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Rosemary Whole Wheat Pita Bread October 17, 2011

Filed under: baked goods — meier1014 @ 7:47 pm

I have recently been trying to change the way I eat, to become a healthier person, and to loose some weight. So needless to say I have been trying to go more towards whole grains. The switch to whole grains hasn’t been that hard on me or my family, we’ve been eating whole wheat bread and pasta for quite some time now, but I’ve only recently started baking with it. Whole wheat flour is different then normal flour so it’s not always a simple substitution. I have been lucky enough to find good whole wheat recipes so far. On that note I want to talk a little about this whole wheat pita recipe. I love pits. I love making pita. But, this was my first attempt at making whole wheat pita. It turned out awesome! Sure, you can’t use it for pita pockets but it tastes DELICIOUS! I also added the left over rosemary infused olive oil from the hasselback potatoes I made the other day. The infused oil gave it the nicest rosemary hint, without over powering the delicious whole wheat flavor. Please give this recipe a try!


Rosemary Whole Wheat Mini Pita Bread
Makes 16 mini pitas
cals per pita:113 carbs:18g fat:4g protein:3g sugar:1g

2¼ tsp. instant yeast
1 tbsp. honey 1/2 tbs
1¼ cups warm water (105˚-115˚ F), divided
1½ cups bread flour, divided
1½ cups whole wheat flour, divided
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil (see note on how to make rosemary infused evoo)
1 tsp. salt
Cornmeal, for sprinkling


In the bowl of a stand mixer add yeast, honey, and 1/2c water. Stir gently to combine.

Add 1/4c flour and 1/4c whole wheat flour. Whisk until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit for 45 minutes or until doubled and bubbly. (Sorry, I forgot to take a pic of that part…)

Add remaining ingredients to the bowl, and knead on low with a dough hook for about 8 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. (Again, forgot to take a pic. My girls were being a little needy this morning…)

Place dough ball in a clean bowl that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Turn once to coat and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

Allow dough to sit in a warm spot for about an hour or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 500F, and place a baking stone (pizza stone works great, or you can do this straight on the rack) on a rack in the middle of the oven.

Remove dough from the bowl and place on a floured surface. Punch down the dough a bit (it shouldn’t need much), and divide into 16 equal pieces. (I made a half batch, hence the 8 pieces)

Roll each portion into a ball and flatten out into a disc. Place each disc on a cornmealed baking sheet. Cover with a clean towel and allow to sit for 30 minutes.

Place on your baking stone, and cook for approx 5-6 minutes, turning after 4 minutes.

Place on a cooling rack, allow to cool to an edible temp. and enjoy!

To make rosemary infused olive oil simply place 1/2c olive oil and 4 sprigs fresh rosemary in a small pan and heat on medium-low for 8-10 minutes


Rosemary Garlic Hassleback Potatoes

Filed under: sides — meier1014 @ 1:09 pm

Hasselback potaoes are a traditional Swedish baked potato. This is a recipe I got from the foodgawker app on my iPad. I kept seeing these and really really wanted to try it. I have a love for potatoes. We recently got a free bag of potatoes at Foodmaxx, so I finally got my chance to try these. They are delicious! A nice change from the everyday baked potato, but not bad for you like french fries. These are super filling, I actually ate this by itself for dinner. I’ve also given you a calorie breakdown, which is something I will be adding to all my recipes from now on.


Rosemary Garlic Hasselback Potatoes
Serves 4
cals per serving:294 carbs:38g fat:14g protein:5g sugar:2g

4 medium potaotes(2.25-3.25″ diameter) (I used russet)
½c Olive Oil
4 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
4 Whole Garlic Cloves, thinly sliced (or to taste)
Salt and Black Pepper

Preheat oven to 425F

Place rosemary and olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-low and heat for 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Place potato on a cutting board. Starting from one end make slits about an 1/8 of an inch apart, making sure not to cut all the way through.

Slice the garlic as thinly as possible.

Place one slice of garlic between every couple slits, until the garlic is evenly distributed. I personally love garlic so I put a slice in every slit. Brush with infused oil and bake for 45 minutes or until the outside is slightly crispy and the inside is soft.



Chicken and Brown Rice October 11, 2011

Filed under: entrees — meier1014 @ 1:47 pm

Sometimes there is nothing quite like a simple chicken bake. Especially if it’s one you had when you were a kid, and it’s a rainy day. That’s this dish for me. My mom used to make this dish when I was a kid. Somtimes she used chicken, somtimes she used pork. Either way it’s delish and EASY. I did make it a little healthier with the brown rice this time. I was nervous about using brown rice because it’s really hard to get it to cook to the texture I like, but I searched online and found a recipe for making perfect brown rice in a rice cooker. Yay!

