Saturday, June 6, 2009

Perfect Lemon Cake

I made this for Kevin's Birthday, it was so easy, yummy, and moist I had to share the recipe.
I got the cake recipe from a friend but I didn't like the frosting recipe that it came with so I improvised and came up with a new one. Yum!!

Cake:
1 package lemon cake mix
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup oil
4 eggs
1 small package instant lemon pudding

Blend all wet ingredients together well. Mix dry ingredients and sift into wet mixture. Mix with electric mixer on medium speed for about two minutes.
Pour into a greased 9x11 pan or two round pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or till a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool the cake completely - I always mess this up and think it's cool, but it never is. I have to refridgerate it for an hour- and then frost.

Fluffy Lemon Frosting
(by yours truly)
1 cup butter softened
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest (optional)
6 oz cream cheese softened
Beat until creamy
Add
Yellow food coloring to a shade darker than desired color (optional, the cake is yellow, so white lemon frosting is pretty too!)
Mix in 5 cups powdered sugar one cup at a time
1 1/2 cups Coolwhip (half a regular package)
the cool whip will lighten yellow color up again


Hints:
I find food color and Coolwhip don't blend together well if done at the same time.

You can use different consistancies of frosting, one for the middle frosting layer with 6 cups powdered sugar and and a lighter one for the outside of the cake (only 5 cups). I took out 1 cup of frosting after mixing 5 cups with the whole recipe, then I added 1 cup powdered sugar to that for a thicker middle frosting layer, this is so the cakes wouldn't slide apart.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Taco Soup

This recipe is so good and so easy. It starts out browning meat and onion in a skillet and the rest is done in the crock pot. You can see there's a lot of variation in the recipe. This is for your preference. You really can't mess this up so experiment with it and have fun!
1 lbs ground beef browned and drained
1/2 onion diced browned in skillet with meat
1 pkg hot taco seasoning package added to meat and onion
(cook and drain meat and onion, pour seasoned packet in and stir; pour cooked/drained meat and onion into a slow cooker)
Add:
1 can of corn drained
1 can diced tomatoes and juice (flavored is fine)
1 can reg size or 2 small cans tomato sauce or paste (not spaghetti sauce)
2 cans beans drained (any kind, I like kidney and pinto)
Add enough water to barely cover everything
Stir and cook in crock pot until heated through
Add pepper, onion powder and/or a small amount of crushed red pepper to taste)
This is easily doubled or tripled, (tripled fed about 30 people if that helps)
Serve with tortilla chips and garnish with sour cream, shredded cheese, olives, chives, etc

Cinnamon Rolls with Cinnamon Almond Frosting

 (adapted and changed a tad from Pioneer Woman)
(Frosting from yours truly :)

Rolls
4 cups whole milk (2% is okay)
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
2 pkgs ( or 4 1/2 tsp) of active dry yeast
9+ cups flour
1 heaping tsp baking powder
1 scant tsp baking soda
1 heaping T of salt
1 cup butter - divided
1 cup sugar - divided
Generous amount of cinnamon

Mix the milk, vegetable oil, and sugar in a pan. "Scald" the mixture (heat until just before the boiling point.) Turn off heat and leave to cool 45 minutes to 1 hour. ( I divide into two containers and refrigerate for 1/2 hour) When the mixture is lukewarm to warm, but NOT hot sprinkle in yeast. Let it sit for a minute. Add 8 cups flour. Stir mixture together. ( I place 8 cups four in a mixing bowl, then pour mixture over it, and mix with a dough hook at low speed) Cover and let rise for at least an hour.
Then add 1 more cup of flour, the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir mixture together. (dough hook)
Sprinkle flat surface generously with flour. Take half of the dough and form a rough rectangle. Then roll the dough thin, maintaining a general rectangular shape. Drizzle 1 cup butter over the dough. Sprinkle 3/4 cup sugar over butter and sprinkle cinnamon on top very generously. Roll the dough in a neat line toward you long ways; keep the roll relatively tight as you go. Pinch the seams to seal. Grease six to seven round, foil, cake, or pie pans. Then cut rolls 3/4 to 1 inch thick and lay about 7 each in buttered pans. Repeat with other half of dough (or you can let dough sit in fridge overnight or even a day or two, punch down as needed.)
For mini rolls divide dough in 4 rectangles instead of two.






Let rise for 20-30 minutes, bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes.

I use this dough for these, dinner rolls, and orange rolls too. (that recipe is coming up)

Now for the scrumptious amazing ooey gooey frosting!! Notice the Cinnamon

Cinnamon Almond Frosting
1/2 bag of powdered sugar (16 oz) +1 cup
2 tsp maple extract (flavoring) - for color
1/2 cup milk
1 8oz bar of cream cheese - softened
2 T melted butter
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract
1 T cinnamon

Mix all ingredients together until smooth. Thick but pourable. Drizzle generously over warm rolls. Makes a TON of icing: Way more than you might need for one whole recipe (I save it for more cinnamon rolls or dip graham crackers in it. Yum!)