Saturday, April 26, 2014

Coconut Cream Pie Bars






Could Easter really have been a week ago? Time is flying like the wind!
 
We had a wonderful long visit from my daughter, son-in-law, 3 yr old Emmie and 2 month old Hudson. It was a whirlwind weekend but such fun to have little ones in the house. Just yesterday we finished off all of the leftovers ( and I sent some home with them! ). My husband announced last night that the 2 refrigerators are officially empty! I think that was a signal for baking to commence.

I'm not a huge coconut fan, but he certainly loves it ( along with anything else containing sugar). And since I am going to the gym 4 days a week, I am perfectly happy to have sweets in the house that do not tempt me. This recipe makes a 9x13-inch pan of coconut pie bars. There are several advantages... Portion control, more servings than a traditional pie and no pie crust to make! Winner! Winner!

Disclaimer: I "borrowed" the recipe from another blogger, Willow Bird Baking. Enjoy! They look delicious!

Recipe >> Coconut Cream Pie Bars @ willowbirdbaking.com

Coconut Cream Pie Bars





Could Easter really have been a week ago? Time is flying like the wind!
We had a wonderful long visit from my mother, and my brother. It was a whirlwind weekend but such fun to have little ones in the house. Just yesterday we finished off all of the leftovers ( and I sent some home with them! ). My husband announced last night that the 2 refrigerators are officially empty! I think that was a signal for baking to commence.

I'm not a huge coconut fan, but he certainly loves it ( along with anything else containing sugar). And since I am going to the gym 4 days a week, I am perfectly happy to have sweets in the house that do not tempt me. This recipe makes a 9x13-inch pan of coconut pie bars. There are several advantages... Portion control, more servings than a traditional pie and no pie crust to make! Winner! Winner!

Recipe >> Coconut Cream Pie Bars @ willowbirdbaking.com

Friday, April 25, 2014

Darkest Chocolate Cake with Red Wine Glaze






Darkest Chocolate Cake with Red Wine Glaze

Yield: 10 servings

Ingredients:

Cake:
  •     1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for pan
  •     1/3 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
  •     8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (at least 70% cacao), chopped
  •     1 cup sugar
  •     4 large eggs
  •     3/4 teaspoons kosher salt

Glaze and assembly:
  •     8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (at least 70% cacao), finely chopped
  •     1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  •     1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  •     1/2 cup powdered sugar
  •     1/2 cup red wine (such as Pinot Noir)

Special equipment:
    A 9" springform pan


Directions:
 
For cake:
Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly butter and flour pan. Heat chocolate, sugar, and 1 cup butter in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (bowl should not touch water), stirring, until chocolate is almost completely melted, about 3 minutes; remove from heat and continue to stir until chocolate is completely melted. Let cool completely.

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, add eggs to chocolate mixture 1 at a time, beating to blend after each addition. Beat until mixture has a mousse-like consistency. Reduce speed to low and add salt and 1/3 cup flour; mix until smooth. Scrape batter into prepared pan; smooth top.

Bake cake until top is firm and edges are slightly darkened, 55–65 minutes (rely on visual cues; a tester inserted into cake's center will come out clean before cake is truly done). Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cake cool completely in pan before turning out.

For glaze and assembly:
Heat chocolate, butter, and salt in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (bowl should not touch water), stirring, until chocolate and butter are melted, about 5 minutes. Whisk in powdered sugar.

Meanwhile, bring wine just to a boil in a small saucepan.

Remove chocolate mixture from heat and whisk in wine; let cool until slightly thickened and a rubber spatula leaves a trail in mixture when stirring, 8–10 minutes.

Set cake on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Pour glaze over cake and spread it across the top and over the edges with an offset spatula. Let cake stand at room temperature until glaze is set, 2–3 hours.

DO AHEAD: Cake can be made and glazed 2 days ahead. Chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Old School Butter Pound Cake





I am not really a dessert type of girl, BUT there are two cakes that I can eat all day. Yes, butter pound cake is one of them. This recipe will deliver a rich and moist cake. I am sure your taste buds will thank you. I am sure you will leave your approval stamp on this recipe!

Old School Butter Pound Cake

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 c cake flour
  • 1 1/2 c all purpose flour
  • 3 stick butter, unsalted (softened at room temp)
  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 1/4 c sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 large eggs

Directions:
  1. Beat butter and cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed until mixture comes together.
  2. Add sugar and extracts; beat until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, alternating with flours 1/2 cup at a time until all eggs and flours are used.
  4. Transfer to a buttered, oiled and floured, 10-cup shaped pan such as bundt pan.
  5. Place in cold oven. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Bake until an inserted tester comes out clean about 1 1/2 hours.
  6. Remove cake from pan. Let cool on wire rack.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Best Cheesecake





Not only is this our best cheesecake—a rich, creamy, cherry-topped showstopper—it's also one of the easiest to make!

