Just posted this recipe on Four Seasons Cafe. I hope you like it! :)
I love to bake on Sunday mornings, so today I decided to make some Sour Cream Coffee Cake. It was the perfect companion to my 11th cup of coffee! I also made it bc Breanna came home last night, and I knew she'd join me for a piece this morning.
Here's the recipe...
SOUR CREAM COFFEE CAKE
1 c. sugar
1 c. shortening
3 eggs, beaten
1 t. vanilla
2-1/4 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
3 t. baking powder
1 c. sour cream
2/3 c. brown sugar
1-1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
2 Tbs. butter
Cream sugar and shortening together. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder and sour cream. Spread batter into a greased and floured tube pan. Mix together brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts. Spread on top of batter in pan. Dot the topping with butter, and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or so.
Don't forget to brew a fresh pot of coffee!
Happy Sunday. :)
I love sitting here blogging on quiet Saturday mornings. It's one of the things I look forward to on the weekends (although it doesn't always happen). Recently I've discovered a couple of other things I love, and I thought I'd share them with you.
Keep in mind, I'm only giving you my opinion on these things - and as my parents used to say, "Paulette, opinions are like b**t holes: everyone has one, and they all stink." (Now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure that was just my mom who said that, whenever I'd bring home an art project I made at school and told her I thought I did a good job on it.)
One of my favorite things to snack on is Wheat Thin crackers and slices of colby-jack cheese. But as I was passing through the cracker aisle at the grocery store the other day, I decided to try something different. And boy, was I glad I did!
I was quite surprised at the flavor these had - not at all what I was expecting! (Actually, I have no idea what I was expecting, but it wasn't...that.) Absolutely DELICIOUS! And I didn't eat them with the cheese... I took one bite and just kept on eating them by themselves.
Another craving of mine are these little things... Breanna got me started on them when she brought home a bag once, and curiosity got the better of me. Boring package... big flavor. LOVE them!
(Actually, I kind of like the package. It might be reflective of the simplicity of the ingredients... almonds, rice syrup, a little salt, and one more thing that I can't remember.)
Last night I made Mystery Chicken Enchiladas.. this may sound scary, but I actually made up the recipe myself, and since it was a mystery to me as to how they'd turn out, I call them Mystery Chicken Enchiladas.
They were fantastic, even if I must say so myself!
Here's the recipe, if you'd like to try them... and remember, I don't have an ounce of Latino in me, which means they are nowhere near perfect enchiladas, but I still like them. :) (Do you think Dutch people ever made enchiladas?)
PAULETTE'S MYSTERY CHICKEN ENCHILADAS
(Ingredients are in bold print for quick reference)
3 cooked chicken breasts, shredded and set aside.
Heat a skillet, and saute all of the following:
1/4 c. olive oil
1 pkg. taco seasoning (I used Ortega)
1/3 c. chopped onion
2 Tbs. chopped jalapenos
2 Tbs. butter
2 Tbs. fresh chopped cilantro
After you've cooked the above ingredients together for a minute or two, add them to the shredded chicken, along with 1/3 c. enchilada sauce from a large can. Mix well with a spoon.
Pour a little enchilada sauce from the can into a 9 x 13 pan.
Melt 2 Tbs. butter in a saucepan.
Fill 5 large tortillas with chicken mixture, and after rolling each one, place them into the 9 x 13 pan. Brush the melted butter on top of enchiladas, and drizzle the remaining enchilada sauce on top.
Top with however much shredded cheese you'd like (I used 2 cups shredded cheddar), and bake in a 425-degree oven for 25 minutes, or until the cheese is slightly golden and bubbly. Serves 3-5.
Another fun thing to love are Barbie movies. Yes, I said Barbie movies! If you've never watched one of these, you're in for a treat. And you don't have to have a little girl to enjoy them! They're for grown-up girls too, provided you're not in the mood for adult drama or reality tv. I find them to be very lighthearted, colorful, beautifully animated, and just plain fun!
Sophie and I have quite a collection of them.
