Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 333: Turkey and Wild Rice Bake

I've been cooking in some really cold temperatures the last couple of weeks.  It was 13° outside while this meal cooked.  With the cold weather comes problems with baking temperatures.  Don't be afraid to add a few more coals or to move them around if your dish isn't cooking as well as it should.  This meal should have used 1 1/2 rings on top, but because of the low air temperature I ended up needing to use almost 2 rings on top of the pot.  It cooked perfectly without burning.  So don't be afraid of making adjustments!

This recipe is another great way to use up that leftover Thanksgiving turkey!

Turkey and Wild Rice Bake
12" dutch oven

1 pkg. (6 oz.) long grain and wild rice mix
1 cup chicken broth
3 1/2 cup cooked turkey (or chicken), cubed
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 (10 3/4 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
1 (8 oz.) can sliced water chestnuts
1 (6 oz.) jar sliced mushrooms, drained (I used sliced carrots instead)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 cup soft bread crumbs
2 Tbs. melted butter or margarine

In a small dutch oven, over a full spread of coals, cook the rice according to the package directions.  Place the rice in a large bowl and add the broth, turkey, celery, soup, water chestnuts, mushrooms, onion and soy sauce.  Transfer to a greased 12" dutch oven.  Toss the bread crumbs with the butter and sprinkle over the top of the rice mixture.  Bake at 350° for 55-60 minutes or until heated through.  Use 1 1/2 rings on top and 1 ring on the bottom.  Serves 8.

The Finished Product

Unfortunately, this isn't the kind of meal that take a great picture!  I won't even say what that looks like.  :)  You'll have to trust me that it's good!

The Review

I didn't expect a lot from this recipe, mostly because it uses cream soup.  So I was shocked by how good this was!  The water chestnuts added a nice crunch and the chicken was really moist.  My kids weren't thrilled about the water chestnuts, but other than that they all had second helpings. I love when a recipe surprises me like this one did.  I tried it because I need something new to cook, not because it looked super yummy.  So it was a bonus all around.  Grade B+.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Day 332: Chicken Enchilada Ring

Good Morning!!  I hope you are all having a wonderful day!  I want to thank everyone who has pre-ordered my cookbook and remind everyone that it will be available soon!  For all my international readers, please contact me for the shipping charges and where to send payment.  The rate for Canada will be $6.25, and Australia and Europe will be higher too, but I am more than willing to ship them, so don't hesitate to contact me! 

This is a cheater version of chicken enchiladas.  It is great for busy days and I seem to be having a lot of them lately.  It also means I don't have to stand out in the snow and stir something.  I know, I'm a big wimp!  :) :)

Chicken Enchilada Ring
14" dutch oven

2 cups cooked shredded chicken
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 small can chopped chilies, undrained
1 cup sour cream
1 cup re fried beans
1 package taco seasoning
2 packages of crescent rolls

Stir together chicken, cheese, chilies, sour cream, re fried beans and taco seasoning.  Unroll crescent dough and separate triangles. Arrange them in the dutch oven, making a circle with wide ends overlapping in the center and points toward outside.  Spread chicken mixture evenly onto widest end of each triangle. Bring points of triangles up and over filling and tuck under wide ends of dough at the center of the ring.  Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Serve with salsa and sour cream, if desired.  Serves 6.

The Finished Product

The Review

For a quick and easy weeknight meal, this is really good.  All my kids loved it, and even my hubby didn't complain about a fast meal (I've really spoiled him this year with all the good food we've eaten).  Its not the most beautiful dish I've ever made, but it will go on my list of week night meals.  Grade B+.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Day 331: Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes

I've tried a lot of Au Gratin Potato recipes in my day, and I've found some good ones, but I've still been on the hunt for the perfect recipe.  I think I may have finally found it.  This recipe is from Cook's Country.  It is another one of those awesome recipe sites.

Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes
12" dutch oven

1 1/4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/4 cups shredded Monterrey jack cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons cornstarch
3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8-inch thick (To make this recipe turn out right the potatoes MUST be thinly and evenly sliced.  A food processor or mandolin works best.)
Salt and pepper
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth

In a large bowl, toss the cheeses and cornstarch together until evenly coated.  In a dutch oven, neatly layer the potatoes. (This step is important since it helps the keep the potatoes from being a sloppy mess when served.)  Sprinkle the potatoes evenly with 1 1/2 cups of the cheese mixture, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Top with the remaining potatoes, layering them neatly and evenly. Sprinkle another 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper evenly over the top.

Combine the cream and the broth in a large measuring cup and pour the mixture over the potatoes. Top with the remaining cheese mixture and bake at 350° for 75-85 minutes or until golden brown and a fork inserted into the center slides in easily with little resistance. Let the potatoes cool for 10 minutes. Serves 6-8.

The Finished Product

The Review

These are the best au gratin potatoes I've ever had!!!  Seriously, the best.  They are so rich and yummy.  I love the flavor and creaminess the Monterrey jack cheese adds.  These are also easy.  I had them ready to go on the coals in about 10 minutes.  My favorite part is the crunchy edges.  In fact, I may go eat the leftovers right now.  Grade A.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Day 330: Turkey and Cranberry Braid

Tis the season for leftover turkey!  I'm always looking for new ways to use it.  I love this recipe because not only does it use leftover turkey, but stuffing, cranberries and gravy too!

