Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Great crockpot recipe

When I moved to Dayton my sister bought me a box of crock pot recipe cards and one of my favorite recipes from them is Cashew Chicken. It's super easy, doesn't require a whole lot of ingredients and is AMAZINGLY tasty.

1 lb of chicken breasts
diced celery
diced green onions
2 tablespoons of butter
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
soy sauce

Layer the chicken at the bottom of the crock pot. But the butter on top and then add the celery and green onions. Pour in the cream of mushroom soup and soy sauce, top with cashews. Cook on high 4-6 hours or on low 6-8 hours. Serve over hot rice.

I made this yesterday and doctored the recipe a bit, I added some fresh diced peppers from my garden and used Trader Joe's cream of portabello mushroom soup that comes in a container and it added ALOT to the recipe. We served it with Trader Joe's potstickers too!! It was an amazing dinner and there's usually leftovers.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Cupboard confection muffins

Since I didn't have to work this morning and Ryan made breakfast yesterday morning, I was in the mood to bake something. For some reason muffins sounded really good, but I hadn't prepared to make them so I needed to scour my cupboards for ingredients I could put into muffins. I came across a jar of maraschino cherries and some chopped pecans and remembered the best Christmas gift I ever got from my mom, my jumbo muffin pan. So alas, I created cherry pecan jumbo muffins this morning. I followed a recipe that I have for Lemon Raspberry jumbo muffins and just substituted the cherries in for the raspberries and added a few extra touches.

2 cups of flour
1 cup of sugar
3 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 eggs
1 cup of milk or half and half (I used milk since it was going to go bad and it's all I had in the fridge)
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
1 cup of cherries
chopped pecans

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and set aside
In separate bowl, combine the eggs, milk, oil and honey and stir together. (I used honey because the original recipe uses lemon extract, and I thought it would give it good flavor)
Stir into dry ingredients until moist.
Fold in cherries and add pecans.
Fill greased jumbo muffin pan 3/4 of the way full.
Bake at 400 for 35-40 minutes.

I baked these a bit longer than my lemon ones because of the pecans and if you add the honey it will make the muffins look a bit darker, but don't worry they aren't burnt.

Ryan really enjoyed them as they reminded him of a cherry pecan pound cake his mom makes around the holidays. I guess using up things in your cupboard can create delicious treats.

Spanish Birthday Cake

I offered to make a birthday cake for someone whose part of a nonprofit that I'm involved in and since she is Hispanic, I thought a Tres Leches cake would be perfect. I had thought about making a cake from scratch but didn't have enough time and needed a recipe that was easy from a cake mix. I found one on this website called Lynn's Kitchen Adventures, but added my own touches to it.

The recipe calls for yellow cake mix and I had french vanilla at home, so that's what I used.
Other ingredients include: 1 3.4 oz package of vanilla pudding mix (I used french vanilla to go with the cake mix)
1 cup of milk
1 cup of oil
4 eggs

Mix together the cake mix, pudding mix, oil, milk and eggs with an electric mixer and pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until completely done. (I baked for about 40-45 minutes)

The great thing about Tres Leches is you mix 3 types of milk syrups to pour into the cake after it is baked which makes it a moist and delectable treat. For the milk syrup (or Tres Leches) you'll need:
1 can of evaporated milk
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Mix all of these together in a bowl when ready to use.

Once the cake is completely cool, poke holes in it with a large fork, all over the cake. Wipe the fork off every once in awhile so it doesn't stick. Then pour 1/3 of the milk mixture all over the cake so it seeps into the holes and starts to soak into the cake. I did it once, let it sit for about 10 minutes and continued until all of the milk was gone.

Put the cake in the fridge for 3-4 hours so all of the milk soaks in.

You can make a buttercream frosting, actually if I had more time I was going to make a buttercream dulce de leche frosting (Maybe next time). I used cool whip to frost it and swirled condensed milk over the top of it.

It was a hit at the meeting and Ryan even enjoyed a few pieces later. Keep it refrigerated though.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Oatmeal Cinnamon Muffins

So I got up this morning thinking muffins sounded good, however I didn't get around to making them until this evening. I found this recipe on Allrecipes and am trying to eat healthier baked goods. These were pretty good, my only complaint like other people was that they stuck to the muffin cups. I did change the recipe a little bit.

1 cup oats
1 cup buttermilk (I didn't have any so I made my own with milk and lemon juice)
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
I also added a 1/2 cup of applesauce

Combine oats and buttermilk and let sit for 5 minutes.
Stir in eggs then apple sauce.
Combine dry ingredients and then add to wet mix until moist.
Fill baking cups about 2/3 full.
Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes.
Cool 10 minutes on wire rack.

Very tasty but like I said I can't figure out why they stick to the muffin cups, if you can please let me know!

