Monday, June 30, 2014

Old Fashioned Peach Cobbler





I was searching for a peach cobbler recipe that reminded me of the yummy dessert I ate as a young boy in Southeast Missouri. No shortcuts here. Fresh peaches and homemade crust...but worth every minute! Absolutely delicious served warm with vanilla ice cream! Never any leftovers with this dessert!

Old Fashioned Peach Cobbler

Ingredients:
  •     2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  •     3 tablespoons white sugar
  •     1 teaspoon salt
  •     1 cup shortening
  •     1 egg
  •     1/4 cup cold water
  •     3 pounds fresh peaches - peeled, pitted and sliced
  •     1/4 cup lemon juice
  •     3/4 cup orange juice
  •     1/2 cup butter
  •     2 cups white sugar
  •     1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  •     1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  •     1 tablespoon cornstarch
  •     1 tablespoon white sugar
  •     1 tablespoon butter, melted


Instructions:

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, and salt. Work in the shortening with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and cold water. Sprinkle over flour mixture, and work with hands to form dough into a ball. Chill 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Roll out half of dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Place in a 9x13 inch baking dish, covering bottom and halfway up sides. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

In a large saucepan, mix the peaches, lemon juice, and orange juice. Add 1/2 cup butter, and cook over medium-low heat until butter is melted. In a mixing bowl, stir together 2 cups sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cornstarch; mix into peach mixture. Remove from heat, and pour into baked crust.

Roll remaining dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Cut into half-inch-wide strips. Weave strips into a lattice over peaches. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon melted butter.
Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until top crust is golden brown.
- See more at: http://www.luicucina.com/2013/07/old-fashioned-peach-cobbler.html#sthash.Raxvir8v.dpuf

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Chocolate Chip (Ooey) Gooey Butter Cake



These yummy squares are so appropriate for Christmas because you will sing with the angels when you try them :D ,, Not only is this dessert a hit everytime, but it's incredibly easy to make! This is a simple recipe that you will love to make and everybody will LOVE to eat! Please try this Gooey Butter Cake next time to satisfy your sweet tooth.  Enjoy your holiday baking!

Chocolate Chip (Ooey) Gooey Butter Cake

Ingredients:

Crust:
  •     1 box butter-recipe cake mix
  •     1 egg
  •     1/2 c (1 stick) butter, melted


Filling:
  •     1 8 oz. pkg cream cheese, softened
  •     2 eggs
  •     1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  •     1 16 oz. box powdered sugar
  •     1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, melted
  •     1 c. chocolate chips


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Light grease a 9x13 in. baking pan.
In a bowl, combine cake mix, egg, and butter with an electric mixer.  Mix well.  Pat into the bottom of prepared pan and set aside.  Still using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth; add eggs and vanilla.  Dump powdered sugar and beat very well.  Reduce the speed of mixer and slowly pour in melted butter.  Mix well.  Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour filling onto cake mixture and spread evenly.  Bake for 40-50  minutes (it took me closer to 50 minutes).  You want to center to be a little gooey, so don't bake it past that point!  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.  If you want to drizzle melted chocolate over the top allow it to cool for at least 15 minutes and then drizzle over.  Allow to cool for at least another hour and then cut into bars.  Enjoy!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Chocolate Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Filling and Chocolate Buttercream




Gorgeous looking cake - The layers stayed together. The frosting didn't have crumbs in it. The cake and frosting recipes were well-executed. (Although, I did almost forget to add the sugar when I was mixing the cake batter!)

Chocolate Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Filling and Chocolate Buttercream

Ingredients:
  •     2 cups sugar
  •     1 & 3/4 cups flour
  •     3/4 cup cocoa powder
  •     1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  •     1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  •     1 teaspoon salt
  •     2 eggs
  •     1 cup milk
  •     1/2 cup vegetable oil
  •     2 teaspoons vanilla
  •     1 cup boiling water

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat three 8-inch cake pans with nonstick spray. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper. Spray each pan again and coat with a thin layer of flour.

2. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla, and mix until everything is thoroughly incorporated. Stir in the boiling water; the batter will be very thin.

3. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each layer comes out clean. Cool the layers in the pans for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

4. Wrap each layer in plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Make the cream cheese filling and chocolate buttercream (see recipes below). When you're ready to assemble the cake, remove the layers from the refrigerator. If needed, level each layer with a serrated knife or cake leveler.

