Monthly Archives: January 2018

Bake Sale!

As I catch you up on what’s been going on here in the middle of the desert, let me tell you about the Fall Bake Sale that we had in our new community.

DH saw a flyer for the sale and encouraged me to participate.  So I got crackin’.

I started out by making 1 full sized Bundt® and 4 half-sized Rum Cakes and stashed those in the deep freeze.  I did some research online about what sells at a Bake Sale and I was surprised to find Jumbo Muffins on that list.  I found a recipe for Healthful Morning Glory Muffins; those are the two next to the cakes there.  Another surprise was jarred stuff, such as cookie mixes ready for an egg and milk (see below the cakes, cute huh?).  I also jarred up some Chai Tea Mix, just add water.  Those red sandwich baskets are filled some of my homemade Flavored Salts and Seasonings, they didn’t sell well though.

I found that adorable red Cupcake Caddy at the Dollar Store and thought maybe someone might need a hostess gift (it was the weekend after all), but sadly that went un-purchased as well.

Next up on my bake-ahead agenda was a double batch of my Great Grandmother’s recipe for Old Fashion Gingerbread,  into the freezer that went.  I had about 10 extra cupcakes that I wrapped individually, packaged up neatly with its own spoon for immediate consumption and those flew off  that table, fast!

The last item that I baked ahead of time was different Brownies.  I read that you should make twice as many as you think, those sell the best.  Basically anything CHOCOLATE!!   So pictured above you’ll see (from left to right) Magic Bars, my Tricked Out Brownies and my Haole Brownies or Caramel Cuts.  I guess not enough people knew what a Magic Bar was, because they sat there all day, so lonely, that I wound up giving them away… I wasn’t taking anything home with me, well not much anyways.

The best fun of this entire experience was dreaming up a cute table display and packaging for all of my wares.  For this I also researched, what draws folks over to your table.  I labeled each item with all of the ingredients, so that if someone was allergic to or didn’t care for this or that, I was covered.  I was poking around in the Scrape-booking aisles at the local hobby store and found this collection of assorted printed paper that spoke to me, “buy me, I’ll look fantastic on your Bake Sale table”.  I used boxes covered in the paper to give different heights for eye appeal. I also cut out my own pennant from the various sheets to put a name to my table as well.

While I was baking, I had my new apron on and it dawned on me “Doni’s Kitchen” was the perfect name for my table.

So many of our neighbors that came over commented on how professional everything looked.  “Where is your bake shop?  Do you take orders?  This is delicious!”  I was just flabbergasted.  I did this all for fun and only charged folks what I spent to make each item, not a lot.  I introduced myself to a ton of new neighbors and am hoping that there’ll be a Spring Bake Sale too!

But for now I have my `fridge and freezer back, for the time being anyways.  😉

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A Different Sort Of Smothered Chicken

One of the food forums that I belong to has a long standing thread where members share what they’re making for dinner.  One dish in particular sounded pretty yummy, well anything that has to do with bacon will always catch my eye.

My Friend’s Smothered Chicken

2 Boneless-Skinless Chicken Breasts

4 Bacon sliced, cooked

2 oz. Cheese, I used Sharp Provolone and Swiss

2-4 Tbsp. Olive Oil, divided

Spices of your choice

1 C. Sweet Bell Peppers, sliced

½ C. Sweet White Onion, sliced

Salt & Pepper to taste

 

*Cook’s note: Lately, the b/s Chicken Breasts that I find are HUGE!!!  So what I do is split them in half horizontally and give them a bit of a flattening with a rolling pin to even out their width.

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In a skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the Peppers and Onions in about 1-2 tablespoons of Olive Oil until they are crisp-tender and slightly colored, season to taste with S&P; set aside.

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You can use leftover Bacon or cook some up at this point; set aside.

Preheat the broiler with the rack set at the second potion.

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On a foil lined baking sheet, pat the Chicken dry and brush with the remaining Olive Oil.  Season with your choice of Spices, I used Miners Mix Poultry Perfection Seasoning & Rub.

Broil the meat evenly on both sides until the internal temperature reaches 160⁰ (about 3-4 minutes per side).

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Place the Bacon atop the Chicken Breasts, followed by the Pepper and Onion mixture.

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Top that all off with the cheese of your choice and pop back under the broiler, just to melt the cheese.

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Devour.