And usually she'll bring one along when she goes to visit her Meems. :) They'll make popcorn and snuggle up under a quilt and watch one, and Sophie will have to answer all of my mom's questions, like, "Do you think Barbie knows how to make soup in a pressure cooker?" or "Do you think Barbie owns a Bernina? They really should make a Bernina Barbie." (Of course, since Barbie can do anything and owns everything, the answer is always "Yes, Meemee," with a heavy sigh.)
Speaking of popcorn, I'd like to say something to my dad:
Dad, when I was little and you and Mom used to send me to bed, I'd always hear you say to Mom, "Hey. You want some P-O-P?" I always knew that this was a code word for "popcorn," bc shortly after you'd say it, I'd hear Mom shaking up the pan on the stove, popping the corn away. It really annoyed me, especially when I'd come out from my room and say in a small, timid voice, "Can I have some popcorn?" and you and Mom would glare at me for interrupting your viewing of the Lawrence Welk Show.
And then I'd turn away and go back to bed, hungry.
Just thought I'd say that to you after all these years. And I forgive you.
Back to Barbie. Here's what Sophie and I rented the other night to watch... and since we both loved it, I'll have to buy it!
It's so much fun getting excited about things with Sophie. Her whole face lights up and she laughs when she talks. It's one of my very favorite things to love in the whole world.
And that's not just my opinion. Right, Meemee? ;)
This past Saturday I spent most of the day redecorating the girls' bathroom, hoping to spiffy it up a bit before Sabrina's German exchange student, Julia, arrives on the 19th. (I never did like that word spiffy, btw, so I have no idea why I used it. It reminds me of a friend of mine from when I was about 13, who used to fancy herself perfectly poised and elegant, and she'd say to me each day, "One day I shall have a princess phone. And my room shall be decorated with tea roses. Won't that be spiffy, dahling!" And then she'd proceed to spray her bedspread with several kinds of perfumes. Drove me crazy.)
Anyhooty, I was so tired from all the taping and painting and sanding and hammering that I decided a completely easy-to-fix meal was in order. So I opted for pico de gallo, guacamole, blue chips with flax seeds, and margarita pizza. No, it wasn't a particularly normal combination of foods, but it was delicious nonetheless!
I decided to put all my pico de gallo ingredients in a bowl so I could grab what I needed to the way they do on Food Network, and it turned out so colorful, I took a picture!
In the background is Pioneer Woman's cookbook, turned to her pico de gallo recipe, but I only used that to see if I'd forgotten anything. I had. The jalopenos. But that's okay - I just minced up a few cloves of garlic, threw in some salt and lots of lime, and called it good. And was it ever!
Then I mixed in some smashed up avocado, opened up a bag of blue chips with flax seeds (I love Target's Archer Farms Organic Blue Corn with Flax Seeds kind... they're heartier than regular blue chips, and they have a rich flavor that I love!), and dug in.
Soph decided to give it a try, although it didn't look very appetizing to her...
Will she like it?
Come on, Soph, give love a try!
She agrees! It is muy delicioso!
Sophie had to fill up on chips and pico bc she isn't very fond of margarita pizza. And since I'm not a good mother, I didn't offer her an alternative. (But at least I've never fixed hot dogs for Thanksgiving like MY mother has been known to do. She swears she never did, but I have the unsettling memories to prove it.)
Anyway, I make my margarita pizza pretty much the same way everyone else does, with maybe an exception or two. But just in case you've never made it, I'll type out the recipe. You've got to try it! You won't be sorry!
1 Boboli Thin Crust pizza crust
3 or 4 Roma tomatoes
6 slices of Provolone cheese (not smoked)
Basil (I just use dried)
Slice your Roma tomatoes really thin and spread them in a single layer, each of them touching, all over the top of the pizza crust. (This substitutes the sauce.) Lay your Provolone on top of the tomatoes, again in a single layer. Sprinkle the top with your basil and garlic powder, and then slide it all in the oven. You can just put the pizza on the oven rack by itself, but I like to put a piece of parchment paper under it, and then slide the whole paper-and-pizza out onto a sheet after it's finished baking.