5. Place the bottom layer on a cake plate. Evenly spread about 3/4 cup of the cream cheese filling over the cake, leaving about 1/2 inch margin around the edges. Top with the second layer and repeat. Finally, top with the third layer. Apply a thin layer of chocolate buttercream over the top and sides of the cake. This is only a crumb coat, so it doesn't need to be perfect. Refrigerate the cake for about 30 minutes.

6. Remove the cake from the refrigerator and apply a final layer of chocolate buttercream, as well as any desired embellishments.





Cream Cheese Frosting
  •     1 cup cream cheese
  •     3/4 cup butter
  •     1/2 tablespoon vanilla
  •     6 cups powdered sugar

Beat the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer at medium speed for about one minute. Add the vanilla and beat one minute more. Reduce the mixing speed to low, and add the powdered sugar about 1/2 cup at a time. Once the sugar is completely incorporated, beat at medium speed for about two minutes or until fluffy.

Chocolate Buttercream
  •     1 cup butter (8 ounces)
  •     1 & 3/4 cups cocoa powder (5 ounces)
  •     6 cups powdered sugar (25 ounces)
  •     1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons milk
  •     2 teaspoons vanilla

In a large bowl, combine the powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Beat the butter with an electric mixer at medium speed for about one minute. Reduce the mixing speed to low, and add the sugar/cocoa mixture about 1/2 cup at a time. Halfway through this process, add the milk and vanilla. Once all of the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated, beat at medium speed for about two minutes or until fluffy.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Double Fudge Coca Cola Cake (Cracker Barrel Copy Cat)





While my husband was out of town last week ( he was in Arkansas,), I took the kids out to dinner for a treat at Cracker Barrel. We get lonely without Daddy  around, so it's nice to have some fun. During dinner, my middle daughter kept saying how hungry she was, so I let the kids order dessert. She decided on Double Fudge Coca Cola cake with vanilla ice cream. We all got a taste and we fell in love! I found the recipe when we got home and made it. It turned out great. It's so moist and the icing is irresistable. I hope you get a chance to make this one.

 
Double Fudge Coca Cola Cake (Cracker Barrel Copy Cat) 

Ingredients:
  •     1 cup Coca Cola
  •     1/2 cup oil (I used applesauce)
  •     1 stick butter
  •     3 Tblsp. cocoa
  •     2 cups sugar
  •     2 cups flour
  •     1/2 tsp. salt
  •     2 eggs
  •     1/2 cup buttermilk
  •     1 tsp. baking soda
  •     1 tsp. vanilla

Frosting:
  •     1 stick butter
  •     3 Tblsp. cocoa
  •     6 Tblsp. cream or milk
  •     1 tsp. vanilla
  •     1 pound (3 3/4 cups) confectioner's 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 and cool for about 10 minutes. Frost.

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 warm/hot. Cool and cut.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Best Ever German Chocolate Cake Recipe




I’ve never made anything from scratch but since it was hubby’s birthday gave it a shot. It turned out amazing!  It is the most delicious chocolate cake I have ever eaten! So moist n and everybody loved it! He even said its just like how his grandma used to make it! N fyi he’s the cook in this household, I burn even biscuits lol. Now he wants me to make this all the time lol!

Cinabun Cake (Cinnamon Bun Cake)





Just made this, easy to make and tasted delicious. After 30 mins of baking it was still jiggily and raw, put it in for another 5 mins and checked it, still not cooked in the middle. I was afraid the bottom and edges would burn so took it out and cut a piece off the end and the middle uncooked part ran all over. Put it back in the oven again for another 10 mins. Then it was done! Finally. Ice never had an issue with my oven and cook times before so I don't know why this took so long. But it did get the approval from my family. Very sweet though like others had said..

