Friday, January 30, 2009

A Few Last Recipes from My Mission

These aren't Estonian, strictly speaking, well actually not even close, but they are beloved among the Estonian missionaries, so I thought you might enjoy them.

Chocolate Snickerdoodles
These were a delicious chocolate cinnamony treat on the way to zone conferences.
Tip: Do not substitute wheat flour for white. They don't work.
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp salt

Mix, roll into balls
Coat balls in 2 tsp of sugar mixed with 2 tsp cinnamon
bake at 400 for 6-9 minutes

Elder Peterson's Orange Chicken
If you like Panda express once in a while, you will like this. My companions and I made it on Pdays for a special treat.
4-5 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts, thawed and cubed
crack 2-3 eggs into a bowl and stir them up
coat chicken in eggs
put egged chicken in a plastic bag or other container and add 1 cup flour 1 tsp salt 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
shake until well coated. You can add more flour if you want.
Fry in oil until golden brown.
Drain, set aside in a casserole dish

Pre-heat oven to 350

3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup orange juice
4 Tbsp ketchup
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp mustard

Boil until it barely starts to thicken, stirring fairly consistently

Pour over chicken, stir so chicken is well coated
sprinkle sesame seeds over the top
Bake 15 minutes, remove from oven stir well
Bake 15 more minutes, stir
Serve with rice and vegetables

Elder Harris' Amazing Brownies
These are literally the best brownies I've ever had. I think the texture is perfect.
180 gr of softened butter I think that is like one cube
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cups cocoa
2 eggs
mix well. It should be pretty thick.
Add 1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 Tbsp vanilla
Mix well. You're going to think it is too thick. It isn't.
Spread with spatula in brownie-appropriate pan.
Bake at 350 for about 15 min. Take them out when they still look a little underdone or they will be wayyyy too hard.
Oh my gosh, I love these.

Real Estonian Food

Aino's Tort
1 small package of pre-made cake mix
1 cube melted butter
mix the two and press the mixture into the bottom of a baking dish until it is firm
cover with berries or apple slices, whatever you want (black currants are very estonian)
whisk 3 eggs and add 250g of sour gream. I think that is about a cup
Mix well
Pour over topBake at 350 watch it carefully until it is just starting to get golden brown but when you shake the pan it shouldn't move like liquid anymore.

Sister Tormis' Delicious Dumpling Soup
2 liters of chicken boullion - set to softly boil/simmer on stove
chop 1 pepper, 1 onion and some garlic - sautee until soft and add to boullion
chop 3 carrots and 5 small potatoes - add to pot*Note* You can really add as many as you want
Boil all of this for 10 min.
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup water
3 cups flour
mix well
You may or may not need to add more water. You don't want it runny, but not too thick either. It should hold its own shape when dropped into the soup.
Drop by spoonfuls into the soup until all dumpling dough is used.
Boil 5 min.
When dumplings are floating on surface then it is done.
Serve with fresh chopped dill and sour cream on top. Eat with rye bread.

P.S. If you want your food to taste like estonian food eat it with sour cream, dill and rye bread. =)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Other Reason Why I Gained 30 Lbs on my Mission:

The Socratically Ideal Chocolate Chip Cookie
1 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 large heaping spoonful of peanut butter

3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 giant dark chocolate bar with hazelnuts chopped up or as many chocolate chips and you can fit

drop by spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet
8-10 min at 350

Consume with milk. Preferrably the Estonian brand Tere

Why I Gained 30 Lbs...


Combine 1 cup hot water with 1 cup milk.
Sprinkle 1 Tbsp sugar and four packets of yeast over the top
Set aside

Melt 1 cup butter in a large mixing bowl
Add 2 eggs, 3 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar
Add activated yeast-liquid mixure (make sure it is smelly, gooey and active)
Mix with hand mixer 3 minutes
Add 1 tsp salt (Do this after because it slows yeast growth)

Add another 3 cups flour until it starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl
Knead 8-10 min. adding 1-2 cups flour as you go.

Place in an large oiled bowl. Cover in a warm place, let rise 45 min- hour. I put mine on top of the preheated oven.

When you have about 15 minutes left to go, make the Cinnamon Goo!
Cinnamon Goo:
Melt 1 stick butter over medium heat
stir in about 1/2-2/3 of a shaker of ground cinnamon
add plain white sugar until mixture is saturated (so it is not really liquid anymore)
Add a little bit of milk (maybe two tablespoons?) NOT TOO MUCH and continue stirring
The resulting goo should be about the consistency of Hershey's chocolate syrup
Set aside

Tip: if the mixture looks weird (like poop floating in oil) you should add more sugar and stir until it looks like chocolate sauce.

Roll out dough long and narrow about 1/2 inch thick
spread goo over the dough evenly. Make sure to coat up to the corners
Roll up and cut 1 inch slices by circling the roll with thread and pulling it tight till it cuts off a slice.
Lay on greased jelly roll sheets

Cover and let rise another 1/2 hour or until you can't stand it anymore.
Bake 10-12 min at 350 or until golden delicious perfect. Goo should be bubbling in cinnamon gorgeousity.

When they have about 5 min left, make Frosting!

1 package philadelphia cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp milk

Add powdered sugar and whisk until it reaches desired thickness and sweetness

Smother in frosting, devour, drink milk. Repeat.

Tip: Because of the steps involved, if you don't do dishes in between steps, your house will be destroyed.

Sweet N Salty Sweet Potato Fries

I made these for dinner tonight and they were so amazing! The kids ate about 4 helpings each. I love sweet potatoes any way you make them, but this is my new fave!

Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries
serves 4-6
2-3 medium sweet potatoes (skins on)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (preferably the easy release kind). I used parchment paper and it worked great.
Cut sweet potatoes into strips that are about 1/2 inch wide on each side.
Place the sweet potatoes into a sealable plastic bag. Add oil, salt, paprika and cinnamon. Seal the bag and shake well to thoroughly coat the fries. Spread the potatoes out onto the baking sheet in a single layer.
Cook for 30 minutes, turning every 10 minutes. Transfer immediately to a paper towel lined plate and serve warm.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Yummy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I got this recipe from my friend Rachel. I am a huge fan of chocolate chip cookies, and these are wonderful!

1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
½ cup sugar
¾ cup tightly packed light brown sugar
1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 cup chocolate chips (half a 12 oz bag of chocolate chips)

1. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.

2. Using a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugars on low speed until it is smooth and lump free, about 3 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.

3. Add the vanilla and egg and beat on low speed for 15 seconds, or until fully incorporated. Do not overbeat. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.

4. On low speed, add the flour mixture. Beat until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the chocolate chunks and mix until they are just incorporated. If using a hand mixer, use a wooden spoon to stir them in. Refrigerate dough for at least an hour.

5. Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or nonstick spray. Spoon the dough using a cookie scooper 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets.

6. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges.

7. Remove the sheet from the oven. When cookies are set, remove them to a cooling rack. Wait at least 5 minutes before serving or 20 minutes before storing in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature. Yields 24-36 cookies, depending on size.