Friday, December 31, 2010

Whole Wheat Bread

Bike Boy and I were cleaning out our kitchen cabinets this past week, trying to fit all the new kitchen gadgets and fun stuff into a new home and I came across our bread machine. Our bread machine that has just taken up space for many years, unused and unloved. Do you have any of those appliances in your kitchen?

In my quest to eat more healthy and to make more food at home, I had a desire to make some bread. To give our bread machine some love. It was a delicious experiment and one I'll definitely repeat.

Gorgeous! Both the bread and my pastry board. :)



 
Whole Wheat Bread
 Taste of Home
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup warm milk (70° to 80°)
  • 1/2 cup water (70° to 80°)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 package of active dry yeast
Directions:
  • In bread machine pan, place all ingredients in order suggested by manufacturer. 
  • Select basic bread setting. Choose crust color and loaf size if available. 
  • Bake according to bread machine directions (check dough after 5 minutes of mixing; add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water or flour if needed). 
Yield: 1 loaf (1-1/2 pounds).


Happy Bread Making!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Home!!

We finally made it home! Christmas was great and we really enjoyed our time with our family but it is really nice to be back home. A week away from home makes my house a disorganized mess. Lots of cleaning and organizing to do the rest of this week.

Apparently my family know my little cooking and baking hobby so I got many new toys to play with in the kitchen. Unfortunately, it means I have to rearrange my kitchen cabinets! But I think I'll survive. :-)

I hope you all had a fantastic holiday! I know I did but I am so ready to get back into the routine. Which means making a menu (and sticking to it!) for the week.

Wednesday: Homemade pizza with pepperoni and green bell peppers
Thursday: Chicken Enchiladas
Friday: Pulled Pork
Saturday: Dinner out with Bike Boy

What's on your menu the rest of this week?


Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

We awoke to snow this morning and it hasn't stopped. With the snow falling, it looks like a winter wonderland! You just don't see that in Texas.

We have been baking like crazy this week; we made oatmeal raisin cookies, chocolate fudge, puff pastry raviolis, caramel pecan chocolate thumbprints, and mint chocolate chip cookies. Trying to keep Bike Boy and my BIL from eating them all before tomorrow!

My mom and mother-in-law made snickerdoodles with me this morning and then we all made rum cake. The cake is baking and I lost my helpers but it's okay. The snow is the perfect background for a Christmas cake. I hope we make this an annual tradition.

Apparently, my father has been holding out on me because we have a family recipe for Southern Comfort cake that has been passed down. I hope to get the recipe soon and share with you all.

I wish each and every one of you a wonderful Christmas filled with family, love and SNOW! I'll back next week with some recipes to share. Thank you for reading my little blog and encouraging me to keep going with it.

Merry Christmas!


Monday, December 20, 2010

Going Back

I'm headed back to the Mid-West today! Back to cold winters and potential of snow. Here's hoping for a light dusting of the good stuff on Christmas Day! Shh, don't tell but I think Texas has made me a weenie when it comes to winter. Winter clothes, I keep them in the back of the closet for when we visit.

I'm going to be cooking and baking with my bil, John, this week. Hopefully, I'll come home with some mad chef skills and teach him a thing or two about baking!

Safe travels to all who are making the trek to see family this week! Me, I'll be the one sleeping in the packed full car with no room to recline the seat.

I'm gonna need a massage tomorrow...

Friday, December 17, 2010

Final Week of 12 Weeks of Cookies

I cannot believe it's already the 12th and final week of this baking group! I have had so much fun and discovered so many new and wonderful blogs. I want to thank April from Abby Sweets for hosting this baking group. Thanks April for letting me be a part of the party! It was a lot of fun and I have a ton of new recipes to try.

We had a great time at our annual holiday party this past weekend and I wanted to show you all a couple of pictures of the cookies I made for the party.




Caramel Pecan Thumbprints from Bree @ Baked Bree. Chocolate Caramel Pecan Thumbprints

Snickerdoodles were a huge hit at the party. Snickerdoodle Recipe
Mint M&M cookies, melt in your mouth goodness!


Brown sugar cookies made in the Wilton Holiday Cookie Pan. Gave me all sorts of headaches but they were very delicious as always.
Click the links to see the recipes for the thumbprints and snickerdoodles.