Turkey and Cranberry Braid
14" dutch oven

l loaf bread dough  (Use Rhoad's or make your own)
2 cups chopped turkey
1 1/2 cups gravy (or 1 can cream of chicken soup)
1-2 cups stuffing (I used 2 cups)
1/2 cup cranberry sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste

Roll the bread dough to a 10 x 14 inch rectangle.  I do this on top of a piece of parchment paper that has been cut to fit inside a 14" dutch oven.  Cut 1 inch strips along both of the long edges of the dough.  The strips should be about 1 inch wide by 4 inches long.  This will leave about a 4 inch rectangle strip in the center for the filling.  Combine all the ingredients together.  Spoon the filling down the center of the rectangle.  Starting at one end, pick up one of the strips and lay over the filling.  Alternate on each side to form a criss cross pattern.  Using the parchment paper, carefully lift the braid into the dutch oven.  Let rise 25 minutes and bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.  Serves 6-8.

The Finished Product

The Review

This is soooo good!  I love how easy it is and how beautiful it looks.  Its a shame that I only make it around the holidays.  It also makes great leftovers itself!  I'm having some for lunch today.  All my kids liked it, so that smells success to me!  Grade A.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Day 329: Thanksgiving Stuffing

This is my favorite stuffing recipe.  It is really easy to make and has great flavor.  When I make it I use homemade bread, but you could buy the bread too.  Just use a good quality bread, no Wonder bread or it will turn out mushy...yuck!  Or you could use the Stuffing Bread I posted a while back and then leave out the spices.  This makes a ton, but it would be easy to cut the recipe down.

Thanksgiving Stuffing
12" dutch oven

3 onions, chopped
6 celery ribs, chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup butter
4 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup fresh minced parsley
1 Tbs. rubbed sage
1 1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. pepper
27 cups day old bread cubed

In a dutch oven over a full spread of coals,saute the onions, celery and garlic in butter until tender.  Add the broth and seasonings.  Add the bread cubes and stir carefully until well combined.  Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until lightly browned and hot.  Serves 12.

The Finished Product

I'll get the picture up soon!

The Review

This is really good.  Its also easy.  I haven't used Stove Top in years!  This is easy enough to make any time of year, not just at the holidays.  I like that even my stuffing hating kids will eat this.  It has a nice consistency too.  Some stuffing is soggy, but not this one.  We love it!  Grade A.

Day 328: Homemade Cranberry Sauce

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  I know we did.  It was so fun to be with family and friends.  Since I wasn't hosting the meal this year I didn't have quite as much work to do, but it was still a busy day.  I cooked rolls, cranberry sauce and stuffing all in my dutch ovens of course!  I've already posted the roll recipe, so I'll share the cranberry sauce recipe today.

Homemade Cranberry sauce
10" dutch oven

1 bag fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 cup orange juice
1 tsp. orange zest

Mix all the ingredients in a dutch oven over a full spread of coals.  Bring to a boil and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  The berries will burst and the sauce will thicken.  Serve warm.

The Finished

My camera batteries are dead so I'll post the pics this afternoon!

The Review

As a kid I could never understand why anyone would eat berries and meat together.  I'm really glad I've gotten over that because cranberries and turkey are a real treat.  This sauce is fabulous!  You'll get the best flavor out of it if you serve it warm.  It lets the citrus flavor come out, but its delish cold too.  I only make this a couple of times a year, and every time I do I wonder why I don't make it more often.  Grade A.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 327: Bloomin' Onion Bread

Happy day before Thanksgiving!  I have one more trip to make to the grocery store then I'm ready!  I hope all your preparations are going well.  I have to warn you, I probably won't be posting a recipe tomorrow because I'll be up early cooking, but come back on Friday and I'll have two for you (provided I survive my black Friday shopping).

I also have to add another shameless plug for my cookbook.  Pre-order your copy now!  Thanks to those who have already ordered, and to those who haven't I ask "What are you waiting for?" 

I found this recipe in a taste of home magazine several years ago, but for unknown reasons I haven't tried it until now.  This is a fun a versatile bread.  You could use any combination of cheese and spices.  Provolone and basil and rosemary, substitute pepper jack cheese for more kick, or smokey cheddar.  It is a great party appetizer too!

Bloomin' Onion Bread
10" dutch oven

1 unsliced loaf (round is preferable) sourdough bread.
1 pound Monterrey Jack cheese, thinly sliced
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup finely diced green onion, with tops
2-3 tsp poppy seeds

Cut the bread lengthwise and width wise - without cutting through the bottom crust.  Insert cheese between cuts. Combine butter, onion, and poppy seeds. Drizzle over bread. Wrap in foil and place in your dutch oven. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, using 1 1/2 rings on top and 1 ring on the bottom. Unwrap. Bake 10 more minutes, or until cheese is melted.

The Finished Product

The Review

Talk about neat presentation!  My hubby came home from work and the first thing he said was "That bread looks cool!"  It also tastes great!  My little kids didn't care for the sourdough bread, but everyone else loved it.  I may take this to Thanksgiving dinner as a appetizer.  I'll definitely be making this again.  Grade A.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 326: Rustic Chicken

Getting ready for Thanksgiving is taking longer than I thought it would.  I've been all morning shopping, and yes, I do know not to wait until the last minute.  But I wouldn't be me if I didn't. 

Rustic Chicken
12" dutch oven

6 slices of bacon, chopped

1 onion, chopped
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced  (I left these out)
1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts, cut in 1 inch strips
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1 15-ounce can artichoke hearts, quartered
1 packet dry chicken gravy mix
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup stuffed green olives

Cook bacon in your dutch oven over a full spread of coals until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and let drain on paper towels.  Drain off some of the grease.  Add the onions to the pot and cook until tender, then add the mushrooms. Add the chicken and cook until the chicken browns, then add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine. Move about 1/4 of the coals to the lid and simmer until the chicken is no longer pink. Serve over pasta or rice.  Serves 6-8.

