Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Cinnamon Rolls

I made these cinnamon rolls a couple of times over the Christmas break, and they were quite delicious. I even had some people say they were the best cinnamon rolls they've ever had [insert me brushing the dirt off my shoulders]. Just kidding. They really were quite good, and I attribute it all to the recipe, not any of my own culinary skills. You can find the recipe, including a printable version, from Pioneer Woman Cooks. And, just because I'm nice, I'll include it below, too.

Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls
1 quart of whole milk
1 cup of vegetable oil
1 cup of sugar
2 packages Active Dry Yeast
1 heaping tsp baking powder
1 “scant” tsp baking soda
1 heaping tablespoon salt
1 ½ to 2 cups melted butter
1 cup of sugar
generous sprinkling of cinnamon

Mix the milk, vegetable oil, and sugar in a pan. “Scald” the mixture (heat until just before the boiling point.) Turn off heat and leave to cool 45 minutes to 1 hour. when the mixture is lukewarm to warm, but NOT hot, sprinkle in both packages of Active Dry Yeast. Let this sit for a minute. Then add 8 cups of all-purpose flour. Stir mixture together. Cover and let rise for at least an hour.

Add 1 more cup of flour, the baking powder, baking soda and the salt. Stir mixture together. (At this point, you could cover the dough and put it in the fridge until you need it – overnight or even a day or two, if necessary. Just keep your eye on it and if it starts to splurge out of the pan, just punch it down.)

Sprinkle surface generously with flour. Take half the dough and form a rough rectangle. Then roll the dough thin, maintaining a general rectangular shape. Drizzle ½ of the melted butter over the dough. Now sprinkle ½ -1 cup of sugar over the butter followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon. Now, starting at the opposite end, begin rolling the dough in a neat line toward you. Keep the roll relatively tight as you go. Next, pinch the seam to the roll to seal it. Spread 1 tablespoon of melted butter in seven round, foil cake or pie pans. Then begin cutting rolls approximately ¾ to 1 inch thick and laying them in the buttered pans. Repeat this process with the other half of the dough. Let the rolls rise for 20 to 30 minutes, then bake at 400 degrees until light golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes.

Maple Frosting
1 bag of powdered sugar
2 teaspoons maple flavoring
½ cup milk
¼ cup melted butter
¼ cup of brewed coffee (I omitted this, and just used a little extra milk)
1/8 teaspoon salt

For the frosting mix together all ingredients listed and stir well until smooth. It should be thick but pourable. Taste and adjust as needed. Generously drizzle over the warm rolls. Go crazy and don’t skimp on the frosting!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Winter Fruit Salad with Honey-Orange Dressing

Well, last night was the Bradshaw's last Sunday dinner together before Kelli left us, returning to Salt Lake to put her nose back to the grindstone. Sunday dinners are something we all look forward to very much- especially this time of year when we are (almost) all together. Much brainstorming, deliberation and careful selection goes into the menu planning. We only have about two Sundays together, so they have to be outstanding. And were they ever!

Last Sunday we enjoyed a Mexican fiesta. Kelli did homemade salsa and fried tortillas for tostadas. Mom prepped all the toppins. Candice made the beans and shredded beef, and Maren took care of the fried ice cream balls. It was a feast fit for Mexican royalty.

For yesterday we decided upon Maren's breaded chicken (will post soon), Kelli and Emma headed up Pioneer Woman's mashed potatoes (THE best) and Kelli's famous melt-in-your-mouth rolls, Mom roasted the asparagus, and Candice did Winter fruit salad with honey orange dressing and Molten Chocolate Cakes to wash it all down. We say it every Sunday, but it really might have been the best meal any of us had ever had. It doesn't get much better than feasting around the dinner table as a family- especially when everyone came together to prepare the feast.

This salad is meant to be plated on individual salad plates, but we just don't have that luxury with our numbers. Over-sized platters are our friends. You will LOVE this salad. Please do try.

Winter Fruit Salad with Honey-Orange Dressing

Red leaf lettuce
4 oranges, peeled and sliced
4 kiwi, peeled and sliced
3 bananas, peeled and sliced

2/3 C. orange juice
2 tsp. cornstarch
2 T. honey
1/3 C. sour cream

In small saucepan, cook orange juice, cornstarch, and honey over medium heat til mixture just comes to a boil. Remove from heat. Cool completely. Stir in sour cream. Cover and refrigerate til serving time.

To serve, place lettuce leaves on salad plates; arrange fruit on lettuce. Top each with 1-2 T. dressing.
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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Chris said today that these cookies are in the running for his favorite cookie. The chewy/crunchy texture is what makes them so amazing, according to him. I concur.

