Saturday, March 29, 2008

Birthday treat!

My sister-in-law just celebrated her 21st b-day! I decided I would make her something she really enjoys! She loves carrott cake. This was the first cake I have made from scratch and it was really easy. I don't know why I ever thought it wouldn't be! I made her cupcakes so that she wouldn't have to eat a huge cake and eat it quickly so that it wouldn't go bad. I iced about 6 cupcakes and gave her the rest to freeze!I found this recipe from all recipes. It had a ton of reviews which gave many different tips. I did change the recipe as a a lot of the reviews said to do 1 cup brown sugar and 1 cup sugar. I also added a tbp. more of vanilla. I don't
care for carrott cake so I didn't try it but I hope she approves!
I don't have any pictures as the two I took came out blurry :(

Carrott Cake III
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan.

In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, white sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in carrots. Fold in pecans. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

To Make Frosting: In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Stir in chopped pecans. Frost the cooled cake.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Dessert

I decided I would contribute something to Easter this year. I have found this blog group. This group makes a different recipe each week from this cookbook. When they posted this apple dessert I knew I wold have to make it sometime. It is really simple to make. The dough seemed like a basic cookie dough to me at first. The recipe calls for raisins but I chose not to use them. If you love apple desserts as I do this really is a great new way to use them!

Russian Grandmothers’ Apple Pie-Cake
(Source: Dorie Greenspan’s “Baking: From My Home to Yours” pages 310-311)
For The Dough
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Juice of 1 lemon
3 1/4 - 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
For The Apples
10 medium apples, all one kind or a mix (I used Fuji)
Squirt of fresh lemon juice
1 cup moist, plump raisins (dark or golden)
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Sugar, preferably decorating (coarse) sugar, for dusting

To Make The Dough: Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and continue to beat until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes more. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add the baking powder and salt and mix just to combine. Add the lemon juice - the dough will probably curdle, but don’t worry about it. Still working on low speed, slowly but steadily add 3 1/4 cups of the flour, mixing to incorporate it and scraping down the bowl as needed. The dough is meant to be soft, but if you think it looks more like a batter than a dough at this point, add the extra 1/4 cup flour. (The dough usually needs the extra flour.) When properly combined, the dough should almost clean the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface, gather it into a ball and divide it in half. Shape each half into a rectangle. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or for up to 3 days. (The dough can be wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 2 months; defrost overnight in the refrigerator.)

To Make The Apples: Peel and core the apples and cut into slices about 1/4 inch thick; cut the slices in half crosswise if you want. Toss the slices in a bowl with a little lemon juice - even with the juice, the apples may turn brown, but that’s fine - and add the raisins. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together, sprinkle over the apples and stir to coat evenly. Taste an apple and add more sugar, cinnamon, and/or lemon juice if you like.

Getting Ready to Bake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Generously butter a 9×12-inch baking pan (Pyrex is good) and place it on a baking shee tlined with parchment or a silicone mat.

Remove the dough from the fridge. If it is too hard to roll and it cracks, either let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes or give it a few bashes with your rolling pin to get it moving. Once it’s a little more malleable, you’ve got a few choices. You can roll it on a well-floured work surface or roll it between sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper. You can even press or roll out pieces of the dough and patch them together in the pan - because of the baking powder in the dough, it will puff and self-heal under the oven’s heat. Roll the dough out until it is just a little larger all around than your pan and about 1/4 inch thick - you don’t want the dough to be too thin, because you really want to taste it. Transfer the dough to the pan. If the dough comes up the sides of the pan, that’s fine; if it doesn’t that’s fine too.

Give the apples another toss in the bowl, then turn them into the pan and, using your hands, spread them evenely across the bottom.

Roll out the second piece of dough and position it over the apples. Cut the dough so you’ve got a 1/4 to 1/2 inch overhang and tuck the excess into the sides of the pan, as though you were making a bed. (If you don’t have that much overhang, just press what you’ve got against the sides of the pan.)

Brush the top of the dough lightly with water and sprinkle sugar over the dough. Using a small sharp knife, cut 6 to 8 evenly spaced slits in the dough.

Bake for 65 to 80 minutes, or until the dough is a nice golden brown and the juices from the apples are bubbling up through the slits. Transfer the baking pan to a cooling rack and cool to just warm or to room temperature. You’ll be tempted to taste it sooner, but I think the dough needs a little time to rest.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Something New!

