Monday, July 13, 2015

Fresh Berry Yogurt Bundt Cake

This cake is amazing! The perfect use for some fresh picked berries. I loved making bundt cakes because they are pretty without having to decorate them. I'm going to try this with some different berries and post an update soon.

Fresh Berry Yogurt Bundt Cake
adapted from aspicyperspective.com
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
3 TBSPs lemon juice, divided
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
8 ounces plain or vanilla, Greek yogurt
12 ounces fresh strawberries, diced
1 cup powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10 inch bundt pan.
2. In a medium bowl, add 2 1/4 cups of flour, baking soda and salt; whisk to combine. Mix in the lemon zest and set aside.
3. In a mixing bowl with paddle attachment, add butter and sugar and cream together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Mix in 1 TBSP lemon juice and vanilla.
4. Add the flour mixture and the yogurt, mixing just until combined. Toss the berries with the remaining 1/4 cup of flour. Carefully fold them into the batter.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan. Place in the oven and reduce the temperature to 325 degrees F. Bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool at least 20 minutes in the pan. Turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
6. After cake has cooled, whisk together the remaining 2 TBSPs of lemon juice and powdered sugar. Drizzle over the top of the cake.


Friday, June 26, 2015

Slow Cooker Lasagna

This is the answer to all of your summer lasagna woes! It's going to be in the 80s for the next week, which might not seem hot, but it will also be in the 80s in my house, which is sometimes uncomfortable. The last thing I want to do is turn on the oven and bake myself. Slow cooker is the way to go! Make sure you use a good flavorful sauce for this lasagna. Next time I might add some chopped spinach to the cheese layer.

Slow Cooker Lasagna
adapted from kraftrecipes.com
1 lb. ground beef or ground turkey
1 jar (24 oz.) of your favorite spaghetti sauce
1 cup water
1 container (15 oz.) ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 egg
2 TBSPs chopped fresh parsley
6 lasagna noodles, uncooked

1. Brown meat in large skillet; drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce and water.
2. In a bowl, mix ricotta, 1-1/2 cups mozzarella, 2 TBSPs Parmesan, egg and parsley.
3. Spoon 1 cup meat sauce into slow cooker; top with layers of half of the noodles (broken to fit) and half of the cheese mixture. Cover with 2 cups meat sauce. Top with remaining noodles (broken to fit), cheese mixture and meat sauce.
4. Cover with lid. Cook on LOW 4 to 6 hours or until liquid is absorbed. Sprinkle with remaining cheeses; let stand, covered, 10 min. or until melted.

Oops, phone pics are a little blurry. This is the finished lasagna ready to top with the final bit of cheese.

Cheese is melted and it's ready to serve.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Spinach and Bacon Queso

This is a queso upgrade. We like to make the regular velvetta and diced tomatoes with green chilies version. BUT now I'm taking it up a notch. Bacon makes everything better...and well, cream cheese does too. With the spinach, I feel like I'm eating a veggie. :) Can't go wrong with this dip! 

Spinach and Bacon Queso
adapted from kraftrecipes.com
5oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained
16 oz. Velvetta, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1 can (10 oz.) diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled

In microwave safe bowl, combine spinach, Velvetta, cream cheese, and tomatoes. Microwave for 3 minutes. Remove and stir. Return to microwave and cook for 2-3 more minutes or until cheese is completely melted. Stir in bacon. Serve hot with tortilla chips.


Thursday, June 4, 2015

Chicken and Biscuits

I made this for dinner last night and it was a hit! Almost like a chicken pot pie, but so much easier, and just as tasty. It made the perfect amount for my family with no leftovers.

Chicken and Biscuits
adapted from kraftfoods.com
1 can cream of chicken soup
3/4 cup sour cream, divided
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
2 cups frozen mixed veggies, thawed
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup Bisquick
3 TBSPs milk

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix soup and 1/2 cup of sour cream in a 2 quart baking dish. Add chicken, veggies, and cheese; mix until combined.
2. In a medium sized bowl, combine remaining sour cream, Bisquick, and milk. Stir until dough forms.
3. Drop heaping tablespoonfuls onto top of chicken mixture making 6 biscuit mounds.
4. Bake 35-40 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown.

Serves 4-6



Thursday, May 14, 2015

My Cooking Segment on PBS!

