Saturday, December 19, 2009

Banana Muffins

In college I had several roommates that varied from the slightly delusional to the super crazy along the friends for life type. During my last semester I lived with a set of cousins that I LOVED. For my wedding gift they shared with me their family cookbook. Tucked inside was a recipe for the most delicious banana muffins. I love, love, love them. (the kids really only like the glazed tops – crazy!) The recipe is made with Bisquick. I am not usually a fan and actually only buy the stuff to make these muffins, I prefer the heart healthy version.

Glazed Banana Muffins

2 c. Bisquick
3 T. butter
1/4 c. sugar
1 c. mashed bananas
1 egg

Combine the Bisquick and sugar, add butter and cut in with a pastry blender. Add bananas and egg.

Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes. Just until the tops are a tiny bit brown. Place hot muffins on plate and glaze with a mixture of powdered sugar and milk with a drop of vanilla.

Yum, Yum, Yummy!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Peppermint Bark

After reading LOTS of peppermint bark recipes I finally combined a couple and made some. Much to my surprise it worked and it tastes good! So if you like chocolate and peppermint - you need to try this Christmas candy!

1 12 ounce package chocolate chips (semi-sweet or milk) I used milk chocolate
1 pound white chocolate or almond bark - I used almond bark
1/2 cup crushed candy canes or peppermint candy - I used a bit more

You can buy flavored bark or real chocolate. If you want your layers to stick to each other,
atleast one of the layers needs to be real chocolate. However, bark is a bit easier to melt and
not I went with one of each. The bottom layer is the easiest so I used the bottom layer
as the real chocolate. You can do it however you want.

Line a 9x11 pan with aluminum foil. Spray. Spread your chocolate chips evenly on the bottom of
the pan. Slightly melt in the oven until you can spread them. Maybe 5 minutes on low heat. Using a spatula spread the chocolate evenly over the pan. Put in the refrigerator. It needs about 20 minutes to set up. Take it out of the refrigerator and let it warm up for 1-2 minutes
before you spread the next layer on so the layers bond together better.

Crush your candy canes. I recommend using a freezer bag (a sandwich bag is not durable enough) and crush them with a hammer, meat tenderizer, whatever you have that is heavy.

Melt the white layer. If you use real white chocolate you need a double boiler or use a metal bowl on top of a pan of water (don't let the bowl touch the water). If you use almond bark you can do it in the microwave or on the stove, follow the directions on the package it came in.

Mix some of the crushed candy cane (I used the real fine powder) into the melted white layer.
Spread on top of the chocolate layer. Then spread the rest of the crushed candy cane on top of
the white chocolate. Let it set in the refrigerator until completely hard. Then take the foil out
and break the candy into pieces.

Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator. I think it's easier to eat and tastes better if
it has set out on the counter for just a couple of minutes and warmed up just a bit - so I 'warm up' a couple of pieces every day!

The almond bark comes in a 1.2 pound package (or something like that). I bought a candy mold at Michaels for $2. I melted the left over almond bark and some extra crushed candy canes to make peppermint candy for the kids. They love them. They were so easy and set up really fast (5-10 minutes) in the fridge and popped out so easy. The kids like the shapes. It was easy and fun.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Made-up Soup

So I made this soup up one day and thought it turned out pretty good. Since I made it up I don't have exact measurements for all of the seasonings so just add until it's to your liking.

1 can of black beans rinsed and drained
1 can of garbanzo beans rinsed and drained
1/4-1/2 lb of spicy Italian sausage (I really like the Jimmy Dean hot Italian sausage)
1 can of diced tomatoes (If you have mom's pint size tomato use those and just blend them)
1 can of chicken broth
2 small potatoes (I use red so I don't have to peel)
1 carrot or 1/2 cup of corn
handful of dehydrated onion
1-2 bay leaves
1/2-1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4-1/2 tsp chili powder
1/8-1/4 tsp garlic powder

Combine all of this in the crockpot and cook on low for 4-6 hours or high for 2 to 4 hours. Serve with french bread or mom's cornbread.

Tortellini Carbonara

This recipe is one of Michael's mom's recipes and I just love it. Of course as usual it's pretty fattening but enjoy.

16 oz frozen tortellini (I buy mine in the deli refrigerated section at Costco)

1 egg hard boiled and chopped

4 slices of bacon

1/4 c. chopped onion (I usually just throw in a handful of the dehydrated onion)

6 Tbs of butter

2/3 c. cream or evaporated milk

dash of pepper

dash of nutmeg

3/4 C Parmesan cheese

1 Tbs dried parsley

Dice bacon and fry until brown. Drain and cook onion in grease. Set aside bacon, onion and chopped egg. Cook tortellini as directed. Melt butter and cream over low heat. Stir constantly until bubbly for about two minutes. Remove from heat. Gradually add Parmesan Cheese stirring constantly until fairly smooth. Stir in pepper, nutmeg, parsley, onion, bacon, and egg. Mix with tortellini and serve.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Homemade Pizza Hut Pizza

Ross LOVES Pizza Hut! In our kid-less days we enjoyed going out every Friday night for dinner. If Ross had his way we would have eaten Pizza Hut every week! In attempt to make a much cheaper homemade version, I came across this recipe. It is not exactly like Pizza Hut, but it comes pretty close! ENJOY!


