March 30, 2012

Cinnamon Roll Waffles

From Phemomenon

For the dough: 
2/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
4 TBS unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups flour; plus more for rolling
1 TBS baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda

For the filling: 
4 TBS unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 TBS flour
1-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
pinch of ground cloves

For the glaze: 
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3 TBS heavy cream or milk
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. maple extract

1.  Heat the waffle iron to medium-low heat if possible.  Have plenty of cooking spray on hand to keep the iron well oiled in between each batch.

Make the dough:
2.  In a large bowl, combine the sour cream, milk, sugar, melted butter, and vanilla. Beat with a whisk or hand mixer until smooth. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda and beat to combine and make a clumpy dough – don’t over beat, you will bring it together once you dump it onto your work surface. You should have a soft, slightly moist, shaggy dough. If you overwork it at this point, you’ll end up with tough rolls instead of light and fluffy ones.

3.  Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it with floured hands 4 or 5 times until smooth, just enough to bring it together. With a rolling pin, roll the dough into approximately a 12×15-inch rectangle.

Make the filling:
4.  In a small bowl, stir together the filling ingredients until they are all moist and almost form a paste. Spread the filling over the dough rectangle evenly, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edges and pat the filling onto the dough surface gently.

5. Starting at a long edge, roll up the dough jelly-roll style. Pinch the seam to seal, and leave the ends open. At this point, use your hands to even out the dough ‘log’ and just make the cylinder as close to the same size all across as possible. You should end up with a log that is about 3 inches in diameter, by about 18 inches long, but it isn’t critical. Just make sure your dough log is as uniform as you can get it.

6. With a sharp knife, dental floss, or thread, cut the roll into approximately 18; 1-inch pieces for smallish ‘biscuit’ sized waffles, for bigger waffles, cut the dough into thicker pieces – you’ll have fewer waffles, but they will be bigger.

7.  To make the waffles, generously spray the top and bottom portions of your waffle iron griddle and place a cinnamon roll in each section, or as close together as you want, without them touching. I placed one in the center of each square, but you could fit more at a time if you don’t mind them baking together a bit.

8. Bake until golden brown and just firm to the touch, about 2 minutes. The filling will ooze just slightly and caramelize on the rolls so you don’t want to walk away. Just keep an eye on them and when the dough portion is nice and golden they are done.

9. Set finished waffles aside on a platter in a warm oven, or serve as you go with the glaze.

Make the glaze:
10. In a small bowl, mix the confectioners’ sugar, cream, vanilla and maple extract to make a smooth glaze. It should have a thick but pourable consistency. Drizzle the glaze over the rolls and serve warm.

QUICK CLEANUP NOTE:  To assist in the cleanup effort, turn the waffle iron off and unplug it while it is still hot and sprinkle about a tablespoon or so of water into the waffle cavities so it can steam and melt the sugar bits. Close the lid and let it steam to clean the griddle. Come back later and wipe out the excess with a paper towel.

March 26, 2012

Granola Bars

From Annette

2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
3 TBS butter
2/3 cup honey
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots or peaches
1/2 cup dried cranberries

1.  Preheat oven to 350℉.  Butter an 9x13 inch baking dish and line with parchment paper.

2.  Toss the oatmeal, almonds and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally until lightly browned.  Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ.

3.  Reduce the oven to 300℉.

4.  Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Cook and stir for a minute; then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture.  Add the raisins, apricots and cranberries and stir well.

5.  Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.  Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown.  Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares.  Serve at room temperature.

March 22, 2012

Lasagna Roll Ups

From Life as a Lofthouse

1/3 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1 (15 oz) container Ricotta Cheese
1 cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1 egg, beaten
1- 1/2 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1 (24 oz) jar Spaghetti Sauce
1/2  lb lean Ground Beef

9 Lasagna Noodles
1 cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese

1.  Preheat oven to 375℉.  In a large bowl, mix together the filling ingredients. Cover and place in fridge while preparing noodles and sauce.

