Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hummingbird Cake

Oh how I love this cake! If a pound cake, carrot cake and banana bread wanted to make a baby - this would be it! It's solid like banana bread (not crumbly or dry), moist like pound cake and rich like carrot cake. I love it! The frosting is so thick and stiff and delicious! I love this cake cold. Make sure you chill it at least 4 hours before eating.

I realized the next day, that I left out the milk. I think that's what made it so great! So, I left out the milk below.

Hummingbird Cake
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt1 tsp cinnimon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 large can crushed pinneapple
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 cups chopped bananas
  • 8 oz softened cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup soft butter (do not melt)
  • 1 lb powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp almond extract
 Combine butter,  cheese, almond extract and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Add sugar. Beat until thick and creamy.

Combine dry ingredients in large mixing bowl. Stir in eggs and oil.  Do not beat. Stir in nuts, vanilla, pineapple and bananas until becomes a thick moist batter. Grease a 9 X 13 cake pan. Pour in batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes. Cool and frost. I like to top with sliced almonds. Refrigerate for 4 hours. Serve!

Reuben Salad

So last week an idea came to my head to turn all of the classic sandwiches into salads! Think about it the Philly Cheese Steak, the Club, the Reuben, the Sloppy Joe and of course the Cheeseburger. After I designed my creations I went online and saw that other people had beat me to the punch - but - after comparing recipes I have to say I like mine best!

What I love about this salad is that the meat is warm and the cheese is hot and bubbly - it goes so nice with the warm crunchy croutons. Then you have the little pockets of cold, crisp sour kraut and creamy, tangy thousand island dressing. It really is a Reuben sandwich turned into a salad! This was a soul food salad!

Reuben Salad
  • 1 bag of Spring Mix Salad greens (purple and dark green lettuce)
  • 1 lb sliced corned beef (fresh from the deli)
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 6 slices Swiss cheese
  • 1 cup cold sour kraut
  •  4 slices of dark pumpernickel bread or Rye
  • 4 Tbsp oil 
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp Italian herbs
 Cut bread into 1 inch cubes. In a hot skillet on medium high add oil and bread cubes.  Add remaining ingredients and cook until crisp (do not burn!)
Thousand Island Dressing
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
Blend all ingredients in blender for 30 seconds.

In a skillet on medium high add oil and  corned beef. Cook until browned and hot. Place cheese slices on top and allow to melt. Place lettuce on platter. Add hot meat and cheese. Top with sour kraut (spread out in small spoonfuls) and croutons. Add dressing. Enjoy!

Cheeseburger Salad

 So last week an idea came to my head to turn all of the classic sandwiches into salads! Think about it the Philly Cheese Steak, the Club, the Reuben, the Sloppy Joe and of course the Cheeseburger. After I designed my creations I went online and saw that other people had beat me to the punch - but - after comparing recipes I have to say I like mine best!

Let me know what you think!

 This cheeseburger salad was fork licking good! There are three dressings that I think would work well for this. Thousand Island Dressing (it has your ketchup, mayo and pickle relish in it) or try adding pickle relish to creamy honey mustard dressing (which is honey, mustard and mayo) or try the dressing I created below. Either way you can't lose!!

Cheeseburger Salad
  • 1 lb ground beef,  (or barbecued patties)
  • 3/4 cup Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce (do not substitute with any other sauce - trust me!)
  • 1 cup white onion thinly sliced
  • 2 cups tomatoes slices, halved
  • 1 head of romaine lettuce, washed and cut
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
In a skillet on medium high, add ground beef and BBQ sauce. Cook until well done. (This is more like a sloppy Joe salad which I really like.) If you are using cooked patties, crumble in a pan with sauce and cook for 1-2 minutes until glazed in BBQ sauce.

Homemade Croutons
  • 4 slices sour dough bread (or burger buns)
  • 3 Tbsp oil
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp Italian herbs
Cut bread into 1 inch cubes. In a hot skillet on medium high, add oil  and bread cubes. Add remaining ingredients and cook until golden and crisp. Do not burn! Cool on a paper towel.