Here are the recipes for the Mint M&M cookies and Brown Sugar cookies. I hope you enjoy making these this upcoming holiday season!

Mint M&M Cookies
Ingredients:
  • 2 1/2 c all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened @ rm temp.
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 1/4 brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 bag mint m&m's

Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside
  • Cream butter with sugars. Cream until fluffy.
  • Add eggs, salt, vanilla, and honey. Stir until well blended.
  • Add flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time, stirring between additions.
  • Fold in m&m's.
  • Scoop dough onto a parchment covered cookie sheet leaving about 1 1/2' space between cookies. Bake 9-11 minutes in 350 degree oven. 
  • Let sit for 2-3 minutes on cookie sheet before removing to a wire rack. 

Brown Sugar Cookies
by: Tracy's Grandmother

Ingredients:
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 2 sticks of margarine 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c buttermilk (I use sour milk - 1/2 c milk with 1/2 tsp vinegar and let sit for about 5 minutes)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 c flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions:
  • Cream sugar, margarine, and eggs together. Beat well.
  • Add milk and vanilla and beat well.
  • Stir in flour, salt, soda, and cinnamon. 
  • This dough is extremely sticky so flour your hands and rolling pin very well before rolling out dough. 
  • Roll out on a flour covered board or mat and cut into desired shapes.
  • Bake at 375 for 8 minutes. 
  • Let cool completely on a wire rack.




Post Linked to I'm Lovin It Fridays

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Rum Cake

Don't you just love the holidays? Especially when it involves this bad boy of cake. The Pioneer Woman's website is dangerous both to my heart and my hips. One of my friends asked me how I stay so skinny. The answer to that question is that I get one slice or cookie and Bike Boy, neighbors, and friends get the rest. Okay, I may have fibbed a little there on the rum cake because the second piece hit my hips last night. But it was awesome going down. Bike Boy is gonna have to share his slice or I'm going to be on a starvation diet until March.

Christmas Rum Cake
by The Pioneer Woman

Cake Ingredients:
  • 1 box of yellow cake mix
  • 1 box of instant vanilla pudding
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 c cold water
  • 1/2 c vegetable oil
  • 1/2 c Sailor Jerry's Spiced Rum (any rum is fine but I like this rum)
  • 1 c finely chopped pecans
  • 1/4 light brown sugar

Glaze Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter
  • 1/4 c water
  • 1 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 3/4 c Rum
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Grease a bundt pan thoroughly. 
  • Mix all the cake ingredients together. PW puts the chopped nuts and brown sugar on the bottom of the bundt pan and then adds the cake ingredients on top of them but I messed up and added them in the batter. I actually found I like that better because the nuts were evenly spread throughout the cake.
  • Bake the cake for 55 - 60 minutes. Check cake around the 50 minute mark so you don't overbake the cake.
  • When the cake has about 10 minutes to go, begin to make the glaze. 
  • Melt butter in a saucepan. Stir in water and sugar. Boil for 4 -5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Turn off the flame and slowly pour in the rum. Stir to combine and reheat for 30 seconds to 1 minute, depending on how strong a rum taste you want in your glaze. 
  • Remove cake from the oven and immediately drizzle 1/3 of rum glaze on the bottom of the cake. Allow to sit for 5 minutes. Invert the cake onto a serving plate. Gently poke the entire surface of the cake with a fork. Slowly drizzle the remaining glaze on the cake.
  • Allow to cool at room temperature before serving. 


Monday, December 13, 2010

Sweet and Spicy Baked Beans

For our holiday party this past weekend, I made these baked beans as a side dish. The combo of sugar and spice make these beans an unique and tasty side dish for your family get-togethers, holiday parties, or just a week night meal. They are super easy to make to!


Sweet and Spicy Baked Beans
  • 1 boneless pork chop (4 oz), diced
  • 1 med yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 bell peppers (red or green or a combo), diced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2/3 c prepared BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 c light brown sugar
  • 2 cans (15 oz) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cans (15 oz) white beans, rinsed and drained
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a medium skillet, cook pork chop, onion, bell peppers in the the olive oil over medium high heat for about 5-7 minutes. You want the pork chop to be cooked and the onions and peppers to soften.
  • Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients.
  • Transfer mixture to a 9x13 baking dish and cook for 30 minutes or until beans are tender.