2.  In a large pot of water, boil lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain water, and gently lay out noodles onto a large cookie sheet covered with wax paper or Silpat. (Don't let noodles touch because they might stick together)

3.  Meanwhile, cook hamburger in a large skillet until browned.  Drain grease. Pour in spaghetti sauce and cook until mixture is thoroughly heated, about 5-10 minutes.  Pour 1/3 of the meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Set aside.

4.  Get the cheese mixture from fridge. Spread 1/4 cup of cheese mixture onto one lasagna noodle. (Divide evenly among all 9 noodles)  Roll up and place seam side down into the baking dish. Repeat with remaining noodles.

5.  Pour on remaining meat sauce and then sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Serve immediately.

March 19, 2012

Chicken Tortilla Soup

from Liz

1-1/2 lbs. boneless chicken, cooked and shredded
2 (15 oz) cans whole tomatoes
1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 bay leaf
1 (10 oz) package frozen corn
1 TBS dried chopped cilantro
1-1/2 cup water
1 can black beans, optional
tortilla chips, cheese, sour cream, optional to serve with

1.  In crockpot*, combine the shredded chicken, whole tomatoes, enchilada sauce, onion, green chilies, and garlic. Add chicken broth, cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, and bay leaf.  Stir in the corn and cilantro.  Add beans if using.  Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

2.  Serve with tortilla chips, cheese, and sour cream if desired.

*Cook on stove top if desired

March 16, 2012

Crockpot Chicken Tacos

from Bree

boneless, skinless chicken pieces (frozen is fine)
1 can (10 oz) Ro*Tel, undrained (tomatoes and chilies)
1/3 cup water
1 cup frozen corn
1 can beans
tortilla shells

1.   Place the chicken in the crock pot.  Cover chicken with the tomatoes, water, corn and beans.

2.  Cook on low for 7-10 hours, or high for 5-6 hours (Frozen will take longer)

3.  Shred meat with forks.  Put in tortillas and top with your favorite toppings.  Or serve over rice.

March 13, 2012

Crispy Cheddar Chicken

from Annette

4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 sleeves Ritz crackers
1/4 tsp. salt, optional
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup milk
3 cups cheddar cheese, grated
1 tsp. dried parsley

1 (14 oz) can cream of chicken soup
2 TBS sour cream
2 TBS butter

1.  Cut each chicken breast into 3 large chunks.

2.  In a food processor grind up the Ritz crackers (or use a rolling pin).

3.  Pour the milk, cheese, and cracker crumbs into 3 separate small pans.  Toss the salt and pepper into the cracker crumbs and stir the mixture around to combine.

4.  Spray a 9x13 inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Dip each piece of chicken into the milk then the cheese and then the cracker crumbs.  Lay the chicken in the prepared pan.

5.  Sprinkle the dried parsley over the chicken.

6.  Cover the pan with tin foil and bake at 400℉ for 35 minutes.   Remove the tin foil, and then bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the edges of the chicken are golden brown and crispy.

7.  In the last ten minutes of cooking, put the sauce ingredients into a sauce pan and whisk.  Stir over medium high heat until the sauce is hot.  Serve over the chicken.

Yield 7 servings

March 10, 2012

Peanut Butter Toffee Cheesecake Brownies

From Pillsbury

1 brownie mix for 13x9 inch pan and ingredients to make them
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 can (14 oz) Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/2 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
1 bag (8 oz) toffee bits
1 cup milk chocolate chips
3 TBS whipping cream or milk

1.  Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray 13x9-inch pan with Non-Stick Cooking Spray.

2.  In medium bowl, stir brownie mix and ingredients to make them together.  Spread batter in pan; set aside.  

3.  In large bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Add milk and peanut butter; beat until smooth. Stir in 1 cup of the toffee bits. Spoon mixture over batter; spread evenly.  

4.  Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until cheesecake layer is set and edges are light golden brown. Cool on cooling rack 30 minutes. Refrigerate 40 minutes.

5.  In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips and cream uncovered on High 40 to 60 seconds or until chips are melted; stir until smooth. Spread over cheesecake layer. Sprinkle with remaining toffee bits. Cool completely, about 1 hour. 
For brownies, cut into 6 rows by 6 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.

