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.