Sunday, April 24, 2011

Jello Jewels

When you think of a celebrated holiday thoughts tend to go staight to food.  We're human and it's okay even normal to think of all the yummy deliciousness of the holiday season.  Think of Halloween candy, Thanksgiving turkey or pumpkin pie, Christmas cookies and of course the birthday cake.  So what do we think of when Easter comes?  Deviled Eggs.  Easter Ham.  Potato Salad.  Carrot Cake (at least in my family).  And here we always have a mulit-colored jello salad.  You take small squares of jigglers and mix them up with a lemon pineapple jello mix and set up in either a big bowl or a 9X13" pan.  They look like jewels sparkling in the mix.  Usually I use a jellybean jello mold instead of cutting into squares, but I was pressed for time this year.  If you want to try this just keep on reading.

Jello Jewels
4 large or 8 small boxes of jello - you really want variety of color for best presentation
1 large box of lemon jello or orange will work too
1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple; drained, reserving juice
8oz cool whip

Make each packet of jello but the large lemon with half the water.  Use what ever pans you have.  For the big boxes I used pie tins and a 9" cake pan; the small boxes fit nicely in a loaf pan. 

Once set up cut into bite size squares and mix into large bowl.

Make the lemon jello according to directions using the reserved pineapple juice for the cold water adding more water if needed.  When jello is at a soft set stir in the pineapple and cool whip.  At this point if you are using a 9X13" pan as your final pan, pour the cut up jello into the bowl with the lemon jello and stir to combine; then pour into cake pan.  If you are using a big bowl then your cut up jello should already be in it and you can pour the lemon mix over it.  Stir well.

Now put in fridge and let it set up.  Overnight is great.
See all the little jewels in the jello?

Just a pretty dessert or side dish!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Orange Rolls

I recently won a giveaway on My Baking Addiction and I'm so happy I did.  I won these graters from Edgeware.  That first night I broke out the large grate and zipped through mozzarella.  I don't know about you, but that yummy white cheese has always been my grating nemesis unless it was frozen, but not this time.  It was so easy that I took off part of my thumb.  FYI:  the plastic covers are not for show - these are sharp, but so good.  Clean up is a breeze with these graters.  No toothbrush required to clean between all the holes.  One easy swipe up the blade and you are all done.  I love these!  (I was not asked to write this review)

Anyway....despite the ease of grating cheese my favorite grater soon became this:

This is the BEST zester ever.  Usually I have to make sure I don't get the pith, but not possible with this zester and it has a container to hold all the zest that is easy to remove.
My first thought was to make lemon bars, but alas I forgot to buy lemons.  However, I did have some clementines and thoughts of orange rolls danced in my head. 

I've heard much of the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and thought I must check this book out.  A trip to the library and the book was mine.  The Challah recipe leapt out at me as the perfect bread (after a few tweaks) for my orange rolls and I was right.  These just might be the best orange rolls I've ever made or eaten.  Now wipe up that drool and make these rolls!

Bread: this will make a double batch of dough for rolls and can easily be halved or doubled
1 3/4 cup lukewarm water
1 1/2 Tbsp yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup blood orange olive oil (can just use regular olive oil)
7 cups all purpose flour

Mix all ingredients except flour in a 5qt bowl with lid.  Mix in the flour without kneading using a spoon, 14cup food processor, or heavy duty stand mixer with dough hook.  Cover (not airtight) and allow to rest at room temperature until dough rises and collapses, approximately 2 hours. 
At this point dough can be used or refrigerated.  It works best after refrigeration.  Split into two parts for two batches of rolls.  It will keep 5 days in fridge or you can freeze for 1 month.  Just pull out needed dough and thaw in fridge overnight before using.

When you are ready to make roll pull out your dough and roll out to approximately 12X18" rectangle.  Spread with 5Tbsp melted butter

and sprinkle with 1/2 cup sugar mixed with 1-2Tbsp orange zest.  In my case I used one large clementine.
Can you see how fine that zest is?  All done with my new zester.  It is best to mix the sugar and zest together before sprinkling on dough. 

 Roll up jelly roll style.  Cut into 9 pieces approx. 2" in size and place in pan.  Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let sit for 1hr 40min (just 40min if using fresh dough)

Preheat the oven for 5min only at 350*F.  Place pan in oven and bake for 40 min or until done and golden brown.  Glaze with a glaze of clementine juice and powdered sugar if desired.  Eat and Enjoy!

 Hot out of the oven with glaze.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Unstuffed Peppers

I love the taste of stuffed peppers, but eating them is kinda hard and a real pain for the kids.  So I made an unstuffed pepper recipe that we love.  Hope you love it too.

1 onion minced
4 cloves garlic minced
3 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp black pepper
1 can fire roasted diced tomato
6 oz tomato paste
1 1/2 cooked rice
1 lb hamburger
2 cup diced green pepper
1/3 cup mexican sour cream
1-2 cup grated cheese

Brown the hambuger and onion in large pan.  When hamburger is almost done add the garlic and green peppers.  Cook until peppers are soft.

Add seasoning, black pepper, tomatoes and tomato paste.  Simmer for 10 min; stir in rice and heat through.  Stir in sour cream.

Top with cheese and melt.