Saturday, January 24, 2015

Mini Slider Rolls

 After the shock of finding out that the party I offered to cater was for 150 people and not the 50 I assumed it would be, I decided I had better get started preparing the food. I always prepare as much in advance as I can which really helps out during the hectic last days before an event.  One thing I will be serving is ham sliders which are always a big hit.

 The problem is, 150 people can eat an awful lot of sliders so I need a ton of rolls.

 I used the recipe for my potato rolls which I love but find that they tend to be a bit heavy.  So, after many many years of making these rolls a light bulb went off and I realized....these need more yeast.  I increased the yeast to 1 tablespoon and the rolls came out perfect.  You can teach old dogs new tricks!

 These freeze really well too.

 I made tray after tray.

Two more days of roll making and I will have enough.  Here is the recipe if you ever need a bunch of rolls:

Potato Rolls

1 1/2cups warm water
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tablespoon of rapid rise yeast
2/3 c. shortening
1 c. mashed potatoes ( I make instant ones for this recipe because homemade is too heavy)
7-7 1/2 cups flour

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Ugly Basement

 I finally finished the basement.  Though it looks better, it is still an ugly basement.  But for 140 year old house, I guess I shouldn't complain.  This was the pantry area before we painted the floor.

Here it is now.  A bit neater looking.
 This was the other area before I got started.

 Here it is after I cleaned it up.

 And here it is now.

 I can actually see from one end to the other.

 Teddy checked every nook and cranny.  There could have been bad kitties hiding under all that stuff.

 Thank god I found nothing alive or dead down here.

 I might have to crack out my roller skates!

The first person that throws something in here and does not put it in it's proper place is out on the street!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Best Garlic Bread

The best garlic bread, not my words but the words of the party goers.  I never even tried it so we have to take their word for it.  The Blog Tech was invited to a pasta pot luck party and told to bring garlic bread.  Six people brought garlic bread and this recipe was everyone's favorite.
 Melt 4 T. of butter in a pot.  Add 2 T. olive oil, 2 T. diced fresh parsley and 2 T. diced garlic.  Cook until the butter melts.

 Slice a loaf of ciabatta bread almost all the way through.  Put it on a piece of foil.

 Pry the slices apart and spread the garlic butter on both sides of the bread. Sprinkle some Parmesan cheese between the slices, just a couple tablespoons. Push the bread back into a loaf.

 Sprinkle the outside with some garlic seasoning.  I like this one which you can find in the Latin section of your store.

 Sprinkle with more Parmesan and some grated asiago.

 Wrap the loaf with the foil and bake it for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

 Open the foil and bake it for 10 minutes longer.

 It sure smelled good!

Hey look!  We had winter for about 2 hours yesterday.  Not a good year for a winter lover like me!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

 One of my new activities is baking for school kids in the poor little town I've adopted.

 A group of kids gets dropped off at the community center each afternoon after school.  They spend the next 3 hours studying and being tutored for their SAT's and working on projects they have come up with that benefit the community.  You sprinkle these cookies with sea salt before baking them.

 So once a week I  make them a treat.  Yesterday they got my giant chocolate chips cookies and milk.

These are commercial cookie sheets which I used to transport them to the center.  They don't even fit in my oven.  So you can see how big each of the cookies are.  They weigh 4 oz. each.  The kids went crazy for these. If you want the recipe you can find it here:

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Brazilian Coconut Rolls ( Pao Doce Com Coco)

I have a good friend that is Brazilian but she doesn't cook.  I wanted to make something she ate as a child so she could share a taste of her childhood home with her own children.  I surprised her with these rolls.  If you like coconut, you will love these.  They are not overly sweet but have a wonderful coconut flavor.  For the dough, pour 1/2 C. milk in your mixer bowl, add 4-1/2 tsp. rapid rise yeast, 1/2 C. sugar, 8 tablespoons of softened butter, 1 large egg and 1-1/4 C. coconut milk.  Slowly mix in 5-3/4 C. flour.  Knead until you have a smooth ball of dough. Place in a buttered bowl, cover and let double in size, about 1 hour.
 For the filling, mix 1 C. shredded sweetened coconut with 1/2 can of sweetened condensed milk and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract. 

 Mix this together and set it aside.

 For the topping, mix 1 C. coconut milk with 1 cup of sugar and 1/2 C. coconut.  Set aside.

 When the dough has doubled, roll it out into a large rectangle about 1/4 inch thick.  Brush it with some melted butter.

Drop spoonfuls of the filling over the dough.

 Spread the filling over the dough and then roll it up jelly roll style.  Slice it into twelve - 2 inch slices.  Place them in a parchment lined pan and grease the pan.  Cover and let them rise for about 30 minutes.

Bake them in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes.  Cover them with foil for the last 10 minutes to keep them from over browning. Drizzle them with the topping while they are warm.  I only used half of the topping.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Farfalle with Broccoli Rabe and Sausauge

This is a good quick meal when you are in the mood for pasta.  You can use any kind of pasta you like too.
Cut up 1 bunch of broccoli rabe and blanch it for several minutes in boiling water and then shock it in ice water.  Drain it and set it aside.

Dice up as much garlic as you like.  I used one whole head from last summers harvest.

Brown 1 pound of sausage in 3 T. olive oil breaking it up as it cooks.  I used sage flavored pork sausage.  You can use whatever kind you like. Add the broccoli rabe.

Sprinkle in a small amount of red pepper flakes or more if you want it to be spicy.

Add the onions.

Add the garlic.

Add 1 cup of reserved pasta water.  You could use white wine if you are so inclined.

Add 1 box of cooked al dente pasta.

And 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese.

Stir it around until the cheese begins to melt.  Simple but delicious.