Friday, August 30, 2013

Cinna*Bon Recipe! Delicious Cinnamon Rolls at Home!

You know when you go to the Mall and smell those Cinna Bon Rolls mmm but the price and calories!! Well Cinna Bon Rolls has nothing on these, warm and delicious and Homemade so you know what's in them.




Yield: 12 rolls

Serving Size: 1 roll

Ingredients

1 cup milk
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
4 - 4 1/4 cups bread flour (plus extra for rolling)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
1 package active dry yeast
Filling
1 cup brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, softened
Frosting
4 ounce cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt


Instructions

Combine 2 cups of the flour and yeast in a large mixing bowl. In a saucepan, combine milk, butter, sugar and salt over medium heat until temperature reaches 120 to 130 degrees (butter will be almost melted). Add milk mixture to flour mixture along with eggs and mix with an electric mixer on low for 30 seconds. Stir in as much of the flour as you can. (see note below for bread machine)
Place dough a floured surface and knead in as much flour as possible. Continue to knead the dough until it is very smooth and elastic (this will take about 5-10 minutes). Cover dough with oil or cooking spray and plastic wrap. Let rest covered for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon and set aside.
Roll the dough into a 18x21-inch rectangle. Spread 1/3 cup butter on the dough and top with the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture.
Starting with the long side, roll up dough so you have an 18" log. Cut into 12 even rolls. Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan and place the rolls in the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel or kitchen towel and let rise until nearly doubled, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Bake rolls on the center rack about 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
While the rolls are baking, combine cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract and salt with a mixer until fluffy.
Allow rolls to cool for about 10-15 minutes and spread frosting on warms rolls.

Notes

The dough can be prepared in a bread machine. Combine dough ingredients in the order specified by your bread machine. Set on dough cycle. Let dough rest for 10 minutes once completed and continue with recipe as above.

Pumpkin Better Than Sex Cake

The Original Better than Sex Cake was so good right? well Guess what now there are seasonal Versions
Try this one to welcome September


•1 box yellow cake mix
•1 – 15 oz. can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
•1 – 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk (fat free is ok)
•1 – 8 oz. tub cool whip (lite is ok)
•½ bag Heath Bits
•Caramel Sundae Sauce

Instructions
1.In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix and pumpkin puree until a smooth batter forms.
2.Pour batter into a greased 9×13 baking dish, and bake at 350º, according to the directions on the cake mix box (approx 23-28 mins).
3.Remove cake from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes after baking.
4.Using the end of a wooden spoon to poke holes all over the top of the cake.
5.Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the cake. This should fill in the holes and soak into the cake.
6.Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
7.Remove cake from refrigerator and spread cool whip over top of cake. Sprinkle on the heath bits, and drizzle caramel over top. (I didn't use very much caramel as this cake is so rich.)
8.Refrigerate for 3-4 hours, or overnight

CROCKPOT BEEF AND BROCCOLI


This is a very popular dish, plus cooking in your crock pot makes it even better
Pick up these ingredients next time you go shopping and get your crock pot simmering

Ingredients
1 pound boneless beef chuck roast, sliced into thin strips
1 cup beef consomme
½ cup soy sauce
⅓ cup brown sugar or honey
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons cooled sauce from the crock pot after being cooked

Fresh broccoli florets (as many as desired)
Hot cooked rice (brown rice is good)

Directions
Place beef in a crock pot.
In a small bowl, combine consomme, soy sauce, brown sugar/honey, oil, and garlic.

Pour over beef. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
 In a cup, stir cornstarch and sauce form the crock pot until smooth. Add to crock
pot. Stir well to combine. (If your sauce is not thickening, try bringing your sauce
to a boil on the stovetop with the corn starch mixture. Boil until your desired
consistency is reached).
Add broccoli to the crock pot. Stir to combine.
Cover and cook an additional 30 minutes on high (the sauce has to boil for it to thicken).
 Serve over hot cooked rice.

Lemon-Herb Grill-Roasted Chicken

Nothing better than roasting a whole chicken with fresh lemon and herbs, it's a good way to enjoy Chicken



Ingredients
Makes:  4 servings
Cook: 1 1⁄4 hours 

FOR LEMON-HERB BUTTER:

    6    tablespoons butter, softened

    1    tablespoon All-Purpose Poultry Seasoning(I make my own, recipe below)

    1    tablespoon lemon juice

    1    teaspoon crushed garlic

    1⁄4    teaspoon lemon zest

FOR CHICKEN:

    1    4-pound whole roasting chicken

    1    tablespoon salt

    1    tablespoon ground black pepper

    1    tablespoon All-Purpose Poultry Seasoning(I make my own, recipe below)

    1    lemon, thickly sliced


Directions
For Lemon-Herb Butter, in a small bowl, using a fork, combine softened butter, All-Purpose Poultry Seasoning, lemon juice, garlic, and lemon zest. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 15 to 30 minutes or until firm but not hard.

