Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cranberry Oat Bread

The Farmers Wife Original.
 This recipe is for a Bread Machine, though I am sure you could make it without. I've made this recipe several times before, almost always for fall, and typically with raisins. It goes wonderfully with the Cran-Apple Butter, which is actually what is spread on the bread in the picture. As you already know, I adore fall and cooking this bread is another way to make your home have that wonderful scent of fall. I tortured my Hubby and his Cousin last saturday night while this bread was baking (and myself too lol!), and as soon as it was out we devoured some. This is a good hearty bread, wonderful for a quick breakfast.

This recipe is for a 1 1/2 lbs. loaf. Should be baked on your Bread Machine's standard setting, and light crust.
1 Cup Old Fashioned Oats
1 1/4 Cups Water
3 Tablespoons Oil
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1 1/2 Teaspoons Salt
3 Cups Bread Flour (or All-Purpose if you don't have bread flour. I've done it both ways and it always comes out great)
1 1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
3/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 Teaspoon Ginger
1/4 Teaspoon Cloves
1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries (or Raisins)
1 3/4 Teaspoons Active Dry Yeast (I use Red Star Brand, found at walmart)

Place all ingredients in the bread pan. Select Light Crust setting, and 1 1/2 lbs loaf and press start.
Observe as the dough kneads, after 5-10 minutes, if it appears dry and stiff or your machine sounds like it's straining, add more water 1 Tablespoon at a time until dough forms a smooth, soft, pliable ball that is slightly tacky to the touch. After it bakes, remove the bread from the pan, and place on a rack or a cutting board and allow to cool 1 hour before slicing (I did not do this... it was WAY too tempting...).

We love this bread. It really is a great loaf to keep on hand for a quick breakfast. It could easily also be made with Wheat Flour to be even healthier. We absolutely love this with Cran- Apple Butter, or even toasted with some cream cheese, or even just plain! 4.5 Stars.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cran-Apple Butter

Adapted from Mommie Cooks.

If you're like me you love fall, and everything about it. The colors, the smell (yes fall as it's own smell, trust me!), the foods, the weather... And even though I live in a warm climate and our trees don't change colors, and leaves don't fall, and the weather doesn't drop as drastically as I might like, I can still make fall foods! This is the second time I've made Apple Butter in my crock pot, the last time was when I was pregnant with my now 2 year old and it was purely out of an intense craving then. This time my 2 year old was asking for Mommy to make Apple Butter and I came across this recipe. I urge you to try this soon, it has an amazing flavor and your house will smell like fall withing 20 minutes of this cooking! I honestly could see making this and only having it cook a couple hours til it's all soft and serving as a side on Thanksgiving Day!

10-12 Apples, Chopped (I used Gala Apples)
3 Cups of Whole Cranberries
1/2 Cup of Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup of White Sugar
2 teaspoons of Cinnamon
1 teaspoon of Nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon Ginger
1/2 teaspoon Cloves
4 Shakes of Salt

Peel and chop the apples, and toss in the crock-pot in a cap full of lemon juice. Add in remaining ingredients and stir. Cook on low for about 12 hours. It will be a nice dark color. Once cooked transfer it to a blender and puree until smooth. Then can or store in an airtight container.

We love this butter! I like it better than just plain Apple Butter, has a better flavor by far. I made a Cranberry Oat Bread to go with it, and it's just a wonderful fall treat! This makes a great gift for the holidays as well. I very highly recommend you make this soon. 5 Stars.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Garlic Chicken Wrap

This is a Farmers Wife original

I was having one of those "I want something healthy" kind of days, but not wanting to put forth a lot of effort. I used the leftover sauce from the Italian Chicken Panini's and it added a great flavor! This was a simple and easy wrap that you could easily make the night before and wrap up in some plastic wrap for a healthy lunch at the office (or wherever) the next day!

This recipe is for one wrap
Sauce: (If you've made the sauce and have leftover don't worry about making another batch!)
2-3 Tablespoons Mayo
1-3 Teaspoons Kikkoman Roasted Garlic Marinade and Sauce (more or less depending on personal preference, I typically do 2)

1 Large Sun dried Tomato Wrap, or wrap of your choice
4 Slices Roasted Chicken lunchmeat, or Turkey
1-2 Slices Provolone Cheese
Sliced Tomato
Romaine Lettuce
Sliced Red Onion

Warm the wrap in the microwave about 10-15 seconds, just warm enough that it's more flexible. Spread some sauce evenly on one side of the wrap. Then about 1 1/2 inches from the bottom start layering your lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese and meat. Once layered start rolling up the wrap, starting at the bottom and rolling up. Wrap in plastic wrap if making ahead of time, or slice it at a diagonal in the middle and eat!

