Saturday, September 18, 2010

Pumpkin Baked Apples

1 pie pumpkin (pie pumpkins are smaller than the ones you carve)
2 apples (I used granny smith)
sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon to taste

Preheat oven to 350 (I convected to speed things up). 

Scoop out alll the pulp and seeds from pumpkin.  Peel and slice apples and mix with sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon.  Pour apples into the hollow pumpkin and place the top back on.  Bake until pumpkin turns black (could take a few hours).  You can also use the pumpkin flesh to bake a fresh pumpkin pie so this recipe actually will make you two desserts!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Enchilada "ish" casserole

I kinda just threw this one together...using stuff I had left over in the fridge etc.

1/2 lb sirloin
1/2 sm onion
1 can diced green chiles
1 tsp cumin
1/2 can black beans
2 green onions diced
2 cups shredded cheese
1 can enchilada sauce
1TB oil
1TB flour
1 cup chicken broth
2 TB cilantro
corn tortillas

Brown meat with onions and add cumin, green onions, black beans and cook a lil bit longer.

In pot add oil and flour and stir to create a paste. Add cilantro, enchilada sauce, and chicken broth.  Bring to a boil and then let simmer for a bit.

Cover the bottom of 13x9 pan with corn tortillas.  Pour meat Mixture on top and cover with diced green onions, cheese, and pour half the sauce on top.

Add another layer of corn tortillas on top and cover with a lil more cheese and sauce. 

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Paprika Chicken with Cream Sauce

I found this recipe and thought I'd give it a was actually very tasty!!!

1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp ground red pepper

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup butter
1 can cream of mushroom soup
8 oz sour cream
2 green onions, sliced

Stir flour, paprika, pepper, garlic powder, red pepper together.  Heat butter in skillett over medium high heat.  Coat chicken in flour mixture and add to skilllett.  Cook chicken for 10 minutes or until well browned on both sides.  Remove chicken from skillett. 

Stir the soup and cream cheese and green onions together in the skillet until boiling.  Return chicken to skillet and cook an additional 5 minutes or until no longer pink.

Beef and Black Bean Sliders

I saw this recipe on Food Network and thought I'd give it a try! It was really very good and Travis couldn't even tell it had black beans hidden in it! I didn't take a pic of the final product though!

1/4 cup cooked black beans (I used canned)
1/2 pound sirloin
2 TB olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper
1 TB dijon mustard
1 package little Hawaiian Rolls

Preheat a grill pan and coat with oil lightly.  In bowl mash the the black beans, 1 TB olive oil, and garlic powder.  Add the sirloin to the black bean mixture .  Season with salt and pepper.  Divide meat mixture up into 8 equal portions...they will be very small.  Make into in the center.  Lightly brush the outside of the burgers with Dijon mustard and place mustard side down on the grill.  Brush the other side as well.  Cook on each side for approximately 3-5 minutes until done.  Serve on toasted rolls.

The toasting of the rolls made this dish along with the brushing of mustard.  The mustard gives a great flavor and wonderful crust to the burgers!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Fried Green Tomatoes

3 or 4 large firm green tomatoes
2 cups vegetable or peanut oil, for deep-frying
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups self-rising flour
Freshly ground black pepper

Slice the tomatoes 1/4-inch thick. Lay them out in a shallow baking pan and sprinkle with salt. Place the tomato slices in a colander and allow time for salt to pull the water out of the tomatoes, approximately 30 minutes.

In a skillet, heat the oil for deep-frying over medium-high heat.

Dip the tomatoes into buttermilk, then dredge them into flour with a dash of pepper. Deep-fry until golden brown

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Peach Delight

I got this recipe from my friend Jane and it's super gooooooood! I again used those fresh peaches from the farmers market! (note that I only made a half batch but this recipe makes a full 13x9)

2 cups flour
1 cup pecans
2 sticks butter, melted

Mix these three together and place in 13x9 pan.  Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

8 oz cream cheese
8 oz Cool Whip
2.5 cups powdered sugar

Mix and spread over first layer once it's cooled.

