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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Oatmeal Craisin Muffins

Muffins in a basket

I must be in the muffin making mode this month, with my last post-Muffin Tin Apple Pie and now with these Oatmeal Craisin Muffins.

I like a good muffin and these are certainly great for breakfast. Oh! who I'm I kidding I like muffins any time of the day or night. The fall weather seems to put me in the right mood for baking, so I decided to try something different. I used Craisins but you could use raisins, chocolate chips, blueberries or any fruit you desire.

I started off by using the basic ingredients from my Quick Cheddar Cheese Muffins with a few changes of course.

Here is what I used:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
5 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup butter (5 tablespoons) softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup of white sugar (Plus a little more to sprinkle on top later)
2 eggs
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon honey
2 cups Quaker Oats (Quick Oats or Old Fashioned)
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups Ocean Spray Craisins

Here is how I made these sweet treats: 

In a large mixing bowl, I combined the flour, baking powder, butter, salt, and sugar. Using my KitchenAid Stand Mixer I turned it on low speed using the flat beater bar and let these combine.

In another bowl, I whisked together the eggs, cinnamon, vanilla, and honey. Add this to the dry ingredients, and then add the oats, milk, and craisins. Continue on low speed until you have a nice batter as you see in the picture below.

Spoon this batter into greased muffin tins almost to the top. I sprinkled about a teaspoon of sugar on top of each one. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes on the middle rack.
Ready for the Oven

Just out of the Oven

This recipe yielded 18 muffins, they are moist inside with a nice firm sugar coating on top. Serve these for breakfast or anytime for a snack.

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Muffin Tin Apple Pie

Mini apple pie on a plate
The nights are starting to get cooler and perfect for our family campfires. We had our usual fire on Friday night and I had some apple pie filling left over from our Mountain Pies. It wasn't enough to make a whole pie but I didn't want to waste it.

I had this idea to make some mini apple pies and decided to use muffin tins. Also, I wanted to use a different pie crust, I follow Connie Murray

Back in May of this year, Connie posted this recipe, Butter Crust Chicken Pot Pie. Ever since I read this post I've wanted to try her pie crust recipe so here was my opportunity.

When you read Connie's recipe you'll see that she made the crust in a food processor using chilled butter. I used a  KitchenAid stand mixer so I thought it best to have the butter at room temperature.

Other than that I followed her instructions perfectly and what a wonderful crust this makes, you can get this recipe by clicking the above link for her Chicken Pot Pie, and enjoy so many more of her amazing recipes.

Here is how I made these tasty sweet treats: 

After rolling the dough out to about 1/8 inch thick I used a glass top with a 3 1/2 inch diameter to cut perfect circles.

Then I greased a muffin tin and carefully pressed the dough into the bottom and up the sides.

I filled these with my apple mixture, oh and by the way I added 1 tablespoon of sugar and sprinkled some cinnamon into the apples while I made the pie crust. Then I cut tops for these using a 2 1/2 inch glass top and pressed them together. Adding a sprinkle of sugar and cinnamon on top, then cut two slices on the top of each one as a vent.

These baked at 350 degrees for 35 minutes until the crust was golden brown. They came out of the muffin tins very easily and cooled on a wire rack.

Connie's pie crust recipe is buttery, flaky and melts in your mouth, Thank You, Connie.

As always Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Buttery Garlic Rolls

Buttery Garlic Rolls

Today in Western New York the temperature was 85 degrees with high humidity, but that didn't stop me from turning on the oven to make these tasty butter garlic rolls.

My grandmother made something similar to this every time she made pizza she would make these wonderful garlic knots. I decided to change it up a bit and make it simple, just butter, garlic, and some parmesan cheese.

Here is what I used for the dough:

1 cup lukewarm water plus 2 tablespoons
1 package dry yeast
1-1/2 tablespoon butter (softened)
1 teaspoon sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour

I decided to use butter for this dough instead of oil or shortening, so I didn't add any salt. I added the water, yeast, butter, and sugar in my KitchenAid mixing bowl and let it set for about 5 minutes to let the yeast begin to bubble.

Then added the flour and turned the mixer on low speed. I started out with just one cup of water but the dough wasn't coming together so I added two more tablespoons of water. Then finished mixing the dough by hand on a floured surface,
I covered the dough and let it rise for a little over an hour
 Now I have to tell you this funny story that my cousin told me a couple of weeks ago.

