Saturday, October 25, 2014

Welcome to my nightmare

I am part of a group that posts recipes based on music. For October I chose the song "Welcome to my Nightmare" by Alice Cooper. And believe me this recipe has been a nightmare to perfect. ‪#‎MusicalEats‬
My family LOVES croissants. I have worked on making them for over 20 years. I never could quite get it right until recently. I started weighing all my ingredients in grams and that did the trick. I found a great recipe from Jan Hedh and then tweaked it to make it my own.  

Classic Croissant Recipe 

For 16 Sandwich size, 24 large, 48 minis
125 grams water
21 grams yeast….not quick rising
150 grams milk
65 grams sugar
15 grams sea salt
510 grams Wheat flour….Extra High Protein…..King Arthur’s Sir Lancelot works well
300 grams unsalted butter, for rolling into the dough
1 egg and a pinch of salt, for brushing

1. Stir out the yeast in the water in a large bowl. Whisk in the milk.
2. Pour the flour, sugar, and salt in and knead until the dough releases from the edges of the bowl, for about 5 minutes…….you can use a standing mixer with a dough hook for this. Put dough into a lightly oiled bowl covered with a lid. Let it rise for about 2 hours until doubled in size.
3. Push together the dough by quickly turning it and pressing out the air. Put it back in the plastic container, cover and let sit in the refrigerator overnight.
1. Cut a cross on top of the dough. Roll it out in 4 directions on a lightly floured surface. Turn a quarter circle for each time you roll the dough out.
2. Beat the cold butter with the rolling pin to soften it and put it in the middle of the dough. The butter should have the same consistency as the dough to avoid layering.
3. Fold the 4 corners over the dough and make sure that the butter is completely contained and will not leak out.
4. Flour the dough and the table lightly. Roll out the dough into a rectangle, 16”x28”, using a ruler. Roll from the inside outward. Brush the flour off the surface. NOTE: Tape off the dimensions of the rectangle for easier measuring BEFORE rolling out the dough.
5. Fold together the dough in 3 parts……like a letter. Wrap in plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes in the refrigerator so that the tension in the dough does not destroy the layers.
6. Repeat the process twice. Then let the dough rest for 30 more minutes to release the tension.
7. Roll the dough into the rectangle, flouring the table lightly while rolling. Lift up the dough now and then to prevent it from curling up. Be careful not to destroy the rectangle. The perfect thickness is 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch. Use a pizza cutter to straighten up the edges.
8. Divide dough into 4 rectangles then cut each rectangle into 2 triangles. (For 24 croissants….divide into 12 rectangles, for 48 croissants divide into 24 rectangles).
9. Roll them together into croissants and put them on 2 trays with parchment papers. Bend the ends in toward the middle to form a crescent.
10. Let them rise until doubled in size in a turned off oven, at a maximum temp of 86F, or the butter will melt.  Let rise about 90-120 minutes.
11. Preheat the oven to 435F.
12. Bake the croissants for about 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Take them out of the oven and let cool on rack.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Mama Said There Would Be Days Like THIS!

Here it is 9am and I feel swamped already.  Exactly HOW does that happen? I thought that being "retired" meant days of lounging around and doing only what you wanted to do....hahahahahaha. 

When I got married and began to have children, I had the same type of feeling. It seemed like everything was so very difficult. First, there was "trying" to get used to my hubby. When we were dating it seemed like he walked on water.  Then the reality of everyday living hit but we managed to find our way. Next, the babies started coming....and oh my how life changed! Even though I did have the luxery of being able to be a stay at home mom, it seemed like I was always behind.

When my oldest started Kindergarten, I would clip the school lunch menu out and post it on the refrigerator each week. She loved that! My little one would ask continually, "Mommy what's for supper?" Sometimes it was about 30 minutes until supper and I still didn't have a clue. And then it dawned on me.....why couldn't I write a menu each week and post it on the refrigerator???  Snap!! Boy, did my life become more streamlined and I had so much more time to do other things.  So, for about 30 years now I have written a menu and plan my grocery shopping around it.  It has saved me so much time and money!  Sometimes I have to swap meals around because of unexpected happenings but because I planned ahead I was able to do that.