Best Cheesecake

Ingredients:
  • 1-3/4 cups  graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup  butter, melted
  • 1-1/4 cups  sugar, divided
  • 3 pkg.  (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 cup  BREAKSTONE'S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream
  • 2 tsp.  vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 can  (21 oz.) cherry pie filling

Directions:
  1. HEAT oven to 350°F.
  2. MIX graham crumbs, butter and 1/4 cup sugar; press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan.
  3. BEAT cream cheese and remaining sugar in large bowl with mixer until blended. Add sour cream and vanilla; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating on low speed after each addition just until blended. Pour over crust.
  4. BAKE 1 hour to 1 hour 10 min. or until center is almost set. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim. Refrigerate cheesecake 4 hours.
  5. TOP with pie filling before serving.

Monday, April 14, 2014

No-Bake Oatmeal Peanut Butter Bars





I made these bars a couple of weeks ago and they were the absolute best. They will replace the bars I buy from the store. I shared with friends and family and they all loved them. I did cut down the sugar by about a 1/4 cup which doesn’t affect the consistency at all. I cut them and wrapped individually in foil and labelled. Put them in an airtight container and stored in the fridge. The last one was just as fresh as the first one. It also stopped me from eating them all at once..

Recipe >> No-Bake Oatmeal Peanut Butter Bars @ simplygloria.com

Mango Mousse Cake






Mango Mousse Cake

Ingredients:

For the Rolls
  • 4 eggs,
  • 4 tablespoons flour,
  • 3 tablespoons sugar,
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla,
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest.
Instructions:

Beat egg whites with sugar until stiff. Add egg yolks, vanilla, lemon zest, mix gently, add flour.
Bake in 28×38 cm. pan with parchment paper 10-15 min. While still warm, roll it with wet kitchen towel.
Let it cool. Unroll, spared few tablespoons of apricot preserve.
Roll into a small roulade, 2 cm thick. Cut, and continue rolling and cutting until you get 3 rolls.
Freeze the rolls so you will be able to slice them evenly.
Cut marmalade rolls each about 5 mm thick.
Line the sides and the bottom of the 9 inch cake pan with slices.
Brush them with syrup made with 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon water, 1lemon juice, 1 teaspoon vanilla.
For Mousse

Ingredients:
  • 450 gr. mango,
  • 75 gr. sugar,
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice,
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons gelatin,
  • 500 ml. heavy cream.
Instructions:
Puree the mango flesh with the sugar and lemon juice. Strain to remove fiber from mango.
Put one third of the mango puree into the pot and stir in the gelatin.
Let the gelatin soften, and warm over low heat, stirring until dissolves.
Remove and add remaining mango puree, and allow to cool. While cooling, whip the cream.
Stir in mango into the whipped cream, and scoop the mango mousse into the cake pan and spread it evenly.
Chill, and prepare glaze mixture.
Read More >> Mango Mousse Cake @ Chocolate Dust

White Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake

Boy, have I been waiting to make this cheesecake. It has featured on the top of my bookmarks bar for many months now- though I love it so, I don't often make cheesecake, but I thought that it would be appropriate to make for National Cheesecake Day



I find that the caramel isn't too difficult to make, but if you don't fancy it, you could top the cheesecake with shop-bought caramel, or one from another recipe. I considered using a different recipe, but the buttery richness of this one works so well. I also found that, despite my expectations of it firming up upon cooling, this caramel remained smooth and fluid and didn't really require reheating in the microwave oven.

White Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake

Ingredients:

For the Crust:
180g digestives
7tbsp unsalted butter
½ tsp salt

For the Filling:
225g white chocolate, chopped

120ml double cream
340g white chocolate, chopped into little chunks
3 x 225g packs of cream cheese
250g granulated sugar (1 1/4 cup)
5 eggs, beaten

1tsp vanilla extract
pinch salt

For the Caramel:
300g granulated sugar (1 1/2 cup)

570ml double cream
4tbsp unsalted butter
     


Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/mark 5.


2. For the crust, crush the biscuits to fine crumbs and mix in the salt and butter. Press into a 10 inch spring form pan, covering the base and an inch and a half up the sides. Bake for 10 minutes and allow to cool. Lower the oven temperature to 170C/325F/mark 3.

3. For the filling, place the chocolate into a heat proof bowl and bring the double cream to a simmer in a small saucepan. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and leave for a minute before stirring until the ganache is smooth. Leave to cool.

4. Lightly beat the cream cheese in a large mixing bowl to soften. Add in the sugar and mix to combine. Gradually beat in the beaten eggs, roughly one egg at a time. Fold in the ganache (once cool), vanilla extract and salt.

