Butter / Egg Usage – December 2016

December started out for me on the 16th. This does not a good month of cooking/baking make. I mean it is December after all, but sometimes after Thanksgiving, you just do the best that you can do. Sad, but true. That and my dishwasher died – serious impediment to doing anything in the kitchen. It is surprising how much so.

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Southern Toffee

16 December 2016 – 12 Tbs / 2 eggs – Chocolate Chip Pretzel Bars

18 December 2016 – 24 Tbs – Southern Toffee 

22 December 2016 – 2 eggs – M&M Cookies

26 December 2016 – 8 Tbs unsalted butter- Chex Mix

26 December 2016 – 16 Tbs / 2 eggs – Sugar Cookies

26 December 2016 – 4 Tbs – Real Macaroni and Cheese

27 December 2016 – 2 Tbs – Sautéed Apples

30 December 2016 – 12 Tbs – Pecan Chocolate Toffee Shortbread Cook’s Country

30 December 2016 – 5 1/3 Tbs – Sausage Cheddar Scallion Biscuit Bread
Eggs = 6

Butter = 83.3 Tbs = 10.4125 sticks – 41.65 ozs – 2.603 pounds.

Eggs = 2 +2 +2 +6 – math is involved. = 12 large eggs.

 

 




Butter Usage – by month (December 2015)

2 December – 16 Tbs Rugelach – this dough works …

8 December – 4 Tbs – Rugelach filling – but the filling does not.

11 December – 4 Tbs – Rugelach filling – again did not – annoying – total failure – should really do a better job of reading the comments.

12 December – 8 Tbs – Banana Nut Bread – competition

14 December – 8 Tbs – Brownie Cookie

17 December – 8 Tbs – Glazed Lemon Cookies

19 December – 16 Tbs – Butterscotch Blondies

20 December – 4 Tbs – Everyday Orzo – yes. Again.

20 December – 12 Tbs – Lime Sugar Cookies

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Lime Sugar Cookies – pretty damn amazing.

23 December – 2 Tbs – Cheddar-Stuffed Mushrooms

23 December  – 13.5 Tbs – Sunday Sweet Potatoes

23 December – 16 Tbs – Walnut/Pecan Tassies

25 December – 1 Tbs – Toasted Banana Nut Bread

26 December – 12 Tbs – Sweet Potato Biscuits

29 December – 8 Tbs – The Browniest Cookies See Above.

30 December – 13 Tbs – Chess Tart

Total 145.5 Tbs = 18.1875 sticks = 4.5468875 pounds

Not my best month this year, but a damn good month by any measure.

I’m a bit frightened by what the total for the year will be if this is any indication. I may not keep up with this again, or maybe I’ll add keeping up with eggs too in 2016. Again, slightly frightening. But what the hell – makes for an excellent recap in an odd sort of way.

 

 

Cheddar Stuffed Mushrooms

It is, to me, really nice to find a recipe that I haven’t made in a while that really stands the test of time. I made this the first time over 8 years ago. Had set it aside for 6 years for no particular reason – just didn’t think to make it and a few weeks ago I had some stuffed mushrooms at an event and thought, Why haven’t I made any of these lately? No particular reason.  So I looked through the recipes I had and noticed all my notes about this recipe – things like, “easy” and “vg” (my shorthand, thanks to Bridget Jones’s Diary — the book, very good), and that both the MotH and his father liked it. So I thought what the hell, but let’s see if we can prep one day or so ahead and bake the day I wanted them. I know they are good warm or room temperature. Most stuffed mushrooms are – they are forgiving if nothing else. Notes of how to do this ahead of time below – dead simple. D&D_1060

1 lb button or crimini mushrooms, or a mix of both- this time crimini
5 Tbs unsalted butter / divided / 3 & 2
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped fine
1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced
1 small onion, minced
1 shallot, minced
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup finely fresh bread crumbs – 1 slice of bread whirred in the food pross monster*
Salt / freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees – if you are baking immediately.

Wash mushrooms**, let dry on paper towels. Remove stems and finely chop them.

Finely chop walnuts and parsley and add to a medium bowl. Mix in bread crumbs and cheese. Season with freshly cracked black pepper.

Heat 3 Tbs of butter on medium and add onion and shallot. Sauté for a few minutes. When aromatics are starting to get soft, add mushroom stems and a nice pinch of salt and cook until liquid is release and the pan begins to dry just a bit. Let cool.  Add cheese / bread crumb mixture.

