Showing posts with label kid favorite. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kid favorite. Show all posts

2/24/15

Five Ingredient Hot Fudge



Do you love hot fudge, but don't love the price of premium jars of fudge sauce in the grocery store? This recipe makes enough to feed the hungry masses without breaking the bank, and also stores for a couple of weeks in the fridge, (if it lasts that long).







I love this recipe because it takes about 10 minutes start to finish, and is perfect on top of ice cream, brownies, fruit, waffles, crepes...the possibilities are endless.  It also makes a perfect home made gift for someone special.

I dare you to find a store bought hot fudge topping you love as much as this!






















Five Ingredient Hot Fudge
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

8 oz. unsweetened chocolate, broken up
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups granulated sugar
1 3/4 cups whipping cream, heavy cream is best
2 teaspoons vanilla

Place the chocolate and butter in a medium size saucepan over low heat on stove, or if you are worried about heat control, place in a double boiler. Simmer until chocolate and butter are melted and smooth. Add sugar and whipping cream and whisk. Cook on medium heat until the cream barely starts to boil and mixture is smooth. Cook for about 3-4 minutes until mixture is heated through and smooth. Remove from heat. Add vanilla.
Serve immediately. The mixture will start to thicken as it cools. Store any leftovers in refrigerator.
Serves 12-15



2/16/15

Buttermilk Waffles with Berries, Ice Cream and Buttermilk Syrup







A long time ago, my daughter Brookie played volleyball. It was a tradition with her jr high team to eat waffles and ice cream for team breakfasts. Those early morning team gatherings in our kitchen were a whirlwind of giggling, sugar, and the scent of waffles cooking before the girls ran out the door to make it to class.
If you love waffles and whipped cream, you're going to love waffles and ice cream.
One bowl, one waffle iron.
So simple.
So good.





Buttermilk Waffles with Berries, Ice Cream and Buttermilk Syrup
print recipe

2 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup melted butter
nonstick vegetable spray for coating waffle iron
berries
vanilla ice cream

Preheat a waffle iron. In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. Make a well in the center and add the buttermilk, milk, eggs, and melted butter. Mix together just until combined with fork or large spoon (don't over mix the batter). The batter should look slightly lumpy.
Spray the waffle iron with the nonstick vegetable spray. Pour 3/4 cup of the batter or the amount recommended by the waffle-iron maker onto the waffle iron; bake as directed by the manufacturer.
Top waffles with fresh berries, buttermilk syrup and ice cream.
Yield about 5 waffles.


Buttermilk Syrup
1/2 cup butter (not margarine)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Heat butter, buttermilk, and sugar in a saucepan. Heat until boiling, stirring often. Boil for about 1 minute. Remove from heat and add vanilla and baking soda. Stir until combined. Serve immediately. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Tips:
-I usually double the waffle batter and the buttermilk syrup for a family of 6.





1/6/15

Our Favorite Chicken Divan





If you were to ask my kids what their favorite dinner was growing up, bets are they would all say the same thing. We called it "Chicken, Broccoli and Rice", but it is known to most as Chicken Divan. There are several ways to make Chicken Divan, the super simple canned soup route or the made from scratch version. It's one of those- adult version or kid version recipes.
My kids love both. When I was in a hurry, I could have dinner on the table in less than 20 minutes start to finish with the canned soup version, but the from scratch version doesn't take much longer, and in my opinion,  tastes waaay better. My favorite way to serve this dish is to bake it in the oven after making the sauce. I love the way the dish tastes when the sauce is spread over the rice and baked for a few minutes. But serving it straight from the stove top works too.
Oh, one more thing. If you're looking for a way to get your kids to eat broccoli, this dish should do the trick.





Our Favorite Chicken Divan aka  Chicken, Broccoli and Rice Dinner
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

