Friday, July 29, 2011

Hidden Treasure Cake

This recipe came from Kraft Foods. I found it about 7 years ago in their magazine. It's called hidden treasure cake because of the yummy surprise inside! I changed the recipe and added the step with the cream filling.

What I love about this recipe is that it's rereshing, cold and therefore perfect for summer! It's also easy to prepare. You don't have to bake anything. I have made it with a variety of combinations of fruit and jello. Raspberries with lemon jello, strawberries with strawberry jello, blueberries with cherry jello - you name it, it's always good. In my family, the favorite is orange!

Hidden Treasure Cake

  • 1 round angel food cake
  • 1 large tub of cool whip
  • 1 box orange gelatin
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • 1 large can mandarin oranges, drained
Slice cake in half horizontally. With your finger, tear out a tunnel of cake all the way around the inside of each slice. Set aside.

Bring a pot of water to a boil. In a medium bowl add 1 cup of boiling water to gelatin mix. Stir until dissolved. Add water to a half cup of ice until it is 3/4 cup full. Add to gelatin and stir until melted. Pour half of gelatin mixture into a smaller bowl and place in the fridge for about 5-10 minutes.

Add 3 cups of cool whip to remaining gelatin and fold in until blended. Place in the fridge for 10-15 minutes. Fill tunnel on bottom slice of cake with oranges. Be sure to reserve about 8 of them for decorating on the top of the cake. Once gelatin is thickening in the fridge (after 10 minutes) spoon it over oranges. Take remaining cool whip and spoon it into the tunnel of the top slice. Sandwich the top and bottom slice together.

Take the jell0-cool whip mixture and frost the cake. Arrange oranges on top. Refrigerate 2-4 hours before serving. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Rainbow Cupcakes

Oysters Rockefeller

I could not find oysters at the store so I used Muscles and I replaced the spinach with Kale. It was super yummy! To my surprise my kids gobbled them up and had thirds. They said this was their favorite meal. They are 5 and 3 years old. This is another recipe from my Better Homes and Gardens cook book. What a fun and tasty summer dish!

Oysters Rockefeller
  • 2 cups fresh torn spinach (or kale)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 24 oyster shells
  • 3 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp snipped parsley
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • several drops hot sauce
  • dash of pepper
  • 1/4 cup of seasoned bread crumbs
  • rock salt
In a saucepan, cook onions and spinach in a small amount of boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Drain. Wash oysters. Using a sharp knife, open shells. Remove oysters. Discard top shells. Combine spinach mixture, 2 Tbsp butter, parsley, garlic, hot pepper sauce, and pepper. Spoon mixture onto shells. Combine bread crumbs and remaining butter . Sprinkle over top of oysters.

Line shallow pan with rock salt. Arrange the oysters on top. Bake at 425 degrees 10-12 minutes. Enjoy!

Party Skins

These are super tasty. Crisp on the outside and cheesy on the inside. I love the flavor combination of chili powder and bacon - topped off with cool sour cream. I got this from my Better Homes and gardens cookbook - I just changed the name.

Party Skins
  • 6 large baking potatoes
  • 2 tsp cooking oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • several drops of hot sauce
  • 2/3 cup crumbled bacon
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped tomato
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green onion
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
Scrub potatoes and prick with a fork. Bake in oven at 425 degrees for 45 minutes. Cool.

Cut potatoes into 4 sliced wedges. Scoop out the inside (reserve for later and make Parmesan, garlic mashed potatoes). In a small bowl , combine oil, hot sauce and chili powder. Use a pastry or basting brush and brush oil onto wedges. Place them on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with bacon, tomatoes, onions and cheese. Bake for 10 minutes. Top with sour cream!

Restaurant Wings

My husband often gets a hankering for crispy wings. You know, the kind drenched in sweet and zesty wing sauce. I created these one night and they were finger licking good!!

Restaurant Wings
  • 1 large bag frozen chicken wings, thawed
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • 1-2 cups canola oil
Winger's Wing Sauce

Homemade ranch dip

Set up three soup plates. One containing flour, the second containing milk and eggs whisked together, and the third containing the remaining dry ingredients. Heat a skillet on medium high and add 1-2 cups canola oil. Dip wings in flour (coating all sides), then coat in egg mixture and then coat with crumb mixture (it may be easier to put crumb mixture in a Tupperware or zip lock bag and shake to coat well). Add to hot sizzling oil and fry on both sides until golden and crisp. Once fried, set aside and cover until all wings have been fried. Place wings on a platter and spoon sauce over coating evenly on all sides. Serve with cool ranch dip and celery.