Add 4 cups fresh diced peaches

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
4 TB flour
4 TB peach jello

In saucepan combine ingredients and cook on medium heat until thick.  Remove from heat.  Once cooled pour over other ingredients and place in fridge to chill.

okra and tomatoes

I thought I would try this one since I had all that fresh okra from the farmers market! It was super delicious!

4 slices bacon, diced into small pieces
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon chicken base (I didn't have this so just used a little chicken stock)

1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups fresh okra, cut into 1-inch pieces (may use frozen, if fresh not available)
Fresh ground black pepper
Cook bacon slightly. Saute onion and garlic with bacon until tender. Add tomatoes, chicken base, sugar and pepper. Stir well and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Adjust seasoning if needed. Meanwhile wash okra and remove fuzz if using fresh and cut into pieces. Add the okra and simmer until okra is done, about 20 more minutes (less if using frozen okra.)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Red Velvet Cupakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

this is MY FAVORITE cupcake...seriously divine!!!!!!!

for the cupcakes:
2.5 cups all purpose flour
1.5 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cocoa powder
1.5 cups veg oil
1 cup buttermilk, room temp.
2 large eggs, room temp.
2 TB red food coloring
1 tsp disilled white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract

For frosting:
1 pound cream cheese, softened
2 sticks butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar

chopped pecans for garnish

Preheat to 350. Line cupcake pans with cupcake papers. 

In med. bowl sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.  In a lg bowl beat together the eggs, butter, oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with hand mixer.  Add the dry ingred. to wet mixture slowly and mix until smooth. 

Pour into cupcake wrappers and bake for 20-22 minutes.  Cool.

For frosting:
beat cream cheese, buter, and vanilla together.  Add sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated.  Increase speed and beat until light and fluffy!

Tex-Mex Cheddar Mac

This one is super easy (like 20 minutes) and was really good.  Essie devoured it!

1 pkg Kraft Mac n Cheese (7 oz)
1 lb ground beef
1 cup salsa
1 cup cheddar cheese

Prepare Mac'n'Cheese according to directions.
Brown beef in skillet on medium heat until no longer pink.  Add salsa and cook an additional 5 minutes.
Add meat mixture to mac'n'cheese...stir to combine and top with cheese!

Beef and Cheddar Potpie

6 TB Butter
1 sm onion, chopped
1.5 pounds ground sirloin
28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 cup beef broth
salt & pepper
1.5 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 c milk

Preheat to 375.
Spray 9x13 pan.
In lg pan, heat 2 TB butter over medium high heat.  Add onion and cook til tender but not brown.  Add beef and cook til no longer pink.  Add tomatoes and beef broth and season with salt and pepper.  Reduce heat and let simmer 20 minutes until most of liquid is gone.  Pour into prepared baking dish.

In lg bowl combine flour, baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt.  Using your fingertips blend remaining 4 TB butter and cheese until mixute becomes crumbly.  Gather the dough and make a big ball and press or roll out to 1/2 inch thickness.  Using 3 inch cookie cutter (I used a glass) cut out biscuits.  Re-rolll scraps until all dough has been used up.  Layer biscuits on top of beef mixture and bake for 35 minutes til browned. 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ropa Vieja Joses (Cuban Sloppy Joes) and Cheesy Squash Casserole

This ain't your typical cafeteria sloppy joe...oh no...these are so flavorful!!! Make sure to toast your bun though!!!
Cuban Sloppy Joes (Rachel Rae)
Mojo Sauce:
10 cloves garlic, cracked from skin
1 medium onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin, eyeball it in your palm
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, eyeball the amount
1/4 cup water, eyeball it
The Joes:
2 pounds ground sirloin
1/4 cup green olives with pimiento, finely chopped (I didn't have any so I left this out)
1 tablespoon paprika, eyeball it in your palm
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, eyeball it
1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce (recommended: Tabasco) eyeball it
1 cup tomato sauce
A palm full grill seasoning blend (recommended: McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning
4 crusty rolls, split (if available to you, look for Cuban rolls or Portuguese rolls, they are slightly sweet, but good ole keisers work fine, too) 

Make the mojo sauce: put the garlic and onion in a food processor with cumin, lemon zest and juice. Turn processor on and stream in about 1 cup of extra-virgin olive oil and 1/4 cup of water. Turn off processor and reserve.

Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and brown. Add half of the mojo and crumble the meat as it cooks, about 3 minutes. Add olives and pimientos, paprika, Worcestershire, hot pepper sauce, tomato sauce and grill seasoning. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Cook over low heat 10 minutes.

Cheesy Squash Casserole (Paula Deen)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
6 medium yellow summer squash, thinly sliced
1 large Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar
1/2 cup sour cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 sleeve crackers, crushed medium to fine (recommended: Ritz)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 2-quart casserole dish.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the squash, onion, and butter until soft. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the Parmesan, Cheddar, and sour cream. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

Place in the prepared casserole dish and sprinkle the cracker crumbs evenly over the top. Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbly

Ranch Chicken

This one I tried the other night and it was AMAZINGLY GOOD! Like really good.  It's a Pioneer Woman recipe so I'm just linking to her post about it!

Strawberry Slush Punch....

This is my absolute favorite punch...I serve it at all showers!

You need:
2 quarts water, divided
2 cups sugar
3 packages cherry koolade
16 oz frozen strawberries, thawed and pureed
3 banana, peeled and mashed
6 oz can frozen oj concentrate, thawed
6 oz can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 liter ginger ale

In LARGE pot/dutch oven bring two cups water to boil and add sugar.  Stir to dissolve.  Remove from heat and add Kool-ade packets and stir.  Stir in remaining water, strawberries, bananas, and concentrates.  (I sometime have to blend it in the blender for get a good consistency).  Pour into gallon freezer bags and freeze.  Set out at least 3 hours to thaw...pour ginger ale on top.  Sooo goooood!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Summer Soup and fruit shortcake!

We made this tonight and it was really good can pretty much make it out of all the veggies you have out in the garden!

You need:
2 TB Olive Oil
2 jalapenos seeded and chopped
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
3 ribs celery, diced
3 cloved garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1 (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
1 (16 oz) stewed tomatoes
1 can vegetable stock
3 TB fresh cilantro,chopped

Heat a soup pot over medium-high heat.  Add 2 TB oil and all veggies....saute until veggies are tender (5-10 minutes).  Add crushed tomatoes, stewed tomatoes, veggie stock, salt, pepper, and cilantro.  Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer.

Serve with grilled cheese quesadillas and top with avocado smash!
Avocado Smash:
2 Avocados
2 TB chopped cilantro
3 scallions
1 lime, juiced
1 cup sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
1 plum tomato chopped

Add first 5 ingredients and smash with potato smasher.  Add the tomatoes and salt/pepper to taste!

Fruit Shortcake:
fresh fruit (we used strawberries, blueberries and peaches)
1 package frozen pie crust
vanilla ice cream
cool whip

Bake the pie crust in the oven for about 10 minutes on aluminum pan....once cool break into pieces.

Put several pieces of pie crust in bowl and top with ice cream, fruit, and cool whip!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Banana Bread

1/2 c veggie oil
1 c sugar
3 very ripe bananas (mashed)
2 beaten eggs
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat to 350.  Cream oil and sugar together.  Add in mashed bananas and mix well.  Add in remaining ingredients.  Pour into greased loaf pans (will make 2).  Bake 50 minutes!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

zucchini & squash cakes

I found this recipe and just had to try it out! It was very, very yummy...of course it's Paula Deen's!

3 medium zucchini
3 medium yellow squash
1 cup toasted bread crumbs
1 cup shredded Parmesan
1/3 cup minced Vidalia onion
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 jar store-bought marinara sauce

Grate zucchini and squash with a fine grater. Press between paper towels to remove excess moisture.
In a medium bowl, combine grated zucchini and squash and next 7 ingredients. Shape mixture into 2-inch patties, pressing together firmly.
In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Cook squash and zucchini cakes 3 to 4 minutes per side or until lightly browned.

Place onto serving platter and serve with marinara sauce.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Hamburger, "baked" beans, and grilled corn

1 lb ground sirloin
BBQ sauce
Montreal Steak Seasoning
worchestershire sauce
brown sugar

Combine the ingredients...I don't use measurements...just use as much or little as you like.  Combine and split meat into four patties.  Grill!

