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In the Kitchen with Kathy

Homemade White Bread

I decided to make some homemade bread. And I gotta say, it’s pretty good. This is a modified recipe that came from a Betty Crocker cookbook.

6 to 7 cups of flour

3 tablespoons of sugar

1 tablespoon of salt

2 table spoons of shortening

2 packages dry active yeast

2 1/4 cups milk (the recipe says to use water, but milk makes a much softer bread)

Mix 3 1/2 cups of the flour, sugar, salt, shortening, and dry yeast in a bowl large bowl.

Heat the milk in a sauce pan until it’s about 120 degrees. Don’t get the milk too hot; you’ll kill our yeast. Too cold, and it won’t activate. Slowly add the milk to the dry ingredients. Use an electric mixer to incorporate the ingredients well. Mixing a low speed and then increase to medium. Mix for about a one minute.

Now stir in the remaining flour one cup at a time until the mixture holds together. Pour onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes or until you have a smooth elastic product. Place the dough in a clean–but greased–bowl with the kneaded side down. Cover and allow the dough to raise until it’s double in size. The dough is ready when can poke a hole in the middle and it remains. This takes about an hour or so.

Now punch down the raised dough and removed from bowl. Divide the mixture in half. Roll out the dough into about a 9 x 18 rectangle. Now roll it up into a loaf shape and place in a greased loaf pan. You should have two loaves.

Allow the dough to raise again, about doubling in size. Bake in a 425 degree oven for 15 to 30 minutes. I know that’s a pretty big widow of time, but you’ll need to check it often so it doesn’t burn. To recipe says 25 to 30 minutes, but mine only took 15 minutes.

Remove the bread form the oven and brush butter on the top of the loaf.

Now have a warm yummy slice of homemade bread. This really is an easy recipe. It just takes time.

Blueberry Zucchini Cake with Lemon Buttercream Frosting

This cake recipe was contributed by my sister Ann Cummings. I hope you enjoy it.
Ingredients
    • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
    • 1 cup vegetable oil
    • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 2 1/4 cups white sugar
    • 2 cups finely shredded and drained zucchini
    • 3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 pint fresh blueberries (you can reserve a few for garnish if so desired)
Lemon Buttercream
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest of (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two 8-inch round cake pans.
    2. Grate a large zucchini (or two small zucchini) and place in a clean dish towel. Squeeze until most of the liquid comes out. You will want to have 2 total cups of shredded zucchini after it has been drained. Set aside.
    3. In a large bowl and using a hand mixer, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar. Fold in the zucchini.
    4. Slowly add in the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Gently fold in the blueberries. Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans.
    5. Bake 35-40 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes in pans, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.
Lemon Buttercream
  1. Combine butter, sugar and salt and beat till well combined.
  2. Add lemon juice and vanilla and continue to beat for another 3 to 5 minute or until creamy.
  3. Fold in zest*.
  4. *If you are piping this buttercream, I recommend leaving out the zest.

Cake recipe adapted from allrecipes.com and frosting recipe from food.com.

This is the blog I found the recipe on originally;   http://iambaker.net/blueberry-zucchini-cake-with-lemon-buttercream/
NOTES: I made the cake exactly except I added more blueberries- about 2 cups and about 1 tbsp lemon juice. I sifted the flour before measuring I baked it in a 13×9 pan greased and floured at 350. it baked about 40 minutes- maybe a few more minutes ]
 
It is a dense cake- it could use some lemon zest in the batter and maybe a little more lemon juice to bring out the flavor of the blueberries.
It would work well as a bundt cake
 
my blueberries sunk- according to this blog you can roll the berries in flour to keep them from sinking – just reduce your flour in the recipe by as much as you use to roll the berries in: http://blog.foodnetwork.com/fn-dish/2012/08/how-to-keep-blueberries-from-sinking-in-batter/
I changed the lemon buttercream- I forgot the 1/8 tsp salt- but it would probably be better to add it.
1 cup butter 
1/4 cup heavy cream
( beat this with mixer until fluffy and almost white)
add 1 tsp vanilla and zest and juice of 1 lemon 
3 1/2 cup powdered sugar- I beat in one cup at a time  
beat until light and fluffy 

White Chip Island Cookies

These cookies are really good. This is the first time I’ve tried them. The recipe comes from the back of a Nestle white chip package.

1 2/3 cups all purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup softened butter

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 large egg

12 ounce package white chips

1 cup flaked coconut, toasted if desired

3/4 cup chopped nuts

Mix together dry ingredients–flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt–in a medium bowl and set aside.

In separate bowl, beat together butter and sugars. Beat in egg and vanilla.

Gradually add dry ingredients. Stir in chips, coconut, and nuts.

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 to 11 minutes in a preheated 375 degree oven.

This recipe is supposed to make 3 dozen. I got a little over two dozen, but I make big cookies.

Enjoy!

Classic Lasagna

Why I decided to bake a lasagna on one the hottest days of the year, well, I wanted lasagna. This is a classic recipe. However, I did not make he sauce. It’s spaghetti sauce. But hey, I’ll make one completely from scratch this winter when I don’t feel so bad about heating up the house.

What you need:

one pound of ground beef (I use 90/10 because I like less fat. But you can use what you like.)