6-8 cups cooked rice ( I like Pearl or Japanese style rice for this dish)
4-5 cups chopped broccoli
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1- .49 oz packet chicken flavoring*
1 teaspoon each salt and pepper
4 cups milk (skim)
1 cup mayo (regular or low fat)
4 cups cooked chicken
1 cup milk
1-2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Cook rice, set aside.
Steam broccoli by placing on a plate or non metal pie plate with about 3 tablespoons of water, cover with a damp paper towel and microwave on high for about 3 minutes or until bright green. Remove and set aside.
Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add flour and cook while whisking and butter and flour make a smooth paste. Cook for about 2 minutes. Add one package liquid chicken flavoring and salt and pepper. Slowly add milk to the mixture a little at a time, whisking while adding milk.
Cook until mixture thickens, about 3-4 minutes on medium-medium high heat. Continue whisking.
Add mayo, whisking until smooth. Add broccoli, chicken and cheese. If the mixture is too thick, add an additional cup of milk until desired consistency.
If baking (not necessary) grease a 9x13 pan. Spread cooked rice (it's okay if it is still hot) into the dish. Pour chicken and broccoli mixture over the rice. Bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Top with additional grated cheese last ten minutes of baking.
If serving without baking all ingredients together, scoop rice onto individual plates and spoon broccoli and chicken mixture over the top of the rice.
Serves about 6

Alternative super quick and easy recipe, aka :

Foster Children's  Favorite Chicken, Broccoli and Rice Dinner

6-8 cups cooked rice
4-5 cups chopped broccoli
4 cups chicken (about 2-3 large chicken breast halves)
2 tablespoon olive or canola oil
salt and pepper
2 can cream of chicken soup regular or low fat
2 cans milk
1 cup mayo light or regular
1-2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice
2 cups grated cheese
more milk to thin, if necessary

Chop broccoli, set aside.
Cut up the chicken and place in a large pan with oil over medium-high heat. Cook until no longer pink, about 3-4 minutes. Add chopped broccoli to chicken in pan, cook until broccoli is bright green (about 3 minutes) . Add salt and pepper. Whisk in the soup, milk, mayo, lemon juice and grated cheese. Continue to cook until smooth and cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.
Serve over top of cooked rice.

Tips:
-*I like to use Swanson brand "Flavor Boost" 100% Natural Concentrated Broth. There are 4 packets to a box. You may also use bullion cubes(2) or other types of chicken flavoring. It is not necessary to use the flavoring in the second recipe, the canned soup has plenty of chicken flavoring.



10/21/14

Great Harvest Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread





I'm not usually a fan of  store bought pumpkin bread. It always tastes like a mix (because it probably is) or it is: too airy, too dry, too much like a cake. The one exception is Great Harvest Pumpkin Bread. If you've ever eaten a slice, you know that Great Harvest makes a killer loaf of pumpkin bread! I decided it was time to recreate their recipe at home.  I compared the ingredient list on the GH package to recipes online that claimed to be GH copycats. Hmmmm.  A lot of those recipes included ingredients not on the Great Harvest ingredients list. Ingredients like: honey, brown sugar, wheat flour.  All good guesses, but not accurate if you're trying to recreate the bakery version...





After several test batches, and experimenting with different temperatures of baking, amounts of flour, spices, pumpkin, and eggs,  I think I've finally nailed it.
This bread is lightly spiced, super moist, dense, and has a rich pumpkin flavor.  At over $9 a loaf (in SLC locations),  you'll be saving a few dollars and your house will smell great too!
Happy baking.



Great Harvest Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

4  large eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4  cups vegetable or canola oil
1-15 oz can Libby's pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips


Place the rack in the center of the oven, and generously grease and line the bottom of two loaf pans with parchment or wax paper. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Place eggs in a mixing bowl. Beat for about 1 minute. Add sugar beat again for 1 minute. Add the oil, pumpkin and vanilla. Beat until all ingredients are incorporated.
Place the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, spices and chocolate chips into the bowl with the pumpkin mixture. Mix just until the wet and dry ingredients are incorporated.
Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pans.
Bake for 50-60 minutes or until knife inserted in center of loaf comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.
Remove from oven. Let sit for 5 minutes in pan. Loosen sides of loaf if necessary with butter knife. Remove and cool completely.
Yields 2-3 loaves, depending on size of pans used*


Tips:
-I make a liner for the loaf pan by placing parchment or wax paper under the pan and tracing around the bottom of the pan. Cut the paper on the line. Place the paper in the bottom of the loaf pan and spray sides of pan and bottom (on top of the paper liner) generously with cooking spray.
-I bake in  4 1/2 x 8 1/2 pans. When I place the batter in the pans, they fill the pans over 3/4 full. There is about a 1/2 - 3/4 inch space to the top of the loaf pan.  This recipe will easily yield 3 smaller loaves. Adjust the baking time to 45 minutes then check to make sure loaf is set.