Set up grill for indirect cooking over medium heat (no direct heat source under bird; see page 15). Oil grate when ready to start cooking.

Remove neck and giblets from chicken cavity. Trim excess fat. Rinse the chicken body cavity under cold water; pat dry with paper towels. Use your finger to carefully loosen the skin around the entire bird.

Chop Lemon-Herb Butter into small pieces. Place some of the butter pieces under the skin of the chicken. Rub the remaining butter pieces on the outside of the skin and season with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with fresh herbs and lemon slices.

Place chicken, breast side up, on hot, oiled grill over a drip pan. Cover grill. Roast for 1 1⁄4 to 1 1⁄2 hours or until golden brown and internal temperature of thigh meat reaches 180 degrees F. Remove chicken from grill and let stand for 10 minutes before carving.

***
Poultry Seasoning

Here is a great mix for poultry, and also makes a
great gift. Pack it in small jars, wrap in colorful
cellophane, and tie a ribbon with the recipe included!

2 cups dried parsley
1 cup dried sage, crumbled
1/2 cup dried summer savory
1/2 cup dried rosemary
1/4 cup dried lovage
1/4 cup dried marjoram
1 Teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 Teaspoon dried onion powder

Mix well, store in an airtight container in a dark, cool place.
Use to season poultry, casseroles, and stuffing.

Fluffy French Toast


"This French toast recipe is different because it uses flour. It gives the bread the fluffiness and the flavor of the cinnamon is an eye opener and so good for you. Then I add a MOLASSES SYRUP, recipe included, It's worth getting up for


Ingredients
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 pinch salt
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon white sugar
12 thick slices bread

Directions
1.Measure flour into a large mixing bowl. Slowly whisk in the milk. Whisk in the salt, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla extract and sugar until smooth.
2.Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium heat.
3.Soak bread slices in mixture until saturated. Cook bread on each side until golden brown. Serve hot.

MOLASSES SYRUP:
3 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
3 tablespoons molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon maple flavoring

Meanwhile, for syrup, in a large saucepan, combine the sugar, water and molasses. Bring to a boil; boil for 1 minute. Stir in vanilla and maple flavoring. Serve with French toast. Yield: 5 servings.
)0(

Margarita Pizza




For a crust both tender and crisp, stretch your dough thin The quality of ingredients makes this pizza it's best, so buy fresh herbs and
firm, red Roma tomatoes for a sunny, vine-ripened taste.


Ingredients
Makes: 4 servings
11⁄2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon crushed fresh garlic
1 can (13.8-ounce) refrigerated pizza crust dough, Pillsbury® (or homemade)
1⁄4 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
8 ounces fresh mozzarella
3 Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
Sea Salt
Ground black pepper


Directions
Set up grill for direct cooking over medium heat. Oil grate when ready to start cooking. For garlic oil, in a small bowl, stir together oil and garlic; set aside.

Carefully remove pizza dough from can. Unroll dough and place on hot, oiled grill. Cook for 2 minutes. Using cookie sheet as a spatula, turn crust over.

Brush garlic oil over crust, leaving a 1-inch border. Top with 2 tablespoons of the chopped basil, the mozzarella, and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper.

Cover grill. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and melted. Using a baking sheet, remove pizza from grill. Top with remaining 2 tablespoons basil. Serve hot.


INDOOR METHOD:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Prepared garlic oil as directed, Lightly spray baking sheet with nonstick vegetable cooking spray (Pam®). Unroll dough and place on baking sheet. Press out dough to 13×9-inch rectangle. Bake in oven
about 7 minutes or until crust begins to brown. Brush with garlic oil and add toppings as directed. Return to oven; bake for 8 to 10 minutes more. Top with remaining 2 tablespoons basil and serve hot.

Skinny Tuna Salad



Light salad dressing, dried cranberries, fresh dill and chopped apple are some of the yummy ingredients used to make this skinny tuna salad so fabulous! I like to eat it scooped into a small dish or on top of 1 romaine lettuce leaf. You can make it as a sandwich or spread on reduced-fat crackers, too.  Whatever way you choose to serve it, it’s really yummy

Prep Time: 10 minutes


Ingredients

1 (5.25 oz.) can of white albacore tuna, (water packed) drained well

½ cup chopped apples, such as Gala, Fuji or Honey crisp, unpeeled

⅓ cup celery, chopped

¼ cup diced scallions or red onions

3 tablespoons dried sweetened cranberries

3 tablespoons Miracle Whip Light

1 tablespoon minced fresh dill

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 romaine lettuce leaves, optional


Instructions

1. Add all the ingredients to a bowl, except lettuce. Mix well to combine.

2. Scoop about 1 cup of tuna into a small dish or bowl. Or, line 2 plates with a romaine lettuce leaf. Scoop about 1 cup tuna onto each lettuce leaf.

