Tuesday, January 31, 2012

24 Carrot Soup

When I asked my students and faculty if they had tried carrot soup....the answer was a unanimous.... No! So since we are now in the soup unit of my adventures in Food Class, I thought I would demo some delicious Carrot-Ginger Soup. First time I tasted this combo was from Trader Joe's, and it was pretty good for a soup in a cardboard type box. I was then on the search for a CopyCat of the recipe, and I think I've come pretty close.

In the directions you may some a couple of things that may sound unfamiliar to you, such as: "Dutch Oven"...which is a 2 handled, 5qt stock pot with a lid. And Immersion Blender...which is a long electric mixer with a spinning blade on the end, allowing you to puree your saucy type items in the pan, without putting them in blender or food processor. It may become your best friend once you have used it.


1 medium onion chopped
1/4 cup butter, cubed
4 1/2 cups sliced carrots
1 large potato, peeled and cubed
3 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 cups half and half
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

1. In a Dutch oven, saute onion in butter until tender. Add carrots, potato, broth and ginger. Cover and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Cool for 15 minutes.
2. Using the amazing immersion blender, process until smooth. Stir in the 1/2 and 1/2, rosemary, salt and pepper. Cook over low heat until heated through.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

No Monkeying around with Monkey Bread

This is a huge favorite in our house. Best known as the pull apart sweet dough, this breakfast addition is super wonderful. Most people will make it with pre-bought biscuit dough , but I prefer to cut down the calories a little bit. It's high enough with the calories it has in it now........ This is still easy to make so give it a try!

The dough should be sticky, but if you find that it's too wet and not coming together in the mixer, add 2 tablespoons more flour and mix until the dough forms a cohesive mass. After baking, don't let the bread cool in the pan for more than 5 minutes or it will stick to the pan and come out in pieces. Monkey Bread is at its best when served warm

MONKEY BREAD (Adapted from Cook's Illustrated)


For the Dough
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus 2 tablespoons melted
1 cup warm milk

1/3 cup warm water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 package rapid-rise yeast or instant yeast
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons table salt

For the Sugar Coating
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), melted

For the Glaze
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons milk

For the Dough:
**Adjust oven rack to medium-low position and heat oven to 200 degrees. When oven reaches 200 degrees, turn it off. Butter Bundt pan with 2 tablespoons softened butter. Set aside.
**In large measuring cup, mix together milk, water, melted butter, sugar, and yeast. Mix flour and salt in standing mixer fitted with dough hook, (see below for making Monkey Bread without a mixer). Turn machine to low and slowly add milk mixture. After dough comes together, increase speed to medium and mix until dough is shiny and smooth, 6 to 7 minutes. Turn dough onto lightly floured counter and knead briefly to form smooth, round ball. Coat large bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Place dough in bowl and coat surface of dough with cooking spray. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in warm oven until dough doubles in size, 50 to 60 minutes.

For the Sugar Coating:
**While dough is rising, mix sugar and cinnamon together in bowl. Place melted butter in second bowl. Set aside.

To Form the Bread:
** Gently remove dough from bowl, and pat into rough 8-inch square. Using bench scraper or knife, cut dough into 64 pieces. (See photos 1 and 2 below.)
**Following photo 3 below, roll each dough piece into a ball. Working one at a time, dip balls in melted butter, allowing excess butter to drip back into bowl. Roll in sugar mixture layer balls in Bundt pan, staggering seams where dough balls meet as you build layers.

**Cover Bundt pan tightly with plastic wrap and place in turned-off oven until dough balls are puffy and have risen 1 to 2 inches from top of pan, 50 to 70 minutes.
**Remove pan from oven and heat oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap pan and bake until top is deep brown and caramel begins to bubble around edges, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then turn out on platter and allow to cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

For the Glaze:

** While bread cools, whisk confectioners' sugar and milk in small bowl until lumps are gone. Using whisk, drizzle glaze over warm monkey bread, letting it run over top and sides of bread. Serve warm.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Mistake , but it worked out....

So I made these cookies today, and as usual making them from memory with no recipe. And I was chit chatting, and trying to hurry. Which I guess you shouldn't do when baking.....and I forgot the granulated sugar. Yes the sugar! Well it didn't turn out too bad. I might not have know, because the taste was still delicious, but I went to fill the sugar canister and realized I hadn't used it.....Ugh!
It turned out fine, and my friends on a diet thought it was terrific ......they could afford to eat two. I don't know where that thinking came from, but I go with it! LOL So here it is my delicious -less sugar Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
1 c. butter
1 c. shortening
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 c. oatmeal flakes
2 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. coconut
2 c. chocolate chips

* Cream the butter, shortening, and sugar
* Add the eggs and vanilla, continue to mix
* Add the baking soda, oatmeal, flour, coconut
* Fold in the chocolate chip
* Bake for 10 minutes @ 375 degrees

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Super Simple and Fast Pizza Dough

I have come up with the easiest pizza dough that will have you skipping the takeout route. This dough can be ready in about 15 minutes, then top with toppings, and then into the oven for 13 minutes. With the addition of a little more yeast and sugar, and then a little less salt, you're on the way!



3/4 cup luke warm water (May need 1 to 2 Tbl. more at end)

1 Tbl. yeast

2 tsp. sugar

1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup bread flour

2 Tbl oil

1/2 tsp. salt

Directions (stand mixer with dough hook is best)

1. Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water

2. Add in the 2 cups of flour, continue to mix well

3. Add in oil and salt, continue kneading with the mixer, until it comes together to a soft dough. That is not sticky. *Remember you may have to add more water gradually.

4. Place dough ball in plastic wrap, and place in microwave oven for 30 seconds to "proof", transfer to lightly floured surface to shape into round pizza disk. do this half way, let rest 2 minutes, then continue. Don't forget to form crust. Dock the dough before adding sauce.

5. Add toppings and bake for 13 minutes @ 425 degrees.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Pulled Pork Sliders

Simple and super delicious. These little sliders were the hit of the NYE party I catered over the weekend. This recipe is so crockpot easy. After the pork has cooked for about 6 or 7 hours, it is easy to pull apart with two forks and just shredd it. The Root Beer ads that little hint of sweetness. Party on!

Pulled Pork
2 pounds of Pork Loin
1 can of Root Beer
1 bottle of Spicy BBQ sauce

Place all ingredients in Slow cooker on high/medium for 6 to 7 hours. Pull apart to shred. Add more sauce before serving if you prefer.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!!!!

Happy New Year Everyone!!!

Have you made your New Year's resolutions yet? There are those of us who do, and those of us who don't. I fall in the category of those who would like to, but would probably break it anyway, so why bother. Of course, I do hope to lose a few pounds, just like everyone else. Maybe I would be able to keep that one. But, it is so hard when you love to bake. LOL....

Have a Happy and Healthy 2012!