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Cheesesteaks

I had never eaten a Philly cheesesteak before I made Cheesesteaks | the little kitchen.  This recipe was so easy and tasted like you slaved in the kitchen.  There is a little prep work but once that is done, the recipe comes together in minutes.  Enjoy a quick and hearty sandwich for dinner.

The unique thing about this recipe is the going into the oven when it is complete.  Heating through in the oven brings the sandwich to another level.  The link above has great step by step photos if you need some good visuals.

Cheesesteaks:Cheesesteaks

  • 4 hoagie rolls
  • 1/2-1 green pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup mushrooms (if you want them), thinly sliced
  • 1.25-1.5 rib eye steak, thinly sliced and then chopped finely
  • 8 pieces of Muenster cheese or provolone or a combo of the two
  • 3 Tbs butter
  • salt and pepper

First prep all vegetables and meat  slices as listed.  Place each hoagie in an open position on a sheet of foil, so it is ready to be filled.

If using mushrooms you can simply sauté them on their own or with the onions and peppers if you like the combo.  Using 1 Tbs butter sauté over medium/high heat in a non stick skillet all the vegetables.  Cook 5-8 minutes until golden, once cooked season with salt and pepper.  Remove vegetables and place on a plate to the side.

Wipe out the pan and add 1 Tbs butter and half the meat over medium heat, season with salt and pepper.  Saute the meat for 1-2 minutes add in half the vegetables back in and mix the two together.

Divide this mixture in to two sections and top with cheese until melted.  Slide off each cheese covered section into a roll.  And repeat with remaining meat and vegetables until all hoagies have been filled.

Now tightly wrap each hoagie roll up almost squashing it.  Place in a 250 degree oven for 10-15 minutes.  If reheating leftovers leave the foil on and store in a plastic bag.  Reheat at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
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Buttermilk Breakfast Sausage

I was passed some food magazines that Grandma was finished with and scanned the recipes.  I came across a recipe sent in for Buttermilk Breakfast Sausage.  Mr.Picky often complains that there isn’t enough flavor to sausage when I purchase it.  I hate to buy it because it is filled with junk.

We have made sausage in the past and usually let it flavors develop overnight, although this recipe did not require this.  It still turned out great.  This is probably one of the best sausages I have eaten and will be making it from now on.  The sausage is tender and almost melts in your mouth.

The recipe calls for over 2 pounds of sausage and we don’t usually need that much.  I took out half the sausage mix before I cooked it and froze it after packaging tightly.  Now we have a whole nother batch ready to go.  I got about a dozen 4 inch patties out of half the mixture.

Buttermilk Breakfast SausageButtermilk Breakfast Sausage:

  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp dried marjoram or oregano
  • 3/4 tsp dried savory or thyme
  • 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 1/2 lb. ground pork

Milk milk and seasonings in a large bowl.

Add in pork and mix until combined.

Form into patties and cook on medium heat about 5 minutes on each side.

Freeze any remaining sausage for a later date. //

Honey Oat Bread

This Soft Honey Oat Bread – Bakingdom looked great.  I was looking for a homemade bread recipe to go along side dinner.  Honey Oat bread was the perfect pairing with a hot bowl of soup.  Not to mention the next morning it made the best toast ever.

My mother-in-law is so intimidated by yeast breads don’t be scared of yeast it is fun.  I love baking with yeast and watching my creation grow the kids love this part as well.  This method was new to me because I usually proof my yeast with the warm water and whatever sugar is in the bread.  This usually assures me that the yeast is active and ready.

This honey oat bread recipe turned out to be a light bread with a good chew.  The sweetness of the honey shows through but without becoming a sweet bread.  Great recipe to mix up the same old bread.

Honey Oat BreadHoney Oat Bread:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup oats (old fashion or instant)
  • 2 1/4 tsp yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup water, warm
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 1/4 cup honey

bread topping:

  • 1 1/2 Tbs honey
  • 1 1/2 Tbs oats

In a mixing bowl combine flour, oats, yeast and salt.

Warm milk and add butter to it until it melts.  Add in the water and honey to this mixture.

Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture.  Use a dough hook or spoon until a dough forms.

Knead the dough ball by hand or with a dough hook for about 10 minutes, the dough will be stretchy.

Place dough in an oiled bowl and allow to rise 1/2-1 hour until doubled in size.

Once doubled flatten to a 9×12″ rectangle.  Tightly roll and tuck ends underneath.

Prepare a 9×5″ loaf pan by greasing lightly.  Place roll into the loaf pan.  Cover with a towel and rise another 1/2-1 hour.Honey Oat Bread

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Brush the loaf with warm honey and sprinkle with oat topping.

Honey Oat Bread

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes.

Honey Oat Bread

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Vanilla Magic Cake

Vanilla Magic CakeI was so intrigued over Magic Cake | Kitchen Nostalgia, I mean three layers one batter?  This recipe has been on my list of desserts for a while.  After tasting it I am sure it will be made more often.  I was headed to a planned dinner and was asked to bring a dessert at the last-minute.  Magic cake contained ingredients on hand and seemed easy enough.

Bringing dessert is always my dream because my list of things to try goes on and on.  How many desserts can one family eat?  I rarely make dessert unless we are attending an event or having company so the recipes to try add up quickly.

Magic cake was easily assembled and placed in the oven.  The longest point is allowing it to cool fully.  I was so nervous because I hadn’t made it before and was taking it some where.  Usually I know if something will turn out, to be honest I didn’t have confidence in the three layers turning out.

After the cake filling the pan to the brim and watching it puff up as if it was a souffle, I wasn’t sure what I got myself into.  Of course as I took it out of the oven it deflated and started the long cooling process.  I only had two hours when the recipe required three hours.  After the two hours the cake came out nicely on a plate and I allowed it to cool the last hour during the drive and dinner.  At this point I still had no idea if this cake was going to turn out.  It looked great and smelled great, then it came the time to slice and serve.  With the first slice much to my surprise it had three layers and yelled out with joy.

I served the cake and my family had the first bites.  They loved it, almost as much as I did when I finally got a  chance to have a piece.  It tasted almost like custard but with some cake like texture to it.  It was a wonderful and light dessert.  Next time I will serve it with fresh berries or a berry sauce.  Alone it was great as well.  I can’t wait to try different flavors of magic cake!

Magic Cake:Vanilla Magic Cake

  • 4 eggs, separated at room temperature
  • 1 Tbs water
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbs sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk, lukewarm
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • sprinkle of powdered sugar, if desired

Beat egg whites until stiff peak forms, set aside.

In another bowl mix egg yolks and sugar until combined.  Stir in water and vanilla until light in color.

Add the melted butter to the yolk mixture and beat another minute or so, last but not least add the milk and beat until combined.

Fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture about a third at a time until combined.  A few small bits of egg white is fine just no large clumps.

Pour into a lightly greased 8×8″ round cake pan.  It is fill it to the very brim, do  not worry.

Vanilla Magic Cake

Bake in a preheated oven at 325 degrees for about 60 minutes.  It will puff and should have the slightest shake in the center when done.  It will deflate when cooling and this is also ok.

Vanilla Magic Cake

Cool 2-3 hours in pan, turn out onto a plate.

Vanilla Magic Cake

Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired or serve with berries.

Vanilla Magic Cake


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Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce

For my birthday I wanted to have some close family and friends over for games.  My birthday is also New Years Eve so we decided to celebrate with an evening of junk food and hot fudge sundaes.  I came across Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce Recipe and decided to try it out as well as caramel sauce made from sweetened condensed milk.

I had the additional fixings for sundaes along with a variety of ice creams.  This was such an easy way to serve dessert on my birthday.  Both toppings could be made ahead and just reheated.   To reheat I kept them on “keep warm” in a water bath in my slow cooker.  The lid did not shut completely but kept both sauces perfect.  When we reheated the fudge later we just removed the lid and microwaved it for no more than 30 seconds or so.

Keep hot fudge and caramel warm in the slow cooker.

Keep hot fudge and caramel warm in the slow cooker.

We have an extra jar of hot fudge in the freezer still for a later date.  This recipe produced about 2 pint jars of hot fudge.