Recipe >> Cinabun Cake (Cinnamon Bun Cake) @ I am Addicted to Recipes

Monday, June 16, 2014

Mini Lemon Meringue Cheesecakes




So I made these for my husband on Father's Day and let me tell you, it was definitely the highlight of his day (aside from playing with our daughter, of course).  They were surprisingly easy to make, even though the 4 part recipe looks intimidating.  I used muffin pans coated with non-stick spray because I didn't have mini cheesecake pans and they worked out perfectly- I just used a butter knife to loosen the edges and they popped right out (after cooling in the refrigerator for 6 hours).  I also used graham crackers for the crust because that's what I had on hand.  The flavors are absolutely amazing and they look so cute too.  Going to enjoy leftovers in a few minutes :)

Recipe >> Mini Lemon Meringue Cheesecakes @ bakedbyrachel.com

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Red Velvet Cake




A Red Velvet Cake is very dramatic looking with its bright red color that is offset by a creamy white frosting. There are many theories as to its origin. Some say it comes from the South, others say it originated in the North. All we really know is that it has been a favorite for decades, not only in the States but also in Canada (it used to be sold in Eaton's Department Stores). It is really a Devil's Food Cake that has red food coloring added to it. John Mariani tells us in his book "The Dictionary of American Food and Drink" that the name 'Devil's Food Cake' is so called "because it is supposedly so rich and delicious that it must, to a moralist, be somewhat sinful."  

If we look beyond the striking appearance of this Red Velvet Cake, we will find that it has a mild chocolate flavor with a moist and tender crumb. The mild chocolate flavor comes from adding a small amount of cocoa powder to the batter and buttermilk gives it a moist and tender crumb. If you are not familiar with buttermilk it has a nice thick creamy texture with a rich tangy buttery taste that makes baked goods tender. You can make your own buttermilk by adding 1 tablespoon of white distilled vinegar, cider vinegar, or lemon juice to 1 cup (240 ml) of milk. Let this mixture stand 5 to 10 minutes before using.

Once the Red Velvet Cake layers have been baked and cooled, I find it is best to place the cake layers in the refrigerator (for several hours) or freezer (for at least an hour) before frosting. This extra step makes the spreading of the frosting a much easier task as a freshly baked cake is quite fragile and when you try to spread the frosting there is a tendency for the cake to tear. Refrigerating or freezing the cake first eliminates this problem. In fact, you may want to bake the cakes the day before you need them and then you can just place the cakes in the fridge overnight to firm up.

Recipe >> Red Velvet Cake @ bakerella.com

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Baked Zucchini Sticks and Sweet Onion Dip




Here's a guilt-free way to enjoy the crunchy outside (and juicy inside) of a restaurant-style zucchini stick.

Baked Zucchini Sticks and Sweet Onion Dip

Ingredients:

Dip:
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium sweet onion, about 1/2 pound, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper to taste

Zucchini sticks:
  • 3 medium zucchini, unpeeled, cut into 3"-long stick
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 cup coarse, dry bread crumbs (e.g., panko)
  • scant 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Pizza Seasoning or mixed Italian herbs
  • olive oil spray
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute; or 2 large eggs; or 3 egg whites, lightly beaten

Directions:



1) To make the dip: Melt the butter in a medium frying pan over moderate heat, and add the sliced onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions soften, then caramelize. This should take between 10 and 15 minutes. The lower the heat, the longer it takes, but the less likely you are to burn the onions.

2) Once the onions are a medium brown, remove from the heat and add the vinegar.

3) Place the onions and vinegar into a small food processor. Add the honey and mustard, and process or blend until smooth.

4) Add the mayonnaise and salt and pepper to taste, stirring to combine. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.

5) To make the zucchini sticks: Place the zucchini sticks in a colander over a bowl and sprinkle with the tablespoon of salt. Let the zucchini drain for 1 hour or longer; rinse and pat dry.

6) Combine the Panko, Parmesan, and pizza seasoning; set aside.

7) Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment, and spray the parchment with olive oil.

8) Dredge sticks a few at a time in the egg, then roll in the crumb mixture. Place the sticks on the prepared baking sheet.

9) Bake sticks for 12 minutes, turn over, and bake for an additional 8 minutes, until golden brown and crisp.

10) Serve immediately, with sweet onion dip.

Yield: about 3 dozen zucchini sticks, and 1 1/2 cups dip.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Pasta House Pasta Con Broccoli (Actual Recipe )



This is the acutal recipe (not a copycat) as posted on their website and as printed in the St. Louis Post Dispatch. . This is so yummy and is a St. Louis tradition. This recipe serves 2, so feel free to double or triple it to feed your family. Serve as a main dish (as they do) with a Pasta House Salad on the side! It also makes a nice side dish to grilled chicken..

