Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Crispy Peanut Butter Cup Brownies





It's no wonder they're also known as Better-Than Crack Brownies. They're so addicting. They're literally as rich as fudge.

Crispy Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

adapted source Deliciously Yum!

Ingredients:
  • 1 box brownies
  • 1/2 cup salted peanuts, chopped
  • 1 cup peanut butter cups, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon shortening or unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups Rice Krispie Cereal

Instructions:
  1. Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish and set aside.
  2. Mix your batch of brownies according to package directions and bake for 23 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with peanut butter cups and peanuts. Return to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes.
  3. While the brownies finish baking, combine the milk chocolate chips, peanut butter, and shortening. Melt in the microwave until creamy. Stir in the vanilla and combine. Next, add cereal and mix well.
  4. Once the brownies are done baking, remove from the oven and pour the cereal mixture on top. Spread into an even layer and let cool. Transfer the brownies to the fridge and let set for 3 hours. Enjoy!


Easiest Lemon Brownies



 
It doesn’t get much better than this! One bowl. No mixer. No butter. You’ll need 3 small lemons and please note… zest the lemons before juicing – it’s easier. Wait until you taste these yummy lemon-y brownies!

Easiest Lemon Brownies

adapted source Jenny Can Cook - Easiest Lemon Brownies
Makes: 16

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup plain 2% yogurt (I use Fage)
  • 3 Tablespoons canola oil (preferably organic expeller-pressed) or extra light olive oil
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
   
Glaze:
  • 1 rounded cup powdered sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • about 2 to 4 Tablespoons lemon juice

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Line an 8 x 8-inch square pan with foil, leaving extra for “handles.”
  3. Put all ingredients into a bowl.
  4. Stir by hand until smooth (about 30 seconds).
  5. Spread batter in pan and bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
  7. Lift out of pan to a flat surface.

Glaze:
Stir glaze ingredients together in a bowl, adding juice gradually until glaze is spreadable. Top brownies with glaze.





Strawberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake





This coffee cake is just so perfect paired with a nice cup of hot coffee or tea

Strawberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Butter Cake & Crumb Topping:
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, cold and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup sour cream (full fat)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Filling:
  • 1 - 8oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg

Strawberry Filling:
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, cut into pieces
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tsp water
  • 1.5 tsp cornstarch

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line an 8 inch round pan with removable bottom with non-stick baking paper.

Prepare the strawberry jam.
Combine the cornstarch and water to make a slurry in a bowl. Mix the strawberries and sugar in a pan. Cook over low heat until the strawberries release their juices about 5 minutes, then add the cornstarch mix and stir until well combined. Stir for another minute or two until it has thickened. Remove from heat. Let cool to room temperature while you prepare the rest of the cake.

Prepare the cream cheese filling.
Beat the cream cheese on medium speed for about 30 seconds until smooth. Add in the sugar and egg and beat until well combined.  Set aside.

Prepare the cake.
Combine the flour and sugar together in a bowl. Using a pastry cutter or just 2 forks, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Measure 3/4 cup of the mixture and set aside. Add the baking soda, baking powder and salt and mix well.

In another bowl, beat the sour cream, egg and vanilla extract until well blended. Using a hand whisk or a spoon, stir gently into the flour mixture until just incorporated. Batter may be a bit lumpy. Set aside.

Spread the batter in the pan, with about 1/2 inch up the sides, also leaving a 1/2 inch border around the edges bare (like making a well). Pour the cream cheese mixture over the batter, being careful not to go beyond the border. Spread the strawberry jam on top of the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle the remaining 3/4 cup crumbs over the strawberry filling. Bake for 50-55 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes before removing the cake.

Chocolate Fudge Cookies




Chocolate Fudge Cookies


Ingredients:
  • 2 cups chopped chocolate (whatever you have or like)
  • 4 tablespoons butter, room temp.
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder *optional
  • 1/4 cup (30 grams) Dutch Cocoa powder
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Chocolate Chips

Instructions:
  1. Melt the chocolate and butter in a heat proof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir to combine and until smooth in texture. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  2. In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the sugar and eggs until pale yellow and thick, about 5 minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, instant coffee powder and salt-sifting would be great to get rid of unwanted lumps  Slowly add the dry ingredients and continue mixing until incorporated.
  4. Add in the eggs and sugar pure vanilla extract and mix to incorporate, then add melted chocolate, mix until it is smooth in texture.
  5. Fold in the dry ingredients  by adding wet mixture to flour mixture, and gently fold until all incorporated.
  6. Stir in Chocolate Chips and if you like you may add some nuts if you desire.
  7. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the batter just until firm, about 45-60 minutes but it could be in the fridge even overnight.
  8. When you take it out of the fridge it will be firm and you can take your ice-cream scoop or a round tablespoon and just add amount of cookies that you would like to bake. My baking pan is standard rectangular pan so I just added 9 cookies per pan, lined with parchment paper before baking.
  9. Preheat the oven on 350-375F, depending on your oven.
  10. Once on the baking sheet, form the cookies. You may add less or more to be thicker like mine.
  11. Bake between 10-14 minutes, depending again on your oven and the thickness of your cookies. DO NOT over bake them. When the cracks start to show, it is done, so check after 10 minutes and see if they need bit more time. Pull them out and let them cool down on the baking pan for about 10 minutes until they are set and ready for you to move them on a cookie rack to cool completely. 




Simple Cream Cheese Danish





Simple Cream Cheese Danish

Ingredients:
  • 2 cans of crescent rolls
  • 1 8oz package of cream cheese at room temp.
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp sour cream
  • Optional: pie filling or fruit preserves of your choice

Icing:
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp softened butter

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350.

