Thursday, November 27, 2008
Then, one year, a coworker brought in a recipe his wife made called "Almost Pumpkin Pie." Essentially, it's a pumpkin dump cake. And I love, love, loved it. I was singing its praises to Kara when I got home that evening, but she was skeptical. Then I made some. Now she's hooked. In fact, it's our new Thanksgiving tradition. Here's the recipe:
Almost Pumpkin Pie
1 can (16oz) pumpkin puree
1 can (5 oz) evaporated milk
1 1/2 c sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 box (18.5 oz) yellow cake mix
2 sticks butter, melted
chopped walnuts (optional but highly recommended)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine pumpkin, eggs, evaporated milk, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a bowl; mix well. Pour the mixture into a 9x13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle the dry cake evenly over the pumpkin mixture. Drizzle the butter on top and sprinkle with nuts.
Bake for 50 minutes. Serve chilled with whipped cream.
From the A Slice of Kentucky cookbook.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Shortly before Mike was born (about 2 years ago), I resolved to knit him booties and a hat. I hadn't ever knitted with needles before, but I wasn't going to let that stop me. In fact, I was going to jump right to knitting with five needles. In the round. So I found a sock pattern and had a go. They turned out not so bad, although Mike had such big feet when he was born that they only barely fit him. The hat was a bit more complex; it had three colors of yarn, and several different stitch patterns, but with the practice I obtained on the socks, the hatwork wasn't as rough.
I was still knitting the hat while Kara was in labor and finished just before Mike was born. Unfortunately, the hat was way too large for Mike even with as big of a head as he had. So it waited for him to get a bigger head. Just last week--two years after I made his hat--I saw the hat in the closet and tried it on Mike. Yay! It finally fits! Maybe I'll work on sizing my next knitting project better.
*Post did not actually win any awards.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Ramen Chicken Dinner
3 packages (3 ounces each) chicken ramen noodles
2 1/2 c frozen peas and carrots
2 c frozen broccoli
1 1/2 c water
1 1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch strips or cubes
2 Tbsp canola oil
1/3 c soy sauce
1/3 c canola oil
3 Ramen seasoning packs
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp chile powder
Set aside seasoning packet from the noodles. In a 2-qt. microwave-safe dish, combine the noodles, frozen vegetables, celery, peas and water. Cover and microwave on high for 8-10 minutes or until noodles and vegetables are tender, stirring once.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, oil, contents of seasoning packets, sugar and chile powder. Set sauce aside.
Drizzle 2 Tbsp of oil into a frying pan placed over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook 5-10 minutes or until done. In the last 2 minutes of cooking, add about 3 Tbsp sauce. When done, stir chicken into noodle mixture.
Pour remaining sauce over chicken mixture. Microwave, uncovered, on high 45 seconds longer or until heated through.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
James' Amish Friendship Bread
spray oil (PAM or similar)
1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 c. lowfat vanilla yogurt (I used sour cream due to my lack of yogurt)
1/2 c. canola oil
1/2 c. lowfat milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 c. AFB starter
2 tbsp. coarse sugar (I used the leftover cinnamon sugar)
Preheat the oven to 325F. Spray bottoms and sides of two loaf pans with oil. Mix 1/4 c. sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon and use to coat insides of pans, saving any excess.
In a large bowl, briefly beat two eggs. Add remaining wet ingredients (except starter) and stir until uniform. In a medium bowl, stir together dry ingredients. Dump dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix just until moistened (as with pancake batter, some lumps may remain). Fold in 1 c. starter.
Divide batter between loaf pans and sprinkle top of each loaf uniformly with 1 tbsp. of coarse sugar. Bake 45 min. or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out mostly clean with just a few crumbs.
Let loaves cool in pans 15 minutes or so, then remove to finish cooling on a rack. Slice and enjoy! It’s extra good with a bit of butter or spread, especially while still a bit warm.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Amish Friendship Pancakes
I recommend that you add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk to your starter at least 24 hours prior to making these pancakes, but 2-3 days prior would be better. If you make the additions just before making the pancakes, then you're effectively diluting the yeast. Yeah, you can do it, but they won't have that little bit of tartness that gives them character.
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp oil
2 cups Amish batter
1/2 cup milk (plus/minus 1/4 cup)
Combine first 4 ingredients in large bowl. Combine last 4 ingredients in smaller bowl. Add ingredients of smaller bowl to ingredients of large bowl and mix until blended. Let batter rest 5-10 minutes. Cook as you would with regular pancake batter.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Set it on the counter and watch the bubbles.
Note: DO NOT REFRIGERATE this starter. If you do, the little microbes will go to sleep and not make those nice gas bubbles and you'll have flatbread, which is a whole different recipe. Ha ha.
Mush the bag a little and let out the air.
Add 1 cup self-rising flour*, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk. Mush the bag a little and let out the air.
Mush the bag a little and let out the air.
Add 1 cup self-rising flour*, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Stir. You've now got just over 4 cups worth of starter. You could:
- Make 4 bread recipes, each of which calls for about a cup of starter and each makes about 2-3 loaves OR
- Make 3 bread recipes and have one cup left over that you can use as a starter for next week OR
- Make 2 bread recipes, have one cup left over that you can use as a starter for next week, and give one starter to a friend OR
- Make 1 bread recipe, have one cup left over that you can use as a starter for next week, and give one starter to 2 friends OR
You could reduce the day 6 and/or day 10 additions to 1/2 cup each and have less starter on day 10. I personally find it hard to find time to bake every 10 days, so I shifted day 6 to day 3 or 4, and bake every 7th day. It seems to work fine.
*I use homemade self-rising flour because the recipe I received said to use it. It's just 1 c all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt. I don't suppose you have to use self-rising, which some purists may consider cheating, but I figure if you've got it you might as well give your bread every advantage you can.
Now, you'll be wanting recipes. You can Google Amish Friendship Bread Recipe, or you could look up the recipes I've used for Chocolate Bread, Banana Bread, and Plain Sourdough.
Mini Surprise Cookies
16 Tbsp (2 sticks) softened butter or margarine
1 c creamy peanut butter -- There's a time and a place for chunky peanut butter, and this is neither the time nor the place!
1 c light brown sugar
1 c granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 pkg mini candy bars:
Snickers/Milky Way "larger" size, or Milk Chocolate Hershey "smaller" size work fine. Cut Twix in half and lay halves side-by-side.
In an electric mixer, combine butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on low until fluffy. Slowly add eggs and vanilla until combined. Slowly add flour, salt, and baking soda. Cover and chill dough for 2-3 hours.
Unwrap minis. Remove dough.
Scoop out one Tablespoon-size ball, adding slightly more for larger minis. (Is that like "jumbo shrimp?") Flatten ball, then form around mini making sure that a good seal is achieved. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes. Cool on rack or waxed paper. Makes about 4 dozen.