March 6, 2009

Irish Soda Bread

This is the wheat soda bread. I didn't make it with any of the optional ingredients. The dough is very sticky and is more like biscuit dough. I made it in the kitchen aid and let it do the kneading. This is great with chicken soup. Grandma Swalberg really enjoyed it.
4 cups Flour
1 tsp. Salt
3 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/4 cup sugar (optional)
1/8 tsp. cardamom or coriander (optional)
1/4 cup butter
1 egg
1 3/4 cup buttermilk

Combine in a large bowl flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and spices. Add butter to flour mixture and cut with a pastry blender or 2 knives until crumbly. Beat egg slightly and mix with buttermilk. Add buttermilk mix to dry ingredients. Stir until blended. Turn out on floured board and knead for 2-3 minutes. Divide the dough in half. Shape into 2 round loaves and place each round in a pie pan. Press down until dough fills the pan. With a sharp knife cut crosses on top of the loaves about 1/2" deep through middle. Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

Substitutions: if you want a wheat bread swap 2 cups of wheat flour with the white. You may also add raisins for a sweet bread, just make sure to add the sugar.

Pizza Dough

I'm always up for trying new recipes and one night I was looking for a different pizza dough recipe.  I found this one on recipezaar.  It had over 200 5 star reviews.  We made it and it was awesome.  Crispy on the outside and soft and chewy inside. We assemble our pizza by first putting about 1/2 C sauce on pre-baked crust, then about 1 C mozzarella cheese, then toppings, then a sprinkling of mixed shredded cheese. We top it all off with a couple of shakes of parmesan cheese and bake it the rest of the time.

  1. Mix a little sugar into the warm water.
  2. Sprinkle yeast on top.
  3. Wait for 10 minutes or until it gets all foamy.
  4. Pour into a large bowl.
  5. Add flour, salt, olive oil.
  6. Combine.
  7. Knead for 6-8 minutes until you have a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (add a bit more flour if you need to).
  8. Cover and let rest for 20-30 minutes.
  9. Lightly grease two 12-inch pizza pans.
  10. Sprinkle with a little bit of cornmeal.
  11. Divide dough in half.
  12. Place each half on a pizza pan and pat it with your fingers until it stretches over the whole pan.
  13. Try to make it thicker around the edge.
  14. If desired, pre-bake at 425 F for 10 minutes (I don't always do this).
  15. Then spread with pizza sauce and use the toppings of your choice.
  16. Bake at 425 F for 10-20 minutes longer or until bubbly and hot.
  17. Makes 2 12-inch pizzas.
  18. If you don't want to use all the dough, you can freeze it.
  19. Take a portion of dough, form into a ball, rub olive oil over it and place it in a freezer bag (the oil makes it easier to take out of the bag).
  20. When you want to make a pizza, take dough out of freezer and allow to thaw before using.

Smothered Chicken

I got this recipe from  All the family thought it was really yummy.  The only thing different I will do next time, is not use the bacon.  I am just not a bacon fan.  I think it would taste just as good without it.  Sorry about the picture.  My kids said that it looked really gross, so on this one don't judge it by looks!  It is actually really good.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
garlic powder and seasoned salt to taste
1 Tbl oil
mushrooms, cut in quarters
1 C shredded cheese
1/2 C chopped green onions
1/2 C chopped cooked bacon
BBQ sauce, any type

-Sprinkle chicken with seasonings and brown in oil until almost cooked through.  In seperate pan saute mushrooms, bacon and onions.  Put chicken in baking dish and spread each piece with about 2 Tbl BBQ sauce.  Cover each piece with bacon, mushrooms and onion mixture and then cover with shredded cheese.  Bake uncovered in 350 degree oven for approx. 15-20 min or until cheese melts and chicken is cooked through.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I made these for a YW activity last week.  Oatmeal raisin cookies are my absolute favorite cookie.  I don't make them very often because every recipe I have used turns out crispy and not the right flavor.  I love Great Harvests oatmeal raisin cookies.  They are soft and chewy and taste perfect.  I was looking around on recipezaar and found these amazing cookies.  They had 542 5 star reviews.  These are sooooooo good!!  I am not a big cookie freak, but I could have eaten the whole batch myself, I think.  I did do half raisins and half chocolate chips but I liked the raisin ones better!!  I also just used regular salt and regular brown sugar.  Enjoy!

Whisk together and set aside

Cream wet ingredients

Then stir in

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Whisk dry ingredients; set aside.
  3. Combine wet ingredients with a hand mixer on low.
  4. To cream, increase speed to high and beat until fluffy and the color lightens.
  5. Stir the flour mixture into the creamed mixture until no flour is visible.
  6. (Over mixing develops the gluten, making a tough cookie.) Now add the oats and raisins; stir to incorporate.
  7. Fill cookie scoop with dough.
  8. (Use a #40 cookie scoop; it measures 2 tablespoon of dough) Press against side of bowl, pulling up to level dough.
  9. Drop 2-inches apart onto baking sheet sprayed with nonstick spray.
  10. Bake 11-13 minutes (on center rack), until golden, but still moist beneath cracks on top.
  11. Remove from oven; let cookies sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

Yummy Breadsticks

A friend in my ward brought these to a lunch we were having.  They were so yummy and she said they were really easy to make, so I had to have the recipe.  They are perfect for dunking in soup.  My friend said that the dough is actually a basic white bread dough, that you can use for cinnamon rolls, regular rolls etc.  One tip is that if you don't have instant yeast it would probably be best to soak it in a little water with sugar before adding.   I also did this all in my bosch and did not mix by hand or knead by hand.   So here you go...

3 - 3 1/2 cups white flour
1 Tab. dry yeast
1 tesp. salt
1/4 cup sugar (1/8 is fine)
1 cup milk or 1/3 cup powdered milk (church kind) and 1 cup water
3 Tab. butter or marg.
1 egg beaten

In large mixing bowl, combine 1 cup flour with dry yeast, salt and sugar.  In sauce pan, heat milk and butter until very warm (not hot)...or cook approx. 2 min. in microwave; add to flour mixture along with egg. With mixer beat two minutes.  By hand stir in remaining 2 to 2 1/4 cups flour to form a stiff dough.  Cover and let rise.  Turn out onto a floured surface.  Knead a few times or until no longer sticky.  Make into rolls, breadsticks or cinnamon rolls.  Let rise in greased pan.  Bake for 20 min. at 350 degrees.

For breadsticks, roll out until flat then cut into strips.  Dip into melted butter then twist and place in pan.  Once the pan is full, before baking, sprinkle with garlic powder and parm. cheese.

Sugar Cookies

Now that it's almost been a month since Valentines Day, I guess I better post these.  My sister brought these to us for Valentines Day.  She has the most awesome recipe for sugar cookies.  I have also made these several times and they are really pretty quick and easy.  The trick is to not roll them out too thin and to not over cook them.  They are so delicious, make them for a holiday and then find someone to give most of them to or you will end up eating the whole batch! So here is her recipe.   Enjoy!!

1 lb. margarine
3 eggs
2 C sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
6 C flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
-cream sugar, margarine, eggs and flavorings until very fluffy.  Mix in dry ingredients until well blended.  Chill and roll out to 1/4 in thick.  Cut out shapes and put on ungreased baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 min.

1 C shortening
1 C butter
dash salt
2 tsp vanilla
full 1 lb bag powdered sugar
milk- add to thin
- mix altogether and color if desired.  You can use this for spreading and decorating.