Thursday, January 21, 2010

Southwest Burgers

These have become a favorite in our house! They are healthy, full of flavor, easy to make! 
I doubled the recipe to make enough for leftovers.

3/4 cup Salsa (reserve 1/4 cup for sauce) 
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese 
3 tsp. paprika 
1 tsp. oregano 
1 tsp. ground cumin 
3/4 tsp. sugar 
3/4 tsp. garlic powder 
1/2 tsp. dried thyme 
1/4 tsp. salt 
1/4 cayenne pepper 
1 pound extra lean ground beef  
1/4 cup sour cream 4-6 hamburger buns 
1/2 cup torn endive avocado slices 
1 medium tomato, chopped 

In a large bowl, combine 1/2 cup salsa, cheese and spices into the crumbled ground beef. Mix well and shape into burgers. If grilling burgers, coat grill rack with cooking spray. Grill covered over medium heat. Or, you can broil 4 inches from the heat for 7 minutes on each side, thermometer should read 165 degrees and juices run clear. In a small bowl, combine sour cream and salsa. Place burgers on the buns and top with endive, avocados, chopped tomatoes and sour cream mixture.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Homemade Whole Wheat Bread

Recipe's from Shar are one of my very favorite things! Here's a link:

If you are missing any ingredients, such as the dough enhancer you can order products from her site as well.

Perfect Every Time!

Made from 100% fresh ground whole wheat!


6 cups warm water, approx. 115 degrees

2 tbs. Sea salt

2/3 cup canola oil

2/3 cup honey

3 tbs. Dough enhancer

2 cups high gluten bread flour or 1/3 cup vital wheat gluten

3 tbs. Saf instant yeast

6 to 8 cups of fresh ground flour (to begin with) (10 to 11 cups of un-ground grain will make enough flour for this recipe)


Use the momentary switch (m) to mix well. Turn the machine to speed 1 and continue to add wheat flour only until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. When you can see the sides pull clean as well as the dough coming clean from the bottom of the bowl you know you have enough flour. (do not add too much flour) the dough should be very sticky and does not come together at this point, but the bowl is clean.

Knead on speed 1 for 8-10 minutes or until the gluten has been developed. If you feel your dough is too dry, simply add a few tablespoons of water to moisten. (always pulling the sides clean) if dough starts sticking simply add a little white flour to take up the moisture. (remember your bosch has 700 watts of power and a reset button.)

Oil your hands, remove dough from mixer onto a slightly oiled counter, divide your dough with a dough divider into 4-5 large loaves depending on your pan size. (we like the 8 ½ by 4 ½” pan, and we usually get 5. However, because we never measure our flour exactly, sometimes we get 4 ~ it will depend on the weather and the climate outside.

Shape loaves, and place in a well greased or sprayed (pam) pan, never use oil. Cover with a dry towel and let rise until dough has risen double or approx. 2 inches above the rim of the pan. This will take from 30 to 60 minutes depending on the room temperature.

Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes, or until the inside temp. is 200 degrees. An instant read thermometer is very useful in telling whether your bread is done. Tests after baking time is complete by taking bread out of its pan and pushing the thermometer into side or bottom of loaf. If not 200 degrees, place back in pan and bake another few minutes.

Cool on cooking racks before putting into bread bags. The bread can be frozen up to 30 days without freezer burn.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Cupcake Pops

Cupcake Pops and Cupcake Bites
1 13X9 baked cake (from a box cake mix or from scratch … any flavor)
1 can cream cheese frosting (or about 2 cups equivalent from scratch)
1 flower shaped cookie cutter (1.25″ wide X .75″ tall)
1 package chocolate bark or chocolate candy melts
1 package pink candy melts or white chocolate bark
bowls for dipping
wax paper
aluminum foil
lollipop sticks
sprinkles, m&ms or something similar for top of cupcake
small plastic treat bags and ribbon to package the Cupcake Pops
candy cups and truffle boxes to individually package the Cupcake Bites
styrofoam block

1.  Bake a cake from a mix or from scratch and cool completely.

2.  Crumble cooked cake into the food processor until it is a fine consistency like dirt.  Yes dirt

3.  Add can of cream cheese frosting or homemade frosting and blend together using the back of a large spoon or your hands. Blend thoroughly.
4.  Roll mixture into 1.25″ – 1.5″ size balls and lay on wax paper covered cookie sheet. You might have to rinse and dry your hands off in between it's pretty messy.
5.  Cover them with foil or plastic wrap and put them in the fridge for a few hours or the freezer for about 15 minutes.
6.  Remove. Begin to shape into cupcakes using a small flower-shaped cookie cutter. The one from Williams Sonoma is the best - see below

 Take the chilled ball and roll it into more of an oval and then slide into the flower cookie cutter. Push it into cutter until about half fills the cutter and the rest sticks out of the top in the shape of a mound. Then push the shaped cupcake carefully out of the cookie cutter from the bottom. Set right side up on a wax paper covered cookie sheet. Continue with remaining balls.
You can also just roll into balls and dip - that is the easiest way.  They look cute either way!

