Friday, October 23, 2009

Avalie's Steak Chili

This recipe is to replace the Chili recipe from last year.  I've been tweaking things, and I like this one better (mostly because it's all in the Crock Pot).  It's also less expensive, and requires fewer fresh ingredients (which aren't always easy to get in the dead of winter).  So here goes.  As always, you can double the batch and freeze some for later.  Reheats beautifully.

Avalie's Steak Chili
1 Qt (4 cups) Freezer Kidney Beans (last post)
1 to 1.5 lb T-bone steak (or whatever's cheap, it can even be stew meat)
1 bell pepper (any color), stem and seeds removed
4 Tbsp. canned green chilis
1 8-oz can tomato paste
1 28-oz can or jar stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder (I like to use dark)

Note: If you're making this immediately after the freezer kidney beans (last post), you can just continue to use the same Crock Pot.  Either double the recipe, or remove 1 quart of beans and some liquid.

Season uncooked steak with salt and pepper.  Cook steak in pan over medium heat.  Cook until brown on both sides, with very little pink (or none) in the middle (about 5 mins each side).  Remove from heat, drain liquid.  Cut into 1 to 1/2-inch cubes, removing extra fat and any bone.

Combine all ingredients in crock pot.  Cover with lid.  Cook on Low for 3-4 hours, or high 2-3 hours.

Freezer Kidney Beans

Imagine the convenience of canned beans, but with flavor!  Give these a try, and you'll probably never go back to cans...and that means a lot of saved money!!

Freezer Kidney Beans
1 lb dry kidney beans
Soaking Water (about 12 cups)

Sort and rinse beans.  Soak beans in water overnight, or for quick-soak method, combine water and beans, bring to a boil, boil for 5 minutes, remove from heat, cover and let sit for 1.5 hours.

Drain beans.  Pour drained beans into Crock Pot.  Add enough water to cover beans completely. 
Add the following ingredients to crock pot:
1/4 cup Kosher Salt (if using table salt, cut in half)
6 Tbsp Butter or Margarine
1/4 cup minced garlic
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 bay leaf

Stir to combine.  Cook on Low 12-14 hours (I like to start it after dinner and turn it off before breakfast).  Test beans for doneness (soft, not chalky, and very flavorful).  Remove bay leaf and discard.  Turn off heat, let beans cool 30 minutes.  Place cooked beans and cooking liquid in freezer containers, ziploc freezer bags, or canning jars.  We like to freeze in 2 cup measurements (or pint jars), which is close to the 14 or 15 ounce cans you can buy at the store. Close container and freeze.  When ready to use, simply remove from freezer and thaw in refrigerator or microwave.  Great for Chili, or anything else that calls for kidney beans.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Halloween-Style Bean Dip

Halloween is almost here, and you know I'm always looking for ways to use more of our delicious freezer beans!  So here's a easy and fun bean dish that's black and orange, just in time for Halloween! 

Black and Orange Beans
2 cups freezer black beans (see Aug 23,2009 posting)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded colby jack cheese
Other ingredients for toppings, if desired.

Heat black beans in microwave.  Sprinkle cheese on top, heat until melted.  Serve with tortilla chips, sour cream, and fresh tomatoes, garnish with cilantro, if desired.

Alternate recipe, heat recipe as instructed, top with sour cream, guacamole, tomatoes, and cilantro to create layer dip.  Serve with Tortilla Chips.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Wendy's Lemon Bars

OK, I admit it.  This isn't a freezer recipe, but it is a FABULOUS, inexpensive, quick, easy dessert and since the holiday food season is imminent, I thought I'd post this one.  You probably have most of these ingredients on hand, so it is a great recipe to use when you're in a pinch.  Thanks to my good friend, Wendy J., for sending it to share!!

Wendy's Lemon Bars
Crust:
3/4 c softened butter or margarine
1 1/2 c flour
1/3 c powdered sugar
Mix with a fork, press into pan and bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

Filling:
3 eggs
4 Tbsp flour
1 1/2 c white sugar
1/2 c lemon juice
Mix together well, pour over hot crust, bake at 350 for 15-30 minutes, or until lightly brown on top.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar when its done baking.

