Monday, April 30, 2012

Breadsticks (Easy and Delicious!)

Very often, driving in our car is hazardous.  My kids (I will blame them) will sometimes see a restaurant or a place they want to eat and it makes them crave something they won't be having.  Luckily this never happens to me.  I never crave anything I can't have. (that was sarcastic)  This happened to Calvin the other day.  

We were on our way home to eat and he was super hungry and seeing a million things he wanted right.that.second.  Then we drove by the Olive Garden and he instantly forgot about any other craving he might have ever had in his life and zeroed in on "The Garden" and "long bread" and "noodles with sauce."  I knew we weren't eating there but my heart breaks a little when I can't give him what he wants.

Last night I decided to semi-fulfill his requests.  I wasn't expecting these breadsticks to be the equivalent of Olive Garden, I was just looking for something quick and easy that would make him happy, but they ended up resembling them quite a bit.  Except they were better, of course.  They were sooo easy and done in under an hour.  The kids have already requested them again tonight and they are simple enough, I just might oblige.

1 cup warm water (110 degrees or the temp of a hot tub) plus 1-2 T more if needed
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (or 1 pkg)
1/4 cup oil
3 cups bread flour
3 T brown sugar
1 tsp salt

After baking:
1-2 T butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder (mine had parsley in it too)

Whisk yeast, water and sugar together in a measuring cup and let sit for 5 minutes or until foamy.  Meanwhile, add flour and salt to bowl of mixer with the dough hook attached.  Turn mixer on to combine (about 30 seconds).  Once yeast is dissolved, turn mixer on low and add yeast/water mixture and oil.  Mix until dough is comes together and is smooth (I added a couple tablespoons of water here because mine seemed dry).  Knead with mixer on med-low for about 2 minutes.  Roll out into a 10x12 rectangle (yes, I used my ruler) and cut into strips so you have 12 pieces that are 10 inches long.  You can either twist them or lay them flat on a greased baking sheet.  
Preheat oven to 375, let breadsticks raise for at least 20 minutes (I did 30 and I thought it was perfect and I didn't worry about covering them).  Bake for 10-15 minutes until lightly golden brown.  Remove and brush with butter and sprinkle with salt and garlic powder.  (you could also use Parmesan cheese!)  Enjoy, they are so delicious!  Makes 12 breadsticks

I think these would also be great to make and bake for about 10 minutes, then freeze and be able to pull them out and bake them for 10 minutes or so when you are ready to use.  I will do it sometime.

Source:  Adapted from this recipe at

Friday, April 27, 2012

Cheesy Spanish Rice and Chicken

I had a hankering for Spanish Rice the other day.  Put that together with the fact that I've felt like I've been running for my life lately but not knowing where I'm going and this is what you get.  I looked up a recipe for Spanish Rice and started planning my meal.  The thought of cleaning more than one pan seemed like just too much for the day and I decided to combine the meal into one pot.  Have I mentioned I hate dishes?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bake 52: Baklava

 You will not find me complaining about having an excuse to make baklava.  If you have been around for a while, you know I already posted a recipe in December.  After tweaking this one, it's pretty similar to that recipe and I didn't really have to tweak that much.  It makes me think if I had this cookbook 3 years ago, it probably wouldn't taken me so many tries to find my perfect baklava.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sourdough Waffles

These waffles are delicious and completely worth making a sourdough starter just for this purpose.    They are crispy on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside with that sourdough tang and cancer curing capabilities.  If you don't like sourdough things, maybe you should steer clear of this deliciousness.  If you do like them though, you have to make these.  

Monday, April 23, 2012

Sourdough Starter

I have been wanting to make sourdough bread for a couple months now.  I just haven't put the starter together until last week.  It really is so easy, it's kind of sad I waited so long.  And I heard that sourdough bread is good for you.  Like I read THIS article that pretty much said it will cure cancer.  Or that's what I got out of it anyway.  If you love sourdough you will probably believe that, feel free to disregard that if you hate it.  I think you should get a sourdough starter going to today!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

I originally got this chocolate chip cookie recipe from my sister-in-law, Jen and I have been a believer ever since.  About once a year, my friend Cheri emails me and asks for the recipe (sans the caramel).    It would make sense if I had gotten it on the blog sooner, just for that reason.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Bake 52: Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Valerie was our host this week and chose the recipe.  There was trouble finding the rhubarb for some but luckily, I didn't have that problem.  It might be that we live in a community with a lot of vegetarians and our produce sections are more extensive because of it.  Or maybe it was just luck.  

