Friday, December 31, 2010

Flavorful Fridays 1! Share yours, Link Up!


Welcome to the first day of my blog meme, called Flavorful Fridays! I've always enjoyed participating in other food blog memes for the days of the week (see my side bar <---- ), so I thought why not create my own!

If you'd like to participate, go ahead and link up a flavorful recipe from your blog (please link directly to your recipe post) and be sure to add this button to your post and also your side bar so other's will find their way here. I look forward to seeing all the different recipes!

fla·vor·ful (-fəl)
full of flavor; having a pleasant flavor

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Mommy? Im Hungry!

This Flavorful Friday I will share with you a recipe I found in the new BHG Jan '11 issue. They call it New Year's Dumpling Soup, I call it Potsticker Soup with a side of Baby Bok Choy. I love potstickers and bok choy and so does one of the three of our kids. I made this for lunch for us so guess who got their leftovers! =)

Potsticker Soup with a side of Baby Bok Choy
adapted from BHG Jan. '11

1 -32 oz box of veggie broth
1 cup water
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 -10oz pkg frozen potstickers (I used veggie filled) + seasoning packet
1 cup shredded carrots, divided
1 small bunch green onions, sliced, divided

In a large pot combine the broth, water, ginger and seasoning packet from one package of potstickers (if none is provided use 2 tsp soy sauce + 1 tsp sesame oil). Bring to a boil. Add potstickers, most of the carrots and most of the green onions. Simmer and reduce heat, cover and let cook 8-10 minutes. Ladle soup into bowls, sprinkle with remaining carrots and green onions. Serves 4.

Baby Bok Choy
from Steamy Kitchen

1 1/2 pounds bok choy or baby bok choy
1 1/2 tablespoons canola, vegetable or peanut oil
1-2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
3 tablespoons broth or water (or 2 tablespoons broth/water + 1 tablespoon wine)
salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

For the cooking directions, click here!

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Buttermilk Dinner Rolls

These are my favorite dinner rolls, and have been making them for a few years now to go with dinner for whatever the occasion is. I have found a new way to roll the dough so that makes me happier. I used to roll and cut them into little croissant shapes. You just simply roll the ball of dough on the counter and put it in your pan to rise. One night we ran out of buns for leftover Sloppy Joe's, and Mr. said using a roll tasted great!

Buttermilk Refrigerator Rolls
by Melanie -The Sister's Cafe

3 cups Buttermilk (room temperature)
3 cups flour
1 T. yeast dissolved in ¼ cup warm water (first let rise a few minutes)
½ cup sugar
3 eggs, beaten with a fork
2 tsp salt
5 cups flour (sometimes you need a cup more--it should not be too sticky)
½ cup oil
1 tsp baking soda

Dissolve yeast in ¼ c. warm water and let proof a few minutes. Mix the buttermilk, 3 C. flour and yeast together thoroughly in a large mixing bowl. Let this stand at room temperature until double in size, about 2 hours.
Add sugar, eggs, salt, 5 C. flour, oil, and baking soda. Mix well and kneed for 7-10 minutes. Roll out what you want and place the rest in the refrigerator, covered. The next time you want some fresh baked rolls, take from the bowl what you want and again put the rest back in the refrigerator. It will keep for 7 days.
Let rolls rise on baking sheets until double in size. Time depends on the room temperature, usually 1½ - 2 hours. Dough from the refrigerator will take longer because the dough is cold. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes. Brush with melted butter if you like.

I cut the dough into 3 portions, then cut each of those into 12 rolls.

Bringing a basket full over to:
Blessed with Grace

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Peanut Butter Balls

I was in such a candy making mood this Christmas and I knew Mr. would love these peanut butter balls. They were easy to make, just a little time consuming having to roll and dip each little ball. These were great though! I sprinkled Christmas sprinkles on them, but any color would be fun to whatever the occasion.