Friday, December 10, 2010

12 Weeks of Cookies Week 11 - Cinnamon Mexican Wedding Cookies

These cookies are an interesting and fun spin on traditional Mexican Wedding cookie. There is more cinnamon both in the dough and powered sugar goodness on the outside. One thing though: beware that these cookie crumble. One of our friends took a bite and half of his cookie fell straight onto his desk. He loved the taste of them but they were a challenge for him to eat. In my defense, I made them small enough to take one big bite but I like to think he was savoring the cookie. I jest; but I am really grateful to Bike Boy's co-workers who eat all my desserts and share their opinions each week. It sure does make a good girl feel good. :-)

Now onto this week's cookie: Wanna see a picture? Okay, okay, you twisted my arm.

Cinnamon Cookies
adapted from My Texas Life magazine

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 c powdered sugar, divided
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 c sifted whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Directions:
  • Line a cookies sheet with foil and set aside.
  • Combine 1 c powdered sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.
  • Combine butter and 1/2 c powdered sugar in large mixing bowl and beat until fluffy.
  • Add vanilla extract and stir to combine.
  • Add sifted flour and salt to butter mixture mix on low speed for about 2 minutes. 
  • Roll cookie dough into 1" rounded balls and place on foil-lined cookie sheet. 
  • Chill for about 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350 and bake cookies on center oven rack for 16-18 minutes.
  • Remove cookies from cookie sheet and cool on a wire rack. 
  • Once cookies are cool, roll them in the cinnamon sugar mixture. 

Enjoy!




Thursday, December 9, 2010

Cake Balls are Chillin'

Planning and baking for a holiday party is interesting to say the least. At least this year, I have put upon myself to delegate some things (such as side dishes and appetizers) to my lovely friends. I think we'll certainly have a feast!

I was looking at all the goodies I was going to make and realized tonight that I have got to make these cake balls so they could have time to chill. I made the cake as Bike Boy was on his way home from work and then he came into the kitchen and helped me make these bad boys. It was awesome to have another set of hands with mixing and rolling. I'll add pictures tomorrow as I finish up the cake balls.

I hope you all have a wonderful time baking with your family this holiday season! It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Ideas Needed

I have been baking like crazy for our holiday party this weekend. And unfortunately, some of it has not been successful. :( On the bright side, Bike Boy has been enjoying all the experimental cookies. I won't let him take the broken cookies to work. I do have a reputation to uphold. :-)

I bought this Christmas themed Wilton cookie pan and thought it would help me make beautiful sugar cookies without the hassles of rolling out the dough and cutting by hand. The cookies are breaking and sticking so much that it is nearly impossible to get them out of the pan. I am greasing the pan with cooking spray and letting them cool in the pan but nothing is working. Does anyone in blogland have this cookie sheet and can give me some tips? Should I be using a shortbread recipe with this type of baking sheet?

Recipes or tips, anyone? Thanks for any and all help you can provide! I'll be sharing more cookie and holiday party pics later this week.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Menu Plan Mondays -- December 6th

Menu Plans for Week of December 6th

The past two weeks have been absolute madness on my schedule with the holidays and last week cleaning up from the family visit! It was Thursday before I really felt like I was back to my routine and schedule. However, this week brings some chaos as we're having our annual holiday party on Saturday night. I have a lot of baking to do!! But we still gotta eat, right?

Let's see what's on tap for dinner this week.

Sunday: leftovers

Monday: Ravioli and Breadsticks

Tuesday: BBQ Chicken Pizza

Wednesday: I saw this and I knew I had to try it!
Pasta with Garlic roasted Broccoli

Thursday: Grilled Chicken Breasts with Rice

Friday: date night with hubby

Saturday: Holiday Party! We're making Brisket with a potato side dish and tons of dessert goodies!! I'll post pictures and recipes throughout the week. Make sure to check back!!





Post linked to Menu Plan Mondays

Friday, December 3, 2010

12 Weeks of Cookies Week 10 - Gooey Melt in Your Mouth Chocolate Brownies

Mmm, brownies. They are one of my favorite things to eat but I'm usually never the one to make them. I was feeling adventurous this week and decided to make my own.

If I made these brownies again, I would use semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of milk chocolate chips. But that's really all I would change, I love brownies that are chewy and have a melt in your mouth goodness. If you are looking for a gooey brownie recipe, this one works really well. Bike Boy came home and tried them and loved them. What more could a wife want really?

