Thursday, June 25, 2015

Custard Cake

I've been making this one for many years, sometimes with coconut, sometimes with lemon rind.  You may actually know it as Impossible Pie.

My favorite has to be the coconut, but my son doesn't like it so I tend to stick to either the lemon or just the plain custard.

The magic part is how it creates it's own crust, followed by a silky custard filling and a crust on the top.  It's so good, and so easy to make.  A definite to throw together when you have unexpected guests.

For this version, I used the recipe from Hugs and Cookies

Custard Cake

Custard Cake

4 eggs (whites separated from yolks), room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
8 Tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups milk lukewarm
powdered sugar for dusting cake
Instructions:

Preheat oven to 325 F degrees. Grease and Line 8 inch x 8 inch baking dish with parchment.
Separate eggs and add the egg whites to a mixer and beat egg whites stiff. Place egg whites in a bowl and set aside.

Beat the egg yolks and sugar until light. Add butter and vanilla. Beat for two mins. Add the flour and mix it in until fully incorporated.

Slowly start adding the milk and beat until everything is well mixed together. Add the egg whites, a third at a time and gently fold them in using a spatula, repeat until all egg whites are folded in. Pour batter into baking dish and bake for approx 60 minutes or until the top is lightly golden. Cool and dust heavily with powdered sugar.

Custard Cake

Mexican Lasagna

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Back in the kitchen, and back at it.

The kitchen has always been my haven, since I was a little girl.  I've told you all the story many times of how I used to sit at my great grandmother's feet and pretend to cook.  I guess my love for cooking started at a very early age and was definitely inspired and brought on by my great grandmother, she loved cooking, loved feeding the family and was always in the kitchen, apron around her slender body and humming a song while she worked.

These last few months that I couldn't really cook, were terrible.  I missed it so much, and so now that I'm back at it, I feel immense happiness.

Last night I made a Mexican Lasagna adapted from one of my Gooseberry Patch Cookbooks.  I changed a few things, not many, and it turned out really good.  The family were thrilled to be sitting back down at the dinner table with a home cooked meal.

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Mexican Lasagna

1 pound mild pork sausage
1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes with garlic
Chili flakes
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 (10 3/4-oz.) can cream of celery soup
1 (10 3/4-oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
1 (10-oz.) can enchilada sauce
18 (6-inch) corn tortillas
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 tomato, seeded and diced

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped



Cook sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring until meat crumbles and is no longer pink. Drain. Stir in diced tomatoes and next 5 ingredients; cook until thoroughly heated.

Spoon one-third of sauce onto bottom of a lightly greased 13"x9" baking dish; top with 6 tortillas; sprinkle with half of Cheddar cheese. Top with 6 tortillas; repeat layers, ending with tortillas. Sprinkle with Monterey Jack cheese and next 3 ingredients.

Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Chocolate Chip Challah French Toast

Back in April I made a Challah Bread for Easter weekend, a chocolate chip Challah bread.  It was so good and so simple to make.

I used a recipe from the Cuisinart website, I was looking for an easy Challah Bread recipe, if there was such a thing and I lucked out because this one really is as easy as it claims and it's delicious too.

I had leftover Challah and made French Toast the next day.  It was AMAZING!!!

I'm giving you the recipe for the Bread and you can just use your favorite French Toast version to complete it.

Easy Ten-Minute Challah Bread

Chocolate Chip Challah French Toast

one package of active dry yeast
3 cups unbleached, all-purpose bread flour
2 eggs
4 heaping tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup warm (105-110°F) water
1 egg mixed with water for egg wash
handful of sesame or poppy seeds
cooking spray

Instructions

Sprinkle yeast over water in a small bowl or cup, add sugar and watch it bubble, about five minutes.
Pour the above mixture into a food processor; add flour and then the rest of the ingredients. Mix and let it rise (It's okay to cover and leave it in the food processor or remove it to a greased bowl and cover) for about an hour.
Punch down the dough (press pulse a few times) and let it rise again (about an hour).
THEN:
Separate the dough into four pieces. Use three to make the main bread, and use the fourth piece to make a smaller braid that you’ll pinch into place on top of the main braid. Place the braided dough into a greased bread pan and cover with greased plastic wrap (PAM is easy to use.). Let it rise another hour.
Paint with egg wash (egg and water whisked together). Sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds.
Bake for 45 minutes in a 350° oven.

