Thursday, September 23, 2010

First Day of Fall

Colten was under the impression that all the leaves would fall from the trees and pile themselves up this afternoon waiting for his return from school. He might watch a little too much Charlie Brown. It's probably a good thing they didn't all fall off today because they just would have blown right on out of town anyway.

Even though the cold front still hasn't reach us yet, I thought the first day of fall called for soup. Potato soup and homemade rolls.

Potato Soup
3 pounds potatoes
1 package bacon
1 onion
1/2 bag of carrots
2 teaspoons parsley
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
3 tablespoons butter
1 container chicken broth
2 can evaporated milk

Wash, peel, and cut up potatoes and put on stove to boil. Since I was putting these in the crock pot, I boiled for about 10-15 minutes, if you plan ahead and start all this in the morning you wouldn't even need to preboil, but where is the fun in that?

Cut up your bacon and fry it. Trust me, it cooks a lot faster all chopped up first. Once your bacon is done cooking, or if you want to dirty up another pot then feel free. Melt butter in pan, the saute onion, carrots, parsley, oregano, and basil for 4-5 minutes until tender.

Dump potatoes, bacon, sauteed veges, and chicken broth in crock pot. I let it cook on medium for a couple hours, pour in the two cans of evaporated milk and let it warm through.

It's spoon lickin' good.

Epic, all three kiddos commented on how wonderful it was, it was the 'best soup in the whole wide world' according to Miss Emma.

Country White Bread or Dinner Rolls for the bread machine
1 cup water, plus
1 tablespoon water (70-80 F)
1 large egg
4 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
3 1/4 cups bread flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

In bread machine pan, place all ingredients in order as recommended by the manufacturer. Select the dough/pasta setting. Let the bread maker do all the work.

Lightly grease a 9 x 13 baking pan. When dough is finished shape into 12 uniform-ish sized balls. I always grease my hands to help keep the dough from stickin' to me, and since the average life span of rolls at my house is less than 30 minutes I really don't worry to much about making them pretty. Cover and let the rolls rise in a warm, draft free place, I usually stick them on top of the preheating oven, probably not what they teach in Home Ec, but whatever, it's probably not even called Home Ec anymore. Preferably let them double, but who has the patience for that? Bake in a 350° oven about 12-15 minutes until golden brown. After removing from the oven, brush the tops of the rolls with melted butter and enjoy.

Told you I never let them double in size, and still they taste AMAZING!

Swoon. Talk about some good lookin' buns. . . (let's just home they don't stick to mine)

What is your favorite kind of soup?

Lots to do this weekend

There are several fun activities going on this weekend in our little corner of southeast Kansas.

Old Iron Days starts today and continues through Sunday, although I recommend going before Sunday, they start to close down on Sunday, so you might miss some good stuff. This is a wonderful glimpse into the past and gives a whole new appreciation to the technology we now rely on. (Although my favorite part might just be the ice cream.)

Friday night the Jackets are at home playing against Humbolt. Game starts at 7:00 and stop by and see me and buy a raffle ticket for a half beef in support of the FCCC.

Saturday you can visit Neodesha's Chief Little Bear Day, I am planning on running in their 5K at 8am and then Colten and I are both riding in their Bike Ride at 9am, it's only 3.3 miles. They are suppose to have over 70 vendors this year, at 11:30 they have their Native American Opening Ceremonies and they have various bands preforming throughout the day. Chanute's Artist Alley in also on Saturday, if you have a train lover in your family, you should check out the train rides they offer on Saturday, plus a wide variety of craft booths and food.

Saturday afternoon the Fredonia PeeWee teams will be playing host to Cherryvale in their first home game, games start at 11am at John Stadium.

What are your plans this weekend? Will you be hitting up any of these local events?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Cheddar Bay Biscuit

Do yourself a favor and make these.

This time of year I rediscover my love of bread. Don't get me wrong I love bread all the time, just during the summer the thought of turning the oven on just doesn't seem as appealing. So while I was getting ready to grill some shrimp I couldn't get the thought of those lovely biscuits served by Red Lobster. Now, I don't want to brag, but I am a pretty good biscuit maker, I spent one winter finding and perfecting the perfect biscuit recipe. So I just had to figure out how to make them full of garlicky cheddary goodness. And folks, I did.

