Creating memories in the kitchen...One meal at a time.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Chocolate Trifle


This is another of my favorite desserts. This version is my favorite because of the sweetened condensed milk. It is a mixture of a recipe from my friend Heidi and one I found on all recipes.com. You would think letting it sit that the brownies would get soggy but they don't. You can chop up any of your favorite candy bars to layer throughout. I have used Heath bar and Butterfinger. If you're really adventerous you can make fresh whipped cream instead of cool whip. Yum!


Chocolate Trifle
INGREDIENTS
1 (19.8 ounce) package brownie mix
1 (3.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1/2 cup water
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (12 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
3 (1.5 ounce) bars chocolate candy *I like Heath bar or Butterfinger*

DIRECTIONS
Prepare brownie mix according to package directions and cool completely. Cut into 1 inch squares.
In a large bowl, combine pudding mix, water and sweetened condensed milk. Mix until smooth, then fold in 8 ounces whipped topping until no streaks remain.
In a trifle bowl or glass serving dish, place half of the brownies, half of the pudding mixture and half of the 12 ounce container of whipped topping. Top with 1/3 chopped candy bars. Repeat layers. Put more chopped candy bars on top for garnish. Refrigerate 8 hours before serving.
Makes about 12 servings.


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Chocolate Chip Cheeseball

This is a fun little appetizer I got from a Taste of Home magazine. I first made it a couple of years ago on Christmas Eve. It tastes almost like chocolate chip cheesecake or cookie dough on a graham cracker. Supper yummy. If you're not a fan of nuts you can leave them out. No baking requred on this so if cooking scares you, start with something simple like this. I like to serve it with regular and chocolate graham cracker sticks. It was also featured on a morning show here called Studio 5.


Chocolate Chip Cheeseball

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese softened
1/2 cup butter (no substitutes) softened
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
Graham crackers or graham craker sticks

Directions: In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Gradually add sugars and vanilla; beat just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Place cream cheese mixture on a large piece of plastic wrap; shape into a ball. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Just before serving, roll cheese ball in pecans. Serve with graham crackers. Yield: 1 cheese ball (about 2 cups)

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Leftover Pulled Pork Smothered Burritos

Tuesdays are always busy because my daughter has dance and I don't get home until after 5:00. I'm not a huge fan of leftovers but if I can reinvent them in some way it seems okay. I had some pulled pork leftover from a family party and wanted to do something different.This is what I came up with and 2 of my kids devoured their whole burrito (which is saying a lot for my kids).

Smothered Pulled Pork Burritos

7 medium sized flour tortillas
1 can refried beans
2 cans mild green chili enchilada sauce
1 1/2-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
leftovers from Pulled Pork about 2 cups

Garnish
sour cream
salsa or diced tomatoes
olives

Preheat oven to 350 degress. Evenly distrubute beans, pork, & 1/2 of the cheese between all of
the tortillas. Roll up burrito style. Put 1-2 tablespoons of the enchilada sauce on bottom of a greased 9 x 13 pan. Put tortillas in pan and top with remaining sauce and cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.

*You can also*
1. omit beans and do just pork & cheese for pork enchiladas
2. omit sauce and just do pork and bean burritos.Just heat them up individually in the microwave & add sour cream and tomatoes.




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Monday, March 30, 2009

Pizza Pockets


My family loved the Chicken Rolls so much that I decided to try some other filling ideas. All of my kids will eat pizza so that is what I made. It was really tasty. Especially dipped in a little ranch. It tasted just like a little pizza sandwich with the nice butter taste from the crescent rolls. I made enough that I can stick them in the fridge for a quick snack. Just like a little hot pocket only better.
Pizza Pockets
2 pkgs. pilsbury recipe creations (they are like crescent rolls, but just one big square)
1/2-3/4 c. pizza sauce, depending on your taste
48 pepperoni slices
2 cups shredded mozerella cheese
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup stove top stuffing, crushed
1.Unwrap dough. Cut into 6 small squares (or if you like larger 3) for each package.
2. Spoon about a tablespoon of pizza sauce on each square.
3. Spread pizza sauce ,making sure to leave the edges plain so you can seal them.
4. Put 4 slices of pepperoni on each square (more for larger)
5. Top with cheese
6. Fold in half and seal edges all the way around.
7. Brush each pocket with melted butter and sprinkle with crushed stuffing
Bake in 350 degree oven 25-30 minutes until golden brown.
Serve with ranch or your favorite dipping sauce. Makes 12 small or 6 large pizza pockets.
Be creative. You could use any pizza toppings you like--sausage, green peppers, pinepple, etc.


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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Knorr's Spinach Dip


My cousin Tatia made this one Christmas and we can't live without it now. It is the only spinach dip I will eat. It is so creamy with the perfect amount of spices and the crunch of the water chestnuts is great. It is the recipe on the back of the Knorr vegetable package. We like to scoop the bread out of a bread bowl and then use the bread to dip with.

Knorr Spinach Dip


1 package (10 oz.) baby spinach, chopped or 1 package (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 container (16 oz.) sour cream
1 cup Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise
1 package Knorr® Vegetable recipe mix
1 can (8 oz.) water chestnuts, drained and chopped (optional)
3 green onions, chopped (optional)
Combine all ingredients and chill about 2 hours
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My Favorite Chicken Salad

I love chicken salad. Spring is the perfect time of year for these yummy sandwiches. Great on rolls or croissants. This is my favorite recipe. There is also a pasta variation if you want to make it into a pasta salad.



Chicken Salad (for sandwiches)

2 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 cup small grapes ( I prefer red in this recipe)
1/2 large can pineapple tidbits, drained well
1 tart red apple, diced
1 cup slivered almonds
1 tsp. minced onions or a bunch of green onions
1 cup celery, finely chopped
1 tsp. salt

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Mix 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (whipped) with 1 cup miracle whip. Mix all together and chill for at least 2 hours.


Chicken Pasta Salad

2 cups cooked pasta (I like bowties)
2 cups diced cooked chicken
2 cups red grapes
2 cups diced apples
1 large can pineapple tidbits
5-6 green onions
2 cups sliced celery
3/4 cup slivered almonds

Mix all together. Add 1 cup miracle whip. 1 cup coleslaw dressing. chill.




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The Best Ever Chocolate Cake




When I saw this on Kevin and Amanda's website I knew I wanted to try it. It looked so good. This one is a lot like the Chocolate Lover's Favorite cake, but with frosting and vanilla extract instead of almond. I happen to love almond extract and next time I would like use it instead of the vanilla. I am also a die hard chocolate girl so I would use a chocolate buttercream instead of the vanilla one. The cake was very moist and the frosting was extra creamy. Anyway, it was delicious.

The Best Chocolate Cake Ever
1 box devil’s food cake mix



1 4 serving size Jello instant chocolate pudding mix (not the sugar or fat free kind!)
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups mini semisweet chocolate chips (or regular. Just whatever you have)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a VERY large bowl (4 qt), mix together everything except chocolate chips. Batter will be thick. Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour batter into cake pan of choice (I normally use two 9-inch pie pans). For cooking time, I use the cooking times on the back of the devil’s food cake box as a guide and usually add 10 mins to whatever it says. Then I do the toothpick check, and if it’s not done, I check on it every 5 mins after that. :) It usually takes around 45 mins for two, 9-inch pie pans.


