Welcome to our kitchen! Our goal is to create tasty kitchen concoctions and share them with friends and family. We hope you enjoy browsing through our favorite appetizers, breads, breakfasts, desserts, meals, and sides, as well as looking through general baking and cooking tips. Feel free to leave comments and suggestions of how to make these recipes even better. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Cinnamon Breadsticks

This recipe is the same as our Ultimate Pizza Dough, but with a bit more sugar added to the dough.

1 C warm water
1 package instant dry yeast
1/2 C sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 T olive oil
2 1/2-3 C flour
1 C powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 T milk

1. Mix warm water and yeast until frothy.
2. Allow to sit 5 minutes.
3. Add in sugar, salt, and oil.
4. Stir in flour, 1/2 C at a time.
5. Knead dough.
6. Allow to rest for 20-30 minutes in warm place.
7. Roll out dough to be 3/4" thick.
8. Slice dough into breadsticks.
9. Place on greased pan or on baking stone.
10. Allow to rise an additional 30 minutes before baking.
11. Bake at 450 F for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
12. Prepare frosting by combining powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk.
13. Serve with frosting drizzled on top of breadsticks or with frosting on the side.

Makes 2 dozen breadsticks.

Hot Pizza Dip

Hidden beneath this sea of green peppers and olives is a delicious pizza dip!

16 oz cream cheese
2 tsp Italian seasoning
2 C shredded mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 C Parmesan cheese
1 can (16 oz) pizza sauce
1 C toppings (green pepper, onion, olives)

1. Combine cream cheese and Italian seasoning.
2. Spread on bottom of 9"x13" pan.
3. Combine cheeses and pour 1/2 on top of cream cheese.
4. Spread sauce over cheese in pan.
5. Top with remaining cheese and desired toppings.
6. Bake at 350 F for 15-18 minutes or until edges bubble.
7. Serve with sliced bread or breadsticks.

Serves 8-10.

Spinach and Garlic Mashed Potatoes

A little bit of experimenting led us to these mashed potatoes - with an exciting twist! We will definitely make them again!

We used heavy cream, because we had it on hand; milk and sour cream would substitute alright. We never skin our potatoes; the skin is the most nutritious part of the potato! Also, we always mash, never whip, our mashed potatoes for a better texture.

4-6 potatoes
1 onion
1 T olive oil
3 T butter
1/2 C heavy cream
spices (garlic, black pepper, seasoned salt) to taste
1 C fresh spinach

1. Dice and boil potatoes.
2. Meanwhile, saute onion in olive oil.
3. When cooked, drain and mash potatoes.
4. Stir in butter until melted.
5. Mix in heavy cream (or milk and sour cream).
6. Add spices to taste.
7. Tear spinach into small pieces and add to potatoes.
8. Heat until spinach is cooked.

Serves 4-6.

The Ultimate Pizza Dough

After years of searching, we have finally found a great pizza dough recipe that is perfect every time! It's wonderful for pizza, breadsticks, Cinnamon Breadsticks, or calzones! Also, check out our recipe for Flat Bread Pizza.

1 C warm water
1 package instant dry yeast
2 T sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 T olive oil
2 1/2-3 C flour
desired toppings

1. Mix warm water and yeast until frothy.
2. Allow to sit 5 minutes.
3. Add in sugar, salt, and oil.
4. Stir in flour, 1/2 C at a time.
5. Knead dough.
6. Allow to rest for 20-30 minutes in warm place.
7. Form into desired size and shape.*
8. Top as desired.
8. Allow to rise an additional 15-20 minutes before baking.
9. Bake at 450 F until golden brown (cooking time will vary based on size and shape of dough).

*If making calzones:
7. Form dough into 3-4 balls and allow to rest 10-15 minutes.
8. Sprinkle cornmeal on countertop.
9. On counter, roll dough into 7" circles.
10. Place toppings (meats, cheeses, veggies) on half of dough.
11. Fold dough over toppings to form the calzone.
12. Slide calzone onto baking sheet or baking stone.
13. Seal and top with egg white prior to baking.
14. Bake at 450 F for 15-20 minutes.
15. Serve with pizza sauce on top or on side.