Mustard Vinaigrette
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp prepared mustard
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp sweet pickle relish
Place all ingredients in blender and blend for 30 seconds. Chill in fridge until ready to use. 

Place lettuce on platter. Top with warm, saucy, burger meat and add cheddar cheese so that it melts onto meat. Add onions and tomatoes. Top with croutons and drizzle dressing over top. Enjoy!

Coconut Chicken

I made this up having no clue as to what we were having for dinner. I threw some chicken in a pan and starred at it thinking about how we had had chicken the3  previous nights. How could I make it different? I went to work at adding ingredient after ingredient until I came up with this. It was so delicious and by far the best chicken dish we had that week!

Coconut Chicken
  • 4-6 chicken breasts, sliced into tenders
  • 1 -2 tsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp lemon pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1 bag frozen stir fry vegetables
  • 1/2 cup shredded cocnut
  • 1 box spaghetti noodles, cooked
In a skillet in medium high, add 2 Tbsp oil and chicken.Cook until chicken in golden on the outside and white on the inside. Add vegetables and cook until tender. Add honey, ginger, nutmeg, lemon pepper and garlic powder. Add 1/4 cup coconut. Toss until evenly coated. You may add more oil if needed. Add cooked spaghetti noddles and stir until evenly coated in flavor. Place on serving dish and top with remaining coconut. enjoy!

Italian Cream Soda

I served these at a party and they were a big hit! It's a creamy, bubbly, dreamy sensation! The vanilla syrup is a must - it makes the soda out of this world and gives it a velvety, sweeter creamy taste. Without it you may want to add some sugar.

Italian Cream Soda
  • club soda
  • whipping cream
  • flavored syrup your choice (where snow cone machines are sold)
  • Vanilla syrup (cooking specialty stores)
  • Maraschino cherries
  • crushed ice
Fill 8 oz (1 cup) cup with 1/4 cup of crushed ice. Add 1/4 cup of whipping cream. Fill glass up to an inch below the rim with club soda. Add 1 Tbsp vanilla syrup and 1 Tbsp of orange or berry syrup. Swirl with straw and top with a cherry!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Mushroom Crab Stuffed Egg Wraps

I created this for my husband for Father's Day breakfast. He's not big on sweet stuff for breakfast so I imagined this up and made it!

Mushroom Crab Stuffed Egg Wraps
  • 32 oz liquid eggs
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup green onions, sliced
  • 2 cups flaked imitation crab meat
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded 
  • 1 pkg instant Hollandaise sauce
  • dried parsley 
  • salt & pepper
In a bowl mix liquid eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper. Heat skillet to medium high with 1/2 Tbsp oil. Pour 3/4 of egg mixture onto pan and tilt pan until mixture spread into a thin 6 inch diameter circle. Flip and cook until both sides are done. Repeat until you have 4-6 wraps.

Saute mushrooms and onions in pan. Make Hollandaise sauce according to directions on package. Place wraps on a platter.  Arrange crab, mushrooms, onions and cheese on wrap. Roll up. Spoon suce over and sprinkle with parsley. Serve with sausage and berries!

Beverly's Meatloaf Surprise

This recipe is my Mom's. It's so yummy and I think would be really good between two slices of grilled sour dough bread. I seldom ever make meatloaf and I actually used turkey for this. It was so delicious - the family devoured it. I served it with a chopped purple cabbage and carrot salad with a homemade mustard vinaigrette.

Beverly's Meatloaf Surprise

2 lbs hamburger
1 egg
1 small can tomato sauce
1 pkg onion soup mix
1 cup bread crumbs
cheddar cheese slices

Mix together all ingredients, minus cheese. Shape 1/3 of the hamburger into loaf pan. Cover meat with cheese and then cover the cheese with 1/3 layer of hamburger. Repeat until pan is full (three layers).

  • 3/4 cup kethcup
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
Mix sauce together and then cover meatloaf. Bake at 350 degrees for 90 minutes or until meat is cooked through. 