The Finished Product

The Review

Everyone but the younger kids really liked this.  It has a nice flavor and "rustic" is the perfect word for this.  The only thing I would change is not to add the olives.  No one liked them.  I think I'll use sliced carrots or something along those lines.  This came together really fast, which was great because it was freezing outside!  :)  On a side note, I doubled the bacon because I knew that only about half of it would actually make it into the dish.  Grade B+.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 325: Creamy Hashbrowns

Last nights dinner was cooked in a terrible snow storm.  I forgot how much I hate being cold!  :)  I totally live in the wrong state if I don't like winter.  Thanksgiving morning is supposed to be 6°.  That's just wrong!  Since it was so cold, I made something that didn't require me to spend too much time outside.

Creamy Hash Browns
12" dutch oven

1 (28 oz.) pkg. frozen O'Brien hash browns, thawed
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 (4 oz.) can chopped green chilies
1 (10 oz.) can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients.  Pour into a greased dutch oven.  Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until hot and bubbly.  Serves 8.

The Finished Product

The Review

This wasn't my favorite dish ever.  I didn't expect it to be great, just better than it was.  Its one of those recipes that tastes great in the mountains when your camping, but not so yummy at home.  I probably won't make these again unless we're camping.  Grade C.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day 324: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars

I only have a few weeks left before my pumpkin obsession goes from "using seasonal favorites" to being just plain out of control.  I know I can get away with everything being made with pumpkin at least until Christmas, so I'm taking advantage of it.  I ran across this on allrecipes, but I made a few changes so I'll call it mine!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars
12" dutch oven

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin
1/4 cup water
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cream Cheese Filling

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg
In a bowl, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar until smooth. Beat in 2 eggs, pumpkin, 1 teaspoon of vanilla and water until well blended. In a separate bowl, mix flour, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and combine until well blended. Spread about 2/3 of the batter evenly into a greased dutch oven.

In a bowl, beat cream cheese, 1 egg, 1/4 cup sugar, and ½ teaspoon of vanilla until smooth. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over the pumpkin batter. Dollop the remaining pumpkin batter over the cream cheese batter and spread out as evenly as possible. Use a table knife to swirl together the cream cheese and top layer of pumpkin batter. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes, or until the center of the pumpkin batter springs back when touched. Use 1 1/2 rings on top and 1 ring on the bottom.  Cool completely in pan, then cut into bars.  Serves 12.

The Finished Product

The Review

These were FABULOUS!  They were so much better than the Ribbon Pumpkin Bread I made the  other day.  The spices really stood out and gave it such great flavor!  This recipe is a definite keeper.  Grade A.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day 323: Yummy Coffee Cake

My kids love having something to eat when they come home from school.  In fact, if I don't have something ready they swear they're going to die!  Something like this coffee cake is perfect.  I can make it early in the day and have it ready when they come home starving.

Yummy Coffee Cake
12" dutch oven

3 3/4 cups flour
3/4 sugar
3 Tbs. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup shortening (I was out so I used butter)
1 3/4 cups milk
3 eggs


2/3 cup flour
1/2 cup softened butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Sift the dry ingredients.  Cut in shortening until crumbly.  Add the milk and mix well.  Pour into a greased dutch oven.  In another bowl, combine the topping ingredients and mix until butter is crumbly.  Spread on top of cake batter.  Bake at 375° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Use 1 1/2 rings on top and 1 ring on the bottom.  Serves 10.

The Finished Product

The Review

As far as coffee cakes go, this was just okay.  The topping ended up on the bottom of the cake, but it was nice and moist.  This is one that even though I liked it, I probably won't make it again just because there are better coffee cake recipes out there.  Grade B-.

Day 322: Corn Bread

I apologize for not posting yesterday.  We were trying to get a fireplace installed before Thanksgiving.  It turned out to be a bigger project than we thought it would be.  Good thing my hubby is handy!  Anyway, I'll get caught up with the posts this morning.  My kids actually made this cornbread and they served it with chili (from a can).  I couldn't get a picture because I was too busy, but my kids did a great job.

Don't forget to order your copy of Everyday Dutch Oven!  It will have all the best recipes from the past year including everything you need to know to make your own dutch oven adventures a success!

Corn Bread
12" dutch oven

2 cups flour
2 cups cornmeal
2 cups sour cream
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
6 Tbs. melted butter
4 eggs
1 Tbs. honey

In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients together.  Add the sour cream, butter, eggs and honey.  Mix until just blended.  Pour into a greased 12" dutch oven and bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until golden.  Use 1 1/2 rings on top and 1 ring on the bottom.  Serves 10.

The Review

My kids are turning into really good cooks.  I'm going to have to let them take over more often.  This cornbread was baked perfectly!  (I'm so proud!  They even did the charcoal themselves and everything!)  This turned out to be really moist and sweet.  Its hard to say if this is my favorite cornbread recipe, but it certainly ranks up there.  Grade A-.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day 321: Ribbon Pumpkin Bread

When I was making this bread yesterday I thought I'd try something different.  Instead of pouring the batter directly into the dutch oven like I usually do, I put it in a bread pan and then cooked it in my dutch oven.  In order for this to work, you have to have a metal trivet and a deep dutch oven.  The bread pan can't be placed directly onto the bottom of the dutch oven.  In order for it to bake properly, it has to be lifted up to allow for the heat to circulate evenly, and if you don't lift up the bread pan you'll end up burning the bottom of the bread.  Trust me, I know!  Its a great way to bake actual loaves of bread and still use your dutch oven!  I should have taken some pictures of how I did it, but I forgot.  I'll make another bread and add the pics!

Ribbon Pumpkin Bread
12" deep dutch oven


6 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbs. flour
2 egg whites


1 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 egg
2 egg whites
1 Tbs. oil
1 2/3 cups flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/3 cup chopped walnuts (I left these out)

For the filling, combine the cream cheese, sugar, flour and egg whites in a bowl and set aside.  In a mixing bowl, beat the pumpkin, applesauce, egg, egg whites and oil.  Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cloves.  Add to the pumpkin mixture and stir in the walnuts. 

