Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Maple Pecan Pie

This recipe is based upon one that originally came from my Grandmother.  Her recipe called for light corn syrup, and I decided to substitute maple syrup.  I was a little concerned when I first tried the substitution, because the maple syrup is less thick, than the corn syrup, but it turned out well, and my Dad says it is better than the original! 

Cream together softened butter, and brown sugar.

Add maple syrup (real maple syrup, not the fake stuff), and vanilla, then add eggs, slightly beaten, and mix well.  Finally, mix in the chopped pecans, and pour into prepared pie crust.

If desired, use additional pecan halves for garnish.  Bake in preheated oven at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, then 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Maple Pecan Pie
Recipe Author:  Carolina Food and Fitness

1/3 Cup Butter
1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1 Cup Maple Syrup
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
3 Eggs, Slightly Beaten
1 Cup Chopped Pecans, plus additional pecans for garnish

Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, then 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Butter Pie Crust

In a food processor, add flour and salt, and process just until blended.  Add butter, cut into pieces, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  With machine running, and egg yolk and vanilla through the feed tube, and process. Finally, add ice water and pulse just until a dough forms.

Remove the dough from the food processor, shape into a disc, wrap with wax paper, place inside a zip lock back, and refrigerate until ready to use.

When ready to use, roll out dough on a lightly floured board, and place into a pie pan, and trim edges, (I'm still learning)!

Butter Pie Crust
Recipe Author: Carolina Food and Fitness

1 1/4 Cup Flour
1/3 Teaspoon Salt
6 Tablespoons Cold Unsalted Butter, cut into pieces
1 Large Egg Yolk
1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla
3 Tablespoons Ice Water

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Parmesan Pan Rolls

I am committed to making my own bread and rolls.  Not only does it save money, but I know exactly what ingredients are in my bread!  Here are just two links with information about the ingredients in store bought bread.

Making bread from scratch is extremely easy, if you use either a food processor, or a bread machine.  This is a recipe that I have developed for the bread machine.  

Add the ingredients according to the manufacturer's specifications.  I set my machine to the "manual" mode, which takes about 40 minutes.

After the kneading is finished, I remove the dough, and divide it into rolls. Today, I wanted both small and large rolls, so I did not divide them evenly.

I use a 12 inch cast iron skillet, that has been seasoned with olive or grape seed oil.

The rolls were then placed in a warm, draft-free spot, (in my kitchen that is the microwave), and I let them proof until doubled, about 30 minutes.  The oven was heated to 375 degrees, where they were baked for 25 minutes.

Parmesan Pan Rolls
Recipe Author: Carolina Food and Fitness

1 Tablespoon Bread Machine Yeast 
4 Cups Bread Flour
1 Tablespoons Honey
2 Teaspoons Salt
½ Cup Parmesan Cheese
¼ Cup Warm Water
1 Cup Warm Milk
2 Tablespoons Olive or Grape Seed Oil
1 Egg

Bake at 375 degrees in a 12 inch cast iron skillet for 25 minutes.

Kentucky Nut Cake

The original recipe came from my Grandmother, and was one that my Mom made occasionally.  I always thought the frosting was fantastic, and the cake was -- extremely dry and tasteless, and unworthy of the frosting!  As I was discussing this cake with my Dad, he made the comment that the original recipe was dry "right out of the oven"!  So, I decided to make some changes.

Mix butter and sugar’s until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, and vanilla, beating well until smooth.  

Mix together sifted cake flour, baking powder, and salt, and add alternately with half and half, until just combined, then add the macadamia nuts.

Kentucky Nut Cake
Recipe Author: Carolina Food and Fitness

2/3 Cup Unsalted Butter - Softened
1 Cup Brown Sugar
2/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
3 Eggs
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
2 ¼ Cup Sifted Cake Flour
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/8 Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Half and Half
1 1/3 Cups Chopped Macadamia Nuts

Pour into buttered and floured 13 x 9 inch pan, and bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Creamy Caramel Icing
Recipe Author: Carolina Food and Fitness

¾ Cup Cream
9 Tablespoons Butter
6 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
4 ½ Cups Sifted Confectioners’ Sugar

Over medium high heat, stir cream, butter, and brown sugar.  Stir constantly until thickened and bubbly.  When the mixture is the right consistency, (this will be a judgment call, on my stove it takes about 10 minutes) immediately add to sifted confectioners’ sugar and beat by hand until smooth and creamy, and of spreading consistency.  Garnish with additional macadamia nuts, if desired.

