Sunday, July 24, 2011

Whoopie Pies (or Homemade Oreo Cakesters)

These are sooooooo good. All the kids have asked if they could have these instead of cake for their birthdays.You might regret making these if you are trying to watch what you eat. I had trouble just eating one.

Whoopie Pies
1/2 stick of butter
4 T. criso
1 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
1 2/3 c. flour
2/3 c. cocoa
1 1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 1/4 c. milk
1 1/2 c. marshmallow fluff
1 1/4 c. crisco
1 c. powdered sugar
1 T. vanilla
Preheat oven to 375. Beat the crisco, butter and sugar for 3 or 4 minutes until fluffy. Then beat in the egg and vanilla. Add the cocoa, flour, baking soda and salt. Beat until mixed. Then beat in the milk. Using a tablespoon-sized cookie scoop, drop on to parchment paper lined cookie sheets and bake for 10 minutes in a 375 degree oven. (If you don't have a cookie scoop you should get one, but in the meantime you can just use an actual tablespoon.) Remove from oven. Carefully lift the paper with the cookies on it off the pan and let cool. After they are cool, carefully peel each cookie off the parchment and fill. To make the filling, beat the crisco and sugar first. Then add in the rest of the ingredients and beat until fluffy.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Strawberry/Peach Trifle: Regular Version and Gluten Free Adaptation

This is such a fresh summery dessert. It sounds fancy, but it is really easy to make and it doesn't take very long. Also, if you make the gluten free version, because of all the cream and fruit you can't tell it is gluten free.
Strawberry Peach Trifle (Gluten Free Adaptation Below)

1 yellow cake mix
1 box instant french vanilla or vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 c. milk
boxes instant french vanilla or vanilla pudding mix
1 tub of cool whip
1 bag of frozen peaches
2 tubs of fresh strawberries (or substitute frozen equivalent and let them thaw before using)
5 or so T. of sugar

BERRIES:  Mash the strawberries in a bowl and add 5 T. or so of sugar (to taste) and then let rest in the refrigerator while the cake cooks. Reserve a few whole strawberries to slice and use to decorate the top.

CAKE:   Mix cake mix, 1 pudding box, eggs, sour cream, oil and water. Bake in greased and floured (I use Baker's Joy spray) 9 x 13 pan for 30-35 minutes until done. Let cool.

FILLING: In a medium sized mixing bowl, mix one box pudding with milk and beat for a few minutes. Fold in the cool whip. 

ASSEMBLY:  In a trifle bowl or a large glass mixing bowl, put a thin layer of the pudding mixture in the bottom. Then spread half of the strawberries on top of the pudding. Chop up half of the peaches and lay on top of the strawberries. Cut the cake in half. Take one half and break it up in 1 inch or so sized pieces. Layer on top of the fruit. Press down. Spread a layer of filling (use about half of what you have left in the bowl). Put the rest of the strawberries down and the almost all of the rest of the peaches. Reserve a few for decoration on top of the trifle. Break up the rest of the cake and layer on top of the fruit. Spread the top with the remaining filling. Arrange the strawberries and peaches in a circle around the top. You could also garnish with whip cream. Refrigerate overnight or for several hours.

TO MAKE IT GLUTEN FREE:  (the only changes are to the cake part of the recipe)
15 oz. gluten free cake mix
half a box of instant vanilla pudding
1 softened stick of butter
3/4 c. milk
1 T. vanilla
4 eggs
Mix it all together and beat the heck out of it. You can't grease and flour the cake pan, so use one that releases pretty well and spray with Pam. Bake for 30 minutes or so in a 9 x 13 pan.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Creamy Coleslaw and Brisket

I also made, but forgot to take pictures of Pioneer Woman's Crash Hot Potatoes. They were good if you are thinking about making them. I used fingerling potatoes from the farmers market. Yum.

Okay, first the coleslaw. I was a little worried when I tasted it right after I mixed it because it had a strong miracle whip flavor. But after it sat all night the miracle whip taste went away and it was really good. It is easy to make too.

Creamy Coleslaw
1 bag of preshredded cabbage/coleslaw mix (you could shred your own if you want)
2/3 c. miracle whip
3 T. oil
1/2 c. sugar
1 T. vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
Whisk the dressing together and add the slaw. Let set overnight or for several hours.

Next, the brisket. This is a different recipe than I have used before. The last time I made brisket I used Pioneer Woman's Passover Brisket recipe. It's really good but this recipe is good too. (It's based off another PW recipe).  I don't know which one is better- try both!

one large brisket
2 cans of beef broth
1 T. chopped garlic
1 bottle of soy sauce
2 T. liquid smoke
1 plastic lemon full of lemon juice
In a roasting pan or a really deep 9 x 13 pan, mix all the juices. Add the brisket, dipping it so that it is covered in juice. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Refrigerate for 24 hours, turning it over as you remember it so that it all gets marinaded. Bake for 8 hours at 275 degrees. It is not done until you can stick a fork in it and pull it apart without a knife. Halfway through the day turn the brisket over so that both sides can get the juice. When it is done cooking, slice off all the fat and then either shred it with a fork (the easy way) or slice it against the grain.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cherry Limeade Punch and Vanilla Cream Cheese Cupcakes

This punch is awesome. Better than a Sonic Cherry Limeade and easy to make.
Cherry Limeade Punch
2- 2 liters of sprite
1 jar of maraschino cherries with the juice
2 containers of frozen limeade mix
1 lime, sliced
Mix it all together.


