Saturday, October 29, 2011

Candy Corn Sugar Cookies.

When Heidi asked if I wanted to have a baking party I happily agreed since her and I have not baked together is so long.  Then she told me about the candy corn sugar cookies she wanted to make and I was more excited.  They turned out super cute!!  She always comes up with creative holiday cookies (see reindeer cookies aka most viewed post of all time!!)  They tasted good too!

Candy Corn Sugar Cookies
(Recipe by Heidi)
1 batch sugar cookie dough tinted orange with food coloring (use your favorite recipe...or this one)
1/3 package white chocolate candy melts
1 package milk chocolate candy melts

Prepare cookie dough using your favorite sugar cookie recipe.  If you don't have a favorite yet, use our favorite one!  Tint the dough orange.  Roll dough out on a floured surface and cut out triangles with a cookie cutter or knife.  Bake according to sugar cookie recipe and allow cookies to cool.  Dip the tip of one angle into white chocolate and the bottom in milk chocolate to create "candy corn" cookies.  Allow chocolate to set up and serve.

These would be perfect for a school snack or to hand out to trick-or-treaters!  They come together fairly quickly so you still have time!  Happy Halloween!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup.

I was so excited to make this soup after reading about the amazing smell coming from the kitchen of Raissa on facebook.  Plus this was an opportunity to use up another butternut squash and an opportunity to use my immersion blender.

No butternut squash?  Pick one up!  No immersion blender?  Consider getting one, but you'd be OK with a regular blender too.  P.S. The immersion blender will come in hardy for this delightful soup as well!!

Butternut Squash Soup
(Recipe Adapted Ever So Slightly from Raissa)

1 medium butternut squash
1 medium potato
1 medium carrot
1 small onion
3 tablespoons butter
6 cups chicken broth (divided)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Roast squash whole in a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes.  Allow to cool so that you can handle.  Cut lengthwise, peel, and scoop out seeds.  Dice squash, potato, carrot, and onion.  Place vegetables in a stock pot with butter.  Cook for 10-15 minutes or until the vegetables begin to caramelize.  Add just enough chicken broth to cover the veggies (about 2 cups).  Bring to a boil, reduce to low, and simmer for 40 minutes.  Blend until smooth using an immersion blender (or transfer the soup to a blender or food processor).  Add 2 additional cups chicken broth (more or less based on your desired consistency).  Add cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt, and pepper.  Serve and enjoy.

I need you to know that this soup was so good that my picky-eater-in-law brother-in-law ate a bowl and my sister-in-law offered to keep some of the leftovers.  That being the case, I had exactly enough left over for three lunches - two of which I shared.  And it wasn't until after all the soup was eaten that I thought about capturing a picture.  So with that, make this soup to eliminate the need for a picture!!  :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispie Treats.

Who doesn't love Rice Krispie treats!?  They are one of the easiest treats to make and I'm sure one of the most popular desserts for kids and adults alike.

Now think browned butter and pumpkin pie spice.  Rice Krispies taken to another level.  One that I liked.

Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispie Treats.
(Recipe from Cookies & Cups)
1/4 cup butter
1 regular sized package of marshallows (large or mini)
6 cups rice krispies
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Grease 9x13 dish.  Melt butter slowly in saucepan.  Once melted continue heating until it becomes brown.  Be careful not to burn.  Add marshmallows and pumpkin pie spice to saucepan and melt/combine with butter.  Pour mixture over rice krisipies and mix until rice krisipies are coated.  Pat into prepared dish.  Cover and allow to set up.  Serve same day or next day.

These taste much better and are much easier to make than they are to photograph!  They are the perfect treat for your next get together this season!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Grilled Butternut Squash Pizza.

Our garden produced lots and lots of butternut squash this past growing season.  So many, in fact, that they killed off my pepper and pea plants, smoothered my cucumbers, and threatened the basil.  Fast forward to the actual harvest season...turns out there was even more squash that I could see previously.  That means way too much butternut squash.

And now I'm faced with using all that squash.  And, really, what better way to use some than on pizza!?  Not only did I get to take advantage of using a squash with this recipe, but I also grilled a pizza.  This is something that I've had on my "do to" list for way too long.

Grilled Butternut Squash Pizza.
(Recipe Adapted from The Kitchen Illiterate)
1 pizza crust (I made my own)
1/2 butternut squash (peeled and cut into small squares...I ended up with 3 cups)
1 tablespoon garlic infusion grape seed oil (or olive oil)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1 1/2 cup mozzarella (shredded)
1 lb onions (caramelized - following a recipe such as this)
4 slices bacon (prepared)

Toss squash with oil and seasonings.  Roast in a 550 degree oven for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly, and mash with a fork.  Evenly spread the squash oven pizza crust and then cover with 1 cup cheese.  Distribute onions and bacon evenly on top of that.  Finally sprinkle remaining cheese and cook on a charcoal grill.

