Saturday, November 21, 2009

Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts

So, I really don't fry things often because oil kind of itimidates me. It splatters all over, is hard to keep at a consistent temperature, and is easily combustable. However, this recipe is so totally easy and delicious that it is worth the risk! Happy fall and enjoy!

Whisk together in large bowl until frothy
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk

- 1 cup pumpkin
- 1/2 c sugar
- 1/2 c buttermilk
- 1/4 c brown sugar
- 3 T melted butter
Stir until combined then stir in
- 4 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 tsp baking soda

Gradually fold in 3 cups of flour until a sticky dough forms. Cover in plastic wrap and freeze for 15 min. Meanwhile, heat 2 inches of oil to 370 degrees in an electric skillet or straight-sided pan over medium heat. Pat dough out on a well floured surface to 1/2 inch thick. Dip a biscuitt cutter or rim of a 3" wide glass in flour then cut out your doughnuts transferring to a floured baking sheet using a spatula that has been dusted in flour. ( I use a glass to cut out the main doughnut and then cut the hole out of the center with a sharp knife). Fry doughnuts and holes in batches in the oil until browned, about 3 minutes, turning once. Drain on paper towel and finish with sugar or glaze.

Apple Cider Glaze
-1/4 c apple cider
- pinch of salt
- 3 c powdered sugar

Heat cider and salt in small sauce pan until hot. Off heat stir in sugar
until smooth. Dip cooled doughnuts in glaze and let stand about 5 min.

Cinnamon Sugar
- 1 c sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Mix sugar and cinnamon in a small paper bag. Toss donuts and holes while still hot.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Hostess Cupcakes

So this is a fun one to bake, especially if you have fond memories of Hostess cupcakes like I do! I actually saw this recipe in the Food Network Magazine, but I chickened out and changed it a little bit. Here is what I did:
Cake: {Because I am leery of making cakes from scratch!}
1 devils food chocolate cake mix
1 cup milk
4 eggs
1 small pkg instant chocolate pudding
1/2 cup sour cream

So mix the ingredients together and place into cupcake liners. This is a really thick batter, so don't be alarmed! Bake according to the box- careful not to overcook. Remove from oven and let cool completely
4 tbs unsalted butter {room temp}
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbs heavy cream
1 cup marshmallow creme
Using a mixer, cream the butter until fluffy, beat in confectioners sugar. Add the vanilla and 1 tbs heavy cream, beat until smooth. Add remaining 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 2 Tbs heavy cream in batches, alternating after each addition. Bean in the marshmallow creme and set aside.
Spoon the filling into a pastry bag with a medium tip. Insert the tip into the center of each cupcake top. Fill the cupcake until it is heavier {this is tricky to know how much you put in, you may want to play with it a little bit}.
Ganache and Icing:
6 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 stick plus 1 tbs unsalted butter
2 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
For the ganache:
Place chocolate in a stainless steel bowl. Heat the cream and 1 tbs butter until just boiling, then pour over the chocolate and let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Add 2 tsp vanilla and let stand until cool but still glossy and liquid. {note: this will firm up the longer it sits, you don't want it to be too runny, so wait until it has a little bit of thickness}. Take the filled cupcakes and dip the top of the cupcake into the ganache. Chill for at least 15 minutes.
For the Icing:
With a mixer beat the remaining 1 stick butter, 1/4 tsp vanilla, milk and powdered sugar until smooth. Spoon into a pasty bag and with a small tip, pipe onto the cupcakes to decorate.

Mo's Meatballs

I know that Meatballs are a strange thing, but I swear these are so delicious it is a must try. Thanks Kristen for the recipe! This makes quite a bit, so I halve the recipe for my little family

3 lbs ground beef
1 can evaporated milk
2 eggs
2 cups oatmeal-slow cook
2 tsp chili powder- you can omit this if you don't like a kick!
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt

4 c. ketchup
1 1/2 c brown sugar
4 Tbs liquid smoke
1 tsp garlic powder
1 cup finely chopped onions

So you will want to prepare the sauce first, saute the onions for a few minutes to help them tenderize, then add the other ingredients and let it simmer

While the sauce is simmering, combine the other ingredients and mix well. Add 1/2 cup sauce to the meat. Then form the meat into baseball {yeah you read that right, not golf ball- baseball} size balls. Bring the sauce to a boil then pour over the top. Cook at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Seriously, I know this seems like a man's meal, but they are FANTASTIC!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I think I may be giving away anceint chinese secrets here, but these are sooooooo good. Caramel, chocolate and goey. You can't go wrong! Click on the picture to see it larger and actually read the recipe!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Green Chicken Enchiladas

Shannon clued me into this recipe from Cook's Country {great magazine}. It is incredibly easy and very tasty, if you like cilantro

2 10 oz cans green enchilada sauce
1 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 rotisserie chicken, skin discarded, meat shredded into bite size pieces (approx 3 cups)
2 1/2 cups shredded Mexican cheese
Salt and Pepper
12 small corn tortillas

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat to 400 degrees. Use Pam on bottom of 9x13 baking dish

