Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!!

Here's wishing you all a happy New Year!  May it bring you joy and prosperity!  See you next year!!  (I love saying that!)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Mock Sourdough Bread

 I have a confession to make. I have never made sourdough bread. Ever. I've never even attempted it. Which I think is just sad for a dutch oven cook.  Isn't making sourdough bread in a dutch oven a rite of passage?  I just have to say, in my defense, that the only experience I have with any kind of bread starter is Amish Friendship bread.  I think it spent about 6 months (or more) untouched on the top shelf of one of my cupboards.  The only reason I remembered it was the foul smell that permeated my kitchen.  Gross!

The real reason I've never tried sourdough bread is that it just seems time consuming and fussy, and lets face it, I'm far too lazy busy to remember to feed the starter the way I should.  I will agree with you though, its a shame.  I love sourdough bread and its expensive to buy so we never eat it.

You can imagine how happy I was to come across this on Pinterest.  A no fuss "sourdough" bread.  Right up my alley!

Now for the question you've all been asking.....How does it taste?  Its actually really good!  I have to say, its not as good as sourdough bread from a good bakery.  It is, however, as good as anything you'd buy at your supermarket, and a whole lot cheaper!  It doesn't have quite the "tang" that a real sourdough bread has, but since I'll probably never get around to making the real thing this will have to do.  Truth be told, I'll probably use this recipe a lot

For the sourdough purist, Mark at Mark's Black Pot recently posted a couple of articles on making sourdough bread.  I would never have the patience to do what he does.  He's my hero!

Mock Sourdough Bread
10" dutch oven

2 cups plain yogurt
1 Tbs. yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 Tbs. honey
2 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. oil
4-5 cups flour

Heat yogurt just to lukewarm. Dissolve the yeast in warm water.  Stir in yogurt, honey, salt, oil and 2 cups of flour.  Beat until smooth.  Gradually add the remaining flour just to make a soft dough.  Knead until smooth and elastic.

Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top.  Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.  Punch dough down.  Form dough into a round loaf and place inside a greased dutch oven.  Cover and let rise about 45 minutes.

Preheat your dutch oven lid, then bake at 375° for 35-40 minutes or until the bread is browned and sounds hollow when tapped.  Remove from pot and cool on a wire rack. 

Source:  Heat Oven to 350 

Monday, December 26, 2011

My Christmas Project!

I thought I'd show you what I've been doing with my time for the last 3 weeks.  And as you can tell, it hasn't been dutch oven cooking.  I've been building a Barbie house for my 3 little girls for Christmas.  It was no small undertaking.  I built and decorated, including making the furniture.

A dear friend had built the house for her girls 12 or 15 years ago, but decided to build a new one for her grand kids this year.  So I was the benefactor of her old house.  I stripped it down and started over.  As you can see, it turned out great.  Better than I thought it would.  And to say my girls are thrilled would be a huge understatement.  They didn't even want to open any presents.  The Barbie house was all they wanted.  It was great!

I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas!  And I hope the new year treats you well!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Breton Apple Cake

I've got a really good recipe for you today!  I've had this recipe for a while and I'm so glad I finally got around to making it.  I know I have other versions of apple cake posted, but this one is a little different.  Instead of apple cake, this is apples with cake in it.  The batter is really light and fluffy thanks to the beaten egg whites.

Now, you'll notice that there isn't a drop or cinnamon in this bread.  Normally, I'm a spiced apple cake gal, but this just tasted fresh.  You can certainly add any spices you want, but I thought it was perfect in its simplicity.

Breton Apple Cake
10" dutch oven
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs, separated
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced

Lightly grease a 10" dutch oven

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks, followed by the vanilla extract and the yogurt. Sift in flour, baking powder and salt and mix just until all ingredients are well combined and no streaks of flour remain. Batter will be quite thick.

In a medium bowl, beat egg whites to stiff peaks. Stir about half of the egg whites into the cake batter (you can use an electric mixer on “low” to stir) to lighten the batter, then gently mix in the remaining egg whites.

Fold in apple slices.

Pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake for 45-50 minutes, until cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with only moist crumbs attached.  Use 1 1/2 rings on top and 1 ring on the bottom.

Cool for at least 40 minutes before serving.

Cake can be eaten warm or at room temperature.

Serves 8

Monday, November 21, 2011

Zucchini Gratin

Yes, I do realize that summer is over and so is zucchini season.  But when I found this recipe I knew I wasn't going to be able to wait until summer.  Besides, everything is always in season at the grocery store!  :)  

I know some of you are going to read this recipe and think "eeww, zucchini and eggs"!  But trust me when I tell you that this is yummy!  The flavors and textures are really great.  I actually make something similar as a breakfast dish, that's part of the reason I knew I'd love this.

Zucchini Gratin
10" dutch oven
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil 
3 cloves Garlic, Minced 
1 whole Medium Onion, Chopped 
2 whole Roma Tomatoes, Chopped 
3 whole Medium Zucchini, Sliced And Halved 
1 teaspoon Ground Thyme 
1 teaspoon Salt 
2 Tablespoons Flour 
2 whole Eggs 
½ cups Half-and-half 
¼ cups Shredded Cheddar 
¼ cups Grated Parmesan

Over a full spread of coals, saute onion and tomato in just enough olive oil to coat the bottom of your dutch oven.  Cook until the onion is tender then add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add zucchini, thyme, salt and flour. Stir and cook for a few more minutes until zucchini is tender. Spread evenly on the bottom of the pot.

In a small bowl, whisk together eggs with half and half. Stir in cheddar cheese. Pour this egg mixture over veggies. Sprinkle on grated Parmesan. Bake at  350° for 30-35 minutes, or until lightly puffed up and a bit golden on top.  Use 1 1/2 rings on top and 1 ring on the bottom.  Serves 6-8.

Source:  Tasty Kitchen

Monday, November 14, 2011

Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Chicken

Oh do I have a yummy recipe for you!  I love jalapeno poppers wrapped in bacon (of course!) so when I saw this recipe I knew I needed to make it.  I found this on Allrecipes and did some tweaking to up the flavor.  I think the final product was really delicious!  I added bacon and pepper jack cheese and spiced up the crumb coating to add some more flavor.  My family loved it, even though it was a little spicy for my little ones.  I think I put a bit to much jalapeno in it for them, but it was just right for me.

I was really surprised at how quickly these came together. The total prep time was a little over 30 minutes, then 30 minutes to cook.  It might be pushing it for a weeknight meal, but not too bad all things considered.  So there's no excuse for not trying these!

Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Chicken
12" dutch oven
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup + 3 Tbs. shredded Cheddar and pepper jack blend, divided
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
4 (6 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used the grease from cooking the bacon instead)

Stir together the cream cheese, 1/2 cup Cheddar/pepper jack cheese, bacon and jalapenos in a small bowl. 

Cut a pocket horizontally through the thickest side of each chicken breast, and fill with 1/4 of the cheese mixture. Secure with broken spaghetti noodles (once it cooks there won't be any toothpicks to pull out and the spaghetti noodle will be soft so you won't even know its there). 

