Thursday, January 26, 2012

Buttermilk Coconut Bundt Cake

I made this cake a while back and don't know why I haven't posted it until now.  It's very good. Bundt cakes are one of my favorites.  They are fairly easy to make and go a long way.  I always have to cut  myself a really big slice too.....Just so good!  I found this over at Gulf Coast Gram.  Haven't made many new dishes in a while and I need to start trying some.  It's getting movtivated that is lacking here lately.  I find myself getting very lazy in the winter and love cooking in the summer. Crazy....nothing like heating up the kitchen on an already hot, humid day!!! But I don't care for winter and can't wait for spring already.  In the meantime, I just have to find my motivation again!

3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla (or coconut flavoring, I used 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp coconut)
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup finley chopped pecans (I omitted these)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour 10-inch Bundt or tube pan.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs at medium speed until well blended.  Add the sugar, oil, vanilla (or coconut flavoring) beating well until well combined.  Add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk.  Gently stir in the coconut and pecans and blend well.
Pour batter into prepared baking pan and bake for 60-65 minutes or until tested done.
You can glaze this cake with a glaze made of 1 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup water, 2 tablespoons butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla or coconut flavoring.  To make glaze, bring the ingredients to a rolling boil and cook for 1 minute.  Pour glaze over cake while it is still warm and in the pan until the syrup has been absorbed before removing from pan.


I did not make the glaze. I let it cool for 10  minutes before removing from pan.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is another "classic" cookie, just like Snickerdoodles.  I had always been very partial to Toll House Chocolate Chip cookies but I have to say that these give those a run for their money.  You can play with these and have many variations. I also made these with white chocolate chips and dried cranberries and they were awesome!  Throwing in some M & M's is another idea.  The combinations just go on and on.  Bottom line here is that this is a very good basic cookie that you can build upon or  just keep as a chocolate chip.  This is definitely my go to chocolate chip cookie recipe.  Courtesy of Better Crocker.....

3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 egg
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup coarsely chopped nuts (I omitted these)
1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
Mix sugars, butter and egg in large bowl.  Stir in flour, baking soda and salt (dough will be stiff).  Stir in nuts (if using) and chocolate chips.
Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown (centers will be soft).  Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet.  Cool on wire rack.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Snickerdoodles

I made these Snickerdoodles right before Christmas. I think they only lasted maybe 1 1/2 days before they were all gone. Not good before the holidays.....and I wonder why I put on a few pounds??? They are courtesy of Betty Crocker and are a "from scratch" cookie. Very good, very soft and chewy and very addicting! 

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour or unbleached flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. 
Mix 1 1/2 cups sugar, the butter, shortening and eggs in large bowl.  Stir in flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt.
Shape dough into 1/14 inch balls.  Mix 1/4 cup sugar and the cinnamon.  Roll balls in cinnamon-sugar mixture.  Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set.  Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack to cool.

makes 4 dozen cookies

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Baked Ziti 1

I think this should be renamed "The Best Baked Ziti I Ever Had."  It really is, too! I've made this several times and it nevers lasts long enough to get a good picture.  These pics do not do it justice, but trust me when I say it is delicious.  It's not the traditional baked ziti either.  It uses sour cream in place of ricotta cheese which I like way better.  It also has a layer of provolone in it.  I could have used more Parmesan Cheese for the top but ran out. I also found from making it before that fresh shredded Parmesan is much better to use than the grated version. If you like Italian food I really do urge you to try this.  I think you will enjoy it.  Once again, courtesy of Allrecipes.

1 pound dry ziti pasta
1 onion, finely chopped
1 pound lean ground beef
2 ( 26 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce
6 ounces provolone cheese, sliced
1 1/2 cups sour cream
6 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons grated (I use freshly shredded) Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of  lightly salted water to a boil.  Add ziti pasta and cook according to package directions; drain.



In a large skillet, brown onion and ground beef over medium heat. Drain excess fat.   Add spaghetti sauce and simmer about 15 minutes.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter (I used olive oil cooking spray) a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.  I also add a little of the sauce mixture to the bottom of the dish to prevent sticking.  Layer as follows:  1/2 of the ziti, Provolone cheese, sour cream, 1/2 of sauce mixture, remaining ziti, mozzarella cheese and remaining sauce mixture.  Top with Parmesan cheese. 

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes in preheated oven on top of baking sheet.  Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes.

This tastes much better the second day so if you decide to heat this up the next day after it's been in the fridge than bake approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour covered and 10 minutes more uncovered.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Chocolate Cream Pie I

Hope everyone had a nice new years.  Virginia had some really nice weather this past weekend. In the 60's in some areas. Of course now it's bitter cold but it was nice while it lasted. I'm not complaining though. So far we've had no snow but  then what does that mean. It's only the beginning the of January. But I can certainly hope that it will bypass us this year!  I'm starting off the new year with a recipe I made about a month or so ago and have been meaning to blog. This is one. good. chocolate. pie.  VERY good.....in fact, I made it twice in one week.  Considering that many of us may have gained a few unwanted pounds over the holidays, this may not have been a good choice to post right now!  However, I didn't want this to get buried in my stack of recipes "to post" so I figured now or never.  Besides it IS chocolate....and its always OK to post a chocolate recipe in my book!  This comes courtesy of allrecipes.

3/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk (I used 2%)
2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (9 inch) pie shell, baked

Combine sugar, flour, milk and chopped up chocolate in 2 quart saucepan.  Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat until mixture begins to bubble.  Continue stirring for 2 minutes.
Mix a little of the hot mixture into the egg yolks, beating rapidly to avoid cooking the yolks.  Stir in the warm yolk mixture into the remainder of the chocolate mixture and cook for an additional 90 seconds.  Remove from heat and stir in butter or margarine and vanilla.
Pour filling into pie shell and chill until set.  (Make sure to cover pie with plastic wrap on surface of pie so a skin does not form).  Top with whipped cream topping and a little grated chocolate.