Thursday, August 28, 2014

Llywelyn's Pub - St. Charles, MO

We love the handmade food with the homemade touches. We have eaten here several times and I always try something new or different from their menu, but my favorite is still their Bangers & Mash. Food is always served fresh at the correct tempatures. Never had a bad meal... Plus, It's fun to see the old bank vault and history of the building. It is always a great stop for a quick bite in our travels of the old Main Street and Katie Park.

Monday, August 25, 2014

"Back to School" Snack Mix

  Fall is in the air and today is the last big summer type holiday here at the beach. Having been a Teacher for many years and now finding myself with a lot of spare time on the computer I have discovered that I want to munch more, therefore I gain weight fast. So, I thought for today to kickoff our new Annie's Pantry format, we would start out with a fun, new, healthy, "Back to School" snack that is great for all ages. I love this snack both from a teacher and a snacker's point of view. It is very low-cal and totally nut free, its a great snack for the whole family and can be safely taken into the classroom.

Quick & Easy Snack Mix
 Makes:16 (1/2-cup) servings

4 cups air popped popcorn
1 cup raisin bran
2 cups TEDDY GRAHAMS Graham Snacks, any flavor
1 cup diced dried fruit mix (We like the tropical mix)     
MIX all ingredients in large bowl. 
                                                          Store in airtight container or ziplock bag. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

"Tuesday's with Dorie" - Baking Powder Biscuits

Yummy.... Yummy... Yummy! I think I like these better than I do just a plain Old Fashioned Buttermilk Biscuit... and they were even better smeared with fresh homemade butter and homemade mixed berry jam!

lots of people struggle with making great biscuits, so here are a few tips...

Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Get out a sharp 2-inch-diameter biscuit cutter (I used a glass, and it was fine), and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.

Whisk the flour(s), baking powder, sugar and salt together in a bowl. Pour about 1 cup of the cream over the dry ingredients, grab a fork and start tossing the ingredients together. If necessary, add more cream, a spoonful at a time, until you’ve got a nice soft dough. Now reach into the bowl with your hands and give the dough a quick, gentle kneading – 3 or 4 turns should be just enough to bring everything together.

Lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn out the dough. Dust the top of the dough very lightly with flour and pat the dough out with your hands or roll it with a pin until it is about 1/2 inch high. Don’t worry if the dough isn’t completely even – a quick, light touch is more important than accuracy.

Use the biscuit cutter to cut out as many biscuits as you can. Try to cut the biscuits close to one another so you get the most you can out of this first round. By hand or with a small spatula, transfer the biscuits to the baking sheet. Gather together the scraps, working them as little as possible, pat out to a 1/2-inch thickness and cut as many additional biscuits as you can; transfer these to the sheet. (The biscuits can be made to this point and frozen on the baking sheet, then wrapped airtight and kept for up to 2 months. Bake without defrosting – just add a couple more minutes to the oven time.)

Bake the biscuits for 14 to 18 minutes, or until they are tall, puffed and golden brown. Transfer them to a serving basket. Makes about 12 biscuits
You can check out other fans and fun recipes at  "Tuesday's with Dori".

Friday, August 15, 2014

"French Fridays with Dorie" - Roasted Peppers

Yum.... I never get tired of the wonderful aroma of a pan full of roasting sweet peppers. They make an excellent side dish to compliment any protein or just a simple afternoon snack. These tasty treats are easy to make and have a great shelf life if kept smothered in olive oil and chilled.

If you are interested in the recipe or joining our group, we are cooking from Dorie Greenspan's cookbook entitled "Around My French Table"

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos

Here is another yummy treat from Kalee's Wednesday Wish List... We made homemade "Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos" and we used the recipe found here: "Chef in Training"

Very simple and easy to make, they would be great to make ahead, freeze and have on hand. They would make a great, quick afterschool snack for kids of all ages. LOVED THEM!!!!!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Southwest Grits & Cheddar Bread

What happens when you have a whole lot of leftover jalapeno cheddar grits. Well, you make bread of course.... Here at the pantry we have come up with a great new bread and hamburger bun recipe that is sure to tingle anybodies southwest taste buds. So today for our Super Saturday Cooking session, we invite you all to give it a try. 

Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 2 large loaves
Prep Time: 15 minutes plus rising time    
Cook Time: 25 - 35  minutes  


1 1/2 cups warm water
2 teaspoon yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup cooked Jalapeno Cheddar grits
4 1/2 - 5 cups flour
1/4 cup diced green pepper
1/4 cup diced sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup diced yellow squash


In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, sugar, and salt. Let sit five minutes. Stir in COOKED grits (leftover grits work really well) and the first cup of flour with a heavy spoon. Add diced veggies and the rest of the flour a little at a time, stirring until dough becomes somewhat stiff and not sticky. Add a little more flour and begin kneading, (I kneaded my bread while still in my bowl, but you can place it on a floured surface if desired). Continue adding flour a little at a time and kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Let dough rise in a greased, covered bowl until doubled. (Usually, about an hour.) Uncover bowl; sprinkle in a little more flour and knead again. Because of the grits, this dough can stay very sticky, so don't be surprised if you use up to 7 of flour cups through out the whole recipe, so now with floured hands, cut and shape dough into 2 loaves and place on a greased pans. Cover and let rise until loaves have doubled. (About an hour, depending on the temperature in your kitchen.)
Bake for 25 -35 minutes in a preheated 350-degree oven

Friday, August 8, 2014

"French Fridays with Dorie" - Tuna Confit with Black Olive Tapenade & Tomato Salsa

So today for our "French Friday's with Dorie" we are making...

