Thursday, July 30, 2009

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

1 plain yellow cake mix
1 c peanut butter
1 stick butter, melted
2 eggs
2 c semisweet choc chips
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
2 T butter
1 c coconut
2 t vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Set aside ungreased 13x9 pan.

Place mix, peanut butter, melted butter, eggs in mixing bowl. Blend on low for 1 minute. The mixture will be satiny and thick. Reserve 1 1/2 cups for the topping. Transfer mixture to pan. Using fingertips, press evenly onto bottom of pan.

For filling, place chips, milk, and 2 T butter in saucepan over low heat. Stir and cook until chocolate is melted and mixture well combined. Remove from heat and stir in coconut and vanilla till well distributed.. Pour over crust and spread evenly with spatula so it reaches edge of pan. Using fingertips, crumble to reserved crust mixture and scatter it evenly over the chocolate. Place pan in oven.
Bake till cake is light brown, 25-30 min. Cool 30 minutes.

Devil's Food Hearts

makes 5 dozen 2 1/2" cookes.

1 devils food cake mix
1 1/2 sticks butter at room temp.
1 egg
1 1/2 t vanilla
flour for rolling out the cookies
1/4 c sugar

Place ingredients in mixer for 1 minute. The dough will be thick and come together into a ball. Cover in wrap and chill at least 3 hours, or overnight. Remove dough from fridge. Dust counter with flour. Roll out and cut with cookie cutters. Sprinkle with sugar. Make till puffed up, then sink back, 8-12 min.

1 cup powdered sugar
2 T milk
Food coloring
Fill with squeeze bottles. Outline cookies, then fill, or make polka dots or other designs. Let rest for 1 hour before packing away.

Quick Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

1 pkg butter recipe golden cake mix
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 c creamy peanut butter
1 egg
1 t vanilla
hersheys kisses, unwrapped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place cake mix, milk, peanut butter, egg, and vanilla in mixing bowl. Blend for 1 1/2 minutes. The dough will be thick and will come together in a ball. Pinch off pieces of the dough and roll them into 1" balls. Place them on sheets. Bake till they puff up and lightly brown, 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately place kiss in center of each.

Cookies and Bars

I like to have some sort of goody always in the cookie jar, and so its a good thing that there are a ton of delicious recipes out there!

Chocolate Cherry Chip Cupcakes

Serve with Martha's Chocolate Icing (previous cake)

1 devils food cake mix
1 can 21 oz cherry pie filling
2 eggs
1 t almond extract
1 cup semisweet choc chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins.

Place ingredients into bowl and mix on low 1 min. Scrape down sides and mix 2 min. Fold in choc. chips. Spoon into batter till 3/4 full.

Bake till toothpick comes out clean. 20-25 min. Cool 15 min. on rack before frosting. Prepare icing. Spread a heaping tablespoon onto each cupcake till smooth. Let rest 10 min.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins

1 devils food cake mix
1 pkg choc. pudding mix
1 1/2 c buttermilk
1/2 c creamy peanut butter
1/2 c veg oil
4 large eggs
1 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 c semisweet choc chips

Peanut butter Drizzle:
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 T powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin cups.

Place cake ingredients and blend on low 1 min. Scrape down sides, then mix 2 minutes more. Stir in chips. Spoon into muffin cups, filling 3/4 full.

Bake till springs back when lightly touched. 22-25 min.

Microwave drizzle till just melted, 30 seconds. Stir, then drizzle with a dinner knife over muffins.

Chocolate Surprise Muffins

1 pkg cream cheese at room temp
1/3 c sugar
1 t vanilla
1 egg
1 c mini semisweet choc. chips

24 paper liners
1 devils food cake mix
1 1/3 c water
1/2 c veg oil
3 eggs

Mix cream cheese and sugar till combined. Add vanilla and egg. Beat till incorporated. Stir in chips. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line tins with paper liners.

Mix cake ingred. together on low till combined. Scrape bowl and mix 2 min. Spoon batter into cups, filling 2/3rds full. Spoon a heaping teaspoon of the filling onto the center. Bake till spring lightly back when touched, 23-27 min. Cool 15 min. before serving.