Makes 1 large pizza, 2 dozen breadsticks, or 3-4 large calzones.

Cranberry Orange Muffins

Yum! We slice the cranberries in half to help distribute the flavor. The recipe also calls for 1 C nuts, but we do not include them.

1/4 C butter (melted)
2-3 T orange juice concentrate
1 egg (beaten)
3/4 C milk
1/2 C sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 C flour
1 C fresh or frozen cranberries

1. Mix butter, orange juice concentrate, egg, milk, and sugar.
2. Add in baking powder and salt. Mix well.
3. Stir in flour.
4. Fold cranberries into mixture.
5. Pour batter into greased muffin tin.
6. Bake at 400 F for 20-25 minutes.

Makes one dozen muffins.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Baked Spaghetti

My sister gave me this recipe years ago, and it is still one of our favorites! It is similar to lasagna, only easier. It is so, so tasty with eggplant! Thanks, Kristi!

1 large eggplant (optional)
1 lb ground beef or sausage
12 oz spaghetti
24 oz pasta sauce
1/3 C Parmesan cheese
2 eggs (beaten)
2 tsp butter
18 oz cottage cheese
1 C mozzarella cheese

1. Peel, slice, and boil eggplant until tender. Set aside.
2. Brown meat and drain well.
3. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti.
4. Add sauce to meat and simmer.
5. Immediately after draining spaghetti, stir in Parmesan cheese, eggs, and butter.
6. Grease 9"x13" pan.
7. On bottom of pan, spread 1/2 of meat and sauce mixture.
8. Layer 1/2 of noodle mixture on top of meat sauce.
9. Spread entire amount of cottage cheese on top of noodles.
10. Place eggplant slices on next.
11. Spread remaining noodles on eggplant.
12. Cover with remaining meat sauce.
13. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes.
14. Spread mozzarella cheese on top.
15. Bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Serves 6-8.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Butternut Squash Casserole

This is a yummy side-dish that is great around Thanksgiving, Christmas, or really anytime! I only use about 1/4 C sugar, and the squash is still plenty sweet.

1 large butternut squash
1/2 C sugar
2 eggs (beaten)
1 tsp vanilla

1/8 C margarine (melted)
1/4 C brown sugar
1/4 C flour
1/8-1/4 C chopped pecans
1/4 C coconut

1. Peel, seed, dice (into 1" cubes), and boil squash until tender.
2. Drain well and transfer into mixing bowl.
3. Beat squash on low speed with mixer.
4. Add in sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
5. Mix well.
6. Pour mixture into a greased casserole dish.
7. Make topping by first creaming margarine and brown sugar.
8. Mix in flour, pecans, and coconut.
9. Spread topping over squash.
10. Bake at 325 F for 30-40 minutes.

Serves 8-10.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Flour Tortillas

We tried this recipe for the first time tonight. They are the best homemade tortillas we've tried yet (of course, only secondary to the ones we ate in Honduras)! We ate the tortillas as burritos tonight, but I can imagine they would also be very good for quesadillas. We made dessert tortillas by spreading honey on top. Yum!

For making these tortillas, it is most efficient to have two people: one person to roll out the dough, and one person to man the griddle.

3 1/2 C flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
7 T oil
1 C warm water

1. Mix ingredients together.
2. Knead for 3 minutes.
3. Cover with clean cloth and let dough sit for 15 minutes.
4. Separate dough into 1" sized portions (12-18).
5. Form each piece into a small ball.
6. Cover and let sit for 5-10 minutes.
7. Heat griddle on medium-high.
8. Roll out one ball into flat, round tortilla shape.
9. Place first piece of dough on hot griddle.
10. Once bubbles form, flip tortilla.
11. Tortilla will bubble up while cooking; flatten with spatula.
12. Heat until tortilla is golden brown on each side.
13. Continue rolling dough and cooking tortillas one at a time.
14. Enjoy the tortillas hot off the griddle!

Serves 4-6.