Monday, August 22, 2011

Slow Cooker Curry Chicken

Slow-Cooker Chicken Curry recipe

Adapted from:

http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/slow-cooker-chicken-curry-76229.aspx

4-6 large Chicken Breasts
2 small jars chunky salsa (one medium, one mild)
1/2 diced onion
3-4 T Curry
1-2 cups sour cream

Place Chicken, salsa, onion, and curry into a slow cooker; cook until chicken is cooked through and tender (about 3-4 hours) Be careful; my cooker does this in 2 hours!
Remove chicken to a platter; mix sour cream into remaining sauce and serve separately.

Serve chicken over rice and pour sauce on top.

Best Recipe Ever!! Simple; yummy, crowd pleaser, wow!

Double Rainbow Cupcakes

RAINBOW CUPCAKES!
These were really fun to make!
You need:
  • A white cake mix - any kind is fine; as long as it's white
  • 6 different food colors (splurge for the fancy stuff that Wilton has; you'll thank me; mixing colors is not easy)
  • 5 different colors of chocolate candy melts - or you can color white candy melts the colors you want with the above food colors.
  • Wax paper and tape
  • 11 plastic baggies.
  • White fluffy frosting for the cloud effect
Here's where the double rainbow comes in......

 
Ta Daaaaaaaaa!
Mix your white cake mix according to package directions; divide into 6 bags evenly (or however many colors you want. Drop the corresponding food colors into each back and start mixin!

 
Get some helpers (aren't mine cute!) Cause this takes awhile....
 
All done?
Ready your cupcake liners and in backwards rainbow order take one baggie at a time, cut a small hole in the bottom, and start squeezing out batter in the cupcakes like so.....

 
Until your liners are 1/2 full

 
Then bake and cool.
During the baking process you can start on your chocolate rainbows. (Doesn't that sound just perfect! One of the most beautiful things on earth paired with one of the most beautiful things on earth?!)
 
Get your template, cover it with wax paper and tape it down to your work surface.
Melt one color of chocolate at a time in a sandwich bag; sealed;  in the microwave at 50% power for about a minute.
Then cut a small hole in the bottom and begin!
It doesn't have to be perfect (as you can see)

 
Then continue with your next colors; I alternated mine so the earlier color had time to set and to help keep myself in the lines; but color order would work fine too if you're disciplined.

 
I filled in with blue then yellow and let them set for about an hour

 
Then frost your cupcakes and carefully peel your rainbows off the wax paper and set them on top! Refrigerate until ready to serve or the rainbows will fall over. :)
Enjoy!

 

Oreo Cream Cake

Lets unwrap this baby layer by layer shall we?

This is the whipped Cream Layer

This is the layered cake with oreo creme filling

This is the filling

This is the cake, from scratch; no box mixes here my pretties!
(Although a box mix is totally within the boundaries of exceptional behavior in my kitchen)

It was a moist, delicious cake and it came together very well. Serve Immediately.
Cake:


1¾ cup flour
⅔ cup cocoa powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup butter
1½ cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 large eggs, room temperature
1¼ cups buttermilk

Filling:

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
½ cup butter, softened
1 box (16 oz) confectioners sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons milk
3-4 Crushed Oreos for mixing in at the end

Frosting:

1½ cups heavy cream
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Decor;

3 cups crushed oreos
8 or so whole oreos
Directions

1. Heat oven to 350. Coat two 8 inch round cake pans with nonstick spray and dust with flour. Shake out excess flour and set aside.

2. Cake: In medium bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well-combined. Set aside.
3.In a large bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat butter, sugar, and vanilla for 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
4.On low speed, beat flour mixture into butter mixture in three additions, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour. Beat for 1 minute. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake at 350 for about 36 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans on wire rack for about 10 minutes. Turn cakes out on racks, and cool completely - After an hour I cooled it in the fridge so the filling would spread easier....
5. Filling: In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Gradually add confectioners sugar then milk. Beat for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy.
6. When layers have cooled, trim off any crowned cake from the tops and discard. Cut each layer in half horizontally. Place one cut layer on a plate and top with ⅓ of the filling. Repeat with two more cake layers. Place last layer on top, cut side down. Refrigerate for 20 minutes until set.
7. Frosting: In a large bowl, with mixer on high speed, beat together the heavy cream, the granulated sugar, and the vanilla until soft peaks form. Generously spread whipped cream all over cake. Place your crushed or chopped cookies all around the sides of the cake. Store in refrigerator.
http://mytastytreasures.blogspot.com/2009/02/oreos-n-cream-cake.html

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

4th of July Cake Bites, Dipped Strawberries & Layered Drinks

                      
Check out these fun things I made for my mom's 4th of July Retirement Party!