Gooey Melt in Your Mouth Chocolate Brownies
adapted from Southern Living
Ingredients:
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 3/4 c granulated sugar
  • 1/3 c butter
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (semi-sweet)
  • 1/4 c cocoa
  • 2 lg eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 c all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c chopped pecans or walnuts
  • powdered sugar
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Combine  water, sugar, and butter in saucepan. 
  • Bring to a boil over heat, stirring constantly.
  • Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips and cocoa. Stir until smooth. 
  • Let cool for about 5 minutes.
  • Add eggs to chocolate mixture 1 at a time, stirring after each addition. Your mixture should looks very smooth at this point.
  • Add in vanilla extract and stir to combine.
  • In a separate bowl, combine flour and salt. Stir in chopped pecans. 
  • Stir flour mixture mixture into the chocolate mixture. 
  • Spread into a lightly greased 9" pan.
  • Bake at 325 degree oven for 23-28 minutes.
  • Cool on a wire rack.
  • When brownies are cool, dust with powdered sugar.
  • Cut into squares and enjoy!




Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Homemade Gift Idea #1

I have been thinking a lot about what to do for Christmas gifts this week. Blame it on Cyber Monday and Cyber Week (ok, I like to shop at Amazon way too much). I scored some great deals but I know that our friends and family love to try all my baking and cooking goodies. While cookies and fudge are great, I was thinking of something that was a little unique. I thought I could make up some jam and package the jam with this lovely mini loaf of bread.

My dad could not stop raving about this little mini loaf of bread I made for Thanksgiving. It was adorable and delicious. This roll recipe makes several of these mini loaves and they would be great as neighbor, teacher, or co-worker gifts.
Wrap the loaf pan with some cellophane and voila, beautiful and delicious Christmas gift!
The mini loaf pans are $1 at Michaels or JoAnns Fabrics and come in festive colors for the season.


Here a link to the recipe for the rolls. http://tracy-midwesterngirl.blogspot.com/2010/10/fluffy-whole-wheat-rolls.html To make the mini-loaves, cut the dough in 6-8 portions (depending on how big you would like the bread to be). Make sure you have big enough portions to fill the loaf pan about halfway full. More than that and they might rise and expand too much. Place the dough into the greased loaf pan. Let the dough rise for 30 minutes and bake at 400 degrees for about 12-15 minutes until golden brown on top.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving Recap in Pictures

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend full of good food, family, and friends. I know we did. Our family visit got cut short but we enjoyed the time we did have together. This weekend, Bike Boy and I managed to get all the Christmas decorations up and the house cleaned up from the week of cooking.

Here are some pictures of our Thanksgiving feast.

Spinach Balls for Appetizers 


Whole wheat rolls. Don't you love the mini loaf of bread?

Carrots in Brown Sugar and Butter Sauce. Recipe to come soon.
I'm making No Drippings Gravy. Recipe to come soon.
The table. :)
The turkey on the grill. There is a pan of "gravy broth" underneath.

The Turkey. Isn't it beautiful?
Family getting ready to devour the delicious dinner.

Yummy Pies for Dessert!

How did your Thanksgiving dinner go? Was it a success? Now onto planning for our Holiday Party in two weeks. Love this time of year!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

12 Weeks of Cookies - It's sweet enough to be called a dessert. :)

Dear blogging friends,
I tried to make cookies. I really did. But I ran out of time. But I did make some delicious cinnamon rolls that I'm linking up; they would be perfect to make and give out as a Christmas gift. They are partly a passed down family recipe and partly my own. While I was reading the recipe, I noticed that some amounts and times were missing. Hmmm, okay. Let's see how I can make this work and if I do say so myself, they were amazing. Perfect texture of the dough, sweetness of the filling, and a just tiny bit of glaze.

OMG, yummy!