Divide half of the batter between 2 8 x 4 inch greased loaf pans.  Spread each with the filling and top with remaining batter.  Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans.  Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.  Makes 2 loaves.

The Finished Product

The Review

This bread is awesome, and it worked great in  my dutch oven!  It was fun to take a loaf to my neighbor and watch the expression on her face when I told her I baked it in my dutch oven.  This is spiced nicely and its beautiful on top of that.  This gets an A!

Pre-order Your Copy of Everyday Dutch Oven Now!

The big day has finally arrived!  Starting today you can pre-order your copy of  my cookbook Everyday Dutch Oven!  It will include all the best recipes from the last year.  It will also have everything I've learned about cleaning, seasoning and heat control.  You can order through Paypal with the link on the left, or if you prefer, email me and I'll let you know where to send a check or money order!  If you want to place a group order through your dutch oven chapter or with friends, email me and I'll give you a reduced rate on the shipping!  I'm really excited about having  my own cookbook and I hope you are too!  It should be a great resource!  And remember, it includes all the baking temperatures so you can make the recipes in your kitchen as well.  Spread the word and tell all your friends!

For my international readers, I will ship to you as well!  Payment will need to be in U.S. funds, and you can email me for the shipping charges!

I had 2 responses to my plea for help with the cover art.  If anyone else is interested, please email me.  The person who designs the final cover will get a free copy of the cookbook!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Day 320: Parmesan Potato Balls

Good morning everyone!  I have some great news!  Tomorrow I'll start taking orders for the cookbook!  I've been working on getting everything together and there will be around 250 recipes along with everything I've learned about cleaning, seasoning and heat control.  It should be a great resource and I hope you are all as excited as I am!  So come back tomorrow and I'll have all the details for you!

Its really weird that yesterday I may have bought my last 6 bags of charcoal for the year.  I'm not quite sure how I feel about that.  Cooking in my dutch oven has become such a habit that I won't know what to do if I don't have to go out and start coals!  :)  For now I'm just going to enjoy it! 

Parmesan Potato Balls
12" dutch oven

3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 Tbs. milk
1 Tbs. butter, softened
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 Tbs. chopped green onion
2 1/2 Tsp. onion soup mix
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. hot pepper sauce
dash of pepper
1 egg, beaten
2 cups panko bread crumbs

Place the potatoes in a dutch oven and cover with water.  Bring to a boil over a full spread of coals; cover and cook 15-20 minutes or until tender.  Drain.  Transfer the potatoes to a bowl and mash.  Beat in the cream cheese, milk and butter until smooth.  Stir in the Parmesan cheese, onion soup mix, salt, hot pepper sauce and pepper.  Shape into 1 1/2 inch balls (I used a cookie scoop).  Place the egg and bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls.  Dip the potato balls into the egg, then roll in the crumbs.  Place the balls in a dutch oven (I used the same one I cooked the potatoes in).  Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.  Serves about 6.

The Finished Product

The Review

I was really surprised by these.  They were really good!  I didn't make a ton of them because I wasn't sure how they would be, and when my kids went back for more and the pot was empty their faces fell.  My little 5 year old even cried!  They said I had to double the recipe next time.  I liked the crispy outside and soft inside and the onion soup added a nice flavor to the whole thing.  I'll be making these again!  Grade B+.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Day 319: Cheesy Ranch Breadsticks

This is a fun twist on bread sticks.  I was kind of inspired by the Cheese Stuffed Foccacia I made a while back.  I thought "why couldn't I stuff bread sticks with all kinds of yummy goodness?"  So I did, and the rest is history.

Cheesy Ranch Bread sticks
14" dutch oven

1 ½ cups warm water
1 tablespoon instant yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
3 ½ cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons melted butter, divided
1 pkg. dry ranch dressing mix
1/2-1 cup shredded cheese
Mix all ingredients (except melted butter) in a large bowl or electric mixer and knead for three minutes. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.  Roll out the bread stick dough about 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick.   Spread half of the dough with 2 Tbs. melted butter.  Sprinkle with ranch dressing mix and grated cheese.  Fold the dough in half, covering the dressing/cheese.  See picture below.  Press down on the dough to remove any air pockets.  Cut into strips with a pizza cutter.  Twist the bread sticks slightly and place about 1/2-inch apart in your dutch oven.  Cover and let rise 30 minutes. Bake at 375° for15-20 minutes or until golden brown.  Use 1 1/2 rings on top and 1 ring on the bottom.

The Finished Product

The Review

These are really good!  They are versatile too.  You could fill them with just about any kinds of herbs and cheese you want.  And the bread sticks are light and soft.  I think this is my very favorite bread stick recipe.  I couldn't fit all of them in my 14" oven, so you will need 2 dutch ovens to bake the whole batch.  Grade A.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 318: Chicken Spaghetti Bake

Just a quick post today!  Its only 9 a.m. and I'm already wishing it was bedtime!  I hope you all have a wonderful day!!

Chicken Spaghetti Bake
12" dutch oven

1 (16 oz.) pkg. of your favorite pasta, cooked and drained  (I used garden rotini)
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (26 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 small can sliced olives, drained
3 cups chopped, cooked chicken
1/3 cup cream of mushroom soup
2 cups shredded cheese (I used mozzarella)

In a dutch oven over a full spread of coals, saute the onions, green peppers, zucchini and garlic in oil until crisp tender.  Stir in the spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce and olives.  Bring to a boil.  Move about 1/4 of the coals to the lid and allow the sauce to simmer for 20 minutes.  Stir in the chicken and soup and heat through.  Remove the sauce to a large bowl and keep warm.  Place half of the pasta in the bottom of the same pot the sauce was cooked in.  Pour half of the spaghetti sauce over the pasta and top with half of the cheese.  Repeat the layers.  Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes.  Use 1 1/2 rings on top and 1 ring on the bottom.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.  Serves 10-12.

