Posted in Baked goods, Baking, breakfast, Brunch, Food

Baked Amish Apple-Nut Oatmeal

Our apple trees produced a sizable amount of misshapen apples this season. Luckily, they are perfect for this yummy recipe. Warm cinnamon, apples, nuts and oats make this the perfect breakfast. Spoon into small Tupperware containers for a fast weekly morning meal or an on the go breakfast at the office.

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, beaten
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing the dish
2-3 baking apples, peeled and cubed, (about 2 cups)

Baked Amish Apple-Nut Oatmeal

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease an 11×7” baking dish with butter or cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients in the order listed. Mix well.
Scatter the apples evenly on the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Pour the oatmeal mixture over top and spread evenly. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the top is golden and the oats are slightly set. Serve warm or at room temperature. Top with yogurt or milk, if desired.

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Posted in Baked goods, Baking, Bread, Brunch, Food

Dilly Buttermilk Bread

I found this recipe in an old community cookbook. The ingredient ratios seemed off but I had extra buttermilk on hand and thought I’d give it a try with a few adjustments. I tweaked the flour quantity and flavor ingredients a bit and the loaf turned out splendid. I threw everything in the bread machine during the late evening hours so the bread was finished before I headed to bed. I sliced the loaf in the morning for hearty breakfast sandwiches to include bacon, eggs, and cheese. Yummers!

Dilly Buttermilk Bread (Bread Machine)

1/2 cup warm buttermilk (70° to 80°)
1/2 cup warm water
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoons dried dill weed
1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup buttermilk


Directions

  1. In bread machine pan, place all ingredients in the order listed. Select basic bread setting. Choose medium crust color. Bake according to bread machine directions (check dough after 5 minutes of mixing; add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water or flour if needed).
Posted in appetizers/snacks, Baked goods, Baking, Food

Union Square Cafe Bar Nuts

As the summer garden begins to flourish, I find myself trimming down my rosemary plants a little too quickly these days. You see my family is addicted to this recipe for party nuts. The aroma and flavor of rosemary mixed with the kick of cayenne pepper makes for an irresistible treat. Buy canned mixed nuts when they are on sale because these are gone shortly after they come out of the oven. You’ll find yourself making a new batch quite frequently.

The original recipe developed by The Union Square Cafe’ in New York can be found here.

Union Square Cafe (Big Batch) Bar Nuts

4 cups lightly salted mixed nuts (2-8 oz. cans)
2 Tbsp butter, melted
4 Tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 tsp cayenne pepper
4 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp kosher salt

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Toast nuts on baking sheet until lightly golden, about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine melted butter, chopped rosemary, cayenne pepper and brown sugar; stir until thoroughly combined.
In a large bowl, toss hot nuts with butter and spice mixture. Make sure to do this right away while nuts are hot. Season with salt and toss to coat thoroughly.

Posted in Casserole, Dinner, Food, side dishes, Soup

Easy Spaetzle

While recently visiting family in Ohio, I purchased a few pounds of Spaetzle at a local specialty store. The price was quite expensive so I thought I might try to make them myself. After reviewing a few recipes on-line, I came up with this simple basic recipe. I now freeze batches of this dumpling-like egg noodle for soups, stews, and casserole dishes so we can inexpensively enjoy them year-round.

Easy Spaetzle

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 8 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup evaporated skim milk

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Mix in eggs and milk. Stir until the batter is well combined and develops bubbles. Let the loose batter sit for 5-10 min. Stir again.
  • Bring a large pot of water over high heat to a boil, add 1 tablespoon of salt to the water; reduce temperature to a simmer. Next, place a colander into a bowl to drain the cooked speatzle.
  • Press the batter through a spaetzle maker into the simmering water.
  • Working in batches, after using about 1/3 of the batter, let spaetzle cook until they float to the top. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking to the bottom of the post. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the spaetzle to the colander so that excess water can drip off.
  • Serve the spaetzle immediately or saute them in butter to crisp. If you don’t serve or saute them right away, add 1 or 2 Tbsp of butter to the hot spaetzle to prevent them from sticking together.If desired, freeze in quart-sized freezer bags for later use.
Flour, salt, eggs, and evaporated milk
Prepare a loose batter.
Use a Spaetzle maker working in batches.
Stir in a pat of butter to prevent sticking.
Freeze in quart-sized freezer bags.
Enjoy in your favorite noodle dishes.
Posted in Baked goods, Baking, Bread, breakfast, Cake, Food

Yummy Cake Mix Banana Muffins

Freeze your overly ripe bananas and pull them out for this delicious recipe!

Yummy Cake Mix Banana Muffins

3 overripe bananas, mashed
3 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 (15 oz) box yellow cake mix
1 tsp vanilla extract
optional: 1/2 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with muffins liners (or spray with nonstick cooking spray) and set aside.
In a large bowl combine the bananas, eggs and oil/butter until mixture is smooth. Add the cake mix and gently mix until combined. DO NOT over mix. Optional: fold in chopped nuts
Scoop batter into the muffin pan filling the cups 3/4 of the way full (use an ice cream scoop for ease). Top each with a sprinkle of streusel crumble and tap lightly into batter.
Bake for 18 – 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.


Streusel topping –
1 ¼ cup
½ cup light brown sugar tightly packed
⅓ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
6 Tbls.cold butter, cubed

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk or stir together flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and salt. Use a fork to cut the butter into the dry ingredients to make course crumbs. Scatter evenly over muffins, pie, or coffee cake before baking. Store left-over streusel in fridge or freezer for future baking projects.

