Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Cake Mix Cinnamon Rolls

This recipe comes from a cookbook that my mom got me for Christmas a few years ago.  They're called Cake Mix Cinnamon Rolls because the main ingredient is a boxed cake mix...and when I read it, I was sold!  The finished product is moist and delicious, and even a cake-lover like me couldn't tell a cake mix was involved.  Cheating the system without consequences!?  Yay!

1 white or yellow cake mix (I used white)
2 pkgs yeast (or 4 1/2 tsp)
1 tsp salt
2 c flour
3+ c flour
4-5 TBSP butter
cinnamon sugar, to taste
frosting of your choice

Combine first four ingredients (cake mix, yeast, salt, and 2 c flour).  Add 2 1/4 cups hot water.  Mix.  Add 3 c flour and knead until well mixed (it took about 4-5 minutes in my KitchenAid, but by-hand is fine for a similar amount of time), adding more flour as needed to avoid a sticky dough (mine took almost 4 1/2 cups).

Let rise until doubled (somewhere between 1-1.5 hrs).

Push down and roll onto flour surface into giant rectangle.

Soften butter and brush over rectangle.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.  Roll up and cut into 1 1/2 inch slices.

Let rise until doubled on cookie sheet.  Bake at 350° for 20 minutes.

Frost while still warm with frosting of your choice.

Makes about 18 rolls.

Comments from the cook:  The original recipe called for 3 cups of flour in the 2nd set of ingredients, but I found that it needed closer to 4 1/2 cups.  Other than that, this recipe is just as easy as it sounds, and the result is awesome.

My favorite made-from-scratch frosting consists of whipping together about a TBSP of Crisco, a splash of milk, a dash of salt, a bit of vanilla, and as much powdered sugar as it takes to get the consistency you're going for.  (Vague enough for ya?!)  

Originally found in the "Worldwide Ward Cookbook" by Deanna Buxton.  Recipe attributed to Noryne Moss, and adjusted slightly by yours truly.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Chicken Enchilada Soup

This recipe has been in my "to make" folder for years now.  I got it from a former co-worker, who brought it for lunch one day.  I didn't need to taste it to know that I needed a copy of the recipe. Fast forward about five years, and it turns out I was right.  I'm only kicking myself about not having made it sooner.

While this soup doesn't make for a very beautiful photograph, the taste is enough to put vanity aside! :)

Original recipe calls for DOUBLE these quantities...which would be enough for you to eat for at least a week.  Also, don't be intimidated by the number of ingredients.  The final product is worth it!

1 TBSP canola oil
1/2 c chopped onion
1 tsp minced garlic (or 2 cloves)
1 (4oz) can diced green chiles
4 1/2 c water
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tsp beef bullion (I used 2 cubes)
2 tsp chicken bullion (same)
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 TBSP A-1 sauce
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
12 corn tortillas
3 c cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 tsp paprika

Saute onion and garlic in oil.  Add remaining ingredients (except tortillas, cheese, and paprika).  Bring to a light boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 min.

Cut tortillas into 1/2 inch pieces, and grate cheese.

After the 20 min of simmering, add tortillas, cheese, and paprika.

Simmer uncovered 10 minutes.

Comments from the cook:  I had a 7oz can of green chiles, and used the entire can.  Next time I'll probably opt for a few less, but it's certainly a way to amp up the flavor.  I also just used 2 cups of grated cheese instead of 3.  The flavor of the soup is so good that the cheese isn't the main attraction, and I think I'll add even less next time.

Reheats really well the next day (with a bit of extra water added).

Originally shared by John Wadley, former co-worker at Provo Craft.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Minestrone Soup

My mom has been making minestrone soup for years, and somehow I hadn't tried it until a few months ago.  I LOVED IT.  Minestrone is a bit like "Ghoulash", in that it seems to mean something different in each household.  This is my version, and the ingredient list is as complete as possible for a "maybe a little bit more of this, little bit more of that" recipe.

1/3 lb ground beef *
1/4 of a white onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp basil
1 1/2 tsp oregano
5-6 c water
3 cubes beef bullion
4-5 carrots, chopped
28 oz can diced tomatoes
15 oz can tomato sauce
1/2 tsp onion salt
1 tsp garlic
15 oz can kidney beans
15 oz can green beans
1/2 of 15 oz can yellow corn
4 servings pasta, mini-shells shown above
salt and pepper, to taste
fresh Parmesan cheese

Brown ground beef and onion in stock pot until thoroughly cooked.  Add remaining ingredients (except kidney beans, green beans, corn, and pasta), cover, and cook at a low boil until carrots are thoroughly cooked.

Prepare pasta separately (my preference is to make it a bit al dente, so that it doesn't get too soft later) and add to soup after carrots have cooked.

Add green beans and corn and simmer over low heat until ready to serve.

Comments from the cook:  This was my first time making minestrone soup, and I was thrilled with how it turned out.  Brian had to work late that night, and I knew it was my chance to make a big batch of "girl soup".

I experimented quite a bit with flavors, and you'll want to do the same.  In the end, mine was a bit thick, and I should've added a bit more water.  But, thankfully, this soup freezes amazingly...and you can always add more water when you thaw it out and re-heat it.

My mom serves this with fresh Parmesan cheese and warm bread.  

This makes a gigantic batch, but we (Claire and I) loved it so much that it seemed impossible to have too much around!  I realized the other day that we no longer have any in the freezer, so it must be time to make some more...

* We usually divide our ground beef into 1/3 lb increments, but you're welcome to use whatever amount you prefer.  My mom says that Italian sausage also tastes really good in this recipe!

Originally shared by my mom, Alane, who got her version from a dear friend, Donna Harris.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pepperoni Pizza Muffins

When I found this recipe online, I KNEW we would need to try it.  I don't know anyone who loves pizza as much as Brian and I do, so it was worth a shot.  I made them one Friday night, and they were excellent.  Crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.  Yum!  These would be perfect for a party or get-together with friends...

3/4 c flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 TBSP Italian seasoning
pinch of salt
pinch of red pepper flakes
3/4 c milk
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 c shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup sliced pepperoni (quartered)
marinara sauce

Preheat oven to 375°.  Grease mini-muffin cup pan.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, Italian seasoning, salt and red pepper flakes.  Mix in the milk and egg.  Stir in mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, and pepperoni.

Let stand 10 minutes.

Stir batter and pour into muffin cups.  Bake 20-25 minutes.

Serve with marinara sauce of your choice.

Comments from the cook:  I made these into full-size muffins (instead of minis) and the recipe made 12 muffins.  I baked them for about 25 minutes, and they were perfect.  

The original version of this recipe (by Rachael Ray, apparently) did not call for salt or red pepper flakes...but the version I used had them, and I thought they tasted great!

Recipe found here.  Ingredients and majority of instructions taken from her site.
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