Puree enchilada sauce and 1 cup cilantro in a blender. Combine 1 cup enchilada sauce mixture, chicken and 1 1/2 cup cheese in a large bowl and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper

Wrap tortillas in a clean kitchen towel and microwave until pliable, 30 to 90 seconds. Top each tortilla with 1/4 cup chicken mixture and roll tightly. Arrange seam side down in baking dish. Spray lightly with cooking spray, then top with additional 1 cup enchilada sauce mixture and remaining cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and enchiladas are heated through, 15-2o minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cilantro and top with remaining sauce.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

So I think I'm going to start calling these the "Peacemaker Cookies" or the "Something for Everyone Cookies". I don't know, I'm still comming up with a good name! But it cracked me up when I read the comments before that said something like "Want to make some cookies, but don't know what kind you want? Try these, they have it all!" Totally true!
1 cup (1/2 lb.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups chocolate chips (12 oz.)
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1 cup unsalted roasted peanuts, chopped

1. In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and peanut butter until well blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
2. In another bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Stir or beat into butter mixture until well incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips, oats, and peanuts.
3. Drop dough in rounded 2-tablespoon portions, 3 inches apart, onto buttered or cooking parchment-lined 12- by 15-inch baking sheets. With a lightly floured fork, flatten slightly into 2 1/2-inch rounds about 1/2 inch thick.
4. Bake in a 350° oven until cookies are golden and tops feel set when lightly pressed, 12 to 14 minutes (they will feel underdone but will firm up as they cool); if baking more than one pan at a time, switch pan positions halfway through baking.
5. Let stand 5 minutes on sheets, then, with a wide spatula, transfer cookies to racks to cool. If hot cookies start to break, slide a thin spatula under them to release; let stand on pan to firm up, 2 to 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.
Recipe from Sunset Magazine

Banana Chocolate Chunk Bread Pudding

I am a HUGE bread pudding fan. I love finding great bread pudding {which if you ever are in Mesa, you just go to Cracker's Cafe and have theirs- it is to die for!} So anyway, the picture totally sold me on this and I had to try it. But it is kind of a mix of a couple of recipes so this is what I did!

1 loaf challah bread
4 large eggs
4 cups half-and-half
3/4 cup mashed overripe bananas, about 2 large
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate coarsely chopped

Cut bread into 3/4-inch slices. Trim away crust, then cut bread into 3/4-inch cubes, to make 8 cups.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs until well beaten.
Whisk in half-and-half, banana, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla.
Pour mixture over bread. Add chocolate.
Mix with rubber spatula until bread is well moistened. Set aside for 30 minutes.
Set rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Coat a 9x13 pan with butter or cooking spray. Scoop soaked bread mixture into pan, filling it to top.
Bake until top is browned and puffed, and knife inserted into center comes out clean, about 50 minutes.
Pour warm vanilla Sauce over and serve, with dollop of whipped cream if desired.

Vanilla Sauce:
In a sauce pan melt,
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
Add 1 cup heavy whipping cream and let simmer for about 10 minutes.
Take off heat and add 1 tsp vanilla.

**So I thought this was delicious, but there are a couple things I may try next time. . .

1st: I may not mash the bananas, but chop them into chunks so the whole thing is not overrun with banana flavor.
2nd: I saw this recipe that was essentially the same, but they cut the half and half down to 2.5 cups and added 1.5 cups maple syrup. How can you go wrong with that?
3rd: I may try this caramel sauce next time:

2 cups sugar
½ cup water
1 (13-ounce) can evaporated milk
½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened, divided
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1.Combine sugar and water in medium saucepan; cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a boil. Continue to boil, without stirring, 10 to 14 minutes, tilting pan occasionally to keep color even until Stir in evaporated milk (mixture will foam up); do not scrape sides of pan. One tablespoon at a time, add ¼ cup butter, stirring well after each addition. Stir in remaining butter and vanilla extract until smooth.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My New Favorite Salsa

Thank you so much to Sunshine for this recipe. It is so stinking easy and so delicioius, I think I will probably always have some in my fridge. I love that there is no chopping, and I love that it is not chunky {kind of like the salsa at Chiles Resturant}.

3 cans 14 ½ oz. Tomatoes (I use 2 cans diced and 1 can Ro-tel diced with green chiles)
½ bunch cilantro
½ onion
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp. sugar
1 serrano pepper (You can add more if you like up to 4 but that would be crazy hot)
1 tsp. salt

Throw all the ingredients in the blender and blend it up. It tastes best if you make it and let it refrigerate for a couple hours so the flavors can blend. So easy and so delicious!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Asian Sesame Chicken Stir Fry

So I know how much a picture helps you want to cook something, so here is one I borrowed from some one's blog, it made me want to try this! So I made it for my cooking group using the original recipe with I thought turned out well, but when I ran out of the salad dressing {I have very poor math skills} I changed it up a little bit when I made the second batch. So I commented on the things I changed. . .

