Trying to keep my sanity in tact, while keeping bellies full

Friday, July 29, 2011

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

The husband and I were watching Food Network the other night when they made Banana Split Cookies. He was inspired. Well, inspired to pick up the ingredients for me to make them anyway. The show we were watching, Tough Cookies, didn't give a recipe, so I just made it up as I went. Here's what we came up with:

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter flavored Crisco
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 teaspoon banana extract

Directions



PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat crisco, granulated sugar, brown sugar, banana, banana extract and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add egg. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.




 Now on the show, they used took the cookies and filled them with white chocolate ganache and strawberries, then topped them with whipped cream, chocolate sauce and a cherry. We didn't do all that. Instead, we filled them with a ganache/frosting mixture.
To make the filling, finely chop one bag of white chocolate chips.
In a small saucepan, heat one cup of heavy cream until hot, but not boiling. Stir into white chocolate until fully incorporated. Add half a teaspoon of banana extract. Chill.

Spread on cookies and enjoy!




Make sure to visit the fantastic blog parties on my sidebar, and of course, link up all your made from scratch recipes on my Tuesday linky-Made From Scratch Tuesday!

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Made From Scratch Tuesday 7/26

 Canning Week 2011 is coming up fast! We've already started some salsa around here using the tomatoes and onions from our garden and some peppers and corn from the farmer's market. Stay tuned for some great canning recipes and all new giveaways!

For now, here's a recipe/idea that I've been working with for the last month...
Infused Olive Oil

what you'll need:
Oil (olive, sunflower, canola, whatever you use)
Glass Bottle with cork
Skewer, or long thin rod to push down ingredients
Lemon Zest
Fresh Herbs (I used oregano and basil from the garden), pureed (about a tablespoon pureed)

Start by sterilizing your glass bottle. I ran my dishwasher on the "sanitize" setting.

Then put about a teaspoon of lemon zest in the bottle. Using the skewer, rub the zest all around the bottle. That will bring out the oils in the zest. Next, add the herbs and repeat rubbing around the bottle with the skewer. Next, add oil and fill to about 1/2" from the top. Put cork in. Let it sit for about a week and enjoy! We have used this infused oil on so many things from garlic bread  to chicken. I wish I had a pretty picture, but I lost my camera cord again. I should really invest in an extra one!

Now, it's time to link up some of those great dishes you make from scratch!
Here are the rules:
1. You can link up as many posts as you'd like.
2. My only content rule is it has to be made from scratch.

3. The post you link up MUST CONTAIN A RECIPE!
4. If you want to put my button somewhere, that'd be cool. You can grab the code for the Made From Scratch Tuesday button on the top right of my sidebar.






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Monday, July 18, 2011

Made From Scratch Tuesday 7/19

 It's hot....really, really hot. Most of the US is dealing with this insane heatwave and it doesn't look like it's going to let up anytime soon. My poor husband has to work outside all day in it. So when he came home today, I had this waiting for him:


That doesn't make the working outside all day any better, but at least he had something to look forward to when he got home.

Here's how to make Mint Oreo Ice Cream
Ice Cream Base:
2 1/2 c half and half
8 egg yolks
1 c sugar
2 1/2 c whipping cream
1/8 t salt
2 t vanilla

Add-ins:
4-5 drops mint extract
1/2 a package of mint oreos, crushed

In a medium saucepan, heat half and half until hot, but not boiling. Remove from heat. In mixer, mix egg yolks and sugar on low for about a minute, or until mixture thickens. Slowly mix in half and half until fully incorporated. Return mixture to saucepan and heat on medium until small bubbles form around the edges and mixture is steamy. Remove from heat and mix in whipping cream, salt, and vanilla. Chill at least 8 hours. I have the KitchenAid ice cream maker which requires a 15 hour freeze time for the bucket. So I make the base up the night before and the next day, the base and the bucket are ready to go.

