Saturday, July 27, 2013

Double Streusel Blueberry Coffee Cake

Cookbook recipe #58

You know those recipes where as you are making them they look all wrong the whole time, then they come out great? This is one of those recipes. I have never made a coffee cake before so I did not know what to expect. The dough in the recipe gets really really thick and seems all wrong as your making it. But it came out really good so sometimes I have learned to just go with it and wait and see if it comes out. This time my instinct was right. The only thing I changed about the recipe was that I added blueberries. They are still on sale for good prices here so I had some in the fridge I needed to use up. This recipe was super easy as you just use Bisquick baking mix. It literally took no time at all to make. My kind of baking!

Double Streusel Blueberry Coffee Cake
Adapted from Best of Betty Crocker 2010


2/3 cup Original Bisquick mix
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons cold butter

Coffee Cake

2 cups original Bisquick mix
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Spray and 9 inch round cake pan with cooking spray.

Make the streusel in a small bowl by mixing all but the butter. Then cut in the butter with a pastry blender until crumbly. Set aside. 

Next mix all the ingredients for the coffee cake in a large bowl. 

Spread half of batter in pan. Then top with half the blueberries. Then top with half of the struesel. Then repeat with the rest. 

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 30 minutes before serving.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Country Fried Steak

Cookbook Recipe #57

Country Fried Steak is probably in my top five favorite dishes. For some reason you do not see it on menus very many places around here in Illinois. Not sure why. It was everywhere on menus in Iowa where I grew up. I ordered it all the time.

I found this recipe in the Cooking Light Comfort Food Cookbook. This is a great cookbook! I am always trying to find lighter versions of my favorites. As many of you know, I love comfort food. So if I can find a less caloric version, I want to try it. I have always liked recipes from Cooking Light. Most times they do not taste like you are using lighter ingredients. So I thought this recipe would be great as well.

As much as I love this dish you would think I would have this great recipe for it that I have mastered and make all the time, right? Well that is not the case. I have tried several recipes and every time I do something to sabotage it. Usually I over cook it. This recipe seemed easy enough and yet I still overcooked it. I think I am always afraid of under cooking so I overcooked. I am sure if I followed this recipe time it would have came out fine, but I left it on a little longer than I should have. It was still good, but not the same. So if you make this recipe, follow the time exactly! The gravy was really good, although my Mom would not approve...(sssshhh, it was from a package)! The recipe called to use a mushroom gravy because it it from Cooking Light. I was okay with making the steak part light, but the way. Hopefully if you guys make this it turns out better for you!

Country Fried Steak
Adapted from Cooking Light Comfort Food

3 tablespoons fat free milk
2 large egg whites
1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 sirloin cubed steaks
2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1 package country style gravy

Combine milk and egg whites in a shallow dish with a whisk.

In another shallow dish combine flour, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

Starting with one steak dip in egg mixture, then flour mixture. Repeat with the rest of the steaks.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cook steaks 3 minutes on each side or until browned.

Remove steaks from pan and keep warm.

Make gravy according to package directions.

Serve over steaks.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

BBQ Chicken with Bacon and Cheese

This was the first dish I made my husband Phil when we were dating. It is a copycat recipe of Chili's Monterrey Chicken. Although of course I do not put on the green onions. Phil must have liked it the first time because we are married now! Funny thing though, I do not believe I have made this again until tonight, which has been 8 years. I honestly don't know why now, because I really like it. I think because I have gotten so into cooking over the years that I just wanted to try new things all the time. So it was fun to make this again tonight. I added a twist too it this time though. I added a chili lime seasoning that I had in my spice cabinet. I don't think I will add that again. It gave it a smokey flavor and I really like the sweet flavor that it normally has. It was not bad, just not the same.

BBQ Chicken with Bacon and Cheese
Adapted from Chili's

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 slices of bacon, cooked
Chili lime seasoning (optional)
Shredded cheddar cheese
Your favorite BBQ Sauce

Preheat grill over medium heat for direct cooking.