Note: Wendy uses a 8x11 size pan.  We've made it in a 9x9 and it works fine, just takes a little longer to bake.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Fried Zucchini and Freezer Zucchini Parmesan

It's that time of year again for us gardeners...so many zucchini, so few recpies.  I decided to fry some last night, and they were delicious.  Here's the recipe.

Fried Zucchini
1 Huge Zucchini...ours was almost 18 inches long (or a few smaller ones)
1/4 cup Kosher Salt (if using Table Salt, use less than half amount specified)
Canola Oil (for frying)
Corn Starch
4 eggs, beaten
Breadcrumbs (optional)

Peel zucchini, if desired.  Cut zucchini into slices or wedges, depending on the shape you want.  We cut ours about 1-inch thick, then quartered the slices.  Sprinkle salt on zucchini slices.  Let stand 30 minutes. Rinse salt off of zucchini.   Use large, sturdy pan or skillet, pour in enough oil so it is about 1 inch deep.  Heat oil in skillet over medium high heat.  Pour corn starch into open dish that allows you room to coat the zucchini slices in corn starch.  Coat slices in corn starch.  Dip coated zucchini in beaten eggs, sprinkle lightly with breadcrumbs, if deisred.  Place zucchini in hot oil.  Let fry 3 minutes, or until batter browns.  Turn over and fry other side until browned.  Remove fried zucchini from oil, place on cooling rack or paper towel-lined plate.  Serve.  Delicious dipped in marinara sauce, alfredo, or eaten plain.  Can be served as an appetizer, or fabulous side dish. 

You can also make zucchini parmesan with these. 
Fried Zucchini (use the breadcrumbs for this recipe)
2 28-oz jars spaghetti or marinara sauce (or you can use my freezer sauce recipe from Sun, Jun 7)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano
1/2 lb Mozzarella cut into large chunks or shredded

Spread 1 cup of sauce in a 9x13 inch baking dish.  Layer half of the zucchini over sauce and sprinkle with 1/4 cup parmesan or romano. Pour half of remaining sauce over zucchini.  Then put remaining zucchini over sauce.  Pour remaining sauce over top.  Sprinkle 1/4 cup parmesan and mozzarella.  Cover and freeze casserole (or cook immediately).  Thaw completely.  Bake at 375 for 45 minutes, or until cheese is lightly browned and sauce is bubbly.

Herb-Crusted Beef Tenderloin

I know this cut of meat is usually expensive, but we bought half of a cow and the butcher sent all kinds of cuts of meat that I had never purchased before.  So I'll be putting the successful recipes for beef cuts up for all to see.  The meat was frozen immediately after butchering, so that's the "freezer" part of this recipe.  :)

Herb-Crusted Beef Tenderloin
Four 4-oz Beef Tenderloin Steaks
1 tsp Whole Rosemary
1 tsp Thyme
4 tsp Minced Garlic
1 Tbsp Kosher Salt
4 tsp Balsamic Vinegar

3 Tbsp Canola Oil (for pan)

Thaw steaks 24 hours in refrigerator.  Combine dry ingredients.  Rub on steaks.  Sprinkle garlic over steaks.  Drizzle steaks with 1 tsp vinegar each.  Refrigerate 2 hours.  Heat 3 Tbsp. canola oil in large skillet over medium high heat.  Cook steaks 5 minutes, turn and cook 5 minutes or until done (I like steaks medium well, cook less time for medium rare or medium doneness).  Let steaks rest 10 minutes under foil before serving.  Great with garlic mashed potatoes.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Freezer Black Beans

