Sunday, March 27, 2011

Roasted Garlic Swirl Bread

I came up with this bread recently and now it is one of my favorites! It is french bread with a swirl of roasted garlic, parmesan cheese, italian seasoning and olive oil.

First, make a batch of french bread dough.

  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon water


  1. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, yeast and salt. Stir in 2 cups warm water, and beat until well blended using a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, knead in enough flour to make a stiff dough that is smooth and elastic. Knead for about 8 to 10 minutes total. Shape into a ball. Place dough in a greased bowl, and turn once. Cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled.
Meanwhile, slice tips off of 3 heads of garlic. drizzle with olive oil and wrap with aluminum foil. Bake at 400F for 30 minutes. Let cool enough to handle and then squeeze the cloves into a bowl. They will easily pop right out of their skins.

In the bowl with the garlic, stir until pasty:

1/2 tsp salt
2-3 Tbs olive oil
1 1/2 tsp dried italian seasoning
2/3 cup of parmesan cheese

Punch down the dough and divide it into thirds. One third at a time, roll the dough into a large rectangle - until it is about 1/2" thick. Sprinkle evenly with 1/3 of the garlic mixture. There won't be enough to spread and coat the dough, just try to get little blobs of it distributed as evenly as possible. Roll up the dough tightly and pinch to seal. Place on a greased baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough. Allow to rise until doubled. To make the loaves prettier, brush with a beaten egg and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake at 375F for about 30 minutes or until golden brown and done. Cool for a few minutes, if you can wait, and cut into slices for serving.

Tastycake Cupcakes

Mmmm! Better than the real thing! Use my Tasty Cake recipe and make cupcakes instead. Let them cool completely.

Combine the filling ingredients in a mixer until fluffy:

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup shortening
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 pinch salt
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Spoon filling ingredients in a pastry bag that is fitted with a decorating tip that's got an opening about 1/4" across. Stick the tip about 1/3 of the way into each cupcake center and squeeze the bag until it reaches the top of the cupcake.

Frost with the Tasty Cake Chocolate frosting and enjoy!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Garlic Pan Chicken

I had pulled some chicken breasts from the freezer the other night, planning to grill them, but when the time came to grill, it was too cold to go out. I've always been under the impression that cooking chicken breasts in a pan [not talking about fried chicken here!] with no sauce resulted in little flavor and dry meat. Boy was I wrong! These were very tender and full of flavor.


4 chicken breasts
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 Tbs oil

Lay the chicken breasts on a cutting board and, holding your knife blade parallel to the cutting board, cut each chicken breast in half so that it is half as thick as before. I hope that made sense - it was really hard to explain!

Now, combine the remaining ingredients and rub them into the chicken. Chill for at least an hour.

Heat the oil in a pan and sautee the chicken for 5-8 minutes on each side until the juices run clear and it's cooked through. Very simple! You can also vary the spices to suit your tastes.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Green Cake

Just in time for St. Patty's day... I didn't have any shamrock cutters or I would have used them instead. All of the recipes for this cake came from allrecipes, so I'm just going to link them. This was my first time ever using fondant for cake decorating. It was surprisingly easy and fun! Although, if I do this fairly often, I'm going to end up looking like Hercules. It takes a lot of muscle to roll the fondant!

I used:

David's Yellow Cake (with green gel food coloring)
Buttercream Icing
Marshmallow Fondant

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Pinto Beans & Sausage

Beans & Rice are my comfort food. That and Lucky Charms.

This recipe makes a TON. We had it for days & I finally ended up freezing the rest. The beans taste best served over rice and topped with sharp cheddar.

The base is the refried bean recipe I use.

2 onions, diced
6 cups dry pinto beans, rinsed

2 jalapenos, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
18 cups water
2 Tbs chili powder
1 Tbs brown sugar

1 lb polish sausage, diced

Combine everything except the sausage in a large crockpot. Cook on high for 6 hours, add the sausage & more water if needed to keep the beans covered. Cook for 2 more hours on high. Taste (don't burn your tongue!) & add more salt, if needed. Ladle over steaming bowls of rice. Serves 99,342. Leftovers can be frozen & reheated in the microwave.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sugar Baby's Brownies

This is what a brownie should be like. Crusty on the top, dense, sturdy, fudgy, chocolatey, rich and not at all cakey. Sugar Baby (my 12 yr old) made these recently and I quickly tossed aside my old recipe and clung to this one. (Thank you, Sugar Baby, I'm forever indebted to you!) She adapted the recipe from Deep Dish Brownies, which she found on allrecipes. Here's what she did:

  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Thoroughly combine all the ingredients.
3. Bake 40-45 minutes or until the brownies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Cool before cutting, if you can wait. If not, enjoy them with a spoon and a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top to cool them enough so that you don't burn your tongue. ;)

P.S. The recipe doubles easily to fill a 9 x 13" pan.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Country Style Ribs

Easy and delicious. That's a recurring theme around here.


As many country style ribs as you want (we used 8 for the 8 of us)
garlic salt
your favorite bbq sauce (or teryaki even)

Place the ribs in a single layer in a baking dish. Sprinkle with garlic salt & bake, uncovered at 250F for 2 hours. Drain the grease & liquid and baste with bbq sauce. Bake for another 2 hours at 250F.

P.S. I recommend leaving the fat on while they're cooking. They taste so much better that way.