Homemade Croissants

March 29, 2013

For the past two months, I have been eying this recipe.

Dreaming… how cool would it be to make your own croissants? And not just bake from the metal tube?

I thought, maybe I could make the originals, and then chocolate ones, ooh, and then I could make them up as gifts, and put them in cute little boxes with bows tied around them, maybe for Valentine’s Day, or ok, maybe for Easter, maybe for just because…

It wasn’t even the taste I was after. I just thought it was a cool challenge.

And so today became the day.

My husband is working this weekend to finish up built-in cabinets he started over a month ago for my office  and the clutter and the chaotic state that my office is in pretty much convinced me to wait until after Easter to attempt my long to-do list.

So I decided to bake.

Because it’s FUN to bake.

Um, so after my third attempt at trying these croissants today… I’ve realized something very important.

Very powerful.

Very spiritual.

God has confirmed something in my life in a very clear way for me today.

After THREE batches of dough,

TWENTY sheets of plastic wrap,

SIX dirty dish towels,

TWO POUNDS of butter.

and pretty much an entire day of my life…

I’ve realized…

There’s a reason He called me to ministry, and not to baking.

croissantdough

Comments (2)
Categories : Recipes

Getting ready for surgery: food prep

December 10, 2012

My sweet Handsome has coped with pain in his shoulder for several, several months now. He’s not the type who likes going to the doctor (really, are there any guys who do?) and he’s not the type to complain about aches or pains. But finally, he had to go see a doctor and after a couple of visits, with one to a specialist, sure enough, the tests and x-rays showed a torn rotator cuff.

With some Navy things on the schedule for next year, it’s really important he gets this fixed as soon as possible, and though the timing isn’t great with Christmas and the book I’m trying to finish (but really, is an operation that puts your arm in a sling for six weeks ever “convenient”?), he goes into surgery this next Tuesday.

Everything I’ve read said this is one doozy of a surgery to recover from. It’s painful, and the physical therapy helps but still HURTS. He’s going to need some TLC, as well as someone putting the toothpaste on his toothbrush among other things. My poor guy.

The last thing I want us (ahem, ok, let’s be honest, myself) to have to worry about is meals. So, thanks to some great suggestions from my FB followers (my main page and my book page) this week, I came up with a good list of go-to meals, headed to the store yesterday morning and started cooking yesterday afternoon.

I wasn’t interested in bulk/big batch cooking – I just wanted to get some recipes/meals completed that were simple, freeze well, AND they couldn’t involve serious knife work (so I guess steak is out). My husband will be the One-Armed Man for at least six weeks or so.

I think I’ve come up with a great list, thanks in part to my readers! (So THANK YOU!)

Here are the meals we’re doing for the next two weeks, which I’m glad to say I finished cooking this afternoon (I’ve included recipes to print out from the ones I use from cookbooks and links to those I use online): Read More→

Comments (3)
Categories : Recipes

Here it is!

November 30, 2012

Earlier this week, I shared with my readers who receive my newsletter the cover of my new book, and now I am happy to share with you, my dear blog readers, what will be releasing next fall…

Isn’t it beautiful! I was so excited to see this – when a publisher sends you the cover, it really is like seeing your baby for the first time. You really hope against hope that she’s beautiful, but you’re holding your breath that she could be really ugly too. (Just kidding on the actual child part – however when it comes to books, I’m afraid I speak the truth. Though none of MY book covers have ever fit the ugly category.)

Actually, I’ve really just shown you a portion of it. To see the entire cover and hear more about the book, take a quick little hop, skip, and jump over to my main website at sarahorn.com. (You’ll love it, I promise!)

 

Comments (2)
Categories : Book News

Danish Waffles

November 28, 2012

I’m interrupting my self-imposed blogging hiatus that I’m spending to finish the new book to share a fun, quick “recipe” we learned about over the Thanksgiving break we spent with some of my husband’s side of the family.

