Thursday, January 7, 2010

What you've been waiting for!!! A Few New Recipes!!!

Hey, all! First off, I'd like to apologize for being gone for so long, but as you'll agree, school needed to come first. (And if you don't agree, at least you're back for more recipes!)

Secondly, I need to apologize for not having any pictures to go with these recipes. That is mostly due to the fact that my family ate most of the final product before I thought about taking pictures! Sorry! But at least you know they were good, right! Or at least you will once you try them!

Homemade Barbecue Sauce!!!

Okay, so for those of you who don't know my methods of creation, I'm about to reveal it to you here and now with how I came up with my barbecue sauce recipe.

I got a hankerin' for a bit of barbecue chicken one night, and I wanted to make my own sauce. At first I was going to use an easy ketchup recipe that I had tucked away, but I couldn't find it in the mess that is called my cookbook. (Literally, stacks of recipes shoved into my once nicely handwritten recipe journal.) So, I did what any other person would do: I researched sauces on the internet. After I found about five sauces that closely resembled what I was trying to concoct, I printed them off and went to work.

I pulled out a small pot and began glancing at the recipes. I took a little of something from each recipe that sounded like it would go good together and I mixed them in the pot.

Daring, I know! But for some reason, I have this blessing of a great memory for what things taste like, and if I concentrate, I can imagine different things together and voila! That's how I decide what goes good together!

Okay, okay! Back to the recipe...

In the long run, I added a teaspoon of salt (something none of the other recipes called for) to the sauce because it was too sweet and it turned out great!

Step 1:
Put all the ingredients into a sauce pan and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 2:
Clean up the splatter mess before your spouse gets angry at you!

Step 3:
Cut chicken into strips. Rinse pieces and pat them dry.

Step 4:
Dip them in sauce and put on a broiler pan. Bake at 350 for about 20-25 minutes (depending on how thick your strips are- they could take longer).

Step 5:
Fend off your family as you devour them! Don't forget to let the pan cool before you lick the sauce off of it, or you'll end up in the emergency room with a rather sore tongue and an embarrassing story to tell. =)


1/2 cup Ketchup (not to be confused with Catsup- but that's another post)
6 oz. Tomato Paste
1/3 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
2 tsp Onion Powder
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp Dried Ground Mustard
1/4 tsp Ground Ginger
Dash of Cayenne
(For those of you wondering what a dash is- Just shake it once or twice over the pot- more if you want it hotter!)
Dash of Ground Black Pepper
2 Tbs Honey (give or take)
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp Salt

Now, I saved the best for last! Who wants....

Cinnamon Rolls!!!! With a to-die-for-melt-in-your-mouth-Frosting!!!

For those of you who don't know, I've been on the trail to find the elusive Cinnabon recipe for cinnamon rolls. I've tried every other recipe out there that promised delivery, only to be let down time and again. I've since decided to abandon others false promises and strike out on my own walkabout for this infamous recipe (or one to top it!!!). What I've come up with is a great sweetbread recipe and an awesome frosting recipe that is worth every second of it's time-consuming creation!

This dough recipe is best used in a bread machine. Sorry to those of you who don't have one, but they take all the work of worrying about temperatures out of my hands and I enjoy it! I highly recommend you look into one. I use mine mostly for dough making. I think I've only really made bread in it like 3-4 times in the 6 years we've owned it. Enough about that! you want the recipes! Well, here they are!

Sweet Bread Dough

1 cup Milk (Room Temp- RT for the future)
1 stick of butter RT
1/3 cup sugar
3 large Eggs
1/4 tsp Salt
3 tsp Yeast
4 3/4 cups Flour

Add all ingredients to the machine and let it work its magic!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix about a cup of brown sugar with 3 Tbs of cinnamon. To that, gradually add butter until it is just spreadable. This is important for the caramelizing process to occur properly!

Roll out dough into a rough rectangle shape. Spread the sugar mixture from step 2 evenly across it and then be generous with the raisins!

