Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cream Scones

I made some raspberry jam the other day.  You know what goes perfectly with raspberry jam?  Scones.  And cream.  It was lovely.  These cream scones are amazingly tender, light, and crumbly.  They are not dry like the ones you might buy at stores.  If you've never had a scone, you should get in touch with your inner Brit and try one today.

Cream Scones

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
4 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 egg slightly beaten
1 teaspoon of vanilla
2 tablespoons of sugar for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and butter in a food processor. Pulsate everything in 3-second intervals until everything resembles course meal. If doing this by hand, use 2 knives, a pastry blender or your fingers until the mixture resembles course meal.
Transfer everything to a large bowl. Stir in heavy cream, egg, and vanilla mixing the dough by hand until it forms into a uniformed and slightly moistened dough. *You can also use your Kitchenaid with the dough hook on the slowest speed for a few minutes.

On a floured surface, grab enough dough to fit into your hand about the size of a baseball and gently roll it in a ball.  Flatten the ball and until your disk is approx. 3/4″ in height. Press down the outside of the dough circle so the center is slightly taller. Evenly sprinkle sugar on top of each circle.  Cut each circle in quarters. You should have enough dough to make 4 circles and 16 scones.
Bake on a ungreased cookie sheet, or line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Bake for 15 minutes until the bottoms are golden brown. Remove scones from baking sheet and cool on a wire rack. Serve with butter, honey, cream or jam. Enjoy!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Coney Island Hot Dogs with Homemade Buns

I have always loved coneys from Sonic.  Yes, some of you may scoff.  And yes, I am aware of how low brow a coney may seem, but come on!  Hot dogs with chili and cheese?  Yes please!  These turned out really well.  The chili was slightly sweet for my taste, so I think I would decrease the brown sugar next time, but the hot dog buns turned out just beautifully and were so much better than the storebought kind.

Yummy yummy!  This is a highly kid friendly meal as well.  And it can always be customized.  My daughter didn't have any of the chili, but she had some ketchup and cheese.  It's so easy to make this meal fit anyone's tastes.  Try some soon!

Coney Island Hot Dog Sauce
adapted slightly from Mommy's Kitchen

1 lb ground turkey
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 - 3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 1/2 cups water
2-3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
Salt and pepper to taste
hot dogs and hot dog buns (recipe follows)

Brown the meat in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Make sure to break up the meat as fine as possible (a potato masher works great (I just used the back of my spoon and worked it a little more than usual)). When the meat is cooked, drain and return to the skillet. Add the garlic and cook for a couple minutes. Add the remaining ingredients except the hot dogs and add the mixture to your crock pot. Turn the crock pot on low and cook for 2 hours. Serve the Coney sauce on top of cooked hot dogs with diced onions and mustard.
To cook the sauce on the stove, prepare the mixture the same way and just simmer on low for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. (I used the stove method, and it was just as easy and much faster.)

Homemade Hot Dog Buns
adapted slightly from At the Baker's Bench

3 cups flour
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup warm water

In the bowl of a stand mixer, put salt and warm water.  Sprinkle the yeast over the water and allow to bloom for 5 minutes.  Add flour, vegetable oil and sugar.  Knead using the dough hook until it’s smooth and satiny, then put it in an oiled bowl. Turn the dough over to coat it with oil, or brush the surface lightly with oil, and cover the bowl. Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free spot until it’s doubled, about 1 hour.
Gently de-gas the dough by pressing your fist down into it, shape it into a 12-inch log, cover with a piece of oiled plastic wrap, and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll the dough into a 20 x 8-inch strip. Cut the dough (a pizza wheel works well here) into ten 4-inch squares. (Cut in half lengthwise, then into fifths vertically.) Shape each square by folding it over, pressing the edges to seal them, then rolling to form a bun about 6 inches long. Flatten the buns till they’re about 2 inches wide, and transfer them to lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheets, leaving 3 inches between them. Note: If you prefer to tear the buns apart from one another after they’re baked, place them so they’re only about 3/4-inch apart. Cover the buns with a piece of oiled plastic wrap, and allow them to rise for 45 to 60 minutes, until they’re puffy.
Bake the buns in a preheated 350°F oven for 16 to 18 minutes, until they’re golden brown. Remove them from the oven, cool them on a rack, and store tightly wrapped, or freeze.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thanksgiving Menu 2010

