Monday, April 25, 2011

Amazing Toffee

One of our family traditions includes passover. I love this holy day
(and the festival that surrounds it) for it's rich symbolism and the
picture of Christ and his work on the cross. One of the best
"pictures" is the section from which many modern churches get their
communion. Three matzohs are placed in a cloth, part way through the
middle matzoh is removed, broken, wrapped, and hidden away. Later on
that middle matzoh is uncovered and ransomed back to the head of the
table. This is then broken and shared by all. The Jews have yet to see
this as a picture of the Trinity and Jesus broken for us. This piece
is also the piece that Jesus himself said "take, eat".
Matzoh has a lot of symbolism, the stripes, piercings, and yeast (sin
free) all remind us of the glory of the death and resurrection. As
great of a thing matzo is to the ceremony it often comes in large
packages and we have lots of leftovers.
A few years back I searched for recipes that used matzo, especially
dessert recipes because they are hard to find for passover. I stumbled
on this recipe and we (especially Amie) love it!!!! I read that
saltines could also be used but I have yet to try it.

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
Matzo (or saltines)
Chocolate chips

Break the matzohs to cover the bottom of a 9 by 13 pan (about 10 oz.
if you use saltines). In a small saucepan melt butter and brown sugar.
Bring to a boil and let it boil for about 3 minutes. Pour over the top
of the matzohs. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Remove from
oven and cover with chocolate chips (I usually use about 1/2 to 3/4 of
a package). When the chocolate starts to look glossy spread it with a
spatula over the top. Allow to cool and become solid before slicing
and enjoying!!

Also if you want a little more salt/ sweet taste sprinkle the matzo
with some salt before you pour the butter sugar mixture over it.


Friday, April 22, 2011

Homemade Tortillas!

Here is the tortilla recipe I made the other day. It was so much fun!

Texas Flour Tortillas (stolen and changed from the blog- Homesick Texan)

5-7 cups whole wheat flour (sifted)
4 1/2 Tblsp of baking powder
3 teaspoon of salt
6 teaspoons of vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups of warm milk

Mix together the flour (minimum amount) , baking powder, salt and oil.
Slowly add the warm milk.
Stir until a loose, sticky ball is formed. Add flour as necessary.
Knead for two minutes on a floured surface. I did this step in my
Bosch mixer; you could also do it in a kitchen aid. Dough should be
firm and soft when it pulls away from the side it is ready.
Place dough in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap for
20 minutes.
After the dough has rested, separate into 24 sections, roll them into
balls in your hands, place on a plate (make sure they aren't touching)
and then cover balls with damp cloth or plastic wrap for 10 minutes.
(It's very important to let the dough rest, otherwise it will be like
elastic and won't roll out to a proper thickness and shape.)
After dough has rested, one at a time place a dough ball on a floured
surface, pat it out into a four-inch circle, and then roll with a
rolling pin from the center until it's thin and about eight inches in
diameter. (If you roll out pie crusts you'll have no problem with
this.) Don't over work the dough, or it'll be stiff. Keep rolled-out
tortillas covered until ready to cook.
In a dry iron skillet or comal heated on high, cook the tortilla about
thirty seconds on each side. It should start to puff a bit when it's
Keep cooked tortillas covered wrapped in a napkin until ready to eat.
Can be reheated in a dry iron skillet, over your gas-burner flame or
in the oven wrapped in foil. These freeze well also. You can store in
the refrigerator for a day or so.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Easy Chicken Enchilada

I have been on the lookout for a good enchilada recipe because I love
enchilada's and not very many recipes compare to the restaurant
versions (at least not without lard, msg, and all that other good
stuff). Finally, I found a chicken enchilada recipe that I absolutely
love! And it is so easy too :) I found it in the taste of home
magazine. I'm still on the lookout for an amazing cheese enchilada
recipe if anyone has one.

Easy Chicken Enchilada

2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 pkg. cream cheese (softened)
8 flour tortillas
1 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
1 cup salsa
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Sliced olives, shredded lettuce, and chopped tomatoes (optional toppers)

In a bowl, combine chicken and cream cheese. Spoon about 1/4 cup
mixture down the center of each tortilla; roll up tightly. Place seam
side down in a baking dish.

Combine salsa and yogurt/ sour cream; spread over tortillas. Bake,
uncovered at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and
olives. Bake 10-15 minutes more or until cheese is melted. Serve with
lettuce and tomato if desired.

I absolutely love the flavor and simplicity of this recipe. I also
made homemade tortillas. That was such a fun bread experience! And I
found a recipe without lard and used ww flour. More to come on that
adventure in another post.


Friday, April 15, 2011

Stuffed pepper and tips for perfectly done/ fluffy rice.

