Welcome to my Blog 'In The Kitchen With Don'! Thank you for your visit and come back soon!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Easy and Special Fruit Cobbler

4 - cups canned sliced peaches in juice, drained or other fruits/berries
1/2 - cup butter, softened
3/4 - cup sugar
1 - teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 - cup milk
1 - cup all purpose flour
1/8 - teaspoon salt
1 - teaspoon baking powder
1/3 - cup sugar
 1/2 - teaspoon cinnamon
1 - tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 - cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 8x8 inch baking pan with non stick spray. Drain the sliced peaches and arrange them in the bottom of the baking pan.In a large bowl or kitchen aid mixer, cream the butter with 3/4 cup sugar. Add the vanilla extract and mix well. Add the milk, flour, salt and baking powder to the sugar butter mixture. Mix until creamy. Spread the batter over the peaches and smooth. In a separate bowl, mix 1/3 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon with the cornstarch. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the batter. Pour the boiling water over the sugar mixture making sure to cover all of the sugar with the water. This is where the magic happens and what makes the crispy topping. Bake at 375 for 40-45 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.
Note: Fresh peaches can be substituted for canned peaches. About 4 peaches is equal to 3 cups.
Blackberry version follow the recipe above and use 4 cups fresh blackberries or other berries in place of peaches, omit the cinnamon and continue with the recipe as directed. 
 The cornstarch and boiling water topping gives the top of the cobbler a smooth, shiny and crispy topping.   

Friday, April 1, 2016

A Simple Salad

Here is a very simple salad is is a perfect side dish or light lunch.   The ingredients are variable and you add what you have or like and in whatever amounts you like.   Feel free to experiment.   Very simple, equal amounts of any or all of these, diced in the roughly the same sized pieces.

cucumber, peeled or not as you wish
sweet peppers
green onions

I then dress it with a good olive oil and a couple grindings of salt and black pepper.   Allow to sit for a few minutes before serving. 

Don's Mushroom Lasagna

A very and decadent meatless meal here.   If you are a fan of mushrooms, you will love this delicious meal.

For mushrooms:
2 lbs. mixed mushrooms, chopped
2 oz. dried mushrooms, rinsed and then covered with 1 cup, cooked in the microwave for three minutes, then allowed to soak another 10 minutes  (optional)
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
3 tbsp. butter & 3 tbsp. olive oil

Drain the soaked mushrooms, reserving the broth and chop the mushrooms then adding to the raw ones.  In a large Dutch oven heat the oil and butter, add the mushrooms and onion and fry on medium heat until well browned, stirring often.  When slightly browned, add the garlic and keep cooking.   Remove from heat and remove mushrooms to a bowl.

Cream Sauce:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
mushroom soaking liquid and enjoy milk to make 5 cups.   Heat the butter in the Dutch oven you fried the mushrooms in.   Add the flour and, stirring constantly, lightly brown the flour in the butter, slowly stir in the milk/broth mixture and continue stirring until it is thickened.  Simmer about 2 minutes.    Remove from heat and cool.

Assembling the lasagna:

4 cups mozzarella cheese
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups ricotta cheese, mixed with an egg and 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper
9 lasagna noodles,  cooked,  drained, rinsed and cooled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Grease a 9x13 inch cake pan.   Spread a thin layer of of the sauce on the bottom of the pan.  Place three noodles in the bottom of the pan.  spread with some of the sauce, then sprinkle half the ricotta over the sauce, then half of the mushrooms and a thin layer of the grated cheeses.   Repeat.  Place the last three noodles over the top of the second layer.  Spread with the remainder of the sauce and then the remaining grated cheeses.   Bake in the preheated oven about 45 minutes or until bubbling and the top of the cheese is lightly browned.   Remove from the oven and allow to sit and cool about 15-20 minutes before serving.  

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Quick Cinnamon Rolls

I love a good cinnamon roll, but sometimes you want one and don't have or want to take the time to make one with a yeast dough.  You want it now!   I had heard of using a biscuit dough to make them, but never tried until recently.  They turned out very darned good too!   You want to use a biscuit dough that is a bit richer than usual, and you can also add some sugar to the dough and even a bit of vanilla as well.   Here is the dough I used and how I did it.

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup butter cut into pieces
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp.  salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup buttermilk
4 tbsp. sugar (optional)
1 tsp. vanilla (optional)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Grease/butter a 8x8 inche bake pan.    Mix all the dry ingredients together and then cut the butter into until it is like pea sized bits.   Make a well in the center and quickly stir in the sour cream, buttermilk and vanilla if using.    Stir until most of the flour is moistened, then knead in the bowl until all the dry ingredients have been incorporated.   Flour a board or counter top and place the dough there and roll out about 1/2 inch thick.   Spread the top with melted butter, then heavily sprinkle with dark brown sugar and then sprinkle heavily with cinnamon.   Roll up and cut into 12 slices.   Place in the prepared pan and bake about 30 minutes, until risen and the top is nicely browned.   Remove from the oven and allow to cool about 10 minutes, then spread with the glaze.    Allow to cool another 15-20 minutes before eating.   These are addicting!

Glaze:   about 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar and enough real maple syrup until you have a thick glaze.  Spread over the hot rolls.   Use cream or milk if you don't care for maple.  

Saturday, February 27, 2016

English Muffin Toasting Bread

I love a crusty toasted English Muffin and have tried making them at home, but they just aren't quite right.  However, this bread will certainly be quite right!   It has a very good texture and crunch when toasted and the flavor is incredible.   I took a loaf to Judy and Gary and they both went nuts over it.  Definitely a keeper! 

3 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp. Sugar
1 tbsp. Yeast
¼ tsp. Baking soda
3 tbsp. Oil or melted butter
2 cups hot milk
corn meal for dusting bread pan (optional)

Grease a bread pan and sprinkle with corn meal if using, set aside. Put dry ingredients in a mixer bowl and then add melted butter and milk. Mix with paddle until you have a very very soft dough. Scoop into the greased pan and with wet hands, press down and smooth out top. Cover and put in a warm place to rise about 45-60 minutes. You want the risen dough to come just barely above the top of the pan. After dough has risen 15-20 minutes, preheat oven to 400 degrees. When dough has risen, bake for about 30 minutes until well browned and it sound hollow when tapped (temp will be 190 if you use a thermometer). Allow to cool in pan about 5-10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely. Do not slice until completely cooled.