Open the crescent rolls carefully to avoid unrolling or tearing the dough. You'll need to leave it in it's cylindrical shape. Slice the dough into pieces about 1/4 inch thick (as though you're slicing cookie dough). Place the slices on a cookie sheet and press the center in to make an indentation for the cream cheese filling.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the cream cheese, white sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and sour cream. Add a dollop of the mixture to the indentation you made in each circle of dough. I find that about a tbsp works well, but you can use as little or as much as you like. If you like fruit with your danish, you can also add it to the rolls before the cream cheese mixture. (I like cherry pie filling or blackberry preserves, personally.) Bake for 15 - 20 minutes.

While the danish are baking, you can make a quick royal icing to drizzle over the tops. Mix together the confectioner's sugar, milk and butter in a small bowl. You can use a spoon to drizzle it over the tops of the danish, or you can put it into a small zip-top bag and snip of the corner for an easy "piping bag." Take the danish out of the oven and allow them to cool for 10-15 minutes before icing.

Coconut Pound Cake




This cake couldn’t be simpler – you can make it in a large bundt cake pan, regular loaves, or mini loaves

Coconut Pound Cake

Ingredients:

FOR THE CAKE:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup whole (or low-fat) milk
  • 1 tsp coconut extract
  • 3½ oz Angel Flake sweetened, shredded coconut

FOR THE GLAZE:
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened coconut milk (or regular milk)
  • 1/2 tsp coconut extract
  • 1/2 – 1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease and lightly flour a 9- or 10-inch tube pan. This cake is delicate so I wouldn’t recommend using a bundt pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer (on medium speed) to cream the butter and sugar until fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add in eggs, one at a time, and mix well. Stir in the milk, coconut extract and shredded coconut. Finally, add the flour, baking powder and salt mixture, and stir to combine. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until golden brown, about 1 hour.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the glaze. Whisk together the coconut milk, coconut extract and confectioner’s sugar until smooth, adding more sugar as needed to thicken the glaze (or more milk if you want to thin it out).
  5. Cool cake in pan for 5-10 minutes before removing. Drizzle with glaze while cake is still warm.





Ultimate Pound Cake




This cake is actually better the day after it's made, to give time for the lemon to be fully absorbed into the cake and for the flavors to meld.  It's a sturdy cake and can be used for picnics or care packages without worrying too much about it in transit. Everything about this cake is hands down good. It is easy to make, is full of fresh and simple to find ingredients, bakes well, smells out of this world and tastes better and better as the days go by...although there were not that many days between the first and the last slice.

Ultimate Pound Cake


Serves 12

Ingredients:
  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 TB lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. pure lemon extract
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 300F. Butter and flour a 12 cup Bundt pan.
  2. Sift the flour, baking owder and salt together twice.
  3. Cream the butter and 1 3/4 cups sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce the speed and add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flou. Stir in the lemon zest and lemon extract.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared apn and bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Poke holes all over the cake with a wooden skewer
  5. Meanwhile, bring the lemon juice and remaininf sugar to a boil over medium high heat in a small saucepan, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
  6. Invert the cake onto a rack, position over a baking sheet and slowly pour the syrup over the cake, it will seap through the holes and into the cake. Let cool to room temp.


Custard Popovers





A very tasty recipe for custard popovers. A special treat for any diner party.

Custard Popovers

Ingredients:

Popovers:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp. butter or margarine


Filling:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3 cup milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk or whipping cream

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Generously grease 10 muffin cups or 6 custard cups with shortening.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together flour and salt. Add eggs, milk, and melted butter or margarine. Beat with a rotary beater or a wire whisk till smooth, about 2 minutes. Divide batter evenly between muffin or custard cups.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake 20 minutes longer. Turn off oven and let stand in warm oven for 10 minutes to become more crisp. Serve hot.
  4. In a sauce pan put sugar, salt and flour and mix well. Gradually add milk and mix well. Beat egg yolks separately and add to the mixture. Slowly bring to boil stirring constantly until thickened. Add butter and stir. Let it cool to room temperature or in a refrigerator. Add evaporated milk , vanilla, and brandy. Whip the mixture with mixer.
  5. Cut tops if necessary and fill popovers with custard just before serving.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Melt-In-Your-Mouth Chicken Breasts





The mayonnaise make these chicken breast very moist and tender..

Melt-In-Your-Mouth Chicken Breasts

Servings:4

Ingredients:
  • 4 boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons seasoning salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions:
  1. Mix mayonnaise, cheese and seasonings.
  2. Spread mixture over chicken breast and place in baking dish.
  3. Bake at 375°F for 45 minutes.

The Best Chicken Fried Steak




I received this recipe from a co-worker about 5 years ago. This is by far the best chicken fried steak I've ever had. I've made this numerous times for my picky eater son and my southern-raised better half, as well as other family and friends. I get nothing but rave reviews each time

The Best Chicken Fried Steak

makes 4 steaks

Ingredients:
  • 4 (1/2 pound) beef cube steaks
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce (e.g. Tabasco™)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups vegetable shortening for deep frying
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste

Instructions:
  1. Pound the steaks to about 1/4-inch thickness. Place 2 cups of flour in a shallow bowl. Stir together the baking powder, baking soda, pepper, and salt in a separate shallow bowl; stir in the buttermilk, egg, Tabasco Sauce, and garlic. Dredge each steak first in the flour, then in the batter, and again in the flour. Pat the flour onto the surface of each steak so they are completely coated with dry flour.
  2. Heat the shortening in a deep cast-iron skillet to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Fry the steaks until evenly golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Place fried steaks on a plate with paper towels to drain. Drain the fat from the skillet, reserving 1/4 cup of the liquid and as much of the solid remnants as possible.
  3. Return the skillet to medium-low heat with the reserved oil. Whisk the remaining flour into the oil. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a spatula to release solids into the gravy. Stir in the milk, raise the heat to medium, and bring the gravy to a simmer, cook until thick, 6 to 7 minutes. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Spoon the gravy over the steaks to serve.




