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Archive for August, 2013

postheadericon Homemade Graham Crackers

I love these crackers.  These come in handy for a ton of recipes besides just enjoying them all on their own.  For those of us who want less preservatives in our food, baking these crackers at home instead of buying them pre-packaged, makes them a little healthier.

grahamcrackers1

Yield:  10 4 x 4.5-inch graham crackers or 48 2-inch squares

What you need:

  • 2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (375 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour (a swap of 1/2 cup with whole wheat flour or 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour works well here, too)
  • 1 cup (176 grams) dark brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 teaspoon (6 grams) baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt (4 grams)
  • 7 tablespoons (3 1/2 ounces or 100 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen
  • 1/3 cup (114 grams) mild-flavored honey, such as clover
  • 5 tablespoons (77 grams) milk, full-fat is best
  • 2 tablespoons (27 grams) pure vanilla extract

Topping (optional but yummy)
3 tablespoons (43 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon (5 grams) ground cinnamon

How to make it:

  1. Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade or in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or if you don’t have a food processor or electric mixer, you can cut the ingredients together with a pastry blender. Just make sure they’re very well mixed together. Pulse or mix on low to incorporate. Add the butter and pulse on and off on and off, or mix on low, until the mixture is the consistency of a coarse meal.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, milk, and vanilla extract. Add to the flour mixture and mix on low until the dough barely comes together. It will be very soft and sticky. Lay out a large piece of plastic wrap and dust it lightly with flour, then turn the dough out onto it and pat it into a rectangle about 1-inch thick. Wrap it, then chill it until firm, about 2 hours or overnight. Meanwhile, prepare the topping, if using, by combining the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and setting aside.
  3. Divide the dough in half and return one half to the refrigerator. Sift an even layer of flour onto the work surface and roll the dough into a long rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. The dough will be sticky, so flour as necessary. Trim the edges of the rectangle to 4 inches wide. Working with the shorter side of the rectangle parallel to the work surface, cut the strip every 4 1/2 inches to make 4 crackers.
  4. Place the crackers on one or two parchment-lined baking sheets and sprinkle with the topping. Chill until firm, about 30 to 45 minutes in the fridge or 15 to 20 minutes in the freezer. Repeat with the second batch of dough. Finally, gather any scraps together into a ball, chill until firm, and re-roll.
  5. Adjust the oven rack to the upper and lower positions and preheat the oven to 350°F.
  6. Mark a vertical line down the middle of each cracker, being careful not to cut through the dough (again, this is for the traditional cracker shape). Using a toothpick or skewer (I like to use the blunt end of a wooden skewer for more dramatic dots), prick the dough to form two dotted rows about 1/2 inch for each side of the dividing line.
  7. Bake for 15 to 25 minutes, until browned and slightly firm to the touch, rotating the sheets halfway through to ensure even baking. The baking time depends on your oven.
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postheadericon Roasted Garlic & Chipotle Dipping Sauce

Roasted Garlic & Chipotle Dipping Sauce

Yummy dipping sauce!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Good quality Mayonnaise
  • 1 Bulb of roasted Garlic (approx. 10 cloves)
  • 3 Chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped chives
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

Instructions:

Place ingredients into a food processor. Pulse till incorporated well.  Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve with grilled meats, vegetables or fish.

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postheadericon Pork & Chicken Dry BBQ Rub

pork&chickendrybbqrub

Make this and use it in your recipes for an awesome flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 1/4 cup Smoked Sweet Paprika
  • 3 tablespoons Morton’s Kosher Salt
  • 2 tablespoons Coarse Ground Malabar Black Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Mild Chilli powder
  • 2 tablespoons Granulated Garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Granulated Onion
  • 2 teaspoons Piri Piri or Chipotle Powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon rubbed thyme

Instructions:

Sift all of the ingredients through a fine mesh. Mix thoroughly. Store in a sealed airtight container

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postheadericon BBQ Sauce: Pulled Pork

Oh yeah this will melt in your mouth.  Well not the corn...that will get stuck in your teeth! hehe

Oh yeah this will melt in your mouth. Well not the corn…that will get stuck in your teeth! hehe

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups Ketchup
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups apple cider (or substitute juice)
  • 1/2 cup yellow mustard
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons granulated garlic
  • 2 tablespoons granulated onion
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind paste
  • 1 tablespoon butcher grind black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (or more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

1. Combine all ingredients in saucepan. Simmer until the tamarind paste has dissolved and all of the ingredients have combined.

2. Bring sauce to a rapid boil for 5 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes then serve on pulled pork.

3. Serve with your favorite sides like corn on cob or salad

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postheadericon Recipe Staples

You are starving!  You want to cook something quick.  You haven’t shopped in ages and don’t plan on doing it today.  If you keep these basic ingredients on hand, you’ll always be able to make something simple and yummy.

Here’s a list of staples for your home:

Baking stuff

Already made

Fruits/Vegetables
  • Flour
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Cinnamon
  • White Sugar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Oatmeal (Not instant)
  • Oatmeal (Instant)
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Vegetable Oil

 

  • Peanut Butter
  • Jam/Jelly
  • Butter/Margarine
  • Tuna/Salmon (Canned)
  • Canned Tomatoes
  • Canned beans
  • Pasta sauce
  • Bouillon cubes/powder
  • Beef/Chicken broth
  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Potatoes
Pasta/Rice

Fresh (Replenish weekly)

  • Rice
  • Pasta (Spaghetti, etc.)

 

  • Eggs
  • Bread
  • Milk or Dairy Substitute
  • Cheese

 

 

 

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postheadericon Caramel Cheesecake Bites

Everything you see was made at home and was soooo easy!

Everything you see was made at home and was soooo easy!

Oh this was a major hit with not only our family but the friends who we passed these to as well.  In fact, our friend’s told us they almost had to fight for the last delicious treat.  These are guaranteed to be a hit at any family gathering or simply freeze to enjoy when you want a nice treat.

This base can be used in a ton of recipes and I will be adding some new ones very soon featuring this Almond base.

Ingredients:

Almond base crust:

  • 2 cups almond meal (Pre-packaged or a use coffee grinder to save money and make your own)
  • 1 cup slivered almonds (Pre-packaged or hand chop them to save money)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp regular salt or sea salt (*Optional for sodium restricted diets)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup melted butter

Cheesecakes:

  • 19 oz cream cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Caramel:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup evaporated milk

Preheat oven to 350 F

 

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