Chocolate Macaroon Ring Cake

Macaroon Filling:
2 eggs
1/2 t almond extract
1/2 c sugar
2/3 c sweetened flake coconut
1/4 c flour

devils food cake mix
1 large egg
1 c water
1/3 veg oil

Almond Glaze:
1 1/4 c powdered sugar
1-2 T milk
1/2 t almond extract

Pepare filling: Separate eggs, placing whites in a med-size mixing bowl and yolks in a large bowl. Add almond extract to whites and beat until frothy, 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar while beating till soft peaks form, 1-11/2 min. Fold in the coconut and flour till just incorporated. Set the bowl aside while you prepare cake.

Place rack in center and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mist bundt pan with spray, and dust with flour.

Place cake mix in bowl with egg yolks. Add the whole egg, water, and oil. Blend 30 seconds, scrape bowl and beat 2 min. Pour half batter in pan. Spoon filling on batter, making sure it doesn't touch sides of pan. Spoon remaining batter on top and smooth. Place in oven.

Bake 53-57 min till lightly springs back and pulls away from sides. Cool 20 min., remove from pan.

Whisk glaze together and spoon over cake. Let rest 10 min. before slicing.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Quick Tunnel of Fudge Cake

1 1/2 c milk
1 pkg (3.4 oz) chocolate fudge pudding (not instant)
1 c semisweet choc. chips
1 T butter

devils food cake mix
1/2 c veg oil
1/2 c sour cream
1/2 c water
4 large eggs
1 t vanilla

Place milk in medium sauce-pan and whisk in the pudding mix. Cook, stirring over med. heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and add the rest. Stir till smooth.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare bundt pan.

Combine ingredients and mix on low 1 min. Scrape sides and mix 2 min. more till smooth. Reserve 2 cups of batter. Pour remaining batter in pan. Spoon pudding mixture in a ring on top of the batter, making sure it doesn't touch the sides of the pan. Spoon reserved batter over filling, smoothing it out with spatula.
Bake until springs back when lightly pressed with finger and is just starting to pull away from the sides of the pan, 45-50 min.

Prepare Icing:
Martha's Chocolate Icing
1 cup granulated sugar
5 T butter
1/3 c whole milk
1 c semisweet choc chips

Place sugar, butter and milk in med-heat pan. Stir till comes to a boil, 3-4 min. Still stirring, let mixture boil till sugar dissolves, 1 min. Remove from heat. Stir in chips and stir till smooth. Spread over cooled cake.

Chocolate Orange Cake

1 devils food cake mix
1 1/3 c orange juice
1/2 c veg. oil
3 large eggs
1 t grated orange zest
orange-cocoa cream cheese frosting

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Grease 2 9" round cake pans and dust with flour.

Place ingredients and mix on low speed for 1 min. Scrape sides and mix 2 min. on medium speed. Bake in oven side-by-side.

Bake until spring back when lightly pressed with finger, 30-32 min. cool completely.

Orange-Cocoa Cream Cheese frosting

1 pkg cream cheese
4 T butter (room temp)
1/4 cocoa powder
1 t orange extract
3 3/4 c powdered sugar

Blend butter and cheese till smooth. Add the rest and beat till fluffy.

Frost the layers!

Chocolate Cream Cheese Pound Cake

1 pkg butter recipe fudge cake mix
1 8-oz pkg cream cheese
1/2 c water
1/2 c vegetable oil
1/4 c sugar
4 large eggs
2 t vanilla

Place rack in center of oven and preheat to 325 degrees. spray 10-inch tube pan with cooking spray, then dust with flour. Place all ingredients into mixing bowl. Mix on low for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides, beat on medium for 2 more minutes. Pour into pan, smoothing it out. Place in oven.

Bake until cake springs back when lightly pressed with finger and is just starting to pull away from the sides, 58-62 minutes. Cool on wire rack 20 minutes, then invert onto rack and cool 20 minutes more. Slice and serve.