1 1/3 cup Warm water (105F)
1/4 cup Non-fat dry milk
1/2 teaspoon Salt
4 cups Flour
1 tablespoon Sugar
1 pkg. Dry yeast
2 tablespoons Vegetable oil (for dough)
9 ounces Vegetable oil (3 oz. per pan)
Butter flavored Pam

Put yeast, sugar, salt, and dry milk in a large bowl. Add water and stir to mix well. Allow to sit for two minutes. Add oil and stir again. Add flour and stir until dough forms and flour is absorbed. Turn out on to a flat surface and knead for about 10 minutes. (I do all of this in my KitchenAid) Divide dough into three balls. In three 9" cake pans, put 3 Oz. of oil in each making sure it is spread evenly. Using a rolling pin, roll out each dough ball to about a 9" circle. Place in cake pans. Spray the outer edge of dough with Pam. Cover with a plate. Place in warm area and allow to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat oven to 475F .  Spoon  sauce on dough and spread to within 1" of edge.  Distribute shredded mozzarella cheese on sauce. Place toppings of your choice. Top with a little more mozzarella cheese. Cook until cheese is bubbling and outer crust is brown.

For us, three pizza is one too many so I take the third pizza and spread it with garlic butter and smother it in cheese- deep pan cheese bread-amazing!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Garlic Butter

I made this a week ago and put the leftovers in my fridge. I used the rest of it with our stuffed shells and it was just as good the second time!

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (I used garlic powder)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon onion salt
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground paprika
Soften your butter a little so you can work with it, add the ingredients, mix well and spread on your bread. It can also be used on meat when BBQing.

Spinach-Ricotta Stuffed Shells

I altered this recipe just a little bit so I'll include both the original and my changes. It was good - my whole family liked and ate it.

1 lb fresh spinach (I used a little less, maybe 3/4 lb)
1 Tbsp chopped onion (I used onion powder)
1 Tbsp butter
1 beaten egg
2/3 c ricotta cheese (I used a full cup)
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 qt tomato sauce (I used a 16 ounce can, I don't know how much a quart is)

In a large saucepan combine the spinach with a small amount of water. Simmer, covered, for 3-5 minutes. Drain well. Squeeze the spinach to remove the excess moisture. Chop the spinach. In a skillet cook onion in butter until tender, but not brown. Add spinach, heat through. Combine egg, ricotta, Parmesan and nutmeg. Then add the spinach mixture. Pour half the sauce in a baking dish. Stuff 2o (I stuffed 16, that's how many fit in my pan) shells with filling, arrange in dish and top with remaining sauce. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
I put most of my sauce in the bottom, since not everyone is a big fan of tomato sauce at my house. I wasn't sure if I should cover the dish. I tried not covering it but it looked like it was getting dried out (maybe because I didn't put the sauce on top?) and so I added the lid halfway through. They turned out really good!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Chicken Parmigana

I got this recipe from Pioneer Woman but altered it a bit. It was amazing, seriously I LOVED it.

4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast, trimmed and pounded flat
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup oil
2 tbsp butter
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
2 tbsp sugar
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 pound thin linguine

Start the noodles. Dredge flatted chicken breasts in flour. Set aside. Heat oil and butter in large skillet over medium heat. When butter/oil i hot, fry chicken breasts until nice and golden brown on each side, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove chicken and keep warm. Without cleaning pan, add onions and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Pour chicken stock and scrape the bottom of the pan. Allow stock to cook down. Pour crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce and stir to combine. Add sugar, salt and pepper. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
Carefully lay chicken on top of the sauce and completely cover them in the parmesan cheese. Place lid on pan and reduce heat to low. Allow to simmer until cheese is melted and chicken is thoroughly heated. Put everything on the pasta and enjoy.

The salad is like the on you can get at Costco. I found the dressing at Walmart, its White Balsamic Vinegar and the brand is Girard's. Cut up some lettuce, put some craisins, feta cheese, and walnuts in it and your done.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sugar Cookies

I found this recipe on Our Best Bites. Using the glace icing makes decorating super fun for the kids, messy but fun!

Check out the recipe here: (please don't compare my picts to hers!)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake

I made these for my roommates birthday party and they were a huge hit.

For the cake:
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
dash nutmeg
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 15 ounce can pureed pumpkin
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips

For the Drizzle:
2 ounces fat free cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
2. Using a mixer, beat the butter and the sugar until fluffy. Add the pumpkin and mix until well incorporated. Add eggs one at a time. Mix in vanilla. Slowly add the dry ingredients until well incorporated. Add chocolate chips.
3. Pour batter into a greased 9X13 baking pan. Bake at 375 degrees for about 35-40 minutes or until set. Set aside to cool completely.
4. Mix all ingredients for the drizzle until smooth and creamy. Drizzle over cooled cake.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Pasta Goodness!

I don't know what this is called but its good. It is similar to an Alfredo sauce. A friend made it for us after I had Tanner.

1 lb bacon
2-3 chicken breast
Mesquite marinade
1 lb bowtie pasta
1 cube butter
1 cup cream
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic

Cook bacon and cut up. Cook chicken in marinade and cut chicken up. Cook pasta. While cooking pasta melt butter in sauce pan. Add in garlic, cream, and Parmesan cheese. Bring to a boil while stirring. Cook until thickened. Put it all together and you have a fattening but yummy meal.

The salad is just strawberries, feta cheese, almonds, and cabbage (I usually use spinach but it had gone bad). We put the poppyseed dressing on it.

