Archive for January, 2010

Dark Chocolate Cake

Well, Friends…I’ve offically been recipe blogging for a month now and I love it.  This isn’t a long time  compared to most bloggers out there, but I’m pretty proud of myself!  I started out with blogger because of it’s simplicity but I’m ready to move to another site – for good.  So, starting tomorrow, Feb 1, I will be moving to another site.  I’ll let you know then……

Now on to the good stuff! I’ve been craving something chocolatey for the past several days.  I let Reagan pick and she decided she wanted chocolate cake.  mmmmmmm…this is heavenly!

Dark Chocolate Cake
2 c boiling water
1 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 c butter
2 1/4 c sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 3/4 c flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Heavily grease a 9 inch bundt pan.  In medium bowl, mix boiling water and cocoa powder.  Stir together very well and let cool.  Meanwhile, combine flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder in another medium bowl.  Set aside.  In your mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar well – at least 2 minutes.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Mix well again.  Add half of the flour mixture and mix. Slowly poor in cocoa/water mixture and make sure everything is mixed well.  Add the last half of the flour mixture and combine well for the last time.  Make sure to mix all the way to the bottom.  Pour into bundt pan and bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool.  Frost with you favorite frosting.

In the words of my fantastic Uncle Ron:
“Well, that’ll just jerk the pounds right off ya!”

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I missed my first post yesterday….I have a good reason though.  I was doing our taxes….ugh.  It would be a lot more simple if I’d be a lot more organized.

Just to let you know. I know how to be organized.  I even like to be organized.  You should have seen my room my senior year in high school when I finally had my own room: everything had it’s place and it stayed in it’s place. (I shared a room with my sis all 17 years prior to this – she’s 5 years younger and had a creative streak much like my lil’ Reagan – who always has her creative stuff everywhere 😀  I love ya, Katrina!)  BUT then I had 3 kids and I’ve lost my organization somewhere…it’s probably under the boys’ bed…yikes!

So back to my taxes….I started gathering the paperwork around 2:30pm and finally finished up at 10:45pm.  I stopped only long enough to fix dinner: Fried Chicken Strips, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, gravy, and carrots.  Crazy – I know.  Especially on the day I decide to do taxes, but I’d already promised Mike I’d make this before I got the motivation to do our taxes.

Fried Chicken Strips
3 skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
30 saltines, crushed finely (or your favorite cracker!)
1/4 c instant potato flakes
2 Tbsp flour
2 tsp Shara’s House Seasoning
1/4 c flour
2 eggs
2 Tbsp milk
oil for frying

Heat oil over medium-high heat.  Combine saltines, potato flakes, 2 Tbsp flour, and house seasoning in a large bowl.  In a small bowl, beat eggs and milk.  In another small bowl, add the 1/4 cup of flour.  First, dip the strips in the flour, then the egg mixture, then the saltine mixture.  Fry each batch for about 8-9 minutes – turning once – until chicken is cooked through and the outside coating is golden brown.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes
3-4 large potatoes
1 stick of butter (1/2 c)
2 tsp Shara’s House Seasoning
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Clean and dice the potatoes.  Cover with water and bring to a boil.  Boil until potatoes become fork-tender – about 30 minutes.  Drain off water.  Place all the ingredients in your mixer and mix well.

It was all worth it though!  Mike did the dishes 😀  I love him.

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English Muffin Bread

We’ve made it to Thursday!  It’s Pizza Night!! Yeah!!

However, since I’ve already posted my pizza dough recipe, I’ll just post a recipe for this yummy English Muffin Bread – it’s wonderful for breakfast or toasted sandwiches because it toasts up so well.

English Muffin Bread
6 c flour
2 pkg instant yeast
3 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 c warm milk
1/2 c warm water

Mix 1 cup of flour with yeast, sugar, salt, and baking soda.  Add milk and water.  Mix well for about 5 minutes.  Add rest of flour, 1/2 cup at a time to make sticky dough.  Form into 2 loaves and place in greased loaf pans, sprinkled with cornmeal.  Spray top of dough loaves with cooking spray and sprinkle with cornmeal.  Let rise for 45 minute and then bake in a 400 degree oven for 25-35 minutes.