I really enjoyed this light and quick lunch. It came together so fast, with a lot of the flavors of the Panini I made the day before, but with less calories and fat. Which always makes for a happy mommy! Feel free to mix it up using your favorite wrap, or fillings of your choice. 3.5 Stars

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Italian Chicken Panini

This is a Farmers Wife Original

You know those days (everyone has them), where nothing sounds good, it's dreary and your tired from whatever your day's tasks were? For me it's cleaning and chasing a 2 year old, and trying not to look too haggard at the grocery store (where they know me by name... should I be scared by that?!?). We had a day like that not too long ago where I just felt like dinner needed to be as easy as could be but I wanted something new, out of that came this sandwich. It has quickly become a favorite, and quite honestly I've used this sauce for wraps, and on salad's too and love it which is why I make extra sauce! I hope you give this a try, and love it as much as we do!

Serves 4
For sauce:
2-3 Tablespoons Mayo
1-3 Teaspoons Kikkoman Roasted Garlic Marinade and Sauce (more or less depending on personal preference, I typically do 2)

8 slices Italian Sandwich bread (or your favorite bread)
4 Slices Provolone Cheese (or Cheddar, my hubby likes his with cheddar)
Roasted Chicken Lunchmeat, (I get hillshire farms chicken breast lunch meat)
Sliced Tomato

Mix together the sauce and taste it, add more sauce to your preference. Next heat your panini pan or grill pan. To assemble the sandwichs, butter one side of each slice of bread, on the other side spread a little of the sauce. On top of the sauce layer your desired amount of chicken (about 4-6 slices), tomato and cheese. Top with a slice of bread sauce side down and grill to your desired browness. Serve warm with a side of sliced fruit or a nice soup.

We really loved these. I was a little hesitant at first, but have made them several times since that first night and both my hubby and I love it. It would be good with a little spinach added if you wanted, but we're not huge spinach fans so I leave it off. You could also add more sauce if you wanted, or have some on the side to dip if you really love it! 4 stars.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Creamy Parmesan Orzo

This is a Farmers Wife Original.

8oz. Orzo Pasta (looks like big grains of rice)
1 can Chicken broth
2 Tablespoons Heavy Cream
1/3-1/2 cup Shredded Parmesan
2-3 Tablespoons Sauce from Bruschetta (no tomatoes just the juice)

In a small saucepan combine chicken broth and orzo and bring to a slow boil. Boil til all the broth is absorbed into the orzo. Once cooked, add in remaining ingredients and stir to combine and til the cheese is melted through. Serve warm.

We just loved this side dish! It was a great compliment to the Bruschetta Chicken, and so easy and yummy. Unfortunately I didn't think to picture it separately from the chicken, but it really is worth a try. Orzo has quickly become my new favorite pasta, it absorbs flavor so beautifully and because it's small like rice it makes a wonderful side. 4.5 Stars

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Bruschetta Chicken

Adapted from Stephanie Cooks.

2 chicken breasts
1/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup panko
1 egg
Olive oil

1 tomato
1 clove garlic, cut in half
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

 Dice the tomato into small bites, removing the seeds and pulp. Toss the olive oil and vinegar together, add the tomato, basil, and garlic clove. Season with salt and pepper. Set in the fridge for at least an hour. In a small, shallow dish, combine the panko and bread crumbs. In a bowl beat the egg. Cover the bottom of a skillet with olive oil. Turn the heat on medium-high. Dip the chicken in egg, then the bread crumb mixture. Cook until golden brown on both sides and cooked through. Remove from the heat and set on paper towel to remove excess oil. Top each piece of chicken with 1/2 the bruschetta mixture

I served this with Creamy Parmesan Orzo, which was a great addition to an already yummy meal. The Bruschetta recipe is very similar to a Bruschetta I've made in the past which is delicious. I really enjoyed this recipe, it was a great blend of flavors and quite easy. The use of both breadcrumbs and panko made for a tasty but light breading, I highly recommend trying panko soon. I found it at walmart in both the baking aisle and the ethnic foods aisle. 4 Stars.

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Adapted from Annie's Eats

These are a delicious fall treat that I highly recommend trying. They are not your typical easy muffin, they do require some prep work, and the filling has to be made a few hours in advance. But trust me they are totally worth the extra time and work. I'm not typically a baker, but when I saw these I knew I had to make them asap! Luckily our store is finally stocking pumpkin and I bought up as much as I could fit into my cart. Enjoy these delicious muffins, and the wonderful scent of fall will fill your house!

