Tuesday, August 28, 2012

No-Fry-Cinnamon Applesauce Doughnuts

Good Morning~

Today I am guest blogging for my dear friend Kendra at Living In The Shoe.  When you visit her site, take time to read her posts.  I have especially appreciated her mini apologetics series.  Be sure to leave her a message telling her you're visiting from my site.

Because school is back in session, I'm going to be taking a step back from blogging (especially for the next two weeks).  I'll be back mid-September (after T's & my anniversary!) or maybe a little sooner--the boys started a quilt project this summer and I must. get. this. project. completed.  So, until it is off my dining room table,

"The LORD bless thee and keep thee:
The LORD make His face shine upon thee,
and be gracious unto thee:
The LORD lift up His countenance upon thee,
and give thee peace."
Numbers 6:24-26

Monday, August 27, 2012

Mango Chicken Salad

Mango Chicken Salad

For the Dressing:
2/3  Cup  Mayo
2  Limes, juiced and zested
1  teaspoon  Chili Powder
1/4  teaspoon  Cumin
dash  Chipotle Chili Powder

For the Salad:
2  Mangoes, peeled and sliced
1  Avocado, diced
1  can (15-oz.)  Black Beans, drained and rinsed
1  Cup  Grilled Corn (from Trader Joe's, or use 1 Cup frozen Corn )
1/4  Cup  Diced Red Bell Pepper
1  Cup Chopped Celery
3  Tablespoons  Diced Red Onion
1  large  Tomato, diced
1  pound  Lime-Marinated Grilled Chicken, diced
Chopped Fresh Cilantro
Romaine Lettuce, if desired

Mix together all Dressing ingredients until well combined; store in refrigerator.

Combine all Salad Ingredients and dress with Dressing.  If you omit the Lettuce, this will keep nicely in the refrigerator for several days, getting yummier as the dressing and flavors blend.  Serves 8-10, depending on how much Lettuce you use and how hungry everyone is.

To make Lime-Marinated Grilled Chicken:
Marinate 1 pound boneless, skinless Chicken breast in the juice of 5 or 6 Limes, 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, 3 Crushed Garlic cloves, and a dash of Chili Powder, Salt, and Black Pepper for one to two hours.  Grill until done, or saute in skillet.  Cut into bite-sized pieces.  I like to do about 3 pounds of Chicken at a time and keep it in the freezer, ready to go. 

"The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
the righteous runneth into it, and is safe"
Proverbs 18:10

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Focaccia Bread

Focaccia Bread

2-1/2  Cups  Hot Milk  --  120* - 130*
13-1/2  Tablespoons  Olive Oil, divided
4-1/2  Cups  White Flour
1  Cup  Semolina Flour, plus more for flouring pan
1-1/2  teaspoons  Salt, divided
2-1/4  Tablespoons  Yeast
3  Tablespoons  Italian Seasoning
1-1/2  Tablespoons  Fresh Rosemary, chopped

Pour a scant Tablespoon Olive Oil into a quarter-sheet rimmed pan (12" x 17", the "Costco Jelly Roll pan", as we call it) and coat with Semolina Flour, set aside.

In a mixer work bowl, place both Flours, 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil, 3/4 teaspoon Salt, Yeast, Italian Seasoning, and Rosemary.  Blend on medium with dough hook.  Reduce speed to low and add Milk slowly.  Raise speed to 'knead' (which is '2' on my Kitchen Aid) and mix for 5 minutes, stopping halfway to ensure that the dough is thoroughly mixed on the bottom--dry lumps are no fun to crunch into!  Remove from work bowl and spread evenly into pan.  Indent with your fingers; brush with 2-1/2 Tablespoons Olive Oil and sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon of Salt (I like to use my salt grinder here).  Let rest for 30 minutes.  Bake at 400* until golden brown, about 12-15 minutes.  Brush with additional Olive Oil if desired.  Cut into 24 squares for serving.