Here’s one of the loaves before it began rising.

The loaves in this picture are small because my mixer won’t hold any recipe that requires 6 cups of flour.  I halved the recipe to make two small loaves. You could also make 1 large loaf.

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Today has been a fabulously uneventful day.  Oh, I did a few things like watching lil’ Adie for a few hours this morning and another lil’ Lucy for an hour over lunch, and I got the computer programmed for Sunday’s 2nd hour worship, and I made Snickerdoodles (see below), but other than that….I’ve been glued to my computer, reading the Confessions of a Pioneer Woman.  I can’t get enough of her and her kids and her life.  She is soooo stinkin’ funny.  And she’s a great cook.  And she takes awesome pictures.  And I can’t forget to mention that she’s from Oklahoma – Pawhuska, no less!!  A mere hour from where my parents live!

When I knew the kids were about to come home from school, I literally had peel myself away from my  lovely lil’ mac and get started on the Snickerdoodles.  My kids love them.  Mike loves them.  Anytime I ask them what kind of cookie they’d like me to make, it’s these.  So, Clarky and I got a batch whipped up before the kids walked through the door.  I won’t lie….they are pretty tasty!

Shara’s Snickerdoodles
1 c butter
1 c oil
1 c sugar
1 c powdered sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
4 1/2 c flour

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cream butter, oil, sugar, and powder sugar in your mixing bowl.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Blend well.  Add baking soda and cream of tartar and mix well again.  Add flour 1/2 cup at time until you’ve added all of it.  Mix well.  Drop by tablespoon size onto a plate and sprinkle generously with cinnamon-sugar.  Place on cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes.

Oh, and before, I forget….in case you were wondering what we had for dinner….
leftovers 😀
And nobody complained too much…
(though Cade did “mention” how wonderful his IHOP omelette was last night, as he was eating mac & cheese and a pulled pork sandwich with homemade bread…I’m not so sure he’s mine, except for the small thing that he looks exactly like me and acts exactly like my dad, but still……)

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Oatmeal Wheat Buns

Today was a fantastic day 😀  I just felt very domestic – which doesn’t happen very often!  I usually feel like I’m just trying to survive.  However, today was different –
I got the dishes done!
I got 2 loads of laundry done (even folded & put away!)
I fixed lunch for 2 lil’ toddlers (babysittin’ day)!
I made bread!
I had carpool!
I made a trip to Walmart with all three kids and I didn’t want to kill them when we got back in the truck!

I have a couple of side stories before I get to the recipe….

I realized this morning that Cade’s shoes were way too little, but I didn’t know how much until we got to the store and he started trying on shoes.  Please keep in mind that my “lil” 2nd grader is nearly 4 ft 9 in and wearing a size 5 shoe that apparently was too small.  I had him try on the biggest kids size: a 6.  TOO SMALL?! What?!  So we gathered up everyone and headed to the adult male shoe section…he tried on a man’s size 7 and. they. fit.  omg my 2nd grader is wearing a man’s size 7 shoe….
Can you tell which is Mike’s and which is Cade’s?

I also realized this morning as I was doing laundry, that Clark, my 3 year old is wearing underwear larger (size 6) than my 6 year old daughter, Reagan (size 4).  Nice…..when did that happen?  I’m very observant as you can tell…

Obviously a trip to Walmart was in order (though I really prefer Target, but I must admit that Walmart has some cheap tennis shoes…good for fast growing boys).