Buttercream Frosting
1 cup shortening (crisco)
4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
In a mixing bowl, cream shortening until fluffy. Add sugar and continue creaming until well blended. Add salt, vanilla, and whipping cream. Blend on low speed until moistened. Beat at high speed until frosting is fluffy.
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Lime Sherbet Punch


This is another take on the Ice Cream Punch. It is another Paula Deen favorite. I like to make special drinks on Sundays or special occasions just to make it seem fun and festive. This looks so pretty and you can easily change the flavors of the sherbet to your taste.




Lime Sherbet Punch



Ingredients
2 quarts lime sherbet
2 liters ginger ale
1 (46-ounce) can pineapple juice
Lemon slices
Lime slices
Maraschino cherries





Directions
In a punch bowl, add 2 quarts of lime sherbet. Then add ginger ale and pineapple juice. Decorate with lemon and lime slices and some maraschino cherries.

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Pulled Pork




I love bbq sauce. Almost any sauce really. I'll admit it, I am a dipper. I get it from my Dad. I like sauce on practically everything. These sandwiches are a nice change from regular old burgers. There are lots of recipes out there that require you to be home all day tending the oven and they are outstanding but when you need something easier these are great. The recipe comes from Williams Sonoma. Like I said before. Everything I have tried from their website has turned out fabulous. I don't have a Williams Sonoma here so I just use regular bbq in place of the sauce called for in the recipe. Julia has made it for us with the bbq sauce it calls for and it is really good. It has a nice tang to it. If you want to be really southern, top your sandwich with a nice scoop of coleslaw. If you like it with a lot of bbq sauce you can add more to taste.






Pulled Pork Sandwiches






Ingredients:
3 1/2 Tbs. grilling rub for ribs ( I use Mc Cormick pork rub)
1 quart warm water, plus more as needed
5 lb. boneless pork shoulder
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 1/2 cups mustard and molasses grilling sauce, plus more for serving (optional)
8 to 10 hamburger buns, split and toasted






Directions:
In a large bowl, dissolve 2 Tbs. of the grilling rub in the 1 quart warm water. Put the pork in a slow cooker. Add the onion and carefully pour in the water mixture, adding more water if needed to almost cover the pork. Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 3 hours. Using roast lifters or tongs, turn the pork over and cook until the meat shreds easily when pulled with a fork, about 2 hours more. Continue cooking as needed, up to 1 hour more. Transfer the pork to a baking sheet, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let cool for 1 hour. Using 2 forks, shred the meat, discarding any fat, and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the remaining 1 1/2 Tbs. grilling rub and the 2 1/2 cups grilling sauce. To serve, place about 2/3 cup of the pork on the bottom of each bun. Top with more sauce and the tops of the buns. Arrange the sandwiches on a platter and serve immediately. Serves 8 to 10.
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Potato Casserole


This is another of my Mom's delicious recipes. They are better known here in Utah as funeral potatoes. I don't know what is different about my recipe but I get a lot of requests for this recipe. It might be the butter. You can add diced ham or green/red peppers to change it up. These are just some plain old cheesy, creamy potatoes. They are really easy to make because it starts with frozen hashbrown. (I accidentally bought shredded hash browns but I prefer the cubed kind. You can use whatever you prefer. )






Potato Casserole




32 oz. frozen cubed hashbrowns


1 cube melted butter


1/2 tsp pepper


1 tsp salt


1 can cream of chicken soup


2 cups grated cheddar cheese (I always use the colby mix because that's what I buy) plus more for top


1 tsp salt


2 tbsp. onion, minced


1 pint (2 cups) sour cream






Mix all ingredients except for hashbrowns & cheese in large bowl. Once well mixed add hasbhrowns and cheese. Put in a greased 9x13 pan and top with more cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40-60 minutes until warm and bubbly.








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Three Chocolate Cookies

I don't know about you, but it seems like I always have a big freezer bag full of assorted types of chocolate chips. What could be yummier than chocolate chip cookies? Try these. The original recipe calls for semi sweet chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips, and bittersweet chocolate chunks but I don't really love bittersweet chocolate so I used white chocolate chips instead. You could use butterscotch, mint, peanut butter, whatever you have on hand. They are nice and chewy and very tasty. The toffee chips add just the right touch. I also needed to add about 1/2 cup of flour because the dough seemed too sticky. Be prepared to share. If you make normal sized cookies you could end up with about 85 cookies on your hands.

Three chocolate cookies
adapted slightly from Paula Deen




1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 3/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (I added 1/2 cup to this)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate morsels
1 cup milk chocolate morsels
3 oz. (about 1/2 cup) white chocolate chunks or chips
1 cup almond brickle chips


Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease baking sheets.
With an electric mixer, beat butter and shortening at medium speed until creamy; gradually add sugars, beating until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, beating well.
In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until blended. Stir in chocolate morsels and almond brickle chips. Drop cookies by 1/4 cupfuls about 3-inches apart onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 11 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let cool for 2 minutes on baking sheets. Remove to wire racks to cool.

*I also changed this to make regular sized cookes. I just used a cookie scoop and baked them for 9-11 instead of 12.
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Ice Cream Punch

Andrea introduced us to this super easy punch that we enjoy on Sunday's.

1/2 qt gallon raspberry sherbet
1 2 liter sprite

Scoop sherbet into bottom of punch bowl and smash with big spoon until kind of broken up. Pour in sprite and serve. It's that easy!
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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Buttermilk Waffles




When someone says a recipe is their all-time favorite I usually want to try it to see if I agree. These were really good. They came from the Sister's Cafe. When I was making the batter I already knew I would love them. They smelled so so good. There was just a hint of cinnamon and a real buttery flavor. My whole family loved them and especially my husband. We like our waffles with peanut butter. A perfect post-ride or post-run breakfast. It made 10 waffles in my wafflemaker.
Buttermilk Waffles
1 stick butter, melted
2 cups flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3 large eggs
2 cups buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat waffle iron. Beat eggs until fluffy. Beat in everything else just until smooth.
Cook in waffle iron .
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Clone of A Cinnabon


I love breakfast foods and especially anything that has to do with bread or being sweet. When I saw this recipe on All Recipes I decided to give it a try. It got 5 stars from 2700 people so I figured it had to be pretty good. They turned out soft but a little dense at the same time. It was the perfect balance of cinnamon and brown sugar. It was really convenient because I could just put the ingredients in my breadmaker and have it do all the work. I prefer a thicker frosting so I used a different recipe which I will note at the bottom. I would definately make them again.

Clone of a Cinnabon

INGREDIENTS
1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup margarine, melted
4 1/2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast

1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, softened

1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt


DIRECTIONS
Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough cycle; press Start.
After the dough has doubled in size turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
Roll dough into a 16x21 inch rectangle. Spread dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.
Steve's Yummy Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 pack of 8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/8 cup butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/8 cup milk
2-3 cups powdered sugar, depending on how thick you like your frosting (I used 3)
mix all together and spread over warm rolls, enjoy!!!
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Chef Terrance Brennan's Gourmet Mac & Cheese


I have been in search of a good homemade mac and cheese recipe for a long time. I finally found one that a) isn't gritty and b) most of my kids will actually eat. This recipe is from Picky Palate. I loved the gruyere cheese and this was so creamy, not gritty or grainy at all. The only thing I would change next time is to add more noodles. It seemed like there was a lot of cheese compared to the noodles. It seems like it will reheat well because of the creaminess. I'll let you know.




