Saturday, June 30, 2012

Garlic Roasted Chicken

5 to 6 lb. whole chicken
Kosher salt
whole head of garlic
1 lemon
1 large onion
4 carrots
2 potatoes

When you bring chicken home from the store- salt it and store it in the fridge until ready to use.

Sprinkle inside of chicken with salt and pepper.  Cut in half a whole head of garlic (don't even peel it) and place inside chicken.  Quarter the lemon (unpeeled) and stuff inside chicken.  Tie up the legs with string and tuck the wings under itself.  Place it roaster pan.  Not too large.
Place in bottom of pan a sliced up large onion, 4 carrots, sliced and 2 potatoes, cut. Place chicken on top of vegetables.  Dry off chicken with a paper towel and brush the outside skin with melted butter.  Sprinkle some butter onto the vegetables too.  Sprinkle top of chicken with salt and pepper.  Cook in a 425 degree oven for 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hr. 30 minutes.  Cut between leg and thigh.  When the juices are clear it's done.  Take out the chicken and cover with foil.  Let it sit.  Put the vegetables back in the oven for another 15 minutes.   
Cut up the chicken into large slices (to retain the moisture).  To serve place on a platter along with vegetables.

Recipe from Inna Garten (Barefoot Contessa)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Triple Berry Blast

1 cup frozen mixed berries
1 cup soy milk ( do not use vanilla-flavored soy milk because it will make this smoothie too sweet)
1/2 cup sliced banana
2 tsp. honey

Combine berries, soy milk, banana and honey in blender.  Blend about 30 seconds or until smooth and thick.  Pour into 2 sugar-dipped glasses.  Serve immediately.

Makes 2 (10 oz.) servings

Banana-Pineapple Breakfast Shake

2 cups plain fat-free yogurt
1 can (8oz.) crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
1 ripe medium banana
8 packets sugar substitute
1 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 cup ice cubes

Place yogurt, pineapple, banana, sugar substitute, vanilla, nutmeg and ice into blender.  Blend until smooth.  Pour into 4 serving glasses.
Makes 4 servings

Note:  This recipe is perfect for a brunch, a party or another special occasion.  Make as many batches as you need to serve everyone.

Fruit 'n Juice Breakfast Shake

1 extra-ripe, medium banana
3/4 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup lowfat vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup frozen blueberries

Combine all ingredients in blender.  Process until smooth.
Makes 2 servings

Banana Split Shakes

1 small ripe banana
1/2 cup fat-free (skim) milk
5 maraschino cherries, drained, plus additional for garnish
1 Tbsp. light chocolate syrup
1/8 tsp. coconut extract
4 cups low-fat chocolate frozen yogurt

Combine banana, milk, cherries, chocolate syrup and coconut extract in blender; blend until smooth.  Add yogurt, 1 cup at a time.  Blend after each addition until smooth and thick.  Pour into 4 glasses.  Garnish with additional maraschino cherries.
Makes 4 servings

Note:  For a low-fat shake, chop 3 large peeled bananas.  Place in resealable food storage bag and freeze until solid.  Blend with milk, cherries, chocolate syrup and coconut extract.  Omit frozen yogurt.

Key Lime Bars

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (20 squared)
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 pkg. (8oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup Key lime juice or regular lime juice
1 Tbsp. grated lime peel
additional lime peel, if desired

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease bottom and sides of a 9-inch square pan with shortening or cooking spray.  In small bowl, mix cracker crumbs, butter and sugar thoroughly with fork.  Press evenly in bottom of pan.  Refrigeratae while preparing cream cheese mixture.
 In small bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Gradually beat in milk until smooth.  Beat in lime juice and lime peel.  Spread over layer in pan.  Bake about 35 minutes or until center is set.  Cool 30 minutes.  Cover loosely; refrigerate at least 3 hours until chilled.  For bars, cut into 6 rows by 6 rows.  Garnish with additional lime peel.  Store covered in refrigerator.

Yields:  36 bars.

Nutty Chocolate Chip Cake

1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate ships
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1 box SuperMoist devil's food cake mix
water,oil and eggs called for on cake mix box

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease bottom only of 13x9 pan with shortening or cooking spray.  In a small bowl, mix chocolate chips, brown sugar and pecans; set aside.  Make cake mix as directed on box, using water, oil and eggs.  Pour into pan.  Sprinkle with chocolate chip mixture.  Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool completely, about 1 hour.  Store tightly covered

Yields:  15 servings
Note:  You can also drizzle the cake with caramel or hot fudge topping.  Or frost with your favorite frosting.