The Finished Product

The Review

This is one of those meals that I have to grade in 2 different ways.  For a weeknight meal, its just okay.  I didn't have much in the house and I wasn't very hungry, so I didn't do my normal nice Sunday meal.  Now for a camping meal, this is great.  The fact that it can all be done in 1 pot is a real plus.  A lot of the preparation can be done ahead of time as well.  For an everyday meal this gets a B- but for camping we give it an A-.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 317: Bread Bowls

I have a confession to make.  Since we were working on our bathroom all day, I had a soup going in the crock pot and I was making some bread bowls to go with it.  As I was shaping the bread I realized I hadn't done anything in my dutch oven.  So I cooked the last few bread bowls in it.  How I forgot I don't know, but yesterday was kind of a nightmare.  These worked really well.  Thank goodness for my busy day because I would never have even thought to make these in a dutch oven.  This recipe is from allrecipes.com.

Bread Bowls
14" dutch oven

1 1/2 Tbs. yeast
2 1/2 cups warm water
2 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
7 cups flour
1 Tbs. corn meal
1 egg white
1 Tbs. water

Dissolve the yeast in warm water.  Let stand for about 10 minutes.  Add the salt, oil and 4 cups of flour and mix well.  Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition, until a soft but not sticky dough is formed.  (I didn't use all the flour.)  Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic.  Place dough in an oiled bowl and turn to oil the top.  Cover and rise until doubled. 

Punch the dough down and divide into 8 equal portions.  Shape into a ball and place in a lightly greased dutch oven that has been sprinkled with cornmeal.  Cover and allow to rise until doubled.

In a small bowl, combine water and egg whites.  Carefully spread the egg combination over the top of the bread bowls.  Bake at 400° for 15 minutes.  Brush each bread bowl with egg again and bake another 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.  Serves 8.

The Finished Product

The Review

This is a fabulous recipe.  The outside of the bread is crispy, but inside it is soft and delicious!  Perfect for holding a hearty stew!  My kids loved eating their soup out of bread.  If you are going to make these you will need a 14" dutch oven and maybe a 10" as well.  Like I said, I put my last three in my 10" oven.  But they work beautifully.  Grade A.

Day 316: Bongo Bars

I'm so sorry I didn't get to post anything yesterday!  We've been working on getting our bathroom put back together since we only have 1 shower for the 9 of us.  I spent 2 days painting and ended up with a bad headache from the paint fumes.  Now I remember why I procrastinated doing it!  :)  So here is the recipe I was supposed to post yesterday.  It's one my mom made when I was a kid and I haven't made it in years. 

Bongo Bars
12" dutch oven

3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups brown sugar
2 3/4 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3 eggs
1 pkg. chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 tsp. vanilla

Cream together the butter and brown sugar.  Add the vanilla and eggs, one at a time and mix well.  Add the dry ingredients and mix well.  Mix in the chocolate chips, and nuts.  Spread batter in the bottom of a well greased dutch oven and bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool completely.  Serves 10-12.

The Finished Product

The Review

This is a throwback to my childhood.  My mom made these all the time.  They are now a favorite of my kids.  I love that they take a lot less time than cookies but are just as yummy.  They are also perfect for the dutch oven!  Grade A.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Day 315: Spiced Pear Bread

Sorry I'm so late today.  I've put off painting my bathroom for about a week and a half and now I have the plumber coming tomorrow to finish putting it back together for me and I just started painting this morning.  How's that for procrastination!  Needless to say, I still have a bunch to do so I better hurry! 

Spiced Pear Bread
10" dutch oven

3 (15 oz) cans sliced pears, drained and mashed
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
3 1/4 cups flour
3 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. salt

In a large bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients.  Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, cloves and salt; gradually add to the pear mixture and mix well.  Pour into a well greased dutch oven and bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Use 1 1/2 rings on top and 1 ring on the bottom.  Cool 15 minutes before removing to cool on a wire rack.

The Finished Product

I'll post the picture as soon as I finish painting!  Which better be soon!

The Review

Yum! Yum! Yum!  Another perfect taste of fall.  This is one of my favorite breads and I make it every year.  It never lasts long around here!   It is moist and delicious!  Grade A.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day 314: Cajun Chicken Pasta

Just for the record, I cooked this out in my garage in a snow storm.  Yep, a snow storm.  I'm glad this dish cooked fast, because I was freezing!  (Of course if I would quit wearing sandals outside I probably would have been warmer.)  That is one of the few things I won't miss when the year is over.

Today's recipe is one I found handwritten on a scrap of paper in the bottom of my recipe pile.  I haven't got a clue where I got it, but it sounded good, so here it is.

Cajun Chicken Pasta
12" dutch oven

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into thin strips
4 tsp. Cajun seasoning (I used Tony Chachere's)
4 Tbs. butter or margarine
1/2 sweet red pepper cut into strips
1/2 sweet green pepper cut into strips
8 large mushrooms, sliced (I left these out--no fungus here)
2 green onions, sliced
2-3 cups whipping cream
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. lemon pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. pepper
12 oz. linguine,cooked and drained
Grated Parmesan cheese

Place the chicken and Cajun seasoning in a resealable plastic bag and toss to coat.  In a dutch oven, over a full spread of coals, saute the chicken in butter until almost cooked.  Add the peppers, mushrooms and onion.  Cook and stir for about 5 minutes.  Remove about 1/4 of the coals.  Add the cream and seasonings and heat through.  Add the linguine and heat through.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  serves 4-6.