I made 2 recipes of this--if you have a large mixer you can make a double batch at once--and used them to make sandwiches for the freezer for the children's school lunches.  I used a mayo-pesto mix, mustard, turkey, and provolone.  If you wanted to make these for a Luncheon or Tea you could add in thin-sliced Tomato, Butter Lettuce, Sprouts, Avocado, thin-sliced Red Onion, Olive Tapenade, slices of Nectarines or Mangoes, or sliced Almonds, or maybe all of them, and toast for about 10 minutes at 350*.

But none of that works well in the freezer, so I didn't.


Jesus said unto them, "I am the Bread of Life;
he that cometh to Me shall never hunger,
and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst."
John 6:35

Then said they unto Him, "LORD, evermore give us this Bread."
John 6:34

My very dear friend Deborah gave me this recipe about four years ago--I hope you enjoy it as much as we have!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Coconut Rice

Coconut Rice

1  can (13.5-14 oz)  Coconut Milk plus Water to equal 1-1/3 Cups liquid
1  Cup  Jasmine Rice

Place the Jasmine Rice and Coconut and Water in a medium saucepan, stirring well.  Bring to a boil over high heat, stir, and reduce heat to low/medium-low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, until Rice is tender but still creamy.  Serve hot with  Honey & Lime Chicken Skewers.

We were served this Coconut Rice with Teriyaki Chicken and Grilled Pineapple at a wedding in June.  It was so yummy I had to ask the Bride what it was and was surprised to find it is just this simple.  Do not use the boxed Coconut Milk--it will not taste like coconut at all and you will be disappointed.

"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart,
and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge Him,
and He shall direct thy paths."
Proverbs 3:5&6

Monday, August 20, 2012

Honey & Lime Chicken Skewers

Honey & Lime Chicken Skewers

For the Marinade
1/3  Cup  Soy Sauce
1/4  Cup  Honey
2  Tablespoons  Olive Oil
2  Limes, juiced and zested
4  Garlic cloves, crushed
2-4  teaspoons  Chili-Garlic Sauce  (You can find this in the Asian section of the grocery)
1/2  teaspoon  Sesame Oil

2  pounds  Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast, cut into strips

For the Garnish
1/4  Cup  Cilantro, Chopped
Toasted Sesame Seeds

If using wooden skewers, set them to soak in water.

Combine the Marinade ingredients, pour over Chicken and let marinate for 30-90 minutes.

Thread the Chicken onto the skewers.  Grill over medium-low heat, turning every 5 minutes, until done, about 15-20 minutes.

Sprinkle with the Garnish and serve with Coconut Rice and Spicy Asian Green Beans. 

"Oh, that men would praise the LORD for His goodness,
and for His wonderful works  to the children of men!
For He satisfieth the longing soul,
and filleth the hungry soul with goodness..."
Psalm 107:8 & 9
Cut your Chicken into strips...

I found it fascinating how the marinade ingredients
layered themselves in my 'mixing bowl'.

Olive Oil > Lime Juice > Soy Sauce > Honey

Chicken on the grill
A Skewer with Spicy Asian Green Beans and Coconut Rice

Adapted from Kitchen Meets Girl's Honey-Lime Chicken Skewers.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Iced Tea Concentrate

Iced Tea Concentrate

16  Cups  Water
1  box  Family-Size Tea Bags  (24-count)
4  Cups  Sugar, or to taste  (I'm trying to cut back on my family's Sugar and I use only 2 cups Sugar, which isn't much at all.  Start with 4 cups; if you like it Southern Style you may want as much as 6 cups Sugar.)

Bring the Water to a boil in a large pan.
Add Tea Bags; cover and let steep for 30 minutes.

While the Tea is steeping, place Sugar in a large, pourable storage container.

When the steep time is complete, removed Tea Bags, draining thoroughly.  Pour Tea over Sugar, stirring to dissolve.  Store in refrigerator.

To make a pitcher of Iced Tea, dilute the Concentrate to a ratio of 4:1, that is, four parts Water to one part Concentrate.

Serve over ice in your Great-Grandmother's Iced Tea glass with an antique silver spoon for stirring.

Makes 1 Gallon Concentrate, 5 Gallons of prepared Iced Tea.