Danish waffles! How easy is this?! Spray your waffle maker with a no-stick cooking spray. Take Danishes out of the can, stick one on each waffle square and cook for about 75-90 seconds. Ice with the Danish glaze afterwards, and voila, Danish waffles and a quick easy no-mess breakfast!

20121128-063407.jpg

Comments (1)
Categories : Random

I promise, I’m coming back

November 14, 2012

I realize the last post I shared with you here on the blog was back in October. I do apologize. But I have a very good reason why I’ve been so absent!

In just 60 short days, I’m turning in the new book which is a sequel to My So-Called Life as a Proverbs 31 Wife.

And if you’ve read that book, then you already know I’m not so hot at multi-tasking like I used to be. And I am just one person. 50 people I am not.

So, I have been busy traveling and speaking to military wives and women’s ministry groups, and writing as I can and managing responsibilities for my military wives ministry, Wives of Faith.

Which brings me to the point of this post.

I’m still not quite back.

I am now going to be exiling myself into Writer’s Land – a place where someone on a book deadline traps herself intentionally with the thought of eventually coming out for a shower and maybe some food after the book is done. (Or otherwise known as my office, but Writer’s Land sounds so much more adventurous, doesn’t it?) When you hear someone say writing a book is like birthing a baby – they’re really not kidding. I have the stretch marks to prove it.

BUT WAIT – I do have special news! I will be sharing the cover of my brand new book yet to be released with all of my loyal readers who have signed up for my newsletter the week AFTER Thanksgiving. Want to be in on the sneak peek? And maybe a little special sum’thn, sum’thn – (that just looks even sillier in print than when you say it out loud.)

SO – if you’d like a sneak peek, be sure you’re signed up for my newsletter! The newsletter goes out monthly and includes a short devotional, and updates about my books and where I’ll be speaking next. I’d love to connect with you. You can sign up at my official author site, sarahorn.com. (The sign up is in the sidebar… yes, I probably need to add it here, but, well, I haven’t. Because I’m in Writer’s Land.)

And what can you expect here at the P31 blog? Well, after mid-January, I hope to be back here in some regular format. I have some ideas, but I’ll wait to share specific details after I lift my head back to daylight again. I’m thinking about some regular blog carnivals, some more P31 challenges and yes, the occasional recipe fiasco success. Anyone thinking about taking the Great P31 Experiment on for a year like I did?

Let me also just take a moment to say THANK YOU to all of you who have connected with me since the Proverbs 31 book released last year. I’ve heard from so many of you I’ve lost count who have emailed me this year, who have messaged me on FB, who have shared with me how you’ve laughed and cried (one woman told me recently  she was cracking up so hard in her bathroom, she had to put her hand over her mouth because it was 5 in the morning and she didn’t want to wake up the rest of her family!) and how the book really helped you think about your roles as wives and moms a little differently. Some of my most favorite stories are when you tell me that you are noticing a difference in your family because you have put God first in your life and are working on changing yourself from the inside out. I LOVE hearing that!

OK, so I gotta run, but I did want to drop you a line and let you know I’ll be sharing the cover of the new book very soon, so if you’d like to be one of the first to see it, stop by my sarahorn.com site and sign up for my newsletter. I can’t wait to share it with you!

Comments (2)
Categories : Book News

Poppyseed Chicken

October 2, 2012

One of my most favorite “comfort foods” has to be Poppyseed Chicken. I LOVE this dish. When we lived in Nashville, this was my most favorite thing to eat at Puffy Muffin, a restaurant that if you can guess by the name was mainly frequented by women, and maybe the unsuspecting husband who got dragged there.

I made this over the summer when I had some leftover chicken I shredded up and my husband and son both really liked it. If you’ve never had it, try it! It’s delicious! Note that I did add probably like a tablespoon or two of poppyseeds instead of the teaspoon suggested – that didn’t seem to be enough. It is called POPPYSEED chicken after all!

