Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Zucchini Coconut Layer Cake

This has now become my new favorite cake. And it's not even chocolate!  It starts with a cake mix (my latest craze) and you just bump it up from there. I could literally just eat this icing out of a bowl.  It's a marshmallow icing which is my favorite. It makes so much icing that I have a chocolate cake in the oven since I need to use up the rest of it!  But really.....this cake is just the best I've had in a very long time. The recipe comes from Woman's World.
We survived Hurrican Irene with hardly any real damage in the northern Virginia area.  We're very lucky. I had been down in Richmond on Saturday and made the (dumb) decision to drive back up to northern Virginia since it wasn't really "that bad." Well, down there it was way worse than here.  I was greeted on the highway with a huge fallen tree across all three lanes.....then on the next highway that I needed to get on to the first thing I saw was a car turned upside down. That's when my heart started to race and I even thought of pulling off I-95 and staying in a motel for the night. But I just slowed down and took my time getting back home. There were numerous cars that spun out. I guess from traveling too fast. But I made it back safe and swore NEVER again to when there is a chance of a hurricane ahead.  Stupid...stupid.....


Anyhow, here is this simple, fantastic and easy recipe. Oh and a tip.....I don't care to have any kind of green color from the zucchini skin to be seen in the cake. This type of cake, in my humble opinion just looks so much prettier if you peel the zucchini which is what I did. But that's just my opinion here!

Cake

1 package (18.25 oz) French vanilla cake mix (couldn't find French vanilla here so I used just a yellow mix)
3 eggs
1 cup water
1/3 cup oil
2 medium zucchini, 14 oz., grated, 2 cups
1/2 tsp coconut extract (my addition)
Frosting

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 container (16 oz) Marshmallow Fluff
2 1/2 cups confectioners's sugar
2 tsp coconut extract
1 tsp vanilla extract (preferably clear)
2 cups sweetened, flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Coat 2 (8") round cake pans with cooking spray.  On medium speed, beat together cake mix, eggs, 1 cup water and oil (and extract, if using).  Stir in zucchini.  Evenly divide between pans.  Bake 28-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  Cool on rack 20 minutes.  Transfer from pans to racks; cool completely, 30 minutes.

Meanwhile on medium speed, beat butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add Fluff; beat until combined.  On low, gradually beat in sugar, then coconut and vanilla extracts.

Place one cake layer on serving plate; spread with 1 cup frosting.  Top with remaining layer.  Spread cake top and side with remaining frosting.  Press coconut  onto side of cake.  If not serving immediately, refrigerate until 30 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Peaches 'n Cream Cake

I'm sitting here right now and enjoying the cake that I am blogging about. Oh is this good......I made this yesterday and it is just wonderful.  Sooo super easy too.  This starts with a box mix.  I have to say that when you add additional ingredients to a box cake it just adds a lot to the cake itself. It not only tastes great but is sooo economical too. I've made many yellow cakes from scratch that have turned out so dry or just not good.  One of my favorites uses 8 egg yolks. Sorry that's a lot of wasted egg whites. And 8 yolks are alot......Since I've been blogging and trying all kinds of cake recipes there are some that are just wonderful from scratch that a box mix can't match but as far as a yellow cake goes a boxed version with added ingredients can be quite good.  This recipe is definitely one of those.  One tip though with making this cake is that if you use frozen peaches to decorate the cake, make sure you thaw and blot them dry with a paper towel or they will get runny on top of the cake.  Also if you add the colored sugar like I did, make double sure they are dry!

1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist yellow cake mix
1 container (6 oz) Yoplait Original 99% Fat Free harvest peach yogurt
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Topping
2 cups frozen (thawed) reduced-fat whipped topping
1 container (6 oz) Yoplait Original 99% Fat Free harvest peach yogurt
2 cups frozen sliced peaches (from 16-oz bag), thawed, drained

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray bottom and sides of 13x9-inch pan with baking spray with flour.
In large bowl, beat cake ingredients with electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, then on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.  Pour into pan.
Bake 32 to 36 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool completely, about 1 hour.
In a small bowl, mix whipped topping and 1 container yogurt until blended.  Serve cake with peaches and topping mixture. 

Store loosely covered in refrigerator.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sweetie Pie

I love the name of this pie!  That alone caught my attention and the fact that it is a 5 ingredient or less recipe.  I came across this in the latest issue of Woman's Day and knew it was just a matter of time until I made it. It is soooo easy that ANYONE can make it. And you just can't mess this one up. It's that simple. It's also very different than the usual chocolate pie since it somewhat hardens after it's refrigerated.  It kind of reminds me of a cheesecake but withoust being nearly as heavy.  You don't need a big slice of this however to feel full.  It's very chocolately so a little goes a long way. 

Enjoy!!!

