Friday, September 10, 2010

Cooking club update

The Coal Creek cooking club is back on after a summer hiatus, and we have some fun new themes and a great new tradition we'd like to start: cook-offs! Every few months our theme will be a single dish or ingredient for which the sisters can each bring their very favorite recipe and battle for the title of "BEST..." We'll need plenty of delicious submissions and lots of eager tasters, and the winner(s) will receive a prize. Our first cook-off will be in November, where the sisters will pit their Thanksgiving stuffing and pumpkin dessert recipes against one another. In 2011 look forward to a Jell-o cook-off and a Salsa competition!

September: Breakfast

Looking for something special to serve your family for breakfast this Conference weekend? Or do you have a tradition of having breakfast for dinner once a month and you need some inspiration? The Coal Creek sisters have a few great ideas.

Bella Torta


Sherril made this amazing and elaborate egg dish for us. She’s thinking that next time she’ll add pancetta to the egg layer.

4 small boxes chopped spinach

12 eggs

4 eggs

1 C milk

2 Tbs butter

1 tsp Italian seasoning

1 1/2 C chopped sundried tomatoes (pat off excess oil)

1/4 lb thinly sliced provolone cheese

24 marinated artichoke hearts

1 C bread crumbs

1/3 C cream or half and half

1/3 C pine nuts

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 tsp salt

Cook, cool and drain chopped spinach. Mix with 4 beaten eggs, bread crumbs, nutmeg, cream and pine nuts; set aside.

Melt 2 Tbs butter in skillet, loosely scramble 12 eggs with milk, italian seasoning and salt. Spread eggs in bottom of 9x13 in. baking dish. Layer tomatoes over eggs, top with provolone, then spread spinach mixture on top of cheese. Sprinkle with black pepper. Place artichoke hearts evenly across top.

Bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes in convection oven, or at 350 for 25-30 minutes in a standard oven. Cool 5 minutes before cutting into squares.

Here’s how it looks on the inside:



Homemade Pop Tarts

Sarah made these from a recipe she found on the blog

There’s a lot of fun to be had imagining the various fillings that kids and adults would enjoy.


2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour (Sarah used 1/2 whole wheat, 1/2 white)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pats
1 large egg
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) milk

1 additional large egg (to brush on pastry)

See below for filling ideas/recipes

Make the dough: Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Work in the butter with your fingers, pastry blender or food processor until pea-sized lumps of butter are still visible, and the mixture holds together when you squeeze it. If you’ve used a food processor, transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Whisk the first egg and milk together and stir them into the dough, mixing just until everything is cohesive, kneading briefly on a well-floured counter if necessary.

Divide the dough in half (approximately 8 1/4 ounces each), shape each half into a smooth rectangle, about 3×5 inches. You can roll this out immediately or wrap each half in plastic and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Assemble the tarts: If the dough has been chilled, remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to soften and become workable, about 15 to 30 minutes. Place one piece on a lightly floured work surface, and roll it into a rectangle about 1/8″ thick, large enough that you can trim it to an even 9″ x 12″. [You can use a 9" x 13" pan, laid on top, as guidance.] Repeat with the second piece of dough. Set trimmings aside. Cut each piece of dough into thirds – you’ll form nine 3″ x 4″ rectangles.

Beat the additional egg and brush it over the entire surface of the first dough. This will be the “inside” of the tart; the egg is to help glue the lid on. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling into the center of each rectangle, keeping a bare 1/2-inch perimeter around it. Place a second rectangle of dough atop the first, using your fingertips to press firmly around the pocket of filling, sealing the dough well on all sides. Press the tines of a fork all around the edge of the rectangle. Repeat with remaining tarts.

