Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Chinese Cabbage Salad

  • 1 (3 ounce) package ramen noodles, crushed (Can toast with Cashews - optional)

  • 10 ounces cashew pieces (Can toast with ramen - optional)

  • 1 (16 ounce) package shredded coleslaw mix

  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped

  • 1/2 cup white sugar

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • Toss the first four ingredients in a large bowl.  In a blender or even in a quart jar, combine the sugar, oil, vinegar and soy sauce and mix well.  Pour over salad and mix.

    If I am making this as dinner as opposed to a side, I add some grilled chicken, chopped or shredded.

    Friday, September 10, 2010

    Chocolate Ganache

    Chocolate Ganache

    1/2 cup heavy cream
    6 - 8 oz. of chocolate, chopped (bittersweet, semi-sweet, milk - use your favorite or mix them)
    1/2 tsp. vanilla

    Place chocolate in a blow.  Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until hot and steamy.  Once the cream is hot pour it over the chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes.

    Stir the mixture until completely incorporated, gently stir in the vanilla.  Let the ganache cool and thicken.

    *For Ganache Frosting, refrigerate overnight or freeze until set, and then whip with your whisk attachment until fluffy.

    Thursday, September 9, 2010

    Peanut Butter Roll Outs

    Peanut Butter Roll-Out Cookies
    1/2 c. unsalted butter
    1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
    1/2 c. light brown sugar
    1/2 c. white sugar
    3/4 tsp. salt
    1/2 tsp. baking soda
    2 tsp. vanilla
    1 egg
    1/4 c. sour cream
    3 Tbsp. cornstarch
    3 c. flour

    Beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the egg, mix, then add half the sour cream, all of the cornstarch and half of the flour, beat well.  Add the remaining sour cream and flour.  Divide the dough in half, wrap in plastic and flatten into a disc.  Refrigerate for 1 hour.

    Roll the dough onto a floured surface and cut out shapes.  Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees. 

    I topped my cookies with Chocolate Ganache... feel free to use a peanut butter frosting instead.

    *This recipe came from Bake at 350.

    Monday, July 26, 2010

    Peach Cobbler

    Peach Cobbler
    1 cube butter
    4-5 fresh peaches covered with 1 cup sugar OR
    1 quart bottled peaches drained
    1 cup flour
    3/4 cup sugar
    2 tsp. baking powder
    1/4 tsp. salt
    1/4 tsp. nutmeg
    1/4 tsp. cinnamon
    3/4 cup milk

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Melt butter in 9X13 pan.  Whisk all dry ingredients together in a bowl, add the milk and mix well.  More the batter over the butter in the 9X13, DO NOT MIX.  Then spoon the peaches over the batter, again DO NOT MIX.  The cake will rise up over the peaches while baking.  Bake for 50-55 minutes.  If you want a thicker, more cakey cobbler use a smaller pan, like an 8x8 and adjust the baking time.  Serve warm our of the oven with homemade vanilla or cinnamon ice cream.
    (This is also a great "store room" recipe.  By using bottled peaches and if necessary powdered milk.)

    Tuesday, June 22, 2010

    Thursday, May 27, 2010

    Thursday, May 6, 2010

    Cake Balls/Pops/Truffles

    1 cake mix (flavor of your choice)
    1 can frosting (or home-made)
    melting chocolate

    I will give you the abbreviated version, but for the lengthy process please check out Bakerella.

    Here is the short version - Make the cake mix as directed.  Let the cake cool overnight, then the next day dump the cooled cake in a bowl and mash it all up.  Mix in almost an entire (I leave about a half inch in the bottom) canister of frosting.  Make sure the frosting is completely incorporated, then take a spoonful of the cake/frosting mixture and roll into a ball with your hands.  Place the balls on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Once you have rolled all the cake into balls, place the cookie sheet in the freezer until slightly firm.  While the balls are chilling, melt the chocolate.  Drop the chilled cake balls into the melted chocolate, coat using a spoon and place on a second parchment lined cookie sheet.  Decorate and embellish as desired.

    Monday, April 12, 2010

    Cakes, Cakes and Cakes

    This is what I've made this week...

    My feet hurt....

    Confession: I made almost 20 chocolate cakes this week - I don't even really like chocolate cake.

    This, this is only for the straight up HARD CORE chocolate lovers, Chocolate cake, frosting and ganache.