**2nd Cook’s note: Try adding some fresh Mushrooms to the Pepper and Onion mixture as well, MMM!

If there’s any leftovers, they make a super sandwich too.  😉

Homemade Cheese Raviolis

*Edit*

Originally this post was published back a year ago.  I had been looking through my recipe binder to make a batch of ravs and decided just to pull this up instead.

WHAT!?

I messed up on this recipe guys, big time!

Please note that the filling is missing EGGS!  I’ve rectified this and would like to re-post this with the correction added below.  This really is a wonderful dish that is time consuming, but well worth it, ask my husband 😀

 

One of my long time followers, Krystle, who also blogs at Pictures And Plane Tickets (please check out her blog) requested my recipe for Cheese Raviolis.

Ya know, I could have sworn that I’d posted this recipe previously, but I guess not, just mouth watering photographs of the end product… sorry, my bad.  So with no further ado, here we go.

Auntie’s Cheese Raviolis

Dough:

3 1/2 – 4 C. All Purpose Flour (or Semolina)

1 1/2 tsp. Table Salt

4 large Eggs, beaten

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil

Water

Filling:

1 lb. Ricotta Cheese (I get the Whole Milk, go for it I say 😉 )

1 C. Parmesan Cheese, grated (buy the best quality you can find)

3 large Eggs, beaten

1/4 C. Flat Leaf Italian Parsley, chopped

Salt & Pepper to taste

Now, let’s get to it.

For the dough:

In a food processor combine the dry ingredients; with the machine running add the Eggs and Oil. Pulse in enough Water for the dough to JUST come together, you don’t want it too wet or sticky but firm and smooth to the touch.  Turn the dough out to a large piece of plastic wrap, bringing all bits together into a ball; cover well and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, but no longer than 24 hours, it turns a funny looking grey, unappetizing color.

For the filling:

Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl.  Take a zip-top baggie, fill about half way (not too full as it makes it unyielding when it comes time to fill the raviolis).  Snip a smallish hole in one corner, this makes the filling process much easier; close up the bag and place in a small bowl to keep everything contained for now.

To assemble:

Divide the dough into about 12 pieces, being sure to keep the dough covered in the plastic so that it doesn’t dry out.  Dust your counter top with a small amount of flour, then with a rolling pin, flatten out 1 piece of dough into a rectangular shape, thin enough to go through a Pasta Sheet Roller on the first setting. Dust the dough lightly and run it through as many settings as you like, I go from #1 to #4 on my KitchenAid attachment.  Set aside and repeat a second sheet.  Using a Ravioli Mold makes life easy.  Place one sheet over the flour dusted mold, make the rounded indentations and fill by squeezing that baggie of goodness in to that spot, not too much though; very lightly moisten all edges of the form with your finger dipped in some water.  Place the second sheet over the top, starting from on end and gently pressing out any air.  With the rolling pin provided (or your own) seal and cut all edges well (you’ll see the metal edges come through), peel away the excess dough (save that under the plastic wrap) and turn the Raviolis out on to a floured sheet pan.

Repeat

I get anywhere from 6 to 7 dozen Raviolis with this recipe.  Allow the Raviolis to rest for at least 3 hours on the kitchen counter, uncovered.

To Cook:

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, add the appropriate amount of salt and stir.  Gently drop your desired amount of Raviolis into the pot and cook for 5-7 minutes or to your preferred doneness.

Now that’s just one technique of assembly Raviolis, you could go without the mold and simply roll out the sheet of pasta, squirt on some filling, fold over the dough and cut as desired.  I have a hard time with that, they wind up exploding in the boiling process, not good eats.

I like to make a large batch of Raviolis and once dried, I pop the entire sheet pan into the freezer overnight, dust off the flour and place in a zip-top bag for later consumption… I mean 84 Raviolis are ALOT!!! 

*Added bonus – if you like, this dough makes wonderful fresh Fettuccine or Spaghetti or really any shape you like.  I do this with the leftover scrapes of from the Raviolis.  I gather them all up into a ball, sheet it out and cut as desired.  I roll the sheets up into a “cigar shape” and use my parring knife, unfurl each strand into that sheet pan of flour, toss to coat in the flour and allow to dry a bit.  You can freeze the fresh pasta for next Sunday’s Supper.

homemade pasta

ENJOY!

Has It Really Been 3 Months Since My Last Post?

Geez, I guess so.  It has been a wild and crazy ride here in My Kitchen In The Middle Of The Desert, I gotta tell you!

Here’s a quick-hit overview of what’s been going on and then I promise to back again soon.