"Baked" Beans:
1 big can pork and beans
brown sugar
bbq sauce
Strawberrys BBQ seasoning
diced onion

Combine in crock pot and cook on low several hours.

Grilled corn on the cob...
Pull off the outer leaves of the stalk. 
Carefully pull back the inner leaves...leave them intact. 
Remove the silk.
Coat with butter, salt, and paprika.
Cover back with the leaves and tie the open end.
Soak in cool water for 15 minutes.
Remove and shake off water.
Grill for 15-20 minutes.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Pineapple Black Bean Enchiladas

I used to make this a lot but forgot all about's very flavorful...has no meat...and is pretty healthy!

drizzle of oil
1 med onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 large (20 oz) can pineapple tidbits (drained but save 1/3 c for later)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can chopped green chiles
fresh cilantro chopped (about 1/2 cup)
3 cups lowfat sharp cheddar cheese
1 can enchilada sauce
flour tortillas (8)

Preheat oven to 350...spray a 13x9 with cooking spray.
Over medium heat, cook onion and bell pepper in a drizzle of oil until tender (about 5 minutes).  Add the pineapples, black beans, green chiles and heat through.

Remove from heat and add cilantro and cheese.  Stir until cheese is melted and well combined.

Spoon a few teaspoons of enchilada sauce onto tortilla and then add a few scoops of pineapple/black bean mixture.  Roll up and place seam side down in 13x9.  This should make 8 enchiladas.  Once all enchiladas have been made, mix the remaining enchilada sauce and the reserved pineapple juice together and pour over the top of enchiladas.  Sprinkle remaining cup of cheese over enchiladas. Spray foil with cooking spray and place over pan, sealing tightly.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and bake another 5 minutes.

Serve with sour cream and fresh cilantro.

Friday, April 23, 2010

corn and black bean relish

I got this one from my friend Sarah! It's good on tacos or as a dip!

1 can rotel
1 can corn (drained)
1 can black beans (drained)
chopped fresh cilantro
lime juice
salt to taste

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and serve!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Baked Lemon Pasta

This is a Pioneer Woman recipe and It is magnificent!  I am a lemon this was right up my alley! But the hubs in NOT a lemon lover but he LOVED this anyway! It's really simple and quick and just simply delicious!

1 lb think spaghetti
4 TB salted butter
2 TB olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 whole lemon, juiced and zested
2 cups sour cream
1/2 kosher salt
Parmesan Cheese to top
Flat-Leaf Parsley to top
Extra Lemon Juice (I used another whole lemon)

Preheat oven to 375.  Boil spaghetti until al dente (since it's thin it doesn't take long!)
In a skillet, melt butter with olive oil over LOW.  Once it's melted add garlic and let it infuse.  Squeeze Lemon Juice into mixture.  Turn off heat.
Add sour cream and stir.  Add lemon zest and salt.  Taste to see if more salt is needed.  Pour mixture into spaghetti and mix.
Pour it all into an oven safe dish (I did a big round Pyrex).  Cover with foil.  Bake 15 minutes.  Take off foil and bake another 7-10 minutes.  Be careful not to overcook since it will dry the pasta out!
When it's done, remove from oven and add a lil more lemon juice on the top.  Top with Parmesan and parsley! Voila!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Apricot Poppy Seed Chicken with Dill Potatoes

I thought I'd try out a new recipe tonight.  I got it from an old Racheal Rae Magazine but I changed it up just a bit.  It was VERY YUMMY!

2 lbs small red potatoes, halved
2 TB extra virgin olive oil
1 and 1/2 lbs chicken breasts, cut into chunks
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
1 c chicken broth
1/4 c apricot preserves
3 TB honey
2 tsp poppy seeds
3 TB butter
1 TB dried dill

In medium pot add potatoes, and just enough water to cover about an inch over the top.  Salt the water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and let simmer until fork tender (about 15 minutes)

While the pototoes work, place the oil in the skillet over med-high heat. Season with salt and pepper  and cook until browned, turning once.  Add shallots and cook another 3 minutes.  Add the vinegar and cook 1 minute until reduced a bit.  Add the broth, apricot preserves, honey, and poppy seeds and simmer over medium heat, stirring,  Add 1 TB butter.