Chilled Melon Toss

This is refreshing for summer when you want something sweet and healthy. We had a ripe cantaloupe which my family usually hates eating. I figured if I changed the way I usually serve cantaloupe they might like it. I used a melon-baller and scooped out the entire melon. Try adding a honeydew as well. I then served the balls in margarita glasses and drizzled with agave nectar (you could also use honey). Freeze in the freezer for 2-4 hours before serving. Top with fresh basil! Enjoy!

Creamy Lemon Chicken Over Spinach Pasta

 This little creation popped into my head the other day. I thought lemon chicken sounded nice for a June summer night meal. Then I thought a cream lemon chicken sounded even better. Then I imagined it over green pasta! Not only is it beautiful but the spinach makes it more nutritious. Who doesn't enjoy homemade egg noodles! So much better than from the store.

Here's my creation!

Creamy Lemon Chicken Over Spinach Pasta 
  • 6 chicken breasts, thawed
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp Italian herbs

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 Tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup frozen spinach, thawed
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp lemon pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp Italian herbs

Pasta:  In a small bowl, combine flour, and salt. Blend well. In a blender, puree water with spinach to form a pasty liquid. Add spinach water, oil and eggs to bowl. Work liquids into flour to form dough. On a floured surface, knead dough until it is smooth. About 2-3 minutes. Add more flour if too sticky. Wrap dough in plastic and rest on counter for 1 hour. 

On floured surface, roll half of dough out as thin as possible into a rectangle. Sprinkle lightly with flour. Cut into 1/4 inch strips. Repeat with remaining dough. 

Bring 12 cups water and 1 Tbsp salt to a boil. Cook pasta 5-10 minutes until tender. While float to top when ready. Drain. 

Chicken: Add oil to hot skillet (medium high heat). Fry chicken, turning every 3- minutes. Add oil, lemon, juice, garlic powder, salt, pepper and herbs. Fry until golden on both sides. 

Sauce: In a skillet heat butter on medium high. As it melts quickly stir in 1 Tbsp of flour. As it forms a paste add 1/4 cup of cream. Repeat this with the flour and cream until you have used it up. Use a whisk and work fast or your flour will form clumps. If it's too thick, repeat process with milk until you get a thick yet runny consistency. Also to increase the amount of sauce continue this process until you achieve the amount you desire.Add sour cream. Stir in garlic, lemon pepper,salt and herbs.
Pour sauce over pasta. Place chicken breast on pasta bed. Garnish with fresh basil and lemon peel. Enjoy!


Barbecued Fish?

Mexican Street Corn

Grilled Pineapple
 I love to barbecue! Especially on a charcoal grill. There is something about that smokey charcoal flavor that a gas grill cannot give you. We were having fish the other day and I though how fun it would be to barbecue the fish! Because fish is very flaky and falls apart, I put mine on some tinfoil. I had marinated it in oil, salt, lemon juice, garlic, pepper and dill all day. The smokey flavor of the fish was superb! Then I put the corn on the grill as well as some fresh pineapple. I served it with a fresh green salad. So delicious!!

Movie Boxes

This is no recipe just a fun idea. It's great if you are doing a movie night under the stars, a drive in movie or just at home. I did this with kids last week for a summer movie. I pop my own corn, add popcorn flavor oil and then the popcorn flavored powders (ranch and butter).  I gave the baby marshmallows instead of popcorn. I take lunch boxes and use tupperware with lids to separate the candy from the popcorn. I then fill the water bottles with Koo-laid. Perfect for packing in a bag!

Pinneapple Orange Dreams

This was a quick desert I created and whipped together for a party. It's fast and easy and oh so good! If you know your guests are not allergic to nuts. Dip the cookies in crushed macadamia nuts while the chocolate is warm on the cookie. These are perfect for summer and so easy!

Tip: These would be so good with raspberry sauce drizzled over them!

Pineapple Orange Dreams
  • 1 package pineapple orange cream sandwich cookies (Walmart)
  • 1 bag Ghiradelli white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 cups macadamia nuts, crushed (optional)
Melt chocolate chips according to directions on back of bag (careful, some microwaves are more powerful - I stir every 30 seconds to avoid burning) Stir in almond extract. Dip cookies in melted chocolate.  Dust with crushed nuts. Lay on butcher or wax paper for 1/2 hour. Chill in fridge for 2 hours before serving. Enjoy!