    German Chocolate - Super yummy homemade frosting!

    I'm trying a new cookie recipe tonight, so check back later in the week for a new recipe.

    Wednesday, March 31, 2010

    Oatmeal Toffee Bars

    I'm not sure what pulled me to this recipe, maybe it was the oatmeal, the versatility of the recipe, I'm not sure, but I am so glad I tried it.  Can I just tell you how super simple this was?  SUPER SIMPLE!  Not only were they easy to whip together, took less than 20 minutes to bake, but they tasted great and were a huge hit.  That is my kind of recipe.  It was so easy, that I decided as soon as I pulled them out of the oven to make another batch and switch things up.  Both the original and altered recipes follow.

    Oatmeal Toffee Bars
    Recipe from 3B's.. Baseball, Baking & Books.

    1/2 cup canola oil (I used vegetable)
    1 cup brown sugar
    1/2 cup white sugar
    2 eggs
    1 tbsp. milk
    2 tsp. vanilla extract
    1/2 tsp. salt
    3 cups old-fashioned oats
    1 3/4 cup flour
    1 tsp. baking soda
    1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
    1 to 1 1/2 cup toffee pieces

    Mix together the oil, sugars, eggs, milk, vanilla and salt.  Mix for 2-3 minutes or until sugars dissolve.  Add in baking soda and flour.  Mix in oats and then chocolate chips.  The mixture will be THICK, like cookie dough.  Transfer to a greased 9x13 cake pan.  It was easiest to spread this batter with my dampened fingers.

    Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

    Make the above recipe, but omit the chocolate chips and toffee pieces.  Add 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips, 1 cup dried cranberries and 1/2 cup coconut.

    Friday, March 26, 2010

    Lemon Blueberry Cake

    I really liked this recipe, warm out of the oven with the tangy glaze - a perfect snack at 11 o'clock at night.  This is when I do most of my baking - please don't judge.  My only complaint is that between the glaze and the fresh blueberries it got soggy quick.  So, my suggestion would be, MAKE IT and then eat it the same day or as close thereto as possible.

    Recipe from Butter Sugar Flour, who adapted it from Smitten Kitchen.

    1 1/2 cup flour
    1/8 tsp. salt
    2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
    3 eggs
    1 cup sugar
    1/2 cup oil
    1 cup yogurt
    1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    3 tbsp. lemon zest
    1 1/2 cup blueberries, dried and tossed in 1 tbsp flour

    Juice from 1 lemon
    1 cup powdered sugar

    Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.  In another bowl mix eggs, sugar, oil, yogurt, extract and zest. Mix on high for 2 minutes.  Add the dry ingredients and mix.  Fold in the blueberries.  Pour batter into prepared 8x8 square pan (or loaf pan) and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Once tester comes out clean allow to cool before adding the icing.

    Tuesday, March 23, 2010

    Ice-Cream Cupcakes

    I am only adding this because I think sometimes we/I get caught up in the fancy, super hard, new recipe and forget about the easy but still yummy things we can make.  So, here is your reminder ...

    1 cake mix any flavor (or from scratch)
    1 can frosting (or from scratch, this is a recipe I use minus the mint)
    ice-cream cones
    cupcake liners

    Make cake as directed.  Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and place an ice-cream cone on top of the batter.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Cool cupcakes, remove liners, frost and decorate.

    Tuesday, March 16, 2010

    Mint Chocolate Cupcakes

    Easy Version:
    1 chocolate/devils food cake mix
    1 tsp. peppermint extract

    Home-made Cupcakes:
    1 1/2 cups flour
    3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    1 1/2 tsp baking soda
    3/4 tsp baking powder
    3/4 teaspoon salt
    2 large eggs
    3/4 cup buttermilk
    3 tbsp. vegetable oil
    3/4 cup warm water
    1 tsp peppermint extract

    Whisk together/sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, cocoa powder and salt.  Mix in eggs, oil, water, buttermilk and peppermint extract.  Beat with a mixer on low.

    Line muffin tin with cupcake liners and fill liners 2/3 full with batter.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Let cool completely before frosting.

    Mint Buttercream
    1 cup butter
    1 cup shortening
    1 tsp peppermint (for light flavor - can add more for a stronger mint)
    1 tsp vanilla
    1/2 tsp salt
    6-8 cups powdered sugar
    4-5 oz. heavy cream/milk or water (your preference)

    Cream butter and shortening until smooth and combined.  Mix in salt and extracts.  Add in powdered sugar a little at a time until all combined.  Add cream until you have your desired consistency.  (For piping you want it stiffer than for frosting a cake.)