Makes 2 servings (each serving, about 1 cup)


Food Fact

Tuna fish is a member of the mackerel family. It’s found in warmer waters in the Indian, Pacific, Atlantic and Mediterranean oceans.  Tuna’s probably the most popular fish used for canning today. About 3.5 million metric tons are fished commercially each year.




Healthy Benefits

Tuna is great lean protein when packed in water. It’s rich in omega-3 nutrients, known to raise HDL (good cholesterol) and lower LDL (bad cholesterol).

You’ll cut the sodium content by rinsing the can of tuna after it’s drained. Open the can, drain the water and while still in the can, run fresh water over the tuna and drain again.


Weight Watchers (old points) 4
Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS 5


SKINNY FACTS: for 1 serving (about 1 cup)
205 calories, 8g fat, 17g protein, 18g carbs, 2g fiber, 350mg sodium, 11g sugar

FOOD FACTS: for Whole Foods Tuna with Fuiji Apple and Cranberry (4 ounces)
260 calories, 16g fat, 14g protein, 7g carbs, 0g fiber, 290 sodium, 1g sugar

Banana Coconut-Macadamia Muffins!

Do you like Muffins for Breakfast, Me too, these are healthy for you and
really good tasting too.


Ingredients:
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup unbleached white flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/4 cups mashed ripe bananas, about 3 large
1/3 cups sugar-substitute, or other sugar alternative for baking
1/3 cups packed dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup low-fat milk or fat-free half-and-half, plus 1 tablespoon
1 large egg higher omega-3, if available
1/2 cup coarsely chopped roasted or toasted macadamia nuts
1/2 cup flaked or shredded coconut
Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper or foil liners. 
Whisk whole-wheat and white flours, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg together in a large 

mixing bowl; set aside. 
Add bananas, sugar-substitute and brown sugar, canola oil, milk, and egg to another 

large mixing bowl and beat or stir until completely blended. Pour banana mixture into 

the dry ingredients in mixing bowl and stir until just combined. 
Fold in macadamia nuts and coconut. Fill each muffin cup using a 1/4-cup measuring 

cup. Bake until muffins are golden brown and tester inserted in center comes out clean 

(about 25 minutes).

A Week-End Breakfast Pizza

Pizza, a family favorite in so many different combinations, and is good for breakfast lunch and dinner
Here's a breakfast recipe that you put on the grill but you can cook in your oven inside as well.

Serves: 4

4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons butter
2 (8-inch) pizza crusts (we make our own)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups shredded jack cheese blend (recommended: Colby)
4 fully cooked sausage patties crumbled (recommended: Jimmy Dean)
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
1 medium tomato diced
1 teaspoon Pizza seasoning (or Italian Seasoning)

Set up grill for direct cooking over medium heat. Oil grate when ready to start cooking.

In a medium pan over medium heat, scramble eggs in butter; set aside.

Lay out pizza crusts and brush each with oil. Top with eggs, cheese, crumbled sausage, Parmesan, tomatoes, and Italian seasoning.

Slide onto hot oiled grill and cook, covered, 8 to 10 minutes or until cheese has melted and begins to bubble.

Serve hot, cut into wedges.

INDOOR: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Prepare pizza as directed. Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and begins to bubble.
)0(

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Peach Dumplings

Peaches are in season right now so you can use fresh peaches too, Just bake this longer(about 40 minutes), or precook your peaches. This is a yummy dessert, quick easy and very tasty

1 can sliced  large peaches
1 8 oz cans crescent rolls
1 sticks butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar                            
1 tsp vanilla
cinnamon, to taste


Drain can of Peaches Open the Crescent Rolls and separate them

 Sprinkle with a touch of spices then Roll each peach slice in a crescent roll.

 Melt butter, then add sugars and barely stir. Add vanilla, stir, and pour entire mixture over peaches.
 Place in a 9 x 13 buttered pan.



Sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Serve with ice cream, and spoon some of the sweet sauces from the pan over the top! MMMM doesn't that look So Good, warm and smells great too. (I made half this recipe for us, and put a peach on top of each one, so Pretty.)
I also used the other half of the crescent rolls for dinner rolls that way, since I only needed 4 each.