1/2 package of chow mien noodles {or you can use angel hair}
2 cups small broccoli florets
2 cups sliced carrots {I added this becuase I like them, I bought the ones already cut into butter slices}
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts - cut into thin strips
3/4 c. Kraft Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing (on the salad dressing isle)
3 Tbsp. soy sauce {I only used 2 Tbsp, it was too salty with 3}
2 Tbsp. sugar {This was my addition because I like a little sweetness}
1/4 tsp. each: ginger, garlic powder, crushed red pepper {I used less red pepper}
1/3 chopped dry roasted peanuts (optional)

Cook chow mien according to package

Steam broccoli and carrots until soft, but not mushy

Meanwhile, spray a large skillet with cooking spray and cook the chicken with salt/pepper, ginger, garlic powder and red pepper. Stir in dressing, soy sauce and sugar. Coat well, then add veggies and coat with sauce

Drain pasta and place in large bowl. Add chicken mixture and mix together (lightly). Sprinkle with peanuts and serve.
**Recipe and picture from Shelley Brown blog

Thursday, January 29, 2009

BBQ Chicken Pizza (the easy way)

A friend at work gave me this recipe. I know it isn't fancy but it sure is tasty.

3 flour tortillas
2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 cup mozzarella cheese
jar of your favorite bbq sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Once oven is heated, place tortillas on a cookie sheet and leave in oven until crispy (about four minutes). While tortillas are baking you want to warm up your chicken on the stove. To do this pour 2 Tbsp. bbq sauce in a pan with shredded chicken until the bbq sauce coats the chicken.
When tortillas are crispy, take out of oven. They might have bubbles in them so flatten them out. Take one spoon full of bbq sauce and coat the top of the tortilla (like the tomatoe sauce on a pizza). Put chicken on top of the sauce and then cheese on top of the chicken. Put back in the oven until cheese is melted.

If you are like me and have a husband that works crazy hours, just half the recipe and you will have the perfect, basically no clean up meal.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Easy French Dip Sandwiches

We probably have these once a is definitely a favorite. This recipe makes at the most 3 sandwiches. The ingredients will be in terms of what I buy at the grocery store. Let me know if it is a little confusing, we altered it from a Rachael Ray recipe.

3/4 diced onion
2 swirls in pan of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cans of beef broth
a package of sliced roast beef (or 3/4lb. roast beef from deli)
Sandwich rolls (we tried it last night with the Sara Lee rolls and they were tastier than baquettes)
1 package provalone cheese
1 package parmesan cheese

Slice rolls in half, butter and sprinkle with parmesan. Put in oven on broil until cheese is melted or the bread looks toasted.
While toasting the bread saute onions in skillet with the 2 swirls of extra virgin olive oil. Once the onions are soft pour in the 2 cans of beef broth. Turn stove down to low-medium and start separating the roast beef and putting it directly in the broth.
At this point the bread should be toasted. Take out of oven but leave the oven on. Start taking the beef out of the pan and placing on one half of each roll. Top the beef off with the provalone cheese (it usually takes 2 slices). Put the rolls back in the oven, leaving the top of each roll off the bottom half so the cheese can melt. Once the cheese has melted remove from oven and start putting top of each roll on top of the cheese.
Now it is time to plate. Put some au ju in a bowl and slice the rolls in half. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Sage-Crusted Pork Tenderloin

I know this sounds all complicated but I promise it is really easy and really good too.

- ¾ cup crushed Ritz crackers or bread crumbs
- 1 tsp. dried rubbed sage
- 1 pork tenderloin trimmed
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 425. Combine bread crumbs and sage and salt and pepper to taste. Brush tenderloins with mustard then coat in crumbs, pressing them to adhere. Let sit 10 to 15 minutes.

Heat oil in skillet and brown both sides about 4 or 5 minutes. Transfer to oven in oven proof skillet or baking dish. Cook 15 to 20 minutes or until pork reaches 150 degrees. Let sit 5 to 10 minutes then slice into medallions.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Maple-Orange Glazed Chicken

I made this for dinner tonight- oh wow, it is up there with the new favorites!

1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp grated orange zest
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tsp minced fresh thyme
4 chicken breasts, halved crosswise

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 475 degrees. Whisk maple syrup, mustard, zest, vinegar and thyme in a bowl. Set aside. Season chicken with salt and pepper

2. Heat oil in a large, oven safe skillet, over medium heat until just smoking. Cook chicken, until well browned, about 3-5 minutes. Turn chicken to other side and transfer skillet to the oven. Cook until chicken is deep golden brown and cooked through (about 10-15 min). Transfer chicken to plate and tent with foil.

3. Wearing oven mitt (pan handle is VERY hot), pour off any fat in skillet and add maple mixture to empty pan and cook over medium heat, scrapping up any browned bits with wooden spoon, until thick and syrupy, about 3 minutes. Off heat, return chicken to skillet and turn until well coated with glaze.

This recipe actually calls for the chicken to be skin on, but that kind of grosses me out and so I just did normal Costco chicken breasts. If you use the skin on chicken, cook the skin down on the skillet first and then put skin up with in the oven. Enjoy!