1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni
7 ½ Tbs Butter, divided ¼ Cup plus 2 Tablespoons Flour 3 Cups milk 2 ¼ Cups gruyere, shredded ½ Cup mascarpone cheese ¾ Cup bread crumbs ¼ Cup Parmesan Reggiano, grated salt and fresh ground pepper



Bring 2 quarts of salted water to a boil and add the elbow macaroni. Cook until it’s al dente, approximately 6 to 8 minutes.
While the macaroni is boiling, slowly melt 5 1/2 Tbs of butter over medium high heat in a medium sauce pan.
Add the flour, stirring, cook together for a minute or so. Do not brown the mixture; you want a blonde roux. Add the milk, whisking to avoid lumps. Bring mixture to a boil and continue whisking. Lower heat and simmer for about five minutes until it thickens.
While the milk is simmering, combine 2 Tbs butter and the bread crumbs, and melt together in a separate pan.
Add the Parmesan cheese. This adds another layer of flavor so it’s not one-dimensional. Just cook until the butter is melted. Remove from heat.
When the milk is ready, add the mascarpone cheese. Then add gruyere cheese and whisk it in, and as soon as until it’s melted, remove from the heat. This will happen quickly because the gruyere cheese should be grated and at room temperature.
Season with salt and black pepper and whisk to combine. Add the macaroni to the cheese sauce, mix it well, and when it’s nicely incorporated, spoon it out into a cooking dish.
Sprinkle the bread crumbs on the top, using your hands to pat it down to make sure it’s nice and evenly dispersed all over the surface. The topping becomes very crunchy when it bakes. Cook for about 35-40 minutes in a 350 degree oven until golden brown and bubbly.
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Friday, March 27, 2009

Cupcakes, Cupcakes, Everywhere







I love cupcakes. Here are a few I've tried recently and loved.
Thin Mint Cupcakes
From Real Mom Kitchen & Food Librarian
I saw these cute cupcakes on Real Mom kitchen and made them for St. Patrick's Day. They were so moist and had the perfect amount of mint in my opinion. They are made from scratch but it can all be made in one bowl and were pretty simple.

Ingredients
Makes 18 to 24
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons safflower oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 pkg. keebler grasshopper cookies or 1 sleeve girl scout thin mint cookies, crushed
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners; set aside. Sift together cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla, and mix until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add crushed cookies. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl to assure batter is well mixed.
Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 (3-oz.) package cream cheese
1 (16-oz.) package powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preparation
1. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended. Increase speed to medium, and slowly add milk and vanilla, beating until smooth. Add food coloring if desired and top with 1/4 cookie.
If you want over the top chocolate try this instead.
Chocolate Buttercream
Prepare Vanilla Buttercream as directed. Microwave 1 cup (6 oz.) dark chocolate morsels in a microwave-safe bowl at MEDIUM 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring at 30-second intervals. Gradually add melted chocolate to Vanilla Buttercream; beat until blended and smooth. Note: For testing purposes only, we used Nestlé Chocolatier Dark Chocolate Morsels.
Cookies and Cream Cupcakes with Chunky Oreo Frosting
recipe and picture from Picky Palate
I made these cupcakes a couple of months ago and they were great. A big hit with the kids. I used the white cake mix but they would be great with the yellow also.

Cupcake batter
1 Butter or yellow cake mix
4 eggs
1 small package vanilla pudding mix
½ Cup sour cream
½ Cup water
½ Cup vegetable oil
16 oreos, crumbled up
1 Cup chocolate chips
Chunky Oreo Frosting
8 oz softened cream cheese
1 stick softened butter
3 Cups powdered sugar
6 oreo cookies, crumbled
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a stand or electric mixer, beat until all ingredients are well combined, close to 2 minutes. Pour batter into paper lined cupcake cups, about ¾ way full. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean from center. Let cool.
2. Place cream cheese and butter into mixer and beat until smooth and fluffy. Slowly add in powdered sugar until desired consistency. Stir in oreo cookie crumbles and spread over cupcakes.
Red Velvet Cupcakes with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
From good eats.com and Paula Deen
Anne made these for book club on Thursday and I demanded the recipe immeadiately. They are so yummy. The frosting is the best! I am drooling and wishing I had the ingredients right now. You need to make these.
red velvet cupcakes:
makes approx 2 1/2 dozen
3/4 cup butter, softened2 cups sugar, divided3 large eggs, separated3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour1/2 cup dutch processed cocoa2 tsp salt1 2/3 cup whole buttermilk3 tbsp red food coloring1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract-preheat oven to 350. line 30 cups of 3 (12 cup) muffin tins with paper liners-in a large bowl, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. beat in egg yolks until combined-in a medium bowl combine flour, cocoa and salt-in a small bowl, combine buttermilk, food coloring and vanilla-gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk mixture. beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating well after each addition.-in a medium bowl, beat egg whites at medium high speed with an electric mixer until foamy. gradually add 1/2 cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. gently fold beaten egg whites into butter mixture. spoon batter evenly into prepared pans. bake at 18 to 20 minutes, or until wooden toothpick comes out clean. remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks. spread or pipe evenly with desired frosting.
white chocolate cream cheese frosting (the yummiest frosting EVER!)
makes approx 4 1/2 cups frosting
1 1/2 cups butter, softened (that's paula for ya, 3 sticks of butter!)
1 8oz cream cheese, softened
2 1oz squares white chocolate, melted and cooled
1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
4 1/2-5 cups powdered sugar in a large bowl,
Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in white chocolate and lemon juice until combined. gradually beat in confectioner's sugar until smooth.
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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Bacon & Egg Quesadillas


My kids love breakfast burritos and I thought this was a fun way to do something different and easier to eat.

Bacon Egg Quesadillas

1 -1 1/2 eggs per person (depending on how much you want)
1/2 tbsp. milk (per egg)
salt and pepper to taste
Cheese
1 Slice of cooked bacon.cut into bite sized pieces.

Mix eggs, milk and salt and pepper. Scramble. Place scrambled eggs on half of a tortilla. Top with cheese and cut up bacon. Microwave for 20-40 seconds depending on your microwave. Cut with pizza cutter into wedges and serve with salsa.
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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Inn at Temple Square's Raspberry Honey butter


Another great recipe from the Lion House Cookbook. I love rolls with jam or butter and honey. This was a new treat and super yummy.

1 lb. unsalted butter
8 oz. honey
8 oz. raspberry preserves
1 tsp. vanilla

Whip butter until light and fluffy. Add honey, raspberry preserves, and vanilla. Continue to whip until mixed.

I don't like seeds so I used Knott's Berry Farms seedless jam.
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Lion House Rolls



We went to Salt Lake during spring break and I couldn't resist going to the Lion House for some of their rolls. If you haven't had them, you need to. I bought a couple of the mixes just to try them and made one tonight. They were pretty much the best rolls I've ever had. Add a little raspberry honey butter (which I will post next) and I was in heaven! I also bought a Lion House Cookbook and here is the recipe for the rolls (which I have made from scratch and they are awesome!)