5. Pour the filling into the pan with the crust. Cover the pan with two sheets of foil and place the pan into a fairly deep roasting pan. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan, about 1 inch deep (it must not exceed the height of the foil. Bake for 60 minutes, reduce the oven to 160C/300F/mark 2 and leave to bake for a further 60-90 minutes, until the centre has just set. Allow to cool completely before covering, refrigerating and leaving for at least 8 hours before serving with the caramel.

6. For the caramel, gently heat the sugar over a medium heat in a heavy based saucepan whilst stirring with a wooden spoon. Once the sugar has melted, gently shake the pan, continuing to cook the sugar until it turns light-medium amber in colour. Be careful not to overcook. Take the pan off the heat and carefully whisk in the cream. If any of the caramel solidifies, heat until it melts. Return to the heat and allow to boil for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and mix in the butter. Allow to cool and pour into a heatproof container/jar. Pour over the cheesecake.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Pizza Ring





If you are having a few guests over and want a quick and easy appetizer, here is the perfect recipe!

Pizza Ring

Ingredients:
  • 2 8 oz tubes of Pillsbury Crescent rolls
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce (either homemade, or jarred)
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded (use more or less to your preference)
  • 1 tbs garlic powder
  • 1 tbs italian seasoning
  • Pepperoni slices (optional) * add any pizza toppings - be creative!

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

1. Line the crescent rolls in strips of two on a pizza stone (or baking sheet) - example below.

2. Spread a layer of sauce, then cheese. Top with pepperoni slices (I placed them on half of the ring only.

3. Fold over the edges to create the ring. Top with garlic powder and seasoning.

4. Bake in oven for 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown.* I have a gas oven which seems to bake a little bit quicker than electric ovens. * If crescents come out too doughy, try cooking for longer or raising the temperature of the oven to 450 degrees.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Turtle Cake





I love baking and eating cake, but I wanted to make something I had never made before.  I came across this Turtle Cake in  an old cookbook.  The ingredients sounded delicious--German chocolate cake, chocolate chips, caramels, nuts.  I had to try it and it was a winner!  I've already made it several times.
WARNING:  This cake can be addictive!

Turtle Cake

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)
  • 1 (14 oz) package caramels
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 box German chocolate cake mix (I use Duncan Hines)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup milk

Directions:

In a sauce pan, melt caramels with milk over low heat, stirring occasionally. Takes about 10 - 12 minutes.

In the meantime, mix cake according to directions, adding vanilla.

Pour 1/2 of cake mixture in a greased and floured 13 x 9 pan (I use Baker's Joy).  Bake about 10 - 12 minutes at 350 degrees.

When cake has baked for the 10 or more minutes and the sauce is ready, pour sauce over the cake.

Sprinkle with chocolate chips and nuts.  Pour remaining batter over sauce.  Bake about 20 - 30 minutes more, until done.

Icing:
  • 1 box confectioners sugar
  • 1 stick butter
  • 3 1/2 Tablespoons cocoa
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Bring butter, milk, cocoa and salt to a boil over medium heat.  Add sifted confectioners sugar (I never sift mine).  Pour over cake while both are hot.  Sprinkle with nuts. (You can mix the nuts in when you add the confectioners sugar if you'd like.)

**This cake is so moist and delicious.  You can't eat just one piece!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Cinnamon Roll Waffles with Cream Cheese Glaze





Try making cinnamon rolls with your waffle iron! Weekend breakfast will never be the same.

Cinnamon Roll Waffles with Cream Cheese Glaze

Servings: 5

Ingredients:
  • 1 can Pillsbury™ Grands!™ refrigerated cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Heat waffle maker; spray with cooking spray. Remove cinnamon rolls from can; set icing aside.

For each waffle, place 1 cinnamon roll in center of waffle maker; close. Bake 3 to 4 minutes or until waffle is thoroughly cooked and golden brown.

Meanwhile, in small bowl, stir together reserved icing, powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until glaze is smooth.

Serve glaze over hot waffles.


Aunt Pat’s Famous Cream Puff





Tried the recipe and they are the fluffiest cream puffs I have made and i have made quite a few. I tried one batch in the cupcake tins and would do that again except my puffs stuck to the pan. Next time I will spray the tins. I like how tall they were. Lots of room for more cream!..

Recipe >> Aunt Pat’s Famous Cream Puff @ gooddinnermom.com

Old Fashioned Hot Milk Cake




Just made this and it’s absolutely fantastic!

definitely a crowd pleaser, everyone is already going for seconds. I halved the sugar (I don’t like things too sweet) and cooked it in a bundt pan,, The texture is great–I topped topped mine with just a bit of confectioners sugar and it’s so delicious, very moist and sweet but not overwhelming.