Peanut Butter Balls
slightly adapted from

2 cups (500 grams) creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 - 2 1/2 cups (230 - 290 grams) confectioners sugar

Chocolate Coating
9 ounces (255 grams) milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons (25 grams) shortening

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the peanut butter, unsalted butter, and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat and let it warm up to melt a little. Once melted, remove from  heat, stir in the vanilla extract and confectioners sugar and mix until it has the consistency of a dough (add more sugar if necessary).
Roll the dough into 1 inch (2.5 cm) round balls. Place on the cookie sheet and refrigerate for about one hour, or until firm.
Melt the chocolate and shortening in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Dip the balls, one at a time, in the melted chocolate, making sure the entire ball is coated with chocolate. Then, with two spoons or a dipping fork, remove the peanut butter ball from the melted chocolate, allowing any excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl. Place the chocolate covered balls back on the baking sheet. When all the balls have been dipped in the chocolate, place in the refrigerator until the chocolate has set. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
To serve: place in small fluted candy cups.
Makes about 40 pieces, depending on size.

sharing these at:
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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Savory Ham and Gruyère Palmiers

Since I had some Gruyère cheese and now Christmas ham leftover, I decided to make these to go along with our Christmas day snacking. These were great and easy to make! Another great appetizer idea!

Savory Ham and Gruyère Palmiers
adapted from Ina Garten

1 sheet frozen Pepperidge Farm puff pastry, defrosted
3 TBL coarse ground mustard (I used Inglehoffer Stone Ground Mustard)
1/2 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4-1/2 cup finely chopped ham (I used my food processor)

Lightly flour a board and carefully unfold one sheet of puff pastry. Roll the pastry lightly with a rolling pin until it's 9 1/2 by 11 1/2-inches. Spread the sheet of puff pastry with the mustard, sprinkle on the cheeses then ham. Take a piece of saran wrap and lay over the ham, then with a rolling pin, lightly roll to press cheeses and ham into puff pastry. Remove saran wrap.

Working from the longer sides, roll each side halfway to the center. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut the prepared rolls of puff pastry in 1/4 inch thick slices and place them face up 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 14 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm. Makes 30.

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Saucy Meatballs

I made these to snack on from the crock-pot on Christmas day. These would be a great appetizer for a party. I adapted these recipes a little, using 3 pounds of ground meat for lots of meatballs, and kept them warm in the crock-pot. We loved them!

Saucy Meatballs
slightly adapted from allrecipes

2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 dash garlic powder
dash cayenne pepper
3 pounds fully cooked meatballs (recipe below)

In a deep sauce pan, combine the first nine ingredients, Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes. Add meatballs and sauce to a crock-pot and keep warm on a low/warm setting to serve.

Homemade Meatballs
adapted slightly from Jamie Oliver

12 saltine crackers, crushed
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 pound ground beef
1 pound ground turkey
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
2 large eggs
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat oven to 400'.
Combine the ground beef and turkey with the crackers, mustard, oregano, eggs and season to taste with salt and pepper. Gently toss and mix until well combined. Using a small scoop (mine is a 1 TBL size) form meatballs. Place on a large baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes. Use in recipe above.

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Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip

I saw post this on their Facebook, and they twisted my arm to get me to try it. I made this for Christmas day snacking, thinking no one else would even try it because of the green stuff in it, was I wrong. Low and behold, our Oldest loved this dip (of course I didn't tell anyone the official name of it)! It smells so good baking and since it's a Cooking Light recipe, snack away, right?

Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip
from Light 2000

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 (8-ounce) block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) block fat-free cream cheese, softened
1/2 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
Sliced baguettes, crackers
Preheat oven to 350°.
Combine 1 1/2 cups mozzarella, sour cream, 2 tablespoons Parmesan, and next 6 ingredients (2 tablespoons Parmesan through spinach) in a large bowl, and stir until well-blended. Spoon mixture into a 1 1/2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup mozzarella and 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. Serve with bread slices and crackers.

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day Snackin'

What we're snacking on today for Christmas 'linner: Saucy Meatballs, Savory Ham & Gruyère Palmiers and Hot Spinach & Artichoke Dip. Watch for these recipes to be posted very soon! Merry Christmas blog Fans!

