You won't get what is promised frown Flavorful and so promising in many ways... but so disappointing. Let me explain. I came across this recipe for a Jalapeno Pretzel ring - sounds lovely, doesn't it? I really, really wanted this one to work... I hadn't worked with “sprouted” flour before, and I bought some just for this task (BTW, it's lovely!).
Beautiful, isn't it? This pic is from the original site. If only it were true. Let's start with the dough. A cup and a half of water and four cups of flour is not unreasonable. But then you add 4 Tbsp (1/4 cup) of butter and pureed jalapenos and you've got a sloppy mess! I've made plenty of breads and more than a few pretzels – this was unacceptable. I ended up adding almost 2 cups more of flour? Even then it was a very soft dough. You might strain the jalapenos or use less water... but they were already in there, so adding flour (somewhat equal parts of both types) worked for me. It rose nicely and was easy to work with and shape, though still very soft.
I finished the dough to make three small rings instead of one large one, thinking I could freeze two for later.
But then came the baking soda “dunk”. Quite common in making bagels as well as pretzels, I used a wide pot for the solution and a shallow skillet to scoop and drain – no mangling whatsoever! While it was in the pot it looked great
But once it was set on the baking sheet, even for a moment...
They never recovered. A close up doesn't look too horrid...
But as a whole, it was kind of ugly.
I gotta say, it tasted so close to great I couldn't stand it!!! And the cheese sauce is nothing new, but that made this all worthwhile. So here are my ideas: Strain your pureed jalapenos, or measure and then add very warm water to equal the 1 ½ cups asked for; be prepared to add more flour. Shape and prep as individual pretzels – I suspect the original photo was baked without the “pretzel making soak". I now doubt that a large amount of dough can be processed at one time in the average kitchen – I think it's a temperature thing wink More research needed... The flavor is there! By the time I got back to the original post to comment, that section had been “closed” – guess I wasn't the only one with objections. The idea is good, but the application very lacking. Play with it at your own risk and let me know how you make out!

Posted by Linda :
Saturday 20 May 2017 - 04:13:57
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I wrote this article whose title was similar, but ended "no, (sigh) I really didn't" about six years ago, and yes, the topic was the same - my Grandmother's Refrigerator Rolls. Uniquely her own, never duplicated or experienced from anyone's hands but her own... I can honestly state that this is a personal mission the equivalent of my family's Holy Grail! With me as the primary bread baker in the family... Here's the recipe as was observed on numerous attempts - Grandmother never wrote it down:
Ingredients: 1 cup Milk 1/3 cup Crisco 2 tsp salt 1/3 cup sugar ½ cup warm water 1 small yeast cake or 2 1/2 tsp instant yeast 1 large potato 2 eggs, well beaten 4-1/4 cups flour Method: Scald milk – do not boil. Add Crisco, salt and sugar. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Cook and mash potato, add well-beaten eggs. Add mixture and yeast to warm milk mixture. Stir in flour. Turn onto well-floured board and knead into a smooth texture. Place into a well-greased container with tight cover. For best results, refrigerate for 12-24 hours. Make into rolls and place in greased pan. Leave to rise until size has doubled, about 2 hours. Bake 10-15 minutes at 350F.
Seems simple, right? Problem was, I could get delicious yeast/potato flavor, or the light as air texture - never both. I've tried dozens of times... How many kinds of flour are there? AP, bread flour, self-rising... even cake flour! I tried them all. I found numerous similar recipes, but none panned out. This past weekend it was my neighbor's birthday, and the silly gal decided to throw her own party! She'd planned on cooking up a storm and when I asked what I could bring... you guessed it, she asked for rolls wink So I tried these once again. I've been enjoying the exploration of King Arthur Flour, and they had an Amish roll that was somewhat similar to my elusive goal. Batch One: Made strictly to their recipe with the exception of using Crisco instead of butter. I'm sure butter would be good, but NOT what Grandmother used. Result was a great texture, and everyone enjoyed, but not enough of the potato flavor. Batch Two: This was actually my first attempt but served later on at the party. I'd started the same as above, but earlier that morning so it could rise in the fridge for several hours. Result: More of "the right" flavor!!
Encouraged, Batch Three was started the next day, using a full 24 hour rise in the fridge. Surprisingly, even with the slow rise in the cold environment, it grew more than either of the previous batches. It was easier to shape into rolls, though I need some more practice to make them all uniform wink I allowed more time for the second rise... PINCH ME NOW!!! They smelled, looked, and felt "just right"!!! This is the batch I shared with my Mom, the only remaining local critic with factual knowledge of "the" original - and I wish I'd let my machine answer the call. "They're good, they're really good!" In my favorite purpose, I have always split two rolls, schmeared with Hellman's Sandwich Spread, topped with a single slice of American cheese, quartered, a generous grating of black pepper and then toasted - Absolute Heaven!!! These live up to that standard, I'm proud to say. Fresh out of the oven I don't feel as if I've found that "perfection" frown . We obviously had far too much liquid in our note taking, and the current version omits the milk - at least one more round of tweaking is needed - but enjoy, folks. Grandmother's Refrigerator Rolls WILL live on!

