Breads and Baked Goods

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Happy Valentines Day!    Of course, this is one of my favorite holidays, only because there is so much pink stuff in the stores during this time.  It takes me a lot longer to get through a store during this time of year.  I did restrain myself and only purchased three additional pink household items this month.  Only one of which was for Mavie.  I think he might be getting a little sick of pink.  This is the look he gave me when I told him we wanted to buy him a pink raincoat.

You may have noticed that there is a considerable lack of desserts on this blog.  This isn’t because I hate sweets – definitely not the case.  It is only because I royally suck at baking.  I am just terrible at it.  All that measuring, preheating exactness makes me sweat.  I think it is because I inherited my dad’s lack of attention to detail – We are more big picture people and assume things will work themselves out in the end :) .  Baking doesn’t really work that way, apparently you need to make sure and have the correct ingredients in the right measurements.

 I have tried to post dessert recipes before only to realize that I could never tell other people how to bake.  Here are some of my past results:

I was at Target and saw the cutest “I Heart U” pink cookie cutters.  Of course, I had to have them.  

This meant that I would need to bake something.  I asked Jav what his favorite cookie was and he said “those chewy molasses spice cookies”.  I decided I would attempt these for Valentines Day.

I did some searching on the internets and chose to combine a few recipes I found.  See! This is how I bake.  I read once that you should have all of your ingredients at room temp when baking.  Who has time for this?  When I want sweets I don’t have time to sit around waiting for eggs to gently warm up! So I improvise and heat things up in the microwave.  When dough needs to be chilled for hours, I speed it up and just place it in the freezer.  Don’t listen to any of this – I should not be teaching anyone anything about baking.  However, these cookies turned out really good!  Jav liked them a lot.  Just follow the directions.   That is the hardest part for me.

 Chewy Molasses Cookies with Cream Cheese Icing

Step 1- Pour yourself a large glass of wine.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup butter, melted

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup molasses

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, ginger, cloves)

½ cup white sugar

In a bowl, mix butter, brown sugar, egg and molasses together until combined.

 In another bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt and spices until well combined.  Add dry ingredients to the molasses mix. 

 Cover and chill for an hour in the fridge (don’t recommend the freezer).

Preheat oven to 375.  Roll dough into small balls in your hand and then roll in the white sugar.  Place cookies 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. 

Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Cool and then frost with cream cheese icing.  Eeks. Went a little crazy with the bright pink.

 The icing isn’t necessary, but I thought it was yummy!

Cream Cheese Icing  (adapted from the Repressed Pastry Chef magnificent cream cheese icing)

I really like this icing recipe because it is the only one I have found that is pipeable. 
2 tablespoons unsalted butter – COLD
1 cup powdered sugar (divided in two parts)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (I use clear, so it doesn’t turn it brownish)
1 8oz pkg of cream cheese – room temperature (not this again- eyeroll), divided in three parts
1 tablespoon shortening

Beat ½ cup sugar and butter in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and combine very well. Add the first third of the cream cheese and combine very well. Add the shortening and combine very well. Add the remaining cream cheese one piece at a time, combining very well after each. Gradually add the rest of the sugar and combine thoroughly until light and fluffy.

 

I have gotten a few requests to add printable recipes.  Click here for a printable recipe of the cookies and icing.

 

Hope your day is filled with fun!

 

Love,

 

Lindzee

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finished-soup

It was pouring yesterday in Boise. All day long.  Additionally, I was recovering from a brutal hangover as a result of too much celebrating during the football game (Go Vandals!).  I just wanted to curl up on the couch and watch Lifetime all day.   I suggested this to Javier and he seemed appalled at the notion, so I acted like I was only joking and instead spent the entire day doing errands (craft store, oil change, grocery store, blah, blah, blah) and getting drenched running from the car to my different destinations.  

Before I left for errands, I put the ingredients for Soupendous Chicken Enchilada Stoup in the slow cooker so it would be waiting for me upon my return.  I was thrilled to break out the slow cooker!  All summer I missed that bad boy and have been waiting patiently for the weather to turn so I could bust out some stoup. This stoup is really hearty and can be eaten alone as a meal or as a side to your favorite southwest inspired salad.  Sort of like a chili, but not, there is no set recipe for this stoup; you can tweak it to your liking, swapping the spices, lessening the heat, adding different vegetables .  Have it your way!  (Will I get in trouble for stealing the Burger King tagline?) 

Soupendous Chicken Enchilada Stoup

1 lb Skinless/Boneless Chicken breast chopped into 1” pieces.

2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

1 White Onion Chopped

1 Green Pepper Chopped

1 Red Pepper Chopped

4 Cloves Garlic (I LOVE GARLIC!)

1 14.5oz Can of Chopped Tomatoes

1 14.5oz Can of Black Beans

½ Bag of Frozen Petite White Corn

1 Can of Red Enchilada Sauce

1 Tablespoon Chipotle Chile Powder

1 Tablespoon Chile Powder

Salt and Pepper to tasted

2 Cups Jalapeno Cheese or Pepper Jack

½ Cup of Milk  (or Heavy Cream if you are feeling frisky)

3 Sprigs Oregano Chopped

Cilantro, Fresh Lime and Sour Cream for Garnish

 Start out by heating the oil in a large skillet.  I never just throw the raw chicken in the slow cooker because it doesn’t taste as good without the browned bits!  

pan

While you are waiting, season the chicken with salt and pepper.  Throw in the onion and garlic.  Saute a few minutos.  Add the chicken and peppers and cook until done and browned.  Throw the chicken mixture into the slow cooker on low heat. 

chickenandpeppers

 Add the tomatoes, black beans, corn, enchi sauce, spices and a cup of water. Go run errands or sit on the couch and watch Lifetime all day.  Come back 8 hours later (this is approximate, the slow cooker is forgiving, I let mine cook longer if I am busy). 

slowcookerenchi

 Add the cheese. Add the milk.  Stir.  Wait 10 minutes.  Stir.  Taste.  Add more salt and pepper to please your taste buds.  Add garnish and enjoy!

 You really can’t have a bean/mexi/southwest inspired stoup without the sweetness of cornbread on the side.  I made some Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins to accompany the soup and even crumbled mine on top of my bowl.  The cornbread crumbs soaked up all of the Soupendous juices from the stoup and even made it thicker.

 Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins

 1 box of Jiffy Cornbread muffin mix (only $.45 holla!!) made following instructions on box.

2 cups shredded Jalapeno Cheese or Pepper Jack

1.5 Tablespoons of Honey

Chopped Fresh or Pickled Jalapeños to taste

Pinch of Kosher Salt

 corningredients

Mix all ingredients together and pour into greased muffin tins.  Bake according to instructions on box.  Enjoy with lip smacking juices from chili.

 finished-soup