To make the ice cream, set up ice cream maker and turn to "Stir" setting. Slowly pour in ice cream base and let mix for about 10 minutes. Add in min extract and mix for another minute or two. Then slowly add in crushed oreos and continue to stir until desired consistency. I let it go for about 18-20 minutes. At that point, it's a very soft ice cream, so we pour it into a 2 qt glass bowl and cover with the lid. After about 2 hours in the deep freezer, it's just the way we like it!

Want another great ice cream recipe? Check out Four Leaf Clover for a dutch ice cream twist you'll love! It's a little different sounding, but we tested it out and loved it!


Now, it's time to link up some of those great dishes you make from scratch!
Here are the rules:
1. You can link up as many posts as you'd like.
2. My only content rule is it has to be made from scratch.

3. The post you link up MUST CONTAIN A RECIPE!
4. If you want to put my button somewhere, that'd be cool. You can grab the code for the Made From Scratch Tuesday button on the top right of my sidebar.



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Friday, July 15, 2011

Cooking with King Arthur Flour

Ott,A is back this month with another Iron Chef Challenge. This month's sponsor is King Arthur Flour.
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I picked up a bag of Unbleached All Purpose flour. Not all AP flours are created equally. King Arthur AP flour contains 11.7% protein. Why is that important? Check out this page for a basic breakdown.

Now that we're done with the Science lesson for the day...on to the cooking! I got the KitchenAid pasta roller and cutter set earlier this month and I've been dying to try it out. I used their basic egg noodle recipe below:

Ingredients:


4 large eggs

1 tablespoon water

3 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1/2 t salt

Directions:

Place ingredients in bowl, attach flat beater, turn to speed 2 and mix 30 seconds.

Remove the flat beater and attach the dough hook. Turn to speed 2 and knead for two minutes.

Hand-knead dough for 30 seconds to one minute. Cover dough with a dry towel and let rest 15 minutes before extruding it through pasta maker.



I ran it through to a thickness of "4". Next time, I'll probably go to 5 or 6, but it worked out just fine at a 4. Next, run to the fettuccini cutter. Then let dry for up to one hour. Check out this awesome drying rack my dad made for me! He's one of those "do it bigger and better" types, so when he saw the single tier rack sold in the stores, he decided he could make one bigger and better. He certainly did! It's made from quality hardwood and coated in a food grade seal.

I dried and froze my pasta overnight, so it took about 8 minutes to cook. Fresh rolled pasta cooks in under 5.
For the sauce....

1 cup dry white wine
4-5 large tomatos-blanced, peeled and cut
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped white onion
fresh oregano, thyme, rosemary and basil....be generous!
1 bay leaf
2 cloves crushed garlic or 2 cloves minced garlic
salt to taste
Combine all ingredients in large skillet over medium-low heat. Cook, covered, until onion is tender.


Toss cooked and drained pasta in sauce. 


We opted to add chicken and fresh mozzarella...two thumbs up from the crowd!

Make sure to visit the fantastic blog parties on my sidebar, and of course, link up all your made from scratch recipes on my Tuesday linky-Made From Scratch Tuesday!



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King Arthur provided me with a coupon for a free sack of flour. However, the ideas and opinions expressed above are my own.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Chocolate Strawberry Ice Cream

I picked up the ice cream maker attachment for my mixer this weekend and let me tell you....BEST...THING...EVER!

The first thing I made was Mint Oreo. And that was great, but that was really for the husband. This one is for me!
I was on the Eagle Brand website and saw their recipe for vanilla ice cream. Then I remembered I had Smuckers strawberry topping and hot fudge in the refrigerator, so I thought I'd throw them together!

Ingredients

  • 4 cups (2 pts.) half-and-half or light cream
  • 1 (14 oz.) can Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  • COMBINE all ingredients in container of ice cream maker; mix well.
  • After about 15 minutes, I added about half the jar of strawberry topping. 
  • FREEZE according to manufacturer’s instructions. 
  • After freezing about 30 minutes, I stirred in the fudge topping
  • Freeze leftovers.

 The ice cream is delicious and a great summer treat!


Make sure to visit the fantastic blog parties on my sidebar, and of course, link up all your made from scratch recipes on my Tuesday linky-Made From Scratch Tuesday!

