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Monday, February 6, 2012

Tres Leches Cake

I've always wanted to love Tres Leches Cake but never found it that satisfying. It's usually too mushy and too sweet. I made The Pioneer Woman's recipe and have completely changed my mind. This Tres Leches Cake holds up to the liquid without getting mushy, has great flavor without being too sweet, and is just plain addicting.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 5 whole Eggs
  • 1 cup Sugar, Divided
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1/3 cup Milk
  • 1 can Evaporated Milk
  • 1 can Sweetened, Condensed Milk
  • 1/4 cup Heavy Cream


FOR THE ICING:

  • 1 pint Heavy Cream, For Whipping
  • 3 Tablespoons Sugar

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan liberally until coated.

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Separate eggs.

Beat egg yolks with 3/4 cup sugar on high speed until yolks are pale yellow. Stir in milk and vanilla. Pour egg yolk mixture over the flour mixture and stir very gently until combined.

Beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. With the mixer on, pour in remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until egg whites are stiff but not dry.

Fold egg white mixture into the batter very gently until just combined. Pour into prepared pan and spread to even out the surface.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Turn cake out onto a rimmed platter and allow to cool.

Combine condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream in a small pitcher. When cake is cool, pierce the surface with a fork several times. Slowly drizzle all but about 1/2 cup of the milk mixture—try to get as much around the edges of the cake as you can. Allow the cake to absorb the milk mixture for 30 minutes. I think several hours or over night is better.

To ice the cake, whip 1 pint heavy cream with 3 tablespoons of sugar until thick and spreadable.
Spread over the surface of the cake. Don't even try to use store bought whipped cream. Decorate cake with whole or chopped maraschino cherries. Cut into squares and serve.

Sausage and Tortellini Soup

I made this soup for my family a few weeks back and everyone absolutely loved it. It was so quick and easy too!















Here's the recipe.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Blueberry Upside Down Cake


This recipe is just delicious! We ate it both as a dessert and for breakfast, and it was great both ways.

I used frozen blueberries and it came out perfectly.

Since it is a recipe that I found online, credit goes where credit is due.

Thibeault's Table - Blueberry Upside Down Cake Recipe


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Gramma Peterson's Banana Bread

Dry Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cup flour
pinch of salt
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup nuts

Wet Ingredients:
4 black bananas
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine all dry ingredients. In another bowl, beat wet ingredients. Gradually add dry to wet. Pour into greased and floured bread pans. You may also coat pans and top of batter with cinnamon/sugar mixture. Fill 2/3 full. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Slow Cooker Pork Chops and Rice

Pork chops get a bad rap as being dry, tough, and bland. I think the quality of meat and method of preparation are key. I love this recipe because they are made in the slow cooker and come out tender and full of flavor. I also love that this recipe is on the lighter side. Many others use cream soups, sour cream, gravies and other fatty ingredients, again I think this is to help the dry, bland pork. My adjustments from the original are in italics.

Ingredients:

4 boneless, center cut pork chops
1 cup uncooked rice - white, brown, wild, blend
1/2 cup chopped onion
3-4 carrots, diced
2 cloves minced garlic
2 Tbsp. butter
1 (5 ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
4 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup water
10 ounces beef broth
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 (1 ounce) envelope dry onion soup mix
1/2 teaspoon pepper
8 ounces green peas

Directions
1. In a large skillet over medium heat, brown pork chops on both sides. I did not do this just because of time but I'm sure it would make them more flavorful. I just sprinkled both sides of chops with some of the soup mix.
2. Lightly spray the slow cooker with cooking spray. Then place the rice, onion, carrots, butter, water chestnuts, and mushrooms in the slow cooker. Pour in water, broth, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir in onion soup mix, season with pepper, and top with pork chops.
3. Cover, and cook on Low setting for 7 to 9 hours, or on High setting for 4 to 5 hours. Stir in peas before serving just long enough to heat through. I did 4 hours on high. Some of the other reviews complained of mushy rice when cooked longer on low. I used a wild rice blend and it was great.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Carrabba's Spicy Sausage Lentil Soup

This recipe cam in an email I receive with restaurant recipes. It is so good! It's also simple to make. You could even make it easier by putting everything in the slow cooker. If your family doesn't like spicy, you can easily use regular Italian sausage and omit the red pepper. I'm not a measurer when it comes to recipes like this. The only changes I made were - I used 1 whole onion, 4-5 carrots, 3 cloves garlic, and about 2 tsp each of dried basil and parsley. I added a little extra bullion at the end to enhance flavor.

