Sunday, March 29, 2009

Apples N' Cream Bread Braid and How To Pics

So I did try the bread braid recipe with the apple pie filling and it was delicious, it reminded me of an apple filled donut I had at Krispie Kreme years ago, so good! I did try a new cream cheese filling though and it worked out even better, here are some pics to show you the process of rolling and cutting out the braid, let me know if you have any questions! It turns out looking so beautiful people will think you are a master baker!

Cream Cheese Filling

1 8oz. block cream cheese, softened
1 Tbs. sour cream
1 egg
1 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp lemon juice

Beat all ingredients together until smooth, about 30 seconds. This is enough filling for at least two braids, so cut in half if only making one.

For the apple pie filling I dumped the can of filling on a large cutting board and chopped up the apples into small pieces. I then scooped it all up and placed in a bowl. I added 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp lemon juice and stirred it all up, it was then ready to go!
Refer to Cherries and Cream Bread Braid post for instructions and bread recipe.
After brushing on the egg wash, I sprinkled raw sugar over the top of the Apples and Cream braid. drizzling icing over it when it is cooled is also really good, just like a danish pastry!
Oh, and I would highly recommend making this on parchment paper.

Double Peanut Butter Cookies, Yah Baby!

This has been my favorite peanut butter cookie recipe for years, I love the soft chewyness of it. I do not like those hard things with the criss cross shape on them (you know what I'm talking about!)
So I had this epiphany about adding peanut butter chips to the peanut butter cookie and they turned out awesome, careful though, when you start eating these, you won't be able to stop!

Double Peanut Butter Cookies

1 c. butter, softened
1 c. smooth Peanut Butter
1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 c. Reeses peanut butter chips (just eat the remaining 1/4 c. while you're making these)

Preheat oven to 350.
Cream together butter, peanut butter, sugar, and brown sugar for 2 minutes. Add in eggs and continue beating. Add in flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir in peanut butter chips.
Bake for approximately 11-13 minutes until lightly browned.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Simple Steamed Salmon

I love salmon! I could eat it every day....
Anyway, this is my favorite method for cooking salmon, enclosing it in aluminum foil lets steam build up so the salmon is always super moist and delicious, very hard to mess this one up!
Sometimes I'll brush a yummy teryaki or maple glaze on, but most of the time I just stick to simple seasonings so that I can just enjoy the salmon's flavor.

Simple Seasoning:
All season's salt (I like the Simply Organic brand)
olive oil

Lay down a large piece of aluminum foil on a baking sheet, place salmon on top, in the middle. Brush the salmon with olive oil, squeeze juice from 1/2 a lemon all over, and sprinkle with seasoned salt. Bring up all sides of aluminum foil and pinch to secure so that the salmon is completely encased.
Bake at 375 for 20 minutes, open up aluminum foil so that the salmon is no longer covered and continue baking an additional 5 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Cherry Cream Braid

This sweet bread recipe is to die for! It is so soft and moist and flavorful, I love making cinnamon rolls and even regular bread loaves out of it. This dough recipe will actually make enough for two braids, or one braid and 9 cinnamon rolls. My husband said it tasted like a donut, so that got me thinking.... I think I'm going to experiment and try to make Danish Pastries out of this dough recipe with an apple cinnamon and custard filling, I'll post pics if it turns out good!

Sweet Dough
(King Arthur Flour Co. recipe)

3/4 c. warm water
2 tsp sugar
1 Tbs active dry yeast
1/2 c. unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 c. vanilla yogurt (most small yogurts are exactly 3/4 cup, so that makes it easy!)
*You can also substitute plain or lemon yogurt
1/2 c. butter, softened
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla or almond flavoring, or 2 tsp. citrus zest
4 1/2 to 5 1/2 c. flour (to measure flour, always stir it to "fluff" it up, and then spoon it into the cup container and level)
1 egg + 2 Tbs. milk for egg wash

Filling for braid:
(You can use any type of pie filling, or a chocolate ganache, or almond filling would be good too)
1 can cherry pie filling
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Sliced almonds to sprinkle on top

In a small bowl, combine the warm water and 2 tsp sugar, stir to dissolve. Stir in yeast and 1/2 c. flour. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until bubbly and active, about 10-15 minutes.

