Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Italian Cream Cake

This was a very sweet cake! I have seen the recipe on many blogs. I found it in the book: Southern Classic Desserts from the editors at Southern Living. I don't get their magazine in the mail, but I often borrow them from the library. They always have such good recipes.

Italian Cream Cake from: Classic Southern Desserts/Southern Living
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs, separated
1 tablespoon of vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 cup buttermilk (or sour milk)
1 cup sweetened coconut

1 cup chopped pecans
1 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon of vanilla
1 16 ounce package of powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 3 9 inch round cake pans. Cream the butter and shortening together. Add in the sugar and then the egg yolks, one at a time. Add vanilla. Mix the flour and baking soda together in a separate bowl. Alternately mix the flour into the butter mixture with the buttermilk. Begin and end with the flour. Add the coconut.  Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form and carefully fold them into the batter. Pour the mixture into the prepared pans. Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then remove from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack.

Toast the pecans for 8-10 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Cool. Mix the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the vanilla and then add the sugar slowly. Once there are no lumps, you can stir in the pecans. Frost your cake!

Linking up to: Sweets for a Saturday

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Wingless Buffalo Chicken Pizza

This is a recipe I found on Food Network years ago after watching Racheal Ray make it on 30 Minute Meals. I really missed it when we weren't eating any meat around here. This makes 2 pizzas or 1 very loaded pizza.

Wingless Buffalo Chicken Pizza by Racheal Ray/Food Network

3/4 to 1 pound of chicken breast, cooked and shredded
2 teaspoons grill seasoning-McCormick Montreal Seasoning is recommended
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons of hot sauce
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
3 to 4 green onions, thinly sliced
2 balls of pizza dough (store bought or homemade)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Roll the dough out on the pans. I like to pre-bake my dough for 5-8 minutes before adding the toppings. Mix the chicken through the tomato sauce and spread evenly on the pizza dough. Sprinkle on both cheeses and the green onions. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden or to your liking.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Potato Pancakes

I never had potato pancakes growing up. We had hash brown. My husband did but they were made of mashed, not shredded potatoes. He says these are a lot better. This is an easy recipe to mix up and fry.

Potato Pancakes Adapted from: Betty Crocker's Cookbook
3 medium baking potatoes, peeled and shredded
2 eggs
1/8 to 1/4 cup of onion
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon dried parsley

Mix all of the ingredients together. Heat a skillet ( I use my cast iron skillet) with 2 to 3 tablespoons of vegetable or canola oil. Make sure the oil is hot before adding the batter. Use 1/4 to 1/3 cup of batter for each pancake. Cook 3-4 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. I always  make these in 2 batches. You will have to add oil each time you start a new batch. This makes about 8 pancakes.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Cheesecake with Raspberry Sauce

We love cheesecake. The recipe for this cheesecake comes from Mel's Kitchen Cafe and the raspberry puree from Baking and Boys. The puree would also be good swirled into the cheesecake before baking.

The Ultimate Cheesecake from: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

3 cups (40 squares)ground graham crackers
2 tablespoons of sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted

16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla
zest of 1 lemon
2 cups sour cream

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Mix the crust ingredients together. Press onto the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of a 10 inch springform pan that has been lightly greased. Refrigerate while making the filling.
Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar then the eggs one at a time. Stir in the vanilla and zest. Blend in sour cream, but don't over stir. Pour into the crust. Bake 50-55 minutes. It will jiggle slightly. Loosen the sides and let cool 30 minutes. Chill for 4 hours.

Raspberry Puree From: Baking and Boys

2 cups of frozen raspberries, thawed
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of lemon juice

Mash all of the ingredients together. Strain with a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds. Pour over cheesecake right before serving. A little lemon zest would also be good in this.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Browned Butter Frosted Sugar Cookies

These are rich cookies. The recipe comes from Your Homebased Mom blog. She has a lot of tasty recipes and tons of great party ideas.

A funny thing happened when I made these and took them to a party. I thought we were leaving so I set our stuff out in the yard near the gate. The leftover cookies were wrapped with plastic wrap and sitting on a cooler. We ended up staying longer and it started raining. A couple of hours later, I found the plate and the plastic wrap on the ground and no cookies. The 2 golden retrievers there had eaten all of them. Oops! I bet they had a stomachache the next day.

Brown Butter Cookies From: Your Homebased Mom

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
pinch of salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons  vanilla
2 1/3 cups flour

1/2 cup butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup heavy cream or half n half

Mix the butter and sugar, then add in the egg yolks, salt, baking soda and vanilla. Stir in the flour. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and chill the balls for 1 hour in the fridge.  Press the balls of dough flat with a glass dipped in sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes (lightly golden) on an ungreased cookie sheet. Cool.

For the frosting: Brown the butter over medium heat, stirring until golden brown with flecks. Cool slightly and add the rest of the ingredients. Beat until creamy. Frost your cookies.

Linking up to: Sweets for a Saturday

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Biscotti

This was so good.

