Sunday, December 23, 2007

WC Recipe Exchange

I finally got around to making my What's Cooking recipe exchange dessert today. This wasn't something I would have normally picked, but it was pretty easy and tasted good too! Thanks to whoever sent this one in :)

(Recipe contributor's comments are in red.)

Toffee-Topped Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
from Hershey's Favorite Brand Name Recipes

1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, melted
1 cup Heath Bits 'o Brickle or Skor English Toffee Bits
4 pineapple rings (I used one 20 oz can of crushed pineapple)
4 maraschino cherries (I omitted these)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp rum or 1 tsp rum extract (I recommend Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum)
1 egg
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup milk

Heat oven to 350F. Lightly coat inside of 4 individual 2-cup baking dishes with vegetable oil spray.

Stir together 1 tbsp corn syrup and 1 tbsp melted butter in each of 4 baking dishes. Sprinkle each with 1 tbsp toffee. Center pineapple rings on toffee and place cherries in centers.

Beat softened butter and sugar in small bowl until blended. Add rum and egg, beating well. Stir together flour and baking powder; add alternately with milk to rum mixture, beating until smooth. Spoon about 3/4 cup batter into each prepared dish.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean. Immediately invert onto serving dish. Refrigerate leftovers.

**I used 2 loaf pans, since I did not have 2 cup baking dishes. They look a little like owl eyes, huh?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I'm good at blogging!

Two entries in a row, I'm on a roll! At least for tonight :) My wonderful husband was going to make us dinner tonight, but we came to discover that we were missing half the ingredients for his tator tot hotdish. So we swapped meals and I made mac and cheese tonight and he can cook for me tomorrow while I watch Grey's. This was my first attempt at homemade, and it turned out pretty good. I thought it was a little heavy on the breadcrumbs, but the husband liked them.

Looking at these pictures makes me realize that I need to learn how to use my camera. They're pretty horrible (as in, the top of the dish is not actually burnt like it looks!). It doesn't help that it now gets dark more than an hour before I even get to leave work :( Crazy winter in Minnesota...

Fannie Farmer's Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese
(from Recipezaar)

1 (8oz) package macaroni
4 T. butter
4 T. flour
1 cup milk
1 cup cream
1/2 tsp. salt
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups good quality shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup buttered breadcrumbs
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Cook and drain macaroni according to package directions; set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan melt butter.
  4. Add flour mixed with salt and pepper, using a whisk to stir until well blended.
  5. Pour milk and cream in gradually; stirring constantly.
  6. Bring to boiling point and boil 2 minutes (stirring constantly).
  7. Reduce heat and cook (stirring constantly) 10 minutes.
  8. Add shredded cheddar little by little and simmer an additional 5 minutes, or until cheese melts.
  9. Turn off flame.
  10. Add macaroni to the saucepan and toss to coat with the cheese sauce.
  11. Transfer macaroni to a buttered baking dish.
  12. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs (I added some parmesan too).
  13. Bake 20 minutes until the top is golden brown.

I'm bad at blogging :(

I made these cupcakes a couple weeks ago, and I'm just now getting around to blogging about them. Sorry folks! Rest assured, though they are long gone, they were loved during the short time they spent with us. I brought them to work, as I do with most of my baked goods, and my office raved about them (ok, they rave about everything to be nice, but this seemed extra sincere!). I have Amber at Amber's Delectable Delights to thank for this! You can find her original recipe here. I wanted cupcakes, so my changes for baking are below. And, obviously, my husband liked them too!

Pumpkin Cupcakes

4 eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I omitted this and increased the apple sauce to 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup applesauce
2 cups pumpkin
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.Using an electric mixer at medium speed, combine the eggs, sugar, oil, apple sauce and pumpkin until light and fluffy. Stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth. Spoon batter evenly into lined muffin tin. (This made about 19 cupcakes for me.) Check at 20 minutes, remove from oven when toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
(from RecipeZaar)
Ok, so if my cookbook on RecipeZaar would open I would gladly post the link and the actual recipe, but we'll have to make do. This is what I remember: cream cheese (16 oz, I think), butter (1 stick), vanilla (1 tsp.?) and powdered sugar (um...a cup? two cups?). I put in a little less cream cheese, because I wanted it sweeter. This made A TON, so I'd recommend halving the recipe.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Quick and delicious

