Saturday, October 13, 2012

Shortbread Hearts


3/4 lb. butter  BUTTER.  Did I say butter?  That's 3 sticks of BUTTER.  (room temperature)
1 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 1/2 C. flour
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350°.

Big bowl:

Mix butter and sugar until combine, add vanilla.

Smaller bowl:

Sift flour and salt.

Add dry to butter and sugar and mix on low speed until dough comes together.
Dump onto a surface dusted with flour, shape into a flat disk.  Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

On a floured surface, roll dough out to 1/2 inch thick and cut with heart cookie cutter, or whatever shape you are in the mood for!

Place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with sugar, raw sugar, colored sugar, or leave plain and dust with powdered sugar after they have cooled completely.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Done!  Easy!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Yummy Carrot Cake!

*No eggs / no dairy*


1 1/2 C flour
1 C sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3/4 C shredded carrots (can substitute shredded zucchini)
1/4 C vegetable oil
1 tsp white vinegar
1 C water
(optional - 1/2 C raisins or 1/2 C chopped, dried apricots)


1)  Sift dry ingredients into a mixing bowl.
2)  Add oil, vinegar, water
3)  Mix with mixer or wooden spoon 1-2 minutes.
4)  Stir in carrots.
5)  Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Makes great cupcakes!  Reduce cooking time to 15-20 minutes.

We love cream cheese frosting, but you could also use apricot jam on top for a glaze.

*  I baked this in a 9" springform pan and it came out thin, maybe 2" thick.  I made a second to have a layered cake, and I think next time I will make a triple layer.

*  We've never tried any of the substitutes or optional ingredients, so you'll have to fiddle around with the recipe and make your favorite combination!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Evil Mug Brownies!

1-2 min.


½ C. flour
¼ C. brown sugar
2 T. cocoa powder
Pinch of salt

2 T. canola oil
3 T. milk, coffee, or water

Butterscotch, chocolate, and/or white chocolate chips optional!

Stir dry ingredients in a mug until there are no lumps.

Add oil and milk (or other choice) to make a thick paste. (Adjust liquid to right consistency.)

Add chips!

Microwave 1 minute.  Top will still look gooey.  Flake with fork to see if it looks like it’s cooked.  Add 10 seconds more if necessary.

I just found another suggestion on Pinterest that might really put these over the edge.  Add a dollop of Nutella to the middle!  So brownie, Nutella, brownie.

OMG.  So easy.  So good.  So evil.

Eggless Banana Bread

1 hour
1 loaf


1/3 C. butter
2/3 C. sugar
3 large bananas

2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt

(big bowl)
Mix together butter and sugar with mixer, mix in bananas.

(small bowl)
Sift dry ingredients:
-         flour
-         baking powder
-         baking soda
-         salt

Fold dry ingredients to butter/sugar/bananas.

Pour into buttered loaf pan.

Bake 1 hour (or longer, depending on the size of bananas) until toothpick comes out clean.

Adjusted the recipe because the more you beat the flour, the denser the bread will be.  Folding in the dry ingredients makes a lighter bread!

We’ve tried a few eggless banana breads
and they came out like bricks.
Finally, we found this one and it’s AWESOME!
Hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hamburger Steak, a.k.a. Loco Moco

3 lbs. hamburger
bread crumbs
McCormick brown gravy mix
Montreal Steak Seasoning
beef bouillon

This is a local, Hawaiian favorite.  Enjoyed for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

For your bread crumbs, take the heels of a loaf of bread (that usually get thrown out,) a couple slices of bread, or leftover buns, etc. and put it in a food processor.  Whiz it until you have bread crumbs.  You can also use store-bought bread crumbs but I like to do this so I don’t waste extra bread that would go bad or not get eaten.

In a bowl, mix your bread crumbs, a good glug of milk, about 2 T. Montreal Steak Seasoning, and your hamburger.  Use your right hand to mix, turn the bowl with your left hand to keep your left hand clean.  Add more milk until it is moist, but not too moist that you can’t make a patty out of it.  You can use more or less Montreal to adjust the pepper spiciness.

Heat a non-stick or cast iron pan with a little oil in it.  Form patties and fry on medium-high heat just to sear the outside.  They won’t be cooked through.  Put them in a 9”x11” lasagna dish as you go.  When the patties are all done, dump the drippings and put back onto the stove.  Add 3 C. water and turn on high to bring to a boil.  To the food processor, add 1 C. water and 3 packets of gravy mix.  Whiz, then put into pan with the water.  This is a cup more water than is called for but we are stretching the gravy.  You don’t have to do the food processor, I just do it to eliminate lumps.  Mix together some cold water and flour to thicken the gravy, making sure it has no lumps or by pouring it through a mesh strainer.  Whisk as you pour it in.  Repeat until it is the desired consistency.  Taste test and add bouillon and/or Montreal until you are happy with it.