Ultimate Chicken Fingers (Gluten Free)





Ultimate Chicken Fingers (Gluten Free)

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup Bisquick® Gluten Free mix
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (1 lb), cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips (or 8 tenders)
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • Cooking spray

Instructions:
  1. Heat oven to 450°F. Line cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper; spray with cooking spray.
  2. Stir Bisquick mix, cheese, paprika and salt in shallow baking dish. Dip chicken strips into eggs, then coat with Bisquick mixture; repeat with other pieces, dipping in eggs and Bisquick mixture two times each. Place chicken on cookie sheet. Spray chicken with cooking spray.
  3. Bake 12 to14 minutes, turning after 6 minutes, until no longer pink in center. 


Baked Chicken Parmesan




Baked Chicken Parmesan

recipe from SkinnyTaste

Ingredients:
  • 4 (about 8 oz each) chicken breast, fat trimmed, sliced in half to make 8
  • 3/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs (I used whole wheat)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted (or olive oil)
  • 3/4 cup reduced fat mozzarella cheese (I used Polly-o)
  • 1 cup marinara or Filetto di Pomodoro
  • cooking spray

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 450°. Spray a large baking sheet lightly with spray.

Combine breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese in a bowl. Melt the butter in another bowl. Lightly brush the butter onto the chicken, then dip into breadcrumb mixture.  Place on baking sheet and repeat with the remaining chicken.

Lightly spray a little more oil on top and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Turn chicken over, bake another 5 minutes.

Remove from oven, spoon 1 tbsp sauce over each piece of chicken and top each with 1 1/2 tbsp of shredded mozzarella cheese.

Bake 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted.





Cocktail Meatball Appetizer Recipe for the Crockpot Slow Cooker





With having over 15 people each time, it's tough to make a lot of little snacks to feed such a big group, so I tend to look to the crock pot for simple solutions. This way, I can still enjoy the game while the snack is warming up getting ready to be eaten at break time. This is also a great snack to put in a big bowl in the middle and let everyone take bites as they play. This recipe is a play on the standard Grape Jelly Cocktail Meatballs but instead of jelly I like to use cranberry sauce.

Cocktail Meatball Recipe Using Cranberry Sauce

Ingredients:

    24oz of Frozen Meatballs (turkey meatballs work great as well)
    18oz of BBQ Sauce
    3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
    16oz Cranberry Sauce Jellied
    2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard

Instructions:
  1. Mix the BBQ Sauce, Soy Sauce, Cranberry Sauce and mustard together until you get a smooth consistency.
  2. Put frozen meatballs in the crock pot and pour the mixture over them. Stir so all of the meatballs are evenly coated.
  3. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. If it starts to boil, reduce the heat to "keep warm" so that the BBQ sauce does not burn.
  4. Enjoy!

You can also do this with homemade meatballs. I have made homemade venison meatballs in this recipe and they were a big hit. If you are doing the homemade meatballs, just brown the meatballs on the outside and then add to the crock pot. Cook 6-8 hours or until thoroughly cooked through. Do not allow the mixture to boil too long as the BBQ sauce will burn.

Meyer Lemon Doughnuts




According to my taste buds, lemon curd is king of the dessert kingdom. I couldn’t imagine doing anything with my first bag of Meyer lemons but cooking them down into Meyer lemon curd… and then using it to fill the most precious baby doughnuts ever. Mini things, rare lemons, hot oil… it was an all around good time.

Bless you, Meyer Lemons..

Meyer Lemon Doughnuts


**If you can’t find Meyer lemons, regular lemons would do just fine. I’d increase add a few extra tablespoons of sugar into the lemon curd, just to be safe.

For the lemon curd: 
  • 1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Meyer lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • Small pinch of kosher salt

Place the zest, juice, sugar, salt, and eggs in a metal bowl. Whisk away. Add in the butter, clamp on an instant-read thermometer, and set the bowl over a tiny pot of simmering water. Don’t ever stop whisking gently or you’ll end up with a layer of scrambled eggs on the edge of your bowl. Keep cooking and stirring until it’s thick, and the thermometer reads 160°F, 5-10 minutes. Place a fine-mesh sieve over another metal bowl and press the curd through it with a rubber spatula. Cover the surface of the curd with plastic wrap, cool completely, and refrigerate until ready to use.






For the doughnuts:
  • 1 (1/4-oz) package active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 2 tablespoons warm water (105–115°F)
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for sprinkling and rolling out dough
  • 1 cup whole milk at room temperature
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons sugar + 3/4 cup to roll the finished doughnuts in
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • About 10 cups vegetable oil for deep frying

Stir together yeast and warm water in a small bowl until yeast is dissolved. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If yeast doesn’t foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)

Mix together flour, milk, butter, yolks, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and yeast mixture in mixer at low speed until a soft dough forms. Increase speed to medium-high and beat 3 minutes more.

Scrape dough into a ball in the center of the bowl, then sprinkle lightly with flour to keep a crust from forming. Cover bowl with a clean kitchen towel (not terry cloth) and let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. (Alternatively, let dough rise in bowl in refrigerator 8 to 12 hours.)

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out with a lightly floured rolling pin to 1/2 inch thick. Cut out as many rounds as possible with a small round cookie cutter (mine was about 2 inches in diameter). Transfer doughnuts to a lightly floured large baking sheet. Cover doughnuts with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until slightly puffed, about 30 minutes (45 minutes if dough was cold when cutting out doughnuts). Do not reroll scraps (if you feel bad wasting them, don’t hesitate to fry the extra scraps and then roll them in cinnamon-sugar…)

Heat 2 1/2 inches oil in a deep 4-quart heavy pot until it registers 350°F on thermometer. Fry doughnuts, 3-4 at a time, turning occasionally with a wire or mesh skimmer or a slotted spoon, until puffed and golden brown, about 1-2 minutes per batch. Transfer to paper towels to drain. (Return oil to 350°F between batches.) Let cool.