We love beans...if they taste good. My kids can get past the texture if there's enough flavor (like in chili). Here's my recipe for Black Beans. They are simple to make, but they do take time (soaking and cooking in the crock pot). Be patient, the time is worth the result. Enjoy! Freezer Black Beans (inspired by Chevy's Restaurant) INGREDIENTS: Soaking Water, 2 lbs Black Beans, 10 cups water, 2 cups chopped onion (or 1 cup dried chopped onion), 4 Tbsp garlic (or more if you like it a lot), 2 Tbsp ground cumin, 1 Tbsp chile powder, 2 tsp dried oregano, 2 Tbsp butter, 1 Tbsp Kosher Salt (or 1/2 Tbsp. Table Salt). DIRECTIONS: Wash, sort, and rinse beans. Soak beans overnight. Drain and rinse beans. Combine all ingredients in crock pot. Cook on High 2 hours. Then cook on Low 8-10 hours (until tender). Turn off crock pot. Let beans cool 1 hour. Label freezer containers (you can use mason jars, ziploc freezer bags, or plastic freezer containers available in the canning section at the grocery store) with contents, date, and quantity. Measure beans into containers, close, and freeze. To use, thaw in refrigerator or microwave. Use in recipes that call for canned white beans. I like to measure the beans into 2 cup measures. That's about the right size for my family, and pretty close to a 14.5oz can. You can also buy pint containers and freeze them in pints.

Carribean-Style Beans and Rice

I was serving Salsa Chicken (2008 posting) the other night and was searching for a great side dish to go with it.  Here it is!  After making it, I realized this could have easily been our main course.  So delicious, and more than 11 grams of protein per serving with almost no fat.  Plus, it was cheap.  Most of the ingredients I needed were in my garden, and the rest were in my pantry and freezer. :)  Enjoy!

(from The Complete Cooking Light Cookbook), adapted by Avalie

3 Tbsp canola oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
1 heaping Tbsp minced garlic
1 cup coarsley chopped tomato
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 pint Freezer Black Beans (today's posting), thawed and drained (or sub one can black beans plus extra garlic)
2 cups cooked rice

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium high heat until hot.  Add onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic; saute 5 minutes or until tender.  Add chopped tomato, salt, crushed red pepper, and cumin; saute 2 minutes.  Stir in cooked rice, cilantro, and black beans; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated.  Serve with shredded cheese, if desired.  Yield: 4 servings, 1 cup each.  If you want to freeze this after preparation for a quick and easy side dish, simply freeze single portions in freezer bags.  Reheat in microwave.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Hawaiian-Style Teriyaki Chicken

When we lived in Hawaii, this chicken was one of my favorites. I've been searching for an authentic recipe for the past few years, and I think this one is the best. We served this at a Luau we had for some youth, and it was delicious! Note that it calls for bone-in chicken thighs with skin, which is a very inexpensive cut of chicken. I was able to get it on sale two weeks ago for 69 cents a pound.

Ingredients:
5 lbs chicken thighs, bone in, with skin
1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
2 Tbsp Cornstarch mixed with 1 Tbsp water

Sauce:
1/2 cup Sugar
1 cup Water
3/4 cup Soy Sauce
1/2 inch piece Ginger, smashed (or substitute ginger powder)
1 clove Garlic, smashed

COOK AND EAT DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine sauce ingredients in pot and bring to boil. Turn off heat and stir to dissolve sugar. Let cool. Divide sauce in half. Marinate chicken pieces in half of sauce. Reserve other half of sauce for baking pan. Marinate chicken for at least an hour, up to overnight, turning at least once. Heat oil in heavy skillet over high heat. Sear chicken pieces in skillet, working in batches. Place seared chicken pieces in baking pan, skin side down. Stir cornstarch slurry into remaining dipping sauce. Pour sauce over chicken. Bake 60 to 70 minutes, until cooked through. Pour sauce over chicken. Enjoy!

