Monday, February 25, 2013

No-Fry Cinnamon Applesauce Doughnuts

Thank you, Kendra, for asking me to do a guest blog for you!  It is a pleasure to be here with your followers.
School is back into full swing here at our house and there is beginning to be a fallish nip in the air.  Almond harvest is moving steadily along and walnut harvest is coming quickly.  I'm always ready for warm, cozy, autumn-y foods and this recipe for No-Fry Cinnamon Applesauce Doughnuts seem tailor-made for the season.  I have found that if I time it right, by starting these at noon or shortly after, I can have them hot from the oven by the time carpool drops the children off after 2:30 dismissal.  My mother-in-law shared this recipe with me and we enjoy with happy memories of her.  I hope your family likes it as much as we do!
"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children
walk in the truth."  II John 4
"Keep me as the apple of thine eye,
hide me under the shadow of thy wings."  Psalms 17:8

4  packages  Yeast  -or-  4 Tablespoon Dry Yeast
1/2  Cup  Warm Water
3  Cups  lukewarm Applesauce
1  Cup  Sugar
2  teaspoons  Salt
2  teaspoons  Cinnamon
1  teaspoon  Nutmeg
1  teaspoon  Cloves
4  Eggs
8-1/2 to 8-3/4  Cups  Flour  (can use half Whole Wheat Flour)

Approximately 1 Cup Butter, melted
Cinnamon Sugar--1 Cup Sugar and 1 teaspoon Cinnamon

In large mixer bowl, dissolve Yeast in Warm Water.  Add Applesauce, Sugar, Salt, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves, Eggs, and 4 Cups Flour.  Blend 30 seconds on low speed using the mixing paddle, scraping occasionally.  Increase speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Switch to the dough hook and stir in remaining Flour on 'knead' until smooth, scraping occasionally.  Cover; let rise in warm place until double, 50 to 60 minutes.
This is what the dough will look like before rising:

Turn dough onto well-floured board, roll around lightly to coat with Flour (dough will be soft to handle).  Gently roll about 1/2-inch thick.  Cut with floured 2-1/2 inch doughnut cutter, being careful not to twist the cutter (dough will not rise as high if the cutter is twisted.  I don't have a doughnut cutter, so I use my biscuit cutter and a metal salt shaker lid for the centers.

Lift doughnut carefully with spatula and place two inches apart on greased baking sheet.  Lightly brush doughnuts with melted Butter.  Cover; let rise until double, about 20 minutes.
Heat oven to 425*.  Bake doughnuts 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.  Immediately brush hot doughnuts with melted Butter and roll in Cinnamon Sugar.  Make 3 to 3-1/2 dozen.


The platter will empty fast! 
My photocopy of mom's recipe and glaze;

I believe she cut the original from the back of a flour bag.
Of course, these are best when hot.  Store them, tightly covered, at room temperature for 3 days, or freeze for up to one month. 
"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver."
Proverbs 25:12

Sopa de Tortilla with Sweet Corn Cake

Sopa de Tortilla
with Sweet Corn Cake
Sweet Corn Cake
2/3  Cup  Butter, room temperature
1/3  Cup  Masa Harina (Ground Corn Flour--you can find this in the Mexican section at the grocery)
4  Tablespoons  Cold Water
10  ounces  Frozen Corn Kernels, or Corn from 2 large fresh ears
3  Tablespoons  Cornmeal
1/3  Cup  Sugar
2  Tablespoons  Whipping Cream
1/4  teaspoon  Baking Powder
1/4  teaspoon  Salt
Boiling Water
Preheat oven to 350*.
Place Butter in mixer bowl and whip until soft.  Continue whipping until very fluffy and creamy.  Add Masa Harina gradually, mixing until combined well.  Add Water gradually, mixing thoroughly.  Place Corn kernels in blender or food processor and coarsely chop; stir into Masa mixture and set aside.
Place Cornmeal, Sugar, Whipping Cream, Baking Powder, and Salt in a large mixing bowl; stir to combine.  Add Butter-Masa mixture and mix lightly, until just blended.
Pour into a well-greased 8x8 pan and cover with foil.  Place pan in a larger pan and pour in Boiling Water halfway up the Corn Cake pan.  Bake at 350* for 40 to 50 minutes, checking and maintaining Water level if necessary.  When Corn Cake is cooked through, remove and cool to warm room temperature.  Use a small ice cream scoop to scoop onto Sopa de Tortilla for serving.
Sopa de Tortilla
8  Cups  Chicken Broth
2  Chicken Breasts, cooked and shredded
1 Red Onion, diced
2  Carrots, peeled and diced
1  Potato, peeled and diced
1/4  Cup  Tomato Paste
1  Bay Leaf
2  Cloves  Garlic, minced
1/2  teaspoon  pureed Chipotle Chili en Adobe
1  teaspoon  Dried Oregano
1/8  teaspoon  Cumin
3/4  teaspoon  Salt, or to taste
1/2  teaspoon  Black Pepper, or to taste
1  teaspoon  Pickled Jalapeno Chili, seeded and chopped
1  Zucchini, diced
1  Yellow Squash, diced
1/2  Red Bell Pepper, diced
1/8  Cup  Lime Juice (from about 2 Limes)
1  Tablespoon  Cilantro, chopped
For Serving:
4  6-inch  Corn Tortillas, cut into julienne strips
4  Tablespoons  Vegetable Oil, more if needed
Shredded Jack Cheese
Sliced Avocado
Cilantro Sprigs
Salsa, if desired
Combine the first 13 ingredients (Chicken Broth through Pickled Jalapeno) in a large stock pot.  Bring to a boil; reduce to simmer and cook for 20 minutes, season to taste.  Add Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Bell Pepper, and Lime Juice; bring to a boil again, then reduce to simmer and cook for 15 minutes.  Remove Bay Leaf.  Add Cilantro; stir and remove from heat.  Soup may be frozen in batches if desired.  Serves 8.
To Assemble:
Fry Tortilla Strips in hot Oil until crisp; drain on paper towel.  Ladle Sopa de Tortilla into bowls.  Sprinkle with Shredded Cheese and top with Tortilla Strips.  Garnish with Avocado, a scoop of Sweet Corn Cake, a Cilantro Sprig and Salsa.