Carrabba's Spicy Sausage Lentil Soup

INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup minced onion
3/4 cup grated and minced carrot
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 pound uncooked hot Italian sausage
2 ounces diced ham (about 1/2 cup, cut from a ham steak)
7 cups water
5 cups chicken broth
1 pound dry lentils
1 medium tomato, diced
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat up olive oil in a Dutch oven or large sauce pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, and garlic. Remove sausage from casing, and add it to the pan. Saute for 8 minutes, stirring often. Break up the sausage into bite-size bits as it cooks. Add ham, and cook for an additional minute.

2. Add the remaining ingredients to the pot, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.

3. Serve 1 cup for a "cup" portion, or serve 2 cups for a "bowl"serving.

Makes 12 to 13 cups.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Zesty Salad Dressing

Some have been asking me for this salad recipe. Sorry it has taken so long to post but it's really nothing special. Just stuff I've thrown together in the right ratios I suppose. But I guess the thing that people seem to like the most is the dressing. This recipe is good for a huge salad and maybe even some to save for later depending on how much you use. I like to throw it over some fresh greens, tons of sprouts, a little tomato, avocado and some cooked or sprouted quinoa (since it is a complete protein.) Use whatever veggies you have lying around or whatever is in season. I wasn't much of a salad eater until I found a dairy-free dressing that tasted good. I guess it's a slight variation off of my friend Kira's dressing that she posted on our vegan blog a while back with a little extra zing. But that recipe was a great place for me to start. Feel free to vary it up and try a little more or less of certain ingredients.

1 Cup Olive Oil
1/2 Flaxseed Oil (for a good dose of omegas)
10 cloves Raw Garlic (or more if you like it spicier)
3 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 C Braggs Amino Acids
1 1/2 TBSP of your favorite Mustard (I like spicy brown)
1/4 of a small Sweet Onion
1/2 inch Ginger Root
1/4 Cup Kosher Soy Bacon Bits (for their smoky flavor, I find these at Good Earth in the bulk aisle)

Throw all ingredients into a vitamix or other good blender and blend till creamy. Toss into your salad or over some rice or anything. This dressing keeps well too, so double the recipe and store some for the next day. Enjoy!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Peppermint Patties


I found this recipe in my Family Fun magazine and decided to make them this Christmas season. They are the addictive classics, with a snappy, minty middle and a luscious chocolate coating. My biggest tip for making them would be to keep them cold! I split the batch in half and kept rotating them out of the freezer as I did each step. Also, do not try to do them without parchment paper, Silpat mat, or similar. They will stick! Other than that, they are easy and make a pretty presentation. You could also experiment making them with other flavors such as lemon or orange.

Ingredients
• 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon water
• 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
• 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (I used half this)
• 1 teaspoon peppermint extract (I used 3/4 this)
• 1 (1-pound) box confectioners' sugar (3-3/4 cups)
• 1 tablespoon shortening
• 10 to 12 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
• 6 hard mint candies, crushed in a Ziploc bag with a rolling pin

Instructions
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, stir together the water, corn syrup, lemon juice, and peppermint extract, then sift in half the confectioners' sugar. Add the shortening. Beat on medium, then slowly sift in the remaining confectioners' sugar until the mixture is well combined.

2. Knead the mixture into a ball (it will be very stiff; if necessary, add 1/2 teaspoon water to make it workable). Use the bottom of a glass pie plate to apply firm, even pressure to flatten the ball between sheets of waxed paper into a circle about 9 inches in diameter and 1/4 inch thick. Lay the waxed-paper-covered disk on a cookie sheet and freeze it until it's firm, about 15 minutes.