Stuffed Chicken Valentino

It's another Italian Day in Cheri's Kitchen, It smells divine, I wish you could smell what's cooking today.
So I am making another chicken dish, today it's stuffed with cheese and sweet roasted red bell peppers.


Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 (6 ounce) jar roasted red bell peppers, drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
4 tablespoons shredded mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil


Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Slice a chicken breast in half lengthwise, leaving the halves attached on one side: opened and laid flat, the chicken breast should resemble a butterfly. Place between two sheets of plastic wrap, and pound flat. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts.

2. Combine parmesan cheese with Italian seasoning and chives, and sprinkle over chicken breasts. At one end of each breast, place 3 strips of roasted pepper. Top with 1 tablespoon shredded cheese. Roll each breast up, starting on the side with the peppers and cheese. Insert a toothpick in each roll to prevent unrolling. Place in prepared baking dish. Season rolls with salt and pepper to taste, and drizzle with olive oil.

3. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Set oven to broil, and continue cooking for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven, slice to display the colorful filling, and serve.

Mushroom Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff is a favorite dish around here, but we have looked for ways to eat Vegetarian a couple nights a week and so I came up with this Recipe for Stroganoff and it's really good. The fresh nutmeg is the wow factor in this along with a variety of Mushrooms if you like.

Serves 4
Ingredients:

1 Tbsp. of olive oil

1 whole onion, sliced thinly, or diced if you prefer

1 pound of button mushrooms, sliced

1/2 pound of baby bella mushrooms {of course, feel free to substitute your family’s favorites!}, sliced

12 ozs. of sour cream

6 cloves Garlic Minced

1/4-1/2 c. of vegetable stock {or beef – whichever you like the flavor of better}

6 tablespoon  brandy (option: marsala wine or apple juice)

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (without anchovies)

2 tablespoons arrowroot

1 pound cooked fettuccine

sea salt

fresh nutmeg
Heat a rather large skillet over medium heat with the tablespoon of oil, and add the diced onion and garlic Saute until the onion takes on a glossy look, and becomes kind of transparent. Add the sliced mushrooms and sprinkle with salt {this makes the mushroom reduce down a bit more quickly}

Continue cooking until the mushrooms are tender and a nice golden color. Add the 1/4-1/2 c. of vegetable or beef stock, the wine and Worcestershire sauce then stir in arrowroot powder and allow it to come to a simmer.

Spoon in the sour cream and blend, keeping the dish over the heat so that it can warm through. Do NOT let this boil. At this point decide whether you’d like more stock. The dish will thicken up as it cools, so you’re looking for a nice, creamy sauce. Add sea salt to taste, and finish by grating fresh nutmeg over and stirring in.and I add a touch of parsley. We eat this over Noodles but you could also Serve over fresh mashed potatoes with steamed veggies.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Sweet Sticky Spicy Chicken

Sweet, Sticky and Spicy Chicken


Tonight I made this with a pot of long grain brown rice, I added Zucchini, Red Onion wedges and Mushrooms to the Chicken and stir fried together, then served over the long grain brown rice.
It turned out so good and it is really easy.


Ingredients
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger root
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1-2 tablespoons hot sauce(depending how spicy you Like)
salt and pepper to taste
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into 1/2 inch strips
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
add Veggies at the last if you want to make this a stir fry such as
2 thick sliced Zucchini
1 Red Onion sliced in wedges
4 oz of Chopped Mushrooms

Directions
1.Mix together brown sugar, honey, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and hot sauce in a small bowl.
2.Lightly salt and pepper the chicken strips.
3.Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken strips and brown on both sides, about 1 minute per side. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Simmer uncovered until the sauce thickens, 8 to 10 minutes.
**If adding veggies, put them in now and simmer about 15 minutes till the veggies are still crunchy, that's how we like them.
Serve over cooked rice
serves 4

Chocolate Chip Smore Cookies



These Smores Cookies are just so easy and taste so good

You're gonna love them


Ingredients
1 batch Chocolate Chip Cookies
Marshmallows
Chocolate Bars(your choice)

Instructions
Take 2 cookies and on the bottom on one, add a few pieces of your favorite chocolate and 2 marshmallows. Top with the other cookie and wrap in tin foil.
Place into a 350 degree oven or on a bbq for 4-5 minutes until the marshmallow is warm and has started to expand. Serve immediately

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup-Canning Optional


Every Time I made soup I stir it clockwise with Love


When my kids are sick, especially my girls, they request homemade soups, mind you they are grown now; each one wants a different kind. Soups they grew up eating at home!
One likes chicken noodle..  I used egg noodles instead of a pasta-type noodle.  My version has onions, celery and carrots.  Do note that this isn't  a very brothy-soup.  It’s meant to be pretty thick and hearty.  My family is very happy with it!
After you make this soup you can put it up in large canning jars or freeze some, keep some on hand for those days when you need some comfort food.