The Finished Product

I miss using my nice serving dishes.  Sigh!  So we used them last night.

The Review

I wasn't sure how this was going to taste, but it was delish!  My 5 older kids loved it, and the 2 youngest hardly eat anything anyway, so they don't really count.  (Ha Ha!)  It isn't super spicy, but it leaves a nice little burn in the back of your throat.  You can adjust the heat by using more or less Cajun seasoning, so if you like it mild its not a problem.  My only complaint is that the cream sauce was too thin.  Next time I'll use a little of the roux I keep in the back of the fridge to thicken it up just a little.  Overall, it was yummy!  Grade A-.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day 313: Cantaloupe Bread

I'm trying really hard not to complain.  I really am.  But it is FREEZING outside!  The last week I've been cooking in my garage because its been pouring rain.  Now today the forecast calls for snow.  Seriously?  I could have sworn that summer just started.  So think of me when your cooking dinner, because I'm probably freezing outside.  :)  But at least I have hot coals to keep me warm! 

But enough complaining.  I saw this recipe on the Internet the other day.  I really wish I had saved the site, because it was a great blog.  Unfortunately, I only jotted down this recipe.  Too bad I didn't find this one a few months ago when I had fresh cantaloupe from my garden.

Cantaloupe Bread
2 10" dutch ovens

2 cups cantaloupe, seeded and pureed (about half a large cantaloupe)
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Brown Sugar Praline Glaze:

1/2 cup butter
1 2/3 cups brown sugar1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla, and cantaloupe. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and ginger. Stir flour mixture into cantaloupe mixture; stir to combine. Pour batter into 2 greased 10" dutch ovens.  Bake at 325° for 45 minutes to an hour, until a toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean.  Use 1 1/2 rings minus 1 or 2 coals (depending on outside air temperature) on top and 1 ring on the bottom.

Meanwhile combine butter and brown sugar in a small dutch oven over about 6 coals.  Mix in pecans if desired. Pour sauce over warm bread. Let cool for 1 hour before serving.  Makes 2 loaves.

The Finished Product

The Review

Wow this was moist.  The cantaloupe flavor was really subtle.  If you didn't know what was in it, you'd have a hard time pinning down what it was.  It has a really nice flavor though.  Easily as good as banana or zucchini bread.  It was fun because who would ever think of making cantaloupe bread?  I think its a keeper!  Grade B+.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Day 312: Crisp Onion Rolls

Just a quick post today, I have an early appointment!  I hope you all have a great day!

Crisp Onion Rolls
12" dutch oven

18 Rhode's dinner rolls, thawed but still cold (or use your own homemade rolls like I did)
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. flour
1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 (2.8 oz.) cans french fried onions

In a shallow bowl, combine the eggs, flour, salt, parsley, rosemary and cheese.  Place the onions in another bowl.  Dip each roll in the egg mixture, then roll in the onions.  Place in a well greased dutch oven.  Cover and let rise until doubled.  Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes or until rolls are golden brown.  18 servings.

The Finished Product

They smelled so good that my hubby couldn't even wait for me to take a picture!

The Review

This is a really great idea!  I wish I would have thought of it.  My whole family liked these.  In face, my 5 year old tried to take one to bed with her last night, and she never eats anything.  We thought these were a nice twist on regular dinner rolls!  Grade A.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Day 311: Chicken Parmesan

Next week I'll start taking pre-orders for the cook book!  I'm really excited about finally having it in print.  My only problem is designing the cover art.  I'm not good at that kind of thing, so I'm hoping some of you are.  If anyone is interested in designing the cover please email me!  If I choose your design, I'll send you a free copy of the cook book and your name will be forever immortalized in dutch oven history.  Does it get any better than that?  I don't think so.  :)

On to the recipe.  I'm sure I have a recipe for this on the blog already, but this one is a little different and I actually liked it better.  I had this dish at a family gathering a while back and I recreated it at home yesterday.

Chicken Parmesan
12" dutch oven

2 Tbs. oil
1 (29 oz.) jar pasta sauce
4 chicken breasts pounded flat or cut into large pieces
2-3 cup dry bread crumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
3 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbs. milk
1/2 cup flour
shredded mozzarella cheese
Hot cooked pasta (I used linguine)

In a shallow bowl combine the bread crumbs, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.  In another shallow bowl, combine the egg and milk.  Put the flour in another shallow bowl.  Coat each piece of chicken in flour, then in the egg, and finally in the crumb mixture.

Heat the oil  in a dutch oven over a full spread of coals.  Add the chicken to the pot and brown on both sides until almost cooked through.  Remove from the pot and keep warm.  Wipe out the pot with paper towels to remove any excess oil.  Pour pasta sauce in the bottom of the pot and then place the chicken in the sauce.  Sprinkle with cheeses.  Cover and bake at 350° for about 30 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is melted.  Use 1 1/2 rings on top and 1 ring on the bottom.  Serve over hot cooked pasta.  Serves 4-6.

The Finished Product

The Review

This is my new favorite Chicken Parmesan recipe.  I love that it has a crispy outside, but the chicken ends up super tender and moist inside.  I also like that it cooks in the sauce and the flavors get to combine really well.  I made our really cheesy, because that's how we like it, but use as much or as little cheese as you like.  The fact that its a one pot meal is a big plus too!  We gave this an A.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Day 310: Zesty Sloppy Joes

Last night my hubby and I went to a get together with some friends, so i needed something quick and easy to feed the kiddos.  As a general rule, my kids are spoiled rotten in the food department.  Having something new and (sometimes) exciting every day has made them food snobs.  They all turned up their noses when I told them they were having sloppy joes for dinner.  I gave them my famous "be quiet and eat what your given and be grateful" look and headed out the door.  When I got home there wasn't even one drop left over.  So much for hating sloppy joes!