Monday, October 12, 2009


lasagna noodles
cherry tomatoes
chopped mushrooms
chopped onions
ricotta cheese
mozarella cheese
2 breasts shredded chicken
1/2 pkg bacon

Pesto Sauce Ingredients:
chicken broth
1 large bag of spinach
*just add a tablespoon of chicken broth to the spinach till it is the right consistency

Just Layer it all together with how much you like of everything or add whatever vegetables sound good to you:) It is so delicious. I baked it covered for 30 minutes @ 350 then bumped it up to 400 for 15 minutes.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Vanilla Blueberry Scones

I don't have a pictures of the scones but Jana wanted me to post the recipe so here it is. Next time I make the scones I will be sure to post the picture. These scones are wonderful. The original recipe calls for no buttermilk or whipping cream but I prefer to make them more moist so that I can scoop them with a large cookie scoop rather than roll them out. You may want start with 1/8 cup of whipping cream first and add more if needed. The original recipe also calls for full fat sour cream but I have used light sour cream and they taste just as good.


Dry Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces

Wet Ingredients
1 cup regular light sour cream
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 -1/4 cup buttermilk or whipping cream

1 1/2 cups blueberries

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
water, as needed

Preheat oven to 400 deg. F. Whisk together dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
3Using any method you prefer, cut the cold butter into the dry ingredients until flour resembles coarse meal. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, egg yolk, vanilla and buttermilk until blended. Add this to the flour-butter mixture and stir. Gently stir in bluberries. Use a large cookie scoop to scoop out scones. Then press with a greased glass cup.

Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown on top.


Place powdered sugar in a medium bowl, and add water one teaspoon at a time, mixing vigorously until smooth and runny.
Use a pastry brush to apply a thin layer of glaze over the hot scones. Brushing rather than drizzling gives a smoother appearance and requires less glaze.
Serve immediately. Store cooled scones in an airtight container.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Talia and I made this today and it was delicious. I didn't have powdered sugar so I found a chocolate frosting recipe using brown sugar, evaporated milk and chocolate chips. Enjoy.

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup applesauce
3 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cup flour
4 heaping Tbsp. cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
2 cups zucchini shredded (about 2-3 6 inch long)
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan. Combine sugars, butter and applesauce. Add eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla and mix well. Sift together the flour, cocoa, soda, cinnamon and salt. Add to the mixture. Stir in zucchini and chocolate chips. Pour into pan. Bake 40-45 minutes. Cool and then frost.


1 c. brown sugar
6 tbsp. cream

Bring to boil, remove from heat and add 1/2 package chocolate chips for Chocolate Frosting or 1 package butterscotch chips for Caramel Frosting.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Chicken and Mexican Rice

I have made this rice for a few of you but our family loves it so much so I thought I would share with everyone.

Mexican Rice
2 cups uncooked rice
1-2 large tomatoes
1 white onion
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 cup chicken stock
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1-2 jalapeños, chopped

Rinse rice in strainer until water runs clear, makes the rice fluffy. Put oil in a frying pan with high straight sides. Chop tomato and puree in blender. Add onion and puree. When oil is hot, cook rice for 6 minutes or until golden. Add stock, pureed tomato and onion, jalapeño, garlic, and tomato paste. Bring to a simmer and cover. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes.

If I don't have any jalapeños I substitute it with crushed red pepper flakes.

For the chicken I buy a marinade at the store, usually Lawry's.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Meatballs with tomato-basil cream sauce

I made this tonight and it was really good, if you get the Kraft magazine it is in the most recent issue. I'll post the recipe for those you don't get the magazine.

2 lb ground beef (I used turkey and it was probably only 1 lb or 1 1/2 lb)
1 pkg Stove Top stuffing Mix for chx
1 1/4 cups water
2 eggs

Preheat oven 400 degrees. Mix it all together and make 1 1/2 inch balls. I have a scooper I use for muffins and I just used that. Bake for 16-20 minutes. I froze half of them because it made a ton.

1 jar (14 oz) spaghetti sauce
2 oz cream cheese
2 tbsp chopped basil

Heat it up in a pan.

Put it all on top of spaghetti, we all like it quite a bit.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My Version of French Dip (Minus the Dip)

I have never liked French Dip because of the soggy bread so I came up with something that I like instead.

Hoagie Buns
Roast Beef (I go to the Deli for it)
Cheese (any kind you like)
Sour Cream
Onion Soup Mix

Pu the roast beef, peppers, onions, and cheese on the hoagie bun. Then broil it until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted. Mix sour cream and onion soup mix together, spread on the bread. I don't have measurements, just do what looks good. It is yummy, easy, and fast. Ella doesn't like the peppers and onions, so I just do meat and cheese for her.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Turning on my oven when the temperature reaches triple digits is not something I look forward to. It’s days like these I am thankful I have a BBQ and yummy no bake desserts. For the Allen family these are an old family favorite and rightfully so! Anything with peanut butter and chocolate is a winner in my book.


1 c. Sugar
1 c. Light Corn Syrup
1 c. Peanut Butter
6 c. Rice Krispies
1 c. Chocolate Chips
1 c. Butterscotch Chips

Combine sugar and syrup in a small pan and heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and add peanut butter. Pour over Rice Krispies and stir to coat. Press mixture into a 9x13 inch pan. Melt the chips together and spread over the top of your Rice Krispie mixture. Let cool and cut into bars. Yum!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Cinnamon Flavored Popcorn

I learned how to make this at enrichment. She had many different flavors. You just have to have different flavored oils to do it. The options are endless. I have tried raspberry, cranberry, tutti fruitti, cherry and I have liked them all. I just haven't found the flavored oils to buy yet so cinnamon is what I tried out. It was also fabulous. I hope that no one notices that all I post are breads, cookies and desserts but here is the recipe and enjoy!

2 bags low fat microwave popcorn
1 cup melted almond bark
1/4 - 1/3 tsp. cinnamon oil

Pop your popcorn. Remove all your old maids. Melt your almond bark and then add your flavoring. It has to be oil flavoring. It can't be extract. Pour over your popcorn and mix and then pour out on parchment paper or wax paper and let dry. Enjoy! Your can store it in a zip lock bag.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Oven Baked Chicken Chimichangas

Quick and easy dinners around here are a MUST on most days. While I would love spending all afternoon in the kitchen I don’t have the time. So here is a great stand-by here at the Allen house
Chicken Chimichungas
1 can Kirkland Signature canned chicken (any chicken tender enough to shred would work, again this dish is all about convince for me!)
1 c. shredded cheese
1 c. salsa
1 small can green chilies (optional)
Olive Oil
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
Shred the chicken, and combine with everything except the tortillas. Brush both sides of a warmed tortilla with oil, put a large spoonful of the chicken mixture in the center of a tortilla and roll up like a burrito.
Place on a cookie sheet and bake until the tops are nice, golden and crispy.
Top with salsa, sour cream and lettuce.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Icebox Sugar Cookies

There really is something nostalgic about sugar cookies, rolling them out, cutting out fun shapes, covering them with icing and sprinkles….and making a GIANT mess! I ran across this sugar cookie recipe about a year and a half ago and now I have a REALLY hard time wanting to make any other sugar cookie. I make the dough, and freeze it. Then when the kids are ready to make them, I give them each a bowl of sprinkles and sugar for dipping. They have a blast covering their cookie in brightly colored sprinkles and the mess is minimal. To make it even better, they are DELICIOUS!

 icebox sugar cookies

Icebox Sugar Cookies
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
6 tbsp. (3/4 stick) butter,at room temperature
1 large egg
1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
Sugar and sprinkles, for dipping

1. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt until well combined. Set aside.
2. In another medium bowl, using a handheld mixer set at medium speed, beat the 1 cup of sugar and the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add the egg, corn syrup, and vanilla and beat until smooth.
3. Using a spoon, gradually stir in the flour mixture. Transfer the dough to a sheet of waxed paper and form it into a log about 12 inches long and 1 inch in diameter. Wrap the log of dough in the waxed paper and refrigerate until well-chilled, at least 2 hours or overnight.
4. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375°F. Lightly spray 2 nonstick cookie sheets with oil.
5. Unwrap the chilled dough. Place the sugar and sprinkles  in a small bowl. Cut the dough crosswise into 1/4 inch rounds. Dip each round in the sugar, place the cookies sugar side up, 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.
6. One sheet at a time, bake the cookies until lightly browned around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. The centers may seem slightly underdone, but they will firm when cooled. Cool the cookies in the pan for 1 minute, then transfer to a wire cake rack to cool completely.  ( I  really try not to let them get brown at all. If you can pull them out before they get brown they are super tender once they cool.)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Zucchini Bread

It’s that time of year again and we are swimming in zucchini! I have frozen over 20 cups of grated zucchini and have even tried freezing slices for baked zucchini later in the year.  Despite the heat here in Cali, I have made countless loaves of zucchini bread. Yum, yum, yummy!

This is my tried and true favorite zucchini bread recipe. I have changed a few things from the original recipe. I substituted applesauce for some of the oil and I added more zucchini. Which helps me feel a little better about the vast amount of bread I consume!

 zucchini bread

Lower Fat Zucchini Bread
2 eggs
1 2/3 c. sugar
2/3 c. oil
3 tsp. vanilla
1/3 c. applesauce
3-4 c. grated zucchini (the more you use, the heavier your bread will be. I try to stick with around 3 1/2 c.)
3 c. flour, sifted
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
nuts, or chocolate chips if desired

Bead eggs until light and creamy. Add sugar, vanilla, oil, applesauce, and zucchini. Mix lightly, but well. Add dry ingredients, sifted together. Mix until blended. Stir in nuts or chips if desired. Pour into 2 loaf pans. (My kids love mini muffins, and I prefer the small loaf pans they just cook easier.)
Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Chicken Salad

I got this recipe from my Visiting Teacher and it is great with croussants.

6 chicken breasts without skin (6-8 chicken breasts needed) or I get a rotissore chicken from Costco
4 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons basil
2 teaspoons pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon tarragon
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon Juice
2 teaspoons water
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 cups celery chopped
1 cup red grapes
1/2 cup almonds toasted
1 cup mayonnaise

Steam breasts; let cool and shred.
Mix together sugar, basil, and pepper.
Add 1 tsp. of paprika, dry mustard, garlic salt, tarragon, celery seed, and seasoning salt.
Mix together the rice vinegar, lemon juice, water, and vegetable oil.
Mix all the above together and refrigerate overnight.
Before serving add 2 cups of chopped celery, 1 cup of red grapes, 1/2 cup toasted almonds, and 1 cup of mayo. Serve with rolls.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Softest Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix
1 egg
1/2 pkg. chocolate chips (1 cup)
1/2 cup nuts (optional)

Combine butter, sugars and pudding mix, beating until fluffy. Add vanilla and egg and beat until smooth. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes. Even though you use butter these cookies hold their shape and are puffy and soft. They also taste great. I think it would be fun to try different flavored puddings! Enjoy! I found this recipe at

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Blueberry Cobbler Cake

A friend of mine brought this to our Friday potluck and it was Amazing!! Before you look at the ingredients, take a long look at the picture and convince yourself that you MUST make this. Otherwise the copious amount of butter might just freak you out!!
I really think you could do without so much crumble on the top, so if you wanted to you could just make less of it… I would also say the more blueberries, the better!

Blueberry Cobbler Cake
4 1/2 cups flour, divided 
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp. salt, divided 
3 sticks unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
Two baskets (each 11 oz) fresh blueberries

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish.  In a medium bowl, using your fingers, combine 3 cups flour,
the brown sugar, and 1/2 tsp. salt.  Mix in all but 2 tablespoons butter until large crumbs form; set aside. 

In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, the egg and the buttermilk. In a medium bowl, stir together the remaining 1 1/2 cups flour, the granulated sugar, baking powder and remaining  1/2 teaspoon salt.  Add the egg mixture and stir to form a thick, smooth batter.

Fold about a third of the reserved crumb mixture into the batter; spread evenly into the prepared baking dish.
Scatter the blueberries/cherries over the batter; sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture on top. 
Bake until the cake is golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes.  Transfer to a rack to cool for about 20 minutes before serving.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Marion berry Cobbler

4 c. Marion berries
2 c. flour
1 1/2 c. sugar, divided
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. butter
1 c. buttermilk or milk
1 t. salt
1/4 c. cornstarch
1 1/2 c. boiling water

Cover the bottom of a 9x13 pan with marion berries. Mix together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, butter milk and salt; spread over berries. Combine cornstarch and remaining cup of sugar; sprinkle over the batter. Pour boiling water over the top. Bake at 350 degres for 40-45 mintes.

Caramel Banana Muffins

Muffin Ingredients
1/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana
(about 3 large bananas)
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Caramel Icing
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp. milk
1/2 cup powdered sugar

In a small mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs; beat well. Add bananas and vanilla; mix well. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture. Fill paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 350 degree for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing them from the pan to a wire rack to cool completely. For icing, in a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and milk; bring to a boil. Cool slightly. Whisk in confectioner's sugar. Transfer to a small resealable plastic bag; cut a small hole in a corner of bag and drizzle over muffins. (I like to just spread the warm muffins with the icing and cover the whole top).

The Cheesecake Factory Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes

The Cheesecake Factory® Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes®

Salsa Verde
2 tomatillos, chopped (removepapery skin)
1 Can mild green chilies, (4 ounce)
1 green onion
2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro
1-1/4 Teaspoons granulated sugar
1/4 Teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 Teaspoon salt
1/8 Teaspoon ground black pepper
Southwestern Sauce
1/2 Cup mayonnaise
1 Teaspoon white vinegar
1 Teaspoon water
3/4 Teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 Teaspoon chili powder
1/4 Teaspoon paprika
1/8 Teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 Teaspoon onion powder
1 Dash salt
1 Dash garlic powder
Tomato Salsa
1 Medium tomato
1 Tablespoon minced Spanish onion
1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, minced
1/4 Teaspoon lime juice
1/2 Small fresh jalapeno, minced
1 Dash salt
1 Dash ground black pepper
1-1/2 Cups frozen sweet corn
1/2 Cup butter, (1 stick) softened
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1/8 Teaspoon salt
1/2 Cup corn masa (corn flour)
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 Cup sour cream
1/2 avocado, chopped
2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped.
Salsa Verde:
Combine all ingredients in a food processor on high speed. Cover and chill.
Tomato Salsa:
Combine all ingredientsin a small bowl. Cover and chill.
Southwestern Sauce:
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and chill.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Tamale Cakes:
Chop 1 cup of the frozen corn in a food processor until coarsely pureed. Combine pureed corn with softened butter, sugar, and salt. Blend well with electric mixer until smooth.
Add masa and flour and blend well. Mix in the remaining 1/2 cup of frozen corn kernels by hand.
Measure 1/2 cup portions of the mixture and form it into 3-inch wide patties with your hands. arrange the patties on a baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the cakes are browned on the bottom.
Carefully turn all cakes with a spatula and bake for an additional 5 to 7 minutes or until second side is browned.
Spoon a portion of the salsa verde onto a plate or platter. Coat the entire plate about 1/4-inch deep. Arrange the tamale cakes side-by-side on the salsa verde.
Spoon a dollop of sour cream onto each tamale cake.
Drizzle the southwestern sauce over the cakes in a criss-cross patter.
Spoon some tomato salsa over the cakes, followed by the chopped avocado. Sprinkle with coarsely chopped cilantro leaves over the top.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Cinnamon Burst Bread

3 T. Yeast
1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs, beaten slightly
3 3/4 cups warm water
4 1/2 tsp. salt
3 T. oil
2 1/2 cups cinnamon bursts
11-12 cups flour

Combine in mixing bowl 4 cups flour, yeast, and sugar. Add water, eggs, and oil. Beat well to cake batter stage. Stir in salt and 7 more cups flour to make bread dough consistency. Let mixer knead it to the right texture (add up to 1 more cup of flour if needed). Cover bowl and let rise until doubled. Put out on floured surface and knead in cinnamon bursts. Shape into four loaves and put into greased pans. Let raise until doubled. Bake at 375 for about 30 minutes. This makes fabulous french toast or also just great toast! You can buy the cinnamon bursts from Allisons Pantry in Pleasant Grove.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Edward's Chicken

This recipe is really easy but it takes a few hours in the crock pot. I would say the prep time is about 15 minutes top.

4 chicken breasts
1 cube of butter (I substitute the butter with a 1/2-3/4 cup chicken broth)
1 packet of Italian dressing
1 package of cream cheese
Combine the first three ingredients in crock pot and cook on low or high until chicken can be easily shredded. This takes about 3 hours on high in my crock pot. After you shred the chicken mix in the cream cheese and serve over rice.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Shish Kabobs

I wanted to make a request for some quick and easy dinner ideas. I decided the best way to get a good response was to start the list myself. We had Shish Kabobs tonight. I skewered them and cooked them on the grill outside. But these are very versatile. You can broil them in the oven if you want - on or off a stick. If you don't have skewers, spread it out on a broiler pan and it's just as good.