This brings me to my second story…

On the way home from WallyWorld, Reagan asked if we could eat at IHOP for dinner.  I told her she needs to be asking her daddy:

Rae: But he’ll just say no….
Me:  Not if you butter him up
Rae: What do you mean?
Me: Ask him sweetly and give him a hug & kiss
Rae (with an ornery smile): Ooookaaaay

We made a stop at the church so that Cade could show his new shoes to Mike, and Reagan worked her magic like a well oiled machine…lol  and we enjoyed dinner at IHOP  (I honestly didn’t care either way because I (unlike the rest of my family) actually enjoy leftovers, which is what we were going to have tonight)

Anyhooo, here’s the bread I made today and it is oh so yummy!

Oatmeal Wheat Buns
1 c warm milk
1/2 c warm water
1/4 c butter, softened
2 pkg instant yeast
1/4 c brown sugar
2 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 c cooked oatmeal, cooled
3 Tbsp potato flour
1 c whole wheat flour
3 1/2 c flour

Place wheat flour, potato flour, brown sugar, sugar, and yeast into mixing bowl.  Mix briefly.  Add milk,  water, and butter.  Mix well, and let yeast begin to bubble – about 2-3 minutes.  Next add salt, egg, and cooled, cooked oatmeal.  Make sure everything is mixed well.  Begin adding the white flour, 1/2 a cup at a time until you’ve added enough to make a soft dough (dough will be slightly sticky because of the oatmeal) and mix/knead on medium speed for about 5 minutes.  Place dough in greased bowl, cover with plastic or a towel,  and let rise for 30 minutes or until doubled.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Now make dough into hamburger bun shapes (I can usually get about 18) and let rise for another 30 minutes.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

hehe 😀

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Chicken Fajitas

Although I dread Mondays, I always look forward to Mexican Night.  I think this is why I subconsciously picked Mondays to be Mexican Night 😀  Not only is Mexican food my favorite, it’s also very easy to throw together!  Tonight we had Chicken Fajitas…mmmmmm!

Chicken Fajitas
3 uncooked skinless chicken breasts, sliced thin
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 Tbsp Fajita Seasoning (see recipe below)
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, sliced thin
1 green pepper, slice thin

Combine worcestershire sauce, soy, vinegar, and fajita seasoning.  Stir well and add chicken.  Marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature or cover and marinate in refrigerator for several hours.  Heat oil over high heat.  Add chicken strips and saute for 5 minutes.  Add onions and peppers and saute another 3 minutes.  Be careful to not overcook or chicken will be dry! Remove from heat and sprinkle with lime juice.  Serve with warm flour tortillas and favorite toppings.
Fajita Seasoning
5 Tbsp cumin
4 tsp oregano, crushed
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground red pepper (or more if you like it spicier)
2 tsp pepper
4 tsp garlic powder
4 tsp onion powder

Stir together and keep in air tight container.  Makes about 2/3 c of seasoning – enough for about 10 batches of fajitas.

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Biscuits and Gravy

I’m just gonna be honest with you.  There are times I wish I wasn’t a pastor’s wife.  I never doubted marrying Mike, I mean, he’s the guy I chose to marry.  However, I had NO IDEA what it meant to marry a pastor.  I was just marrying Mike.  There are a lot of joys, but there’s also heartache, and I literally mean heart aches, especially for this emotional & highly sensitive person.  And even though I look forward to going to church every week, it’s emotionally draining for this introvert.  Why is it that the church is supposed to be a safe place, but can house the meanest people?  Just goes to show that we are all just normal people, even if we call ourselves “Christian”.

Anyhooooo, I’ll come off my soap box now….

Today was just one of those days, and I ate a few too many of these and I still felt the need for some more comfort food for dinner tonight.  So, I made biscuits and sausage gravy.  Yeah….that hit the spot.

3 c flour
1/4 c sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
2/3 c shortening
1 c + 2 Tbsp milk
1 egg

If baking immediately, preheat oven to 475 degrees.  Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and cream of tartar.  Cut in shortening with a pastry blender or two knives.  Combine egg with milk and pour into flour mixture.  Mix well.  Pat out onto floured surface and cut into biscuits.  Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.  These can be frozen.  Just thaw before baking.

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