Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Another Guest Post! No, I'm not being lazy . . . I just have good friends!

This post is by my friend Nichol. Nichol and I met at Indiana University during graduate school.  We were in the same program and had almost every class together.  

Sunday, January 1, 2012

On a roll in 2012!

I am the mother of two toddlers. One of whom is allergic to eggs, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, and red dye 40. In addition to having a daughter with food allergies, I have a brother who shares my daughter’s peanut and tree nut allergies but is also allergic to soy.  It can be very challenging to come up with new recipes lacking egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, and red dye 40.  Let alone a new recipe lacking soy and milk products.

Finding a store bought bread or roll to accommodate my brother and daughter’s allergies is almost impossible.  Let’s not even talk about the taste of the products we have found. My brother sadly has resorted to rolling his hot dogs or hamburgers in what looked like a piece of paper in the shape of a tortilla. As his older sister, I needed to put a stop to this.  We have successfully been making Ava and Kyle friendly bread and pizza dough so I thought there must be a tasty way to make safe rolls. After experimenting for some time, last night, New Years Eve was a successful attempt in our roll making endeavor.

2012 will now bring many occasions to use this yummy roll recipe.  Bring on the family celebrations and Superbowl Sunday with hamburger sliders, meatball subs, and lunch meat subs!

Hamburger Rolls: Egg, Milk, Soy, Peanut, Tree Nut Free.
Recipe makes 6 Hamburger Rolls.
Approximate time to complete: 5 ½ hours by hand, 3 hours by bread machine

*Only you and your allergist know what ingredients are safe for you.  Please be sure to check all labels.  You never know where an allergen could be hiding.  Last year I purchased a different brand of cinnamon than our family typically uses.  As always I checked the label before pouring it into some cookie batter.  The label read “may contain traces of egg.”  Who would have thought traces of egg could be in cinnamon?!  

2 cups flour divided
1 cup warm 100F water
2 ½ tsp active dry yeast
½ cup quick cooking oats
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 ½ tsp salt
2T canola oil

  1. Combine 1 cup flour, water and yeast in a large glass bowl and stir well with a large plastic spoon.  
  2. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let the mixture sit for 1 ½  hours.  
  3. Stir in the other cup of flour, oats, brown sugar, salt, and oil.
  4. Place dough on lightly floured cutting board and knead for approximately 6 minutes.  Adding extra flour as needed.  
  5. Place dough in a lightly greased glass bowl.  Cover with a clean kitchen towel until the dough doubles in size.  This will take approximately 2 hours.
  6. Roll out dough on lightly floured cutting board.
  7. Shape dough into 6 equal size rolls using a glass cup or cookie cutter.  
  8. Place all 6 rolls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  9. Cover the rolls with a clean kitchen towel for approximately 1 hour.
  10. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  11. Bake rolls 20 minutes.
  12. Cool.

*To make in the bread machine pour the water and canola oil in the bread pan first.  Then add the flour, oats, brown sugar, and salt.  Make a small indent with your finger and pour in the yeast making sure the yeast does not touch any of the liquid ingredients.  Press the dough setting on your machine.  Our bread machine dough setting runs for 1 ½ hours. Once the dough setting is complete follow above directions starting at step 6.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Fudge- Guest Post!