1/3 cup olive oil
3 TBL lemon juice
2 tsp basil

Ideas for the kabobs:
I always use beef (stew beef so it's already cut for me!) Any meat would work

tonight I used:
summer squash

I have used in the past:

really, almost anything will work!

I marinate the meat anywhere from 30 min to a couple of hours depending on when I can get to it. I usually swish some of the veggies in the marinade as well. I made a couple of fun ones with everything on it. However, it's quicker and easier to just do a skewer with tomatoes, one with meat and onions, one with peppers, ect. This is good if you use veggies that cook faster, you can grill each skewer as long as that particular veggie or meat needs to be cooked.

Anyway, this takes all of 20 minutes to prepare and cook - so fast and so easy. It's also versatile so you can make it the way you want it!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Quick and Easy Alfredo

I really like Alfredo sauce. I'm not a huge fan of the stuff in a jar. I've made several attempts to make alfredo and it takes forever and it always seperates or is too runny or lumpy or gross. I have a found a fairly easy and fail-safe recipe for alfredo sauce.

1/2 cup butter
1 package cream cheese (8 ounces) I use the 30% less fat stuff
2 tsp garlic powder (I use less)
2 cups milk (skim works fine)
6 ounces parmesan cheese (this is approximately 1.5 cups)
1/4 tsp black pepper

Melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add cream cheese and garlic powder stirring with wire whisk until smooth. Add milk, a little at a time, whisking to smooth out lumps. Stir in Parmesan and pepper. Remove from heat when sauce reaches desired consistency. Sauce will thicken rapidly, thin with milk if cooked too long.

I half this recipe and mix it with pasta, chicken, and green peas. Everyone eats it! It really is a quick and easy dish.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Crunchy Carmel Corn

I know for most of you this is not a new recipe, in fact it isn't even my own. My sister wants me to post it and I definitely think it is good enough to deserve one!


Crunchy Carmel Corn
1c. brown sugar
½ c. butter (I typically cut out at least 2 T.)
¼ c. light corn syrup
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla

Pop 1 cup un popped popcorn in air popper. Combine brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and salt in a 2 quart micro proof bowl. Microwave on high for 3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. Add baking soda and vanilla. Place popped corn in a large brown paper bag. Pour syrup over corn and mix. Roll top of bag tightly to close. Microwave on high for 1 ½ minutes. Shake bag and microwave on high for 1 ½ minutes more. Pour onto flat surface, spread out and allow to cool.  (or just put it in a big bowl and stir until cooled.)

Monday, June 22, 2009

PW’s Marinated Flank Steak

My mom introduced me this incredible recipe. It comes from The Pioneer Woman.

Typically when I buy my steak the package includes two to three steaks. So I prepare the marinade as follows and then freeze the extra steaks with the marinade in a ziploc bag. When I want to eat it I pull out the bag and toss it in the fridge to defrost and marinate.


Flank Steak

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup cooking sherry
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 heaping tablespoons minced ginger
3 to 5 cloves minced garlic
1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

1 flank steak

Combine all ingredients in a glass or ceramic dish. Remove flank steak from package and give it a quick rinse. Coat both sides of meat with marinade. Refrigerate for at least 3 to 4 hours. (we typically do it overnight.)

Grill steaks to desired doneness and slice thinly against the grain. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Braided Egg Bread

Through this blog, the true me is shining through- I love bread and cookies! One day I may actually post about something half-way healthy. Until then here is another one of my bread favorites.

My mom taught me how to make this bread, it is absolutely beautiful. Especially when you cook hard boiled, dyed Easter eggs into it.  (Which I do not normally do) Anyway the texture of this bread is unlike any other. Ross and I agree without a doubt, this bread makes the most fantastic french toast! DSC_0035

Braided Egg Bread

1 T. yeast
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 ¼ c. warm water
4 ¾ c. flour
1 tsp. salt
¼ c. oil
¼ c. sugar
1 egg yolk mixed with  1 T. water

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Stir in salt, sugar, oil and eggs. Gradually beat in flour to form a stiff dough.

Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and satiny. Place dough in a greased bowl and let rise until doubled.

To shape bread, divide 1/3 of the dough and set aside. With the remaining 2/3 divide into 4 equal parts and roll out into ropes about 21” long. Place the 4 strips on a greased baking sheet pinch tops together, and braid as follows: pick up strand on right, bring it over the next one, under the third, and over the fourth.

Repeat, always starting at the right, until the bread is complete. Pinch ends together

Roll remaining dough into 3 ropes about 18” long and do a three stranded braid. Place braid on top of bread, and let rise until doubled in size.

If you are not so sure about the four braid thing you could simply divide the dough evenly into thirds and make three braided loaves, make sure to adjust your cooking times.

Brush egg yolk mixture evenly over braids.

Bake at 325 for 30 minutes

Sunday, June 7, 2009

My version of Chang's Spicy Chicken

So, we went to PF Chang's about two years ago and ordered their Spicy Chicken and I thought it was really good. I then decided that I would try and duplicate it and made this recipe which is quite similar. We again went to PF Chang's for Mother's Day and decided that my recipe is pretty darn close. If I were to change anything I'd maybe try adding brown sugar to have it more similar to PF Chang's. Also if your kids don't like spicy I'd recommend just giving them soy sauce.

