Monday, May 27, 2013

Pita Bread

I have been searching and trying out countless numbers of pita bread recipes and have failed at all of them. Failed as in they did not puff and make the pocket, which is what a pita bread needs. So the other day I decided to try again and what do you know it puffed. I think I only had one or two that didn't puff. I love being able to successfully make things from scratch and to know that I am feeding my family healthier things that don't have tons of preservatives and such. Now these take some time but believe me they are super easy to make. Don't let the raising process scare you off. We stuffed our pitas with falafel but you can fill it with any kind of meat or rice or whatever your heart fancies.
Pita Bread
1 1/4 c. warm water
2 tsp yeast
2 tsp salt
2 T. olive oil
3-31/4 cup flour
In the bowl combine yeast and the warm water and let sit for 10 minutes until foamy and dissolved. Add 1 1/2 cup of the flour. Cover and let rest for 1 1/2 hours; until doubled. Add the salt, oil and 1 1/2 cup flour. Knead the dough 10 minutes with the dough hook of your stand mixer or by hand. You may need to add the extra 1/4 flour or a little bit more even until you have a soft smooth dough. Then place in and oiled bowl , cover and let raise another 1 1/2 hours or until doubled. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Have an oven shelf on the lowest level of oven and place a baking stone or a large cookie sheet on it before preheating it. When the dough is done raising. Cut the dough into 8-12 pieces depending on how big you want each pita. On a lightly floured surface, shape each into a ball and then flatten into a disk. Cover with oiled plastic and allow it to rest for 20  minutes. Then roll each disk into a circle a little under 1/4 inch thick. Try to get them all even throughout. Allow them to rest for 10 minutes before baking. Spray each one  with water from a water bottle right before you bake them. Quickly place 1 piece of dough onto heated stone or cookie sheet in oven. Bake for 3-5 minutes. The pita should be completely puffed but not beginning to brown. The dough will not puff if not moist enough. don't forget to spray each one right before you bake.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Crowd-size Cheesecake

Do you ever need to take a dessert somewhere to feed a crowd of people? Well, then this recipe is for you. It is extremely easy to make, affordable, and down right delicious. Believe me you will get rave reviews from everyone that eats it. I have been making this recipe  for a very long time and is one of our families favorite recipes. Our good family friend, Janis, brought this to a get together and we have been making it ever since. Thanks, Janis, for this wonderful recipe. If you need a large cool dessert for this summer, please, I beg you to make this. One other great thing about it is you can use your favorite choice of pie filling, make your own fruit topping, or use fresh fruit/berries that are in season at the time!!
Crowd-size  Cheesecake
1 box white, vanilla, or yellow cake mix(made according to package directions)
2 packages(8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 large tub cool whip
3 cup powdered sugar
2-3 cans favorite pie filling or 3-4 cups fresh berries or fruit of your choice
Mix the cake according to package directions. Pour batter into a large cookie sheet with sides. Bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool completely. Meanwhile. In a large bowl beat the cream cheese until creamy add the powdered sugar and beat till fluffy. Mix in the cool whip until well combined. Spread over the cooled cake. Top with pie filling or fruit. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours or overnight. Serve. Store leftovers in the fridge. If there are any!!!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Chili Meatballs over Rice

So I don't know about you but here in our house we love meatballs. I was trying to find a new recipe to use with meatballs and came across this recipe on Pinterest. I adapted it quite a bit to suit our taste and boy was it tasty. It turned out so well and was gobbled up by all of my littles and hubby. If you love the meatball go run to your kitchen right now and make these. You will not be disappointed. Trust me!! Plus this meal come together fairly quickly making it all the more appealing to make if you ask me. Now if you are one of those who won't eat red meat. You can substitute turkey or chicken in beef's place but for me I will stick with beef I like it better and my motto is everything in moderation plus beef is loaded with iron which we all need. Just choose a lean ground beef!!
Chili Meatballs over Rice
2 lbs  ground beef
2 small onions or 1 large, minced small
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
3 tsp salt(4 if you like it more salty I did 4 and thought it was the right amount)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp spicy brown mustard
1 T. chili powder
2 large eggs
1 cup bread crumbs
handful of chopped pepperoni
2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Mix all the ingredients together. Roll into 1-2 inch balls and place them on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet and bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes or till no longer pink and crispy or browned real well on all sides. While meatballs are cooking start your chili Sauce:
1 large onion, chopped
2 bell peppers(I used red), chopped
1 poblano pepper, chopped
2 jalapenos, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 large can(28 oz) crushed tomatoes
4 T. molasses
2 T. brown sugar
4 T. apple cider vinegar
6 T. ketchup
2 T. minced garlic
5 T. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
2 T. chili powder
2 tsp garlic salt
1 can beef broth
1 T. dried parsley or 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
In a large pot sauté the onion, bell peppers, poblano, and jalapenos until beginning to get tender. Then add the fresh tomatoes and garlic and sauté for a few more minutes. Then add all of the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Add in the cooked meatballs and simmer for 20-30 minutes. The longer it simmer the better the flavor will be. Serve over rice.
Note: it was not spicy at all. All 3 of my kids ate this with no problems but if you are worried than just remember to deseed the pepper and take the ribs out because that is where the heat is but I like to leave the seeds and ribs in.