Sunday, September 25, 2011

Recharge with the General R.S. Meeting

I look forward to each year when I can be recharged at the General Relief Society Meeting.  If you were unable to attend last night's meeting you can view it or read it online here.  As a mom I need a spiritual uplift and encouragement, and this did it for me last night.  Pres. Uchtdorf encouraged us to remember that we as individuals are not forgotten by the Lord.  He loves each of us and is aware of our needs.  The other thing I really got out of his talk is to remember to see the beauty of now.  Don't be so focused on getting the "golden ticket" of life and not enjoy the chocolate that is before us.  I'm so grateful for his words of encouragement and love.  I hope you take the time to study these words because they can help you be a better mother, wife, and sister.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Healthy Living--Homemade Bread-updated

Whenever I can make something from scratch that is healthier for my family I try to.  At first the challenge is finding a good recipe and then it's mastering it.  After many years of experimenting with many recipes I have found a winner.
This summer I took advantage of the free cooking class offered in my Cache Valley Savings Guide (have loved the coupons in here!).  The cooking class was at Love to Cook Kitchen Kneads (my favorite store).  The class was a whole wheat bread baking class.  I learned so much from this class plus got a free bread pan and two loaves of bread!  I would highly recommend taking this or other classes at the store.  I was the only person in the class so I was able to really get a lot from the class because I felt like I could ask as many questions as I wanted and have her repeat things.  One of the things I feel you have to experience is the feel of what the dough feels like.  If you put too much flour in you get a crumbly bread and if their is not enough flour the dough is hard to work with because it's so sticky.  Well I thought I would share with you the recipe they use.  I really like it because it uses 100% whole wheat and it tastes delicious even after several days of making.  Its great after freezing.  The texture stays together well for sandwiches and we love it for toast.  I like to make two batches in a day and freeze all but one or two loafs.  Then I only have to make bread every other week or so.
Whole Wheat Bread Recipe:
5 cups Warm Water (baby bath warm)
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup Dough Conditioner or 3 TB Dough Enhancer
1/4 cup Honey
1/2 Cup Gluten
2 TB SAF Instant Yeast
1 TB Salt

12 Cups Whole Wheat Flour, Divided
Mix water, oil, dough conditioner and honey in your mixer.  In a smaller separate bowl combine a few cups of flour, yeast, gluten, and dough enhancer and mix.  (I just add it one at a time in the mixer)  Add the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl and mix gradually adding a few more cups of flour.  When the mixture looks like a thick paste, add the salt.  Continue adding flour 1/2 cup at a time until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl cleanly.  The dough should be soft and moist but not sticky.  Put the lid on the mixer, turn up the speed one level and knead for 5 minutes.  Portion the dough into 4 (23 oz) loaves.  (These are pretty small loaf pans I have bigger loaf pans that take about 30-35 oz of dough)  Grease, yes grease with shortening your hands and counter.  You should not put any flour down on your counter.  Shape into loaves and put into a greased pan.  Let rise until doubled. Bake 25-30 minutes at 350 degree oven.  Internal temperature should be 190 degrees.

Some things I learned or have done differently since the class.
1-I bought a digital scale to weigh my dough.  If your pan has not enough dough in it you may raise your dough too much which will cause your bread to fall and be hard.  The dough fills about 3/4 of the pan from the bottom up.
2-I bought cinnamon chips at the store to make cinnamon bread--great for breakfasts!
3-When I put the dough in the pan, I know press it really good into the pan so their isn't any space at the bottom of the pan not filled with dough.  Before I will keep the rounded shape of the loaf and let it fill it.  That potentially will make your bread raise funny.
4-My temp. of the water is a lot less now.  I use to microwave the water and it was really HOT!
5- I always use both Gluten and Dough Enhancer and it really makes a difference.  This helps the bread raise better and you get a more consistent fluffier bread.
6-  I still raise my bread in a pre-heated oven (lowest temp of the oven) but the bread in and then turn the oven off.  This is what she did for the cooking class and it works so well.  Once the bread is raised, I take out of oven and preheat oven and then cook the bread.
7-I use to coat my counters with flour so it wouldn't stick, now I make sure the dough is not sticky before I put it out on the counter.  To test I stick my finger in the dough to see if it sticks if it does I add a little more flour.  Use Shortening on hands and counters to shape the dough.
8-When doing filled breads like cinnamon bread or pizza twists I now check the temperature before I take it out so it's not doughy.  Internal temp.  should be 190 degrees.
9-I use freshly ground wheat whenever possible.
10-I haven't had luck doubling this recipe because it just makes too much for my bowl.  Next time I'm going to try to 1 1/2 times the recipe.  I'll have to find my trusty calculator!
My next challenge is Homemade Flour Tortillas.  Anyone got experience in that?  I tried one recipe last week that didn't go too bad but I'm still going to search.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Quick and Easy Meals-Part 4

