Wednesday, July 30, 2008

7 Up Cake


Here is a cake that was popular a number of years ago. My husband had been asking for this cake forever so several months ago I baked one and it has definitely become a hit around here. I've brought this cake into work several times and my coworkers just love it. It is absolutely one of the simplest cakes I have ever made. This recipe comes from a magazine called Comfort Food Classics. I followed the directions the way it was written and the recipe uses margarine. Normally I don't use margarine, but since this is what the recipe called for this is what I used. Does anyone out there have an idea how this might differ if I substituted butter? What I also noticed is that I always have quite a bit of batter left. Too much to just throw

out but not quite enough for another cake. What I've done is put what was left in a small loaf pan and it turns out fine. This time I even threw in some raspberries on top of the batter in the loaf pan and it tasted even better than the cake that baked in the bundt pan. This recipe would probably make about three 9 x 5 loaf pans if you wanted to try that instead of the bundt pan. I would definitely add the fruit again. Just add the fruit to the top of the batter and it will sink into the batter as it cooks and really add moisture to the cake. Enjoy!!!!


7 Up Cake


2 sticks of margarine

1/2 cup shortenting

3 cups sugar

5 eggs

1 teaspoon lemon extract

3 cups all purpose flour

7 ounces 7 Up or similar soft drink

Powdered sugar for dusting


Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cream together margarine and shortening with sugar; add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add lemon extract. Add flour and 7 Up alternately, beating after each addition. Bake in a greased and floured bundt or tube pan for 1 1/2 hours or until cake tests done. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto cake plate. Dust with powdered sugar before slicing. Makes 9 servings

Monday, July 28, 2008

Monster Cookies


I made these cookies over the weekend and they are definitely "monster" cookies. They are big, delicious and full of sweet stuff!!!! I found the recipe on http://www.allrecipes.com/. There are several variations of them but this one had gotten the most positive responses. The recipe says that it will make 72 large cookies (that is a lot of cookies!) but I think I had only gotten perhaps 40. Hey, that is plenty!!!! Don't need 72 of these around my kitchen because if it is there, I will eat it!


You'll need:


3 eggs

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar

1 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon corn syrup

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 cup butter

1 1/2 cups peanut butter

4 1/2 cups rolled oats

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1 cup candy-coated milk chocoate pieces


Preheat over to 350 degrees. In a very large bowl, beat the eggs. Add the remaining ingredients in order, mixing well. Use an ice cream scoop to put on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Be careful not to overbake.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Streusel-Topped Blueberry Muffins


Here is another muffin recipe, this time using blueberries. These are more cake-like than the previous muffins. They are very moist and sweet. I found this recipe in the Favorite Brand Name Bake Sale Cookbook. There is however no brand name listed in this recipe, so I have no clue how this ended up in the Brand Name Cookbook!!!!


1 1/2 cups plus 1/3 cup all purpose flour, divided

1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup sugar, divided

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

1/4 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup fresh blueberries


Preheat over to 375 degrees. Grease or paper line 12 muffin cups; set aside


Combine 1/3 cup flour, 1/3 cup sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in 3 tablespoons butter with pastry blender until mixture resembles course crumbs; set aside. Combine remaining 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Combine milk, 1/4 cup melted butter, egg and vanilla in small bowl. Stir into flour mixture just until moistened. Fold in blueberries. Spoon evenly into prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle reserved topping over top of each muffin.


Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until top of toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pan; cool completely.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Lemon and Raspberry Muffins


I made these muffins last night and they are gone. They were delicious! Now is the time in this part of the country to make use of raspberries. Not only are they big and sweet, they are way cheaper than at any other time of year. The original recipe from http://www.fortheloveofcooking.blogpost.com/ calls for a streusel topping which I omitted. You can get the recipe with the streusel topping at their site or my version here.


