Monday, May 31, 2010

Rain. . .

Rain, Rain, Go Away. . .
Little Laura wants to play!
The rain is raining all around
It falls on field and tree
It rains on the umbrellas here
And on the ships at sea

In case you can't tell, it's raining here. It's Memorial Day, the last day of May, and it is barely 50-degrees, and raining.

There's a current country song which states that "Rain is a good thing," but I'm not so sure I'm believing that statement right now. . .

Spring, or, ideally, summer. . .will you please arrive?

Monday, May 10, 2010

12 in 12 Challenge: Recipe 5 - Strawberry Trifle

The final recipe, for the moment, is the dessert my mom and I put together for Mother's Day (yes, she made her own Mother's Day dessert - we worked on it together since we had never made one of these before).
This recipe is from my cousin, who got it from her aunt. :)

Strawberry Trifle

1-8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 large cool whip (12 oz.)
Red food coloring
1 Angel food cake (we used 2 loafs of cake)
Sliced strawberries

Mix cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Add cool whip and mix well. Add a few drops of red food coloring and mix well.

Layer in large trifle bowl (we got 3 layers):

Angel food cake (cut into 1-inch cubes)
Cream cheese mixture
Sliced strawberries

Top with cool whip (we left some out) and sliced or whole strawberries.

Want to see how pretty it can be?

We begin with little mini ones we made in plastic shot glasses just to try it out. Mini desserts in shot glasses seems to be a current trend, so we wanted to see what it was like to make them ourselves.

The top of the beautiful Strawberry Trifle.

And a side view. Our only regret is that there is too much for the four of us, so we wish we had help eating it!

12 in 12 Challenge: Recipe 4 - Cinnamon Rolls

Yet another recipe! See, I told you I had a bunch to post!

For Easter our church had a breakfast in the morning before the service. My mom and I made cinnamon rolls for the breakfast. They turned out really well. This is my great grandmother's recipe and we made some with cinnamon sugar and some that were a butter crumb. The butter crumb were my personal favorite, but they were all delicious! I'm leaving this recipe as original as possible, so feel free to make changes - such as use butter instead of oleo. :-) My notes are in italics.

Great Grandma's Cinnamon Rolls
An Old Family Recipe

1 cup milk, lukewarm
1/2 cup sugar, dissolved in the milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup oleo or shortening, softened (or butter)
2 eggs, room temperature
Flour to make soft dough (a note on the recipe says that it takes about 3-5 cups plus more when working with the dough)
1/4 cup warm milk
2 packages yeast

Put eggs out the night before baking so they'll be room temperature (or just take them out that day). In a bowl, put yeast in water to dissolve. Add other ingredients and enough flour to make a soft dough - kneed well (about 10 minutes) and put in a greased bowl to rise double. I put mine in a warm oven and cover with plastic or plate about 1 hour or as needed (however you normally rise your bread dough should work fine). Divide and roll out for rolls. Bake about 25 minutes in a 375-degree oven.

This recipe makes 3 pans of rolls.

Butter Crumb Filling

1/2 cup oleo (butter)
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour

Mix sugar and flour and cut in oleo/butter until crumbly. Spread dough with crumbs, roll and cut. Put slices in buttered pan and sprinkle crumbs on top. Let rise and then bake.

Cinnamon Topping

1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1-1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons oleo (butter)

Mix flour, sugar and cinnamon. Melt oleo (butter) and add to sugar mixture. Mix well so it will sprinkle. Spread dough with crumbs, roll and cut. Put slices in buttered pan and sprinkle crumbs on top. Let rise and then bake.

Hungry yet? Check out the pictures (unfortunately I don't think I took any pictures once they baked)!

A pan of buttercrumb rolls, almost ready for the oven.

A delicious cinnamon roll (not baked).

Spreading the buttercrumb filling. 

12 in 12 Challenge: Recipe 3 - Deviled Chicken

I have actually made this recipe twice and the first time forgot to take picture so couldn't count it, and the second time did take pictures, but then it took awhile for me to get them put onto my computer. . .but now the pictures are on my computer and I can share the recipe with you.

I did make some changes to this recipe because we (okay, I) don't like food super-spicy. So my changes are noted.

Deviled Chicken
From Cook's Country, March 2010

3 tablespoons yellow mustard
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1-1/2 tablespoons hot sauce (I used 1 teaspoon)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme (I used less, dried)
1-1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon pepper (I used about 10-15 turns of the pepper grinder)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used less chicken but made the full sauce)
2 slices hearty white sandwich bread, torn into pieces
2 tablespoons butter, melted


1. Marinate Chicken. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 450-degrees. Combine mustard, mayonnaise, hot sauce, lemon juice, garlic, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon pepper in large bowl. Add chicken and toss until coated. Refrigerate, covered, 30 minutes or up to 3 hours.

2. Coat and Bake. Pulse bread, butter, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in food processor until coarsely ground. Remove chicken from bowl and transfer to wire rack set inside rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle buttered bread crumbs evenly over top and sides of chicken, pressing gently to adhere. Bake until crumbs are golden brown and chicken registers 160 degrees, 20-25 minutes. Serve.

My Notes:

This chicken is awesome. There's a reason I've made it twice so far. I do line the pan with foil so that any stuff that drips off is easy to clean up, and any breading that drips off is worth eating. . .it's SO good. I did prick holes in the chicken with a fork the last time I made it, so that the marinade could soak in. I would love to try letting it sit for 3 hours like it says, but I only let it go for about 30 minutes and it is just fine. SO tasty. I served it with some mashed potatoes (which I added cheddar cheese, cream cheese and onion to and re-heated in the microwave) and some lima beans that we mixed with bacon, which were excellent. Bon Appetite!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Never Fear. . .

I'm Still Here!

And hopefully I'll have another update for you all soon. I have some recipes to post, actually, just have to type them up first. But when I do, I think you'll like them. Maybe this weekend.

I've been pretty busy with work and my social activities. I'm actually glad that Awana is now over for a couple months because that means that I have one less commitment during the summer, so I have a little more time to breathe. :)

In exciting news, I am planning to go to Boise a week from today! My friend is graduating from Boise State, so my friends Michelle and Sarah and I are flying down to Boise next Thursday, spending a few days down there and then driving back with Val and her family (who is driving down for her graduation). I will try to take some pictures of the scenery on the drive back because I *think* we are going via the Montana route so we can stop at Craters of the Moon (in Idaho) on the way back. We are going armed with music on my iPod, and pens and paper so we can play games. :)

Anyway, that's a little update. Hopefully more later!