Posted by Linda :
Monday 03 April 2017 - 20:13:54
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Super Duper SuperBowl Sunday!
Still not sure what to make for SuperBowl Sunday? Go gather these ingredients as well as some good bread...
You got this part, right? Don't use the entire head of lettuce - half to 3/4?
You're gonna need a bigger bowl wink
Now, this is the important part!! My BFF shared a recipe that he found online for one of the ultimate tastes of our youth - Jrecks! That's one heckuva lot of oregano, but oh my, it tastes SO VERY GOOD!!! Here's the link if y'all want some of this goodness wink
Couldn't wait until the game wink Every bite a little different, each better than the last!

Posted by Linda :
Sunday 05 February 2017 - 21:32:05
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Supper for a Heat Wave
It's too hot for pretty much ANYTHING, and I needed something cool and refreshing. Tomatoes and cucumbers fit the bill perfectly!
Ok, I added some onion slices – red onion would have been a little better, shallots or scallions perfect – but a trip to the store was NOT in my plans wink I could have gone with just a simple oil and vinegar, but this sweet and sour Olive Garden copy cat recipe seemed worth a try. It had mixed reviews which made it even more interesting to me.
I enjoyed it, but I can't say that it reminded me of the Olive Garden – you be the judge! It has vinegar and lemon juice, mayo and just a touch of oil... The corn syrup threw me, so I omitted that and used the optional sugar instead. Let it sit a while for all the flavors to meld – it gets better with time. Still not the flavor I remember, tho...
A few croutons (just because I felt like it), and this was a mighty fine treat cheesey Simple is good.

Posted by Linda :
Monday 18 July 2016 - 22:42:49
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THIS is a keeper!
There are a lot of times that I cook for family and/or friends, and once in a while for a crowd - but most of the time it's me, myself and I. As much as I've enjoyed some choices, by the third or fourth serving I can get a little bored? Well, with THIS one I enjoyed the first batch so much, I'm making another next week! Fresh pasta, a quick sauce, spinach and ricotta – what's not to like? This recipe is delightful! The author talks about rotolo (which honestly, I'd never heard of) and “cannelloni on steroids”, but I liken this to a mini manicotti. Whatever you want to call it, all kinds of fresh flavors are combined – and it's easy!!!
Well, it's best if you can make your own pasta. I used this recipe as a guideline - but while I've used the well and fork technique, this time I simply pulsed it in the food processor. It works!l! Now, I DO have a pasta machine that hadn't been used in a while – so I wasted a bit of dough (I knew I'd still have plenty) rolling it back and forth through all the settings to remove any dust or such that might have accumulated. Always a good idea! If you haven't tried rolling your own pasta (it CAN be done with a rolling pin and patience), you really should – it's slow going at first, but all of a sudden you have something that YOU somehow, amazingly, MADE YOURSELF! And it tastes SO GOOD!!!!!
Oh, and if you don't have a pasta machine or don't feel like rolling, there are lots of places you can buy fresh lasagna sheets (for real, ask your favorite pizza plus place if your grocer doesn't have them) – but I had fun in this part wink If THAT doesn't work for you, boil dried lasagna noodles JUST long enough to be able to roll them? So you cook the sauce – MAYBE 20 minutes total from chopping onions to finished product...
You blend the ingredients for the filling – honestly, the hardest part is wringing the water out of the spinach...
I trimmed my pasta sheets to about 4+” x 6+” - there's no need to be precise, just consistent?
Place a mound of the filling on your pasta, spread it evenly, roll and seal the end with a dab of water. Wait a minute or two for the seal to bind, then cut into thirds. Please use a very sharp knife and hold carefully so that you don't MUSH your mini pasta rolls!
You'll ADORE how they look standing up in that beautiful sauce!
Ooops! The recipe tells you but I didn't – save a bit of sauce to drizzle over your “rolls”? I added just a splash of wine to thin it out a bit, but that's totally up to you wink Bake, add cheese, bake some more. AWESOME!!!
I opted for a 9” pie plate and it worked really well. I don't think I had my oven quite hot enough – I didn't get that “money shot” of the cheese being all ooey gooey?!? But trust me?
This is absolutely delicious!!! If it was TEN times more complicated I'd still make it again – but how wonderful that this can be done on a week night?!? ENJOY <3