Here is where I deviated a bit and hopes it works – update – it did. I put the mushroom caps in a zip top bag with a couple of paper towels and plan to hold them there for a day and a half. I let all the stuffing pieces come to room temperature and then refrigerated it to stuff the mushrooms for Christmas Day appetizer.

The plan is to put the mushrooms on a baking dish, brush the with butter as in the original recipe then fill them or stuff them,  as it were, with the cheese mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Serve warm or room temperature.

Source: No earthly idea – long before I started keeping up with those sorts of things. Or blogging about food.

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Update – So took the stuffing mix out of the fridge for about 30 minutes. I did put the mushroom caps on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil and filled them pretty well, but totally forgot to brush with butter. It was not a problem at all. That step, in my opinion, can be skipped unless you just want to do that.

* Had not thought of this phrase in ages. When I used to make things in the food processor, I would prepare the Boy by saying I was about to use the food pross monster. How that, in and of itself, didn’t scare him, I don’t know, but the noise didn’t bother him because he knew it was coming. That was my sad little 4 cup food processor, but it did what I needed at the time. Things you forget.

** AB says it is okay to rinse mushrooms. And I do it and have never had a problem with it. Just rinse them in a colander and dry them on paper towels.

Christmas Eve 2007 – SR / WR liked, very easy

16 August 2008

10 May 2009 – Mom’s day w/ W & J

25 December 2015  – v.g.

 

Cheddar Parmesan Crackers

How weird is it that you have a binder full (!) of cheese cracker recipes? Who does this? No one.
Well, I do. I’m not even sure how this started really, but it did and these, as a group, are one of my favorite things to bake. I eat them for breakfast and for a snack when I get home and am making dinner. I love the fact that most of the crackers I make you can get the dough together and then bake up to a few (or more) days later. The slice and bake nature suits me for baking mid-week.
I have certain things I like about crackers: I prefer cheddar and/or Parmesan over Bleu cheese; nuts should be involved and I D&D_0871lean towards walnuts – pecans can be a bit sweet; my favorite herb is fresh rosemary; and there should always be bit of heat, usually provided by cayenne.
I guess the only thing about crackers is that humidity will effect them (or is it affect). I was correct with the effect – thankfully.
They still taste amazing, but they are a bit soft. Something that cannot be helped even this time of year. It’s early November and humid and in the 80’s. That’s our “fall” as it were.

4 ozs. cheddar, gated on the big holes of a box grater (no pre grated)
2 ozs. Parmesan, finely grated
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1:4 tsp dry mustard (Coleman’s)
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
4 Tbs unsalted butter, softened and cut into small pieces
2 Tbs cold water, plus more if needed

In a food processor, blend all ingredients except butter and water. Pulse five times to make sure all ingredients are mixed well. Add small pieces of butter, and pulse until pea sized dough. Add water, a tablespoon at a time until the dough just starts to hold together.

Dump the dough on to waxed paper and roll into a log about 1 1/4 inch in diameter. Wrap well and refrigerate for at least two hours or up to two days (Or freeze for up to a month).

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cut log into 1/4 inch slices and arrange slices on a baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake for 14 – 15 minutes, rotating pan half way through, until lightly golden. Cool on a rack.

Notes: top crackers, before baking with finely chopped walnuts.

05 September 2006 – outstanding
21 December 2006
21 December 2008 – heaping 1/4 tsp mustard; 1/4 tsp cayenne = perfect
vvg – light and crisp – best cheddar cracker
6 March 2010 – still futzing with time and temp
6 December 2014
31 October 2015 – 38 crackers total, vg

Sausage Cheddar Biscuits

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Sausage Cheddar Biscuits

I love biscuits. Guess every real Southerner does – it is probably genetic to some degree. My favorite weeknight biscuits are drop biscuits. They come together fast and are super satisfying with a quick dinner. They are also great the next day, split open and toasted and topped with cream rich butter.

The recipe I used for these Sausage Cheddar Biscuits is from Tricia Yearwood’s cooking show. I enjoy her show because so much of what she fixes, based on her family recipes, are very very (!)  similar to the way my mom always cooked. In fact, I’ve used several of her recipes to help be get back to something my mom made, but I never had a recipe for. Part of the problem is that my mom, largely, didn’t have recipes for most of the things she made. Another part of the problem was me. I would call and ask for help with making something and I made just the laziest of notes about them, and then she was gone. It took time to realize all the things I didn’t know. So now I’m trying to get back to what I never took the time to do before.

On to these biscuits. I think, really, I know, any time you add sausage to something, it is good eats. Lovely as well is that I had all ingredients on hand. Not surprising considering that there are only five.