Bumblebee Cupcakes

A new guy started at Ryan's work so I thought I would make cupcakes to welcome him to the Blue Dog Crew. I didn't have a recipe for dog cupcakes but did have one for Bumblebee cupcakes that I thought would be really cute. I used boxed cake mix, the recipe called for banana but I thought Lemon would taste better so I used Duncan Hines Lemon Cake Mix.

I then bought Cream cheese
frosting, if I had more time I would have made my own.. but alas time got away from me.

You'll need gum drops, black gel frosting and black licorice.

Use a couple drops of yellow food col
oring to dye the frosting.

Cut the black licorice so you have about 1.5 inch pieces
for antennas.

I tried to find a bag of all yellow gum drops but due to cost just bought Meijer brand and u
sed all of the different colored ones.

Frost the cupcakes one at a time.

Place one gum drop on the front for a head and two down the middle, all the same color for the body. Then choose 4 more all the same color and put 2 on each side of the body for wings.

Stick the black licorice in between the head and body for antennas and use the black frosting to draw eyes on the head and stripes on the body.

These are a very cute su
mmer dessert for a picnic!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Great Recipe from Barefoot Contessa

A few teachers at Mason were talking about how great this recipe thought so Ryan and I tried it out on a weekend and absolutely loved it. It's from Food Network's Barefoot Contessa, her site is here. This recipe makes a lot and is great cold or heated up the next day, it's a good summer recipe.

Orzo with Roasted Vegetables
1 small eggplant, peeled and 3/4 inch diced (we used summer squash instead)
1 red bell pepper, 1 inch diced
1 yellow bell pepper, 1 inch diced
1 red onion peeled and 1 inch diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup olive oil
1 1/2 t of kosher salt
1/2 t fresh ground pepper
1/2 lb of orzo or rice shaped pasta

For the dressing:
2 freshly squeezed lemons
1/3 c of olive oil
1 t kosher salt
1/2 t fresh ground pepper

To assemble:
4 scallions, minced, white and green parts
1 cup of pine nuts
3/4 lb of feta, 1/2 inch diced not crumbled
basil leaves julienne

Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Toss the vegetables with olive oil, salt and pepper on a large cookie sheet covered in foil. Roast in oven for 40 minutes or until browned turning with a spatula once.

Cook the orzo in boiling chicken broth for 7 to 9 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the roasted vegetables, scraping all of the liquid and seasonings from the cookie sheet into the bowl.

For the dressing combine the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper and pour on the pasta and vegetables. Let cool to room temperature and add scallions, pine nuts, feta and basil. Serve at room temperature.

This was so tasty!!! You can mix up the vegetables too, add what you like. It definitely needs the feta, and the dressing though.

Tasty dinner I whipped together

Now that school is over I plan to blog more on here, sorry it's been so long, I haven't had much time to cook but I do now. So let's start with something I just threw together for dinner with things I had in the fridge and cupboard.


1 box of pasta, I used Penne
1 Onion chopped
6 slices of bacon cooked

1 container of Philadelphia Cooking cream, I used Italian Herb and Cheese, I absolutely love this stuff, if you can catch it on sale, stock up.

Boil Water for the pasta. While you are waiting for the water to boil, cook your bacon in a skillet.

Once the bacon is cooked removed and drain, then crumble. Cook onion in the bacon grease. Add your cooked pasta with the bacon and the cooking creme and a can of diced tomatoes if you'd like. Cook it all together until heated through. Voila.. quick, easy and tasty dinner.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Starting the New Year with some Whoopie... Whoopie Pies that is

I have to say I was totally sucked into Top Chef: Just Desserts this season and everyone on there made Whoopie Pies... so after reading Bon Appetit I decided to try making them myself. This is Martha Stewart's Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie Pie Recipe.

Cookie Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups of all purpose fl
3/4 cup of cocoa powder, not Dutch-process

1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup of Crisco
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of brown sugar

1 egg
1 cup of milk
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven
to 375 degrees. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

Put butter, Crisco, and sugars into a bowl and mix on high until smooth.

Add egg and mix until pale and fluffy.

Mix in half the flour mixture.
Then the mil
k and vanilla.
Mix in remaining flour mixture.

Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls on a cookie sheet with parchment paper on non stick foil, spacing 2 inches apart.
Bake until cookies spring back when lightl
y touched about 12 minutes. Let cool on wire racks. Cool completely.

Filling ingredients:
1/2 cup of peanut butter
1 stick of unsalted butter softened

3/4 cup powdered sugar

Mix peanut butter and butter with mixer on high until smooth.
Reduce speed to low and add powdered sugar. Beat until combined. Raise speed and mix for 2-
3 minutes until fluffy and smooth.
Spread frosting on back
of one cookie and top with a cookie comparable in size.