2 to 3 chicken breasts cubed

3/4 to 1 cup Thai Sweet Chili Sauce (usually found in the oriental section of the grocery store)

3 to 4 Tbs Soy Sauce

3 to 4 Tbs Water

Cook chicken over the stove (you can season with garlic or pepper if you'd like). While cooking chicken combine Sweet Chili Sauce, soy sauce, and water until you have a good consistency. I think the sweet chili sauce is a little too thick and hot alone so I add the soy sauce and water feel free to add however much soy sauce to get it to your liking I honestly have never measured when making this recipe so these are all guesses on the amounts. Place chicken and sauce over rice.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Blueberry Muffins

We had these for breakfast this morning - the kids LOVE them!

3 c. flour
1 c. sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/2 c oil
1 c milk
1 1/2 - 2 cups blueberries
lemon zest
Preheat oven to 400. Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Combine eggs, oil, milk, and lemon zest. Stir into dry ingredients until just moistened. Stir blueberries into batter and spoon into muffin tin lined with cupcake papers, about 1/2 - 3/4 full. Bake 18 minutes Makes 2 dozen. They keep well. I think fresh blueberries taste the best (as always) but works well frozen berries as well. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

French Bread

This is without a doubt my favorite bread! It all comes together in under two hours, the bread is just the right texture and it makes the most AMAZING grilled garlic bread.


French Bread

2 1/2 c. warm water
2 pkg. yeast
3 T. sugar
1/3 c. oil
1 T. salt
6 cups flour

Combine water, yeast and sugar, let sit for a few minutes. Add oil salt and 3 cups of flour. Let mix for a couple of minutes. Slowly add the 3 remaining cups of flour and let mix until fully combined.

Leave dough in mixer, and set a timer for 10 minutes. When the timer goes off, turn the mixer on and repeat the 10 min. rise for 50 minutes total. Then let the dough rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Shape dough into two long loaves (about the length of a cookie sheet) or 4 smaller loaves (about the width of a cookie sheet)  Place on greased cookie sheet. (Slit the tops with a sharp knife, if you want the more fancy look. )

Bake for 20 – 30 minutes depending on size of loaf. If you make the larger loaves, you will want to let the bread get pretty dark.

If you like a crunchy crust, place a small bowl of water on the bottom rack of your oven while the bread bakes. DSC_0535

To make grilled garlic bread, slice the loaf lengthwise. Spread on garlic butter (I use the garlic mix from Costco) Place bread face down on low heat until light brown----yummy!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Lower Fat Chocolate Chip Cookies

I told Eyvon I would post my recipe for Icebox Sugar Cookies today, but I decided I was in more of a chocolate chip kind of mood. This recipe I came up with in college. I have several choc. chip cookie recipes I go between. This one is Ross’ favorite, I think I like a more buttery version, but these are a good and soft standby.


Chocolate Chip Cookies

3/4 c. butter flavored shortening

1 1/2 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

3 – 3 1/2 c. flour

2 T. water

chocolate chips

Cream shortening, sugar and eggs. Add vanilla. In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients. Alternate adding flour mixture and water, completely mixing in between. Add chips.

Form dough into a log and put in the freezer for at least 2 hours. (I just leave it there and make a few when I want them. Few things are better than a hot, gooey cookie!) Shape the dough into balls and bake at 350 for around 9 mins. You want the cookies to be barely brown on the edges. Cool and enjoy!

Saturday, May 30, 2009


6 cups oats (regular not quick)
3/4 cup wheat germ
1 cup coconut
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 t. almond extract (I leave this out)
2 T. vanilla (yes, that's 2 tablespoons!)
1 cup brazil nuts (I use half slivered almonds, half cashews)
1 cup vegetable oil (I use canola)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup honey
1/4 cup flax seeds

Combine the honey, oil, almond extract and vanilla together. Combine all the other ingredients in a large bowl. Pour the honey mixture over the dry ingredients and mix well. Pour out onto a jelly roll pan that is sprayed with Pam or I use parchment paper. Spread evenly.
Bake at 300 for about 1 hour stirring every 15 minutes. Take it out when it is golden brown and crunchy.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Shepherd's Pie Stuffed Potatoes

4 large potatoes (I used 8 red potatoes because that is all I had)
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped, divided
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 lb. ground beef or turkey
1/2 lb. sliced mushrooms, whatever kind you like
garlic, if you like
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
1 1/2 cups beef stock
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 T. soy sauce
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
Shredded cheese for the top (whatever kind you like, I just used cheddar)

Bake your potatoes in the oven until done. Meanwhile in a pan cook 1/2 of your onion with your red pepper and put in bowl to cool.
In the same pan brown meat, then add the rest of onion along with the mushrooms and cook until done. Move to the outside of your pan. In the middle of your pan melt the butter and add the flour and make a rue. Add the beef stock and cook until thick and you have a gravy. Then add the mustard, soy sauce and worcestershire sauce and stir everything together in pan.
Meanwhile take potatoes and slice the top off of them and scoop out the inside and put in bowl with peppers and onions. Add the sour cream and paprika and mash.
Fill the potato shells with the beef mixture and then top with the potato mixture and put cheese on top. Put back in oven until the cheese is melted and everything is warm through. You need to salt everything to taste and use the garlic to taste since I don't use either! Enjoy! I found this recipe at

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Blueberry Baked French Toast

I actually got this recipe off of Pioneer Woman but I changed it a little bit she called for whole milk and cream but I just used fat free milk and it was really good. She also used a whole cube of butter and I only used 1/3 of a cube. 

