Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Milky Way Cake (no Milky Ways needed)


This was a recipe that really caught my interest and I knew that I had to make it when I first saw it. I love candy bar cakes and love cakes that include colas and sodas. Something different and these cakes are usually pretty simple to make also. This one was a breeze. So simple yet tasty. I can't say that when you take your first bite you will think of a Milky Way bar but it does taste like one a bit. A good chocolate cake with a twist. I have seen recipes that actually call for Milky Way bars and I think I'll try one of those in the future just to compare. The good thing about this cake is that most of the ingredients are what we all have on hand and that is always a good thing. I am so tired of having to buy one ingredient for a recipe that I never use again. Usually that one ingredient (whatever it may turn out to be) is costly too! If you want a different chocolate cake definitely give this one a try! I found this recipe over at Recipe Shoebox.

1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
3 Tbs cocoa
pinch of salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup boiling water
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla


Frosting:

1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 + 1/8 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

Preheat over to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.

For cake, cream butter with sugar. Add eggs, one at a time. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cocoa and salt . Add dry ingredients and buttermilk alternately to butter/sugar mixture; stirring until just combined. Add boiling water, baking soda and vanilla. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

For frosting, boil together sugar, milk and butter for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips Pour evenly over cake. Make sure cake is still hot when you pour frosting so it is evenly distributed over cake.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Grandma Jean's Potato Salad


This recipe was a miss for me the first time around. It was delicious except for the fact that it was just overcome with a hot taste from the mustard. I knew that something was wrong. I kept rereading the recipe and couldn't figure it out until I finally realized that the mustard the recipe called for was regular mustard and not DRY mustard!!! For whatever reason I had it in my head that the recipe called for dry mustard and that certainly was not the case. I cooked up the potato salad again and it was perfect. It's from the Neely's on food network. I find their recipes to be hit or miss but this one is a winner. I thought it would be good to post this now since spring is upon us and I'm sure the salads will be making the rounds.

My son is on spring break this week and I am already hearing sighs of boredom. We are laying off the video games here for a while. Since his older brother had given him an xbox live card to use for Christmas. It seems this is all he wants to do. I told him to read a book if he is bored or watch a show on TV. It's raining now so we are stuck indoors but as soon as the weather gets nice it's outdoors for the day. I don't understand how kids get bored these days....they have so much at their fingertips to do and just don't realize it!

5 large red potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 ribs celery, chopped
1/2 large onion, chopped
3 hard boiled eggs, 2 chopped and 1 sliced
2 heaping tablespoons sweet pickle relish, drained
1/2 cup salad dressing (recommended: Miracle Whip)
3 tablespoons yellow mustard
1 tablespoon sugar
Paprika, for garnish
salt

Boil cubed potatoes until they are tender. Drain and cool. In a large bowl add celery, onion, 2 eggs and pickled relish. Add the salad dressing, yellow mustard and sugar. Stir well. Place the sliced egg on top of potatoes and sprinkle with paprika and salt. Let the potato salad chill in the refrigerator for 2 1/2 hours or overnight.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Butterfinger Cake


The name of this cake says it all - Butterfingers! My oldest sons favorite candy bar are Butterfingers and I made this for him a few weeks back to celebrate starting his new job! The cake is sooo easy to make and is delicious. I love candy bar cakes and have also made a Milky Way one that I'll post soon. This one starts with a basic yellow cake mix but if you have a good recipe for one from scratch that would be fine too. I found this recipe over at Kelly's Favorite Recipes.

Spring break starts here next week so my youngest son is thrilled his last day of school is tomorrow! It's been feeling like spring here this past week but is supposed to cool down considerably over the next few days. Oh well, hope it warms up next week again....so it really feels like spring break!!

1 box yellow cake mix
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 jar caramel ice cream topping
1 (8 oz) container cool whip, thawed
1 King sized Butterfinger candy bar, coarsely chopped

Mix up batter and bake in a 9 x 13 in baking (or glass dish) according to package directions. When the cake comes out of the oven poke holes in the top of it using a fork.

