Monday, September 22, 2008

Lemon/Lime Bars

These are my favorites! I have to hide them on top my fridge or else my #2 son will eat them all. You can make them with fresh lemon juice and lemon peel or lime juice and lime peel. Enjoy!

Lemon/Lime Bars
Crust layer:
1 c. butter
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 t. salt
2 c. flour
Cream butter and sugar. Add remaining ingredients. Press into 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Layer 1:
8 oz cream cheese
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 egg
Mix together and spread over warm crust.

Layer 2:
4 eggs -slightly beaten
2 c. sugar
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 c. flour
1/4 c. lemon or lime juice
rind of one lemon (or lime)
Pour on top of layer one. Return to oven and bake for 35-40 minutes at 350 (until set). Remove and let cool sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Vanilla Oatmeal Pancakes with Buttermilk Syrup

These pancakes are hearty and tasty. You make up a mix and then work off that, so easy and fast.
Oatmeal Pancakes
3 1/2 c. oats
5 c. flour
3 T. sugar
3 T. bking powder
1 T salt
1 T. baking soda
1 c. vegetable oil
Grind oats in blender, until fine. Mix with other dry ingredients. Drizzle with oil, mix to fine crumble with pastry whisk. Store in fridge or freezer. For pancakes add 1 c. mix to 1 egg and 1/2 c. milk, 1/2 c. vanilla yogurt (or 1 cup buttermilk). Add fresh berries or (shredded apples and cinnamon).
milk and vanilla yogurt or buttermilk
fresh blueberries or shredded apples

The syrup sounds really wierd, but trust me this is a must make. My sister in law first made it for us and I was a bit skeptical, but after a bite I was a true believer. I love it with buttermilk waffles and oatmeal pancakes. It is really fast a simple and perfect. It tastes like sweet rich butter!
Buttermilk Syrup
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. buttermilk
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 c. butter
1/2 t. vanilla
Mix first 4 ingredients together. Heat, boil for one minute. Remove from heat. Add vanilla. Serve.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Black Bean Soup

In the winter, I love to have a freezer stocked with good soups I can pull out and enjoy. This is one of my fast healthy favorites~

Black bean soup

1. T. olive oil
1 medium onion chopped
2 t. chopped garlic
2 cans of black beans (can drain or not drain)
1 - 14 oz can of chicken broth
1 can of corn (drained)
1 14.5 oz can of Mexican diced tomatoes with jalapenos (do not drain)
3 bay leaves
1 t. thyme
1 t. balsamic vinegar
1/2 cumin
1 c. cooked diced or shredded chicken

(for thicker soup increase to 3 cans of beans, to make thinner add more broth)
Saute onion and garlic in oil. Than add beans, (mash with potato masher) broth,corn, tomatoes, and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add chicken. Serve with cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Orange Julius

Summer of 2008 was officially named the year of the Orange Julius after SS#2 after our family night fun with a pitcher full o' orange julius and our fateful car adventure. We make these at least once a week. My boys love them. cool and refreshing. A tweak of a college favorite.

Orange Julius Ala Smart Mama
1/3 of a regular size can of frozen orange juice concentrate
1/4 t. lemon juice
1 c. water
1/3 c. sugar
2-3 drops vanilla extract
12 ice cubes
Put in the blender and blend until smooth (with the lid on for least mess!).
(For icier increase ice and decrease water)

Friday, April 25, 2008

FAST homemade rolls/cinnamon rolls

I got this recipe from my friend Lucy H. they were the first yeast recipe I really felt comfortable with, I have made a few changes so here they are smartmama style~ every sunday I get hungry for these and lately i've been making them alot-- they make my kids cheer out loud!how can a mother resist!
3 1/2 c warm water ( i do it more to the hot side)
1 c canola oil
6 Tbsp. yeast (yah its alot)
3/4 c sugar
Combine above ingredients and let rest for 15 min.
Then add:
1 1/2 Tbsp. salt
3 eggs
9-10 c. of flour

Mix well. knead dough until smooth.

for crescent rolls: (makes 64)
divide dough into 4 equal parts. Roll dough into 16" circle. brush with melted butter. cut into 16 triangles. roll up and place on pan. Cover and let rise 30-60 min (until dbl in size). Bake 8-9 min at 400. after removing from the oven. brush tops with butter

for cinnamon rolls: (makes 64)
divide dough intp 2 balls. Roll dough into large rectangles about 15x18".Brush dough with melted butter. dump sugar mix on and smooth with your hand so the whole surface is covered with a sort of generous layer- basically so you feel no butter showing through. Roll rectangle into a log. slice into 1 " sections. Place on pan let rise 30-60 min until dbl in size. Bake at 400 for about 9-10 min until lightly golden. remove from oven. Glaze while hot.

Cinnamon/Sugar Mix (i just mix it up and keep it in a ziploc then use it for this monkey bread banana bread crumb topping etc)
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. white sugar
2 t. cinnamon

Simple Glaze (these are approx.- i never measure I just eyeball it to the right consistency based on what % I am doing as rolls vs. cinnamon rolls
3 Tbsp. butter -melted
1 t. vanilla
3 c. pdwr sugar.
2 t. milk or hot water.