Poppyseed Chicken II
Print

Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 5 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1½ cups crushed buttery round crackers
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • ½ cup butter, melted
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Place the chicken into a 9×13 inch baking dish. In a medium bowl, stir together the condensed soup and sour cream. Pour over the chicken. In a separate bowl, stir together the crushed crackers, poppy seeds and melted butter. Sprinkle over the chicken and sauce.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until the top of the casserole is browned and the sauce is bubbly.

 

Also, it always seems 9 times out of 10 that I’m missing some key ingredient. But thank the Lord for Google. I was out of cream of chicken soup for this recipe, and sure enough – there’s a recipe for that! If you ever catch yourself missing this basic in your pantry, use this recipe! You can use chicken broth, beef broth, or vegetable broth if you need a cream of celery type soup. All you need is flour, butter, chicken broth, milk and salt and pepper to taste.

Have fun!

 

 

Comments (2)

Cherry Pitting

October 1, 2012

Oh my goodness. This past summer I decided I wanted to buy more fresh fruit. I also decided, that since my family is small, and we’re not huge fruit eaters, that freezing said fruit would be a good idea.

So walking around the produce section at Walmart one Saturday, I saw cherries were on sale. I love cherries (ok, the cherries I speak of are usually the ones found in Sonic Cherry Limemades or on top of hot fudge sundaes) and I thought it might be “fun” to bring home a pound or two and use them. For what, I wasn’t sure, and how, I had no idea. But I bought the cherries.

I got home and googled how to pit them. Yeah. Why do I never like to do things the easy way? Like, I don’t know, buy already pitted cherries? From what I read, I knew it would take a while to do, so I waited until Caleb was in bed. Cliff was gone for his annual training with the Navy. Good thing. He probably would have laughed at me. Actually, knowing my sweet husband, he would have helped me figure out the best way to do it. And his way would have probably been so much better.

Anyway, I digress.

There were several theories out on the web on the best way to pit cherries. First of all, most folks agreed that cherry pitters are very handy. If you have one. Or if you can find one in the store. I was out of luck on both. So, then came the suggestions. Use a toothpick. I tried that, and immediately squirted bright red cherry juice all over myself. Whoah, this stuff was like hair dye.

Looked for some plastic gloves. After finding none, I went with the next best thing. Freezer bags for my hands. Remember how when you were kids, your mom threw the plastic ziplock bags over your shoes so they wouldn’t get wet in the snow? And you ended up slipping all around anyway, BECAUSE of the slick plastic ziplock bags on your shoes? Yeah, plastic bags on your hands have almost the same effect with cherries. Just in case you were wondering.

Once I finally figured out a way to use the bags without popping myself in the face with a cherry, it was time to figure out the best tool.

First one I read about, as I said, was the toothpick. It was tricky to find the seed and pop it out. I was hoping I could just stab it and push it through, but it didn’t work very well.

Next, I tried an opened safety pin. I thought I might be able to do it similar to the way we open and remove the pit from avocados. Except with those we take a knife and hit it into the pit which then sticks to the knife and we take it out that way. Really didn’t work. The only things I kept poking were my fingers.

Finally, I tried another suggestion I’d read about, I think from one of Martha Stewart’s sites. Take a cake decorating tip (metal) and use it to pop out the cherry pit. Of course, I had no metal decorating tips, but I did have a plastic Pampered Chef one… and that would have to do.

The tool did the job for the most part. And while the cherries weren’t the prettiest in the world, since I knew I was freezing most of them, I didn’t care that much. Be warned – if you have a lot of cherries, be prepared to get comfortable. It will take awhile. And this isn’t for the clean at heart. You’ve been told.

Then came time to freeze them. Take a baking tray and lay them out separately. Stick them in the freezer for a couple of hours or over night and voila, done! Take them off the tray and stick them in a small quart size bag (I did several of these) and then put all of those together in a large gallon size and label the gallon one along with the date. Oh, and if you’d like to make sure there’s as little air in the bag as possible, but you don’t have a vacuum sealer – take a straw and suck out the air that way. It really does work! We have enjoyed (OK, I have enjoyed – my husband’s not a big fan of them) adding these little wonders to our smoothies in the morning! You can also do any other berry the same way – blueberries, strawberries, and bananas too.