In a bowl or pie plate, combine the Panko, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, salt and remaining 3 Tbs. of cheese.  Place the egg in another bowl or pie plate.  Dip each filled chicken breast in egg, then roll  in bread crumbs to coat. 

Heat the oil in a dutch oven over a full spread of coals, and cook chicken breasts until they are golden brown on both sides but not cooked through.   Drain most of the oil out of the pot.  Cover and bake at 350° for about 30 minutes or until the juices run clear.  Use 1 1/2 rings on top and 1 ring on the bottom.  Serves 4.

Source:  Inspired by Allrecipes

Monday, October 31, 2011

Herb Biscuit Loaf

Here is another easy but tasty biscuit recipe.  Biscuits dipped in a buttery herb mixture and baked until golden brown.  It's tailor made for a dutch oven, don't you think?  This one calls for refrigerated biscuits, but feel free to make your own recipe and it turns out great. 

Herb Biscuit Loaf
10" dutch oven
1/4 cup melted butter or margarine
1/2 tsp. dried minced onion
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4-1/2 tsp. caraway seeds
1/8 tsp garlic powder
2 (12 oz.) tubes refrigerated buttermilk biscuits

In a shallow bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients.  Dip the biscuits in butter mixture.  Fold in half and place in dutch oven.  Drizzle with remaining butter mixture.  Bake at 350° for 27-30 minutes or until golden brown. Use 1 1/2 rings on top and 1 ring on the bottom.  Serves 8-10

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Chicken Enchilada Soup

Okay, I think I'm back.  After the most stressful 6 months of my life, I think I'm almost back to normal.  Things have slowed down, my blood pressure has come down from the stratosphere and I'm no longer in danger of having a stroke every time I hear a noise.  Its been one of THOSE kinds of years.  No.  No health problems, just the manure truck of life backed itself up to my door and left me to clean up the mess.  (Sorry, that was kind of gross.  Accurate, but gross nonetheless.)  Let's move on to more pleasant topics, like food!

This is my version of Ranes Carter's version of Nancy Rappleye's version of this soup (and really, my version is hardly different from Ranes version).  Nancy made this soup at the Camp Chef DOG in 2008.  Since then, Ranes has used it at several pot luck events.  I think it would be great to serve at DO demos.  Think Spring Convention.

Anyway, this is really delicious.  Its a nice cross between this Taco Soup and this Chicken Enchilada Soup I posted last year.  And its relatively healthy too, until you smother it with sour cream and guac.  :)  If you like it really spicy, just use a hot enchilada sauce!

Chicken Enchilada Soup
12" dutch oven

4 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 1/2 pkgs. taco seasoning (or to taste)
2 cloves crushed garlic
2 cans tomato soup
2 (10 oz.) cans enchilada sauce (use your favorite red or green sauce)
2 (15 oz.) cans diced tomatoes
2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 (15 oz.) cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 (15 oz.) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 (15 oz.) cans whole kernel corn, drained
1 cup milk
1 cup sour cream
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped (I left this out)
Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle seasoning to taste (you can use any southwest seasoning you have on hand.)

Garnish with:
Shredded cheese
Sour cream
Diced fresh tomatoes or Pico de Gallo
Corn chips or tortilla strips

Mix the chicken, taco seasoning and garlic in the bottom of a 12" dutch oven over a full spread of coals.  Cook until the garlic is fragrant.  Add the tomato soup, enchilada sauce, tomatoes, beans and corn and mix well.

In a bowl, combine the milk and sour cream.  Add to the pot and stir well.  Season with cilantro and Southwest seasoning.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat by removing some of the coals.  You want it to simmer for 15 minutes.  Serve with desired garnishes.  Serves 12-15.

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Dutch Oven Challenge at Mark's Black Pot!

Mark (of Mark's Black Pot fame) has once again thrown down the gauntlet and invited all of us to join in his latest dutch oven challenge.  This will be a great way to get creative and stretch your culinary and black pot skills.

The rules are really simple.  Prepare a dish using the following ingredients:
  • Apples (in any form)
  • Oranges (in any form)
  • Any meat (Some kind of meat must be included)
  • Mint (in any form)
  • Any other ingredients and spices as you see fit.
Your recipe should be as original as possible.  Go to the Internet for ideas, if you want, but try to make the dish your own.

When completed, publish your finished dish, with pictures if possible, in the IDOS forums, or at your own blog or website.  Then go back to Mark's Black Pot and leave a comment with the link!

I'm going to make this my own version of Chopped (my favorite food network show).  I seriously have dreams about making up my own recipes, so count me in on this!

Lets all give Mark our support and get creative!  I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with.  I hope we have a good showing from Dutch Oven Madness readers!  I'm going to start some research and get cookin', so be watching for my contribution in the next week or so.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Now You Can Follow By E-mail!

I've added another new feature to Dutch Oven Madness!  Many of you have asked about receiving emails when  I post something new, and now you can.  Just enter your email address into the bar at the left and you'll never miss a post!  You'll only receive emails if I've posted something new, and there will never be any spam.  So hop on board!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

So....What Do You Think So Far?

Good morning everyone!  I'm dying to hear what you think of the new Dutch Oven Madness! I hope you all like it as much as I do.  I'm only about half done with the changes, and obviously the most noticeable change is the awesome new background.  Over the next few weeks I'll be adding some tabs to make finding your favorite recipes and DO info faster, and making it easier to print the recipes you want to try.  I'll also be using a new format for posting.  But now I'm curious what will make Dutch Oven Madness more user friendly for you.  I'd love to have your input, so leave a comment and tell me what you'd like to see!  Thanks!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pesto Chicken and Spinach Stromboli

I have a fun, yummy recipe for you today.  It includes one of my all time favorite ingredients--Pesto!  If you haven't tried pesto yet, you really need to.  Its usually a mixture of basil, pine nuts and olive oil and its fabulous!  I put it on grilled cheese sandwiches, or any sandwich for that matter.  Its also great added in to pasta sauce or Alfredo sauce.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Changes are Coming!!