Chicken and Brow Rice

4 chicken breasts
2c uncooked brown rice
1 can cream o’ mushroom soup (diluted with approx 1/4 can of milk)


Making perfect brown rice in a rice cooker
-Rinse and strain rice
-Place washed rice in a rice cooker (make sure the rice cooker is OFF) and soak in 5 cups of HOT water for 45 minutes
-When rice has soaked over and turn on the rice cooker and let it do it’s magic, this will take quite a bit longer than cooking white rice

Preheat the oven to 350F

Season one side of the chicken breast with whatever seasonings you like (I used smoked paprika, ground mustard seed, garlic salt, pepper and a tiny bit of cayenne)

Place chicken, seasoned side down, in a large heated pan with olive oil. Season the bare side of the chicken.

While the chicken is cooking, place the rice in a baking dish (I usually use a 9×13).

Flip the chicken and allow other side to cook, until both sides look cooked. You don’t need to worry about it being cooked all the way through at this point.

Place the chicken on top of the rice.

Cover with the soup. Make sure to cover the rice well or it will get crunchy and weird. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.



Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls October 6, 2011

Filed under: baked goods,breakfast — meier1014 @ 12:47 pm

It’s finally fall, which means time for baking and pumpkin flavored deliciousness! I found this recipe on Foodgawker and had to try it. These cinnamon rolls are so perfect for fall. They’re warm, and pumpkiny, and delicious.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

¾ cup room temp milk
½ cup pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)
2½ Tbs butter, cut into small pieces
1 Tbs honey
1 tsp salt
⅛ tsp nutmeg
1 3/4 cups plus 1-2 Tbs all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour (may use all all-purpose)
2 tsp dry yeast
2½ – 3 Tbs butter, melted
⅓ cup brown sugar
generous 2 tsp cinnamon
⅛ tsp ground nutmeg

1 cup powdered sugar
½ tsp vanilla
1 Tbs milk (add enough to make a thick glaze)

Process dough ingredients in a stand mixer with a dough hook – will need to knead approximately 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. When kneaded place the dough in a large bowl sprayed with cooking spray and allow to rise about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

Dump the risen dough onto a well floured surface and punch down. Allow to rest for a few minutes while you are melting the butter and gathering ingredients for the filling.

Spray a baking dish with cooking spray.

Roll the dough into a large rectangle, about ½ inch thick. Brush the rolled dough with the melted butter and sprinkle with the brown sugar. Add extra sugar if the entire surface is not covered. Sprinkle cinnamon over the brown sugar, feel free to adjust the cinnamon measurement to your taste. Starting with the longest edge, begin to carefully roll the dough into a fairly tight roll.

Preheat oven to 350º.

With a sharp knife cut the rolls into 16 pieces and place flat into the baking dish, I do 4 rows of 3 rolls each row. Cover with a cloth and allow to rise for about half of an hour. (Alternatively, you may cut the rolls a bit thicker into 12 slices and use a 9×9 square baker).

Bake for about 30 minutes or until lightly browned and baked through. Cool on a rack while you are preparing the glaze. For the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla and enough milk to make a thick, yet still “drizzable” glaze. Whisk until smooth. Spoon the glaze over warm rolls and serve. The rolls melt in your mouth when warm, but are equally delicious hours later when they are cold. To return to “fresh from the oven” goodness, microwave for 10-30 seconds (depending on your microwave!).

Note: I made my dough yesterday and placed the cut rolls into the prepared pan. I then placed the pan with the cut rolls into the refrigerator (covered the pan with plastic wrap) and cooked them this morning for the kids for breakfast! Simply preheat the over, remove pan from the fridge while the oven is preheating, remove the plastic wrap and bake when oven is ready.




Potato Breakfast Casserole

Filed under: breakfast — meier1014 @ 8:08 am
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This actually comes from a recipe I got from my Gma called “Company Potatoes”, which I’ve always loved. One day I needed a breakfast casserole for a ladies group I’m in and couldn’t find anything I like. I was flipping through my cookbook, and came across the Company Potatoes recipe. I saw that with a few additions it could be turned into a perfect breakfast casserole. At first I thought just sausage would be fine, but we had some mushrooms in we fridge so I tossed those in too. In the end it turned out awesome, and everyone loved it! So if you want to make a breakfast casserole, and maybe are tired of everything with eggs, give this cheesy sausagey goodness a try.