Six Cup Salad

I found this recipe in my mom's ward cookbook. Who doesn't love a good fruit salad in June? It's funny because though these are common at summer barbecues and picnics, they are very uncommon in my house. I never make jello salads or fruit salads with marshmallows. I don't know why - maybe because I am always trying to make unique dishes. Well, it was time for me to make one. My kids loved this recipe! Because I never make salads like this it was exotic to them. Very refreshing!

Six Cup Salad
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1 cup pineapple tidbits, drained
  • 1 cup mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 cup Maraschino cherries, halved

In a 2-quart container mix all ingredients together carefully, chill in a refrigerator for 12-14 hours. Enjoy!

Fire Roasted Tomato Soup

This is a delicious and lite soup for summer. It's my favorite variation of traditional tomato soup. You can wow your guests with this tasty dish without any time or effort involved. Throw some garlic bread on the grill and toss a fresh salad. My husband actually said the words, "Mmmm this soup is really good!" He usually never says a lot about food when he eats it so you have to gauge how he likes it based on how much he takes and how fast he eats it. So, for him to say something - you know it's good!

Heart healthy tip: replace cream with skim milk

Fire Roasted Tomato Soup
  • 2 can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 1 onion, chopped
  •  2 Tbsp basil
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream (or half & half)
Heat all ingredients. minus cream and bring to a boil. Let simmer 15 minutes. Remove contents and place in blender. Put blender mixture into saucepan and add 1/2 cup whipping cream. Stir. Top with sour cream and fresh basil. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sunny Sprouts

I really liked this recipe! It's a lite and delicious way to enjoy tasty veggies.

Sunny Sprouts
  • 2 (10 oz) pkgs frozen Brussels sprouts
  • 1 cup slice carrots
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tsp prepared mustard
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • dash pepper
In medium saucepan, combine Brussels sprouts, carrots, celery, water, 1 tsp salt and sugar. bring to a boil. Cook until crisp and tender 10-12 minutes. Drain. In small bowl combine butter, mustard, 1/4 tsp salt and pepper. Add to veggies and toss lightly. Enjoy!

healthy tip: replace butter with olive oil

3 Cheese Pepper Crusted Salmon

Yes, you read it right - cheese and salmon together in a recipe. Why not? My husband was a skeptic until he tried it and he went back for seconds and thirds.

I created this recipe as a fix to my husband's loaf of homemade 3 cheese bread gone wrong in the bread maker. We came home from church and it was a big loaf of crumbs. I didn't want to waste it, and we were already having salmon for dinner, so I invented this!

3 Cheese Pepper Crusted Salmon
  • 6 thawed salmon fillets
  • 1 bag frozen sliced red, yellow and green bell peppers
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Italian herbs 
  • 1/2 tsp dill
  • dash of pepper
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
  • 2-3 cups seasoned bread crumbs (I used three cheese bread crumbs)
Turn oven to 375 degrees. Heat skillet with 1 Tbsp oil and fry salmon until done in center. Place salmon in a greased 13X9" baking dish. Add peppers to skillet and fry until a little blackened. Pour over salmon.

In a bowl add sour cream, salt, lemon juice, herbs, dill and pepper. You can add more salt to your liking. Stir and spoon over salmon and peppers. Sprinkle 2/3 of the shredded cheese over the top. Pour bread crumbs over the cheese and then sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy!

I like to serve with asparagus. I boiled asparagus for 10 minutes and then fried it for 3 minutes in a pan with butter and lemon pepper. My husband said it was the best asparagus he'd ever had. So good!!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Double Corn Beef Caserole

So I was really into casseroles a couple of weeks ago. When I think of casseroles I think of my grandma or country eating. I decided it was time to make some classic casseroles and add my own little twist! On this recipe I suggest turning your beef into sloppy joe beef. That would add so much more life to this delicious  recipe!

