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Friday, June 30, 2006

Summer California Salad

Ingredients
1 Container (8 oz) nonfat plain yogurt
2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
2 tablespoons Chopped fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1 tablespoon Honey
1 Small head iceburg lettuce cut into 8 wedges
8 Fresh apricots, halved and pits removed
1 pint fresh strawberries
1 Cantaloupe, seeded, sliced and rind removed
1/4 cup Shelled and chopped natural pistachios

Preparation
To make dressing, in a bowl whisk yogurt, orange juice concentrate, basil and honey. To assemble salad, on individual serving plates arrange remaining ingredients, dividing equally. Serve dressing on the side.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Chewy Chocolate-Cinnamon Cookies

Chewy Chocolate-Cinnamon Cookies

6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour ( You can use whole wheat and get 2 grams of fiber per cookie)
1/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Heat oven to 350°F. Spray cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Beat butter until creamy. Add brown sugar and 3 tablespoons granulated sugar; beat until blended. Add egg, baking soda, corn syrup and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour and cocoa; beat into butter mixture. If batter becomes too stiff, use wooden spoon to stir in remaining flour. Cover; refrigerate about 30 minutes, if necessary, until batter is firm enough to shape. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Combine 1/4 cup granulated sugar and cinnamon; roll balls in mixture. Place balls 2-inches apart on prepared cookie sheet. Bake 9 to 10 minutes or until cookies are set and tops are cracked. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. 40 cookies.

On the weight watchers plan, these are just 1 point each.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Awesome Strawberry Bread

This bread really is good, my kids LOVE it!


Awesome Strawberry Bread

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 10oz pkg frozen strawberries, thawed w/ juice (reserve 1/4 cup of the juice for spread if desired)- I used fresh strawberries that I pureed but left some chunks and added a few packets of splenda
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans(optional)
1 8oz pkg cream cheese (for spread)

Lightly grease two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans or three 8x4x2-inch loaf pans. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Then add eggs one at a time, and vanilla until well combined. In another bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add to egg mixture alternately with milk, beating until combined after each addition. With a spoon, stir in strawberries and nuts. Turn into prepared pans. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes for larger loaves, 30 to 35 minutes for smaller loaves, or until a toothpick inserted near the center of the bread comes out clean. Cool bread in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans. Cool thoroughly on wire racks. To make strawberry cream cheese spread just combine with a mixer the softened cream cheese and reserved strawberry juice. I sometimes add a little bit of grated orange zest.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Fluffy Gingerbread

Fluffy Gingerbread
From Southern Sideboards


Gingerbread:
½ cup butter or shortening, softened
½ cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs, well beaten
2 cups sifted flour
1 ½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ginger
¾ cup molasses
1 cup boiling water

Topping:
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup flour
2 tsp cinnamon
½ to 1 cup chopped nuts
¼ cup butter, softened


Gingerbread:
Cream together the butter and brown sugar. Beat in the eggs; then blend in remaining ingredients. Bake in an 8 x 11-inch pan at 350 F for about 40 minutes. During the last 10 minutes of baking, spread TOPPING over the gingerbread. Make TOPPING by combining ingredients. Serve with whipped cream, if desired. Serves 8.

Notes: Test for doneness after 20 minutes – mine was completely done after 30 minutes. Keep an eye on the topping - it may not take 10 minutes to bake.

Baked Oatmeal

Baked Oatmeal

A wonderful filling and good breakfast that you can enjoy any day of the week.

1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup white sugar (I used 1/4 brown and a tiny bit less than 1/2 cup white)
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanila
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 cups quick cooking oats (I used old fashioned oats and worked fine)
1/2 cup raisins
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Beat together oil and sugar. Mix in eggs, milk, salt, vanilla, baking powder,
oatmeal. Beat well then stir in raisins. Pour into a lightly greased shallow baking dish. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Refrigerate overnight.
The next morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Bake in preheated oven until firm, about 35 minutes. Serve hot.


Some great toppings:
vanilla yogurt
warm maple syrup
cinnamon apple sauce


Other add ins:
walnuts or slivered almonds
dried cranberries
canned pumpkin(omit the raisins)

Monday, April 03, 2006

More birthday cake fun!

For my doll loving daughter I decided to make her a mini doll cake, otherwise known as a barbie doll cake to most. I cannot find a really good moist white/yellow cake recipe so I resorted to a good 'ol duncan hines boxed cake mix. For the skirt of the cake I used a Pampered Chef 1 quart batter bowl but you can also use an ovensafe glass bowl. I greased and floured the pampered chef bowl really good and then filled it alomst up to the top so that she would have a nice long skirt. I then took the leftover batter and baked that in a square pan for her platform.