Chicken Noodle Soup

5 cups of water
5 chicken bullion cubes
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp parsley flakes
1 tsp dried thyme
2.5 cups cooked, shredded chicken (I use the leg quarters sometimes or a whole chicken depending on what's on sale)
1 package (12 oz) egg noodles (frozen) -- I even make homemade noodles which I will add to my blog
1 cup carrots, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 cup celery, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 cup diced onion(we like lots of onion, it cures illness)
1 Garlic, peeled and chopped

You can make the cooked chicken however you want to.  You can even buy a rotisserie chicken from the store.  I use either whole chickens or a bag of leg quarters, just depending what's on sale  I like cooking something in the kitchen awhile on the days I am home and have the time, and it is quite fun to do!

Onto the soup.

1) In large pot, add carrots, celery, water, parsley, thyme, pepper, salt, bouillon cubes.  Bring to boil.
2) Add noodles, onions, chicken.  Bring to boil again.
3) Put lid on, reduce heat and let simmer 20 minutes til noodles are cooked.

Enjoy!  This makes 5-6 bowls of soup for us.  But we also ate the soup with sandwiches, so we didn't have the world’s biggest bowls.  I stored the leftovers in canning jars.  You can also freeze some. When I re-heated it, I did have to add a bit more water as those noodles really soak it up!

I actually like to double this whole recipe and that way I know I have some for those days when someone calls and says: "MOM, I'm sick, I want Soup"!


Monday, August 26, 2013

White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Cookies

This is by all my favorite cookie, I go to subway sometimes to get theirs and then I thought
Now I know I can make these every bit as good, and walla I can and so can you
These white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies are chewy, soft, and simply irresistible


Ingredients
3 cups all purpose flour
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
¾ cup unsalted butter, just softened
2 large eggs
1 TB vanilla extract
½ tsp almond extract
1 tsp table salt
½ tsp baking soda
12 ounces real white chocolate chips
½ cup chopped macadamia nuts

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 F, with rack on lower middle position. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
In bowl of stand mixer using paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes on medium high. Add eggs 1 at a time and blend just until incorporated. Add vanilla and almond extracts, mixing just until incorporated.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Gently combine together the flour mixture with the butter/sugar mixture until fully mixed.
Fold in white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts, until evenly mixed in.
Make walnut sized balls and flatten a bit (these cookies do not flatten too much during baking.)
Bake for 10 minutes, or just until bottoms of cookies are light golden brown. Cookies may seem soft and underdone, but they will set upon cooling.
Cool 5 minutes on baking sheet and use flat spatula to transfer them onto cooling rack.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Rich Red Velvet Cupcakes


These cupcakes are rich and smooth like velvet melting in your mouth what a delight
Remember to cook in your kitchen with Love, stirring clockwise ;)

Ingredients
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, such as Pernigotti
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1 tablespoon liquid red food coloring
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature

Red Velvet Frosting, recipe follows

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins with paper liners.

In a small bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed for 1 minute, until light. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until combined. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients alternately in 3 parts, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, and mix until combined. Stir with a rubber spatula to be sure the batter is mixed.

Scoop the batter into the muffin cups with a large spoon. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean. Cool completely in the pans and frost the cupcakes with Red Velvet Frosting.

Red Velvet Frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (3/4 pound)

Place the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in the bowl  mix on medium speed just until combined. Don't whip! Add the sugar and mix until smooth.

Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Brown Sugar Topping

Here is a Pumpkin Coffee Cake that is topped with a Brown Sugar
The ingredients are simple show here So pick these up today if you don't have them already and make this you will become a happy cook
Remember Put Love into everything you cook by stirring clockwise in your kitchen

Serves 18
Ingredients

⅓ cups Water
1 can  Pumpkin Puree(15 Oz)
2 whole Eggs
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 box Yellow Cake Mix (18 Ounce Box)
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 cup Brown Sugar, Divided
½ cups Flour
4 Tablespoons Butter, Melted
¼ cups Granulated Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
¼ cups Heavy Whipping Cream

 Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

In a large bowl mix together the water, pumpkin, eggs, 1 Tablespoon of vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice until well combined. Add the cake mix and baking soda and mix until just combined.

Grease a 9×13 pan with butter and pour batter into pan.