                                     
 Love these!
Red, White, and Blue Strawberries:
Patriotic Cake Bites!

White chocolate and blue sugar sprinkles. Simple, easy and adorable!
                                       
Surprise!
                                         
    
Patriotic Cake Bites
Basic Cake Bite Recipe:
One Cake Mix:
(Any flavor baked in a 9X13 pan
according to package directions and then cooled)
Dump the baked cake into a large bowl
and mix in 3/4 of a tub of any flavor frosting
Mix it all up with your hands
(To the consistancy it all sticks together well)
Roll the mixture into little truffle sized balls
Refrigerate or freeze these until firm
Then dip them into any kind of melted chocolate;
 Decorate!
You can also make Cake Pops this way;
have you seen this site??
Wow!

Anyway.....
I used a white cake mix and white frosting
then I divided the frosting/cake mixture up
and tinted each one with non-tasting food gel:
1/4 of it red and 3/4 of it blue:
(Remember to refrigerate between each step)

I rolled the red up into small marble size balls
and then flattened out blue cake to a disk in my palm
and wrapped it around the red ball and rolled then both up:


Then I dipped them and added sprinkles....

Here is the table all done up purty....
 Even the drink got all festive!

Layered Drinks:
This was done with three different kinds of beverages
(doesn't matter what kind, just that they have to be the color you want;
and have three different sugar contents.
First: you fill your container up all the way with Ice -
Ice is a buffer; it helps keep the colors separate. 
(This works in individual glasses too)
Then add the drink for the bottom layer
(It should contain the MOST sugar)

30 grams of sugar - Pina Colada SoBe in this case,
then add a 15 grams of sugar drink (I used Powerade Fruit Punch) ,
then 0 grams of sugar drink (Powerade Zero Mixed Berry)
Cool Huh?

 Hope your 4th is a great one!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Almond Joy Brownies

This baby is something I made on a whim when all I had was a brownie mix on my brain and a table full of guests sitting around after dinner on father's day. (I had planned dessert but ran out of time)  So I got creative and improvised; and it worked!

I used:
Ghirardelli Ultimate Fudge brownie mix

Prepare and bake in 8X8 pan per package directions; let cool. (or don't if there's no time, in my case)
reserve the frosting for later

In a sauce pan combine:
3/4 cup cream
3/4 cup sugar
Stir on medium heat 3 minutes or so until sugar is dissolved

Take off heat and add
2 tsp of vanilla

Stir in:
2 cups flaked coconut (like this! the big flaky kind the size of pieces of gum - I get mine from Nuttyguys.com - or the old standby shredded will work)
and 1/2 cup chopped almonds
Spread over brownies.


Melt your frosting packet in the microwave and drizzle over coconut mixture.
Serve!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Cooking Weekend

We went to Cedar City and enjoyed some relaxing time there and at Bryce Canyon during Memorial Day Weekend with Kevin's parents. 
As you know I love to cook but I love to cook there more!
Kevin's mom has an amazing kitchen with all the gadgets and tons of space (including a very large granite-topped island)
She loves the break from cooking, and I love cooking for vacation; so we're a perfect match.
The best part is that Carol graciously buys all the ingredients for me (and I can get kinda nuts with the  ingredients for the new recipes - fresh ginger, fresh basil, snow peas, flank steak this time plus 50 more...)

The other best part is that she just cleans up after me as I move around the kitchen creating new and exciting things to eat while making new and exciting messes along with it. 
Carol will quietly clean up right behind me so when my tornado self destroys the kitchen, she becomes Utah Disaster Kleen-up... and round and round we go, happily (I hope) all weekend.

So all I get to do is create! No shopping, No Cleaning! (YES!)

This weekend I made:


Lemon Blueberry Yogurt Loaf - a sweet AND tangy moist bread made with yogurt and fresh lemon juice and zest, make sure you use a LARGE loaf pan or two smaller ones.

Grilled Chicken with Lemon Basil Pasta - this needed some tweaking but it was okay; next time I will use shredded parmesan not grated.  - So the texture was off, but it tasted great!

Chocolate Silk (Mousse) Pie - cookie crust piled high with fluffy creamy mousse; it was so good and Kevin's new favorite

Nathan made Crepes for breakfast with fresh fruit - he did a great job!