"Make a joyful noise unto God,
all ye lands.
Sing forth the honor of His name;
make His praise glorious.
Say unto God,
How awe-inspiring are Thou in Thy works!
Through the greatness of Thy power shall Thine enemies submit themselves unto Thee.
All the earth shall worship Thee,
and shall sing unto Thee;
they shall sing to Thy name.
Psalm 66:1-4
This is what we had for "Balentimes Day," as the Little One said!  In my opinion the seasonings could be kicked up a notch or two, but the children enjoyed this mildly seasoned soup and corn cake.  I originally clipped the recipe from the newspaper's FOOD section many years back.  Someone had been to El Torito resturant and requested the recipe, which the restaurant graciously provided.  The children think this Sweet Corn Cake is very similar to the corn cake Chevy's restaurant serves.  Enjoy!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Cheap Eats >> Cream of Broccoli Soup

Cheap Eats  >>   Cream of Broccoli Soup
2  Tablespoons  Butter
1  Onion, chopped
3  Tablespoons  Flour
1/2  teaspoon  Salt
1/2  teaspoon  Black Pepper
Dash  Cayenne Pepper
1 14.5-oz  Chicken Broth
1  10-oz  Frozen Broccoli
2  Cups  Milk
Melt the Butter and saute Onions until clear.  Blend in Flour, Salt, and Peppers.  Stir constantly and cook 2 minutes.  Add Broth, then Broccoli and bring to a boil.  Simmer 15 minutes, stirring frequently.  Put soup in blender and puree (or use an immersion blender).  Add Milk and return to a simmer.  Serves 4.
"The LORD reigneth;
He is clothed with majesty.
The LORD is clothed with strength,
wherewith He hath girded Himself;
the world also is established,
that it cannot be moved."
Psalm 93:1
From Seasoned With Love, page 30

Monday, February 18, 2013

Quick & Easy Sandwiches for the Freezer

Quick & Easy Sandwiches
for the freezer
You will need the following:
Dinner Rolls, baked in a 'sheet'
Condiments:  Mayo, Mustard, or any of your favorites
Lunch Meat
Purchase your Dinner Rolls in a 'sheet'

Slice them in half like this
 And open them up like this

Spread with your favorite freeze-able condiments

And top with Cheese and Lunchmeat

Fold the Sandwiches closed

Cut into individual Sandwiches 

Wrap completely in foil 

Repack in the original bag and label
Now you have Sandwiches all ready to pack for
school lunches--just toss them into the lunchboxes in the morning
and they'll be thawed by lunchtime!
"A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches,
and loving favor rather than silver and gold."
Proverbs 22:1

Friday, February 15, 2013

New England Clam Chowder

New England Clam Chowder

4  medium  Potatoes, peeled and cubed
2  medium  Onions, chopped
1/2  Cup  Butter
3/4  Cup  Flour
2  quarts  Milk  (8 cups)
4  6.5-oz cans  Chopped Clams, UNdrained
2-3  teaspoons  Seasoned Salt
1  teaspoon  Ground Sage
1  teaspoon  Ground Thyme
1/2  teaspoon  Old Bay Seasoning -OR- Celery Salt
1/2  teaspoon  Black Pepper

Hot toasted Sourdough Bread with Butter, for dipping in the Clam Chowder is a must!

Place Potatoes in a medium pan and cover with water; bring to a boil.  Cover and cook until tender.
Meanwhile in an 8-quart pan, saute Onions in Butter until tender.  Add Flour; mix until smooth.  Stir in Milk.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly.  Drain Potatoes and add to Milk mixture.  Add Clams and Seasonings; heat through.
 Makes 3 quarts; serves 10-12.

"Come and hear, all ye that fear God,
and I will declare what He hath done for my soul.
I cried unto Him with my mouth,
and He was extolled with my tongue.
Verily God hath heard me;
He hath attended to the voice of my prayer.
Blessed be God,
who hath not turned away my prayer or His mercy from me."
Psalms 66:16 & 17, 19 & 20

As I look back through my "Soups" Ricipes, I am flabbergasted.  Utterly, completely, thoroughly flabbergasted.