Pasta House Pasta Con Broccoli

Servings: 2

Ingredients:
  •     4 ounces uncooked large shell pasta
  •     1 cup cream
  •     2 tablespoons butter
  •     1⁄2 teaspoon minced garlic
  •     2 tablespoons tomato sauce
  •     1⁄2 cup chopped broccoli
  •     salt and pepper
  •     1⁄3 cup thinly sliced fresh button mushroom
  •     1⁄4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta until half done (about 4 minutes); drain. Return pasta to the pot.
  2. Add cream, butter, garlic, tomato sauce, broccoli, salt and pepper. Bring to a hard boil.
  3. When noodles are fully cooked and sauce is starting to thicken, add mushrooms and stir to combine.
  4. Remove from the heat; add cheese.
  5. Toss and serve.




Oven-roasted Sausages, Potatoes, and Peppers




behold, an oven pan laden with delicious food (a LOT of it) that is cost-effective, EASY EASY EASY, and delicious.. this recipe will serve 3-4 adults,

Oven-roasted Sausages, Potatoes, and Peppers

Ingredients:
  •     1-2 bell peppers, sliced
  •     1 package (at least 1 lb) of your favorite sausage links (johnsonvilles, evergood, generic smoked sausage, whatever you like.  i used polish sausages, 4 to a pack)
  •     4-5 decent-sized potatoes (i prefer yukon gold or red bliss)
  •     3 tbsp olive oil (yes, it has to be OLIVE oil)
  •     1 small jar banana peppers
  •     1 large onion, sliced
  •     salt & pepper
    *optional — 2 tsp dried rosemary (bachelors, ignore this.  your salt and pepper will be fine.  i know that asking you to procure olive oil was already a stretch.)
    *optional — tsp creole seasoning


Directions:
  1.     spray a large baking pan w/ nonstick spray (make sure there is at least a small “lip” that provides a “side” to the pan, don’t use a flat baking sheet.
  2.     slice sausages into thin rounds, about 1/5″ thick.  if you know how to slice using a “bias” cut, do that.  if not, don’t worry about it.
  3.     cut potatoes into 1/2″ chunks
  4.     slice onion and pepper into strips
  5.     place all ingredients on baking sheet and drizzle oil over.  use your hands to toss everything together in the oil, making sure everything feels coated.
  6.     add salt & pepper and spices (if using)
  7.     top w/ sliced banana peppers
  8.     bake at 400 for about 30-35 min, until potatoes are tender
  9.     EAT

Skinny Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas







Skinny Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

Yield: 4 servings

Serving size: 2 enchiladas

Ingredients:
  •     16 oz boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked + shredded (about 2.5 cups shredded chicken)
  •     8 oz reduced-fat sour cream
  •     ¼ cup skim milk
  •     10¾ oz can Campbell’s® Healthy Request® Cream of Chicken Soup
  •     1 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  •     10 oz can Ro*Tel® Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies
  •     1 cup onion, diced
  •     4 oz can diced green chilies
  •     8 Small La Tortilla Factory® Smart & Delicious™ Low-Carb, High-Fiber Tortillas
  •     ½ cup reduced-fat Mexican shredded cheese

Directions:

  1.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 9" x 13" baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2.     In a saucepan, mix together sour cream, soup, milk and cilantro. Heat through and set aside. (This will boil quickly and make a huge hot mess if you don't keep stirring.)
  3.     Combine the chicken, Ro*Tel®, onions and green chilies in a pan sprayed with cooking spray.
  4.     Heat until onions are transparent.
  5.     Warm the tortillas until flexible. (I microwave them for 10 seconds sandwiched between two damp paper towels.)
  6.     Fill each tortilla with about 2 Tbsp of the chicken mixture.
  7.     Roll the tortilla up and place seam side down (or they will unravel) in baking dish.
  8.     Pour/spread the sour cream sauce over enchiladas and top with cheese.
  9.     Bake for 25-30 minutes until bubbly and cheese is melted.

Carrot Cake





Classic Carrot Cake with hints of cinnamon and clove made super moist by pineapple as a secret ingredient.  Carrot Cake is fast becoming the most requested cake for wedding cakes because of it's tasty universal appeal.  And with Carrots as the main ingredient you could even say it is healthy.  Well, almost.  When you ice it with my amazing Cream Cheese Icing you will have an incredible combination of flavors that are both classic and proof you are Cooking The Amazing.


Carrot Cake

Total Prep and cooking time approx. 1 1/4 hr.
Total Cooling and Icing time approx. 2 1/2 hrs


Ingredients:

2 c   All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 c   Sugar
1/4 c   Brown Sugar, packed (dark or light)
1  1/2 t   Baking Soda
1 t   Baking Powder
1 t  Salt
4 t  Cinnamon
1/4 t  Nutmeg
1/8 t  Ground Cloves
1/4 t  Ground Ginger
2 c  Finely Grated Peeled Carrot, packed
1 c  Coconut Flakes, sweetened
1 c  Raisins (Optional)
1 can 8 oz  Crushed Pineapple, drained
       (reserve 1 T of drained Pineapple juice)
1 1/2 c  Walnuts or Pecans, chopped small pieces
1 c  Vegetable Oil
2 t  Vanilla Extract
1 T  Finely Grated Fresh Orange Zest
3  Eggs, extra large
Pam non stick Cooking Spray


Directions:


    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    Prepare two 9 inch cake pans by spraying with Vegetable non-stick spray (like Pam Spray) and line with a parchment paper round on the bottom then spray the top of the parchment.  Or spray a 9 X 13 baking pan with Vegetable non stick spray (like Pam Spray) or use 20 jumbo Cupcake liners in a Muffin tin without using Pam spray.

    In a large bowl whisk well:  Flour, Sugar, Brown Sugar, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Salt, all Spices.

    Peel then Grate approx 5-6 medium Carrots to yield 2 cups packed.  Grate Carrots finely to no more than 1/4 inch pieces.  Or process in a food processor until finely grated but not mush.  It is important that you peel the Carrots before grating.  You do not want the tough skins in your cake.

    In a medium bowl or KitchenAid bowl add Carrots, Grated Fresh Orange Peel, Drained Pineapple, Raisins (optional), Coconut Flakes, Walnuts or Pecans and mix well with a big spoon.

    To this mixture add the Vegetable Oil, Vanilla Extract and Eggs one at a time mixing in well then add 1 T of the reserved Pineapple juice and mix well.  Scrape down bowl often.

    Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix with a hand mixer or Kitchen Aid for  about 1 minute until well mixed.  Do not over mix.

    Pour divided into prepared (as above) 9 inch cake pans, or 9 X 13 pan, or approximately 20 Cupcake liners filled 3/4 full or a 9 X 13 baking sheet sprayed with Pam but no parchment paper needed.

    Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 mins for Cupcakes,  35-40 minutes for 9 inch layer cakes and 45-50 mins for 9 X 13 in the center of the oven.  Half way through cooking rotate the pans for even cooking.  A toothpick will come out clean when done.  All ovens vary in timing so check at lowest time first and if not done put back in oven and recheck in 2- 3 minutes.

    Allow to cool completely in pan for 1-2 hrs. before removing to ice with Cream Cheese Icing.  Recipe below.  Place 1/4 of icing between the two layers and when placing the top cake layer on, put the flat side of the cake (the bottom when it was in the cake pan) facing up for a flat top which makes a more attractive cake and easier to ice.

This cake is super moist and fragile so handle with care when removing from pans and icing.  If it breaks the icing will hide any imperfections.

TIP:  Add 1 cup of golden raisins or chopped dried cherries or apricots for a twist on tradition.

TIP:  Black Walnuts will give this cake the most flavor.  Sprinkle the top of the cake with Walnuts or Pecans as a tasty garnish.


CREAM CHEESE ICING

Here is the recipe:
2 sticks Butter, unsalted, softened
16 oz. Cream Cheese, softened (2 bars)
3 c Powdered Sugar
4 t Vanilla Extract
1/4 t Almond Extract
1 small pinch Salt (very small pinch)


Total Prep Time: 7 minutes (except time to soften butter and cream cheese.)

 Allow Butter and Cream Cheese to sit out until at room temperature and softened.
 In a large bowl, place the softened Butter.
Cream the Butter with a hand mixer for 2 minutes. Then add the Cream Cheese and cream for 2 minutes or so more until well mixed.
1 cup at a time, add the Powdered Sugar and blend well.
Add Salt, Vanilla and Almond Extracts and mix well.  Taste and add more Powdered Sugar to be more sweet or more Cream Cheese to suit your taste.
Keep Cream Cheese Icing at room temperature for the best consistency to ice Cakes.
Refrigerate unused icing. To use again, bring to room temperature then mix with a hand mixer for about 1 minute before using.
  
