Cinnamon-Raisin Biscuits

I had promised this recipe in my last post (was it really in July?!) so without further ado, here it is!

Cinnamon-Raisin Biscuits

Ingredients:

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
1 tsp. salt
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup butter
1/2-1 cup milk
1 cup raisins
powdered sugar glaze (2 T melted butter, 1 1/4 c. powdered sugar, milk or water to desired consistency)

Instructions:

1. Mix flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Cut butter into flour mixture.

2. Add enough milk for consistency. Add raisins and shape into biscuits. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet.

3. Bake at 450 degrees for 10-13 minutes. Let your biscuits cool a little and then drizzle icing over them.

And there you have them! Enjoy!

Did You Ever Know That You’re My Gyro?

I just have to say it. I’m pretty pleased with the title of this post. Say what you will, I think it’s catchy. But why am I talking about gyros to begin with? Because, yesterday we got lamb meat!

“Great, Lisa, but what’s the big deal?”

Because! I’ve wanted to get lamb meat for a long time now and can’t find it or am too stingy economical to buy it. However, one of David’s coworkers went to Kansas City the other day and purchased some for us that was pretty reasonably priced, for lamb meat that is. And so I’m excited! (you’ve probably noticed by now that it doesn’t take much to get me excited, does it?). I will probably not be fixing gyros though despite the catchy title. I’ve been in the curry mood and when we have company over soon I will probably fix this recipe. Along with this. And then a salad. And maybe something for dessert. I was looking for some Pakistani/Indian desserts to make but a lot of them call for some really strange (to me) ingredients. So, I may just skip the authentic dessert and stick with American or maybe I’ll go out on a limb and just have fruit for dessert *gasp!* But then again, I like to take chances. 🙂

Catching Up…

Long time, no blog. This has been a really busy week. I can hardly believe it’s Thursday already. As far as exercising goes, I’ve been able to work out everyday this week so far. I have not yet worked out today though. This morning ended up being pretty busy (my license is set to expire tomorrow so I had to get that taken care of ASAP) so I’m planning on working out as soon as my dinner digests. 🙂 David took the kids out for a mysterious outing. He’s got something up his sleeve. I just don’t know what it is. I’m sure it has to do with my birthday because tomorrow, I hit the big 29. But unlike everyone else who says they’re 29, I’m really going to be 29. 🙂 But, I’m thinking about stopping at 28 because 29 just seems too suspicious, like you’re hiding your real age or something. How about (in David’s terms) the second anniversary of my 28th birthday. There! Doesn’t that sound nice? We’ll just call it that now, shall we?

Anyway, I had something I else I was going to write but it left me (AUGHHH!!!! It’s because I’m getting older!!).  Onto the fun part. We’ll just call this section of this post, “On Why I Need to Purchase a Cow.” Are you intrigued yet? There are so many cool things you can do with heavy cream and milk!!! First off, you can make butter from heavy cream. Here’s what you do.

Pour some (however much you want – I didn’t measure mine) heavy cream into a bowl and get out your mixer. Beat your cream at medium to high speed for quite awhile. It will turn into whipping cream first. Then, you’ll see that it will turn color to more of a yellow color, and the consistency will change too. Once it starts to harden, strain it out in a strainer over a bowl. The butter will stay in your strainer while the buttermilk will drain into your bowl. Rinse your butter very well because any remaining buttermilk can make your butter spoil pretty quickly. You can also make butter by shaking the cream in a jar or other container. I tried this and lost patience with it pretty quickly so I got out my mixer.

BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!

Yogurt! You can make your own yogurt. Now how cool is that? Instead of posting the directions on here, the Crockpot Lady has a really great and very easy recipe that you can do in the crockpot. I had tried making yogurt a couple times before but it never set. I think it had something to do with the temperature being too low and/or the fat content in my milk being too low. But this one worked really well. You can add crushed fruit to it or whatever you like. I have never had success using anything but whole milk, but Stephanie said you can dissolve a package of unflavored gelatin in to help it along.

