Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Spinach & Artichoke Alfredo Pizza

Was feeling creative today.. So for dinner, we made homemade Spinach & Artichoke Dip pizza with chicken and caramelized onions. SOOOOO.... YUMMY!

This is one of those recipes that you need to start early in the day, because you need to let
your dough rise or proof three times through the afternoon. 

For Pizza Crust: (makes enough for 3 large pizzas)

2 1/2 cups hot water
1/2 cup buttermilk
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon dry yeast
8 cups flour + plus 1 cup

Mix all together, knead well, dusting counter with a little bit of flour at a time. Knead until dough is not sticky. Cover with 1 teaspoon olive oil, rub olive oil around until the whole dough ball is covered. Place dough back into mixing bowl and cover with baking cloth and let rise until double in size. Knock down and repeat three times. Next make into pizza bases and let rise for 15 minutes, cover with sauce, toppings and cheese. Bake on 450 for 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown. ( I pre-bake my crust bases for 5-10 minutes before adding any sauce or toppings, this creates a crispier crust. 

For the Alfredo sauce: (you can make this ahead)

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon chopped chives
2 cups Heavy Cream
1 cup milk
1/2 cup parmasesan cheese
Melt butter and oil together add garlic and flour, stir until thick, will look like the start of rue. Slowly pour in heavy cream while consistently stirring. Let cook for 5 minutes. Next stir in milk, chives and cheese, cook for another 5 minutes stirring consistently. Set aside to let cool.

For Toppings and Assembly: (for each pizza use the following)
1 cup of Alfredo sauce
1/2 cup fresh or frozen spinach
1/2 cup canned artichoke heart
1/2 cup carmelized onions
1/2 cup grilled chicken
1 cup mozzarella grated cheese

Cover pizza base with sauce and then randomly place all the following around on top of the sauce, making sure the mozzerella cheese is placed on last. Bake on 450 for 15-20 minutes.

Friday, July 24, 2015

"TBHD" - Plum Upside Down Cake

Today for our "The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert" challenge we are making "Plum Upside Down Cake. It was very tasty and reminded me a lot of the "Rhubarb Upside Down Cake that we made for "Tuesday's With Dorie" back in May. As part of our pioneer day celebration, we baked ours in our dutch oven skillet on the BBQ.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

TWD: "Baking with Julia" - Swedish Oatmeal Hardtack

Our "Tuesday's with Dorie" challenge today was all about hardtack! And I am not talking about the little pretty ribboned candies that your grandma use to hide in her candy dish... I am referring to good old fashioned "Swedish Oatmeal Hardtack" or oatmeal crackers. They are sooooooo yummy and easy to make. I wish I would have tried this recipe six months ago when I was sick and craving crackers, but couldn't have all the salt, plus they are momma approved for my granddaughter, being low salt and sugar.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Sourdough Blueberry Muffins

So our Monday Inspirational Sourdough Blueberry Monkey Bread turned into muffins. I am a moody mom today and so was my dough... So I thinned out the mixture and made muffins.
 Much better I think.... Lol! 

2 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sourdough start or buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup blueberries, rinsed, or fresh or frozen

Beat egg slightly; stir in sour dough, milk and oil. Sift together flour, salt, sugar and baking powders and baking soda.
Combine both mixtures and blueberries, fold only until mixture is wet and lumpy, about 15 to 20 folds. The key to good muffins is not to over mix the batter.
Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Sprinkle tops with coarse granulated sugar (such as turbinado) if desired.
Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes or less.

Makes 24 standard size muffins.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Homemade S'Mores Ice Cream (National Ice Cream Day)

Tomorrow is National Ice Cream Day and we always try something new in celebration. So this year we decided to combine both our Saturday Cooking School challenge and National Ice Cream Day to bring you... Homemade S'Mores Ice Cream.

First you will need to make your custard base...

4 eggs
2 1/4 c. sugar
2 cans evaporated milk
5 c. Heavy cream
4 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1 can Eagle Brand milk (optional) 

Beat eggs until foamy. Add sugar and evaporated milk, stir until sugar is dissolved. Cook on medium heat until thick like pudding. Cool to at least room tempeture, not less than two hours, we try to make ours the night before and chill overnight in the fridge. 

Next, stir in remaining ingredients and mix extremely well. Pour into your ice cream maker and follow manifactures instructions, using the rock salt and ice method. While ice cream is freezing you can get the S'More toppings ready for the fun.

For Individual Servings... (We prep this ahead of time if we are serving a lot of guests or friends)
1 graham cracker (crumbs)
1 tablespoon mini chocolate chips
6-8 mini marshmallows

Serve with cracker crumbs, chocolate chip and marshmallows.