Posted by Linda :
Tuesday 20 October 2015 - 22:12:47
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My favorite foods... TOGETHER
I was very impressed with this recipe for Potato Bacon Cheddar Tart. Like the guy in the video says, the hardest part was the layout of the bottom.
My bacon was wider than his and it was a little difficult to keep it in a circular pattern while not overlapping it too much, but it wasn't too difficult and the bottom came out great. I think the key is to just remember nobody is going to see the bottom and to have a nice even layer.
I added diced onions to mine and I really liked that addition. I cut my potatoes as thinly as in the video, but I still had a few firm potatoes, The next time I make this dish, I would cook it for 3 hours rather than the 2 1/2.
I greased the lid and it's a good thing I did, because the bacon did start to stick a little, so whatever someone uses to weight it down, I would recommend greasing.
The flavor was amazing and worth the effort. The dish fed six people easily and we still had leftovers. I enjoyed this recipe and it was a hit with the family. I will be making it again in the near future.
[Submitted by Francis Farmer]

Posted by Linda :
Wednesday 29 July 2015 - 03:13:33
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I haven't given this advice in a while...
Until you are confident in your own ability to select and perform a recipe, and even after, I suggest reading the comments section. You'll get opinions good and bad of the process, what folks did differently... Of course, you can skip all that if you just read MY commentary wink
I needed a chocolate cake. He's allergic to nuts. I wanted to try something I hadn't made before. THIS seemed perfect! But then I read the comments and got scared – not about the RECIPE, but about people in general. Here are some general guidelines, especially if you are inclined to speak your mind. First of all, if you haven't MADE the recipe, please - BE QUIET cheesey If you don't like chocolate, why on earth would you read, let alone rate, a recipe about a chocolate cake? Okay, that's a bit extreme, but not far off – several mentioned that they didn't like coffee, so did they really have to use it? Short answer, NO – but coffee enhances the depth of the chocolate flavor, so it's always a good call. It's your kitchen, leave it out, but why criticize the recipe when it turns out with “minimal chocolate flavor”, right? I added a dash of cayenne, because I have discovered a bit of heat is a divine combination with chocolate, and well, that's how I like it! If I added too much, I WON'T blame the writer. Don't you do it either. Please put on your reading glasses. You only show your ignorance when you scream “5 CUPS of flour? That CAN'T be right!” (I'm paraphrasing some comments so as not to offend the guilty parties wink ). Nope – only 5 Tablespoons. “The frosting was gritty – shouldn't have used granulated sugar.” No, you were supposed to have creamed the sugar "until dissolved" (no more grit?) and THEN whip for another TEN minutes. Even if you skipped ONE of those instructions... Oh, and back to that chocolate flavor? The recipe calls for THREE quarters of a cup of cocoa, not just one... Hey, I'm not perfect by any means, and have never pretended to be. I've TOLD you about some of my goofs (forgive me if I don't cite them today), but a lot of this was just plain ol' depressing. I went looking to answer a question of my own: how long or to what consistency should I cook the flour and milk? I did not find the answer, so I cooked over low heat, stirring constantly, until all lumps were gone, it bubbled slightly, and had the texture of, uh, um...? It was trying to make new lumps? Thicker than Elmer's glue, thinner than Elmer's paste!?! Every food item (like gravy or soups – or even oatmeal, lol) that I can think of are so subject to personal taste....
Many were right on this one – I cooked it about 8 minutes longer than the recipe called for. Could be my oven, could be that it's frigid in New York today... But nice crumb, right?
Easy frosting job, and it is PURE white (well, until I got a few crumbs mixed in, lol)! Nice contrast to the deep chocolate.
[ Taste of Home's pic for now – mine once it's cut. ]
Moral of the story? Think, try, and take responsibility before you post. And this cake is awesome!