FREEZER MEAL DIRECTIONS:
Combine sauce ingredients in pot and bring to boil. Turn off heat and stir to dissolve sugar. Let cool. Divide sauce in half. Marinate chicken pieces in half of sauce. Reserve other half of sauce for freezer bags. Marinate chicken for at least an hour, up to overnight, turning at least once. Label freezer containers. Heat oil in heavy skillet over high heat. Sear chicken pieces in skillet, working in batches. Place seared chicken pieces, skin side down, in baking/freezer container (disposable foil pan) or Ziploc Freezer Bags. Stir cornstarch slurry into remaining dipping sauce.
Pour sauce over chicken. Remove air from bag, or cover pan with foil and freeze. When ready to eat, remove chicken from freezer and thaw 12-24 hours in refrigerator (if you're using a freezer bag, make sure to put it in a pan while it thaws, or you may have a big mess in your refrigerator). Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake chicken 60 to 70 minutes, until cooked through. Enjoy these "ono grinds" (delicious food) with rice, macaroni salad, green salad, and pineapple. Add my Kalua Pork recipe for a full-scale authentic Hawaiian Luau!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Delicious Spaghetti Sauce

So by now you know I love to be thrifty and feed my family delicious food. I was staring at my pile of White Beans in my freezer pondering on another way to use them. My kids don't love eating beans everyday, so I've been getting sneaky. We're also famous here in Happy Valley for record-breaking zucchini gardens. So I've been looking for ways to use my frozen, shredded zucchini, as well. Here's what I discovered yesterday.

I decided to try to hide some beans and zucchini in my marinara sauce, and it worked...and was delicious!

Delicious, Nutritious Spaghetti Sauce
You'll need:
#10 can of Contadina Spaghetti Sauce from Costco (for less than $4)
2 cups Freezer White Beans, blended until smooth (use the Freezer White Beans recipe from my Thursday, November 6, 2008 posting)
1-2 cups shredded zucchini

Pour spaghetti sauce into large bowl. Add blended white beans and shredded zucchini. Stir until well blended. Makes about 14 cups of delicious spaghetti sauce.

The beans add flavor (extra garlic from the recipe) and tomato sauce-like texture. The zucchini absorbs the flavor of the sauce and looks like seasonings. It is delicious and SO good for you! Serve over noodles, or use in the Meaty Lasagna recipe. Freeze in 1 cup or 1 pint jars, and thaw when ready to use. Enjoy your high-protein, high-fiber spaghetti sauce!

Yummy Garlic-Cheese Bread Rolls

My friend Wendy Williams gave me the fabulous idea for this recipe. Her creativity in the kitchen never ceases to inspire me. I whipped these up this week, and they disappeared very quickly! My husband stashed a few for the next day, and they reheated beautifully in the microwave.

Garlic-Cheese Bread Rolls
Use my Pizza Dough Recipe from the January posting.

You'll also need:
Butter or margarine (I like country crock in the tub...it spreads easily)
California Garlic Seasoning (Wendy recommends the kind from Costco, I used Kroger brand)
Parmesan Cheese and Mozzarella Cheese (or whatever kind sounds good to you!)

Make pizza dough. Divide into two pieces (you can make one pizza and one batch of rolls if you'd like...or you can cook one batch and freeze the other). Roll dough out on a floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll until dough is less than 1/2 inch thick. Spread a thin layer of butter/margarine all over dough. Sprinkle California Garlic Seasoning Blend over butter. Sprinkle thin layer of cheese over butter mixture. Roll up the dough jelly-roll/cinnamon roll-style. Cut into rolls (I cut them about 2-inches thick), and place on rimmed baking sheet or stoneware. Repeat with other piece of dough. Preheat oven to 350F. Let rise until about doubled in size. Bake until cooked through, about 15-30 minutes (it takes 11 minutes in my convection oven). Makes 24-30 garlic-cheese bread rolls. Serve with ranch or marinara dipping sauce. This also makes a great companion to Minestrone soup, or fresh salad.

If using after freezing dough, remove from freezer and let thaw and rise until doubled in size (4-6 hours). Bake at 350 until cooked through, 15-30 minutes.

Sweet and Sour for the Freezer

My friend Lisa Joy is seeking out a great Sweet and Sour recipe, so here it is! I'll give you all two to choose from, and you can decide which you like the best. You can make the sauce and freeze it alone, or you can freeze your cooked meat and raw veggies in the sauce.

