Thursday, December 30, 2010

PC Chocolate Chip Sensation

PC Says: This decadent dessert pizza has been a Kitchen Show favorite for years. However, I don't ever remember having it at a show but tonight I think we will be having it again.

1 18 oz package refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 pint (2 cups) cold half and half
1 3.9 oz Chocolate Instant pudding and pie filling
1/4 cup chopped nuts

1. Preheat oven to 350. Shape cookie dough into a ball in center of large round stone. using lightly floured roller, roll out dough to 12" circle, about 1/4" thick. Bake 12-15 minutes or until edge is set. Cookie will be soft. Do not overbake. Cool 10 minutes. Carefully loosen cookie from stone; cool completely on stone.

2. In small bowl, mix cream cheese and sugar until well blended; set aside. Pour half and half into bowl; add pudding mix and whisk 2 minutes using whisk. Let stand 5 minutes until thickened.

3. Spread cream cheese mixture over thoroughly cooled cookie to within 1/2" of edge. Spread pudding over cream cheese. Sprinkle with nuts.

Cut into wedges. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Yield: 16 servings.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

the Best SOFT/LIGHT Dinner Rolls

1/4 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cups water at 105 to 110 degrees
4 cups bread flour, divided
1 7-gram packet instant yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup baker’s dry milk
1 teaspoon dough conditioner (optional)


  1. Heat the butter until it is almost melted and set it aside.
  2. Grease the inside of 10x15-inch pan or a large baking sheet, including the rims.
  3. Measure the water. Use an insta-read thermometer to get the temperature right.
  4. Place two cups of the bread flour and the yeast in the bowl of your stand-type mixer equipped with a dough hook. Turn the mixer on for a couple of bursts to disperse the yeast. Add the water and mix for 30 to 60 seconds.
  5. In another bowl, mix the rest of the flour with the salt, sugar, dry milk, and dough conditioner. Add this mixture to
  6. the wet mixture along with the melted butter.
  7. Knead with the dough hook on medium speed for four minutes or until the gluten is well-developed.
  8. Grease a large mixing bowl. Turn the dough out into the large mixing bowl and turn once to grease both sides of the dough ball. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it aside to rise. It should double in size in about 45 minutes. If it has not, let it rest longer.
  9. Divide the dough into balls about 2 inches in diameter. Place the balls on the greased pan about 1/2 inch apart. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit again to rise. They should double in size in about 45 minutes. Let them rise until they are very puffy. If they start to blister, poke the blisters with a toothpick and place the rolls in the oven.
  10. Bake for about 25 minutes at 350 degrees or until the tops are browned and the internal temperature is at least 190 degrees. Remove them from the oven. After a few minutes, remove the rolls from the pan and place them on a wire rack to cool. Serve warm.

Dennis is the founder and general manager of The Prepared Pantry in Rigby, Idaho, a full-line kitchen store and online retailer of food, baking mixes and ingredients, and kitchen tools. This came from Meridian Magazine, Thanksgiving 2010.

I made these for Thanksgiving and they were the best. Made them 2 other times and altho they were fine, they weren't anywhere near as fine as the first time. I think the comment that all times are estimates is accurate. I'd say just leave the dough to rise til it rises as described.


The #1 tip for making light dinner rolls

Patience. Let them rise. Forget about the time in the recipe. Time doesn’t matter; how much they have risen does. When you think they have risen enough, let them rise some more. Let them rise all the way to the point when they are about to blister. They should look puffy, full of air, and be soft to the touch. An indentation should slowly spring back if at all. It is possible to let bread rise too much but people usually don't.

The #2 tip for making light dinner rolls

Great flour. It has to be high protein—at least 10.5% and 11% is better. But there is a lot of difference in flour. Find one that works well for you in your kitchen and stick with it.

There is almost a cult-like following for General Mills Harvest King. We use it in almost all of our bread mixes. It’s hard to find in grocery stores but check; it’s also sold as Better for Bread Flour. (We can sell you a bag of Harvest King but the shipping is a little painful.)

And keep your bag closed up. Your great flour won’t remain great if it’s exposed to the air. Especially in the West, it dries out. We store opened bags in large, food-grade plastic bags closed with a twist tie.

The #3 tip for making light dinner rolls

Use a good dough conditioner. It should give you 10 to 15% more rise plus a nicer texture.

Dough conditioners are proprietary products and every producer’s will be a little different. The one we use (and sell) enhances the gluten structure with longer strands to create a better structure that will capture more gas and make your rolls lighter. It also lowers the pH in the dough. Yeast likes a slightly acidic environment. (Did you ever wonder why our grandparents added a tablespoon of lemon juice to their dough? It too lowered the pH.)