I am soon going to be working with my dear friend and web designer, Erika, to create a whole new look for Dutch Oven Madness.  I'm really excited about the new design and I hope you will love it as much as I do.  It will have a dramatic new background and be a lot more user friendly.  Hopefully, you will be able to find the information you want much more quickly and easily.  This new design will be a little time in the making since Erika is fitting me in between her other clients and is, quite frankly, doing me a HUGE favor by doing it.  So when its done (or as its coming along) let me know what you think and how you like it!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Cheesy Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

I'm really trying to get into my creative groove lately.  I'm tired of all the recipes I have (even though I haven't even tried most of them).  So I'm tweaking the ones I've made before.  Some have been epic fails, but this one turned out really well.  I have a recipe for mashed potatoes that is flavored with dry ranch dressing, and I've been on a horseradish kick, so why not flavor potatoes with horseradish.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Grape and Apple Crisp

Yes.  Yes, it does say grape and apple crisp.  Never cooked with grapes, you say?  Well neither had I, until today.  Grapes are #2 on my list of favorite fresh fruits, right behind ripe, juicy pears.  I love them so much fresh that it had never occurred to me to ever try to cook with them.  But in the process of making this recipe I learned something about grapes.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Brown Sugar Spiced Pork Loin

I don't think I've kept it much of a secret, but I am really not a fan of pork (except bacon of course).  We raised pigs for so many years that it just turns my stomach.  The thought of a pork chop makes me want to hurl.  But after many years, I'm finally to where I can enjoy a nice pork tenderloin, in fact, I've actually been looking for tenderloin recipes because I like it so much.  Crazy!  Anyway, I'm attracted to recipes that have different/weird spice combinations, and when I saw the cumin and cinnamon together, I knew I had to try it.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Chicken Cakes

This is one of the recipes I made when I didn't have an oven.  I was thinking about it and realized that I had never actually done any frying in my dutch ovens and it was time to give it a try.  Of course, its as easy to do in the dutch oven as it is on the stove top.  Maybe easier since I didn't have any oil splatters to clean off my stove.  :)  I love dutch ovens!!

Chicken Cakes
12" dutch oven

2 Tbs. butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil  (Add more as needed when frying)
1 Tbs. Creole seasoning (I used Tony Cachere's)
1 Tbs. Creole mustard (Or spicy brown mustard.  Just don't use yellow mustard)
2 Tbs. Mayonnaise (Not Miracle Whip)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 clove minced garlic
4 green onions, sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup Italian bread crumbs

Remoulade Sauce
1 cup Mayonnaise
2 green onions, sliced
2 Tbs. creole mustard (Or spicy brown.  Not yellow)
2 cloves minced garlic
1 Tbs. chopped parsley
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper

Melt the butter in a dutch oven over a full spread of coals.  Add the bell pepper, green onions and garlic and saute until tender.  Stir together the bell pepper mixture, chicken, egg, mayo, mustard, creole seasoning and bread crumbs.  Form the mixture into about 8-10 patties.

In the same dutch oven, add the oil and heat until shimmering.  Fry the patties about 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown and sightly crispy on the outside.  Serve immediately with remoulade.

For the remoulade, mix all ingredients together and refrigerate 1 hour to allow the flavors to blend

The Finished Product

The Review

I can't even tell you how good these were.  My hubby (who is notorious for complaining if we have the same meal twice in 6 months) asked me to make these every week for a month.  And we still didn't get sick of them.  They are delish!  They are pretty spicy, so adjust the creole seasoning if you need to.  I think I only used 2 tsp. and it had a nice bite.  Don't skip the remoulade or you'll be missing the best part of the meal.  The sauce puts these over the top!  You'll love 'em!

Source:  Tasty Kitchen

Friday, August 19, 2011


**Disclaimer**  I am not a Southern gal.  I was born in Tahoe, California and spent most of my life in Northern Utah.  The closest thing I've ever even come to the South is spending 2 weeks in Dallas with a friend in college, but I'm not sure that counts.  So please forgive me if this Gumbo recipe is not remotely authentic.  Not authentic, but yummy nonetheless.  I did a little looking for Gumbo recipes (because I'd never had it before and had no idea what was in it).  After I had a fairly good grasp of what it actually was, I set about making my own recipe. (See what I mean by not authentic?)

First, a little about the roux that this recipe calls for.  A roux is super simple to make.  It is a mixture of a fat (butter or my favorite bacon grease)  and flour.  All you do is melt the butter, stir in the flour and cook and stir for a minute or two.  Roux is something that I always have stocked in my fridge.  I use it when I need to thicken soups, stews and anything else that needs thickening.  I keep it in a plastic container in my fridge so I always have it ready.  It stores up to 4 months.

12" dutch oven

2 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 lb. chicken, cut into chunks
1 onion, cut into chunks
1 red pepper, cut into chunks
1 stalks sliced celery
8 oz. kielbasa, sliced
4 cups chicken broth
2 bay leaves
2 cloves minced garlic
1 1/2 Tbs. Creole spice blend (I used Tony Cachere's)
~1/4 cup roux (more as needed to reach desired thickness)


1/2 cup butter (real butter)
1/2 cup flour

Heat the oil in your dutch oven over a full spread of coals.  Add the chicken, brown and remove.  Add the onion, red pepper and celery to the pot.  Saute until the onion is golden.  Add the cooked chicken, sausage, stock, bay leaves, garlic and creole spice.  Cover and simmer 30 minutes.  Move about 1/2 the coals to the lid to simmer.

While the pot is simmering, make the roux.  In a small dutch oven over a full spread of coals, melt the butter.  Add the flour and stir until smooth.  Continue to cook and stir for about 1 minute.  Remove from heat.

To thicken the Gumbo, add 1/4 cup of roux and stir until thickened.  Season with additional creole seasoning, salt and pepper if needed.  Serve over hot cooked rice.  Serves 6.

The Finished Product

The Review

This was really good if I do say so myself.  My kiddos loved it and my oldest son had 3 heaping plates full.  That's a winner in my book.  It was just spicy enough to be interesting, but not too spicy for my little kids.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

I've hit a major milestone today.  I'm officially OLD!  Yep, the big 4-0.  Time to start my mid life crisis.  I'm thinking sports cars (maybe a yellow 2011 Camaro) and younger men.  On second thought, I think I'll stick with the sports cars, I finally got the man I have trained and I don't want to start over.  :)  I hope you all have a wonderful day and I'll try not to cry when they have to call the fire department to put out the candles on my cake.  See you tomorrow!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Super Simple Apple Cobbler and Cooking with Coals From a Fire

This is a fun and delicious recipe!  It came from Cyndi Boyer and was printed in the Spring 2011 Dutch Oven News.  We had a hot dog roast on the back of our property and it was the perfect way to end the evening. 

I have to admit, I did have a few problems when I made this.  Not with the recipe, but with the fact that it was my first time trying to cook with coals from a fire.  Talk about an eye opening experience.  I thought I was pretty good at gauging heat by feel, but it turns out I'm not.  Truth be told, I was just nervous about trying it so I didn't get my oven hot enough.  It was the same feeling I had when I first started this whole dutch oven adventure last year, and look how that turned out.  I'll only get better.

Here is what I learned my first time out.  

First, the coals you use should look a lot like charcoal do.  Not in shape, but in color.  Some will be covered in ash, some black and grey and some glowing red.  The key is that they are all hot.

Next, you have to figure out how many coals to use.  This is where I think the Dinwiddie method comes in handy.  The main premise behind it is that if you cover a certain amount of surface area your oven will get hot enough to cook with.  So I tried to make sure that the coals I used from the fire covered roughly the same surface area that the rings of charcoal would.  Easier said than done, I know, but it was a good place to start.

