Monday, January 19, 2009

Roasted Red Pepper Soup

This recipe and picture came from my sister Becky, who is a great cook! She told me about it and it sounded so yummy I asked her if I could put it on my blog. I have had roasted red pepper soup before, and it is delicious! This would be a great soup to serve in a bread bowl, and it looks so pretty with the swirled sour cream on top.

Roasted Red Pepper Soup

3 Tbs. olive oil
1 small sweet onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 36 oz. jar Roasted Red Peppers, rinsed and drained
2 14 oz. cans Hunts fired roasted tomatoes
1 Tbs. brown sugar
3 cups water
1Tbs. balsamic vinegar
5 Tbs. sour cream

Saute the onions in the olive oil until soft, then add the garlic and cook 5 more minutes. Add the peppers, tomatoes, sugar, and water and simmer for about 25 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vinegar then transfer to a blender and puree. Pour back into pot and season with salt and pepper.

Ladle into 6 bowls and combine the sour cream and about 2 T. water in a Ziploc bag. Snip off one corner and "draw" and swirl on top of each serving!

If you don't want to buy the roasted red peppers you can make your own by rubbing 4 red bell peppers with olive oil and placing under your broiler till blackened on all sides. Then you take them out and place them in a covered container for about 15 minutes and peel and de-seed them. The blacker the skin is the better it comes off!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Bacon Rolls

Thanks to my sister Becky for this great recipe! My husband loves sushi, I don't, so this recipe is great because it's got enough of the sushi ingredients to make him happy, and no raw fish to gross me out! The flavors all go really well together. I watched my sister make these on New Years Eve, so tonight was my first attempt at them and they turned out pretty good. I always had the impression that California rolls were hard to make, but they're not. My sister had all of the tools, the sushi serving set and the rolling mats, but they are not necessary.

Bacon Rolls

2 c. sushi or short grain rice
strips of bacon
strips of cream cheese
2 ripe avocados, sliced in strips
green onions (cut top and bottom off and then slice in half to form strips)
Seaweed wrappers
Soy Sauce, ginger, wasabi for serving

Cook the rice with 4 c. of water.
While rice is cooking cook bacon on stove top until done, or cook on a sheet pan at 425 for approximately 20 minutes.
Let rice cool, if rice is not sticky enough add 1 Tbs. rice vinegar and 1/2 Tbs. sugar, stir gently to combine.
Lay out seaweed wrapper, place a thin layer of rice over seaweed leaving 1" space on top, dip fingers in water to prevent rice from sticking to fingers.
Place 1 slice bacon, 1 slice cream cheese, 1/2 green onion, and 3 avocado slices at bottom. Roll up tightly, before you reach the end, dip your finger in water and run it along the top edge of the seaweed, finish rolling and press down on wet side to seal. Continue with remaining ingredients. Dip sharp knife in water and slice "logs" into 1 1/2" rolls. Serve with soy sauce, ginger, or wasabi.

Ooey Gooey Peanut Butter Brownies

The name alone is enough to make me salivate....
Just imagine pure bliss and that's the feeling you'll get when you taste these little pieces of heaven! The brownie and the marshmallow together are amazing, and you think, can this get any better? And then you bite into the peanut butter chips, wow.

Ooey Gooey Peanut Butter Brownies

1 box brownie mix (I always use the Betty Crocker regular fudge brownies)
2/3 c. vegetable or canola oil
1/4 c. water
1 egg
1 regular sized jar marshmallow cream
3/4 c. Reeses peanut butter chips
1/2 c. sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350.
Grease a 13X9 pan.
Beat together brownie mix, oil, water, and egg. Pour about 2/3 of batter into 13X9 pan, spread and bake for 10 minutes.
Combine marshmallow cream, peanut butter chips, and milk. Pour over brownie bottom leaving about 1 inch space all around the sides.
Drop by spoonfulls the remaining brownie batter.
Bake for approximately 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool and serve, delicious!

Meaty Nacho Dip

This dip is so good! Sometimes I just crave it so I'll make up a batch. It's cheesy, and meaty, and spicy (but not too spicy :)
I love making it on Super Bowl Sunday!

Nacho Dip

1 lb. Jimmy Dean regular sausage
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can Rotel (original)
1 large block Velveeta cheese

Brown sausage and drain.
Cut up velveeta into cubes and place in slow cooker. Pour sausage, soup, and rotel over top. Turn slow cooker on low heat and cook for 2-3 hours until cheese is melted and it's hot! Tortilla chips or soft pretzels go good with this.

Homemade Soft Pretzels

I had always wanted to learn how to make soft pretzels and then I found this recipe on the King Arthur flour website. It was more simple than I thought it would be! These pretzels are perfect, they have that bagel-like skin on the outside and the chewy middle, yum!

Soft Pretzels

1 Tbs. sugar
2 c. room temp water
2 tsp instant yeast (also known as bread machine)
5 1/2- 6 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp non diastatic malt powder (I mail order mine from King Arthur OR substitute sugar)
1 Tbs. salt

Combine in bowl (or KitchenAid bowl) sugar, water, and yeast; stir to combine. Add the malt powder (or sugar) and salt. Add enough flour to make a soft (but not sticky) dough. Knead for 6 minutes. Place in oiled bowl, turning once to coat, cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 450.
Divide the dough into 16 pieces. Roll each piece into a log and shape the logs into pretzels (or doughnut shape, they are easier!)
In large pot, bring 6 c. water and 2 Tbs. baking soda to a boil. Put in four pretzels at a time, let cook one minute. Remove with slotted spoon to greased baking sheet. They should have a skin on them. Continue until all pretzels have been boiled. Paint each pretzel with egg glaze (egg mixed with 1 Tbs. water) and sprinkle with salt or seeds. Bake at 450 for 12-15 minutes or until pretzels are well browned.
Yields 16 soft, chewy pretzels. Delicious dipped in nacho cheese.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Bread Bowls

I went to Paradise Bakery the other day for lunch and I ordered their soup in a bread bowl. I was so excited because usually everything there is so good, and I love soup in bread bowls, but it was not good at all! It was dry and tasted like cardboard. So ever since then I've been craving a good bread bowl. What a great idea, instead of having to wash your bowl, you just eat it! These took quite awhile to make, but they turned out delicious. I made my corn chowder recipe which is also posted on this site. I got this recipe from King Arthur Flour, they have the best bread recipes!

Bread Bowls

7 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp instant (also called bread machine) yeast
2 1/2 c. room temp water
2 Tbs. non diastatic malt powder (I order mine from King Arthur flour, or you can just use sugar!)
3 tsp salt
2 egg whites

Mix two cups of the flour with the yeast and water, let sit for 1 hour. Add the malt (or sugar), salt, egg white and remaining flour, mix until it's a shaggy mass. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes, then knead for 6-8 minutes by hand, or 5-7 minutes using your KitchenAid with dough hook. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover and let rise 2 hours.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide into six equal parts (about 8.5oz. each) Roll each piece into a tight ball and place seam side down on a baking sheet. Cover and let rise 1 1/2 hours. Uncover the loaves and let them sit for 10-15 minutes so they form a "skin", which will make them better able to hold soup or stew.
Preheat oven to 425.
Before placing in oven, mist oven and rolls with water. Bake for approximately 20 minutes until they are a deep, golden brown. Turn off oven and prop open door to let moisture escape. Let rolls cool in oven for 20 minutes, transer to wire rack to cool completely.
To use cut small slice off top of roll and scoop out inside bread with a fork (see picture) leaving about 1/2 inch of the bread all around the bottom and sides. I save the excess bread for dipping into the soup. Enjoy!