Drain the potatoes, return to their pot and add 2 TB butter and dill.  You can stop at this and eat them at whole potatoes OR you can maked smashed taters like I did.  Just mash and add a lil milk, and some cream cheese.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Banana Pudding 2 Ways

So I made two types of banana pudding tonight (one for a birthday party at work and one to take to Essie's daycare!)

First the "fancy" pudding (this one is Paula Deen)
2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessman cookies
6-8 bananas, sliced
2 cups milk
1 (5 oz) French vanilla pudding
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 oz) CoolWhip

Line the bottom of a 13x9 pan with 1 bag of cookies (save 4 of them) and layer bananas on top.
In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix together until smooth.  In another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk until smooth.  Fold the whipped topped into the cream cheese mixture.  Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended.  Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with remaining cookies.  Refrigerate until set.

And second this one is a little more simple and not as rich as the first one.
1 (5oz) pudding mix, vanilla
3 c milk
1 can Eagle Brand Milk
1 container CoolWhip
Nilla wafers

Mix the milk and pudding mix together.  Add in the Eagle Brand and Cool whip.  Layer with bananas and cookies!

Meatball Subs

This is such a scrumptious meal...very hearty and you have enough leftovers to use for spaghetti later!

1 &1/2 lbs groud sirloin
1 large egg beaten
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 medium onion, chopped fine
4 cloves garlic, crushed & minced
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 tsp Worchestershire sauce
1/4 c flat leaf parley, chopped (fresh)
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese

Marnara Sauce:
2 TB olive oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 TB chopped flat leaf parsley
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
1 (14 oz) chunky crushed tomatoes
Salt & pepper to taste

4 semolina (or other hoagie type) roll
Provolone cheese (shredded or sliced)

Preheat oven to 450.

Place ground sirloin in bowl and punch a well into the middle.  Fill the well with egg, bread crumbs, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, Worcestershire, parsley, cheese, and a lil salt and pepper.  Mix up ingredients until well combined. Roll into meatballs and place on nonstick baking pan.  Bake for about 12 minutes or until no longer pink in the middle.

Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add oil and garlic.  When garlic starts sizzling, add herbs and crushed pepper.  Allow oil to infuse for half a minute, then stir in tomatoes and season sauce with salt and pepper.  Bring sauce to bubble then reduce to simmer.

Combine meatballs and sauce and pile onto sub rolls.  Top with provolone cheese and broil until cheese is melted.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


I found a recipe for something similar to this but I decided to change it up a little bit!  And it was SO GOOD!

1 box penne pasta (I used the Piccollini little ones)
1 pound hamburger meat (the origianl recipe called for chicken)
1/2 green bell pepper
1 and 1/2 cups salsa ( I didn't have quite enough salsa so I added a can of diced tomatoes)
1 can corn
1 can black beans
Mexi blend cheese

Boil Pasta according to directions.
Brown hamburger meat.  Add bell pepper and cook til tender.  Add in salsa, corn, black beans.  Simmer for about 5 minutes.
Drain pasta and add the meat mixture.  Mix well.  When serving add cheese to the top.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Chicken Kabobs & Grilled Cabbage

So here's how I made these kabobs (I do it differently pretty much every time!)
  • Chicken breast cut into pieces
  • Squash cut into chunks
  • Red Potatoes cut into chunks
  • Zucchinis cut into chunks
Feed the meat and veggies onto skewer (I use the metal ones).  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Cavenders. Place on grill!

To make the grilled cabbage:

Note: I do NOT typically like cabbage but my dad taught me how to make this awhile back and it's verrrrrry good!
  • Cut cabbage into wedges. 
  • Place a couple wedges on a sheet of foil.
  • add a tab of butter
  • sprinkle with cavenders
  • wrap into foill packet
  • grill until tender (it does take awhile so make sure to start these early!)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

chicken florentine...