Easy Chocolate Peppermint Cookies For Your Entire Young Women's Organization:

3 boxes chocolate cake mix
3 sticks butter
6 eggs
a dozen candy canes or small bag of starlight mints, crushed

Mix cake mix, butter and eggs well with electric mixer. Drop with small scoop onto cookie sheets and flatten a little with back of a spoon. Sprinkle with crushed candies. Bake at 350 for ten minutes. Let rest on pan 5 min before transferring to cooling rack.

If you aren't making them for all the YW... OBFIESLY, you would use one cake mix, one stick butter, and two eggs. And 1/3 the box of candy canes. I used my calculator to check the math- it's right. No problem.
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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Cheddar and Cranberry Cheese Ball

Up until a couple years ago, cheese balls repulsed me. That was, until I learned that they could be made from the three best ingredients: cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and butter. Then I realized cheese balls were my favorite food. I sent a couple of these with Chris to the office- they didn't last long. This recipe is from Martha, and she also has a couple other variations I want to try. Here is the link for Cheese Balls, 3 Ways.

And here is the Cheddar and Cranberry version:

1/3 stick of butter, softened
1 pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 tsp. lemon juice
a couple dashes salt
1 dash pepper
8 oz. finely grated cheddar cheese
1 C. dried cranberries (craisins)

With an electric mixer, mix butter, cream cheese, lemon juice, salt and pepper until well combined. With big spoon or spatula, stir in cheddar cheese. Form into a ball with your hands, and roll in cranberries to coat. Serve with crackers.
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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Week before Christmas Menu

A couple of weeks ago I was staying with friend Laurel. She served us a delicious breakfast of oatmeal with honey and blueberries. Hands down the best oatmeal I've ever had. This is our breakfast of choice these days. Can be found at Trader Joes, and I also noticed it is available from amazon and drugstore.com. :)

Being a busy busy week I decided to keep it simple, keep it smart, keep it sweet, and most importantly, keep it semi-homemade: with recipes I have in my head.

Monday: Taco soup and caramel popcorn balls at Grannys
Tuesday: Green Pizza
Wednesday: out
Thursday: Ritz chicken
Friday: Hawaiian Haystacks
And Kelli and I are brainstorming for a most delectable Sunday dinner collaboration... still deciding what.

Happy week before Christmas!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Blackberry Streusel Coffee Cake

This is truly one of my favorite desserts, no ifs ands or buts. I meant to take a picture after slicing it to show the pretty blackberries- but we were too busy scarfing it down to bother with such things. Recipe from Martha Stewie, introduced to me by Hillary, bless her soul.

Blackberry Streusel Coffee Cake

1 stick unsalted butter, room temp plus more for pan
2 C. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 C. sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. sour cream
1 C. frozen blackberries
1 C. streusel
milk glaze

Preheat oven to 350. Butter a cake pan (bundt if you have it); set aside. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla on medium speed til light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the sour cream and ending with the flour. Beat until just combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Spoon about 1/2 the batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle blackberries on the batter, avoiding the pan's edge. Top with remaining batter, and smooth with a spatula. Sprinkle streusel evenly over batter. Bake til golden brown, 40-45 minutes. Let cool, and spoon glaze over cake. Cake can be kept at room temperature, wrapped well in plastic, for up to four days.

Streusel topping:
1 C. all-purpose flour
1/3 C. packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick butter, room temp.

Whisk to combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender, til large, moist clumps form.

Milk glaze:
1 C. confectioners sugar, sifted
2 T. milk

Whisk together confectioners sugar and milk til completely smooth. Immediately drizzle glaze over cake.
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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Creamy Herbed Potatoes

I was wanting to try Pioneer Woman's creamy herbed potatoes, but seeing as how I do not own a mandolin and am not willing to thinly slice enough potatoes to feed the whole Bradshaw clan plus all the extra Sunday dinner guests, I decided to try the recipe but just swap out frozen hashbrowns. Maybe less pretty, but no less tasty. I hope it doesn't affect my standing in the church if I say I like these better than funeral pototoes.

Creamy Herbed Potatoes

1 pkg. frozen hashbrowns
1 stick (1/4 pound) butter
1/2 a small onion, grated (if you must)
8 ounces softened cream cheese
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
1 T. finely chopped rosemary
1 T.. finely chopped parsley
1/2 T. finely chopped sage

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add butter to a large skillet over medium low heat. When melted, add onion. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cream cheese to the pan and stir to melt. Pour in cream and milk, stirring to combine. Season with plenty of salt and pepper, then add chopped herbs. Place potatoes in a buttered baking dish. Pour contents of skillet over the top. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake for 45 minutes. Allow potatoes to sit 15 minutes before serving.
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Monday, December 8, 2008

Dec. 7 Menu

In the spring of this year, some of my Cali friends and I reunited for a weekend of play. Marilee brought us chocolate. From Germany. The best chocolate bars ever. And you can get them right close by. I get mine at Target, Trader Joes, or Cost Plus World Market. Butter Biscuit (knusperkeks) is my favorite, but there are a bunch of different kinds. Santa, I wouldn't mind a few (dozen) of these in my stockin' this year.