1 jar of spaghetti sauce at least 32 ounces. I used a slighter bigger jar because I like lots of sauce.

1 30 ounce container of ricotta cheese

2 cups of mozzarella

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley (I had some in my little herb garden)

1 egg

16 lasagna noodles (Yeah. This makes a lot.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the noodles according to directions. Once their nice and tender give them a good rinse and then lay them out on paper towels so the don’t stick together.

Brown the ground beef and add the spaghetti sauce.

Mix ricotta, egg, parsley, 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella, and 1/3 cup of parmesan.

I used a large glass baking dish–a Temptations dish. This dish is about 10 x 15. So it’s pretty big. If you don’t want to use such a big dish, cut back on the noodles to 12 and use a 9 x 13.

Now you are going to work in layers. First put some sauce on the bottom of the dish. Next a row of noodles. More sauce and noodles. Now you get to use the ricotta mixture. Spoon it on and smooth it out. Another row of noodles and keep working until your ingredients are used up. Top with remaining cheese.

Bkae for about 45 minutes. Allow it cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting. Enjoy.

Finally My Brownies

Despite a long weekend filled with disappointments, I finally have something to celebrate. I came very close to duplicating a brownie recipe I was famous for when I was a kid. I have never found the exact recipe, but this is so close, I’ll take it. My brother said I may have improved upon the original, So here goes:

2 sticks of butter

2 cups of sugar

2 teaspoons of vanilla

4 eggs

6 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups four

1/2 tablespoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt butter and coco powder together. Set aside. Beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla together until fluffy. Pour the butter and cocoa mixture into the egg/sugar mixture and beat together. Mix together dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Slowly mix into the cocoa mixture. Mix together until well incorporated.  Pour into a 9 x 13 greased and floured cake pan. Bake for approximately 40 minutes. Brownies are done when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Creamed Chicken and Biscuits

When I decided to make this today, I realized that my cooking influence comes from my Dad. All of the foods that he loved, I love. Biscuits and gravy, fried cabbage and hot peppers, and anything sweet.

Today I made creamed chicken and biscuits. And it was excellent.

For the creamed chicken, I used this recipe:

1/4 cup butter
1 finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 cup milk
2 to 3 cups of shredded chicken (I used breast meat from a rotisserie chicken)
salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a 3-quart sauce pan. Add the onion and garlic powder, and saute until the onions smell wonderful. Stir in the flour and continue stirring until it is absorbed by the fat and covers the onions. Now gradually add the chicken broth. You should end up with a thick paste. Slowly stir in the milk. Continue stirring until the mixture boils. Cook and stir for a few more minutes until the mixture thickens. Add chicken. You now have creamed chicken. Yum.

I used the biscuit recipe I used for my sausage gravy and biscuits post.

P.S. I noticed that my fork was spotty in the photo. But it was clean. I just need to remember to polish my utensils before I take photos of them.

Update on the creamed chicken: The leftovers are almost as good on toast as on biscuits. But not quite. They’re still good though.
 

Hershey’s "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake

Ok. I’m cheating a bit. This recipe is from the back of a Hershey’s Cocoa Natural Unsweetened box of cocoa powder. This is by far the best chocolate cake recipe I have used. So why mess with perfection?

I am a chocoaholic. I fully admit that. But I would also put cream cheese frosting on a rock and eat it. So I combined those two things to make this cake. I used a 9 x 13 pan, but you could certainly make this as a layer cake. And it would probably be prettier. Today, my intent was to make a chocolate cake and eat it as soon as possible. So that’s what I did.

Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup Hershey’s Cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking power
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup boiling water

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a 9 x 13 inch cake pan or two 8-inch round cake pans.

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add eggs, milk, vegetable oil and vanilla. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water. Batter will be thin. Pour into baking pan(s). Baker for about 33 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of cake  comes out clean.

Now you can frost this cake using whatever frosting recipe you prefer. I prefer cream cheese frosting. Like I said earlier, I would eat a rock frosted with it.

Perfect Cream Cheese Frosting recipe.

Perfect Cream Cheese Frosting

Ok. Ok. I know this is another picture of cake. But it’s not about the cake. It’s about the frosting. This frosting is so fluffy and creamy; you won’t be able to stop eating it. I stole my sister’s secret for her creamy frosting. But she has given me permission to share it here today.

Here goes:
1/2 cup stick butter (at room temperature)
8 oz. brick cream cheese softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Now here’s the part that changes it into a creamy, fluffy delight.

Around 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream–a little more, a little less. You’re looking for light and fluffy.

Beat together butter and cream cheese. Add vanilla and beat a little more. Mixing in half cups a time, blend in powdered sugar. Pour a little of the whipping cream in between sugar additions. Beat until smooth. Now taste it. What did I tell you? What did I tell you? I had to say it twice. I will get a photo of this deliciousness up soon.

Fried Apples

Fried apples are a great way to indulge in some deliciousness. This recipe came out great.
Printable Fried Apples Recipe.

6 apples — I used Gala
4 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Melt butter in a large frying pan. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Add apples. Continue cooking uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes. Cook uncovered because you DO NOT want the apples to steam. They will turn to mush and you want the apples to have some texture and firmness. Stir the mixture frequently while cooking to avoid burning.

This makes a great topping for ice cream or some really special weekend pancakes. Enjoy!

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