Soft Homemade Flat Bread

Flat Bread is a recipe that has recently been added to my recipe rotation.  I was actually looking for a pita bread replacement.  Have you seen the cost of pita bread in the store?  This recipe is also a decent replacement for store bought Naan bread, that stuff carries a crazier price than pita.

I make a lot of hummus which means I need a healthy supply of carrots, celery, and pita bread on hand.

Carrots and celery are two of the many staples I keep on hand, but pita bread, not so much.  It seems to me that it dries out too fast to keep it on hand.

I ran across a recipe at Mel’s Kitchen for Greek Pocketless Pitas.  I thought to myself “Self, we have got to try this.”  I did, and I have never looked back.  We use it so much that I only make it in double batches.  It is time consuming and since I am kind of lazy, I go ahead and make a mess once instead of twice.  It also cuts my waiting down by half, since I only have to let dough rise half as many times.

I suspect this flat bread will also dry out fast, but I only keep out what I intend to use in a day or two.

Continue reading “Soft Homemade Flat Bread”

Wonton Soup

Won ton soup is one of the few soups I can make that won’t be meet with resistance or turned up noses when served.  It’s not that my soup is bad, no one else in my life loves soup as much as me.

When ordering out, wonton soup quality seems to vary between restaurants.  Some places it is really good, and others it’s just meh.  There are even nights that ordering won ton soup from the really good places results in disappointment.

If you have followed the blog, you already know my solution to these kind of problems.  That’s right, I’ll make it myself.  I figured it couldn’t be any worse than some of the disappointments we have had.  And if by some off chance it was, we could always order pizza or eat a sandwich.

This recipe was inspired by the numerous Asian restaurants I have eaten in or carried out from.  This is not anything authentic, but it is simply the way we like it.  If you prefer something different in your soup, or in your won tons, feel free to make your own adaptations.  I actually encourage you to “play with your food” and make it taste just the way you like it.

Continue reading “Wonton Soup”

Cinnamon Vanilla Candied Peanuts

Cinnamon Vanilla Candied Peanuts are another recipe that make great hostess gifts for all those holiday gatherings you’re invited to.  Pecans can be substituted, but unless you find a special deal on pecan halves, you might blow through your entire holiday cooking budget on them.

cinnamon-vanilla-candied-peanuts-body

As these cook you might feel like you have done something wrong.  The glaze will start to look gummy or stringy.  It’s all good, just keep cooking and stirring.

It will be difficult to stir near the end and might feel like it’s just too gooey.  That’s OK too.  Just keep stirring and cooking until it is dried up.

The peanuts will separate and become more sugar coated.  Eventually there will be no liquid left on the bottom of the pan.  This is the time to turn off the heat and get it onto your baking sheet.

If you decide to taste one now, expect it to still be kind of soft.  Everything will come together in the oven.  They will be crispy and delicious once they cool after this final cooking step.

Continue reading “Cinnamon Vanilla Candied Peanuts”

Holiday Green Jello Salad

Green salad was at every holiday meal my mom was involved in. I can’t remember a holiday at her house, or anyone else’s for that matter where this dish wasn’t present. She loved green salad and if no one else was making it, you were guaranteed she would. It had never been any other color until her later years when she started substituting cranberry or cherry jello for the lime. When I was younger I preferred mine with pecans in it, and surprise cream cheese chunks that didn’t completely dissolve into the mix. Now I am a puritan in the nut arena. I also prefer to eat this made with cranberry jello, and cherry is a close second.

I don’t make this in my kitchen anymore. It was more of a tradition at my house rather than a “craving” for me, you know, one of those things that you were expected to put on your plate but kind of pushed around. However, this is now a part of Ron’s holiday traditions so it should be his cookbook version that appears in this post.  Thus is not a dish he pushes around his plate.  He loves it!

Continue reading “Holiday Green Jello Salad”

Candy Acorns

Candy Acorns are a cute edible addition to the kids’ table at holiday meals.  This is an idea I have seen all over the internet.

They also make nice finishing touches to pumpkin pies and many other fall desserts.

The flavor can be changed by changing the flavor of chips used for the end of the acorn, as well as changing the flavor of the candy kisses use for the big portion of this decoration.