Carefully take one of the long sides and roll it towards you. Cut the dough with a string- I find that dental floss works best as it comes pre-waxed. That and it's cheaper! I have a roll that I use only for cutting cinnamon rolls.

Spray 2 9"X13" pans with cooking spray. Arrange rolls 12 to a pan. Let rise for a few minutes in a warm place.

Cook rolls for 10 minutes and then rotate and cook for 10 more minutes- or until just golden on the tops!

Let cool for a few minutes and then ice them individually for the best flavor extravaganza! =)


1 stick Salted Butter (or Margarine) RT
1- 8 oz. pkg. Cream Cheese RT
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1 package Powdered Sugar

Take the first 3 ingredients and CREAM THEM GOOD!!! And I mean, until there is not a lump to be seen!

Add the whipping cream and whip that stuff till you are just this side of butter!

Slowly add 1/2 cup of powdered sugar at a time until you reach desired sweetness and texture (I added about 1 1/2 to 2 cups myself before calling it good).

Chill in the fridge.

Spread generously across a warm cinnamon roll (recipe above), sit in a cozy chair and revel in the fact that you deserve that delectable little treat- and that you hid the rest from those who would dare try to rob you of your little treats!

Remember! Keep on cookin!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Who Wants Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies?!!! ME!!!

My wife and I got a recipe from her mother for these wonderful cookies, but we're not sure what went wrong with it. For some strange reason, we can't ever get them to bake "just like Mom makes 'em" style. So, in an attempt to create an awesome batch of cookies that would be sure to please, I did like I always do and "Googled" for similar recipes to see if I could come up with something that would be sure to please.

Having discovered a recipe that staked it's claim to tasting "just like the Kroeger brand," I decided to give it a shot in the dark and see if they were really as good as they made them sound.
Guess what? They were! So, here for your critique, I give to you that recipe to try for yourself. Be the judge and let me know what you think!

The Recipe:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. This is always important. Many people forget this step and end up having to eat their cookie dough... in ice cream... while they watch some movie about a guy and a girl... OK, I'm not sure if that happens, but I could see it happening! =)

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg; set aside. Doesn't it look yummy already? Don't forget to set it aside; that's important too. If you don't set it aside, then you get other things in it that aren't supposed to be in there yet.

Cream butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. This is very important. I know some people who will just mix them until they're barely mixed together (like in the first picture below) and start adding other ingredients right away, but the thing that they're forgetting is that there's a reason behind having steps in a recipe. See how creamy mine looks!

Add eggs and vanilla; beat until combined.

Add pumpkin, then sour cream. Yes, you heard right. This recipe calls for sour cream. Trust me it makes a ton of difference in the flavor and moistness of the cookies.

I used the Tillamook brand. It has a nice, rich, creamy flavor to it. But don't look for any more product placements here, because I'm not about that.

And, of course, beat until combined.

Now we can grab for that flour mixture we made earlier and add it to the mix. Mix it in a little at a time and beat until just combined. Don't overdo it or you'll have to explain it to your children why your beating senseless cookie dough senseless... or something.

Now it's time for my favorite part of making cookie dough: adding the chocolate chips!!! (Who put that bag there!)

Fold in chocolate chips. Just like you're turning the pages of a book. It's that easy- and your wrist gets some exercise too! =)

Drop dough in mounds using a well rounded tablespoon at least 2 inches apart onto baking sheets. You can easily make them bigger and have really big cookies, but I would recommend spacing them further apart if you do that.

Chill remaining dough while other cookies bake. If you don't, it gets really soft and the cookies will come out flat. Trust me. Please learn from my mistakes!!! Don't be forced to eat the flattened, "why did I even bother making these" kind of cookies like I did with my second batch. Save yourself the agony and just follow the instructions.

Bake, rotate sheets halfway through, until cookies are golden brown but still soft to the touch, 12-18 minutes. With each time I cooked them, I noticed that they took less and less time to cook, so I'd recommend keeping an eye on them if I were you. This recipe makes about 3 1/2 to 4 dozen.

And now let's see what the audience thinks of these cookies!

"I don't know Daddy..."

"Let me try another bite."