Lion House Rolls

Ingredients
2 cups warm water (110 to 115 degrees)
2 tablespoons dry yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1 egg
2/3 cup nonfat dry milk powder (instant or non-instant)
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter or shortening
5-5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour or bread flour
Directions
1In large bowl of electric mixer, combine water and milk powder, stir until dissolved.
2Add yeast, then sugar, salt, butter, egg, and 2 cups flour.
3Mix on low speed of mixer until ingredients are wet, then 2 minutes at medium speed.
4Add 2 cups more flour; mix on low speed until ingredients are wet, then for 2 minutes as medium speed. (Dough will be getting stiff and remaining flour may need to be mixed in by hand).
5Add about ½ cup flour and mix again, by hand or mixer.
6Dough should be soft, not overly sticky, and not stiff.
In large bowl of electric mixer, combine water and milk powder, stir until dissolved.
2Add yeast, then sugar, salt, butter, egg, and 2 cups flour.
3Mix on low speed of mixer until ingredients are wet, then 2 minutes at medium speed.
4Add 2 cups more flour; mix on low speed until ingredients are wet, then for 2 minutes as medium speed. (Dough will be getting stiff and remaining flour may need to be mixed in by hand).
5Add about ½ cup flour and mix again, by hand or mixer.
6Dough should be soft, not overly sticky, and not stiff.
7(It is not necessary to use the entire amount of flour.)
8Scrape dough off sides of bowl and pour about 1 T.vegetable oil all around the sides of the bowl so it is covered with oil.
9Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in warm place until double in size.
10(My note here- I just sprayed a clean large bowl with vegetable spray and put my ball of dough in there, turning to cover the dough with the vegetable spray.).
11After dough has risen, sprinkle cutting board or counter with flour and place dough on floured surface.
12Roll out and cut rolls in desired shape and size.
13Place on greased (or parchment lined) baking pans.
14Let rise in warm place until rolls are double in size (about 1 to 1 ½ hours).
15Bake at 375 for 15 to 20 minutes or until browned.
16Brush with melted butter while hot.
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Classic Meatloaf


My husband requested meatloaf this week which we hadn't had in quite awhile. I hate meatloaf that tastes like a big hamburger and remembered trying and really liking Martha Stewart's Classic  Meatloaf. It proved to be just as good the second time around. The ingredients are pretty standard items that are easy to keep on hand and my whole family loves it. It's now my go to meatloaf recipe. 

I think the key is the combination of both ground beef and ground pork which adds flavor and moisture. The ketchup glaze on the top adds a touch of sweetness and tang. Shaping the meatloaf and cooking it on a wire rack makes for even cooking and keeps the grease from pooling at the bottom of the meatloaf. (See tip at bottom.)

I usually serve this with mashed potatoes and a veggie like corn or green beans. If I'm feeling extra ambitious I'll throw in some homemade rolls.

Classic Meatloaf
Ingredients:
3 slices white sandwich bread
1/3 cup whole milk
1 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 medium onion, grated
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large egg
1/2 cup ketchup
Coarse salt and ground pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Place bread in food processor; pulse until fine crumbs form. Transfer to a small bowl; stir in milk. Set aside, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine beef, pork, onion, garlic, egg, 1/4 cup ketchup, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add bread-milk mixture, and mix very gently with a fork (do not overmix).
Place meat mixture on prepared baking sheet, and form into a loaf about 9 inches long and 4 to 5 inches wide.
Bake, brushing twice with remaining 1/4 cup ketchup during baking, until an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees, 45 to 55 minutes. Let meatloaf rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Serves 6.


Tip: To keep your meatloaf from sitting in grease, take a small wire cooking rack and wrap with aluminum foil. Poke hole periodically in the foil and bake meatloaf on top of foil. (put cooking spray on the foil. ) This allows the grease to drain to the bottom of the pan.

Posted by: Sallie
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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Whipped Banana Oatmeal


It seems like I'm always trying to either maintain my weight or lose a few pounds and one way I try to do that is by eating oatmeal most days of the week for breakfast. I actually really like oatmeal, but it can get a little old eating it all the time. I found this recipe when I was looking for something a little different but still easy and yummy. I've included a link just for fun. It is a Tribute to Oatmeal. Some new ideas for an old standby.

http://www.katheats.com/?page_id=2032

Whipped Banana Oatmeal

1/3 cup old fashioned oats
1/3 cup 1% or skim milk
1/3 cup water
1/2 a banana (I’m usually making this for 2 so we split the banana)
Pinch of salt
Stirred in:

Wheatberries (or spelt or rye or kamut berries)
1 tbsp ground flax
1 tsp vanilla extract

For two servings, start by combining rolled oats, water, and skim milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Slice a banana into VERY thin pieces, leaving just a few bigger chunks. As the oatmeal heats, stir vigorously at times to “whip” the banana into the oats. The oats will take 5-7 minutes on medium heat to fully absorb the liquid. They’re done when they reach your desired consistency! Then stir in vanilla and ground flax (and often wheatberries) and portion into bowls. Add any toppings you like, such as almond or peanut butter, walnuts or almonds, coconut, crumbled granola plank or bar, or trail mix – with dark chocolate chips!
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Pull Apart Orange Rolls

These lovely little rolls came from Martha Stewart's website and are actually under the kids recipes. They are fun to make and I love them with soup or salads. It is just a nice change from the normal dinner roll. They are like a nice light dinner roll with hints of orange and a nice vanilla glaze. They would also be perfect for brunch if you didn't want something too sweet. The directions are a little vague about how you are supposed to fold them (horizontally or vertically and I did it the wrong way this time but really, they taste just as good, right.)
Pull Apart Orange Rolls
Makes 20
2 envelopes active yeast (2 scant tablespoons)
1/4 cup warm water mixed with a pinch of sugar
1 cup scalded milk, cooled slightly
2 large eggs
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Finely grated zest of 2 oranges
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice ( I used 4-5 Tbsp.)
Vegetable oil cooking spray, for bowl and tins
Directions
In a mixing bowl, sprinkle yeast over sugar water; let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add milk, eggs, granulated sugar, salt, half the zest, and shortening. Slowly add flour, mixing until combined. Knead until shiny and elastic, 3 to 5 minutes. Place in an oiled bowl; cover with plastic. Let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/4 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make filling: In a small bowl, mix remaining zest, 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, and butter. On a well-floured work surface, gently knead dough 3 to 4 times to release air pockets. Roll out dough to an 18-by-14-inch rectangle, dusting with flour as needed. Brush some of the filling over bottom half; fold to enclose. Brush half with filling, and fold again to enclose. Let rest about 5 minutes.
Roll out dough again to a 16-by-10-inch rectangle. Brush half with remaining filling, and fold. Cut into small squares (about 2 inches). Place squares in coated muffin tins, with layers facing up. Let rise until almost doubled in bulk, 12 to 15 minutes.
Bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven; let rest 1 minute in tin, then transfer rolls to a cooling rack.
Make a thick icing by whisking together remaining 2 cups confectioners' sugar and the juice. Drizzle over cooled rolls. Serve.
*note- The dough is fairly sticky.I was tempted to add more flour but I didn't and they came out perfect*
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Cheeseburger Soup


I know the name sounds a little weird but give it a try. Every time we have soup my son asks "is it cheeseburger soup?" because it's his favorite. It has a slight cheesy taste and is a nice combination of creamy and brothy. I love the potatoes, carrots and celery and love the fact that my kids will eat them in this soup. Most of the ingredients are things you would have already have on hand and it can be made in about 30 minutes. We love to have this with a fruit or green salad and muffins or bread sticks.

