Monday, June 28, 2010

Lemon Bundt Cake

I love this cake! It's super moist and delicious! I always end up giving out the recipe for it.

Lemon Cake
1 box lemon cake mix
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup oil
1 can apricot nectar
1 small package instant lemon pudding
4 eggs

1 cup powdered sugar
juice of 1 lemon

Combine cake mix, sugar, oil, nectar, and pudding mix. Mix well. Beat in eggs one at a time. Bake in greased bundt pan at 350 degrees for 55-60 min (check it at 45 minutes and if it's getting dark cover it with a piece of foil). Cool 10 minutes and invert cake onto a plate. Drizzle with glaze while cake is still warm.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Apple-Filled Crêpes with Cinnamon Apple Syrup

I found this recipe in a book called Breakfasts and Brunches from the Culinary Institute of America. I followed the directions for the filling (minus the alcohol and currants) and assembly of the crêpes, but used other recipes I had for the crêpes and syrup. It's quite a time consuming thing to make, but it turned out beautiful. An easier way to make this would be to use canned apple pie filling and spray whipped cream. Then you'd only be left with making crêpes and syrup. You can also make everything ahead of time.

Alton Brown
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk or 1 cup for thinner crêpes
1/2 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 TBSP sugar
1 cup flour
3 TBSP melted butter
Butter, for coating the pan

1. In a blender, combine all of the ingredients and pulse for 10 seconds. Place the crêpe batter in the refrigerator for 1 hour. This allows the bubbles to subside so the crêpes will be less likely to tear during cooking. The batter will keep for up to 48 hours.
2. Heat a 10in. non-stick pan. Add butter to coat. Pour 1/4 cup of batter into the center of the pan and swirl to spread evenly. Cook for 30 seconds and flip. Cook for another 10 seconds and remove to the cutting board. Lay them out flat so they can cool. Continue until all batter is gone. After they have cooled you can stack them and store in sealable plastic bags in the refrigerator for several days or in the freezer for up to two months. When using frozen crêpes, thaw on a rack before gently peeling apart.

Apple Filling
4 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
6 TBSP sugar
1/2 cup apple juice
3/4 tsp orange zest
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

1. Heat a large skillet over med-high heat, spray the pan with non stick spray. Toss the sliced apples with the sugar.
2. Add 1/2 of apples to skillet. Make sure they are in a single layer. Sauté until soft and puffy, about 4 minutes on each side. Transfer the apples to a bowl. Add 1/2 of the apple juice to the pan, stirring to release the sugar from the pan, and simmer until slightly reduced and thickened, about 2 minutes. Pour the juice from the pan over the sautéed apples.
4. Sauté the remaining apples as directed above. When you add the remaining juice to the pan, stir in the orange zest, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the mixture to the bowl and stir the filling gently.
5. Place the filling in a bowl set in an ice bath and cool, stirring from time to time. Once the filling has cooled, it is ready to use or store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Warm the filling over low heat or in the microwave if necessary. Makes enough filling for 8 crepes.

Cinnamon Apple Syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1 TBSP cornstarch
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup apple cider or juice
1 TBSP lemon juice
2 TBSP butter or margarine

In medium sauce pan combine sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon; blend well. Stir in apple cider and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat. Add butter; stir until melted.

Whipped Cream
3/4 cup whipping cream
2 TBSP sugar

Combine whipping cream and sugar and beat until soft peaks form.

Fill crêpe with 1/4 cup of filling. Top with a drizzle of syrup and a large dollop of whipped cream.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Banana Cream Cheesecake

I missed a post last week because we took a little trip to Disneyland, so I'm making it up with 2 today. This cheesecake is made with a cake mix. It's an interesting recipe because you use some of the cake mix for the crust and some for the filling. We really love it. It actually tastes better the next day (even though the bananas might be a little brown).

