Monday, August 27, 2012

Waffle/French Toast/Pancake Topping

I'm pretty excited to share this recipe with you.  I'm back on track...again ;) to a healthier way of life.  Part of what this means for me is NO REFINED SUGAR.  

So, today is meatless Monday, which often means BREAKFAST for dinner =) 

Tonight I just made waffles: Krusteaz (don't tell anyone) and I added water of course, chopped walnuts and 2 eggs for protein (remember it's meatless Monday, so no bacon or sausage) to about 3 cups of dry mix, enough for my family.  That made 10 single squares.  

So, what are you going to put on your waffle?  Syrup?  High fructose sugary syrup?  Well, not if you're cutting out sugar.  So! I bought some berries, plain Greek yogurt (more protein!), and natural maple syrup.  Technically that has sugar, but no refined or added sugar.  It's natural 100% maple.  On a side note, there's a lovely little book called Miracle on Maple Hill that explains a lot about natural maple.  It's a children's book, fiction, but I don't know if I would've discovered natural maple if not for this book.   
Enough!  Here is the recipe for what I consider 2 servings.

Breakfast Topping

1/2 cup - 3/4 cup Greek yogurt. Plain
1 cup berries (I used a mix of strawberries and raspberries)
2 Tb natural maple

Blend!  You're done =) Pour over waffles, french toast, or pancakes.

For a sugar free breakfast/dinner you don't get tastier or easier than that.  The magic bullet works great for this little job. No added sugar and no guilt in my opinion. I didn't even butter my waffles tonight. Right on!  I hope you'll try it, and I'll try to get a picture for you in the future.  Sorry, I wasn't prepared for that tonight.  This post was just sort of spur of the moment and well, I had to taste it first. =)       


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tomato Soup

Yes, it's the middle of August. It's the hottest part of the year for us, but we do Meatless Monday at our house.  It's difficult, sometimes, to find a dish my whole family will enjoy. Well, lately I've been wishing it were winter already so I could make soup. And while you may or may not want to make this soup in this blazing heat, perhaps you will remember it when the weather turns cold.  

I got this soup from Better Homes and Gardens a while back.  And I'll give you their recipe as well as my own additions.  You can keep this a clear soup, or you can add a cream sauce to make it creamy.  I like it both ways =)

What I especially love about this soup is the little bit of hot sauce to give it an extra kick.  There's the heat of the soup, and then that extra bit of hot sauce heat that stays with you on those icy arctic nights. 

One day I'll be savvy enough to post a picture of ingredients.  Hopefully  the ingredients for this soup are basic enough that just the words will do.

Tomato Soup

1 1/2 Qt tomato juice or about 6-7 fresh tomatoes (I've always used juice)
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup onion chopped
1/2 cup celery chopped
1-6 oz can tomato paste
2 tsp dried basil or 2 Tb fresh
4 cubes chicken bouillon
1 tsp sugar
few dashes of hot pepper sauce (I use original Tabasco) 

In a large saucepan (or large stock pot if adding cream soup), combine all of the above ingredients.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until veggies are tender.  Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes.  Blend in a blender until smooth.  Return to saucepan and heat to desired temperature.

Last night, for the first time, I snuck in about 2 cups of zucchini to my soup.  I cooked it and blended it up with the rest of the soup. My children didn't know the difference and we all got some extra vitamins.  Happiness in a bowl. =)

My personal variations:
After making this several times, my husband finally told me that he didn't like the soup so much.  He likes creamy tomato soup.  This is the cream soup recipe I use to make this soup creamy.

Cream Soup

2 oz unsalted butter
1 1/2 oz flour
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk, half and half, or cream

Melt butter on med-low heat.  Add flour to make a paste (roux). Cook roux for about 8-10 minutes.  Keep the heat low enough that the roux does not brown.  Whisk in chicken broth and milk product. Bring to a simmer and cook until it reduces by 1/3 and thickens.  Add to tomato soup.

This obviously makes a large pot of soup when adding the cream.  I've never frozen it because I LOVE the leftovers, plus my grandma lives across the street, so I'll always take a quart of soup to her.  I have no doubts however, that it would freeze very well.   

One last thing.  I added a swirl of sour cream just for picture's sake =) Do it if you so desire.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Marshmallow Brownies
Marshmallow Brownies

2 cubes unsalted butter softened
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
dash salt
1 1/2 cups walnuts (if you ask me, that is not an option;))
1 bag mini marshmallows (jet puffed HIGHLY recommended)

Beat well together butter, sugar, and cocoa. Add vanilla and eggs, 1 @ a time. Add flour, salt and nuts. Mix well.
Pour into non-stick sprayed jelly roll pan. Bake @350 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and cover with mini marshmallows. Bake 3 more minutes. Cool completely before frosting.


1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
1/4 cup milk
1 2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
dash of salt

beat well until smooth.
Grandma's Apple Pie
Brit wanted to make a cherry pie for the County Fair.  I insisted that mother knows best, and though, I prefer cherry pie, I felt that apple pie was more on the path to a blue ribbon.  Judging is tomorrow, so we'll see.