Sweet and Sour Sauce
(from Make-A-Mix, by Eliason, Harward, and Westover)

2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 and 1/4 cups pineapple juice
2 Tbsp. white vinegar
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp. soy sauce

In saucepan, combine cornstarch and 1/4 cup pineapple juice until smooth. Stir in remaining juice and remaining ingredients. Cook and stir until smooth and slightly thickened.

Note from Avalie: You can freeze the sauce, or serve it immediately.
When ready to serve, simply thaw the sauce and reheat.

Here's the next recipe. My family prefers this one.

Deborah's Sweet and Sour Chicken
(from Once-A-Month Cooking by Wilson and Lagerborg)
Sauce:
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 eight-oz can pineapple chunks (reserve juice)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 cup coarsely chopped celery
1 cup coarsley chopped onion
3 cups cooked, diced chicken
1 cup coarsley chopped green bell pepper
1 four-oz can mushroom stems and pieces, drained
1 eight-oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch; stir in white vinegar, juice from pineapple chunks, soy sauce, salt, garlic, paprika, ginger, celery, and onion. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, stirring constantly until thickened, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.

Stir in pineapple chunks, chicken, bell pepper, mushrooms, and water chestnuts. Put in an 8-cup freezer container and freeze.

To prepare before serving, thaw chicken and put in a baking dish treated with nonstick spray. Bake uncovered in a preheated 350 F oven for 45 minutes. Prepare rice according package directions. Serve chicken over rice.

Note from Avalie: I omit the paprika and freeze the sauce without the chicken and veggies in it. We use this sauce over my Fried Chicken Chunks.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Breakfast Casserole

This is a great brunch potluck item, or a great way to use leftovers for a delicious breakfast that will feed a lot of people. Just so you know, you can use just about any meat or veggie in this casserole. It is very flexible. If the combination sounds good to you, it will probably taste good to you, too. Bacon, asparagus, steak, chicken, mushrooms, tomatoes...the list goes on. Just remember to cook your meat thoroughly before baking, and use veggies that are soft (or else you'll have crunchy veggies in your casserole).
I've had a lot of requests for this recipe, so here it is!

Mix together:
3 cups Biscuit Mix (see recipe below)
1 cup water
Spread biscuit dough on greased 9x13 pan

Combine in separate bowl:
8 eggs
8 oz ground sausage, browned and drained
1 cup cubed butternut squash
1 cup cubed green pepper
1 cup cheese
1 onion, diced
1 cup cubed ham

Mix well, pour egg mixture into 9x13 pan over biscuit dough. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes, or until biscuit dough is cooked through and eggs are set.

Serve with salsa.

Biscuit Mix (makes a lot!)
8 and 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup powdered milk
1/2 cup dehydrated whole egg
1/4 cup baking powder
1 Tbsp salt
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
2 and 1/2 cups shortening

Measure all dry ingredients, mix well. Cut in shortening until well mixed. Store in airtight container for up to 6 months.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Freezer French Fries

Potatoes are on sale right now (10 lbs or more for less than $2). To capitalize on this bargain, I like to buy a few bags and process them all for the freezer. The trick to freezing potatoes is to realize that the texture will be different once you freeze them. But if you notice, most fries that you buy are frozen (even Wendy's, McD's, etc use frozen fries). So the texture change works in your favor for french fries (it doesn't work as well for mashed potatoes). Here's how you can do it at home...saving money and calories in the process! Pair this recipe with the Easy Pleasing Meatloaf (2008 post) or Home-Grilled Hamburgers made with my Hamburger Patties Recipe (2008 post) and Italian Rolls (I'll post this next) for Hamburger Buns, and you're in for a treat.