 My mother was baking a cake and she called my aunt and said: "Christy do you have any minus" my aunt replied: "Helen what are you talking about" my mother said: "this recipe calls for 2 cups of water minus 2 tablespoons, and I don't have any minus" Oh! you had to know my mother and aunt, I just couldn't stop laughing.

Okay back to the garlic rolls, Here is what I used for the rolls:

4 cloves fresh garlic chopped fine
3 tablespoons butter melted
Garlic Powder
Parmesan Cheese

I spread the dough on 11x17 greased cookie sheet, brushed the butter on top, spread the garlic, and then sprinkled some garlic powder and Parmesan cheese.

I rolled this into a log and cut 1/2 inch pieces
I preheated the oven to 425 degrees, brushed some more butter on top and sprinkled some more Parmesan cheese. Bake these for 15 minutes until golden brown.

They came out nice and crispy with a buttery flavor and garlic in every bite. These make a great addition to your favorite pasta or just as a snack dipped in marinara sauce.

As always thanks for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy!!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Bacon Epic Failure

Me and Sammy the Cooks
The Cooks for the day!

Well today you are not going to find a great recipe, just a fun story about our bacon epic failure.

 The picture is myself the foodie with this blog, and my son Sammy who graduated from culinary school and is a pretty good cook. So you might ask yourself how could they burn the bacon?

 Our son, his wife, and our two beautiful granddaughters came last weekend for a visit, to attend Sammy’s class reunion.

Whenever we have everybody together it’s a tradition to cook a huge family breakfast. When we're all together my son and daughter dub our house “The Hotel Monaco” and feel it’s a must to post our happenings to Facebook.

It was a beautiful cool, sunny morning here in Western New York. I like to cook the bacon on a cookie sheet in the oven, I find this so much easier. On this morning I decided not to use the oven so I wouldn’t heat up the kitchen.

So I proceeded to line a cookie sheet with tin foil and place the bacon on it. I took this out to the deck and fired up the grill on the low setting. 

Fran was out there playing with our four grandchildren. I asked her to watch the bacon, and she did for a while.

While Sammy and I made the pancakes, eggs, and sausage in the house, Fran was watching the bacon, at least we all thought so. 

Just about the time everything was coming together, Fran yelled from the deck “the bacon is burned”.

The burned bacon!
 The moral of this story is, don’t put your bacon on the grill and expect your wife to watch it while she is playing with the grandchildren.

Needless to say “The Hotel Monaco” got some very bad reviews for the day. I hope you enjoyed our bacon failure.

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Grilled Zucchini

Grilled Zucchini and Squash

An easy and healthy veggie side dish to compliment any meal.  While shopping last week Fran had picked up a strip steak for me and a turkey burger for herself.

 Fran eats much healthier than I do. While I was heating up the grill and grilling the steak and burger she prepared some zucchini and yellow squash.

Here is how she did it:

Sliced the zucchini and squash length wise about ¼ inch to ½ inch thick.

Brushed olive oil on both sides.

Seasoned with some Italian seasoning.

Then layered with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.

After the steak and turkey burger finished cooking on the grill, I took the zucchini and squash slices and placed them directly on the grill surface on the medium setting.

Quickly grilled these for about a minute per side, just enough to show the grill marks, you don’t want to over cook them, as they will turn out too soft and mushy.

They came out perfect, and made a tasty veggie side dish. Quick and easy is the way that I like it.

Here is another great idea for grilled veggies, one of my earlier posts: Grilled Stacked Veggies, this one you can really make a meal out of.

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Grilled Rosemary Ranch Chicken

Grilled Rosemary Ranch Chicken

Here is another one of our summer grilling favorites. Our daughter Jamie found this recipe and has been making this for a couple of years now.

This was part of our 4th of July weekend menu, along with our Grilled Leg of Lamb, and I couldn’t resist posting it. Here is the recipe that Jamie uses for this delicious grilled chicken:

The chicken breasts are cut into about 1” cubes and marinated overnight. Of course Jamie did all of the work all I had to do was Skewer the chicken and grill it to perfection.

Chicken marinated and on skewers
Marinated overnight and on the skewers
 I had my Huntington Gas Grill set on the medium setting, and grilled the chicken for about 10 minutes turning the skewers frequently.

It turned out to be juicy and packed full of flavor, as this recipe always is. If you’re going to have guests over for a cookout, you’ll for sure impress them with this recipe. This Rosemary Ranch Chicken will disappear very quickly, and your guests will be asking for the recipe. I can honestly say this is a must add to your summer grilling list.

As always Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy