Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Cinnamon Rolls


• 1/4-ounce package yeast
• 1/2 cup warm water
• 1/2 cup scalded milk
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1/3 cup butter or shortening
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 egg
• 3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour

• 1 cup brown sugar, packed
• 2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
• 1/3 cup butter, softened

• 1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened 
• 1/4 cup butter, softened
• 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/8 teaspoon salt

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside. In a large bowl mix milk, sugar, melted butter, salt and egg. Add 2 cups of flour and mix until smooth. Add yeast mixture. Mix in remaining flour until dough is easy to handle. Knead dough on lightly floured surface for 5 to 10 minutes. Place in well-greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size, usually 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

When doubled in size, punch down dough. Roll out on a floured surface into a 15 by 9-inch rectangle. Spread melted butter all over dough. Mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over buttered dough. Sprinkle with walnuts, pecans, or raisins if desired. Beginning at the 15-inch side, role up dough and pinch edge together to seal. Cut into 12 to 15 slices.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

Coat the bottom of baking pan with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Place cinnamon roll slices close together in the pan and let rise until dough is doubled, about 30-45 minutes.

Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Double Chocolate Cookies

Note: This makes 12 very large cookies. I cut the recipe in half and ended up with what you see above..... and they were bigger than they look.


1 cup (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cubed
1¼ cup sugar
2 large eggs
½ cup dark cocoa powder
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. coarse salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

* You can use 2 cups of any combination of chips you like. I just used what I had on hand. I'm sure white chocolate or peanut butter chips would have tasted good also.


Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Blend in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix in the cocoa powder until well blended. Add the flour, salt and baking powder to the bowl and mix on low speed just until incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula. Transfer the dough to a work surface and knead briefly by hand to be sure the ingredients are well combined.

Spoon dough on cookie sheet in sizes proportionate to the size cookies you would like. Due to the fact that cold butter is used (and they are so full of goodies) they do not expand too much. Bake 10-12 minutes or until the tops are firm. (It's ok for cookies to still be gooey in the center. They will continue cooking on the baking sheet after you remove them from the oven.) Let cool on the baking sheets 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Blueberry Jam

I found a great recipe for blueberry jam. I made my first batch this week. It was easy and it turned out great.  For the recipe and great pictures to help you along follow this link:


Smack Yo' Mama Mac & Cheese



1 lb box elbow macaroni cooked

Blond Roux (White Sauce)
1 stick butter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour

Cheese Sauce
6 cups milk
1/2 cup blond roux (made in advance)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup diced onion (about 1 large onion)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon plus one teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
5 cups white cheddar cheese
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese (reserve 1 cup for topping)
1 cup fresh bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.

Blond roux:
Melt 1 stick of butter in small saucepan. Add 3/4 cup of flour. Blend well. Cook while stirring constantly, about 3-5 minutes, until flour and butter are well blended and start to dry slightly. Reserve for cheese sauce.

Cheese sauce:
In a large saucepan, bring milk to simmer over medium heat. Whisk in 1/2 cup of the roux. Continue to whisk over heat until smooth and sauce begins to thicken, about 10 minutes. Saute diced onion in oil over medium heat until soft. Add onion to roux. Next add Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Whisk to incorporate all ingredients. Begin to add cheddar cheese, gradually, in small amounts. Whisk constantly to help dissolve. Add remaining cheddar and 1 cup of Parmesan. Whisk until smooth.

Mix cheese sauce with cooked macaroni. Place in a large buttered oven-proof dish. Top with breadcrumbs and remaining 1 cup of Parmesan cheese.

Bake for about 10 minutes or until hot. To brown, place under the broiler until top is evenly browned; watch carefully.

Blue Hawaii

How to make your very own Blue Hawaii... The distinctly-colored beverage also shares the name with the Elvis movie from 1961. Cheers!

1 oz. Vodka or Rum
1 oz. Blue Curacao
3 oz. Sweet and Sour Mix
1 cup Ice
Splash of Pineapple Juice

Combine all ingredients with ice in a blender, blend until smooth and firm. Pour into 14 oz. glass and garnish with pineapple and orchid. Voila!

Mama Lisa's Pizza Pie

1 pizza crust (store bought or homemade)
1 jar of sauce (store bought or homemade)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups mozzarella cheese
Italian Seasoning
Toppings of your choice

For homemade sauce (which is worth the effort) watch this video:

In my world, homemade pizza crust is a lot of work and I typically stick to store bought. You can buy the kind in the can in the refrigerated section of the grocery store or they sell packets of dry mix on the baking aisle close to the jiffy cornbread. I usually use the kind in the can for calzones and stick to the flat crusts that they just have hanging up by the peperoni. If I use store bought sauce, I prefer the Boboli that comes 3 packs to a box. It is much easier to use and keeps longer than the jars, however, I have not found them in all stores.

Homemade pizza is pretty basic. You preheat your oven to 400 degrees, rub the olive oil directly on the top of your crust, spread the sauce on the pizza dough in a circular motion, add the cheese and toppings and bake it. The most important thing is to make sure you season it with either an Italian blend seasoning or oregano. This will make or break your pizza. I season mine on top of the cheese before I add the toppings. Also, when spreading your cheese, spread it along the outside edge first and try to make sure all your sauce is covered, then cover the center. The bake time will depend on your crust so follow the package directions (usually 10-14 minutes).

Tips for success:

* If using thin crust, spread the sauce to the edges, for hand tossed or deep dish, leave one inch around the edge uncovered.

* If using sausage, buy hot (I use Tennessee Pride). Cook the sausage thoroughly and dry on   paper towels before putting in to in the pizza. Pepperoni is greasy and the sausage needs to be as dry as possible.

* Bake pizza directly on the wire racks instead of on a pan for a crispy bottom crust.

* Let pizza sit 3-5 minutes after removing from oven, allowing it time to set, before slicing it.

Here's mine.....

Monday, January 31, 2011

Sweet & Crunchy Honey Nut Chicken

4 ounces, 2 small packages, honey roasted peanuts,about 2/3 cup
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
1 tablespoon grill seasoning blend (recommended: Montreal Seasoning by McCormick)
2 eggs
A splash half-and-half or whole milk
2 teaspoons hot sauce, several drops
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 (6 to 8-ounce) pieces of chicken breast

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Put nuts, bread crumbs and grill seasoning in food processor and pulse grind to combine the nuts into bread crumbs. Pour nutty-breading onto a plate.
Beat eggs and half-and-half or milk with hot sauce in a shallow dish.
Pour flour out on a plastic board or plate.
Dust both sides of the chicken with flour. Dip the chicken into the egg mixture and then coat with the nutty-breading.
Preheat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add vegetable oil to coat the bottom of the pan with a thin layer, 2 or 3 turns of the pan. Brown chicken pieces 2 minutes on each side in hot oil or until evenly light golden in color. Transfer to a baking sheet and cook in oven until juices run clear and breasts are cooked through, about 10 to 12 minutes.