Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cheesy Broccoli Soup

This is a perfect Halloween dinner. Plenty of warmth, vegetables, and cheese to cover up said vegetables. This is one of our kids' favorites, especially when we serve it in hard rolls, they make the perfect size bread bowls for little ones! I simply use broccoli and carrots, but you could also add cauliflower. I cook the vegetables before hand, because they get nice and soft and make the cooking go way fast. It's also awesome with potatoes and ham. 

Cheesy Broccoli Soup

6 cups water
4 bouillon cubes (or equivalent Better than Bouillon)
1/8 cup minced onion (optional)
1 Head of Broccoli, steamed
4 Carrots, steamed (or just use a bag or two of California blend instead of fresh vegetables)
1/3 cup margarine or butter
3/4 cup flour
7 1/2 ounces Cheese Whiz (or 1 cup grated cheddar cheese)
Garlic Salt, to taste

Heat bouillon and onion in the water until just steaming. Add broccoli, and carrots, being careful not to boil. When your vegetables are nice and soft make a roux using by melting the butter and mixing in the flour. To the butter mixture add 1 to 1 1/2 cups of liquid from the soup and stir until combined. Stir the roux back into the hot soup and allow to thicken. Mix in the cheese and shake on some garlic salt if desired.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Baked French Toast

One of our family's favorite traditions is to eat breakfast for our meal after Church each Sunday, we usually just have pancakes or waffles, but sometimes I like to change it up. This French Toast is a family favorite that I adapted from a recipe that I found. It's delicious, and fairly quick to put together. I usually half the recipe, using 3 large or 4 smaller croissants, just depending on what will fill up our 9 X 9 baking dish.

Baked French Toast

6 large or 8 smaller croissants 
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
2 teaspoon vanilla, divided
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar, divided
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
Sliced fresh strawberries for garnish, about 2 cups
Caramel Syrup

Slice the croissants in half lengthwise and set aside. Meanwhile, in bowl of stand mixer or using electric mixer, combine cream cheese, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 3/4 cup of powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Spread mixture over one half of the sliced croissants and put back together like a sandwich. Slice the croissants in half, or even in quarters, whatever you need to do to get them to fit and fill up a 9 x 13 baking dish that you've lightly sprayed with cooking spray.

Whisk together milk, eggs, 1 tablespoon vanilla and 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and pour over the croissants, trying to get it evenly distributed. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 8 to 10 hours.

When you're ready to bake the french toast, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake with the foil on for 30 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake for an additional 20 to 30 minutes. Allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes after you remove it from the oven and serve with sliced strawberries, Caramel Syrup and whipped cream if you desire.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

M & M's Cookies

I got a new cookbook last week, and I've had a great time looking through it. It's called the Romney Family Table by Ann Romney. There were tons of recipes in this one that I wanted to try and I loved hearing about Ann's family traditions. This recipe was one of those that I marked to try. The best thing for me was they actually turned out in our oven! I halved the recipe and still ended up with almost 5 dozen cookies. I think next time I will take out about a half a cup of oatmeal and add the extra bit of light corn syrup, because when they cooled they were crispier than I would have liked. They still tasted delicious, and there's no flour in this recipe, looks like it's gluten free to me!

M & M's Cookies
The Romney Family Table by Ann Romney, page 18

2 cups sugar
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup butter
6 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups peanut butter (recipe calls for crunchy, but I only use light and it worked fine!)
2 to 4 tablespoons light corn syrup
4 teaspoons baking soda
9 cups oatmeal
1 (12 ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips
1 (19 ounce) package M & M's

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In the mixing bowl of your stand mixer, cream the sugars and the butter. Add the eggs, making sure to add just one at a time and beat the whole thing until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, peanut butter, corn syrup and baking soda and mix well. Stir in the oats gradually by hand, I just used a spatula, making sure to get them well mixed in. Add chocolate and M & M's. I used a small cookie scoop, but a large on would work great too! Place the balls of dough on parchment lined cookie sheets and bake for 15 to 18 minutes. Allow to cool for several minutes on the cookie sheets before removing to wire racks. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Peach Crisp

Our daughter just had a birthday, and instead of cake she asked for Peach Crisp. I was uncertain whether there would still be fresh peaches at the end of September, so I bought the peaches earlier in the month, made the filling and froze it. I was uncertain how well this would work, because of the extra water added by freezing, but it seemed to turn out perfectly. I made sure to take the peaches out 24 hours before I wanted to use them. This recipe was awesome!

Peach Crisp
from Our Best Bites

For the filling:
3 /12 lbs ripe but firm peaches (about 6-8), peeled, pitted and sliced into 3/4 inch wedges
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon lemon juice
pinch salt
pinch cinnamon
pinch ground nutmeg

For the topping:
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
6 tablespoons cold butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

To make the filling, combine the peaches and sugar in a large bowl and allow to stand for 30 minutes, toss occasionally. Drain the peaches in a large bowl, using a colander, to reserve peach juices. Whisk 1/4 cup of the peach juice with the cornstarch, lemon juice, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl. (That's all of the peach juice you need for this recipe, so you can either discard the rest, use it in a smoothie or do what I did and just drink it!) Combine the juice mixture with the peaches. This is where I put the mixture into a freezer bag and froze for two weeks, or you can put them into either an 8 X 8 or a 9 X 9 pan that's been sprayed with baking spray.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To make the crumb topping, combine the oats, brown sugar, flour, nutmeg and cinnamon. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the cold butter into the mixture. Sprinkle evenly over the peaches. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp. Allow to cool a bit before serving. It's awesome with ice cream or whipped cream on the top! 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I know that I posted this recipe earlier, but I didn't have a picture with it. I decided to re-post it with a picture that I was able to take last week. These cookies are super yummy and are just flying out the door at our 5th South location right now, and they are guaranteed to fill your house with that yummy fall spicy smell. 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter, softened

3 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups pumpkin
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
5 cups cake flour (5 cups all purpose works too!)
1 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat butter and sugar together for about 2 minutes or until smooth. Add eggs, pumpkin, vanilla and spices. Continue beating for about 2  additional minutes.  Add rest of ingredients to bowl and mix just until flour disappears and all ingredients are combined.
Using a large cookie (or ice cream) scoop, place dough onto parchment lined baking sheets or lightly greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 10-12 minutes. Let cool completely on baking sheet before transferring to plate.