Friday, July 17, 2015

"TBHD" - Pistachio Chip Ice Cream

National Ice Cream Day is in a couple of days, so we decided that we would feature a couple of our favorite ice creams and we were so excited to discover that Pistachio Chip was one of the Desserts among our challenge recipes.

We loved this recipe... The butter roasted Pistachio nuts were a big part of the yummy flavor for us.

Pantry Sidenote Tip: 
When roasting Nuts Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Toss nuts in 2 - 3 tablespoons of butter or olive oil and any sugars or spices that you desire. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet in a single layer. Place the baking sheet in the oven, and roast for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the nuts are fragrant and lightly browned. Remove from the oven, transfer to a plate, and cool.

 For hazelnuts, roast for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the skins are lightly browned and start to crack. Remove from the oven and immediately wrap in a clean kitchen towel. Leave for 1 minute to steam, then rub the hazelnuts in the towel to loosen and remove the skins. (It's fine if some of the skins don't rub off.) Cool completely before using.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Sourdough Zucchini Banana Bread

We love this time of year when both the zucchini and the banana are at their freshest. 

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 - 3 overripe bananas
1 cup sourdough start
1 cup fresh grated zucchini

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 2 regular sized loaf pan or 4 mini loaf pans.
2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Stir in eggs, mashed bananas, sourdough and zucchini until well blended. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, add to egg mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pans.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

TWD: "Baking Chez Moi" - Apricot Raspberry Tart

       The recipe challenge for this week was "Apricot Raspberry Tart" found on page 145 of "Baking Chez Moi" , by Dorie Greenspan. This is one recipe where I truly still like mine better.... I love the richness of this dessert and I thought this particular recipe lacked flavor and was not a good blend of ingredients.  It looked very pretty when finished tough. I also love to add fresh chopped pecans to mine, I think they add just that right touch of fall nuttiness that makes the dessert complete.

I think I would like to add my own recipe here this time... just in case anyone would love to try them and compare them both.  I would love to read some honest feedback about what you think....

Here is my recipe...
* 1 cup raspberries
* 3 cups apricots (peeled, cored & thin sliced)
* 1 cup granulated sugar
* 1 teaspoon lemon juice
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
* 1 cup quick cooking oats
* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
* 5 tablespoons butter, room temperature
* 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Mix together raspberries, apricots, granulated sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and salt; pour into a buttered 9 X 13 baking dish. Combine brown sugar, oats, pecans and flour. cut in butter until well blended, it will be crumbly. Spoon over cranberry-apple mixture. Bake at 325° for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until topping is light brown and crispy. The fruit should be tender but not mushy.

Monday, July 13, 2015

BBQed Brie & "Make Your Own Tapas" - FHE Style

How many of you dream about food and new recipes....?
I do!
I dream about food and food presentation.

I know last week I posted that my inspirational Monday's this month would be about "Monkey Breads", but I have to share with you my two nights of dreaming about my "Make Your Own" Tapas platter that I put together for our Family Home Evening this week....

Starting in top left corner and going to the right.... Mustard, honeydew, pineapple, coconut tai beef, pancetta, herbed cheese, salsa, ham, cheddar cheese. Center - BBQed Brie, Bottom row - left to right - pickled veggies, apple slices, baguette, glazed carrots, on the side you will see homemade smoked salmon with cucumber dill sauce and crackers, then in the other tray you will find assorted breads.

BBQed Brie - (taken from show on the cooking network)

1 brie round
2 tablespoon maple syrup
sprinkle of Cayenne Pepper
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
leaves from 2 tyme sprigs
Make small slits in to top of the brie round and sprinkle the next 4 ingredients  on top of the cheese, wrap in tin foil and place on BBQ rack for about 5 minutes. Serve warm with crackers and bread.


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Smoked Salmon with Cucumber Dill Sauce

  • 5 pounds salmon, trout or char
  • 1 quart cool water
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt (the salt can not iodine in it)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh maple syrup
  • 1-2 tablespoon molasses
Smoking is an art, not a Science!

