Sep 16 2012

What’s for Dinner?

Smelling the roast cooking when we came home from church today reminded me of Sundays when I was young, and mom would have dinner cooking in the oven. She would start dinner before we left for church in the morning, and by the time we got home, the fragrance would fill the house and make everyone anxious for the mashed potatoes to be finished cooking because, of course, we were all STARVING!

Mom would have me mix the cornstarch slurry to make the gravy, she would get the vegetable ready, and dad would mash the potatoes.

I’m thankful that my mom showed her love to us by making meals from scratch and teaching me to do the same.

Pot Roast


Aug 2 2011

Beer Bread Experimenting

I’ve been trying to develop a beer bread recipe that is similar to The Great Dane’s. It has a light, yet hearty texture and is dark in color, like a pumpernickel.

The recipe I found online gave me a pretty heavy loaf with hardly any flavor.

I tried some New Glarus Brewery ales, and also a mix of brown sugar and molasses. I could taste molasses more than any other flavor.

The other day I bought some stout beer to try in the recipe. I also mixed some whole wheat flour in with the white. My thinking is that in the mixing process too much gluten was forming and if I added a less processed flour, the density of the loaf would be reduced.

The recipe I ended up making turned out to be pretty good. I think it still may need some more tweaks, but I’m happy with how it is now.

>1 cup whole wheat flour
>2 cups all purpose flour
>1.5 tsp baking powder
>1.5 tsp instant yeast
>2 Tbsp brown sugar
>1 Tbsp molasses
>1 bottle (12 oz) stout beer (I used Zonkers)

  • Preheat the oven to 400 F
  • Mix the dry ingredients, then pour in beer. Mix until dry ingredients are wet. It is important to not mix too much or you will get a lot of gluten formation.
  • Place dough into loaf pan
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes (Bread will crack on top. This is normal)

You can add other spices and herbs to suit your taste. Experiment with rosemary, thyme, garlic, whatever flavor profile you are trying to achieve. My may also want to change the beer if you’d like a lighter beer flavor.

Happy Baking!


Jul 6 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pin Wheels

I made these cookies a while ago and promised that I would post the recipe.  Well, here it is, FINALLY.  Now you can have fun making it.  Instead of putting it in the fridge to harden, you might want to use the freezer during the summer to ensure it doesn’t get too soft as you’re manipulating it after you’ve created the final spiral.  Have fun, and enjoy the yummy goodness!

1 cup butter (softened

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar

1 cup peanut butter

2 eggs

2 2/3 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 (12 oz) package chocolate chips

1/4 cup butter

  1. Cream butter, sugars, peanut butter and eggs
  2. Add flour, baking soda, and salt.  Stir until well mixed.  Divide dough in half and chill.
  3. on lightly floured wax paper, roll out each half into rectangle 15×18 inches
  4. Melt chocolate chips and 1/4 cup butter together and spread on rectangles of dough
  5. Roll each rectangle to form logs 15 inches long.  Wrap tightly and chill for at least one hour
  6. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Slice each log into cookies about 1/3 inch thick
  7. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet 10-12 minutes.


Feb 13 2010

Pie, Pie, Pie!

Using the reliable Betty Crocker recipe, Esther and Grandma made a lemon meringue pie last week. Katherine stole one of the peaks while it was cooling.

Set What’s Cooking by Dreamsfulfilled


Feb 5 2010

Yummy Chili!

Chili is one of my favorite dishes. My husband was not impressed with my chili when we first got married. The only spice I used was chili powder. There wasn’t any depth or interesting flavor, and I must admit, it was quite blah.

So, a couple years ago, we went on the search for the perfect chili recipe. I discovered a cooking show called America’s Test Kitchen that tests recipes until they find one what works the best. They have an awesome chili concoction. Their recipes are usually only available through subscription, but in this week’s newsletter, they have a menu available for Super Bowl Parties.

Enjoy the best meal for a cold Wisconsin football game!


Oct 9 2009

Creamy Sweet Potato Soup

Ever need a new way to use sweet potatoes? I like to use them for fries or the yummy sweet potato crunch we eat at Thanksgiving. I also like to use them instead of white potatoes at times because they are supposed to be a bit more nutritious. I found the following recipe on the foil of a Dannon Yogurt cup. Even though making your own yogurt might be cheaper, you don’t always think to look for the recipe that is hiding under the lid. Now that I know they are online, I can have the best of both worlds: make homemade yogurt and find good yogurt recipes.

I used garam masala spice mix to add to the flavor of the cumin in this recipe. When it was finished cooking, I used a blender to puree it. Yummy silky smooth goodness :)

2 Tbsp. canola oil 1 large sweet onion, sliced 2 tsp. ground cumin 3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed 1-1/2 qt. chicken broth 1-3/4 cup Dannon® Plain Yogurt 2 Tbsp. chopped parsley or cilantro 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

Directions: 1. In a soup pot heat oil. Add onions and cumin and sauté 3-4 minutes. Add potatoes and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer soup 20-25 minutes. 2. Puree soup with 1-1/2 cups Dannon® Plain Yogurt and parsley or cilantro. Serve each portion of soup with a dollop of remaining yogurt and a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds.

Yields: 12 Servings (8 oz. per serving)


Sep 16 2009

Spinach Cheese Bacon Souffle

Tonight for dinner I had spinach to use up, so I made a souffle.  I saw this done on America’s Test Kitchen, and it looked pretty easy.  I just tweaked the ingredients, but the steps are the same.  Mix your flour, butter, milk mixture until it is a custard consistancy, then add the egg yolks and flavoring ingredients.  Beat the egg whites (use cream of tartar and sugar to stabilize the protein structure) until they form peaks.  If you whip them too much the whites will fall and get watery.

Here is the recipe I used from Big Oven

1 container Nonstick Cooking Spray Enough to line pan 1 cup Milk
1/4 cup Parmesan grated 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese grated
4 tablespoon Butter (or Margarine) melted 8 large Egg separated
1 small Onion diced 1/4 teaspoon Salt
4 tablespoon Flour 1/4 teaspoon Black pepper
1 package Frozen chopped Spinach thawed 1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda

Instructions A-1) Heat oven to 400 2) Spray inside surfaces of 8 inch x 8 cup souffl dish or other 8 inch by 4 inch or higher bake able pot/casserole, then “flour” with the grated parmesan or other finely grated cheese. (this will give souffl traction to rise. If needed sides can be extended by wrapping either bakers parchment or aluminum foil around pan to increase height. If using foil, treat as the pan sides. Souffl will double in volume! B) In saucepan, melt butter, add the diced onion, and cook until translucent. 2) Gradually stir in flour. 3) Allow butter-flour mixture to cook for a few minutes. 4) Add the chopped spinach, no need to drain, as water will be part of the liquid additions. 5) Slowly stir in milk and cook until thickened. 6) Reduce heat and stir in grated cheddar cheese. 7) When cheese is melted. Turn off heat and allow to start cooling 8) Add egg yolks one at a time stirring to keep thick, add salt, and pepper to taste. When all yolks are added, start whipping the egg whites, this will allow for more cooling time. C-1) Add the baking soda to the egg whites and whip until stiff, they should form and hold peaks. 2) Slowly fold stiff egg whites into cheese mixture. 3) Pour mixture into prepared souffl pan. D) Place on middle rack of oven and turn oven down to 350 1) Bake 30-40 minutes. DO NOT OPEN OVEN for first 25 minutes! 2) Souffl will hold in oven for about 5 minutes, but ideally should be served immediately.

And what you’ve all been waiting for:  The finished product!

Souffle