Strawberries with Cheesecake Cream

10 vanilla wafers cookies
2 tsp. butter or margarine, melted
1/2 cup cream cheese spread (from 8-oz. container)
6 Tbsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. milk
1 Tbsp. orange juice
1 quart fresh strawberries, sliced (3 cups)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Place cookies in blender.  Cover; blend on high speed until finely crushed.  In small bowl, mix cookie crumbs and butter; spread on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake about 5 minutes or until golden brown. 
In a large bowl, beat remaining ingredients except strawberries with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.
Divide strawberries among 4 large water glasses or individual dessert dishes.  Top each with about 1/4 cup cream cheese mixture; sprinkle each with 2 Tablespoons crumbs. 
Yields:  4 servings

Note:  You can use raspberries or a combination of your favorite berries instead of just strawberries.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Ice Cream Crunch

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 cups crisp rice cereal
2 cups flaked coconut
1 cup chopped mixed nuts
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream, softened

In a saucepan over medium heat, cook butter and brown sugar until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved.  In a large bowl, combine cereal, coconut and nuts; add sugar mixture and stir until coated;  Press half into a greased 13 x 9 baking pan.  Spread ice cream over crust.  Top with remaining cereal mixture.  Freeze until firm..
Yield:  12-16 servings.

Chocolate Caramel Bars

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups cold butter or margarine
2 cups (12 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans
1 jar (12 ox.) caramel ice cream topping

Ina bowl, combine 2 cups flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt.  Cut in butter until crumbly.  Set half aside for topping.  Press the remaining crumb mixture into a greased 13 x 9 baking pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  Sprinkle with the chocolate chips and pecans.  Whisk caramel topping and remaining flour until smooth; drizzle over top.  Sprinkle with the reserved crumb mixture.  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack for 2 hours before cutting. 
Yield:  about 4 1/2 dozen.

Pecan Pie

3 eggs
1 cup dark corn syrup
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped pecans
1 unbaked pastry shell (8 inches)

In a bowl, beat the eggs lightly.  Stir in corn syrup, sugar, butter, vanilla and salt.  Add pecans and mix well.  Pour into pie shell.  Cover edges loosely with foil.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Remove foil; bake 20 minutes longer or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.  Refrigereat any leftovers. 
Yield:  6-8 servings.

Lemon Grilled Salmon

2 tsp. snipped fresh dill or 3/4 tsp. dill weed
1/2 tsp. lemon-pepper seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt, optional
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 salmon fillet (1 1/2 pounds)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 Tbsp. chicken broth
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
3 Tbsp. finely chopped green onions
1 small lemon, thinly sliced
2 onion slices, separated into rings

Sprinkle dill, lemon-pepper, salt if desired and garlic powder over salmon.  Place in a large resealable plastic bag or shallow glass container.  Combine brown sugar, broth, oil, soy sauce and green onions; pour over the salmon.  Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour, turning once.  Drain and dicard marinade.  Place salmon skin side down on grill over meduim heat; arrange lemon and onion slices over the top.  Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork.
Yield:  6 servings.

Note:  Salmon can be broiled instead of grilled.  Place the fillet on a greased broiler pan.  Broil 3-4 inch from the heat for 6-8 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Herbed Oven Potatoes

1/2 cup olive or begetable oil
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried marjoram
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 pounds red potatoes, quartered
Minced fresh parsley

In a shallow bowl, combine the first six ingredients.  Add potatoes, a few at a time; toss to coat.  Place in a single layer in a greased 15-in.x 10-in. baking pan. Drizzle with remaining oil mixture.  Bake, uncovered, at 450 degrees for 50 -55 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with parsley. 
Yield:  6 servings.

Raspberry Lemonade

2 cans (12 oz. each) frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
2 pkgs. (10 oz. each) frozen sweetened raspberries, partially thawed
2 to 4 tablespoons sugar
2 liters club soda, chilled
Ice cubes

In a blender, combine lemonade concentrate, raspberries and sugar.  Cover and process until blended.  Strain to remove seeds.  In a 4 1/2 qt.container, combine raspberry mixture, club soda and ice cubes; mix well.  Serve iimmediately. 
Yield:  3 1/2 quarts.

