Sunday, June 24, 2012

Thursday: Cheesy Sausage Stromboli & Strawberry Ice
This recipe takes just over two hours from start to finish, with that being said it is definitely worth the time!  Although it takes a total of two hours to complete, I was actually only “cooking” for probably about 30 minutes.  The rest of the time the dough is rising (for a total of 1 hour and 45 minutes) and then the final product is baking (for 20-25 minutes). 
It was so good, right away Dan said, “Well this definitely is a 5!  So there finally something gets a  5 out of 5!  Below you will find the recipe.  I did cut the recipe in half because it makes two loaves.  Even after cutting it in half, there was more than enough for two meals for Dan and myself.  Also, the recipe tells you to let the loaf rise for 45 minutes after it is all put together (and before baking it), but we didn’t want to wait so we took the chance of skipping that, and it was great!

Before baking...

After :)

Cheesy Sausage Stromboli:
5 cups flour
2 T. sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 pks. Active dry yeast
1 ½ c. warm water (120-130 F)
½ c. warm milk (120-130 F)
2 T. butter, melted
2 lbs. pork sausage
4 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
3 eggs
¼ tsp. dried basil
2 T. grated parmesan cheese

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt and yeast.  Add the water, milk and butter; beat on low until well combined. (I mixed by hand)
Turn onto a well-floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. (my 5 yr. old God-daughter did this J and had a blast doing it! ) Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, in a skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; drain and cool.  Stir in the mozzarella, 2 eggs and basil; set aside.
Punch dough down; divide in half.  Roll one portion into a 15” x 10” rectangle on a greased baking sheet.  Spoon half of the sausage mixture lengthwise down one side of rectangle to within 1 inch of edges.  Fold dough over filling; pinch edges to seal.  Cut four diagonal slits on top of Stromboli.  Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
Beat remaining egg; brush over loaves.  Sprinkle with parmesan.  Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.  Bake at 375 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.  Slice; serve warm. 
Yields: 2 loaves.

I also made Strawberry Ice for dessert.  We ended up not eating it for dessert Thursday night, but we ate it for lunch on Friday J.  I also cut this recipe in half because it makes six servings and I didn’t think we need that much, although it keeps very well in the freezer. 
If you have ever had the Lemon Ice at Culvers, this totally reminds me of that, only this tasted like Strawberry/Lemon ice.  (I forgot to cut the lemon juice in half, so our tasted more lemony than it should have-oops!)  This is a very refreshing treat!

Strawberry Ice:
5 c. fresh or frozen strawberries, thawed (I used frozen)
2/3 c. sugar
2/3 c. water
¼ c. lemon juice

Place strawberries in a blender; cover and blend until smooth.  In a saucepan, bring sugar and water to a boil.  Cook and stir until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes; cool slightly.  Add to blender along with the lemon juice; cover and process until combined.
Pour into a shallow freezer container; cover and freeze for 4-6 hours or until almost frozen.  Just before serving, whip mixture in a blender.

Friday: Easy Garlic-Cheese Biscuits, Spicy Chicken Linguine

Dan and I made supper together tonight and it was delicious!  The biscuits got a 4-they were similar to the biscuits at Red Lobster but not quite as flavorful.  Next time I might double the garlic powder, just to make them even tastier.  The Spicy Chicken Linguine was great.  I would not say it was spicy though (and I usually think everything is spicy), but it had a good zip to it.  The Spicy Chicken Linguine would get a 4.5, definitely something I will be making again!

Biscuits before...

Finished dinner!  So yummy!

Easy Garlic-Cheese Biscuits:
2 c. original Bisquick mix
2/3 c. milk
½ c. shredded cheddar cheese
¼ c. butter, melted
¼ tsp. garlic powder

1.       Heat oven to 450 degrees F
2.       In medium bowl, stir Bisquick mix, milk and cheese with wire whisk or fork until soft dough forms; beat vigorously 30 seconds.  On ungreased cookie sheet, drop dough by 10-12 spoonfuls about 2 inches apart.
3.       Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.  In small bowl, stir butter and garlic powder until well mixed; brush on warm biscuits before removing from cookie sheet.  Serve warm.

