Category Archives: kitchen
Sweet potatoes or Yams…? You may think they are the same, but they are not. Sweet potatoes have a smooth skin, are sweeter and come in a variety of colors- yellow, orange- even purple! You can read about it here.
I personally never cared for sweet potatoes unless they came swimming in butter and brown sugar… until the first time I made a version of this dish… Wouldn’t touch that holiday tradition of SP’s and marshmallows, or SP pie…
But now- ….. Yum!! (*note*- these recipes are written for my sons who may or may not have basic knowledge or do-dads to work with and *notes are at the bottom)
While we call this dish Yam-it! it’s really glorified Paprika Roasted Veggies and Chicken.
What you will need:
2 large Chicken Breasts (or 6 thighs) cut in half. (not butterflied), some salt, +/- a pound of Brussel sprouts- trimmed and halved or quartered, 2 Sweet potatoes- peeled and cubed, half an large onion peeled and sliced (optional), some Olive oil, a smidge of lemon juice.
For the seasoning : 2 TBS Paprika- (that’s the red stuff sprinkled on deviled eggs), 1 tsp dried Cilantro, 1 tsp All-spice, and Garlic- to taste/minced..
Sprinkle chicken with salt and set aside. In a small bowl mix the seasonings together. In a large bowl toss the veggies with some olive oil (some is subjective to us Italians!) and sprinkle with 1 TBS of the spices mix. Pour into baking dish. (aka cake pan) To remaining spice mix add a 2-ish TBS of olive oil and 1 TBS lemon juice, mix to make a paste. Brush it on the chicken- both sides, and lay the pieces on top the veggies. pour a smidge of water into the pan, cover with foil. BAKE 425 for about 45 min +/-. You’ll know.. veggies will be soft.
Drizzle with melted butter before serving.
*Notes* *Chicken- You don’t need breasts. You can use thighs or pork chops or slabs of ham. *Veggies- if you want more, use more. It’s not an exact science. * Olive Oil.. If you don’t have it, don’t sweat.. Veggie oil will be fine. Just don’t use as much! * If you want more ‘zing’ add a shake or two of something like Lawry’s or garlic salt to the mix. * All the spices can be found at the dollar store if you can’t afford the grocery store *Lemon juice is not mandatory, but sure makes it taste better… You could sub for melted butter or OJ- It will change the taste a little, but still good. Little squeeze lemons are in the produce dept, bottled lemon juice is in the juice isle (usually top shelf) *Onions- again, not mandatory- you can skip them, or use shallots or something. *Covering with foil is a choice. We do it because it keeps it all moister.
**Every one of these ingredients can be found at moms- except brussels and SP’s unless the garden is in full swing**
It’s no secret- we like bread. Any kind of breads- Sourdough, pumpernickel, garlic-y cheesy breads, bruschetta …. and that all around staple- biscuits.
They go so easily with every meal…
But alas- I live a fair distance to the market. So in this recipe you will learn how to make ‘fake’ or substitute buttermilk and a great cheaters trick so you don’t have to cut in the butter…
Super simple ingredients too!
2 1/2 C flour 2 T baking Powder 1 Tsp sugar 8 T butter (yes son, you can sub margerine) 1 C milk 1 T lemon juice (trust me) 1/2 tsp salt(optional)
mix the milk and lemon juice together and put in the freezer for about 7-10 min… while it’s chilling, melt the butter and let cool. In the meantime mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and make an indent (well) in the center.
Here comes some magic!– Add the butter to the chilled milk and watch it make little butter balls/slush. Pour into dry and stir until just mixed. Turn out and roll or pat –gently-(I prefer pat) to about 1 inch-ish. and fold and pat..repeat like 6 times.
Cut with a cutter or glass. *tip* Do NOT twist the cutter/cup it makes the edges ‘crimp’ and your biscuits won’t rise well.
Bake at 425 10 min -they’ll be golden on top- take out and brush with some melted butter.
Gobble up. Eat with jam, make biscuits and gravy, dunk in gravy, make sandwiches…..