Mix together until smooth.

**I usually speed my rise by turning my oven on to 300 for 2 min then turning it off. Then placing the towel covered pans in the gently warmed oven for 30 or until ident doesn't bounce back.

** You can freeze and bake later. Just place on greased pan immediately after forming (do not let them rise). Wrap well and place in the freezer. Then let thaw on counter or in slightly warmed oven (turn on to 350 for 1-2 min then turn off) for about 2 hrs.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Beef Stir Fry

I love a fast dinner and this is a fast dinner.
Beef Stir Fry
1 bag of snow peas
2 brocoli crowns cut ito florets
1 onion cut into chunks
1 red pepper
1/2 c. carrots (opt)

1 lb stir fry beef (of all places walmart actually makes my favorite cut of stir fry beef CRAZY!)
Soy sauce
1 Tbsp. oil
Rice (preferably calrose)
Marinate the beef in 1/2 c soy sauce mixed with 2 Tbsp cornstarch for 1 hr or more in refrigerator. Heat oil in pan to medium high, add stir fry beef cook until browned on both sides. Remove from pan. Add veggies, and sprinkle with soy sauce cook to desired doneness, return meat to pan for 1-2 minutes. Serve over rice.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Les's Bowtie Pasta Salad

One of my favorites lunches- think pasta salad and Caesar salad mixed together. I created when I first got married for a wedding a catered back, I was a college instructor at the time, but somehow I got roped into wedding catering- you never can tell what I'll stick my fingers in next. It is perfect for serving large crowds on a tight budget and tastes like summer. It is a pretty forgiving recipe you can edit quantities and improvise to your liking.

Les's Bowtie Pasta Salad
10 oz. bowtie pasta- cooked, drained, cooled (toss lightly with olive oil)
Large head romaine lettuce -torn
1/2 each of Red, yellow, and orange bell peppers- diced
Fresh Parmesan cheese
(chicken strips- if as a "main dish" (if its a side you can leave out the chicken)

1/2 bottle Creamy Caesar Dressing of your choice
edible nasturtiums (if its a classy party)

Toss pasta and lettuce together with creamy Caesar dressing until coated. Add diced peppers, chicken, toss gently. Top with cheese and edible flowers.

Leslie's Homemade Oatmeal Wheat Bread

All the great bread making women I know have "their bread recipe"- not one from a cookbook. finding your recipe is a sort of motherhood rite of passage. I started with one recipe. It evolved to the point that it no longer resembles the original recipe and I call it my own. As much as I hate the crumbs on the counter, few things make me feel more like a great mother than to hear my children cheer when I tell them I am making "my" bread.

Leslie's Homemade Bread
3 c. hot water
1Tbsp. salt
1/4 c. oil
1 c. br sugar
8-9 cups flour (4 c. wheat (red and white wheat combo), 2 better for bread, 2 c. oats)
2 Tbsp. yeast
1 tbsp. vital wheat gluten
1 egg

Stir the water, salt, oil and brown sugar together. Add 4 cups wheat flour, yeast and egg. Beat 4-5 minutes . Add 2 cups "oat flour" (take oats (old fashioned or quick) pulverize in blender to make oat flour). Mix well- add remaining bfb flour and gluten. Knead 10 minutes. Place in grease bowl and cover with towel - let rise in warm spot until dbl. pounch down divide into three loaves, roll out and form loaves. Let rise again until dbl in pans. Bake 35 mins at 325.

College Boyfriend Breadsticks

See I had this boyfriend, KC, who I dated for most of my college years. (he was a good cook, but he can't take credit for this recipe but "college boyfriend's friend's wife's breadsticks" is too long of a title- and "college boyfriend breadsticks". Once we (me and KC) went to dinner at the home of one of his friend's, D & N. Well, in the course of the evening his wife and I made these breadsticks and they were so good. The one part that stuck in my head was that one of the ingredients was malted milk powder. I meant to get the recipe but then D&N moved and I broke up with KC and my hopes of getting the recipe were dashed. So for the 11 years since that night, I have thought about these breadsticks. I was thinking about them again as I was driving home from church a few months ago and decided I WOULD find the recipes. So when I walked in the door, I went immediately to the computer and scoured the internet for breadstick recipes with malted milk powder. Well I experimented a little, and made some modifications and here they are... They are fast, easy, and excessively yummy- think breadstick nirvana.

College Boyfriend Breadsticks

1 Tbsp. yeast
2 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 c. warm water
Then Add:

1 Tbsp. malted milk powder
1 tsp. salt
3- 3 1/2 cups flour.

Mix together well. Melt 1/4 c. butter. Pour half of the butter in 9x13" pan. press dough in pan. Pour remaining butter on top. Sprinkle generously with mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle lightly with garlic salt. Let rise for 15-30 min. Then bake at 400 for 12-15 minutes.