This weekend I was reading Mel’s Kitchen Cafe blog about the uses of coconut oil. I’ve had a jar of the stuff in my cabinet forever. Maybe not that long, but long enough. I started to use it on my body as a moisturizer/lotion. The Imaginative One loves it because he can also use it around his lip area, and it doesn’t matter if he gets it in his mouth (refined), and our dog loves to lick it off my fingers. He has really dry skin, so maybe this will help him.
I also got a jar for my kitchen, so I could cook with it. I decided to make my buttermilk biscuits. Instead of butter, I used coconut oil. My father-in-law is a diabetic, and he can’t remember things at times. Coconut oil is supposed to be good for those two things. So he can have one of the biscuits (it still has flour (carbs) in it.)
Can we say AMAZ-BALLS! They were amazing (singing voice)!!!!! I tried one of them and had to refrain from eating the other dozen of them.
1 1/4 c buttermilk (or whole milk with a tablespoon of lemon juice added)
flour for dusting
Put coconut oil on top of the flour. Cut coconut oil into the flour with a long-tined fork or pastry knife until crumbly.
Cover and chill for 10 minutes. Add buttermilk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 3 or 4 times, gradually adding additional flour as needed. With floured hands, press or pat dough into a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle (about 9 x 5 inches). Sprinkle the top of the dough with additional flour.
Fold the dough over into itself, like you are folding a piece of paper into a letter, in three sections. Repeat the entire process 2 more times, beginning with pressing into a 3/4-inch-thick dough rectangle (about 9 x 5 inches).
Press or pat dough to 1/2-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface; cut with a 2-inch round cutter, and place, side by side, on a parchment paper-lined or lightly greased cookie sheet. Try to make sure they touch because this will help them rise higher.
Bake at 450° for 13 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. (Mine takes about 12 minutes.)
Last week I found this recipe on This Week for Dinner’s website. I thought this was a genius idea because you don’t need to make a separate crust for the pie. I don’t know if I’ve attempted to make homemade crust. Usually, I use the store-bought variety.
This pie is easy to put together. Although it called for peeling the apples, I left a little peel on, which added color when the apples peeked out of the crust. Which was pretty cool looking. This is not a traditional pie. Instead, the crust is more like a cobbler than apple pie. This pie would be good with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or even cinnamon ice cream. Yum!
Fill a pie plate or any 8×8 casserole dish/pan with sliced apples. Only the center can be slightly above level with the top of the dish, or the topping will spill over the sides, so don’t get carried away.
Sprinkle the apples with about 1 Tbsp. Cinnamon sugar. (More or less, depending on what you like.)
Mix together the butter, sugar, flour, and egg.
Pour the mixture evenly over the apples, and sprinkle with more cinnamon sugar if desired.
Bake at 350 degrees F until deep golden brown – around 40-45 minutes or so.
I’ve been making this soup for the past few years. I saw Rachael Ray cooking it up on her cooking show and decided I wanted to try it. During the Lent season, I’ve made it to share with the members of my former church when we’ve had soup Wednesdays. They always loved it. In fact, during this past Lent season, I sent home leftovers with a couple people.
The thing I love about this soup is that instead of regular egg noodles, you use orzo pasta which is sort of like rice but is, in reality, pasta. I also like that it has black beans in it.
Spanish Style Chicken Noodle Soup
Stars of the Recipe:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
3 celery ribs, chopped
2 medium-sized carrots, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 to 2 tablespoons (about a palmful) of chili powder
1 bay leaf; use fresh if available
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 quarts (6 cups) of chicken stock
1 pound chicken tenders or chicken cutlets, cut into bite-size pieces
2 14-ounce cans of diced tomatoes or 1 28-ounce diced tomatoes
1 cup corn, frozen or fresh
1 15-ounce can of black beans, rinsed
1/2 pound orzo pasta
Put all of the ingredients except for orzo pasta in the crockpot.
Cook on low for 8 hours.
A half-hour before serving, put the orzo pasta in the soup so it can cook.