Don’t go yet because you can make your own…

CREAM CHEESE! Yep, it’s true. Here’s what you do. Take some yogurt, put it in a dish towel on a strainer that is sitting over a bowl and let it drain for 5+ hours. After you have drained it over a mixing bowl, my friend, Cara, tied the dish towel with the stuff in it to a spoon and let it drain into a jar overnight (I think it was overnight anyway). Does that all make sense? What drains from the yogurt is this stuff called whey which is actually a natural preservative. You can add it to different things to make them last longer, like salad dressing for instance.

NEXT PLEASE!

You can make your own buttermilk. You can do it by using the stuff you strained from your butter or use:

  • 3 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk, room temperature

Simply mix the above ingredients together and let sit for 24 hours. Voila! You can also use dry milk for this.

NEXT RUNNER UP…

Sour cream! Yay! You can make your own at home! And you know what? It is just about as easy as the other things I mentioned. Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup heavy cream (um, this isn’t the light version in case you haven’t noticed)
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk

Combine the above ingredients in a container with a lid or screw top jar and let sit for 24 hours. It tastes really good. Like sour cream. But I guess you’d expect that, huh?

So now I guess you can see why I need to get a cow? 🙂

And one more thing for your reading enjoyment. This homemade food item doesn’t come from a cow but it’s still pretty cool. You can make your own baking powder. Here’s what you need:

  • 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Mix it all together and there you go. Homemade baking powder. I have not looked into whether this is cheaper than buying it at the store, but you can have the peace of mind to know that there isn’t any aluminum in the homemade stuff, if you are concerned about that type of thing.

Okay, I think that’s it. If you are interested in making any of these things and my directions weren’t very clear, leave a comment and I’ll try to explain it better. With me getting up in years, it’s kind of hard to think straight. 😉

The Rambler

I am just really having a hard time thinking up a creative title tonight. Oh well. You may just have to suffer through my writer’s block a little. I may get inspired as I go along.

So, it’s a day after my new challenge started. I guess it would technically be day #2, but I really started exercising Monday so then would this be day #3? It’s all so confusing. Anyways, today I am not feeling very well. I tend to take everyday things for granted, you know, like being able to breathe out of my nose. Now, though, I appreciate it until next time when I forgot again. 🙂 As a result of me being sick, I have not yet worked out. I would like to at least do something short (like the 20-minute one or maybe the 8-minute Billy Blanks tape) but I am not going to beat myself up if I don’t have the energy to turn the TV on today. I just feel crummy.

On a good note, David has had today off and tomorrow and Friday! And, to top it all off, in spite of feeling lousy, I curled my hair, a major feat even when I am well. So there you have it. That’s been my day in a nutshell. I also spent a large part of the day in my bathrobe that David got for me for our anniversary (it’s really soft and cozy). For dinner, I fixed a crockpot full of chicken noodle soup. At Dillons, I got the Kroger brand of this seasoning called zesty Italian herb. I added that to the broth and it tasted so yummy. It seemed pretty fitting for a cold day. I love making chicken noodle soup. It’s so easy. Here’s what I put in mine:

  • 4-5 chicken thighs, frozen
  • 5 smallish carrots
  • 1 medium onion
  • salt to taste
  • zesty Italian herb seasoning
  • water (I just kind of eyeball it)
  • a little cream
  • some linguine noodles (again, I just kind of eyeball it)

I put the chicken thighs in the crockpot with some water on high for a few hours. Then I added more water, the carrots, onion, and seasoning. After that has cooked for a couple hours, take the chicken out and take the meat off the bone. Then return it to the crockpot. Cook the noodles on the stove top until done and add to the crockpot along with a little bit of cream, if desired. Cook on low for a few minutes and then voila! Soup! And it tastes soooo good, especially with the little bit of cream. It does make it a little richer, but you don’t have to add it if you don’t want to.