Cream-Filled Cupcakes

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup baking cocoa
2 tsp. baking soda
 1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
 1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/4 cup shortening
 2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Pinch salt
Chocolate frosting

In a mixing bowl, combine the first five ingredients.  Add eggs, milk, oil, water and vanilla.  Beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.  Fill paper-lined muffin cups half full.  Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean  Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.  In a mixing bowl, combine butter, shortening, confectioners' sugar, milk, vanilla and salt; beat until fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Insert a very small tip into a pastry or plastic bag; fill with cream filling.  Push the tip through the bottom of paper liner to fill each cupcake.  Frost tops with chocolate frosting. 
Yield:  3 dozen.

Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp

4 cups sliced peeled tart apples (about 3 medium)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/3 cold butter or margarine
Vanilla ice cream, optional

Place apples in a greased 8 inch square baking dish.  In a bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, oats, cinnamon and allspice; cut in butter until crumbly.  Sprinkle over apples.  Bake at 375 degress for 30-35 minutes or until apples are tender.  Serve warm with ice cream if desired. 
Yield:  4-6 servings.

Italian Hamburgers

6 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped green pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 tsp.  dried oregano
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. pepper
1 pound ground beef
6 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
3/4 tsp. Italian seasoning
Hot cooked spaghetti, optional

Combine the first seven ingredients.  Add beef and 3 Tbsp. of Parmesan cheese; mix well.  Shape into six patties.  In a skillet, brown patties for 2 minutes on each side.  Combine the tomato sauce and Italian seasoning; pour over patties reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until meat is no longer pink.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Serve patties and sauce over spaghetti if desired.
Yield:  6 servings.

Fried Cinnamon Strips

1 cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
10 flour tortillas (8 inches)
Cooking oil

In a large resealable plastic bag, combine sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg; set aside.  Cut tortillas into 3-in. x 2 in. strips.  Heat 1 in. of oil in a skillet or electric fry pan to 375 degrees; fry 4-5 strips at a time for 30 seconds on each side or until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels.  While still warm, place strips in bag with sugar mixture; shake gently to coat.  Serve immediately or store in an airtight container. 
Yield:  5 dozen

Raspberry Delight

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups whipped topping

1 pkg. (6oz.) raspberry gelatin
2 cups boiling water
2 pkgs. (10 oz. each) sweetened frozen raspberries
Additional whipped topping and fresh mint, optional

In a bowl, combine flour and sugar; blend in butter with a wooden spoon until smooth.  Press into an ungreased 13x9 in baking pan.  Bake at 300 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until set (crust will not brown).  Cool.  In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, vanilla an salt until smooth.  Fold in whipped topping.  Spread over crust. 
For topping, dissolve gelation in boiling water; stir in raspberries.  Chiill for 20 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken.  Spoon over filling.  Refrigerate until set.  Cut into squares; garnish with whipped topping and mint if desired;
Yield: 12-16 servings.

Fruit-Topped Almond Cream

1 pkg. (3.4 Ounces) instant French vanilla pudding mix
2 1/2 cups cold milk
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 to 3/4 tsp. almond extract
3 cups assorted fruit
(strawberries, grapes, raspberries, blueberries, mandarin oranges)

In a large mixing bowl, combine pudding mix and milk.  Beat on low speed for 2 minutes;  set aside.  In a small mixing bowl, beat cream and extract until stiff peaks form.  Fold into pudding.  Spoon into a shallow 2-qt. serving dish.  Chill.  Top with fruit just before serving. 
Yield:  8 servings.

Raspberry Angel Food Cake

10 egg whites
1-1/4 tsps. cream of tartar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup cake flour
2 cups fresh raspberries

In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites until frothy; beat in cream of tartar until soft peaks form.  Add the extracts.  Gradually beat in sugar until stiff, scraping bowl occasionally.  Sift flour over beaten whites; sprinkle with berries.  Gently fold flour and raspberries into batter until well mixed.  Pour into an ungreased 10 in. tube pan.  Bake at 325 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until lightly browned and entire top appears dry.  Immediately invert cake pan; cool completely, about 1 hour.
Yield: 16 servings

Strawberry Lemonade

3 cups cold water
1 quart fresh strawberries
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup lemon juice
2 cups cold club soda
lemon slices, optional

Place water, strawberries and sugar in a blender; cover and blend until smooth.  Stir in lemon juice.  Blend in soda; serve immediately, garnished with lemon slices if desired.
Yield:  8 servings (2 quarts).

