Sunday, January 31, 2010
Friday, January 29, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Sausage and Cheese Crescent Squares
2 cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 lb pork sausage
1 package (8oz) cream cheese
2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2) Unroll can of crescent dinner rolls and flatten tightly to the edges of a 9x13 glass baking dish.
3) Brown pork sausage until no longer pink and drain excess drippings. Add cream cheese to pan. Cook over low heat until melted. Spoon evenly over crust in baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese.
4) Unroll second package of crescent rolls and place over mixture.
5)Bake 21 to 26 minutes or until golden bow. Cool for 15 minutes. Cut into small squares.
Monday, January 25, 2010
Oreo Fudge Bars
1 16oz package of Oreo cookies
1 stick butter, melted
1/4 tsp salt
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (I used another 1/2 cup of semi-sweet)
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 323
Line a 9x13 in pain with foil and spray with PAM.
Set aside 6 Oreo cookies for the toppings.
In a food processor grind the rest of the cookies. Feel free to use the rolling pin method if you do not have a food processor.
Add salt to the crumbs and stir to combine.
Melt butter and gently stir together with cookie crumb mixture.
Press firmly into bottom of the pan.
Coarsely chop the remaining cookies into chunks and set aside.
Over a double boiler or in the microwave, melt 3/4 cup semi sweet and 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips together with the condensed milk and vanilla.
Stir until smooth.
Spread evenly over cookie crust.
Sprinkle mini chocolate chips and the Oreo cookies chunks over the top of the filling. Press down gently into the chocolate topping.
Bake for 20-22 minutes.
Allow to cool on counter for 1 hour. Chill in fridge until completely cold and set before cutting into bars.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
So let me being by laying out the time line of the 6 hour cupcakes:
* Long week, working till 11:30 each night on my thesis,the hubs and cleaning is neglected.
*Started out at 7 pm on Wednesday night to begin the cupcakes.
*By 7:20 realized that I only had 1 cup of sugar when I needed 3 (I doubled the recipe). So, I ran to Target.
*7:45 I returned and restarted the cupcakes.
*7-45-10ish: made up two pans of cupcakes; let bake while reading a research article for class; within minutes of being removed from the oven; all collapsed in center where marshmallows were placed.
*10-12: Rapidly searched the Internet for reasons for failure; no answers; did read review of recipe and saw a couple others had same problem. Made another small pan with 1/3 of marshmallow inside and turned out better, only slightly collapsed. Mixed up another single batch, added 1/4 marshmallow inside. Some collapsed more than others.
*12am: I am left with 23 minimally acceptable to serve; fed up and tired; decided to package up anyways (without ganache topping) because I couldn't arrive empty handed. Returned to another research article due for class the next day but couldn't stop thinking about failure cupcakes.
*12:30; had idea to cover holes in cupcakes; cut marshmallow in half; place on cupcake and broil to give toasted effect! Completed task and was overjoyed!
So, in conclusion, I have no overall idea of why I failed with these cupcakes but am very hesitant to attempt cooking with marshmallows again. I am slightly proud that I was able to salvage the cupcakes after all that time, as they turned out to be a hit with my class! Also, I do plan to make these again sometime because I hate to let the cupcakes win!
Campfire S'more cupcakes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup cocoa
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup oil
6 jumbo marshmallows cup in half, plus more for decorating
Graham Cracker Crumb topping:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda together with a wire whisk. Separate the mixture in half into two bowls.
Stir cocoa into one bowl and the graham cracker crumbs into the other.
Add 1/2 cup milk, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1/4 cup oil to the cocoa mixture and beat on medium until combined.
Repeat adding the same ingredients to the graham cracker crumb flour mixture.
Prepare the graham cracker crumb topping.
Add the brown sugar and crumbs in a small bowl and pour on melted butter. Stir until combined.
Pour a little graham cracker cake batter into the bottom of your baking cups (so it barely covers the bottom) and then sprinkle the topping mixture lightly on the surface.
Place a marshmallow half on top and then cover the marshmallow with the chocolate cake batter until it is about 3/4 full. ( I used 1/4 a marshmallow cut into 4 pieces on my more successful batch).
Sprinkle with more topping mixture.