Banana Cream Cheesecake
1 pkg white cake mix, divided
4 eggs, divided
3 TBSP oil
2/3 cup packed brown sugar, divided
2 large bananas, sliced
2 (8oz.) pkgs cream cheese, softened
2 TBSP lemon juice
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups cool whip, thawed

1. Heat oven to 300ºF. Reserve 1 cup dry cake mix. Mix remaining cake mix with 1 egg, oil and 1/3 cup sugar with mixer. (Mixture will be crumbly.) Press onto bottom and 1 inch up sides of greased 13x9-inch baking pan; top with bananas.
2. Beat cream cheese and remaining sugar with mixer. Add reserved cake mix, remaining eggs and lemon juice; beat 1 min. Blend in milk. (Batter will be very thin.) Pour into crust.
3. Bake 45 to 50 to min. or until center is almost set. Cool. Refrigerate 4 hours. Top with cool whip. Refrigerate leftovers.

Ground Beef Stroganoff

I really like this recipe for stroganoff because it uses ground beef, which makes it cheap! I do make one change. We are not mushroom people, so I omit the mushrooms. I also end up adding about a 1/2 cup of milk at the end to make it thinner.

Ground Beef Stroganoff
Lion House Classics
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 TBSP butter or margarine
1 lb. ground beef
2 TBSP flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
Cooked rice or noodles

In a large skillet, saute onion and garlic in butter. Stir in meat, flour, and seasoning. Saute 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and soup and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in sour cream and heat but do not boil. Add a little milk if needed. Season to taste. Serve over rice or noodles. Serves 8

Friday, June 11, 2010

Gavin's Salsa

This salsa is named after my husband because he helped "perfect" the recipe. He likes his salsa hot, hence the 3 jalapenos. Also, there is no cilantro in it because he's not a fan of the stuff. Use can use fewer jalapenos if you want less heat and throw in a little cilantro if desired. Even with canned tomatoes, this salsa tastes super fresh...nothing like the jarred stuff.

Gavin's Salsa
3 jalapeno peppers
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 TBSP sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 (10oz) can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 (10.5oz) can whole peeled tomatoes
2 tomatoes, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place jalapenos on a medium baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until roasted. Remove from heat and chop off stems. Place jalapenos, garlic, onion, sugar, salt, cumin, and diced tomatoes in a blender or food processor. Chop using the pulse setting for a few seconds. Mix in whole peeled tomatoes and chopped fresh tomato. Chop using the pulse setting to attain desired consistency. For a chunkier salsa, drain liquid. Transfer to a bowl. Cover and chill in refrigerator until serving.
 Makes about 4 cups.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Chicken Salad

This is my favorite chicken salad. I really love the toasted pecans and sour cream gives it a little tang. Rotisserie chicken makes the best flavored chicken salad. Usually I just use frozen chicken breasts and boil them for 30-45 minutes. This salad tastes best the next day. If it absorbs too much of the mayo just stir in a little more before serving. Makes great sandwiches and is also good as a spread.

Chicken Salad
2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
1/4 cup crasins
1/4 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
1/2 cup mayo
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 tsp seasoning salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp paprika
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large bowl combine chicken, celery, green onion, crasins, and pecans.
2. In a small bowl combine mayo, sour cream, seasoning salt, garlic powder, and paprika. Mix well.
3. Add the mayo mixture to the chicken mixture and stir until thoroughly combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Makes 3 cups

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Crescent Chicken Squares

This is a recipe from an old cook book of my moms called Rave Reviews. I only make it a few times a year because it's very rich with all the cream cheese inside and the buttery crescent rolls...but it sure tastes good!

Crescent Chicken Squares
1 (8 oz.) pkg cream cheese, softened
4 TBSP butter or margarine, melted
4 cups chicken, cooked and cubed
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cans crescent rolls
1 TBSP butter, melted
Seasoned bread crumbs
1 (10 3/4 oz.) can cream of chicken mushroom soup
1/3 soup can milk

 1. Combine cream cheese, 4 TBSPs butter, chicken, milk, salt and pepper. Mix well. Separate 2 cans of crescent rolls into 8 rectangles. Press perforations to seal. Spoon 1/2 cup chicken mixture into each rectangle.

 2. Pull 4 corners to the top of filling and twist firmly. Seal the corners. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and brush the 1 TBSP of melted butter. Sprinkle with seasoned bread crumbs. Bake 20 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees until golden brown. Combine soup and milk to make a sauce which is poured over the squares when served. Serves 8.