Pour gravy over burgers, cover with foil, bake at 450 for 20-25 minutes.  Serve over rice.

That is hamburger steak.  For those who do not have an egg allergy, you can add a fried egg on top to make it Loco Moco!

Eggless French Bread


½ C warm water (faucet running on hot is warm enough, or microwave 5 seconds)
2 ½ tsp active dry yeast
½ tsp sugar or honey

Mix warm water, yeast, and sugar in a measuring cup,  let stand about five minutes until the yeast begins to froth.  This is to make sure your yeast isn't dead.

Pour into a bread machine, or bowl of stand mixer.

Add to the bowl:

1 C water
1 ½ tsp salt
3 1/2 C flour

Turn bread machine to “dough” and let it knead and rise.  It should beep when it is at this point.
(Or knead it in the mixer, then transfer to an oiled bowl, cover to rise.)

If you are making more than one loaf, you can take the dough out at this point, knead into a nice ball and put into an oiled bowl, cover to rise.

Scoop dough out onto a floured surface and, minimally kneading it, tuck dough underneath so you have a smooth top, then form it into your loaf.  Here are some options:

Loaf pan – lightly spray with oil, make a slice length-wise in dough from end to end to allow room for it to expand.  Let rise in oven with light on for 30 minutes.  Turn oven to 450° and bake for about 25 minutes, until golden brown.
French Bread or Mini French Breads– roll into a long loaf and place on a cookie sheet lightly sprayed with oil, snip w/kitchen scissors or slice with a knife diagonally across the top of the bread three or four times to give it room to expand.  Let rise in oven for 30 minutes.  Turn oven to 450° and bake for about 25 minutes, until golden brown.
Pizza Dough – use immediately or refrigerate temporarily.  Form into pizza crust, top with toppings, bake at 450° for about 15-20 minutes.
Cinnamon Rolls – Roll dough into a rectangle, slather with melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and raisins if you like.  Loosely roll length-wise and slice 2” wide rolls.  Place loosely in 9”x11” pan, cover with kitchen towel and let rise in oven with light on for 30 minutes.  Bake at 450° for about 20-25 minutes.  Frost with cream cheese frosting or basic powdered sugar icing.
Dinner Rolls – form pieces of dough into balls and place next to each other in a baking dish, or make three smaller balls and put into a muffin pan.  Let rise in oven with light on for 30 minutes.  Turn oven to 450° and bake for about 25 minutes, until golden brown.

We like to butter the top right after it comes out to soften the crust.

We make this almost daily and use it for everything.  One of our faves is to slice the French horizontally and make garlic bread.  Yummy!

Since this is a basic bread recipe, we plan on playing with it and adding other ingredients such as minced garlic, cinnamon raisin, or a chocolate swirl.

* always test your yeast to make sure it blooms.  It can’t be fun making your dough only to have it not rise.
* when baking, the less you mess with it the lighter it will be.  Overly kneaded dough bakes up heavy and dense.
* the amount of flour you need might depend on the humidity.  If the dough is too sticky, add more flour a little at a time.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Santa's Eggless Sugar Cookies

1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. butter, softened
2 T. milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 C. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 pinch salt

Preheat oven to 350 F, 180 C

Combine butter and sugar in a bowl, mix with a mixer until it's light and fluffy, about 45 seconds.

Add vanilla and milk to butter/sugar mixture, you can be flexible with the amount of vanilla you use.  Almond extract might also be good, although we haven't tried it.

In a small, separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and salt.

Combine dry ingredients into the wet and mix until blended.  Add a little flour if dough is too sticky.

Chill dough for up to 30 minutes.

Now, you can do a couple of things,

* Roll dough out on parchment paper, cut with cookie cutters and pull away the scrap, re-roll and cut until dough is gone. (Or eat the scraps!)  Be sure to leave about 1/2" between cookies because they will spread.

* Hand roll dough into balls, dip one side in sugar and place sugar side up on parchment, use a glass or your hand to flatten to about 1/2" thickness.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, until bottom is lightly golden.  Cookies will not be browned.

These are our Santa cookies and are perfect for frosting and decorating.  I use basic powdered sugar and milk icing with food coloring.  Delicious!