There aren’t a lot of recipes I like to repeat but I definitely plan on making this again in the future.

Recipe >> Old Fashioned Hot Milk Cake @ amykayskitchen.com

The Ugliest Cheesecake Ever

For the longest time I have avoided making cheesecake. Don't get me wrong, I love it. So much. That's why I didn't wanna mess it up. That and the fact that an 8 oz block of cream cheese costs well over PhP 100 (that's just a local brand, not even Philadelphia!). So the thought of fudging it up and wasting money at the same time was enough to make me step away from all the delicious cheesecake recipes online.



Recently, I stumbled upon a recipe that really tempted me. It didn't have a lot of ingredients and instead of using a springform pan (which I've never seen in real life) made use of a muffin pan. I figured making cheesecake muffins would be a far lesser task. The recipe was a success. I made it a few more times, dressing it up with strawberries and whipped cream, eating it plain. It was just that good.




This is NOT low carb

When I decided to go low carb, I looked at that recipe and just by simply removing the crust turned it into something I could enjoy - albeit in small portions - and still stay on plan. Even better news is it's allowed on Induction! Magic words, right?

Now you can definitely make this prettier but unless you want other people to steal it, DON'T. Who cares about those wrinkles anyway? Or the fact that sometimes the middle part sinks? It might not be pretty but damnit it's good! AND LEGAL! Again, the magic word!

The Ugliest Cheesecake Ever
*Adapted from various cheesecake recipes and inspired by Chocolate Kiss' Sour Cream Cheesecake
serves 12

Ingredients
16 oz cream cheese
1 C Splenda (NOT sugar blend but granular)
2 t vanilla
4 T lemon juice
3 T sour cream
2 eggs


1. Preheat oven at 325. Prepare 12 cup muffin pan.

2. With a mixer, beat the cream cheese until there are no more lumps. Slowly add the Splenda, incorporating both ingredients well.


Beat the cr*p out of that cheese!

3. Add vanilla, lemon juice and sour cream. Blend but make sure not to over mix.

4. Add eggs one at a time, gently mixing after each one.

5. Divide the batter evenly between the 12 muffin cups. I used an ice cream scooper to divide them equally.


Invest on an icecream scooper. It's convenient and not that messy to use.


6. Bake at 325 for 12 to 15 minutes depending on your oven. Check at 12 minutes and the tops should be set but not hard. I actually like to underbake this because the center has that ooey gooey cream cheesy filling that I love.

7. Let cool for at least 30 minutes. Put in the fridge for at least 2 hours. This is best eaten cold.

Carb count 3.7 per serving

Notes
If you want to make prettier cheesecakes, check this out.
If you're past Induction (woohoo!) you may add fresh strawberries on top or even do a nut crust.

Orange Sherbet Cake





I’ve seen lots of variations of this recipe, but this is the one I chose.  There were many similar recipes. I omitted the eggs in this recipe (because I didn’t have any) and that did not effect the outcome.

Orange Sherbet Cake
Ingredients:
  • Sugar free yellow cake mix
  • 2 TBSP whipped topping
  • 12 ounces of diet crush

Instructions:

Pour the soda into the cake mix. Whisk for 30 seconds.




Bake according to the directions on the box. Let the cake cool (if you have the patience for that sort of thing). Top with thawed whip cream.







Crockpot Honey Apple Pork Loin

I did a little crockpot experimentation this week! I was looking through an order form for Tastefully Simple, which I used to sell, and saw a honey apple glaze. It sounded good, but I knew it would be loaded with sugar, so I decided to make up a recipe using honey and apples.

I really enjoyed this easy dish! Eating the pork and apples together was delicious! I served it up with steamed carrots and sauteed zucchini!

Crockpot Honey Apple Pork Loin

Ingredients:
  • Pork Loin, 2.5-3 lbs.
  • Red Delicious Apples, 3 sliced
  • Honey, approx 4 T
  • Cinnamon, 2 T

Instructions:

Lay the apple slices (from two of the apples) in the bottom of the crockpot.

Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Cut slits in the pork loin (approx 1/2″-3/4″).

Drizzle some honey into the slits.

Then place apple slices into the slits.



Place the pork loin into the crockpot.

Drizzle the top with the remainder of the honey.

Place the rest of the apples on top



Then sprinkle the whole thing with cinnamon.



For more flavor, you may poke holes in the pork. Then place the pork loin in a bag with honey and cinnamon and marinate it overnight.


Note: I own a crockpot that has a lid that completely seals off any moisture from escaping the pot. It is the Hamilton Beach Stay or Go Crockpot. It’s cheap and it so much better than any crockpots I have used in the past. If you have issues with your food drying out when you cook it, you should definitely look into getting this one. (I don’t get anything for promoting this crockpot, by the way.)