*Tips for the boy-o-s
Need buttermilk in a jiff??? 1 Tablespoon ( a generous soup spoon will do) lemon juice per cup of milk. Let stand 5 min and use.
No rolling pin? No problem- beer/wine bottles, be creative, just keep an equal pressure when rolling.
Yes- you can sub Margarine in most of moms recipes, though it alters the taste and these biscuits won’t be quite as fluffy.
Cinnamon rolls remind me of Grandma’s house. They always smell soooooo good!
And they’re soft and gooey too.
Here’s my recipe based off my Grandma Bessie’s recipe. Pretty much “No Fail!” This doubles easily, and used for sticky buns, monkey bread, caramel rolls too.
You will need:
Yeast: (Either 1 pkg or 1 tablespoon) 1/2 Cup warm wate
1/2 Cup warm moo. Note: You can scald the milk f you want a sweeter dough.
1/4 Cup sugar 1/3 Cup melted Butter
1 tsp Kosher salt (regular will do just fine too) 1 Egg- beaten
3- 3 1/2 ish cups flour. 1 Tbs Baking Powder (Optional)
~Heat oven to 350
~ mix (lightly) Yeast and warm water in small bowl and set aside to “proof”. -about 15 min-ish
~In a large bowl mix warm milk, sugar, melted butter, salt and beaten egg.
~Add in about 2 cups flour and stir well.
~Add Yeast mixture.
~Add another cup of flour to make a soft dough. If it’s still ‘runny’ add some more flour.
~ turn out and knead a bit. . (I do it about twenty times)
~put back in bowl and cover to raise until double in size.
~turn out and punch down. Roll into a rectangle about 1/4 +/- inch thick.
~Brush with melted or soft butter and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on it. (I use Brown sugar and lay it on pretty heavy and then sprinkle cinnamon on top)
~Roll up. Cut into rounds and place Cut side down on greased pan or cookie sheet. (makes 12-16)
~Bake 20- 25 min until golden brown. Remove. Cool. EAT. (I always start checking at 15 min- every oven is different)
Notes to my kids who don’t cook: *No rolling pin? Use a wine bottle or similar. * Simple frosting: about a cup of powdered sugar, mix in 1 tablespoon moo and pour over. *Add raisins or cranberries for more flavor * Scalded milk makes it more of an Italian Sweet Dough. * Yes-you Can use Margarine. * BakingPowder is NOT same as the Baking Soda you use in the fridge! * Want them to taste like Johnsons Corners rolls??? add Vanilla pudding to the mix. ~ Either a snack pak or 1/2 package dry mix. **if you use the snackpak you will need to add a bit more flour. ***Monkey Bread~ instead of rolling out, tear into pieces and pile in a bread pan (pie pan, whatever) . Mix 1 cup brown sugar and 3/4 cup melted butter and pour over top. Bake 350 for about 20 min. *Make Minis by cutting dough in 1/2 and then rolling out to make baby rolls and use a muffin pan.
~~Other useless information: Where I grew up there is a huge difference between Sweet rolls, cinnamon rolls, caramel rolls and sticky buns!!!! ~~ Cinn Rolls are just plain, Sweet has the white or cream cheese frosting, Caramel has the Carmel frosting ON TOP. and sticky buns are bakes with the gooey and nuts in the pan.
~ Today on the radio I listened to an interview between well known Italian chef Gino D’Acampo and a British talk show host… and of course the moment I got in the house I HAD to Google the live event….
In a nut shell~ The host insults the poor man by saying “If you just add ham….” who quickly replies with
“if’a my Grand-a-mutha had wheels, she’d’a be a bike-a”
Can you Hear the cadence and inflection in your head?? I can.
I laughed and laughed.
Because I am half Italian. and I understand. COMPLETELY.