I have seen these made with milk chocolate kisses and pumpkin spice kisses.  I used caramel filled kisses for mine and butterscotch chips for the ends as well as the “glue” to hold it all together.

Continue reading “Candy Acorns”

DoubleTree Cookies

In my previous life, I spent a lot of time on the road and in hotels.  Once a year a week was spent in Louisville, Kentucky at the Seelbach Hotel.  If memory serves me right, it wasn’t a convenient location to our daily destination, but I think the co-workers and I wound up there year after year for the turndown service that included a cookie.  Since this is a Hilton, and DoubleTree is “by” Hilton, I figured any cookie called the DoubleTree was worth a try.

The ones at this hotel were the thickest chocolate chip cookies I had ever seen.  They weren’t gooey like most thick chocolate chips cookies, they were cakey.  I don’t really remember there being any oats in them, but perhaps they were able to grind their oats into a much finer powder than my handy dandy food processor can.

Continue reading “DoubleTree Cookies”

Homemade Peanut Brittle

Peanut Brittle is not something I make very often.  I don’t know why I don’t make if often, it’s actually pretty simple.  There is more margin for error in this recipe than in some of my other candy recipes.

This recipe is a favorite no matter where I serve it.  It is also one of those food I try not to keep laying around the house as we eat far too much of it when it’s here.

There are recipes around the internet that do not require a candy thermometer, but this is not one of those.  I cook mine until it reaches the hard crack stage.  I prefer this method as it avoids the dreaded “too chewy” brittle.

Continue reading “Homemade Peanut Brittle”

Spiced Crackers

Spiced crackers have many versions and many names across the cooking blogosphere and home kitchens.  These are probably called “those crackers you make for Christmas gifts” more than any other name in my house.  But, these are good anytime and I didn’t want to ban them other people’s houses just during the holiday season.

These crackers are very easy to make and definitely more frugal than anything loaded with chocolate or nuts.  Packed into small baggies, the crackers make a great filler for a cookie tray that has a small space left and you are out of cookie cooking or candy making steam.

Larger containers of spiced crackers can work as a stand-alone hostess gift.  I have used these crackers for both purposes.

Continue reading “Spiced Crackers”

$250 Cookie Recipe

There are probably thousands of some variation of this ground oatmeal, chocolate chip cookie running loose in the world.  There are probably as many stories out there as to where this recipe even originated.  I first ran across a version in Ann Hodge’s Beat This! Cookbook back in the day when I collected cookbooks.

I don’t believe this recipe actually hails from Neiman Marcus, Mrs. Field’s, or anywhere else.  I just know the urban legend that surrounds it.  Regardless, this makes a great cookie.  I usually serve these with hot chocolate New year’s Eve, unless of course I have made homemade cinnamon rolls.

When you make it, do not leave them in the oven longer than stated in the recipe, or any other version of this recipe you find.  It will turn into a moon rock.  This cookie will also go stale FAST, so be prepared to eat them the day you make them or have room in the freezer to put them up before they have a chance to dry out.

Continue reading “$250 Cookie Recipe”

Southern Sweet Sun Tea

Sweet Tea is about as southern as you can get. Tea is one of the most popular drinks in the world, up there with water, coffee, and beer (which are all things I love). You can go to every single restaurant south of St. Louis and find yourself a pitcher of sweet tea. As someone who isn’t from the south, I thought sweet tea was strange since every table also has a fair number of Sweet’n Low, Equal, and raw sugar packets. I always assumed everyone added sweetener to their liking. Southerners typically don’t like a touch of sweetness in their tea, we like it pretty darn sweet.

My mom often made sun tea growing up. Nothing is more memorable than mom making a big container of tea, sitting it on the porch, and letting it bask in the sun all afternoon. Mom would take the warm container after sitting in the sun for a few hours and toss it in the fridge. I can still have childhood memories of the summer sun shine on my face while drinking a refreshing glass of sweet sun tea. Nothing says summer like sweltering heat and an ice cold glass of sweet tea in a mason jar.

You need three things to make sweet sun tea: black tea, water, sugar, and a glass container.

sun-sweet-tea-body4-800

Continue reading “Southern Sweet Sun Tea”