Freezer French Fries

Ingredients
Potatoes (Any kind will work. Try different varieties and see which type your family likes best.)
Oil (Canola, Vegetable, or Olive all work great...it just depends on your preference)
Salt and seasonings (Johnny's Seasoning Salt, Mrs Dash, Kosher Salt, Garlic Salt are all fun to try)
Ziploc Freezer Bags

Label Bag with date, "French Fries: Bake at 425F for 30-40 minutes, or until cooked through." Peel potatoes, if desired. Slice your potatoes into desired size. We like to make "steak fries" by slicing them about 1 inch wide, 1/4 inch deep, and 4-5 inches long. You can make them any size you like. Put sliced potatoes into ziploc bags, in a family-sized portion. These fries (like all fries) do not reheat well, so cook enough for one sitting at a time. Add oil to the bag. You'll want to add enough oil so that the potatoes are coated with oil, but not so much that there's more oil than potatoes. This is the oil that your fries will be "frying" in while they're in the oven. I'd estimate that for a gallon-sized bag of fries, I add about 1 cup of oil. Zip up the bag and shake, so all fries are coated with oil. Then open the bag and add seasoning to taste. Place immediately in the freezer. Best to lay flat to freeze, so you can put it right onto your baking sheet when you're ready.

Baking Directions:
No need to thaw. Preheat oven to 425. Remove ziploc from freezer, remove frozen contents from bag and place directly on rimmed baking sheet (we use stoneware) or casserole dish. Bake at 425 for 30-40 minutes, or until crispy on the outside and flaky in the middle, turning fries over mid-way through baking.

Fabulous French Bread

Here it is...the famous French Bread recipe! No oils or fats (except the glaze), just a few pantry staple ingredients, and you're good to go. Turn spaghetti or soup night into a special event...without running to the store. As a matter of fact, with my convection oven, I can make, raise, and bake this faster from scratch than I can run to the store with my kids and get some from the bakery! Here you go...

Delicious French Bread
Kathy Summers and Avalie Muhlestein

Ingredients
3 cups warm water (110 to 115 degrees F)
2 Tbsp. yeast
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. salt
7-8 cups bread flour
Optional Ingredients for Baking:
cornmeal for greased pan
1 egg white, beaten, with 1 Tbsp. water for glaze

Put warm water in mixing bowl, add yeast and sugar. Stir until dissolved. Let rise for 5 minutes (make sure it gets bubbly). Add salt to yeast mixture and stir. Add 5 cups flour (make sure to stir flour in its container to fluff so it is not too dense). Stir vigorously until well blended. Add 1-2 cups flour, ½ cup at a time, until dough pulls cleanly away from sides of bowl. Knead dough on floured work surface until dough is smooth and elastic (or use KitchenAid Mixer to knead). Shape into 2 loaves.

To Freeze: Freeze each loaf separately in Ziploc Gallon freezer bag (put in freezer immediately and check after a few hours).

Baking Directions
Remove loaf from freezer. Thaw on baking sheet (we prefer stoneware) (you can put cornmeal on the pan if you like). Let rise until double in size. Slash the top of the loaf with four diagonal slashes, ¼ inch deep. Brush the loaf with egg white glaze, if desired (this gives a nice glossy finish to the bread). For a harder crust, place a pot of boiling water on the lowest rack of the oven (make sure to use an ovenproof pot). Preheat oven to 400. Bake 35-40 minutes. Allow to cool 5-10 minutes on wire rack. Enjoy!

(Handmade Breads pg. 52)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes

Ok, so I LOVE mashed potatoes. But I want them ready when I get home from being at church meetings, volunteering, etc. I also hate watching them boil because I have a little climber who wants me to hold him every minute I'm standing in front of the stove. So I developed a way to get the potatoes cooked without me standing over the stove! This way you can do all of the prep work before leaving for the day, without worrying that the potatoes will turn brown! Pull out your slow cooker and your mixer, and you're good to go.

Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes
Potatoes, cut in 2-inch cubes (peel if you want to)
Water to cover potatoes
Salt
(you'll add other stuff...milk, sour cream, butter, garlic, etc)

Wash, cut (and peel, if desired) your potatoes, place the pieces in your crock pot. Fill your crock pot with enough water to cover the potatoes. Add 1 tsp salt (if desired). Cook on high 3-4 hours, or low 8 hours or until potatoes are easily pierced by a fork. Drain liquid (you can use it to make potato bread or add some back to the potatoes instead of milk...the liquid is very high in nutrients). Place potatoes in mixer (or a big bowl if you're mashing by hand) and mix. Add milk, butter, garlic salt, sour cream, or whatever else you like in your mashed potatoes. Mix until they're as smooth as you like them. Serve and enjoy!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tasty Pizza Dough

Once again, I'm giving you a big recipe. I like to make this dough, cook one, and then freeze the other. Make sure to stretch the dough into the shape of your pan before you freeze it, so when you pull it out to cook it, you can throw it right into the pan, put the toppings on, and bake it. You'll save time and frustration. Rolling out frozen dough is NO FUN. :)

Pizza Dough:
3 cups warm water (110-120 degrees)
2 Tbsp. yeast
1 Tbsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 Tbsp. light olive oil
1 cup whole wheat flour
6 to 7 cups flour

Grease your pans (I like to use 3-4 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a jelly-roll style pan with edges so I get that crispy texture on the bottom of the crust).

Put water in mixing bowl, add yeast and stir. Watch for yeast mixture to start bubbling.

Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, and olive oil to yeast mixture. Stir.

Add whole wheat flour and 3 cups of flour. Stir

Add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until your dough pulls cleanly away from the sides of the bowl.

Knead dough (you can use your KitchenAid or Bosch for this part, too)
Dough should be smooth, but not hard to knead.

Divide dough into two equal portions (or more if you want to make individual pizzas). Stretch into greased pan for cooking. If you plan to freeze, roll out dough to size of pan, place waxed paper or parchment paper on a cookie sheet, and place dough on paper. Place in freezer until hard. Wrap in foil or plastic wrap and return to freezer until ready to use. When ready to cook, pull dough out 1 hour before cooking time, and place in greased pan. Watch for it to begin rising, you'll know it is time to put the toppings on!

Top the dough with pizza sauce, cheese (we like to use a mixture of mozzarella, cheddar, colby jack, Parmesan, and Romano), and toppings. If you want a stuffed crust, simply roll string cheese (pulled into 3-4 pieces) into edges of the crust. Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes, until crust is browned on bottom (Convection oven: 425 for 10 minutes). Let cool for 5-10 minutes, then enjoy!

Cheesy Breadstick Variation:
Roll out dough, top with butter/margarine, Italian Seasoning, Garlic Salt, and cheese. Before baking, use pizza cutter to cut 1-2 inch strips in the dough. Bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes, until breadsticks are browned and cheese is melted. Serve with marinara dipping sauce. Great way to spice up your spaghetti dinner!

New Waffle Recipe--Dry Mix and Freezer Directions!!

Here's some delicious waffles to try. I double the recipe, we eat some and freeze the rest for later. I've converted the recipe to include food storage items, so you can create a dry mix, if you want. Happy Waffling!! :)

4 oz flour (yep, you weigh it instead of using a measuring cup)
4 oz whole wheat flour
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 Tbsp egg powder (or 3 eggs)
1/4 c. plus 1/8 c. dry milk powder

Mix dry ingredients in medium mixing bowl. You can put this mix into a plastic container and add water and vegetable oil when you're ready to cook it. Or you can continue on...

Then, in another bowl, mix
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 and 3/4 cup water (omit 1/4 cup water if using fresh eggs)

Pour wet ingredients into bowl with dry ingredients. Mix until smooth.
Pour on hot greased waffle iron, and cook according to waffle iron manufacturer's directions. Enjoy! If you have some to freeze, place them on a cookie sheet in the freezer until they are hard. Place frozen waffles in a gallon-sized Ziploc freezer bag. Label with date. To reheat, remove from freezer, reheat in microwave or toaster oven (my kids like them soft from the microwave, but I prefer them crunchy from the toaster oven).