Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Corn meal cresent rolls

Buttery Cornmeal Crescent Rolls
*Makes 2 dozen rolls
2 cups milk
2/3 cup yellow corn meal
1 ½ tablespoons instant yeast
½ cup (1 stick) butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
5 ½ - 6 cups flour
Heat the milk to just below a boil so bubbles are just appearing around the edges (this is called scalding milk). Add the cornmeal and cook and stir until thickened, lowering the temperature if needed so the mixture doesn't boil. Pour the cornmeal/milk mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl and let cool until lukewarm. Add the yeast, butter and sugar (if you dissolved active dry yeast with a bit of water and sugar until it foamed, add it now). Mix. Add the salt and eggs. Mix well. Add the flour gradually until a soft dough forms. Knead for 5-8 minutes.
Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl covered with lightly greased plastic wrap and let rise until doubled.
Divide the dough into three portions and roll each into about an 8-10 inch circle. Brush the top lightly with butter. Cut into 8 wedges and roll each wedge up starting from the wide end so it forms a crescent roll shape. Place each roll on a lightly greased or silpat- or parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing about 1-2 inches apart to allow for rising. Cover lightly with greased plastic wrap. Let the rolls rise until doubled.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned. Brush with butter while still warm.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Best Bean Dip Ever

I decided to post this because I saw some friends Pinning a hot bean dip recipe, and felt bad that they were going to settle for such a mediocre dip, when there is something so much better for the same amount of work.

I had no idea that this bean dip was anything special until I was older. I knew it was delicious, but it was the one I grew up on, and I guess I figured that everybody ate something similar with chips. I had no idea that people choked down cold 7-layer dips until I was older.

I actually think that I first had it when my aunt made it when I was really little, and it has been a staple ever since. This could obviously be adjusted to make it a full 7 layers, but this is what we usually add, probably since most of this stuff is always in the house.

2-3 cans of refried beans
1pkg cream cheese, softened until easy to spread
2 green onions, chopped
salsa (enough to layer the pan as thick as you like)
cheese (enough to layer in the pan as thick as you like)

Preheat the oven to 350-degrees. Layer the ingredients in the pan (beans on bottom, cream cheese, salsa, cheese, and I like the green onions on top so you can see them, but you can put them under the cheese if you prefer). Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese is hot and bubbly...serve hot with tortilla chips and wait for the compliments to come pouring in.

Note: you can also microwave this until the cheese is hot and bubbly as well, if you don't have time to bake it.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

I just tried this recipe from Eat. Drink. Smile. It was no deep-dish, brick-oven, hearty, heavy slice of indulgence, but it satisfied my endless hankering for pizza.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Serves 2; Adapted from this bulletin board.


1 cup cooked, riced cauliflower
1 cup shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese (6 PointsPlus)
1 egg, beaten (2 PointsPlus)
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp crushed garlic
1/2 tsp garlic salt
olive oil (optional)
pizza sauce, shredded cheese and your choice of toppings*


To "Rice" the Cauliflower:
Take 1 large head of fresh cauliflower, remove stems and leaves, and chop the florets into chunks. Add to food processor and pulse until it looks like grain. Do not over-do pulse or you will puree it. (If you don't have a food processor, you can grate the whole head with a cheese grater). Place the riced cauliflower into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 8 minutes. There is no need to add water, as the natural moisture in the cauliflower is enough to cook itself.

One large head should produce approximately 3 cups of riced cauliflower. The remainder can be used to make additional pizza crusts immediately, or can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.

To Make the Pizza Crust:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray. (I used my pizza stone and had it preheating while I made the crust).

In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup cauliflower, egg and mozzarella. Add oregano, crushed garlic and garlic salt, stir. Transfer to the cookie sheet, and using your hands, pat out into a 9" round.

Optional: Brush olive oil over top of mixture to help with browning.

Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.

Remove from oven. To the crust, add sauce, toppings and cheese. Place under a broiler at high heat just until cheese is melted (approximately 3-4 minutes).


*Note that toppings need to be precooked since you are only broiling for a few minutes.

TOTAL POINTS PLUS: 8 (for crust only...not including the added toppings)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Creamy Tomatillo Dressing

3/4 jar ranch dressing
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 clove garlic
2 medium tomatillos
1 jalapeno (remove ribs and seeds to reduce heat if desired)
Juice of 1 lime
Crushed red pepper (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Great on Chicken Chile Salad.

Chicken Chile Salad

 5c. Chicken Breast
1/2c. salsa
1 Tbs cumin (or less)
1/2c. brown sugar (or to taste)
4oz can green chiles
6oz (1/2 can) Sprite

Combine ingredients in a slow cooker on low for 5-6 hours. Shred chicken and return to slow cooker for 1 hour. Thicken the juices with cornstarch and water if desired.

Serve with salad, creamy tomatillo dressing, tortilla chips, and lime.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Vanilla Ice Cream

4 eggs
2 1/4 cups sugar
5 cups milk
4 cups cream
4 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
Beat eggs.
Gradually add sugar to beaten eggs until mixture is very stiff.
Add remaining ingredients and mix thouroughly.
Pour into gallon ice cream freezer. Layer ice and rock salt in freezer.
Crank until ice cream is thick.