Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Turkey Toast Melts

We have been finding ourselves very limited on free time lately. It seems we are going from here to there constantly. A meal that I love to make is Turkey melts! I use left over turkey for this meal. If you have bread, turkey, mayo, onion, S&P, and cheese you are all set!

I first make a turkey salad with the mayo, onion (finely chop), S & P, and turkey. I toast the bread prior to placing the turkey salad on top. This helps to keep the bread from getting soggy.
Once toasted, place a portion of salad and a slice of cheese on top of the bread. Put the turkey melts on a sheet tray and place in the oven to melt the cheese. This step does not take very long.

I serve this meal with broccoli. There are not many vegetables that my children will eat, so I use a lot of broccoli, green beans, and peas. Other vegetables like carrots, onions, celery, and corn I chopped finely and add to mixtures like spaghetti sauce, meatloaf, turkey burgers, etc. If they don't know, they will love the meal.

So, when you are in a hurry keep left overs handy in the freezer to make quick meals like this one.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009


My children absolutely love pancakes. I have tried tons of recipes for pancakes on my children. Each time they love them... so, why do I keep trying different recipes? Well, because I have been looking for one that meets the following criteria.... 1. Versatile - I can substitute rice / soy milk for cow's milk; substitute whole wheat flour for the all purpose 2. low in fat 3. low in sugar

I was really thinking that the children would not like the pancakes that I made for dinner tonight. The recipe that follows is one that I have been working with for a while. These cakes will not necessarily be the traditional fluffy cakes you may be used to having. You could refer to these cakes as a heavier crepe. Check out the recipe!

Flour 1 cup
Salt pinch
Egg 1
Milk 3/4 to 1 cup

Combine the dry ingredients. combine 1 egg with 3/4 cup of milk. Add to the dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly, but do not overmix. Allow batter to rest for 30 minutes. If batter is to thick add additional milk.
This is a very simple cake, with a simple flavor. The versatility is not just limited to substituting different milks and flours, but also that you can use various fruit purees as part of the liquid. Try substituting with puree bananas or applesauce. I have also added a 1/2 tsp of vanilla.

A lot of pancake recipes call for melted butter or oil and sugar. I served these cakes along with real maple syrup and turkey bacon and lots of fresh fruit. This is a recipe that clearly shows that children will eat foods that are low in fats / sugars if they taste good. If you wanted to sweeten these cakes up a bit you could fill them with sliced fresh strawberries, whip cream and sprinkle with confectioner's sugar. It is great to have children that will for the most part try everything that I make, it is also extremely easier to get them to try new things if they helped to prepare it. I am so incredibly thankful for my children!
I made a double batch and got about 23 cakes (4" wide). I always make extra cakes to put in the refrigerator to enjoy the next day. If storing longer consider placing wax paper in between each cake put in a ziploc freezer bag.


Monday, November 2, 2009


I like to read, but I rarely have the opportunity to pick up a book that would take longer than 10 minutes to read. So, I read cook books. I love to see the various ways chefs / cooks put different food items together. It is so intriguing! I have been reading cook books for kids over the passed week to start putting together menu options that kids will love. The following are a list of kid friendly foods that all would enjoy!
~ Groovy homemade Granola - Oats, mini - shredded wheat cereal , almonds, pecans / walnuts, sunflower seeds, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, veg oil, dried apples, dried cranberries, and golden raisins - YUMMY.
~ Oven baked chicken - (Breading) crushed corn flakes, bread crumbs, brown sugar, salt, black pepper, allspice, flour, eggs - YUMMY!
~ Chocolate fondue - semi-sweet dark chocolate, unsalted butter, light corn syrup, sugar, heavy cream - YUMMY!

I have lots of YUMMY! Kid friendly meals to write about, I will have to finish them later. Enjoy!

Italain Baguettes

This formula has made the Autumn season that much better. I love comfort foods. On a chilly Autumn day, a favorite meal of mine would be a hot bowl of soup and fresh baked bread. Nothing warms the inside better! This formula is from a local breads cookbook. I do not know the creator.

This formula takes some advanced preperation, so start the evening prior to when you want to bake it.

This is an Artisan style of bread. The rustic flavor of this bread is wonderful! You can make an everyday Italian bread within 3 - 4 hours. However, this Artisan bread will transform your want / need for fresh bread.

Biga / Starter - Prepare this 9 - 17 hours before you want to bake
1/4 cup water (70-78*F)
3/4 tsp instant yeast
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

Combine the water and yeast. Add the flour. With a rubber spatula combine ingredients just until dough forms. It will be stiff like pie dough. Dust the counter with flour and get it fairly but not perfectly smooth. Lightly oil the a bowl. Round the biga and place it back in the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Leave at room temperature (70-75*) for 1 hour. Refrigerate it for at least 8 hours and up to 16 hours. The biga will double in volume, be glossy and porous and will smell mildly acidic.

Bread Dough
1 1/2 cups Biga
1 1/4 cups water (85 - 95*)
1 tsp instant yeast
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp sea salt

Remove the biga from the refrigerator and uncover it. It will be soft and airy, but a bit sticky. Scrape it into a large bowl. Pour the water over the biga and stir it with a rubber spatula to soften it and break it into clumps. Stir in the yeast, flour, and salt until a dough forms.