Comments (11)
Categories : Recipes

Homemade Bisquick Mix and Belgian Waffles

September 30, 2012

So I realized that the last three posts have all been about chicken. Time to turn to something else. Like BREAKFAST. I found a great homemade recipe for making your own Bisquick mix which I think is a little cheaper and also, I just like the fact I can make it myself (did I just say that?)!

We bought a belgian waffle maker over the summer and it has been a nice treat for my guys. This pic is from one Saturday in July where I topped them with whip cream and fresh strawberries. YUM! (And actually, if I remember right, these weren’t for breakfast – I ate these for dinner one night when both my guys were gone! They are one of those foods you can eat at any time! Though maybe not all the time, if you want to be nice to your waist line.)

Homemade Bisquick Mix
Print

Ingredients
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 cup vegetable shortening
Instructions
  1. Sift flour, baking powder and salt three times into a large bowl.
  2. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender until mixture resembles fine crumbs.
  3. Store mixture in airtight container in the refrigerator up to 4 months.
  4. Use whenever your recipe calls for “Bisquick mix”.

 

Now, for the waffles… since we have a small family, I use just a cup of the “bisquick” mix, 2/3 milk (roughly speaking – you want it smooth enough that it’ll spread and not so thick that your square waffles look like warped waffles. Trust me, I speak what I know), a tablespoon of vegetable oil, and an egg. For us, this makes about six waffles. If you’d like the full recipe, check out what Betty Crocker has to say about it. 

Comments (2)
Categories : Recipes

Sunday Dinner: Chicken Parmesan

September 29, 2012

Do you cook regularly on Sundays for lunch? Or does your family typically go out to eat? For years, I’ve told myself – and my family – that it’s too hard to cook on Sundays. That we have to eat out if we don’t want to starve. But now I’m starting to wonder what all the fuss was about.

 

I’ve come to an important realization. It’s amazing. It’s life-changing.

We have not starved, in that hour (ok, hour to hour 1/2) window between leaving church and getting food on the table.

We haven’t wasted away to nothing. We come home, I start cooking (changing first into something more comfy if I need to) and the guys put their Bibles away, get changed and pick up a little. Ok, who am I kidding, they get changed, and hang out on their electronics (pick one).

I tried a new recipe (this past summer) with chicken. Chicken Parmesan. And it was yummy! I pounded chicken breasts to a 1/2 inch or so, rolled them in panko (I was out of regular breadcrumbs) and italian seasoning, added some amazing leftover homemade spaghetti sauce I made at the beginning of the week and a side of corn and bam! Chicken Parmesan and a yummy Sunday dinner at your service.

Here’s the recipe I followed with my changes in ( ). Enjoy!

WORLD’S GREATEST PASTA SAUCE

First, I have to share with you this “amazing” sauce I mentioned. After I made this the first time, and saw how much my family loved it, I promised myself I would never go back to the jar stuff. And so far I haven’t! Make a big batch and freeze some of it to have for later! Super easy!

World’s Best Pasta Sauce
Print

Recipe type: Sauce
Cuisine: Italian
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 16
Love this sauce that incorporates italian sweet sauce as well as ground meat. Great for spaghetti, lasagna, chicken park or any favorite italian dish that needs a great sauce to go with it!
Ingredients
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, sliced
  • ¾ pound lean ground beef
  • ½ cup minced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 2 (6.5 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, cook the sausage, beef, onion, and garlic until well browned; drain fat. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Mix in sugar and season with basil, fennel seed, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 1½ hours, stirring occasionally.