    For the Mint Shamrocks:
    Take a piece of parchment paper and draw several shamrocks.

    Melt down regular chocolate or Andes Mints.  Pour the warm chocolate into a disposable piping bag.  Flip the parchment over (writing side down) on a cookie sheet and trace or fill in the shapes.  Make sure the chocolate is a little thick - if you pipe the chocolate too thin, the shapes will break easily.  Once you've finished piping, place the cookie sheet in the fridge for the chocolate to harden.  Once set the shapes should come off the parchment easily.  Don't worry if the first few look bad - just keep trying and they will get better.

    Tuesday, March 9, 2010

    Frosted Banana Bars

    1/2 cup butter, room temperature
    1 1/2 cup white sugar
    2 eggs
    1 cup sour cream
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    2 cups flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3 large bananas)
    cream cheese frosting

    In a large bowl cream together butter and sugar.  Beat in eggs, once mixed add sour cream and vanilla.  Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt and then add to butter mixture.  Finally, mix in the mashed bananas.  Spread evenly in a greased 10x15 jelly roll pan (I used a 9x13 and baked them longer, more of a cake than a bar).

    Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Allow bars to cool completely then top with cream cheese frosting or some fresh whip cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce.

    Friday, March 5, 2010

    Key Lime Bars

    These are a mix between lemon bars and a key lime pie.  Super yummy, but a little messy.

    Key Lime Bars
    *adapted from Bake at 350

    2/3 c. brown sugar
    1 3/4 c. flour
    3 c. sweetened coconut (toasted - next time I will substitute 1 cup of crushed graham crackers with one of the cups of coconut)
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/2 c. butter (I added more butter)

    8 oz. cream cheese (room temperature)
    1 3/4 cup sugar
    pinch of salt
    3 Tbsp. flour
    4 eggs
    1/2 c. fresh squeezed key lime juice
    green food coloring

    How to toast coconut:  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle coconut on top.  Bake at 300 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

    Combine the sugar and butter. Mix in toasted coconut, flour and salt.  I thought this was a little dry so I added more butter and will add less flour next time.  Remove 1 cup of mixture and set aside.  Press remaining mixture into the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 16-18 minutes.  Let cool.

    Beat the cream cheese, sugar and salt until smooth and well blended.  Mix in the flour and then incorporate the eggs, one at a time.  Mix in the lime juice and a couple drops of green food coloring.  Mix until smooth.  Poor onto cooled crust.

    Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle the 1 cup of reserved crust on top.  Bake for 10 more minutes until sides are set and center is slightly wobbly.  Remove from oven and cool for 1 hour.  Chill in refrigerator.

    Cut and serve.

    Thursday, March 4, 2010

    Coming Soon...

    Key Lime Bars

    Mrs. Fields CC Cookies


    60 Minute Rolls

    Tuesday, February 23, 2010

    Apple Cranberry Galette

    1 1/2 cups flour
    3 tablespoons sugar
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    12 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) chilled butter + 2 tablespoons
    2 tablespoons ice water (or more)

    1 egg
    1/2 tablespoon heavy cream (or milk)
    sanding sugar

    4 large granny smith apples
    2/3 cups fresh cranberries
    5 tablespoons unsalted butter
    2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    3/4 cup sugar
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
    1/4 teaspoon ginger

    Mix, flour, sugar and salt in food processor.  Add butter; pulse until course and crumbly.  Add water pulse until moist clumps form, add more water if needed.  Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk and wrap in plastic wrap.  Chill 2 hours.

    While the dough is chilling make the filling.  Peel and cut the apples into very thin about 1/4 inch think, set aside. In a large saucepan, melt butter at medium heat.  Once the butter is melted add lemon juice, sugar and spices. Cook the cranberries first without the apples.  Wait until they start "popping" and then remove from pan leaving the juices. Next cook apples until they are easily sliced with little pressure from your wooden spoon.  Remove from heat and add cranberries. (I thought the filling needed to be a little thicker so next time I would add a little cornstarch.)