Artistic Toast

This is a fun recipe that you can incorporate for any holiday or special occasion. I have used it to make French toast and grilled ham and cheese sandwiches. Take food coloring and add to milk to create the colors for your artwork. Then, take a clean paintbrush and paint your bread. I like to use sour dough bread or heavy duty gourmet bread. Avoid thin, cheap, white bread as it will easily get soggy and fall apart.

Paint your designs on the bread and then put in toaster, bake or fry. For Halloween paint jack-o-lanterns, for Christmas paint Christmas trees. This even makes a fun craft and snack for kids!

Fried Babybels

My mother in law always fries up cheese for us when we visit her in Germany. She buys hers frozen and serves it with lingonberry jam (you can buy at IKEA). This is so yummy and I was craving it the other day.

I decided to make mine from scratch using Babybel cheese (also popular in Germany). You can find this cheese in the deli section of your grocery store. This fried cheese is so yummy. It's crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside.

I used the recipe for my fried pickles for the egg wash and breading. Follow the recipe and replace the pickles with the cheese. Don't forget to peel the wax off your cheese.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Fried Pickles

Oh, how I love these. They are becoming ever more popular with the newer wing and burger joints here in Utah. They are originally from the South and have migrated there way across the country since the 60's.

You can make them as an appetizer or serve them as a side with burgers, wings or even fish! I got this recipe from the food network and made some minor changes.

Fried Pickles

Egg Wash

  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 eggs
  • Pinch lemon pepper
  • Pinch dill weed
  • Pickle juice
  • 2 1/2 cups cornmeal or seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup lemon pepper
  • 1/2 cup dill weed
  • 4 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • Pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste
For egg wash: In a baking dish, whisk all ingredients together, except pickle juice. Add pickle juice, to taste, and whisk to combine.

For breading: Combine all ingredients in a baking dish.

Cut pickled into spears or slices. Heat skillet to medium high. Add 1-2 cups of canola oil. Dip pickles in egg wash and then in breading. Set aside on plate until oil is hot. When oil begins to sizzle add pickles and fry on both sides until golden and crisp.

Ranch Dressing
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons minced parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onion
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 garlic clove, minced
  • Mayonnaise

In a large mixing bowl, stir all ingredients together, except mayonnaise. Add mayonnaise, as needed, to thicken. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Fietsa Cheesecake Dip

I found this recipe in my Better Homes and Garden cookbook. I don't use that cookbook often enough because there aren't enough pictures. It's funny how pictures really help you want to make something. I'm sure I passed over this recipe several times over the years not sure about it. I must say that I'm glad I tried it. It us pure genius! I did make some additions.

Whoever said, cheesecake had to be sweet? If you leave out the sugar then you have cheese and eggs which makes the nice base of your dip. Add the rest of the ingredients for amazing flavor and beautiful color! It's a great centerpiece for you fiesta!

Fiesta Cheesecake Dip
  • 2 (8 oz) pkgs cream cheese
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 (16 oz) large carton of sour cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies
  • 1 cup fresh guacamole
  • 2/3 cup chopped tomato
  • fresh cilantro
  • chili powder
Beat cheeses with mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in half of sour cream (8 oz). Add eggs. Blend well. Stir in chilies and salsa. Pour into a 9 inch spring form pan. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Cool. Spread remaining sour cream on top. chill 3-4 hours.

Remove sides of pan. Place on a platter. Spoon and spread guacamole around sides (I blend avocados, garlic, lemon juice and salt in my Magic Bullet and it's silky like sour cream). Arrange tomato and cilantro on top. Sprinkle chili powder on top. Cut into wedges. Serve chilled with tortilla chips.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Luscious Lemon Cake

Once while sitting at a table with an elderly woman I had never met before, I felt the need to break the ice and do some small talk. I asked her what her hobbies were and she said baking. I then asked her what her favorite recipe was and this was that recipe. She told me how to make it and I did my best to remember so that when I got home I could write it down. I added the coconut. This is a delicious summery cake!

