Protein Waffles   1 comment

I asked on FB this week for protein-rich breakfast foods that freeze well and can be reheated easily. My friend Becky (who has truly been my friend since back when she was my sixth grade teacher – one of my best teachers ever!) shared a recipe with me for waffles with a protein punch.

I tried it out this morning and was amazed at how “normal” they taste! I did add a 1/2 c of flour and a teaspoon of baking powder to the second batch (me and my compulsory tweeking…) and found that they had more of a regular waffle consistency. Here’s my adapted recipe.

1/4 c butter
1 t vanilla
6 large eggs
1/4 c milk
1 c cottage cheese
1 c flour
1 t baking powder
1 t sugar

Blend all ingredients in a blender just until smooth. Do not over blend.
Bake in a hot waffle iron.
If you wish, sprinkle with wheat germ, flaxseed or oats after you pour into waffle iron (I liked this the one round that I remembered it!).

I figured up 80 grams of protein for the whole recipe. With our waffle iron, it made 12 waffles, so almost 7 grams of protein per waffle.

Yummy waffles, and I like that they have so much more protein!


Posted April 11, 2010 by smithlaurel in Breakfast

Calzones!   2 comments

I would love to have pictures to go with this recipes, but the flash died on our camera recently, and I just don’t have enough natural light in my kitchen to get good food pictures. Maybe someday, I’ll add pictures in, but for now, we’ll go basic. Ready?

I love this Persian Bread recipe for pizza and calzone dough, so that’s where I started. If you have a favorite pizza dough, feel free to use that instead, of course.

For filling for one recipe of dough, mix together the following:
2 cups mozzarella
2 cups cottage cheese or ricotta
1 t basil
1 t oregano
1 egg
1/2 – 1 c parmesan

I added one pound of browned and cooled sausage to the above and mixed it all together. You could also add meat separately as desired, if you want a variety of calzone flavors. Or, if you’re not into meat, just throw in some more cheese until the consistency seems right. With the pound of sausage, this made about 5 cups.

Tonight, I actually made two recipes of dough and doubled the filling/meat. That feeds our family with a bit leftover, but I realize our family isn’t “average” size, so I’m giving the single batch recipe. Anyway, I played with the assembling of the calzones a bit, and you can go one of two ways with it.

Preheat oven to 450′

For personal calzones, divide one recipe of dough into 10-12 balls of dough. Roll out each ball into a circle about the spread of your hand across (this is 8″ for me, but it’s easier to use my hand than a ruler, and if your hand is a bit bigger or smaller, I’m sure it’ll work just fine).

Place an appropriate amount of filling on each calzone. I wound up with five cups of filling for 11 balls (one batch of dough with a single recipe of filling), so I used a bit under half a cup for each calzone. Spread the filling on one half, leaving empty space around the edge for sealing.

Use your finger to put some water on the edge of the half of the circle that you’re going to fold over the topping. Fold over, making a half-circle, and seal the edges by pinching them together.

Bake personal calzones for ~10 minutes at 450′. The crust should be golden brown.

For larger calzones that you will cut into serving size, divide the dough into four larger balls, split the filling four ways, and seal as described above.

Bake larger calzones for 12-14 minutes at 450′.

Marinara sauce on the side is a nice, but not essential, option.

Enjoy! I’d love to hear what you think if you try it.

Posted March 28, 2010 by smithlaurel in Main Dish

Persian Bread   Leave a comment

Besides making wonderful Persian Bread, this recipe is my go-to recipe when I need dough that’s workable, soft, and yummy. It came to me years ago from my sister-in-love Beka, who got it from her sis, Sarah. Here’s the recipe with my slight adaptations:

Combine and set aside:
1/2 c warm water
3 T sugar
2 T yeast

Other ingredients:
3 1/2 c flour (I often do 2 c unbleached all-purpose and 1 1/2 c wheat)
3/4 c warm milk
1/2 c butter, softened, but not melted
1 t salt

Combine 1 1/2 c flour with milk, butter, and salt.
Add yeast mixture.
Stir in remaining 2 c flour, one cup at a time.
Let rise until doubled (45 – 60 min.)
Punch down and divide dough in half.
Make two flat round loaves about 6-8 inches across.
Place on lightly greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 350′ for 20-25 minutes. Crust should be golden brown.

Let cool enough to cut, then slice and slather with butter.

For pizza dough, this makes two pizza crusts.
For calzones, it makes 10-12 “personal” calzones or four large calzones to be cut into pieces.

Posted March 28, 2010 by smithlaurel in Uncategorized

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownies from scratch   2 comments

I’ve been reading here and there around blog-land about making Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownies, and the thought has been haunting me. Yesterday, I decided it was time! The recipes I’ve seen call for using mixes, which I don’t generally buy, so I made mine from scratch and thought I’d pass it on to you.