So it may seem like I haven't really been "dishing up' any meals lately but really I have. Recently I have stuck to old favorites so I haven't really had anything blogworthy. I decided though recently that I have so many great things starred in my google reader that I need to start going through and using it for ideas as I have felt totally out of ideas of what to fix. This is one of those starred recipes.I got it from this blog.

I didn't totally like it. I like some spicy things but I still played it safe and drizzled just a little bit over my chicken. I didn't feel like it really had any flavor unless maybe I had dunked it in the hot sauce. Chad still hasn't eaten any as he got sucked into playing b-ball with some neighborhood kids so we'll see once he has tried it what he thinks!

Buffalo-Style Chicken Strips with Ranch Dressing
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups coarsely crushed cornflakes
1 pound chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch-thick strips
Cooking spray
1/3 cup hot sauce (such as Crystal)
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup fat-free ranch dressing
4 celery stalks, cut into 1/4 x 3-inch sticks
4 carrots, cut into 1/4 x 3-inch sticks

Preheat oven to 400°.
Combine first 6 ingredients in a shallow dish, stirring with a whisk. Place egg whites in a shallow dish. Place cornflakes in a shallow dish. Working with 1 chicken strip at a time, dredge in flour mixture. Dip in egg whites; dredge in cornflakes. Place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken strips, flour mixture, egg whites, and cornflakes.

Lightly coat chicken strips with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until done, turning once.

Combine hot sauce, pepper sauce, and Worcestershire in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in butter. Drizzle hot sauce mixture over chicken. Serve with ranch dressing, celery, and carrots.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

A Favorite

For one of my bridal showers everyone was asked to bring a recipe for me. This recipe came from Chad's mom as it is one of his favorites. Which is really surprising since he is so picky. I never would have thought he would have liked something like this. It is really easy and super yummy!

Chicken Pasta
1 pkg. linguine
1 pkg. chicken strips fresh or frozen ( I cubed 2 chicken breasts)
1/4 c. lemon juice
1/4 c. water
1 TBLS chicken bouillion
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp lemon grind
Vegetable Spray

Brown chicken in large non stick skillet coated with vegetable spray. Add rest of ingredients except linguine. Simmer until chicken is tender and cooked through. Toss with hot, cooked linguine.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Cream Biscuits

Nothing really special here. I was just trying to use up some cream I had and ran across this recipe. I got the recipe from this food blog.They are incredibly easy and really yummy!

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk dry ingredients together in medium bowl. Stir in the cream with a wooden spoon until the dough forms, about 30 seconds. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and gather into a ball. Knead the dough briefly until smooth, about 30 seconds.

Pat the dough into a 3/4-inch thick circle. Cut the biscuits into rounds using a 2 or 2-1/2″ biscuit cutter. Place the biscuits on the parchment-lined baking sheet. The baking sheet can be wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 2 hours. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Yields: 1 dozen 2″ biscuits

Sunday, March 2, 2008


So tonight for dinner I made Chicken Francais. This meal is so delicious. One of my best friends from college,Nicole, gave the recipe to me. Throughout college we would go over to her aunt's house and we actually had access to a real kitchen we could cook in or receive food cooked in it! I received so many great recipes from our trips over there. So this is Nicole's favorite and I know why. We have made it many times together. Such as when I visited her in Texas and the best time in her apartment when she made the fire alarm go off!! Luckily I made it over after the alarm went off and the chaos was over! So enjoy this recipe and make your own memories.
This is when we made it in Texas with some other friends visting.

So this really isn't a complete recipe but when she wrote it down for me she didn't really know exact measurements. It can't really be messed up so just enjoy!

-boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 1 per person)
-white rice
-chicken bouillon
-lemon juice

Pound chicken, cut into pieces
Flour chicken, brown in olive oil (just until golden)
Put chicken in glass pan
Add 2-4 cups of water with 1 TBSP lemon juice and 1 TBSP bouillon
to pan you cook chicken in, stir then pour over chicken
Bake for at 350 for 40 min.

When measuring water for the rice add 1 TBSP lemon juice and 1 TBSP bouillon to taste.
Serve the chicken over the rice and add some of the water mixture over the rice.