Luscious Lemon Cake
  • 1 yellow cake mix
  • 1 large can lemon pie filling
  • 1 large tub cool whip
  • 1 pkg lemon instant pudding
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
Prepare cake mix according to box. Pour into two greased 9 inch round spring pans. Drop spoonfuls of lemon pudding onto surface of batter (1/2 can's worth on each cake). Bake each cake according to directions on box. Remove from oven and cool. Remove from pan.

Mix cool whip and pudding mix together. Carefully carve the top of one of the cooled cakes until flat on top. Spread whipped topping on top. Place second cake on top. Frost entire cake. Sprinkle coconut on top and sides of cake. Serve chilled.

Smothered Chicken Con Crema

I made this up 7 years ago. I was craving the goodness of homemade macaroni and cheese and the zang of Mexican food. So, I came up with this! I love it and I hope you do to! It's yummy feel good food.

Smothered Chicken Con Crema

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 pkg taco seasoning
  • 2-4 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup diced green chilies
  • 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup onions
  • 4 Tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Tortillas
Melt 1 Tbsp butter with 1 tsp taco seasoning. Add 1 tsp lime juice. Baste over chicken breasts. Grill until golden and tender. Set chicken aside (keep warm). In a skillet, sautee onions, and remaining basting sauce. Add additional Tablespoons of butter, lime juice and taco seasoning as needed. Add flour to onions 1Tbsp at a time stirring well. Add evaporated milk and milk. Stir in tomatoes, chilies, and remaining seasoning. Bring to a boil, stir in cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. Lay grilled chicken on a hot tortilla and smother with cream sauce. Top with sour cream and cilantro. (You can also serve enchilada or burrito style, and shred your chicken)

Pesto Sicilian Dip

My family loves this! We like to take appetizer dishes and serve them as entrees for a light dinner. If you serve this on crostini with a light salad or fresh fruit, it make a s great light summer dinner. Otherwise serve it with your favorite crackers for a great appetizer.

Pesto Sicilian Dip
  • 1 pkg 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup Miracle Whip
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 Tbsp pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil and lemon basil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 cup chopped artichokes
  • 1 cup chopped roasted red peppers
  • 1/2 cup shredded Italian blend cheese
Whip cream cheese and Miracle Whip together. Place in bowl or on serving platter. Blend oil, nuts, basil, salt, garlic powder and lemon zest in blender or Magic Bullet - set aside. Top cheese mixture with peppers, artichokes and cheese. Drizzle pesto sauce over top. Serve with crostini or crackers!

Barbecue Chicken Pizza

There's nothing better than homemade pizza especially when it's baked on a stone!

I made this on the 4th of July and served it with a refreshing salad and drink. The secret it all in the BBQ sauce and the dusted breadcrumbs. You have to use Sweet Baby Ray's honey BBQ sauce. Also, be sure to try mixing equal parts of this BBQ sauce with ranch dressing for an amazing pizza dip!

Barbecue Chicken Pizza

  • 2 grilled chicken breasts chopped
  • 1/2 cup blackened sweet red peppers (on pickle isle)
  • 3/4 cup Sweet Baby Rays honey BBQ sauce
  • 1 tube refrigerated pizza dough
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 2 Tbsp flavored bread crumbs

Roll out pizza dough on floured surface. Shape onto your pizza pan. Brush oil on top. Dust with bread crumbs. Spread BBQ sauce over. Add garlic, onion, red peppers, basil, chicken and cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 19 minutes. Serve hot!

Chilled Strawberry Cream Cake

This delicious cake is better than strawberry shortcake! It's my favorite easy cake to make. Takes just a few minutes to make (aside from the baking time). If a strawberry shortcake and strawberry jell-o salad got married, this would be their offspring! You'll love it.

Chilled Strawberry Cream Cake
  • 1 small pkg strawberry jello
  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 of a 10 oz pkg frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 4 eggs
Mix all ingredients together except strawberries for 3 minutes. Add strawberries and mix one more minute. Bake at 350 degrees in 13 X9 inch cake pan for 35-40 minutes. Cool.

  • 1 medium size tub of Cool Whip
  • 1/2 of 10 oz bag frozen strawberries
  • 1 Tbsp strawberry jello mix
Mix topping ingredients together. Frost cake and refrigerate 2-4 hours before serving.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Crunchy Toquitos

So, my mom gave me a gazillion corn tortillas. The first thing that came to mind was TOQUITOS! I once went to a dinner party where spam toquitos were served. They were fabulous. It was the hostesses grandma's secret recipe. I would guess it was spam with a hint of lime juice in it. The spam is very salty and so has enough flavor that lime juice is all you need to add. I made these spam toquitos and beef toquitos above. Here is a basic recipe that you can add your favorite ingredients to (onions, cilantro, cheese, tomatoes etc.).