Combine sweetened condensed milk and caramel topping in a 2 cup glass measuring cup. Pour about half of the caramel mixture slowly over cake. Use a rubber spatula to spread evenly over cake. Wait 10 minutes for the cake to soak up the caramel mixture, then pour the remaining mixture over the cake and spread evenly again. Cool cake completely.

Spread cool whip evenly over cooled cake, then sprinkle Butterfinger pieces on top. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Let stand out on counter for about a half hour before serving. Enjoy!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Greek Style Potatoes


I found this recipe over at Allrecipes and was very intruiged with the combo of olive oil and lemon. The rosemary and thyme also sounded delicious. They were very, very good. I was skeptical regarding the length of cooking time but they do need to cook for quite a while. Some of the reviews suggested using more lemon but I followed the recipe exactly as written and it was very good. These would be a perfect side with any meat or chicken dish.

We had a spring like weekend here in Virginia so who could ask for anything more! It was almost 80 yesterday! Spring is off to a good start. With Easter right around the corner I'm hoping this weather stays for a while!

1/3 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups water
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
2 cubes chicken bouillon
ground black pepper to taste

6 potatoes, peeled and quartered

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, mix olive oil, water, garlic, lemon juice, thyme, rosemary, bouillon cubes and pepper.

Arrange potatoes evenly in the bottom of a medium baking dish. Pour the olive oil mixture over the potatoes. Cover, and bake 1 1/2 to 2 hours in the preheated oven, turning occassionally, until tender but firm.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Coconut Macaroons


If there are any cookies served in heaven you can be sure that it will be these! These are one of the most delicious cookies that I have ever made. Soft, chewy and sweet....does it get any better? These are also fairly easy to make, you just have to be careful when you fold the egg whites into the mixture that you don't overdo it. If you love coconut, then these are for you. I had never made this type of cookie before but you can be certain I will make them again and again. Probably will become a regular on my Christmas tray. These would also be great with some chocolate drizzled on top (my husband gave me that idea!). This recipe comes from Ina Garten of Food Network. Ina definintely knows her cookies! These will keep for several days in an airtight container.
14 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 extra large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Combine the coconut, condensed milk and vanilla in a large bowl. Whip the egg whites and salt on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (I used a hand held beater) until they make medium-firm peaks. Carefully fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.

Drop the batter onto sheet pans lined with parchment paper using either a 1 3/4 inch diameter ice cream scoop, or 2 teaspoons. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and serve.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Banana Split Brownie Pizza




This a definitely a recipe that will impress people. Not only is it so pretty but it is sooooo delicious too! It's from Paula Deen of course! Just make sure this leaves the house after you make it because if it doesn't you may end up eating the whole thing. Too tempting to have around for any length of time. This really will remind of you of a banana split since the cream cheese has pineapple in it. So easy and so impressive.

We've have rain here in northern Virginia all weekend yet oddly enough when I went down to Richmond for the day yesterday, the sun was shining and the weather was just gorgeous. Then I came back up to Woodbridge last night and it was still raining here. Crazy! But hey, this definitely beats snow!


1 (20 ounce) box fudge brownie mix (recommended: Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge Brownie Mix)
1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese, softened
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained, juice reserved
2 tablespoons sugar
2 bananas, sliced and tossed in lemon juice to prevent browning
1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
1 cup chopped nuts
Chocolate ice cream topping or chocolate syrup, for drizzling


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease a 15 inch pizza pan. Prepare the brownie mix according to box directions. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes, or until done. Remove from the oven and cool. Beat the cream cheese, pineapple and sugar together in a bowl. Use any reserved pineapple juice at this time, if needed, to soften the mixture to a good spreading consistency. Otherwise dispose of or save the juice for another use. Spread the mixture over the cooled brownie crust. Arrange the banana and strawberry slices over the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle with chopped nuts and drizzle with chocolate ice cream topping. Refrigerate. To serve, slice as you would a pizza and enjoy!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Banana Bread with Cinnamon Crumble Topping




This has become my favorite banana bread that I have made to date. I had this recipe just sitting around for a while and finally decided to make it. If you are looking for a new banana bread recipe then give this a try. All the ones that I have posted are good but there is just something about the topping on this one and maybe the hint of honey. I don't know what it is but I just know it is good!!!! I found this in Bon Appetit/September 2008 issue.