3. Place the frozen disk on a cutting surface and remove and reserve the waxed paper. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment. With a small round cutter (ours was 1-1/4 inches), cut out circles from the disk, then place them on the cookie sheet. Gather the scraps into a ball, use the pie plate and waxed paper to flatten it again, and cut more circles until the entire disk is used up. Freeze the circles for 10 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water. Coat the patties one at a time: balance each on a fork and dip it (use another fork as needed to flip the patty in the chocolate), then shake off any excess chocolate before returning the coated patty to the parchment. Sprinkle each patty with a bit of crushed mint candy. Add more chocolate to the double boiler as necessary until all the patties are coated.

5. Harden the finished patties in the refrigerator for at least an hour, and preferably overnight. Store them in an airtight container in the fridge, layered between sheets of waxed paper, for up to one month. Include tags with your gifts instructing recipients to keep the patties refrigerated. Makes 5 dozen.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Easy Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas

These are still "Americanized" enchiladas but taste a little more authentic than some I've had. I love this recipe and make them often for company. Can't beat comfort food!

1 can (10 3/4) oz. Cream of Chicken Soup
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup Pace Picante Sauce
2 tsp chili powder
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
6 flour tortillas (6"), warmed
1 small tomato, chopped
1 green onion, sliced
other toppings as desired, olives, cilantro, pico de gallo, avocado

1. Stir the soup, sour cream, picante sauce and chili powder in a medium bowl.
2. Stir 1 cup picante sauce mixture, chicken and cheese in a large bowl.
3. Divide chicken mixture among tortillas. Roll up the tortillas and place seamside up in 2 qt shallow baking dish. Pour remaining picante sauce mixture over filled tortillas. Cover baking dish.
4. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. or until enchiladas are hot and bubbling. Top with tomato and onion.

(I add green chilies to the chicken mixture. I remove the foil half way through baking to crisp the tortillas a bit.)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Collard Wraps


This easy lunch has quickly become a family favorite. It doesn't even need a recipe really. It can be varied with whatever veggies and greens are in season. But here are a few hints for newbies to raw recipes so that it still tastes just as yummy every time with slight variations no matter what you use.

The necessary ingredients:

-Collard leaves. 1 big one per wrap.
-Your favorite Hummus. I used the Meza brand from Costco for this one because it's cheaper to buy in bulk, but at the Good Earth store there's also a yummy one called Lilly's smoked Tomato and Basil Hummus that I use from time to time.
- 3-4 slices of avocado

Filler Ingredients (Get creative with these and change them up, but here is what I used today):

-Cherry tomatoes sliced in threes
-Diced bell pepper (better source of vitamin C than oranges)
-Clover sprouts (great source of vitamin K for pregnant women)
-Radish sprouts
-Celery (chopped)
-tiny bit of Spinach or other green of your choice
-Cucumber
-One sliced Pickle
-diced onion
-a tiny bit of minced fresh garlic (great for winter sore throats)
-a sprinkle of lemon (optional)

Take your collard leaf and rinse off. Spread a spoonful or two of hummus and lay avocado slices in them. This gives your wrap a nice burrito-like filling. Then pile in the filler ingredients the best way you can and roll up the collard leaf to make a quick wrap. You don't need much of each filler ingredient. Just a small amount will fill the wrap quickly. Or you could pick just a few veggies and keep it simple if you want more of a certain filler ingredient. Sprinkle with a little lemon if you want and that "wraps" it up. There's no way to do this wrong. And if you don't want extra greens, no worries. Your wrap itself is already made up of dark leafy green. It's a collard leaf. High source of protein. Then eat away.

Trust me, you'll want another wrap after this one is gone. This recipe is a great way to take any leftover tossed salad that didn't get finished and stuff it into a savory treat. I usually make salads out of the filler ingredients anyways and so when I do have leftovers, I just make wraps and then you can avoid having to think too hard to make anything else. Hope you enjoy as much as I do.