This is one of my favorite comfort foods. I rarely make this meal the
same way twice. Usually besides the rice and peppers I use this to
eliminate leftovers. I'll cook my onions in butter and add in left
over taco meat, or sausage. I'll add in bits of carrot, zucchini, and
other bits left over. If I don't have enough peppers to make this for
the entire family I dice up the peppers and mix it all together
casserole style and bake :). This is a great meal to stretch a buck

6 green bell peppers
salt to taste
1 pound ground beef
1/3 cup chopped onion
salt and pepper to taste
1 (14.5 ounce) can whole peeled
tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Rice- see method below
1+ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
water as needed

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cut the tops off the
peppers, and remove the seeds. Cook peppers in boiling water for 5
minutes; drain. Sprinkle salt inside each pepper, and set aside.
2. In a large skillet, saute beef and onions for 5 minutes, or until
beef is browned. Drain off excess fat, and season with salt and
pepper. Stir in the tomatoes, rice, and Worcestershire sauce. Heat
till bubbly then remove from heat, and stir in the cheese.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. (175 degrees C). Stuff each
pepper with the beef and rice mixture, and place peppers open side up
in a baking dish. In a medium bowl, combine tomato soup with just
enough water to make the soup a gravy consistency. Pour over the
4. Bake covered for 25 to 35 minutes, until heated through and cheese
is melted and bubbly.

(every time)
1. Rinse the rice in water to get rid of excess starch.
2. For every cup of rice, add 1 1/2 cups water. (I only make one
cup of rice for this recipe)
3. Bring the rice to boil, uncovered, at medium heat.
4. When boiling, turn the heat down to medium low.
5. Place the lid on the pot, keeping it tilted to allow steam to escape.
6. When you can see holes or "craters" in the rice, put the lid on tight.
7. Turn the heat to low.
8. Simmer for another 15 minutes.
9. Fluff up rice and serve.


1. For best results, use long grain rice.
2. For a bit of variety, try one of the scented rices, such as
jasmine. The amount of the water required and the cooking time will be
less than for other types of long grain rice.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Melt-in-your-mouth Shortbread

Just four ingredients yet these simple cookies have the most amazing flavor and texture. I made these cookies quite a few times for my Fairwinds adopted grandparents and they loved them!! The trick really is in the whipped butter. Whip, whip, whip, and you could probably whip it some more. When the butter is light and fluffy your cookies will be light and fluffy.

Melt - In - Your - Mouth Shortbread

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

2. Whip butter with an electric mixer until fluffy (whip lots). Stir in the confectioners' sugar, cornstarch, and flour. Beat on low for one minute, them on high for 3 to 4 minutes. Drop cookies by spoonfuls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

3. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Watch that the edges don't brown too much. Cool on wire racks.

Servings: 24

Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

God bless,


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Pumpkin Bread

Nothing quite matches the smell of fresh baked bread. Especially sweet breads!! This bread is so moist and delicious. It  makes my favorite breads list :) One great thing about this bread is that it can be made on a whim. Keep a can or two of pumpkin on hand and your good to go!

Pumpkin Bread

1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup oil
1/3 cup water
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2  tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup nuts and raisins (Optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350° and grease your pans.

2. Stir together pumpkin, oil, water, and eggs.

3. In another bowl stir together the sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.

4. Combine the dry and wet ingredients and stir until well mixed.

5. Pour into pans and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.

6. Mini loaves 25 to 30 minutes, large loaf 45 to 55 minutes.



Saturday, March 12, 2011

Sesame Tempura

After talking on chat last night about food and our love of food I was inspired to pick up this blog where Amie and I left off :) Sorry for the sabbatical. Speech and debate, sickness, and some crazy busy activities took over our schedule.

This recipe is from the Rachael Ray show. The first time we tried it everyone loved it!



  • For the dipping sauce:
  • 1 cup light Tamari
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 inch ginger root, thinly sliced or grated
  • 1/4 tablespoon honey or agave
  • 1/4 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • Peanut oil or other frying oil (some vegetable oils have Omega-3 and extra nutrients added to them)
  • Your choice of: Shrimp, shitake mushroom caps, trimmed and blanched baby carrots, large spinach leaves, snap peas, green onions, thinly sliced sweet potatoes, thinly sliced radishes

For the batter:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 cups club soda
  • 3 tablespoons regular or black sesame seeds


In a bowl, combine ingredients for the dipping sauce and divide among 4 small ramekins.

In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat 3 inches of oil. Arrange shrimp and/or vegetables near the stove for quick dipping and frying.

Whisk the dry ingredients for the batter together then whisk in the club soda to combine. Stir in the sesame seeds. Using a slotted spoon or spider, dip shrimp and/or vegetables a few pieces at a time, into the batter then add to the hot oil and fry until golden. Remove to baking rack set over a baking sheet to drain. Allow oil to reheat before frying the next batch.

Serve tempura with dipping sauce alongside.

We especially loved the carrots, sweet potatoes, and green onions. Green onions were my personal favorite. We didn't really like the texture of the spinach.

This meal is also a great way to use up leftover produce. Whatever you have on hand dip and fry!

Till next time,