Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Irish Scones

This website is getting me into trouble!  Gemma Stafford is a professional chef from Ireland.  Recently, a link for one of her bread recipes appeared on my Facebook feed and I've spent hours on her blog watching videos and reading recipes as well as tips to make baking more successful.

This is the link for the scone recipe.  If you watch the video you can see how simple these are to make.

The recipe calls for raisins, which I do not care for.  I substituted dried cranberries and added the zest of one orange to the dough.  The results were delicious!

If you pat the dough out to 1 to 1 1/2" thick and use a 3" round cutter, you wind up with a dozen large scones.

Gemma's Best Ever Irish Scones

Servings: 12 scones

             4 2/3 cups self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
             3/4 cup butter, frozen
             3 level teaspoons baking powder
             1/2 cup sugar
             1/2 cup raisins/sultanas
             1 1/4 cup  milk
             2 eggs , beaten

1.            In a large mixing bowl, add self-rising flour .

2.            Using a cheese grater, grate the butter in until it is all gone. (alternatively using a pastry         cutter, cut/rub butter into flour until fully crumbed and resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

3.            Stir in raisins, baking powder and sugar.

4.            In a small mixing bowl, whisk eggs and milk and until thoroughly combined. Pour mix into flour mix and stir until a soft dough is formed. Transfer dough to a floured surface and press to 1 1/2 inch thick. (if your scones are not forming a dough add a little more liquid)

5.            Cut scones out with a round 3 inch cookie cutter.

6.            Place cut scones onto a baking tray lined with parchment.

7.            Gather remaining dough in a ball, re-flatten then cut scones from dough. Repeat until entire batch of dough is cut into scones. If you have a little excess dough left, just pat it onto the top of the scones.

8.            Bake at 425° for roughly 22-26 minutes.  Cool on wire rack.

9.            Serve warm or fully cooled with butter, jam, or fresh cream.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Stained Glass Candy

Brach's candy company used to sell this type of white nougat candy with jelly drops inside.  It was a holiday staple and one of my favorites.  I haven't seen it for sale in years.  When this recipe popped up on my Facebook feed I had to give it a try.

The nougat is much more moist than the Brach's candy but the flavor is pretty similar.

The recipe takes hardly any time to make if you use the microwave for melting ingredients.

You'll need a really large bowl since marshmallows expand significantly as they melt.

2 T. butter
2 bags mini marshmallows (250 grams each)
2 bags white chocolate chips (225 grams each)
2 cups gumdrops

Melt butter, marshmallows and chocolate chips together.
Stir in gumdrops.
Pour into a parchment paper lined 9 x 13 pan.
Chill thoroughly.  Candy can be stored in freezer.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Crispy Microwave Potato Chips -- Very Low in Smart Points

 Make Crispy, Homemade Potato Chips in the Microwave!
 I found this recipe on Bigger Better Baking blog.  Used my mandolin on it's thinnest slice setting to cut up a single russet potato and added the barbeque seasoning mix.  These chips are good!
Crispy Microwave Potato Chips

  • 2 medium sized potatoes (Russet, or any type you like)
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ice water
  • BBQ Flavor
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • Ranch Flavor
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley , crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 ⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ⁄4 teaspoon ground pepper
  1. Rinse potatoes, scrubbing any dirt off skin. Peel if desired, but I like chips with the skins on.
  2. Thinly slice your potatoes using a knife. The thinner, the better, so you want to slice thinly enough that you are almost shaving the potato; so thin they are transparent. Slices should be between 1/8 - 1/16 inch thick.
  3. Immediately place slices in ice water. This helps to remove the starch and create crispy chips with those delicious air pockets.
  4. Dry both sides well on a kitchen towel or paper towel. The dryer they are the better they will crisp.
  5. Line a plate with a piece of parchment paper. Lay the potato slices out so they aren't touching. Brush with a little olive oil, then sprinkle with salt.
  6. Microwave on high for roughly 1.30- 2.30 minutes on one side, and then roughly 1 - 2 minutes on the other side or until golden brown. Timing may vary based on your microwave. You will know when they are done as they will crisp and turn a toasted brown color.
  7. Sprinkles the finished potato chips with salt and enjoy
  8. BBQ flavor : In a freezer bag or bowl combine the paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and chili powder. Sprinkle mix over finished potato chips
  9. Ranch flavor : In a freezer bag or bowl combine all of the ingredients. Sprinkle mix over finished potato chips
  10. If not eating straight away, then store in an airtight container or plastic bag. Transfer chips to a bowl, then repeat with the remaining slices. And enjoy!
Recipe Notes
You can refrigerate raw slices ahead ahead of time for on demand baking. Just place in water in an airtight container.
Try different kinds of potatoes. Golden and red potatoes crisp up nicely also.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Gumbo -- 6 Smart Points

I used Oscar Mayer Select uncured turkey sausage because that's what was available in the local grocery store.  The flavor would be much better if kielbasa sausage was used.  It would increase the points so I'd be willing to cut back on the amount and get more of a traditional gumbo flavor.

The recipe makes 4 to 5 generous servings.  I calculated the total Smart Points for the recipe at 22 based on the ingredients used.

Add more Cajun seasoning or cayenne pepper if you like it spicy!

Traditional gumbo has a lot more liquid.  Okra is generally added, not only for flavor but to help thicken the liquid.  Since this recipe doesn't call for okra, I'll add a little of the gumbo file' powder when it's ready to serve.

I also chose to cook the rice in with all the other ingredients rather than serving the gumbo over rice.

6 Smart Points per serving
Makes 4 generous servings

1 chicken breast, cubed
½ onion, diced
½ bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can chicken broth
8 oz. Oscar Mayer Select uncured turkey sausage, sliced
¼ tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. oregano
1 tsp. “Slap Ya Mama” Cajun seasoning
½ c. uncooked rice
Zataran’s gumbo file’ powder (optional)

In a non-stick saucepan, cook chicken until lightly browned; add remaining ingredients.  Simmer until rice is done.

Optional:  Dip out a small portion of gumbo and stir in the file’ powder until well mixed.  Add back into pan and mix well.

Smart Points
Sausage             12
Rice                   10

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Chicken Enchiladas with Chili Sauce -- 5 Smart Points

I'm never quite sure how to figure the points on foods that have zero points per serving when you use the entire package.  For this recipe, I used the entire can of chili sauce.  It is zero points per tablespoon but the entire can contains 180 calories which makes it 5 Smart Points for the entire can..  It is zero saturated fat, sugar and protein per serving --1 tablespoon.

Mixing some of the chili sauce with the meat adds flavor and I honestly couldn't tell it was ground chicken and not ground beef.

These are the products I used:

Chicken Enchiladas with Chili Sauce
5 Smart Points each

8 oz. ground chicken breast
1/3 c. diced onion
1 – 10.5 oz. can Great Value Hot Dog Chili Sauce
3 Mission yellow corn tortillas, super soft
¾ oz. finely grated Cheddar cheese

In small skillet, brown chicken with onions.  Stir in 3 T. of chili
sauce, reserve rest to top enchiladas.

Divide the chicken and chili sauce evenly between 3 corn tortillas,
roll up and place seam side down in casserole sprayed with Pam.

Spread remaining chili sauce on top of the rolled-up enchiladas.
Top with grated cheese.

Bake until heated through and cheese melts.

Smart Points
Corn tortillas    6
Cheese              3
Chili sauce        5