Once the doughnuts are completely cool, get creative to fill them with the lemon curd. I used plastic squeeze bottles with long tips, but a long-tipped pastry bag, mini baster, or flavor injector (food syringe type situation) could work just as well. Alternatively, you could poke a large hole in each doughnut with a skewer and use a small funnel or spoon and steady hand to fill the doughnuts. There are about a million ways to go about this, so use your imagination! When the doughnuts are filled, roll them liberally in granulated sugar (powdered sugar could be delicious, too) and enjoy.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Lemon Cupcake with Blackberry Buttercream




A simple from-scratch lemon cupcake has blackberry buttercream frosting. This cupcake is a refreshing hit! Garnish each cupcake with a blackberry or a pinch of lemon zest..

Lemon Cupcake with Blackberry Buttercream

makes 2 dozen cupcakes

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup seedless blackberry jam

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.Cream sugar and 1/2 cup butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, and mix 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract into mixture with the second egg.
  3. Beat in flour and baking powder until thoroughly combined; beat in milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest to make a smooth batter.
  4. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until cupcake edges are slightly golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool cupcakes completely.
  6. Beat 1 cup butter with 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and salt until smooth and creamy. Beat in confectioners' sugar, 1 cup at a time, to make a creamy frosting. Beat in blackberry jam. Spread frosting on cooled cupcakes.







Zucchini Parmesan Crisps





Light, flavorful and delicious... I make these all the time!!! Love them and so much healthier than frying them in butter with egg and crackers like my mom did when I was a kid!

Zucchini Parmesan Crisps

Ingredients:
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 medium zucchini (about 1 pound total)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan (3/4-ounce)
  • 1/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Slice the zucchini into 1/4-inch thick rounds. In a medium bowl, toss the zucchini with the oil. In a small bowl, combine the Parmesan, bread crumbs, salt, and a few turns of pepper. Dip each round into the Parmesan mixture, coating it evenly on both sides, pressing the coating on to stick, and place in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake the zucchini rounds until browned and crisp, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove with spatula. Serve immediately.


Per Serving:

(serving size, 1/2 cup)

Calories 105; Total Fat 6g (Sat Fat 2g, Mono Fat 2g, Poly Fat 0g); Protein 5g; Carb 8.5g; Fiber 1.5g; Cholesterol 1mg; Sodium 222mg

Excellent Source of: Molybdenum, Vitamin C

Good Source of: Calcium, Manganese, Vitamin B6, Protein









Ww 1 Pt. Weight Watcher Muffins




I eat one of these almost everyday. They are an excellent source of fiber and only being 1 pt. what's not to love??? Especially if you are counting. Feel free to use whatever flavor of muffin mix from Krusteaz you choose, just making sure it's the Fatfree kind.

Ww 1 Pt. Weight Watcher Muffins

Yield: 18

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups fiber one all-bran cereal
  • 1 (19 ounce) box krusteaz fat-free blueberry muffin mix
  • 2 1/2 cups hot water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

Instructions:
  1. Mix AllBran w/hot water.
  2. Stir and set aside.
  3. Add baking powder to the Krustaez mix.
  4. Mix all together.
  5. Bake according to muffin box



Weight Watchers Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas





These are very good and you don't miss the fat. They are 6 points per serving. Feel free to use leftover cooked chicken or two (6-ounce) packages of cooked chicken breast strips in this recipe

Weight Watchers Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas
Servings: 6

Ingredients:
  • cooking spray, 1 spray
  • 8 ounces Velveeta reduced fat cheese product, reduced-fat processed cheese product
  • 1/2 cup nonfat sour cream
  • 1/4 cup fat-free evaporated milk
  • 1/4 cup scallion, green part only, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 cups cooked chicken breasts, chopped
  • 6 medium whole wheat tortillas, 7-inches each
  • 1/4 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese, sharp variety
  • 6 medium olives, black, pitted, sliced
  • 1/4 cup salsa

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Coat a 9-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine cheese product and sour cream; cover and microwave on high power until cheese melts, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Remove half of melted cheese to a small bowl and stir in evaporated milk; set aside.
  4. Add scallions, red pepper flakes and chicken to remaining cheese mixture; stir to coat.
  5. Spoon about 2/3 cup of chicken mixture down center of each tortilla; fold in sides of tortilla to cover filling and place tortillas in a single layer in prepared dish; spoon remaining cheese sauce over top and then sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese and olives.
  6. Bake until cheese topping is bubbly, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  7. Serve with salsa.
Yields 1 enchilada per serving.










Unbelievable Spinach Calzones





Delicious, satisfying, and very easy to make. My kids will even eat spinach this way! We serve them with warmed spaghetti sauce to dip them in and a salad. Yum!

Unbelievable Spinach Calzones

makes 8 servings

Ingredients:
  • 1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (32 ounce) package frozen white bread dough, thawed

Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, eggs, Italian seasoning, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese and spinach. Set aside.Divide the bread dough into 8 pieces and roll each piece out to about an 8 inch circle. Spoon about 1/2 cup of the ricotta filling onto each circle, fold over and seal the edges. Place onto a greased cookie sheet.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until nicely browned on the tops and bottoms.



Crispy Cheddar Chicken




Crispy Cheddar Chicken

Yield: 7 servings

Ingredients:

Chicken:
  • 4 large chicken breasts
  • 2 sleeves Ritz crackers
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/8 t pepper
  • 1/2 C milk
  • 3 C cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 t dried parsley
Sauce:
  • 1   10 ounce can cream of chicken soup
  • 2 T sour cream
  • 2 T butter

Instructions:

1. Cut each chicken breast into 3 large chunks.
2. In a small food processor grind up the ritz crackers.
3. Pour the milk, cheese and cracker crumbs into 3 separate small pans. Toss the 1/4 t salt and 1/8 t pepper into the cracker crumbs and stir the mixture around to combine.
4. Dip each piece of chicken into the milk then the cheese. Press the cheese into the chicken with your fingers. Some of it will fall off when you add it to the cracker crumbs, don’t worry about it.
5. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray and lay the chicken inside the pan. 
6. Sprinkle the dried parsley over the chicken. 
7. Cover the pan with tin foil and bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes. Remove the tin foil, bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the edges of the chicken are golden brown and crispy.
8. Into a medium sized sauce pan combine the cream of chicken soup, sour cream and butter with a whisk. Stir it over medium high heat until the sauce is nice and hot. Serve over the chicken.