Season chicken breasts with chili lime seasoning.

Grill 9 minutes a side over direct heat, or until chicken is no longer pink.

Brush with bbq sauce. Top with bacon and then shredded cheese.

Grill just long enough to melt the cheese.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Blueberry Streusel Muffins

Cookbook Recipe #56

Blueberries are on sale big time around here. I always buy a big container of blueberries when they are a good price. The container was so big though I didn't know what I was going to do with all of them. I thought what better to make then blueberry muffins. I have always like blueberry muffins with a crumbly topping on them so I was in search for a good blueberry streusel muffin when I came across this one in one of my Barefoot Contessa cookbooks.

I learned a great tip from Ina Garten about making muffins. Use an ice cream scoop. It is the perfect size to fill the muffin tins and they all come out the exact same. What a great idea right? I use the kind of ice cream scoop that reminds me of the cooks in the lunch line in school. You know, the scoop they used for mashed potatoes? That style works perfect for this.

The muffins came out pretty good. I still have not conquered baking. I can make great desserts, but cookies and muffins just do not seem to be my forte. Phil said they were really good. Maybe I am just too critical of myself.

Blueberry Streusel Muffins
Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics by Ina Garten

3 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups buttermilk, shaken
1 stick butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 large eggs
2 cups fresh blueberries


3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons cold butter, diced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Line muffin tins with paper.

Into a large bowl sift the flour, sugar, baking powder,baking soda, and salt.

In another bowl mix buttermilk, butter, lemon zest and eggs.

Mix the wet mixture into the dry mixture with a fork. Fold the blueberries into the batter.

Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the batter into the muffin tins.

For the streusel, place all ingredients into a bowl and using a hand blender cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it is in very small pieces.

Spoon about 1 tablespoon of streusel on top of the muffins.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Sizzling Rice Soup

Cookbook Recipe #55

I know another soup recipe, in the summer nonetheless. I just love it so much and when I look through my cookbooks they are always the recipes I want to make in them. This soup reminds me of my childhood. It has been a favorite of mine for years. It is one of the first soups I remember eating. There used to be a Chinese restaurant called the Imperial Palace that my family always went to in Omaha. I used to love going there because there were Koi ponds and rivers with Koi running through the restaurant. I always thought it was so cool. They also had Sizzling Rice Soup and we always got it. The waiter would bring the bowl of soup to the table with the squares of sizzling rice. Then he would drop the rice in and it would sizzle really loud. I loved it. Although there was never enough of the rice for me. It was the best part of the soup. I could have eaten all the rice meant for 4 by myself. Ever since getting the soup at the Imperial Palace I look for it on every Chinese menu. And if they have it I always get it.

I was going through this Oriental Cookbook the other day and came across the soup and it sounded so easy. So I decided to give it a whirl. The soup came out really good, minus one thing. No sizzle. It did say that you must work quickly and put the rice in the soup right away to maintain desired sizzle. I did not work very quickly so I am sure this is why. Oh well. Other than the sizzle the soup tasted very similar to soup at Chinese restaurants. I made a few minor adjustments to the recipe. I did not put any meat in, but you certainly could put about anything in. I also changed up the vegetables that I added as well. It is a very versatile soup. I just love that sizzling rice!

Sizzling Rice Soup
Adapted From Better Homes and Gardens Oriental Cooking

1/4 cup short grain rice
2 cups snow peas
5 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons soy sauce
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1 cup sliced bamboo shoots
Oil for deep fat frying

Cook rice according to package directions. Cool. Divide rice into eight portions and form into patties.

Heat oil over 375 (I used a deep fat fryer).

Fry patties four at a time for about 4 minutes or until golden.

Meanwhile, cook mushrooms in a pan over medium heat until done.

In a large pot heat up chicken broth, soy sauce, salt, pepper, bamboo shoots, and snow peas. Add cooked mushrooms. Keep warm.

Working quickly place all the fried rice patties in a large serving bowl and pour soup over top. (Speed is important to obtain the desired sizzling, (I did not do this)).