    Roll out the dough on a floured surface.  The dough should be about 1/2 thick, cut into 8 inch diameter circles (should make 4 circles, I tried making 2 bigger galettes instead of the 4 smaller, the smaller worked better) and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Place about 1/3 cup filling in the center of the circle and fold up edges of the dough in one direction.  Place a 1/2 tablespoon butter on the filling.  Beat the egg and cream, using a pastry brush, paint the sides of the galette with an eggwash and sprinkle with sanding sugar.  Bake for 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

    *Recipe adapted from CakeSpy

    Friday, February 12, 2010

    High Altitude Baking

    A friend asked me about baking at high altitudes and I thought it might be worth sharing some tips here as well.

    1. Cut the leavening

    Are your cakes falling?

    Are your cookies spreading too far?

    Are your breakfast breads overdone on the outside and raw in the middle?

    High altitude baking will almost always be improved by cutting the leavening in baked goods. Three quarters of the original amount may be plenty of baking powder or soda if you are at 3,000 to 4,000 feet of elevation. If you are baking even higher than that, you can almost always automatically half the leavening called for in a recipe. Sometimes, you may even have to quarter the called-for amount to achieve ideal results.

    2. Add flour

    Can’t cut the leavening?

    Sometimes, cutting the leavening is not an option. When you are using mixes that have pre-measured dry ingredients, your best bet is to add a little bit of flour. Add 2 to 4 tablespoons of flour to a pre-measured mix, depending on your elevation. The additional flour will disperse the leavening in order to create a more uniform product at high altitudes.

    3. Add liquid

    Are your cakes crumbly and dry?

    Whether or not you are adding flour to your recipes, some baked goods can tend to be over-dry at high altitude due to drier climates. The simple solution is to add more liquid. An additional egg or a quarter cup of additional liquid will work wonders in a dry cake or quick bread.

    4. Cut rising time

    Is your bread yeasty?

    Are your cinnamon rolls too crusty and light?

    Yeasted products can also suffer the ill effects of altitude. Because of the significantly reduced pressure above 3,000 feet, yeasted breads expand and rise much more quickly than at sea level. At very high altitudes, above 6,000 feet, breads may actually rise in half the prescribed time. To combat low quality breads at high altitude, monitor your dough carefully. Do not allow it to rise past double its original size. If you find that your bread’s flavor does not develop sufficiently in the reduced amount of time, you may punch it down and let it rise twice before shaping it. It is possible to have wonderful yeasted breads at high altitude!

    I found these great tips online.  Epicurious also had some great thoughts on the subject.

    Thursday, February 11, 2010

    Apple Cake

    This is for all of you who have asked and asked for this recipe.  It is a crowd pleaser, especially warm out of the oven.  It also makes your house smell AMAZING!

    1 1/3 c. oil
    2 cups sugar
    3 eggs
    3 cups flour
    1 tablespoon cinnamon
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon salt
    3-4 granny smith/gala apples (I prefer granny smith)
    1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
    1 teaspoon vanilla

    Mix the oil, sugar and eggs until a light yellow.  Sift together in a separate bowl flour, cinnamon, salt and baking soda, then mix into the yellow mixture.  Mix until just combined.  Peel, core and cut apples into roughly 1 inch pieces.  Add in apples, nuts and vanilla, mix.  Scoop batter into greased bundt pan (you can use other pans, bread, muffin, etc. - I prefer the bundt for this.)  Bake at 350 degrees for 70-75 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in pan for at least 10 minutes and turn out onto a serving dish.  This is great plain, with ice cream, carmel sauce, whipping cream, etc.

    Monday, February 8, 2010

    Baked Macaroni and Cheese

    1 pound (16 oz) rotini or cavatappi pasta
    2 cups whole milk
    8 oz cream cheese
    3 tablespoons unsalted butter
    1 teaspoon fresh-ground pepper
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
    1 1/2 cups (about 6-7 oz) grated smoked gouda

    While the pasta is cooking. Combine the milk, cream cheese, butter, salt and pepper in a medium saucepan. Cook, stirring occasionally until, melted and well combined. In a large bowl or pan, mix the drained pasta, milk mixture and the cheese and stir. Transfer to a 3 quart baking dish and bake until the macaroni is set and the top is golden brown. About 25 minutes.

    Mine is not so "golden brown" because the kids just couldn't wait.

    Simple, but yummy!

