Friday, May 22, 2015

Comfort Food

 Over the past few weeks I have been making dinner's for my nephew's.  They have had a lot to deal
with since the death of their Dad, (my ex-brother-in-law), cleaning out his house and all the other details.  Cooking is something I can do for them so they don't have to think about that at the end of an emotionally and physically exhausting day.

The other day when they were coming for dinner, I asked the Lord to help me figure out what to fix.  Mind you this was at about three in the afternoon.  I had some left over rotisserie chicken and I wanted to do something different with it than what I normally do, fried chicken roll ups, which are very good by the way.  I asked the Lord to help me and the idea of pizza popped into my head.

I had some red bell peppers so I sauteed them with some onions.  I made my pizza crust from scratch.  Very easy and so much better!  To assemble the pizza I rolled out the crust, spread some oil on it, and used Cesar dressing as my sauce. Then for cheese I used a mixture of monterey jack and Mexican cheese blend.  Put on my sauteed peppers and onions, then shredded up some chicken and put it on top.  I baked it on the bottom rack in a very hot oven of between 450 and 500 degrees.  That makes the crust nice and crispy and cooked all the way thru.  It smelled so good and looked very pretty when I took it out of the oven.  The best part is it tasted so good!  The Lord has such good ideas!  :)

The Lord has given me the ability to cook and it has been a joy for me to use it to serve my nephew's during this very difficult time. 

I may have shared my pizza crust recipe before, but will share it again.

2C warm water
2T yeast (or two pkgs)
pinch sugar, let sit for 5 to 10 minutes
Then add 3T oil (olive or canola)
1T garlic (optional.  I used minced garlic)
Mix in 5 cups of flour, a cup at a time.
When you get enough flour in it, dump it out on a well floured counter and kneed in the rest of the flour
until the dough is no longer sticky.  Cover it with the bowl you mixed it in and let it sit for about 20 minutes.  Then roll out for your crust. 

This will make enough for two pizza crusts, so just cut in half to make one crust.  :)


Friday, August 29, 2014

Baking at the J/5 Ranch

 The first week-end of August is Rodeo week-end where I grew up in Idaho.  It has become a tradition that whoever of the family can, comes up for some or all of the week-end.  It is something I have come to look forward to every summer.  This summer not as many were able to attend but it was still a very fun time and I still did what I always do.  Bake, bake and bake some more!  It gives me so much pleasure to bake yummy things for my niece's and nephew's at the ranch, and then to see them gobble them up!  :)

This year I really baked A LOT!!   This is a list of all the things I made.

 2 batches of Banana Bread
 1 batch of Snicker-doodle Bread
 A Banana Cream Pie (recipe in a previous post)
 A batch of Brownie-Mallow Bars
 2 batches of Welcome Home Bars (recipe in a previous post)
 A small batch of Rice Krispie Treats (they were gone about as soon as I made them!)
 2 batches of Lemon Bread.

 The recipe I want to share with you in this post is for the Lemon Bread. 
 My Mom had some lemons that she asked if I could make something with.  I have several recipe's for
lemon bread but as I wasn't expecting to use them I didn't have any with me.  So I used my sister's Smart Phone and looked up lemon bread recipe's.  I picked one from the Taste of Home web site.  I have used several of their recipe's in the past and they are always very good and this one is no exception!  I have made other lemon bread's but this one is at the top of my list right now.  It is soo good!

                            Lemon Bread

 1/2 cup butter, softened
 1 cup sugar
 2 eggs
 2 tablespoons lemon juice
 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
 1 teaspoon baking powder
 1/8 teaspoon salt
 1/2 cup 2% milk (or half & half)

 1/2 cup powdered sugar
 2 tablespoons lemon juice

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, lemon juice and peel. Combine
the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually stir into creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after
each addition. (Begin and end with flour)

Pour into a greased 8x4-in. loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near
the center comes out clean.

Combine glaze ingredients. Remove bread from oven; immediately drizzle with glaze. Cool on a wire rack completely before removing bread from the pan.
Serve warm. Yield: 1 loaf (12 slices).

Hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Lilia and Poppyseed Bread

My "adopted" niece Lilia returned late last Thursday night after being gone for six months with "YWAM."
I had been planning to make some Poppyseed Bread for a couple of days. Well, Friday afternoon I finally got around to making it.  Just before I started Lilia came by for a visit.  So I whipped
it up as we visited and then when it came out of the oven I offered her a warm muffin.
As she was eating it she said; this is so good and I knew that you would have something homemade
for me to eat!  Wow, I love that!  If that is not a Kitchen Mercy I don't know what it is!!

I got this recipe from Aunt Margie several years ago.  I have made several batches lately and everyone really likes it. 

Poppyseed Bread

3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
2 1/4 Cups Sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 Cups Milk
1 1/2 Cups Canola Oil
3 Eggs
1 1/2 Tablespoons Poppyseed
1 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract
1 1/2 teaspoon Butter Flavoring (found in spice isle)

Mix altogether and stir for 2 to 3 minutes.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the size of pan you are using.  It will make 3 mini loaves and 6 Texas size muffins. 


