Monday, April 27, 2009

(29) Cinnamon Raisin Bread for the Bread Machine

Ok, so my husband and my sister/future brother-in-law were all so gaga over the white bread, they put in a request for cinnamon raisin bread. I made this recipe last night. Very easy. I didn't get to taste the bread until the morning. I'll be honest here - even though the reviews on recipezaar LOVED this bread, I didn't. It has potential, but I need to tweak it some.

For one thing, it needs way more cinnamon!! I also think some brown sugar would be good. I soaked the raisins in hot water so they'd puff up, but I wonder if I could soake them in juice (Or booze LOL) to give them an even better flavor?!

Do you have a cinnamon raisin bread recipe that you love? If you do, please share it with me!!

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Makes one 1.5 pound loaf

1 cup water
2 tablespoons margarine
3 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
3/4 cup raisins

1. Add all the ingredients in order given except the raisins.
2. Add raisins in on the "add in" beep.
3. Bake on "sweet bread" setting.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

(28) Bread Machine White Bread

Eeeeeeeeeeasy!! I am yeast-ily impaired (something serious) and even I can make this bread. It was a total Saturday morning treat for us! Please note that I used regular yeast because I didn't have any bread machine yeast. I cooked it on regular white bread, 2lb loaf with a medium crust.

1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 (.25 ounce) package bread machine yeast
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt


1. Place the water, sugar and yeast in the pan of the bread machine. Let the yeast dissolve and foam for 10 minutes. Add the oil, flour and salt to the yeast. Select Basic or White Bread setting, and press Start.

According to Allrecipes, this makes 12 slices at 174 calories and 5 g fat each.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

(27) Classic Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

We made this carrot cake for our Easter dinner. DELISH! I was skeptical of using the food processor to do ALL of the work, but I'm totally a believer!! Make sure you cook it long enough, especially if you added the raisins &/or nuts (we added both - I recommend it!) Oh, and if you are watching your calories, turn around and RUN!!!

Simple Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: Makes one 13 by 9-inch cake.
Source: Cooks Illustrated, March 1, 2003.

If you like nuts in your cake, stir 1 1/2 cups toasted chopped pecans or walnuts into the batter along with the carrots. Raisins are also a good addition; 1 cup can be added along with the carrots. If you add both nuts and raisins, the cake will need an additional 10 to 12 minutes in the oven. Below (at the end) are instructions for using a hand-held or standing mixer.

Carrot Cake
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces)
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 pound medium carrots (6 to 7 carrots), peeled
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (10 1/2 ounces)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil , safflower oil, or canola oil

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese , softened but still cool
5 tablespoons unsalted butter softened, but still cool
1 tablespoon sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar (4 1/2 ounces)

1. For the cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 13 by 9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line bottom of pan with parchment and spray parchment.

2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt in large bowl; set aside.

3. In food processor fitted with large shredding disk (see below for mixer method), shred carrots (you should have about 3 cups); transfer carrots to bowl and set aside. Wipe out food processor workbowl and fit with metal blade. Process granulated and brown sugars and eggs until frothy and thoroughly combined, about 20 seconds. With machine running, add oil through feed tube in steady stream. Process until mixture is light in color and well emulsified, about 20 seconds longer. Scrape mixture into medium bowl. Stir in carrots and dry ingredients until incorporated and no streaks of flour remain. Pour into prepared pan and bake until toothpick or skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking time. Cool cake to room temperature in pan on wire rack, about 2 hours.

4. For the frosting (See below for mixer method): When cake is cool, process cream cheese, butter, sour cream, and vanilla in clean food processor workbowl until combined, about 5 seconds, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Add confectioners' sugar and process until smooth, about 10 seconds.

5. Run paring knife around edge of cake to loosen from pan. Invert cake onto wire rack, peel off parchment, then invert again onto serving platter. Using icing spatula, spread frosting evenly over surface of cake. Cut into squares and serve. (Cover leftovers and refrigerate for up to 3 days.)

7. Instead of Step 3 above, follow these directions: Shred carrots using large holes of box grater (you should have about 3 cups); transfer carrots to bowl and set aside. In bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment (or in large bowl and using hand-held mixer), beat granulated and brown sugars and eggs on medium-high until thoroughly combined, about 45 seconds. Reduce speed to medium; with mixer running, add oil in slow, steady stream, being careful to pour oil against inside of bowl (if oil begins to splatter, reduce speed to low until oil is incorporated, then resume adding oil). Increase speed to high and mix until mixture is light in color and well emulsified, about 45 seconds to 1 minute longer. Turn off mixer and stir in carrots and dry ingredients by hand until incorporated and no streaks of flour remain. Pour into prepared pan and bake until toothpick or skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking time. Cool cake to room temperature in pan on wire rack, about 2 hours.