The #4 tip for making light dinner rolls

Use a thermometer. It’s hard to tell when your rolls are done just right by looking at them. And the time in recipe is a rough estimate. Use an insta-read thermometer and stick the probe through a crease to the center of a roll. The temperature should read 195 degrees.

There you have it. If you would like to learn more about baking ingredients, download our free “Baking Ingredients and How they Work.” The Prepared Pantry sells ingredients and tools for bread bakers.

Beefy Vegetable Soup/Stew

from Southern Living cookbook, pg. 457

2 pounds ground beef
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2 quarts water
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup chopped celery
1 10-oz pkg frozen mixed vegetables
1 28-0z can tomatoes, undrained and chopped ( or diced tomatoes)
1 15-ox can tomato sauce with tomato bits
1-1/2 T beef-flavored bouillon granules
1-1/2 t. salt
2 t. pepper

Brown ground beef in large Dutch oven, stirring to crumble. Drain well, and set aside.

Melt butter in same dutch oven' add flour and cook over low heat 3-5 minutes or until a smooth paste forms. Gradually add water, stirring constantly; cook over medium heat until bubbly, stirrign occasionally.

Add ground beef and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and summer, uncovered, for 1 hours. Yield: 13 cups.

I also always add fine egg noodles (UNCOOKED)to give it move of a stew consistency. I toss in about a half bag, stir it around and the juices cause the noodles to cook.

Italian "Scallion" Salad

Thanks to BubbleCrumb for this recipe. This is the salad we had on Christmas Day and it was such a hit we had to remake it 2 days later. I varied the ingredients according to tastes and what I had on hand but basically it's the same as follows:

6 cups torn lettuce leaves
8 ounces hard salami, julienned
6 ounces provolone cheese, julienned
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/2 small red onion, diced
1 (6 ounce) can pitted ripe olives ,
2 small jars marinated artichoke hearts, drained
4 scallion stalks, minced (green onion)
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
12 pepperoncini

Start with the dressing. Mix the tomato sauce, oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, oregano, garlic power and pepper and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Arrange the salad:
Begin with the greens (red leaf mixed with romaine makes it look pretty and festive).
Top with half the shredded mozzarella cheese.
Next layer on the Italian salami, sliced into strips.
Top this with the sliced provolone.
Add the tomatoes.
Then the diced red onions.
Black olives...whole if you have picky eaters or sliced if all enjoy this.
Now 4 diced scallions.
You can add the artichokes if you all enjoy it.
I used the pepperoncini rings.

Drizzle with the dressing 5 minutes before serving.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Cheeseburger Casserole

Daphne invited Robert and me to her home for lunch today and surprised us with quite a fast and very tasty casserole.

2 pounds ground beef
1 can Campbell's Golden Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 can Campbell's Cheddar Cheese Soup
1 bag frozen crinkle cut french fries.
Toppings include: catsup, mustard, pickles chopped, onions diced, tomatoes chopped.

Brown the ground beef, drain. Place in a square baking pan.

mix the 2 soups and pour over the ground beef.

layer on the crinkle cut french fries.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes.

Serve with whatever toppings you might add to a regular Cheeseburger.

PS...made this for New Year Eve's dinner and took the messy pix above. Hank commented that it was interesting how much this tastes just like a casserole.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Baked Potato Soup

Baked Potato Soup


1 small red pepper (I don’t add this)
1 pkg. (10oz) frozen broccoli
4 cups chicken broth (I use water + boullion cubes)
3 ½ lbs of potatoes, chopped
1/3 c. half & half
1/3 c. sour cream
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 ¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
4 green onions, chopped
4 slices of bacon (or more!!) crumbled
Shredded cheese


1. Combine potatoes, peppers, broccoli with broth for 3 hours on high or 6 hrs on low in crock pot.
2. When soup is almost done, mix half and half, sour cream, cornstarch, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
3. Add in mixture to crock pot along with green onions, let it cook a little longer
4. Sprinkle with bacon, cheese and sour cream

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pumpkin Crisp

Pumpkin Crisp

From: All

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour


1 (18.5oz) package of yellow cake mix

1 egg

1/2 c. butter melted

1 (29 oz) can of pumpkin puree

2 eggs

1 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 c. white sugar

2/3 c. evaporated milk

3/4 c. white sugar

1/2 c. butter, softened

1 c. old fashioned oats

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set aside 1 cup of cake mix in a small bowl (for the topping!). Combine remaining cake mix, 1 egg and 1/2 c. melted butter and pat into the bottom on a greased 9x13 inch pan.

2. In a large bowl, mix pumpkin puree, evaporated milk, 2 eggs, spices and 1/2 c. sugar and pour mixture over cake batter.

3. With the 1 cup of cake mix, add 3/4 cup of sugar and the oats with the softened butter until it becomes crumbly. Pour over the pumpkin mixture.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes.

Yum! A great substitute for pumpkin pie for this holiday season.