Here is Cooking with Addy's first guest blogger!  Terra Lenihan is my great friend and mother to two of Addy and Elena's best friends.  Her fudge is awesome!
Christmas Fudge
Every Christmastime, one of my favorite traditions is making my mom’s famous Mexican fudge. My list of friends and family who receive our fudge each year has grown, and many people have already been asking, “Are you making your fudge this year?!” With our two boys in elementary school, our list of teacher recipients has grown, too.
Making Mexican fudge is a labor of love, requiring lots of chocolate, slow stirring and patience. In my kitchen all evening yesterday, I slowly stirred the chocolate in with the thick sweetened condensed milk, coffee (instant coffee so it dissolves nicely into the chocolate), cinnamon, and vanilla. For about 30-40 minutes on the double boiler, I stirred and stirred, watching the ingredients melt together, until finally forming a hot, oily, chocolaty mixture. After sending pictures to my mom of the process last night, I learned that she was creating the same recipe in her own California kitchen!
Melting the ingredients for the Mexican Fudge.
Liam, our first grader, is studying the rainforest and Mexico in school, so it was fun to discover that nearly all of the ingredients for Mexican fudge come right from the rainforest. We toured the tropical conservatory at the Denver Botanic Gardens last week with his class, and saw and touched cacao trees, cinnamon bark, a coffee plant, and even the distinctive orchid that creates our baking essential, vanilla bean.
Liam and classmates look up at a cacao tree at the Tropical Conservatory at the Denver Botanic Gardens.
With all of the kids in our life these days, I decided to try out a new fudge this year as well, since the flavor of the Mexican fudge is strong and, well, because I don’t want to caffeinate all of the kids. I am calling this one Pooh-bear fudge. The ingredients are simple: chocolate (I used semi-sweet but milk would work as well), peanut butter, and honey. Liam sampled the fudge this morning after it hardened overnight, and called it delicious. Keenan liked that you could really taste the peanut butter.
With both of these recipes, nuts could be added. I didn’t have any on hand this year, so I left them out, but often times I will add chopped pecans or walnuts to the Mexican fudge. Enjoy, and let us know if you try these or make any good modifications.
(Julia, I need to go on a run today since naturally I had to sample all this fudge this morning!)
Mexican Fudge
18 oz semi-sweet chocolate
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 T instant coffee
1 t ground cinnamon
1 t vanilla
½ c chopped nuts (optional)
In a heavy saucepan or double boiler, under low heat, melt the chocolate chips with the sweetened condensed milk, coffee, cinnamon, and vanilla. Using a rubber spatula, stir constantly. Remove from heat. Spread evenly onto a wax paper-lined pan. Chill for 2-3 hours, or until firm. Turn fudge onto a cutting board, and cut into squares. Store loosely covered at room temperature. Makes about 1-¾ pounds.
Pooh-bear Fudge
18 oz semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips
1 c creamy peanut butter
3/4 c honey
In a heavy saucepan or double boiler, under low heat, melt ingredients together, stirring constantly. Spread evenly into a wax paper-lined pan, and chill until firm. May also be chilled in the refrigerator. Turn fudge onto a cutting board, and cut into squares. Store loosely at room temperature. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Snow day dreams

So I'm dreaming of summer a bit today.  It's snowy and cold here and while sledding was fun this morning snow is a hassle!  How many calories do you burn getting snow pants, coats, hats, mittens, socks, boots and scarves on two kids and yourself?  By the time we get everyone bundled and supplied with extra mittens I'm ready to call it a day!

Thankfully, contrary to popular belief Colorado is not all cold and snow.  This week it looks like the snow will stick around but soon enough I'm sure it will be pleasant again.  At least it better be.  And in the mean time I'll dream of summer and the fun we had in North Carolina. 

We did a lot of cooking while we were there this summer.  One of the things I'm anxious to make again are these gnocchi that Aunt Marie taught us how to make.  These are light and yummy gnocchi.  Tender bites of deliciousness. This made a really big batch because we were having lots of company but you could easily halve the recipe.

Ricotta Gnocchi
32 oz whole milk ricotta cheese
2 eggs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
dash nutmeg
extra flour for dusting
extra salt for seasoning water

At least a couple hours before you want to cook or up to a day ahead, drain ricotta cheese in strainer lined with paper towels.  In a large bowl, gently mix drained ricotta, eggs, flour, salt and nutmeg.  Refrigerate for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, prepare a cutting board with flour and a sharp knife for cutting dough.  Boil a large pot of salted water.  Break of workable size chunks of dough.  If the dough is too sticky to work with add more flour in small amounts at a time until it is just workable.  Roll into logs thumb thick and cut in bite size chunks.  Prepare about a quarter of the dough and then gently add gnocchi to boiling water, stir so that they don't stick together.  Boil for two minutes once the gnocchi have popped back the surface of the water.  While they boil prepare the next batch.  Scoop out of water and set in colander to drain.  We needed to rinse ours so they didn't stick together.  Repeat with dough making sure the water comes back to a boil between batches.

