Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sweet Potato Fries

I discovered the fry cutter feature on my food processor this week. You can do this without it, but it was more fun to eat them in fry form.

2 sweet potatoes will easily feed 4 people

cut them up as close to fry size as possible, lightly coat with olive oil and add kosher salt to taste.

Spread them out evenly on a foil lined cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for at least 20 minutes, maybe longer.

The dip is important because it's the best.

Take a ranch dip packet and add it to sour cream, then add a hint of bbq sauce.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Funeral Potatoes

We called these "Yellow Potatoes" at our house growing up. My husband's family called them "Sunny Potatoes." I've mostly heard them referred to as "Funeral Potatoes." Every time there is a funeral at the church, the lunch afterward consists of ham, these potatoes, green beans, and rolls. I don't know where that started, but it is so. When did all the ladies learn to make this dish? Is it one of those things like roast chicken that grandmas just think everyone knows how to make?

(A word of warning: You will want to eat more of these than you should. After your first helping, sit back a moment, talk to the people around you, reflect on the meaning of life. If you dive into the second helping without doing that, you will feel like you've eaten a pound of concrete approximately 10 minutes after consuming the second helping.)

3 lbs. potatoes (I used Yukon Gold because I have 50 lbs. of Yukon Gold potatoes)

1 can cream of chicken soup

1/4 c. melted margarine

2 green onion, diced

1 soup can milk (I used more than that... and also 1/4 cup cream)

1 c. grated cheddar cheese (plus more to sprinkle on top)

1 pint sour cream

Boil potatoes and let cool.

In a medium sauce pan melt margarine. Add cream of chicken soup and milk (and cream, if you're cool like me). Heat on medium until combined, then add one cup of cheese. Stir until cheese is melted, then add sour cream and chopped green onions. Stir constantly until the mixture is warm and smooth. Do not let it boil. Big mistake, letting it boil.

Grate potatoes into a 9x13-inch casserole dish. Or have a big strong man do it.

Pour cheese sauce over grated potatoes, but don't mix.

Bake for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven, covered. Take tin foil off, sprinkle with cheese, and cook for another 20 to 30 minutes.

There is no picture of the final product because we took it (two pans full) to a family party where it was eaten. Every single bite. And we weren't even the only ones who brought this dish!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Another magazine find. As I was making this, I told David that these were going to be the best things I've ever made; and they were.


1/4 c warm water

2 1/2 t. yeast

1 t. sugar

1/2 c milk

2 eggs

1 c canned pumpkin puree

1/3 c margarine, melted

1/2 c sugar

1/2 t. nutmeg

1/4 t. cloves

1 t. salt

5-6 c flour


2/3 c canned pumpkin puree

1/2 c butter, room temp.

1 c packed brown sugar

2 T cinnamon

Cream Cheese Icing

4 oz. cream cheese, room temp.

3 T. butter

1/2 t. vanilla

2-2 1/2 c powdered sugar


1. Combine warm water, yeast and teaspoon of sugar in small bowl. Stir until yeast is dissolved. Let stand until froth doubles.

2. In mixer, combine milk, eggs, pumpkin, margarine, the 1/2 cup sugar, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Mix until smooth.

3. Add 4 cups flour to mixing bowl. Pour frothed yeast mixture on top of flour. Knead about five munutes, adding the rest of the flour 1/2 c. at a time. Dough should be smooth and moist, but not sticky.

4. Spray a bowl with non-stick cooking spray. Place dough in bowl. Cover with wet towel or plastic wrap that is sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Allow to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

5. While dough is rising, prepare filling. Place room temperature butter and pumpkin puree in small bowl. Using electric mixer, beat until mixture is smooth. In another small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.

6. pour dough out on slightly floured surface. Roll into a rectangle, dough should be about 1/4 inch thick. Spread the pumpkin/butter mixture over rectangle. Next, evenly spread the sugar/cinnamon mixture on top, slightly pressing it into the dough.

7. Roll up long side of dough, forming long tube. Cut tube with sharp knife about every 2 inches, making 12 rolls. Place rolls in lightly greased 9x13 baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes.

8. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

9. Bake rolls in oven until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla to make the frosting. Spread on warm rolls.

Now you all have to make them because this took forever for me to type.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sugar Cookies

I've been on a quest this fall to find a most excellent sugar cookie recipe. A magazine came in the mail with a recipe claiming that these cookies won a blind folded taste test every time.
I tried them and they are indeed amazing. This is now my staple sugar cookie recipe.

1/2 c. butter
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 T. milk
2 t. vanilla
3 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
pinch of salt

In a large bowl, cram together butter, sugar, eggs, milk and vanilla.

Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl.

Add dry mixture to wet ingredients in thirds, beating in between.

Chill for 1 hour.

Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface and cut into shapes. (I prefered it a little thicker than thin. Thin is crispy, thick was more chewy and cakey.)

Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. Do not over bake!

1/2 c butter (softened)
1 t. vanilla
3 T milk
4-5 c. powdered sugar

Cream butter, vanilla and milk together, and gradually add the powdered sugar while mixing until you have a stiff but creamy frosting.

