Blogger Bites

What do you think of when you think of lemons? Summer? Lemonade? Long hot days? Sherbet? Yep!! They all work for me. So while we are still in the grips of Winter (some gripped harder than others), maybe thoughts of lemon will get us through. If you close your eyes, maybe!

Maybe that is what the TWDers are trying to do this month. Bring about thoughts of summer and warmer weather. Last week we made Lemon Cup Custard. This week, thanks to Liliana of My Cookbook Addictionwe made French Yogurt Cake with Marmalade Glaze. dsc03346

The common point of both of these desserts was Lemon. The Glaze was a Lemon Marmalade Glaze. These little cakes had just enough lemon to make them very tasty, but the Glaze took it over the top. Pretty! Shiny! Tangy! The cakes had good crumb and were very easy to put together. No stacks of pots/pans/dishes with this one. No chocolate (which I will be ready for in a couple of weeks….) We had a choice of a loaf or a small layer cake. Following the lead of Caitlin and others I decided to make mini bundt cakes.

Perfect! I used all AP flour because I didn’t have any almonds at the time. Other than that I followed the recipe as Dorie wrote it.

Now the cake calls for a glaze of Lemon Marmalade. Not in stores – not anywhere. So I made my own. I used a very simple recipe I found on Julie’s Site – Simple Cooking

    Microwave Lemon Marmalade

      3 large or 4 small lemons
      1½ metric cups water
      3 metric cups white sugar

    1. Quarter lemons, discard seeds. Chop lemons finely by hand, or use a food processor for a more jam-like end product.
    2. Place into deep dish with water, cook in microwave on HIGH 10 minutes or until lemon rind is tender. 3. Stir in sugar, cook on HIGH 18 minutes or until jam sets when tested on cold saucer; stir occasionally during cooking.

    4. Stand 5 minutes before pouring into hot sterilized jars, seal when cold.dsc03355

    Makes about 3 cups.

As Marie says – Easy Peasy!! And really good, too.

We enjoyed these, but I had a thought there had to be something could make them better. It had to be something lemony. Aha!!! Sherbet!! It was a natural. I had two naked lemons in the fridge. Why?? You ask. Well, last week’s custard called for zest, but no lemon juice. This week’s recipe called for zest, but, again, no lemon juice. There was no way I was going to let two perfectly good “nekkid” lemons go to waste. Search Time. I prefer to used recipes from my fellow food bloggers and found a recipe at Dessert First by Anita aka Pastry Girl.

    Lemon Sherbet

      1 cup lemon juice
      1 cup milk
      1 cup cream
      1 cup sugar
      Lemon Zest

    Place lemon juice in a bowl. Add a blend of the milk and cream. Add in zest and then sugar. Mix. Place in ice cream freezer.

    Tart! Mouth puckering Tart! Creamy! Delicious!

I didn’t use the zest. DUH!!! That’s how I got here in the first place. dsc03352It was the perfect accompaniment to the little lemon cakelets.

Thanks to all of you who have these great recipes to share. They do make life a little easier?

I have stopped buying cookbooks – well, sorta, kinda, maybe. Why??? You ask!!! Well, with so many good great cooks in the bloggersphere it just seems like a ‘waist’ of shelf space — sorta, kinda, maybe. If I want to try something new I go to my blogging friends and try their recipes. Thus, the title, “Blogger Bites“. A couple of weeks ago I tried Paula Deene’s Chicken Enchilada Recipe. Family did not care for at all asked me not to make it again, please. Since then I have been determined to find a recipe that they did ask me to make again. Search, search, search. Read, read, read. Scribble, scribble, scribble. By the time I had finished all the research, I had decided I liked several ‘bites’ so decided to try my luck at combining a few ideas into one. BINGO!!!dsc032691

Now, this was GOOD!!!

My thanks to Amy at Nook and Pantry for her enchilada recipe. And for her Mexican Rice concoction, too. I combined her ideas with Alan’s from Allstar Mexican Food. And then I went to Elizabeth of My Home Cooking. Her site was a great site for some step by step instructions. Between the three of them I came up with a pretty good ‘concoction’ myself for enchiladas.

    Beef Enchiladas

      1.5 pounds ground chuck
      3/4 cup onions, diced
      2 cloves garlic, diced
      1/2 tsp salt
      1/4 tsp pepper
      2 Tbl chili powder
      1/2 tsp oregano
      1 – 1.5 tsp cumin
      3 – 4 cups Tomato sauce
      10 – 12 8″ corn or flour tortillas
      Shredded cheddar or Mexican mix cheese

    Preheat oven to 450.
    Brown ground beef until no longer pink. Remove from pan leaving grease in pan. Brown onions and garlic in pan. Add chili, oregano, chili and continue browning until onions and garlic are tender. Pour in tomato sauce and simmer about 20 minutes. Remove about 1/2 – 3/4 cup sauce from pan and put aside. Add ground beef and simmer about 10 more minutes.

As for the tortillas, I found different ways of preparing them. Amy said she wrapped hers in foil and warmed while oven was heating. Elizabeth quickly fried hers to soften. Either way works. Since I didn’t want to fry I simply used Amy’s idea.


    Gently dip warmed tortillas in some sauce (I actually cheated and used canned enchilada sauce for this) in a shallow dish. Remove to plate and place about 1/4 – 1/2 cup sauce w/ beef, and shredded cheese on tortilla. (This is where Elizabeth’s instructions came in really handy.) Slide onto baking dish. Pour reserved meatless sauce over enchiladas and sprinkle shedded cheese over whole. Bake 20 – 25 minutes until cheese is well melted. (But not toooo long or cheese will be too brown and harden – and I speak from experience here!)


