Sunday, February 26, 2012

Gooey Cherry Cake

This is almost the same as the Gooey Apple. It makes a nice coffee cake.
Gooey Cherry Cake
first layer:
1 yellow cake mix
1 melted stick of butter
1 egg
second layer:
8 oz. pkg. of cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
3 c. powdered sugar
2 cans of cherries, drained
1/4 c. sugar
Mix the cake mix, butter and egg. Press into the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan (sprayed with Bakers Joy). In the same mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add in the vanilla. Beat in the powdered sugar and cinnamon. Beat in the butter. Pour on top of the crust. Drain the cherries. Sprinkle with the 1/4 c. of sugar. Carefully sprinkle on top of the batter and push down so that the top is evenly covered in cherries. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Let cool completely and then refrigerate.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Gooey Apple Cake

This is a great cake. Not hard to make at all. Excellent with a cup of coffee for breakfast!
Gooey Apple Cake
first layer:
1 yellow cake mix
1 melted stick of butter
1 egg
second layer:
8 oz. pkg. of cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
3 c. powdered sugar
4 apples
Mix the cake mix, butter and egg. Press into the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan (sprayed with Bakers Joy). In the same mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add in the vanilla. Beat in the powdered sugar and cinnamon. Beat in the butter. Peel and slice the apples. Fold into the batter. Pour on top of the crust. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Let cool completely and then refrigerate.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Peanut Butter Bars

These are peanut butter heaven. If you love peanut butter, you will love these.
Peanut Butter Bars
bars:
1 stick of butter
1/2 c. peanut butter
2/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt

frosting:
1/2 stick of butter (1/4 c.) softened
1/2 c. peanut butter
1 c. powdered sugar
2-3 T. milk

For the bars, cream the butter, peanut butter and sugars together until fluffy (about 5 minutes).  Add in the dry ingredients and beat until just combined. Pour into a greased 9 x 9 pan. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Let cool. For the frosting, beat the butter and peanut butter until creamy. Beat in the powdered sugar. Add in milk until it is the right consistency. Spread over the bars.

Chicken Pot Pie

I know this picture is not that great. I meant to take a picture right when it came out of the oven but I didn't get around to it. I am not the best photographer anyway, but this is a really good chicken pot pie recipe and not really that difficult or time consuming to put together, but it does have to bake for an hour.
Chicken Pot Pie
1 stick of butter
2 leeks, chopped
1/2 c. flour
1 can of chicken broth
3 c. chicken cooked and shredded
1 1/2 c. frozen, cubed, hash browns O'Brien
1 c. chopped carrots
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1 pkg. frozen puff pastry, thawed out
1 egg, plus 1 T. water

Melt the butter and cook the leeks in the butter for 3 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour. Cook for 3 minutes whisking the whole time. Whisk in the chicken broth. Bring to a boil whisking constantly. Remove from heat and mix in the chicken, vegetables and salt and pepper.

Lightly roll out the puff pastry. Press one sheet into a 9x9 pan sprayed with Pam. Add the filling. Place remaining pastry sheet over filling in opposite direction of bottom sheet; fold edges under. Whisk together egg and 1 T. water, and brush over top of pie.

Bake at 375° 55 to 60 minutes or until browned. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

Deep Dish Chicago Style Pizza

This is not a recipe for a week night after work. They take time to make, but they are worth it.
Deep Dish Chicago Style Pizza
crust:
4 c. flour
3 t. cornmeal
1 3/4 t. salt
2 3/4 t. quick yeast
4 T. oil
4 T. melted butter
1 c. plus 2 T. warm water

filling:
3/4 lb. mozzarella cheese, sliced
1 lb. Italian sausage links, cooked and sliced into coin shapes
28 oz. can of diced tomatoes, drained
2 T. minced garlic
1 T. sugar
2 t. Italian seasoning
1 c. fresh grated Parmesan

First, mix all the crust ingredients together in your mixer with the dough hook. Knead for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth. Spray a large bowl with Pam and put the dough in it to rise. Cover. Let rest in a warmish place for an hour.

Spray two 9 inch cake pans with Pam. Pour 2 T. olive oil in each pan and let it coat the bottoms and half the side of the pans. Split the dough in half. Stretch each piece out into as large a circle as you can. Place in the pans. Push the dough towards the edges. Cover and let them rise for 15 minutes. Set your oven for 425.  After the 15 minutes, push the dough up the sides of the pans, going all the way to the top. Cover and let rest for another 15 minutes. Then bake for 10 minutes.

While they are baking, drain the tomatoes and mix the garlic, sugar and seasonings with the tomatoes. Slice the sausages. Get out the cheeses. Remove the pizzas from the oven. Fan the mozzarella cheese out on top of the crust. Evenly distribute the sausage on top of the cheese. Then sprinkle with the tomatoes. Press down. Sprinkle with Parmesan.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the pizzas from the pans and place on cooling racks. Wait 15 minutes to serve.

Nutty Cereal Mix

These are addictive and it makes a huge batch. I recommend you give away bags of it to keep from eating it all.
Nutty Cereal Mix
small box of Rice Chex
small box of Golden Grahams
small bag of slivered almonds
small bag of coconut
3 sticks of butter
2 c. sugar
2 c. white corn syrup
In a large pan, like a stock pot, mix the butter, sugar and syrup. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour in the cereals, coconut and almonds. Mix thoroughly and spread out on wax or parchment paper to harden.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Chicken Cordon Bleu

This is a very tasty recipe. I highly recommend. My son that does not like chicken breasts even liked it. I did not take a picture of the inside, but there is a layer of ham on top of the chicken breast.