In a large bowl (of bowl of KitchenAid if you have one) combine the yogurt, butter, eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla, and yeast mixture. Add the flour 1 cup at a time, mixing until the dough comes away cleanly fro the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and, adding only enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to your hands or the work surface, knead about 5 minutes, until soft and pliable but not sticky. Let the dough rest while you clean and grease the bowl. Finish kneading the dough until it's smooth, supple, and springy.

Place the dough in a greased bowl, turn to coat all surfaces, cover with plastic wrap and a clean towel, and let sit in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled.

Before dough is done rising, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla.

Preheat oven to 375

Gently deflate the dough and divide it in half.
Working with one half at a time, roll out into large rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick. Leaving half the dough uncut down the middle (this is where you'll place your filling) make nine cuts down each side to make your braid pieces. Cut out the four corners so that you have a lip in the center on each end. Spread half of the cream cheese mixture down the middle, place 1/2 the cherry filling on top. Starting at one end, pull the lip up and press down on sides to secure. Take one braid piece and fold over and secure. Now take another piece from the opposite side and secure, repeat with remaining pieces. Before you reach the end, pull up lip and secure and then finish braid.
Lightly beat egg and milk and brush over braid. Sprinkle almonds on top. Repeat with remaining dough piece or make into cinnamon rolls.

Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until braid is a golden brown.

Chili Verde

This is amazing! Thanks so much Emma for sharing this recipe with me. I love to serve this over tostada shells with shredded Monterey Jack cheese on top. Letting the pork roast cook overnight in the slow cooker is really a must in this recipe, the pork will literally just fall apart when you shred it the next morning, so delicious!

Chili Verde

1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
1 pork loin roast (as little fat as possible, if you buy the three pack from Costso they don't have any fat at all)
1 c. water
1 large can green enchilada sauce
1 small can chopped green chilis
1 small onion, sliced or chopped, whatever you like
1 c. chicken broth
1 tsp garlic powder

Rinse off roast and pat dry.
Combine flour, salt, and pepper. Rub over roast, save excess. Place roast in crock pot. Add garlic and water to leftover flour mixture, pour in slow cooker. Cook overnight on low setting. The next day shred pork, it should fall right apart. Remove any fatty peices. Add enchilada suace, green chilis, onion, chicken broth, and garlic powder. Let cook on low for an additional 2-4 hours to incorporate flavors.

You can break up the tostada shells, spoon chili verde over, and sprinkle with cheese and then broil until it's nice and bubbly.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Cowboy Caviar

Thank you Carolyn for this recipe! This is a delicious dip, my husband said he could eat it all day! When I first tasted it I never would have guessed it had Italian dressing in it, all of the flavors are so good together!

3 avocados, diced
3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 can shoepeg (white) corn, do not drain
1 can black eyed peas, drain and wash
1 can black beans, drain and wash
3 green onions, diced
Cilantro to taste
1/4 - 1/2 bottle fat free Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing (fat free is better in this recipe)

Stir together all ingredients except dressing. Gradually add enough dressing to reach the desired consistency. Cover and place in refrigerator for at least one hour before serving.

Southwest Fajitas

Okay, so I know the pic looks a little strange, but believe me, this is awesome! It is one of my all time favorite dinners to make. It's kind of like a southwestern gyro, so good! I love serving this with homemade salsa and guacamole.

Southwestern Fajitas

1 Tbs. olive oil
1 lb. flank steak, cut into 1/4 inch strips
1 c. sliced onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
3/4 c. plain yogurt
5 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 c. corn (canned or frozen)
1 square or 1 tsp chicken bouillon flavoring
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/3 c. chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add steak, onion, garlic, and peppers; saute for 6 minutes. At this point I drain off the excess liquid. Add yogurt and cream cheese; stir until cheese melts. Stir in corn, bouillon, pepper, and cumin. It may not look smooth and creamy right now, but it will after you cover and cook on low for 10 minutes. Stir in cilantro and serve in corn or flour tortillas with lots of cheese and guacamole!