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I hope you all got your shopping lists ready to make Renny's Healthy Zucchini Lasagna, if you haven't, click the link and get ready because it is time for this week's...
5 Friday Faves!
This is our weekly event when I ask, "What's your favorite_______?" and then we give you our answers! We have a lot of fun with it and hope you will, too as you consider what your answer would be. When you think of your answer, please share it with us in the comments! We would love to hear it.
So, here is this week's question: "What is your favorite comfort food on a cold, rainy or snowy day?" The weather all over the country has been pretty unpredictable and even in Phoenix we have had some chilly days. All of the answers given this week really work for me!
Alicia got to cheat last week, so this week we will start with her favorite. Alicia actually lives where it is pretty cool and rainy year round. When I asked her the question, she immediately gave this answer: Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.
Alicia's grilled cheese has come a long way since I was a kid! We used to butter bread and stick it in a pan to toast it as the cheese melted on the inside. Alicia uses her panini maker to get those nice toasty grill lines on her bread. (I gave my kids panini makers for Christmas last year, but failed to get one for myself. I may need to rectify that situation.) And that isn't any old slice of cheese either. You could use Provolone, Havarti or Gruyere, like Alicia used here. Just looking at this picture makes me want to take that sandwich and dip it in the soup and bite it. The cheese would stretch out of it and it would be so warm and delicious! Yum! Good choice Alicia!
The second Fave comes from Lindsey. On a cold day, she likes to snuggle up and enjoy a big bowl of Chili and a slice of Cornbread!
You know Lindsey tries to be the super healthy eater, so her chili is usually made with turkey. She makes it in a crock pot. One of her specialties is Pumpkin Chili, which I am sure we can get her to give us the recipe for one of these days on Renny's Recipes. Also for the amazing Cornbread that she invented herself! This makes me feel warm just thinking about eating it!
Madalynn is eating pretty healthy lately as well. She is limiting her meat intake and going for a lot of vegan options.. Remember these amazing chocolate cookies? She still has a sweet tooth, but is finding healthier ways to satisfy it. When I asked her for her favorite cold weather comfort food, she said, "Cinnamon Rolls!". Then she proceeded to make these vegan, yeast free ones! She has even given you the recipe!
Now for my choice! When I was a little girl, we lived out in the country. We had a long driveway to walk down when the weather was cold after we got off of the school bus. Many times, my mom would have warm butterscotch pudding waiting for us to have as a snack when we got in from the cold. The pudding was still a little warm but soft set. It was delicious and it also warmed my heart, so whenever I think of comfort food, I think of Butterscotch Pudding.
Now, if you make Butterscotch Pudding from a box, that is okay, but make sure it is the cook and serve kind, not instant! Yuck! The cooked kind is so much better. This time, I used my Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook recipe for Butterscotch Pudding from scratch. That link goes to the edition I have. Here is a newer edition. This cookbook has been a go to for me throughout my married life. We received it as a wedding gift. When you make pudding from scratch, you use the egg yolks and not the whites. So, I made a little meringue with the egg whites, and browned them with my creme brulee torch. Then, I drizzled a little caramel sauce over the top. They were delicious, if I say so myself. The bonus was that I got to use the torch, it is so much fun to use. This set comes with little ramekins for your creme brulee!
That was 4! Are you ready for #5? This week our special guest is Jessica Reynolds, my DIL and genealogy buff extraordinaire! She has a blog called "Do As I'm Doing" where she teaches some fabulous things about finding your ancestors and making a book like this one that she gave to my husband for Christmas. She spells out so clearly how to do it and includes things in the book that you may have never thought of including or even how to do it.
So, I asked Jessica what her favorite cold weather comfort food is and she said that when it rains her mom would always say it was time to make cookies! So, that is when she bakes cookies! Chocolate Chip Cookies and she uses the recipe on the back of the bag.
So, that is our Five Friday Faves! I hope we have warmed you up a little just reading our selections and maybe you can find some comfort from all of the cold weather out there! Let us know if you have a fave that we should know about!
Come back tomorrow and read about Alicia's Non Valentine's Day Party and Date ideas! She always has fun plans to share. You won't want to miss them!