"Hmmm... Um-Hmm... Um-Hmm."

"Those were finger-lickin' good! Can I have about a dozen more?"


2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (11 1/4 on scale)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt (scant)
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves (reduced slightly from original)
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Keep on cookin!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Salmon Always Reminds Me of Seattle...

It's true... I didn't like fish again until I moved to Seattle and had salmon for the first time.

How did I grow sick of fish in the first place? Well, when you live on a river and you're poor- and by that I mean just making the bills poor- there's only one place to turn for food; the river. And so began our days of fishing. Yeah it sucked. Yeah I saw parts of different kinds of fish that I hope to never see again. Yeah, I ate fish I never want to eat again. But, when I got to Seattle, and for the first time had salmon, I knew that that was going to be a fish I was going to enjoy. Much better than rainbow trout or sucker fish- don't ask...

Anyway, one day I went to reach for the salmon rub- a real treat on salmon, which I'd recommend to anyone who wants an easy salmon fix- and it was all gone. How could I have done such a thing!!! I was only worried for a moment though, because I instantly started thinking of all of the flavors that go good with salmon and started scouring my cupboards and fridge for them. The result is this recipe that I came up with for salmon.

Salmon in Creamy Lemon-Dill Sauce on Rice

Start your rice before you start the salmon!!!

Put 3 tablespoons of butter into a pan and melt it with about 6 tablespoons of lemon juice and a teaspoon of dill. Once the butter is melted, I pour milk into the pan until it's about three-quarters of an inch deep. It curdles because of the lemon, so don't worry about that. I bring this back to a boil and then add the salmon fillets. After they're added, I spoon the mixture over the salmon and turn the heat down to just above low and simmer covered for about 6 minutes. Then, I flip the salmon over and cook it for another 6 minutes. You know it's done when the fish flakes easily with your fork (or in this case, my spoon). I remove the salmon and cover it on a plate, then put some flour into a cup and add some milk and salt. Add just a little milk at a time to get your thickener for your sauce. Why use flour instead of corn starch which thickens in seconds? Easy. With corn starch you lose some of the flavor for some reason. I've found that by using a flour mix as opposed to corn starch, you can preserve the flavor and not have to add a ton of seasoning to regain it like you have to when you use corn starch in things.

Bring the heat back up on the sauce, then whisk in the gravy mix in while it's bubbling. Your rice should be done by now. So, spoon some rice onto your plate and cover with the sauce. Put one small spoon over the salmon; just to accent it, not overpower it.
Here you see Tearese's favorite dish to serve with these, sweet potatoes and pineapple. If anyone wants that recipe, I'll post it at the end of this entry. They really are great with this salmon, because they are sweet and offset the lemon and dill.


3 Tbs Butter or Margarine
6 Tbs Lemon Juice
1 tsp Dill
2 Salmon Fillets
3 Tbs Flour
1/4 tsp salt

Sweet Potatoes with Pineapple

1 can Princella Cut Sweet Potatoes (Big Can!)
1 can Pineapple Tidbits (Big can also)
1/2 stick Butter or Margarine
1/3 Cup Brown Sugar (I like the dark brown sugar)
Drain the juice from the potatoes and put into an 8" X 8" baking dish. Cut into smaller pieces and then slice the butter over the top of the potatoes.

Drain the pineapple, leaving a little juice in them, and add to the yams.

Sprinkle brown sugar over the whole lot and bake, uncovered, for about 25 minutes at 350° F.

Pull out, let set until cool enough to eat and enjoy!

Keep on cookin'!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Egg Rolls Anyone?

My wife and I really love egg rolls, or anything else in the Asian cuisine arena for that matter. One day, we attended a class that teaches how to make healthier foods and they taught us how to make egg rolls. Ali, the teacher for the day, gave us a delicious recipe for egg rolls and so we tried it out. Now it's one of our favorite recipes!

Given that I like to adapt things to my kitchen, and the fact that I sometimes forget things, I adapted Ali's recipe to fit the things I had on hand. I also cut her recipe in half so that I wouldn't have tons of leftovers.

These are the ingredients that I used.