Finally, just check your food as it cooks.  If it isn't cooking as fast as it should, grab a shovel and add some more coals, if its cooking too fast, remove some.  Just like when you use briquettes.

Its really not that different from using charcoal.  You just have to pay attention and make adjustments when necessary.  I won't be nearly as intimidated next time I use coals from a fire.  And I'm pretty sure I'll be raiding the wood shed again soon!  I'd love to hear how you have adjusted to using real coals!

I'm sorry I didn't take any pictures while this was cooking, but I was so preoccupied with the real coals that I completely forgot.

Super Simple Apple Cobbler
12" dutch oven

3 large (21 oz.) cans apple pie filling
2 cans refrigerated cinnamon rolls (Like Pillsbury) with icing

Dump all three cans of pie filling in your dutch oven.  Open the cinnamon rolls and separate into individual rolls.  With kitchen shears, quarter the cinnamon rolls and sprinkle in a single layer over the pie filling.  Bake at 350° until the cinnamon rolls are golden brown.  Use 1 1/2 rings on top and 1 ring on the bottom.  Drizzle with icing and serve.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Herbed Chicken and Pasta

This has been one of my family's favorite meals forever.  I've been making it long enough that I can't even remember where I got the recipe.  The best thing about this is that its one of those things I can have on the table in about 30 minutes and I know everyone will be happy.

Herbed Chicken and Pasta
10" dutch oven

1-2 tsp. salt free seasoning blend (I used Mrs. Dash)
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
4 Tbs. butter, divided
2/3 cup water
2 Tbs. teriyaki sauce
2 Tbs. onion soup mix (I used Lipton)
1 envelope savory herb and garlic soup mix, divided (I've used both Lipton and Knorr brands)
8 ounces of your favorite pasta
2 Tbs. Parmesan cheese
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce

Combine the seasoning blend and  poultry seasoning and sprinkle over the chicken.  Saute the chicken in oil and 2 Tbs. butter over a full spread of coals until juices run clear.  Add the water, teriyaki sauce, onion soup mix and 2 Tbs. herb and garlic soup mix.  Bring to a boil.  Cover and move about 1/4 of the coals from the bottom of the dutch oven to the top, and simmer for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions.  Drain and add to the chicken mixture.  Add the cheese, Worcestershire sauce, remaining butter, and remaining herb and garlic soup mix.  Toss to coat and serve immediately.  Serves 4.

The Finished Product

The Review

I haven't made this in a long time, and I'd forgotten how good it is.  The herb and garlic soup mix can be a little hard to find.  My local grocery store will randomly quit carrying the Lipton brand, which I like best, but the Knorr brand makes a good substitute.  This was super easy in the DO, and the DO flavor really adds that something extra to this meal.  We love it!

Monday, July 25, 2011

BBQ Ranch Chicken Rolls

Here is another simple but easy recipe.  I made these for my kiddos for lunch a while ago and the loved them!  It would make a great camping meal since you can use all prepared ingredients.  I made everything from scratch, but you could easily use refrigerated pizza dough, Lloyd's BBQ Chicken and prepared ranch dressing.

BBQ Ranch Chicken Rolls
14" dutch oven

3 cups flour
1 Tbs. honey
1 Tbs. oil
1 cup warm water
1 Tbs. instant yeast
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 cup prepared ranch dressing
2 cups shredded BBQ chicken  (I cooked and shredded 2 large chicken breasts, shredded them and mixed with BBQ sauce)
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Mix the first 6 ingredients in a mixing bowl until a soft dough forms.  Allow the dough to rest for 20 minutes, then roll into a rectangle.  Don't roll it too thin or it will tear when you try to roll it up with the chicken inside.  Spread the ranch dressing over the dough, then top with the chicken, green onions and cheese.  Starting at the long end, roll into a log shape like you would for cinnamon rolls.  Using a sharp knife or dental floss, cut it into 1" slices and place in a greased dutch oven.  Bake at 350° for 20-20 minutes or until golden brown.  Use 1 1/2 rings on top and 1 ring on the bottom.  Serve with ranch dressing for dipping.  Serves about 10.

The Finished Product

The Review

I wish the picture looked as good as it tasted.  My kiddos love these!  I have to admit, I'm a sucker for BBQ chicken so I ate more than my fair share of these.  Next time I'll add more cheese, and I'll leave the dough a little bit thicker.  I rolled it so thin that it tore as I was trying to roll them up.  So watch out for that.  This would be a great camping meal.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Happy Days of '47!!

I hope you all have a great weekend!  Its the Days of '47 or Pioneer Day in Utah.  Its when we celebrate the Mormon pioneers arrival into the Salt Lake valley.  Some of my ancestors were among them.  We celebrate with parades, BBQs and fireworks.  I'm looking forward to some time with my fam.  I'll be back next week!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mini Focaccia

Today's recipe is one of those quick and easy, almost at the last minute kind of things.  I needed a bread to go with the lasagna I made for dinner, so I came up with this.  Its simple and easy to make and would go great with all kinds of pasta dishes or soups.  It starts with pizza dough.  You could even use a tube of refrigerated pizza dough if you wanted to.

Mini Focaccia
14" dutch oven

3 cups flour
1 Tbs. honey
1 Tbs. oil
1 cup warm water
1 Tbs. yeast
1/2 tsp garlic salt
2 tsp. olive oil
1-2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
2-3 Tbs. Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.  Mix all pizza dough ingredients together, except the flour. Add flour and knead for a few minutes.  On an oiled surface, roll out the dough into about a 10 x 14 in rectangle.  Then roll the dough up as if you are making cinnamon rolls.  Using dental floss cut the dough into 1 inch thick slices.  They should look like unfilled cinnamon rolls.  Gently pan each roll flat and place in a greased dutch oven.  Spread olive oil on top of the rolls and sprinkle with seasoning and Parmesan cheese.  Bake at 400° for about 15 minutes or until they are golden brown.  Use 2 rings on top and 1 ring on the bottom.

The Finished Product

The Review

These little rolls were super easy and went great with my lasagna.  The prep work was minimal and I had plenty of time to have them ready while the lasagna cooked.  They ended up soft and slightly chewy but very delicious!

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Little Help?

Okay, I need a little help from all of you.  I get to cook a dutch oven dinner for 30 people from our church and I have absolutely no idea what to make.  It really shouldn't be that hard, its not like I don't have a million recipes, but I'm having a major brain cramp and I can't come up with anything.  We want it to be nice, but not too expensive and there will be about 15 8-11 year old girls there, so it has to be kid friendly.  I'll take any suggestions you've got!  Thanks and I love you all!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Baked Risotto

Risotto is one of those things I never make.  Who has 45 minutes to stand around and stir rice?  Not me!  So I was excited to see this baked risotto at Cook's Country.  I was pleasantly surprised by the results and there is a ton of things you could do to make this recipe your own.  Adding sauteed asparagus or cooked broccoli or carrots.  As it was, the Parmesan cheese and parsley were perfect with the Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf I made for dinner.