PS. these would be great for a New Year's Eve party too!

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Zuppa Toscana

Let's warm up a's cold and wintry weather out there! This may help. It tastes very very close to Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana. For my Birthday we went to the Olive Garden and I had to try this soup, since it was talk on Facebook the night before, plus I had already looked this recipe up and I wanted to see what it was about. Deliciousness, that's what! However, I think I'm the only one who liked it the most, I'm telling you, it's the "green stuff" that turned my family away. lol

Zuppa Toscana Knock Off

1 lb. Italian Sausage
2 large Yukon Gold Potatoes sliced in half, and then in 1/4 inch slices
1 large Onion, chopped
6 bacon strips
2 cloves garlic minced
2 C. Kale chopped
2 cans Chicken Broth
1 qt. Water
1 C. half and half

Cook sausage and bacon, brown, crumble and drain. Place onions, potatoes, chicken broth, water, garlic in pot, and cook on medium heat until potatoes are done. Add sausage, bacon, salt, and pepper to taste, and simmer for another 10 minutes. Turn to low heat, add kale and half and half. Heat through and serve.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Crunch Bark

Simple goodness. I have to share this recipe again, I gave it as part of a Teacher gift this year and I love it and wanted to share with you again! This time I added M&Ms to it.

Christmas Crunch Bark
slightly adapted from my original post

1 package (24 ounces) vanilla -flavored almond bark, coarsely chopped (in the baking aisle of the supermarket)
¾ cup whole or slivered almonds, coarsely chopped
¾ cup sweetened dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
2 cups crisp rice cereal
1 Cup Christmas M&Ms
10 oz dark/semi sweet chocolate, melted for drizzling

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, place into the freezer at least 1 hour.
Place almond bark into a double boiler bowl, heat and stir until melted, being sure NO water gets into the chocolate bark.
Heat a small frying pan and toast nuts at a medium low temperature until golden brown. Keep an eye on the nuts so they don’t burn. Just takes a few minutes, be sure to stir them.
Remove from heat and add cranberries to the pan. Stir until combined.
Stir cereal and half of the nut mixture into melted bark.
Pour bark mixture onto cold tray, spreading evenly. Immediately sprinkle with remaining nut mixture and M&Ms, press lightly onto surface of bark.
Drizzle with melted dark chocolate, let stand 7-10 minutes or until bark is set. You could also place in the fridge for a bit to set quicker.
Bring edges of parchment up over bark and break into various size pieces.

Yield: about 1 cookie tray full
•You can use two packages (12 ounces each) premium white or chocolate-flavored confectionery coating candy wafers instead of the almond bark.
•When melting almond bark, make sure your bowl and utensils are completely dry. Even one drop of water will cause almond bark to harden and clump.
-Instead of a dark chocolate drizzle, you could also melt white chocolate and color it red or green with food coloring, festive for Christmas!

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Roasted Apple Pear Cobbler with Custard Sauce

What to do with an abundance of pears and apples? Make this wonderful cobbler with warm custard sauce! I took 3 cobbler recipes to make my cobbler, and posted them in order of assembly, don't worry it's easy, you're just roasting the apples and pears and adding them to a sauce and baking off with a biscuit topping.
I love custard sauce over apple pie, so I thought this would be just as wonderful. It was! Please note, this is not a baked custard kind of custard, this is a sauce. Now since I made this in a 9x13 pan, my fruit filling was rather thin. So you could make this in an 8x8 dish and half the recipe for the biscuit topping.

Apple Pear Cobbler
adapted from allrecipes and delicious living

Roasted apples & pears:
4-6 Golden Delicious apples, peeled and diced
4-6 Pears, peeled and diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Preheat oven to 450º. In a large bowl, combine diced pears and apples with salt and 2 tablespoons syrup. Mix gently. Place fruit on baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes, until fruit is caramelized on all sides.