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Loaded Bacon Cheddar Bread




The best bacon cheddar bread you will ever bake..

Loaded Bacon Cheddar Bread

Ingredients:
  • 6 cups all purpose flour
  • 3¼ cups warm water
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2¾ cup cheddar cheese, fresh grated not bagged
  • 10 strips cooked thick cut bacon, chopped and divided
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste

Instructions:
  1. In a large mixing bowl combine water, yeast, salt and sugar. Allow mixture to sit for several minutes.
  2. Add flour, two cups of cheese, ½ bacon and fresh ground black pepper. Stir with spoon until combined. Dough will be shaggy. Don’t stress if it looks messy. It will come together in the end.
  3. Cover with a towel and allow to rise in a warm place for an hour.
  4. After an hour, turn dough out onto a floured board and knead for a few minutes. It does not need to be completely smooth. Just knead it long enough to come together. Divide dough into two equal halves and place in standard loaf pans.
  5. Cover loaves with remaining cheese and bacon. Cover with towel and allow to rest for thirty minutes.
  6. Bake in a 400º oven for fifteen minutes. Cover loosely with foil and reduce heat to 350º and continue baking for another 35 minutes. Remove foil and allow to bake for another 10 minutes.

Notes:
If the dough feels too wet, add a little more flour but know that this dough is a bit stickier than most.

Peanut Butter Secrets




Peanut Butter Secrets

Yield: 3 1/2 dozen

Ingredients:

Cookie:
  • 2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup Jif® Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1 cup Crisco® Butter Flavor All-Vegetable Shortening or 1 stick Crisco® Baking Sticks Butter Flavor All-Vegetable Shortening
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 40 to 45 chocolate-covered miniature peanut butter cups
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray


Glaze:
  • 1 cup (6 oz. pkg.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon Crisco® Butter Flavor All-Vegetable Shortening or 1 teaspoon Crisco® Baking Sticks Butter Flavor All-Vegetable Shortening
  • 2 tablespoons Jif® Creamy Peanut Butter

Directions:
  1. HEAT oven to 375ºF. Coat baking sheets lightly with no-stick cooking spray.
  2. COMBINE shortening, brown sugar, granulated sugar and peanut butter in bowl of electric mixer; beat at medium speed until well blended. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  3. COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Mix into shortening mixture at low speed until just blended. Form rounded teaspoonfuls of dough around each peanut butter cup. Enclose entirely. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheet.
  4. BAKE 8 to 10 minutes, or until cookies are just browned. Remove immediately to cooling rack.
  5. COMBINE shortening, chocolate chips and peanut butter in microwave-safe measuring cup. Microwave on MEDIUM (50% power) 1 minute. Stir. Repeat until smooth.
  6. DIP cookie tops in chocolate. Let stand until chocolate is set.

Peanut Butter Secrets





Peanut Butter Secrets

Yield: 3 1/2 dozen

Ingredients:

Cookie:
  • 2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup Jif® Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1 cup Crisco® Butter Flavor All-Vegetable Shortening or 1 stick Crisco® Baking Sticks Butter Flavor All-Vegetable Shortening
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 40 to 45 chocolate-covered miniature peanut butter cups
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray


Glaze:
  • 1 cup (6 oz. pkg.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon Crisco® Butter Flavor All-Vegetable Shortening or 1 teaspoon Crisco® Baking Sticks Butter Flavor All-Vegetable Shortening
  • 2 tablespoons Jif® Creamy Peanut Butter

Directions:
  1. HEAT oven to 375ºF. Coat baking sheets lightly with no-stick cooking spray.
  2. COMBINE shortening, brown sugar, granulated sugar and peanut butter in bowl of electric mixer; beat at medium speed until well blended. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  3. COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Mix into shortening mixture at low speed until just blended. Form rounded teaspoonfuls of dough around each peanut butter cup. Enclose entirely. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheet.
  4. BAKE 8 to 10 minutes, or until cookies are just browned. Remove immediately to cooling rack.
  5. COMBINE shortening, chocolate chips and peanut butter in microwave-safe measuring cup. Microwave on MEDIUM (50% power) 1 minute. Stir. Repeat until smooth.
  6. DIP cookie tops in chocolate. Let stand until chocolate is set.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Buffalo Chicken Garbage Bread




I have been thinking about this combination for a few weeks.  Perhaps I should explain garbage bread? I didn’t realize everyone didn’t know what garbage bread is,,  Its basically a calzone except you wrap the pizza dough so its in layers.