10/10/14

Orange Glazed Chicken


On the last post I talked about  my experience eating Creme Brulee French Toast at Cheesecake Factory. What I didn't mention was, while I ordered the french toast, Jake ordered Orange Chicken.
For breakfast.
I know.
I tried to talk him into a breakfast/brunch item, but he wanted Orange Chicken. Jake and his friend Tanner LOVE,  Panda Express. Oh my.  I'm just going to leave it at that.
What's better than Orange Chicken at Panda? How about Orange Chicken at home! Way better.
I looked up recipes for Panda Orange Chicken (which btw is their #1 ordered menu item). I played with a few ideas and came up with my own (able to pronounce every ingredient) version.
Grant, Stephen and I thought this was delicious.
Jake still likes Panda's better.
Heavy sigh.
Kids.







Orange Glazed Chicken
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

2 lbs chicken breast, cut in to bite size pieces
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup flour
1/3  cup cold water

2 cups oil, canola or vegetable for frying

Orange Sauce:
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup cider vinegar
zest of one orange
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Glaze for cooked chicken:
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 bunch green onions, divided 2/3 for glaze, 1/3 for garnish
1/4 cup water


Mix the egg, salt, cornstarch, flour and cold water together in a bowl with a whisk. The batter should be smooth and about the consistency of pancake batter.
Place the chicken pieces in the batter all at once. Mix thoroughly.
Set aside.
Heat oven to 350 degrees for warming chicken.
Heat the oil in a wok or other deep pan on medium high heat, or about 350-375 degrees. When the oil is hot, cook chicken in batches (about 4 batches total) place chicken in pan and cook for about 1-2 minutes or until cooked through and light golden. Drain onto a pan lined with paper towels.
Place in oven to keep warm.
In another pan, make the orange sauce. Heat soy sauce, sugar, cider vinegar and orange zest together in saucepan. Cook over medium high heat until boiling. Reduce heat. Whisk o.j. and cornstarch together in a cup. Pour into hot vinegar mixture. Cook until thickened. Thin a bit with oj if needed. Turn off heat, leave pan on burner.
Using a frying pan, heat the sesame oil, ginger, minced garlic and red pepper flakes over medium high heat. Cook for about one minute or until fragrant. Add rice vinegar, green onions, and water. Add cooked chicken pieces all at once. Cook just until chicken is coated. Remove from heat.
Serve chicken with orange glaze over sticky rice. Garnish with remaining green onions.
Serves 4-6

9/30/14

Old Fashioned Coca Cola Cake







Is there anything better than a cake that tastes like a slice of your childhood?  This recipe is an updated version of a classic favorite, made into a layer cake to dress it up a bit. The combo of Coke and buttermilk in the batter turns out a light, tender cake that stays moist for days.




I don't know about you, but I love homemade chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and pecans on top.   Pour me a glass of cold milk and I'm a happy girl.





Old Fashioned Coca Cola Cake
A Bountiful Kitchen

1 cup Coca-Cola
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup mini marshmallows
1 1/2 cups chopped nuts, I used pecans
Frosting (below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place rack in middle of oven.
Mix Coke and buttermilk together in a measuring cup, set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugars together until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients all at once. Mix and add the coke mixture all at once. Fold in the marshmallows.
Spoon mixture into two greased and lined 9 inch cake pans or one greased 9x13 cake pan.
Bake 30-35 minutes for layer cake and about 35-40 minutes for 9x13. Cake is done when a few moist crumbs are attached to a toothpick.
Remove from oven and if using layer pans, run a butter knife around edges and invert onto a rack to cool, placing the parchment side down so it won't stick to the rack. Make sure to peel parchment paper off before frosting cakes.
Cool completely.

Frosting:
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
4-5 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup coke
2-3 tablespoons milk or cream as needed

Mix the butter in a bowl with powdered sugar and cocoa. Add salt, vanilla and coke. Beat until creamy. Add milk until desired spreading consistency.
Place cake on a platter. Spread 1/3 of frosting on layer. Top with other layer. Spread frosting on top and sides. Place chopped nuts on top of cake.
Serves 12

Tips:
-This cake is very tender, or falls apart easily because it is so moist. Be careful to not over bake. The first time I experimented with this recipe, it came out dry. I think I baked it for 40-45 minutes. I found that about 35 minutes worked perfect in my oven.
-The cake will come out with little indents where the marshmallows have melted and sunken into the batter. No worries. The frosting will fill in the indents.
-You may add up to another cup of marshmallows to the cake batter if you wish. Only use fresh marshmallows.
-Don't use Diet Coke. Or I'll have to come hurt you.







