Monday, March 31, 2008

Soft Pretzels

Do you love those soft pretzels from Pretzelmaker at the mall? Well, I so do, but my wallet so does not. Here's a recipe that was pretty easy and very yummy, just like I was at the mall. If you don't eat them all right away, freeze them and re-heat in a toaster oven. Sorry again for no pictures, I often forget to take one. I'll add it later!

1 pk Active dry yeast
1 c Warm water
2 1/2 To 3 cups all purpose flour
2 tb Olive oil
1 tb Sugar
6 tb Baking soda in 6 cups water
Coarse salt

In a bowl , dissolve yeast in water. Add 1 1/2 cups of the flour,the
oil,and sugar. Beat for about 3 minutes to make a smooth batter.
Gradually stir in enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough.
Turn out onto a floured board and knead until smooth and satiny (about
5 minutes) adding flour as needed to prevent sticking. Place dough in
a greased bowl; turn over to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm
place until double (about 1 hour).

Punch down dough, turn out onto a floured board,and divide into 12
pieces. Shape each into a smooth ball by gently kneading. Then roll
each into a smooth rope about 18 inches long, and twist into a
pretzel shape. Place slightly apart on a greased baking sheet turning
loose ends underneath. Let rise, uncovered,until puffy (about 25

Meanwhile, in a 3-quart stainless steel or enameled pan (not aluminum)
bring soda water to a boil; adjust water to keep water boiling
gently. With a slotted spatula, lower 1 pretzel at a time into pan.
Let simmer for 10 seconds on each side,then lift from water,drain
briefly on spatula, and return to baking sheet. Let dry briefly, then
sprinkle with coarse salt and let stand,uncovered, until all have

Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until
golden brown. Transfer to racks; serve warm with butter, mustard or
even cream cheese. Or let cool completely,wrap airtight,and freeze.
To reheat, place frozen on ungreased baking sheets and bake in a
preheated 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until hot. Makes 1
dozen pretzels.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tortilla Cheese Soup--Kerry Chapman

1 Can Cream of Chicken soup
1 Can Cream of Mushroom soup
1 Can Fiesta Nacho Cheese Soup
10 oz. Mild Red Enchilada sauce
10 oz. Milk
10 oz. Can of Chunk Chicken
Bring all to a slight boil over medium heat for 10-15 minutes stirring frequently.  For the crock pot--mix all ingredients, cover and cook High for 2 hours.  Serve with shredded cheddar cheese, tortilla chips and tortilla pieces...Enjoy!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Kevin's Ultimate Potato Gratin

This recipe is Kevin's personal adaptation of a Tyler Florence recipe that immediately became a favorite in our house, and would be a great side with your easter ham or turkey--it's what we'll be having!  Enjoy..

Bacon--use 1/2 to entire package of presliced bacon depending on how much you like bacon--we use turkey bacon
2 Tblspn unsalted butter
4 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 bunch fresh chives, finely chopped to 1/4 Cup
2 Pounds Baking Potatoes, unpeeled and thinly sliced (about 1/8" thick, sliced immediatel  before using so they don't turn brown. 
2 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream
2 Cups Grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 375

Cut bacon into 1/2 inch chunks.  Place a small skillet over medium-low heat and fry the bacon until crisp.  Drain on towels and set aside.  Can be done ahead of time.

Add 1 Tblsp butter to bacon fat in frying pan.  When it has melted, add 1/2 the chopped garlic and give it a quick stir with a wooden spoon to soften.  Add the bacon, season with salt and pepper.  Remove from heat and add most of the chives, reserving a little for garnish.

Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 " casserole dish.  In a large bowl combine potatoes, 1 1/2 cups of cream, 1 cup of parmesan and remaining garlic.  Season with salt and pepper.  Using your hands, place a layer of potato mixture in casserole.  Sprinkle with parmesan, then bacon and repeat layers until mixture and bacon  gone, ending with some bacon on top.  Pour remaining 1 cup of cream over top and sprinkle with a bit more parmesan.  Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour.  Remove foil and bake for 30 minutes more to brown.  Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.  Garnish with remaining chives. 

Monday, March 17, 2008

Irish Soda Bread

A staple in Irish homes, Irish soda bread is quick and easy. For feast days the Irish add fruit and spices to make this a special bread. This is an appropriate recipe for the Feast of St. Patrick or any other Irish Saint.


Sift the flour and the dry ingredients into a bowl. Make a hole in the center and stir in the buttermilk. If too dry, add a little more milk. Make a rather stiff dough, divide into 2 loaves, and bake on a greased pan in a moderate oven at 350° F. for 45 minutes.

2 pounds flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Recipe Source: Feast Day Cookbook by Katherine Burton and Helmut Ripperger, David McKay Company, Inc., New York, 1951

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Grapefruit Sunrise

Now for those of you who know me know I love my grapefruit! I just found this recipe, haven't tried it yet...but plan to very soon! It sounds delicious!

Grapefruit, oranges and strawberries are a great combination for this refreshing addition to breakfast; it also makes a great dessert!

Prep and Cook Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:Juice of 2 grapefruit
Juice of 4 oranges
1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
2 tsp honey
Sections from 1 grapefruit
1/2 cup sliced strawberries

Directions:Place grapefruit juice, orange juice, 1 cup strawberries and honey in blender and blend until smooth.
Strain into 2 chilled glasses.
Top with grapefruit sections and sliced strawberries.

Serves 2

Healthy Cooking Tips:Chill the fruit first for cold juice or add some ice cubes while blending. Try adding your favorite protein powder for a more complete breakfast or snack.

If you want the whole nutritional breakdown...check out this link: Grapefruit Sunrise Nutrition

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Jenny's Crock Pot Chili

1 lb Ground Beef
1 lb Bacon, diced
1/2 Cup Chopped Onions
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Ketchup
2 tsp. Dry Mustard
1 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Pepper
2 15oz Cans Green Beans, drained
2 14.5oz Cans Baked Beans
2 15oz Cans "Chili Magic"
2 16oz Cans Dark Red Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed

Brown ground beef and bacon on stovetop.  Combine all ingredients in slow cooker.  Cover and cook on HIGH for one hour.  Reduce heat to LOW and cook 7-8 hours.  Great with cornbread!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Let's get cooking!

Hi all.......if you have found this website, I am trying a new concept. I love to cook, and even more I love simple easy recipes with easy to find ingredient. If you're anything like me, you may find yourself stuck in a recipe rut every now and then and desire to expand your menu with a new recipe, and I have learned that everyone seems to have different styles that can offer a plethora of decisions if we tap into it. I have begun using the computer to file my favorite recipes and websites and find it an easy way to store then vs. the traditional cookbooks. So my idea is to share recipes via this website, and here's the criteria.

1. I must know you, or you must be a trusted friend of my friends to log in. If you are then
you can gain the password and access to post on the website.
2. Only recipes are to be posted, or other cooking tips as well as any helpful kitchen or household hints. Feel free to upload pictures to go along with these posts.
3. Since this will be a "community" website, suggestions and comments can be made for the look and function of the site, however all changes aside from posts should be made by the facilitator, and I will act as such.
4. When posting, please put the recipe name in the Title slot so finding them again is made easier.
5. Have fun sharing!

So, if this is something you may be interested in, post a comment or email me at and we'll get it going!  Any ideas you have for the website, please do share.