Biscotti can be a little time consuming, but I always think it is worth it when I make it. This recipe comes from Annie's Eats. It was devoured by my biscotti loving husband and my peanut butter crazy sons.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Biscotti From: Annie's Eats

3 cups flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
6 tablespoons of butter, softened
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla
3 large eggs
1 cup of mini chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together. In an separate bowl mix the butter, peanut butter and sugar together. Add the vanilla and then the eggs, one at a time. Slowly add the flour mixture. Stir in the mini chips. Shape the dough into 2 logs about 11x3 each. Keep about 3 inches apart. They will spread. Bake for 30 minutes. Take the logs out and let them cool for about 10 minutes (or 10 seconds if you are me).Slice diagonally about 1/2 an inch thick. Lay on there sides and bake for 20 to 25 minutes more. Turn them over once during this baking time for even browning.  Cool or eat them straight from the oven, so you can burn your tongue like my husband does every time I make cookies. Ha!

Linking up to: Sweets for a Saturday

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Pumpkin Scones

I love anything that has pumpkin in it and who doesn't like a good scone? I guess these are supposed to be like the ones at Starbuck's, but since I hate their coffee and think they are over priced, I have rarely been there.  This is another good recipe from Anna at Cookie Madness

Pumpkin Scones From: Cookie Madness

2 cups of flour
7 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
6 tablespoons of butter, cold
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
3 tablespoons of half and half or cream
1 egg

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons of milk

Spiced Icing
2 tablespoons of butter, melted
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons of milk
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon of round nutmeg
Pinch of ground ginger
Pinch of ground cloves

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Mix the flour through the spices together. Cut in the butter until you have coarse crumbs. Separately mix the pumpkin, half and half and egg together. Add the dry mixture into the pumpkin mixture until it forms a ball. Pat the dough on a floured surface into a 1 inch thick circle or rectangle and cut into 6 triangles. Bake on a parchment lined cookie sheet for 14-16 minutes. Cool.
Mix the glaze and brush on the cooled scones. Allow the glaze to set. Mix all of the icing ingredients together and drizzle over the scones and allow to set.

Linking up to: Breakfast Ideas Monday and Sweets for a Saturday

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Baker's One Bowl Brownies

These are my new favorite brownies. I have been making cocoa brownies for years and love them. With these, I don't even need the frosting I usually put on. These are thick, moist and a little chewy.

Baker's One Bowl Brownies From: Kraft

4 squares of unsweetened chocolate (4 ounces)
3/4 cup of butter
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 cup of flour
1 cup of chocolate chips or chopped nuts (or both!)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13x9 pan with foil and grease the foil with shortening or cooking spray. In a glass bowl, melt the chocolate and butter together about 2 minutes in the microwave or over a double boiler. Mix until smooth. Add the sugar and then the eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour and the chocolate chips or nuts if using. Bake 30 to 35 minutes until a few crumbs come out on a toothpick. Cool and cut.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Carrot Cake

I have been wanting carrot cake for months now. Having people over was the perfect excuse to make it. This is moist without being too greasy, as I have heard some carrot cake recipes can be. I did use a little less oil than the recipe. The recipe comes from my Family Circle magazine from the November 1, 2011 issue. As soon as I saw the recipe, I ripped it out to make. It only took me 6 months to actually make it.

Carrot Cake: FamilyCircle.com

2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup oil ( I used 1 cup)
4 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3 large carrots, finely shredded (1 1/2 cups)
1  8 ounce can of crushed pineapple (do not drain the juices)
1/2  to 1 cup of chopped walnuts ( I used 1/2 cup)

16 ounces of cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup (4 tbsp) butter, softened
3 cups of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 3 cake pans with shortening or cooking spray. Line with wax or parchment paper and grease that to.

In a bowl, whisk the flour through the salt. In a separate bowl, mix the the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla. I just mixed the batter with a spoon. Slowly add the flour mixture. Stir in the carrots, pineapple (with juices) and the walnuts. Divide batter between the 3 pans. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Toothpick will come out clean. Cool cakes. Mix the cream cheese and butter with a mixer. Add the vanilla and then slowly add the powdered sugar, beating until smooth. Frost the cake and refrigerate for 1 hour or more until set. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Linking up to: Sweets for a Saturday

Monday, May 7, 2012

Lemon Bars

One of the desserts I made for our Cinco de Mayo party was lemon bars. I love them and it's nice to have something a little lighter in taste when you are also serving brownies and carrot cake. This recipe comes from the Taste of Home Baking Book. Etta Soucy from AZ contributed this one.

Lemon Bars

1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar

2 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 teaspoon of lemon zest

Extra powdered sugar for sprinkling on top (about 2 tablespoons)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the 1 cup of flour, the butter and 1/4 cup of  powdered sugar together. It will be coarse and crumbly. Pat into the bottom of an 8 inch square pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Mix the rest of the ingredients together (eggs through lemon zest) and pour over the crust. Bake 20-25 minutes longer. Mine took 20 minutes. Cool the bars and then sprinkle with the powdered sugar. 