These cupcakes have a pound cake base with a cream cheese topping that is baked in. They are perfect with a cup of coffee. 
 Vanilla Cream Cheese Cupcakes
a Pound Cake mix (not a pound of cake mix, but a Pound Cake)
1 stick of melted butter
3 eggs 
1 t. vanilla
12 oz. cream cheese
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. chopped pecans
Mix the cake mix, butter and 3 eggs. Prepare cupcake liners. Drop one tablespoonful in the bottom of the liner. Mix the cream cheese, vanilla, 2 eggs and powdered sugar. Drop one tablespoonful on top of the cake mix. Sprinkle pecans on top (omit if you don't like pecans). Bake until cooked through and lightly golden brown, about 25 minutes, at 350 degrees. Let cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Triple Chocolate Cake

Every year Jack requests a chocolate chocolate cake for his birthday. This year I decided to try chocolate chocolate chocolate. This is based off the easy chocolate cake mix cake that I make frequently, and it has two different kinds of chocolate frosting. As you can tell from the pictures, I had trouble with the outside frosting sticking to the filling layers on the sides of the cake. If you don't mind a messy sided cake (and I don't) then that is not a problem. If you are looking for something prettier, I recommend you just frost the top with the frosting.

Triple Chocolate Cake
1 box devils food cake
1 small box instant chocolate pudding
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. oil
1 t. vanilla
4 eggs
Mix it all together. Bake in three 9 inch round pans at 350 for 20 minutes or so, until fully cooked. Let cool.
1 small box of instant chocolate pudding
1 c. milk
1 tub of cool whip
Mix the pudding and milk until thick. Fold in the cool whip. Spread between the three cake layers.
1 stick of butter
1/4 c. milk
1/2 c. cocoa
1 t. vanilla
4 1/2 c. powdered sugar
In a small saucepan mix the butter, milk and vanilla until slightly boiling. Stir frequently to keep from burning. Put the powdered sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add half of the cocoa mixture. Mix. Add the rest. Spread on top of the cake. Keep cake in the refrigerator.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Sun Dried Tomato Cheeseball

I think this is the best cheeseball I've ever had. Really. It vaguely reminds me of dipping a slice of cheese pizza in ranch dressing (if you've never done that you should try it). This would also be good rolled in chopped pecans.

Sun Dried Tomato Cheeseball
12 oz. of cream cheese
1/3 c. drained, oil packed sun dried tomatoes
1/2 pkg. dry hidden valley ranch
8 oz. grated sharp cheddar
dash of Worcestershire sauce
Mix it all together and chill. Serve with crackers.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Almond Joy Bars (Gluten Free)

These are tasty, easy to make and can be gluten free. If you want to make these gluten free make sure you check the labels to see if they are. I had a choice of two different brands of almonds, one was gluten free and one wasn’t.
Almond Joy Bars

7 oz. package of coconut
Bag of chocolate chips
6 oz. bag of slivered almonds
1 can sweetened condensed milk
Grease and flour a 9 x 13 pan. Spread the coconut in the bottom. Top with chocolate chips and almonds. Evenly pour the milk on the top of the almonds. Bake for 20-25 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Let cool before cutting.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Chicken Fried Steak and Whatever Bars

If you've never made homemade chicken fried steak before, it is pretty easy to do. This recipe is a good one. After you make it once, you can adjust the seasonings as you want to. I think next time I will add a teaspoon of garlic powder.

Chicken Fried Steak
4 large cube steaks
1 egg
3/4 milk
1 1/2 c. flour
1 T. Lawry's seasoning salt
1 t. pepper
1 t. salt
1 t. thyme
1 t. paprika
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
In a small bowl mix the egg and milk. In another bowl mix the rest of the ingredients (except for the steak). Dip the steak in the wet bowl, then dip it in the dry bowl. In a large frying pan, heat a 1/2 inch of oil to medium. When it is hot, add the steaks and cook 3 minutes or so for each side until crispy. If you aren't sure if they are done, cut into it and check that it is not pink. I serve these with mashed potatoes and white gravy, but it's also good as a sandwich.

For dessert...
These are easy to make and really good. I love a cheesecake brownie- I used to always order those from the cookie store at the mall. (I think my sweet tooth has gotten worse as I've gotten older because now I order the Double Doozies-chocolate chip sandwich cookies filled with butter cream. Makes my teeth hurt just thinking about it, but yum!)