Yield: 24 muffins
For the filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar

For the muffins:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
1 15oz. can pumpkin puree
1¼ cups vegetable oil

For the topping:
½ cup sugar
5 tbsp. flour
1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
4 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

To prepare the filling, combine the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl and mix well until blended and smooth.  Transfer the mixture to a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a log about 1½-inches in diameter.  Smooth the plastic wrap tightly around the log, and reinforce with a piece of foil.  Transfer to the freezer and chill until at least slightly firm, at least 3 hours.
To make the muffins, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line muffin pans with paper liners.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, salt and baking soda; whisk to blend.  In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree and oil.  Mix on medium-low speed until blended.  With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated.
To make the topping, combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon in a small bowl; whisk to blend.  Add in the butter pieces and cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender or two forks until the mixture is coarse and crumbly.  Transfer to the refrigerator until ready to use.
To assemble the muffins, fill each muffin well with a small amount of batter, just enough to cover the bottom of the liner (1-2 tablespoons).  Slice the log of cream cheese filling into 24 equal pieces.  Place a slice of the cream cheese mixture into each muffin well.  Divide the remaining batter among the muffin cups, placing on top of the cream cheese to cover completely.  Sprinkle the topping mixture over each of the muffin wells, about 1 teaspoon per muffin.
Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving.  (It may be hard to resist immediate consumption, but the cream cheese filling gets very hot!)

We loved these! They are so yummy, and moist. Overall it was a pretty easy recipe, even though it has a lot of steps to it, (and I'm not a baker) they turned out wonderful. I very highly recommend trying these this holiday season, they'd be a wonderful treat for a Thanksgiving breakfast or a delicious dessert served with hot coffee! 5 stars.

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Pizza Bites

Adapted from Annie's Eats. 

This dough recipe is for a Bread Machine. If you don't have one you can either make it in a stand mixer, or use your favorite refrigerated pizza dough. I highly recommend you try this recipe out and soon! It's a huge kid pleaser and fun for something a little different.

Dough: (This recipe makes one 16 inch Pizza)
1 cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 teaspoons garlic powder

Shredded Mozzarella, about 1/2-1 teaspoon per bite
Sliced pepperoni

For topping:
Olive oil
Italian seasoning
Grated Parmesan cheese
Granulated Garlic

Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.  Lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate or cake pan.  Divide the pizza dough into 20-24 roughly equal sized pieces.  Take one of the dough pieces, top with mozzarella and a slice or two of pepperoni.  Pull the edges of the dough around the fillings and pinch closed.  Place seam-side down in the baking dish.  Repeat with the remaining dough pieces. Lightly brush the tops of the dough balls with olive oil.  Sprinkle with Italian seasoning and grated Parmesan cheese and/or garlic.  Bake for 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.  Serve warm, with dipping sauce as desired.

These were Great!!! I very very highly recommend you make these immediately! They were a big hit with my 2 year old who asked for them for breakfast and lunch today, (don't worry he only ate them for lunch!). They were very easy to make, and such a fun break from the tradition of normal pizza. We dipped them in some warm pizza sauce and it was great! I plan to make a big batch of these and keep them in the freezer for whenever the mood strikes! 5 stars.

*Pizza Dough adapted from Bread Machine Magic

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Friday, October 1, 2010

Black Forest Cupcakes

Adapted from Annie's Eats.
Makes 2 dozen Cupcakes

For the cake:
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. espresso powder, or strong brewed coffee
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1½ cups buttermilk

For the filling:
Cherry Pie Filling

For the frosting:
2 cups heavy cream
12 tbsp. sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

For garnish:
Fresh (or maraschino) cherries, with stems
Chocolate shavings

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line 16 wells of two cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder together; whisk to blend, and set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Beat in the eggs one at a time until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Mix in the vanilla extract.  With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients in three additions alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Mix each addition just until incorporated.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners, filling each about ¾ of the way full.  Bake 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Once completely cooled, take a pairing knife and using the cone method cut a small cone shape out of the center of the cupcake. Cut off the extra cake from the cone to make a little topper of cake. Then fill the cupcake with 2-3 cherries, and top with the leftover cake topper, and brush the top with a little maraschino cherry juice. Repeat on remaining cupcakes. Then make the frosting, a tip on making whipped cream is to keep the bowl in the fridge for at least an hour before making the cream, so that it's chilled.
To make the whipped cream frosting, add the heavy cream to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Start beating on medium-low speed, slowly increasing as the cream begins to thicken up to medium-high speed.  While the cream is being whipped, gradually add in the confectioners’ sugar a spoonful at a time.  Whip the cream until stiff peaks form.  (Be careful not to overbeat!)  Fold in the vanilla extract.
Frost the filled cupcakes with the whipped cream.  Garnish as desired with a cherry and chocolate shavings.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

I made these for my Mother In Law's Birthday, along with Garlic Lime Chicken (coming soon!!). They were pretty simple to make over all, and I had a great time doing it! I piped the frosting onto the cakes, and they looked amazing! I totally recommend these if you're wanting a black forest cake, but don't want to make a huge cake! They're very yummy, and are kid friendly as my 2 year old has already enjoyed them! 5 Stars.

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