Potato Breakfast Casserole

1 tube breakfast sausage (any flavor works here, besides maple: hot, mild, sage, etc.)
8oz mushrooms, chopped
1/2c white wine (I guess this is optional, but I really think it enhances the flavor of the mushrooms)
1 2lb bag frozen cubed hash browns, defrosted
1 can cream o mushroom soup, undiluted
1/2c onions, chopped
8oz cheese, grated (I usually buy whatever flavor preshredded cheese is cheapest)
16oz non fat sour cream (lowers the calorie count with out messing with the taste)

-Preheat oven to 350F
-In a large saute pan brown sausage, remove and place in a large mixing bowl
-Saute mushrooms in sausage grease, add a little olive oil if the pan is too dry
-Add the wine, bring to a bubble stirring frequently and scraping any brown bots off the bottom of the pan
-Reduce wine until it has almost all evaporated
-Add mushrooms to the bowl
-Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and stir until well combined
-Spread in a 9×13 pan
-Sprinkle with salt and pepper
-Bake for 45-60 minutes, until bubbling and starting to brown on top




Biscuits and Gravy October 3, 2011

Filed under: baked goods,breakfast — meier1014 @ 7:30 pm

Oh biscuits and gravy! Really I don’t think I need to say much more than that. Nothing says good home cooking like biscuits and gravy. The sad thing for me is that I don’t remember having this until the first time I made it about a year ago. I’m not sure why, but it just never happened. To me breakfast is usually a sweet meal, unless I’m having eggs or something. But even then, I usually have something sweet. That’s probably why it took so long for me to get my head around biscuits and gravy. I still usually make it for dinner, not breakfast, but I now know the deliciousness that is buiscuits and gravy. The recipes I have are pretty simple, but they always turn out great.

Biscuits and Gravy

I’m a really big fan of baking powder biscuits, probably because that’s what my mom always made growing up. So, I will include directions for both buttermilk and baking powder biscuits.

2c flour
1 scant tsp salt
3tsp baking powder
1tsp baking soda
5tbs cold butter
3/4c plus 2tbs buttermilk

Makes 10+ depending on size

-Preheat oven to 450F
-Combine dry ingredients in a bowl or food processor
-Cut in butter and pulse in a food processor or rub dry ingredients with small amount of butter between you fingers. Make sure the butter is thoroughly blended before adding milk.
-Pulse a couple times, or use a large spoon to stir in the buttermilk, just until a ball forms. (if a ball refuses to form, like happened to me today, add more flour in very small increments until it forms)
-Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead 10 times. It should slightly stick to you hands.
-Press dough into a 3/4in thick rectangle and cut your biscuits (I use a jam jar). Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, reshape the dough and cut more. Repeat until all the dough has been used.
-Bake for 7-9 minutes or until golden brown.

Baking Powder biscuits:
Increase baking powder to 4tsp and don’t use baking soda. Use normal milk instead of buttermilk.


Sausage Gravy
This recipe is really really simple. It’s not exact, simply a ratio, which makes it really easy to make for any amount of people.

1tbs Flour
1c Milk

-Brown as much sausage as desired in a nonstick pan. Remove
-Add flour to sausage fat (if not enough add bacon fat or butter), cook about 1minute stirring frequently
-Add milk while stirring; bring to a boil
-Return sausage to pan. Simmer gently about 2 minutes or until it reaches the desired thickness.
-Salt and pepper to taste.



Have you Whipped?

Filed under: drinks — meier1014 @ 10:45 am

We made trip to BevMo this past weekend to price a specific type of vodka. Well it turns out it’s cheaper on base then at BevMo, which we thought was very odd. But if you have been to BevMo you know the magic it holds. You never leave empty handed. Ever. Let’s just say out liquor cabinet is sufficently stocked now. During our time there we did pick up a new addition to our cabinet, and it’s amazing. At first I questioned it, because the half gallon come in a plastic bottle and was under $20. But oh man! It’s probably the best mixing vodka I’ve ever had! This wonderful new addition is the Pinnacle Whipped vodka. If you haven’t tried Whipped, give it a try. It truly is fantastic! Here are a couple amazing recipes we tried this weekend.


Whipped Recipes

Easy Key Lime Pie-tini
2oz Whipped
1oz coconut rum
1oz sweetened lime juice
Whipped cream (optional)
Combine in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a martini glass. Top with whipped cream

Rootbeer Shake
2oz Whipped
1oz rootbeer liquor
1/4c milk
2 scoops vanilla ice cream
Wipped cream (optional)
Blend until smooth. Pour into a tall glass and top with whipped cream

Tropical Cream-tini
2oz Whipped
1oz Pineapple juice
1oz Orange Juice
Combine in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a martini glass.

Cookies-n-Cream Martini
2oz Whipped
1oz Creme de Cacao
Whipped cream
Combine in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chocolate cookie rimmed martini glass drizzled with chocolate syrup. Top with whipped cream.