In a small bowl mix together 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 cup flour and melted butter. Use your fingers to sprinkle over the top of the cake. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

For the glaze, combine the other 1/2 cup brown sugar, granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and heavy cream in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and stir until all sugar is dissolved.

When cake is finished baking, poke holes in the top with a toothpick. Pour glaze over the cake, making sure to cover all surfaces. Serve cake warm or at room temperature.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Basic Crepes


 
"Here is a simple but delicious crepe batter which can be made in minutes. It's made
from ingredients that everyone has on hand."

Original recipe makes 8 crepes
 1 cup all-purpose flour
 2 eggs
 1/2 cup milk
 1/2 cup water
 1/4 teaspoon salt
 2 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and the eggs. Gradually add in the

milk and water, stirring to combine. Add the salt and butter; beat until smooth.
Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the

batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each crepe. Tilt the pan with

a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly.
Cook the crepe for about 2 minutes, until the bottom is light brown. Loosen with a

spatula, turn and cook the other side. Serve hot.

I have learned to cook the crepe only on one side, so try this

Cheese Blintzes

Have you tried a Blintz? You have to try these, so light and with a light vanilla taste
BLINTZ INGREDIENTS
Total Time: 30 Minutes
Servings: 8-9 blintzes

a tip to only cook the blintzes on one side before stuffing, which saves a substantial amount of prep time. I’ve been making them that way ever since!
here's my recipe for basic crepes

4 eggs
1 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt
Nonstick cooking oil spray
Vegetable oil with a high smoke point for frying (grape seed or peanut oil works best)
YOU WILL ALSO NEED
Nonstick skillet

FILLING INGREDIENTS

1 cup lowfat ricotta cheese
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt

Blend all of the blintz ingredients together using a food processor, blender, immersion blender or electric hand mixer. Consistency of the batter should be smooth (no lumps). Alternatively, you can use a fork to mix all ingredients together until the batter is smooth. Make sure you get rid of all the lumps.

Warm up a nonstick skillet on medium heat until hot. The skillet is ready when a drop of water sizzles on the surface of the pan. If the water pops or jumps out of the pan, the skillet it too hot—let it cool slightly before starting. If the water sizzles, it’s at the perfect temperature. Grease the entire surface of the hot pan generously with nonstick cooking oil spray (keep the oil spray away from gas stovetop flame).
Pour the blintz batter by 1/3 cupfuls into the pan, then tilt the pan in a circular motion till the batter coats the entire bottom of the pan in a large, thin circular shape.

Let each blintz cook for 60-75 seconds until the edges of the blintz brown and the bottom of the blintz is lightly golden. You can tell it's ready by touching the center of the pancake's surface-- it should be dry and slightly tacky to the touch. Do not flip the blintz to cook the other side. Use a spatula to take the blintz out of the pan and place it on a plate.

Keep the blintzes separated by pieces of parchment paper, wax paper, or paper towels. This will help keep them from sticking together.
When all of the blintzes are cooked, create your filling. Put all of the filling ingredients into a mixing bowl, then use a fork to mix them well. Filling should be well blended but slightly lumpy.

Now you’re going to stuff and wrap up your blintzes! Put 3 tbsp of filling on the lower part of the blintz, about an inch from the edge.
Fold the lower edge of the blintz up over the filling.
Fold the sides of the blintz inward, as though you’re folding an envelope.
Roll the blintz up and over the filling like a burrito, tucking the edges in as you roll.

When the blintzes are stuffed and rolled, you are ready to fry them. Pour ¼ cup of vegetable oil into the skillet and heat over medium until hot. Do not let the oil turn brown or start smoking—if this happens, discard the oil and try again. Cook the blintzes in batches of 3--this will give you space to turn them easily in the pan. Carefully place the stuffed blintzes flap-side down into the hot oil. The blintzes should fry for 1 ½ to 2 minutes until they’re brown and crispy.

Turn the blintzes carefully using a spatula and/or tongs, then fry for an additional 1 ½ - 2 minutes. Blintzes should be evenly browned on both sides.
Serve blintzes warm. They can be served as-is or topped with fruit topping, sour cream, applesauce, whipped cream or maple syrup.

Strawberry Cheesecake Blintzes

I love strawberries and put them on crepes and it's just amazing for breakfast brunch or dessert
you can make crepes, see my recipes for those too

Ingredients
8 ounces mascarpone or cream cheese, softened 
1/3 cup dairy sour cream 
2 tablespoons orange liqueur or orange juice 
2 tablespoons granulated sugar 
1 cup glaze for strawberries, divided
10 ready-to-use crepes, at room temperature 
2 1/2 to 3 cups sliced fresh strawberries or mixed fresh berries
Sour cream



Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In food processor or blender, place the softened mascarpone or cream cheese with sour 

cream, liqueur, sugar and 1/2 cup of the glaze for strawberries. Cover and blend until 

smooth. For each blintz, spoon 2 heaping tablespoons of the cheese mixture onto center 

of one crepe, spreading into a small circle.