1 15 oz container part skim ricotta cheese
1/2 lb semisweet chocolate, chopped, plus more for shaving
6 oz ready to fill chocolate cookie pie crust
1 cup heavy cream

Place the ricotta in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high, stirring every 15 seconds, until no longer cold, about 1 minute.
Transfer to a food processor and puree until smooth.

Place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high, stirring every 15 seconds, until the chocolate is melted and smooth, about 1 minute.

Add the warm chocolate to the food processor  and puree until fully incorporated and very smooth.  Spread the mixture into the crust and refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours and up to 3 days.

When ready to serve, using an electric mixer, beat the cream in a medium bowl until stiff peaks form.  Spread the whipped cream over the pie and top with shaved chocolate, if desired.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Can You Stand Another Krispy Kreme Recipe????

Here's one more Krispy Kreme recipe that I had come across a while back on Cheryl's blog.  Somehow, this also made it's way to my husband who just couldn't wait to try it.  Of course I took a sip and it was good but I just couldn't drink it.  Nothing wrong with it....but I just couldn't drink it. I'd rather use those calories on a good ole chocolate bar or piece of chocolate cake. Of course, my husband loved it. But then again, It's Krispy Kreme!!!! I think that kids, of course, would enjoy it. 

Had a great time at the beach this weekend and just wish we didn't have to leave.  The water was so warm. I haven't been in the ocean in years since it's felt quite this warm.  I want to get there again before the summer ends.

Saw a very good movie last night called Source Code. It was in theatres a while back. I recommend it if you like a good love/action story with a twist.  It has a surprise ending so I won't give that away. But it is very good. Glee is opening this weekend and so is Final Destination 5.  Love horror movies and can't wait to see this one. Hopefully it will be better than the last few.

If you make the milkshake - enjoy!!!

Vanilla Ice Cream
2 Krispy Kreme donuts chopped up (can use more if you like)
1/4 to 1/2 cup milk

Add all this together in your blender and mix well.  (walk at least 3 miles afterward to burn off the calories!)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Another Crazy Krispy Kreme Donut Recipe!!!

I know, I know....this is a crazy, insane recipe!  Let me also tell you that I only had a bite of this. It's not my kind of food. My husband is an absolute Krispy Kreme nut and he wanted to see what one of their donuts would taste like if that was used on a BLT sandwich instead of bread. He LOVED it. But he is very partial to these donuts. (We were out of bacon so we used ham instead.)  I thought it would be fun to post this. Kind of reminds me of when my oldest son was little and he was such a picky eater. I ended up making him chocolate farina just so he could have a "healthy" breakfast!!! Don't even ask what it looked like or tasted like but he did eat it and loved it!  Just imagine telling your kids that you are having BLT's for dinner or lunch and then serving them on a Krispy Kreme donut!!! I think that would bring a big smile! Well, probably if they are very little. I think if they were older there might be an "eeewwww!"  Anyhow, I thought this would be a fun recipe to post and you can take it seriously or just take it with a grain of salt and laugh....

Enjoy the weekend. I'll be at the beach under an umbrella with a big hat on looking like an old lady! I'm sure I'll go in for a dip with my youngest son but I do love to just sit there and watch the ocean.  I also like to eat. (Surprise, huh?). There is a place at the beach where we have dinner that has the most delicious flounder I have ever eaten. It is huge and just so tasty. I always leave there so full that I want to explode. I'm already anticipating this so it's cereal for me with fruit for dinner tonight. I'll make up for all the calories this weekend!  Have a great one everybody!

Recipe:  Just add your bacon, lettuce and tomato to a sliced Krsipy Kreme donut. Please let me know if any of you brave people out there try this!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Black eyed Pea Salad

My daughter in law made this salad a few weeks back.  I had never thought of using black eyed peas for a cold salad but let me tell you they work perfectly!  The recipe comes from Simple & Delicious Magazine.  This is great for this time of year since there is no mayo that is used. Nice change from the traditional potato and pasta salad and it's pretty healthy and nutritious too.  This is best eaten after it sits in the fridge for several hours or the next day. Don't keep it too long though because the avocado will darken after a day or so.  I don't belive this would fall into the "kid friendly" category since it's not the prettiest salad and my son wanted no part of tasting it!

Can you believe it is August already? The summer is going way too fast and I don't want it to end. It's hot out there but I don't care.  I'll take this weather any time over cold winter days!  I'm hoping to get down to the beach again too before summer is over.  Oh, the beach....why can't it be closer!

1 15 ounce can black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 avocado, cut into bite size pieces
1 large green pepper, cut up to any desired size
1 large red pepper, cut up to any desired size
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup Italian salad dressing  

Drain can of black eyed peas and rinse well.  Chop up peppers into any desired size. Cut up avocado into bite size pieces.  Cut up 2 tomatoes to desired size.  Place in large salad bowl and add 1/3 cup Italian salad dressing.  Mix together so all vegetables are covered with dressing.  Cover and chill in refrigerator several hours or overnight.