Double Corn Beef Casserole
  • 1 ground beef, browned
  • 1 envelope onion soup mix
  • 1 can tomato soup
(or just make sloppy joe meat - I think it's yummier)

(mix together and set aside)

Mix together:
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup regular corn meal
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 can creamed corn
Pour 1/2 of batter into greased 3 qt casserole dish. Spoon meat mixture over batter, sprinkle with 1 cup grated cheese. Add remaining batter and sprinkle with 1 cup grated cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Serve warm with sour cream.

Swiss Cheese Chicken

This was very delicious served over wild rice. Mmmm! It has a pleasant, mild and creamy flavor that was very pleasing!

Swiss Cheese Chicken
  • 8 chicken breasts
  • 8 slices Swiss cheese
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup melted margatine
Place halved in baking pan. Put cheese on top of chicken. Mix soup and water. Spoon over chicken. Crush bread crumbs and sprinkle on top. Drizzle melted butter over top. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes Serve over wild rice and spoon sauce over.

Lemon Pudding Cheesecake

This was super easy to make!It was a nice summer treat and the kids loved it. I think adding lemon pie filling to the recipe would make it even better! The lemon pudding mix gives it an imitation flavor and the lemon pie filling would give it some zest!

Lemon Pudding Cheesecake
  • 1 pkg cream cheese
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 small pkg instant lemon pudding
  • (optional) 1 cup lemon pie filling
  • 1 (9") graham cracker cust
  • 1/2 cup crushed graham crackers
Stir cream cheese until very soft. Gradually blend in 1/2 cup of milk until smooth and creamy. Add remaining milk and pudding mix. Beat slowly with egg beater 1 minute. Stir in lemon pie filling. Pour into graham cracker crust. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs on top. Chill 2- 4 hours and serve.

Chile Eggs

This was very yummy and lite for summer! You could top it with your favorite Mexican toppings but it's delicious as is. 

Chile Eggs
  • 2 cans diced green chiles
  • 1 pound shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 pound shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 12 eggs beaten
  • 1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk

Spread chiles on bottom of 9X13" baking dish. Sprinkle cheeses on top. Blend together eggs and evaporated milk. Pour over other ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees 30-40 minutes.

Poached Eggs Supreme

I had never made this before and it was quite pleasant! Creamy and smooth on the pallet. The kids really enjoyed it and asked me to make it again. 

Poached Eggs Supreme
  • 1 Tbsp minced onion
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • English muffins, split and toasted (I used crescent rolls) 
In a large skillet, cook and stir onion in butter 1 minute. Stir in soup and milk; heat to simmering. Slip eggs into mixture; cover. Cook over medium heat until eggs are of desired doneness. Serve eggs over split and toasted muffins. Spoon sauce over each egg; sprinkle with paprika and parsley, if desired.

Curry Chutney Shrimp

This was so yummy I plan to make it a lot this summer!

Curry Chutney Shrimp
  • 4 green onions
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 3/4 cup mango chutney (can find at Target)
  • 1 1/2 pounds large raw shrimp (you may want to peel)
Chop green onions, separate white and green parts. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add white part of onion and saute 1 minute. Add curry powder and toss 30 seconds. Stir in chutney and bring to a simmer. Add shrimp and cook, tossing until shrimp are cooked through and well coated with sauce. 3 - 5 minutes. Transfer to serving dish and sprinkle with green parts of onion. Enjoy!

Curry Gravy Sauce

My husband made German potato dumplings the other day. I wanted to serve them with some type of sauce but wasn't sure what to make. I started with a can of beef gravy and came up with this little recipe that had everyone licking their plates. It's such a delicious sauce!

Curry Gravy Sauce
  • 1 can beef gravy
  • 1/2 tsp curry
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  •  1/4 tsp salt
Heat a saucepan to medium high. Add  gravy and remaining ingredients.  Add more salt or curry to your liking. Bring to a light boil and remove from heat quickly stirring. Serve hot.

Serve over pork, steak,potatoes or dumplings!