Needless to say, this was quite delicious.  Not necessarily ass friendly, but I’ll totally take the buffalo chicken any day over the gym. :)

Buffalo Chicken Garbage Bread

Ingredients:
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 pizza dough (I used store bought and let it sit out for about 20 minutes)
  • 8 oz. of shredded mozzarella cheese (I used part skim)
  • 3 oz. of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup of Franks Wing Sauce
  • 1/3 cup of ranch or blue cheese dressing

Instructions:

Cut chicken into cubes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Heat teaspoon of olive oil in skillet and add chicken when hot.  Cook chicken completely and then add 1/4 cup of wing sauce.  Stir to coat chicken and let simmer for a minute or two.  Take chicken off heat and let cool.

Pre-heat oven to 425°F.**

On a well floured surface, spread pizza dough into a long rectangle shape.

Add ranch dressing or blue cheese dressing (depending on your preference!) and remaining 1/4 cup of wing sauce.  Spread across the dough.  Add chicken and then top with mozzarella and cheddar cheese.  You can also add a bit more of the wing sauce on top of the cheese if you want it to be a little bit spicier.




 
Roll the dough like a pinwheel until you reach the end.  Make sure to tuck the ends of the dough in so the middle doesn’t ‘ooze’ out when baking.



Spray baking sheet with light coat of non-stick cooking spray.  Place garbage bread on the pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Let sit for five minutes and cut into and enjoy!

**My friends have commented that they found this cooked too quickly and the inside is raw. All ovens vary and cook differently.  I would highly recommend that the rack you use is in the middle of the oven as opposed to the bottom rack or really high up in the oven where it will brown more quickly.  You could also lower the temperature to 400 degrees, but it may take a little longer to cook!



Mexican Lasagne




A yummy sauce packed with onion, red bell pepper and tomatoes is used, along with a filling of black beans, sweet corn, and cheddar cheese to make the lasagne-like layers.  And what to use instead of pasta...?  Well, soft flour tortillas are just perfect.  They dissolve just enough to almost taste like soft cheese in between the layers

Mexican Lasagne

Ingredients:

Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon garlic flavoured oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 green chiles, chopped, with seeds
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro stalks
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, plus 1   2/3 cups water to rinse out empty cans
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • I added 1 lb. of cooked, ground turkey


Filling:
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 1/4 cups drained canned corn, from about 1   1/2 (15-ounce cans)
  • 2 1/2 cups grated mature goats Cheddar, or cheese of your choice
  • 8 soft flour tortillas (approximately 10-inch diameter)
  • 1 round ovenproof dish, approximately 10 inches diameter and 2   1/4 inches deep
  • Avocado Salsa, for serving, recipe follows

Instructions:

 Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, slipping in a cookie sheet at the same time.


For the sauce: Heat the oil in a saucepan on the stove and fry the onion, bell pepper and chiles (along with ground beef or turkey like I did...until meat is cooked through). Add the salt and cook gently for 15 minutes, and once soft, add the chopped cilantro stalks.


Add the canned tomatoes then rinse the cans out with water and add this too. Spoon in the ketchup and let things come to a simmer, leaving the sauce (or salsa in keeping with the Mexican mojo) to cook while you get on with preparing the filling- about 10 minutes.


For the filling:
Mix the drained beans and canned corn in a bowl. Add most of the grated cheese, reserving some to sprinkle on the top at the end, and mix together.


Start to assemble the lasagne by spooning about a third of the salsa into the bottom of your ovenproof dish and smear it about, then layer on 2 tortillas so that they cover the sauce overlapping slightly, like a Venn diagram.


Add a third of the beans and cheese mixture covering the tortillas, and then about a quarter of the remaining salsa and another 2 tortillas.


Repeat with another third of beans and cheese, and more salsa before layering on another 2 tortillas.

Finally, add the last layer of beans and cheese, nearly all of the remaining salsa and cover with the last 2 tortillas. Spread the very last bit of salsa over the tortillas and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Place on top of the cookie sheet in the oven (to catch any over-flow from the lasagne) and bake for 30 minutes, and let it rest for a good 10 to 15 minutes before slicing like a pizza, and eat with the avocado salsa.


Make Ahead Note: The lasagne can be assembled 1 day ahead. Cool the tomato salsa before assembling. Cover dish tightly with plastic and refrigerate until needed. Bake as directed in recipe, allowing an extra 5 to 10 minutes baking time and checking the lasagne is piping hot in centre before removing from oven.

Freeze Note: The assembled but uncooked lasagne can be frozen for up to 3 months. Wrap dish tightly in double layer of plastic and a layer of aluminium foil. Thaw overnight in fridge and cook as above.

Further Note: Leftovers should be covered and refrigerated as soon as possible. To reheat, put individual slices in ovenproof dish, cover with foil and reheat in oven preheated to 350 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes. Check the lasagne is piping hot before serving. Wedges of leftover lasagne can be frozen for up to 2 months, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and then either in foil or in resealable bag. Thaw overnight in refrigerator and reheat as above.

