Sunday, August 14, 2011

Chocolate Chip Loaf

I originally found this recipe on, but it linked me to here. This thing was delicious! I definitely want this recipe around for another night like tonight where we were all in the mood for something but we weren't sure what. It was super easy and I already had all the ingredients here at the house. 

1 1/2c flour
1t baking powder
1/2t salt
3/4c sugar
1/2c butter, softened
2 eggs
1/4c sour cream
1t vanilla extract
1c mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used regular)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2″ loaf pan. In medium bowl, stir the flour, baking powder, and salt, blending well; set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and blend well, then add the sour cream and vanilla and blend well. Gradually add the flour mixture to this egg mixture and mix until well blended. Fold in the mini chocolate chips, distributing evenly in batter. Then fill your loaf pan with the batter and bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let loaf cool in pan 5-10 minutes before removing, then cool completely on a wire rack. While loaf is cooling, you can make the frosting…
Frosting:1c powdered sugar
1/2c unsweetened cocoa powder
3 1/2T half & half (or more, if you want a thinner glaze)

Stir powdered sugar and cocoa powder together in small bowl. Add the half & half and blend until smooth and creamy.
When loaf is completely cool, frost the top generously with all the frosting (or if you’ve made a thinner glaze, drizzle the loaf generously with the chocolate glaze). Let the frosting or glaze set a little, and then it’s ready to enjoy!

Thursday, August 4, 2011


I find it funny that I put our cornbread recipe on here, but not our regular chili recipe.
I have found chili to be very forgiving of adaptations. To this basic recipe I have added so many different things over the years. Ground beef instead of turkey, black beans instead of red, adding bacon...
We probably have this about once a week during the fall.

1 28oz can diced tomatoes
1 can drained pinto beans
1 can drained red kidney beans
1 lb ground turkey
1 diced onion
1 diced green pepper
2 stalks of celery, diced
3 minced garlic cloves
2-4T chili powder
1t pepper
1t cumin
1t salt

Brown the turkey meat. Pour rest of ingredients into crock pot. Stir, cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours or high for 5-6 hours. Great with cheese and sour cream on cornbread.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Spritz Cookies

My Mom, in her cookie-crazy preparation for Christmas often included spritz cookies in the collection. They weren't my favorite, but with living far away from family every holiday season... it's easy to become nostalgic for things like these. A couple years ago I bought a spritz cookie press. Since then I've tried several times to make these cookies but have never gotten them to stick properly to the cookie sheet. That's how it found it's way onto my list. 
This recipe is definitely the one I'll come back to. It's a slightly modified butter cookie in spritz form. It was still a little tricky getting the dough to stick but overall these are probably my favorite spritz cookies I've ever had. I'll be keeping this recipe for when I get the bug for these again this Christmas. Next time, orange glaze, maybe?

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of one orange

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Sift together the flour and salt; set aside.

  • In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Stir in the egg yolks, almond extract and vanilla extract. Gradually blend in the sifted ingredients. Fill a cookie press with dough and shoot cookies about 1 1/2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet. If you like, decorate with sugar or sprinkles at this time.

  • Bake for 6 to 8 minutes in the preheated oven.

Naan Bread

Ever since I was able to take a trip to India way back in 2001I've had a real love for Indian food. So many of the dishes are way too difficult for me to try at home. When I saw this a while ago online, I knew I had to try it. They're pretty yummy!
3/4 cup warm water (110° F)
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 pinch baking powder
2 tablespoons canola or olive oil
2 1/2 tablespoons plain Greek-style yogurt
1/4 cup extra flour for rolling
2 tablespoons clarified butter

In a small bowl, add water and sprinkle yeast over the top. Allow to sit for 10 minutes until frothy. While the yeast is sitting, mix together flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Add in oil and yogurt and mix until crumbly. Stir the water and yeast and then add to the flour mixture, mixing until a ball of dough forms. Knead with floured hands until the dough is smooth. Place the dough back in the bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for 3 to 4 hours.

Once the dough has risen, preheat oven to 500° F with a baking stone in the oven. Flip onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a few minutes until easy to handle. Break into 4-5 equal-sized balls. Dip each ball into a small amount of flour. Roll into an oval shape approximately 1/4″ thick. Once the oven and stone are preheated, dip hands in water and wet each piece of dough slightly before placing it on the stone. Bake at 500° F for 4-5 minutes until top is golden brown and bubbly. Remove from the stone and brush with clarified butter. Serve.

Bread Pudding

It was a friend who suggested adding this to my list. I have never been a fan of bread pudding, but since the whole idea of this challenge was to push out of my comfort zone a little, I went ahead and put it on the list. My Mom loves bread pudding but it's always seemed like soggy bread to me. Boy, was I wrong!
Phil was also skeptical when I pulled this thing out of the oven... but he ended up having 2nds! The boys both loved it too. Much better than I expected! ... kind of like creamy french toast made with cinnamon rolls.
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2c white sugar
  • 2T light brown sugar
  • 1/2t ground cinnamon
  • 1/4c butter, melted
  • 3c whole milk
  • 10 slices hearty farmhouse-style bread, toasted and cut into cubes
  • 1/2c light brown sugar
  • 1T all-purpose flour
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 2T butter, melted
  • 1 1/4c whole milk
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1T vanilla extract

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 2-quart baking dish.

  • In a mixing bowl, whisk 3 eggs, white sugar, 2 tablespoons of light brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/4 cup of butter, and 3 cups of whole milk together, and gently stir in the bread cubes and raisins. Lightly spoon the mixture into the prepared baking dish.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until browned and set in the middle, 50 to 55 minutes; cover the dish with foil after 30 minutes to prevent excessive browning. Let the pudding stand for 10 minutes before serving.

  • For vanilla sauce, whisk 1/2 cup of light brown sugar, the flour, a pinch of cinnamon, 1 egg, 2 tablespoons of melted butter, 1 1/4 cups of whole milk,and salt together in a heavy saucepan until smooth. Heat over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and the sauce coats the back of a spoon, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the vanilla extract. Pour sauce over warm bread pudding, or serve on the side in a bowl.