Nov 18, 2016

Gingerbread With Cream Cheese Frosting

It's time to start posting some Christmas recipes and let me tell you there is nothing like good old fashioned Gingerbread to make the house smell like Christmas. I used your typical spices for this Gingerbread but I also added a little orange zest to make the taste complete. I couldn't help myself so I didn't stop there I had to add some cream cheese frosting. The combo is ohh so good.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup applesauce (natural, which means no sugar added)
zest of one small orange

Whisk together in small bowl the first 6 ingredients and set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar.

Add the egg, vanilla, applesauce, orange zest and mix until combined. Add the flour mixture and mix until well combined.

Spray a 9x5 loaf pan with cooking spray. Pour mixture into loaf pan and bake on 350 for 50-55 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes and turn out of glass or metal loaf pan. Cool completely before frosting.

1 tablespoon butter, soft
4 ounces cream cheese
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Cream butter and cream cheese. Add powdered sugar and blend until smooth. Add vanilla and blend in completely. Frost cooled gingerbread.

Sep 16, 2016

Crock Pot Chicken Noodle Soup

If you are looking for a chicken noodle soup that's hearty and hits the comfort zone and the biggie is that you don't have to watch it, then this is your recipe. Five to six hours on low in the crockpot and your done. Some nice crusty bread to go with it and it makes a meal.

1 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 cups carrots, peeled and sliced, about a 1 lb. bag.
small onion, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
quick drizzle olive oil
7 cups chicken broth
2 teaspoons chicken flavored instant bouillon granuals (I use Wyler's)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
black pepper, to taste
2 heaping  cups uncooked wide egg noodles
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
good handful fresh spinach

Put in your crock pot, chicken (un-cut), sliced carrots (not to thin), onion, celery, and garlic. Drizzle olive oil over top then add chicken broth, thyme, rosemary, and season with pepper. Cover and cook on low heat for 4-5 hours.

Remove cooked chicken and allow to rest 10 minutes, then dice into bite size pieces. Meanwhile, add egg noodles, parsley and spinach to crock pot. Increase temperature to high, cover and cook 10 minutes longer (or until noodles are tender).  Toss back in the cooked diced chicken. Serve.

makes 5-7 servings.

Aug 9, 2016

Fresh Peach Pie

My daughter has this fabulous peach tree. The peaches come on early and are juicy and sweet year after year. When you eat a peach the juice just runs down your hand, so good. I have an Alberta peach tree which I have only had for three years and the fruit is also good but not like hers. My tree won't have fruit that is ready until the middle of September so she gave me some peaches for a pie because I just love peach pie and waiting is not my strong suit.  If you're not into making your own pie crust by all means use a store bought ready to bake crust. 

For the pie crust:
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup cold butter
1/4 cup ice water

Put all ingredients except water into a food processor. Process for 10 seconds or so until crumbly. You can mix by hand if you don't have a processor.  Add water in a slow stream until the dough holds together, not more that 30 seconds.  Make two balls of dough, flatten each into a disc and wrap with plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge of at least 1/2 an hour.

*Tip - you can keep pie dough in the fridge for a week, or freeze for one month.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

After the dough is chilled, take one disk and roll it out on floured surface and place in a 9 to 10 inch pie plate, then make filling.

For the pie filling:
8 good size peaches
2/3 cup sugar, add 1/8 cup more if you need it sweeter (all peaches are different)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons cornstarch

Peel and slice peaches into bowl. Stir sugar, lemon juice, salt, and cornstarch into peaches. Pour mixture into pie crust, (sometimes if there is too much juice I don't use it all). Roll out second disk of dough for the top crust. If you want a design on top with tiny cookie cutters etc. this is the time to do that. Lift top crust onto the pie filling and crimp edges to the lower crust.

Whisk an egg and brush crust with egg wash and sprinkle sugar on top crust. This will make your crust shiny and delicious.

Bake in 375 degree oven until crust is golden brown, about 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes.

*Tip - I use a metal pie ring to protect the edges of the pie crust so they don't get too brown. If you don't have one of these you can use steps of tin foil if the edges start to get too brown.