2 (10oz) frozen spinach, thawed and chopped

6 chicken breasts (cooked and diced)

2 cans cream of mushroom soup

1 cup mayo

1 cup sour cream

2 cup sharp shredded cheese

2 TB lemon juice

1 tsp curry powder

salt & pepper to taste

1/2 c dry white wine

1/2 c parmesan

1/2 c bread crumbs

2 tb butter

Preheat to 350

Thaw spinach and squeeze dry...chop it and put in small bowl. Add diced chicken.

In another bowl mix together the soups, mayo, sour cream, cheese, lemon juice, curry, salt, pepper, and wine. Add the spinach and chicken. Pour into a greased 13x9. mix together the parm and bread crumbs. Sprinkle on top of mixture and dot with butter. Bake 30 min!

olive nut spread

This is one of my favs...I serve it at showers alot and we even served it at our wedding reception! You can spread it on bread but my fav way is to spread it on Bistro crackers.

8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup mayo
1 cup chopped green olives
1/2 c chopped pecans
2 tsp olive juice from jar
Mix all together with electric mixer...let sit overnight...yummmm!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Chocolate Buttercream Icing

This the most delicious chocolatey goodness EVER!  REALLY!  It's whips canned icing's me!

You need the recipe for buttercream icing in the post below AND

1 and a 1/2 cups cocoa AND an additional 2-4 TB milk (as needed).

You just make the regular buttercream as stated below and then add the cocoa powder and extra milk!

Buttercream Frosting...

I do NOT use canned icing...ick!  So here is my recipe that I use for regular ole' buttercream icing...I'll post the recipe for the chocolate version in a bit!

1 cup butter
1 cup Crisco (I use the sticks)
2 tsp vanilla extract (use the clear if you want true white)
1 bag powdered sugar
4 tb milk (or as needed)

Cream together your butter and crisco...add vanilla...slowly add powdered sifted powdered sugar...add milk until you get the right consistency!  To color...add Wilton icing colors!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Smoky BBQ Orange Chicken Sandwiches

1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil, 1 turn of the pan, plus some for drizzling
1 small onion, chopped
3 chipotle peppers (smoky hot peppers) in adobo sauce, found in cans in Mexican foods section
1/2 cup ketchup, eyeball it
1/4 cup orange juice concentrate
1 orange, zested and cut into wedges, for garnish
1 cup chicken broth
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Vegetable oil, for drizzling
Grill seasoning or salt and freshly ground black pepper
Romaine lettuce
Sliced red onions
4 crusty rolls, split, toasted and buttered

Preheat a grill pan or griddle pan over medium high heat.

Heat a small saucepan over moderate heat. Add oil and onion. Saute onion in oil for 3 to 5 minutes or until onions are soft. Combine chipotle peppers in adobo, ketchup, orange juice concentrate, orange zest and chicken broth in a blender. Blend on high until sauce is smooth. Pour sauce into saucepan with onion and heat to a bubble. Reduce heat to simmer.

Coat chicken lightly with a drizzle of oil and season breasts with grill seasoning blend or salt and pepper. Grill 5 to 6 minutes on the first side, turn. Remove 1/2of the barbecue sauce to a small bowl and baste chicken liberally with it. Turn chicken after 4 minutes, coat with sauce again and cook another 2 to 3 minutes.

To serve sandwiches, slice grilled chicken on an angle and fan out 1 breast on each bun bottom. Spoon remaining sauce from saucepan over the sliced chicken.

Fried Rice

2 3/4 cups water
1 1/2 cups white rice
3 tablespoons vegetable or wok oil, 3 turns of the pan
2 eggs, beaten
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 inches fresh ginger, minced or grated
1/2 cup shredded carrots, available in pouches in produce section, a couple of handfuls
1 small red bell pepper, diced
4 scallions, thinly sliced on an angle
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/3 cup Tamari, dark aged soy sauce  Bring water to a boil. Add rice, reduce heat, cover and cook over medium low heat until tender, 15 to 18 minutes. Spread rice out on a cookie sheet to quick cool it.