Posted in Baked goods, Baking, Cake, cookies, Food

Gooey Bars

Here’s a traditional gooey bar that uses a cake mix for its base. I’ve added pecans to the cake mix layer as I love the texture of cheese cake with an added crunch.

Gooey Bars

  • 1 package yellow cake mix
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 4 large eggs, divided
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine cake mix, melted butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 2 eggs. Pat into a 9×13-inch pan. Evenly press chopped pecans into batter.

In a clean bowl, mix cream cheese, remaining 2 eggs, and remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla with an electric mixer. Slowly beat in confectioner’s sugar. Pour over cake layer.

Bake 35-40 minutes; cool completely before cutting.

Posted in Baked goods, Baking, Cake, cookies, Desserts, Food

Chewy Cake Mix Brownies

Even though I have plenty of made-from-scratch brownie recipes, this is my “go to” for a quick, easy, and tasty bar. It’s a jiffy of a recipe and one of my favorites.

Chewy Cake Mix Brownies

1 (15 oz) box chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 7×11” baking pan. Combine cake mix, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl; mix until well combined. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
Transfer the batter to a greased 7×11” or 8 X 8” baking dish.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow brownies to cool completely before cutting

Posted in Baked goods, Baking, breakfast, Brunch, Cake

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake

While the blistering summer temperatures have risen to well above 90 degrees, I’m itching for cooler weather. I couldn’t resist making this delicious fall coffee cake while the kids were home this weekend. K whipped up the recipe and we sliced into the warm cake during Sunday breakfast. So good!

Cake
4 eggs
1/4 cup water
1 package yellow cake mix
1 package instant Pumpkin Spice Pudding
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sour cream

Crumble
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Glaze
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 to 3Tablespoons milk

Grease a 9×13” pan and preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To make the topping: In a small bowl, toss together the topping ingredients until mixed well; set aside.
To make the cake: In another larger bowl, mix the eggs, water and cake mix together until blended and smooth.
Add the dry pudding mix, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, oil, and sour cream; mix until combined.
Put half of the batter into the pan and then add half of the mixed topping. Carefully spread the rest of the batter on top and finish the cake off with the rest of the topping.
Bake the cake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes or until the cake tests done with a toothpick inserted in the center. Allow the cake to cool on a wire rack.
When the cake is no longer warm, mix up your glaze. Whisk together the confectioner’s sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Add two tablespoons of milk. Drizzle the glaze over cake.

Posted in appetizers/snacks, Chicken, Dinner, Main Dish, Salad, salads, Uncategorized

Chili Lime Chicken Salad

There’s a wonderful Mexican restaurant that I often visit when I head down to Purdue University for a day on campus. This salad is meant to mimic the delicious chili lime salad that is offered on their daily menu. The flavors are amazing as the mixture of the sweet mango and the chili garlic sauce play with the acidity of the lime to combine for a burst of flavor. I often make this at home for a week night meal. While we enjoy this recipe, I sure wish I had the original … it’s just so good!

Chili Lime Chicken Salad

For the salad:

In a large bowl, mix together:
3-4 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, diced
1 large mango, diced
1 avocado, diced
3 green onions, chopped
1 cup English cucumber, diced
3 Roma tomatoes, diced and lightly salted

For the dressing:

Using an 8 ounce mason jar with a tight fitting lid. Add 1/3 cup light olive or canola oil and mix in the following items:

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 ½ teaspoons chili garlic sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Combine all dressing ingredients in the mason jar. Shake until completely combined; taste. If needed, add more of any ingredient to suit your tastebuds. Refrigerate before pouring over salad.

To add a bit of crunch, crush 1 cup of tortilla chips to sprinkle over the dressed salad. Serve cold.

Posted in Chicken, Dinner, Food, holiday, Soup, Uncategorized

Creamy Chicken Rice Soup

During the recent Thanksgiving holiday, the weather turned cold. I had an idea to cook up a large pot of hearty soup; a comfort food that is always a good idea during the Midwestern winter months. I had plenty of leftover vegetables that I’d purchased to make stuffing and to season other dishes. So, Friday morning I threw a few chicken breasts into a pot of simmering water and set out to make a soup for those looking for a comforting bowl of deliciousness during the weekend.

While I could have used my leftover turkey for this recipe, I chose to leave it for sandwiches as the family likes to pile turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce on a hearty wheat bread for traditional turkey leftover sandwiches. I did, however, toast some super thin Pepperidge Farm’s bread to act as a crispy accent to the smooth and creamy soup. I hope you try this delicious soup as this one warms the soul…

Note: I keep chicken stock base in my pantry for times when I don’t have chicken broth on the shelf. Follow the directions on the side of the container to substitute this base for the canned broth.

Creamy Chicken Rice Soup

1 tablespoon oil
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup long grain rice, uncooked
3/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) chicken broth
3 tablespoons flour
1 can (5 ounces) evaporated milk
2 cups chicken breast, cooked and cubed


In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat; sauté carrot, celery and onion until tender. Add garlic; cook until vegetables are translucent. Stir in rice, seasonings and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered about 15 minutes, until the rice is tender. In a small bowl, mix flour and evaporated milk until smooth; stir into soup. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in chicken and heat through.