Zesty Sloppy Joes
12" dutch oven

2 lbs. ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped green pepper
1 (10 oz.) can tomato soup, undiluted
1 (8 oz.) can thick and zesty tomato sauce
1/2 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbs. ketchup
3 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp. prepared mustard
1 1/2 tsp. ground mustard
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
Hamburger buns

In a dutch oven over a full spread of coals, brown the beef and onion.  Add the green pepper.  Cook and stir 5 minutes and then drain off any grease.  Add the next 10 ingredients and bring to a boil.  Move about 1/4 of the coals to the lid and simmer for 1 hour stirring occasionally.  Serve on buns.  Serves 10-12.

The Finished Product

The Review

When I got home last night there wasn't one scrap of meat left.  The kids must have really liked it.  I didn't get to try any, but I have to call it a success.  As far as sloppy joes go, my kids gave it an A.  Compared to other meals it gets a B-.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Day 309: French Toast Casserole

Last night we had breakfast for dinner.  I've had this recipe for a while and I thought last night would be the perfect time to try it. 

French toast casserole
12" dutch oven

2 tsp. butter, softened
8 slices white bread, cut in 1-inch cubes
7 large eggs
2 cups milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup maple syrup (I used our cheap sugar-free syrup)
4 T granulated sugar, divided
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp.  nutmeg1/4 t cardamom
1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped
maple syrup, for serving

Grease a 12" dutch oven with butter and fill the dish with bread cubes, distributing evenly.  In large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, maple syrup, 2 T sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom.

Pour this mixture over the bread cubes, and press down over the surface of the casserole with a spatula to help the bread soak up the liquid.  Sprinkle the top with the remaining sugar.  Cover tightly with aluminum foil, and refrigerate overnight.

Remove from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature before baking.  Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until the casserole if puffy and brown.  Let cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing into squares and topping with the chopped pecans and warmed maple syrup.  Serve with fresh fruit.  Refrigerate all leftovers.  We had ours with a fruit syrup.  You can find that recipe here.

The Finished Product

The Review

This was really good.  We had it for dinner so I put it together in the morning.  It was really easy and the whole family loved it.  I think it would be a great camping breakfast.  Just be sure not to put hot coals on a cold oven...please.  This would also be a good Easter or Christmas morning breakfast since all the prep work is done in advance.  Grade B+.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Day 308: Caramel Apple Torte

Fresh apples are still everywhere in my area.  Despite the cooler weather and freezing night time temperatures, my favorite fruit stand is still open (God bless them!).  I buy apples every week right now because I know it won't be long before all I'll be able to find is the mushy cold storage apples.  I thought this would be the perfect way to showcase them.  This recipe is very slightly adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe.

Bavarian Apple Torte

10" dutch oven


12 tablespoons (3/4 cup) butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


2 packages (8-ounce each) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


3 cups peeled, thinly sliced Granny Smith Apples (about 3-4 apples)
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Caramel ice cream topping

In a medium bowl, combine the first four crust ingredients. Press the mixture into the bottom of a of a greased 10" dutch oven.

In another medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar together until well blended. Add the eggs and vanilla; mix well. Pour over crust and smooth the creamy layer to the edges.

Combine the topping ingredients except the caramel and mix well. Spoon the coated apples over the cream cheese layer, taking care to even out the apple layer as much as possible. Bake at 350° for 60-70 minutes, until the center is set.  Press gently on the top of the apples to check for doneness. When there is not a lot of “give” and the center seems mostly firm, it is finished baking. It will continue to set up a bit as it cools. Cool completely, cut into slices, drizzle with caramel and serve.Serves 6-8.

The Finished Product

The Review

Ooooh! This was delicious!  The apples were tender and delicious.  This may be in my list of top cheese cakes.  All my kids loved it.  In fact I had to hide the leftovers in the frige so my hubby would get some.  It was really easy to do in the dutch oven too!  We gave this an A.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day 307: Smokey Chipotle Shredded Beef

I wanted to have shredded beef taco salads for dinner last night, but I didn't have a beef recipe that I loved, so I made up my own.  It started out as a hodge podge of what I had in my cupboards.  And if you've been reading my blog very long, you know chipotle chilies are going to be in any Mexican dish I make.  (In case you didn't know, chipotle chilies are one of the foods of the Gods!)  We filled homemade taco bowls with beans, this meat, cheese, salsa and shrubbery.

Smokey Chipotle Shredded Beef
12" dutch oven

3 lbs. boneless beef chuck roast
2 Tbs. canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
3 cups water
8 cloves minced garlic
2 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 (7 1/2 oz.) can El Pato Jalapeno Salsa (it is available in the Latin section of most grocery stores.  It doesn't add heat, it just adds flavor)

In your dutch oven, stir together everything except the meat.  Over a full spread of coals, bring the mixture to a boil.  While the sauce is coming to a boil, cut the beef into pieces, trimming off the fat.  Add to the boiling sauce.  Bake at 350° for 2-3 hours or until fork tender, stirring every 30 minutes.  Use 1 1/2 rings on top and 1 ring on the bottom.  Replenish the coals as needed, and if necessary, add more water.  Keep in mind that when the beef is finished cooking you want the sauce to be thick.  Remove the pot from the heat and shred the beef with 2 forks.  Allow it to sit in the sauce for about 5 minutes before serving.  Serve in tacos, burritos, chimichangas, or any Mexican dish.  Serves 8-10.