Hey, Alicia here again with another great Ecuadorian recipe from my husband; Pan de Yuca. I think that literally translates to "Yuca Bread" but in English we call it cheese bread.
As you can see it's not cheese bread like is normally thought of when one talks about cheese bread. Cheese is the main ingredient in these delicious little buns. So instead of just having cheese sprinkled on top of bread this is literally cheese bread.
This bread has an ingredient that isn't found in most grocery stores here in the USA. Yuca starch, yuca harina, or sometimes called tapioca starch, can be found at Latin markets (our local market is called Rancho Market). We like the Goya Brand tapioca starch. You can also get it on Amazon.
When my husband first started making his bread for us he used this recipe from Laylita's recipes. Over time he has changed the recipe to have the bread turn out as he likes them. Laylita has a lot of fun and delicious Ecuadorian dishes on her website so it's worth a gander to check out her site.
Click through the gallery below to see the process in action of making these. They are very easy to make. Usually he only uses one type of cheese but since he was making them for a large family this time, he had to use 4 different cheeses to have enough dough, and the results were very delicious and flavorful.
Click on the button below to get the recipe. I'll post a few tips below too.
As you can see from these ingredients, this is gluten free! So if you have celiac friends, this should be safe for them to have!
I hope you get to try these and enjoy them. We'll probably post soon about the yogurt drink that goes with them so stay tuned!
Let us know if you have tried the recipe and what you think. Or if you have any questions, post it in the comments below!
This picture was the end result of a day of baking that happened just before the heat began to strike in Phoenix. Isn't this a pretty loaf of bread? I shall blog of the story of its creation. :)
It all began with the purchase of some mozzarella bread sticks from the grocery freezer section. They were delicious and I thought to myself, "Surely, I can make these myself at a much lower price!" I decided that my recipe for braided bread,that I have had for years, would be a good choice of dough. My friend, who I have not seen or had contact with in almost as many years gave me this recipe. I think of her every time I use it. So, Jeanne Mealy, if you are out there, I think of you, and thank you for this delicious recipe. Here it is.
So, I decided string cheese sticks would be good to use and wrap in the dough. Here is what I did:
First, I made the dough:
In a sauce pane, heat the following to lukewarm (until the butter just begins to melt.) 1/4 c. water, 2 c. milk, 1/4 c. butter.
Add, using a mixer: 2 pkg. dry yeast, 3 T. sugar, 2 eggs,
3 1/2 c. flour, 1 T. salt. Beat until well blended.
You can see that I proofed the yeast first, before blending.
I blended it in a bread machine. Here is a similar one. It you are blending by hand, use a spoon to mix in the rest of the flour, or just leave it in your dough mixer. Add: 3 1/2 to 4 c. more flour and then let it rest if by hand. In the machine, I let it blend for 10 min. By hand, you should let it rest for 10 min. and then knead for 10 min. It should look like this when it is finished:
I divided the dough into two parts. This recipe usually makes 2-3 loaves of bread depending on the size you want the loaf to be. So, here is a picture gallery of what I did with my mozzarella stick experiment:
So, I didn't think I would need an entire cheese stick in each bread stick, so I broke them up. In retrospect, now I wish I used more like a half or whole after all. I rolled out a ball of dough into a strip flat and placed the cheese in the middle and sealed it inside. Next, I made another snake of dough and twisted it around the cheese filled snake. I placed them on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Then, I melted some butter and added garlic to it and brushed the sticks with the butter. I let them rise a little while and when they looked about right, I baked them in a 350 degree oven for about 25 min.
As you can see, some of the cheese leaked out, and much of it was absorbed into the bread. They still tasted delicious, but I need to work out a few bugs.
With the rest of the dough, I made a loaf of braided bread. Divide your dough into 3 snakes, pinch them together and one end and then braid them. Pinch and tuck the bottom end. Let the loaf rise until it is double in size, then bake in a 350 degree oven until it is golden brown, about 35-40 min. This is a great loaf to give as a gift and really nice for Easter, too.
I hope you enjoy this recipe! Let me know if you have any tips on improving the cheese sticks!
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to seven so far. I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, and my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Read more about us here!
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