Some notes about this recipe.  I've made enough recipes from Cook's Country to know that every step has a purpose and will effect the finished dish, so I made this exactly as the recipe said.  At one point you need to cover the rice/broth with foil.  When you do this, don't let the foil hang out of the dutch oven, just roll the foil down so it is all inside your pot. 

This was really good, so give it a try!

Baked Risotto
10" dutch oven

5 cups low-sodium chicken broth (Yes, use low sodium or it will be too salty)
1/2 cup water
2 bay leaves
4 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 onion, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups Arborio rice (Not long grain or instant)
3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used chicken broth)
1 1/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley

In a 10" dutch oven, bring the broth, water and bay leaves to simmer over a full spread of coals.  When almost boiling, put the lid on the pot and remove from the heat.

In another 10" dutch oven, melt the butter over a full spread of coals.  (You can use the same coals you used to heat the broth.)  Add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cook until lightly browned.  Stir in the rice and cook until the edges begin to turn translucent.  Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant.  Add the wine (or broth) and cook until completely absorbed.

Pour the warm broth over the rice.  Cover the dutch oven with a sheet of aluminum foil, making sure it rests on top of the broth.  Cover and bake at 400° until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes.  Use 1 1/2 rings on top and 1 ring on the bottom.  Discard bay leaves.  Stir in Parmesan cheese and parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serves 6-8.

The Finished Product

The Review

This wasn't quite as creamy as other risotto I've had, but it was delish.  I'm going to have to experiment with it a little bit more, but the family thought it was a keeper.  It has nice flavor, but if you don't use low sodium broth it will be too salty by the time you add the Parmesan cheese.  I've made other baked risotto recipes, but this one has turned out the best so far.  I'll be making this again for sure.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Black Bean Salsa in Won Ton Cups

You'll have to forgive me for going a little Martha Stewart on you today.  With such a large family meal time is generally a cook and eat affair.  But once in a while I try to get a little creative and do something cute and fun.  This was one of those days.  It also helps my kiddos to try new foods if its in a fun package.  That's where these little won ton cups come in.  All they are is won ton wrappers gently pressed into muffin cups and baked until they're crispy.

Now to make these in the dutch oven I had to get a little creative.  My muffin pan is too big to fit into my 14" DO.  So I used the foil muffin cups made by Reynolds.  (I usually find them in the foil and plastic wrap section of the grocery store.)  I love them because they can stand up by themselves instead of needing the support of the muffin pan.  I found that the easiest way to make these is to put the foil liners in a muffin pan and then gently put the won ton wrappers into the liners.  I had to work with them a little bit to get them just right.  Then transfer the foil liners to my dutch oven and bake.  Easy Peasey!!

Black Bean Salsa in Won Ton Cups

1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
8 oz. frozen corn, thawed
1 large tomato, seeded and diced
1 medium sized avocado, peeled and diced
1 small onion, diced
1 Tbs. fresh lime juice (about 1/2 a lime)
1 1/2 tsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. Cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
A dash or two of cayenne

Mix all the ingredients except the avocado and chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.  Add more lime juice, salt and pepper if needed.  Carefully mix in avocado, spoon into won ton cups and serve.

Won Ton Cups
DO size depends on how many you make. I fit 12 of them easily in a 14" DO

Won ton wrappers
Foil muffin cup liners

Place foil liners in the cups of a muffin pan.  Carefully place the won ton wrappers inside the liners forming a cup.  Transfer the foil liners to a dutch  oven and bake at 350° for 10-15 minutes or until the won ton wrappers are golden brown and crispy.  Fill with Black Bean Salsa and serve immediately.

Source:  This is an original recipe

The Finished Product

The Review

This was really good if I do say so myself.  I count it as a total triumph that all of my kiddos except the black bean hating 8 year old liked it.  I'm looking forward to having the leftovers for lunch today since its even better after everything has marinated a while.  Grade A.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Pesto Breadsticks

Hi everyone!  I've been on vacation for a couple of weeks and it was wonderful.  I spent my days swimming with the kiddos or lounging by the pool, taking walks along the riverbank and enjoying perfect weather and great company.  Who knew Reno, Nevada could be so relaxing.  There is really more there than casinos. 

But now I'm home and still have no oven, so I've been giving my dutch ovens a real workout.  I had hoped to be working on some fun and different DO dishes, but necessity has forced me to cook the conventional dinner dishes and breads.  We even cook fish sticks for lunch in the big black pots!  I have never been so grateful that I spent last year learning to cook outdoors!

Today's recipe is a twist on my all time favorite bread stick recipe.  I have been obsessed with pesto lately, and I've been looking for excuses to add it to everything I can think of.  I've used it for everything from a pasta sauce to sandwich spread to grilled cheese sandwiches.  My family is starting to wonder if I'm going a little nutty.  On the upside of my new obsession, I came up with this yummy recipe!

Pesto Bread Sticks
2- 12 inch dutch ovens

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 Tbs. instant yeast
2 Tbs. sugar
3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
6 Tbs. butter
 Prepared Pesto  (I used a beautiful sun-dried tomato pesto.  I found it in the canned tomato section of the grocery store.  Regular basil pesto can usually be found in the deli section near the gourmet cheeses.)

Mix all the ingredients except the butter and the pesto in a mixing bowl and mix well until a soft dough forms.  Knead for about 3 minutes.  Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.  Place 3 Tbs. of butter in each dutch oven and melt the butter over about 6 coals.  You don't want to heat the pots too much, just enough to melt the butter.  Remove the pots from the heat. 

Roll out the bread stick dough into a rectangle until it is about 1/4-1/2 inch thick.  Spread the pesto on half of the long side of the dough.  I used quite a lot of pesto, probably over 1/2 cup because I love it so much.  The amount of pesto is up to you.  If you love it, really slather it on, if you aren't so sure, use less.  After the pesto is evenly spread, fold the plain section of dough over the pesto.  So you will end up with the dough folded in half lengthwise and pesto in the middle.  (Am I making any sense at all?)

Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into strips about 1 inch wide.  Twist slightly and place in your pots.  This makes about 22-24 bread sticks, so split them between the 2 pots.  Cover and let rise 30 minutes.  Bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.  Use 1 1/2 rings + a couple of coals on top and 1 ring on the bottom.  Remove from heat and spread with melted butter and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired.

The Finished Product

As you can tell, I didn't split my bread sticks up into two pots.  I was running low on charcoal so I tried to cram them all into my 14" oven.  Not a great idea since they were terrible to try to get apart in one piece.  Use two pots to make it easier.

The Review

I've tried several variations on these bread sticks, but this one is my favorite.  The bread is soft and delicious, my kiddos thought the pesto made them taste like pizza.  And anything that tastes like pizza is a hit at my house.  I think these are a great way to introduce new flavors to kids in a form that they will love.  Grade A.