OPTION: For those that like a very strong Cream Cheese taste add another 4 oz. of Cream Cheese for a more intense flavor.




DIY Funnel Cakes

Enjoy the deep-fried funnel cake awesomeness of the state fair all year round with this DIY recipe.

DIY Funnel Cakes




Ingredients:
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 2 cups Bisquick™ Original baking mix
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • Powdered sugar, for topping

Directions:
  1. Pour oil about one inch deep into a large saucepan or stockpot. Heat over medium heat until a candy thermometer reads 350°F to 360°F.
  2. Meanwhile, combine Bisquick™, milk and eggs in a large bowl; stir until well mixed. Pour batter into squeeze dispenser bottles.
  3. When oil is fully heated, carefully squeeze batter in a circular motion, close to the oil, until a mini funnel cake forms (don't make more than 2 cakes at a time). Fry 30 seconds on each side until golden brown, then transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain.
  4. Repeat with remaining batter, making sure oil temperature stays within 350°F to 360°F.
  5. Sprinkle warm funnel cakes with powdered sugar.

Apple Enchiladas



There's nothing quite like warm apple pie... is there?  This  recipe is pretty darn close.

I'm too intimidated to attempt apple pie from scratch, so when I found this recipe, I was excited because it meant that I make a quick, easier version a bit similar to the popular pie.

Apple Enchiladas

Ingredients:
  •     6 (8 inch) flour tortillas
  •     1/2 cup butter
  •     1/2 cup white sugar
  •     1 (21 ounce) can apple pie filling
  •     1/2 cup brown sugar
  •     1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  •     1/2 cup water


Directions:

  1.     Spoon about one heaping quarter cup of pie filling evenly down the center of each tortilla.
  2.     Sprinkle with cinnamon; roll up, tucking in edges; and place seam side down in prepared dish.
  3.     In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, white sugar, brown sugar and water. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes.
  4.     Pour sauce over enchiladas and let stand 45 minutes.
  5.     Bake in preheated oven 20 minutes, or until golden.
  6.     Serve with vanilla ice cream.

How to Bake Flat Cake Layers





This is so, so, soooo helpful….thank you!! Layer cake secretly kind of scare me for this exact reason (and a few others). Mastering layer cakes, or at least making one decent one is on my culinary bucket list for the year, and this has really given me the little kick I needed to get going with it

No more trimming and leveling, and no fancy tools needed! Come learn how to easily bake flat, even cake layers every time.

Read more >> How to Bake Flat Cake Layers @ completelydelicious.com

Monday, June 9, 2014

Dr. Oz’s 7-Layer Fat-Fighting Dip





This dip is perfect for a party or healthy snacking. The avocado it contains is a healthy fat that regulates blood sugar to control cravings, while the black beans contain fiber to keep you full. By swapping sour cream for Greek yogurt, you’ll save roughly 200 calories per cup – so you can dig in guilt-free!

Dr. Oz’s 7-Layer Fat-Fighting Dip

Ingredients:
  •     4 cups shredded lettuce
  •     3 medium ripe avocados mashed and mixed with 2 tbsp lemon juice
  •     1 1/2 cup Greek yogurt mixed with 1 package low-sodium taco seasoning mix
  •     1 can black beans
  •     3 medium diced tomatoes
  •     2 cans sliced olives
  •     8 oz 2% cheddar cheese


Instructions:

Starting with the lettuce on the bottom of a bowl, add each layer on top of the next, ending with sprinkling the cheese on top. Alternate one celery stick with each whole grain chip to cut your calories in half.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Philadelphia 3-Step Cookie Dough Cheesecake



Philadelphia 3-Step Cookie Dough Cheesecake

Ingredients:

– 2 pkg. (8 oz. each) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened

– 1/2 cup sugar

– 1/2 tsp. vanilla

– 2 eggs

– 3/4 cup prepared or refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough, divided

– 1 Honey Maid Graham Pie Crust (6 oz.) <- (or make your own; so easy and so much better!)

Directions:

PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees F.  Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended.  Add eggs; mix just until blended.  Remove 1/2 cup of the dough; drop by teaspoonfuls into batter.  Stir gently.

POUR into crust.  Top with level teaspoonfuls of the remaining 1/4 cup cookie dough.

BAKE 40 minutes or until center is almost set.  Cool.  Refrigerate 3 hours or over night.  Garnish as desired.  Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator.