Monte Cristo - We made this for Brunch and it was a hit!

Fresh Orange Rolls  - again with real fresh squeezed orange juice and zest - the whole batch went in one meal!

Pot Roast - tender, juicy, pull apart with your fork

Raspberry Cream Pie - so sweet and creamy - it can be served frozen or chilled

Cherry Chocolate Cake - moist and chocolatey with the perfect fudge frosting

The recipe's are linked; I got them from Pioneer Woman Cooks, or The Sisters Cafe

I also got inspired by this blog post from IHeart Organizing to start a project this same weekend and move and re-organize all my recipes from my old smaller binders, which are 6x8 all inclusive with 15-year old food smears; all over them - to my new and bigger 81/2 x 11 binders; I'll be able to have new tabs that work and are custom to me! New sheet protectors with 4X6 pockets and bigger ones for larger recipes too etc; and a place to store my weekly menu plans and recipes I want to try; I'll show you the finished product soon as well; but here's the old binders.....



Complete with fingerprints and food particles

And the new!
(Wipe able surfaces too)
With way cute designs to match my kitchen!
I'll have 3 recipe binders; one for Breakfasts and Main Dishes,
one for Breads, Veggies, Sides, & Salads,
and one for Snacks & Desserts.

 (If you're wondering why 3 binders...it's because I'm usually making 2-3 things at a time
and don't want to flip back and forth in one book for 3 recipes.)
 This way; I'll have three books open and ready for me to cook;
unless my recipe is on this blog, then I'll have my IPad open too!

Wish me luck!

Lemon-Blueberry Yogurt Loaf


This bread is sweet and tangy and moist and amazing! It didn't last the day at my parents' house and it wont last long at yours either. Be sure to use a LARGE loaf pan.
Picture and Recipe from The Sisters Cafe

1 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar

3 extra-large eggs

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (approximately 1 lemon)

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen, thawed and rinsed (“miniature wild blueberries are great for this, and pose the least risk of sinking”)

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.

Sift together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, vanilla and oil. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it’s all incorporated. Mix the blueberries with the remaining tablespoon of flour, and fold them very gently into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 (+) minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean. (I use DoughMakers pebbled loaf pans when I make sweet breads, and they always take about 25% longer to bake, but it bakes evenly – no burned edges! Hallelujah!)

Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before flipping out onto a cooling rack. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in (a pastry brush works great for this, as does using a toothpick to make tiny holes that draw the syrup in better). Cool.

Grilled Chicken and Lemon Basil Pasta

Picture from and Recipe Adapted from Pioneer Woman
Ingredients


■4 whole Grilled Chicken Breasts, Sliced

■1 pound Penne Pasta, Cooked Until Al Dente

■½ sticks Butter

■3 whole Lemons, Juiced

■¾ cups Heavy Cream

■¼ cup Milk

■1-½ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese (or Romano)

■Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste

■10 fresh whole Basil Leaves, Chopped into strips

Preparation Instructions

Cook pasta, reserving 1 cup of hot pasta water when you drain. Set pasta aside in a colander.
In the same pot, melt butter over medium heat. Squeeze in the juice of 3 lemons. Whisk together. Pour in cream and half-and half and-heat. Whisk until hot. Dump in cheese and whisk until melted. Add salt and pepper. Check consistency, adding some of the hot pasta water to loosen the sauce if needed.
Pour pasta and sauce into a large serving bowl. Sprinkle remaining basil all over the top, then add sliced chicken breasts. Serve immediately!

Serves 4

Orange Rolls

Picture and Recipe Adapted from The Sister's Cafe
These will make a lot of fresh yummy, gooey, sweet rolls, you will love them!

1 recipe dinner rolls (below)

1/2 cup softened butter

1 cup sugar

2 T. freshly squeezed orange juice

Grated orange rind from two large oranges

Orange Glaze:

Mix together 1 ½ cups powdered sugar, 3 T. freshly squeezed orange juice and ½ tsp. grated orange rind.
Follow directions below for dinner rolls. Combine butter, sugar, orange juice and orange rind in a small bowl and mix well.

When dough is ready to shape into rolls, punch down and divide in thirds. Roll each portion into large rectangle about 9×13 inches, ¼ inch thick. Spread each rectangle with one-third of the butter/orange/sugar mixture. Starting with the long side, roll up jelly roll style. Seal edges well, then cut with dental floss into 1-inch slices.

