Saturday, October 24, 2009

Good Eats

Here are some yummy things that I have either made or tasted in the past week.

1. No-Knead Bread (The Amy version)
This recipe is from a college friend. I have made three loaves this week. The first loaf was just for practice and thank goodness I tried it out before bringing to dinner with friends on Friday because loaf #1 was nothing to write home about. If I can make this bread, ANYONE can make this bread. 2 quick things before I post the recipe. First, this bread is not baked in a loaf pan. You need a HEAVY pan with a LID that can go in the oven (cast iron, pyrex, enamel, etc) Amy uses a 2 quart cast iron pot. I used my white pyrex oblong dish that says 2.8 liters on the bottom. Second, after my first loaf didn't turn out, I went online to a site called Bread101 and tried to figure out what went wrong, and this is what I found: "if the inner crumb (the not crust part) is gummy and tasteless, your oven temperature may have been too high". So for loaves #2 and #3, I set my oven to 400* instead of 425*.

What you need:
3 cups BREAD flour
1/4 tsp RAPID RISE yeast
1 1/4 tsp salt

The night before you want to eat the bread:
In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients. Mix them around a little. Add 1 1/2 cup lukewarm water. Blend (by hand). Dough will be sticky (not wet, just sticky) Cover the bowl in plastic wrap and let it rest in a warm spot in your kitchen for 12-18 hours.

The next day:
The dough should have bubbles all over the surface. LIGHTLY spray a large mixing bowl with pam. Pour the dough into the large bowl. Fold the dough over a couple times and cover the bowl with a towel. Let it rise for 2 hours.

Baking the bread:
20 minutes before the bread is ready, preheat the oven to 425* with the empty heavy pot in the oven while it is pre-heating. Keep the lid out of the oven. After pre-heating, remove the pot from the oven. LIGHTLY spray with pam and carefully pour the dough into the hot pot and shake the pot to smooth the dough out. Cover the pot with the lid and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for another 10-15 minutes. Make sure the bread doesn't get too dark on top. Carefully dump the bread out of the pot too cool. ENJOY!!

2. Best Chocolate Chip Cookies
I have had this recipe for about 4 years and have never made it until today. Why? Because I have never had cream of tartar in the house until yesterday when I bought it to make playdough for the kids. This recipe is from someone at our old church. I pigged out on them at every retreat and bought a plate of them at a youth auction. They are more delicate than regular chocolate chip cookies and have a slightly different taste. LIMIT YOUR BAKING TIME to the 12 minutes. I thought the first 2 batches didn't look quite done and left them in for another 2 minutes. They are still good, but the 12 minute batches are perfect. Just leave them on the baking sheet to firm up for about 5 minutes.

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
4 cups flour
2 sticks (1 cup) oleo/butter
1 egg
1 Tbsp milk
1 cup oil (veg or canola)
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Cream sugars and butter. Add everything else but the chocolate chips. Mix well. Add chips. Bake 12 minutes at 350*

3. Cheesy Augratin Soup
This recipe is from my friend Monica. We had it last night at her house and it was delish!

1 lb ground hamburger browned
1 package Cheesy Augratin Potatoes
1 can whole Kernael corn, drained
1 can diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
2 cups water
2 cups milk
8 oz of processed cheese, velveeta-cubed

In a 3-4 qt sauce pan add water, cheese mixture from potato package and mix until blended well. Add potatoes, corn, tomatoes/chilies and hamburger. Mix well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-30 min until potatoes are done. Add milk and cheese cubes. Stir until cheese is melted, do not boil. Garnish with Parsley. serves:6-8

4. Clam Chowder
Another Monica recipe that we had last night. I love clam chowder, but no one else in my family appreciates it : (

4 T butter
1 medium onion diced about 1/2 cup
1 Qt 1/2 and 1/2
6-8oz baby mince clams and the juice
1 t salt
3/4 t white pepper
1 medium potato cubed or chopped
1 cup of potato buds

Saute onion in butter for 5 minutes or less, depends on size of onions. Combine remaining ingredients except potato buds and cook over medium heat 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Add potato buds and simmer 10 min longer. DO NOT BOIL!!! may be frozen

5. Pumpkin Pecan Cake
Monica made this last night. She got the recipe from a friend who recently took 2nd place in a baking contest.

1 30 oz can of pumpkin pie filling
1 12 oz can of evaporated milk
3 Eggs
Pour mixture into an ungreased 9x13
2 sticks of softened butter
1 pkg of yellow cake mix
2/3 cup of chopped pecans
cover pumpkin mixture

Bake @ 350 for 60-65 min. Serve with Whip Topping and refr. leftovers

A few things that I (Monica, not me) would do/did differently, I would put the 9x 13 in the oven for 15 min before I put the topping on. I also chopped more pecans and kept about 1/4 cup out and sprinkled that on top of the topping so you actually saw them...


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