Sunday, March 21, 2010

Frozen Fruit Cocktail

9 large white peaches
1/2 lb seedless red grapes
1/2 lb seedless green grapes
1 c fresh blueberries
2 c sliced, fresh strawberries
1 c other berries (blackberries, raspberries, etc)

Juice Base
1/2 c lemon juice
1 1/2 c prepared orange juice
1 1/2 c sugar
1 2/3 c crushed pineapple (with juice)

Mix juice base ingredients in a large bowl. Peel (blanching is easiest) and slice peaches into juice mixture. Add the rest of the fruit as well. Stir well. Scoop into quart or pint freezer containers, leaving some headroom for expansion, and freeze. Make sure there is plenty of juice in each conatainer as that is the best part!

Thaw for about one hour before serving. Fruit should still be frozen but able to break apart at serving time. Serve as a salad or with 7-Up in a glass.

This recipe makes approximately one gallon. Double recipe to fill 8-10 one quart containers.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Thumbs Up Soft Pretzels

This recipe makes 8 pretzels - I guarantee it won't be enough! These are my kids favorite snack, they ask for them constantly. Change them up by using different flavorings on them like they do at the mall. Our favorite is garlic salt.

1 1/8 c warm water
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 Tbls corn syrup
3 c bread flour
1 1/2 tsp salt

2 quarts water
1/2 cup baking soda

garlic salt

Mix 1 1/8 cup water and yeast and allow to sit. Put in mixing bowl and add corn syrup. Mix in flour and salt. Knead for about 5 minutes in mixer. Place in a large greased bowl and let it rise until double (about one hour)

Punch dough down and divide dough into eight balls. Roll each into a 20 inch rope; form into pretzel shape. Let rise about 5 minutes.

In a saucepan, bring 2 quarts water and baking soda to a boil. Drop pretzels into boiling water, two at a time; boil for 10-15 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon or spatula; drain on a clean towel.

Place pretzels on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake at 415 degrees F for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Spritz or lightly brush with butter. Sprinkle with garlic salt and serve warm.

Try other flavors like cinnamon sugar, coarse salt, cream cheese............

Pretzels do not keep, or reheat, well but it won't be a problem, they won't last long enough to save :)

Favorite Cold Cereal

This is my favorite, and easiest, homemade cold cereal recipe:

7 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup oat bran (or wheat bran)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped dates (optional)
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1 cup flaked coconut (optional)

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C).

In a large bowl, mix oats, wheat germ, and oat bran.

In a medium bowl, blend brown sugar, vegetable oil, honey, and water. Mix in vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Stir the brown sugar mixture into the oat mixture until evenly moist, and transfer to a large, shallow baking dish.

Bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes, until lightly brown. Mix dates, pecans, and coconut into the dish, and continue baking about 15 minutes. Watch carefully so it doesn't overbrown.

Allow to cool, and store in airtight containers.

Apple-Cinnamon Oatmeal Mix

I make up a large batch of this and keep it in a air tight container so the kids can easily make it for breakfast before school. If your kids don't like the dried apples feel free to substitute any dried fruit.

6 cups quick cooking oats
1 1/3 cups nonfat dry milk powder
1 cup dried apples
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 6 months. Yield: 8 cups total.

To prepare oatmeal: Shake mix well. In a saucepan, bring 1 cup water to a boil; slowly stir in 1 cup mix. Cook and stir over medium heat for 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Cover and let stand for 1 minute or until oatmeal reaches desired consistency.

Apple Brown Betty

2 c. boiling water
4 c. dried apple slices
1/4 c sugar

1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 c. oatmeal
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. butter

Pour boiling water over dried apples. Mix in sugar. Let stand at least 5 minutes. Meanwhile, mix dry topping ingredients together, then cut in butter. Place apples and any remaining liquid in a greased 9-inch square baking pan. Sprinkle topping over apples. Bake at 350 for 55 minutes.