Fold crepe in half over filling, then fold left and right edges to center. Fold over 

once more to make a packet. Place blintzes folded side down on a buttered baking 

sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until blintzes are heated through and edges are 

light golden brown.

To serve, warm remaining 1/2 cup glaze on HIGH power of microwave for about 45 seconds 

or until heated through. Place two blintzes on each serving plate; spoon strawberries 

over. Drizzle with glaze, add a dollop of sour cream, and serve immediately.

Makes 5 servings.

Kool-Aid Crispy Treats

This is a great treat for the kids and grandkids not to forget us adults that love
rice krispies and kool-aid...If you love sweet and tart these are for you
If you want an extra kick try putting 2 packs of the same flavor in them.


Serves: 12
Prep Time: 10 Min
Cook Time: 15 Min
Ingredients

1 stick butter
1 pkg marshmallows (large bag mini)
8 c rice krispies
1 pkg kool-aid (any flavor)
cooking spray, butter flavor



Directions

1 Prepare your baking pan, spray bottom and side with spray....Pour your rice krispies

into a large bowl and set aside....
2 In large pan melt butter at low heat. Add marshmallows and kool-aid stirring

constantly until melted and mixed well, be careful not to scorch. Remove from heat.
3 Pour marshmallow, kool-aid mixture over rice krispies and mix thoroughly...spoon in

to baking pan and press down with wax paper till firm....let cool then cut into

squares and serve

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Chocolate Zucchini Loaf



Here is a simple recipe for a chocolate zucchini loaf with a couple of modification

suggestions.

So if you also have an overabundance of zucchini ( or find a good price at the farmers

market ), this recipe is moist and will freeze well if there is no one you know who

would like a, warm from the oven, slice or loaf to nibble on.

chocolate zucchini Bread

You will need:

1 1/2 cups grated zucchini

1 cup flour

1/2 cup cocoa

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

2 eggs

1/2 cup oil

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tsp. vanilla



Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and gather your ingredients. Centre yourself and let

go of anything that takes your focus off the next few minutes. Deep breath in,

remembering the people you are making this for and the generous reasons you are

sharing your time and energy, slowly exhale. Repeat if needed.

chocolate zucchini This is a very quick simple recipe, once the zucchini is grated.

If you are doing it manually it might take a bit longer but a food processor is also

an option.

Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl, making sure that no clumps of cocoa, brown

sugar or baking soda are left.

Combine the grated zucchini, oil, eggs and vanilla. Mix ingredients together. ( If you

choose to add the wet ingredients into the dry bowl, I would suggest cracking the eggs

and mixing them first, much better than breaking them into the dry ingredients.)

Mix only until just moist. Being a quick bread recipe, mixing too long can create

great peaks on the top of your loaf.

chocolate zucchini Into a greased loaf pan, pour the batter and bake for 50 – 60

minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool a bit before removing from the pan.

Because this loaf has a strong chocolate flavour, it is great for substituting bean

based gluten free all purpose flours.

Also the batter can be easily made into cupcakes instead or poured into an 8 x 8 pan

for a simple cutting cake, good for take to work or school lunches.chocolate zucchini

( You will need at adjust your baking times accordingly.)

Try changing the vanilla to rum extract or adding chocolate chips either into the

batter or on top before popping in the oven. This is a quick and easy way to avoid

thinking about icing.

Zucchini Boats .....filled with Grape Tomatoes

Zucchini Boats .....filled with Grape Tomatoes
I think these are cute, tell the kids the tomatoes are floating in zucchini boats




You will need:
2-3 zucchinis, cut lengthwise
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 TBS olive oil
Mozzarella cheese(or any good melting cheese), grated
bread crumbs( I used fresh)
Parmesan cheese, grated
basil( I used dried , but it would be best with fresh), julienned
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350
Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. You might want to cut a bit off the bottom of the zucchini so that it lays flat. Scoop out the seeds.
Make a mixture of olive oil and crushed garlic...about 1 garlic clove and+ 1 TBS olive oil( for 4-6 zucchini halves). Reserve a bit of the olive oil for later. Brush the inside of the zucchini with the olive oil and garlic.Sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper.
Cut grape tomatoes in half lengthwise and place inside of the zucchini. Sprinkle some bread crumbs( I used fresh). Drizzle some of the reserved olive oil over the tomatoes and bread crumbs.