8/18/14

Tried and True Chocolate Chip Cookies (2014)



School starts up next week in our community. Is there anything better after a long day at school than a melt-in-your-mouth homemade chocolate chip cookie?
If you've ever made chocolate chip cookies, you've probably had a baking failure. Am I right?
Today, we are going to solve that problem. Once and for all.
NO MORE CHOCOLATE CHIP PANCAKE COOKIES.  Ever again.




In 2010, after months of testing methods and ingredient combinations for baking chocolate chip cookies, I came up with a recipe that works.  Every. Single. Time.
Since then, I've continued to update, simplify and improve this recipe. For the original recipe, with step by step photos, check out  this post.  This recipe is a one bowl, 20 minute (start to finish)  success.




I've made these cookies a few hundred times. Everyone- from young neighbor kids to folks in nursing homes love these cookies.
I know you're going to love them too.
Happy Baking!






ABK's Tried and True Chocolate Chip Cookies (updated 8/2014)
A Bountiful Kitchen (adapted from Nestle Toll House Cookie recipe)
print recipe

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened *
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour*
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt ( I prefer coarse salt)
2 cups  or 1 (12-oz. pkg.) chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375° F. If using convection, preheat to 375 as well.
For regular oven, place rack in middle of oven. When using a convection oven, you should be able to bake on all racks at one time.
Cut butter into pieces ( about 2 tablespoons each) and place in mixing bowl. I use a Kitchen Aid and power it on 2 (low).  After a few seconds, add granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract. Mix on low speed until creamy (this takes just a few seconds). Add eggs, beating just until incorporated and smooth.  Never turn the beaters on high. Using a spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl and bottom of the bowl to insure all ingredients are incorporated.
Dump 2 cups of the flour, soda, salt and chocolate chips all together into bowl with butter mixture. Add the remaining 3/4 cup of flour to the top of this mixture. Slowly mix the dry ingredients and the chocolate chips together.  Do not over mix.  Turn the dough with a rubber spatula so the bottom of the dough is mixed into the top of the dough. This will insure the flour is mixed in properly and the chips are distributed evenly.
Using a cookie scoop, drop onto un-greased baking sheets, or baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Place 6 scoops of dough on each baking sheet. Flatten slightly with the palm of your hand.
If using convection, bake for 7-10 minutes until golden brown. If using regular oven, bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes. Cookies should be slightly golden and the cookie should not be wet on top.
Cool on baking sheets completely.
Yield 18 large cookies.

Tips:
(or my mini-epistle on cc cookie making and baking)
-Only use butter. Unsalted is best. The butter should be more firm than room temperature butter. I take it straight out of the fridge, and microwave it for about 20 seconds.
-*Our altitude is about 4,400 ft. So, I use about 2 3/4 cups flour total. The original Toll House recipe calls for 2 1/4 cups. If you are at sea level, you will probably need less flour than the 2 3/4 cup.
-Don't over beat the butter-sugar mixture, or the batter will become too soft, and your cookies will not be beautiful and puffy. They will resemble pancakes. 
-Don't sift the flour.
-There is usually a notable difference between using a convection and a standard oven. If you bake at the same temperature, for the same amount of time, the convection cookie will be done, with a beautiful, golden, slightly crispy outer layer. Still soft on the inside. And it will be taller than the cookie baked in a standard oven. Not everyone has a convection oven- if you don't, you can still bake a great cookie using a standard oven!
-I think two of the biggest mistakes made while baking cookies are:
1-Over mixing. This will cause the batter have too much air incorporated, producing a fluffy, instead of a chewy cookie.
2- Over bakingUnder baking is good! Not under baked to the point the cookie is wet and doughy, but just until the top sets, and the dough looks like it has a bit of a crust.
-Chocolate chips - For semi sweet,  I use Nestle Semi Sweet chips. You can't go wrong here. But for Milk Chocolate, we prefer Guittard . The chips are called Maxi Chips and are sold in a silver colored bag.
-If the cookie spreads too much, or the edges are not even, I take a small spatula and push the edges inward to create a cookie that is round. This has to be done immediately after removing from the oven. 
- High Altitude info: Not recommended-directions on Nestle Choc Chip package for high altitude- I have tried this variation, and don't like the result. The cookies aren't quite sweet enough, and have a crispy more cake like texture. Here are the directions on the package: (again I do NOT recommend using this method, but have printed it here as an FYI)  Increase flour to 2 1/2 cups. Add 2 teaspoons water with flour and reduce both granulated sugar and brown sugar to 2/3 cup each. Bake drop cookies for 8 to 10 minutes and pan cookie for 17 to 19 minutes.
-Last tip. Mound the cookie into a ball. I make them about the size of a golf ball. I use a cookie scoop, because it's easier for me. For years, I just used a spoon, and then shaped them by hand. Make sure to flatten the cookie just a bit before baking. To yield 18 cookies use a  2 1/4 inch scoop.