Soooo...I'm not an expert nor do I really even know how to grill a pizza.  For best results you may want to google it and secure a gas grill.  We used charcoal and the crust burnt to a crisp.  So much so that I peeled the bottom of some of the pieces :)

In my case I had my husband grill both sides of the crust...just a couple minutes on each side and then I prepared the pizza and we returned it to the grill for about 7 minutes...the cheese did not melt as much as I would have liked...but it was still melty and delicious!  (This may not be an issue with a gas grill...remember my crust was black and crispy in less than 7 minutes!!)

And if you are not up for grilling a pizza, I recommend making this pizza in the oven!  And I know that it turned out good because my husband had seconds.  He only does this with things he really likes!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

"Like" Mom Taught Us on Facebook.

If you haven't already, head over to facebook and "like" Mom Taught Us!

With the holiday baking season quickly approaching you'll want to be the first to get in on the new recipes so that you can create platters of baked goods for the loved ones in your life!

Thank you all for your support!  I look forward to spending more time in the kitchen during the winter months and sharing new recipes with you.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

King Arthur's Now & Later Pizza Crust.

This is easily my favorite pizza crust recipe....though I'm sure I say that about all of the pizza crusts that I post.  Maybe it's just that I like pizza!

King Arthur’s Now & Later Pizza Crust.
(Recipe from King Arthur Flour.  Method Adapted by Me.)
1 ¼ cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ¼ teaspoon salt
1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
1 ¼ cups semolina flour (you can use all purpose flour instead if you desire)
1 teaspoon yeast

Pour water and olive oil into bread machine bowl.  Add salt then flours.  Place yeast on top so that it does not come in contact with the liquids.  Select dough setting on your bread machine and walk away until done.

Remove dough from machine and place in a large container.  Refrigerate dough for 4-36 hours (where it will rise again).  After refrigeration, divide dough into 2 equal parts.  Work the dough into desired pizza size and thickness.  Cover with a towel and allow to rise for about an hour.  Bake crust in a 450 degree oven for about 7 minutes.  Keep an eye on the crust as you make need to open the oven and use a fork to pop any air bubbles.

To eat the crust right away: top as desired and return to oven for about 10 minutes.

To eat later: cool the crust(s) and store at room temperature for 2-3 days, refrigerate for 5 days, or freeze for a month.

I love that:
One batch makes two crusts: one for now and one for later.
The later crust freezes wonderfully.
It bakes up crispy yet chewy
It can be made with all-purpose flour when you don't have any semolina.
Minimal time is spent actually making this.

With that…try this crust!!  I have a batch going as I type…hoping to grill a butternut squash topped pizza tonight!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread [w/ Cream Cheese Frosting]

My husband loves cinnamon bread.  During fall/winter/spring I usually make him some every other week.  It's easy enough to make, but I haven't conquered rolling the dough up so that there is a nice swirl of cinnamon/sugar throughout the entire loaf.  My husband's ok with that, but I'm always disappointed...

Then Joy the Baker blogged about Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread.  I figured there was no way to be disappointed for a couple reasons: if Joy posts it - it'll be phenomenal and if it contains cinnamon & sugar & butter dough smothered in cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, and butter it's bound to have good taste throughout!

And, really, good doesn't even begin to describe how tasty this was warm from the oven and smothered with cream cheese frosting!  I consider this cinnamon bread meets cinnamon roll.  Mmmmm.

Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread [w/ Cream Cheese Frosting]
(Bread Recipe Adapted from Joy the Baker)

1/3 cup milk (2%)
1/4 cup water
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

Place ingredients in a bread machine in the order listed.  Turn machine on dough setting and walk away until the dough is done.  If you so desire you can head over to Joy's blog for instructions on how to accomplish this task by hand...though I love using the bread machine as it allows me to work on other things for an hour and a half while my dough is made!

1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons nutmeg
3 tablespoons melted butter

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.

Cream Cheese Frosting (makes way more than enough to top your in the refrigerator for your next batch of cinnamon pull apart bread or use for pumpkin bars, carrot cake, etc):
1/2 cup butter
1 8-ounce package of cream cheese
1 lb powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat butter and cream cheese until light.  Add powdered sugar and vanilla.  Beat until smooth.

Now to actually prepare the bread for baking:

Roll dough out into large rectangle on a floured surface.  Pour melted butter on top of the dough.  Use a pastry brush or your fingers to distribute evenly over the surface.  Top evenly with sugar mixture.  Slice into six long strips of equal size.  Stack into two piles.  Cut each stack to create equal sized squares.  Place squares in baking pan on their side (so it looks like the pages of a book).  Cover with a towel and allow to rise until nearly doubled.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes.  While still warm, pop bread out of baking pan.  Allow to cool slightly (though in my case that only meant about two minutes)!!  Eat as is or top each piece with cream cheese frosting.  Bread tastes just as delicious the second day if you heat it in the microwave for 30 seconds!