Chocolate Chip Challah French Toast

Variations:
For savory: Saute' finely chopped onion in olive oil. Roll onion in dough (No braiding with this version). Sprinkle some onion on top of egg wash (in place of sesame seeds) for an Onion Challah.
For sweet:
Before separating into four pieces, knead about 1/2 cup raisins OR 1/2 cup chocolate chips into dough.

Chocolate Chip Challah French Toast

Chicken Fajitas

Without a doubt one of my favorite food to eat, aside from the Portuguese, obviously, is Mexican.  I just love everything about it, the flavors, the combinations, the copious amounts of cheese, yeah, everything.

I have not yet been able to completely and successfully recreate a lot of my favorites, but I keep trying because even if they are not authentic, they are delicious.

One thing I do like doing, is following Authentic Mexican Food Blogs, I believe that is where I'll find the best recipes and I have yet to find one I didn't like.

The Chicken Fajita recipe I'm about to share comes from Cooking Mexican Recipes.  I have found quite a lot of gems on that website.

Chicken Fajitas

Chicken Fajitas


1 - 1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
2 medium yellow onions sliced into 1/4 inch strips
1 large red bell pepper sliced into 1/4 inch strips
2 medium zucchini, sliced into strips

Marinade

1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp. liquid smoke
2 tbs apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. honey
1/4 cup water
1 tbs. fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. oregano leaves
1 tsp. soy sauce


Combine the ingredients for the marinade and place 2/3 in a glass bowl or Ziploc bag and the other 1/3 marinade in another glass bowl or Ziploc bag.

Rinse chicken in cold water and slice into 1/4 inch strips. I happen to like chicken thighs so I use them in this recipe. If you are concerned about fat intake use chicken breast.

Remove any remaining fat. Add chicken to the bowl with 2/3 of the marinade.

Slice the vegetables and place them in the bowl with 1/3 of the marinade. Refrigerate both dishes for 2 hours or more.

Pan fry the chicken in a cast iron skillet, remove, and fry the vegetables, toss together and serve with warm flour tortillas.

Easy Cream Puffs

Right, I am back and I'm ready to start sharing recipes again.  The first few I'm sharing are actually recipes I made back in Idaho and never got around to posting because I was in the middle of the big move.

I do have some new ones coming up too, so keep an eye out for those.

So the first recipe I'm sharing today is one that my 16 year old daughter actually made.  It's one of those recipes that is so easy to do and it always looks like you've been working on it for hours.  Matter of fact, cream puffs were one of the first things I learned to make in my teenage years.

We had Home Economics in high school and for cooking, we had to make these.  I've always enjoyed them, and I'm happy to pass on this love of cooking to my children.

The recipe comes from Real House Moms, go on over there and take a look, you're sure to find tons of yummy things to try.

Cream Puffs

Cream Puffs

½ cup (one stick) butter
1 cup water
1 cup flour
4 eggs
2 small boxes instant vanilla pudding (3.4 oz each)
1⅓ cup cold whole milk
8 oz sour cream
powdered sugar


Cream Puffs:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Melt stick of butter and water to a rolling boil
Stir in flour and stir vigorously over low heat until mixture leaves the pan (comes off the sides) and is in a ball (about 1 minute)
Remove from heat and cool for a couple of minutes
Beat in eggs (one at a time) with a mixer
Beat mixture until smooth and velveety
Drop by spoonfuls (walnut sized) onto ungreased cookie sheet
Bake until DRY, 20-25 minutes (maybe longer)
Allow to cool

Cream Puffs

Filling:

Mix instant vanilla pudding with whole milk until the pudding is dissolved
Add sour cream until thick
Put mixture in the refrigerator (at least an hour)
Slice the cream puffs in half and fill with the chilled pudding mixture
Sprinkle with powdered sugar
Enjoy

Cream Puffs

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Knock, Knock....anyone still out there?

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Oh what a crazy past few months this has been, actually what a crazy year it has been for my family and I.

I just realized that my last post on this food blog was back in January when I made those amazing Banana Beignets, which if you haven't yet had a chance to try, I would suggest you do.

I've since relocated from Idaho to the beautiful State of Texas and it's been a crazy roller coaster.  My husband came first and the kids and I remained for 4 months before joining him, it kind of meant not cooking much in the sense of trying new recipes or making elaborate meals.  When it's just the kids and I, things like hotdogs and chicken nuggets and ramen noodles seem to take the stage.  Boy was I glad when we finally reunited with the hubster and I could start thinking of cooking actual meals.

