Monday, September 29, 2008

Frozen Lemon Cake

1 box lemon cake mix
1 16-ounce tub of CoolWhip (lite, fat-free, or regular)
3 6-ounce lemon yogurts

Prepare lemon cake mix as directed on box. (I used the lower-fat version with the applesauce in place of oil.) Bake in two 8- or 9-inch rounds. Let cool. When cooled, cut each cake in half so that you have four skinny, round layers. Put them in the freezer for about 1-2 hours.

Fold the yogurts into the CoolWhip and use as icing for the cakes. After iced, put back in the freezer and chill overnight.

Remove from freezer about 15 minutes to allow the cake to thaw slightly so you can slice it.

Note: Obviously the sky's the limit with the permutations for this cake. I happened to like lemon so that's why I did this, but I'm sure you can find a bunch of other combinations that would be equally awesome.

As inspired from this.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pumpkin Squares

4 eggs
1 cup oil
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 (16 oz) can pumpkin
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt

1. Mix the first four ingredients until fluffy. Then stir in the dry ingredients.
2. Bake on an ungreased 10x15x1 cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
3. Cool to room temperature.

3 oz cream cheese
½ cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

1. Let cream cheese and butter soften.
2. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy.
3. Frost pumpkin squares after they have cooled to room temperature.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Curried Couscous

Couscous and Peach/Apricot Glaze

This is a big favorite of mine. There are so many flavors and it is a pretty dish as well.

1 1/2 Cups Couscous
1 1/2 Cups boiling water
1/4 Cup plain yogurt
1/4 Cup olive oil
1 tsp. white wine vinegar - any vinegar will do
1 tsp. curry powder
1/4 tsp. turmeric
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 Cup grated carrots
1/2 Cup minced fresh-flat leaf parsley
1/2 Cup dried craisins
1/4 Cup blanched, sliced almonds
2 scallions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
1/4 Cup diced red onion (go easy on this, it can be very strong)

Place the couscous in a medium bowl. Pour the boiling water over the top and cover tightly with saran wrap for 5+ minutes. Fluff with a fork.
Whisk together the yogurt, olive oil, vinegar, curry, turmeric, salt, and pepper. Pour over the fluffed couscous and mix well with a fork. Add the carrots, parsley, currants, almonds, scallions, and red onions; mix well and taste for seasonings. Serve at room temperature.
* Courtesy the Barefoot Contessa

Spicy Peach/Apricot Glaze

This is a favorite in our house. Everyone I've served it to loves it. You can make it ahead of time and it will keep for several days in the fridge. I usually double it to use a few nights in a row. Enjoy!!

1 Cup peach/apricot preserves or jam
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Combine all above ingredients in a medium size bowl. Serve over BBQ chicken.
*I usually put the glaze on after the chicken in cooked. It doesn't really stay on if you put it on while the chickens on the grill. I also put it on chicken I bake in the oven.
*Picture is with the couscous recipe.
*Courtesy Martha Stewart

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Cranberry Oat Cereal Bars

3 T. butter
1 bag (10 ounces) marshmallows
6 c. Cheerios
1 c. dried cranberries, or raisins

Spray a 10x15" rimmed baking sheet (like a jelly roll pan) with cooking spray. Set aside.

Measure the cereal and cranberries and put into a large bowl.

In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add marshmallows; cook, stirring occasionally, until marshmallows have melted, about five minutes. Remove from heat, and immediately pour on top of cereal/cranberries.

Transfer mixture to prepared baking sheet. Using a spatula (or your fingers) coated with cooking spray, press quickly and firmly. Let cool for about one hour. Cut into 24 bars. Store in airtight container.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Mexican Chicken Corn Chowder

1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup chopped onion
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons butter
2 cubes chicken bouillon
1 cup hot water
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups half-and-half cream or evaporated milk
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 (14.75 ounce) can cream-style corn
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chiles
1 dash hot pepper sauce
1 tomato, chopped
fresh cilantro sprigs, for garnish (optional)

1. In a sauté pan, brown chicken, onion, and garlic in butter until chicken is no longer pink. Transfer chicken mixture to a large saucepan.
2. Dissolve the bouillon in hot water; Pour into the saucepan, and season with cumin. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Stir in cream, cheese, corn, chilies, and hot pepper sauce. Cook, stirring frequently, until the cheese is melted. Stir in chopped tomato. Garnish with cilantro.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Tag - Megan's IT

So I was lucky enough to spend some days with Megan this past weekend. And also lucky enough to eat some of her yummy foods. So I am requesting (i.e, making) Megan post her yummy apricot chicken recipe and her yummy couscous recipe. Do it soon, Megs! Thanks.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Fortune Cookies

I made these on Saturday and they were soooo easy! I found the recipe online. They are easy, taste yummy and were way too much fun!
Just one tip: be patient and let them brown in the oven so they are crispy after they cool. If you remove them too soon, they may still be a little soft in the center. I think mine are too light--make sure yours are a little more golden than these. I used my seasoned stoneware so I didn't grease my pan, and made 5 at a time.
This recipe made about 15 fortune cookies.

2 large egg whites
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. pure almond extract
3 T vegetable oil
8 T all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
8 T granulated sugar
3 tsp. water

Write fortunes on pieces of paper that are 3 1/2 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. (I printed mine on the computer) Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease 2 9x13 baking sheets.

In a medium bowl, lightly beat the egg white, vanilla extract, almond extract and vegetable oil until frothy, but not stiff.

Combine the flour, cornstarch, salt and sugar into a separate bowl. Stir the water into the flour mixture.

Add the flour to the egg white mixture and stir until you have a smooth batter. The batter should not be runny, but should drop easily off a wooden spoon. Note: if you want to dye the fortune cookies, add the food coloring at this point, stirring it into the batter. 1/2 tsp. food coloring is a good amount.

Place level tablespoons (I used the actual measuring spoon) onto the cookie sheet, spacing them at least 3 inches apart. Gently tilt the baking sheet back and forth and from side to side so that each tablespoon of batter forms into a circle 3-4 inches in diameter.

Bake until the outer 1/2 inch of each cookie turns golden brown and they are easy to remove from the baking sheet with a spatula (14-15 minutes) I used a metal spatula.

Working quickly, remove the cookie with a spatula and flip it over in your hand. Place a fortune in the middle of a cookie. To form the fortune cookie shape, fold the cookie in half, then gently pull the edges downward over the rim of a glass. Place the finished cookies in the cup of muffin tins so that it keeps it shape. Continue with the rest of the cookies.

You could chocolate dip these, or do other dang fun stuff with them for your kids/friends/husband/family for any occasion! So much fun--and sooo easy!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Really Easy Spanish Rice

2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 1/2 cups uncooked white rice
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup chunky salsa

Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Mix rice into skillet, stirring often. When rice begins to brown, stir in chicken broth and salsa. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes, until liquid has been absorbed.

*Alternatively--Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Mix rice into skillet, stirring often. When rice begins to brown, take out and dump into rice cooker and let it do its magic. Enjoy with yummy enchiladas!

Red Enchiladas

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (I used one breast that was 16 ounces)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 (7 ounce) can chopped green chiles
1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1/2 cup sour cream (nonfat works fine)
2 cups cottage cheese (nonfat works fine)
1 teaspoon salt
1 pinch ground black pepper (I read this wrong and did 1 t., but it was fine)
12 (6 inch) corn tortillas
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 (10 ounce) can red enchilada sauce (I used the hot variety)
First, boil and then shred your chicken.

Then make the meat mixture. Heat oil in medium skillet over medium high heat. Add the already-cooked chicken, onion, and green chiles and saute until browned, then add taco seasoning and prepare meat mixture according to package directions. (Which is probably add one cup of water and simmer for 15 minutes.)

Then make cheese mixture. In a medium bowl mix sour cream with cottage cheese and season with salt and pepper; stir until well blended.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Next assemble the enchiladas. Heat tortillas until soft (microwave for about 20-30 seconds). In each tortilla place a spoonful of meat mixture, a spoonful of cheese mixture, and a bit of shredded cheese. Roll tortillas and place in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Top with any remaining meat and cheese mixture, enchilada sauce, and remaining shredded cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Notes from me: I used all the filling in the enchiladas. But because I filled them so much, I probably should have done 15 tortillas instead of 12. They easily would have fit in the pan. But they tasted great.