How many times do I hear myself say, "where is that big orange binder?" or "has anyone seen that big orange binder?" The big orange binder has been accumulating recipes, kinspiration & original recipe cards tucked into plastic sleeves for my entire-almost-forty year existence. "The Big Orange Binder" is an organization attempt. It's a recipe with a story neatly packaged in a place where I'll always be able to find the ever-elusive . . . Big Orange Binder.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie

Use Perfect Pie Crust, or an easy store-bought variety.

Add this filling:

4 cups cubed chicken, booked
1 tbsp butter
veggies of choice . .  we like carrots, corn, mushrooms . .. . but I know green beans, taters and a variety of beans are all popular choices.  I tend to use what I have on hand.

1/4 cup dry white wine OR water
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
2 tbsp flour
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3/4 cup chicken broth

For a really kid friendly pallate, I use all veggies frozen or canned; no butter; no cream -- just veggies and soup.

Bake in a 400 degree oven until the crust is brown and filling is bubbly; about 25-30 minutes.

Swiss Chicken

As a brand new NICU nurse, I worked with a little old lady named Linda.  Not old, just older than me.  I was new and young and childless.  She had three boys, a husband, a dog and a life larger than mine.  She was determined to teach me how to cook.  This is one of her recipes.

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup milk
6 slices of swiss cheese
1-2 cups stuffing mix
2 tbsp butter -- melted

Spray or line crockpot. 
Then layer . . . . chicken, cheese, soup & milk combo, stuffing.  Drizzle butter.

Cook in crock pot, high for 2-4 hours. 

Bohemian Braids

When I was about 10 years old, I won a baking contest with this.  It reminds me of holidays and genuine scratch baking still.  I usually make it at holiday time.  My daughters love to help with this.  I'm writing the original recipe.  (With all my inclusions or exclusions).

Ingredients:
1/2 cup warm water
2 pkg active dry yeast
1 1/2 cup lukewarm milk; scald & let cool
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
2 eggs
 1/2 cup shortening
7 to 7 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp grated lemon or orange rind
1/2 tsp mace
1 cup raisins (or craisins or dried bits of cherry)
1 cup chopped nuts of choice

Dissolve yeast in water.
Add milk, sugar, salt, egg, shortening & half of the flour.
Add rind, mace, fruit & nuts.
Continue adding flour until dough handles easily.
Turn onto lightly floured board & knead until smooth.
Round up in  a greased bowl.
Cover with cloth and let rise in a warm place until double -- about 90 minutes.
Punch down and allow to rise again; until almost double -- about 30 minutes.
Divide into 2 equal portions, to make two braids.  Divide each of those portions into four equal portions. Shape 3 parts into a strand and braid.  Divide the fourth part into three equal parts and braid.  Place the smaller on top of the larger braid, fastening loose ends and tucking under to secure.  Cover.  Let rise again; until nearly double -- approximately 45-60 minutes.  Brush with egg white glaze; bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.  Frost, if desired. 

* Note:  I'm not a fan of the egg white glaze; I like flour covered old fashioned bread, but it it's for pretty, the egg white really makes it shine.

Frosting:
1 lb powdered sugar
1 tbsp vanila
1/4 cup milk
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup margarine

Beat with a mixer until smooth.  Drizzle over warm bread.  If too thick, just add a few drops of milk.

Monday, November 19, 2012

A touch of this and a dab of that chocolate cupcakes

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup vegetable oil (or 1/2 cup of butter)
1 cup water OR buttermilk OR milk (whole is best)
1 tsp vinegar

Mix.  Mix well.  No lumps.  So mix the heck out of this.  Beat for at least 3 minutes on medium speed.  Add a xnack-cup of chocolate pudding as a final addition, then mix some more.  Pour into foil or paper lined cupcake tins.  Bake until they spring back when touched.  Cool.  Frost.  Enjoy.

Classic Vanilla Cupcakes

1/2 cup room temp butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold milk (whole is best)
1/2 cup sour cream

Cupcakes.  Not my favorite, but alwasy popular with the kiddos.  These are easy as pie.  Just throw it all together.  I've monkeyed with the amounts, too.  Greek yogurt works well instead of sour cream.  One similar recipe calls for no sour cream, but 2/3 cup of milk. 

Use cupcake pans.  Bake at 350 in paper or foil cups until they spring back to the touch.  Cool completely.  Frost. Enjoy.

Chris-N-Kim's Zucchini Bread

As a high school gymnast, my coaches used to make this bread for special treats and roadtrips.

Mix in a large bowl:

3 cups flour
2 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp baking powder

In a bowl, with an electric mixer:

1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 oil (or 1/2 cup applesauce with 1/4 cup oil)

Add 3 eggs, one at a time.
Add 3/4 can of a 15 oz can of crushed pineapple.  Do NOT drain.
Add 2 cups of grated zucchini.

Gradually add 2 tsp vanilla and flour mixture.  Add nuts, if desired.

Bake in greased pans or cups @ 350 for an hour (for loaves) or until done.   Cool.  Remove from pans.

Optional glaze:  1 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 3 tbsp apple juice.  Mix and pour over cool bread.

