Friday, September 18, 2009

Caramelized Cauliflower

Simple and tasty.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Slice cauliflower ~1/4" thick through the whole head -- keep the large center pieces intact.
Place in a single layer on a large cookie sheet lined with a nonstick liner or nonstick aluminum foil. I used a Silpat liner.

Roast in 450 degree oven for 25-40 minutes or until cauliflower is caramelized.

I like to have mine with a sauce made of soy sauce, a little cooking sherry, honey, water, garlic, and red pepper flakes, thickened with cornstarch.

Pretty, isn't it? Mmmm.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Edible Christmas Forest


sugar cones ~ one per child
frosting ~ 1 can of white per 6-8 cones
green food coloring
nearly every bowl in the house to hold decor
decorations ~ a fortune's worth
- note: check the wedding/party cake aisle for additional selection


mix green food coloring with frosting
spread liberally on cones
invert onto plates using additional frosting to hold it to plate
allow children to decorate as desired
photograph with children and as forest

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Cinnamon Rolls Not From A Tube

See? This is why I knew I shouldn't make real cinnamon rolls.

I always do cinnamon rolls from the tube.

I know!! what a cheater!!!

But it's fast and easy on a Sunday morning when we're hurrying to get to church, but it's also a treat we only get on Sundays.

Except, today, I didn't have any of the tubey ones. And, in addition to that, we didn't have to hurry. We only have one service, and it's the late one. And then I found a recipe for *quicker* cinnamon rolls. Non-yeast ones. And I figured - why not?

So what's the problem? The kids really liked them. Proclaimed them the best evah. But I don't have time to do this every Sunday! I knew I shouldn't have started!

So, anyway, shhhh, don't tell Smonky I'm making these from scratch. It'll ruin my box/mix/tube/cheater reputation.

I started with this recipe for Jiffy Cinnamon Rolls ... and only made a few slugmomodifications today. Besides doubling it. This is it, as modified and doubled.

Quicker Cinnamon Rolls


* 4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/4 cup white sugar
* 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup butter, softened
* 2 cups water

* 1/2 cup butter, softened (yes, more!)
* 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
* 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

* 1.5 cup confectioners' sugar
* 4 oz cream cheese
* 3 T. softened butter
* 1/2 tsp vanilla
* 1 tsp milk or water


1. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in 1/2 cup butter or margarine until crumbly. Make a well in center, and pour in water. Stir to form a soft dough, adding a bit more water if needed. Actually, this was a bit too soft and sticky, and I added another 1/2 cup of flour. I recommend adding the water slowly.

2. Turn dough out on lightly floured surface. Knead 8 to 10 times. Roll into rectangle about 1/3 inch thick and 18 inches long. Spread the cinnamon mixture over dough rectangle. Roll up as for jelly roll. Mark first, then cut into 24 slices (using that magic dental floss trick is great). Place cut side down on parchment paper on a jellyroll pan.

3. Bake in 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for 20 to 25 minutes.

4. to make icing, blend together cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk or water until light and fluffy. Frost cinnamon rolls while warm

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Lemon-Cranberry Muffins

Breakfast Today is brought to you by the Letter Mmmmm

Super_bugs reminded me that it's almost fresh cranberry season.

There's a cranberry bog in Southern Michigan that I believe, if i were to get my act together, I could visit, with the children, at harvest time. I may try that this year.

In any case, with cranberries on my mind and dried cranberries in my cupboard, I decided to make these for breakfast:

Lemon-Cranberry Muffins

I started with this recipe for Raspberry Lemon Muffins, and then slugmomodified it as follows:


* 1 cup plain fat free yogurt
* scant 1/4 cup vegetable oil
* 2 tablespoons lemon juice ~ used juice from 1 lemon
* 2 eggs
* 1 teaspoon lemon extract (optional)
* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1-1/2 cups white sugar
* 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon baking powder
* scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (bottled, plus what I scraped off the real lemon before I got tired of the effort)
* 1 cup dried cranberries
* 1/2 cup water


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease two 12 cup muffin tins, or line with paper liners.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the yogurt, oil, lemon juice, eggs, lemon extract, dried cranberries, and lemon zest. Use an immersion blender to chop up cranberries into yogurt mixture. Stir in 1/2 cup water.

3. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and mix until just blended. Gently stir in the frozen raspberries. Spoon batter evenly into the prepared muffin cups.

4. Bake for 17 to 22 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the top springs back when lightly touched. Cool muffins in the tin on a wire rack.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

You could eat this, but probably shouldn't.

Today, in honor of having some extra children in the house, I've made playdough!

It's not hard to make. Although it always takes more salt and Cream of Tartar than I remember. To the right you see one of the sluglets kneading in the blue. Today I ran out of salt, and used substantially less. As you can see, the playdough turned out fine, but I may have compromised it's non-molding capacity. The best thing about this playdough is I find it softer, smoother, and less crumbly than the commercial kind. It's much more fun to work with, really.

Homemade Playdough

4 cups All Purpose Flour
1/2 cup salt
1/4 cream of tartar
4 cups water
1/4 cup vegetable oil

place flour, salt, and cream of tartar in a large pot and mix together
add water and oil, and mix together. Mixture will be lumpy

cook over medium heat approximately 3-5 minutes, until mixture thickens and forms a ball in the center around the spoon. Squarsh it around using the spoon to make sure the middle gets cooked as well.

Remove from heat and cool until it is not too hot to knead.