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Homemade Taco Seasoning

1 T chili powder
1 T ground cumin
1 T garlic powder
 1 T onion powder
1/4–1/2 T crushed red pepper

Recipe from Rachelle Ray
NOT as much sodium as the store bought ones but filled with flavor.  Store in a tupperware container.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Chess Squares

1 box yellow cake mix
3 eggs
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, melted
4 cups (1 lb.) powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 300 degrees and spray a 9x13 dish with cooking spray.  Mix cake mix, melted butter and one egg to a soft dough.  Press into the bottom of the pan.  Mix powdered sugar, softened cream cheese and the remaining two eggs until smooth, about 1-2 minutes.  Pour on top of crust.  Bake at 300 for 40-50 minutes until top is golden brown.

Strawberry Icebox Cake

strawberry supreme cake mix or yellow cake mix
3 to 4 cups strawberries (save some for garnish)
sugar (to taste)
vanilla pudding
 1 cup milk
cool whip

Make the cake mix by following regular instructions for a 9x13 pan.  Take strawberries clean, hull, cut into chunks, mash and add sugar to taste.  Let sit while cake cools in pan.  Mix pkg. of vanilla pudding and 1 cup of milk.  Stir for 2 minutes.  Fold 1 tub cool-whip into pudding, set in fridge. 
When cake is cool, take wooden spoon handle and poke holes in cake, add strawberries and juice to top of cake.  Then frost with pudding/cool-whip.  Cover and set in fridge for a few hours.
Just before serving garnish with whole strawberries cut into slices.  Keep leftovers in fridge.  Great dessert for a summer BBQ.

Parmesan Pull - Apart Rolls

1/4 cup butter
1 tsp. instant onion flakes
1 tsp. parsley flakes
1 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 tsp. celery salt
1 pkg. refrigerator biscuits

Melt butter in an 8" inch round pan.  Add seasonings.  Spread evenly over bottom of pan.  Cut each biscuit in 1/2. Place over butter mixture.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  Turn upside-down on platter to serve.

French Toast

1/2 cup milk
1-2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
slices of bread (Aunt Hattie's Texas Toast loaf are nice and thick)
cinnamon and nutmeg

Mix milk and eggs together.  Add vanilla and our into glass pie pan or onto a large plate.  Dip a piece of bread into milk mixture.  Cook in a medium hot fry pan that has been sprayed Pam or use griddle.  Sprinkle cinnamon on nutmeg and then turn to cook the other side.

Dump Cake

1 can cherry pie filling
1 can crushed pineapple
1 box white cake mix
1/2 cup butter, melted
chopped nuts

Mix pie filling and crushed pineapple together.  Pour into a 9x13 inch pan and sprinkle cake mix over top. Pour melted butter over all.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Sprinkle chopped nuts on top and bake for 30 minutes longer.

Pull Apart Rolls

1 cup brown sugar
1 cube butter
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. water
2 packages biscuits

Melt butter and combine all the ingredients together.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.  (I use a 9x9 pan)

Easy Yummy Cobbler

1 pkg. of white cake mix
1 cube butter
1 can of pie filling (your choice: apple, cherry, peach, etc..)

Put cake mix in bowl (do not make according to box).  Melt butter completely and pour over cake mix.  Mix together until cake mix is mostly wet.  Pour pie filling into a 9x9  baking dish.  Place the cake/butter mixture over filling.  Mix the filling and cake mixture together a little.  Cook at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until the top is dark brown.  Really good served with ice cream.

Jello Salad with cottage cheese

1 small lime jell-o (or other flavor if you prefer)
16 oz. cottage cheese
1 can pineapple tidbits
small carton cool-whip

Mix dry jell-o and cottage cheese until will blended.  Fold in pineapple tidbits and cool-whip.  Refrigerate until set, about 3 hours.

Beef Burgundy

1 1/2 lbs. stew meat (1 or 2 pkgs.)
3 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cans Campbell's French Onion soup

Oven directions:
Cut up stew meat, put in casserole dish with lid.  Add cream of chicken an french onion soup.  Mix together and cook at 300 degrees for 3 hours.  Serve over rice.

Crockpot directions:
Cut up stew meat.  Add cream of chicken and french onion soup.  Mix together and cook in crockpot for 4-6 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low.  Serve over rice.

