Friday, January 8, 2010

Weekends Mean More Food

Day 8.

It's Friday. That means the weekend's almost here. The kids and husband will be home. That means they'll eat more food. Today I'm getting some wholesome snack supplies together. Deviled eggs, homemade bread, and mini strawberry cheesecakes are on the snack menu this weekend. Don't be afraid. These things really aren't hard to do at all. I'm not Supermom. These things take time, sure. But they don't take as much hands-on time as they appear. You can impress your family and friends with less effort than you think. :)

(But if you smack a little flour on your cheeks and a little water on your temples before serving, it may help garner you some extra applause.)

Deviled Eggs with Variations
makes 16 halves


8 eggs
1/4 to 1/2 cup mayonnaise (judge the texture for yourself)
1 tsp yellow mustard
salt, pepper, and paprika
For Variations:

finely minced ham
hot sauce
bacon bits
How it's Done:
First, you need to boil your eggs. The trick to making pretty yellow yolks in boiled eggs is to not overcook them. Gently place your eggs in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a full boil. Cover and remove from heat. Leave covered for twenty minutes. Uncover and run cold water into the pot until the water is cool to the touch.

Now it's time to peel those eggs. There's a trick here, too. Older eggs peel more easily than fresh eggs. After peeling the eggs, rinse them off and cut them in half lengthwise and pop the yolks out into a bowl.

Set the empty whites aside.

To the yolks, add mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and pepper. Start with /4 cup of mayo and add more if you think it needs more. Mash with a potato masher until completely smooth.

Using a piping bag or a Ziploc bag with the edge snipped off, pipe yolk mixture back into whites. Sprinkle with paprika.

Chill before serving.


Jalapeno: Stir in a couple drops of hot sauce when you add the mayo, mustard, salt, and pepper. Top Filled eggs with a jalapeno slice.

Bacon: Top with crumbled cooked bacon OR Bacon Bits.

Ham: Finely mince 3/4 of a slice of luncheon ham and stir it into the yolk mixture. Top filled eggs with a spiral strip of ham.

Homemade White Sandwich Bread
makes 2 loaves


6 cups of flour (though you may need significantly more or less)
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (1 packet)
2 1/2 cups milk
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp butter

How it's Done:

In your mixing bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups of flour and the yeast. Set aside.

Microwave the milk in 1 minute intervals until it's warm (about 120 degrees) -- stir between minutes. It takes mine about 3 1/2 minutes to reach the right temperature. Add the butter and salt and sugar. Stir. Let the milk sit while the butter almost completely melts.

Add the milk all at once to the mixing bowl. Beat on low speed 30 seconds to combine, scraping the bowl as you go. Increase the beater speed to high and beat for 3 minutes.

Add in flour and continue beating until you can add no more.

Now, you can either turn your dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it by hand, or you can use the dough hook attachment on your mixer and let the mixer do the kneading. Either way, you want to knead the dough for 6 to 8 minutes, or until it's smooth and very elastic.

Grease a bowl. Put your ball of dough into the bowl and turn it over to grease both sides of the dough. Cover and let it rise in a warm place for about an hour. I leave mine near a sunny windowsill.

When the dough has doubled in size, punch it right in the middle and fold the sides in on itself. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it in half. Cover it again and let it rest for about ten minutes.

Meanwhile, grease two 8x4x2" loaf pans.

Now, it's time to shape your loaves. Gently make a rectangle and place smooth side up in the pan. Or you can roll the dough gently into a 12x8" rectangle and roll it up like a jelly roll. Pinch the seam to secure and place it seam side down in the pan.

Cover and let rise again, this time for 40 to 50 minutes. It needs to nearly double in size again.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Bake the loaves for about 40 minutes. You'll know they're done when they make a hollow thud when you thump the loaf.

Remove your bread from the pans right away and cool the loaves on wire racks. If you slice it too soon, it will crumble or smoosh. Wait a while. Then slice. And eat.

Mini Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Cheesecakes


For the filling:

18 Vanilla Wafers
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp chocolate chips
12 oz cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp sour cream
2 eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp fresh lemon juice

For the topping:

1 box frozen strawberries in syrup

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 Tbsp shortening

How it's Done:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put cupcake liners in 18 muffin cups and spray them with non-stick spray. Don't skip that step.

Place one vanilla wafer at the bottom of each cup. Sprinkle a tablespoon of chocolate chips next.

In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, sour cream, and sugar until creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between additions. Next, add the lemon juice and vanilla extract.

Fill each cup 3/4 way with cheesecake batter.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until cheesecake is just set. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until completely chilled.

Top with sweetened strawberries.

In a microwaveable bowl, combine 1 cup chocolate chips and the shortening. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring between, until almost melted. Stir some more to finish melting. Drizzle this chocolate over the tops of the cheesecakes. Return to fridge if you aren't going to serve them right away.


tunamarie said...

oh my goooddnesssss

Kathy said...

You should start a catering business.

Kathy said...

I'll take one of the eggs topped with the pepper

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