I like this brand of egg roll wraps, because they don't have tons of corn starch on them to keep them separated.

This sweet Thai chili sauce can be bought at Wal Mart. It's kinda spicy at first, but after the first few bites it's pretty yummy. My daughter likes them with ranch dressing... go figure! =)

First thing's first, we need to put the bean thread in some hot water while we cook the sausage. I empty out some of the water and put more hot water in about half way through cooking the sausage. Do you like my pink cup?

While the bean thread is soaking, I cook the sausage. If you cover it, it helps it cook quicker. The sausage is done when you can no longer see any pink in it.

Drain the sausage and put it into a large salad/mixing bowl. Then cut the bean thread up and add it to the sausage. I like to just cut it up over the top of sausage. It's pretty easy that way and makes for less of a mess to clean up later.

Mix up the bean thread and sausage. The recipe that we got from Ali called for shredding a cabbage and carrots, but when I read that I thought to myself, "That's just like coleslaw!" So, I bought a bag of coleslaw and added it to the mix instead of having to work so hard on shredding all of those vegetables.

Mix the coleslaw into the sausage and bean thread, then add two eggs. I also add about 3/4 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper and mix it all in.

Separate an egg yolk and put it in a bowl. I use a basting brush to pop it and for the wrapping step just ahead.

Put a heaping spoon of mixture onto an egg roll wrap diagonally.

Fold the bottom corner over the top and sort of tuck it in.

Next, bring the two sides up to the middle.

And then roll it over, being careful to make sure the ends are sealed.

Finally, you brush a little egg yolk onto the wrap, or just on the tip of the wrap, to seal it shut. Don't they look good already?

Heat some oil in a pan on Medium heat. Once it looks warm, use a pair of tongs to lower the egg rolls into the oil. Roll them over at least once to make them brown and crisp all the way around.

This recipe makes about 18 -20 egg rolls, depending on how much mix you put in each one. (Note my son making his move to get some!)

1 lb Italian sausage
4 oz Bean Thread
1 bag Coleslaw
3 Eggs
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
20 Wraps
Oil for frying

(Optional- and definitely yummy to add!!!)
1-2 Chopped Green Onions
1/4 Cup chopped Cilantro

Keep on cookin'!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Easy to Make Banana Bread

This banana bread recipe is from an online source that I like to peak at once in a while. I'd never made banana bread before this recipe, but I've tried other people's banana breads and they just don't compare. The others are usually too dry or lacking in flavor. You know, when they taste more like bread than bananas--- YUCK!

When I eat banana bread, I expect a moist, banana flavored explosion! HA! I really like this recipe because that's what you get.

First off, there are a great deal of people who don't like to wait for their bananas to get that perfect brown in order to make banana bread. I'm one of those people. What I do is take my bananas when they're starting to get little spots on them and put them in the freezer for a day.

The next day, take them out and allow them to thaw on the counter. This makes them nice and brown, as you can see here.

Next, take a fork and mash up the bananas. You want them to be completely thawed when you do this because you're going to be adding melted butter.

Here's a look at the ingredients I used. The bowl in the foreground is 1 beaten egg. The other bowl has my melted butter.

After you mix the butter into the mashed bananas, you want to put 1 cup of sugar, the beaten egg, and the vanilla into the bowl and mix thoroughly. After that's mixed up well, spriinkle the salt and baking soda on top and mix in.

Finally, you add the flour and mix well. I like to sift my flour, otherwise you end up with globs of flour in your bread when you get done.

The final steps are, of course, pour into a greased bread pan and bake at 350° F for about 1 hour. Watch it though, because ovens vary you'll want to make sure yours doesn't burn!

Doesn't it look delicious! Sorry about the missing slice, but I think you'll agree that nothing tastes better than fresh baked bread from the oven!!!

3 or 4 Bananas
5 1/3 Tbs. Butter/ Margarine (Pick your poison!)
1 Cup Sugar
1 Egg - beaten
2 tsp. Vanilla
Pinch of Salt
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 1/2 Cups Flour

Keep on cookin'!