We served ours with a simple tomato sauce of fresh tomatoes simmered with garlic, onions, salt and a little butter and olive oil, lightly dressed greens, a chewy ciabatta garlic bread and extra Parmesan cheese.  Seriously good food.  Mmm, who is hungry?!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Meatless Monday

Tonight the girls and I ate vegan.  Roasted cauliflower and potato gnocchi.  It was good, if monochromatic.  We had covered most of the other colors earlier in the day.  Addy picked the herbs from our pretty indoor plant and Elena helped me break up the cauliflower for roasting.  We all enjoyed it, especially the roasted cauliflower which had been tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh rosemary and sage.  There was extra since I roasted the whole head.  I froze it for another day.
Normally I like this meal with fresh grated Parmesan cheese but since I was trying to be vegan we left that off.  If I'd had toasted pine nuts they would have added a nice crunch.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Cherry Pie without Chocolate

I wish I had another piece right now!

It's hard to see here, but the pie can stand up on it's own without oozing!

The hardest part of making the pie was actually deciding what recipe to use.

Since fruit pies don't usually have chocolate in them I don't make a lot of pies or even eat that much pie.  I wasn't really sure what I was looking for in a good pie.  But with a pit bit of research I think made a darn good cherry pie.

I ended up pulling the pie from three different places.  The crust recipe came from here.  It turned out as promised; flaky and neutral.  I froze half of it to use another day.

I used the Betty Crocker Cherry Pie recipe for the cherry filling but decreased the sugar and added a dash of vanilla.

6 cups red tart cherries-mine were frozen, I defrosted in the refrigerator and let them drain.
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp vanilla

Then because I was a bit worried about how juicy the cherries were I picked a crumble topping recipe from the internet.  I figured the crumble would help soak up the juice.  Chad was looking for a pie that would stand up on it's own and not ooze off the crust. He also doesn't like nuts in food so this is a pretty straight forward topping. I think the crumble helped this pie meet that challenge.

1 cup flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cold butter
Cut together until butter is pea size or smaller.

Heat oven to 425.  After the dough has chilled for 30 minutes roll to 1/4 inch thick and cut to fit pie pan.  Place in pan and flute/crimp edges.  Pour in cherry mixture and top with crumble.  Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until crust is brown.  The crumble topping browned really quickly so I laid a piece of tinfoil over it.  When the crust was golden brown I turned off the oven and left the pie in the oven to cool.  We served it the next day with whipped cream.

I started this pie while the girls were napping and finished while they were playing with Chad.  If they had been around to help they could have rolled the pie dough, stirred the cherries and sprinkled the crumble.

Friday, December 2, 2011

You have to be nice to me, I'm your sister

This morning Elena pulled Addy's hair and then a few minutes later she hit her with the remote.  I helped them hug and make up and now they are making nests from the pillows.  Addy says to Elena, "Elena you have to be nice to me.  I'm you're sister, I've taught you how to walk, how to crawl, how to talk.  I've even taught you how to cook.  You have to be nice to me."  Then Addy tells me that when she grows up she's going to name her blog Cooking with Addy, Elena, Mommy, Daddy and Suka.  How's that for a URL?

Thursday, December 1, 2011


I don't consider myself trendy and I am ok with that.  I embrace the fact that I'm kind of a dork.  But I got pretty excited when I saw that we hit two food trends (as noticed by with our Thanksgiving meal.

2012 Food Trends  See Cuisine and Cooking at Home

What do you think about these food trends?