Update:  8/20/2013 - I have used this recipe on two occasions since this post, and have discovered (the hard way) that you need very fresh confectioners sugar and heavy cream to make this icing work!

Friday, April 5, 2013


I am an avid walker, and this is my walking buddy!

She is now 3 years old, but at the moment I can't find a good, current picture. We do a lot of walking together, and last month logged over 70 miles.  (Besides eating, it is the highlight of her day!)  This website helps me keep track of the mileage! mapmyfitness

I have also completed 45 days of the Supreme 90 Day system. However, late last week I started having a lot of pain and swelling in my right ankle, so the program is currently on hold until I can get it checked out by my doctor.

I hope to soon start writing reviews of exercise videos.  Here is a good source that I have used to purchase videos, including the Supreme 90 Day set. collagevideo

4/10/13 Update:  I have stress fracture of my right ankle, so I have a removable cast and orders to stay off of it as much as possible, for at least 2 weeks! 

Brown Butter Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

My Dad loves oatmeal raisin cookies!  I have tried several different recipes, but was never really satisfied with the results.  I recently tried a recipe for snicker doodles, that browned the butter, so I thought I would try the same technique to improve oatmeal raisin cookies.

Cut the butter into small pieces.

Stir constantly over medium-high heat, until butter has browned like this. Transfer to a separate pan, to stop the cooking, and to speed-up the cooling process.

After the butter had cooled I mixed it with the brown sugar, and the granulated sugar, and beat it until well incorporated.  Add the vanilla, cream, eggs and mix well.

I put the old fashioned oats in the food processor, and pulsed the machine several times, for a finer texture.

In a separate bowl mix together the other dry ingredients, (minus the oats) and beat until just combined. With the mixer running on low speed, gradually add the oats to the batter.  By hand, stir the raisins into the cookie dough. 

Cover the mixing bowl, and refrigerate the batter for several hours or overnight.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, and scoop out approximately 2 tablespoons of dough, and shape into a ball.  Flatten each cookie slightly with your hand.

Bake for 12-14 minutes, and let cool for several minutes before removing from the cookie sheet.

Brown Butter Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Recipe Author: Carolina Food and Fitness

1 cup unsalted brown butter
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons heavy cream
2 large eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour
½  teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking  powder
3 cups old-fashioned oats (pulsed in the food processor)
1 1/2 - 2 cups raisins

Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes.

Buttermilk Honey Bread

I have been baking bread since I was a teenager.  First, it was my Mom’s Cuisinart that aided in the bread making, and then a bread machine.   There really is nothing quite like the aroma of home-made bread baking in the oven!  This DAK bread machine has been working for more than twenty years!  (It is too bad they are no longer manufactured!)

I have adapted the original recipe for the bread machine.  First add all of the ingredients according to the manufacturer’s specifications.  For the DAK, it means adding the yeast first, followed by the dry ingredients, and then the liquids are added last.   

This particular recipe really pushes the capacity limit for my machine, so I add everything (except the buttermilk), start the mixing, and after the ingredients are some-what incorporated, I then add the buttermilk so that there is no “overflow”!

I set the machine to the “manual” mode, which means it takes about 40 minutes to mix the dough.  

After the 40 minutes I remove the dough, divide it in half, place in 2 greased bread pans, and set in a warm, draft free spot.  

The place that works the best for me is in the microwave.

Let the loaves rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.  Just before baking make 3 slashes with a sharp knife on the top of each loaf.

Bake at 350 for 40 to 45 minutes.

Allow loaves to cool completely before slicing.

Buttermilk Honey Bread
Recipe Author: Carolina Food and Fitness

4 ½ teaspoons of bread machine yeast
7 to 7 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
¼ cup honey
¼ cup olive or grape seed oil
1 cup warm water
2 cups warm buttermilk
Bake at 350 for 40 to 45 minutes.