Cheeseburger Soup

Brown:
1 lb. hamburger
3/4 c. chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrots
3/4 c. diced celery
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. parsley flakes
4 tbsp butter


Add:
1 can chicken broth
4 + cups diced potatoes

Add enough water to cover...
Simmer until potatoes are tender (about 15-25 minutes depending on the size of your potatoes)

Add: 1 1/2 c. milk (for extra creamy soup use evaporated milk or half and half)
1/2 c. sour cream
8-10 oz. cubed Velveeta Cheese (I always use the full 10)

Stir until warmed through and serve.

Posted by: Sallie





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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting


I made these cupcakes for my friend Christin's birthday party last year. They turned out to be delicious!
Cupcakes
Ingredients:
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 Tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
11 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Directions:
Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper or foil liners. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Place the chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl and set over but not touching simmering water in a saucepan; stir frequently until melted and smooth, about 5 minutes. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and let the chocolate mixture cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir the sugar into the chocolate mixture until combined. Stir in the eggs one at a time, beating until combined after each addition, then beat in the vanilla. Gently fold in the flour mixture just until no traces of flour remain; do not overmix. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling each about three-fourths full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, 22 to 24 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Then transfer the cupcakes to the rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour. Frost the cupcakes with the cream cheese frosting. Makes 12 cupcakes.

Cream Cheese Frosting
Ingredients:
1 lb. cream cheese, at room temperature
16 Tbs. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the butter and continue to beat for 2 to 3 minutes more. Add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time and beat until smooth and no lumps of sugar are visible. Add the vanilla and beat until combined. Makes 5 cups.
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Mardi Gras King Cake

I made this cake as a request to my friend Andi, who had tried one that had been shipped here from New Orleans. It is traditionally baked during Mardi Gras, with a small plastic baby inserted somewhere in the dough. Whoever gets the slice with the baby in it is supposed to have good luck all year long.

Ingredients
2 packages dry active yeast
1/2 cup sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
5 egg yolks
1 cup warm milk
4 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
vegtetable oil
16 ounces cream cheese
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 cans cherry pie filling
1/4 cup ground cinnamon
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons milk
Purple, green and gold sugar sprinkles
Plastic baby toy (optional)

Directions
Combine the yeast, sugar, butter, and egg yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the milk. With the mixer on low speed, beat the mixture for about 4 minutes to dissolve the yeast. In a separate large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, nutmeg, and lemon zest. Add this mixture to the yeast mixture. Mix on low speed until it lightly comes together, then increase the speed to medium and beat until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the bowl, forms a ball, and climbs slightly up the dough hook. Remove the dough from the bowl. Coat the dough with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl and turn it to oil all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, set in a warm, draft-free place, and let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the cream cheese and 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Mix well. In another small bowl, combine the ground cinnamon and granulated sugar. In another small bowl, combine the remaining powdered sugar, lemon juice and milk. Mix well and set aside.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Roll the dough out 30 inches long and 6 inches in diameter. Spread the cinnamon/sugar mixture across the center of the dough. Next, spread the cream cheese filling across the center of the dough. And finally, spread the cherry pie filling across the center of the dough. Bring the two long edges together and seal all sides completely. Using your hands shape the dough into a long cylinder and place on a greased baking sheet, seam side down. Shape the dough into a ring. Press the plastic baby toy into the ring from the bottom so that it is completely hidden by the dough. Cover the ring with a towel and place in a warm, draft free place. Let the dough rise for about 45 minutes or until the dough doubles in size.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. With a sharp knife, make several slits around the top of the ring. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow the cake to cool completely. Drizzle the cake with the sugar glaze. Sprinkle the cake with sprinkles, alternating colors. Cut the cake into individual pieces and serve.
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Levain Bakery Copycat Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies


I first heard about Levain Bakery in New York from the website Picky Palate. I now have another reason to visit New York. Supposedly their cookies are the ultimate. I found a copycat and they are awesome. They are so huge. This recipe only makes a dozen but they are almost like little cakes, not cookies. In my opinion they are pretty impressive. Hopefully someday I'll make it to New York to compare. If anyone goes, I'll pay you to bring me a cookie back!

Levain Bakery Copycat Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies (**Yields 1 dozen cookies)

Ingredients

2 sticks ‘cold and cubed’ unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar - not packed too hard. Just spoon it in the cup(s) and press down lightly when full, sweeping off any extra that runs over.
2 eggs
3 1/4 to 3 1/2 cups All Purpose flour - Spoon and Sweep method. (feel the dough, it should be moist, kind of like cold cookie dough in a tube.. but not super sticky, so you can portion the cookies with your hands)
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
3/4-1 teaspoon baking powder ( I don’t fill the tsp fully, hence the 3/4 tsp)
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 cups good quality semisweet chocolate chips or chunks (I usually use half semisweet and half milk chocolate)
1 cup walnuts (Toast the nuts for more flavor, if desired and/or use any kind of nut you like. I love macadamias in these)


Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1. In bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle, cream together butter and sugars until well blended and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time.. and beat until well incorporated.
2. Add flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and mix until just combined. Gently fold in chocolate chunks and nuts.
3. Transfer dough to clean work surface and gently mix dough by hand to ensure even distribution of ingredients. Divide into 12 equal portions, **about 4 oz each..
4. Place each on sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake in the preheated oven 16-23 minutes depending on how gooey and raw’ish you like the middles (I bake mine at 375 for 18-20 minutes, as I prefer a less raw interior), until very lightly browned, taking care not to overbake. Let cool on rack and store what you don’t immediately eat, in an airtight container. To freshen them after a few days (if they last that long), give them a quick nuke in the microwave for 5-10 seconds.

They also have a dark chocolate peanut butter chip cookie I want to try. I'll let you know if they're good.
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Roasted Red Potatoes with Bacon and Cheese

Another great dish I had at Andrea's. (I have so many friends that are great cooks.) She served this with rolls and a rotisserie chicken and it was delicious. Even if you're not a fan of ranch these aren't overwhelmingly ranch tasting.
1/2 cup ranch dressing (the actual dressing, not the powder.)
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese (I probably use more like a cup)
1/4 cup cooked and crumbled bacon
2 lbs. small red potatoes, quartered
1 Tbsp. fresh chopped parsley or 2 tbsp. dried
Preheat oven to 350
Mix dressing, parsley, cheese and bacon bits in a large bowl.
Add potatoes and toss to coat.
Spoon into lightly greased 13 x 9 baking dish. Cover with foil.
Bake 40 minutes, then remove the foil. Bake an additional 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. You can also broil them for a few minutes if you like them a little crunchy.
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Fusilli alla Caprese