Something really exciting happened to me last week! I was asked to come tape a cooking segment at our local PBS station for a show called KCTS 9 Cooks! I had submitted a few recipes to be included in their semi annual cookbook that they give away when you donate during their pledge drive, and was chosen to come cook on the air. I went to the studio last Saturday, along with 10 other home cooks, and we taped the show. I was so nervous, especially during the short interview before cooking but it was such a fun experience! The recipe they asked me to make was my Spinach and Artichoke Dip. I brought all my own ingredients to the studio along with a finished product to pull out of the magical oven at the end. All of the cooks got to hang out in a room where we could prep our ingredients, watch the others on a TV as they took their turns, and try each others' dishes as we finished. Before it was my turn I received a touch up from a real make up artist!! Then I loaded all of my ingredients on a cart and we went into the studio. I had 2 minute interview with Mark Christopher and then I went over the the kitchen set and assembled my recipe with Chef Bridget Charters. I told her it was a little intimidating cooking next to a real chef! We were told to keep talking, no dead silence, and try to keep it fun. About 7 minutes later it was over. At the end Bridget said, "Don't mess with Texas." Hahaha, I'm interested to see if they cut that out. I keep replaying it in my mind to try and remember what I said, so that I can be prepared for how ridiculous I might look and sound. :) It premiers Saturday, May 16 at 12pm, and is shown again at 3pm. I'll share a link to it once they have posted it online. For now, you can see the recipe line up here. They also decided to post another one of my recipes on their website and on twitter to promote the show. It's one of my favorites! You can find it here.

Link to the cooking demo: KCTS 9 Cooks Spinach and Artichoke 








Thursday, April 30, 2015

Easy Ice Cream Cake

This cake turned out amazing! It was SO easy! AND you can use any flavor of cake mix or ice cream...endless possibilities! My daughter wanted an ice cream cake for her birthday and I found this genius idea for making the ice cream layer. It worked perfectly. I might force my kids to have ice cream cakes for every birthday. :) See my notes at the bottom.

Easy Ice Cream Cake
1 cake mix (made according to package directions)
1  (1.75 quart) container of ice cream
1 cup whipping cream
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Make cake according to package directions (or however you like to make your boxed cakes). Pour into 2 (8in) round cake pans. Bake as directed.
2. While cake is baking line another 8in round cake pan with wax paper. Scoop ALL the ice cream into the cake pan. Press down and smooth out. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the freezer.
3. Once the cake has finished baking, let it cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pans. After cake has completely cooled, cut off the rounded tops if desired (left mine on). Stack one cake layer on a serving plate. Remove ice cream layer from freezer. Pull up wax paper and remove from the ice cream. Place ice cream layer on top of bottom cake layer. Place 2nd cake layer on top. Cover with plastic wrap and return to freezer.
4. To make ganache: In a small saucepan, bring whipping cream to a simmer over medium-low heat. Add chocolate chips. Do not stir. Remove from heat. After 15 minutes, stir until smooth. Let sit for about 1 hour or until cooled.
5. Remove cake from freezer pour ganache on top covering the entire top of the cake, it's ok if it drips down the sides. Do not cover. Return to freezer for 1 hour.
6. After 1 hour, the ganache should be set enough to lightly cover the cake with plastic wrap. Keep frozen until needed. I have had no problems cutting and eating it straight out of the freezer.

Notes:

For this cake I used a yellow box mix and added some chocolate chips to the batter to make it look like 2 big cookies. The ice cream in the middle is chocolate chip cookie dough.

If you only have 2 cake pans, make your cake, and after removing it from the pan, wash the pan and use it to mold the ice cream.

If your ice cream layer gets pushed out by the weight of the top cake layer, you can cut around the side with a knife for an even looking edges. I liked the artisan look, so I left mine alone. :)




Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Mini Carrot Cakes

This is one of the desserts I made for Easter. I used my recipe for Carrot Sheet Cake here. After it had cooled, I cut out 2 1/2 inch circles with a biscuit cutter and then cut them horizontally to have 2 shorter circles. I made some cream cheese frosting, saving some out to add food coloring for embellishment. Assembly was one circle of cake, pipe on frosting, 2nd layer of cake, pipe on and smooth out frosting, then pipe on carrot. It was a little more work than just serving the sheet cake, but they turned out so cute and so good!



Even this bunny wants to eat it!