Bake cupcakes for about 15-17 minutes.
According to recipe it yields 12 cupcakes: I made a double batch and came up with 36 even with filling my first pan too full.
Let cool completely. (To cover the collapsed portions, I cut a marshmallow in half and placed into the hole. Turned the oven on broil and placed rack in notch, second from the top to allow room for marshmallows. Watch very closely as they burn quickly!! Toast to desired color.)
Heat the butter and cream on the stove. Heat until just before it boils. Remove and add chocolate. Stir until completely melted and smooth. Let cool for few minutes to let ganache slightly thicken. Pour over cupcakes and marshmallows. (I only used around 1/4 of the ganache mixture, next time I will make a half batch)
Friday, January 22, 2010
The original recipe calls for only tomato sauce and 9x13 inch pan but out of respect for the hubs I thought it would be easy enough to split the recipe and use some leftover Alfredo sauce on half of it. He really enjoyed it despite the slightly odd combination of hamburger and Alfredo...I'll let you be the judge on whether or not that appeals to you. Bottom line, there are options to change things up a little.
Future adaptations: I may try cooking filled, pressed and sealed biscuits on a cooking sheet and bake separately because the bottoms were a little doughy. I feel that the bottoms have a difficult time cooking when laying on the sauce. Then serve meal by placing biscuits on top of hot beef mixture.
Cheesy Biscuit Lasagna
1 lb lean ground beef (I used 1/2 lb Jenny-O ground turkey burger)
1 jar (28oz) of tomato pasta sauce (I used 10oz of each kind of sauce in each pan as we don't like a ton of sauce)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 can (12 oz) Pillsburry Jr. Golden Homestyle Butter Biscuits
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried minced onion
1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (I didn't look closely enough and put shredded Parmesan on the top, which is the dark cheese on top...oops!)
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small fry pan, cook ground beef over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until thoroughly cooked; drain. Stir in pasta sauce, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and pepper. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 10 minutes.
2) Separate dough into individual biscuits. Press or roll each into 4-inch round. In a small bowl, mix mozzarella cheese, cottage cheese, parsley flakes, onion and basil until well blended. Place around 2 tablespoons cheese mixture on each biscuit. Fold dough in half and press edges with a fork to seal.
3. Into ungreased 9x13 in pan (or 2 8x8's) glass baking dish, pour hot beef mixture. Arrange filled biscuits on top. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
4. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
I saw these posted on StephanieCooks, was so excited and made them the same night! I have been looking for a healthy-ish quick breakfast that I can grab on my way to class and with her reviews on these, they looked perfect. However, the original recipe called for raspberries which I am not as fond of as strawberries so I decided to change it up a bit. I also took her recommendations and made it with all whole wheat flour. The result was a bit more of a dense muffin than I was originally looking for, still tasty but much softer. So the next time I make this I plan to use the original 1/2 wheat and 1/2 all purpose. But like I said, they were still pretty dang good and have been great for curbing the morning growlies!
Strawberry Cream Cheese Muffins
Adapted from: StephanieCooks where it was adapted from Cooking Light
1/3 cup 1/3 less fat cream cheese
2.5 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg white
1/2 large egg
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 cup fresh or froze strawberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Combine cream cheese and butter in a large bowl. Beat with mixer at med-high speed until well blended. Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add vanilla, egg whites, and eggs; beat well.
Lightly spoon flour into measuring cups; pack and level with knife. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and buttermilk to cream cheese mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Gently fold in strawberries.
Line 12 muffin cups with liners. Spoon batter evenly into liners. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from pans and cool on wire rack.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Crock Pot Salsa Chicken Enchiladas
For the chicken:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts ( I used around 6 small chicken tenderloins)
1 cup salsa (Hint: check out the salsa by the taco shells instead of the chips for MUCH cheaper salsa, I got mine for $1.50 compared to $3.99 by the chips)
1 package reduced sodium taco seasoning
1 can reduced fat cream of mushroom soup (condensed)
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
For the enchiladas:
1/2 reduced fat cheddar cheese
Add chicken to slow cooker.
Sprinkle taco seasoning over chicken.
Combine salsa and soup, pour over chicken. Flip chicken to coat.
Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
Remove from heat and stir in sour cream.
Shred chicken. (mine literally fell apart when I used tons go mix in sour cream...yum!)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray 9/13 in pan with cooking spray.
Placed 2-3 tablespoons of chicken in flat tortilla, roll and place seam down in pan.
Sprinkle cheddar cheese over rolled tortillas.
Bake in oven for 10-13 mins or until cheese is melted. Do not over cook as tortillas will dry out.
Serve with lettuce, sour cream, tomatoes, black olives or any other 'taco' accompaniments.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Lighter Taco Bake
1 lb ground beef (I used 1/2 pound to lighten it up)
1 packet taco seasoning (I used half since I halved the recipe)
15 oz. tomato sauce (I used around 8 oz. on the hub's behalf)
8 oz. seashell pasta (again, half)
8 oz. package cream cheese, softened in microwave (I used 4 ounces)
1/2 cup sour cream (I used reduced fat)
8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese (I used about 1/2 cup of 2%)
1. Brown ground beef, drain. Add taco seasoning and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes. ( I simmered for about 7 since I had less tomato sauce)
2. In the meantime, cook pasta according to directions. Drain.
3. Mix softened cream cheese and sour cream in separate bowl.
4. Spray bottom of pan. Put pasta in bottom of pan.
5. Spread cream cheese mixture over pasta.
6. Spoon ground meat mixture over this.
7. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top.
8. Bake @ 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes before serving. (I may have over cooked a little initially, so I peeled off the cheese and remelted some cheese on top. Turned out perfectly)
Thursday, January 14, 2010
1. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, cook bacon until crisp; remove bacon; and drain on paper towels, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in pot. Crumble bacon.
2. Cook green onion in hot drippings over medium-high heat for 3 minutes, or until tender. Add broth. Whisk in sour cream and milk. Add potatoes, salt, and pepper. Cook for 15 minutes, or until heated through. Top with crumbled bacon, and, if desired, garnish with shredded Cheddar cheese, chopped chives and sour cream.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Now I do have to admit that I was running short on time and patience and substituted a yellow cake mix...I know I know, it would have been better homemade but it did still taste pretty amazing. If you are interested in making the cake from scratch, which I will try next time, just use the original recipe. My comments are in bold below.
*Caution*-utilize control! The hubs devoured this cake in 2 days, no joke! He keep asking for more pie and far be it from me to stop the man! I was so glad I found something that he liked so much. His stomach on the other hand wasn't too happy with me ;)
Boston Cream Pie
For the pastry cream:
2 cups half-and-half
½ cup (3.5 oz.) sugar
Pinch of salt
5 large egg yolks
3 tbsp. cornstarch
4 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces1
½ tsp. vanilla extract
Yellow cake mix (or make your own through original recipe)
For the ganache:
1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup light corn syrup
8 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
½ tsp. vanilla extract
To make the pastry cream, combine the half-and-half, 6 tablespoons of the sugar, and salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat until simmering, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Meanwhile, combine the egg yolks and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a medium bowl and whisk until the sugar has begun to dissolve and the mixture is creamy, about 15 seconds. Whisk in the cornstarch until combined and the mixture is pale yellow and thick, about 30 seconds.
When the half-and-half mixture has reached a simmer, slowly add it to the egg yolk mixture to temper, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the saucepan, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula. Return the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thickened and glossy, about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat, whisk in the butter and vanilla. Strain the pastry cream through a fine mesh sieve set over a medium bowl. (I did not have a mesh sleeve but since the pastry was placed between cakes, you couldn't tell a difference, not the best but it works until I pick one up). Press plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate until cold and set, at least 3 hours and up to 2 days.
Prepare cake mix according to box. Spray 2 9 inch pans with PAM cooking spray. Divide the batter between the 2 pans. Bake and let cool only slightly in pan before removing. (My cakes came out great by just placing my hand over the cake and inverting pan, then gently placing on wax paper to cool completely.)
To make the glaze, combine the heavy cream and corn syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate; cover and let stand for 8 minutes. (If the chocolate has not completely melted, return the saucepan to low heat and stir constantly until melted.) Stir in the vanilla extract very gently until smooth. Cool the glaze until tepid so that a spoonful drizzled back into the pan mounds slightly. (Feel free to place in the refrigerator to speed up process, stirring frequently. It took me around 10-15 mins.)