This is an easy spring/summer salad from Giada De Laurentiis. I don't even like whole tomatoes but in this recipe they are almost like a smashed sauce and I love it. It's very light and you can easily add chicken to turn this into a light dinner. It comes together really fast. One last thing, make sure you use the fresh mozerella. It is SO much better than the regular stuff.
Fusilli alla Caprese
Ingredients:
1 pound fusilli pasta
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered (about 1 1/2 pints)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves, torn
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, diced (about 1 1/4 cups)
Directions:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta into a large bowl and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.
In a medium skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt, and pepper. As the tomatoes cook and soften, smash them with a fork. Continue to cook until the tomatoes make a chunky style sauce, about 4 minutes. Transfer the tomato sauce to the bowl with the pasta. Toss to combine. Add the basil leaves and mozzarella. Stir to combine. Add the reserved pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time, until the pasta is moist. Serve.
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Chocolate Pudding Pie


I love anything chocolate and this pie is no exception. I made it last year for Thanksgiving and it was so creamy and good. It is from the Williams Sonoma website. Everything I have ever made from that website has turned out excellent.
Chocolate Pudding Pie

For the filling:
2 1/2 cups milk
5 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped into slivers
4 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
3 Tbs. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cookie crumb crust (see related recipe at bottom), made with chocolate cookies
For the topping:
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Chocolate curls for decorating
Directions:
To make the filling, in a heavy nonaluminum saucepan over low heat, warm together the milk and chocolate, whisking until the chocolate is melted; the mixture will be speckled. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow. Add the cornstarch and salt, then the vanilla, and whisk until well blended. Slowly pour the warm chocolate mixture into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly until well blended. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat until it thickens and begins to bubble slowly, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour the filling into the crumb crust and smooth with a spatula. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface, and refrigerate until completely cold and firm, 2 to 3 hours. To make the topping, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed or a whisk, beat together the cream, sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Spread the whipped cream on top of the pie. Decorate with chocolate curls. Refrigerate until ready to serve, but let the pie stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving to take the chill off. Makes one 9-inch pie; serves 8.
Chocolate Crumb Crust
1 1/4 cups cookie crumbs, such as graham crackers, chocolate wafers or gingersnaps
5 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
3 Tbs. sugar
Directions:
Preheat an oven to 350°F. In a bowl, combine the cookie crumbs, butter and sugar and stir until the crumbs are well moistened. Pat the mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom and all the way up the sides of a 9-inch pie pan or dish. Bake until the crust is firm, about 5 minutes. For a firmer, crunchier crust, bake for 5 minutes more. Makes one 9-inch crust.
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Peanut Butter Cheese Cake Minis


I made these last year for the superbowl. They are another Paula Deen special. Who doesn't like cheesecake or Reese's Peanut Butter Cups? You know they've got to be good together. These were delicious and easy to serve. No fork required. You could even do mini mini cheese cakes and use a mini muffin pan. (You might have to cut up the peanut butter cup and make sure to reduce the baking time.)
Peanut Butter Cheese Cake Minis
Crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
4 tbsp. sugar
1/4 c. butter, melted
12 reese's miniature peanut butter cups
Filling:
2 8 oz. packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. pure vanilla or almond extract
2 eggs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place a paper muffin cup liner in each cup of a standard muffin pan (or use a mini cheesecake pan).
To make crust, in a bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter until crumbs are moistened. Press crust into bottom of each muffin cup. Put one Peanut butter cup into the center of each crust.
Beat cream cheese with a handheld electric mixer until fluffy. Add sugar, flour and vanilla, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Spoon cream cheese mixture over peanut butter cups and graham cracker crusts. Bake until just set, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely before serving.
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Creamy Cinnamon Squares


My husband said "It's like cheesecake for breakfast." I found this recipe on Gourmet Mom on-the-go. They were so yummy and easy. They were best really cold so I think you could cook them the night before and serve them in the morning. See the bottom of the recipe for some yummy variations.
Creamy Cinnamon Squares
2 cans pilsbury crescent rolls ( I used the new recipe creations that are just one big sheet)
3/4 cup white sugar
2 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 tsp. vanilla
Topping
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
Directions:
Spread 1 crescent package on bottom of a greased 9 x 13 pan. Mix together 2 packages cream cheese, 3/4 cup sugar, and 1 tsp. vanilla and spread on top of crescent roll. Spread 2nd crescent roll package on top of mixture. Mix 1/4 c. sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon and sprinkle on top of second crescent roll. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Cool for awhile, then pop into the fridge until completely cold. Cut into squares and enjoy.
*Variations: The website I got this from suggested also layering apple pie filling on top of the cream cheese. You could also do cherry or blueberry too.
Topping variations: Instead of sprinkling cinnamon mixture on top you could do a powdered sugar icing or a crumb topping like apple pie or both!
Icing
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 tbsp. milk
1 tbsp. butter, softened
In a small bowl, stir together powdered sugar, milk and butter. After danish has cooled, drizzle with icing.

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Super Easy Peach Cobbler

A friend of mine, Brian Ruegge, brought leftovers of this dessert in to work one day, and it was so good I had to get the recipe. I was shocked at how simple it was to make!

Ingredients
6 small peaches, sliced + 1 cup water
or
1 large can sliced peaches, undrained
1 box butter pecan cake mix
2 sticks butter or margarine, melted
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
vanilla ice cream

Directions
In a 9 X 13 pan, arrange sliced peaches and pour water over them or dump can of peaches juice and all. Sprinkle the cake mix over the peaches. Drizzle the melted butter over the top. Sprinkle with chopped pecans. Bake at 350 for 60 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
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Honey Bun Cake


Lots of my favorite recipes are things I have tasted at friend's houses. Robyn made this delicious cake for book club and I have made it quite a few times. It's great as a dessert or a yummy treat for breakfast or brunch. It is originally from the back of a Betty Crocker cake mix. For some reason if you look up this recipe on their website they have replaced the butter with vegetable oil but it's much better this way.


Honey Bun Cake


1 pkg. Betty Crocker supermoist butter recipe yellow cake mix

2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened

4 eggs
1 8 oz. container sour cream
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup chopped pecans
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 c. powdered sugar
1 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. Remove 1/2 cup dry cake mix, reserve. Beat remaining dry cake mix, butter, eggs and sour cream in large bowl on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Spread half of the batter in pan. Stir together reserved dry cake mix, brown sugar, pecans and cinnamon; sprinkle over batter in pan. Carefully spread remaining batter evenly over pecan mixture. (To make spreading easier, drop batter by dollops over pecan mixture, then spread.)
Bake 40-45 minutes or until deep golden brown and cake springs back when lightly touched in center. Stir powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until thin enough to drizzle, stirring in additional milk , 1 tsp. at a time if necessary. Poke top of warm cake several times with fork; spread over top of cake. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Store covered.
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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Homemade Oreos


I have called Lisa at least 5 times for this recipe. I have a horrible habit of scribbling down recipes on scratch paper and then trashing them only to have to call the owner of the recipe yet again for the same recipe. Hopefully this blog will help with that. Anyway, these are so yummy and easy. They're great for casual get togethers and they always dissappear quickly. I actually don't think they taste anything like homemade oreos but they are good.

Cookies:
1 box devil's food cake mix
2/3 cup oil (per Lisa's instructions add a little less. I agree. Don't let them get too greasy.
2 eggs

Mix well. Roll into small balls. Place on greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Let cool.