Did you know that the clocks go forward this weekend? Yay!!!! That brings us a little closer to spring and I am just so ready! We've had gorgeous weather here the past few days. 60 degrees and sunshine....I've been walking for about an hour when I get off work and my little chihuahua is exhausted! She is one lazy dog.....I'm sure she is waiting for a rainy day so she can just hang out inside all day! On the other hand my 10 year old son has been outside enjoying the weather with his friends, so that means he has NOT been sitting around playing video games! Now that sounds good to me!


1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed bananas 2 to 3 medium)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup water
2 1/2 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar
(I also added some chopped pecans to this bread)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9x5x3 inch metal baking pan. Whisk 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Whisk next 5 ingredients in large bowl until smooth. Add dry ingredients; stir to blend. Transfer batter to pan. Mix 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and brown sugar; sprinkle over batter. (I also added a little more about 10 minutes before it was done baking.)

Bake bread until tester inserted comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool bread in pan 30 minutes. Turn pan on its side; slide out bread, being careful not to dislodge topping. Turn bread right side up and cool completely.




Sunday, March 7, 2010

KFC Cole Slaw


My husband surprised me with this when I came home today from Richmond from visiting my oldest son and his family (grandaughter of course!). He had picked up some KFC and had this cole slaw alongside the chicken and biscuits. I'm telling you that I would never have known he made this! It tastes just like KFC's cole slaw!! I'm not a big fan of cole slaw but I do like a helping of it with fried chicken or BBQ. It just adds something to the dish. If you like KFC's cole slaw then you have got to try this. My husband happens to also be a really, really good cook. He may not be a baker but this man can cook and arrange a platter way better than me anytime!!! He found the recipe in the book titled Top Secret Recipes!

The weather down here in Virginia was just beautiful this weekend. Sunny and 60.....no complaining here!!!

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
8 cups finely chopped cabbage (about 1 head). My husband chopped this very, very fine
1/4 cup shredded carrot ( 1 medium carrot)
2 tablespoons minced onion

1. Be sure cabbage and carrots are chopped into very fine pieces (about the size of rice).

2. Combine the mayonnaise, sugar, milk, buttermilk, lemon juice, vinegar, salt and pepper in a large bowl and beat until smooth.

3. Add the cabbage, carrots and onion and mix well.

4. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Serves 10 to 12.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Upside Down Cornbread Cake







I will tell you right away that this is one crazy recipe! I have never seen a recipe like this and had I found this myself, would never have paid any attention to it, let alone think of making it! My husband had found this at food network and suggested I give this a try. I have to tell you that it really is very good. If you decide to make this be aware that it is really most flavorful when it's eaten the same day you make it. This is not one that keeps well or even looks good on the second day. But on day one it's terrific and will impress the people you serve it to.


Recipe courtesy of Sunny Anderson - Food Network

For the cornbread:
1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup stone ground yellow cornmeal

1 cup heavy cream

2 eggs

1/2 stick butter, melted

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt


For the sauce:

1/2 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed

1/2 stick butter

1 (15.5 ounce) can fruit cocktail, drained

1 (12 ounce) can marashino cherries, drained

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup brandy

whipped cream, for serving
confectioners's sugar for dusting, if desired

Preheat over to 400 degree F.
In a large bowl, mix together flour, cornmeal, heavy cream, eggs, butter, brown sugar, baking powder and salt.
In a 9 ich cast iron skillet over medium high heat, add sugar and butter and let melt. When melted, remove from heat and add remaining ingredients. Be sure to place maraschino cherries evenly throughout. Pour in batter and smooth top with a spatula. Bake 25 minutes, until cornbread is golden and a toothpick comes out clean.
To serve: place a platter over skillet and invert cake. It should slide out easily. Slice into wedges and serve warm with whipped cream. Dust with confectioners' sugar, if desired.