Place on a greased baking sheet (I fit 15 on a sheet – three rows of five). Let rise away from draft until dough doubles. (Today that took about 1 hour.) Bake at 350° for about 20 minutes. (Mine were done at about 16 minutes, so check early.) Remove rolls from pans and cool on wire rack. When rolls are cool, drizzle with orange glaze.



The BEST Rolls (adapted from Lion House Rolls)

2 T. dry yeast

2 cups warm water

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup softened butter
2 1/2 tsp. Salt

2/3 cup nonfat dry milk

5-6 cups flour

1 egg


In the large bowl of an electric mixer, combine yeast and water. Let stand 5 minutes. Add sugar, shortening, salt, dry milk, 2 cups flour and egg. Beat together until very smooth. Add 2 more cups flour, one at a time, and beat until smooth. Add about 1 to 1 1/2 more cups flour, 1/2 cup at a time until well mixed. Turn dough onto a lightly floured board and knead until it is smooth and satiny.
Return dough to an oiled bowl and cover with greased plastic wrap; let rise until about triple in size about 1 1/2 hours.

Use last of the flour as needed on the board for rolling and shaping the dough. Let dough rest on board for 10 minutes so it will be easier to manage if you roll it.

For Cinnamon or Orange Rolls: roll dough out in one large rectangle ; spread filling; roll up long ways; jelly-roll style and slice into 2 inch thick rolls; set individual rolls to rise.

For regular rolls - separate dough into three portions. Roll out each portion into a circle and cut into 8 pie-shaped pieces. Roll up crescent-style and place on baking sheet. Let rise.

Bake at 350° for 12 minutes. Makes between 3-4 dozen rolls.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Raspberry Cream Pie

From Pioneer Woman (LOVE HER!)

Ingredients:


■25 whole Oreo Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

■4 Tablespoons Butter, Melted

(Or I used Graham Cracker Crust this or Oreo - Store bought are awesome!)

■1 cup (generous) Raspberries

■3 Tablespoons Sugar

■2 containers (6 Ounce Each) Raspberry Yogurt

■1 package (3.4 Ounch) Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix

■1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream

■Extra Raspberries For Garnish

Preparation Instructions

To make the crust, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Crust cookies in a food processor (or smash in a Ziploc bag with a rolling pin). Stir in melted butter until all combined. Pour into a regular pie pan and press crumbs all over the pan and up the sides. Bake for 3 to 4 minutes—just long enough for it to set. Cool crust completely.

Place raspberries on a plate or in an empty pan. Smash them with a fork, then sprinkle on 3 tablespoons of sugar. Stir together and allow to sit for 15 minutes.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine raspberry yogurt with the instant vanilla pudding mix (just the powder itself.) Beat on low until combined, about 1 minute. Pour in heavy cream and whip on low for 30 seconds. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula. Turn mixer on medium-high speed and beat for two minutes, or until mixture is thick.
Turn off mixer, then fold in raspberries until just combined. Pour into cooled pie pan and spread evenly. Freeze for two hours, or until very firm. Cut into slices and top each slice with cookie crumbs, dollops of whipped cream, and extra raspberries. Keep in freezer, allowing time to thaw before serving.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Cherry Chocolate Cake

This is SO easy! I got this recipe from The Sisters Cafe

Cake:
1 box of devil’s food cake mix
1 (21 oz) can cherry pie filling
1 tsp almond extract
2 eggs

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 inch pan. In a large bowl, combine dry cake mix, cherry pie filling, eggs, and almond extract. Stir by hand until well blended. (Using an electric mixer will break up the cherries.) Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool.
Fudge frosting:
1 cup white sugar
5 Tb butter
1/3 cup milk
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
In a small saucepan, combine sugar, butter, and milk. Boil, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips until smooth. Immediately pour over partially cooled cake.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Chocolate Silk Mousse Pie


Picture and recipe adapted From Pioneer Woman
Hers is 'Mocha Silk Pie' but us mormons don't do coffee or Kaluha - so I adapted it with more chocolate and a (heh-hem) simpler crust

Ingredients


Chocolate or Oreo Pie Crust

Filling:
2 sticks Butter (salted)
1-½ cup Sugar
2 teaspoons Cocoa
2 T Hot Fudge Topping
3 ounces, weight Semi-sweet (or Bittersweet) Chocolate
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
4 whole Large Eggs

Preparation Instructions

In small microwave safe bowl, melt 3 ounces of unsweetened baking chocolate until stirrable (about 45 seconds on high). Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat butter, sugar, 2 t Cocoa and 2 T Hot Fudge until fluffy, about 1 1/2 minutes. When melted chocolate is cooled, drizzle it into the butter/sugar mixture as it beats on medium speed; use a rubber spatula to get it all out. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Beat the mixture thoroughly until combined, scraping the sides if necessary.