7.  Once shaped, cover and return to freezer. (5-10 minutes)
TIP: You can leave them covered in the refrigerator overnight if you want to do the dipping on the following day.

8.  While cupcake shapes are chilling, begin to heat up your chocolate bark.  Brown chocolate bark for the bottoms. Pink, white or red chocolate for the tops.  Follow the instructions on the package for melting. Most recommend heating for 30 second intervals at a time and stirring in between. You can also do the double boiler method.

9.  When you are ready to dip, remove from freezer and set up another wax paper covered cookie sheet.
10.  Take the cupcake shaped mixture and dip bottoms into the melted chocolate – just to the point where the mounded shape starts. Then lay on the wax paper upside down. If you want them to be lollipops, then go ahead and insert the lollipop sticks while the chocolate is still wet. Continue with rest of the cupcakes. You can also leave some without the sticks. They’re just as cute as Cupcake Bites. 

TIP: Dip end of your lollipop stick in the melted chocolate before inserting into chocolate bottoms. Not sure if this helps a lot, but it couldn’t hurt.  DON’T – get water in the chocolate. Make sure your hands are completely dry. Water will cause the chocolate to separate and mess up all your hard work

11.  Dry completely. (15-20 minutes)  Once dry, dip the tops of the cupcakes in the pink or white chocolate. You may need to move it around a little to cover all the exposed areas.  
TIP: Let the colored chocolate sit for a few minutes after heating to thicken. This will help it from dripping down the sides of the cupcake 
TIP: You can use a toothpick to help cover any areas the melted chocolate didn’t cover.

*For the Cupcake Bites – just turn right side up and rest on the wax paper. Then go ahead and put a m&m on the top and add sprinkles while wet.

*For the lollipops, Continue holding and place an m&m on the top and add sprinkles. Let them dry in a styrofoam block that you have already poked holes into.

*When completely dry, cover the lollipops with small plastic treat bags and tie with a ribbon. 

Makes about 50.
You can store these in an airtight container and they will last for several days. You can also store in the refrigerator if you would like them cold.

recipe courtesy of

Mini Maple Chocolate Chip Pancake Muffins

Taylor was in the mood to shake things up for breakfast so she made these. 
After this I may turn the breakfast cooking over to her.  They were that good!

Generously grease a 24 cup mini muffin pan with non-stick spray.
Mini Maple Chocolate Chip Pancake Muffins.
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 egg
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in a medium bowl. Sift together with a wire whisk.
  • In another bowl, stir buttermilk, egg, maple syrup and melted butter until just combined.
  • Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir with a spoon until combined.
  • Stir in chocolate chips. Reserve a few chips to sprinkle on the tops.
  • Bake for 8-9 minutes.
Makes 24 mini pancake muffins.
Let cool slightly and remove from the pan. You may need to use a toothpick around the edges to separate the pancake muffins from the pan.
Serve immediately with warmed butter if you like or dunk in maple syrup

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Chicken Enchiladas

This is my family's favorite Chicken Enchilada recipe. It has a smooth, mild flavor so children like it as much as the adults.

Chicken Enchiladas

3-4 Cups Shredded Chicken (I buy a Rotisserie chicken and pick off all of the meat - you can also cook a couple of large chicken breasts in a skillet if you would prefer)
1 cup cheddar (or a cheddar mix) cheese
1 small can of diced green chilies
1 pint sour cream
2 tsp. chicken base (or powdered bouillon)
1/2 can of canned milk
Tortillas 12-14

Mix in a medium bowl, the sour cream, canned milk, and chicken base. In a separate bowl, combine the chicken, cheese, and diced green chilies (I chop up the chilies even smaller so my kids don't notice them and say "Ew what's that green thing?"). Add about half of the sauce to the chicken mixture and mix together. Place about 3 Tbsp. chicken mixture in the middle of a tortilla and roll it up, then place in a 9x13 pan sprayed with cooking spray. Continue with the rest of the tortillas. Pour the rest of the sauce over the top of the tortillas. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes, depending on how crispy you like it. The last ten minutes add a couple more handfuls of cheese over the top. You can serve these plain ( because they are good enough) or you can top with sour cream and salsa. Enjoy!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Breakfast Squares

This is a recipe from my mother-in-law. This is a food traditionally served Christmas morning. I love that it can be put together the night before, and then baked the following day.