2 cups of flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 tbs baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup milk

Juice from 1 lemon

1 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

Zest from 1 lemon

8 oz fresh raspberries


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; blend well. In another bowl, combine melted butter, milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla and eggs; mix thoroughly. Slowly stir egg mixture into flour mixture until well blended. Add the raspberries and mix slowly and carefully. Spoon batter evenly into greased muffin tins and bake for approximately 15 - 17 minutes or until lightly browned. This recipe yields 12 regular size muffins.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Fettuccine Alfredo with Chicken and Mushrooms


This is a very simple recipe that goes a long way. It's a "kid friendly" dish and my 9 year old cannot get enough of it. Whenever I make this, the ingredients vary. You can add peppers, broccoli or really any vegetable you like. This is also great with shrimp. Or you can just have simple fettuccine alfredo with bacon. The cream sauce stays the same regardless of what is added. I will try to get as close to the ingredient measurements as possible since this is one of those recipes where I add a "little of this and a little of that!"


Fill a large pot with water and cook 1 lb. fettuccine according to directions on package.

In a large heavy skilltet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter, then add 6 ounces of mushrooms. Saute until mushrooms are nice and brown in color. About 3 or 4 minutes. Remove mushrooms and set aside. Add one or two tablespoons olive oil to skillet and add 4 bonesless chicken breasts. Cook approximately 5 minutes on each side on medium heat or until nicely browned. Salt and pepper to taste. I also use a little garlic powder. Set aside until this has cooled down and then cut into bite size pieces.


In a very large bowl, add cooked fettuccine and toss with 3 tablespoons unsalted butter. When butter is melted add approximately 1/3 cup of parmesan cheese and mix well. Then mix in 1/3 of a small container of heavy cream or you can also use light cream. Mix this in and then add 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese and another 1/3 of cream. Add more cheese at this point if desired. I usually use only one small carton of cream and there is always a tiny bit left. Add chicken and mushrooms and mix well.

Serve with crisp dinner rolls and salad.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Nada's Cake


I found this recipe on http://www.thym-thym.blogspot.com/. They adapted it from Jamie's Italy and it is absolutely delicious. Basically, it is an Italian Blueberry Olive Oil cake. I have never used olive oil in a cake recipe before so I was somewhat skeptical about it. What comes through more than anything is the flavor of the blueberries blended with the lemon and orange zest. It is very moist and fairly simple to make. The only thing I would add to this is a slight dusting of powder sugar on top next time. But that is just a matter of taste depending on how sweet you like your cake. This is not a sweet cake so I think most would enjoy it. This also tastes great the day you first bake it. You don't need to wait a day for the flavors to blend. This is great as soon as it has cooled down. This was gone by the next day (it was THAT good), but I don't think it would have kept much longer anyhow. Enjoy....and look for more berry recipes coming up in the future....I'm going to keep using them as long as they are in season!!!!


Nada's Cake


4 large eggs at room temperature

1 1/4 cups sugar

3/4 cup unsalted butter (melted)

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

3/4 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour, sifted

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

zest of 2 lemons

zest of 2 oranges

6 oz fresh blueberries (recipe states you can also use fresh black rasperries, or red sweet grapes such as Muscat or fragola

butter to grease pan


Preheat over to 350 degrees. Generously butter a 9 inch pan and line the base with waxed paper. Set aside.


Either by hand or in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whisk the eggs and sugar until thick and pale yellow, about 3 minutes, then add the melted butter, olive oil, milk, lemon and orange zest and vanilla. Mix well, then mix in flour, baking powder and salt until everything is thoroughly blended. Set aside for 10 minutes for the flour to absorb the liquid.


Stir in a quarter of the blueberries into the batter, pour into your prepared cake pan, and scatter the rest over the top. Bake the cake for 45 - 55 minutes, or until the top is a deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. (Mine took about 1 hour to bake.)