Mix together ingredients and and wait about 10 minutes for salt to dissolve, place your fish in a non-reactive container ( must be plastic or glass), cover and put in the refrigerator for 4 to 24 hours. This curing process eliminates some of the moisture from the inside of the fish while at the same time infusing it with salt, which will help preserve the salmon.
Next take your fish out of the brine and pat it dry. Sit the fillets on  your cooling rack, skin side down for at least 2 hours. I didn't realize the importance of this step until I smoked my first batch without drying and the pellicle was not set and I didn't get a lot of smoke flavor in my fish. The pellicle is the thin, lacquer-like layer on top of the fish that seals it and offers a sticky surface for the smoke to adhere to. Don’t worry, the salt in the brine will protect your fish from spoilage. Once you have your pellicle, you can refrigerate your fish for a few hours and smoke it later if you’d like.
Now you are ready to smoke your fish. Even though this is hot smoking, you still do not want high temperatures. Start with a small fire and work your way up as you go. I start smoking at 140°F for the first 2 hours, then I raise the heat to 160°F for another 2 hours, then finish at 175°F for a final two hours. To keep temperatures mild, always put water in your drip pan to keep the temperature down. If your smoker is very hot, put ice in the tray. It is important to bring the temperature up gradually or you will get that white albumin “bleed” on our fish.

After an hour in the smoker, baste your fish with maple syrup; do this every hour. Once your fish is smoked, let it rest on the cooling rack for an hour before you put it in the fridge. Once refrigerated and wrapped in plastic, smoked fish will keep for 10 days. If you vacuum-seal it, the fish will keep for up to 3 weeks. Or freeze your fish for up to a year.

Friday, July 10, 2015

"TBHD"... Tarte Tatin

We love this quick and easy dessert.... It reminds me of the Dutch-Oven / Skillet Upside Down Apple Pie that my Grandma used to make in the old iron skillet. It is so yummy served with a big scoop of fresh homemade ice cream. I followed the recipe in the heirloom desserts cookbook.

As most of you already know when we bake from someone else's published cookbook, we do not post the actual recipe, we encourage others to buy and enjoy right along we us. But, I would like to add my recipe to the pot to show the similarities in how old traditional recipes are passed down through family generations...

1 stick butter (cut into cubes)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 cups pre-sliced apples
2 tablespoons apple cider
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons ice water
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  
Combine the  1/2 of the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon  and sliced apples in a large bowl. Heat a 10-inch cast iron skillet, dutch-oven or oven-proof pan over medium-high heat and add the apple mixture.  
While the apples are getting hot, make your pie crust by stiring the flour and salt together in a medium size bowl. With a fork or pastry blender, cut in the cold other 1/2 butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Drizzle 2 to 3 tablespoons ice water over flour. Toss mixture with a fork to moisten, adding more water a few drops at a time until the dough comes together. Gently gather dough particles together into a ball. Roll out dough,  
Once mixture begins to bubble, unroll pie crust over skillet. With a wooden spoon, push down edges of crust into hot apple mixture. Cut steam slit in crust and brush with apple cider and sprinkle with sugar.  
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven, tip upside down on a large serving platter, serve warm with vanilla ice cream. 

    Thursday, July 9, 2015

    Sparkling Mango Lemonade

    This is a party style punch... it makes a lot!

    For 5 quarts...

    1 cup Country Time Pink Lemonade dissolved in 1 Quart of water
    1/2 gallon of Mango Tampico punch
    2 (2 liters) of Sprite

    Mix all together and add ice, chill and serve.

    Wednesday, July 8, 2015

    Saltine Toffee

    Never made it to my workdesk today, because I have been working on getting finger foods ready for our Young Women / Relief Society Fashion show. We had a great time and our young women done a great job modeling and explaining there modest style clothing. I am so proud of our Young Women and the amazing example they set for the younger generation. 
    On the menu tonight was...
    Savory Cream Puffs, Chocolate Dipped Strawberries, Sparkling Mango Lemonade and a new dessert that I have been saving on Pinterest called "Saltine Toffee".
    1 stick of butter
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 large Hersey bar
    1/4 cup chopped pecans
    24 saltine crackers

    Place saltines on large baking sheet, lining them up side by side. Melt butter and sugar in small sauce pan, bring it to a boil and pour over saltines, coating all saltines. Bake for 10-13 minutes or until light brown. Remove from oven and let cool. Next melt chocolate and stir in pecans. Add small spoonful to top of cracker and place in fridge until chocolate is set. Serve at room temp.

    Tuesday, July 7, 2015

    TWD: "Baking With Julia" - White Chocolate Patty Cake

    One of the hardest parts of living here in the canyon and spending time in the pantry is planning ahead when you go to the store and you buy stuff that everyone likes. I bought raspberries for today's recipe last week at the store and one by one they disappeared, so by today, when needed, they have been feasted upon. So.... Strawberries it is today!

    We loved this cake, it reminded me a lot of the homemade angel food cake that my great grandma use to make. She used to top it with fresh whipped cream and fresh out of the garden raspberries and then she would drizzle warm white chocolate all over the top.