Recipe Source:  Adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Taco Meatball Ring

With every day that passes without an oven I become more and more grateful that I can dutch oven cook.  Its not just for camping or emergencies!  Although I think that not having an oven could qualify as an emergency sometimes.  But not for me because I spent last year preparing for just such an occasion!  I'm actually quite pleased that we aren't eating out every night. (Not that we would, I'm way to cheap for that.)  Nor are we relegated only to what I can make in a skillet or slow cooker.  (Although there's been some of that.)  Nope!  Nothing has changed, oven or not!

This recipe is a fun twist on tacos.  It is also really easy.  This will go into the camping category for sure!  I used 1 dutch oven for the whole meal, but it would be faster if you used one oven to cook the meatballs and one to cook the actual dish.  But its up to you.

Taco Meatball Ring
12" dutch oven

2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided

3 Tbs. water
4 Tbs. taco seasoning
1 lb. ground beef
2 tubes refrigerated crescent rolls
Shredded lettuce
Chopped tomato
Sliced green onions
Sliced black olives
Sliced jalapeno peppers
Sour cream and salsa

In a large bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups of cheese, water and taco seasoning. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into 16 balls.

Place the meatballs in a dutch oven and bake at 400° for 12 minutes or until meat is no longer pink. Use 2 rings on top and 1 ring on the bottom.  Drain the meatballs on paper towels. Pour the grease out and wipe the oven clean.  (I let it cool for a few minutes so I could handle the oven.)

Arrange the crescent rolls in your dutch oven,  forming a ring with the pointed ends facing the outer edge of the pan and the wide ends overlapping.

Place a meatball on each roll. Fold the point over the meatball and tuck under the wide end of the roll. The meatball will still be visible. Repeat with all the meatballs. Bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes or until the rolls are golden brown.  Use 1 1/2 rings + a few coals on top and 1 ring on the bottom.

Serve with lettuce, chopped tomato, olives, jalapenos, green onions, sour cream and salsa.

The Finished Product

The Review

This was really good.  Especially if you're a meatball connoisseur like I am.  Next time I'll just serve it out of the dutch oven instead of on a serving platter.  It took 4 large spatulas and a few extra arms to get it out in one piece.  It was totally not worth taking it out of the pan just to save a few dirty dishes.  But we'll be having this again for sure.  My kiddos loved it!  Grade A.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Roasted Garlic Chicken Pizza

Hi everyone!  I'm back dutch oven cooking with a vengeance.  Like I said before, my oven went the way of the dodo, so I have no way to bake anything in it  Thank goodness I spent last year learning to cook outdoors, because right now I have no choice.  I'd be in a panic if I didn't know how to dutch oven cook. 

Let me start out this recipe by telling you that this is an original recipe, but the idea came from the Food Network, specifically "Diners, Drive-In's and Dives".  I spend more evenings than I'd like to admit watching and taking notes on the program (and lets be honest, many other food shows).  I'm weird, I know.  My hubby just shakes his head when he sees me grab my notebook and plop down on the couch.  Anyway,  I took the idea for this pizza and ran with it. 

At first, I thought it would be more of a grown up pizza, but my kiddos loved it.  Even with the artichokes and sun dried tomatoes.  Maybe there's hope for their tasters yet!  So, here goes, I hope you love it as much as we did!

Roasted Garlic Chicken Pizza
2- 12" dutch ovens (thin crust) or 1- 12" dutch oven (thick crust)


3 cups flour
1 Tbs. honey, heaping
1 cup warm water
1 Tbs. yeast
1/2 tsp. garlic powder


Pizza sauce
Canned artichokes, coarsely chopped
Black olives
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 garlic bulb (not a clove, but the whole head of garlic)
Sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil, patted dry and coarsely chopped

Garlic Butter:

1/4 cup butter or margarine
5 cloves minced garlic
Dried parsley (I used about a tablespoon)
Shredded Mozzarella, Monterrey Jack and cheddar cheese (about 3/4 cup total)
Shredded Romano cheese
3 chicken breasts, seasoned, cooked and cut into chunks

To roast the garlic, cut the top quarter of the bulb off and discard.  (It is the pointy side you want to cut off.)  Drizzle about a 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil over the bulb then wrap in foil.  Place a trivet inside your dutch oven and place the bulb on top of it.  (If you don't have a trivet, just roll up 4 small balls of foil and balance the wrapped garlic bulb on top of them.  The idea is not to let the garlic sit directly on the bottom of the dutch oven.)  Bake at 450° for about 40 minutes or until the garlic is very tender.  Use 2 1/2 rings on top and 1 on the bottom.  Remove from the oven, unwrap and allow to cool.  When cooled, squeeze the garlic cloves from the papery skin and mash.

To make the dough, mix all the ingredients together except the flour.  Add the flour a little at a time and knead or mix until a soft dough forms.  Press in the bottom of a greased dutch oven.

To build the pizza, spread the dough with your favorite pizza sauce.  Then add the chopped artichokes and sliced black olives.  Top with Mozzarella cheese, roasted garlic (you have to kind of spread it on or crumble it the best you can with your fingers) and sun dried tomatoes.  Bake at 475° for 12-15 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted.  I used 2 1/2 rings + a couple of coals on top and 1 ring on the bottom.

While the pizza is baking, prepare the garlic butter.  In a small dutch oven over about 6-8 coals, melt the butter and add the minced garlic.  Cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add the parsley, cheeses and chicken and allow to melt together.  It may look like a gloppy mess, but that's what you want.  Keep it warm and stir often while the pizza cooks.

When the pizza is finished cooking, remove it from the heat and put the garlic butter/cheese mixture on top of the pizza.  Serve hot.  Makes 2 thin crust pizzas or 1 thick crust pizza.

The Finished Product

The Review

This is by far one of my favorite pizza recipes.  I'm so proud of it, I can't even tell you.  The richness from the roasted garlic and the bite from the minced garlic in the garlic butter are perfect together.  It has such complex flavors.  Talk about a party in your mouth!  I love how the garlic flavor gets infused into the cheese and the chicken when you make the garlic butter.  The smell alone with have your mouth watering.  I can't wait to make it again.  I don't mean to toot my own horn, but this gets an A+!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

My Oven Died--Good Thing I Have Black Pots!

Hi everyone!  I just thought I'd let you know that I'm back to some serious dutch oven cooking.  You'd think that after having an entire year off my oven would be ready for some action, but unfortunately, it bit the dust yesterday. So until I can save enough money for a new one, we're eating exclusively dutch oven food!  I'm having a bit of deja vu right now and converting every new recipe I find into a dutch oven recipe.  I'm really excited about it.  I'll start posting recipes again in a day or two!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Upside-Down Strawberry Shortcake

Hi everyone!  I'm back with another yummy cake recipe.  For someone who doesn't appreciate baking, I've sure been doing a lot of it.  Unfortunately, because of the weather I haven't been doing much in my DO.  Its been so cold and rainy that I'm wondering when Utah was mysteriously moved to Seattle.  We've been preparing for the flooding that we know is coming as soon as the record snow pack starts to melt.  I know it'll be nothing compared to what is happening to those along the Mississippi River (and my heart and prayers go out to everyone effected), but to have any flooding at all in the nations second driest state is a big deal.  But enough about that!

