Granola Bars

I got this recipe from a blog friend.  We really like them.

4 T butter

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup honey

2 cups granola (I use my homemade granola)

1 cup rice cereal (Rice Krispies, etc.)

1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup peanut butter chips

I doubled this recipe and used a 9 x 13 inch pan.  I sprayed my pan before mixing these up.  Measure the granola and rice cereal into a bowl.  Combine the butter, brown sugar, and honey and bring to a boil.  Stir until the sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes.  Remove the saucepan from the heat.  Pour over the granola and rice.  Mix well and put into pan.  Press down firmly to evenly fill pan.  I put some wax paper over it and pressed down.  Sprinkle with the chips and then let cool.  Cut into bars when cool.

Chocolate Sugar Cookies with Peanut Butter Frosting

We found a new cookie recipe on Pinterest to try.  They are definitely a keeper. 

IMG_9677

2 cups flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

9 Tablespoons butter, softened

2 Tablespoons sour cream

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

1/2 Tablespoon vanilla

Peanut butter frosting:

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

3 Tablespoons butter, softened

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 & 1/2 cups powdered sugar

3 – 4 Tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350º.  In a mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip together sugars, butter, and sour cream until light and fluffy.  Stir in egg, egg yolk, and vanilla.  Slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until incorporated (dough will be thick).  Scoop dough out 2 tablespoons at a time and roll into a ball.  Place on lightly greased cookie sheet and evenly flatten to about 1/2 inch thick.  Bake for 9 – 10 minutes.  Allow to cool and then frost with peanut butter frosting.  Sprinkle with chocolate sprinkle if desired.

Pickled Beets

This is another recipe from Harold’s aunt. 

Cook beets about 15 minutes.  Skin the beets and then slice, or chunk.  Pack the beets into pint jars.

In a pot, bring the following to a boil:

1 cup vinegar

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1/4 tsp. ground allspice

1/8 tsp. cinnamon

Once this comes to a boil, pour over the beets in the pint jars.  Wipe the rims down, put lids on them, and water bath for 30 minutes.  This brine will do a little over three pints.

Apple Butter

I got the idea of this method from my aunt.  I peel, core, and cut my apples with my peeler, corer, slicer.  I throw them into the crock pot.  I put the lid on it and then turn it on low for 18 – 24 hours.  I will occasionally stir the apples as it cooks down.  The apples do turn brown as they cook.

Once the time is up, I run the apples through my strainer and then season it with sugar, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.  I just add these spices to taste.  We don’t like our apple butter too sweet, so we do less sugar than most recipes call for.  Once that is just right to our taste, I put into pint jars and process in a water bath for 10 minutes.

April Menu

Here is my menu for the month of April.

April Menu

French Toast Muffins

I tried a new recipe for breakfast.  I found the recipe from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen for French Toast Muffins.  We decided that we liked the recipe, but we have made a few changes.

2 cups flour

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

pinch of salt

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup melted butter

6 Tablespoons syrup

powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 400º.  Line muffin pans with muffin liners (I won’t do that next time).

In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, vanilla, eggs, and melted butter.  Sift the dry ingredients into the buttermilk mixture and mix just until incorporated.  Divide the batter into 12 muffin cups and then bake until golden brown.

Use a toothpick to poke holes in the muffin tops and gently spoon syrup onto each muffin.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.  (We each did this step on our own plates).

 

 

March Menu

Below is the link to my March menu.

March Menu

French Bread

I tried a new recipe yesterday for French Bread.  I will cut the sugar down next time to what I have it at below in the recipe.  I will also try and put in some whole wheat.  It made some great garlic bread and french toast.  (print recipe)

French bread

2 1/2 cups warm water

1 Tablespoon yeast

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons salt

about 6 cups all-purpose flour

Mix the warm water, yeast, and sugar in a large bowl.  Once it has bubbled up, mix in the salt and flour.  I used my kitchen aid mixer and let it knead it.  It will be sticky, and I think I ended up using about 7 cups or so of flour.  Let the dough rise until doubled.  Punch the dough down and divide it in two.

Roll each ball into a large rectangle (the length of your sprayed baking sheet).  Starting at the long edge, roll each rectangle into a long loaf.  Pinch all seams good, and place, seam side down on your cookie sheet.  Cover and let rise until your loaf is the desired shape.  Slash the top of the bread in 4 places and then bake in a 375º oven.  I did start mine out at a higher temp and then lowered the temp after about 10 minutes. 

Chicken and Winter Squash Chowder

I found this recipe online.  I did make a few changes with what we had.  We really liked this soup.  I think next time I would double the kale.  (print recipe)

1 cup boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed

1 cup onion, diced

1 cup celery, diced

1 cup carrots, diced

1 cup butternut squash, peeled and cubed into 1/2 inch chunks

2 Tablespoons tomato paste

2 Tablespoons flour

1/3 cup apple cider

2 cups chicken broth

1 teaspoon oregano

2 cups kale, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

In your dutch oven, brown chicken lightly over medium heat.  Add the celery, onions, carrots, squash, and oregano.  As vegetables soften and begin to brown, add tomato paste.  Sprinkle flour over the vegetable mixture. 

Reduce the heat to low, add chicken broth and cider, simmer 25-30 minutes.  Toss in the kale just prior to serving.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

February Menu

I had got out of the habit of making my monthly menus.  This morning I made myself sit down and come up with a menu for the month.  If you click on the red link below it should take you to a pdf file.

February Menu

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