Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas Dinner (Kinda Sorta) Re-cap

I got to host Christmas dinner at our house this year which was a pretty big deal for me. I’ve done Easter Sunday, but never Christmas. We had a small crowd for dinner, but I still wanted to make sure that everyone was satisfied and full. Here is a run-down of some of what I made for Christmas. I say “some” because, well, I forgot to take pictures of everything before we ate it--hence the weird title of this post!

To accompany the pot roast, roasted chicken, green beans, sweet potato soufflé (which I am making again soon and will post pictures thereof!), and mashed red potatoes:

-Maple Oat Dinner Rolls
Found in the Taste of Home magazine, this recipe was a hit! Computer Man couldn't stop eating these! The saddest part of the whole deal was that I didn't realize I forgot to pass the bread basket around until we were done eating! My friends and family we had over politely agreed to eat a mercy roll after their plates were already cleaned and ready to be taken to the kitchen. I froze the leftovers and am looking forward to using them with Beef Stew some night!

1 package (1/4 oz) active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup warm strong brewed coffee
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup real maple syrup
1 egg
3 T shortening
1 tsp salt
3 to 3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 T butter, melted

1. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast into 1/4 cup of the warm water. Add the coffee, oats, sugar, syrup, egg, shortening, salt, remaining water, and 2 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough flour to form a soft dough--add the flour in 1/4 cup at a time. I needed a full cup, but yours might be different.

2. Turn onto a flour surface; knead until smooth and elastic about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about an hour.

3. Punch down dough. Turn onto a floured surface; divide into 4 portions. Divide each portion into 6 pieces; shape each into a ball. Place in a greased 9x13x2 baking pan. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.

4. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Brush warm rolls with melted butter. Remove from pan to a wire rack. 

To end the meal:
-Buttermilk Cake with Caramel Icing
Also a Taste of Home recipe, I had a bit of trouble with this cake. The first time around, I beat way too much air into the cake and when it baked it puffed up and then fell as soon as I took it out of the oven. Even after 10 extra minutes of baking, the center was totally raw and the whole thing was inedible. This was the first time I'd ever made a cake in the fluted tube pan, but I knew it shouldn't have been such a colossal disaster and I was determined to remedy the situation. I knew immediately that too much air had been beaten into it, but I felt like there had to be something else going on. I googled the recipe and found it on the Taste of Home website. I found out that the recipe I had was significantly different from the online version--of which everyone had raved! I tried the online version and had total success! I have provided you with the correct version as well as ways to avoid beating in too much air like my awesome self! 

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature 
2 1/3 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup buttermilk

1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at time until they are just incorporated. Turn the mixer off after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Add to creamed butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating until just incorporated after each addition.

2. Pour into a greased and floured 10 inch fluted tube pan. Bake in a 350 preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the enter comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

3. For icing, combine 1/4 cup cubed butter, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, and 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat; cool for 5-10 minutes. Whisk in 1 cup powdered sugar. Drizzle over cake. Enjoy with vanilla ice cream!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Whew! I Think I Can Breathe Now!

I'm finally coming up for air after weeks of preparing for holiday company, parties galore, and lots of eating! :) I have a bunch of recipes to share with you before we close 2010 and welcome 2011! I recently purchased a domain name so I'm looking to maintain this food blog a lot more in the coming year--I have to get my money's worth! Look for a new website soon! For now, though, let me give you a few of the things I've gotten to make this holiday season! Before I share my food recipes, I have to share this picture of our puppy we got back in July. It's been a long 6 months of training and, although we're still working out some of the kinks that are part and partial with a pound puppy, I'm proud to share this holiday photo of one of the best pound puppies around: Athena!

This is Foxy, our first pound puppy we adopted just 2 weeks after being married. We have had AWESOME pound puppies!!! :)


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