March 7, 2012

Fail Proof Pizza Dough and Garlic Cheesy Bread

Recipe and Pictures from Lauren's Latest

Basic Pizza Dough
yield: 2-12 inch pizzas, approximately 1 lb. of dough

1 cup warm water (baby bath warm)
2- 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
1 TBS honey (or sugar)
2 tsp salt
2 TBS olive or canola oil
3 cups bread flour (give or take 1/2 cup…depending on the heat & humidity)

1.  In a large mixing bowl, preferably that of a stand mixer, stir yeast and honey into warm water. Sit for 5-10 minutes or until bubbles form and mixture starts to foam. This tells you that the yeast is alive.

2.  Pour in salt, oil and half the flour and mix.
pizza dough 1
3.  Once that flour is incorporated, start adding flour in bit by bit until you get the pizza dough to the consistency you want: slightly tacky, but when you touch it it doesn’t stick to your hands.
pizza dough 2
4.  Once you reach this stage, turn the mixer on high to knead for 6 minutes. Turn a timer on and walk away! Resist the temptation to stop earlier than 6 minutes!  It should look something like this when it’s done!
5.  The dough should be smooth and easy to work with. And the bowl should be clean!
pizza dough 3
6.  Lightly grease the bowl & the dough so it doesn’t dry out, cover with plastic wrap and let it rise 1-2 hours. 
pizza dough 4
7.  Now you can turn this dough into pizza or garlic cheesy bread.

Cheesy Garlic Bread Sticks
yield: 1- 12 inch pie
1/2 recipe Fail-Proof Pizza Dough
2 TBS softened salted butter
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese  (use the real stuff!)
1/4 pound grated mozzarella cheese
salt & pepper, optional

1.  Preheat oven to 500℉ with pizza stone inside. (If you don’t have a pizza stone, use an upside down cookie sheet.)
2.  Mix butter and garlic in a small bowl and set aside.
3.  Spread pizza dough out into a 12-inch circle on parchment paper. (This makes it easier to transfer to the pizza stone.)  Leave the parchment paper underneath when baking.
4.  Spread the butter and garlic mixture over dough and top with parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. Top with a light sprinkling of salt and pepper, if desired.
5.  Bake 9-10 minutes or until bubbly and golden. Remove from oven and cool 1-2 minutes before cutting. Serve hot, with marinara.

March 4, 2012

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie, Oreo, and Fudge Brownie Bars

From Kevin and Amanda

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 TBS vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 cups (12 ounces) milk chocolate chips
1 pkg. Double Stuffed Oreos
1 Family Size (9×13) Brownie mix, (and ingredients to make)
1/4 cup hot fudge topping

1.  Preheat oven to 350℉.  If desired, line a 9x13 inch pan with foil or waxed paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray. (You don't have to line it just helps to pull the whole thing out of the pan and cut.)

2.  Cream the butter and both sugars in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed for 3-5 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well to thoroughly combine.

3.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt, then slowly incorporate into the mixer until the flour is just combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread the cookie dough in the bottom of prepared pan.

4.  Top with a layer of Oreos.

5.  Mix together brownie mix, adding an optional 1/4 cup of hot fudge topping to the mix. Pour the brownie batter over the cookie dough and Oreos.

6.  Bake for 45-55 minutes.  Serve with ice cream and hot fudge if desired.

To half this recipe for an 8×8 brownie mix, just half the chocolate chip cookie dough ingredients.

March 1, 2012


From Tara J.

3 chicken breasts
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 cup chicken stock, reserved from cooking chicken (or use broth)
1 can cream of chicken soup
salt and pepper
cooked rice

Topping Options:

chow mein noodles                     olives
chopped tomatoes                      green onions, sliced
sliced celery                               pineapple chunks
shredded cheese                         mandarin oranges

1.  Cook chicken breast and onion in water with salt and pepper until cooked through.  Remove chicken and shred. Reserve 1 cup stock.

2.  Add the shredded chicken back to the reserved stock or broth.  Add cream of chicken soup.  Simmer 8-10 minutes.  Serve over rice with your choice of toppings.