Filling:
You can either use storebought vanilla or cream cheese frosting (any flavor you like actually) or use this frosting recipe

1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. butter
1 tbsp. vanilla
2 cups sifted powdered sugar

Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla together. Add powdered sugar and mix together. Spread filling on top of cookie and then top with another cookie. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

I usually double this recipe because it never seems like there are enough

*variations: I have made this using oatmeal cookies and cream cheese frosting which is like the Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies only better. I also think it would be good with a mint frosting. I'll have to try it.
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Chocolate Chip Pancakes with Cinnamon Cream

Most people have had Chocolate Chip Pancakes but Paula takes it to the next level with the cinnamon cream. It's delicious, try it.

1 1/4 c. all purpose flour
3 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
2 large eggs, separated
3 tbsp. butter, melted plus 4 tbsp, divided
1/2 c. miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips
Cinnamon Cream
Maple syrup for serving

Cinnamon Cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat griddle to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
In a small bowl, combine milk, egg yolks, and 3 tbsp. melted butter; add to flour mixture, whisking until smooth.
In a small bowl, beat egg whites at medium-high speed with an electric mixer until stiff. Gently fold in batter. Gently fold in chocolate morsels.
Melt 2 tbsp. butter on hot griddle. Ladle about 1/4 c. batter for each pancake onto hot griddle. Cook pancakes for 2-3 minutes, or until tops are covered with bubbles and edges are cooked. Turn and cook on the other side. Repeat procedure with remaining 2 tbsp. butter and remaining batter.
For the cinnamon cream:
In a medium bowl, beat cream at medium-high speed with an electric mixer until thickened. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar and cinnamon, beating until stiff peaks form. Cover and chill.
Serve pancakes with cinnamon cream and maple syrup.
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Breakfast Tater Tot Casserole

My Mom made this casserole when we had a brunch at her house a few weeks ago. It was delicious. It would be great on Christmas morning because you make it the night before. I think it would be good with some chopped green pepper added also.

Breakfast Casserole

1 pkg. tater tots (small)
8 eggs
2 cups half and half or evaporated milk
1 lb. bulk sausage
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. salt
1/4 c. chopped onion, optional

Place a layer of tater tots in the bottom or a large cake pan or casserole dish. Brown and crumble sausage, drain. Mix together eggs, milk, mustard and salt, beat well. Add sausage to egg mixture and pour over tater tots. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top. Let casserole refrigerate overnight. Bake in the morning at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
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Heath Bar Cake

I have heard this cake called many things but for the sake of being proper we'll call it Heath Bar Cake. It is so easy but super rich and delicious. It won an award at a friend's annual Death by Chocolate party.

1 18.25 oz. pkgs. devils food cake, chocolate, or german chocolate cake mix
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
6 oz. caramel ice cream topping
3 1.4 oz. skor or heath bars, chopped
1 8 oz. contained frozen whipped topping, thawed

Bake cake according to package directions for a 9 x 13 in. pan; Cool on wire rack for 5 minutes. Poke holes with wooden spoon all over cake. Pour caramel topping evenly over warm cake. Do the same with the sweetened condensed milk.

Allow cake to cool completely. Top with whipped topping and chopped toffee bar chunks and more caramel sauce. Refrigerate until serving.
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Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake


This is a Paula Deen recipe. I love her recipes and her show. She reminds me of Duane's aunt. This is hard to describe. It's almost like an buttery, pumpkin pie bar. Just trust me. If it's Paula, you know it's good.

Cake:
1 18 1/4 oz. pkg. yellow cake mix
1 egg
8 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling:
1 15 oz. can pumpkin
1 8 oz. pkg cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
8 tbsp. butter, melted
1 16 oz. box powdered sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To make the cake, combine all of the ingredients and mix well. Pat the mixture into a lightly greased 9 x 13 in. baking pan.

Prepare filling:
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla and butter and beat together.

Next, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and mix well.

Spread pumpkin mixture over cake batter and bake for 40-50 minutes. Make sure not to overbake as the center should be a little gooey.

Serve with fresh whipped cream (or ice cream)

The recipe says it yields 6-8 servings. Maybe in Paula's world. This is a 9 x 13 cake pan so I would say more like 16-20 squares.
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Chocolate Luscious or Pistachio Dessert

This is another hit recipe from my Mom. She is such a great cook. I have had this recipe both ways and love the pistachio version. You could actually use any flavor of pudding that you like. We'll just call it pudding dessert to make it easier.


Pudding Dessert

Mix together: 1 cup melted butter
1 cup flour
1/2 cup nuts (I use pecans because that is what I like but walnuts are good too)
Press into the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Let cool.

Mix together: 8 oz. cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar (sifted)
Gently fold in 6 oz. cool whip. Spread gently on top of crust.


Mix 2 (4 oz.) pkgs. instant pudding according to package directions. *you can use the smaller packages if you like less pudding.* Spread carefully over cream cheese layer.

Top with: 6 oz. cool whip
1/2 cup chopped nuts
chocolate curls or mini chocolate chips, if desired

Refrigerate until firm. Best served cold.
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Mississippi Mud Cake

My Dad and brother made this cake once, with the addition of canned cherry pie filling. It sold for $40 (like 20 years ago) at a scout auction. It is easy because it uses a boxed brownie mix and most of the other things you would have already in your pantry. Another one of my Mom's great recipes.

Misssissippi Mud Cake

4 eggs
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
1 pkg. brownie mix *I like Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines)
2 cups chopped nuts *I use pecans)
1 c. flaked coconut
1 jar marshmallow creme

In a large bowl, beat eggs until foamy. Add melted butter and mix well. Add brownie mix and blend well. Stir in vanilla, nuts and coconut. Pour into prepared 9x 13 pan. Bake in 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until edges separate from pan. Don't overcook. While hot, carefully spread marshmallow creme on top. Cool one hour and frost with chocolate icing

Chocolate icing

1 lb. powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 c butter
6 tbsp evaporated milk
4 tbsp cocoa

Sift powdered sugar into medium bowl. In small saucepan, combine butter, evaporated milk and cocoa. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Immeadiately add to powdered sugar. Beat until smooth.

*If you wanted to add the canned cherries, add them after cooling before the chocolate frosting.*
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Texas Sheet Cake

This cake is famous in Duane's family. It is his grandma's recipe and to this day no one can make it like her. This is usually my husband's request for his birthday cake. In my opinion it is the frosting that makes it so good, so don't cheat and do store bought. Also, I have made this several times with Duane's grandma (one of those cooks that says oh, I just add a little of this until it tastes good) and she makes more frosting which I will note in the recipe.

Texas Sheet Cake

Mix: 2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

Bring to a boil: 2 cubes butter (real!)
1 c. water
4 Tbsp. cocoa

Take from heat and add to dry mixture above.

Add last: 1 c. sour cream
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking soda

Batter will be thin. Pour into a greased cookie sheet (or jelly roll pan). Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Frost while still warm.

Frosting *I always double the frosting and triple the nuts because that is as close as I can get to copying Duane's Grandma's version. If you want to do it that way, use the amounts in parenthesis.

1 cup nuts *I always use walnuts. I'm not a huge fan of walnuts but they are delicious in this recipe.* (3 cups )

1 tsp. vanilla (2 tsp.)