German Pancakes. 1/4 cube butter (melt in pan), 12 eggs, 1 cup sugar, 2 cups flour, 2 cups milk, 2 tsp vanilla, 2 tsp salt, Blend from the eggs down and pour in over the melted butter and cook at 400 for 15 minutes.  Serve with powdered sugar, jam or syrup.

One Dish Meal.  4 pork chops, 1 can cream of mushroom soup, 1 can milk, 1/2 medium onion cut finely, 2 cups sliced potatoes, 1 cup baby carrots, Season pork chops with salt and pepper and brown in oil.  Add cream of mushroom soup and one can of milk.  Stir until smooth.  Add onion, potatoes, and carrots.  Simmer ½ hour or until vegetables are tender. 

Chicken and Rice Casserole. 1 can cream of mushroom soup, 1 soup can milk, 3/4 cup uncooked regular rice,1 pkg dry onion soup mix, 4 chicken breasts, Mix mushroom soup with milk and dry onion soup mix Reserve 1/3 of this mixture.  Mix remaining with rice and pour into 9 X 13 pan.  Place chicken breast on top of rice.  Pour reserved soup over top of chicken, cover and bake in 350 degree oven for 1 hour and 15 min.

Ravioli Casserole. 1 jar spaghetti sauce, 1 pkg frozen cheese ravioli, cooked and drained, 2 cups cottage cheese, 4 cups mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, Mix cottage cheese and sauce together, Layer ravioli, sauce and cheese in dish, Bake uncovered at 350 for 30-40 minutes

Enchilada Casserole. Brown a pound of hamburger. Add a can of old El Paso Enchilada sauce and a can of corn. Layer in a casserole dish with taco shells broken in half and grated cheese. Bake in oven for about 20 minutes (350 degrees) or until bubbly! Yummy and easy!

Chicken Enchiladas.  Cook 2 chicken breast cut up with taco seasoning.  Mix this with 1/2 can cream of chicken soup, 1/2 carton of sour cream and 1 cup cheese, put in tortillas then cover with the other half of soup, sour cream and 1 more cup of cheese. 

Chili Pie. Canned chili and homemade cornbread on top.

Rotini. 12 oz rotini cooked with salt and olive oil in the boiling water then layer noodles, shredded cheese, parmesan, 1 pound ground beef, spaghetti sauce then shredded cheese again Layer all then bake 20 minutes.

Chicken. 6 chicken breasts, 1 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1/4 tsp black pepper cook for 1 hour at 350.  Serve with Rice.

Chicken.  Cream of chicken soup, 1 cup salsa, 1 cup sour cream, 4-6 chicken breasts.  Cook 1 hour at 350.  Serve with Rice

Website Helps website plans 5 meals for you with recipes, shopping lists.  They offer gluten free, basic family, and vegetarian plans.  It costs $5 a month or you can pay annually for $49.  They focus on Fresh Food, non processed foods.  -- Type in ingredients you have and it will find a recipe for you.  You can also search by how much time you have. --I love this blog.  It’s got lots of recipes and meal plans complete with shopping lists.  She gives some great ideas.  She has many gluten free recipes as well.

The most important thing about meals I think is you feed both body and spirit and your gather together and enjoy one another.  It doesn't need to be an elaborate meal to do this.  Happy Harmony at Home.  

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Quick and Easy Meals-Part 3

Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato Sandwiches, Egg Salad Sandwiches, Tuna Melts, Melted Cheese on Toast, Turkey Avocado.

