Sunday, October 23, 2011

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

October 23, 2011
By special request, here is our family coffee cake recipe.  It usually gets made for any family gathering that takes place in the morning, and always on holidays.  Measure out the dry ingredients the night before, and morning prep will be a breeze!

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/3 cup melted butter

streusel topping:
1 cup chopped walnuts
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
6 tablespoons softened butter

Combine cake ingredients, pour into buttered 9 X 13 inch pan.  Mix streusel ingredients until crumbly, sprinkle over cake batter.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

*Notes:  Streusel may be mixed in a food processor, just pulse a few times until roughly combined.  If cake batter seems too stiff, add a couple  of tablespoons of milk at a time until it appears easier to spread.

Lila's Lemon Shortbread

August 13, 2011
Retirement is going to make me fat.  I swear, all I want to do is bake.  So, in the spirit of sisterhood (honorary male sisters are welcome!) I will share my newest favorite recipe.  This recipe has a danger factor* of five out of six, because it's ridiculously easy to bake, won't heat up your kitchen too much because it bakes in 20 minutes, and is delicately delicious.  Perfect for a hot summer day with a glass of lemonade or iced tea.

Lila's Lemon Shortbread

1 cup of softened butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups all purpose flour
zest of one lemon
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Turbinado sugar to sprinkle on top

Mix butter and granulated sugar.  Add in lemon juice and zest (finely chopped), flour and salt.  Pat dough into a buttered 9 X 13 pan, sprinkle with turbinado sugar, and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool before cutting into squares.  Repair to the garden with Browning's Sonnets, turn off your cell phone and imagine you've gone back in time.

*Danger factor one to six,  based on difficulty to resist.  One being as difficult to resist as leftover fish, and six being as difficult to resist as my favorite cheesecake.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Cream of Spinach Soup

January 3, 2011

Slightly decadent, creamy, and you can feel virtuous because you're eating a veggie. It's twoo, it's twoo!

2 Tbs butter
1/2 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 small to medium russet potatoes, cubed
3 cups water
1 pint heavy cream
6 oz cream cheese
2 to 3 oz shredded swiss or gruyere cheese
8 oz chopped frozen spinach

In a dutch oven, saute onion in butter until slightly softened. Add in cubed potatoes and cover with water, boil until soft when pierced with fork. Smash with potato masher, leaving as chunky as you like. Pour in cream, add cheeses and simmer, stirring occasionally, until cheese is melted. Add spinach and season lightly with salt and pepper.   Simmer until hot.

Makes approximtely 6 servings. Leftovers refrigerate and reheat well. Very satisfying on a cold winter night.

Spicy Chicken Veggie Soup

November 13, 2010
Souper easy, always delicious soup, great for a cool autumn day!

2 quarts chicken stock
2 boneless chicken breasts (fresh or frozen)
2 large sliced carrots
2 celery stalks, chopped
½ can Rotel
½ bag of frozen white corn kernels
Salt and pepper to taste

Throw all ingredients into a crockpot early in the day.  If using frozen chicken, set up to cook before 9:30 or 10:00 AM on high, if fresh chicken is used, cook on low, anytime before noon will do.    Just before serving, lift out chicken breasts and shred with two forks, then add back into soup.  Add any additional veggies you like, green beans work well.

Serve with corn muffins.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Autumn Muffins

In honor of autumn, pumpkin, spices and butter!  Mmmmm, I can smell these already!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix together dry ingredients:
1 cup flour
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt

Melt 4 tablespoons of butter, then mix into
½ cup milk
1 beaten egg
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
1 cup pumpkin puree

Quickly stir together wet and dry ingredients, pour into buttered muffin tin, bake for 25 minutes.

If you like a little streusel topping, mix ¼ cup brown sugar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 2 tablespoons flour and 2 tablespoons melted butter, spoon on top of batter in tins before baking.


Friday, October 1, 2010

Kick A** Fresh Salsa

A family favorite - great on chips or salad, even served with cucumber chunks as a salad!
Worth all the hand chopping.

2 large tomatoes diced
1 finely minced jalapeno
2 finely chopped scallions
1/2 lime, juice only
chopped cilantro
salt to taste

Combine.  Adjust heat by adding more or less jalapeno, note that the seeds are hotter than the flesh, so seed the pepper to keep the heat down.  Best when eaten fresh - same day.  If you really want to be hot stuff, fry up your own tortilla chips.  Cut up corn tortillas, fry in 1 to 2 inches of hot oil, salt and serve.

**After handling pepper, don't touch your face until scrubbing hands well with soap and water!**

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Stir Fry Green Beans

September 23, 2010
Stir Fry Green Beans

1 lb fresh string beans
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves pressed garlic
1/4 - 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Heat oil in wok, or large non-stick skillet, on medium high heat. Cut stem ends off green beans, rinse and pat dry. Toss into heated wok/skillet, add remaining ingredients, stir fry until crisp tender. Check for doneness with fork.

These are fabulous - and spicy, so cut back on the pepper flakes if you don't like the heat!