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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pantry Cleaning Fish Sandwiches

It's not your everyday tuna sandwich! Makes 4 sandwiches.

Patties:
2 cans tuna, drained
2 eggs
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup cornmeal
Oil for frying

Tartar sauce:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 Tbsp finely chopped pickles

4 hamburger buns

(pictured: homemade buns! To make homemade buns, follow July's 'Italian Bread' recipe, but divide dough into 8 pieces and brush with egg wash.)

To make tartar sauce, combine all ingredients. Cover and chill for 1 hour.
To make patties, combine all ingredients except oil and shape into 4 patties. Pan fry in 1/2 inch of hot oil until heated through and brown on both sides. Drain on a paper towel draped over a wire rack.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Caramel Lover's Cupcakes

....With white chocolate frosting.
Today, I was approached by a coworker and asked if I could make her some cupcakes for her boyfriend's birthday. 'What kind?' I asked. 'Oh, I don't know, he loves caramel, he likes white chocolate...I'll pay you!'
So, this is what I did. This is my first sale. I am excited. :)
Makes 12 cupcakes.

The Cupcakes:
(I can't take credit for this. This is straight out of the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.)
1 1/2 c flour
1 c sugar
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg




The Caramel:
1/4 c butter
1/3 c brown sugar
2 tsp water
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 c evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla

The White Chocolate Frosting:
2 c powdered sugar
2oz white chocolate
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp crisco
1-2 Tbsp water



Preheat the oven to 375.
Combine flour, sugar, and baking powder in a bowl. Add milk, butter and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes. Add egg, beat for 2 more minutes.
Spoon batter into cupcake liners, filling each half full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.

These will need to cool completely. So, in the meantime...

Caramel: Mix butter, brown sugar, water, and salt in a nonstick skillet. Bring to a boil and let boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
It might look separated, lumpy, and gross. DON'T PANIC. All this will be remedied when you...
Remove from heat and add the evaporated milk and vanilla. Work quickly and stir vigorously! It should become, well, caramel. Let it cool for 10-15 minutes.

While the caramel is cooling...

Frosting: Place powdered sugar in a bowl. Microwave white chocolate, butter/crisco, and water until melted. Stir until smooth. Add to powdered sugar and mix with an electric mixer until fluffy. Set aside.

Using the handle of a wooden spoon, poke a hole 3/4 of the way down into the center of each cupcake.
Fill each hole with...CARAMEL! Caramel center, people. Yes.
Scrape frosting into a ziplock bag, snip a hole in the end, and pipe onto each cake.
Do the same with the caramel; make a nice design or just glob it on there.

E N J O Y : )



Monday, September 10, 2012

My Brown Bread

4 key components used sparingly give this bread a mild yet distinct flavor: Molasses, brown sugar, wheat flour, and dark beer. Great with butter and a hearty stew.

1/2 cup water between 85-105 degrees
1 tsp molasses
1 tsp brown sugar
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups white flour
1/2 cup wheat flour
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup dark beer
Flour for kneading
Cornmeal







Dissolve sugar and molasses in warm water. Stir in yeast and allow to proof for 5 minutes.
In a bowl, combine flours and salt. Add beer, oil, and yeast mixture. Stir until ingredients hold together, then turn out onto a floured surface and let rest for 5 minutes.
Knead for 7-10 minutes, adding more flour as necessary, until smooth and elastic. Let rise in an oiled bowl for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 425. Place a pan of water at the bottom of the oven and preheat your pizza stone or upside-down cookie sheet.
Sprinkle some cornmeal on a piece of foil or pizza paddle. Turn risen dough out onto this surface; try to maintain the round shape. Make an "X" incision, sprinkle with flour, and allow to rise under a towel for 30 minutes while the oven heats up.
Slide dough onto your pizza stone or cookie sheet, bake for 30 minutes.




Sunday, September 9, 2012

Hasselback Potatoes

Basically, it's a fancier baked potato. You have artistic license though; stuff those slices with anything you like! I used thinly sliced garlic and thyme.

Potatoes
Olive oil
Salt
Additions of choice; garlic, spices, meats, cheeses, use your imagination.





Preheat oven to 425.
Slice the potato by laying it in a wooden spoon and making close horizontal cuts, as pictured above, not cutting all the way through. If desired, insert fillings into slices. Rub outside generously with olive oil and top with salt. Bake for 1 hour or until tops are crispy and inside is cooked through.

Pantry Cleaning Meatballs

This one is both budget and kid friendly. Serves 4. You can use any, and I mean ANY kind of cheese. I used Velveeta. ;)

Sauce:
6oz tomato paste
2 cups water
2 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 beef boullion cubes
2 minced garlic cloves
1/2 an onion, chopped
1/2 a green pepper, chopped
1 tsp Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
A splash of wine, optional



Meatballs:
1 lb ground beef or turkey
2 eggs
3 slices white or wheat bread
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp Italian seasoning
2 oz cheese
1 Tbsp oil for browning


To make sauce, combine ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

To make meatballs, begin by toasting the bread in the oven at 250 degrees for 30 minutes. It should end up mostly crumbly with a few moist scraps left. Crumble bread and combine with egg, cheese, turkey, and seasonings.

Preheat oven to 350.
Grease an 8x8 baking dish. Heat oil in a skillet. Divide turkey mixture into 12 balls, bigger than a golf ball, smaller than a tennis ball. Place meatballs into skillet and brown the outsides. You may have to divide them into separate groups of 4 or 6.
Place browned meatballs into prepared baking dish. Pour tomato sauce over top and cover with foil. Bake covered for 1 hour, then uncover and bake for 30 more minutes.
Serve over pasta, make a meatball sub, or just grab a fork and dig in. :)