6 Tbsp. milk (12 tbsp.)

1 small box powdered sugar, sifted (2 small boxes)

1 cube butter (2 cubes)

4 tbsp cocoa (8 tbsp.)

Boil milk, butter and cocoa until bubbly. Remove from heat. Mix in everything else. Beat until smooth. Spread over cake while it is still warm. Delicious with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
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Chicken Enchilada Casserole

I know some people are not a fan of the sour cream enchiladas but that is what I grew up on and I love them. It was one of the first things I learned how to make when I was first married and they are still one of my husband's favorite meals. My friend Brittany brought this version to a get together and I loved it. It is a lot easier than the enchiladas because you don't have to roll the individual enchiladas. I like the fact that I can serve this with a salad and feel like it's a whole meal.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
1 can 4 1/2 oz. diced green chilies
1 cup chicken broth
18 corn tortillas
3 c. cooked chicken breast (season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and cook in a few tbsp. olive oil) , cubed or shredded
lots of cheese

Cook the chicken and shred or cube. Mix the soups, broth, sour cream and green chilies. Tear up corn tortillas and mix in with the sauce. Mix in cheese to taste. I would say approx 1 11/2 cups. Top with more shredded cheese and bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour.

We like it cut into squares and topped with salsa and sour cream.
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Friday, March 20, 2009

Best Big, Fat Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie & Cookies and Cream Sundae




I love this cookie from allrecipes.com. I have made them several times and they are always good. I like my chocolate chip cookies on the soft side and sweet and these are perfect for my taste. I think it is the larger proportion of brown sugar. I did have to add about 1/4 cup more flour than called for in the recipe. I will post some notes at the bottom.
Best Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate chip cookie
2 cups all purpose flour (plus more if dough is too sticky)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. unsalted butter, melted
1 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
2. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart. I was able to fit about 6 on one pan.
4. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
*Note- When I went to put the cookies on the sheet they were very sticky. I could tell they probably wouldn't turn out so I added flour a little at a time until the dough was no longer sticking to my hands. Just be careful not to add too much. *
As if a big cookie wasn't enough I had an irresistable craving for hot fudge and ice cream tonight. I have made the giant cookies in a pie plate and topped with ice cream but even if my whole family has some we always end up wasting half of it. It just doesn't taste as good once the cookie is cooled. Then I remembered this Sundae I had at Disneyland. This is my attempt.
2 freshly baked chocolate chip cookies
enough vanilla ice cream for 1-2 people
whipped cream
hot fudge sauce
mini chocolate chips
I like this best when the cookies are fresh out of the oven. As soon as they have cooled for a minute or two transfer them to a bowl or plate. Top with ice cream, hot fudge and whipped cream. Garnish with mini chocolate chips and a cherry. It doesn't get any better than this.
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Claim Jumper's Lemon Bar Brulee


This is a keeper. I can't say enough about this recipe. Julia took my family and I to Claim Jumper in Las Vegas which was absolutely fabulous. I am such a chocolate fan ,we ordered their Motherload Chocolate Cake and then this to split. This got devoured and the chocolate cake was hardly even touched. As soon as I got home I hopped on the internet to see if there was a copycat recipe. To me this tasted just as good as theirs. I don't care for the raspberry sauce so I never make it. This is one of my all time favorite desserts. Really.
Lemon Bar Brulee


Crust
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 c. white sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4-1/2 c. chopped pecans (depending on how much you like)

*I added pecans to the crust because it seemed like they had nuts in theirs at Claim Jumper*

Filling
8 oz. cream cheese
1/3 c. white sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 c. heavy whipping cream, whipped

Lemon Layer
1 jar 11 oz. lemon curd

Brulee Topping
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed

Fresh Raspberry Sauce
12 oz. frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed
1/3 cup sugar (more as needed)
1 cup water
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For the crust: In a medium bowl, stir together all purpose flour and sugar. Cut in butter until the mixture is crumbly. Press firmly into the bottom of a 9 x 9 baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until firm and slightly golden. Set aside to cool.

In a bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and lemon juice. Whip cream, and fold into cream cheese mixture. Spread in pan over shortbread crust. Place in refrigerator until chilled througout, approx. 30 minutes.

After cheesecake is set, top with lemon curd and smooth surface. (The lemon curd is an extremely thin layer but don't worry it has tons of flavor) Put back in refrigerator until ready to serve.

You can either use a brulee torch for the topping or follow these directions.

Preheat broiler. Press brown sugar through strainer over lemon curd to cover completely and evenly( I have found the more even you get it the better. It also helps to really pack it down with your hands so it is smooth. If you have any chunks sticking up they will burn)Watching closely, broil 4 to 6 inches from heat source until sugar bubbles and caramelizes, about 2 minutes.

For the raspberry sauce: Puree raspberries in blender with water until smooth. Strain into small saucepan, pressing puree through mesh. Whisk sugar and cornstarch into sauce. Cook all ingredients together over medium high heat until thickened and clear.

Remove from heat and add more sugar if necessary and set aside to cool slightly before serving. Cover and chill until ready to use.

Serve at room temperature with a drizzle of raspberry sauce on plate and a side of sweetened whipped cream.



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Sour Cream Burritos


This is another delicious recipe of my Mom's. She was and still is an excellent cook and always had a big hot meal on the table. I didn't realize how much work she put into feeding us until I grew up and had a family of my own. This was one of my favorite meals growing up. I haven't made it in awhile just because it makes SO much but this would be great for Father's Day or Cinco de Mayo . It is quite similar to a beef enchilada. The round steak is really tender (make sure and use meat tenderizer) and gets its flavor from garlic and tomatoes. The pinto beans and diced green chilies are a perfect addition, plus a whole lot of yummy, creamy sour cream. Tonight I used smaller tortillas and halved the recipe and made them more like enchiladas. It made 10 enchiladas so you can imagine what they are like with the big tortillas. See the bottom for my notes.


Sour Cream Burritos
from My Mom



1 head lettuce, shredded (optional)


1 tbsp vegetable oil


1 large onion, diced


1 1/2 tsp. salt


2 cans 4 1/2 oz. diced green chilies, drained


2 cans 10 1/2 oz. mild enchilada sauce


1 can 15 oz. pinto beans, drained


8-10 burrito size flour tortillas


2 1/2 lbs. round steak or 2 lbs. ground beef


1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes


3 cloves garlic, mashed


2 beef bullion cubes


2 lbs. shredded, mild cheddar cheese


3 8 oz. cartons sour cream




Cut round steak into 1/2 in cubed and slowly brown in oil. Stir in tomatoes , onion, garlic and salt. Simmer for 1 hour. Stir in bullion cubes until dissolved. Mix in chilies and pinto beans. Cover and simmer for another 20 minutes.




Warm enchilada sauce. Dip each tortilla into sauce (very messy). Spoon meat mixure across center of tortilla. Generously top with sour cream. Overlap tortilla edges turning folded side to bottom. Put in casserole dish. Spoon remaining enchilada sauce on top. Sprinkle with cheese. Place in 350 degree oven until sour cream and cheese melt and bubble about 20-30 minutes. Remove from oven. If desired top with shredded lettuce, olives and more sour cream.


*I usually use less sour cream. Maybe 2 containers instead of 3. Also, I usually sprinkle meat tenderizer on the round steak. If you do this omit the salt because it will be too salty if you don't.*


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