So since my day is so busy today, I am swapping for the spaghetti and meatballs I had planned for Friday. I make up meatballs in advance, cook them and freeze them; so all I have to do is take some out of the freezer. I also make my own spaghetti sauce and either freeze or can it; so it's already made. So it will take me about 15 minutes today to make supper. Carla is a very happy camper!

I'm sharing my meatball recipe with you today. It is so easy.  Make some up today and freeze them for your next spaghetti and meatball day!
I hope you have a wonderful today and an even better tomorrow......

Easy Meatballs

1 lb. Hamburger
1/2 t. Season Salt
1 1/2  t. Italian Seasoning
2 T. Dried Parsley

Mix together and form into meatballs. Don't over mix as it will make your meatballs tough.  Place on baking sheet and bake at 350 (F) for about 20 minutes or until done....depending how big your meatballs are.  Cool completely. For easier separation, freeze on a cookie sheet then place in freezer bag.
This recipe is easy to increase for large batches.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

My freezer is one of my best friends. I know it is silly sounding but I actually have 2 refrigerators and 2 freezers. One freezer is dedicated to the beef we buy from our friend who raises cattle. It is much better than anything I can buy in the grocery store. The other has veggies, casseroles, desserts and all kinds of other goodies that I can use especially on days like these. I woke up with a horrible migraine and I certainly did NOT feel like cooking anything. Fortunately I had a wide variety of meals to choose from. 

It is still chilly up here in the NW corner of Minnesota so for tomorrow I pulled out some Pinto Beans I cooked not too long ago. My hubby's tummy isn't feeling too good so instead of the Chili I had planned on making to go with them, I will make some Cheesy Cornbread and a yummy Coconut Rice Pudding inspired by Tyler Florence.  I've learned I don't have to have meat with every meal. 
I hope you have a wonderful today and a better tomorrow.....

thanks to and with my modifications....

Coconut Cream Rice Pudding 
(Inspired by
Tyler Florence)

3 cups cooked Rice* (Brown or White)
1 + 1/2 cups Coconut Milk
1 + 1/2 cups Milk
2/3 cup Sugar
2 tablespoons Butter
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Cinnamon, divided
3/4 cup unsweetened Coconut Flakes (optional)

1. Combine cooked rice, milk, sugar and butter in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add vanilla. Simmer for 20 minutes stirring every few minutes. It should still be soupy. Remove from heat.

2. Meanwhile toast coconut flakes in a dry skillet over medium low heat just until edges start to turn golden. Remove from heat.

4. Mix 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon into rice mixture.

3. Spoon pudding into a serving dish and dust with remaining cinnamon and toasted coconut. Serve warm or chilled.

*This is a thick pudding - if you like it creamier cut down on the rice by a half or a third.

Here we go.....

Today is the beginning of my blogging journey. I have thought about this for a long time and with encouragement from some dear friends I am here.
WHY am I writing this? I LOVE to cook! Pure and simple. I love to share my recipes, ideas and tips. Over the years I've learned some economical and time cutting methods that I would love to share with all of you.
Also I am now the caretaker of my mother. My daddy passed away 1 1/2 years ago. Mama always cooked great nutritious meals. But after Daddy died she lost interest in cooking and eats some of the strangest combinations of foods. For a while all she wanted to eat was Cheetos and Fudgesicles! She got very anemic and couldn't understand why. She doesn't have a really good appetite so I try to help her find different ways to incorporate nutritional foods into her diet. So I realized that there might be others in my same situation. Trying to get our parents to eat nutritionally....boy...didn't ever think I would say that! It's like trying to get your children to eat healthier.
So this is how I came up with my blog title....What are you eating?  I hope today is a good day for you.....and for me.