Friday, August 28, 2015

Crepes

We love breakfast for dinner! It's almost like eating dessert, especially with a dish like this! Crepes are easy to make. The hardest part is standing in front of the stove and cooking them when all you want to do is eat them! You can make them sweet or savory. This is a sweet version, but if you wanted to try them with a savory filling, you can leave out the sugar and vanilla. After making the batter, it's best to refrigerate it for at least an hour. This helps the crepes not to tear when flipping, but if you don't have the time, you can skip that step.

Crepes
2 cups flour
3 eggs
1 TBSP oil
2 C milk
3 TBSPs sugar
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt

1. Combine ingredients in a blender and mix until well combined.
2. Refrigerate batter for 1 hour or overnight.
3. Heat a 10 inch round nonstick pan over med-high heat. Spray pan with nonstick cooking spray.
4. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter into pan. Swirl pan to evenly spread out batter. Cook until it starts to turn golden on the bottom, about 1 minute, and then flip gently with a spatula. Cook for about 30 more seconds. Repeat with remaining batter.

Makes about 14 crepes

Here's what I put in mine! That pink stuff is strawberry cream cheese. YUM!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Slow Cooker Greek Yogurt

I love using my slow cooker! I never would have imagined that I could use it to make yogurt!! My sister and mom have been making this, and after trying it at my parents house, I decided I needed to make it myself. It takes quite a bit of time, but is easy, and totally worth it. Plain Greek yogurt is like a blank canvas. You can turn it into anything! It works in smoothies and even as sour cream. I followed guidelines on The Tasty Cheapskate but I'm posting instructions for exactly how I make it. I have a few notes and pictures of the steps at the bottom. 

Greek Yogurt
1 gallon of 2% milk
1/2 cup plain yogurt (store bought, or reserved from previous batch)
Slow Cooker
Thermometer
Flour sack towel or thin, fuzz-free tea towel
Large strainer

1. Pour 1 gallon of milk into slow cooker. Cover and cook on high until it reaches 180 degrees. This can take anywhere between 2-4 hours. It takes me just about 3 hours.
2. After milk reaches 180 degrees, remove lid and turn off the slow cooker. Let it sit until the milk cools to 110 degrees. This takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes. Skim the film off of the top with a fork.
3. Once the milk has reached 110 degrees, scoop the 1/2 cup of plain yogurt into a bowl. Ladle some of the cooled milk into the bowl and whisk to combine. Pour the milk mixture back into the the slow cooker and stir it in.
4. Turn on the oven to 170 degrees. Let it heat up for a couple of minutes and then turn it off. Put the lid back on the slow cooker and take the crock out of the base of the slow cooker and place it in the oven. Let it sit for 6-8 hours.
5. After the time has passed, remove the yogurt from the oven. Reserve 1/2 a cup for next batch (if desired) and refrigerate.
6. Spread the towel in the bottom of the strainer. Ladle the yogurt into the strainer and set in the the sink or in a large bowl to drain. Let it drain for 5 hours. Scrape the sides and bottom with a spoon or spatula a couple of times during this step to keep things flowing.
7. Scoop out the yogurt and refrigerate. DONE!

Makes about 5 cups of yogurt and 8 cups of whey.
Lasts about 2 weeks in the fridge.

My Notes:
I start this about 6pm. That has me putting it in the oven at about 11pm and then taking it our for the next step at 7am, and finishing at noon.
I put my strainer on top of an upside down plastic container and set it in a large bowl. You can just leave the strainer in the sink to drain, but make sure no one turns on the water!!
Next time I'm going to try adding vanilla bean.

 Milk heating up.

 180 degrees

 Cooling down with my specially rigged thermometer.

 Into the oven.

Straining

Look at all the whey!

 Either toss this or get creative.

Finished Yogurt

Monday, August 3, 2015

Blueberry Scones

I LOVE scones and these are amazing! They are fluffy and not dry, like a yummy biscuit, and not too sweet. I used blueberries because I currently have an abundance, but you could add any fresh or frozen fruit . Even without the addition fruit these are great, especially if you're lucky enough to have a little clotted cream on hand. 

Blueberry Scones
adapted from sixsisterstuff.com 
Scones
2 cups flour
2 tsps baking powder
3 TBSPs sugar
1/2 tsp salt
6 TBSPs cold butter, cut into TBSP sized pieces
1 cup heavy cream plus 1 TBSP
1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
Glaze
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 TBSP milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract or lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with baking mat or parchment paper and set aside.
2. In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Whisk to combine.
3. With a fork or pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture until each piece is coated and the size of small peas.
 4. Pour 1 cup heavy cream over mixture and stir gently with rubber spatula just until dough begins to form. Do not over mix.
5. Fold in blueberries.
6. Over lightly floured surface, knead dough a few times until you can form a ball. Flatten out dough into 8 inch circle.
7. Transfer circle to baking sheet and cut into 8 triangles.
8. Brush the top of each scone with remaining 1 TBSP of cream.
9. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until scones begin turning golden brown around the edges.
10. While scones are baking, mix powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla OR lemon juice in a small bowl. After scones have been removed from oven, drizzle glaze over the top. Serve warm.