Avocado Salsa
  •     2 avocados
  •     1 scallion, thinly sliced
  •     3 tablespoons chopped green jalepenos from a jar or can
  •     Salt
  •     1 tablespoon lime juice
  •     1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro


Halve the avocados, remove the pits, and then, using the tip of a sharp knife, cut lines down the flesh of each half, about a 1/4-inch apart and then the same across. Turn the avocado halves inside out, or otherwise release the pale green cubes into a bowl, then tumble in the scallion, chopped jalepenos, salt to taste, lime juice and most of the cilantro and toss gently to mix. Taste to see if any more salt is needed before scattering with the remaining cilantro and taking to the table.

Bacon-Wrapped Potato Bites with Spicy Sour Cream Dipping Sauce



Those are also very, very yummy, but we started thinking about other things we could wrap in bacon. Potatoes? Potatoes could be perfect. And cheap.

If you can find tiny new potatoes, those would be even more aesthetically precious. But chunks work fine, too. Just be sure to dice the potatoes smaller than you might think. We found that the smaller chunks actually had a better potato-to-bacon ratio. They were dangerously poppable.

With the creamy wedge of potato and the crunchy bacon, the sour cream dip is what pushes this appetizer over the edge. Again, mixing some hot sauce into the sour cream is a no-brainer, and yet that's exactly what makes the dip addictive. If you swirl the hot sauce into the sour cream instead of fully mixing it in, you'll get a roulette of spicy and cool bites

Bacon-Wrapped Potato Bites with Spicy Sour Cream Dipping Sauce


Makes about three dozen bites
Ingredients:
  • 12 ounces to 1 pound thick-cut bacon
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound small or medium red potatoes
  • 1-3 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Wash and dry the potatoes. Chop them into 1-inch pieces, keeping the chunks roughly the same size even if they aren't the exact same shape. Put the potatoes in a medium pot, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil. Season the water with 2 teaspoons of salt. Once the water begins to boil, cook the potatoes for 3 to 4 minutes, until you can stick a fork into them without too much resistance. You want the potatoes to be almost, but not fully, cooked through so they won't fall apart during the next steps.

Drain the potatoes and put them in a large bowl. Add the rosemary, olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of pepper, and toss until the potatoes are evenly coated.

Cut the strips of bacon into thirds. Wrap each potato bite in a piece of bacon, securing it with a toothpick. Put the potatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil spaced an inch or two apart. You may need to cook the potatoes in two batches.

Cook the potatoes for 15 minutes, then flip each piece. Cook for another 15 to 20 minutes, until the bacon is cooked through and as crisp as you like it. Mix the sour cream and hot sauce in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Pile the potato bites on a plate and serve alongside the dip.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Easy and Fabulous Apple Dumplings

This was easy to make and absolutely fabulous. The pastry (crescent roll) was crunchy and the apple inside was very tart (granny smith). It makes its own yummy syrup that is sweet and delicious served on top of the dumpling and the ice cream.




Easy and Fabulous Apple Dumplings

Yield: 12 dumplings

Ingredients:
  • 2 cans Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
  • 2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and each sliced into 8 wedges (you will have some left over)
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 1 -1/2 cups of sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 8 oz Mountain Dew

Instructions:

Roll apple wedge up in crescent roll




 

Place in a greased baking dish

Combine butter mixture

 


Pour over dumplings



 

Pour Mountain Dew around them




Bake at 350 for 35 minutes. They will be golden brown and will smell amazing at this point:


 

Serve with ice cream (my personal favorite is Breyers Natural Vanilla). Spoon syrup on top:



Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Chicken





This was awesome! The chicken was a nice balance with the jalapeno. It tasted just like Jalapeno Poppers! This dish makes a satisfying meal out of a favorite appetizer,,

Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Chicken

Ingredients:
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
  • 4 strips of bacon, diced
  • 4 (6 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs (I used regular bread crumbs and seasoned them with salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

Instructions:
  1. Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crispy. Drain on paper towels.
  2. Stir together the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, bacon, and jalapenos in a small bowl.
  3. Cut a pocket horizontally through the thickest side of each chicken breast, and fill with 1/4 of the cheese mixture. Secure with toothpicks.
  4. Roll the chicken breasts in bread crumbs to coat. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, and cook chicken breasts until no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, about 8 minutes per side. If your chicken breasts are thick, like mine were, they can be finished in a 350-degree oven.