Chicken Bacon Ranch Grilled Cheese





Chicken Bacon Ranch Grilled Cheese

Makes 1 Sandwich

Ingredients:
  • 2 Slices thick cut crusty bread.
  • 3 Slices Bacon, cut in half so you have 6 pieces of bacon
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Ranch Dressing
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 3-4oz. Leftover Roasted Chicken, thinly sliced
  • 1-2oz. Extra Sharp Cheddar, thinly sliced
  • Extra Ranch Dressing for dipping – if you are like me and LOVE ranch.

Instructions:
  1. Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crispy. Transfer bacon to a papertowel lined plate (to drain excess grease) and drain off grease. If you do not have a panini press (join the club!), use this skillet to make the grilled cheese.
  2. Butter one side of each slice of bread.
  3. Take one slice of bread, butter side down and slather the other side of the bread with 1 tablespoon of ranch dressing (or a tad bit more if you like). Place half of the cheese on top of the ranch. Layer on chicken and bacon. Top with remaining cheddar cheese.
  4. Slather remaining slice of bread with remaining ranch dressing and place atop the cheese, ranch side down, butter side up.
  5. Place sandwich on panini press and cook until bread is golden brown and cheese is melty. If you do not have a panini press, do not fret. Place non-stick skillet over medium heat. Transfer sandwich to skillet and cook until bread becomes golden brown and the cheese begins to melt. Carefully flip sandwich and cook the other side of the sandwich until golden brown.  You may need to place a heavy pan atop the sandwich when you are grilling it, to smash it down a bit – helps stick it all together.  I used a square pyrex dish.
  6. Remove from skillet, slice in half, and enjoy immediately.




Amazing Pork Tenderloin in the Slow Cooker




This will melt in your mouth! This pork tenderloin soaks up the yummy juices as it cooks. Make sure to serve up the au jus on the side - its amazing! This recipe is so simple, you will love it!

Amazing Pork Tenderloin in the Slow Cooker

makes 6 servings

Ingredients:
  • 1 (2 pound) pork tenderloin
  • 1 (1 ounce) envelope dry onion soup mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions:

Place pork tenderloin in a slow cooker with the contents of the soup packet. Pour water, wine, and soy sauce over the top, turning the pork to coat. Carefully spread garlic over the pork, leaving as much on top of the roast during cooking as possible. Sprinkle with pepper, cover, and cook on low setting for 4 hours. Serve with cooking liquid on the side as au jus.












Muffin-Pan Potato Gratins





Make these individual potato gratins for Thanksgiving dinner or serve them along with any weeknight supper. They go well with steak, roast beef, chicken, or sauteed fish.

Muffin-Pan Potato Gratins

Ingredients:
  • Unsalted butter, room temperature, for muffin cups
  • 2 medium russet potatoes (about 3/4 pound each)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly brush 6 standard muffin cups with butter. Thinly slice potatoes. Place 2 slices in each cup and season with salt and pepper. Continue adding potatoes, seasoning every few slices, until cups are filled. Pour 1 tablespoon heavy cream over each. Bake until potatoes are golden brown and tender when pierced with a knife, 30 to 35 minutes. Run a thin knife around each gratin. Place a baking sheet or large plate over pan and invert to release gratins. Flip right side up and serve.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Fried Mozzarella Cheese Sticks





Great recipe! These fried cheese sticks are very easy to prepare and sooo good.. Let them sit before serving and it's own heat will continue to make the cheese soft.

Fried Mozzarella Cheese Sticks

makes 8 servings

Ingredients:
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 quart oil for deep frying
  • 1 (16 ounce) package mozzarella cheese sticks

Instructions:
  1. In a small bowl, mix the eggs and water.
  2. Mix the bread crumbs and garlic salt in a medium bowl. In a medium bowl, blend the flour and cornstarch.
  3. In a large heavy saucepan, heat the oil to 365 degrees F (185 degrees C).
  4. One at a time, coat each mozzarella stick in the flour mixture, then the egg mixture, then in the bread crumbs and finally into the oil. Fry until golden brown, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and drain on paper towels.




Classic Baked Ziti Recipe




Sometimes a classic does not need to be messed with – and this baked ziti is one of them. Simple and classic this dish is paired well with a fresh salad

Classic Baked Ziti

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 cup onion , chopped
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1 (32 ounce) jar meatless sauce
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1 (16 ounce) package Ziti pasta , cooked and drained
  • 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven at 350
  2. In a large skillet – heat oil and cook onions for 8 minutes than add garlic and cook for one minute. Add beef and cook till no longer pink ( drain excess fat).
  3. Stir in sauce, chicken broth, pepper, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and oregano. Heat through.
  4. Stir 1 cup of sauce into the “cooked” ziti pasta.
  5. Place ½ of the ziti into a 13×9 baking dish.
  6. Place 1½ cup of mozzarella cheese and ½ cup of Parmesan cheese
  7. Top with rest of sauce.
  8. Top with rest of pasta.
  9. Cover and bake for 20 minutes.
  10. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese.
  11. Cook till cheese is golden brown
  12. Enjoy :)



Herbed Cheese Puffs





Filled with a savory cheese and herb mixture, these puffy biscuits are simple, delicious and make a great party appetizer. I have made these for years and they are always a hit!

Herbed Cheese Puffs
makes 30 puffs

Ingredients:
  • 1 (4 ounce) package grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 ounces Romano cheese, grated
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (12 ounce) can refrigerated biscuit dough

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together Parmesan cheese, Romano cheese, mayonnaise, basil, oregano, green onions and garlic.
  3. Separate each unbaked biscuit vertically into 3 pieces. Spread 1 tablespoon cheese mixture on each piece.
  4. Arrange pieces in a single layer on baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven 10 to 12 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Serve warm!