Monday, July 13, 2015

Fresh Berry Yogurt Bundt Cake

This cake is amazing! The perfect use for some fresh picked berries. I loved making bundt cakes because they are pretty without having to decorate them. I'm going to try this with some different berries and post an update soon.

Fresh Berry Yogurt Bundt Cake
adapted from aspicyperspective.com
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
3 TBSPs lemon juice, divided
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
8 ounces plain or vanilla, Greek yogurt
12 ounces fresh strawberries, diced
1 cup powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10 inch bundt pan.
2. In a medium bowl, add 2 1/4 cups of flour, baking soda and salt; whisk to combine. Mix in the lemon zest and set aside.
3. In a mixing bowl with paddle attachment, add butter and sugar and cream together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Mix in 1 TBSP lemon juice and vanilla.
4. Add the flour mixture and the yogurt, mixing just until combined. Toss the berries with the remaining 1/4 cup of flour. Carefully fold them into the batter.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan. Place in the oven and reduce the temperature to 325 degrees F. Bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool at least 20 minutes in the pan. Turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
6. After cake has cooled, whisk together the remaining 2 TBSPs of lemon juice and powdered sugar. Drizzle over the top of the cake.


Friday, June 26, 2015

Slow Cooker Lasagna

This is the answer to all of your summer lasagna woes! It's going to be in the 80s for the next week, which might not seem hot, but it will also be in the 80s in my house, which is sometimes uncomfortable. The last thing I want to do is turn on the oven and bake myself. Slow cooker is the way to go! Make sure you use a good flavorful sauce for this lasagna. Next time I might add some chopped spinach to the cheese layer.

Slow Cooker Lasagna
adapted from kraftrecipes.com
1 lb. ground beef or ground turkey
1 jar (24 oz.) of your favorite spaghetti sauce
1 cup water
1 container (15 oz.) ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 egg
2 TBSPs chopped fresh parsley
6 lasagna noodles, uncooked

1. Brown meat in large skillet; drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce and water.
2. In a bowl, mix ricotta, 1-1/2 cups mozzarella, 2 TBSPs Parmesan, egg and parsley.
3. Spoon 1 cup meat sauce into slow cooker; top with layers of half of the noodles (broken to fit) and half of the cheese mixture. Cover with 2 cups meat sauce. Top with remaining noodles (broken to fit), cheese mixture and meat sauce.
4. Cover with lid. Cook on LOW 4 to 6 hours or until liquid is absorbed. Sprinkle with remaining cheeses; let stand, covered, 10 min. or until melted.

Oops, phone pics are a little blurry. This is the finished lasagna ready to top with the final bit of cheese.

Cheese is melted and it's ready to serve.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Spinach and Bacon Queso

This is a queso upgrade. We like to make the regular velvetta and diced tomatoes with green chilies version. BUT now I'm taking it up a notch. Bacon makes everything better...and well, cream cheese does too. With the spinach, I feel like I'm eating a veggie. :) Can't go wrong with this dip! 

Spinach and Bacon Queso
adapted from kraftrecipes.com
5oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained
16 oz. Velvetta, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1 can (10 oz.) diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled

In microwave safe bowl, combine spinach, Velvetta, cream cheese, and tomatoes. Microwave for 3 minutes. Remove and stir. Return to microwave and cook for 2-3 more minutes or until cheese is completely melted. Stir in bacon. Serve hot with tortilla chips.


Thursday, June 4, 2015

Chicken and Biscuits

I made this for dinner last night and it was a hit! Almost like a chicken pot pie, but so much easier, and just as tasty. It made the perfect amount for my family with no leftovers.

Chicken and Biscuits
adapted from kraftfoods.com
1 can cream of chicken soup
3/4 cup sour cream, divided
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
2 cups frozen mixed veggies, thawed
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup Bisquick
3 TBSPs milk

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix soup and 1/2 cup of sour cream in a 2 quart baking dish. Add chicken, veggies, and cheese; mix until combined.
2. In a medium sized bowl, combine remaining sour cream, Bisquick, and milk. Stir until dough forms.
3. Drop heaping tablespoonfuls onto top of chicken mixture making 6 biscuit mounds.
4. Bake 35-40 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown.

Serves 4-6