These pecan tarts invoke a lot of memories when I eat these. I can remember going to her farm with my grandparents for family gatherings. I can visualize food being laid out on the island in the kitchen or family members sitting outside eating dinner or sitting around their dining room table. I can see their pond with the weeping willow right by the driveway and the pine trees around the pond’s perimeter.
Many times these family gatherings involved my great-aunt making these delicious pecan tarts. We lost another member of our family to cancer this past weekend. Since then, I have been thinking about these pecan tarts because they remind me of my family and growing up; however, I couldn’t remember where I put the recipe.
This evening, I cut out some box tops for education labels. When I opened the drawer in which I kept those box tops, I found the recipe for the pecan tarts. I had put it in there so I wouldn’t lose it.
To make the pastry:
1/2 c. butter softened
1 (3 oz.) package of cream cheese, softened
1 c. flour
Mix ingredients well, and chill.
Form into 24 small balls and place in lightly buttered (or sprayed with cooking spray) muffin tins. I use the mini muffin tin.
Shape with a thumb and press against up to fit the bottom and sides.
To Make the filling:
dash of salt
1 tsp. butter softened
2/3 c. chopped pecans
3/4 c. brown sugar
Add sugar to the butter and mix well.
Then add egg and salt. Combine thoroughly.
Add nuts; mix well.
Fill tart shells 2/3 full.
Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes or until the crust is slightly brown.
Delicious!!!! When I found this recipe on Copy Cat Recipes, I knew I needed to put this on my September meal plan. My hubby loves Waffle House waffles with hash browns covered, smothered, and chunked, a.k.a hash browns with American cheese, onions, and diced ham. When I made this for dinner, I also made those hash browns. Our bellies were very happy after that dinner.
Warning: You need to make the batter ahead of time because it needs to be chilled overnight or during the day.
Stars of the recipe:
1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 large egg
1/2 cup plus 1 T. sugar
2 Tbsp. butter softened
2 Tbsp. shortening
1/2 cup half & half
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla
Mix the flour, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl, and stir to combine.
In another medium bowl, beat the egg.
Add the sugar, butter, and shortening and mix well until smooth.
Add the half & half, milk, buttermilk, and vanilla, and mix well.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture while beating and mix until smooth.
After you chill it overnight or for 8 hours: (Make sure you cover it.)
Take the batter out of the fridge about half an hour before you make them.
Be sure your iron is well oiled and hot, and pour 1/3 to 1/2 cup batter and cook 3-4 minutes until golden brown.
If you want to make pecan waffles, just sprinkle pecan halves over the batter after pouring.
This recipe only made 3 waffles on my waffle iron. Next time I’m going to double the recipe so I can freeze some of the waffles. They were that delicious.
I put butter and blueberry syrup on my waffle. I got the blueberry syrup in St. Louis on it. Yummy!
I had read you could cook baked potatoes in the crockpot, but I was skeptical about whether it worked. Since baked potatoes were on my meal plan for Thursday night, I decided to test whether you could cook them in the crockpot. I am no longer a skeptic because it really worked. My hubby even told me that they were delicious.
Stars of the recipe:
russet potatoes – (I didn’t put a quantity because it depends on how many you want to make.)
extra virgin olive oil
Wash the potatoes and then poke the potatoes.
Wrap each individual potato in foil and then place it in the crockpot.
Put about 1 to Tbsp. of water in the bottom of the crockpot.
Turn the crockpot on low and cook the potatoes for about 4.5 hours.
When they are finished, unwrap them and put them in a bowl.
Douse them with Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) to lightly coat them.
Usually, I’m not a big oatmeal eater, however; when I saw this mix on Mommy’s Kitchen, I decided I needed to try it. Oh my goodness, it’s a lot better than the instant oatmeal you get at the grocery store. I think I like it because I can add what I want to it, so it’s unique to my liking.
Stars of the “recipe”:
2 and 1/4 cups of instant oatmeal
1/3 cup dried milk powder
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 to 2 tsp of cinnamon (I added more because I love the taste of cinnamon.)