Tuna Confit with Black Olive Tapenade & Tomato Salsa   

This is one of those recipes that you have to prepare ahead of time for. I started marinading my Tuna early this morning, knowing that my family are not fish lovers and also being fully aware of all the bold flavors that we are working with today, I choose not to marinade my fresh tuna for the full 2 days. My tapenade is chilling and my salsa is melding. I am so excited, I can't wait for dinner to see how all the flavors come together. Another little secret about this recipe is that you can keep the cost down by making your own preserved Lemons. Here is the recipe...  Preserved Lemons 

If you are interested in the recipe or joining our group, we are cooking from Dorie Greenspan's cookbook entitled "Around My French Table"

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

"The Greatest Queso That Ever Lived"

Today, We chose to make this recipe from Kalee Harris' Wednesdays Wish List...
And I can honestly say, it was very very tasty! Even after we forgot the mushroom soup. 

1 block (32 Oz. Block) Velveeta Cheese
1 package (8 Oz. Package) Cream Cheese
1 can (10 Oz. Can) Rotel
1 can (10.75 Oz. Can) Cream Of Mushroom Soup
1 pound Ground Beef OR Sausage (or A Combination Of Both)

Brown ground beef or sausage (or both) in a pan over medium heat and set aside. Cut up the Velveeta and cream cheese into cubes and place into a crock pot. Pour in the Rotel and the cream of mushroom soup and stir ingredients together. Place the crock pot on low setting for an hour, letting the ingredients meld. After about 30 minutes, add the browned meat and continue to let cook, stirring as needed.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

"Tuesday's with Dorie" - Poppy Seed Torte

 "Poppy Seed Torte" ? 
The images you find of this recipe on the Internet are very deceiving..
The recipe we are using is in Dorie Greenspan's book entitled "Baking with Julia", and there are a couple of changes that I made. The first one being that I only used 1 cup of poppy seeds and we passed on the apricots, (even though in the end I realized how yummy the apricots would have made it ) we have tried them before and they are not a hit among our boys, so my torte is adorned with lemon flavored sugar and candy slices. 

If you would like to check out our group, here is the link...

Monday, August 4, 2014

Perserved Lemons

        It's an old Moroccan staple and as for as pantry items go preserved lemons hold great intrinsic value. Just a small amount stirred into a quick sauté adds an inner depth of flavor that is incredible. And if you pair them with the bold flavors of their North African and Middle Eastern dishes, preserved lemons are as tasty as any good fruity olive.

        You have to make sure that you scrub the lemons very clean before quartering them. Next simply cut the tips off your lemons and then quarter gather the lemon rub the insides with salt (about 2 tablespoons salt per lemon), and pack them into your (also very clean) jar, squishing them down into the bottom. Add enough additional fresh lemon juice to cover the lemons completely, cover the jar, and leave it out on the counter for about a week, giving it a turn every so often. Make a good space for the jar in your fridge, and let it sit for another month or so, with an occasional turn and shake. They’ll keep perfectly, refrigerated, for at least a year. That said, making traditional preserved lemons at home is genuinely easy and well worth the work if you plan ahead. I’ll use roughly eight small lemons for one quart-sized jar, with about a cup of kosher salt. And depending on my mood, I may add a stick or two of cinnamon, a bay leaf or some whole peppercorns (or all three, or none at all).

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Classic White Bread

Many of you who have been watching and tasting all of the artisan breads we have been making has requested my plain old classic white bread recipe and so today I am willing to share. So today for our Saturday Cooking School Lesson please feel free to try your hand at a traditional loaf of bread....
This recipe makes 2 loaves

5-1/2 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 envelopes of active dry yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1-1/2 cups water
1/2 cup milk (we like to use buttermilk)
2 tablespoons butter OR margarine


If using RapidRise Yeast:

Combine 2 cups flour, sugar, undissolved yeast and salt in a large mixer bowl.  Heat water, milk, and butter until very warm (120° to 130°F); stir into flour mixture.  Beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally.  Stir in 1 cup flour; beat at high speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.  Stir in enough remaining flour to make soft dough.  Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Cover; let rest 10 minutes.

Divide dough in half.  Roll each half to 12 x 7-inch rectangle.  Beginning at short end of each rectangle, roll up tightly as for jelly roll.  Pinch seams and ends to seal.  Place, seam sides down, in greased 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 inch loaf pans.  Cover; let rise in warm, draft free place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
Bake at 400°F for 25 to 30 minutes or until done.  Remove from pans; cool on wire rack.

If using Active Dry Yeast:
Place 1/2 cup warm water (100° to 110°F) in a large warm bowl. Sprinkle in yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar; stir. Let sit 5 to 10 minutes, until foamy on top. Combine remaining water, milk, butter and sugar; heat until warm (100° to 110°F). Add to yeast mixture with salt and 4 cups flour. Mix well using the medium speed of an electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover; let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 45 to 60 minutes.

Punch dough down. Divide dough in half. Roll each half to 12 x 7-inch rectangle.  Beginning at short end of each rectangle, roll up tightly as for jelly roll.  Pinch seams and ends to seal.  Place, seam sides down, in greased 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 inch loaf pans.  Cover; let rise in warm, draft free place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
Bake at 400°F for 25 to 30 minutes or until done.  Remove from pans; cool on wire rack.

To make Whole Wheat Bread:  Substitute 2 cups whole wheat flour for part of all-purpose flour.