To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on a cardboard cake circle or serving surface. Place 1 rectangular piece of wax paper (torn into 4 smaller rectangular pieces) underneath the edges of the cake all the way around the perimeter. If desired, reserve about half a cup of pastry cream for decorating. Use a sharp knife and cut out a VERY slight indent in the bottom cake layer, or at least make it level, creating a space for the pastry cream to set. Spread the remaining pastry cream in an even layer on the first cake layer, all the way to the edges. Top with the remaining cake layer and press down gently. Pour the glaze onto the middle of the top cake layer and let it flow down the sides of the cake. Use a spatula, if necessary, to help cover the sides completely. Let the cake sit until the glaze fully sets, about 1 hour. This cake is best served the day it is made.
Monday, January 11, 2010
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Parmesan Rolls 2 ways
Thursday, January 7, 2010
5. In a large pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add pretzels, 3 at a time, and cook until pretzels rise to the surface, about 2 minutes. (Mine never sunk, so they never rose. I just set the kitchen timer for 2 minutes)
4. Remove from heat and add the cheddar cheese a handful at a time, stirring until thoroughly combined.
Oreo Cheesecake Cupcakes
Source: Martha Stewart Cupcakes
42 Oreos- 30 left whole and 12 coarsely chopped (I used 6 chopped cookies as I only bought 1 package of oreos and wanted to have enough bases. The 6 suited the recipe just fine. I still ran out of bases as this recipe made 36 cheesecakes for me.
2 pounds cream cheese at room temperature (yikes, I know, that's alot of cream cheese)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
1 cup sour cream
Pinch of salt
1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.
2. Place 1 whole cookie in the bottom of each lined cup.
3. With electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream cheese until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
4. Gradually add sugar, and beat until combined.
5. Beat in vanilla.
6. Drizzle in eggs.
7. Add in sour cream and salt.
8. Mix in crushed cookies by hand.
9.Divide batter among cookie filled cups, filling each almost to the top.
10. Place in oven, rotating half way through, for 22 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Place in refrigerator (in tins) at least 4 hours. Remove from tins right before serving.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3. Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula.
Sunday, January 3, 2010
In a jumbo/Big Momma Bowl, mix the cheerios, corn chex, peanuts, pretzels and M&M’s.
Saturday, January 2, 2010
Count Chocula Cupcakes
Yields: 12 cupcakes
1/3 c vegetable oil
1 c milk
2 c Count Chocula cereal
3/4 c white flour
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 c chocolate chips
1/2 c light brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
Using a food processor, crush the Count Chocula cereal. (Or feel free to use my previous method of placing cereal in a zip lock bag, make sure to zip, place towel over to soften the sound and smash with hammer until cereal resembles a fine dust)
In a large bowl or stand mixer, join together the ground cereal, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in the chocolate chips.
In another bowl, beat the oil and sugar together for 2 minutes. Add the milk and beat until well-combined. Resembles a frothy consistency.
Fold the liquid into the dry ingredients until just blended. Avoid over mixing!
Divide the batter evenly among the liners. Gently pat the tops to smooth them off.
Bake for 18-20 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes from the pan to a cooling rack and cool to room temperature. Frost as desired.
Dark Chocolate Frosting
6 tbsp butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 c powdered sugar
3/4 c dark cocoa powder
1/3 c milk
Cream butter and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, combine powdered sugar and cocoa powder.
Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture.
Slowly add milk until frosting reaches desired consistency, then beat until creamy.
Butter Spritz Cookies
Makes 3 dozen
1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons orange extract (original recipe called for Vanilla extract)
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and white sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat in the egg, then stir in the orange extract.
Combine the flour and salt; stir into the sugar mixture.
Place desired amount of dough into separate bowls and add food coloring. ( I used gel coloring)
Cover dough, and chill in fridge for at least one hour.
Chill cookie sheets.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Fill cookie press gun.
Press dough out onto ungreased, chilled cookie sheets.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly golden at the edges. (Mine only took around 7 mins)
Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks.