Saturday, September 15, 2012

Monkey Bread

Monkey Bread 

First boil together:

2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup water

When butter is melted take off the heat and place in the bowl you will be using to mix for it to cool completely.

Meanwhile dissolve 2 Tbsp. yeast into a cup of warm water. Let that sit for 10 minutes.

When the butter mixture is cool add the yeast, 2 beaten eggs, and six cups of flour.

Beat together until it is a uniform ball and place in the fridge for four hours.

I make these into little pockets so I set up a little station where everything is at my disposal to create these babies. They take some effort.

Roll out the dough. I sometimes have to just pick it up and stretch it. It fights back.

 Cut into squares with a pizza cutter.

Brush a little melted butter or margarine on each square and put cut up ham and grated cheese on each one.

Then pick up the two opposite corners and squeeze them together.

Then squeeze the other two corners together and you have a neat little pocket.

Or my new method which is MUCH FASTER is to roll them like a burrito!
Then press all the seams together to make it secure.

Place them on a sprayed pan or one with a Silpat on it and brush with melted butter.

Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes until golden. Careful the bottoms seem to burn easily for some reason.

Store in the fridge in a container or a bag. You can freeze too. Just make sure they are completely cool before you put them in the freezer.

Here's another topping choice you have. I make little pizza pockets too. Repeat the first three steps... roll out the dough, cut, etc. Then dab a spoonful of pizza sauce into the center of each square.

Then place a few pieces of pepperoni or your favorite pizza toppings.

Fold together the same way and bake for the same amount.
My kids and husband love them both ways. You can make this recipe healthier by decreasing the sugar, adding wheat flour or just by adding different fillings. I've added green peppers cut up before and that was good. Coming next is the dessert you can make with Monkey Bread!

Monkey Bread II

Okay, now for the dessert Monkey Bread. I made two batches of monkey bread this week and I had some left over when I ran out of toppings and my back couldn't take rolling it out anymore, so then I made the dessert.

For the dough recipe go

Melt some margarine... about 1/4 of a cup depending on how much dough you have. Mix a few tsp. of cinnamon, a packet of butterscotch instant pudding, 1/2 cup white sugar, and 1/2 cup brown sugar together.

Place them all in convenient containers to dip dough balls in.

I usually use a loaf pan to bake this in but it is always hard to get all the dough cooked this way so I decided to try a pie pan and it worked a lot better!

 Usually I roll and dip as I go, but I decided to roll all the dough into balls first this time and it went a lot faster and was a lot less messy.
Roll the dough into balls and then dip one by one in the margarine and then the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Place in the pan close together and bake in the oven at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Make sure the dough on the bottom is fully cooked. Just lift up one of the top ones to check.
Take out of the oven and frost with whatever you want. I just used a tiny bit of my left over margarine from dipping and added 2 cups of powdered sugar and a dab of milk. I added purple food coloring because we were having a PPP night at a youth activity at church and the treats had to start with P. I fudged with purple Monkey Bread.

They are delicious cold or warm. Enjoy!

Another Burrito Filling

I made some Sweet Pulled Pork for dinner one night and had a ton left over.  So I decided to try putting it in burritos.  It was actually pretty good.

Here's the recipe:

Sweet Pulled Pork 

1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp. vinegar
4 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 small pork roast

 Mix first four ingredients together and pour on pork roast in crock pot.  Cook for 4 ish hours until tender.  Shred with a fork and cook for 30 more minutes until juice cook in.

Eat on rice or put in burritos with cheese and white rice.  

School Lunches

My son is in first grade this year and its our first time having to pack a lunch.  I have been searching for ideas.  Here is what I have come up with:

I freeze everything from cookies, brownies, burritos, corn dogs, pigs in a blanket, etc.  That way I can just grab each food item I want and threw them in the Iron Man Lunch Box.

Corn Dog Recipe:

Cookie recipes I have fallen for:  
This is a chocolate hazelnut chip cookie!  Seriously it uses Nutella!

I make my own Hot Pockets by rolling ham and cheese in either Monkey Bread dough or Pizza dough.  I also fill them with broccoli and cheese or pizza fillings with pizza sauce of course.  Freeze great.  My kids and husband Love LOVE LOVE!

Lastly burritos.

First I have to share the filling recipe because its great and I use it in a multitude of ways:

Lentil Tacos

3/4 cup onions, finely chopped (can use dehydrated)
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. canola oil
1/2 lb. dry lentils (How much is that?  Look at the bag or guess!)
1 Tbsp. chili powder (feel free to add more)
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. oregano
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup salsa, give or take

   If uses raw onions saute in oil with garlic powder in until tender.  Then add the lentils and the rest of the spices.  Cook, stirring for one minute or two.  

Then throw everything in a crock pot with the rest of the ingredients (broth and salsa).  If using dehydrated onions just saute the lentils and then put it all together in a crock pot.  cook for 3 hours if you like crunchy lentils and 6ish for soft.  I put mine on low in the early afternoon and they were perfect at dinner

Use as tacos, toppings for nachos, or filling for burritos.

If you are making burritos I add cheese, and Spanish Rice.  I bake them at 350 for 20-25 minutes.  Let cool completely and freeze.  Hot sauce on the side is recommended.

For the Spanish Rice I really like this recipe:

Spanish Rice

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion chopped
2 Tbsp. minced garlic (or 2 tsp. garlic powder if you are desperate)
2 cups favorite rice (I don't think brown would work in this though)
3 cups stock of choice (vegetable or chicken)
2 Tbsp. tomato paste or one cup diced tomatoes strained (or use fresh)
pinch of oregano
1 tsp. salt

Use appropriate amounts of stock to rice according to your rice's packaging instructions.  Usually its 2:1.  

Brown the rice in a large skillet with the oil.  Add the onion and garlic, cooking until onions are softened.

Then throw everything in whatever you use to cook rice.  I have a great microwave rice cooker but you can use whatever.  Cook for 15-25 minutes depending on rice and your cooker.  Let stand for five minutes.  

I use this Spanish rice with so many things: tacos, burritos, enchiladas, etc.  I stick it inside a lot as well as along side.  My kids love it.  What other endorsement do you need?