Frozen Meals
      Take any meal you make and double it.  Label it well and freeze for another day.  Soups freeze well, casseroles, get more tips, ideas, and recipes for frozen meals go to:

Chef Salad lettuce and any of the following:  ham, turkey, cheese, eggs, beets, peas, carrots, spinach…

Mac Salad Cook elbow macaroni, add frozen peas, bacon, cheese, tuna, and salad dressing to taste

Chinese Chicken Salad:  Cabbage, Chicken, Ramen Noodles, Candied almonds and poppy seed dressing (2 TB sugar, 2 TB rice vinegar, 1/3 oil, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1 1/2 TB poppy seeds)

Sticky Chicken Salad.  3 chicken breasts, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1 cup bread crumbs, 1-2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped 2-3 tomatoes, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, 1/2 red onion, sliced thinly, Ranch dressing, Sticky Dressing, (2 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup Franks hot Sauce, 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar).  Dip chicken breasts in sour cream and then into the bread crumbs.  Bake on a cooking stone or deep fat fry until crispy and cooked through about 20-30 min at 350.  Take chicken out of the oven and slice chicken breasts into long strips.  Combine all sticky dressing ingredients in a sauce pan.  Stirring constantly on medium high heat, boil for only 1 minute.  Arrange salad with chicken strips, chopped lettuce, shredded cheese, red onions, tomatoes, ranch and sticky dressing.  

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Quick and Easy Meals-Part 2

Meal in a Bag-- Michelle and Trent Snow--Over 100 recipes for storable meals—the idea is to organize your food storage by meal.  You put all the ingredients for one meal plus the recipe in a bag.  My mom has really enjoyed having these meals in a bag ready to go.  They make a great gift as well.  

Cauliflower Cheese Dish. Cook one head of Cauliflower in microwave with ¼ cup water for 5 ½ minutes, Cover the top lightly with Mayo, sprinkle with paprika, Cover with cheddar cheese, Cook again for 1 minute

Baked Potato-  Use a potato bag so your potatoes are not soggy.  See this website to make a potato bag.

Acorn Squash-Cut in half and take out seeds.  Put butter on top and microwave for 7 min.  Perfect and quick cooked squashed. 

On the stove
Burn Butter over Noodles.  We love to burn butter & pour it over noodles. If I have mazithra cheese on hand we add that too.

Spinach Egg Scramble.  Cook 2 slices of bacon, but up into bite sizes. Scramble eggs (6 eggs beaten, add 1/4 cp whole milk, beat until creamy smooth) mixing in with bacon pieces. Meanwhile, heat up spinach in a pan. Add to the spinach, 1 TBS of butter and few sliced almonds. OR you can cook green beans with bacon slices. OR you can do both. Serve with cornbread with honey butter and hot cocoa to drink.

Scottish Blitter. Water, sliced potatoes, sliced onions, butter, salt. Eat with a side veggie and bread.

Sweet n sour hamburger over rice. 1 lb cooked hamburger, then add 1 c ketchup, 3 tbsp vinegar, 3 tbsp brown sugar, warm then server over rice.

Ham Fried Rice. 1 cup raw rice (2 cups cooked), Ham, 2 eggs scrambled, Onion, Butter, Peas, carrots, broccoli, Soy sauce to taste, Fry ham, eggs and onion in butter till onion is clear. Throw in rice, and vegetables, Add soy sauce to taste.

Taco Soup. 1 Can Red Kidney Beans, Can Whole Corn, 8 oz. Tomato Sauce, Pint Whole Tomatoes, pkg. Taco Seasoning, 1 lb. Hamburger-Browned, drained, 1 onion-diced and sautéed, Cook all these ingredients together, Pour over crumbled tortillas.  Top with cheese, sour cream and green onions. (Great in the crock pot too!)

Stroganoff.  Pound of Hamburger (cooked and drained), Cream of chicken or mushroom soup, 2 cups of sour cream or plain yogurt, 1 TB Worcestershire sauce.  Serve over noodles

Tex - Mex Tacos. Simmer over medium heat, 1/2 - lb. hamburger, browned & drained, 1 (16 oz.) can refried beans, 16 oz. tomato sauce, 1/2 cup salsa, 1/2 cup evaporated milk, 2 cups cooked rice, Serve over broken tortilla chips and lettuce. Top with shredded cheese.