8. Instead of Step 4 above, follow these directions: When cake is cool, mix cream cheese, butter, sour cream, and vanilla at medium high speed in clean bowl of standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment ( or in large bowl using handheld mixer) until well combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Add confectioners’ sugar and mix until very fluffy, about 1 minute.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

(26) Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

I hate it when you get a recipe that needs tweaking, but you're not quite sure what needs to be tweaked. I dont think I liked how much mayo was in this. If I make it again I will use 1/2 sour cream, 1/2 mayo. I also failed to buy cream of mushroom soup, so I used a can of mushroom pieces + a can of cream of chicken soup. It worked fine.

I served the casserole over white rice (it needed something - maybe egg noodles would be good too?!). It's filling and pretty yummy, though. I'd love to hear if you've made this and what you thought/did differently.

Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

CL Comments: For crisper broccoli, remove it from the boiling water after three minutes. Serve with a simple green salad.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: about 1 cup)
Source: Cooking Light Magazine, September 2005

3 quarts water
1 (12-ounce) package broccoli florets
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated fat-free milk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (about 1 ounce)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Dash of nutmeg
1 cup fat-free mayonnaise
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
1/4 cup dry sherry
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 (10.75-ounce) can condensed 30% reduced-sodium 98% fat-free cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 cup (4 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400°.

Bring water to a boil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add broccoli, and cook 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Transfer broccoli to a large bowl with a slotted spoon. Add chicken to boiling water; reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until done. Transfer chicken to a cutting board; cool slightly. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces, and add chicken to bowl with broccoli.

Combine evaporated milk, flour, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in a saucepan, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add mayonnaise, next 4 ingredients (through soup), and 1/2 cup cheese, stirring until well combined. Add mayonnaise mixture to broccoli mixture; stir gently until combined.

Spoon mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake at 400° for 50 minutes or until mixture bubbles at the edges and cheese begins to brown. Remove from oven; let cool on a wire rack 5 minutes.

Nutritional Information:
Calories: 276 (25% from fat), Fat: 7.8g (sat 3.5g,mono 1.8g,poly 1.1g), Protein: 31.1g, Carbohydrate:18.9g, Fiber: 2.1g, Cholesterol: 66mg, Iron: 1.6mg, Sodium: 696mg, Calcium: 365mg

Friday, April 3, 2009

(25) Chicken, Mushroom, and Cheese Quesadillas

So I didn't do as great a job as I had hoped this week in the cooking arena. Oh well, that's life! But tonight it was "use it or lose it" time for the pack of mushrooms that I had, so I made these quesadillas. They were quick and easy and made a ton! I used 1lb of chicken because that's what I had partitioned out in the freezer. I'm also not a great judge of what size tortillas are. So I think I got 8" wraps, but who the hell knows?! In any case, I think this was a 6 serving meal. VERY flavorful and a definite repeater!!

Chicken, Mushroom, and Cheese Quesadillas

Source: Cooking Light Magazine, July 2004
Yield: 4 servings (1 quesadilla per serving)

CL Comments: Using preshredded cheese and presliced mushrooms makes these quesadillas a snap to prepare.

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 (8-ounce) package presliced mushrooms
1 garlic clove, minced
1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
4 (8-inch) flour tortillas
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) preshredded light Mexican cheese blend (such as Sargento)

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Combine ground cumin, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper; sprinkle over chicken. Add chicken to pan, and sauté 5 minutes or until browned. Remove chicken from pan; set aside. Add onion, mushrooms, garlic, jalapeño, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper to pan; sauté 5 minutes. Remove from pan; let stand 5 minutes. Wipe pan with paper towels.

Heat pan over medium heat. Sprinkle each tortilla with about 1/3 cup cheese. Arrange 1/2 cup mushroom mixture over one-half of each tortilla. Arrange chicken evenly over mushroom mixture. Carefully fold each tortilla in half. Add 2 quesadillas to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned and cheese melts. Repeat procedure with remaining quesadillas. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 388 (29% from fat), Fat: 12.5g (sat 5.7g,mono 2.5g,poly 0.9g), Protein: 38.5g, Carbohydrate: 31.3g, Fiber: 1.7g, Cholesterol: 65mg, Iron: 2.8mg Sodium: 759mg, Calcium:429mg