Oreo Ice Cream Cake




Oreo Ice Cream Cake

Ingredients:

Cake:
  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • ½ cup dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 1/3 tsp baking soda
  • 2/3 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 tsp distilled white vinegar
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs

Ice cream:
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup malt powder
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • ¾ tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp vodka
  • 20 Oreos, coarsely crushed

Frosting:
  • 4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 lb powdered sugar
  • 2-4 Tbsp milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 5 Oreos, pulverized in a food processor

Instructions:

Cake:
Preheat oven to 350*F. Butter the bottoms and sides of two 8- or 9-inch cake pans (layers will just be taller if you use an 8-inch pan). Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper, then butter the parchment.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine them well. Add the oil and sour cream and whisk to blend (this will be very thick). Gradually beat in the water. Blend in the vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and be sure the batter is well mixed. Divide among the two prepared cake pans.

Bake for 25-35 minutes (less for the 9-inch pans, more for the 8-inch), or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Let cool in the pans for about 20 minutes, invert onto wire racks, carefully peel off the paper liners, and let cool completely.

Ice Cream: 
Warm the milk, sugar, malt powder, 1 cup of heavy cream , and salt in a medium saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the warm milk and add the bean as well. Cover, remove from the heat, and let steep at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Pour the remaining 1 cup cream into a large bowl. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard into the large bowl of heavy cream. Add the vanilla extract and mix well.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator. When ready to churn, remove the vanilla bean, rinsing and reserving it for another use. Add the vodka then freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Once the ice cream is done churning, mix in the crushed Oreos with a spatula before transferring to a container. Chill in the freezer for at least 3 hours before using.

Frosting:
Using a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese with the salt until smooth. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk until you reach your desired consistency. Mix in the Oreo crumbs. Use immediately, or refrigerate and let come to room temperature before using.

To assemble:
Make sure that your cake is cooled completely, your ice cream is solid, and you have a level place in the freezer to stash the cake as you assemble. Place one cake layer on a nice plate (you can chill the cake layers in the freezer as well, for extra insurance). Use a large cookie scoop to scoop 1-2 cups of ice cream on top of the cake layer. Quickly spread the ice cream evenly around the cake. Freeze for at least one hour, preferably two. Once the ice cream has hardened back up again, take the cake out of the freezer and place the second cake layer on top. Frost with cream cheese frosting. Freeze again, but now for at least 2-3 hours. If you want to cover the cake with foil or plastic wrap, do so at this point. It’s sliceable and not too hard to eat directly out of the freezer given the vodka in the ice cream and that the cake is oil-based rather than butter-based. That will also keep the cake from drying out too quickly, even in the freezer.

White Chocolate Lemon Truffles




I stumbled upon these white chocolate lemon beauties on Pinterest (I don't know what I would without this website sometimes) and knew I had to make them. It was love after first bite. The list of ingredients is minimal and the final product will dazzle you. The texture of these truffles are silky smooth. Hints of lemon ooze out of this velvety white chocolate. The best part is they are so easy to make. Melt all the ingredients together and cool for about two hours and you have yourself a delectable dessert that will impress everyone. (I have made these 3 times already!)

White Chocolate Lemon Truffles

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup white chocolate
  • 5 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp. lemon extract
  • icing sugar, for dusting

Instructions:
  1. Melt chocolate, butter and cream over a double boiler or in a microwave. Stir until smooth.
  2. Stir in salt and extract. Allow to cool slightly before covering with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm enough to handle.
  3. With a melon baller or small spoon scoop out mixture and form into 1 inch balls. Toss with icing sugar to coat.
  4. Store covered in the fridge for up to one week. Freeze for longer storage.

*Note:
I had several taste testers for this recipe, all of which loved them. But some came up with a few flavors you could add to this recipe if you wanted... Like cherry, orange or raspberry

White Chocolate Lemon Truffles




I stumbled upon these white chocolate lemon beauties on Pinterest (I don't know what I would without this website sometimes) and knew I had to make them. It was love after first bite. The list of ingredients is minimal and the final product will dazzle you. The texture of these truffles are silky smooth. Hints of lemon ooze out of this velvety white chocolate. The best part is they are so easy to make. Melt all the ingredients together and cool for about two hours and you have yourself a delectable dessert that will impress everyone. (I have made these 3 times already!)

White Chocolate Lemon Truffles

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup white chocolate
  • 5 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp. lemon extract
  • icing sugar, for dusting

Instructions:
  1. Melt chocolate, butter and cream over a double boiler or in a microwave. Stir until smooth.
  2. Stir in salt and extract. Allow to cool slightly before covering with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm enough to handle.
  3. With a melon baller or small spoon scoop out mixture and form into 1 inch balls. Toss with icing sugar to coat.
  4. Store covered in the fridge for up to one week. Freeze for longer storage.

*Note:
I had several taste testers for this recipe, all of which loved them. But some came up with a few flavors you could add to this recipe if you wanted... Like cherry, orange or raspberry