1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a large saucepan, combine 1 cup sugar, water, tapioca and cinnamon. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat; gently stir in the roasted apples and pears until coated. Place in a greased 9x13 pan. (see notes above about using an 8x8 dish)

Biscuit Topping:
seen here
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
4 ounces cold reduced fat cream cheese, cut into chunks
2 large eggs
2/3 cup milk

Lower oven heat to 375'.
To make the biscuit topping, in a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt until combined. Knead in butter and cream cheese using fingertips or a pastry blender until well incorporated and mixture starts to clump together. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and milk until well combined; add wet ingredient to dry ingredients, and stir until just combined.
Drop spoonfuls of biscuit topping evenly over fruit. Bake 35 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.

Custard Sauce
adapted from allrecipes, makes 4 Cups.
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup white sugar
4 cups milk, warmed
1/2 pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

Cream together the eggs and sugar in a deep saucepan, add milk and salt; cook over medium heat stirring until mixture thickens and coats a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Serve warm or chilled.

Have a great weeked, we're off to see Santa this morning.

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Friday, December 17, 2010

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

I have never made chicken and dumpling before, why? Because the thought of gooey, wet biscuits did not appeal to me. We never even ate it growing up. Then one day I decided I needed to make it, Mr. would love it! So I read up on a few recipes and came up with this one. It was hit!! Even the kids were digging in the pot for more dumplings! Guess I'll be making this more often! I did cheat and use store bought biscuit dough, but will have to make my own next time.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings
adapted from allrecipes

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast, diced

2 tablespoons butter
2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
1 onion, finely diced
1 Cup frozen mixed vegetables
1/2 Cup diced celery and leaves
1 tsp dried thyme
2 (10 ounce) packages refrigerated biscuit dough, torn into pieces (or homemade)
flour for dusting

-Place the chicken, butter, soup, onion, veggies, celery, salt and pepper to taste, thyme in a slow cooker, stir to combine and fill with enough water to cover.

-Cover, and cook for 5 to 6 hours* on High.
-3 hours* before end of cook time, Dust cut biscuits in flour and place in the slow cooker, dunk them in the broth every now and again, being careful not to let too much heat sneak out (keep lid half on). Cook until the dough is no longer raw in the center.

I forgot I wanted to add some other pics too...

Here's a peek at them cooking away:

Mr. got me a new crock pot for my birthday, it's one from Costco. It's a little bit smaller (6qt) than my other one (which the cord had a cut in it!??), but I love it. It has handles on the sides so you can move the thing around, the lid has a rubber seal and vent holes and it seems to cook just right, where my old one seemed to get too hot, even on low. I'm trying to find new recipe, so I can start using it more, happy to say I have made about 5 recipes since my Birthday in it.

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cream Cheese Mints

I'm in a big candy making mood this year for Christmas, I guess all those years of making cookies for Santa burned me out. A friend reminded me of this recipe, and thankfully Cindy from Skip to my Lou blog has her own little shop to order supplies I needed to make these, and they ship fast!! They arrived just in time for me to make some for the teacher's gifts. I made a batch of red and a batch of green little swirl disks.

Cream Cheese Mints
slightly adapted from Skip to my Lou
4 oz cream cheese (room temperature)
16 oz. powdered sugar
1/8 - 1/4 tsp. oil of peppermint (or other flavoring)
gel food coloring
granulated sugar
flexible rubber mint molds

Mix together cream cheese, flavoring, powdered sugar. Start with an 1/8 teaspoon of flavoring and then add more to desired taste. Knead dough (I used my stand mixer), may need to add more powdered sugar until dough becomes stiff.
Add gel paste coloring to color the dough. If dough becomes sticky add in a bit more powered sugar while kneading in coloring.
Roll into tiny balls (make a test to determine size of ball -- each mold is a little different). Coat balls with granulated sugar.
Press ball into mold. Immediately flip mold over and release mint. Repeat over and over. Makes about 5 dozen mints depending on size of mold. Allow mints to air dry a few hours or overnight. Mints also freeze beautifully!

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