Monday, August 29, 2016

Lindsey's Kitchen Secret - Tip for Baking the Best Cake Ever!

 Tip for Baking the Best Cake Ever!

So here it is! My tip for making the most moist cakes ever. Replace "milk" or "water" in all cake recipes with sour cream or Greek yogurt! Your batter will be much thicker than usual, but don't worry that's how you want it. The thicker the batter the more moist the cake. Back in the day people would use vinegar in cakes and cookie batters to react with the baking soda and give that batter a lift while baking. The acids in the sour cream and yogurt not only will give your cake the perfect lift but will help the flavor of your cake pop! Just like using buttermilk, but thicker. This little tip helps cake mix batters just about taste homemade. Give it a try. You'll love it!

Lindsey's Berry Vinaigrette

This has summer all over it! Try toasting some almonds over your salad and adding some sliced, avocados, thin sliced red onions, mozzarella cheese, berries and grilled chicken! I've also made a tossed salad using broccoli, dried or fresh berries, chicken and toasted almonds.

Just a heads up! I never write down my recipes as I create them, and I never use recipes when I cook. Every recipe is reverse engineered after it's been made and I guess to the  best of my memory how I made it. Don't be afraid to adjust them to your liking!

Lindsey's Berry Vinaigrette 

  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sliced red strawberries or raspberries
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • pinch of salt

In a small food processor (I use my Magic Bullet) Add all ingredients in order as listed above. Blend until creamy. Pour over your favorite salad!

Lindsey's Mango Shrimp Tacos

The crunch from the slaw and the tang of the cream sauce combined with sweet, juicy shrimp, sharp white cheddar, smooth green salsa and warm doughy tortillas make this recipe a favorite. These hit the spot every time!!

Tip: Sometimes I double the slaw sauce to make it extra creamy. 

Lindsey's Mango Shrimp Tacos
  • 1 bag of fresh tortillas (in the refrigerated department and have not been cooked yet)
  • 1 bag of medium sized shrimp, thawed
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 limes
  • 2 Tbs honey
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 cups of shredded green cabbage
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1 mango diced
  • 1/2 cup mayo1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 Tbs white sugar
  • 2 Tbsp of rice vinegar or white vinegar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp celery seed

  • 1 bottle of mild green salsa
  • 2 cups white shredded cheddar cheese
  • Sour cream

In a skillet on medium high melt 2 Tbs of butter. Add peeled shrimp, the juice of 2 limes, honey and salt. Stir until shrimp are golden, sweet, and juicy. Set aside and keep warm.

In a large bowl add shredded cabbage, diced, mango, and diced red onion. In a small food processor add mayo, sugar, vinegar, onion powder, salt and celery seed. Blend until creamy. You can add an extra pinch of salt to your liking. Stir into slaw and set aside.

Cook tortillas according to directions on package. Usually 10 seconds on each side in a skillet on medium high (no butter or oil). Assemble tacos with green salsa first, slaw, shrimp and cheese. Top with sour cream. Enjoy!

Lindsey's Sloppy Joe Tacos

We tried this on our salad.
Serve with raspberry lemonade!

The savory sloppy joe meat

If you like Sloppy Joes and you love tacos - then you'll love this! It's a winner with the kids always. 

Lindsey's Sloppy Joe Tacos 

  • 1 box of cheese flavored taco shells
  • 1 can of pinto or white navy beans
  • 1 lb of ground beef or turkey
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp garlic
  • 1 cup ketchup1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • Shredded white cheddar cheese
  • Siracha sauce and sour cream (optional) 

On medium high, place ground meat in frying pan (make sure it is fully thawed). Add Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and salt. Stir until medium brown. Turn heat down to a simmer. Add ketchup, brown sugar, cumin, chili powder and another pinch of salt. Add beans and simmer for about 5 minutes. Scoop into taco shells and top with cheese and your favorite toppings. Enjoy! 

Lindsey's Mango Coconut Kabobs

You don't have to use skewers - grill in tinfoil!

This dish is super yummy! We like to take the butter sauce in the foil boat and pour it into dipping dishes for everyone to dip their skewers in. Finger licking good! I bought grilling sauce from World Market but you can also find it on Amazon. 

