Monday, May 27, 2013

Homemade English Muffins

Oh my gosh! If you have never made your own English muffins, you need to put it on your bucket list. Yummy! Mmmmm...mmmm...good! Way better than store purchased!

English Muffins

1 Tbsp. package active dry yeast
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. Warm water
1/2 cup scalded milk
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt 
3 Tbsp soft butter
3 cups all-purpose flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. Add sugar, salt, and milk.
Beat in 2 cups flour. Knead, cover and let rise till double. Add butter and rest of flour.
Roll out to about 1/2 inch thick. Cut rounds with English Muffin rings. Cover and let rise 1/2 hour.
Remove from ring and cook muffins on griddle about 10 minutes on each side on medium heat. Allow to cool and place in plastic bags for storage.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Guess Who Hatched

I had some crazy birds decide my wreath hanging on my front door was a suitable place to raise a family. They have been fun to watch. She laid one egg a day until there were a total of five eggs the size of peanut M&Ms.
They hatched today! I will post a picture of the babies as soon as I dare sneak one.
Here are the eggs if you look closely.

Here is the mama sitting on her eggs.

Here are the sweet babies!

Perfect Pie Crust

I love making pies and getting the crust just right can be a bit tricky. I love this pie crust recipe that you can throw together in your food processor and freeze until you are ready to use it. It only takes a few minutes to throw a pie together if you pull the crust and the filling out of the freezer like I did for this peach pie. See how flaky the crust is! 

1-1/2 cup Shortening
3 cups All-purpose Flour
1 whole Egg
5 Tablespoons Cold Water
1 Tablespoon White Vinegar
1 teaspoon Salt

Put the flour and the shortening in your food processor and pulse until it resembles a coarse meal. Add the egg, cold water, vinegar and salt. Pulse until all of the ingredients are incorporated.
Separate the dough into 3 evenly sized balls of dough and place each dough into a large Ziploc bag. Using a rolling pin, slightly flatten each ball of dough (about ½ inch thick) to make rolling easier later. Seal the bags and place them in the freezer until you need them. 
When you are ready to use the dough to make a crust, remove from the freezer and allow to thaw for 15 minutes. 

Sweet and Sour Chicken

I have had this recipe for years. I got it from an oriental friend of mine. It is scrumptious!

Sweet and Sour Chicken
Dice 4 chicken breasts and soak for at least 20 minutes in: 1 egg, 1 tsp. soy sauce, 1 tsp. salt and a little bit of cornstarch. 
Cook chicken in hot oil until done.
Dice 1 onion, 3 peppers, 2 carrots and saute them in a small amount of olive oil. When they are cooked to desired tenderness, add the chicken and a can of pineapple chunks. Add 1 Tblsp. vinegar, 3 T. sugar, 1/3 C. ketcup, 5 Tblsp. pineapple juice mixed with 3 tsp. cornstarch.
Heat for a few minutes and serve over rice.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Budding Artist

My 16 year old son is an artist. He hasn't had any formal training aside from a few school art classes. He has a natural ability for drawing, painting, and even photography.
Here are a few pictures of his latest work.

This one is a marker drawing.

This one is done with pastels.