Whatever Bars
1st layer
1 devils food cake mix
1 stick of butter melted
1 egg
2nd layer
8 oz cream cheese
1 stick of butter
1/2 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
2 eggs
1 c. chocolate chips
Mix the cake mix, eggs and butter. Press into a greased and floured 9 x 13 pan. Mix the cream cheese and butter. Beat in the sugar and vanilla. When fluffy, beat in the eggs. Then mix in the chocolate chips. Pour over the brownie layer. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes. Let cool before cutting. Refrigerate.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Apple Cinnamon Rolls

I don't know if this actually counts as a recipe, but these are really good.

Apple Cinnamon Rolls
1 can of apple pie filling (or your homemade pie filling)
1 bag of frozen cinnamon rolls (or your homemade ones)
Let the rolls rise according to the directions on the back of the bag. Use a 9 x 9 square pan. Bake according to directions. After removing them from the oven, pour the can of pie filling on the rolls. Return to the oven until the pie filling is warm, five minutes or so. Remove from the oven and squirt the package of frosting on the top of the filling. Serve warm.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Raspberry Cream Cheese Bars

These are good. I think you should make them. I think you could use blueberries or strawberries and they would be good too. (Sorry about the picture, taken with my phone at work).

Raspberry Cream Cheese Bars
2 sticks of butter, softened
1 c. powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. salt
2 c. flour
1 pint of raspberries
1 small jar of raspberry preserves
8 oz. plus 4 oz. of cream cheese, softened
1 stick of butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 c. flour
1 c. quick cook oats
First cream together the butter, powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat in the flour and salt until a dough forms. Press it into a greased and floured 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. While it is baking make the topping in the same bowl. First cream the butter and sugar, then add in the flour and oats. In a separate small bowl, stir up the preserves, then add in the raspberries. Remove the bars from the oven and let them cool for 10 minutes. While they are cooling, beat your cream cheese until it is smooth. After 10 minutes, spread the cream cheese on the crust. Then spread the berry mix on the cream cheese. Then drop the crumble mixture on top of that so that some of berries show through. Bake again for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before cutting.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Jalapeno Popper Dip and Chocolate Eclair Cake

This dip tastes a lot like jalapeno poppers. It is really good without it, but I think next time I make it I am going to fry up 1/2 a package of bacon and crumble it in the dip. Also, if you want to bake this in the oven, spray a 9 x 9 pan with Pam and bake at 350 until it is all melted.

Jalapeno Popper Dip
4 oz. can of green chilies
4 oz. can of jalapenos (or the equivalent- I had a jar of jalapenos and just filled up my empty can of green chilies to see if I had enough)
2- 8 oz. blocks of cream cheese
1 c. mayo
1 c. shredded cheddar
1/2 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 t. pepper
Mix it all together in a medium sized crock pot and serve with Frito's when warm and melty.

This next thing is not really a cake. It is another one of those layered pudding desserts. I love a cold layered pudding dessert in the summer. This is good and easy! The picture below doesn't do it justice. If you try this, make sure you have at least 8 hours, (but overnight is better) to let it set in the refrigerator. It takes that long for the graham crackers to soften.

Chocolate Eclair Cake
1 box of graham crackers
1 large box of instant french vanilla pudding
3 c. plus 1/4 c. milk
1 container cool whip
1 stick of butter
1/4 c. cocoa
1 t. vanilla
4 c. powdered sugar
Butter a 9 x 13 pan. Put a layer of graham crackers on the bottom of the pan. In a large mixing bowl, add the dry pudding. Whisk in, or beat in, 3 c. of milk. When it starts to get thick, stop and fold in (with a rubber spatula) the cool whip. Spread half of the pudding on top of the graham crackers. Put another layer of graham crackers on top. Spread the rest of the pudding. Put another layer of graham crackers on top. In another mixing bowl (or rinse out the pudding one) put the powdered sugar. In a small sauce pan, put the butter, cocoa, vanilla and 1/4 c. of milk. Cook until barely boiling. Stir constantly so it doesn't burn. Pour on the powdered sugar and then whisk or beat until frosting consistency. Spread on the graham crackers. Cover and put in the refrigerator overnight.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Homemade Soft Pretzels

These are so good! I have been craving big pretzels all summer at the ball fields but I know better than to order one there. (They are frozen and heated up). These are worth waiting for. You may think there is too much butter- ignore your instincts. Use all of it. The butter makes the pretzel.
Homemade Soft Pretzels
2 1/2 c. flour
1/2 t. salt
1 t. sugar
pkg of yeast
1 c. and 1/2 c. warm water
2 T. baking soda
3 T. butter
Mix the flour, salt, sugar, yeast and 1 c. water. Knead in your mixer or by hand for 5 minutes. Flour the dough ball and put it in a large ziplock for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven at 500 degrees. Separate the dough into 8 balls. Let it rest for 5 minutes. In a small bowl, mix 1/2 c. water and baking soda. Stretch the balls out into a rope 30 inches long. Twist into a pretzel shape. Dip in the baking soda water. Set on a cookie sheet covered in parchment or greased. Bake  for 8 minutes. Melt the butter. Brush on the pretzels after removing from oven. Sprinkle with salt. Enjoy.