I just follow the baking instructions on the Boboli package... I can't remember what it says to put the oven to (450 degrees?), but I know I baked it for about 10-12 minutes, until the cheese was slightly browned. It was soooooo goooooood...
Give these a try together! It's not as bad as you'd think... one thing's for certain: they go together better than hot dogs and Thanksgiving. (Mom.) And I'll tell you one more thing: Pico-Margarito Night is a whole lot more fun than Family Game Night.
My little Sophie stayed home from school today (just like yesterday) with some sort of stomach bug and headache that doesn't seem to want to go away. So she stayed in her comfy jams and watched a movie (Spy Kids) and kept me company while I packed charts.
She couldn't get warm, so after giving me several cozy hugs, she decided to take matters into her own hands and fetch the toe-socks she got for Christmas from her Pops. Seeing her little feet in them made me giggle, so I had to take a picture.
I thought they matched her snowman pj's quite well.
After my charts were packed and ready to be mailed, I decided to make bread in the bread machine. Mmmmm... there's nothing like the aroma of yeast filling the house... it's not as good as the way Sophie's hair smells when she's giving me those cozy hugs, but it's close.
Sophie wasn't the only one keeping me company.
Okay, I gave in a shared some. I admit it. It would be cruel not to, since he was oh-so-close.
And that's mostly how I spent my today. :)
Btw, it was brought to my attention today that on the model info for the Thirteen Owls chart, it says the design was stitched on 40 ct. over 1 linen thread. This is incorrect, as there's no way I would stitch anything on 40 ct. over 1 linen thread. I leave that kind of stuff to my Model Stitcher Extraordinaire. (It's a good thing I live far away from her, or she'd be pounding on my door, holding a torch, and shouting something about 'killing the beast' with all the townspeople chanting along with her.)
My apologies for the oversight! It won't affect how your chart turns out, but I'd sure hate for you to torture yourself. Thank you, Bonnie, for letting me know. (Bonnie is one, in fact, who would gladly stitch it over 1 thread. Please don't cry, Bonnie - you can still "stitch it tiny," as you like to say!)
Oh my goodness, I have a new favorite thing to eat. And it was soooo easy to make! It's called Scallops 'n Pasta, and I had planned on making it for Mike, bc the only thing he loves more than sea food is pasta. That man would eat pasta for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and all the snacks in between if I fixed it for him.
I got the recipe from the Tasty Kitchen website, and I switched out the scallops for shrimp, bc I couldn't find the particular scallops the author was talking about. But I have no regrets, and I'd make it exactly this way again! Here's what mine turned out like:
Mike loved it!
Here's the recipe, in case you want to make it for yourself. I highly recommend you do! (And if you're not one to usually cook with wine, never fear! I just used an old bottle of cheap white wine from 2005.. I'm very unedumacated when it comes to wine.) If you'd like the real recipe, here it is. Mine is almost identical, but I'll post it here anyway. Enjoy!
About 2/3 of a box of Barilla Angel Hair pasta
14 jumbo shrimp (with tails on - I just bought a bag of cooked, frozen)
1 T. olive oil
1 T. butter
1 clove garlic, finely diced
1 whole tomato, finely chopped
1 c. white wine
1 sprig fresh parsely, finely minced
1/2 fresh lemon for squeezing - an absolute must!
Kosher salt and pepper
Cook the pasta in salted water, according to the box, and set aside.
Have all the other ingredients ready to go, and make sure you pat the shrimp very dry (so the water doesn't pop up in your face when you add them to the oil!). Season with salt and pepper on both sides.
Heat a large frying pan over high heat, and after heated, swirl in the olive oil. Add the shrimp to the pan, not touching. Sear for 1-1/2 minutes, and then flip over and sear the other side for 1-1/2 minutes. Remove to a plate and try not to cheat and eat one. ;)
Turn the heat to low. Add the butter and garlic and saute for about 10 seconds. Then add the tomatoes.