8 ozs pork bulk breakfast sausage, hot
1/2 pound unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sour cream
2 cups self rising flour
5 ozs shredded extra sharp cheddar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment.

In a skillet, cook sausage until well browned, breaking the sausage into small pieces. Drain on paper towels and cool completely.

In a stand mixer, mix together sour cream and butter mix in flour, a little at a time until fully combined. Add sausage and cheese and mix until incorporated.

Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of dough onto parchment. Bake until lightly brown 20 – 25 minutes, rotating half way through.

Notes: So many things.
First, I did not have self-rising flour, so I made my own.
http://www.kingarthurflour.com/tips/homemade-self-rising-flour.html
This is not a problem in my opinion because I rarely use enough self-rising flour to keep it on hand.
The original recipe used pork sausage with sage – not a flavor I’m a fan of, so the change.

The thing I did wrong on the first batch was forget what one of my mom’s best friend taught me about drop biscuits. I made the biscuits too big, they spread a bit much, but they tasted amazing. And duh, what’s the trick? Bake drop biscuits in a muffin tin. It is perfect! Every time.

Bacon Cheese Chive Muffins

You know when you see a picture of something that looks good and then read the recipe and go, well, crap. I had not really D&D_0380thought about making something like this until I received an email from all recipes.com that had, what I would consider was a bit of inspiration.
I had all the major parts of the recipe at home and for once, wasn’t totally freaked out by a “cream of – insert crap word here” soup. I just didn’t use it. Ugh, so gross. Sorry. I have seen some recipes on pinterest that do the “no creamed soup” recipes, and I applaud them. Quite vigorously. It just seems wrong to add something so processed to something that you are, pretty much, making from scratch. Especially when you really do not have to do it. I used sour cream as a substitute, and it worked really well. So I started thinking of things that made some sense and I hit on this. Makes 12 muffins.

So here is what I came up with a nod to the original.*

8 slices of thick cut bacon

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp table salt

1 1/2 tsp garlic powder (Thank you Penzys!)

4 tsp fresh chives, snipped with kitchen shears

1/3 cup Parmesan, finely grated

1/2 cup Gruyere, grated

1/2 cup sharp Cheddar, grated

1 egg, slightly beaten

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup canola oil

Place bacon in a large sauté pan. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Easiest way. Start with a cold pan and add just enough water to cover the bottom. This keeps the spattering down. By the time the water is gone, the bacon has rendered. {Remember to save those bacon drippings} Drain on paper towels on a plate, and crumble, and set aside. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line muffin pan with liners and spray with non-stick spray. 

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, garlic powder, chives, Parmesan cheese, and, Cheddar cheese 

In a large measuring cup, combine egg, milk, sour cream. and vegetable oil. Stir this mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Add the bacon. Spoon batter into the prepared muffin pans.

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.

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22 August 2015

Bacon Cheddar Chive Muffins.

These were really great. I liked them spilt and toasted for breakfast with some salted butter on them. I mean, bacon, cheese, and, um whatever else. I am ever grateful to my friends at the office for trying them and for, what I hope, are real opinions.
Would like to try again, with some variations. Sausage, I think will be involved. And cheddar.

Lemon Hummus

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Lemon Hummus

I have a hard time buying ready-made hummus – even when it’s on sale. I can’t rationalize that since it’s so easy to make at home. I’ve been making this since the Boy was young, maybe before that. Another thing I make with no recipe, just wing it. I usually have tahini on hand, but even if I don’t, I make hummus anyway. There are some things that are necessary though: garlic, lemon, and garbanzo beans. I know, I know, some people make hummus with edamame or white beans or even boiled peanuts, nope sorry, I’m, once again, a traditionalist about making it, but not a traditionalist about eating it. I don’t eat it with pita chips or crudités, I use it as a sandwich spread. Specifically, my favorite sandwich – super sharp cheddar, hummus, and a little mayo. It sounds boring, but it’s a simple pleasure of mine. The biggest thing for me though is that hummus has to sit for several hours or, better yet, overnight – the garlic mellows, the lemon and salt flavor the beans. It’s only after the flavors comes together that it really becomes hummus.

Here’s what I do.
Rinse a can of garbanzo beans – really rinse them well. This is a key step. While they are draining, mince two cloves of garlic in the food processor, add the garbanzo beans, and the juice of two decent-sized lemons. You can add less, but why would you? Add two big tablespoons of tahini, making sure it’s mixed well because of its maddening habit of separating. Add a pinch of salt and whirl away. If it needs it, add a little water to make it smoother. That’s it. Pretty simple really. Then wait till tomorrow to eat it. Advanced planning required.