1 cup of raisins or other dried fruit (I used blueberry-flavored craisins and added chopped pecans to my mix.)
Mix all of the ingredients together and store them in an airtight container.
Label the container with the directions on how to prepare the oatmeal.
To Prepare OatMeal:
Scoop 1/2 cup oatmeal into a bowl and mix with 1/2 cup water. You may need a bit more water if you like your oatmeal thinner.
I found this recipe on The Pioneer Woman’s website. Since I had put some lemon chicken in the freezer, I decided this would complement the chicken. The pasta dish is pure heaven. Okay, maybe not pure heaven. However, it was delicious, and the smells coming from cooking it or heating it up made me happy. In fact, I took it to work for lunch, and one of my fellow teachers complimented me on the smell of the dish. If you get a chance, make this dish and escape to happiness from the taste and smell.
Stars of the Recipe
1 pound Penne Pasta, Cooked Until Al Dente
½ sticks Butter
3 whole Lemons, Juiced (I also used some lemon rind to add another depth of flavor.)
¾ cups Heavy Cream (I used heavy whipping cream.)
¼ cups Half-and-half
1-½ cups Grated Parmesan Cheese (or Romano)
Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
20 whole Basil Leaves, Chopped (I used basil paste in a tube. It’s all I could find. I used maybe a tablespoon to a tablespoon and a half. I didn’t measure.)
Cook pasta, reserving 1 cup of hot pasta water when you drain.
Set pasta aside in a colander.
In the same pot, melt butter over medium heat.
Squeeze in the juice of 3 to 4 lemons. (Also, use a Microplane to grate some rind.)
Pour in cream and half-and-heat. Whisk until hot.
Dump in cheese and whisk until melted.
Add salt, pepper, and basil.
Check consistency, adding some hot pasta water to loosen the sauce if needed. (I didn’t need to add that much.)
Pour pasta and sauce into a large serving bowl. Sprinkle the remaining basil all over the top. (I skipped this step.)
This recipe is great as a side dish or eaten by itself.
Last weekend, we went to the zoo and COSI (a science museum). For a snack at both places, the Imaginative One tried dirt pudding. He loved it because it had gummy worms, Oreos, and chocolate pudding. Since he liked it, we decided to make some for dessert tonight.
Stars of the recipe:
1 small box of chocolate pudding (We used milk chocolate flavor.)
2 cups of milk
1 – 16 oz. container of Cool Whip
10 to 15 Oreos
Make up the chocolate pudding by following the directions on the package. Put it to the side so it can be set up.
Place Oreos in a Ziploc bag. Crush up the Oreos. (We used a meat tenderizer.)
Fold in cool whip into the pudding.
Place a third of the crushed Oreos and a few gummy worms on the bottom of a bowl. Top with half of the pudding/Cool whip.
Place another third of the crushed Oreos and a few gummy worms on the pudding/Cool whip.
Top with the rest of the pudding/Cool whip.
Place the rest of the crushed Oreos on top. Place some more gummy worms or sticking out of the top.
Last week, I was looking through Taste of Home’sHealthy Cooking Magazine when I saw a recipe for makeover macaroni and cheese that used no butter. It was also very simple to make because you make a roux of milk and flour and then add Velveeta (or a similar off-brand cheese) and cheddar cheese to make a cheese sauce. You then add that cheese sauce to cooked pasta, such as elbow macaroni. The texture reminds me of Kraft’s Deluxe Macaroni and Cheese with the cheese packet instead of the powdered cheese sauce. When I served it, my hubby and the Wee One loved it. Both of them went back for seconds.
I love having this in my arsenal of simple side dishes, especially when I’m in a time crunch.
Stars of the recipe:
1/2 package elbow macaroni or shells
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup fat-free milk
1/2 package (16 ounces) VELVEETA Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product cubed or similar store brand
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
Cook macaroni according to package directions.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine flour and milk until smooth.
Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
Stir in processed cheese and 1/4 cup cheddar cheese until smooth.
Drain macaroni; stir into cheese sauce.
Remove from the heat; sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Cover and let stand for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.