Monday, March 20, 2017

Copycat "Cracker Barrel" Buttermilk Pancakes


Last week I made this copycat "Cracker Barrel" recipe from food.com.  These pancakes were so good!  Much like the ones from Cracker Barrel.  The whole family liked them a lot, so it is definitely going to be my go-to recipe for pancakes from now on.


"Cracker Barrel" Buttermilk Pancakes
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt ( heaping)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk
oil (for cooking) or butter ( for cooking) butter
Pancake syrup, for serving

DIRECTIONS Mix all ingredients together until incorporated, but do not over mix. Heat a griddle or non stick pan under med. - med. high heat, and grease with a little butter or oil (more if you like a crispy edge). Drop batter using a 1/4 cup measuring cup onto hot pan. Once the bottom side is golden, flip and brown remaining side. Serve with pancake syrup and butter, if desired.
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Monday, March 13, 2017

Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits

Long time no post, huh?  I honestly can't believe I haven't posted in over a year. Soon my daughter and oldest son will be helping me with this blog (YAY!) and so we will have more recipes to share!  It seems that blogging has lost it's way through the social media era, but to me it's more like a scrapbook of life and family, so I'll share some when possible....or when I think about it.

Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits

Adapted very slightly from original recipe found at this link:  cookingmaniac.com.

2½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons cold butter
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoon salted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425. Sift flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl. Transfer to a food processor. Cut butter into cubes and add to flour, then pulse 6 or 7 times until the mixture resembles rough crumbs. (Alternatively, cut butter into flour in the mixing bowl using a grater, fork or a pastry cutter.) Return dough to bowl, add buttermilk and stir with a fork until it forms a rough ball (don’t worry if it is a little sticky). Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll it into a rough rectangle, about an inch thick. Fold it over and gently roll it down again. Repeat 6 times. Gently roll out the dough some more, so that it forms a rectangle. Cut dough into biscuits using a floured glass or biscuit cutter. Do not twist cutter when cutting; this will crimps the edges of the biscuit causing it not to rise. If you have scraps just reform a rectangle and cut additional biscuits. Place biscuits on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Serves 6 to 8.
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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

I found a homemade enchilada sauce recipe and adapted it to include and exclude some ingredients.  It is delicious! I've made it twice already, and used it for both beef and cheese enchiladas.  I like Old El Paso in a can, but it never seems to make "authentic" restaurant-style sauce, so we're really excited about this recipe!

I made enchilada sauce many years ago - during our first year of marriage - but it bothered me to start with oil and flour (I don't know why because so many things do!).  I guess I got over that.... :)

HOMEMADE ENCHILADA SAUCE
2 cups water
2 teaspoons chicken base
3- 4 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
A pinch of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sugar
3 Tablespoons plus 1/4 teaspoon white flour
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 - 8 ounce can tomato sauce

In a 2 quart sauce pan add the oil over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, lower the heat to low and add the flour. Mix with a wire whisk for about 1 to 2 minutes stirring constantly. You want to see a little bubble going on. Then add the chile powder and whisk in till fully mixed.

Add 2 cups of water and the 2 teaspoons of chicken base. Turn the heat up to medium again and stir till fully mixed.

Add the cumin, garlic powder, salt, cinnamon and sugar stirring after each addition. Bring to a boil as you continue to stir. Once boiling, stir and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat.

As the sauce sits, it may form a "skin" on top.  Stir occasionally to break that apart, until ready to use for your enchiladas.
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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

3 Cheese Italian Bread Pizza Sandwiches


I've posted this sandwich before, but with plain bread, but just in case you missed it, I wanted to share this newly-found Italian 3 Cheese Bread idea with you! This makes four sandwiches.
Melt several pats of butter on medium-hot griddle.  Sprinkle with garlic powder.
Take four slices of 3 Cheese Italian Bread slices and place on griddle.
Sprinkle with grated or sliced mozzarella cheese.
Top with pepperoni (I used all I had, but would use more in the future.)
Place another slice of bread on top.  Add more butter and garlic, if needed.
Flip sandwiches over to grill the top side.
Grill until nicely browned and crisp.
Serve with warm marinara sauce.
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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Best Homemade Flour Tortillas

While our son was home from college during his Christmas break, he helped cook a lot.  We told him he couldn't go back because he was so helpful and made such delicious food!  Cooking and baking during Christmas gets kind of hectic at times, so having him as a huge helper was wonderful.

For my husband's side of the family, we had a day where most of us were able to get together. We had Mexican food and he made homemade tortillas.  They were WONDERFUL!  He was here again over the weekend and made them for us.  

I wish he would take up his little brother's offer:  "I'll pay you $5.00 a week to stay home!"  Ha ha!  He's sure fun to have around - and helpful!  We eat better when he's around, too!  He spends more time cooking great things than I do. I seem to cook in a hurry.  He inspires me!

HOMEMADE FLOUR TORTILLAS
via seriouseats.com

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons lard or vegetable shortening (He uses lard.)
3/4 cups warm water (approximately 110°F)

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Rub lard into flour mixture using your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add warm water and work dough with hands until completely combined and no dry flour is left in bowl.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth, about 1 minute. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes. Divide dough into 8 equal pieces; roll each piece of dough into a ball. Cover dough balls with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let rest an additional 15 minutes.

Preheat cast iron skillet, griddle, or comal to 500°F. Place one ball of dough on a lightly floured surface and pat down into a flat disc. Using a rolling pin, roll dough out to an 8-inch round. Place dough in skillet and cook until bubbles form on top side and bottom side has brown spots, 30-60 seconds. Flip tortilla and cook until second side develops brown spots, 30-60 seconds longer. Transfer tortilla to a plate and cover with clean dish cloth. Repeat with remaining balls of dough. Serve immediately while still warm.

Special notes about the recipe can be found here: http://www.seriouseats.com/2015/05/how-to-make-tex-mex-soft-chewy-flour-tortillas.html
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Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!


From my family to yours: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Bakery Tasting Cake from a Mix

For our youngest son's 13th birthday cake last week, I decided to try some of the tips I had seen on making a cake mix taste more like a bakery cake.  It was really good!! It was moist, denser, and even richer tasting.

Here is what you do:  Using a cake mix, substitue milk for the water, butter for the oil, and add an extra egg.  In the chocolate cake, I used Starbuck's Frappuccino in place of the milk. It tasted really good, but I had accidentally turned off the oven and didn't realize it, so they didn't bake well (it's a new oven, so I'm just not used to everything, yet!). However, with the new oven, the birthday cake cooked so evenly it was amazing!!! I didn't realize that was possible! Ha ha!!  


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