 

Now for the Chicken…

 

Sunday Dinner: Chicken Parmesan
Print

Cuisine: Italian
Ingredients
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts, pounded to ½ inch thickness
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup milk
  • seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 slices mozzarella cheese (shredded works too)
  • World’s Best Pasta Sauce
  • Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the egg and milk. Dip the chicken breasts in milk and egg mixture and then in bread crumbs. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken in the hot oil on both sides until golden, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Set chicken in a baking dish.
  2. Slice 8 pieces of mozzarella cheese and put two on each chicken breast. Use a jar of spaghetti sauce or your favorite homemade recipe. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and a little more mozzarella and bake at 350° for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until bubbly. Serve with spaghetti, garlic bread and a nice green salad.

 

Don’t be a chicken when it comes to the kitchen

September 28, 2012

If you’ve read the book, you know that for a long time, the kitchen has not been my friend.

But I’m happy to report that this past year, we have been getting cozier, she and I.

I actually like being in the kitchen now, hanging out, trying new things. (Now, having time to blog and post those yummy things I’m making is a completely different story. Sigh.)

So I decided to “whip up” a new dish in honor of my mom’s birthday in July (yes, I’m a little behind in the blog posting. As you may have noticed.).

She didn’t have a favorite dish or preference of what she wanted me to cook, so I decided I’d make this recipe I found for chicken cordon bleu. Sure. Why not?

Doesn’t it just sound fancy?

Mom also told me her favorite vegetable is broccoli so I thought maybe I could attempt a broccoli risotto recipe I found. (Though I met that with a little trembling and trepidation, even more so than the chicken cordon bleu since all of the chef shows I watch seem to freak out a little when the word risotto is mentioned.)

I had a couple of challenges for this meal. First, I had to clean the house from top to bottom Saturday morning because not only was my mother coming over, but so were my inlaws to help celebrate. And I was picking up my husband at the airport Saturday afternoon, after being gone for two weeks for a Navy training. I’d asked him if he was ok with us doing birthday dinner that night and he was, so that was the plan. But I still had to run to the grocery store for some key ingredients.

The house got clean with some help from my 11-year-old, we happily picked up Handsome, grabbed some quick lunch and once the guys were settled at the house pulling out week-old laundry for me to do later, I rushed off to the store and quickly found a problem. There was no short-grain rice to be found, at least not at the store I was at. And I had no time to rush to another one. Which meant no risotto. So I told myself I’d find another broccoli casserole recipe and just go with it. (And due to the lateness of this posting, I cannot for the life of me find that recipe I used. So, um, just know it was really really good.)

My mom got to the house on time. And I was still cooking. And then my inlaws got there. And I was still cooking. Timing is not my strong suit. Neither is my stress level when I get in the kitchen and things start going wrong. But thank goodness I had to beat the chicken breasts. Those things were FLAT when I finished with them!

I am happy to say the meal turned out really delicious and my mom appreciated my efforts (she knows just what an effort it can be lol).

If you’re feeling ambitious (and have a little extra time), give these a try. They were yummy! (Oh, but BEWARE of the TOOTHPICKS – missed the one my mother-in-law found in hers. Of course. I just told her it was like the baby we find in mardi gras cakes – it just meant she had to cook next time!)

 

Chicken Cordon Bleu II
Print

Recipe type: Chicken
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
From AllRecipes.com. Incorporates paprika and a creamy wine sauce that is delicious!
Ingredients
  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 6 slices Swiss cheese
  • 6 slices ham
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
Instructions
  1. Pound chicken breasts if they are too thick. Place a cheese and ham slice on each breast within ½ inch of the edges. Fold the edges of the chicken over the filling, and secure with toothpicks. Mix the flour and paprika in a small bowl, and coat the chicken pieces.
  2. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and cook the chicken until browned on all sides. Add the wine and bouillon. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.
  3. Remove the toothpicks, and transfer the breasts to a warm platter. Blend the cornstarch with the cream in a small bowl, and whisk slowly into the skillet. Cook, stirring until thickened, and pour over the chicken. Serve warm.

 

My beautiful mom on her birthday! (Caleb made the cake, with my help. My mom has a thing for smiley faces. The numbers made it a little awkward, though. As you might can tell.)

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Comments (0)
Categories : Recipes