Monday, April 23, 2012

Homemade Spreadable Butter

This afternoon I decided to try something new - spreadable butter. We have been giving in and buying the tubs of margarine not only because of the cheaper cost, but also because you can actually spread the butter. After a few gross facts about margarine though, we've decided to buckle down and just use butter. However, there are few things more irritating than ripping a whole in your pancake with hard butter!

So, I found a few recipes for spreadable butter and tweaked it all together to fit what I wanted.

There are only three ingredients needed: Butter, oil and water. Salt is optional, but I added about 3/4 tsp. to mine and was happy with the taste of it. You can use different types of oil, anything from safflower to olive oil. I decided I didn't want the heavier taste of olive oil for my first batch, so I used vegetable oil.

 ~ This recipe makes about 2 cups (just a little more than 2 cups)

You need:
    2 sticks softened butter, salted or unsalted
    1/2 cup oil (vegetable, olive, safflower, etc.)
    1/4 cup water
Place the butter in a mixer equipped with wire whips. Whip on high speed for 2 minutes, pausing frequently to scrape the sides of the bowl down.

 With the mixer running on low speed, slowly pour the oil down the side of the bowl. Mix until thoroughly combined; make sure you scrape the bottom of the bowl.
Repeat the same steps for adding the water. After mixing in the water, you can add 3/4 tsp. of sea salt, but this is optional.

Whip on high speed for one minute. Finished! The mixture should now resemble pudding, but this will become firm (but still spreadable) after it is chilled for a few hours.

I was very happy with the results; it was very easy and only took a few minutes. Butter problem solved!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Fresh Strawberry Pie

We had this for dessert tonight and I thought I would post it.  When we lived in Texas, we always shopped at HEB.  They carried a strawberry pie that I had to buy every time we shopped. I had to learn how to make it.   In our 2011 issue of Seasons at Home Magazine, we shared how to make a shortbread crust for this.  Just use a pre-made graham or shortbread crust here, it's still yummy and a bit quicker!

Crush 1 cup of strawberries with a fork in a small saucepan.  Add 1 cup of water and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer for 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and strain.  Return juice to the pan.  In a separate small bowl whisk together 3/4 cup sugar with 4 Tbsp. of corn starch.  Sprinkle over strawberry juice while whisking.  Bring back to a boil and cook until clear and thick.  Chill.

Use a 9" pre-made shortbread crust.   Combine 4 cups sliced strawberries with the chilled strawberry sauce.  Pour into shortbread crust.  Top with 3 cups of fresh whipped cream and chill! Such a yummy dessert for a warm day!

Enjoy, Theresa

Monday, April 2, 2012

Oatmeal Cookies

Our weather over the last week has been absolutely beautiful.  Warm, sunny days well up into the 70's and even 80's, but this is merely our summer teasing weather.  Yesterday was sunny and over 80 degrees, today we are under a winter storm watch and awaiting a few inches of snow.  We are taking advantage of our cloudy and chilly day with a big pot of chicken soup on the stove and oatmeal cookies in the oven- it's just that sort of a day!   

Oatmeal Cookies
In the Bosch mixer with the cookie paddles, combine:
   1 1/2 cups butter, softened
   2 1/2 cups brown sugar
   2 large eggs
   1 tbsp. vanilla
   2/3 cup milk

Cream together on high speed, for about a minute, until very light and fluffy.  Add:
   1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
   1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
   1 tsp. sea salt
   3 3/4 cups freshly ground soft wheat flour

Mix together until well combined, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl.  Add:
   6 cups freshly flaked oats, or old-fashioned (not quick) oats
   1 cup chopped pecans (these are optional, but tasty)
   2 1/2 cups raisins (a must!)

Mix together slowly until mixed together.  Drop by tablespoons on to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper- I love parchment paper for baking cookies!
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until lightly brown.  ~ Makes 6-7 dozen cookies    


~ Jessica 
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