Iced Tea Concentrate is wonderful to keep on hand out in the garage fridge--when the pitcher in the house is empty there is no panic to make more before the men come in on a hot day--just dilute the concentrate and Iced Tea is ready!  I like to use decaffeinated tea bags, which unfortunately are only available at Wal-Mart or Target in the winter.  I also like to use the store brand because they are not individually wrapped--one less step in the process.  This is especially good when made with Mint Tea; you'll need about 40 regular-size tea bags.  You can also use this to make Fake It >> Arizona Raspberry Tea.

I give credit to my Mom for this recipe; she has made Iced Tea from concentrate for as long as I can remember.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Fake It >> IKEA Meatballs

Fake It  >>  IKEA's Swedish Meatballs

Prep Time: 50 minutes, plus chilling
Serves:  6-8, about 45 meatballs

For the Meatballs:
1  Cup  Breadcrumbs (I used Panko breadcrumbs)
2  Tablespoons  Butter
1/3  Cup  Minced Red Onion
2  Cloves  Garlic, minced
1/4  teaspoon  Ground Allspice
Black Pepper
1/2  Cup  Milk
1  teaspoon  Worcestershire Sauce

3/4  pound  Lean Ground Beef
1/2  pound  Lean Ground Pork
2  Eggs, beaten

For the Gravy:
2  Tablespoons  Butter
2  Tablespoons  Flour
1-1/2  Cups  Beef Broth
3/4  teaspoon  Worcestershire Sauce
Black Pepper
1/4  Cup  Heavy Whipping Cream
2-3  teaspoons  Dried Parsley

For Serving:
Lignonberry Jam or Whole-Berry Cranberry Sauce and Boiled Red Potatoes

To make the Meatballs:
Place the Breadcrumbs in a large bowl.  Melt the Butter in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the Onion, Garlic, Allspice, 2 teaspoons Salt, and 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper and cook, stirring, until Onion is softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the Milk and Worcestershire Sauce and bring to a simmer.  Pour the hot Milk mixture over the Breadcrumbs and stir to make a thick paste; let cool.  Add the Beef, Pork, and Eggs to the bowl and mix until well combined.

Roll the Meatballs into 1-inch balls (a small cookie scoop also works great) and place on a well-greased rimmed baking.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 400*.  Bake meatballs until cooked through, about 20 minutes.

To make the Gravy:
Melt the Butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the Flour and cook, whisking until smooth.  Slowly stir in the Beef Broth and Worcestershire Sauce and bring to a simmer.  Add the Whipping Cream.  Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until the gravy thickens, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.  Season to taste with Salt and Black Pepper.  Stir in Parsley.  Transfer to gravy boat and serve over Meatballs.

Serve with boiled new Red Potatoes and Cranberry Sauce for a satisfying, comforting meal.

Slightly adapted from Food Network Magazine, October 2011.  If doubling, using a total of 3 eggs (not 4).

There is something so peaceful, so satisfying, so refreshing to me to serve a simple meal to my family, using a vintage white tablecloth and white dishes.  To me, it seems as if we can focus on each other better at a simple, uncluttered table than we can when we sit down to an elaborate meal with many-hued plates and flavors.

"Be still and know that I am God..."  Psalm 46:10
"O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him."  Psalm 34:8

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Cuban Opera Cake

Cuban Opera Cake

4  oz  Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped (not unsweetened)
2  Cups  Flour
2  teaspoons  Baking Soda
1/2  teaspoon  Salt
2  Cups  Brown Sugar
1/2  Cup  Butter, room temperature
3-1/2  teaspoons  Vanilla
4  large  Eggs
1  Cup  Sour Cream
1/2  Cup  Creme de Cacao
1/2  Cup  Coffee, lukewarm

Preheat oven to 325*.  Grease, flour, and line with parchment paper 2 9-inch cake pans.
Melt Chocolate in double boiler over simmering water.  Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm.
In a small bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.
In mixer, cream Brown Sugar, Butter, and Vanilla.  Add Eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Gradually beat in melted Chocolate.  Beat in dry ingredients in 3 additions alternately with Sour Cream in 2 additions.  Gradually beat in Creme de Cacao and Coffee.  Divide batter between pans and bake until done, about 35 minutes.  Cool cakes in pans on cooling racks 10 minutes.  Invert cakes onto cardboard rounds or tart pan bottoms; cool completely.  (At this stage I freeze the cakes and assemble them later.)