Chicken Cordon Bleu
1 pkg. boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
1 pkg. Deli sliced ham (12 thin slices)
1/4 c. ranch
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
6 slices provolone cheese
1/2 c. panko bread crumbs
2 t. Melted butter
1 t. Garlic salt
Slice the chicken breasts in half to make them thinner. Beat with the tenderizer. Fry in a pan with a little olive oil and salt and pepper until fully cooked. Place in a casserole dish sprayed with Pam. Put two slices of ham on each breast. In a small bowl, mix the 1/4 c. Parmesan with the ranch. Spoon evenly on top of the ham. Lay one slice of provolone on top of each. Mix the bread crumbs, butter, garlic and 1/3 c. Parmesan. Press down on top of the cheese. Broil in the oven until the cheese melts and the crumbs are browned.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Homemade Oatmeal Cream Pies


These really don't need an introduction if you've ever had the big-sized Little Debbie version you have a good idea what they taste like, but these are better. (If you prefer chocolate, try my whoopie pies instead.)

Oatmeal Cream Pies

cookies:
1 stick of butter
1/2 c. butter flavored Crisco
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c.  flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 t. salt
3 c. rolled oats

filling:
1 1/2 c.  Marshmallow Fluff
1 1/4 c. Crisco
1 c. powdered sugar
1 T. vanilla extract

Cream butter, Crisco, brown and white sugars. After 5 minutes or so, beat in eggs and vanilla. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon and spice and mix until just combined. Fold in oats. Bake 10-12 minutes on parchment lined pans at 350. Let cool.

For the filling, beat fluff and Crisco for 3 minutes on medium. Then add sugar and vanilla and beat until fluffy. Assemble the cookies by putting a squirt of filling on one cookie and topping it with another cookie. You will have to judge how much filling to use by doing it. Too much filling and it oozes out. Not enough filling and you can’t see it from the sides of the cookie.  

Chicken Parm Pasta

This is super simple and is great for those nights when you have a very short time frame to get dinner to the table. This takes about 20 minutes to get to the table (excluding the all day cook time for the crock pot).
Chicken Parm Pasta
pkg. of chicken breasts
jar of spaghetti sauce
pasta
butter
minced garlic
fresh grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
In the morning, put the chicken and the spaghetti sauce in your crock pot and cook on low all day. When you get home from work, boil the pasta, drain and then add in a couple of tablespoons of butter, a small handful of cheese and a teaspoonful of garlic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir well. Serve the chicken and sauce on top of the pasta.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Skinny Mac and Cheese

Maybe it is a stretch to call this "skinny" but it is certainly lower in fat than my regular mac and cheese. My favorite is still Pioneer Woman's, but if you are trying to diet, then this one is pretty good. It came in at 178 calories for a 12th of the pan with 4 grams of fat, 12 grams of protein, 27 grams of carbs and 2.5 grams of fiber.
Skinny Mac and Cheese
12 oz. of Ronzoni smart taste pasta (tastes like white but has nutrition of wheat)
12 oz. can of evaporated non-fat milk
8 oz. of 2% shredded cheddar cheese (reserve 1/4 c.)
1/2 c. non-fat sour cream
1 t. dried mustard powder
1/2 t. salt and 1/2 t. pepper
Cook the macaroni and drain. Add the milk to a saucepan. When it just starts to bubble around the edges, remove from heat and whisk in the cheese, sour cream, mustard, salt and pepper until smooth. Stir in the macaroni. Pour into a 9 x 13 pan sprayed with Pam. Sprinkle with the reserved cheese. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake 10 more.

Oven-baked Ribs

These are awesome and very easy to make. They just fall apart while you eat them. I could cut them with a spoon.  I used some baby back and some country style. Both turned out fine.

Oven-baked Ribs
Put all your ribs in a large stock pot. Cover with water. Add  1 T. minced garlic, 1 t. pepper, 2 T. salt and 1 T. liquid smoke. Bring to a boil, then turn down to medium and cook for about an hour. Spray a 9 x 13 pan with Pam then pour a little bbq sauce in the bottom and swirl it around. Lay out the ribs. Pour bbq sauce all over them. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 325 for 2 hours.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

White Chicken Chili

This is another really fast dinner to put together that we all enjoyed. If you want, you can garnish with shredded monterey jack and sour cream.

White Chicken Chili
2 cans great northern beans, rinsed and drained
2 cans chopped green chilis
about 3 or 4 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (rotisserie or canned chicken work as well)
1 large container of chicken broth
1 T. cumin
1/2 t. paprika
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
2 T. cornmeal or corn flour (or cornbread mix works)
1 c. milk
Mix the beans, green chilis, chicken and broth in either a crock pot or a soup pot. Add in the seasoning except for the cornmeal and milk. If cooking on the stove top, bring to a boil and let simmer for 30 minutes. If cooking in a crock pot, cook for 4 hours or so on low heat. Then mix the cornmeal and milk together and add to chili. Heat a little longer to thicken and then serve. We like this with cornbread.

Taco Soup

This was a great taco soup. You can really customize it to what you like best. For example, if you like it hotter, add jalapenos or green chiles. If you like less beans, take some out. As an added bonus it is fast and easy to make.

Taco Soup
1 lb. of browned hamburger
1 can of Rotel, don't drain
1 can of diced tomatoes, don't drain
1 can of sliced black olives, don't drain
1 can of white corn, don't drain
1 can of black beans, drain and rinse
1/2 a can of pinto beans, drain and rinse
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1 pkg. dry ranch dressing
3 empty tomato cans full of water
Add all the ingredients together in a big soup pot and cook for about 30 minutes. We topped with Fritos, shredded cheddar and sour cream.