Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Confetti Cornbread

I just love good cornbread! Especially when it is still warm with melted butter on top! I'm not that big on cornbread with lots of stuff in it but this is really good. I found the recipe in the magazine Woman's World. They really have some interesting recipes and are very reasonable. Also pretty hard to resist as you stand in line at the grocery store - probably one of the cheapest magazines out there!

I can't believe it is going to be Memorial Day weekend already. Even though we had a tough winter it did go rather quick. Another school year is just about done. My son is very glad about that. Of course we have the SOL's to deal with until the second week of June. Can anyone tell me why a school would plan an SOL review day the Friday of Memorial Day weekend? And to top it all off, they have an SOL to take the day they return.....Looks like the schools don't want us to leave early for a long weekend vacation to the beach. All of you think of me as I sit in traffic on Friday afternoon, when school is over, trying to get over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.....Ugh!!!! Me and thousands of other travelers! Anyhow, if you would like a cornbread to go with your weekend BBQ, try this one. The bonus is that you use a mix. Can't get any simpler than that! Have a great holiday everyone!

1 pkg. (8.5 oz) corn muffin mix
1/3 cup milk
1 egg
1 can (8.5 oz) cream-style corn
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, 4 oz
3 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered

Preheat over to 400 degrees F. Line 8" square pan with enough foil to overhang sides by 2"; coat with cooking spray.

In bowl, stir together muffin mix, milk and egg until just blended; stir in corn, 3/4 cup cheese and scallions. Transfer to pan.

Sprinkle with tomatoes and remaining cheese. Bake 25 minutes or until golden and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool on rack 5 minutes. Using foil, lift from pan; cool on rack.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Toll House Pie

I made this pie last week and cannot figure out why I waiting so long to make it. It was delicious and easy. I can see me making this many times.....I just don't want to know how many calories a slice of this has! I've been cooking lately more than I have been baking so I'll be posting some pasta recipes soon. For whatever reason I just don't feel like posting so much right now. I think I am going through a "blogging slump." I still visit all of my usual blogs (tons and tons!) but don't feel like commenting. I've read some other posts recently where other bloggers kind of go through this. I don't want this to become a chore so I am only posting when I really feel like I will enjoy it. If you don't see me commenting much don't think I'm not visiting your blog because I am. Just don't feel like commenting. Enjoy the pie......and it looks like summer is finally right around the corner!!!

2 eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
One 6 ounce package (1 cup) Nestle Toll House semi-sweet chocolate morsels (I also added another 1/2 cup of toffee bits)
1 cup chopped walnuts
One 9 inch unbaked pie shell
Whipped cream or ice cream (optional)

Preheat over to 325 degrees F. In large bowl, beat eggs until foamy. Add flour, sugar and brown sugar; beat until well blended. Blend in melted butter. Stir in Nestle Toll House semi sweet chocolate morsels and walnuts. Pour into pie shell.* Bake at 325 degrees F for 1 hour. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.

*If using frozen pie shell, it's necessary to use deep dish style, thawed. Place on cookie sheet and bake additional 10 minutes.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Slow-Cooked Pulled Pork

While I'm not a big fan of pulled pork I did find this to be delicious! It was so moist that we didn't even use any extra BBQ sauce on it. This was one easy dish to make too! To get the pork extra moist let it marinate overnight in its own juice after it has been cooked and shredded. There should be plenty of juice to pour over it from the slow cooker once it's done. We waited until the next day to eat this. I will definitely do that from now on whenever we make this. I found this recipe over at Campbell's Kitchen. This will be my pulled pork recipe from now on! It's also great to make in the summer since there's no oven to heat up and you can forget about it for several hours. Hope you enjoy !

1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 boneless pork shoulder - 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 pounds (I used a bone in shoulder and it was great)

Stir in soup, brown sugar, vinegar and garlic powder in a 6 quart slow cooker. Add the pork and turn to coat.

Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 9 hours or until the pork is fork tender. Spoon off any fat.

Remove the pork from the cooker to a cutting board and let stand for 10 minutes. Using 2 forks, shred the pork. Return the pork to the cooker.

Divide the pork mixture among your rolls and serve with hot pepper sauce, if desired.

(When the pork was done and shredded I put this in a huge bowl and poured the juices over it and covered it with plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge overnight. I warmed the meat up the next day and it was perfect).

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Black-Bottom Cupcakes

Happy Mother's Day to all the mom's out there! Hope you are all having a wonderful day!