Shocked and astounded.

I have completely failed to share my family's absolute favorite soup.

Ok, so maybe that's a little over-dramatic, but this seriously is an all-time favorite here at our house.  And yes, I really can't believe I've forgotten this one, seeing as that we have it about once a month in the winter.  So now you have it, too:  New England Clam Chowder.

I give all credit for this recipe to My Mom, who gave it to me for my 'Recipe Shower'.     


 And now, on a different note:
Our family spent the day before Valentine's Day in The City (the children had the day off school), turning our Lemons into Lemonade:  I had my two-year melanoma check (all is clear and I no longer must see the dermatologist every three months--yay!).  We did some of the tourist-y things:  visited the USS Pampanito, the ships at the Hyde Street Pier, the Maritime Museum, the Aquatic Park and Visitor's Center, and (just for me) the Boudin Bakery.  And oh yeah, I squeezed in my doctor's appointment, while T took the children to a park nearby.  I had the very unique experience of driving home through The City after dark during a power outage--not certain I really want to repeat that again!  Here are a few of the snapshots of the day:

The USS Pampanito

I can't imagine trying to cook for 75 men in this dinky kitchen:
 it was about 5 feet wide and 12 feet deep.  Talk about tight quarters!
The Gate, mostly obscured by fog 

The Eppleton Hall, a paddle-wheeled tug boat

The Hercules, a steam-powered tug boat

The Balclutha, a square-rigged sailing ship:
one of the most fascinating ships we toured;
I think we spent an hour on just this ship!

I loved all the fun sourdough designs at the Boudin bakery

A lobster

A crab, a lobster, a turtle, and a football

 A giant crocodile in the demonstration window

And our supper at Pier 39:
Clam Chowder in a Boudin bread bowl.
Nothing, absolutely nothing,
tastes as good as Clam Chowder (made with fresh clams!)
and tangy sourdough bread, eaten in the sea-salty air at a Wharf!


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Baked Custard

Baked Custard
4  Cups  Milk
6  Eggs, slightly beaten
1/2  Cup  Sugar
1/2  teaspoon  Salt
2  teaspoons  Vanilla
Ground Nutmeg, if desired

Boiling Water

Preheat oven to 325*.
In a 2-quart oven-safe dish, scald the Milk in the microwave, about 6 minutes on HIGH; set aside to cool slightly.  In a small bowl, whisk together Eggs, Sugar, Salt, and Vanilla; slowly stir into Milk and sprinkle with NutmegBake for 60 minutes in a 2-quart pan which is setting in a shallow pan filled with Boiling Water--I like to use a pie plate.
Serve warm (our favorite!) or chilled.  Serves about 6.

"Be ye therefore followers of God,
as dear children;
And walk in love,
as Christ also hath loved us,
and hath given Himself for us..."
Ephesians 5:1 & 2

Custard is such a homey, comforting dessert that is not too sweet.  I can remember many nights Mom fixing Custard to go with with Classic Beef Stew in a certain cream-colored bowl with a brown rim which she only used for Custard. 

I have to laugh as I think back on this, though:  you see, both T and I grew up having Custard rather often.  After we married I rarely made Custard at all (one recipe was too much), and consequently forgot about it.  Then one winter night about two years ago I was hungry for Custard and made some.

The children hated it.  Now, ironically, it is one of their favorite desserts--explain that one to me! 

And this is what happens when Daughter says, "Mommy, will you take a picture of me?" and tips the plate just a wee bit!

And remember:  "Teeth don't work on Custard." 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Split Pea Soup

Cheap Eats  >>  Split Pea Soup
3-4  Slices Bacon, cooked crisp  -OR-  3/4  Cup  Diced Ham
6  Cups  Water or Soup Stock
1  large  Onion, chopped
1  stalk  Celery, chopped fine
1  Carrot, grated
1-1/3  Cup  Dry Split Peas
1/2-1  teaspoon  Salt
1/4  teaspoon  Pepper
1  Bay Leaf
1/3  teaspoon  Garlic Powder  (that would be a heaping 1/4-teaspoon)
1/3  teaspoon  Dried Oregano  (ditto that measurement)
Cavender's Greek Seasoning, for serving
Saute Bacon in a 4-quart pan.  Add remaining ingredients.  Simmer 1-1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally.  Remove Bay Leaf before serving.  Sprinkle each serving with Cavender's Greek Seasoning.  Serves 6 to 8.
This recipe is from my Mom.  It is so simple to make and I usually double it.  I really recommend that you do use that Cavender's--this soup somehow doesn't taste as good without it.  But be forewarned:  the fifth ingredient in Cavender's is MSG.  As an aside, do you know how Very Hard it is to photograph an appealing picture of Split Pea Soup?  I didn't either, until I tried!
"We are troubled on every side,
yet not distressed;
we are perplexed,
but not in despair;
but not forsaken;
cast down,
but not destroyed;
Always bearing about in the body
the dying of the Lord Jesus,
that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body."
2 Corinthians 4: 8-10
May Jesus Christ be praised!