Coffee Mousse:
1  teaspoon  Unflavored Gelatin, softened in 1 Tablespoon Warm Water for 10 minutes
1/2  Cup  Half-and-Half
4  Tablespoons Sugar, divided
1  Tablespoon  Instant Espresso Powder or Instant Coffee
4  large  Egg Yolks
1  Cup  Whipping Cream, chilled
1  teaspoon  Vanilla

In a small dish, soften the Gelatin in the Warm Water; set aside.
Bring the Half-and-Half, 2 Tablespoons Sugar, and Espresso to simmer in small saucepan over medium-high heat.
In a medium bowl, whisk the Egg Yolks and remaining 2 Tablespoons Sugar to blend.  Gradually whisk the hot Half-and-Half mixture into the Egg mixture.  Return to saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly,  until thermometer registers 160* F, about 2 minutes.  Pour into a large bowl; add softened Gelatin and stir until dissolved.  Using an electric mixer, beat until cool, about 10 minutes.
Using clean dry beaters, beat Whipping Cream and Vanilla until stiff peaks form.  Fold the Whipped Cream into the Coffee mixture.  Chill in refrigerator until ready to assemble.

Chocolate Buttercream:
12  oz  Milk Chocolate, chopped
3/4  Cup  Sugar
6  large  Egg Yolks
3  Tablespoons  Water
3  Tablespoons  Corn Syrup
9  Tablespoons  Butter, room temperature, divided

Melt Chocolate in top of double boiler, transfer to small bowl and set aside.  Whisk Sugar, Egg Yolks, Water, and Corn Syrup in double boiler to blend.  Add 4 Tablespoons Butter.  Set over simmering water; whisk constantly until mixture reaches 170* F, about 4 minutes.  Transfer to mixer bowl; beat until completely cool and thick, about 6 minutes.  Gradually beat in remaining Butter, about 1 Tablespoon at a time.  Beat in melted Chocolate.

To Assemble Cake:
Cut each cake layer in half horizontally.  Place 1 layer in bottom of 9-inch springform pan.  Cover with half of the Chocolate Buttercream.  Top with second cake layer, pressing firmly to ensure that the Buttercream is completely covering the first layer (some Buttercream may ooze out between the layers). Top with all of the Coffee Mousse, adding the third cake layer and repeating pressing firmly.  Spread with the remaining Buttercream and top with the final cake layer.  Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

Chocolate Glaze:
1-1/2  Cup  Sugar
1  Cup  Water
1/2  Cup  Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
12  oz  Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped (not unsweetened)

Stir Sugar and Water together in a medium saucepan; bring to boil.  Whisk in Cocoa; remove from heat.  Add Chocolate; whisk until smooth.  Let stand until cool but pourable, about 2 hours.

Run knife around pan sides to loosen cake, release pan.  Scrape excess Buttercream and Mousse fro sides of cake.  Transfer cake on pan bottom to rack set over baking sheet with sides.  Pour glaze over cake, allowing glaze to drip down edges onto baking sheet (use spatula to spread glaze over any uncovered spots).  Transfer cake to refrigerator to set Chocolate Glaze, about 2 hours.  Transfer the excess glaze which ran off the cake back to pan, removing any crumbs which may have fallen in.  Rewarm the glaze and pour over chilled cake again, recoating the cake for a smooth finish.  Allow glaze to set again.

Keep refrigerated.  Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.  Serves 16.

I love to make this cake and had the pleasure of making it for a Tea my sister-in-law was giving.  I wish I had a picture of  a slice of it, but I don't.  Because of the amount of time it takes to make this cake (it is a minimum two-day process), this is strictly a special-occasion cake.  I hope you enjoy it, too!

Adapted from Bon Appetit, September 2003