Divide into balls and knead food coloring into each ball. I usually make 3 colors with this quantity of playdough.

The playdough is non-toxic, but not really edible. Peanut Butter Playdough is a good choice for edible. Maybe I'll post that another day. It's a great choice for a fun special lunch.

Anyway... store in airtight containers, refrigerating prolongs it's life. I usually keep it in ziplock bags with the air squooshed out, and it usually lasts a few weeks before it molds. But I won't guarantee that.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Mmmmmmmm Glazed Ribs

Thanks to InTheory for the link to this recipe, which I then (as usual) slugmomodified. I've got about 6 more rib recipes to try out this summer, I'd better get busy!

Glazed Ribs:

The original recipe is an Alton Brown recipe: Who Loves Ya Baby-Back?

Here's (more or less) what I did. I didn't have some of the spices, and didn't want to make it too spicy for the kids, and just winged all the measurements. So this is a post-cooking guestimate:

1 slab pork back ribs

Dry Rub:
4 tablespoons light brown sugar, tightly packed
1 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon Kroger knock-off Old Bay Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon rubbed thyme
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Braising Liquid:
1/2 cup cooking sherry wine
1 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tablespoon honey
2 cloves garlic, chopped

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. - Alton's recipe is at 250 for longer, but I was running out of time. So I cooked them at 300 for about 1.5 hours total

In a bowl, combine all dry ingredients and mix well. Place slab of baby back ribs on a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil, shiny side down. Sprinkle each side generously with the dry rub. Pat the dry rub into the meat. Refrigerate the ribs for a minimum of 1 hour. (I really only refrigerated them for about 15 minutes, due to the time thing, again. I'm a cheater) In a microwavable container, combine all ingredients for the braising liquid. Microwave on high for 1 minute.

Place the ribs on a baking sheet. Open one end of the foil and pour halthe braising liquid into foil packet. Tilt the baking sheet in order to equally distribute the braising liquid. Braise the ribs in the oven for 2 1/2 hours. (like I said, mine were only 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 and a half hours at a higher temp)

Open the end of the foil and pour braising liquid into a medium/small saucepot. At this point I wasn't sure if I would have enough glaze, so I made another batch, using apple juice instead of cooking sherry/wine. Bring the liquid to a simmer and reduce by half or until of a thick syrup consistency. Mine did not get thick like syrup when reduced, so in the end I let it cool below boiling, added 1 T. brown sugar and about a half T. cornstarch, whisked it in, and brought it back to a boil to thicken. that worked pretty well.

Brush the glaze onto the ribs. Place under the broiler just until the glaze caramelizes lightly. Slice each slab into 2 rib bone portions. Place the remaining hot glaze into a bowl and toss the rib portions in the glaze.

*I halved the whole recipe, so the rub ingredients listed are already halved. Alton says: If more rub is needed, it can be extended by any amount, as long as the ratio of 8:3:1:1 remains the same. I winged the ratio kind of loosely.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Let's Call it Murleen's Meatloaf

My friend gave this recipe to me. As you'll see in her amusing chatter below, she does not want to be identified. So I'm just going to call her Murleen. None of the following words are mine, I have preserved the recipe in it's originally received form because it pleases me.

Murleen's Meatloaf

OK. Here You Go (Correction Added)
Teena asked for my meatloaf recipe. I can't stand meatloaf so I looked and looked till I came up with something so delectable I could stand to make it.

It's a huge recipe because we are a huge family, but meatloaf is nice to freeze for a quick meal later on. Or do like I do sometimes and make tiny tiny meatballs or individual sized meatball (about as big as a child's fist). Serve with brown gravy.

Feel free to pass the recipe around but do not...repeat, DO NOT...attach my name to it. I don't want my name attached to meatloaf on any level.

Well, if that didn't take away your appetite for meatloaf, I don't know what will!


6 lbs hamburger
2 cans evaporated milk
4 eggs
I package saltines (crunch them into tiny bits before you open the package)
1 (or more...whatever) cups oats
2 pkgs dried onion soup

Hmmm. Is there anything else in there? No. Nope. No, I don't think so. Yeah. That's it.

OK. Squish it together. Do not remove your wedding rings. They needed to be cleaned anyway, and this way you are SURE to get them cleaned this week.

Makes 3 meatloaves
A lot of single serving sized meatballs
A ton of tiny meatballs

All freeze really well. To freeze the meatballs, freeze them on a cookie sheet first, then put them into freezer bags. That way you can take out as many or as few as you like.

I'm a terrible person when it comes to know, always cook on high, rarely follow a recipe, have a repretoire of 28 meals no more no less, loves washing the dishes (people who like to clean hate to cook and vice versa and don't tell me you are one of those people who love both because I don't want to hate you. It's a sin) I won't be making you endure too many recipes.

Of course, I make a killer Teriyaki Chicken. Mmmm. My Eggflower Soup is pretty tasty too. Oh. Pfeffer Nusseau. But I won't bother you with that one till the holidays...if then.

OK. No more recipes. Given a choice, I'd rather clean grout than cook. Of course, I love the way the grout turns from icky stains to clean beautiful white...but that's another post. On with life!

Oh yes. As [another friend] reminded me, the meat should be cooked.

Meatloaf 350 for 1-1.25 hours
Average meatballs 350 for 25-30 minutes
Tiny meatballs 350 for about 20 minutes

There you go. No sense in eating raw meatloaf if you don't have to.