Cinnamon Rolls
  • 1 package of rapid rise yeast
  • 1 c warm water (105 -110 degrees)
  • 1 c evaporated milk
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1/3 margarine, softened
  • 6 c all purpose flour
 Filling:
  • 3/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon

Glaze:
  • 1 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
Directions:
  • Dissolve yeast in a cup of warm water and let stand until foamy. 
  • While the yeast is proofing, heat evaporated milk to a lukewarm temperature.
  • Add sugar, salt, and softened butter in a large bowl. Pour the heated milk over the sugar mixture. Stir to combine.
  • Add yeast mixture to sugar mixture and stir.
  • Add flour a cup at a time, stirring after each addition of flour.
  • Knead dough for about 8-10 minutes.
  • Let rise until doubled in size, about 2-3 hours.
  • Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in small bowl.
  • Roll out dough into a large rectangular shape. 
  • Brush melted butter on top of dough and top with brown sugar and cinnamon mixture.
  • Roll dough into a log and cut into 1" slices.
  • Place cinnamon rolls in pan about 1" apart and let them rise again for about 30 minutes or until slices of dough begin to touch.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. 
  • While the cinnamon rolls are cooling, make the glaze by combining the powdered sugar and milk. Drizzle the mixture on the cinnamon rolls and enjoy!


Check out the delicious goodies the other bakers made this week. :-)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's Wednesday night; I have made two pies (apple and pumpkin), prepped the cornbread stuffing, brined the turkey and spent some good quality family time.

The cinnamon rolls went over amazing well and I'll post the recipe this weekend. My mom actually said they were better than her sister or niece makes so that means my first attempt at cinnamon rolls were a hit. :-)

Tomorrow I have to make the wheat rolls, sides, and of course the turkey. Gonna be a busy day. Hopefully with some sewing and shopping built in. :)

Wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. I am grateful for my absolutely wonderful husband who supports everything I do, a loving family, wonderful friends, and all my readers here on the blog. You are amazing and I am grateful to each and every one of you.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Appetizer: Spinach Balls

Spinach, either you love it or you hate it. During my lifetime, I have done both. When I was little and it was on my plate, I'm sure the word "eww" came out of my mouth. But this spinach is different. It has cheese and breadcrumbs and garlic. How yum!

I saw LouAnne made some on her blog and thought they looked delicious and was dying to try them. I made some minor adjustments to suit my tastes and here we are. Yummy spinach goodness. I definitely would have eaten these if they were on my plate when I was a child. Too bad Popeye didn't think of these babies when he was clamoring for some Spinach.




Spinach Balls
Adapted from LouAnne's Kitchen

Ingredients:
  • I box of frozen spinach, thawed and drained (about 12 oz)
  • 1 c grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 c milk
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Grease a baking sheet
  • Steam the spinach in the microwave for 4-5 minutes, drain spinach
  • Mix all ingredients together until you reach a meatball-like consistency.
  • Scoop with a small cookie scoop and roll into balls.
  • Place on prepared baking sheet
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

One Lovely Blog Award


I am so honored and touched that Lisa from Sweet As Sugar Cookies thought of me and gave me this beautiful award. :) Lisa, you are so sweet for thinking of me! Definitely check out her blog if you have some time. I know if I ever have a request for a pumpkin recipe, I'm heading straight there. The woman's been on a pumpkin baking frenzy! I love it!

And then I come to find a comment on the blog that Marcellina from Marcellina In Cucina thought of me as well and awarded me the One Lovely Blog award as well. Her desserts are so amazing and beautiful, I encourage you all to visit her blog too.  I love learning about recipes from the Australian Women's Weekly.

I am truly honored. My blog is fairly new; I celebrate each comment and each new follower with excitement; I yell at Bike Boy across the house, I've got a new comment or a new follower!! He's never as excited as I am but he still tries. I'm still learning and I'm glad you're joining me for the ride! I mean I still haven't settled on a design for more than a month or two!

I know I'm supposed to pass these awards on and I will...after the upcoming holiday and family visit. But for now, I'll be in the kitchen baking. :-) I've got a Thanksgiving feast to prepare for!

Happy Sunday!


Friday, November 19, 2010

12 Weeks of Cookies Week 8 - Puppy Chow

Puppy Chow might not be a cookie but it is one of my favorite treats to make during the holidays. I love the ease of the recipe and the results are delicious!

One of our friends is a huge fan of puppy chow and was so thrilled to hear that puppy chow was this week's "cookie." His smile was so wide when I mentioned it and I knew I couldn't disappoint. I'm sure he'll have his share (and more) of this delicious treat!

I compared my recipe of puppy chow to the muddy buddy recipe on the back of the Chex box and mine is a bit different. Turns out my family likes more peanut butter and butter. Ha!