Here's Candice's menu:
Sunday: Ham, herbed potatoes, green salad, carrots, rolls, and blackberry coffee cake
Monday: Manicotti, green salad
Tuesday: Tacos
Wednesday: Roast turkey and thanksgiving sides (because I love it and want to)
Thursday: Green Pizza
Friday: leftovers
Saturday: Joe's BBQ

And Maren's:

And Kelli's:


cricket, cricket...

Pot o' Chili

Tried a new chili recipe last week. Realized I like my old recipe best. I usually make this in the crockpot.

Pot o' Chili

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
2 ribs finely chopped celery
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 (15-oz.) can stewed tomatoes
3 (15-oz.) cans red kidney beans, drained
1 (6-oz.) can tomato paste
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vinegar
2 T. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Worchestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dry mustard powder
1 T. chili powder (if you like it spicy, do 1 1/2- 2T.)

Brown ground beef and celery, drain. Combine all ingredients in crock pot. Cook 8 hours on low or 2-3 on high. Serve with warm cornbread, cheese and sour cream. And OLIVES! (Much to Chris' disgust.)
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Jalapeno cheddar cornbread

Made this to go with spicy chili the other night. It was sooo light and fluffy, and very flavorful. Truth-be-told, I prefer a sweet cornbread, and this definitely falls into the savory category, but Maren said I had to post it anyway. Next time I try this I will double the sugar and leave out the scallions. I loved the jalapeno flavor (not spicy, just yummy), but thought the scallions were a tad overpowering, as onions usually are. BLAST YOU, ONIONS!! Why don't I ever learn?

Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread
(from Barefoot Contessa)

3 C. all-purpose flour
1 C. yellow cornmeal
1/4 C. sugar
2 T. baking powder
2 tsp. kosher salt
2 C. milk
3 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus extra to grease the pan
8 oz. cheddar cheese, grated, divided
1/3 C. chopped scallions, white and green parts, plus extra for garnish, 3 scallions
3 T. seeded and minced fresh jalapeno peppers

Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and butter. With a wooden spoon, stir the wet ingredients into the dry until just incorporated. Don't overmix! Mix in 2 cups of the grated Cheddar, the scallions and jalapenos, and allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking pan.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle with the remaining grated Cheddar and extra chopped scallions. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and cut into large squares. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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Friday, December 5, 2008

Almost Onion-free Thanksgiving

(Edible turkey from last Thanksgiving, which was also Adam's first birthday.)

We all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, although most of us feasted at seperate tables across the country.

Mom, Kelli and Emma feasted at Kelli's place in Salt Lake. They potentially had the best meal, considering it was all made by Kelli herself. See here for a good laugh and a more detailed account of the festivities.

Candice went to St. George to be with Chris' family. The only thing I made was the cranberry sauce. The fool-proof recipe: Stir together and bring to a boil 1 C. orange juice and 1 C. sugar. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Add 1 bag fresh cranberries. Simmer ten minutes, til cranberries start to pop. Remove from heat and pour into serving dish. Sauce will thicken as it cools. YUM. Sidenote: I have only ever been in charge of the turkey once. I used this Barefoot Contessa recipe- and it was absolutely and utterly divine. The most flavorful turkey I've ever had. I am a little scared to brine a turkey after Kelli's experience, but I want to just to compare.

Maren had a {relatively} quiet Thanksgiving at home with their little family. She made Pinoeer Woman's mashed potatoes- and we all agree they're our new favorite.

Amanda and Mase had a Floridian pot-luck Thanksgiving (so fun) with fellow students and friends. Amanda made her cornbread stuffing (I am requesting she make us some over Christmas), 10 lbs mashed potatoes, and a berry pie. I hope she doesn't mind me sharing her famous stuffing recipe...

2 lbs. Owen's spicy sausage
3-4 large onions (?!?!) chopped :)
2 red bell peppers, chopped
2 recipes cornbread (already prepared)
2 cans chicken broth

Saute sausage, onion and bell pepper. In large bowl combine sausage mixture, cornbread, and broth. Mix well. Bake in greased 9 by 13 dish at 350 for about 1 hour. (Serves 20)

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm up for having another Thanskgiving dinner next week. Any takers?
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