The Finished Product

The Review

I don't mean to toot my own horn, but this was fabulous!  You can make it as mild or spicy as you want.  Just add a little bit of the chipotles and taste the sauce BEFORE you put the meat in to see if it needs more heat.  I didn't make mine too spicy because my kids still had to be able to eat it.  I think this would freeze well, if you have any leftovers.  Seriously, I'm surprised there was any for us to have for dinner because I kept sneaking forkfuls right out of the bowl.  It was super yummy!!  We put ours in homemade taco salad bowls.  If you want the recipe for those, you can get it here.  Grade A.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Day 306: Creamy Spaghetti Squash

Good morning!  Just a quick post today.  I have a sick little girl on my lap right now.  I just wanted to point out one thing today.  If you look at the bottom of each post you will find a new "print friendly" button.  It will let you edit the post before you print it so you only print what you want!  I hope it helps make using the recipes a lot easier.  So no more excuses!  Get out those black pots and get cookin'!  If I can do it everyday, you can do it once a week, or even once a month! 

I kind of made up today's recipe.  It's loosely based on one I saw on the Internet a while back.

Creamy Spaghetti Squash
12" dutch oven

1 spaghetti squash
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup skim milk
1/3 cup shredded cheese (I used a Parmesan)
pinch of nutmeg
salt & pepper to taste

Slice spaghetti squash in half, and lay face down in a dutch oven with a bit of water. Bake at 350° for 20-30 minutes, or until tender.  Remove from pot and keep warm.

In a 10" dutch oven over a full spread of coals, combine butter and flour. Whisk to make a roux, add milk and nutmeg, and stir in cheese. Stir constantly stir until thickened.

Remove seeds from squash (if you didn’t before) and scrape out squash with a fork, making spaghetti strands. Add to the pot with the cheese sauce and combine. Season with salt and pepper.  Serves 6.

The Finished Product

The first picture I took while it was in the dutch oven looked awful, so I tried again and this looks much better!

The Review

I was a little disappointed in this one.  I was really hoping it would be good, but it was just okay.  Honestly, I like the squash better with butter and salt.  Interestingly enough, my younger kids liked it better with the cream sauce.  Go figure!  We decided this gets a B.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day 305: Vegetable Lasagna

After yesterday's post about the cookbook, I got a few emails about what will be included in it.  So I'm guessing that many of you are having the same questions.  It will include all the "A" and "B" recipes (there will be over 200 recipes), plus everything I've learned about seasoning, cleaning, heat control, baking and so on.  I hope it will be a good resource for the beginner and the experienced dutch oven cook.  All the instructions will also include baking temperatures so you can use it in your kitchen as well.

Vegetable Lasagna
12" dutch oven

2 medium carrots, julienned or thinly sliced
1 yellow summer squash, cut into 1/4" slices
1 medium onion, sliced
1 cup broccoli florets
1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4" slices
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 (29 oz.) jar spaghetti sauce
8-10 lasagna noodles
2-3 cups shredded mozzarella

In a 12" dutch oven over a full spread of coals, stir fry the vegetables, garlic and salt in oil until crisp-tender.  Remove from the pot and keep warm.  Wipe the pot clean with paper towels.   Spread 3/4 cup of sauce into the bottom of the pot. Arrange half of the noodles over the sauce. Layer with half of the vegetables, spaghetti sauce and cheese. Repeat layers. Cover and bake at 350° for 60-65 minutes or until bubbly. Use 1 1/2 ring on top and 1 ring on the bottom.  Let stand 15 minutes before cutting.  Serves 10-12.

The Finished Product

The Review

For a meatless meal this was good.  Its no secret that we're carnivores at our house, so having a meatless meal is a little hard.  But this was yummy and very filling.  My kids only complained a little (which is a big deal).  If I were going to add meat I'd use shredded chicken, but really, this doesn't need it.  I'll make this again when I can get the veggies out of my garden.  Grade B+.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Day 304: Soft Garlic Knots

Good morning everyone!  Just a quick update on my cookbook.  I've been working on putting everything together and doing some writing and it looks like I'll be able to have it printed and start shipping by January 15th.  Unless I can find a better price on the printing (and I'm still looking) the cost will be $13.99 plus $3.99 shipping.  The book will include over 200 recipes!  I will ship internationally for those of you outside the U.S. In a few weeks I'll start taking pre-orders through my site via paypal.  If your local dutch oven chapters want to do a group buy I will give a discount on shipping since it will be a lot less work for me!  All this is just tentative right now, but I'll have it all nailed down before Thanksgiving.  This is just a heads up!  :)  I hope you are all as excited as I am to have a copy of the book. 

On to today's recipe!  I got this one from a friend.

Soft Garlic Knots
10" dutch oven


3 cups bread flour
1 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. instant yeast
1¼ tsp. salt
2 tbsp. olive oil
¼ cup milk
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. lukewarm water


2 cloves garlic
3 tbsp. melted butter
½ tsp. Italian seasoning

To make the dough, in a bowl combine the dry ingredients. Add the olive oil, milk and water. Mix until ingredients have formed a dough. Mix by hand or on low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turn once to coat, and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk.

Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 10-inch long rope and tie into a knot. Take the end lying underneath the knot and bring it over the top, tucking it into the center. Take the end lying over the knot and tuck it underneath and into the center. Transfer shaped rolls to a baking stone, or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for 45 minutes, until puffy.

To make the glaze, finely mince the garlic or press it through a garlic press. Mix with the melted butter and Italian seasoning.

Brush the glaze onto the shaped rolls. Preheat your dutch oven lid and then bake at 350° until set and lightly browned, about 15-18 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

The Finished Product

The Review

Yum! Yum! Yum!  These are really soft and delicious.  I even rushed them and didn't let them rise long enough and they still turned out great.  The garlic flavor is light and they are perfect with a soup or an Italian dish.  I'll be making these again.  Grade A.

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