Makes 12 servings.

Coconut Banana Bread




Just made this today.. Really yummy, but the coconut flavor is not overpowering. It is actually hard to detect and I'll probably add more next time I make it.

Coconut Banana Bread

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2 1/2 cups self rising flour (use all purpose and increase baking soda to 1 tsp)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 medium overripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut (or shredded coconut)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan and set aside.
*I used 4 mini loaf pans, as you can see.

In the bowl using a wooden spoon mix the oil and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in the vanilla and almond extract.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together the mashed banana and the coconut milk.

Gradually mix in the dry ingredients alternately with the wet ingredients. Start and end with the dry mixture. Mix until just combined. Stir in the flaked coconut.

Pour the batter to the prepared baking pan.

Bake for 1 hour – 1 hour and 15 minutes, when a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
*Adjust time if you use mini loaf pans. Mine took about 45 minutes.

Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before slicing.

Lemon Butter Cookies



I just got done baking these cookies and enjoy them!! The only substitute I made was using 4 tsp of lemon juice in place of the lemon zest–I didn’t have any lemons or oranges on hand. As a side note: If you are expecting these cookies to come out with the texture of a basic sugar cookie, you’re going to disappoint yourself. For me, these cookies almost have a tea-cookie-like consistency; melt-in-your-mouth and creamy/thick.

Recipe >> Lemon Butter Cookies @ ateaspoonofhappiness.com

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Reuben Crescent Bake

It really doesn't get much easier than this. No chopping, sauteing, or boiling. Essentially, I made a great big, delicious sandwich in a casserole dish. "What else might I do with crescent rolls?" I know that there are quite a few applications, both sweet and savory. I first hit up the Pillsbury site for inspiration. Lots of recipes there! I finally settled on this Reuben Bake, another winner from Taste of Home. Don't look at the calories, though.





Reuben Crescent Bake

Ingredients:

  • 2 tubes (8 ounces each) refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 1 pound sliced Swiss cheese
  • 1-1/4 pounds sliced deli corned beef
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sauerkraut, rinsed and well drained
  • 2/3 cup Thousand Island salad dressing
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 3 teaspoons caraway seeds

  1. Unroll one tube of crescent dough into one long rectangle; seal seams and
  2. perforations. Press onto the bottom of a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Bake
  3. at 375° for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Layer with half of the
  4. cheese and all of the corned beef. Combine sauerkraut and salad dressing; spread
  5. over beef. Top with remaining cheese. On a lightly floured surface, press or
  6. roll second tube of crescent dough into a 13-in. x 9-in. rectangle, sealing seams
  7. and perforations. Place over cheese. Brush with egg white; sprinkle with caraway
  8. seeds. Bake for 12-16 minutes or until heated through and crust is golden
  9. brown. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting.

Yield: 8 servings.


Monday, June 2, 2014

Chocolate Lava Cake



A rich dessert every chocolate lover would love. According to culinary legend, the chocolate lava cake was the result of a major kitchen disaster. The dessert was meant to be individual chocolate cakes that were taken out of the oven to soon. What came out are chocolate cakes with gooey centers.

Chocolate Lava Cake

Ingredients:
  • 5 tbsp butter
  • 3.5 oz dark chocolate (this is one standard chocolate bar)
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • 1 extra large egg yolk
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • powdered sugar as needed

Directions:

  1.     Using a double-boiler, melt the butter and chocolate together and stir to combine.
  2.     In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until the mixture is light yellow in color, and the sugar is dissolved. About 3 minutes.
  3.     Pour the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and whisk until well incorporated.
  4.     Fold in sifted flour, cocoa, and salt into the chocolate and egg mixture using a spatula. Spoon into 4 buttered 5-oz ramekins, and tap on the table to settle any air bubbles. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5.     Place ramekins in a baking dish and add water until it is halfway up the sides. Bake in a preheated 425-degree oven for 15 minutes
  6.     Remove from the oven and serve warm. The chocolate lava cakes can be turned out on a plate or served in the ramekins with a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Blueberries and Cream Pie With No Roll Pie Crust





A delicious pie that is easy to prepare. Note to World Tour participants - I believe the ingredients are typical for the Canada region.