I have to tell you about this yummy cake.  I made it last week (on one of our few sunny days).  I thought it would be a great way to showcase one of my favorite spring foods--strawberries.  The berry layer is really cool because you spoon it on top of the cake and it magically migrates to the bottom as it cooks.  My kids thought it was really cool.  They loved it so much that while it was cooling on the counter and I was running an errand or two, they ate the entire cake by the fork full.  I got exactly 2 1/2 bites.  It was sooo not fair, but those few bites were delish!

Upside-Down Strawberry Shortcake
12" dutch oven

1 cup mini marshmallows
1 (16 oz.) pkg. frozen sweetened strawberries, sliced
1 (3 oz.) pkg. strawberry gelatin
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 cup milk

Sprinkle the marshmallows into the bottom of a greased 12" dutch oven.  In a bowl, combine the strawberries and gelatin powder; set aside.  In another mixing bowl, cream the shortening and sugar.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in vanilla.  Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk.  Pour the batter over the marshmallows.  Spoon the strawberry mixture evenly over the batter.  Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Use 1 1/2 rings on top and 1 ring on the bottom.  Cool.

Sorry there's no picture, my kids ate it all before I could take one!  The little stinkers!!

The Review

This was seriously good.  My kids love that there was gelatin mixed with the strawberries and it was sweet enough that you really wouldn't need the extra sugar from the sweetened strawberries.  In my opinion, its best served warm, before the gelatin has time to congeal.  My kids said it was nice and gooey.  I personally think that this would lend itself well to vanilla bean ice cream.  But doesn't everything?  Grade A.

Source:  Taste of Home magazine

Monday, April 25, 2011

Banana Coconut Upside Down Cake

Hi Everyone!  I'm still here and still alive, just overwhelmingly busy the last month.  As most of you know, my mom was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma in December and she is 5 treatments in to a 6 treatment chemo regimen.  I'm happy to report that her cancer is responding really well to the chemo.  The lymph nodes that were the size of a softball are now the size of a marble, so her prognosis is really good.  On the flip side, CHEMO SUCKS!  I've spent as much time as I can helping her through the weakness and fatigue.  We are very grateful that we only have a few more weeks of it, then we can get back to living.  Thanks to all of you for your kind emails and prayers.

I have a really fabulous recipe for you today.  Its so good that I'm working on a variation or two to use in a cook off.  For today I'm posting the original recipe, but I'll share the variations later once I've got it just right.  But I'll give you a hint, think Pina Colada Cake.

Banana Coconut Upside Down Cake
2-10" dutch ovens

1 yellow cake mix
3 eggs
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup water
6 bananas, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 Tbs. lemon juice

To prepare the pots, oil the bottoms and fit each pot with a piece of parchment paper that is cut to fit inside, then oil the parchment.

Combine the cake mix, eggs, oil, water, and sour cream and mix vigorously for 2 minutes.  Place the banana slices evenly on the bottom of each pan.

In a small dutch oven, melt the butter over 6-8 coals.  (I had to use my 12" because it was the smallest one I had left.)  Add the brown sugar and lemon juice and heat until the sugar dissolves.  Pour half of the brown sugar mixture over the bananas in each pot .  Sprinkle the coconut over the brown sugar sauce.

Pour the cake batter over the top of the coconut in each pan, dividing equally.

Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes our clean.  Use 1 ring on top and 1 ring on the bottom.  Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes.  Invert onto serving dishes.  Serve warm.  Makes 2-10" cakes.

The Finished Product

The Review

Wow!  Is all I can say.  This is a really simple recipe that gives absolutely stellar results!  The bananas are my favorite part, hands down.  Next time I'm going to slice them even thicker because I kept wanting more bananas.  The brown sugar sauce and the coconut....I'm drooling all over my keyboard right now!  I think a pineapple cake mix would be really good too!  This gets an A-, only because I have some really good ideas to make it even better!

Source:  The Girl Who Ate Everything

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Chocolate Milk Bread

This bread is an idea I've been kicking around for a few months.  Its a work in progress.  The idea is to replace the water or milk in your bread recipe with chocolate milk and see what happens.  It was interesting, but not quite what I was hoping for.  The chocolate flavor got lost in the bread, and the color wasn't as dark as I'd hoped it would be.  But it wasn't a total failure.  The crumb was nice and soft and the bread was really sweet.  The problem was that there wasn't much I could do with it.  We ended up toasting it and spreading it with Nutella. 

So I have a few ideas for next time.  I think I'll use my french bread recipe and add some chocolate chips to the dough.  Then it should make some great french toast.  Maybe stuffed with strawberries and cream cheese...  Now I'm drooling on my keyboard.  I'll let you know how it turns out.  This weekend is the LDS church's General Conference.  We get the chance to receive direction and encouragement from our religious leaders.  Its a huge family weekend for my family.  We have special meals and treats and watch the conference broadcast.  Its a fun time.  I think I'll give the french bread/toast version  a try.  So here is attempt #1.

Chocolate Milk Bread
10" dutch oven

2 1/3 cups chocolate milk heated to 115°
1 Tbs. yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
5-7 cups flour

Combine the chocolate milk and yeast.  Allow it to sit for about 5 minutes.  Add the oil, sugar, salt and about 2 1/2 cups of flour.  Mix until smooth (it should look like pancake batter).  Let rise for 20-30 minutes.  Add the remaining flour a little at a time, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.  Allow to rise in a greased bowl until doubled in size.  Punch the dough down and shape as desired (loaf, ball, or rolls).  Let rise about 45 minutes.  Bake in a preheated 350° dutch oven for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.  Remove from the dutch oven and allow to cool.  Makes 2 loaves.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Dutch Oven Santa Fe Chicken

Good morning!!  Its been a while since you've heard from me.  I'll bet you thought I was MIA and had forgotten all about you.  Not so!!  Life has been crazy, but thankfully it's slowing down.

This is a recipe I've had for a while.  Its been on the menu every week for a couple of months, but I could never seem to get the time to actually make it.  And yes, its one of those that you are kicking yourself in the pants for not trying sooner.  It is delicious!  Who knew that chicken flavored Rice A Roni and taco seasoning went so well together?  Then add the richness of the cream cheese and you have yourself a winner! 

The recipe itself is really simple.  The hardest part is rolling up the chicken with the filling inside.  But I have some tricks to make it easier.  First, instead of spreading the filling on the chicken and rolling it up, use a sharp knife to cut a pocket in the chicken breast.  This works best with a nice, fat piece of meat.  Leave the opening of the pocket fairly small, but make sure the pocket itself is quite large.  Second, don't close the opening of the pocket with toothpicks.  There is nothing I hate worse than having to pick toothpicks out of my dinner.  Instead, use small pieces of spaghetti noodles.  The pasta will soften as the chicken cooks and no one will ever know it was ever there.  Pretty clever, huh?  We gave this an A.