Cilantro Thai Grilled Chicken


This recipe was adapted from artsy-foodie.com. It looks easy, but since I love cilantro it could be good. Already, my inspiration is coming back. I am thinking an avocado, tomato and cucumber salad and a jalapeno rice dish to go with it. It really was that easy. Now, after just a little online browsing, I am feeling ready to tackle a new dish and get going in the kitchen. Let’s hope my dinner guests are happy.

Cilantro Thai Grilled Chicken

Ingredients:
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons asian fish sauce or 1 tablespoon of GF soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Instructions:

Place all the ingredients above in a food processor and process until smooth.

Pour marinade over chicken breast and let flavors sink in for 15 minutes in the refrigerator.
Prepare your grill or broiler. Cook until temperature registers 165F on the meat thermometer. Let the chicken breasts rest for 5 minutes before serving, this prevents the meat from drying up.



Saturday, January 25, 2014

Ww Fettuccine Alfredo

This is an outstanding dish. I always add some shrimp and mushrooms to the dish. I know the shimp adds more points but it is so worth it. Without the shrimp and mushrooms you get 7 points per serving. Serving size is 1 cup. Serve piping hot while it's creamiest. Happy eating. Ww Fettuccine Alfredo

Double Chocolate Coca Cola Cake




A glass of ice cold milk and a piece of this sinfully delicious treat is any chocolate lovers dream. Or try it with fresh strawberries or your choice of ice cream. It is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth. Enjoy!

Double Chocolate Coca Cola Cake

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup Coca Cola
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 stick butter
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Frosting:
  • 1 stick butter
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa
  • 6 tablespoons cream or milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 3/4 cup confectioners sugar

Instructions:
In a saucepan, mix Coca Cola, oil, butter and cocoa and bring to a boil. In another bowl, combine the sugar, flour and salt. Pour the boiling Cola mixture over the flour mixture and beat well. Add the eggs, buttermilk, soda and vanilla and beat well. Pour mixture into a greased and floured 13 x 9 inch baking pan and bake at 350 degrees or 20 to 25 minutes. Remove pan. Cool for about 10 minutes before frosting.

Frosting:
In a saucepan, combine the butter, cocoa, and milk. Heat until the butter melts. Beat in the remaining ingredients and spread on the cake while it's still warm.

Alfredo Sauce



Alfredo Sauce

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 1/2 T. cornstarch
  • 1 Cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup light cream cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Instructions:

In med. saucepan, whisk the milk and cornstarch until smooth. Whisk in the broth and place over low heat. Add the cream cheese, garlic powder and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens, about 4 minutes. Whisk in the parm cheese and cook 1 to 2 minutes more.

This makes enough for 6 servings of the pasta, chicken and broccoli recipe in her book.

I add a pinch of nutmeg to it; just adds a little something to a white sauce.

Baked Cheesy Chicken Pasta





This recipe is great because it uses things that we always have in our cupboard and is pretty dang foolproof. I mean, honestly, you can’t go wrong with chicken, pasta and cheese! It was quite easy and pretty efficient on time too!

Baked Cheesy Chicken Pasta

Ingredients:
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1/2 lb. pasta (rotini, penne, rigatoni, bowties- whatever you’d like)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 c. + 1 Tbsp. flour
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 3 c. milk
  • 3/4 c. shredded cheese (I used a provolone/mozzarella mix)
  • 3/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Boil pasta until al dente- about 3 minutes under recommended time. Set aside.
  3. While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a medium skillet. Season chicken with salt & pepper and cook until no longer pink inside. Remove from pan and thinly slice. Set aside.
  4. In a medium pot or dutch oven, melt butter and add flour and garlic. Whisk together and cook for about 1 minute (you are creating roux- the thickener for your cheese sauce).
  5. Gradually add milk while whisking constantly. Bring to a simmer and whisk frequently while sauce thickens. It may take a few minutes to thicken, just keep whisking!
  6. Remove pot from heat and gradually stir in cheeses.
  7. Add chicken and pasta to pot. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
  8. Pour mixture into a greased baking dish.
  9. Bake uncovered for about 25 minutes or until top is golden and bubbling. Let stand for a few minutes before serving.


Just Like Loaded Baked Potatoes/Cauliflower (Low Carb)




This is an awesome low-carb version of loaded baked potatoes, and tastes far better than any version of mock potatoes that I have tried. In fact, this dish is soooo good, you will not believe it! I do not remember where I got this recipe, but it is a fabulous side to any low-carb meal. You will be pleased, I promise! Yum! Yum!

Just Like Loaded Baked Potatoes/Cauliflower (Low Carb)

Servings: 3

Ingredients:
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked cauliflower (I use frozen, cooked until tender, in the microwave)
  • 1 cup sour cream (low fat works here, too)
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (full-fat works best)
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • 3 -6 slices cooked crumpled bacon (or turkey bacon)
  • salt and pepper

Instructions:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350.
  2. Chop cooked cauliflower into very small pieces.
  3. Mix sour cream, 1/2 of the green onions, 1/2 of the cheese, 1/2 of the bacon, and salt and pepper to taste in medium bowl.
  4. Stir in the cauliflower.
  5. Place in medium baking dish and sprinkle remaining cheese and bacon on top.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle the remaining green onions on top just before serving.







Ww Skinny Chimichangas




This is out of my Weight Watchers cookbook called "Take-Out Tonight!" This is an excellent low fat chimchangas recipe. It is baked, instead of deep-fried. The burrito comes out crispy with a moist and flavorful filling. This has 4 points per serving. You can top these chimichangas with your favorite salsa and, for an extra 1 point per serving, 2 tablespoons fat-free sour cream.

