Saturday, August 28, 2010

Chocolate Cake

My sister made this simple and yummy cake the other day and it was enjoyed by all.

1 yellow cake mix
1 instant chocolate pudding (large or small)
2 C warm water
2 eggs
Mix and bake in 9x13 pan at 350 for 30-35 minutes. Let cake cool before frosting.

1 cool whip
1 C powdered sugar
1/4 C melted butter
Beat cool whip and powdered sugar till creamy before adding melted butter. Frost cake and refrigerate. Best if sits in fridge overnight.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars

This is for you, Melody! These are the cookie bars I made for game night on Thursday. They are ridiculously easy and so good.

The first time I made them I followed the recipe exactly. When I made them for game night I used unsalted butter, quadrupled the salt, reduced the chocolate by 2 or 3 ounces and pressed it all into a 7x11 pan instead of 11x13. That ended up being my favorite iteration, it definitely needs a little more salt and a little less chocolate and I liked the taller bar that came from the smaller pan. When I made them again on Saturday for a BBQ I used regular salted butter, doubled the salt and did half chocolate and half butterscotch chips, which was also really good.

The original recipe is copied from here (an AWESOME recipe blog. If you're not already reading you might want to start. Everything I've tried from her blog has been a winner).

Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Bars
adapted from 24 Hour Menu
1 3/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup oatmeal
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
12 ounces semi sweet chocolate chunks
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional – I left these out)
Preheat oven to 375. Whisk together dry ingredients and set aside. Beat butter, sugars, egg and vanilla till fluffy and add dry ingredients. Stir in chocolate chunks and walnuts. Press into a greased 9×13 inch pan and bake for 18-20 minutes until light golden brown. I have also doubled the recipe and pressed into a large sheet pan (11X17) with great results.
A few tips: Don’t overbake!!! I overbaked them the first time I made them and when I actually baked them correctly the second time (perhaps even underbaked by a minute), they were 100 times better. Also, the second time I made them, I doubled the recipe and instead of adding two bags of chocolate chunks, I added one bag of chunks and one bag of mint chocolate chips. Fabulous!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Puffy Sugar Cookies

4 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup sour cream

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg, vanilla and sour cream- mix until blended. Add flour, baking powder, soda and salt. Mix until blended Dough will be a little sticky. Roll out and leave a little thick. Bake 350 degrees 8-10 minutes, then let cool.

Butter Cream Frosting:
cup butter (2 sticks), softened at room temperature.
1 tsp. vanilla
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 to 3 tsp milk or cream

Use an electric mixer to cream ingredients together adding a tsp. of milk at a time until desired texture. You don't want it too runny. Frost and decorate!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Slow Cooker Turkey

We had this for Easter (rather than the traditional ham), and it was melt in your mouth delicious. Soooo good. This would also be a great way to make turkey if you have a smaller crowd at Thanksgiving time. Original recipe here.

5 slices bacon
1 (5 1/2 pound) bone-in turkey breast, skin removed
1/2 teaspoon garlic pepper (I just used plain garlic powder, and plain black pepper)
1 (10.5 ounce) can turkey gravy (I used a packet, plus a little more water than what it called for)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried sage (I didn't have sage, so I used savory and rosemary)

Place bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat, and cook until evenly brown. Drain and crumble.

Spray a slow cooker with cooking spray. Place turkey in the slow cooker. Season with garlic pepper. In a bowl, mix the bacon, gravy, flour, Worcestershire sauce, and sage. Pour over turkey in the slow cooker.

Cover slow cooker, and cook turkey 8 hours on Low. Use drippings to make gravy if desired.

Burger Buns

I decided to attempt this recipe a couple of weeks ago because I didn't want to make a special trip to the store for buns. I was surprised how easy they were and how perfect they turned out - much better than the cheap flavorless store brand buns!