Holiday Cookies!

Every year (okay, for the last two or three years) the Food Network has sent me recipes for 12 cookies at the beginning of the holiday season. I tried to build a bandwagon one year and I had Mom and Makenzie come over for a cookie-making day. That was fun, right? I've looked through the recipes for the 2009 cookies (they have short videos SHOWING us how to make the cookies - huzzah!) and decided that this year I'm adding Hazelnut Tea Cookies (secretly Mexican Wedding Cookies only with hazelnuts - remember back in 2004 when Katy was all about some hazelnuts?) to my repertoire. If it goes well, I'll post the recipe. If you'd like to have a cookie day before the Christmas season gets to be too much and you don't feel like baking anymore, click on the links.
In 2007 we made Jam Thumbprints. They tasted wonderful, but I have a problem using my Prize-Winning Raspberry Jam for cookies. Then again, someone could be using my jam as salsa with his tortilla chips.
Have a Cookie Day! Post your recipes! We totally need more treat recipes on this blog.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Comfort Food: Grandma Carol's Scalloped Potatoes

Do you all make this all the time? I do. It's one of my favorite dishes to bring to new moms. Everyone can die of a heart attack of not surprise that I've added cream where Grandma used canned milk. Whatever. :)

(I came across this random photo of Grandma and Grandpa. Don't they look delighted about those homemade pillows? Grandma was such a classy dresser.)

4 to 5 Yukon Gold potatoes (of course you can use russets or even red ones or white ones - Yukon Gold are my faves)

1 small onion, sliced

1 10-oz. can cream of mushroom soup

1/2 c. milk

3/4 c. cream

Cheddar cheese



Butter a 9x13-inch casserole dish. Slice potatoes as thinly as you can and make one layer of them in the casserole dish. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the layer and add a few onion slices. Repeat the layers (adding the salt, pepper, and onion on top of the potato slices each time).

Mix soup, milk, and cream (add more or less cream depending on how juicy you like it) and pour over layered potatoes. Cover with tin foil and bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Uncover and top with cheddar cheese. Bake for 30 more minutes. (Why must all comfort food take so long to cook?)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Apple Cider Doughnuts

I was so excited to find this recipe! Hearing Jen talk about the cider doughnuts on Vermont apple farms always made me drool. I didn't have a doughnut cutter so I used a biscuit cutter. I also fried the scraps, which reminded me of Mom's homemade scones in Oakley. Where's that recipe, eh?

2 red apples such as Cortland or McIntosh
2 1/2 cups apple cider
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 TBS vegetable shortening
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup powdered sugar
Vegetable oil for frying

1. Core and coarsely chop the apples (do not peel). Combine with 1 1/2 cups cider in a medium saucepan over medium heat; cover and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking until the apples are tender and the cider is almost completely reduced, about 5 minutes. Puree with an immersion blender or in a food processor or a Magic Bullet until smooth. Measure the sauce; you should have 1 cup. (Boil to reduce further, if necessary.) Let cool slightly.
2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, salt and nutmeg in a medium bowl.
3. Beat 2/3 cup granulated sugar and the shortening in another bowl with a mixer on medium speed until sandy. Beat in the egg and yolk, then gradually mix in the applesauce, scraping the bowl. Beat in half of the flour mixture, then the buttermilk and vanilla, and then the remaining flour mixture. Mix to make a sticky dough; do not overmix!
4. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper and pat into a 7-by-11-inch rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
5. Meanwhile, make the glaze; Simmer the remaining 1 cup cider in a small saucepan over medium heat until reduced to 1/4 cup. Whisk the powdered sugar until smooth and glossy, then set aside. Mix the remaining 1 cup granulated sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon in a shallow bowl; set aside for the topping.
6. Heat 2 inches of vegetable oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Cut the chilled dough into 12 rounds, using a floured biscuit or doughnut cutter. Slip 2-3 doughnuts at a time into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, 1-2 minutes on each side, adjusting the heat as needed. Transfer to the paper towels to drain.
7. Dip one side of each doughnut in the cider glaze, letting the excess drip off; dip just the glazed side in the cinnamon-sugar, if desired. Serve warm.

Chocolate-Spot Cookies

This recipe comes from a Martha Stewart Halloween magazine from 2004. I love, love, love these! I have made them every Halloween and Christmas since I got the magazine. Other brownie-like cookies with M&M's have tried and failed! These are just delicious. Sometimes I make a batch and save about 1cup of the dough in a small container in the fridge, then every once in a while I'll get a spoon and eat a bite of it. That lasts a few days. And yes, I know it's wrong, but I still do it. Neener, neener.

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
12 TBS (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups Halloween-colored M&M's

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt together into a large bowl.
2. Put butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low, beat in flour mixture. Stir in 1 cup candies.
3. Drop dough by the tablespoon onto baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Press remaining 1/4 cup candies into tops of cookies.
4. Bake cookies 8-10 minutes.