Delectible Cakes

This section is dedicated to cakes, in every shape, type, and flavor. One of my favorite things is to see a luscious layer cake sitting on a kitchen's counter. That to me is the sign of an elegant home-maker!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Chunky Applesauce

1 t apple cider vinegar
1 gallon water
8 large golden delicious apples
4 med granny smith apples
2-4 T sugar
1/4 t cinnamon

MIX the vinegar and water in large bowl. Peel apples and put into the vinegar water as soon and they are peeled. Cut the apples in half from top to bottom, scoop out the core, and toss back into water. When finished coring, remove apples and cut into 1-2" chunks. Put in slow-cooker with 2 T of the sugar. Cover and cook on high 3 hours, or low 6 hours, until tender.

STIR apples wih spoon, they will form a chunky sauce. Add cinnamon and remaining sugar if desired. Serve warm or chillled. Store in fridge for up to 5 days.

Or can.

Sweet Potatoes and Apples

A nice side-dish for those cold winter months! Serve for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

4 dark-orange sweet potatoes (about 3 lbs.) peeled and cut into 2" chunks
1 c packed brown sugar
1 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
1/2 t cinnamon
2 T butter, cut into small pieces
1 large apple, such and granny smith, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2" chunks

TOSS potatoes, sugar, salt, pepper and cinnamon in slow-cooker. Dot the top with half the butter. Cover the cooker with folded kitchen towel and top with the lid. Cook for 3-4 hours on high, or 6-8 hours on low, till tender.

While potatoes are cooking heat remaining butter in med. skillet over med. heat. Add apples and saute till lightly browned and tender, about 5 min. Set aside.

When potatoes are tender, add the apples. Drain as much liquid from the cooker as you can into the skillet used for the apples. Cook on med-high heat for 2-3 min. till slightly thickened. Toss with potatoes and apples and serve.

Barbecued Baked Beans

Serve with cornbread and call it a meal!

1 pound (2 cups) dried beans; white, pinto, or mixed
1/2 pound smoked turkey ham (or bacon) chopped into bite-size pieces
2 t. vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded, ribbed, and diced
4 Cups chicken broth
1 cup bottled barbeque sauce, divided
1/2 t spicy chili powder

PUT the beans in a bowl, cover with @ least 3 inches of water, and soak overnight. Or put the beans in a saucepan, cover with 3 " water and bring to a boil. Cook for 3 minutes, remove from heat, and let soak 1 hour. Drain.

PLACE the smoked meat in a large slow-cooker and pour the beans on top.

HEAT the oil in large skillet over med-high heat. Add onion and pepper and saute till barely tender, about 3 min. Add broth and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup of the barbeque sauce and chili powder; pour and scrape into the slow-cooker, and mix to coat the beans. Cover the cooker and cook on low for 10-12 hours, until the beans are tender and the sauce is slightly thickened.

ADD remaining sauce and stir.

Potatoes Parmesan

3 T olive oil
2 lbs potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 6-8 wedges each.
2 med. onion, halved and cut into thin slices
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. chopped rosemary
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 T flour
1 1/4 c chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 c grated parmesan cheese

HEAT oil in large skillet over med-high heat. Brown the cut sides of to wedges in the hot oil in batches, about 2 min. per side; do not crowd the pan. Transfer the potatoes to a 5-6 quart slow cooker after browning.

ADD the onion to the oil in the skillet and cook over medium heat until tender, about 3 min. Add garlic, rosemary, salt, pepper, and flour, and stir till onion is evenly coated. Add broth and simmer until thickens slightly; pour over potatoes. Cover with folded kitchen towel and top with the lid. Cook 3-4 hours on high, or 6-8 hours on low, until tender. Remove the towel, scatter cheese on top, cover, and cook 3 min. or till cheese melts.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Chinese Chicken Legs

1 pkg. chicken legs (2-3 lbs)

1/2 c barbeque sauce
1/4 soy sauce
3 green onions, thinly sliced
pinch red pepper flakes
1/4 t ginger (fresh if available)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
Place chicken in crockpot.
Combing the rest, add over the top. Cook on high 4-5 hours, low 6-8.

Serve with fried rice, and stir-fried veggies.

Crock-pot roasted chicken

1 whole chicken, giblets, etc. removed (defrosted)
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 cup water
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 celery ribs
1 onion, quartered
salt and pepper
olive oil

Start by chopping celery roughly, place in bottom of pot with onion.
Place bouillon in. Pour in water.
Rub chicken generously all over with garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper (even inside)
Place chicken in, breast side down (so juice flows into it) or for nicer presentation upright.