Blueberries and Cream Pie With No Roll Pie Crust


Serving: 6

Ingredients:
  •     1 1⁄2 cups flour
  •     1 teaspoon sugar
  •     1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  •     1⁄2 cup canola oil
  •     3 tablespoons milk
  •     4 cups blueberries
  •     2⁄3 cup sugar
  •     1⁄4 cup flour
  •     1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
  •     1⁄4 teaspoon salt
  •     1⁄2 cup milk
  •     1 cup heavy whipping cream
  •     2 tablespoons sugar, for whipped cream
  •     1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla, for whipped cream



Directions:
  1.     Put first five ingredients in a 9 inch pie pan.
  2.     Mix with a fork until well blended and pat into the pan.
  3.     Push the pastry up the sides and form a nice edge with your thumb and finger.
  4.     Prick the crust with a fork to prevent bubbling of the pastry during baking.
  5.     Preheat oven to 400.
  6.     Rinse berries and pick out any undesirable ones.
  7.     After the berries have drained pour onto a paper towel to dry somewhat and then pour them into the pastry shell.
  8.     In a small bowl combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt.
  9.     Stir in the milk and 1/2 cup whipping cream.
  10.     Whisk until smooth.
  11.     Pour over the berries and bake for 45 minutes.
  12.     After about 30 minutes, check the pie.
  13.     If the edges are getting very brown, cover with strips of aluminum foil.
  14.     Cool on a wire rack and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.
  15.     To make whipped cream, beat 1/2 cup very cold whipping cream until stiff.
  16.     Chill the bowl before whipping the cream to improve the results.
  17.     Add vanilla and 2 tbsp sugar.
  18.     Serve a dollop of whipped cream on each serving of pie.

Easy Yeast Rolls

These turned out amazing!!  This is only the fourth time in my life I've made bread and they were idiot-proof, went together so quick and easy, and they taste INCREDIBLE. The flavor and the texture are a thousand times better than the frozen stuff I was gonna get for Thanksgiving. :)




Makes 24 yummy rolls.
The rolls will be baked in a 9 x 13 pan.
The roll are easy to make but if you have a bread machine it can be even easier.
If you have a bread machine add all of the ingredients to the bread machine and use the dough cycle and skip step 2 and 3.
For everyone else follow all of the steps to make yummy rolls by hand.

Ingredients;
  • 1 cup whole milk (you can use other milk but whole milk makes the rolls the yummiest)
  • 1/2 cup butter (one stick)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs (large)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cup bread flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon yeast
  • (1 or 2 T water if needed)

Note: save the butter wrapper in the fridge for later.



Mix Ingredients:

Warm the milk to between 90 and 110 degrees F.
Mix all of the ingredients together minus the optional water.
(If you have a mixer with a bread hook you can use that or just mix by hand)
Once all the ingredients are added if the dough seems very dry add 1 tablespoon of water.  A second tablespoon of water can be added if still needed.  I rarely need to add the water unless the air in my home is extremely dry.
See picture for how the dough should look.

Knead and Rise:

Once all of the ingredients are fully incorporated knead the dough on a lightly floured surface.
Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic (approximately 6 to 9 minutes).

Place the dough in a very lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp towel and place in a warm area.
Allow the dough to rise until it is about double in size (approximately 60 minutes.)
(My grandmother liked to let her bread rise in the laundry room while the dryer was running as the heat made the room warm or on top of the refrigerator.)

English Toffee Cheesecake






English Toffee Cheesecake
Ingredients:
  •     2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  •     1/2 cup sugar
  •     1/2 cup butter, melted
  •     3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
  •     1 (14 oz.) can Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk
  •     3 large eggs
  •     2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  •     1 (8 oz.) package English toffee bits, divided
  •     2 teaspoons Pillsbury BEST™ All Purpose Flour
  •     1 (12.25 oz.) jar Smucker's® Caramel Flavored Topping
  •     1/3 cup milk chocolate toffee bits

Directions

    HEAT oven to 325°F. Stir graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter in medium bowl until evenly moistened. Press into bottom and halfway up sides of 9-inch springform pan.
    BEAT cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla until blended.
    STIR English toffee bits and flour in medium bowl to coat toffee bits. Stir 1 cup into cheesecake mixture. Pour into prepared crust. Sprinkle remaining English toffee bits evenly over cheesecake.
    BAKE 60 minutes or until almost set in center. Cool on wire rack 1 hour. Chill several hours or overnight. Drizzle individual servings with caramel topping. Sprinkle lightly with milk chocolate toffee bits, if desired.