Oktoberfest in Germany begins Saturday, September 22, 2012, and ends Sunday, October 7, 2012...

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Fruit Hand Pies

Move over Hostess and Little Debbie!   Here is a recipe for creating hand pies for all of the wonderful summer fruit on the vine, trees, and in your counter bowl right now.   So seriously easy, you will never want to toss some pies in the basket from the supermarket again.   Double the dough recipe if you want to and keep it refrigerated for up to one week – or freeze it for up to a month.   That way, it is handy for fruit or meat pies whenever the opportunity presents…..

So,,, let’s start with the crust.   I know this might seem whacky, and I don’t know why it works, but follow these steps for a remarkably tender crust.

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour 
½ teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 stick very cold butter cut into small 1 inch pieces
1 stick very cold Imperial Margarine cut into small 1 inch pieces 
3 Tablespoons of ice water
About 4 Tablespoons or so of Bread Flour for dusting the work surface and rolling out the dough – this makes a difference
1 whole egg – for brushing the crust with
3 Tablespoons or so of Natural Sugar Crystals (Demerara Sugar)

Filling mix Ingredients:

1 cup (do not pack) light brown sugar
2 Tablespoons corn starch
1 Teaspoon cinnamon
1 Teaspoon nutmeg
Peeled and sliced fruit/fruits of choice
Nuts if desired


Place the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse once or twice to combine and fluff up the flour.

Next, drop the pieces of butter and Imperial ( I am telling you Imperial because for some reason it seems to make a difference – probably something added to the production process that I do not even want to know about) over the flour mixture and pulse until well combined.   The usual pea size consistency will look more like powder – don’t worry.


Then, add the chilled water one tablespoon/pulse at a time.  Your dough will end up looking wetter than you would normally want to see – don’t worry.
 
Then,  gather the dough in either one or two balls and wrap each tightly in plastic wrap.   Chill for at least 1 hour.  

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Meanwhile, as the dough is chilling, mix the brown sugar, corn starch, cinnamon and nutmeg together and set aside.

Then, prep your fillings:  cut/peel fruit, chop nuts, etc.

When you are ready to assemble the pies, pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.

Then, remove the dough and break off a hand full at a time and dust & roll out on a flour dusted work surface (use bread dough to dust the work surface – I don’t know why it makes a difference, but it does.  Then, cut out 4 ½ inch Circles.


Place ½ teaspoon of the brown sugar mixture on the top of one of the circles.  Then place your fruit over it.   Then, top the fruit with another ½ teaspoon of the brown sugar mixture.


Run the roller lightly over the circle you will top the fruit with to slightly enlarge it.  Then place it over the fruit.  


Now, crimp the top and bottom circles of crust together with a fork.   Then, even it all up by pressing the circle cutter over the edges to cut off the raggedy excess.


Place the little pie on a stone or baking sheet and repeat the process.


I filled some of my pies with peaches which had been peeled and sliced into small manageable pieces,  some were filled with mangoes,  some were filled with sliced bananas with chopped walnuts.


When you have one of your baking pans loaded with the little pies, whisk one whole egg and brush each pie.   Then, sprinkle Demerara sugar over the tops of each pie.  


Then, using a sharp serrated knife, cut a slit in the top of each pie and wiggle it a little to create a little wider opening.

 
Now you are ready to place your pan or stone in the oven and bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until the crust is cooked and golden.
 
Remove and cool on a rack for 10 minutes.   Then, remove the pies and allow them to continue to cool on a rack.   

Enjoy warm or completely cooled.   


Friday, July 29, 2011

Peach Smoothie

By Kerrie

Who could resist some peach and cream goodness... not me!   I’m not using cream though, because at some point the calories just start adding up – darn it.   Well, this is just as creamy and yummy.   Give this a try….


Ingredients: 

1 peach – peeled and sliced
¼ cup low fat sugar free vanilla yogurt
½ cup milk – more or less as you prefer

Add the three ingredients to a blender and blend with ice if you want it icy.   Blend without if you want it creamier.   Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint if you grow it – to make it fancy-schmancy!

My little taste tester says it is awesome….

Enjoy !!!

Banana and Strawberry Smoothie

By Kerrie

Here is a low fat yummy treat with fresh fruit.   My little taste tester says it is good for his tummy!    Garnish with a sprig of mint if you have some, to make it even gooder for the tummy….