I'm now in Texas, I've not yet started cooking much but that is about to change, which means this blog is going to get a nice little revamp and a pick up.

It's time for me to clear out the cobwebs, make a new header, change out the background and get back to cooking in my huge kitchen.

What say you?  Ready for new recipes?  Is anyone even still out there?

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Banana Beignets

So when I went grocery shopping, I found some cheap bananas at the commissary.  I always buy them when they're on sale because whatever doesn't get eaten by the kids, will end up in banana bread or banana jam.

I decided to make something a little different this time, just to change it up a bit, so these banana beignets happened.  I've had this recipe saved for a while, I think actually since the last time that I had bananas that needed using up.

The recipe is simple to follow, easy to make and well worth the time, which truth be told is not that much at all.

They are delicious on their own, or enjoyed with a cup of coffee.

Banana Beignets

Banana Beignets
Source:  Taste of Home


Ingredients

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

BEIGNETS:
2 cups cake flour
3/4 cup sugar
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons canola oil
Oil for deep-fat frying

Directions

1. In a small bowl, mix sugars and cinnamon until blended. In a large bowl, whisk the first five beignet ingredients. In another bowl, whisk egg, bananas, milk and 2 tablespoons oil until blended. Add to flour mixture; stir just until moistened.

2. In an electric skillet or deep fryer, heat oil to 375°. Drop tablespoonfuls of batter, a few at a time, into hot oil. Fry about 45-60 seconds on each side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Roll in sugar mixture while warm.

Yield: about 3 dozen.

Banana Beignets

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Ice Cream Cupcakes

So yesterday afternoon, while doing school, the kids were craving something sweet and I knew just what to make.  The funny thing is that it has to set either for 8 hours or overnight, so they didn't quite get their treat when they wanted it.

They did enjoy it today and let me tell you, it is worth the wait.  To me, it actually tastes like a Cookies and Creme Chocolate bar, so yummy!

Ice Cream Cupcake
Ice Cream Cupcakes


1 (14 ounce) package Oreo cookies
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 (1.5 quart) vanilla ice cream, or any flavor you like, softened
Whipped cream
Hot Fudge


Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners. Set aside

Crush Oreo cookies in a food-processor until they're fine crumbs. Or place in a large zip-lock bag and pound until crushed. Reserve 1/2 cup of crumbs, set aside.

In a medium bowl, add crushed Oreo's and melted butter. Stir until combined. Take 2 to 3 Tablespoons of crumbs and press into the bottom of each cupcake liner.

Spoon softened ice cream, over the Oreo crumbs, to fill the rest of the cupcake liners. Sprinkle the cupcakes with the remaining Oreo crumbs. Tightly cover the muffin tin with saran wrap or foil and place in the freezer. Freeze cupcakes for 8 hours or overnight to set.

When ready to serve remove cupcakes from tin. Serve immediately with dollops of whipped cream and drizzles of Hot fudge. Enjoy!

Ice Cream Cupcake

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie

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It was 10:50pm and my daughter sent me a link on Facebook asking me to please, pretty please, make this for her.

Usually I would send one back telling her that she's lost her mind, but because I love her, and because I was actually craving something sweet, I said yes.

We went into the kitchen, whipped this up super quick and before the night ended we were enjoying this delicious cookie.  I won't lie, it is super rich at least for me, but it didn't stop me from munching down on my portion.

I didn't do the small two portions that the recipe originally calls for, and that is only due to the fact that I don't have small cast iron pans, so I doubled it and used my big pan, it still turned out just fine.

So, here is the recipe, enjoy!

Brown Butter Chocolate chip skillet cookie
Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie
Source:  Damn Delicious

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
14 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 cup chocolate chips
Ice cream, for serving



Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat 2 5-inch cast iron skillets with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

Melt 10 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until the foam subsides and the butter begins to turn a golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat; strain through cheesecloth or fine sieve.

Stir in remaining 4 tablespoons butter until completely melted. Whisk in sugars and vanilla until well combined. Whisk in egg and egg yolk until well combined. Add flour mixture, beating just until incorporated. Gently fold in chocolate chips.

Divide mixture into the prepared skillets. Place into oven and bake until edges are golden brown but center is still moist, about 12-15 minutes.

Serve immediately, topped with ice cream, if desired.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Bake this holiday special with Lucky Leaf

Cherry Pie Cookies

It is that time of the year again, you know, the shopping, the rushing, the family get togethers and the tables laden with delicious goodies for all to enjoy.  Plus, the homemade baked goods.

