Wednesday, March 18, 2009

In the Kitchen

I've been trying lots of new recipes lately...which in turn means I've been inviting relatives to join us for supper (hey, if something doesn't taste good, I'd much rather have less of it leftover than lots of it, ya know?). But...there've been only rave reviews! Well, the two dishes I made that I won't be making again were for our family only....thankfully! (and not intentionally)

So, here are some of the recipes I've tried, along with the links where to find them (or the actual recipe if it isn't online), and our thoughts on them! Enjoy....

For our last Fun, Food, and Fellowship, I was supposed to bring I thawed out some delicious Carter's strawberries and whipped up some shortcakes. We sell a great mix at our market, so I made a batch of those, then I tried this recipe that has had me salivating for awhile. Wow, were those wiped out QUICK! This is definitely a keeper!

Chocolate Shortcake (from some recipe collection card that came in the mail trying to get me to sign up....which I didn't, but definitely not because of this recipe!)

2 cups baking mix (I used bisquick low fat)
2 tbs unsweetened cocoa (I used Watkins, of course!)
1/4 tsp nutmeg (again, Watkins)
3/4 cup (6 oz) low fat vanilla yogurt
3 tbs honey (I used local honey, which I'm sure made these better!)
2 tbs vegetable oil (I used Watkins grapeseed...much healthier!)

Combine baking mix, coco, and nutmeg, mixing well. Stir in yogurt, honey, and oil until a soft dough forms. Drop by large spoonsfuls on an ungreased cookie sheet 1" apart. Bake at 425 about 15 minutes and cool for 20 minutes. Makes 6.

I did a double recipe of these and know I'll be making them all during strawberry season, probably a triple recipe at a time (yes, for our family alone....)
Irish Soda Bread

I found this recipe as I was cleaning through some things a couple weeks ago. It's one I made often years ago before I lost the recipe....glad I found it again! A former boss gave me this recipe, no idea where he got it from!

6 c bread flour
1 tbs baking soda
1 tbs baking powder
3 tbs corn starch
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2.5 c buttermilk
1/2 cup currents (although raisin will do in a pinch)

Add dry ingredients and currents together then pour buttermilk all at once, stirring just until a soft dough is formed. Knead for a minute or two. Divide into two portions and shape into a round loaf. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Use a sharp knife to make the sign of the Cross on the top of each (this releases the steam while baking but also has religious significance in many Irish homes...of which we are not, Irish, that is, although Tony thinks there is a small possibility somewhere in his heritage).

Yummy! (although Susanna picked out all her raisins...)
Whole Wheat Herbed Bread

(made this before, it is DELICIOUS, and I have another loaf in the bread maker as I type...) Again, I have no idea where I got this recipe; it's jotted down on a scratch paper!

1 cup water
2 Tbs olive oil (again, I used Watkins grapeseed oil...healthier!)
1 tsp salt
1 tbs sugar
1 tbs fresh OR 1 tsp dried rosemary (yep, Watkins is best!)
1 tbs fresh OR 1 tsp dried sage (ditto from above)
3 cups whole wheat flour (I use stone ground and found pure whole wheat is quite heavy in this bread, so I do half whole wheat and half white)
2 tsp yeast

Place ingredients in bread machine in the order listed; use 1.5# loaf, whole wheat setting.
Palachinta (okay, that's the phonic spelling, I don't know the true Hungarian spelling...but these are also known as blintzes, crepes, think pancakes, etc.) I got this recipe from my first "real" cookbook -- Our Favorite Recipes -- which I think is also known as The Mansfield Cookbook" (one of those group-made spiral bound ones)

This isn't a new recipe for us; I make it quite often, much to my kids' delight! I did make these the other night when my brother- and sister-in-law and their family were over, just in case the other new recipes I was trying would fail...but they didn't, and we all were extremely stuffed!

2 eggs
2 tbs vegetable oil (yeah, the grapeseed....)
1 cup milk
3/4 c flour
1/2 tsp salt

This is the original recipe; however, I also add 1 tbs sugar to mine while using 2/3 cup flour instead of 3/4 cup. The sugar browns them nicely while the batter is thinner. Oh, I also add a dash of Watkins vanilla.....

Beat all ingredents together until very smooth (my kitchen-aid works GREAT...although my kitchen-aid currently isn't working at all...boohoo!) and refrigerate at least half an hour (yeah, I never do that.....we're too eager for the palachintas!)

Heat a 7" non-stick skillet to very hot (then turn down heat), then pour 1/2 soup ladle of mixture in the skillet, turning to cover the bottom of the skillet. Cook for a minute or two before flipping over and lightly browning the second side, too. I've found that by heating the skillet very hot initially, I get great results cooking them.

cover one side with your choice of jam or jelly or cinnamon sugar, then roll up like a tortilla. Enjoy! My favorite filling USED to be cinnamon sugar, but my Hungarian grandma does a mixture of brown sugar and finely chopped walnuts that is DELICIOUS! Another favorite filling is 1/2 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup cream cheese, 1/4 cup powdered sugar blended together very well, then spread on each.

Watch out for little hands...these disappear faster than they can be made!
I think I've shared before that Sunday evenings are snack night in our house. Our big meal of the day is lunch time. This past Sunday, I made these yummy treats (all of Liz's postings on chocolate and peanut butter made me really crave something similar!).

Peanut Butter Bars (again, no idea where I got this recipe written on scratch paper!)

1 c melted butter or margerine
4 c peanut butter (chunky or smooth, your choice!)
5 c powdered sugar
1 c brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla (only Watkins will do!)

Blend together well; stir in 1 package dark chocolate chips. Press into cookie sheet. Cut and serve.

This makes ALOT. I made only half batch and put it in a 9x9 pan. Even then, they were pretty thick. Next time I'd do half a batch in a 9x13. They are VERY good though!

Wow, I have alot here already....I'm gonna post this and work on a second email that has the recipe links to other try some or all of these. They got GREAT reviews at our house!!!

Wanna know where to get great Watkins products? Check out my Watkins website at


precious grandma said...

Wow! I have the same peanut butter bar recipe. No idea where I got it. Maybe after the fire.
How do you get by with using oly a 7 in. skillet for your polichinta? I have to use a 10 ich one and triple or quad. the recipe! I usually use a triple when I make it for dad. (That way there's some left overs for the next day. Few, but some.
Another good topping: Sour cream with just pwd. sugar to taste.
Caleb asked me to make them for his birthday breakfast...and so I did since he's now in the double digits.
Love you all

Martha said...

We also love crepes, polechinta, whatever. We just use plain cinnamon and sugar or real maple syrup. Sometimes we'll put scrambled eggs in for a wrap. Delish! The peanut butter bars are going to be made in this house VERY soon!