~When we were younger, my brother told my mother that her cooking was “ALMOST as good s Chef-Boy-R-Dee”
My mother went on strike with some gestures and muttering with what we loosely translated to mean “If we ever wanted another hot meal, we’d damn well better fix it ourselves because we sure the heck-0 weren’t getting it from her.” (ever)
I actually have some very funny stories about being Italian… But we’ll save those for a later date! WHY??? Because I will have to run fast when my Mother finds out I put her picture in here! ~
Always an adventure.
The hubby tries. He really does.
But you would think, being that we actually live in the same house- he would KNOW my tastes…
I have learned over the years to be pretty specific.
There was the year that I had mentioned new pots and pans were needed… (waaaaaaaay before Christmas!) and an Electric Skillet with 5 pounds of Potatoes appeared
This year my list looks a lot like a ransom note.
I cut out pictures of item specific things I would like and pasted them to paper along with Where they could be gotten. I only listed the stores I actually thought he would go IN
Fingers are crossed!
Once upon a time in a far off land… Ok, more like a in a little town nobody has ever heard of..
We won the BEST BUSINESS award for Washington County. I almost wasn’t ALLOWED to accept it.
This little café was smack in the center of town. A tiny town. 96 people. A town where time stood still. Literally. The home of the ‘old boys club’. A staunch old school German community. 130 miles from Denver and another 60 or so to St. Francis, KS. ~If you wanted food, you were getting it here. ~
We worked our rumps off to make this place a success. We had regular customers that would drive 50 miles just for our fried chicken! We tons of truck traffic and catered far and wide. Tony had been a well known chef in Denver before we made the move. I worked extra hours so we’d have the money to employ the teenagers an moms that came looking for work. We had a wonderful friend, also an award-winning chef from California come join us, as well as the Mom-in-law.
In our neck of the woods, there were many organizations one could join. However… MEN were the end all-be all of the area. If a woman showed up for say, an economic development meeting, it was “Understood” that it was by Proxy as a stand in for her husband. And that everything would be rehashed with HIM the following morning over coffee.
We were awarded Best Business of the Year by Washington County. This was for our efforts to attract business and for being the main employer after the rural school. (The elevator had shut down)
So, we dress up. And we go. Dinner was good. The company was interesting. I think many of them were a little uncomfortable. It was mostly men, all patting themselves on the back.
They announce the award. I stand up. Shannon is clapping wildly. And…… SILENCE. Utter and complete silence. The very nice fellow looks around asks when is your Husband going to get here? I said that he was unable to attend. And he said that if They Had Known , they would have waited until another date.
I popped a cork. And let the Old Boys Club know in no uncertain terms what I thought about that.
I got the award.
Just goes to show… sometimes you have to blaze new trails!
That got your attention, didn’t it??
|Right out of the oven!|
Now that the Boyz are on their own, I only bake bread once a week. Today I am using my favorite Amish Bread recipe for buns. Hubby likes them for sandwiches.
** Did you know you can make TWO loaves of bread for about $1.75 at home???**
I actually got this recipe from a Mennonite woman, living near Joes, Colorado. Super easy and versatile. We use it for everything except sourdough, raisin bread and cinn rolls. (~ For those I use an Italian Sweet Dough.)
This makes wonderful French loaves, baguettes, sliced bread, dinner rolls, hamburger and hotdog buns….
2 Cup warm water
2/3 Cup sugar (you can also use Brown sugar or Honey- I’ve done both)
2Tablespoons yeast (or two packages)
1/4 Cup oil
2 Tsp Baking POWDER
1 tsp Salt
+/- 5 Cups flower (closer to plus)
|My niece’s first loaves!|
Add oil. Slowly add in dry ingredients while stirring. Turn out onto floured (this is the rest of the flour) surface and knead until smooth and dough bounces backed when poked. (like the Pillsbury Dough Boy). Lightly oil and cover. Let rise in a warm place until double.
** If you are making bread, before oiling and covering, divide into TWO)**
Punch down. Shape into loaves or rolls. Let rise again. Bake 350 oven 35 min. for bread and about 20 for buns. Remove. cool on wire racks. Butter tops while warm.