On medium speed, add the four eggs, one at a time, over a period of 20 minutes; leave about 5 minutes between each egg addition. Scrape sides of bowl halfway through this process. Pour filling into the pie crust. You might have a little filling leftover. If you do, I’ll trust you to do the right thing.
Smooth out the pie filling and place pie in the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours (preferably longer).

Serve with whipped cream and more grated chocolate or whole raspberries to garnish

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Easy Monte Cristo

picture from My Sister's Cafe
1 loaf of french bread (or any other bread you prefer) sliced 1-2 inches thick


6 eggs
1 1/4 c. milk
1/4 tsp plus a pinch salt
2 tsp vanilla
7 T. flour
deli sliced ham
deli sliced swiss cheese
Beat eggs, then add milk, salt, vanilla, and flour. Dip both sides of bread in the egg mixture quickly (no need to soak if your bread is thick) and place in hot buttered pan. When the first side is browned, flip one bread slice over and stack ham and swiss on top. Then top with browned side of a second piece of bread. When the bottom of the french toast “sandwich” is browned, flip again and brown the top piece of bread. This will allow the cheese to melt and the ham to warm up. Serve with butter and maple syrup or any jam thinned out a bit for dipping.

Serves 4-6

Yum!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Caramel Brownies

These babies will knock your socks off!  They are a party fave and requested all the time by my besties. The greatest thing is how easy they are to make. I've been making these since highschool (Geez!) I thought I had this baby posted already but alas....well, here they are!
Ingredients

• 1 box German Chocolate Cake Mix

• 1/3 cup Evaporated Milk

• 3/4 cups Butter, Melted

• 1/3 cup plus 1T Evaporated Milk (additional)

• ¾ Bag of Caramels, Unwrapped – about 40

• 1/2 cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix together cake mix, 1/3 cup evaporated milk, and melted butter. Stir together until totally combined. Mixture will be very thick.

Press ¾ of the mixture into a well-greased 8 ½ X 13 inch baking pan. Bake for 6 minutes. Remove pan from oven and set aside.

In a double boiler (or microwave) melt caramels with additional 1/3 cup plus 1T evaporated milk. When melted and combined, pour over brownie base. Sprinkle chocolate chips as evenly as you can over the caramel.

Take remaining brownie batter and flatten a piece at a time and set it on top of the caramel and chocolate chips so some caramel is exposed and some is covered by batter.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for several hours –or eat hot but you’ll need a spoon!
(picture borrowed from flicker)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Chicken Cordon Blue Casserole

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

This little number I threw together last week and it was loved by all; I made two Casseroles they were big and would feed 10 each. So really I made 4 meals for us with this one; I've written enough for one Casserole but double it to have some for next month too!

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1 cup milk
1 tsp dried mustard
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups grated Swiss cheese (1/2 cup reserved)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese (1/4 cup reserved)
3 cups cubed cooked chicken
2 cups cubed cooked (fried) ham steak
1 Box Rotini noodles cooked and drained

Cook chicken, ham, and noodles separately; set aside
Preheat oven at 350.
Stir soups, milk, mustard and pepper in a saucepan, cook on medium heat; until blended and hot; add cheeses but reserved and stir until melted.
Combine mixture with chicken, ham and noodles; spread in a 9 X13 pan, sprinkle remaining cheeses and bake for 15 minutes.

Sprinkle Crushed Ritz Crackers on top (optional) and serve

Monday, January 3, 2011

Oreo Truffles


OREO TRUFFLES
A new Christmas Tradition at my house, these are RICH but so yummy...

Take One package regular Oreo's - crush up in a food processor or blender to fine crumbs
Mix that with 1 and 1/2 packages of cream cheese - in a blender
Roll by hand or cookie scoop into one inch balls and refridgerate/freeze on cookie sheet until firm
Melt one package of White Chocolate Bark in the microwave
Dip Oreo balls into chocolate and set on wax paper to dry
When set, drizzle melted chocolate chips over the top (I microwave a ziplock bag full, cut a small corner off and drizzle.
Makes about 30 truffles
Enjoy!!