Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Fudge Brownie Muffins with Cheesecake Swirl

I have this great recipe of my mom's for fudge brownie muffins, and I was wondering what they'd be like with a little cheesecake topping. So, I put them together and...ta-da! They turned out wonderful; very pretty, rich, but not too sweet. I made 60 of these for a church function and they seemed to be a big hit with everyone. They freeze well too. 

Fudge Brownie Muffins with Cheesecake Swirl
1 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup cocoa
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1/3 cup white sugar

Mini chocolate chips (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 24 muffin cups with liners and lightly spray them with non stick cooking spray.
2. Place butter and cocoa in a glass bowl and microwave on high 1 minute for until butter melts; set aside.
3. Combine 4 eggs, 2 cups sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Add the butter and chocolate mixture, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Stir until blended.
4. In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, 1 egg, and 1/3 cup sugar until light and fluffy.
5. Fill muffin cups with brownie batter about half way full. Sprinkle on a few mini chocolate chips (if desired). Drop 1 TBSP of cheesecake batter into each muffin cup.
6. Using a toothpick, swirl a little of the brownie batter up into the cheesecake.
7. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove to racks to cool completely. Refrigerate leftovers.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Mint Buttercream Icing

Niall turned 3 this week and we had a little party with a couple of friends. It was a bug themed party, and I wanted to make some cupcakes that moms could enjoy, but would also be fun for the kids. I ended up making grasshopper cupcakes! Get know, green mint? I made chocolate cupcakes, and then used the recipe below for the mint frosting. I topped them off with a junior mint (a few had plastic bugs on them).

Mint Buttercream Icing
1 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/8 - 1/4 tsp peppermint extract
2 drops green food coloring

1. Beat butter for about two minutes, or until creamy.
2. Add powdered sugar, milk, food coloring and peppermint extract and beat until fluffy.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Creamy Tuna Casserole

Nothing says home cooking better than a creamy dreamy tuna casserole. I like this one in particular because it's made with rice as opposed to noodles, and it really is VERY creamy. It you like tuna then give this a try!

Creamy Tuna Casserole
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup frozen peas
2 cans tuna (6 oz each), drained
2 cups cooked rice OR 1 1/2 cups instant rice, uncooked
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
2 TBSPs dried minced onions
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
Dash of pepper
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 TBSP butter OR margarine

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Mix soup, milk, and peas in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
3. Add tuna, rice, 1/2 cup cheese, onions, and seasonings. Mix lightly and spoon into 2 quart casserole dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Top with breadcrumbs and dot with butter.
4. Bake 20 minutes or until heated through. Serves 6

Friday, March 18, 2011

Oatmeal Cake with Broiled Coconut Frosting

This is my Grandma's recipe. It's really moist and buttery and so yummy!

Oatmeal Cake with Broiled Coconut Frosting
Joann Reed
1 ½ cups boiling water
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup butter
2 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 ⅓ cups flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
½ cup evaporated milk
1 cup white sugar
6 TBSPs butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes

1. To make cake: In a large mixing bowl, pour boiling water over oats and butter. Stir and let stand until melted. Add eggs, sugars, flour, vanilla, salt, soda, and spices; mix well.
2. Pour into 9x13 inch pan, and bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.
3. To make frosting: In small saucepan, heat evaporated milk and sugar until dissolved. Add butter and stir until melted. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and coconut; mix well (will  be very runny).
4. Pour onto warm cake, and spread evenly. Broil for 3-5 minutes or until coconut is lightly browned.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Bubble 'n' Squeak

This is my St. Patrick's Day alternative to corned beef and cabbage. It's actually an English dish that's made using leftovers, mainly potatoes and cabbage. The name comes from the sound it makes while cooking. I love cooked cabbage with bacon, the added potatoes and ham make it an all-in-one meal.

Bubble N' Squeak
1/2 medium head cabbage, sliced
3 slices bacon, diced
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1 cup cubed cooked ham
1 TBSP butter
3 cups potatoes - baked, cooled and thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a medium saucepan, cook cabbage in a small amount of water for about 5 minutes, or until tender. Drain, and set aside.
2. In a skillet, cook bacon and onion until onion is soft and bacon is cooked.
3. Add ham, and cook until heated through. Add butter, then mix in the cooked cabbage and potatoes. Season with paprika, salt, and pepper. Cook until browned on bottom, turn, and brown again.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

When my husband is out of town we have special dinners...things like ravioli from the can, corn dogs, macaroni and cheese, and these babies. They truly are a special meal for my kids, and I don't mind them either!

Chocolate Chip Pancakes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Semisweet mini chocolate chips

1. Whisk together all ingredients except chips until just combined.
2. Heat a griddle over medium heat until hot and lightly brush with additional oil. Working in batches, pour 1/4 cup batter per pancake onto griddle and sprinkle each pancake with about 1 1/2 teaspoons chips. Cook until bubbles appear on surface and undersides are golden-brown, about 1 minute. Flip with a spatula and cook other side, about 1 minute more. (Lightly oil griddle between batches.)
Makes 10 pancakes

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Meal Idea - Breakfast Sandwich

Here's a quick and easy idea for breakfast, or any meal really. All you need is toasted English muffins, scrambled eggs, a few slices of ham or canadian bacon, and some cheese, and you've got yourself a homemade Egg McMuffin. I like to put a little mayo on mine too.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Homemade Rice-A-Roni

Have you ever made your own Rice-A-Roni? It's really simple and yummy. I like to make it sometimes instead of just plain old rice. What in the world does Roni mean anyway? Macaroni? Maybe I should call this Rice-A-Ghetti. :)

Homemade Rice-A-Roni
adapted from
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 cup long grain white rice, uncooked
1/2 cup spaghetti, broken into 1/2" - 1" pieces
3 cups chicken broth (you can substitute water and boullion)
1 TBSP dried minced onion
1 tsp dried parsley flakes
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in a skillet, add uncooked rice and pasta pieces and stir about 5 minutes until pasta is lightly browned. Add remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Do not lift lid. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, cover and let steam an additional 5-10 minutes.

Serves 6