Fair warning – this recipe has nothing low-calorie or low-fat about it!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (the classic Toll House recipe, my favorite since I was a child):
Cream together, adding one ingredient at a time, scraping the side of the mixer bowl often –
1 1/2 c butter (three sticks)
1 c sugar (the recipe actually says 1c +2T for this and the br. sug, I usually do a rounded cup)
1 c brown sugar
1 1/2 t vanilla
2 eggs

Add and mix just until incorporated –
3 1/3 c flour
1 1/2 t baking soda
1 1/2 t salt
(I usually add the soda and salt to the estimated 1/3 c of flour and mix it up before adding it to the bowl)

Mix in by hand –
12 oz bag chocolate chips

(for cookies, bake for 8 minutes @ 350′)

Brownie Batter (this is my favorite brownie recipe, many thanks to Cathy Smith for introducing us):

Melt 2 sticks (1 cup) of butter in 9×13 pan in oven while mixing other ingredients and preheating oven to 350′

Mix dry ingredients –
1 1/2 c flour
1 c sugar
6 generous T cocoa
2 T vanilla

Add four eggs (I usually beat them slightly first) and the melted butter from the pan, mix.

(for regular brownies, bake at 350′ for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with choc. chips before baking or frost after baking)

Instructions for Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownies:
Spread brownie batter in 9×13 pan. Plop spoonfuls of cookie dough around the pan. You only need half of the cookie dough. What you do with the rest is up to you and your conscience. 🙂 I managed to bake the second half as chocolate chip cookie bars and freeze them for later. This act of self-control was negated by the extra brownie I ate in the middle of the night on my way back from the bathroom.

Bake at 350′ for 40-50 minutes. Don’t overbake.

Note: don’t cut these into a certain number per person in your family unless you have better self-control than me!

Posted March 13, 2010 by smithlaurel in Uncategorized

Peanut Butter Cups – Fancy Version and Simple Version!   Leave a comment

I made some peanut butter cups on Sunday with the help of Jonathan and some of the Blessings. They were very simple and imperfect. And wonderfully yummy.

If it weren’t for Jonathan, I would have not gotten any pictures taken, and I don’t have pictures of all the steps. But this will give you the basic idea.

Mini-muffin tin and mini-muffin-tin-sized paper cups.
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c peanut butter
1/2 pound powdered sugar
1/2 stick butter, softened
1/2 t salt

Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave or a double boiler.
Place the paper cups in the muffin tin.

Drop a bit of melted chocolate into each paper cup and use a small paint brush to spread it out along the bottom and up the sides. At first, I tried to get it all the way to the top, but I had to hold the cup to do so and that’s difficult for arthritic hands. I decided to hold the paper cups in with two fingers on my left hand while I painted chocolate with my right. I didn’t go all the way up the edge, figuring that the top layer of chocolate would meet the bottom layer and seal things up. It worked!

Place the chocolate cups in the freezer to harden while you mix up the peanut butter filling.

Cream together 1 c peanut butter, 1/2 pound powdered sugar, 1/2 stick softened butter, and 1/2 t salt.

When the chocolate cups are hardened, remove from freezer (aren’t you glad I mentioned that?!) and place a small amount of peanut butter mixture in each. The pictures below give you an idea of proportions. And show off the fact that we didn’t do them perfectly!

It would make doing the top layer of chocolate easier if you placed the cups back in the freezer for a bit first. We were too impatient for this step, but it really would be helpful.

Reheat chocolate as needed place some on top of each cup, spreading the chocolate to the edges.

If you’re imperfect folks like us, you might have some peanut butter cups with peanut butter sticking out the edges. And guess what? They’re still scrumptious!

You also might not have quite enough chocolate to finish all the cups. The topless ones are fabulous also!

Even the scrapings from the bowls and spoons are terrific!

Ta-da! Peanut Butter Cups!

And if you like the idea, but you don’t feel like making individual cups, here is a terrific recipe that I got from my friend Tonya many moons ago. These are wonderful!

Tonya’s Peanut Butter Cups in a Pan
1 c peanut butter
1 c graham cracker crumbs
1/2 pound butter
1 pound powdered sugar
1/2 t vanilla
1/2 t salt
12 oz. chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients except choc. chips with mixer. Press into buttered 9×13 pan. Put in refrigerator for 2 hours to chill. Melt choc. chips, spread over peanut butter mixture. Cut into pieces before putting back into refrigerator. Chill until firm. Yum!

Posted February 16, 2010 by smithlaurel in Treats

Sugar Cookies   Leave a comment

I don’t have a sugar cookie recipe of “my own.” Honestly, the sugar cookie recipe in my Betty Crocker cookbook is one of the few recipes I faithfully use just as it is written. As far as I can recall, it is much like the recipe we used when I was growing up, and I love these cookies. I thought it would be fun to take some pictures of the process as we prepared for Cookie Day and to share my favorite sugar cookies with you.

