a 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. You may need an additional 1/4 of flour, but don't add more, even if the dough feels sticky. Too much flour will make your bread heavy...and that's no fun.
Turn the dough out into a lightly greased bowl (non-stick cooking spray works fine)...
cover with a clean kitchen/tea towel, and let rise until double in volume, about 1 hour. This is what it will look like after 1/2 an hour.
Here's a trick to getting your dough to rise on a really cold day (like it was today). Turn on your oven and let it preheat for ONE MINUTE. It doesn't matter what temperature you set it at, but only leave it on for ONE MINUTE. Then turn it off, put your dough in, and shut the oven door quickly so the heat doesn't escape.
This gives your dough a nice, barely warm place to rise. Here's what the dough looks like after one hour...it should be doubled size, and very fluffy looking.
Punch the dough down...
cover it, and let it rise again for about 1/2 an hour. It should look like it did after the first rising.
After 1/2 an hour, punch the dough down again, and turn it out on a lightly floured surface. Let rest for about 5 minutes.
While the dough is resting, grease 2 dozen muffin cups (that's 24 for all you non-math majors like me) with the melted butter. Yes, you could use cooking spray or margarine, but why? Butter is better people, okay, trust me. And don't tell me your not going to split these open later and slather them with butter anyway. So why not start now?
Divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Divide each piece again, and then divide the quarters into 6 equal pieces. Got that? We're dividing the dough into 24 pieces. You can use a little bit of flour on your hands if you need to keep them from sticking to the dough. I'm sorry I couldn't take pics of the process, my hands were covered in flour :-).
Take each piece and gently pull the edges together. The underside will look like this...
and the top will be nice and smooth, like this...
Place into the grease muffin cups.
Continue with the rest of the dough until you have all 24 muffin cups filled.
Cover and let rise one last time for about 45 minutes, or until doubled in volume.
Brush each of the dough balls with some melted butter. Do this very gently so you don't deflate your dough.
Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown on top.
You should have just enough melted butter left to brush each roll one more time. I know...I know...but it's SO GOOD!
Pile the rolls into a basket and serve warm.
Everyone in our house LOVES these rolls...when I served them with the Tortellini Soup, Gabriel had one bowl of soup and 3 rolls, lol!
I hope you try these out...once you do, you'll see it's not so hard to make your own bread. And BTW, these can be frozen and reheated in the oven or microwave, and they'll taste like they were just-baked.
God bless your table tonight!
Thursday, April 9, 2009
There was a great substitute teacher, Maria, who I met during my second year of teaching. She was in great demand because she was known for staying on top of things, keeping papers organized for the teachers who were absent, and her gentle, yet firm style of discipline. Maria didn't let the kids get away with things just because she was a "sub."
So, here's a simple, comforting bowl of soup, guaranteed to warm your insides!
That's it for Lent this year everyone! Hope you enjoyed meatless cooking with me!