I found this recipe over at Culinary in the Desert. They adapted it from David Lebovitz. These are great cupcakes. They are very chocolately without being overly sweet. I had never made these kind before but would make them again in a heartbeat! Very simple to make but you do use several bowls!!!

The Filling

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
2 ounces coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate (I used semi sweet chocolate chips)

For the Cupcake Batter

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
5 tablespoons natural cocoa powder (I used Hershey's cocoa powder)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla

For the filling: In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese, sugar and egg until smooth and combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

For the cupcake batter: Preheat over to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, espresso powder and salt.

In another medium bowl, whisk together water, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Pour mixture into the dry ingredients stirring until just combined. Evenly divide batter between wells of a 12 cup muffin tin using baking muffin cups. Evenly divide the cream cheese filling mixture between the chocolate batter filled cups, aiming at the center of each. (I used about 1 tablespoon of filling per cup and had a bit left over).

Place pan into oven and bake until tops are very lightly golden brown and they feel springy when pressed, about 22 to 26 minutes. Remove and let rest for a few minutes before removing from pan.

Makes 12 cupcakes.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Pioneer Woman Comes to Fairfax County!!!!

I finally got to meet Ree Drummond and it was an absolute thrill! She had a book signing for her cookbook "The Pioneer Woman Cooks!" at Borders Bookstore in Fairfax county and my husband, son and I all went. A discussion with Ree started at 6pm with the book signing starting at 630. We got there a little after 4pm and were given orange tickets for the event. We left to eat a quick dinner a few doors down and returned about 445. There was a crowd already and no seats left for the discussion. By 600pm there must have been a few hundred people there. I don't think Borders expected this turnout but since I have seen pictures that she had posted from her previous signings I knew it would be packed. She is absolutely adorable and as sweet as can be. She let us know right away she doesn't like talking in front of crowds (I can completely identify with that). She had members of the audience ask her whatever questions we wanted and after that we were called by ticket color to wait in line for her to sign our books. We waited a little over 1 hour and saw tons of babies!!! So many moms brought their babies since Ree has a soft spot in her heart for them. The only disappointment of the evening was that she didn't bring any of her family with her. I would have loved to have met Marlboro Man and her children. I'm so glad that I got to meet her and talk to her......looking at the picture that was taken by my son of me and Ree, I don't think I could have possibly smiled any kind of reminds me of a toothpaste ad!!!!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

S'mores Cake

This was one delicious snack cake!! It doesn't take exactly like a s'mores would taste but close enough for me to eat several slices at one time! I would add more marshmallows next time and more chocolate chips. The marshmallows melt away so you definitely want more of those. I found the recipe in the book The Complete Idiot's Guide to Snack Cakes. A strange title for a book but it has some great cake recipes and they are all pretty simple!

Like I mentioned in my last blog, I am looking so forward to meeting Ree from The Pioneer Woman Cooks!!!! I am going up to Borders in Fairfax county this evening with my husband and son and will take turns standing in line to meet her and have my cookbook signed! I plan to take some pics and will post them on my blog! I hope I don't make a complete idiot of myself when I talk to her - I have a knack for doing that when I get nervous!!!!

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups graham crackers

1/2 cup all purpose flour

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup mini marshmallows

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9 x 13 inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Beat butter and sugar together until smooth and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, then add vanilla.

Stir together graham cracker crumbs, flour and baking powder and add alternately with milk. Fold in marshmallows and chocolate chips.

Transfer batter to prepared pan and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Washington National Zoo

My husband, son and I all went to the National Zoo in Washington, DC. We had perfect weather and a great day. My husband is a Metro rider and does not like driving into DC and I don't like riding trains that go underground. No way! So we drove in. It's pretty congested and we managed to find it after driving through half of DC first. I don't think I yelled or cursed once while we were lost!!! The zoo was wonderful. They had so many great exhibits and animals and even the food was terrific! We had great BBQ and I'm not even a big BBQ person. My favorite animal was the gorilla. I just love them. They are so human like to me.

Here's some fun news! Ree of The Pioneer Woman Cooks is coming to Borders bookstore in Fairfax county, Virginia this coming Tuesday and I'm going to the book signing to have her sign my cookbook! I am so excited to meet her! I will have my husband and son with me to take pictures and I'll be posting them. Oh am I ever looking forward to this!!!!! Have a great weekend everyone!