Place in a mixing bowl with the dough hook attachment. mix the dough on medium speed until it is smooth and elastic, 10 - 12 minutes. Check that the dough is well developed by cutting a golf ball size amount from the bulk of the dough and stretch it until an opaque windowpane. If it tears, knead for an additional 2 - 3 minutes and test again.

Ferment the dough
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled, clear 2-qt container with a lid. Cover and let it rise at room temperature (70-75*) until it doubles in volume, 1 1/2 - 2 hours. When you press your finger into the dough, the figerprint should spring back slowly.

Divide and Shape
Shape the dough into loaves. Place on sheet tray lined with parchment paper.

Proofing the dough
Let the dough rest until double in size again. abot 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Prepare the oven
If you have a baking stone place in the oven at 450*F 1 hour prior to baking, along with a cast iron skillet on the bottom rack.

Slide the dough still on the parchment onto the baking stone. Place 1/4 cup ice cubes into skillet, this will produce the light steam. Bake the bread until it is a honey gold, 20 - 30 minutes.

Cool and store
Slide the bread out of the oven onto a baking sheet. Place on a cooling rack. Cool the loaves completely 1 hour before serving. This bread is best eaten the day it is baked. Otherwise freeze for up to 1 month.


Saturday, October 31, 2009

Cinnamon Doughnut Muffins

The original formula for these muffins was found in The Taste of Home Baking book. I have changed it about a bit to fit the needs of my family. My son is allergic to all dairy products. It is amazing how many formulas are as versatile with soy / rice products. In some recipes / formulas the soy / rice products will change the overall end result. However, I have found in most of my baking / cooking I can freely substitute these products.

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
3/4 cup rice milk (or soy milk)
Jam - you favorite kind
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

1. Combine all dry ingredients.
2. In a seperate bowl combine all wet ingredients.
3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix just to combine. Do not overmix. Overmixing will cause the muffins to be tough.
4. Prepare a muffin tin with pan spray. Place 2 tbsp of batter in each cup.
5. Place 1 tsp of jam in the center of the batter in each cup.
6. Place an additional 2 tbsp on top of the jam. Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar on top of each muffin.
7. Bake at 350*F for 15 - 25 minutes. Serve warm


Friday, October 30, 2009

Chocolate Cream Dip

This recipe in its orginal form was wonderful! I have tweaked it to make it fit into various events!

1 cup Semi-sweet chocolate chips
8 ounces Frozen whipped cream, thawed
1/2 tsp vanilla flavor

1. Melt the chocolate in the microwave. Ensure the chocolate is hot, not just melted.
2. Add the vanilla flavoring to the whipped cream.
3. Fold the chocolate into the whipped cream.

This dip is great matched with the following...
assorted fruits - apples, pears, bananas, strawberries, kiwi, grapes, peaches

cinnamon chips

If your child loves chocolate.. then this is for you! Really what is the attraction to candy... mostly chocolate. When making this you could substitute a few miniature chocolate bars for the semi sweet chocolate chips. This is also, a great recipe to make with you children. Enjoy!

Halloween & Parties!

So, I am not a fan of the never ending stream of sugar that is displayed to children during school parties. I probably have more issues than school parties.. but let's start there! Is trick or treating not enough of a supply of sugar? Why do we as parents' feel this need to supply the neighborhood with more and more candy? My children are young (4 & 6), I am strongly opposed to food being shoved in front of my children that is made to look like it is the best thing out there! Since my oldest child started trick or treating, I have tried to provide the opportunity to choose. I also, try to provide information! A small piece of candy, perhaps a miniature candy bar verses a banana. Which will taste better? Which will last longer? Which will sustain you better?... I am not opposed to children endulging in a piece of candy. However, I am opposed to children not be given the opportunity to make a well informed decision. In my next post, I will share a recipe that I have prepared for the last 2 years. I love having this to share with my children when a miniature chocolate bar is just not enough. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pound Cake

This formula is from my grandmother's file! This is probably my favorite item that she makes!
Vegetable Shortening 1 cup
Sugar 2 cups
Cake Flour 3 cups
Eggs 4 each
Buttermilk 1 cup
Baking Powder 1/2 tsp
Baking Soda 1/2 tsp
Extract (Vanilla/Almond) 1 tsp

1. Cream shortening and sugar together
2. Sift all dry ingredients together
3. Add eggs and flavoring to sugar mixture
4. Add dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk
5. Prepare 2 loaf pans with butter and flour. Pour batter into pans.
6. Bake at 350*F up to an hour. Check after 30 minutes.

Variation: For a marbled pound cake Add 2 tbsp baking cocoa and 2 tbsp sugar to 1 cup of batter. Swirl into cake batter to create a marbled effect.


Why blog? Why not!

I enjoy sharing what I have made with anyone who would like to try a new recipe / formula. I enjoy preparing foods with my children. I want them to know why there are traditions in food. Why do we share food with our families and friends. Food supports us in so many different ways. So this blog is dedicated to my ever adoring children. I love you both and love watching you grow and learn about this world we live in. As time goes on, I look to ad lots of fun to eat recipes / formulas for everyone to try. If you are reading this blog and would like help with a recipe / formula, or have one you would like to share.. post along! I look forward to sharing my love for food with you!