Let it cool on a wire rack in the pan for 10 minutes, then run a knife along the sides of the pan to turn it out. (Don't forget to peel off the wax paper before placing it on your cake plate. I, of course, forgot to do this!!!!!)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Coconut Banana Bread with Key Lime Glaze


I love searching for new ways to make banana bread and have been on a quest to find the "Ultimate Banana Bread." Well, about 6 months ago I thought I had finally found the best recipe for banana bread ever. I was wrong. THIS one is the best I've ever had. I found this at Peabody's food site. Her website is http://www.culinaryconcoctionsbypeabody.com/. You can get her recipe for this at her site or here below. The lime glaze just adds extra flavor and sweetness to the bread and coconuts and bananas are a great combination even on their own. I think it would be very hard to top this recipe. This tastes best if you wrap it up once it cools down and eat it the next day. The flavors really come out. Enjoy!


2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (approx. 3)

1/3 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream (I used sour cream)

1tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut


Preheat over to 350 degrees

Butter one large 9 x 5 inch loaf pan

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in bowl and mix well

Mix sugars and butter in large bowl and beat with mixer until well blended

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition

Add bananas, yogurt (or sour cream) and vanilla, beating until blended

Add flour mixture and beat on low speed or by and until just moistened

Bake at 350 degrees for one hour

Cool in pan for 10 minutes

Remove from pan and place on wire rack


Key Lime Glaze


1 tbsp shredded, sweetened coconut (you will need more in you decide to cover entire top of bread)

1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar

1 1/2 tbsps key lime juice


Combine above ingredients and drizzle over banana bread while still warm


Monday, July 14, 2008

German Plum Cake


Here is a great recipe for plums. I had some on hand and figured I would give this recipe a try. I did learn one thing. Make sure your plums are still a bit firm. Ripe plums will not work well. The next time I make this I will use more plums. However, the cake itself is so good that even if you are low on plums (like me) it is still worth making. I love cakes with fruit and I would make this again and again. The recipe comes from http://www.cooks.com/. Hope you enjoy this as much as I have......

You'll need:

1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup of flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. almond extract
Purple Italian plums, stones removed, cut into wedges (enough to cover)

Topping:

1/cup sugar (I used a bit less)
1 tsp. cinnamon

Mix butter and 1/2 cup sugar well. Add eggs one at a time. Add almond extract.
Mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Add this to wet ingredients.
Butter a 9 x 9 inch pan. Spread batter evenly in pan. Press plum wedges on top of
batter.
Sprinkle topping over plums
Bake at 375 degrees for 40 - 45 minutes
(I dusted my cake with powdered sugar but this is not necessary if you cover the entire top with plums. Cake is also sweet enough and does not really need the extra sugar.)

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July -- Pasta Salad


Here is a simple pasta salad that is pretty basic. I'm bringing this to a cook out later in the day. You can add whatever vegetables you would like. Here is my version.

1 lb. box elbow macaroni
1/2 to 1 cup light mayo

1/2 tsp celery salt

dash of pepper

1 yellow pepper- diced

1 cucumber- diced

1 small carton tomatoes- cut lengthwise


Mix all above ingredients together in a large bowl. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Apricot Chicken Salad with Pistachios


Well it's chicken salad again. I normally do not eat this much chicken salad but the husband asked if I could try this recipe. It sounded good to him. It is very easy to make. Would I make it again? I don't know. The apricots really come through but if you don't eat it right after you make it the flavor becomes flat by the next day. Did not expect that. If you are a big chicken salad fan I would suggest giving it a try. The recipe comes from the latest issue of Reminisce. If any of you try it please let me know what you think of it.......

1 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken (I used boneless chicken breasts)
1/3 cup chopped dried apricots
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons sour cream
4 teaspoons of coarsely chopped pistachios
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
1 teaspoon honey
dash of salt
dash of white pepper
dash of hot pepper sauce

In a large bowl combine all ingredients. This can be served on a bed of lettuce, side dish or on a sandwich.