Creamed Tuna. 2 TB butter, 1/4 cup flour, 1/2 tsp. Salt, 1 tsp instant minced onion, 2 cups skim milk, 2 6 oz cans tuna, water-packed, Melt butter in pan over medium heat; blend in flour, salt and onion.  Add milk slowly and cook over medium heat, stir constantly till thick and add undrained tuna.  Serve over toast, Serve with peas or favorite veggie

Poor Mans Soup.  Hamburger, 1 quart of stewed tomatoes, 1 cup salad noodles raw, 1/2 pint salsa warm on stove till noodles are soft. 

Best Tomato Soup Ever.  1 can tomato soup, 1 can diced tomatoes, 1/2 block of cream cheese, 1 can milk.  Heat up soup and milk, heat cream cheese in microwave for 1 min.  Whisk in cream cheese and then stir in diced tomatoes.

Eggs Ala Goldenrod. Hard boil 6 eggs, cook and peel. Cut up egg whites and set aside, White Sauce, 4 TBS butter, 4 TBS flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 2 cups milk.  Make up white sauce add egg whites.  Toast Bread serve with sauce and sprinkle mashed up egg yolks.  

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Quick and Easy Meals-Part 1

I was asked to give a presentation to my ward Relief Society Sisters.  They wanted me to share ideas to keep meals simple and quick for busy women.  We all know how important eating dinner together.  But it can be hard to do someday's when you are all running to and fro.  I thought I would share with you the information I gathered.  I got a lot of recipes from friends and neighbors and compiled these in sections of:  Crock Pot,  Microwave, On the Stove,  Sandwiches, Frozen Meals, Salads, Casseroles, and Website Helps.  
If you have recipes that you use that are quick and easy please post them in comments.  Hope this helps keep your meals simple gets your family together!  

Part 1:

“Consider 5 fundamental practices that have the power to fortify our youth:  family prayer, family scripture study, family home evening, family dinner together, and regular one-on-one interviews with each child.  It takes courage and will power to avoid over scheduling so that your family can be home for dinner.”—Elder Larry R. Lawrence.

Tips in keeping meals simple-
  • Plan ahead—try to make a meal plan for a month or week at a time and then check your plan the night before or morning of, will save headache later on-make a shopping list at the same time so you will have everything on hand when you need it
  • In planning meals I like to alternate meats and this helps me plan.  Example:  Mon-Beef Tues-Chicken Wed-Pork Thur-Veggie  Friday-Fish  Sat.-Leftovers Sunday-Breakfast
  • Food Storage—if you have items on hand that you use a lot; you won’t be running to the store a lot. 
  • Use what you have to avoid waste and don’t be afraid of adapting a recipe to fit with what you have
  • Make mixes of commonly used items
  • Make multiple meals at once and freeze for another day
Crock Pot
Pork roast, 2 apples sliced, 1 onion sliced, 32 oz veggie broth, fresh rosemary chopped and 4 cloves garlic minced. Put everything in Crockpot, cook on low 8 hours high 4-6 hours....

Pulled pork in the Crockpot. One pork roast (have the butcher cut the fat off if you can), on jar of picante salsa, 1-2 cups brown sugar, I do about 1 1/4. Let it sit in crock on high all day, the longer it cooks the better it is. You can pull it apart about half way through. You can eat it on sandwich rolls or in tortillas or in salad.

Ribs in the Crockpot. Smother in bbq sauce, so tender after cooking all day!—Serve with baked potato or cook potatoes onions and carrots with it all day.

Carnitas in the crock pot. 1 pork shoulder roast, 1onion chopped, 4cloves garlic minced, 3/4 c water, 1/4 c brown sugar, 2tsp chili powder, 1 orange quartered, 1 lime quartered, 1/2 tap salt, 1/4 tap pepper. Put everything in the Crockpot for 6-8 hours on low. Shred and serve with tortillas, lettuce, cilantro, tomatoes, and limes

Beef Roast-Roast. 2 cans mushroom soup, 1 dry onion mix cook on low.

Pork Roast. 3 pound pork roast in crock pot with an envelope mushroom onion soup mix and a can of whole cranberries. Cook on low 5 to 8 hours. This is the best roast ever!

Chicken soft tacos. Just throw a few chicken breasts into the Crockpot, pour a jar of salsa over the top and let it cook on low all day (or on high if you only have a few hrs). Use it as the base for tacos, adding whatever other ingredients you enjoy. OR pour

BBQ chicken sandwiches.  Pour BBQ sauce over the chicken breasts, after putting them in the slow cooker. Serve on hamburger buns.