Ingredients:


1 small banana (chilled)
8 nice strawberries (chilled)
¼ cup low fat sugar free vanilla yogurt
½ cup milk – more or less as you prefer

Add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.  Blend with ice if you want it icier.   Blend without if you want it creamier.

  Enjoy !!

Glazed Meatloaf Sliders

Lucky you... if you have some Glazed Meatloaves leftover for sliders !   Or...you could make up a batch for party food.   Seriously, sliders are increasingly more popular and you can go gourmet or keep it easy.  These are easy but much more than average with fresh baked slider rolls.   Give this a try and let me know how you like it...

This recipe will yield 12 sliders

Ingredients:

12 slider rolls – see recipe:   Slider Roll Recipe
6 glazed meatloaves, warmed – see recipe: Individual Glazed Meatloaves
6 slices of cheddar cheese – cut in half
½ cup of Honey BBQ sauce – warmed in a sauce pan
½ Red Onion sliced very thin

Slice each meatloaf in half horizontally and place one of the halves over the bottom part of a slider roll.   Top with the warm sauce, slice of cheese and onions.  Place the roll top over the onions.


Enjoy !!!

Individual Glazed Meatloaves

This recipe is nothing fancy.  It is super easy, fast, and it is soooooo kid friendly!   Are you interested now…..?



Ingredients:

3 lbs. of low fat ground beef
24 saltine crackers
1 envelope of French Onion Soup mix
3 Tablespoons worcestershire sauce
2 Tablespoons diced garlic
1 teaspoon pepper
1 cup or so of Honey BBQ Sauce – or whatever your preference would be as a topping.


Directions:

First place saltines in a plastic bag and get a kid to pound on it to break the crackers into a million teeny-tiny pieces.

Next, place the ground beef in a large mixing bowl. Then, pour the very finely crumbled crackers over the meat.  Next add the onion soup mix, worcestershire sauce, garlic and pepper. 



Then, using your hands mix everything together - not a kid's job.

Pre-Heat oven to 400 degrees F.

Taking a handful of meat shape it into a small loaf.   I was able to get a yield of 10.

Next, spread some of the BBQ sauce over the top of each little loaf and down the sides.

Place in oven and bake for 20 – 30 minutes or until the center is cooked.

Serve with smashed potatoes, look out though, they disappear fast !!!


Enjoy !!!

If you have any to spare, make Glazed Meatloaf sliders.

Roasted Garlic Chicken Sausage Sliders

Oh my goodness these are delish!  Made with fresh baked slider rolls, your platter of sliders will disappear before your eyes!  Give this recipe a go and let me know what you think...

This recipe will yield 12, but you should have enough sausage and rolls to make more if desired.

Ingredients:

12 Slider rolls – see recipe:  Slider Roll Recipe
1 package of Roasted Garlic Chicken Sausage
12 thin, small slices of smoked gouda cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon ground chipotle
2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
½ Red Onion sliced very thin

First, combine the mayonnaise, chipotle and relish - mix well.   Place in refrigerator.
Next, slice 3 of the sausages ½ inch thick diagonally.  Place slices in a lightly oiled pan and brown on each side.  Chicken sausages are very lean so do not overcook or they will be dry.

Next assemble the sliders.  Place 2 slices over the top of the bottom slice of a slider roll.  Then top the 2 slices with another 2 slices going in the opposite direction.


Then, place a slice of the smoked gouda cheese over the sausage.

Next, drop a small spoonful of chipotle sauce over the cheese.  Then, top the sauce with several thin slices of red onions.


Enjoy !!!


Obviously, you could change up the sausage, cheese and condiments.   Just enfold your creation with the fresh baked slider rolls and you will be the crowd pleaser !!!

Slider Roll Recipe

Boy oh boy, have you seen a menu lately that does not feature a slider or two?   Well it is no wonder!  What a fun way to get creative with small bites.  No matter what you put inside, your slider could be over the top delicio with this slider roll recipe…


Ingredients   ~ yield should be about 16 - 18 rolls ~

1 cup lukewarm water
¼ cup olive oil, plus extra for oiling bowl and dough
1 ½ teaspoon honey
1 package rapid-rise yeast (2 ¼ teaspoons)
2 cup bread flour
1 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra as needed
1 ½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Italian Seasonings
½  teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1/2 cup melted butter
Sprinkling of Garlic Salt


Fill a container with the lukewarm water and honey and then sprinkle the yeast on top and give it a little swirl with a plastic measuring spoon.   Allow the container to sit for about 10 minutes and you should have a nice foamy top.  This means the yeast is reacting and you will get a fabulous dough.