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

TWD: Lemon Loaf Cake

I don't make many lemon desserts.  It's not that I hate them.  If someone gives me something lemon, you can bet I will eat it, it just usually isn't on my radar.  This really is one of the reasons I love baking groups though; making things that normally wouldn't be made in my kitchen.  Having said that, I don't think this recipe is something that will be made in my kitchen again.  There wasn't anything amazing about it.  It didn't make me a lemon-lover.  It probably wouldn't be making the blog if it weren't part of the baking group.  

Monday, April 16, 2012

Mushroom-Artichoke Soup

When Tyler and I were newlyweds, I would sign up for cookbook of the month clubs.  I wanted the 8 free cookbooks (or whatever)!  It always ended up being a pain because I would forget to cancel my shipment for the month but it's one of the reasons I have so many cookbooks. That and sometimes I just can't resist, I NEED a cookbook.  

Friday, April 13, 2012

Leftover Extravaganza

Is anyone else swimming in left over ham?  Just mounds of it?  I hope that was a nice mental picture for you.  Me, hopefully in a swimming suit, swimming through mounds of ham.  I am partial to turkey, myself.  Never been much of a ham person but of course, Tyler is all about ham.  If there is a holiday that specifies ham to be made, I can't pull a fast one on him.  He has them all marked on his calendar.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting and Easter

 Last year, my brother, Matthew, requested carrot cake for his birthday.  He insisted that I make it from a box.  I rolled my eyes and told him that I would make one from a box and make a homemade one to see which he liked better.  I was completely convinced I would change his mind.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

S'more Clusters

I LOVE s'mores and I think it's criminal that they are regarded as a camping treat.  I am always excited to see a s'more inspired cookie or cake but nothing beats an authentic s'more.  Usually when I am craving one (or 4) I make them in the oven.  {I put 4 graham crackers on a baking sheet and chocolate on top, put them in the oven and bake them until the chocolate is just melted, take them out and spread the chocolate then put either one big marshmallow or 9 small marshmallows on top and back in the oven until the marshmallows are browned and puffed.}  While they are pretty easy to make, it does take some time to spread chocolate on each one and line up 9 marshmallows. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Mexican Lasagna

If you haven't noticed, I will eat just about anything with black beans and corn.  And most of the time, I end up loving it.  Funny for a girl who doesn't think she likes Mexican food, huh?  So when I saw this on Annie's blog last week, I knew I wanted to try it and I almost had everything to make it.  This was delicious and fairly healthy.  

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Bake 52: Tres Leches Cake

This was a first for me.  First time making, first time tasting.  I can't really tell you how it would compare to a regular tres leches cake because I have never tried it before.  But Tyler said it was delicious and we all know how picky he can be.  And, of course, I loved it.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

TWD: Pizza Rustica

I know what you are thinking.  That doesn't look like pizza AT ALL.  That's exactly what the munchkins said when I took this out of the oven.  Maybe it was slightly misleading to tell them we were having pizza rustica for dinner.  Especially since they had no idea what that was and just heard pizza.  Especially since I had no idea what it was and thought it was some kind of pizza.  I did have complete faith in this recipe since I love Nick Malgieri and everything about him. (Here are four reasons to love him)  

Monday, April 2, 2012

Steak or Chicken Kebabs (Kabobs, whatever) with Soy-Ginger Marinade

The weather has been getting warmer here.  So warm that we started thinking about grilling.  And then, of course, the day we planned to grill, it wasn't so warm.  I mean, it was still in the high 50s but not the weather that was making us crave the grill.  Either way, these are delicious and healthy and I am going to start making them year round.  Even if I have to grill in 50 degree weather during the winter.  (I know, that is really cold!) You really could make these indoors on a grill pan though, or a broiler, or probably just a pan if you go desperate.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

My Best April Fools' Prank (so far)

Last year, I posted this on my family blog:

The Stupidest Parents Alive

Last night we cut Calvin's hair again. We thought it would be funny to have him cut some of it himself.

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