Turn the heat to high and add in the white wine. Let it bubble for 30 seconds and then use a spatula to scrape up the bits in the bottom of the pan. Season with salt and pepper (go easy on the salt bc of salting the pasta water), throw in the parsley and then add in the cooked pasta. Stir well to let the sauce coat the pasta. Serve with the shrimp on top, and make sure you squeeze that lemon lightly on the top!
Absolutely delicious. Make it for Valentine's Day, even if it's just for you! You won't be sorry. :)
I decided to spend last weekend watching the football game and making Pioneer Woman's cinnamon rolls from her cookbook. It was an extremely pleasant way to spend the time, rolling out fresh dough, being quite liberal with the butter and sugar and cinnamon, and making the whole house smell absolutely delicious. (And occasionally I'd text a note of encouragement to my husband, who was wearing his Cowboys jersey and sitting in a sports bar with about 40,000 Vikings fans.)
Mmmmmm... here they are, straight out of the oven, sans maple icing...
I immediately frosted one for myself and took the first wonderful, indulgent bite...
I noticed some movement in my peripheral vision.
I looked down, annoyed at being jolted out of my cinnamon dream...
It was just Missy, being nosey. Back to my lovely gluttony...
Another movement, this time on my other side.
What the heck? Why don't you furbuckets go back to napping?
Great. More company.
Good grief! They're like flies on you-know-what! Actually, I take that back. If they're the flies, then that means I'm the you-know-what.
After several uncomfortable moments, I began having flashbacks of my inlaws treating these little mongrels to literally any edible thing their hearts desired. If they wanted KFC, they got KFC. If they wanted deli roast beef from the grocer, they got it. I remember being shocked at this type of behavior from grown adults, spoiling their pets as if they were royalty. Why, I never!
Oh for Pete's sake.
I can never run for public office now. I am shamed.
If this ever gets out, I'll just deny it.
I was craving cupcakes with buttercream frosting a couple of days ago, so I scoured my cabinets for a box of cake mix. Of course, to think I'd find a box of anything in my cupboard is an absurd notion, bc I always make everything from scratch. Cough-cough.
So I sat down at my nearest search engine and typed in "vanilla cupcake recipe," and I used the first one I came to.
Of all the vanilla cupcakes I've made, these were the nastiest. It probably had a little something to do with a glaring mistake in the recipe itself, but by the time I noticed it, I was too far along to back out. Which brings me to a lesson I learned a long time ago, but chose to ignore: Always read instructions all the way through before beginning any project. Including baking cupcakes.
I decided to forge ahead and take my chances with the recipe. I'm so sorry I did, bc unless you love the flavor of cornbread-flavored cardboard, these should have never happened. However, it was kind of fun watching Sophie decorate them - and not mentioning that they were a tad bit gross.
Poor thing... she had absolutely no idea...
I used two different muffin pans to make these cupcakes... one was a stoneware one, and the other was your basic nonstick variety. The basic nonstick variety ALWAYS ruins the looks of anything I bake in them (I'm assuming bc the metal heats up too fast), as you can see by the cupcake on the right in the photo below... if you ever get the chance to buy a stoneware muffin pan, go for it! Everything bakes so evenly with stoneware, in my humble opinion.
When she was all finished with the decorating, I left them on the countertop for everyone to see her handiwork. About an hour later there were 24 cupcakes with fingerswipes in their tops, and some of them had even been licked bald. I'd forgotten that Sophie only likes cupcakes for the frosting.
All's well that ends well, I suppose.
I woke up on Sunday morning to a quiet house for a change.. perhaps it was because I got up earlier than usual, or maybe the crazy week of snow had given everyone the snoozies so that they'd sleep in later. Either way though, it gave me a chance to just relish the silence.
I think I sat on the couch doing nothing for close to an hour. :)
The next thing I knew, the sun had come up and still not a creature was stirring. So I decided to make some French Breakfast Puffs - something my mom made when I was growing up. When I was first married almost 20 years ago, I asked her for the recipe, and I still have the piece of paper she wrote it on..
(I've always loved her handwriting.)