That picture is, unfortunately, not mine.  I don't have any current pictures of my Thanksgiving food, but I promise that after Thanksgiving, I will post many of the recipes I used up here.  About a week ago I finalized my Thanksgiving menu.  If you can't tell, I'm really excited about it.  It's the first time I will host Thanksgiving, and although it will be small, it will be awesome.  Here's the menu:

My Mother-in-Law's Cheese Ball

Main Course
Roasted Turkey and Gravy - my husband is the one who cooks the turkey, so we'll see what he comes up with this year!

Fresh Cranberry Sauce
Green Bean Casserole
Mashed Potatoes
Stuffing (I'm still trying to decide between 2 recipes for this)
My Grandmother's Snail Rolls with Compound Herb Butter and Honey Butter

Pumpkin Pie with Sweetened Whipped Cream

What can you not live without on your Thanksgiving table?  I would love to know!  Any other traditions that you really enjoy?  What about ideas for leftovers?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fried Apples & the Winner!

I really love fall, and I love when the apples come by the thousands into the stores.  This is a really simple and wonderfully delicious way to use up some of that harvest.  But be careful, it might melt your ice cream - but then you just have some yumminess to drink.  And congratulations to commenter number 1, Miss Nesbit, who won the cookbook!  Keep looking back for yummy recipes and more giveaways in the future!

Fried Apples

2 medium apples
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon table salt

Peel and core the apples and then slice them into 1/4-inch wedges.
Melt the butter in a 10-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat. When the butter has fully melted, sprinkle the brown sugar over the butter and then quickly place the apple slices in a single layer on top of the brown sugar. With a wooden spoon, stir the apples to coat them in the butter and brown sugar. Continue to stir the apples. When the butter and brown sugar have formed a syrup, sprinkle the cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt over the ingredients in the pan and stir to incorporate.
Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to stir the apples until they are fork tender and the syrup has reduced and thickened slightly. Remove the skillet from the heat and let the apples cool for several minutes. Serve alone, or as a topping for ice cream.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Cowboy Spaghetti & A Giveaway!

I'm not usually a big Rachael Ray fan.  But she does have some recipes that are really delicious, and yes, easy.  This is one of my favorites.  The best thing about this pasta is the switch-up on the cheese.  This picture shows it with your typical parmesan and mozzarella on the top, but the recipe calls for grated cheddar to garnish the pasta.  And it's delicious!!  This is not your typical spaghetti with meat sauce.  It has bacon and a nice smoky flavor that is just wonderful.  And because I love this recipe so much, I'm giving away a copy of the book that contains it!

If you want a chance to win, just comment on this post!  The winner will be randomly selected by using and announced on Thursday when I'll put up another yummy recipe!  Enjoy and good luck!

Cowboy Spaghetti
from Rachael Ray's Express Lane Meals

1 pound spaghetti
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 slices smoky bacon, chopped
1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion (once again, I left this out since my husband hates onions)
3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
Black pepper
2 teaspoons hot sauce (like Tobasco)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 14-oz can chopped or crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese
4 scallions, trimmed, chopped (I omitted these too)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Salt the water and add the spaghetti.  Cook the pasta to al dente, with a bite to it.  Drain the spaghetti.
Heat a deep skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the olive oil and bacon.  Brown and crisp the bacon for 5 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate.  Drain off a little excess fat from the skillet if necessary, leaving just enough to coat the bottom.  Add the beef and crumble as it browns, 3 to 4 minutes.  Add the onions and garlic and stir into the meat.  Season the meat with salt and pepper, hot sauce, and Worcestershire.  Cook for 5 to 6 minutes more, then stir in the tomatoes and tomato sauce.
Add the hot spaghetti to the meat and sauce and combine.  Adjust the seasonings and serve up the pasta in shallow bowls.  Grate some cheese over the pasta and sprinkle with the scallions.
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