1 cup water
2 T butter
1 large egg
3 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 t salt
1 T quick-rising yeast
1 t onion powder (optional - I included it)
1/2 t dried onion flakes

Combine all the ingredients and knead them together in a mixer (I used my breadmaker) until you have soft, smooth dough. Place in lightly greased bowl, cover and let rise 1 hour (or just leave in the breadmaker on dough cycle to let rise).

Divide dough into 8 pieces and shape each one into a flattened ball. (Next time I'm going to try sprinkling them with sesame seeds at this point.) Place buns on greased baking sheets, cover and let rise 30-40 minutes until puffy.

Preheat oven to 375. Bake buns 12-15 minutes until golden. Cool on a rack. Cut in half with serrated knife and use for burgers or sandwiches.

Carrot Cake

4 eggs
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3 cups grated carrots
1 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan.

In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, white sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in carrots. Fold in pecans. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

To Make Frosting: In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Stir in chopped pecans. Frost the cooled cake.

Taco Soup

This recipe is SO simple and SO good! The most
work you'll have to put into it is browning the
ground beef.

Here's exactly what you'll need from the store:

2 large cans of ranch style beans

1 regular sized can of jalapeno ranch style beans
(I usually pick out the jalapenos because there is NO
way my kiddos are going to eat it. It still has the
flavor of jalapenos though and not too spicy)

1 or 2 drained cans of corn. However you prefer it.
( I thought I'd include a photo of a can of you don't know what THAT looks like!)

1 package of taco seasoning

1 package of dry ranch salad dressing mix

In addition to the things above you will need:

*(1) lb. of browned ground beef
(in my ground beef I always use chopped onions and chopped fresh garlic with salt and pepper)

*(1) 4 oz. can of green chilies

* (2) cups of water

*Grated cheddar cheese

*Tortilla chips

After your ground beef is done, drain it and dump all of these ingredients (in any order) into your pot, heat it all up, and serve. I always break up tortilla chips and place them on top with come grated cheddar cheese and it is out of this world!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Chicken Pot Pie

This was really yummy! Recipe adapted from here.

2 carrots, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
1 medium potato, cubed
1/2 onion, diced
1/4 cup fresh or frozen peas
3 Tbls butter
3 Tbls flour
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
3/4 cups heavy cream (I used milk)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp dried thyme, crushed
1/8 tsp ground sage
2 cups cooked chicken
Pie Crust Pastry, prepared (enough for the bottom plus the top of a pie)

In a saucepan, cook carrots, potato, onion and peas in a small amount of water, covered, about 10 minutes or until crisp tender. In another pan (skillet), melt butter. Add flour, cook and stir until mixture is golden brown. Slowly add broth, cream (or milk), salt, pepper, thyme, and sage. Cook and stir 5 minutes or until thickened and smooth. Add veggies and chicken and stir until combined.

Place first pie pastry in the pie pan. Top with sauce/chicken/veggie mixture. Place second pastry over and cut slits on top.

Bake 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes (watch crust for browning).

Friday, October 30, 2009

Chicken Tortellini Bake

I made this for dinner tonight and it really just hit the spot. It's fairly easy and really satisfying.

We're not mushroom people so I left those out, but as we started eating I mentioned that I thought it would be good with chopped broccoli and Aaron thought that would have been perfect. So if you don't do mushrooms, maybe try broccoli?

Also, you'll probably want to salt and pepper the chicken sauce part of it as it's cooking. I didn't think about it since the recipe didn't say to, and we ended up salting it at the table. Which is always kind of annoying.

Recipe here.

Also, if you're not reading My Kitchen Cafe, you might think about giving it a try. I swear every single one of her recipes sounds absolutely fabulous. None of them are too complicated. Just basic, every day type cooking.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cherry Dump Cake

1 can cherry pie filling,
1 large can crushed pineapple,
one box yellow cake mix,
1 cube butter.

Grease a 9X13 pan, put cherry pie filling first, put pineapple next undrained, put dry cake mix over top of that and dot with butter on top. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. You can put nuts on top also before baking if you wish. It is so easy and great warm with vanilla ice cream.