Salsa Chicken

4 chicken breasts
1 can drained black beans
1 can drained corn
tortilla shell
shredded cheese
sour cream

Pour 1/2 bottle of salsa in the bottom of crockpot and add chicken, beans and corn.  Pour the rest of the bottle of salsa on top.  Cook for 2 hours on high and 2 hours on low.  Shred chicken and serve on a tortilla shell.  Add cheese and sour cream if desired.

Crockpot Chicken Cattiatore

2 or 4 chicken breasts
bottle of Italian dressing
Spaghetti sauce (I like Barilla's Tomato and Basil)

Place 2 chicken breasts in a small crock pot.  Use 4 if you have a large crock pot.  Pour Italian dressing over the chicken until it  is covered.  Cook for 4 to 6 hours and shred.  Add 1 bottle of spaghetti sauce.  You may need to and more than one bottle if you used more than 2 chicken breasts. 
Serve over any pasta.  I like angel hair pasta with this.

Easy Marinataed Chicken

1 can Sprite
2 cups soy sauce
2 or 3 chicken breasts

Marinade overnight and BBQ

Crockpot Chicken

4-5 chicken breasts
1 cube butter
1 packet zesty Italian dressing
1 can cream of chicken
1 (8oz.) cream cheese

Place frozen chicken breasts in crock pot with cube of butter and seasoning.  Cook 4-5 hours.  Take out chicken and shred.  Place back in crock pot with cream cheese and cream of chicken soup for one more hour.
Serve over noodles or rice.

Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps

6-8 chicken tenders or 2-3 chicken breasts
8 leaves of iceberg lettuce
3 Tbsp. canola oil
1 cup onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. soy sauce
1/4 cup cashews, chopped

sauce:  4 Tbsp. soy sauce, 2 Tbsp. white vinegar, 4 Tbsp. brown sugar

Cut chicken into cubes. Put 2 Tbsp. oil in pan and heat up at medium to medium high heat.  Add chicken and pan fry until fully cooked. Chop onions, garlic and cashews.  Mix all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside while the chicken is cooking.  Wash lettuce and separate leaves.  Once chicken is fully cooked remove from the oil and set aside.  Add 1-2 Tbsp. of oil to pan and add onions, garlic and 1 Tbsp. soy sauce to pan and brown until tender.  Then add cooked chicken, sauce and cashews.  Mix and saute for a few minutes and remove from heat. 
Mix up another batch of sauce for dipping and cook some white rice.  Spoon cooked rice, rice noodles (optional) and chicken mixture into lettuce.  Add extra sauce to taste and serve with a side of white rice with sauce on top.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bliss

1 cup shortening
2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 extra large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
4 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
chocolate chips

Add shortening, butter, sugar and brown sugar to mixer.  Cream together until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla to mix.  In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt and baking soda.  Add a cup at a time to the mixture.  Add your chocolate chips .  Refrigerate until chilled.  Roll into balls.  Put into plastic bag and freeze.  Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Bake 8-12 minutes or until they start to brown.  Let set on cookie sheet.

Recipe from Redheaded Hostess
Can be made a little at a time while the rest of the dough stays in freezer.

New York- Style Crumb Cake

...Don't be tempted to substitute all-purpose flour for the cake flour, as doing so will make a dry, tough cake.  If you can't find buttermilk, you can substitute an equal amount of plain, low-fat yogurt.  When topping the cake, take care to not push the crumbs into the batter.  This recipe can be easily doubled and baked in a 13 by 9-inch baking dish.  If doubling, increase the baking time to about 45 minutes. Cooled leftovers can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.

For the Crumb Topping:
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. table salt
8 Tbsp. unsalted butter (1 stick), melted and still warm
1 3/4 cups cake flour

For the Cake:
1 1/4 cups cake flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. table salt
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter (3/4 stick), cut into 6 pieces, softened but still cool
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
 1/3 cup buttermilk
Confectioners' sugar for dusting

To make the topping:  Whisk sugars, cinnamon, salt, and butter in medium bowl to combine.  Add flour and stir with rubber spatula or wooden spoon until mixture resembles thick, cohesive dough; set aside to cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.

To make the cake:  Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees.  Cut 16-inch length parchment paper or aluminum foil and fold lengthwise to 7-inch width.  Spray 8-inch square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and fit parchment into dish, pushing it into corners and up sides; allow excess to overhand edges of dish.

In bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt on low speed to combine.  With mixer running at low speed, add butter one piece at a time; continue beating until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no visible butter chunks remaining , 1 to 2 minutes.  Add egg, yolk, vanilla, and buttermilk; beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute, scraping once if necessary.

Transfer batter to baking pan; using rubber spatula, spread batter into even layer.  Break apart crumb topping into large pea-sized pieces between your thumb, pointer, and middle fingers and spread in even layer over batter, beginning with edges and then working toward center.  Bake until crumbs are golden and wooden skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes.  Cool on wire rack at least 30 minutes.  Remove cake from pan by lifting parchment overhang.  Dust with confectioners' sugar just before serving.

Recipe from smells like home

Sour Cream Pancakes

1 cup sour cream
7 Tbsp. all purpose flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
maple syrup

Warm up griddle to medium heat.  In a bowl combine sour cream with sifted dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt).  In separate bowl, whisk the eggs and vanilla together.  Pour egg mixture into sour cream/flour mixture.  Stir gently until all ingredients are mixed well.  Melt about a tablespoon of butter onto griddle.  Using a ladle pour about 1/4 cup of pancake batter onto the pan, making about a 4 inch in diameter pancake.  Cook each side of the pancake for about 1 to 2 minutes, flipping when the edges start to brown and cake begins to bubble.  Remove from heat and top with butter and maple syrup.

Recipe from The Pioneer Woman Cooks

Strawberry Spinach Salad

2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
1 Tbsp. poppy seeds
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. minced onion
10 ounces fresh spinach, rinsed, dried and torn into bite-sized pieces
1 quart strawberries, clean, hulled and sliced
1/4 cup almonds, blanched and slivered

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sesame seed, poppy seeds, sugar, olive oil, vinegar, paprika, Worcestershire sauce and onion.  Cover and chill for one hour.
In a large bowl combine the spinach, strawberries and almonds.  Pour dressing over salad and toss.  Refrigerate 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Chocolate-Covered Oreo Cookie Cake

1 pkg. (2-layer size) devil's food cake mix
4 squares Baker's Semi-Sweet Chocolate
1/4 cup butter
1 pkg. (8oz.) Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups thawed Cool Whip Whipped Topping
12 OREO Cookies, coarsely crushed

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare cake batter and bake in 2 (9-inch) round pans as directed on package.  Cool cakes in pans 10 min.  Invert onto wire rack; gently remove pans.  Cool cakes completely.

Microwave chocolate and butter in small microwaveable bowl on high 2 min. or until butter is melted.  Stir until chocolate is completely melted.   Cool 5 min.   Meanwhile, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with mixer until blended.  Gently stir in cool whip and crushed cookies.

Place 1 cake layer on plate, spread with cream cheese mixture. Top with remaining cake layer.  Spread top with chocolate glaze; let stand 10 min. or until firm.  Keep refrigerated.

Serves 16
This cake looks like a giant OREO cookie.  If chocolate glaze becomes too thick, microwave on high 20 to 30 sec. or until desired consistency.

Steak Marinade

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. yellow mustard
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. pepper

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.  This amount is good for 2-3 steaks depending on size.  Place marinade and steaks into a freezer bag and marinade (overnight) or at least 30 minutes.  Throw away marinade after use.  Cook steaks.

Creamy Lemon Cheesecake Yogurt Cupcakes

12 reduced fat vanilla wafers
8 oz. 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
6 oz. fat-free vanilla Greek yogurt (I use Chobani)
2 Large egg whites
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
1 Tbsp. all purpose flour
24 blackberries
powdered sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees. 
Line cupcake tin with liners.  Place a vanilla wafer at the bottom of each liner. Gently beat cream cheese, sugar and vanillla until smooth using an electric mixer. Gradually beat in fat free yogurt, egg whites, lemon juice, lemon zest and flour.  (Do not over beat.)  Pour into cupcake liners filling half way.
Bake 25 minutes or until center is almost set.  Cool to room temperature.  Chill a few hours in the refrigerator.
Top with fresh berries and powdered sugar if desired.