Dutch Oven Santa Fe Chicken
12" or 14" dutch oven

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chilies
6-8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 medium onion, diced
1 (14 oz.) can chicken broth
1 pkg. dry taco seasoning
1 box chicken flavored Rice a Roni
Additional water as needed

Mix half of the green chilies with the cream cheese.  Cut a pocket in each chicken breast.  Make the pocket large, but try to leave the opening small.  (See picture below)  Stuff each pocket with the cream cheese mixture.  Secure with small pieces of dry spaghetti noodles (instead of toothpicks).  Combine the remaining green chilies, onion, broth, taco seasoning and Rice a Roni and pour into an oiled dutch oven.  Place the chicken on top of the rice.  Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.  Stir fairly often adding more liquid to the rice as needed.  You want it soft, but not mushy.  Use 1 1/2 rings on top and 1 ring on the bottom.  Serves 6-8.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

How did I ever find the time?

Wow!  Life has been so crazy lately!  I'm thinking back to last year and I wonder how I EVER found the time to dutch oven every day.  I'm a little flabbergasted!  I couldn't do it now to save my life! :)  I'm having trouble with once a week!  Sunday dinner will be cooked dutch oven style so I'll have a new post for you on Monday or Tuesday.  Hopefully our snow storm will be gone by then!  Have a great President's Day weekend!  See you next week!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Superbowl Chili

I made this chili for our Superbowl party and it was a big hit!  I wish I'd made more because there wasn't a drop left by the end of the night.  This is the kind of recipe that can be made mild, or smoking hot by using fewer chipotles.  I chose a mild version since I was feeding little ones.  My favorite thing about this chili is that it calls for stew meat rather than hamburger, so the result is tender shredded beef.  This chili was tailor made for the dutch oven, and the hardest thing about it was replenishing the coals. So in other words, it was really easy and well worth the effort!

Superbowl Chili
12" dutch oven

3 pounds of stew meat
2 (15 1/2 oz) cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
3 canned chipotle peppers in adobo  ( I only used about 1 1/2 peppers)
1 (28oz) can of diced tomatoes
2 large onions, diced
10 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, finely diced
2 tbs chili powder
2 tbs ground coriander (I didn't have any)
1 tbs ground cumin
1 tbs paprika
1 tbs oregano
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground ancho chili pepper  (I had a hard time finding this, so don't worry if you have to leave it out)
1 tsp sugar
2 tbs tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup corn meal
1 1/2 tsp. cocoa powder

Season the meat with salt and pepper and put in a 12" dutch oven.  Cover the meat with 1 inch of water.  Bring to a boil over a full spread of coals and skim off any foam.  Add the onions, garlic, jalapeno and chipotles.  Stir in the remaining ingredients except the cocoa powder and corn meal.  Bring to a boil, then cover and move about 1/4 of the coals to the lid.  Allow to simmer for about 2 hours or until the meat is tender enough to be shredded.  Replenish the coals as needed to keep at a simmer.  Don't be afraid to add some water if it seems to be boiling down too much.  When the meat is tender, shred it with two forks or just smash it against the side of the pot with a large spoon to break it up.  Add the kidney beans and corn meal, stir well and continue simmering for 1 more hour.  About 5 minutes before serving stir in the cocoa powder.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Red Hot Chocolate Torte

My lopsided cake!

Welcome back everyone!  Its good to be cooking again.  Not that I ever stopped, I'm just back to doing what I love...dutch oven cooking.  Today I thought I'd share a Valentine's day recipe.  Something sweet for your sweetie!

Now, I have to tell you, me and layer cakes don't have a good history together.  I've made exactly 2 layer cakes in the last 10 years, and both times I had to fight them every step of the way.  Today's cake had many problems, not the least of which was that it sunk in the middle.  I'm not much of a baker, so I couldn't tell you what causes it, just that it happened.  So what was supposed to be a triple layer cake became a double layer cake. 

My next disaster happened while I was putting the layers together.  Since the cake was concave it was really hard to cut in half.  The center of the top layer was really thin and that didn't bode well.  When I went to put the top layer on the cake it fell apart.  So I pieced it together the best I could and hoped the ganache would hide it.  And it did to a point.

Once I had the top pieced together I noticed two things.  First that there was a ton of filling left (since my triple layer cake had been unexpectedly downsized), and second, that I had a big sunken well in the top of the cake.  So, not wanting to be wasteful, I took most of the leftover filling and filled the well to even off the top of the cake.

Next came the ganache.  Like I said, I'm not much of a baker and I've never worked with ganache before, so I wasn't sure what to expect.  Since I've never worked with it before the cake looked a little bit like my 5 year old had frosted it.  I had to come up with a way to hide it from all of you, so I quickly crushed up some red hots and pressed them onto sides and top of the cake.  Problem solved! 

Now I realized it isn't the most beautiful thing you've ever seen, but let me tell you, is is delicious!  It has just a hint of cinnamon flavor from the red hots, but its not hot at all.  You could even all a touch of cinnamon oil to the ganache if you wanted.  It was also nice that the filling isn't uber sweet.  Its a nice contrast to the sweet ganache.

If red hots aren't your thing, there are a lot of variations to this cake.  You could use crushed candy canes or starlight mints in the fillins and a 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract in the ganache, or use orange zest in the filling and orange extract in the ganache.  Both would be delicious. 

After hearing my horror story, what can you do to make it easier for you?  Try baking the cake in 2 12" dutch ovens or even in 3 10" ovens.  That way you wouldn't need to try to slice the cake into layers.   You could bake, fill and frost without the headache.  So give this a try is is really delicious! 

Red Hot Chocolate Torte
2-12" ovens or 3-10" ovens

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup boiling water


1 1/2 cup cold whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2/3 cup finely chopped red hot candies
3/4 tsp. vanilla
red food coloring (optional)

In a small bowl, beat the whipping cream and powdered sugar until stiff.  Fold in the red hots, vanilla and food coloring until well blended.


1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup water
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla

In a small dutch oven, over about 8 coals, melt the butter and add the cocoa and water.  Stir constantly until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and add powdered sugar and vanilla.  Beat with a wire whisk until smooth and spreadable.  Add more water, 1/2 tsp. at a time, if needed. 


In a large mixing bowl, mix the dry ingredients.  Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla, and mix well.  Stir in boiling water.  The batter will be thin.  Prepare your dutch ovens by greasing them, then dusting them with flour.  Put a parchment circle in teh bottom of each pot and spray with cooking spray.  Pour the batter into the ovens and bake at 350° for about 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Use 1 1/2 rings on top and 1 ring on the bottom.  Cool with the lid ajar for 10 minutes.  Remove the cake from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack.

When cool, spread the filling between the layers and top with ganache.  Garnish with filling squeezed from a pastry bag.  Keep in the refrigerator.

print friendly

Related Posts with Thumbnails