Ww Skinny Chimichangas


recipe from Food.com

Servings:4

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 lb ground turkey breast
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mild green chilies, chopped
  • 1/3 cup reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 (8 inch) fat free tortillas, flour

Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Spray a nonstick baking sheet with nonstick spray; set aside.
  3. Spray a medium nonstick skillet with nonstick spray; set over medium-high heat.
  4. Add the turkey, onion, garlic, chili powder, oregano, and cumin.
  5. Cook, breaking up the turkey with a wooden spoon until browned, about 6 miuntes.
  6. Stir in the tomato sauce and the chiles; bring to a boil.
  7. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the flavors are blended and the mixture thickens, slightly, about 5 minutes.
  8. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheddar cheese.
  9. Meanwhile, wrap the tortillas in foil and place in the oven to warm for 10 minutes.
  10. Spoon about 1/2 cup of the filling into the center of each tortilla.
  11. Fold in the sides, then roll to enclose the filling.
  12. Place the chimichangas, seam-side down, on the baking sheet.
  13. Lightly spray the tops of the tortillas with nonstick spray.
  14. Bake until golden and crisp, about 20 miuntes.
  15. Do not turn.




Cracker Barrel's Hashbrowns Casserole - Copycat



 
I don't know if this is Cracker Barrel's actual hash browns casserole recipe, but it is close. This recipe can feed a large crowd and is good for a brunch.

Cracker Barrel's Hashbrowns Casserole - Copycat

Servings: 10-12

Ingredients:
  • 2 lbs frozen hash browns
  • 1/2 cup margarine or 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 (10 1/4 ounce) can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 pint sour cream
  • 1/2 cup onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and spray an 11 x 14 baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Mix the above ingredients together, place in prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes or until brown on top.

Best Chocolate Cake ( Ever )




THIS IS the Best Chocolate Cake you will ever have!! I am so sorry to put your old favorite chocolate cake recipe on the back burner, because this cake literally takes the cake. Many chocolate lovers have told me this is the BEST cake they have ever had in their life, people have even told me it is better than the chocolate cake from costco!! Now THAT is saying something!!! This cake is so rich and divine. This cake has a tiny bit of espresso powder which really enhances the chocolate flavor for chocolate lovers, but does not taste like espresso at all. This cake is just pure heaven, you should make it... right now :)

Best Chocolate Cake

Recipe from Add a Pinch

Ingredients:

Chocolate Cake:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¾ cup cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

Chocolate Frosting:
  • 1½ cups butter (3 sticks), softened
  • 1 cup cocoa
  • 5 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon espresso powder




Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by spraying with baking spray or buttering and lightly flouring.

For the cake:
  1. Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk through to combine or, using your paddle attachment, stir through flour mixture until combined well.
  2. Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter.
  3. Distribute cake batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, remove from the pan and cool completely.
  5. Frost cake with Chocolate Frosting.

For the Chocolate Frosting:
  1. Add cocoa to a large bowl or bowl of stand mixer. Whisk through to remove any lumps.
  2. Cream together butter and cocoa powder until well-combined.
  3. Add sugar and milk to cocoa mixture by adding 1 cup of sugar followed by about a tablespoon of milk. After each addition has been combined, turn mixer onto a high speed for about a minute. Repeat until all sugar and milk have been added.
  4. Add vanilla extract and espresso powder and combine well.
  5. If frosting appears too dry, add more milk, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency. If it appears to wet and does not hold its form, add more confectioner’s sugar, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency.




Peanut Butter Brownie Pizza





Peanut Butter Brownie Pizza

Ingredients:
  • 1 package Krusteaz Fudge Brownie Mix
  • Peanut Butter Topping:
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ cup milk chocolate chips
  • ½ cup candy coated chocolate pieces.

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare brownie mix as directed. Spoon batter into lightly greased, 12-inch pizza pan. Bake 23-27 minutes.

For Peanut Butter Topping:
Place peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk in medium saucepan. Stir over low heat until mixture is smooth. Spread over prepared brownie pizza. Melt chocolate chips and drizzle over peanut butter topping layer. Top with candy coated chocolate pieces.

Sausage/Cheese Bread Roll




 This sounds like my kind of breakfast. Meaty, spicy, covered with bread. yep, it's me :)

Sausage/Cheese Bread Roll
Ingredients:
  • 1 -- 1# loaf frozen bread dough, thawed
  • 1 -- 1# breakfast sausage (Jimmy Dean Sage is our favorite)
  • 8 to 10 oz. shredded cheese (we typically use cheddar, but anything is good)
  • 2 eggs (raw, used as a binder for other ingredients)

Instructions:

Roll dough into approx. 12" x 15" rectangle. Cook sausage. Mix cooked sausage, shredded cheese and eggs. Spread mixture on bread dough. Roll dough with mixture inside like a jelly roll and drop into a greased (Pam spray works also) bundt pan. Let rise in warm area until puffy (about 1 hour).

Egg setup is with platesetter (feet down) at about 375 dome temp. Place bundt pan on platesetter and cook until top is golden brown (usually about 35 to 45 minutes). Invert bundt pan onto cutting surface and then brush butter on all sides of bread roll. Slice and enjoy.

I quite often do the prep and assembly the night before and leave in the bundt pan in the fridge, covered with a wet towel to keep dough from drying.  The next morning take the bundt pan out of the fridge before starting the Egg.  By the time the Egg is ready and stabilized the dough has warmed up and risen some.

