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November 25th, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving - Canned Peach Pie

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Even though it's just the two of us, I do cook a fair spread for the holiday. This year I'm trying a new pie recipe and if I weren't still stuffed full of turkey and all the trimmings I might be able to tell you if it turned out tasty or not.

You'll need a double pie crust for this (one in the pie plate, one over the filling) and a 9" pie plate. My favorite crust for sweet pies is a shortbread crust and conveniently the recipe makes a double crust. :)

Filling:
3 15oz cans sliced peaches1
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp butter

Drain the peaches, reserving the juice/syrup. There should be 1-11/2 cups.

In a sauce pan, blend together the sugars, cornstarch, and spices. Stir in the reserved peach juice and add the butter. Cook on medium-low heat until the butter melts and the mixture thickens.2

Take your thickened syrup off the heat and let it cool, stirring occasionally. You want to get it down to just warm or room temperature.

Line your pie plate with one of the crusts, add the drained peaches. Pour the syrup over the peaches. You may have a touch more syrup than you need to fill your pie. Add the other layer of crust over the top and seal the edges as you prefer. Cut vent holes in the top crust.

Bake at 450°F for about 30 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Cool before slicing.



1. The original recipe didn't specify whether they should be in juice, light syrup, or heavy syrup. Mine were accidentally purchased "no sugar added, sweetened with Splenda" and this was an attempt to make them tasty.

2. The original recipe was once again unhelpful for how long to cook it so I let it bubble as I stirred for five minutes. You want this to be thick, otherwise when you cut your pie later it will run all over.

October 11th, 2010

Mini Biscuit Batch

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I've tried cutting down my family biscuit recipe to something more reasonable for two people before with marginal success. Tonight I tried a little something different and I like the results.

For about 4 biscuits:

Mix 1 tsp apple cider vinegar with milk to make 1/3cup and let stand 5-10 minutes

1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp shortening (or lard)

Shift together the dry ingredients then cut in the shortening until it resembles cornmeal. Add milk mixture a dollop at a time until the mix just comes together into a dough. You might need either a bit more or a bit less liquid, if you need more just use regular milk. Do not handle the dough more than necessary.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface and pat down so it is about half an inch thick. Cut into biscuits, reforming scraps gently.

Bake at 425 for about 20 minutes.

September 12th, 2010

Tasty and Simple Beer Batter

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I found some beer in the back of the fridge and we had some fresh boneless, skinless chicken breasts so of course I needed to dip those in beer batter and fry 'em up.

1 can beer, 12oz (we had Tecate in the back of the fridge, but use what you like)
11/2 cups flour
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt

More flour (for dredging)

Mix up the four batter ingredients, dredge your meat(s) in flour, coat in batter, fry.

I was concerned that some of the larger pieces wouldn't cook before the batter burnt so I fried them until they looked pretty, drained them, and then baked the lot of them in the oven for fifteen minutes to be sure they would be cooked.

October 7th, 2009

Better Mug Cake

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Lately it seems I can't read recipes in comments without hitting on the infamous Mug Cake. Now for an emergency chocolate hit it's okay but the texture was always too... meaty, for lack of a better term, for my taste. This is undoubtedly due to the lack of leavening and the fact that there is a whole egg in one large coffee mug worth of cake. So I played around a bit, adding a pinch of salt, a smidge of baking soda, things of that sort, and managed to make it taste a bit better but it still didn't really have a cake texture in my opinion. So I tossed the "must fit in a coffee mug" requirement and came up with this.

Coffee Soup Mug Cake

This may work with a smaller mug, but to be safe get yourself a 20 oz mug of some sort. Spray the inside of the mug with your preferred cooking spray.

Mix up in the mug:

1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
3 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp baking soda

Blend these dry ingredients before adding the following wet ones, it will make things easier.

1 egg
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix well.

Microwave on high for 3-31/2 minutes. The cake will rise above the level of the mug!

Be sure to center the mug in your microwave so the cake will cook evenly and to minimize the chance of a spill over (I've only had it dribble over once, and the mug was not centered in the oven so there was a bit of a tilt, and the small dribble didn't make it all the way down the side of the mug so it was easy to clean up).

You may need a friend to help you eat it, or be greedy and save half for later. ;)

Hamburger Rolls/Buns

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This recipe is slightly modified from one I found online somewhere.

11/4 cup warm milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp salt
4 cups flour
11/4 tsp yeast

Set the bread machine to the dough setting (or do it by hand, but I like the set it and walk away of the machine).

When the dough is done (11/2 hours with my machine), turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, give it a few quick nudges and shape it into a dozen rolls. Keeping with my lazy approach I use non-stick foil to line my pans and put the rolls in the oven with the light on to rise for an hour or until doubled in size. (The light gives the oven just enough warmth for the rolls to rise well.) Pull them out and heat the oven to 350, bake for 10 minutes or until nicely browned (the lower tray always needs a couple minutes on the higher rack after the other tray has come out for me).

In the future I may try a variation using whole wheat for half of the flour and turbinado sugar.

April 21st, 2009

Pumpernickel Bread

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I love it, the darker the better, and finally I have a good recipe for it using the bread machine.