    And of course, no recipe included because we would like to encourage everyone to join us and cook from Dorie's Cookbook... "Baking With Julia", but you can check out the video here.

    White Chocolate Pattycake – Julia Child & Marcel Desaulniers

    Monday, July 6, 2015

    Sourdough "Cinnamon & Sugar" Monkey Bread

    It's a new month and my Monday inspiration during July IS and always HAS been my sourdough. So, we decided that this month our Monday's are going to be about "MONKEY BREADS" (sourdough of course...)

    2 cup sourdough starter
    2 cup warm milk
    6 cups flour, divided
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    2 1/2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
    4 eggs
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 stick butter, melted
    4 tablespoons cinnamon

    In a large bowl mix together sourdough starter, warm milk and 1 cup of the flour, mix well then add another 2 cups flour, mix well, cover and leave at room temperature to proof at least 2 hours.

    Then mix the oil, 1/2 cup brown sugar and eggs into the sourdough mixture, mixing 2 eggs at a time. mix well and let set 15 mins.

    Stir in remaining 3 cups flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.Turn dough out onto a floured board and knead 5 to 8 minutes, or until smooth and let rest about 10 minutes.

    Divide the dough into 24 pieces, then form into balls, let rest while you mix 2 cups brown sugar and cinnamon in small bowl, set aside. Next melt butter in a small bowl and set next to sugar mixture. Dip balls into melted butter and and then roll in sugar cinnamon mixture, place into a lightly greased bundt pan, randomly stacking one on top of each other.

    Set in a warm place and let rise until doubled, 1 to 2 hours. Bake at 375 for about 30-40 minutes.
    Remove from oven and flip pan upside down on serving plate. They are better if eaten warm....

    Saturday, July 4, 2015

    Sourdough Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

    It just wouldn't be the 4th of July with out something sourdough and since we have been eating scones and biscuits all week, we decided cake was in order. This recipe is one of those that has been passed down through the generation by word of mouth, so you know that every time you make it it will turn out a little bit different because of all the variables involved. 


    • 1 cup sourdough starter
    • 1 cup evaporated milk
    • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
    • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
    • 1/2 cup melted butter
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 3/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa ( I like Heresy's)
    • 2 large eggs


    • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
    • 2 tablespoons soft butter
    • 2 ounces of soft cream cheese or 1/4 cup plain yogurt 
    • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
    • 1 tablespoon cold milkDirections
    1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan.
    2. In a large bowl, mix together the sourdough starter, milk, sugar, oil, vanilla, salt, eggs. The mixture will be grainy and runny. Gently combine the cocoa powder, flour and baking soda with the starter mixture, stirring till smooth. 
    3. Pour the batter into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake the cake for 30 to 40 minutes, until it springs back when lightly pressed in the center, and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven, and set it on a rack to cool while you make the icing.
    4. Sift the confectioners' sugar into a large mixing bowl, add cream cheese, butter, peanut butter and milk, spread it over the cake.
    5. If you would like to add a chocolate drizzle to the top... Combine the 1 cup chocolate chips, 1/4 cup milk, and 1/4 corn syrup in a microwave-safe cup. Drizzle/drip the chocolate over the icing.

    Friday, July 3, 2015

    Starting a new Friday Adventure...

    For those of you who don't know yet... We have baked our way through our "French Friday's with Dorie" Challenges and have ended our journey the middle of June.

    I, on the other hand, miss baking my way through a cookbook and so I have chosen a wonderful new replacement that I came a crossed a couple of weeks ago.

    It is entitled "The BEEKMAN 1802 Heirloom Desserts". So for today's recipe I will be drooling and planning for our upcoming Friday challenges. If anyone would like to join me, just message me and also you can find the cookbook on amazon as both hard bound or e-book.

    Thursday, July 2, 2015

    Southern Corn Pudding


    1/2 all purpose flour

    1/4 cup sugar

    1 cup heavy cream

    1 clove garlic, diced fine

    1/4 cup butter, melted

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1/2 teaspoon pepper

    2 cup whole kernel corn, drained

    1/2 cup chicken stock

    2 eggs

    1/2 cup  Bisquick or corn bread mix


    •  In a large saute' pan combine first 7 ingredients, add 1 cup whole kernel corn and heat until hot and slightly thick. Remove from heat and let cool about 20 minutes and then purée in blender to make creamed corn. In large bowl, combine Bisquick, eggs, cream corn, chicken stock and mix well.  Next fold in add last cup of whole corn and
    • Pour into a greased 1-1/2-qt. baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Yield: 10 servings.