Posted by Linda :
Tuesday 13 January 2015 - 20:11:36
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I just made... WAIT FOR IT...
Pecan Pie, Cheesecake, OMG, give me just a moment... FUDGE!!!!! Yes my friends, those are all in one single treat and I made it, and it is AWESOME!!! Here's the scary part...

IT'S EASY!!!! Now, normally I don't get involved with things that are SO super sweet – but this just had a whole bunch of the things that I really like involved? Like – it's sweet, salty, crisp, creamy, AND crunchy?!? Heck, the crust is made with butter, brown sugar, and saltines.

It's the base layer that gives this the pecan PIE flavor. I HAVE to give a touch of advice – the recipe says to line the baking dish with foil. Yes, you want to be able to lift your cooled fudge out of the dish to cut it into cubes. Foil provides strength, but I found it just would NOT let GO! Use foil, but I really recommend that you use parchment as well on the bottom of the pan– between the crust and the foil? You really don't want to serve bits of metal. Next...

That's the marshmallow joining the rest of the fudge ingredients...

And now the TA DA!!!
While the recipe doesn't say this, after tasting my first piece I've got to insist that you do what I did – add a light sprinkling of sea salt. Sweet is ALWAYS better with a touch of salt.

Trust me.

“You could look it up” ~ Casey Stengel and/or Yogi Berra wink

Posted by Linda :
Sunday 09 November 2014 - 08:31:41
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I'm not so sure about this one...
When I first saw the recipe it sounded delightful – spicy, tender chicken in a tomato and cream sauce – but this one left me flat. As I've never had it served to me in proper Indian style, maybe you should be the judges? Butter Chicken, also known as Murgh Makhani seems to be classic dish. To be fair, this is NOT the recipe I first found that enticed me, but was the best match to the ingredients I had purchased for that one (my computer saw a “blue screen of death”, and I am now writing on a laptop purchased for me by the most wonderful man... <3) and the instructions I remembered. The only part that seemed different was a lack of fresh ginger, so I added some. The marinating compound packed a serious punch by itself – and yes, it made the chicken super tender – but flavor was ultimately lacking. It LOOKED and SMELLED good with the onions,
but after simmering with the tomato blend, and the addition of cream...
It looked beautiful, but didn't taste much different than cream of tomato soup?! Definitely needed a lot more salt, and with the addition of some dried jalapeno was somewhat closer to what I'd imagined. So folks – especially those who have enjoyed Murgh Makhani - were my expectations wrong, or was this just not the best recipe?

Posted by Linda :
Friday 22 August 2014 - 21:08:34
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Now, THIS is more like it!
I've been wanting to try this since “PurpleRoses” posted – it makes a LOT of soup, with a LOT of cheese (and bacon and onion and... wink ) so when once again my doc advised me to up my calcium intake, I had my perfect excuse! HoChunk Rainbow Casino's Cheese Soup is really pretty simple to make, once you get past all the chopping. Let the bacon and onions go for at least a half hour – the bacon does NOT get crisp, but by then all the moisture from the onion will have steamed off. I started those in my dutch oven – definitely not large enough for the entire pot of soup, but I could crank the heat a little higher than with my stock pot, and this gave me a solid start. Transfer this aromatic mixture into the stock pot, add the potatoes, seasoning... and then time for an educated guess. “Four large cans” did not give me a warm feeling, so by eying my blend, I ended up with 12 cups, or 3 quarts of chicken stock (you could get by with even a cup or two less, especially if you want a more velvety soup). Next assumption – I did NOT like the idea of boiling cream and cheese for 30-45 minutes – I'm thinking that was a typo. After adding the stock, THAT's when I boiled... (the same way you would for say, a potato soup?) Way too much steam for a picture... So it's simply add your cheese, melt, add your cream, bring just to a boil, toss in your cooked wild rice, and done.
This gets thicker as it cools, and while most of the “goodies” sink to the bottom, they are there and are AWESOME! The smokiness of the bacon, the sweetness of the onion, creamy potatoes, slightly chewy rice... Now THIS is a keeper!

Posted by Linda :
Wednesday 07 May 2014 - 15:30:15
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