Lindsey's Mango Coconut Kabobs

  • 1 bottle of Figueroa Brothers Mango Coconut Grilling Sauce 
  • 1 lb of cubed pork of chicken 
  • 5 golden (yellow) potatoes
  • 2 cups of sliced red, orange and yellow sweet peppers
  • 1 large sweet yellow onion, cut into wedges or cubes (layers intact) 
  • 2 cups sliced or mushrooms (sliced thick) 
  • 1 stick of butter
Layer wooden skewers (from pointed end) with a pattern of meat, onions, peppers, mushrooms, and potatoes. Melt one stick of butter in a sauce pan over medium- high heat. When butter is melted, stir in half a bottle of mango coconut sauce. Lay skewers on a tray and baste with sauce. Take remaining pieces of unused skewer food and wrap in a tinfoil boat.  Pour the rest of your butter basting sauce over the food and place on grill with your skewers. Do not seal the top, as to allow the smoke from the grill to flavor the food.Grill until meat is tender and cooked to your liking. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Lindsey's Apricot Cake

Mmmm! I created this after wondering what to do with all my canned apricots. This cake is dense and similar in consistency to bars or a cheesecake. The tangy apricots and creamy frosting are enough to make you want to eat the entire pan! Be careful :) Cut these into bars and serve on a platter.

Apricot Cake

  • 1½ c. sifted cake flour
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ c. butter
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup, drained, canned apricots
  • ½ c. plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream)


  • 8 oz softened cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups Powdered Sugar
  • tiny, tiny pinch of salt (to enhance flavor)
  • 1/2 cup drained, canned apricots

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray a 9x13 cake pan with cooking oil and dust with flour. Sift the cake flour, baking powder, and salt into a large mixing bowl. Beat in the butter using an electric mixer set on low speed, until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Beat in the sugar and eggs. Add the vanilla and yogurt - beat until blended. Batter will be thick like pudding. Pour into pan and bake 30 to 35 minutes.

Whip cream cheese and butter together until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and mix. Add apricots and mix well until blended. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time and mix until thick and creamy. Add more powdered sugar if needs thickening. Set aside in fridge and chill.

Remove cake from oven and cool. When cake is cooled, frost. Chill in fridge for 2 hours, serve cold.

Lindsey's Garlic White Cheddar Mac & Cheese

Serve with a tangy salad

Step 1 of layering in pan

My favorite Mac and Cheese ever!! I created this one day in my kitchen. I love it because the top is crispy and when you cut in with your fork, it's gooey and soft as the cheese sauce runs out. Soul food for sure!

The ground breakfast sausage will turn it into more of a stroganoff, the smoked sausage will make the dish a bit more salty.

Boil macaroni pasta according to directions on package. Drain, rinse, dump back in pot (with stove off), stir in 2 Tbsp of olive oil, and set aside.

Tip: Add 2 cups of drained, quartered artichoke hearts over the pasta.

Lindsey's Garlic White Cheddar Mac & Cheese 
  • 1 box of macaroni pasta
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb of ground breakfast sausage (or 2 cups of smoked sausage, diced)
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup butter
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 cups heavy cream (or substitute half and half)
  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½  tsp. fresh minced garlic
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups Panko crumbs

In a skillet on medium high cook breakfast sausage with Worcestershire sauce, and light sprinkle of salt, until brown. Set aside.

In a skillet on medium high, fry chopped garlic in 1/2 cup of butter until golden brown. Add the cream cheese and whisk until mostly melted.  Whisk in the heavy cream. Add 2 cups of shredded white cheddar cheese. Season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.  Bring to a simmer and whisk frequently until the sauce is smooth and thickens about 15 minutes.

Spray a 9x13 inch pan with cooking oil. Pour in macaroni pasta. Sprinkle meat over top. Pour cheese sauce over the meat. Give it a light stir. Sprinkle top with 1 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese and then sprinkle 2 cups of seasoned Panko crumbs. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until crumbs are golden crisp. Do not cover.

Top with sour cream. Serve right away - enjoy!

Lindsey's Fried Pickles on a Stick

Carnival food at it's finest! Oh how I love fried pickles, but boy are they hot when they come out of the fryer. One day I thought how much more convenient it would be to have them on a stick! And of course fry them whole. This was a hit with my kids! I had a quick vision that I had a food truck business called "Pickles on a Stick" It was fun to dream for a minute. I'm sure this will become an instant hit on Pinterest - but remember, you saw it here first! :)

  •  Canola oil (enough to fill your deep fryer) 
  • 1 jar of crisp whole dill pickles
  • 1 cup flour
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups of seasoned Panko crumbs 
  • Wooden skewer sticks

Insert wooden sticks into pickles and set on a tray. Set up three soup plates - one with eggs, one with flour and the other with crumbs (you can also use freezer bags for less of a mess).When oil is hot and ready (it will bubble and pop when you drop something in) dip pickles back in pickle juice one at a time, roll into flour, roll into egg mixture, roll back in flour, roll again in eggs, and roll in crumbs. Place in deep fryer. Fry about 2-3 minutes per pickle or until golden and crisp. Place on baking sheet and keep warm in oven (do not cover).

Serve hot with cool Ranch dip. Enjoy!