Let cook on high 6 hours or low 8-10 hours.
Serve with green salad, baked potatoe, or roasted veggies.

Use leftovers for enchiladas or chicken nachos, and then again for chicken noodle soup with home-made noodles. (or freeze broth for later use)

For chicken noodle soup, place chicken carcass in crockpot and cover with water. simmer with carrots, celery, bouillon, onion, garlic, sage, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook on low all day, remove bones and strain. Simmer with new veggies till tender. Bring to boil and add home-made egg noodles and cook till done. Serve with fresh bread or rolls.

Sausage and Tomato Ragu with pasta

(substitute sausage with beef, turkey sausage?)

2 T olive oil
2 lbs. mild italian sausage, cut into 2-inch lengths
2 med. onions, diced
2 celery ribs, sliced
2 large carrots, diced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 T rosemary leaves
pinch of ground allspice
1 t salt
1/2 t black pepper
1/4 c flour
1 cup dry red wine (beef broth)
2 cups beef broth
1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
1 can (15 oz.) tomatoe sauce
1 pound short pasta, penne, ziti, or rigatoni

HEAT oil in deep skillet over med-high heat. Brown sausage on all sides, about 2 minutes per side, then transfer to crock-pot.

ADD vegetables to oil and saute till lightly browned, 4 minutes. Add spices and cook 30 seconds. Add flour and stir till incorporated. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Add broth, tomoatoes and sauce and stir. Heat to simmering and pour over sausage. Cover and cook 4-5 hours high, 8-10 hours low.

Serve over pasta.

Parmigiano Pumpkin Soup with Frizzled Prosciutto

(I'm thinking use bacon instead of proscutto-for cost-effectiveness)

2 T olive oil
2 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into thin strips
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (28 oz) pure pumpkin
2 qts. vegetable or chicken broth
1/8 t. nutmeg
1 t salt
1/2 t white pepper
1/2 c cream
1/2 c grated parmesian
2 T chopped fresh parsley

HEAT the oil in a large deep skillet over med-high heat. Add the meat and saute until crisp and frizzled, about 1 minute. Remove and reserve.
REDUCE heat to medium, add onion and saute till tender(do not brown) about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook a few seconds, until aromatic. Stir in pumpkin, broth, nutmeg, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Transfer to slow cooker, cover and cook 3-4 hours on high, 6-8 hours on low.
STIR in the cream and cheese and heat through, about 5 min. Stir in parsley and garnish with prosciutto.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Creamy Onion Soup

2 T oil
2 pounds onions (about 4 large onions), cut into 1/2 inch dice.
3/4 cups dry white wine (more broth to substitute?)
5 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 pound potatoes, peeled and coarsely shredded
1 t. salt
1/4 t black pepper
1/2 t dried dill weed
1/4 t dried thyme
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup low-fat milk, divided

Heat oil in large skillet on medium heat. Add the onions and saute till lightly browned, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the wine and boil till redued by half, about 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring the broth to a boil in a sauce-pan; stir in the potatoes and return to boil. Transfer the broth and potatoe mixture and cooked onion to slow-cooker. Stir in the salt, pepper, dill, and thyme. Cover and cook 3-4 hours on high, 6-8 hours on low, until the potatoes and onions are very tender.

Whisk together the cheese and 1/4 c of milk in bowl till combined. Whisk in remaining milk till smooth. Stir into the soup and heat through on low for about 15 minutes.

*can add different types of cheese, or cooked bacon for a different taste.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Slow Cooker Recipes

I'm going to be doing a series of slow-cooker recipes. I found a delicious cookbook at the library-Art of the slow cooker by Andrew Schloss. I'll also be using other recipes from different sources.
He talks about using the ceramic slow-cooker to it's best advantage. I've often thought that all crock-pot meals taste very similar. One of the selling points is throw everything in and leave till time to eat. However, ceramic doesn't brown or carmelize foods. Searing/carmelization is one of the best ways to draw all the delicious flavors out of food. So by adding one step of searing and browning the food before combining and leaving to cook we get easy food thats kicked up a notch. Whats one more step? Totally worth it.