Meanwhile, in a standing mixer bowl combine the dry ingredients and dry whisk to combine.  Then attach the mixing paddle .

Pour the Olive Oil and foamy yeast mixture over the dry ingredients and then mix on low until well combined and the dough sticks together.   Raise the paddle and scrape the sides and lift the bottom pressing any bits of dough into the dough ball and remove.  

Turn the dough onto a slightly floured work surface -  knead by hand to form a smooth, round ball.  Put the dough in an oiled clean bowl and turn it over several times in the bowl to coat it with oil.  Then, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap.  Place in a warm spot (I place my bowl inside my microwave oven – this keeps it from any temperature change when the air conditioner kicks in).  Let rise until dough has doubled in size, about one hour.

Then, pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Once the dough has risen, punch it down and knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth.  Then pull off a small amount of dough and roll it in your hand to create a small 3 inch ball.   Place the dough ball in an oiled muffin tin, brownie tin, or mini loaf tin.   Repeat this process until you have used all the dough.

Next, brush each little ball liberally with melted butter and then very lightly sprinkle top with garlic salt.


or ...


Cover tin with wax paper and allow to rise for about 45 minutes.  Then place in oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until golden brown on top.   Place on rack to cool for 5 minutes and then turn rolls out of tin and allow to continue to cool on the rack.

Fill centers as desired and enjoy!!!


Grilled Pineapple and Canadian Bacon Pizza

 Hi !    Here is a yummy recipe for all you Pineapple and Canadian Bacon fans…..  This seems to be a West Coast pizza craze.   We caught the craze, so we love this!


  

Ingredients:

1 Pizza Crust Dough - See recipe:  Grilled Pizza Crust Dough
   Use one half of the pizza dough ball to make this pizza. 
   If you opt for thin crust you will get about a 12-14 inch pizza
Sauce:
2 cloves of garlic, pressed
1 teaspoon salt
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon honey
Fresh Grated pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ tablespoon olive oil
Just a pinch of red pepper flakes, **optional**

Toppings:
1 cup of sliced and diced fresh pineapple
1 small package of Canadian bacon – quantity used as you prefer
1/3 cup chopped black olives
1/3 cup chopped green olives
1 cup shredded smoked mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese


First, make your pizza dough.   This should be done about an hour before you will start grilling.  Once the dough has risen, punch it down and knead on a lightly floured surface for 1 to 2 minutes until smooth.  Divide into two equal size balls and proceed with your pizza making.   I found that rolling out a thin crust gave me a 14 inch pizza by dividing the dough in half.   This recipe is for one of the dough halves.   Before you place the dough on the grill, be sure to brush both sides with olive oil.


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While the dough is rising, prep your topping ingredients.   You should have everything ready before you put your dough on the grill because the first side will grill in only 3-4 minutes.   The grilled side is the side you will top.  You will then return the topped pizza to the grill to cook the bottom and melt the cheese.


First, let’s make the Pizza Sauce.   In a medium sauce pan, mix together tomato sauce and tomato paste until smooth.  Then, stir in garlic, salt, honey, pepper, oregano, basil, olive oil and red pepper flakes.  Cook over medium heat until the sauce begins to bubble.  Remove from heat and set aside.  *This might make more sauce than you need for a single pizza *

Next, slice and dice the pineapple the way you like it and set aside.  Then, chop the olives and shred the cheeses and set aside.

Okay, if all your toppings are ready, grill the first side of the dough. Return grilled side up and brush top with Olive Oil and then ladle 1 cup of the tomato sauce over pizza and smooth almost to the edge – adding more if needed.

Then, top the tomato sauce with the pineapple, Canadian bacon slices, olives, and lastly,  the cheeses.



Then, return the pizza to the grill to cook the bottom and melt the cheese.   Grill over medium to low heat with the lid down – rotating the pizza every 3 or 4 minutes.   Before each rotation check the bottom to insure it is cooking but not burning.   The optimal taste is a nice dark brown char mark and a golden crust.    The cheese should be bubbly but not burning. 

When done, slice and enjoy !!!!

Here is a link for the cookbook which inspires me...