Great grandma Johnson, rest her soul, was famous for her apple pie in these parts =) So naturally I needed the recipe.  So, without further ado, here it is:

Grandma's Apple Pie

6-8 apples peeled, cored, sliced/diced (Grandma Johnson says that Great Grandma Johnson most likely used Jonathan apples.  I used pink lady)
2 Tb flour
dash of nutmeg
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
dash of salt
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter

Mix all ingredients together. Pour into prepared pie crust.  Dot with butter.  Cover with top crust, making slits in top or cutting out shapes.  Sprinkle top crust with sugar.  Bake @400 for 50 minutes. I lay a piece of foil on top for the first 20 minutes to prevent over browning.

Grandma J's Pie Crust (makes 3-4 single crusts)

2 cups flour
1 cup shortening
1 tsp flour
cold water

Cut shortening into flour until combined. Add the cold water, a little at a time, until the mixture comes together forming a dough. Bring the dough together into a ball.  Do not over mix.  Also, too wet is better than too dry.
Roll dough out onto a floured surface to desired thickness.

Never hesitate to ask questions.  I'm still new to this blogging thing, and I know how to make it.  But I wonder if I left some critical instruction out for someone who may be completely knew to this pie making process.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Stacey's great! She makes us chocolate cake!

I almost forgot about 'Stacey's great! She makes us chocolate cake!' I used to work at Camp Loll, a Boy Scout camp. This may be the very beginning of where my passion for making desserts came from.

Every Thursday, we, the cooks, would make a spaghetti lunch and dinner. Lunch for the Scout Masters, and dinner for the Staff. Chocolate cake went with each spaghetti meal. I always wanted to make the cake, and the girls (xoxo) graciously let me. The assistant Camp Director (CG) would come in and cheer 'Stacey's great! She makes us chocolate cake! each time it was made. Who wouldn't get addicted to that? =) And if he happened to forget, I would remind him. Thanks CG.

So, I'm going to share this recipe for chocolate cake. It is absolutely the best homemade chocolate cake I've ever made. I got this recipe from my most favorite book in the world, entitled '100 BEST DESSERT RECIPES' from Good Housekeeping. I borrowed this book from the Library, a year or 2 ago, and hated to return it. I checked it out several times, until I gave in and bought one for about 3 bux on Amazon. (I love that place) I mean, one of my most favorite things to do is to make a dessert for someone, because #1 I love to see it in their faces 'oh I can't wait to try some of that'. Then #2 of course, is to see a look of satisfaction in their faces, and hear the mmmmmm's. I aim for it to look irresistible, and taste as good as they thought it would.

Easy Chocolate Buttermilk Cake

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease 2 9-inch round cake pans or 10-inch Bundt pan. Dust pans with cocoa. (I watched a tip on youtube that showed the baker using a cooking spray with flour in it. I used that instead of 'grease' and cocoa. I've never had cakes come out so easily)

2. In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.

3. In separate bowl, with wire whisk (not an electric mixer), mix buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla until blended. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture and whisk until smooth.

4. Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans or evenly into a Bundt. Bake about 30 min for 9-inch layers, 40 minutes for Bundt, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Run thin knife around edges to loosen layers from sides of pan. Or, if using Bundt pan, run tip of knife around edges to loosen cake from side and center tube of pan. Invert onto racks to cool completely. Frost as desired.

Monday, October 5, 2009

I realize it is no longer ice cream season, but I love this recipe so much, I wanted to share it. I got this recipe from the Studio 5 website. And let me tell you, it is dang delicious. Honestly, I'm not an ice cream lover, but I have gotten rave reviews from many people. What more can I say? Try it. Save money by making it yourself, rather than spending ridiculous amounts of money at fancy schmancy ice cream parlors. =) You won't be sorry.

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
3 egg yolks
1 Tb. Vanilla
2 cups chilled whipping cream

Mix sugar, salt, milk, and egg yolks in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, just until bubbles appear around edge of mixture in pan. Cool to room temperature. Stir in vanilla and cream. Pour into ice cream freezer can, put dasher into place. Cover can and adjust crank. Place in freezer tub, fill tub 1/3 full of ice; add remaining ice alternately with layers of rock salt (6 parts ice to 1 part rock salt) Turn crank until it turns with difficulty. Remove lid and dasher, stir mixture and pack down in freezer can, replace lid and repack in ice and salt mixture. Let freeze several hours.
For fruity ice cream decrease vanilla to 1 tsp. mash enough fruit to measure 2 cups. Mix 1/2 cup sugar with fruit. Stir in fruit after adding cream.

Any question? Leave a comment and I'll get back with you asap.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My First Blog

This is my very first blog post! Welcome one and all =). I never thought I'd be a blogger, but all of a sudden, I want to share things with the world. My blog is titled 'my red kitchen' because the things that come from my red kitchen, are (you guessed it) the things I want to share the most. Now, before you go looking for a professional chef with all the answers here, let me just say DON'T. I am a mother who loves spending time in the kitchen and making new dishes (mostly found from library recipe books). I don't know exactly where to begin, so please be patient and soon I hope to have a fun blog up and running.