Sunday, January 19, 2014

sourdough biscuits

Back when we looked like this...

...and that was a few years ago...but back then, we got engaged.  My father-in-law announced that he was taking care of the whole rehearsal dinner.  And boy did he!

He picked out one of his own prize lambs to slaughter for the big day, and he smoked it for about 4 days before the event.  He made several different kinds of homemade ice cream, froze them in individual containers, placed those containers in buckets of water, froze those buckets, and then covered the buckets in frozen sleeping bags.  I get tired just thinking about it!

And he also experimented with a sourdough biscuit recipe until he got it just right.  :)

Everything turned out beautifully.  The lamb was delicious, the ice cream stayed frozen despite the August heat, and the bread was such a hit that I asked for the recipe.  Here it is!

First, dissolve yeast in water.  Then, add all of the remaining ingredients and knead until the dough is no longer sticky, adding flour if necessary.  Place it in a greased bowl and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, roll it out about two inches thick...

...and then cut it into biscuits.

Bake the biscuits at 450 degrees for about half an hour or until beautifully golden.

And that's it!  The only rising that takes place is what happens overnight in the fridge, so these are a relatively quick fix.  The sourdough flavor is very subtle, so even sourdough haters will dig in to these!

Sourdough Biscuits
  • 1 pkg. active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 t. salt
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 4 t. baking powder
  • 1/4 t. baking soda
  • 6 or more cups flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add remaining ingredients and stir or knead. Continue adding flour until dough is no longer sticky. Place dough in a greased bowl - cover and place in refrigerator overnight. The next day, roll out dough to a 2-inch thickness and cut into biscuits. Place on greased cookie sheet and bake at 450 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

Monday, January 13, 2014

mississippi mud cake

I've been attempting to lose weight, therefore I've decided to share with you a recipe for one of the richest, chocolatiest cakes ever.

Yeah...never said my goal was to make any sense.

Anyway, this cake is fabulous.  Seriously, it's so good you'll want to cry.  Or giggle.  Or whatever it is that you do when you eat fabulous cake.  Personally, I do a happy dance.

I got this recipe from my mother-in-law who got it from her mother.  It's something that's been served at family gatherings on multiple occasions, and I've known for a while that it's one of Cookie Bandit's favorites.  So when I was trying to figure out what special dessert to make him on his birthday, I instantly thought of this!

This cake is a delicious combination of three things - fudgy, nutty, dense chocolate cake...creamy marshmallow...and rich and thick chocolate icing.  Oh, be still my heart!

Here's how you make it...

You cream butter and sugar together until they are light and fluffy.  And by the way, you will need electric beaters for this.  I'm still not one of the cool kids who own a Kitchen Aid...a hand-held mixer will work.  But you definitely need a little more than elbow grease.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one.

Add flour, vanilla, and cocoa and mix well.  Your batter will be pretty darn dense...that's a good thing!

Fold in chopped pecans and coconut and spread into a greased baking pan.

Bake the cake and then spread marshmallow creme over the top immediately after you pull it out of the oven.  The marshmallow will get all gooey and melty, so it won't be too difficult to spread around.

Let the cake cool.  Meanwhile, whip up the chocolate icing!  Spread it over the top of the cooled cake.  There's a lot of icing, so you'll end up with a deliciously thick layer of it.

Place candles in cake and get a toddler to sing a rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday" - oh don't have to...that's just me. :)

Cookie Bandit and Miss Pebbles...getting ready to blow out birthday candles!

Serve with a huge glass of milk...this cake is rich!

Yum. :)

Mississippi Mud Cake
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup four
  • 2 T. cocoa
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 4 oz. shredded coconut
  • 7 oz. marshmallow creme
  • 1 lb. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 1 t. vanilla

Cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add vanilla, flour, and cocoa to creamed mixture; blend well.  Fold in pecans and coconut on low speed.  Pour into a greased 9x13" pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.
Spread marshmallow creme over warm cake.  Cool.

To make icing, combine all ingredients and mix with blender until smooth.  Spread over marshmallow creme.

Friday, January 10, 2014

blueberry french toast

This is such a fun recipe, I just had to share!  My husband (the Cookie Bandit, as he calls himself) just loves blueberries.  They are the only fruit I can get him to eat, so I try to incorporate them into our diet as much as possible.  And my favorite blueberry recipes are always breakfast recipes.

When I was searching for a special breakfast for his birthday, I came across this one in a Gooseberry Patch cookbook.  It's incredibly easy to put together, and while you do have to allow some time (refrigerating overnight, letting sit 30 minutes before baking, etc.), it doesn't take many ingredients or much brain work.

The french toast casserole is loaded with bread, cream cheese, and blueberries - straight out of the oven it looks like this...

But my favorite part is the sauce!  I adapted it from the original recipe by adding vanilla - I just think blueberry and vanilla is one of the best flavor combinations ever!  I have no doubt that we'll be making this sauce over and over again to pour on our pancakes or ice cream.  It's absolutely delicious.

Blueberry French Toast
adapted from Gooseberry Patch's Merry Christmas
  • 12 slices bread, crusts trimmed
  • 2 8-oz. packages cream cheese, cubed
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 12 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 T. cornstarch
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 T. butter
  • 1 t. vanilla

Cut bread into one-inch cubes; place half in a greased 13"x9" baking pan.  Arrange cream cheese over bread; top with blueberries and remaining bread.  Beat eggs in a large mixing bowl; blend in milk and syrup.  Pour mixture over bread; cover and chill 8 hours or overnight.  Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.  Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake 25-30 additional minutes or until golden.  Drizzle sauce over top.  Serves 8 to 10.

To make sauce, combine sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan; add water and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.  Stir in blueberries; reduce heat.  Simmer 8 to 10 minutes or until berries burst.   Stir in butter and vanilla until butter melts.

Friday, January 3, 2014

january menu


Can you believe it's already January?  Here we are, three days in, and I still haven't adjusted.  I'm walking around singing Jingle Bells, still hanging ornaments on my Christmas tree, and continuing to work my way through our Christmas desserts.  I never even got around to making half of the recipes on my holiday menu!

This month, I'm going to try making what I didn't get made last month, which means you'll be seeing turkey and stuffing.  But that's cool - I'm sure that someone somewhere has bought a turkey on sale and is looking for a good recipe. :)  I'm also going to be making some of our favorite stews and comfort dishes as well as trying out some new items.  Those dishes with an asterisk below are dishes from that I've had my eye on but haven't yet tried.

Happy eating!

White Chocolate Scones
Buttermilk Pecan Waffles
Power Goop!
*Baked Blueberry Pancakes

Cheddar Chive Biscuits
Sourdough Biscuits

Side Dishes
Honey Thyme Roasted Carrots
Cheese Tidbits
Granny's Cornbread Dressing
Country Creamed Corn
Pan Fried Okra

Main Dishes
Homemade Hamburger Helper
*Basil Polenta with Ratatouille
Comforting Beef and Noodles
Hamburger Minestrone
Turkey in a Bag
Shepherd's Pie
Peasant Stew
*Rich French Onion Soup
*Baked Fish and Rice
Turkey Pot Pie
Hot Dog Stew
Winter Chicken Stew with Cornmeal Dumplings
Meat n' Potatoes Skillet Meal
Turkey Thyme Risotto

Sweet Potato Pie with Marshmallow Meringue
Bittersweet Chocolate Pudding

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