Puppy Chow for People
  • 3/4 c peanut butter
  • 12 oz (1 bag) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c butter
  • 2 c powdered sugar
  • 1 box Rice Chex (you can use other kinds but I like Rice)
Directions:
  • Pour Chex into a large bowl and set aside.
  • In a microwave-safe bowl, melt peanut butter, butter, and chocolate chips. Microwave for 1 minute then stir and microwave for an additional 30 seconds.
  • Pour chocolate mixture over Chex mix and stir until well coated. 
  • Pour powdered sugar into a gallon size Ziploc bag.
  • Add Chex mix to the bag and shake well. 
  • Pour out and enjoy!


Post Linked to: I'm Lovin It Fridays
Let's see what yummy treats the other bakers have on tap this week...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Menu Plan November 15th

Getting the menu post up this week has been harder than usual. First, I can't think of a single thing to make this week. Second, this week is turning out to be one crazy week of appointments, cleaning, organizing, and prepping for Thanksgiving. My thoughts are just so jumbled. I think it's time to go for simple and easy dishes that are tried and true favorites.


Oh and this week begins the start of the Purdue Basketball season and if there is one thing you must know about me is that I am a HUGE fan of them. So my dinners on game nights will be pretty simple so I can watch them win! Boiler Up!



Menu for the week:

Sunday: Takeout after the Purdue BB game

Monday: Chicken Nuggets with Black Beans

Tuesday: Spaghetti with breadsticks or garlic bread

Wednesday: Grilled Chicken Breast and Rice (game night and Bike Boy's cooking!)

Thursday: Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Friday: Date night!

Saturday: Dinner with friends

How's your week shaping up?


Post linked up to Menu Plans Mondays

Pecan Pie

Can you tell I was playing in my photo editor yesterday? 
Earlier I posted about my grandmother's pie crust and how I would be using it to make my Thanksgiving pies. I have a confession to make. I didn't use it for this wonderful pie. I used an all butter crust and made it in my food processor. The crust was beautiful and didn't burn during the entire time the pecan pie was baking. Considering how long this pie baked in the oven, that was pretty impressive. I have to say the crust was good; it didn't overpower the pie filling but it wasn't the same as Grandma's.

I have a couple of reasons why I'll be making this again.
  1. I have a GIANT bag of fresh pecans in my pantry from Sam's that I need to use.
  2. This pie is pretty darn good.
  3. I want to try it with Bourbon. Sounds like just the thing for Christmas. 

Pecan Pie Filling
adapted from Pioneer Woman

Ingredients:
  • I c white sugar
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 c corn syrup (I used light corn syrup)
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 c melted butter
  • 3 whole eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/4 c chopped pecans (she called for 1 cup)
Directions for Filling:
  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Mix sugar, brown sugar, salt, corn syrup, butter, eggs, and vanilla together in a bowl. Stir until well combined.
  • Pour chopped pecans in the bottom of your unbaked pie shell.
  • Pour syrup mixture over the top of the pecans.
  • Cover top with foil and place in preheated oven.
  • Bake covered for 30 minutes; continue baking for 30 minutes, being careful not to burn the crust.
  • If the pie is too jiggly, continue to bake at 10 minute intervals until pie is not too jiggly. You should be able to move the pie without the filling shaking violently. 
  • Allow to cool for several hours before serving. 
Up close and personal with the pie. Oh yummy!

Pie Crust:
from Brown Eyed Baker
Ingredients:
  • I stick unsalted butter, chopped and frozen for 15 minutes
  • 1 1/4 c flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp ice water

Directions:
  • Cut stick of butter into small cubes and place in freezer for at least 15 minutes.
  • Combine flour and salt together and pulse together in the food processor.
  • Add butter to food processor and pulse approximately 10 times until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Sprinkle ice water into mixture, a tablespoon at a time. Pulse for no more than 20 -30 seconds until the dough crumbles up.
  • Add additional water if the dough appears too dry.
  • Dump the dough out onto a clean surface and shape into a disc. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Brown Eyed Baker has the instructions on how to make the pie crust by hand on her website: Brown Eyed Baker.

I'm linking to TidyMom's Pie Party today, come on over and check out the other beautiful pies people are making. The hard part will be deciding which ones to make for Thanksgiving.



Love the Pie
 

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