Crunchy To
  • 12 white corn tortillas
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 pkg taco seasoning
  • 1 cup canola oil
Fry ground beef with taco seasoning until browned. Place 2 Tbsp of beef onto corn tortilla. Heat oil in skillet on medium high. Roll up tortillas and fry until golden crisp on both sides. Serve with fresh salsa and guacamole.

Texas Twister

Have you ever had a Texas Twister? I have had them at carnivals and fairs. This top secret recipe has been reverse engineered and here is the closest version I have found!

Texas Twister
  • 2 liter bottle lemon lime soda, chilled
  • 1 can frozen fruit punch concentrate
  • 1 jar maraschino cherries with juice
  • sliced oranges, limes and lemons
Stir together all ingredients including cherry juice into large punch bowl. Squeeze some of the lemons, limes and oranges into punch.

Apple Snicker Salad

This classic salad seemed to be a hot trend 5 years ago. It's really satisfying just like a snickers bar! You can make it without the cream cheese for a lighter healthier treat!

Apple Snicker Salad
  • 1 pkg instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 container (12 oz) cool whip
  • 4-6 Granny Smith apples,
  • 1 pkg fun size snicker bars
  • 1 8 0z pkg cream cheese
Mix cream cheese and dried pudding until blended. Fold in Cool Whip. Cut Snickers into bite size chunks and add to cream cheese mixture. Chop the apples into chunks and stir. Chill 1 hour before serving. Chilling for a long period of time (such as overnight) will result in liquid being released from the salad.

Sunday Roast

I got this recipe seven years ago from a woman I worked with. I make it a lot because it's so savory. The scent that fills the kitchen reminds me of happy childhood memories and yummy Sunday dinners.

Sunday Roast
  • 2-3 pounds roast
  • 1 pkg dry Italian dressing mix
  • 1 pkg onion soup mix
  • 1-2 cups water
Place all ingredients in a crock pot. Simmer on high for three hours until tender. Shred with a fork. Simmer in sauce another 30 minutes. You can turn sauce into gravy by mixing 1 Tbsp of corn starch with 1/4 cup water in small dish and then add it to the hot beef juices in saucepan on stove. Bring to a slight boil to thicken and then cool.

I like to add carrots and onions in the crock pot. You could add potatoes as well. Mmmmm!!

Lemon Mousse

I think I found this tangy treat on the Kraft foods website 5 years ago. It's so refreshing and fluffy. It reminds me of those Yoplait Yogurt Whips!

Lemon Mousse
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1 pkg lemon gelatin
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon peel
  • 1 cup cold apple juice
  • ice cubes
  • 1 tub (8oz) cool whip
  • 1 pkg frozen raspberries, thawed, pureed in blender with 2 Tbsp sugar
Stir boiling water in gelatin and lemon peel in a large bowl for at least 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Mix apple juice and ice to measure 1 3/4 cups. Stir into gelatin until slightly thickened. Stir in cool whip with whisk.

Pour half the raspberry sauce into dessert dishes. Top with mousse. Spoon remaining raspberry sauce over top. Refrigerate 4 hours until firm.

Hawaiian Chicken & Pineapple Gravy

I made this recipe up about four years ago. It is so yummy!! A blend of smoky bacon, juicy pineapple, and grilled chicken. It's perfectly light for a warm summer day and the flavors are from another world!

Hawaiian Chicken & Pineapple Gravy

  • 5-6 large chicken breasts
  • 4 strips of smoked bacon
  • 1 can chicken stock
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • dash of salt
optional tip* (For a stronger flavor try adding 1 Tbsp of Teryaki Marinade to gravy or use it as a dip for chicken)

Place chicken and bacon in a 13 X 9 inch baking dish. Add all ingredients together except for the cornstarch and pour over chicken. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Drain liquid and set aside. Heat up charcoal grill. Cut chicken lengthwise into strips. Grill about 3 minutes on each side. Mix cornstarch with cooled liquid and then bring to a boil in saucepan. Remove from heat and stir for 1 minute. Sauce should now be a thick gravy. Arrange chicken strips and bacon on large platter. Pour gravy on top.