The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 138

May 19, 2012 at 8:44 pm (Food) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Hello again friends, and welcome back!  Hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend!

I feel like I got a lot done today, but I also had some fun, so it’s a good day in my mind.

5 loads of laundry down, 2 more to go.  Of course, how in the world 4 people can make 8+ loads of laundry in one week is beyond me!  (counting the two loads I did earlier in the week…)  Although, if I really think about it…

Mike wears one set of clothes to work, and changes into something comfy when he gets home.

I wear one set of clothes to work, and change into something comfy when I get home.

William wears uniforms to school, and we make him change into casual clothes when he gets home.

So James is the only one around here who doesn’t wear two sets of clothes every day, but only because he isn’t working every single           day!  If he was, it would be a uniform for work, and casual clothes at home for him, too.

Anyway…  cleaned up the kitchen, Mike helped, was getting way out of hand, think we need to have a family meeting about it.  No one wants to unload the dishwasher after work or school, I don’t want James to get stuck doing it every day, but it needs to get done.  Have to admit, I got a little snippy with Mike “discussing” it while we cleaned.  Think that’s why he helped, but I’m not questioning or complaining!

So, started the cooking marathon in between loads of laundry and dishes, here are the first recipes for the weekend:

Dinner Rolls

7 1/2 ounces (3/4 cup + 3 tbsp) 80-90 degree water

3 cups bread flour (can mix white and wheat or rye)

2 Tbsp dry milk

3 1/2 Tbsp sugar

1 Tsp salt

3 Tbsp butter, cut into 4 pieces

1 packet active dry yeast

Add water to pan of bread machine (2nd best investment ever!).  Add flour, dry milk, sugar and salt to pan.  Tap pan to settle dry ingredients, level with a spatula then push a little into the corners of the pan.  Place butter in corners of pan.  Make a small well in the center of the ingredients, add the yeast.  Lock pan into bread maker.  Set machine for dough, press start.  My machine runs for 1 hour 20 minutes on this cycle, doing most of the kneading and such for me, which is WAY cool!

When the machine is done, turn the dough out onto a floured surface, cover, allow to rest for 15 minutes.

Now, at this point, you can turn this into crescent rolls, cloverleaf rolls, four leaf clover rolls or breadsticks.  I opted for some cloverleaf rolls, and some breadsticks, only because I don’t own two muffin pans of the same size, so I didn’t have enough spots for all of this to be rolls!

So, pull off a small piece of dough, about half the size of a golf ball, roll it into a ball, put it in a greased muffin pan.  Put three dough balls in each muffin spot.  If you have enough muffin spots, you can make 18 rolls.  If not, you can do what I did, and take the rest of the dough, split it into four pieces, roll them into ropes, put them on a greased cookie sheet.  Brush them with melted butter.  If you want, you can sprinkle the breadsticks with garlic, or parmesan, or herbs at this point.  Cover the rolls and breadsticks, let them rise another 45-60 minutes, or until doubled in size.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, serve warm!

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

1 bag frozen meatballs

1 can crushed or chunked pineapple, DO NOT DRAIN (in juice, not sugar or syrup)

2 bottles sweet and sour sauce

1 green pepper, chopped

About 3 cups water

3 Tbsp soy sauce

Mix the water, sweet and sour sauce and soy sauce in a pitcher.  Put the meatballs in a crock pot (best investment for the kitchen ever!).  Add in the pineapple, including the juice and the green pepper.  Cover with the liquid.  Cook on HIGH 3-4 hours.  At this point, you can strain the liquid into a sauce pan, add in a few tablespoons of corn starch, heat over medium high heat until thick.  Add back in the meatballs, green pepper and pineapple, serve over rice!

Now, I also started cooking for tomorrow, here’s what’s cooking:

Potato Soup

4 pounds (more or less) potatoes

1 packet chicken Flavor Boost

1 Tbsp garlic powder

1 Tsp black pepper

1/8 Tsp red pepper

1/8 Tsp chili powder

1 Tbsp kosher salt

1 quart water

Wash and peel potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces, put in the crock pot.  Mix everything else in a pitcher until thoroughly mixed, pour over potatoes.  Cook on HIGH 3-4 hours, or low 7-8 hours.

Add in 1 cup half and half, and 1/2 cup flour mixed with 1/2 cup water (should be a loose paste) and cook another half an hour or until thickened.  Serve with your choice of toppings, such as sour cream, bacon bits, chopped scallions, cheese, etc.

Perfect Baked Potatoes

4 medium russet potatoes, washed and dried

Kosher salt

Olive oil

Pierce potatoes once on each side.  Coat lightly with olive oil, and sprinkle with Kosher salt.  Place on baking pan, and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours, or until done through and soft when poked.  Remove from pan and serve.

Still trying to figure out what I’m cooking tomorrow, plus I need to make stuff for lunches for William, but that’s tomorrow.  I think I’m done for today, so until tomorrow, eat well, love well, live well!


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