Gently place the tarts on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Prick the top of each tart multiple times with a fork; you want to make sure steam can escape, or the tarts will become billowy pillows rather than flat toaster pastries. Refrigerate the tarts (they don’t need to be covered) for 30 minutes, while you preheat your oven to 350°F. Remove the tarts form the fridge, and bake them for 20 to 25 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown. Cool in pan on rack. Mix together a tablespoon of milk, a little vanilla and some powdered sugar to make a glaze. Transfer it to a ziplock bag, snip off the end and decorate the pop tarts with curlicues and stripes.

Cinnamon Filling (enough for 9 tarts)
1/2 cup (3 3/4 ounces) brown sugar
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, to taste
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 large egg, to brush on pastry before filling

Jam Filling
3/4 cup (8 ounces) jam
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water

Mix the jam with the cornstarch/water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, and simmer, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, and set aside to cool.

Alternate fillings: 9 tablespoons chocolate chips, 9 tablespoons Nutella or other chocolate-hazelnut paste or 9 tablespoons of a delight of your choice, such as salted caramel or a nut paste. Sarah also did peanut butter and jelly.


Pecan Sticky Buns

Tara made these amazing and rich breakfast buns for us to try—they are incredibly easy to make.


1/2 cup chopped pecans
Rhodes frozen dinner rolls (Target or Kings - I think they came in bags of 18 or so)
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 (1.5) tsp cinnamon
1 small package butterscotch pudding (cook and serve; NOT instant)

1. Bring butter, brown sugar and cinnamon to a boil.
2. Spray bottom of 9x9 pan with Pam and lightly flour.
3. Cover bottom of pan with pecans. (Can skip this step if you want to leave out pecans)
4. Roll frozen rolls in pudding powder and place in pan with sides almost touching.  (I sprinkled extra pudding powder over the rolls once they were all in the pan) 
5. Pour hot caramel mixture over and between rolls.
6. Immediately cover with saran wrap which has been sprayed with Pam.
7. Leave out overnight.
8. Bake 30 minutes at 350 - check at about 25 minutes, mine were done a couple minutes early for some reason.  Make sure you take saran wrap off before you bake!  (We've made this mistake before!)
9. Let set for 10 minutes and tip out onto serving platter so pecans are on top.


Breakfast smoothies

Joanna made these refreshing and delicious smoothies for everyone to share.

Peach Orange Smoothie


3/4 C frozen peach pieces

1 orange, peeled and quartered

1 tsp honey

1/4 C water

1 C ice cubes

Blend all ingredients until smooth

Peach Coconut Smoothie


1 C sliced peaches

2 Tbs coconut milk

1/2 C pineapple chunks

1/4 C milk

3/4 C ice cubes

1/4 C water

Blend all ingredients until smooth


Easy Coffee Cake

Joanna also made this coffee cake, which is a snap to whip up with a box of cake mix




Pink Pancakes

Raechel loves serving these beet-infused pancakes to her kids, who are none the wiser to their healthful qualities.


(Recipe from Deceptively Delicious cookbook by Jessica Seinfield)

3/4 cup water
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup *beet puree
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup pancake mix
1/4 grated apple
nonstick cooking spray
1TB cooking oil (canola or veg)
pure maple syrup or fruit for serving

1. In a blender or food processor, combine the water, ricotta, beet puree,
vanilla and cinnamon and blend. Dump the mixture into a medium bowl,
add the pancake mix and apple, and stir until just combined. Do NOT
over mix-the batter will be slightly lumpy.

2. Coat a griddle or large nonstcik skillet with cooking spray and set it
over med-high heat. When hot, add the oil. Spoon the batter onto the
griddle or skillet, using about 1/4 cup batter for eat pancake. Cook the
pancakes until bubbles form on top and the batter is set, 1-2 minutes.
Then flip the pancakes with a spatula and cook until golden brown on
the other side, 2-3 minutes. Serve warm, with syrup or fruit.

*To make the beet puree:
Prep: Leave them whole, trim any stems to one inch) and unpeeled.
Cook:Wrap in aluminum foil and roast for about 1 hour (they're done when
they can be pierced with a sharp knife)
Puree: After peeling, place in a blender or food processor for about 2 minutes.