1/4 Cup warm orange juice (frozen concentrate)
3/4 Cup Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Butter Flavoring
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract

Stir together in a bowl, spoon on warm loaves while they are still in the pan.
So Yummy!  :)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Forgot the Bananas!

I realized today, (thanks to Dorothy) that I failed to mention a key ingredient in my Banana Cream Pie.
The Bananas!!

After I have let the pie crust harden in the refrigerator and before I put on the pudding mixture, I put a layer of sliced bananas on the crust.  You want the bananas to be nice and yellow. 

This pie is best consumed within a couple of days, which shouldn't be a problem.  :)

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Dorothy and Banana Cream Pie

In March my good friend Dorothy had a Birthday!  So I had her and my sister come for dinner.
One of Dorothy's favorite dessert's is Banana Cream Pie, so I decided to make one for her.  It turned out so good!  Everyone liked it and my sister kept saying how good it was and that I could sell it!

A couple weeks later I was in Idaho over Spring Break and made a couple more for some family there and they really liked it as well.  So I thought I would share with you how I made it.

Jill's Banana Cream Pie

Make a vanilla wafer crust using about a cup and a half of crushed vanilla wafer's
Mix that with 1/4 to 1/3 cup melted butter.  Press into a pie plate and then set in refrigerator for five to ten minutes to harden.

Meanwhile, mix a small package of banana cream pie and a small package of vanilla pudding and pie filling.
(the instant kind).  Mix according to package directions for pie filling.  I used part milk and part half and half to make it creamier.  Then top that with whipped cream that you whip!  You can use Cool Whip if you want but making your own whip cream doesn't take very long and its so much better!  Then put in refrigerator.
Should let it set in refrigerator for a few hours before eating.

With summer around the corner this would be a good dessert for your picnic's and bar-be-ques.  Its not real heavy and it is very good if I say so myself!  :)


Tip:  When whipping your cream make sure your bowl and beater's are cold!

P.S.  I am so thankful for Dorothy and am blessed to have her as my friend.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Fried Chicken & Biscuits

You are going to love this!  I fixed fried chicken for dinner tonight. (I like to thaw chicken breasts and then cut them up into strips and fry them, so good!)  Anyway, Carmella was at Golf practice and then hanging out with some friends so I sent her a text and told her that fried chicken was for dinner as it is one of her favorites.  As I was frying the chicken I thought that I should make some biscuits.  I remembered I had a
biscuit recipe that I had received from a friend a few years ago that I hadn't made for a long time.  So I whipped some up.  I had the chicken frying and the biscuits in the oven when I got a call from Carmella and she asked if I had enough chicken for some friends.  I said sure and that I had also made some biscuits.  (Mm interesting) So in a little bit she and four friends showed up and chowed down.  Last night I had asked Scott to stop at Fred Meyer on his way home and buy a bag of salad because I had a
coupon.  He bought a big bag and as a result I had plenty of salad to offer the girls.  They came, ate and left all in a matter of about 45 minutes.  Very fun! 

Now,  you might say all  of these things are coincidences.  I say they are Kitchen Mercies!!

I learned how to fry chicken from my Mom, and if I say so myself it is very good.  Others have said so
also. :)  I just season it with salt and pepper, toss it in flour and then fry it in either olive oil or canola oil.

Cheddar Bay Biscuits:

2 C Biscuit mix (like Bisquick)
2/3 C milk
1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese (I used Mexican blend cheese from Costco)
1/4 C Parmesan cheese

Mix above ingredients, cut into biscuits; then melt and brush on top of the biscuits the following:
1/4 C butter - melted
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon parsley flakes

Bake at 450 for 10-20 minutes. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Paid for Cooking

I love how the Lord has allowed me to do something that I really enjoy in a setting that I would never have
thought or even wanted with the added bonus of getting paid for it!  As I have mentioned, I work in an
elementary school kitchen.  This year I have also been working in a Middle School kitchen three days a week for a couple of hours before going to the elementary kitchen.  At the Middle School I get to
do a larger variety of things.  A few months ago I was making pumpkin cake, and recently I have made
instant potatoes.  I find myself thinking, how cool it is that I am getting paid to bake and cook! 

Last week I was cutting up stir fry vegetables and panning them to send to the elementary kitchen's.  My boss came by and said, that looks beautiful.  I am so thankful when she comments on how well I have done a task, even one that seems like a small thing, not just because I appreciate hearing that I am doing a good job, but because I believe it is honoring and pleasing to the Lord.  I want to be a light for Him at
my work and in my work.  It says in Colossians 3, Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance.  It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.

One more thing.  The Bible says that we will have work to do in heaven, and the work we do here is preparing us for that.  I have to tell you that that has got me thru several hum drum days of washing dishes.  The thought that this job may be preparing me for getting to cook and bake in heaven is very exciting.  Now, I know some people that think having to cook in heaven would seem more like hell.  But I get very excited because every thing will come out perfectly!!  I can't wait!  So, if you are one of those that do
not like the idea of having to cook in heaven, I will be happy to cook for you and you can wash the dishes.
Deal? :)