I love my pre-fab food. There was talk yesterday on the What's Cooking board about calzones and I had to have some. However, I wasn't feeling adventurous enough to spend precious after work time attempting my first homemade pizza dough, so I bought a tube of the processed, preservative-laden kind from Super Target. Someday I'll get with it and stop wasting my money on stuff like this, but it sure hit the spot tonight :)

1 tube Refrigerated pizza dough
Tomato sauce
Italian seasoning
Garlic powder
Shredded mozzarella
Black olives
Green pepper
Olive oil

Unroll pizza dough and separate into two pieces. Spoon a few tablespoons of tomato sauce on one half of dough (alternatively, use pesto in place of tomato sauce). Season with Italian seasoning and garlic powder. Chop olives and pepper to desired size. Sprinkle cheese and vegetables over sauce. Fold over dough and pinch edges to contain toppings. Brush top of dough with olive oil, sprinkle additional cheese if desired. Bake according to dough instructions (mine said 13-18 minutes at 400°, they were nicely done at 18 minutes).

They may not be the prettiest, but this was a fun meal to make with my husband and tasty to boot :)

When it rains it pours

It's rained just about every day this week here in Minnesota. I really don't mind so much. After all the summer heat and unusual fall weather we had been having, it's nice to sleep with the window open and listen to the rain. Plus, I get to make comfort food! I'm not very motivated to heat up my apartment when it's sweltering already, so now that it's nice and cool I'm all over it. What better way to welcome fall than with chili! This was really my second round of the dish for the season, but there weren't any leftovers the first time and I was still craving it :) I don't follow a set recipe, just whatever sounds good, so the following is what I wanted this time. I needed to use up some potatoes, so I mashed them up to go with. Talk about comfort food!

1 lb. Ground Beef

1 packet Chili seasoning (I used McCormick)

1/2 Large onion, diced

1 can Kidney beans

1 can Tomato sauce (15 oz.)

1 can Diced tomatoes

1 Green pepper, diced small

1/2 Large bag frozen corn

Chili powder, garlic powder and other seasonings to taste

Brown beef and onion; drain. Add all other ingredients. Simmer until chili reaches desired consistency, at least 10 minutes. Serve with assorted toppings.

My husband likes his with yellow mustard, sour cream (if we have it) and saltines. I like cheddar cheese. Next time I'll have to make corn bread!

No pictures of the mashed potatoes (a white lumpy mound doesn't make the most interesting subject). I don't have any special tricks with them, just boil and mash with lots of butter and a few splashes of skim milk.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Welcome cookies

Welcome to my blog! It's been so helpful reading everybody else's blogs on the What's Cooking board that I thought I'd better start my own so I can contribute too! As a thank you for coming to visit, I baked you some cookies :)

I got this recipe off the back of th
e almond extract box and thought it looked like a good one to try. They're definitely tasty, though very similar to my regular sugar cookie recipe. I wanted to try it exactly as written (minus the slivered almonds - I don't like nuts in my baked goods), but next time I'll go back to half butter, half shortening so they're not so thin and crispy. And look at my pretty blue mixer!

Almond White Chocolate Chunk Cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs

1 1/2 tsp. pure almond extract

2 1/4 cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

8 oz. white baking chocolate, coarsely chopped

1 1/3 cups (6oz.) slivered almonds

Beat butt
er and sugar in large bowl with mixer on medium until light and fluffy. Add eggs and extract; beat until well blended. Mix flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually beat into butter mixture until well mixed. Stir in chocolate and almonds. Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls 1 inch apart unto ungreased baking sheets. Bake in 375° oven 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove from baking sheets. Cool on wire racks.

The recipe claims it makes 72 cookies. I got about 33. I guess my idea and McCormick's idea of a "heaping tablespoonful" differ slightly. I tried to take one off the sheet right away and it got mutilated - so I had to eat it. The others I left on the sheet for a few minutes and they all made it in one piece. Enjoy!