Monthly Archives: May 2010

Monkey Bread

Its been cold and rainy again this weekend. I just wish it would go away and the sun would shine. I’ve been trying to convince the BF to go hang out with his friend thats seeding south of us (the aren’t getting the rain), so I can have the afternoon to myself. He wasn’t up for more than an hour and he was complaining how bored he was and that there was nothing to do. Probably because we have been so busy the past couple weekends that to sit and relax just isn’t the norm for us. I just wanted to stay home and watch movies and curl up with some hot chocolate, but we ended up going to get groceries, renting movies, and being out and about for a couple hours. When we came back he decided maybe it was best he go visit his friend. And I finally got a couple hours to myself. I ended up making this wonderful Monkey Bread recipe. It tastes just like cinnamon buns!

Monkey Bread

Dough
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick or 2 ounces) unsalted butter, divided (2 tablespoons softened, 2 tablespoons melted)
1 cup milk, warm (around 110 degrees, but don’t sweat having a precise temperature.  Just try to make sure it’s warm to the touch, but not hot)
1/3 cup water, warm
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 package or 2 1/4 teaspoons rapid rise, instant or bread machine yeast
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for work surface
2 teaspoons table salt

Brown Sugar Coating
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick or 4 ounces), mleted

Butter Bundt pan with 2 tablespoons softened butter. Set aside.

In large measuring cup, mix together milk, water, melted butter, sugar, and yeast.

Mix flour and salt in large bowl. Make well in flour, then add milk mixture to well. Using wooden spoon, stir until dough becomes shaggy and is difficult to stir. Turn out onto lightly floured work surface and begin to knead, incorporating shaggy scraps back into dough. Knead until dough is smooth and satiny, about 10 minutes. Shape into taut ball and proceed as directed.

Coat large bowl with nonstick cooking spray or a tablespoon of neutral oil. Place dough in bowl and coat surface of dough with more cooking spray or oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in warm spot until dough doubles in size, 50 to 60 minutes.

Make brown sugar coating: Place melted butter in one bowl. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon in a second one.

Form the bread: Flip dough out onto floured surface and gently pat into an 8-inch square. Using a bench scraper or knife, cut dough into 64 pieces. Separate them from the rest of the “grid” as you cut them into small pieces.

Working one at a time, use a fork to dip each piece in melted butter, allowing excess butter to drip back into bowl.  Roll in brown sugar mixture, then layer balls in Bundt pan.

Cover Bundt pan tightly with plastic wrap and place in warm spot until dough balls are puffy and have risen 1 to 2 inches from top of pan, 50 to 70 minutes.

Heat oven to 350°F. Unwrap pan and bake until top is golden brown, 25-30 minutes.  Cool in pan for 5 minutes (no longer, or you’ll have trouble getting it out) then turn out on platter and allow to cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

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Basil Pesto Alfredo Chicken

enough said right? YUM!

Do you ever get in one of those moods that you just absolutely need to try something new? I picked up this magazine the other day that was just chicken recipes. Everything from what to do with those roasted chickens you buy at the store, to how to properly cut the chicken, and chicken wings… its just absolutely full of new recipes I just can’t wait to try!

The BF and I have been talking about getting more healthy and watching portion sizes. We started splitting meat such as steak and pork chops into bags of one each, so we can have a full meal with vegetables and starch and meat. Well just starch and meat for the BF I guess.. I wish he would eat more veggies. But hey, this was definitely a huge hit with him so thats a plus!

 

Basil Pesto Alfredo Chicken

spaghetti for two
 1 (1o ounce) jar of alfredo pasta sauce
1/3 cup basil pesto
1/4 cup milk
2 chicken breasts
1 cup broccoli cut up

Cook spaghetti according to package. Grill the chicken until cooked all the way through and slice/pull apart. Also, while the spaghetti is boiling, in a bowl combine the pasta sauce, pesto, and milk. When there is only a couple minutes left on the spaghetti add the broccoli.

Once the spaghetti and broccoli is done drain and add the sauce and chicken. Mix well until heated through. Serve with garlic bread.

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Freezer Rhubarb Raspberry Jam

Well, its a long weekend. Its freezing outside, and pouring rain. Its so windy outside its knocking over trees. Its days like today that make me wanna curl up in a blanket and eat a whole bowl of popcorn with movies playing. But, I’m not. I’m making home made jam! Its just waiting to set right now. I licked the spoon clean when I was done and boy was it good!

Rhubarb, my enemy.

When we moved into the new house, I noticed there was two really big rhubarb plants. The looked health, and green, and ready to use. Then to my horror in the fall when I was cleaning up I noticed that there wasn`t just two plants, there was 4. I researched ways to get rid of the two smaller plants. I thought about dumping boiling hot water on them, thats what mom told me Grandma used to do. She hated rhubarb. Must be where I get it from!

Rhubarb can be used as a laxative, and has been for over 5,000 years. Rhubarb has an astringent effect on the mucous membranes of the mouth and nasal cavity. The routes and stems are cathartic and laxative, which explains the sporadic use as a slimming agent. The earliest records of rhubarb date back to about 2700 BC in China where it was used for medicinal purposes. The earliest records of rhubarb in America identify a young Maine gardener having obtained seed or root stock from Europe between 1790 and 1800. He introduced it to growers in Massachusettes where its popularity spread in 1822 it was sold in produce markets. So the only question is, is it a fruit or vegtable. Its a vegetable, but there were a couple sites that stated that it is actually a fruit. What do you think…

Rhubarb Raspberry Jam

6 cups sliced rhubarb
4 cups sugar
2 cups raspberries
1 (3ounce) package of raspberry jello *not sugar free*
   for the jello, I used about half a box of jello and it set really good.
 
Let the rhubarb and sugar sit together for about 15 minutes or until the sugar is wet. Boil together for 10-15 minutes stirring often. Add the raspberries and boil hard for 6 minutes or so until it starts to get thick. Take off the heat and add the jello. Pour into freezer containers and let sit out until set and then freeze. Lasts 6 months in the fridge or a year in the freezer.
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