I baked the bowl about 1 hr 15 minutes until it was done when I put in a pick in the middle. The square one didnt take that long, 25 minutes maybe??

Let them both cool and then flip to rack to finish cooling. I made this frosting and blew up 2 hand mixers LOL I used half butter and half crisco.

Best White Icing Ever
cakecentral.com
Serves/Yields: 4 to 5 cups. (20 servings)

This icing recipe is #1! It's quick and easy to make, bright white for cake decorating, and you can easily change it's consistency! This is the most important icing recipe you'll ever have. It's so basic, it makes the hassle of cake decorating so much easier! If you wish, use half shortening and half unsalted butter.

4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup shortening
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon clear imitation vanilla extract

In a large bowl, combine sugar, shortening, water and vanilla. Beat on low speed to combine, then beat on medium speed for a full five minutes. It won't look like Icing at first, but keep the mixer going for a full five minutes, and then you're done!
Note: If you're not using this for decorating, but just for icing the cake, thin the icing by adding 3 tbs. of corn syrup, or water to the icing.

-I had to add about 2T more water b/c this was so very thick and hard to work this.

I tinted some the lavendar color and a tiny bit the green. I tried to decorate the cake to look like her dress.

I put the platform on the foil covered board and coated it with the white and then added the upside down bowl in the middle of that and started with the stars on the top,lavendar. I should have put on a thin layer of white before doing the stars but I was afraid of running out of icing. It was ok but a few spots of cake did show through but it still tasted great and Gwen loved "my cake" as she kept saying and pointing! After you finish the skirt take the legs off of a mini barbie type doll( we found ours at dollar general) and then put wooded picks in her leg holes to hold her on top of the cake and then using a small star tip "ice" on the top of her dress all the way around.

Birthday cake fun!

My son just turned five and requested that I made him a spiderman cake. I looked the net over to find the perfect one and I succeeded! He was so excited and in total shock when I brought it out. It took about 3 hours to decorate it from start to finish and by the time it hit the table he was ripping into it. I followed this tutorial to make him: http://frostingfun.blogspot.com/

This is the cake that I used and just love it. I always have to add chocolate chips to it because that is the way little man likes it.

WONDER CHOCOLATE CAKE

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8x8 pan or 8-inch round pan with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, mix: 1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup sugar
3 Tbs. cocoa
1/2 tsp. salt
Add:
1 Tbs. vinegar
6 Tbs. oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup cold water
Stir well. Pour into prepared pan and bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean

This is the icing recipe that I used. I used half butter and half crisco:

Best White Icing Ever

recipe from: cakecentral.com
Serves/Yields: 4 to 5 cups. (20 servings)

This icing recipe is #1! It's quick and easy to make, bright white for cake decorating, and you can easily change it's consistency! This is the most important icing recipe you'll ever have. It's so basic, it makes the hassle of cake decorating so much easier! If you wish, use half shortening and half unsalted butter.


4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup shortening
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon clear imitation vanilla extract
Directions
In a large bowl, combine sugar, shortening, water and vanilla. Beat on low speed to combine, then beat on medium speed for a full five minutes. It won't look like Icing at first, but keep the mixer going for a full five minutes, and then you're done!

Note: If you're not using this for decorating, but just for icing the cake, thin the icing by adding 3 tbs. of corn syrup, or water to the icing.

-I had to add about 2T more water b/c this was so very thick and hard to work with.



Monday, March 27, 2006

Billy Bob's Stuffed Cabbage

Ingredients:
8 large cabbage leaves
1 can tomato soup
1 pound ground beef
1 cup cooked rice
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Method:

Cook cabbage leaves in boiling water for about 10 minutes to soften. Drain. Mix 2 tablespoons of the soup and rest of ingredients. Divide the mixture among cabbage leaves. Fold the sides in, roll up, and secure with toothpicks.

In large skillet, place rolls, seam side down. Add rest of soup to pan, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes, stirring often to avoid sticking. Spoon soup over cabbage rolls often while stirring.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Chicken Tikka Masala

An Indian Dish sure to perk your taste buds.

Ingredients:

1 cup yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
salt to taste
boneless skinless chicken breasts: cut into bite-size pieces
skewers for the chicken
1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic minced
1 jalapeno pepper: finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
1 can tomato sauce
1 cup heavy cream

Method:

In a bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons cumin, cinnamon, cayenne,black pepper, ginger, and 4 teaspoons salt.

Stir in chicken, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Prepare Barbeque grill for a hot fire.

Thread chicken onto skewers, and discard marinade. Grill until juices run clear, about 5 minutes on each side.

Melt butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and jalapeno for 60 seconds. Season with 2 teaspoons cumin, paprika, salt to taste.

Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Add grilled chicken, and simmer for 10 minutes.