First gather your ingredients with the help of some lovely ladies, if any are available. I doubled the recipe that you’ll find at the bottom of the page, so the quantities in my pictures will likely seem large:
softened butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract, egg(s), flour, baking soda, cream of tartar

Then have a “keepin’ it real” moment and take a picture of the three partially used bags of powdered sugar you’re going to try to finish off:

At the wise suggestion of your husband, gather your tools:
Mixer, measuring spoon(s), broken measuring cup with handy 1/2 c mark, pitiful but still favored spatula with the melted handle, rolling pin, pastry cloth (these last two will be waiting a while, but I thought I’d include them).

Cream the butter and sugar till light and fluffy:

Remember you’re doubling the recipe and add the second half of the sugar and cream until light and fluffy again:

Add your egg(s), vanilla, and almond:

Dump in about half your flour and get the mixer going on low:

Mix the baking soda and cream of tartar with some of the flour:

And gradually finish adding the flour to the mixer:

Once it’s all mixed up…
… pop it in the refrigerator for a couple hours or until you’re ready to roll it out and cut some cookies. I transferred it another bowl so that I could mix up some Big Soft Ginger Cookies, but you could also leave it in the mixing bowl.

When your dough has chilled, roll it out to about a 1/4″ thick and cut your cookies. We went for simple circles and hearts this time.

Take a picture of your adorable 2 year old, if applicable.

Bake the cookies at 375′ for 7-8 minutes, or until the edges start to turn golden.
Let cookies cool on the pan for a few minutes, then move them to a cooling rack. Frost or ice as desired.

I wanted to be sure that our frosting would be nice and firm so the cookies could be packaged for Cookie Day. I did some research and found that icing hardens, frosting doesn’t. This is the recipe I used for icing our cookies, and it worked wonderfully.

The Summary – for your copying and pasting pleasure:

Sugar Cookies (from Betty Crocker’s 40th Anniversary Edition Cookbook)
1 1/2 c powdered sugar
1 c butter, softened
1 t vanilla
1/2 t almond extract
1 egg
2 1/2 c flour
1 t baking soda
1 t cream of tartar

Chill, roll out, cut.
Bake the cookies at 375′ for 7-8 minutes, or until the edges start to turn golden.
Cool on rack, then frost.

Posted February 14, 2010 by smithlaurel in Treats

Fresh Bread in 5 Minutes a Day   6 comments

I’ve beeen meaning to post about one of my recent discoveries -the fresh bread in five minutes a day method. Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois have written two books together: Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day. The point is that it’s very easy to mix up the dough (no kneading), you can store it in the fridge for up to two weeks, and when you want a loaf, you just pull off a hunk, shape, rise, and bake. It’s super easy and the bread is yummy!

Here’s a couple of my loaves from the Master Recipe ready to bake (I actually used 1/2 wheat and 1/2 white):

And because I haven’t remembered to take any pictures of finished regular loves, I’m stealing one from Shawna, who introduced me to this whole wonderful idea:

You can probably check out the books from the library for lots of ideas (I have Artisan Bread checked out right now and am loving the easy variety!), but here’s the “Master Recipe” (explanation copied from an email):

1 1/2 Tablespoons Yeast
1 1/2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt (or1 T regular salt)
6 1/2 Cups UNBLEACHED All Purpose Flour… See More
3 Cups Warm Water
A little cornmeal (not added to the mix — used when you take some dough out and form it) or parchment paper.

Mix everything in a large container — you mix it in the same container you are going to store it in so you don’t have a dish to wash! (The next time you make the mix, don’t wash the old bits out, it will help with the sourdough taste. They say to never wash the container.) Anyway, you stir it together just until there’s no dry parts. Don’t over-stir.

Then you lightly cover it (do not close it up tight) and let it rise out on your kitchen counter for 2 hours. After two hours, put it in the refrigerator. It can keep for up to 12 days in the refrigerator.

When you want to make some bread, take a little out (see the video on how to do this) and form it (see video) and put the cornmeal on the plate and let it rise for 20 – 40 minutes. Then cut the top a little (see video) and put in oven. You should be able to make four small loaves from the mix.

450 degrees for 30 minutes. Preheat a pizza stone. You want it as hot as possible before you put the dough on it. Use a broiler pan (I use a cast iron skillet) in the bottom of the oven and add hot water to it right when you put the dough in. You want some steam in there to make the crust hard and crunchy.

Here are a couple of videos from the authors of the books which show the method in use –
Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day

And here’s a shot of some decadent Brioche with Chocolate Ganache that I made from another recipe in the book. It was amazing.

Posted January 28, 2010 by smithlaurel in Uncategorized