This post has ended up being kind of rambling. I better call it quits for now. My kitchen is a mess and my laundry is calling me to fold it before it gets wrinkled. Of all the chores I have to do, ironing is my least favorite.

Adios, amigos. My nose is starting to run. I better go catch it.

I Feel Like Meatloaf Tonight

I was trying to think of something for dinner tonight as we are still doing our dinner challenge, and remembered that I had a whole gob of organic spinach in the fridge that was marked down to $0.99 on a manager’s special at Dillons! I needed to use it up and thought I might “hide” it in some meatloaf. So I went searching on the internet for a recipe that would use spinach in meatloaf. I found this recipe on Recipezaar:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/4 cup onion
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup steak sauce

Mix everything together except the steak sauce. Shape into a loaf and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Add steak sauce on top the last 10 minutes.

Well, I had to make a few adjustments as follows: Instead of wheat germ, I just used more oats as I didn’t have any wheat germ. I also didn’t have any carrots to grate so I used…zucchini. I’m so predictable! Since zucchini has more moisture than carrots, I didn’t even need to use the milk. I also had fresh spinach instead of frozen spinach. When I was gooping it all together, I was getting a tad nervous as the fresh spinach seemed to be kind of “clunky” for lack of a better term. Pretty soon, though, it started to get soggy and more manageable. I also added a little bit of garlic salt and some southwest chipotle seasoning I got at Sam’s Club. Instead of baking it in the oven, I just put it in the crockpot on high for about 4 hours. I also omitted the steak sauce as I didn’t know if David would like it and figured we could just put it on at the table. I was really excited to see how it would turn out. Much to my delight, everybody liked it! I also fixed corn on the cob and garlic bread (ghetto garlic bread to be exact – hamburger buns with butter and garlic salt baked in the oven for a few minutes. I was going to do homemade biscuits but I ended up working a little later tonight). It all turned out really yummy and I have enough for meatloaf sandwiches tomorrow. I may make some spaghetti sauce to pour on top. Anyway, I was really excited about how it turned out. For dessert, we had ice cream sandwiches or…drum roll please…zucchini bread. I don’t think I’m going to plant zucchini again next year. We are going to be growing it out our ears by the time summer is over.

Next post: Our recent trip to Austin! It was definitely a whirlwind tour but more on that later. Until we meet again, adieu.

By the way, on this post, I tried my hand at a little html!

Things That Make You Go…Yum!

Okay, we’re having company tomorrow evening and I have planned the following things, recipes included:

Baked Chicken (crockpot)

  • One whole chicken
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Seasonings of your choice (I usually use Rosemary Garlic Seasoning from Sam’s over a year ago)

Place chicken in the crockpot along with about two cups or more of water. Sprinkle seasonings on top. Cook on low for approximately 6 hours. Voila!

Cheesy Potato Casserole

  • 1 (2-lb) package frozen hashed brown potatoes, thawed.
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (10-oz) can cream of chicken soup
  • 2 c sour cream
  • 8 oz sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 c crushed corn flakes
  • ¼ c butter

Combine potatoes, salt, pepper, soup, sour cream, cheese, and onion in bowl; mix well. Spoon into greased 9″×13″ baking dish. Bake at 350℉ for 30 minutes; remove from oven. Cover with corn flakes; drizzle with butter. Bake for 30 minutes longer. Yummy stuff!

Quick Cheese Biscuits

  • 1 c all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ c shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 T butter or margarine
  • ⅔ c milk

Preheat oven to 450℉. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in cheddar. Cut in butter using a pastry blender or two knives until coarse crumbs form. Using a fork, stir milk into flour mixture until a soft dough forms. Do not over-mix or overwork dough. Drop dough in heaping tablespoons one inch apart onto an un-greased baking sheet. Bake until biscuits are firm to the touch, about 15 minutes.

Fresh veggies, chopped (from the garden!)

Fresh fruit, chopped

Root beer floats for dessert

Hmmm…that’s quite a bit of cheese. I might have to rethink that a little. But everything goes better with cheese so maybe I should just leave it alone!