5/16/14

Almost Swig Sugar Cookie Recipe - Volume 2




Hi there. It's me. The unofficial-official expert on everything Swig cookie.
Self appointed.
If you doubt this statement, read my original post and recipe development epistle on Swig Cookies here.



Now that we have our very own (truly official) Swig shop in B-town, and don't have to drive to St. George to get a fix, the hype has come to Davis County, Utah.
If you aren't a Utah resident, or don't regularly drive through our state, you may be wondering - What's a Swig cookie?  Refer back to the original post.  Also, if you can't get to Swig, or just want to make your own at home, you've come to the right place.








Oh. P.S.
The cookies at the  B-town Swig shop are better than the Swig Cookies in St. George.
There. I've said it.
I swear it's true.
Anyone else want to bear testimony of this?

Last thing.
If you're a chocolate or lemon-lime lover, check out my chocolate "Swagg Cookie" recipe and the spring-time favorite, the "Sprig Cookie".
When you just can't get enough of  cookies that start with "S"  and end with  "G"  :)
Happy Baking!

Lemon Lime Sprig Cookie

Chocolate Swagg Cookie
















(Almost) Swig Sugar Cookie Recipe
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

dough:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup solid shortening ( I like Butter Flavor Crisco)
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
4 1/2  cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
sugar for top of cookies

frosting:
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 tablespoon sour cream
4 cups powdered sugar
1-2 teaspoons vanilla
dash of salt
1 drop red food coloring
1-2 tablespoons milk**

Preheat oven to 325 convection or 350 regular bake.
Take butter out of refrigerator and microwave for about 15 seconds. Place butter, shortening and cold sour cream in a mixing bowl. Mix for about one minute. Add sugar and almond extract, mix until smooth. Add all dry ingredients at once. Mix just until flour disappears and the mixture comes together in a ball of dough, about 1 minute on very low speed.
Spray the cookie scoop with a little cooking spray. Scoop the dough onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. I use a 2 inch scoop. A 2 inch scoop will produce a cookie similar in size to the Swig cookie. If you don't have a cookie scoop, use an ice cream scoop or roll the dough into a ball about the size of a golf ball. It is best to use a scoop and overfill it a bit to get the desired jagged edge.
Place about 1/4 cup sugar into a small bowl.
Spray the bottom of a flat glass with cooking spray. Flatten one cookie a bit then dip the glass in sugar Press the bottom of the glass against the cookie. Press the cookies so they are flattened a bit ( until the cookie dough just reaches the outside of the edge of the glass) twisting the glass as you press to produce a jagged edge. I bake 8 cookies per tray. Continue until all cookies are flattened.
Bake in oven for about 10-12 minutes on convection or about 12-15 minutes regular bake or until edges are lightly golden and cookies are slightly firm to the touch.
Remove from oven, let cool.  Loosen the cookies from the cookie sheet after cooled a bit, or they will stick to the pan (even though it has been lightly greased).
Place the cookies in the fridge and chill.

Prepare the frosting:
Beat together the butter, sour cream, powdered sugar, vanilla and salt. When all ingredients are incorporated, add the drop of food coloring and a little milk if the frosting needs to be thinned.
Frost after the cookies are completely chilled.
Makes about 18  large cookies.