Hubs and The Hunk DID like these. And although a little messy to make, well worth it.

Ah, the smell of baking bread. There is nothing like it. I have been known to bake bread overnight just so I can have that wonderful aroma to wake up to in the morning. And driving by a bakery, it is a wonder I haven’t crashed more than once since I tend to close my eyes and sigh at the very waft of fresh bread in the air. Of course, knowing WHEN the bread factory is actually baking bread is a fun fact and an excuse to drive down their road. But I digress…

So going to try a new bread because I am making Crock Pot Chile tonight. Needed something besides crackers to go with it. And not in the mood for cornbread (altho’ Dories Corn Muffins would go perfectly with this as other TWDers suggested a couple of weeks ago.)

    Taco Cheddar Bread

      1 Cup + 2 Tbl water
      3 cups bread flour
      1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
      1 Tbl Taco Seasoning (Dry Package or home made)dsc03196
      1 Tbl sugar
      3/4 tsp. salt
      Package yeast.

    As usual I used my bread machine to make the dough. When processed (?) remove and let rise on pizza stone for about 2 hours until doubled in size. Bake until golden brown (about 20/25 minutes) at 375 degrees

There is more to this story.

I am using Jennifer’s recipe from Cooking for Comfort. Jennifer’s chili recipe is super simple and since it is crock pot cooked you can multi-task all day long….

    Jennifer’s Slow Cooker Chili

      1 lb ground beefdsc03194
      1 onion (diced or chunks)
      1 pepper (I use green)(diced or chunks)(I left this out as Hubs doesn’t like)
      2 cloves of garlic, pressed
      2-29 ounce cans of tomato sauce
      2 (14 or so ounces)cans of beans (you can use light or dark kidney beans, pinto beans, any beans you choose)
      1 tablespoon of sugar
      1 packet of chili seasoning mix (hot or mild, depends on your preference)

    Brown ground beef with onion and pepper, add garlic at last minute. Drain and put in slow cooker. Pour tomato sauce and beans into slow cooker. Add sugar and chili seasoning mix into slow cooker, stir until combined. Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours. Garnish with tortilla chips, grated onion, cheddar cheese. Enjoy! (This chili freezes well.)

I am also tired of buying Taco Seasoning, so tried one I had (source???) in my notebook for a while.

    * 2 tsp. chili powder (up to 2Tbl. depending on your tastes
    * 1.5 tsp. paprika
    * 1 tsp. onion powder
    * 1/2 tsp. to 1 tsp salt
    * 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
    * 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
    * 1/2 tsp. oregano
    * dash of ground cayenne pepper to taste, depending on how hot you like it
    * freshly ground black pepper to taste

So, how was it. I liked the bread. Once I put out the fire and turned on my other oven. What? Wait! What did she say? Yeah! Yeah! You read it right. Once I put out the fire….. Seems when I turned the oven on to preheat to bake the bread, someone uh, somehow… Okay, fine I had put a plastic bowl in the oven because company was coming and I just wanted to get it out of site. Yes, I forgot it. Turned on the oven. Next thing I know the kitchen is full of smoke and the oven is ON FIRE. Yes, on fire. Did you know plastic actually burns – very well. It was like I had a wood burning stove. fireFlames rising high. Good thing there is a bottom in the oven because I have a wood floor in the kitchen. Sorry, no pics. Was trying too hard to put out the fire. Fire Extinguisher – the ultimate kitchen gadget. Windows open. Door open, Fans on full force. So then I had to bake the bread elsewhere. Stone doesn’t fit in convectiondsc03191Had to transfer it to a smaller pan. And as you can see it DEFLATED when I tried to move it. **SIGH** So I let it sit a spell, baked it, and it came out better than I expected.dsc03192 Needed more flavoring, but not bad bread. Would be good toasted.

I live in a small town. We have about 14,000 people. We live outside of town about 7 miles. I like living in a small town. Low Crime Rate. Good Schools. Nice neighbors. There is only one small problem. It is not a good place to find some common foods. Yeah, sure, there is plenty of catfish, lots of crawfish, and and even a good bakery across the river. But there is NO GRANOLA IN THIS TOWN. There are no health food stores. We are across the river from a town with about 46,000 people. And guess what – yup!!! NO GRANOLA!!!! WHAT’S A MOTHER/BAKER TO DO??? Make your own I guess. So that is what I did. Scoured the net and bloggers to find a good granola recipe. Found one. Actually I found several – one from Smitten Kitchen. Another from Kathy Nichols and one from fellow TWD blogger Nancy at The Dogs Eat the Crumbs. Something interesting, they are all about the same. Since I had never made granola before I didn’t have the slightest idea of what to put in it. Now I Do!!!

Fresh Granola!

Fresh Granola!

And it is so much better than commercial ( I would imagine, even tho’ I never could find any….)Again, no recipe as they are at the links above. Main thing is – put in it what you like as long as you stick to the basics. I did.

So why did I need granola. Well, I could say it was a good healthy snack, I was tired of commercial granola cereal, I was bored….. but that wouldn’t be right. I needed it for this weeks TWD – Granola Grabbers. OOOHHH!!!! Chosen by Michelle of Bad Girl Baking. These are good! And healthy. And most of the ingredients that are in the cookie were already in the granola so they were really good – and easy!. I actually tried several ideas from the bloggers who were asking some questions. HoneyB tried them with Great Grains Cereal and said it worked. Amy used some chocolate chips. And Holly used M and M’s.

Colorful Grabbers

Colorful Grabbers

You are my kind of lady… All great ideas and all added an extra level of flavor. Your ideas helped make my Grabbers great. And the best thing about these cookies — they are never the same twice because of the granola. Different recipe — Different cookie. Thanks, Dorie!!

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