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Monday, July 11, 2011

Made From Scratch Tuesday 7/11

 Thanks to everyone who has linked up over the past few months. I've really enjoyed seeing all the great recipes you all have shown off! Thanks to the great folks at Gooseberry Patch, starting today, you will have all week to vote on the recipes I'll be cooking for the next few weeks, and BONUS...I'll be giving away at least one copy of the cookbook to a lucky reader!
So after you link up your recipe, head on over to Real Farmwives, find out a little more about me, and vote!

While trying to find some pics for that post, I came up with a few others from Mom's boxes-o-pics that I thought I'd share:
Someone should have known back then I'd be a grocery shopping whiz
Maybe this is when my apron obsession started


Clearly it runs in the family...and 4 generations can't be wrong!



Now, it's time to link up some of those great dishes you make from scratch!
Here are the rules:
1. You can link up as many posts as you'd like.
2. My only content rule is it has to be made from scratch.
3. If you want to put my button somewhere, that'd be cool. You can grab the code for the Made From Scratch Tuesday button on the top right of my sidebar. 


Don't forget to head over to Real Farmwives and vote on the cookbook you want me to cook from!





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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Crazy Dog Update

I introduced you to my crazy dog a few weeks ago. I received several emails asking for updates on the situation, so here goes!

We had a dog trainer come out. Not much help. She did recommend we take her to obedience classes to get her more socialized and understand there's more to the world than me. Classes started July 5.

We had a canine behavioral therapist come out. I know what you're thinking....it's no wonder the dog is nuts, look at the owners! I know. I was a little leery at first too. But I have to say, she did great. Here's some of the things we're working on:

1. Crate time when we're home. Basically, she's in her crate for varying amounts of time, while we're home. We started out in seconds, now we're up to 30 minutes. If she's quiet at the end of the set time, she gets a treat (cut up hot dog) and we let her out.

2. Training and interaction with the husband while I'm home and leaving. He works with her on new tricks, keeping her focused on him while I'm in the kitchen, cleaning, and walking out the door. The goal is to keep her focused on him and learning, and ignore me walking out the door. We're not to the point where I can walk out the door without her running to me, but we're making progress.And she's learning new tricks, like dancing (she's almost 6 feet tall when standing on her back legs, so that's fun to watch!) and retrieving specific items.

3. Thundershirt. What's a thundershirt? It's basically a hug without the body. It wraps around the abdomen and velcros together, providing light pressure around the body. I have to say, I didn't think this would really work. So I put it to the test on July 2. There was a fireworks show right down the street from us. In years past, we've had to sedate her when there was a fireworks show nearby. But with the medication she's on, that was not an option this year. We put the shirt on her before the fireworks started.
During the fireworks, she actually laid on the couch, completely uninterested in all the loud noises. But then I started to wonder if it was the drugs or the shirt. So we took the shirt off. She immediately started pacing. Put the shirt back on, and she laid down.

While she's not exactly "cured" (and we know we'll deal with this all of her life), we've not had any more blanket fatalities or injuries. Thanks to everyone for all your comments/suggestions!



Make sure to visit the fantastic blog parties on my sidebar, and of course, link up all your made from scratch recipes on my Tuesday linky-Made From Scratch Tuesday!



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Monday, July 4, 2011

Made From Scratch Tuesday 7/5

Thanks to all who shared their recipes last week. I let the kids pick out a few for us to try out. Here's what they picked:

Homemade Lemonade from Eating My Way Back



Patriotic Fruit Kabobs from Around My Table


And the kids favorite, Firecracker Floats from Mrs. Happy Homemaker




Now, it's time to link up some of those great dishes you make from scratch!
Here are the rules:
1. You can link up as many posts as you'd like.
2. My only content rule is it has to be made from scratch.
3. If you want to put my button somewhere, that'd be cool. You can grab the code for the Made From Scratch Tuesday button on the top right of my sidebar.


Make sure to vote on your favorite link up by clicking the "like" button! We may have some giveaways in the future for the recipe with the most likes!



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