    Friday, January 22, 2010

    Super Easy Home-made OREOs

    2 boxes Devil's Food cake mix

    4 eggs

    1 1/2 cup butter crisco

    In a large bowl mix all the ingredients together, either use a Kitchen-Aid or a tough spoon and mix it by hand (it is really thick, it is not hand mixer friendly). Once mixed roll dough into small balls, just bigger than a bouncy ball, you can make them smaller if you'd like - it's really up to you. Bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Once the cookies are cool add cream cheese frosting to the underside of one cookie and sandwich together. Cream cheese frosting can be bought or home-made.

    For Valentine's Day I added some colored sugar to the edges of some, dyed some frosting red and cut hearts out of others. Let your creativity have some fun.

    Monday, January 18, 2010

    PW's Apple Dumplings

    This is a slighly modified version of Pioneer Woman's Apple Dumplings, you can find the original recipe here.

    The first time I made them, I felt they were a little too sweet for my taste, so I tweaked it ever so slightly.

    2-3 Granny Smith Apples
    2 cans (8 Oz. Cans) Crescent Rolls
    1 1/4 sticks Butter
    1 cup Sugar
    1 teaspoon Vanilla
    Cinnamon, To Taste
    1 can (12 Oz.) Mountain Dew Soda (I use about 3/4 of the can)

    Peel and core apples. Cut each apple into 5-6 slices each (PW say's 8, I like bigger pieces of apple). Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll. Place in a 9 x 13 buttered pan.

    Melt butter, then add sugar and barely stir. Add vanilla, stir, and pour entire mixture over apples. Pour Mountain Dew around the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve with ice cream, and spoon some of the sweet sauces from the pan over the top.

    Thursday, January 14, 2010

    All-in-One Cake

    All-In-One Cake
    2 cups flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    2 teaspoons cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    Pinch of salt
    1 teaspoon ginger
    10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
    1 cup sugar
    1/2 (packed) brown sugar
    2 large eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree
    1 large (2 small) apple, peeled, cored and chopped
    1 cup fresh cranberries
    1 cup pecans, chopped
    In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt.
    In a stand mixer, cream butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, beat for 1 minute. Add pumpkin and apples (the mixture will look curdled). Add in dry ingredients, mixing only until incorporated. Stir in (by hand) pecans and cranberries.
    Pour batter into a greased bundt pan and bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes.
    This cake does not cut smoothly due to all of the "chunky" ingredients.
    Maple Sugar Icing
    6 tablespoons powdered sugar
    2 tablespoons maple syrup
    add more syrup to make right consistency

    Monday, January 4, 2010

    Lemon Souffle

    *From Martha

    2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more, room temperature, for dishes

    1/2 c. sugar, plus more for dishes

    8 large eggs yolks, plus 10 large egg whites, room temperature

    2 tablespoons flour

    1/4 c. plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus 2 tablespoons lemon zest

    1 c. whole milk

    Powdered Sugar (Garnish)

    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter six 12-ounce souffle dishes (I used eight 8-ounce dishes), with the room temperature butter, use a pastry brush and brush up the sides of the dish and then dump in a little sugar and coat the butter, dump out remaining sugar.

    2. Whisk together yolks, flour, zest and 2 tablespoons sugar.

    3. Bring milk to a boil in a small sauce pan. Slowly pour milk into yolk mixture, whisking constantly to prevent the yolks from cooking. Return mixture to saucepan and whisk until thick (like a pudding). Strain through a sieve, and whisk in butter and lemon juice. Set aside.

    4. Beat whites until foamy and gradually add in 1/4 c. plus 2 tablespoons sugar, beat until stiff peaks form. Stir a third of the whites into the yolk mixture. Gently fold in the remaining whites using a rubber spatula.

    5. Fill each souffle dish to the top, and smooth. Run your thumb around the edge to remove batter from rims.

    6. Bake on a rimmed cookie sheet until souffles rise and are golden, about 16-17 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately, before souffles lose their height.

    Warm Honey Sauce (optional, but good)

    Heat 1/4 c. honey with a pinch of nutmeg over low heat until warm and loosened. Whisk in 2 tablespoons heavy cream and bring to a boil. Make a small hole in each souffle (after they are cooked) and pour in sauce.

    This had a very light lemon flavor, I am going to up the amount of lemon zest and juice next time I make them, as well as add some lemon zest to the honey sauce. Don't let the eggs intimidate you - this was my first souffle EVER and it work.


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