Tips and (surprise) a few more comments:
-The recipe looks a little long and maybe even complicated, but it's  not. Once you get the hang of the technique for scooping and pressing, it takes less than a half hour to make and bake the entire batch.
-If you want the cookies to taste more like the  original Swig cookies make this adjustment to the dough:  Omit the almond extract and reduce the sugar to a total of 3/4-1 cup.
I prefer the cookies to be sweeter, so I like 1 1/2 cups of sugar in the dough. 1 1/2 cups of sugar may sound like a lot, but consider traditional chocolate chip cookies have 1 1/2 to 2 cups of sugar to 2 1/4 cups of flour. The ratio here is 1 1/2 cups sugar to 4 1/2 cups flour.
-This cookie measures about 3 3/4 to 4 inches across when finished baking.
-The St. George Swig cookie is frosted with quite a thin layer of frosting. I prefer my frosting to be a bit thicker. If you want to frost the cookie with a thinner frosting, add about 3-4 tablespoons of milk to the frosting. If you  are buying and not baking and like a thicker layer of frosting, visit our friends at the B-town Swig. That cookie is Swig perfection.
-This cookie stays quite well in the fridge for about a week if kept in an air tight container. I frost the cooled cookies, then store them in the fridge. Once the frosting is set on the cookie, you may layer the cookies between sheets of parchment or wax paper. This allows you to stack the cookies without taking up too much space in the refrigerator.
-This cookie freezes well frosted or unfrosted.
-If you are making this for a gathering where there will be other desserts, use a smaller cookie scoop and bake for less time.
-The photo below shows two batches of frosting. One with one drop of red food coloring, the other with two drops.



5/8/14

Strawberries and Cream Sheet Cake






Strawberry Shortcake is one of my all time favorite desserts. I mean, what mom doesn't love Strawberry Shortcake? This cake takes the dessert to a new level. Fresh strawberries, cream, cream cheese...it doesn't get much better than this. And it's easy to mix up. Make the cake on Saturday, and the frosting on Sunday.
Trust me.
Mom's going to love this.





Strawberries and Cream Sheet Cake
adapted from Southern Living Magazine
print recipe

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 tablespoons strawberry-flavored gelatin (powder)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup chopped fresh strawberries
Shortening
Parchment paper
Vegetable cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°.
Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Beat in lemon juice and vanilla.
Stir together flour and next 3 ingredients; add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended. Stir in strawberries.
Line a 9x13 with parchment paper. Grease and flour the paper before spreading the batter onto the paper, allowing 2 to 3 inches to extend over long sides.
Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 30 minutes. Lift cake from pan, using parchment paper sides as handles. Invert cake onto wire rack; gently remove parchment paper. Or just lift cake from pan and frost after cooled.  Cool completely (about 1 hour). Spread Strawberry Frosting on top and  sides (optional) of cake.
Fresh Strawberry Cream Frosting

1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar

1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 -2  cups powdered sugar
dash of salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh strawberries

In a deep bowl, beat cream until stiff, add 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form. Scrape out of bowl and set aside in another small bowl. 
Using  the same large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar a little at a time. Add a dash of salt.  Beat again until smooth. Add 1/2 cup fresh chopped strawberries. Mix just until fruit is incorporated.  Fold the whipped cream mixture and the cream cheese mixtures together. Frost the cake immediately. Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

Tips:
-I altered the ingredients in the frosting to create a more stable frosting. The Southern Living version calls for granulated sugar and fresh lemon juice, which produces a delicious frosting, but does not hold its shape well. This frosting is delicate and should be served within two hours of frosting. 
-My Sister in Law, Sheri made this and followed the SL directions exactly, except she baked the cake in a jelly roll pan. The recipe calls for baking in a 9x13. After trying the cakes baked in a 9x13 and a jelly roll pan, I liked the cake baked in the jelly roll pan a bit better. 

-Be careful to not over bake. The cake is done when a few moist crumbs are attached to a toothpick when testing.

3/5/14

Cracker Barrel Biscuits (copycat recipe)






You know how I love a good biscuit.
This recipe is a Southern classic. It's rumored to be the Cracker Barrel recipe.  It calls for ingredients all self-respecting Southern cooks have in their kitchen: self rising flour, shortening, and buttermilk. If you're a Yankee, (like me) you probably don't have self rising flour on hand at all times. No worries. You can make your own in a minute with three simple ingredients.