Cheddar Bay Biscuits
2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder - do yourself a favor and make sure it's fresh
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup butter, cold, yes straight from the fridge and no margarine!!
3/4 milk
2 teaspoons garlic salt
2 teaspoons parsley
1/2 shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons melted butter for tops

Mix together your flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, parsley, and garlic salt. Cut in your butter. You need one of these:

It's OK if you don't have one, I'll wait, they have them at Alco.

OK, after your butter is thoroughly cut in the flour mixture, slowly add the milk and mix together. It's a bit of a process, just keep your eye on the prize. Now add the cheese. It was be a bit of a thick mess, add a little more milk if needed, but not too much! Now drop them onto a baking sheet. No rolling needed! I think I was able to get about 12 medium biscuits. Bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes. Take out of oven, brush with melted butter and try to save some for the rest of your family!!

Then brag to everyone you know, or even perfect strangers that you can make biscuits from scratch, no tubes or bisquick needed! I know I try and work it into as many conversations as possible :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Weekend in Review

There was so much going on this weekend around town. I love weekends like that!

Ours started off with a little tailgating courtesy of the Fredonia Youth Football coaches before the high school football game.

Saturday morning I got up and made time for a 3 mile run in preparation for Chief Little Bear Day's 5K that is in 2 short weeks. And was joined by this fella, seriously I think Fredonia might be taken over by crawdads. Crazy!

Then we were off to Neodesha for Fredonia's debut of Youth Football, what an excellent way to spend a Saturday afternoon! They did a great job and it was so fun to watch all our kids.

If you weren't into football there was also the Cops n' kids fishing tournament.

Then off to the demolition derby.

And finally after all that, ending the day with great friends and a pitcher of these.

Wow, who says you have to live in a big town to have exciting weekends?? Hope you all had great ones!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Carrot Cake

I had a bag of baby carrots that I needed to use, and I had a sweet tooth, so the obvious answer was carrot cake. I had never made carrot cake before, although I love it when I find myself in it's presence. So I googled carrot cake recipes, I really hate when websites include the nutrition information on their recipes, sometimes ignorance is bliss. So after debating whether or not I really should, I decided to go for it - heck I walked 5 miles and then biked 15, if I couldn't indulge in some carrot cake after that, what was the point???
I did do some recipe alteration, cutting down on the sugar in the cake (I was covering it with cream cheese frosting, so I figured that would make the cake sweet enough) and I also swapped half the oil for applesauce. My sister-in-law has mentioned doing this for years, but I never tried until recently, I really should have tried this sooner, seriously try it, you won't miss the oil!
Carrot Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cups white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup applesauce
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups shredded carrots
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained and ran through a food processor
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan.
Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; make a well in the center and add sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla. Mix with wooden spoon until smooth.
Stir in carrots, nuts and pineapple. Pour into 9x13 inch pan and bake for about 45 minutes. Don't panic if the center sinks.
Let pan cool for 5 minutes, and then turn out of pan.
1 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups icing sugar
Cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth; add the icing sugar and beat until creamy.

Since I have the self control of a excited puppy I cut the cake in half and delivered it to a friend who agreed it was yummy! Oh and I would so not recommend using baby carrots for this recipe, my fingers kept finding their way into the grater.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

5 Cans & 1 Jar Soup

There is just nothing better than the first hints of fall and a big bowl of soup, especially an easy throw together soup like this one.

1 can chicken stock
1 can corn
1 can tomatoes
2 cans beans, really any beans will work, I have used kidney, pinto, black, ect.
1 jar of your favorite salsa

Dump into pot. Add taco seasoning and a little cumin. If your family is die hard carnivores you could add some browned hamburger or cooked chicken, both are good and this is a great way to use up some leftovers.

Warm on stove top.

Ride bike around kitchen waiting for dinner to be done.

Serve over tortilla chips with cheese and sour cream.

P.S. The Clearly Organic beans are on sale this week at G&W so stock up!!