Heat a wok, wok shaped skillet or large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add oil to the pan. Add egg to hot oil and break into small bits as it scrambles. When eggs are scrambled, add garlic and ginger to the pan. Add carrots, pepper, scallions to the pan and quick stir-fry veggies 2 minutes. Add rice to the pan and combine with veggies. Fry rice with veggies 2 or 3 minutes. Add peas and soy sauce to the rice and stir fry 1 minute more, then serve

Mexican Lasagna

This is very good!  I accidentally used HOT enchilada it made it waaay too spicy for my taste but it'd be very, very good if I had used regular.  So unless you love HOT make sure to use mild! :)  Also it makes a enough to feed 20 people.  So I cut everything in half and cooked it in a 13x9 pan!

Unprepared Rice
6 cups (to 8 Cups) Low Sodium Chicken Broth/stock
4 whole (to 8) Tomatoes (up To You)
2 whole (to 3) Onions (up To You)
8 cloves (to 14 Cloves) Of Garlic (up To You)
Taco Seasoning (or Chili Powder, Paprika, And Cumin) To Taste
1 can (to 2 Cans) Black Or Pinto Beans (up To You)
3 pounds Lean Ground Beef
2 jars (16 Ounce) Salsa Verde
Flour Tortillas
3 packages (16 Ounces) Mexican Cheese Blend
1 jar (16 Ounce) Enchilada Sauce
3 cans Corn, Drained
Sour Cream, to taste
Cilantro, to taste

Preparation Instructions

Begin by preparing rice with chicken broth/stock. Once prepared, salt to taste. Chop up tomatoes, onions, and garlic as small as you prefer. Saute in pan with a tablespoon or so of butter. Add approximately 3 tablespoons chili powder, and 1 ½ tablespoon of both paprika and cumin. Stir until nicely combined. Feel free to add beans if you like them… no need to drain. Mix cooked rice together with tomato/onion/garlic mixture.

Brown the ground beef using about 3 tablespoons chili powder, 1 ½ tablespoon, paprika and 1 ½ tablespoon of cumin and salt to taste with about 4-6 ounces of water to create the taco beef.

Spread one container of salsa verde in the bottom of a large casserole or baking dish. Layer on tortillas covering salsa verde. Some overlapping is expected. Divide your rice mixture in half and spread it over the layer of tortillas. Divide cheese in half and layer it on top of the rice layer. Approximately 24 ounces of cheese per layer. Add another layer of tortillas on top of your cheese layer. Pour enchilada sauce over the tortillas and spread it out evenly. Add layer of browned ground beef. Add 3 cans of corn (drained) on top of beef layer. Then the remaining amount of rice mixture on top of corn layer followed by the remaining jar of salsa verde, on top of which you will add the remaining cheese (approximately 24ounces) to the top…this is our final layer of ingredients. Sprinkle top with some taco seasoning or cayenne pepper.

Bake at 375ยบ for 25-35 minutes until cheese has melted and begins to brown a bit.


Cheesy Mac

This one if Paula Deen's and it's SOOOOOOO GOOOOOD!
You will need:
4 cups cooked elbow macaroni, drained
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Once you have the macaroni cooked and drained, place in a large bowl and while still hot and add the cheddar. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and add to the macaroni mixture. Pour macaroni mixture into a casserole dish and bake for 30 to 45 minutes. Top with additional cheese if desired

Thursday, January 28, 2010

15 Bean Soup

I L-O-V-E this's been probably 10-12 years since I had it...I've never made it before today and I guess the last time I ate it I was living at home.  With the upcoming Winter Storm I thought it'd be a warm, comforting meal to have.

You need:
1 package of 15 Bean Soup Mix (found in dry beans section)...they have regular or cajun
1 pound of Ham or Smoked Sausage (I used sausage)
1 cup onion, chopped
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 tsp chili powder
juice of 1 lemon
1-2 cloves garlic, minced

The night before, cover your beans and let them sit overnight (remove the flavor packet).  Once the beans have soaked for at least 8 hours, drain and return to pot.  Cover with 2 quarts water and meat (I went ahead and sliced up the sausage and browned it on both sides). Bring to a  boil.  Reduce heat and let simmer for 2 and a half hours.  After simmering add tomatoes, onion, chili powder, lemon juice, and garlic cloves. Simmer for an additional 30 minutes.  A few minutes before serving add the ham flavor packet and salt and pepper to taste.  This is amazing with cornbread!  Nothing better on a cold, snowy day!