Oh, one more tip, My dear friend Miss Mary (what the kids love to call her) was visiting from Mississippi a few weeks ago. I made a big batch of biscuits for breakfast one morning, and we ended up having quite a few left over. I'm kind of a biscuit snob, so I'm not one to eat a leftover biscuit. I was about to throw them away when she told me the secret to re-heating leftover biscuits.  Listen up. Split them in half. Butter both of the insides. Lay them on a cookie sheet and broil just until lightly browned and heated through. Careful not to burn. They taste fresh and almost better than the first baking. We ate up every last crumb.
The rumor about these being the Cracker Barrel recipe? I've eaten a Cracker Barrel biscuit and I can tell you this.  This recipe makes a biscuit that's tender and flaky, like CB's. A bit of crunch from being baked at 450, a bit salty, which is perfect with the jam you're going to put inside. If we're comparing, I have to say no restaurant I've ever dined in serves a biscuit this good. It's hard to beat a home made biscuit.
Get baking.


Cracker Barrel Biscuits
adapted from cdkitchen.com found on Pinterest
print recipe

2 cups self rising flour (or  you may make your own, recipe below)
1/3 cup solid shortening, I prefer Crisco
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk, shaken
melted butter

Pre heat oven to 450 degrees, and set rack in middle of oven.
Place the self rising flour into a medium size bowl. Cut the shortening in , using a pastry cutter, or two knives. Add the buttermilk all at once. Gently fold the buttermilk into the flour and shortening, until the
dough gathers together, and the flour is mixed in. I use a large wood spoon for this.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat gently into a disc about one inch thick. Do not over handle the biscuits, this will make them tough, and not tender.
Gently cut the biscuits, using a biscuit cutter or glass. Place onto a cookie sheet.
Brush the tops of biscuits with melted butter.
Make sure the oven is completely pre heated  and up to 450 when the biscuits are placed in to bake.
Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown on top and bottom.
Makes 9- 2 1/2 inch biscuits. Biscuit yield will depend on size of cutter.

Self Rising Flour :
1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Mix together in a bowl with a fork. Store in a container or Ziploc bag until ready to use.
I double this for the Cracker Barrel recipe, and have a little leftover for the next time I make biscuits.
Measure out 2 cups for the recipe above.



2/21/14

Utah Fry Sauce



For a few weeks in February of 2002, Salt Lake City was the world's stage.  It was an exiting time, so many athletes, fans, and visitors from foreign countries. The media reported on everything from athletic events to two Utah phenomenon's:  green jello and fry sauce. Fun fact- two of the hottest Olympic pins traded at the 2002 games were the green jello pin, and the fry sauce pin.








As far as green jello goes, I'll tell you this, it's not making it's way into my kitchen. Ever.
Fry sauce... that's another story. One of my kids LOVES fry sauce. If there is any leftover when he's done dipping fries, he slurps up the remaining sauce. Not kidding. Ok, he hasn't done that for a few years, but he used to do it.
If you are familiar with fry sauce, you probably know it is served in almost every restaurant inside the Utah border where fries are served. What exactly is fry sauce?  Mostly, it's a mixture of mayo and ketchup, with various other ingredients added, depending on your liking. There are many stories about the origin of fry sauce.  Arctic Circle, a local Utah fast food chain, claims to be the first to serve it, way back in 1924.




Fry sauce is simple to make and promises to take your fries to an Olympic level!  Eh eh eh.
Couldn't help myself.
Happy dipping, friends.




Utah Fry Sauce
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

Basic ingredients:
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup ketchup (or a mixture of barbecue sauce or chili sauce)

Add in any of the following:
1-2 tablespoon dill pickle juice
or
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
or
onion powder about 1/2 teaspoon
additional add in may include:
a few drops of hot sauce, or a few dashes of cayenne pepper

The Arctic Circle recipe is rumored to be:
equal parts:
mayonnaise, ketchup, buttermilk


Whisk together mayo and ketchup in a small bowl. Mix in any of the optional ingredients.
Keep refrigerated up to one week.
Serve with home made fries or onion rings, or serve on hamburgers.


Baked Fries

potatoes, any type- Yukon, Red, Russet
olive oil
salt
fresh herbs, if desired

Pre heat oven to 450 degrees (convection setting, if available). Place rack on top third of oven.
Thoroughly wash potatoes. Pat dry. Cut into slices, depending on desired thickness of fries.
Place cut potatoes on jelly roll or other large baking sheet.
Spray pan lightly with cooking spray to prevent sticking to pan, or use silicone liner, or parchment paper.
Layer potatoes in single layer on pan. Drizzle with 2-3 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and top with fresh herbs, I like fresh thyme.
Bake for about 12-15 minutes depending on oven, or until fries are golden brown.