1 Family Size Bag Stacy’s Pita Chips - Simply Naked

7 large eggs
2 1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract

6 oz fresh blueberries (next time I would use more)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar (use a little more)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 of a cube butter 

Grease 9 x 13 inch baking panr. Pour in bag of pita chips and arrange evenly.
In a bowl mix together eggs, milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla. Pour egg mixture over pita chips. Cover pan tightly with foil and place in refrigerator overnight, or at least six hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove pan from refrigerator. Sprinkle blueberries over the top. Mix together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Slice butter and add to bowl, then use pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour mixture. Sprinkle flour mixture over the blueberries and make sure it’s evenly distributed. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until bubbly and golden brown. Chips on top should be crispy and crunchy.

Remove from oven and cut into squares. Drizzle with blueberry or maple syrup and serve warm.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

One Hour Whole Wheat Bread

I stumbled on this bread as I was food blog surfing (0ne of my favorite pastimes!) I LOVE bread, few things in life are better. So when I found a bread I could make in an hour, I jumped on it and the result was delicious! Sometimes whole wheat bread has such a heavy taste, this bread was light and had that good squishy texture that I love.  It makes two loaves, the second one we used for French toast and the kids could not get enough!  (picture courtesy of

One Hour Wheat Bread
Makes 2 (8x4 inch) loaves

3 c. whole wheat flour

1/3 c. gluten flour, sifted (or vital wheat gluten)

1 1/4 T. instant yeast (or quick-rising, I used SAF yeast)

2 1/2 c. very warm tap water

1 T. salt

1/3 c. oil

1/3 c. honey or 1/2 c. sugar (I used honey)

1 1/4 T. bottled lemon juice

2 - 2 1/2 c. whole wheat flour

Mix together first three ingredients in mixer with a dough hook. Add water all at once and mix for 1 minute; cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Add salt, oil, honey or sugar and lemon juice and beat for 1 minute. Add last flour, 1 cup at a time, beating between each cup. Beat for about 6-10 minutes until dough pulls away from sides of the bowl. This makes a very soft dough.

Preheat oven for 1 minute to lukewarm and turn off. Turn dough onto oiled counter top; divide, shape into loaves, place in oiled bread pans. Let rise in warm oven for 10-15 minutes (this took 30 minutes for me) until dough reaches top of pan. Do not remove bread from oven; turn oven to 350 degrees F and bake for 30 minutes (that is 30 minutes from the time you turn the oven on). Remove from pans and cool on racks.

Mojo Marinated Chicken

We have made this chicken twice for a BBQ with friends and everyone LOVED IT!!! Do you like my lame picture? I wish you could smell the chicken because the picture doesn't do it justice. I usually double or triple the marinade if I am making enough to share with friends.

1/2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
Chicken Breast Tenders

To make the marinade: In a medium bowl, whisk the marinade ingredients. Place the chicken in a large plastic resealable bag and pour in marinade. Press the air out of the bag and seal tightly. Turn the bag to distribute the marinade, place in a bowl, and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours, turning occasionally. Remove the chicken from the bag and place on grill (medium high heat) for 3-4 minutes on each side. YUM!

Carissas Topping Brownies

My roommates and I made these last night and they were SO good and they are really easy to make.

1 brownie mix
small jar of marshmallow cream
2 cups milk chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter
3 cups rice crispies

Make brownie mix as instructed and let cool. Warm up marshmallow cream and spread on top of brownies. Mix chocolate chips and peanut butter and melt over low heat on stove. Removed from heat and put in rice crispies and mix. Put on top of marshmallow cream. Refridgerate before eating.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Oreos 'n' Cream Cake

1 3/4 C flour
2/3 C cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 C unsalted butter
1 1/2 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
1 1/4 C buttermilk

4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 C unsalted butter, softened
1 box powder sugar
3-4 Tbs milk

1 1/2 C heavy cream
1/4 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 C crushed oreos

Heat oven to 350. Coat two 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray and dust with flour.
CakeIn a medium size bowl, mix flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt together until well blended; set aside.
In a large bowl, with mixer on medium speed beat butter, sugar and vanilla for 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time beating well after each.
On low speed, beat flower mixture into butter mixture in three additions, alternating with buttermilk and ending with flour; beat 1 minute. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake for about 36 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool cake in pans for 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto racks; let cool completely.
Filling: in a large bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Gradually add powder sugar, then milk. Beat for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy.
When layers have cooled trim off any crowned cake from the tops. Cut each layer in half horizontally with a serrated knife (mom had me use a piece of floss which we wrapped around the cake and then just slowly tighten until the cake was cut in half). Place one cut layer on a cake stand and top with one-third of the filling; Repeat with 2 more cake layers. Place last layer on top cut side down. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Frosting: In a large bowl, with mixer on high beat heavy cream, sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Generously spread whipped cream all over cake. Place cookie crumbs on the sides of the cake to cover.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Penne Pasta w/ Green Beans & Feta

I made this for the first time when I was pregnant with Lilah and have been addicted ever since. My kids actually love it as well. It's a great summer side dish. I was hoping to make it while at home this July.

1/2 lb penne pasta
1/2 lb fresh green beans
1 red bell pepper (I've never added this)
1/4 cup vinegar
2 t lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
2 T parsley
2 t oregeno
2 t salt
1/2 lb feta cheese
1/2 cup olives
black pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions. Blanch beans by placing them in salted boiling water for 3 min then immerse in ice water. Toss pasta and beans with remaining ingredients. You can make ahead a refregerate for a few hours.