These are a popular muffin to make, and I've heard them called different things. Some people roll the entire muffin in melted butter and then cinnamon and sugar, but I usually just do the tops. (If you roll the whole thing though, it is quite tasty!)
If you've never tried making these, you really should! Everyone will love them! But in my opinion, they're best served warm, with butter. We usually snack on them all day, so once they've cooled off I just put one (or two) on a plate, slice it in half, slide a pat of butter bw the halves, and microwave it for 15 seconds. Mm-mmm!
FRENCH BREAKFAST PUFFS
1 c. sugar
2/3 c. butter
3 c. all-purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 c. milk
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
In large mixing bowl, cream together sugar, butter, egg.
In a separate bowl sift together flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.
Add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition.
Spoon into greased muffin pan about 2/3 full.
Bake in pre-heated 350-degree oven for 20-25 minutes.
In small saucepan, melt butter.
Combine 1/2 c. sugar and cinnamon in saucer.
Remove muffins from oven; immediately dip tops in melted butter, then in cinnamon/sugar mixture.
Serve warm! (can be baked and frozen for another day!)
And so the noise begins...
A few nights ago I decided to unwind by baking an apple pie. I love apple pie recipes, even if my hands always end up hurting from peeling all those apples. Sophie decided to help me with this one, which I got from my Just a Matter of Thyme book that Mom got me a few years ago.
That's a quarter-cup of sugar she piled on that crust, and I'll never doubt her again, bc it was delicious! Now to blow it around a bit..
When our pie was finished baking, the house smelled wonderful! I wish you could have heard how this thing sizzled..
I couldn't wait to have a piece.. that first piece is always the best. I know most people like ice cream with their apple pie, but that's not my thing. (I don't like to mix hot and cold on the same plate!)
Sophie's not an apple pie eater - she's just an apple pie baker - so after I had my little piece of warm, spiced pie, I wrapped it up to keep it fresh for the next day..
THE NEXT DAY...
I came downstairs, poured myself a hot cup of coffee and couldn't wait to have my breakfast: a heavenly, delightful, mouthwatering piece of apple pie. So it was with great anticipation that I carefully unwrapped this:
...And felt the blood drain from my face. My temples throbbed. My hands shook. I looked around desperately for a barf bag, but then I remembered that I don't usually keep barf bags laying around.
Cough. Sputter. Mike.
What part of "GET A KNIFE AND A PLATE AND REMOVE A PIECE BEFORE YOU EAT IT" doesn't he understand?? How many times - how many, many times - have I asked him that one simple question? Is my English not good enough? Do I stutter? Is it too late for "til death do us part'?
Well... there's always my coffee. And he wouldn't touch that with a ten-foot pole.
Double Pie Crust:
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 t. salt
1 c. vegetable shortening
1/4 c. ice water
1 egg, beaten
1 T. white vinegar
Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Mix well. With a pastry blender, cut in the shortening until evenly distributed. In a small bowl, combine ice water, egg and vinegar. Sprinkle water mixture over combined dry ingredients, and mix until dough barely clings together. Divide dough for bottom and top crusts. Roll out dough to desired thickness between two sheets of lightly-floured wax paper. Put bottom crust in pie pan without stretching dough. Roll out top crust in similar fashion, keeping wax paper on dough until pie is filled to keep from drying out.
Apple Pie Filling:
8 or 9 tart cooking apples, pared (I used Granny Smiths!)
3/4 c. sugar, more if desired
6 T. flour
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. nutmeg
2 T. butter
In a small bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Sprinkle about 1/4 c. of mixture on the bottom of the pie crust and add the rest to the apples. Stir to coat apples. Fill pie crust heaping full of apple mixture, dot with butter. Place top crust over filling, flute edges. Cut slits on top of crust and sprinkle with sugar. Bake about 50 minutes at 400 degrees.
(I really loved the way this apple pie turned out. If you like McDonald's apple pies, this one tastes just like those, in my humble opinion. And that big purple McDonald's character - Grimace? - he reminds me of Mike.)