Serves 12   3 ww pts.
Recipe from Skinnytaste (weight watcher recipes)

Shrimp Scampi Bake

1 cup butter
2 Tbsp. Dijon-style mustard
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
2 pounds medium raw shrimp, shelled, deveined, with tails attached

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, and parsley.  When the butter melts completely, remove from heat.  Arrange shrimp in a shallow baking dish.  Pour the butter mixture over the shrimp.  Bake in preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until the shrimp are pink an opaque.
Serve with linguine noodles.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Soft and Chewy Carmel Corn

4 bags of microwave popcorn (sift out the unpopped kernels)
1/2 cup butter
 4 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups light corn syrup

Bring to a boil the butter, sugars, milk and cream.  Then stir in salt and corn syrup.  Boil to a "softball" stage.  Stirring constantly.  Pour over popped corn, mix well.  Lay out to "dry" on wax paper.

Buttercream Frosting

1 cup salted butter, room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
2-3 tbsp. heavy whipping cream (or milk)
1 tsp. vanilla (preferably clear)

Mix butter and add 2 cups of powdered sugar, mixing in between each cup.  Mix in the vanilla and whipping cream.  Now add the last 2 cups of powdered sugar (mixing in between each cup again)
If you want it thinner add more heavy whipping cream or milk.  If it's too thin add more powdered sugar.

Recipe from Brooke at The Little Delights in Life

Homemade Oreo's

2 (18.25 oz.) packages devil's foodcake mix
4 eggs
1 cup shortening
Cream Cheese Frosting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Blend all ingredients together with a pastry blender until mixed.  Roll into balls about the size of a quarter and place on ungreased baking sheets.  Make an even number of balls.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Let cookies stand on cookie sheet for 5-6 minutes before removing them to cooling rack.  After cookies have cooled, put cream cheese frosting between cookies. ( or use one can of pre-made frosting)

Cream Cheese Frosting
2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, cream together cream cheese and butter until creamy.  Mix in vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners sugar.  Store in the refrigerator after use.

Recipe from Brennan Hocking

Cupcake Brownies

1 1/4 cups margarine
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup cocoa
2 cups nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Melt butter and add cocoa; mix.  Stir in sugar and blend in the eggs, one at a time.  Add vanilla.  Stir in flour and nuts; mix well.  Spoon into greased muffin pan. (or you could use cup cake wrappers)  Bake for 20 minutes or until fork comes out clean.  Cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Serves 20

Strawberry, Mango and Yogurt Smoothie

1 1/4 cups apple juice
1 cup low-fat plain yogurt
1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
2 cups fresh or frozen mango chunks

In a blender combine all ingredients and puree until smooth.  Serves 2

You can substitute orange juice for apple juice.
Recipe from Martha Stewart

Fluffy Strawberry Salad

1 (6 oz.) box strawberry or raspberry jello
1 cup boiling water
1 cup crushed ice (or 1 cup cold water)
1 (5 oz.) box instant vanilla pudding
1 (20 oz.) can cruched pineapple
4 cup mini marshmallows
1 (12 oz.) container cool whip, thawed
1 (16 oz.) container strawberries

In a medium bowl pour jello and mix with boiling water.  (heat in microwave for 2 min.)  Sir it well until granules have dissolved.  Pour ice into the bowl.  Stir until ice has melted. Put in fridge for about 10 min. or until jello is slightly set up. 
While jello is setting up pour pineapple and it's juices into a large mixing bowl.  Pour box of vanilla pudding over top of pineapple and stir to combine.  Add marshmallows and the cool whip.  Stir together.  Pour the red jello into the cool whip/marshmallow mixture and stir to combine.  Slice the strawberries and add them to the mixing bowl.  Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.  It can be made up to 24 hours in advance.

15 servings
Recipe from Jamie cooks it up

Homemade Carvel Crunchies for ice cream cakes

2 sleeves of standard package of Oreo cookies (or 2 1/2 cups Oreo cookie crumbs)
1 7.25 oz. bottle Magic Shell ice cream topping

Crush the Oreo's so you get 2 1/2 cups Oreo crumbs.  Pour the Magic Shell topping over the cookie crumbs and mix well to combine.  Use as an ice cream topping or the filling for ice cream cakes or pies.

Grilled Chicken Avocado and Mango Salad

12 oz. grilled chicken breast, sliced
1 cup diced avocado
1 cup diced mango (from 1 1/2 mango's)
2 tbsp. diced red onion
6 cups baby red butter lettuce

For the vinaigrette:
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Whisk vinaigrette ingredients and set aside.
 Toss avocado, mango, chicken and red onion together.
 Fill a large salad platter with baby greens or divide on 4 small dishes
 Top with chicken/avocado mixture and drizzle half the dressing on top.
  Serve with remaining dressing.  Serves 4

Recipe from