Linking up to: Sweets for a Saturday

Sunday, May 6, 2012

White Wine Sangria

At a St.Patrick's Party this year, we decided to throw a Cinco de Mayo party with the neighbor next door. We both have fire pits and enjoy sitting out by them on the weekends. I am not much of a drinker, but I have been seeing sangria recipes for years and have always wanted to try making some. I choose a white wine recipe because I like white wine much better than red. I pinned this recipe a while back when we started planning for our party.

White Wine Sangria  From: wine.about.com

1 bottle of white wine ( I used Pinot Gris)
2/3 cup of sugar
3 oranges, sliced
1 lime, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
1/2 a liter of ginger ale

Mix the wine and sugar together. Add the sliced fruit, squeezing them some to release juices into the wine. Refrigerate overnight or all day and add the ginger ale just before serving.

And just because I think they are so pretty-here are some flowers from my yard.
I love these small Irises my sister from CT brought me a couple of years ago when she was passing through on the way to our hometown.
I forgot what these are above, but 2 of the nurses I worked with gave me these when I left my previous job. I have a ton of hostas in my yard. The person that lived here before me must have been hosta crazy. I have moved and divided a lot of them and given a few to my neighbor. I have grown to love them. I used to not like them very much. I am thinking of getting some butterfly bushes soon, but first I must get my vegetable garden planted.

Apple Bread

This recipe came from my closest sister. I haven't made it in years and was craving it. It's a quick bread-if you consider a bread that has to bake for an hour a quick bread. Ha!

Apple Bread

2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla
2 cups finely chopped or shredded apples
1/2 cups chopped nuts (optional)

Topping2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan. Sift the first 4 ingredients together (you can just whisk them together). Separately cream the shortening and sugar together, add the eggs and then the dry ingredients. Add the apples (and nuts if using). For the apples, I prefer Granny Smith or Gala. Two medium sized apples is enough for this recipe. I leave the skin on, but you could peel the apples. Put the batter in the pan and sprinkle with the topping. Bake for 1 hour. A toothpick should come out with a few moist crumbs. Check at 40 minutes. If the top of the bread is getting too dark, just lay a piece of foil on top. No need to crimp it down though.

Linking up to: Breakfast Ideas Mondays

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Pie Crust Cinnamon Rolls

These are very rich and definitely not recommended by the American Heart Association! My husband said his family used to make something like these when he was growing up. He asked me to make these for him years ago and now these are a regular treat around here.

Pie Crust Cinnamon Rolls

2 cups of flour
1/2 tablespoon of sugar
3/4 teaspoon of salt
3/4 cup of shortening
1 small egg, beaten
1/2 tablespoon vinegar
1/4 cup of water

1/2 cup brown sugar
1-2 teaspoons of cinnamon

2 tablespoons of butter, melted
1 1/ 2 to 2 cups of powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
2 tablespoons of milk

Sift or whisk the flour, sugar and salt together. Cut in the shortening until course crumbs form. Mix the beaten egg, vinegar and water together and then add to the flour mixture. Mix until the dough forms into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle. Spread the brown sugar and the cinnamon. Roll up jellyroll style. Cut about an inch thick. Place on a greased or parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool. Mix the icing ingredients together and ice the rolls.

Notes: I always buy large eggs. For this recipe, I just get rid of about a tablespoon of the beaten egg.
I prefer dark brown sugar, but light brown works fine. Some people like more or less cinnamon. I like a lot so use to your liking. Also, why I usually prefer butter over shortening, I have tried to substitute, but I didn't like it. The texture just wasn't as good.

Linking up to: Sweets for a Saturday

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Spinach Parmesan Orzo

This is a great side dish for dinner. It's also quick and easy. I haven't used orzo much except for making Italian Wedding Soup. I am seeing more and more recipes with it that I need to try.

Garlic Parmesan Orzo From: Living Lou who found it at: The Jey of Cooking

1 cup of uncooked orzo
1 tablespoon of minced garlic (I used the jarred kind cause I'm lazy like that)
2 tablespoons of butter
2 cups of spinach finely chopped (I usually use 2 cups of frozen spinach)
1/4 cup of grated or shaved Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons of milk
salt and pepper to your liking

Cook the orzo according to the package. Drain. Melt the butter in a large sauce pan on medium heat and add the garlic. Cook for 4 minutes. It will start to turn darker or more golden. Add the cooked spinach and cook on low for 1 minute to wilt the spinach. Add the rest of the ingredients. Cook just until the Parmesan melts and everything is heated through. About the spinach: I usually use 2 cups of frozen and just put it in the colander and pour the orzo and boiling water over it when I drain the orzo. Then I just throw the rest of the ingredients in. I have only used fresh spinach once, but I would use 3 or four cups of fresh next time, because we like lots of spinach.