Homemade Hot Fudge SauceHomemade Hot Fudge Sauce:

  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 (1 oz.) squares unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla

In at least a 2 quart heavy sauce pan melt chocolate on low heat.

Stir in sugar and milk, continue to cook over medium heat stirring constantly.

Cook for about 20 minutes (the sauce will start boiling around 8 minutes), continue to stir.

Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce

After the 20 minutes continue to cook until desired thickness.  I stopped at this point.

Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla.

Pour into a few pint jars for easy reheat and storage.

Keep refrigerated or frozen for future use.
//

Pita Bread Recipe

I made pita bread once long ago and had no idea what recipe I used.  I checked out one of my favorite sites and found Peppy’s Pita Bread Recipe – Allrecipes.com.  With a few alterations my pita bread was complete.  It is so simple if you have the time for the dough to raise.

We had a few girls over to play for the day and had fun rolling and stretching the dough.  It was even more fun to watch it bake and puff up in the oven through the glass oven door.  Of course everyone had to sample our creation which was almost as much fun to taste a completed project.

My plan for pita bread was to make it the day before my birthday party and serve it at the party.  We ended up eating a bit fresh.  With the rest of the bread I placed it in a sealable bag.  It sliced nicely into wedges just before the party to dip into some hummus.

Pita Bread:Pita Bread

  • 1 1/8 cup warm water
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp dry yeast

Combine yeast, sugar, and water to proof until foamy.

Add in the oil to the yeast mixture.

In a bowl combine flour and salt.  Make a well in the center and add yeast mixture.

Knead until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.

Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Allow to rise in a warm place for about 3 hours or until double in size.

Once dough had doubled roll into a rope shape.

Pita Bread

Pinch off 12 pieces and place balls on a floured surface to sit and rest for 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees with the rack at the bottom.

Pita Bread

Roll each dough ball to a 5-6 inch circle with  a rolling-pin or using your hands to stretch the dough.

Bake about 4 circles at a time for about 5-6 minutes.  Until puffy and slightly brown.

Pita Bread

Remove from baking sheet to cool on a rack.

Pita Bread

The bubble will deflate but when you cut open the pita bread there should be a pocket.


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Slow Cooker Caramel using Sweetened Condensed Milk

Well all I can say was making caramel using Slow Cooker Crockpot Caramel using Sweetened Condensed Milk has a learning curve to it.  I myself am not a caramel fan but this did turn out rather well.  For my birthday we decided on doing an ice cream sundae bar for guest.  I made a batch of homemade hot fudge and thought I should give one more option.  Caramel is Mr.Picky’s choice of syrup so I looked up the instructions and made us some caramel.

I went with the option of using my slow cooker.   I did not find it safe to have my stove going to two hours while I had a list of chores to do.  Don’t get me wrong this was simple to make, there are only two steps how do you go wrong?  Well apparently one of my jars did not seal tightly and after about 3 hours my water in the cooker was milky.  I dumped the water and started again after tightening the jar back down.  My timing took a bit longer but I think it was due to having to reheat the water.

Jar on left is frozen and the jar on right is from the fridge.

Jar on left is frozen and the jar on right is from the fridge.

In the end the results were worth it and now I have an extra jar frozen for future use.  I figured I might as well make two jars since I was going to have the slow cooker going all day anyway.  To reheat the caramel or soften it just microwave with the lid removed for less than 30 seconds or place the jar in a pot of hot water.

We ate the leftovers the next day with sliced apples.  It tasted better than the little tubs of caramel you can get for apples.  This recipe will serve a lot of purposes.

Caramel using Sweetened Condensed MilkCaramel using Sweetened Condensed Milk:

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 pint jar with lid and screw band

Pour the sweetened condensed milk in the jar and screw the lid tightly.

In a slow cooker place the jar(s) and cover with warm water.  Turn the temperature to low and cook about 8-8 1/2 hours, depending on how hot your slow cooker runs.

When the caramel in the jar looks the right color to you pull it out it is done.  Be careful the jar is hot, I suggest using tongs and placing the jar on a wood board or towel to cool enough to open.


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