1 1/8 cup warm water
1/3 cup molasses
1 1/2 Tbsp oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 cup rye flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 Tbsp cocoa powder
2 tsp dry active yeast

Run through your bread machine set for a 1.5 pound loaf on the whole wheat setting. This bread actually rises more than my normal white bread recipe and has a wonderfully fine crumb.

This recipe isn't as dark as I would like, but we were only able to find light rye flour, so it might be dark enough if I could get some dark rye. Also, the molasses on hand was black strap, which along with the cocoa powder might be adding a bit of bitterness that would be avoided with a less harsh variety of molasses. I like it fine as is however, and seeing as how I'm the one with the extra taste buds in the household.... :D

The original recipe is here if you want to see what changes I made.

February 28th, 2009

Baked pasta with as little work as possible

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All ingredients up for personal choice, tonight's choice in parenthesis.

Required:
1 pound dried pasta (radiatori)
1 26oz jar pasta sauce (Ragu Super Chunk Mushroom)
1 jar of water
1 15oz can diced tomatoes with juice1
2 cups shredded cheese (Italian 4 cheese - mozzarella, provolone, romano, asiago)

Optional (I never make it without meat of some sort)
1 pound ground beef
1/2 bag frozen onions and peppers
1 can sliced mushrooms, drained


1. Added to increase moisture and tomato flavor. - 3/20/09


Brown up the beef, onions, and peppers; drain excess fat.

In a 13x9x2" pan mix the dried pasta, sauce, and one full sauce jar of water. Sprinkle meat and veggies on top and cover tightly with foil. Bake at 350F for 35 minutes. Remove foil and stir, checking that the pasta is al dente (if not add a bit more water if it looks like it needs it and bake some more). Sprinkle with cheese and return to the oven, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and perhaps lightly browned.

February 5th, 2009

Kitchen experiment time: (H)orchata

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While I was out in California a few weeks ago [info]athelind (@LJ) introduced me to something called "orchata" and it was nummy. Some googling for recipes revealed that it is more commonly spelled "horchata" and that it's very simple to make (and that everyone has their own recipe and opinion about what is "the right way").

So I'm giving it a try.

2 cups rice (the original recipe says white or brown, I only have white on hand so that's what I'm using)
2.5 quarts water
1 tsp ground cinnamon (the original recipe has one stick, but we only have ground so...)
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 cup sugar (to taste really)
TIME

Wash the rice then cover it in cold water and let it soak for at least eight hours. I ended up leaving it for about eighteen.

Drain the rice and put it in the blender with enough water from the 2.5 quarts to cover (about 2 cups) and grind/puree/liquefy. If you're using ground cinnamon go ahead and add it in the blender to make it mix in easier. Dump the puree into a pot that will hold at least 3.5 quarts and use the remainder of the 2.5 quarts of water to rinse the blender into the pot. If you're using stick cinnamon, toss it into the pot. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours.

Strain the mixture through a sieve. I feel there should be some use for the rice mash but I haven't thought of anything yet.1

Strain the mixture again through damp cheesecloth. Since I have none I attempted the damp coffee filter suggestion. Don't bother. It filters too well for this. I gently strained through the sieve again and resigned myself to some amount of grit.

Add vanilla and sugar, stir well (or in the case of a container that can be closed tightly, shake like hell) and chill.

The verdict? Not as good as I hoped. I'll give it a few hours to rest and taste it again. As much as the various commentary put down cooking the mixture I think it might help to scald it at least. So if sitting over night doesn't help I'll heat it.

1. Yes I have. Put mash in a pot, add 2 cups of liquid (I used one each milk and water), 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/4 tsp vanilla. Cook on low until smooth and creamy. It's sort of a "cream of rice" pudding.

September 26th, 2007

Spiced Apple Sorbet

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We dug out the 6qt ice cream maker I bought back in '99 for $13 and never used. We made plain vanilla ice cream for the first attempt (best vanilla EVER by the way) and now that we've managed to get through 6 quarts of that I'm making the Spiced Cider Sorbet from the machine recipe booklet, with a few modifications.

This is for a 6 quart machine, if you want amounts for 2, 4, or 5 quarts let me know and I'll add those.

6 c apple cider or juice (one can of concentrate and water to make 6 cups)
3 c sugar
1 tsp ground cloves (originally, 11/2 tsp whole cloves)
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon (originally 6 sticks)
6 c unsweetened applesauce (one 50 oz jar)
3 c cranberry juice (half of a can of concentrate and water to make 3 cups)
1/3 c lemon juice

Dissolve sugar in apple juice/cider, add spices and boil for 5 minutes. Remove whole spices. Add remaining ingredients and chill for at least one hour.

Freeze according to your machine's instructions.

Note, have containers that can hold about one gallon plus two cups handy for chilling the mix unless you are fortunate enough to have a fridge that can handle either the pot you mixed it in or your ice cream maker's canister. (I used a gallon jug and the empty applesauce jar.)

Mine is still freezing so I can't tell you if it's any good yet, but it sure smells nice.

Edit: It is done, and it is good.

For the folks on IJ, GJ, and JF: Would you like to see the recipes I have posted on LJ in the past posted over here?

7-1-08: I've gotten over a dozen spam messages on this post, and only this post, today. I'm turning off comments since I don't want to block anonymous comments on the journal level at this time.
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