Bake in a preheated 350 deg oven for 30 minutes or until the zucchini had somewhat softened. Remove from oven and add cheese in between the tomatoes.

Broil for a couple of minutes or so...or until golden and cheese is melted. Sprinkle with some chopped fresh basil. I didn't have any and had to use the dried( which I added with the bread crumbs). Top with a bit of Parmesan. I just added the Parmesan with the mozzarella cheese before broiling. You can sprinkle a bit more Parmesan cheese before serving.

Italian Stuffed Cheesy Shells

Today I am still on my Italian Cooking spree, I was even singing in my kitchen and dancing to Lady GaGa while simmering My sauce How good is that?
This is a Stuffed Pasta Shell filled with 3 kinds of cheese and a homemade sauce, (you can use jar sauce if in a big hurry) Recipe is below






First I chopped my onions and garlic up and put it in the skillet to cook,

Next I added my ground chuck to this to cook up
After that is cooked done
I put a large can of tomato sauce in my big pot and added my spices to make my Italian sauce
Then after I stirred that together
I added my cooked meat, onions and garlic to the sauce pot
Now this needs to simmer awhile, so I bring it to a boil
then turn the heat down with a lid on it to simmer for about 30 minutes
Doesn't that look good and you should smell the kitchen now
While the sauce simmers
I put a pot of water on to boil the shells, add a tsp of oil and dash of salt to the water

Once Pasta is just tender, drain and rinse to cool enough so you can stuff your shells with the cheese Mixture
The cheese alone is so delicious
Next fill your pan with shells and top with meat sauce and sprinkle a little cheese on top and pop in your oven
350 degrees for about 30 - 40 minutes


Stuffed Shells with Meat Sauce:
sauce:
1/2 c hamburger(I use ground chuck)
1/2 onion, chopped
4 t minced garlic
15 oz tomato puree
6 oz tomato paste
1/2 t black pepper
1 t italian seasoning
1/2 t salt(I hardly use salt)

shells:
1/2 lb ricotta
1 1/2 c mozzarella
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 c Parmesan cheese
2 t basil
Jumbo pasta shells, cooked and drained(half box will make a lot)

Brown the hamburger and onion in a large saucepan.  Once it is browned, remove the grease.  Add the remaining sauce ingredients and let it simmer for 45 minutes (or however long it takes you to get the rest ready.


Preheat the oven to 350.

Start the water for the shells.  Once the water is boiling, add the shells and cook for the minimum time listed on the package.  

Meanwhile, combine the ricotta cheese, 1 c mozzarella cheese the egg, and the Parmesan cheese.  Mix it all together. 

 Spread some of the marinara sauce on the bottom of the baking dish.  

 Scoop some of the cheese mixture into the cooked shells.  Isn't it amazing how I can hold the shell, spoon the stuff in, and take a picture?  Most of the time I forget to take Pictures while I'm working lol

 Place the stuffed shells into the baking dish.

 Top with more marinara.

 Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 c of mozzarella.

 Bake, covered,  for 30-40 minutes.  

There you have it!  You can serve it with a salad, bread, or a vegetable side dish.
We had zucchini boats tonight, so here is a link for making these.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Truffles

Truffle Candies are such a special treat, and to make them is a gift of love
Yield: Approximately 24, depending on how large or small you roll them.


Ingredients:
½ cup white chocolate chunks or chips
2 cups white chocolate almond bark (I think I used around 4-5 cubes)
1/3 cup gingersnap cookie crumbs, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup canned pumpkin purée
1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of fine salt
2 ounces cream cheese, softened

Directions:
Melt the 1/2 cup of white chocolate chips in a double boiler over medium-low heat or in the microwave for about 1 minutes. Stir often to keep the chocolate from burning. Transfer to a large bowl. Add gingersnap crumbs, pumpkin, graham cracker crumbs, sugar, zest, cinnamon, salt and cream cheese and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Transfer to a shallow bowl, cover and chill until just solid enough to roll into balls, about 2 hours.

Line a large sheet tray with parchment paper. Melt remaining 2 cups white chocolate almond bark and transfer to a small, deep bowl. Roll 1 heaping teaspoon of the pumpkin mixture into a ball in your hands, then drop into the chocolate. Working quickly, gently spoon chocolate over to coat. Using a small spoon or fork, lift the truffle out of the chocolate, shake off excess and transfer to prepared sheet tray. Drizzle a bit of extra chocolate on any parts that remain exposed, then sprinkle a few gingersnap or graham cracker crumbs over the top, if you like.

Repeat process with remaining pumpkin mixture and chocolate, then chill truffles until chocolate is completely set, about 1 hour.