Sausage and Spinach Penne Skillet Supper





This is my new favorite dinner. It was easy and tasted fantastic. Serves 6. You can always feed more by adding more pasta and water. Recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Sausage and Spinach Penne Skillet Supper

Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound Italian-style turkey sausage, casings removed (I couldn’t find turkey sausage so I substituted mild pork sausage)
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced finely
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed and chopped fine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounces (about 3 1/2 cups) penne pasta
  • 1 (6-ounce) bag baby spinach
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

Instructions:
  1. Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot and add in the sausage. Cook until lightly browned and no longer pink about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  2. Stir in the water, broth, sun-dried tomatoes, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, then add in the pasta. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook at a strong simmer, stirring often, until the pasta is tender and the liquid has thickened, about 15-18 minutes (if you find the liquid is absorbing too quickly and the pasta is still undercooked, add a bit more water in small amounts until the pasta is cooked thoroughly).
  3. Stir in the spinach, a handful at at ime, and cook until wilted. Off the heat, stir in the cheese and pine nuts. Season with salt and pepper to taste adn serve immediately.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Cheesy Ham Biscuit Pull Aparts




A few weeks ago I made the Bacon version of this dish.  Today I had some cubed ham and Mexican cheese and decided we'd try that instead of bacon/cheddar.  It worked out very nicely.

Cheesy Ham Biscuit Pull Aparts

Ingredients:
  • 1 egg
  • 2 T. milk
  • 1 (16.3 oz) Pillsbury Grands Flaky Layers Biscuits (I used the buttery flavor)
  • 3/4 cup diced ham pieces
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
  • 3 oz. (3/4 cup) finely shredded Mexican-styled cheese
  • 1/2 t. granulated garlic

Instructions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 11 x 7 or 12 x 8 glass baking dish with cooking spray. In a large bowl, beat egg and milk with a wire whisk until smooth.

Separate dough into individual biscuits and cut each biscuit into quarters. Gently stir biscuit pieces into egg mixture to coat evenly. Fold in ham, cheese, onions and granulated garlic. Spoon mixture into prepared dish, arrange biscuit pieces in a single layer.

Baked at 350 for 23 - 25 minutes or until golden brown. You can either cut into squares or just pull apart and serve.



Cheesy Ham Biscuit Pull Aparts




A few weeks ago I made the Bacon version of this dish.  Today I had some cubed ham and Mexican cheese and decided we'd try that instead of bacon/cheddar.  It worked out very nicely.

Cheesy Ham Biscuit Pull Aparts 

Source: www.fleurdelolly.blogspot.com

Ingredients:
  • 1 egg
  • 2 T. milk
  • 1 (16.3 oz) Pillsbury Grands Flaky Layers Biscuits (I used the buttery flavor)
  • 3/4 cup diced ham pieces
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
  • 3 oz. (3/4 cup) finely shredded Mexican-styled cheese
  • 1/2 t. granulated garlic

Instructions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 11 x 7 or 12 x 8 glass baking dish with cooking spray. In a large bowl, beat egg and milk with a wire whisk until smooth.

Separate dough into individual biscuits and cut each biscuit into quarters. Gently stir biscuit pieces into egg mixture to coat evenly. Fold in ham, cheese, onions and granulated garlic. Spoon mixture into prepared dish, arrange biscuit pieces in a single layer.

Baked at 350 for 23 - 25 minutes or until golden brown. You can either cut into squares or just pull apart and serve.



Scallops Provençal



These scallops turned out to be one of the best meals I’ve made in ages – no joke. They were incredibly simple to prepare, took less than 10 minutes to cook, and turned out like a truly gourmet meal. Seriously, does it get better than that? I splurged and bought relatively expensive ($14.99/lb) fresh, wild sea scallops and they did not disappoint. When cooked properly, scallops should just about melt in your mouth and these most certainly did. I sliced them in half horizontally, as Ina suggested, and they were just perfect. Perfect. So perfect that I’m still wondering why I haven’t made them again yet.

Scallops Provençal

Serves 3-4

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound fresh bay or sea scallops
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • All-purpose flour for dredging
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots (2 large)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 lemon, cut in half

Instructions:

If you're using bay scallops, keep them whole. If you're using sea scallops, cut each one in half horizontally. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss with flour, and shake off the excess.

In a very large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of butter over high heat until sizzling and add a single layer of scallops. (Do not crowd the scallops in the pan.) Lower the heat to medium and allow scallops to brown lightly on one side without moving them, then turn and brown lightly on the other side. This should take 3 to 4 minutes total.

Melt remaining butter in the pan with scallops; add shallots, garlic, and parsley and sauté for 2 more minutes, tossing the seasonings with the scallops. Add the wine and cook for 1 minutes longer. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Tuscan Garlic Chicken



Have you ever had a dish at home that was restaurant quality? That people might accuse you of buying instead of making? This is one of those dishes. It's a fancy dish that is actually pretty simple to make.

Tuscan Garlic Chicken

Adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe
Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic (about 4-5 cloves)
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips or chopped
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 6 ounces fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup lowfat milk
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound fettuccine

Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a shallow pie plate or similar dish, combine the flour, salt, pepper, basil and oregano. Dip each chicken piece in the flour mixture until both sides are well coated.
  3. In a large 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat until the oil is hot and shimmering. Carefully place the chicken breasts in the pan, cooking them for 2-3 minutes on each side, until they are golden and browned but not cooked all the way through (they’ll finish up in the oven). Don’t scoot the chicken around once you lay it in the hot oil! Let the oil work it’s magic to sear the crust on the chicken. If you get all antsy and try flipping too early and/or moving the chicken around the pan, the breading is lightly to fall off. Gently remove the chicken to a foil-lined, lightly greased baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Set aside and tent with foil until ready to use.
  4. While the chicken is cooking, heat a large pot of water to a boil and add the noodles, cooking until al dente. Also, wipe out the skillet with a couple paper towels and return it to medium heat, adding the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and bell pepper, sauteing for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Stir in one tablespoon flour and stir constantly while cooking for another minute. Add the chicken broth to the skillet and bring the mixture to a low simmer, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 3-4 minutes. In a small liquid measure, whisk together the cornstarch and cream. Add the spinach, milk and cream mixture to the skillet. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the spinach is wilted and sauce is slightly thickened, about 2-4 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.
  6. When the pasta has finished cooking, drain and return it to the pot. Toss the pasta with half of the cheese sauce. Place some of the coated pasta on each plate. Top with a breaded chicken breast and spoon some of the sauce over the top of the chicken and pasta. Serve immediately.