Death by Cheesecake

Crust:
1 1/2 cups graham crackers, crumbled or beaten with a rolling pin
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup of butter (not margarine)

Filling:
5 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tbsp flour
3 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tsp finely grated lemon peel
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Crust . .  so easy.  Mix the three ingredients.  It will be crumbly but moist.  Press it into a pan.  Use a measuring cup and be persistant.

Filling . . . With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese for a couple minutes or until it's soft, smooth & workable.  Add sugar.  Beat some more.  Add flour.  Then add the eggs.  Beat until blended well.  Add sour cream.  Add lemon peel.  Add vanilla.  Beat some more.  Pour into prepared crust.  Bake at 325 for 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Remove.  Cool.  Serve with fresh berries.  It's better the 2nd or 3rd day, so make this well in advance and make sure it's chilled completely before slicing and serving.

Pumpkin Biscotti

2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
pinch of ginger
pinch of cloves
pinch of salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350.
Stir together flour, sugar, salt, sugar, baking powder and spices. 
In another bowl, whisk eggs, pumpkin & vanilla.  Pour together and give it a stir.  The dough will be crumbly.  On a lightly floured surface, with floured hands, knead lightly.  Form the dough into a log  (or two smaller ones) and place on a greased cookie sheet or pan.  Shoot for uniform length, no bigger than about 6 inches, and more flat that long.  Bake for 22-30 minutes or until the crust is firm.  Remove.  Let cool for about 15 minutes.  With a sharp serrated knife, cut the logs into slices.  Place the slices center up on the sheet and bake again, for about 15 minutes @ 300 degrees.  Cool.  You can store this in a non-airtight container if you like it a bit more crunchy. 

Bailey's Irish Cream Fudge from Krismus

4 1/2 cups sugar
1 can evaporated milk
1/2 lb butter
2 pkgs (12 oz each) of milk chocolate chips
1 pkg (12 oz) of semi sweet chocolate chips
2 jars (7 oz) marshmallow cream
2 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup baileys Irish cream
2 cups chopped nuts, optional

Method: in large bowl, put chocolate chips, marshmallow cream, vanilla, Irish cream and nuts. Set aside.  Heat butter, sugar, milk to boil, reduce heat & cook slowly for 11 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour milk mixture over the ingredients in the bowl and stir slowly to blend. Do NOT use a mixer.  Pour fudge into buttered 9x13 pan. Chill. When fudge is cold, cut into uniform pieces. Makes approximately 5 pounds.

**Notes on this recipe: this fudge does not get hard.  It stays soft, so if you are gifting, use small tins & package the whole works instead of cutting.

Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

An OLD recipe that I'm putting here in my efforts to organize ....

25 minute prep time/40 minute bake time

2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
2/3 cup milk
3 medium carrots, grated
1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts

Oven to 350. Grease pan. Mix dry ingredients. Beat butter & sugar. Add eggs. Mix in flour mixture, carrots & nuts .      Pour  into  prepared pans. Bake until top springs back and toothpick comes out clean.  Cool for 5-10 minutes in pans, then remove & cool completely.  Ice when cool.

Icing

1/2 cup (1stick) butter
4 oz cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Topping
1/4 cup finely chopped nuts
2 tbsp brown sugar

Pretzel Stuffing

I might have to tweak this later . . . . 'cause this is coming from a morphed recipe that is several years old.  It's in my mind, and goes a little something like this (hit it!) . . . .

Sausage . . . . links, about 12, skin off, cut into small chunks & pan fry
Onion . . . about 1/4 of a red onion . . . finely chopped . . . add to sausage

Mushrooms . . . a package of sliced . . . sauteed just briefly with the sausage & onion

Long grain wild rice . . . . cooked; I usually get the microwave variety for convenience

Mix those of four things together, then toss them with a large bowl of  pretzels & croutons.

Pretzels . . . you need several cups of pieces; so break them into about 1/4 to 1/2 inch bits.  Remove the itty tiny crumbs, if you can.
Add stuffing croutons . . . about an equal amount.

Then add chicken broth until it's well moisturized, but not soggy.  Add salt and pepper.  Add sage.  My momma used to say, "add it and toss it until is smells right."   Stuff the bird, or do a pan.  Or both.

Sir-Loin Colorado Peach Cobbler

Back in my teenie-popper days, I worked as waitress at a little restaurant in the valley called The Sir-Loin.  I grew to be close, close friends with the owners.  In the fall, we'd buy fresh peaches by the bushel and make homemade Colorado peach cobbler for dessert.  

One of my fondest memories of Anne is standing at the prep counter with her slicing peaches. 
There is no written recipe for this .. . . well, until now.  But here it is now: 

Slice your peaches.  You need about 6 to make a small pan.  If you float your peaches in hot water, they'll peel up super-slick. 

 To the top of your pan of peeled and sliced peaches, add a couple pats of butter and a sprinkling of sugar. 
 In a separate bowl, dump and mix:   a couple of cups of bisquick, a generous spash of milk and about 1/2 cup of sugar.  It needs to be thicker than pancake batter or cake batter.  Spoon that over the peaches.  Bake at 350 until the crust is brown and the filling is bubbly.  Remove.  Enjoy.  Add ice cream or whipped cream for extra touch of love.  Fresh grated cinnamon is a great top-off!