Spicy Chicken Linguine:
¼ c. butter
3 T. flour
2 tsp. pepper
2 ½ c. milk
1 pk. (8oz.) cream cheese
1 c. shredded parmesan cheese
12 oz. uncooked linguine
2 c. cubed cooked chicken
1 can (4oz.) diced green chilies

In a saucepan, melt butter.  Stir in the flour, garlic powder and pepper until smooth; gradually add milk.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.  Reduce heat; add cream cheese and parmesan cheese.  Cook and stir for 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Meanwhile, cook linguine according to package directions.  Add chicken and chilies to cheese to cheese sauce; cook 5 minutes longer or until heated through.  Drain linguine; top with chicken mixture.
Yield: 6 servings

Saturday: True Love Truffles <3

These sound fun and yummy, but they definitely weren’t fun.  They were supposed to sit in the refrigerator for 1 hour before they were rolled into balls.  I ended up keeping them in the freezer for a couple of hours, and they still were very sticky and really hard to roll.  I would never make them again even though they did taste really good.  They were just too much of a hassle considering they just tasted like Andes Mints.  I could have saved myself a lot of time and mess by simply eating the Andes Mints and skip making the truffles.  I would rank them 4 out of 5 based on taste, but like I said, I’ll never make them again and wouldn’t recommend anyone waste their time.  From the picture below, you can tell mine didn't even look like truffles L.
 My truffles :(

The cookbook's picture of how the truffles should have looked... 

True Love Truffles:
*I ended up cutting these in half since I didn’t want the temptation of 96 of these bad boys in my house!
1 T. plus ¾ c. butter, divided
1 ½ c. sugar
1 can (5oz.) evaporated milk
2 pks. (4.67oz each) mint Andes candies (56 pieces total)
1 jar (7oz.) marshmallow crème
1 tsp. vanilla extract
22 oz. white baking chocolate, divided
½ c. semisweet chocolate chips
Green food coloring, optional

Butter a 15” x 10” x 1” pan with 1 tablespoon butter; set aside.  In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, milk and remaining butter.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Reduce heat; cook and stir until a candy thermometer reads 236 degrees F (soft-ball stage.)  Remove from the heat.  Stir in candies until melted and mixture is well blended.  Stir in marshmallow crème and vanilla until smooth.  Spread into prepared pan; cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Cut into 96 pieces; roll each into a ball (mixture will be soft).  Place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet.
In a heavy saucepan or microwave-safe bowl, melt 18 oz. of white chocolate and chocolate chips, stirring until smooth.  Dip balls in melted chocolate; place on waxed paper to set.  Melt the remaining white chocolate; add food coloring if desired.  Drizzle over truffles.  Store in an airtight container.
Yields 8 dozen

Sunday: Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza

Well here is another recipe that was a bit of a letdown.  Even though a bacon-cheeseburger is delicious, this pizza just wasn’t quite what I had hoped it would be.  I would give it a 3.5 if served with your favorite dipping sauce J Dan used BBQ sauce and I used ranch.  This is not something I will be making again.


Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza:
½ lb. ground beef (I used venison-it probably would have been better with ground beef)
1 small onion, chopped
1 prebaked Italian bread shell crust (I made my own J )
1 can (8 oz.) pizza sauce
6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
20 dill pickle coin slices
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp. pizza seasoning

In a skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain and set aside.
Place crust on an ungreased 12 inch pizza pan.  Spread with pizza sauce.  Top with beef mixture, bacon, pickles and cheeses.  Sprinkle with pizza seasoning.  Bake at 450 degrees F for 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted. 
Yield: 8 slices.

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