I love Lucky Leaf, I have used the pie fillings for so many years I've actually lost count, and I know that anytime I want a quick dessert, I can turn to my trusty Lucky Leaf Pie Fillings.

The recipe I bring you today couldn't be any easier to prepare, but it is so yummy and it would make wonderful homemade gifts this holiday.

Cherry Pie Cookies

Cherry Pie Cookies.  Oh my!

Have I ever told you how I am not a fan of cherries?  But the only pie filling that is cherry based and I really enjoy is actually the Lucky Leaf?  Go figure.

Anyway, let me show you just how simple these are.  The kids and I are trying to hold off on eating them, or rather eating ALL of them before my husband gets home from school this evening.  I don't know if we'll be able to hold off, but we're sure going to try.

By the way, tomorrow I am going to make the Chocolate Blueberry Pie cookies and I am so excited to try those, but I'll come back and let you know if I do get around to making them and how they were, and obviously share the recipe too :)

Cherry Pie Cookies
Cherry Pie Cookies
Source:  Lucky Leaf

Ingredients
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup margarine, softened
2 cups flour
¾ cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 (21 oz.) Lucky Leaf®
Cherry Pie Filling
½ cup white or milk
chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325°F.
Mix butter and margarine until fluffy. Add flour, powdered sugar and vanilla just until combined and a soft dough is formed.

Roll the dough into two-inch balls. Place on greased baking sheet or baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Press thumb into center of cookie to make a well. Place cherries into each cookie.

Bake for 12-15 minutes. Allow cookies to cool.

Melt chocolate according to package directions. Drizzle over cookies. Let chocolate set and serve immediately or store in an
airtight container.

Cherry Pie Cookies

What are you baking this holiday season? And how do you use Lucky Leaf in your recipes?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding

Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding

Food historians trace the history of bread pudding to the early 11th and 12th centuries, as frugal cooks looked for ways to use stale, leftover bread instead of letting it go to waste. In 13th century England, bread pudding was known as “poor man’s pudding,” as it was a popular dish with the lower classes.

While bread pudding is still a way to use up leftover bread, it has gained a reputation as a comfort food and is a featured dessert item in trendy establishments, having shed its humble roots.

I absolutely adore bread pudding. Ever since I was a little girl, my stepmother and grandmother would make bread pudding and it was one of those special desserts reserved for certain occasions, so when it showed up on the dinner table we considered it a treat.

It has been quite a few years since I've made one, but a few weeks ago I gave it a go again and whipped up a Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding.  The recipe, from a vlog I was watching.  I just followed her video and I think she said the recipe is from Nigella Lawson, but I could be mistaken.

Anyway, another very easy dessert and so delicious.

Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding

Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding


4 slices of stale bread, cut into cubes
Chocolate chips, I added in about 1/2 cup of dark and 1/2 cup white chocolate
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 cups milk
3 eggs, whisked
1/4 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a casserole dish, add the bread cubes to it.  Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the bread.

Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding

In a measuring jug, add the cream and milk.  Whisk the 3 eggs in a small bowl and then add 1/4 cup of brown sugar.  Combine the cream and milk mixture with the egg mixture, give it a good stir.

Pour over the bread then push the bread down to soak it all in.  Let stand for 20 minutes.

Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding

After the 20 minutes have gone by, sprinkle on some more brown sugar over the top and bake for 45 to 50 minutes until nice and brown and puffy.

Once it's cool down, I like to sprinkle powdered sugar on top.  

Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding

Best part about this bread pudding is that it's not overly sweet.

Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding

Nutella No Bake Cheesecake

Ohhhh Nutella how I love thee.

I was watching one of my favorite vloggers, catching up on very old videos of hers and she had made a Nutella No Bake Cheesecake, which is actually a Nigella Lawson recipe.  It looked so easy and so yummy that I immediately bookmarked it to try.

What better day than Thanksgiving to put this beauty on the table?

I am sharing this recipe tonight so that if someone out there is still looking for a simple but yet decadent dessert for tomorrow, they still have time to do it.

I don't have a picture of the sliced cheesecake as it's still in the refrigerator, but I will snap one tomorrow and come and edit this post :)

Nutella Cheesecake

Nutella No Bake Cheesecake
Source:  Nigella Lawson

10 oz graham crackers (I used a sleeve and a half)
5 tablespoons soft unsalted butter
1 x 13 oz jar Nutella (at room temperature)
¾ cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
1 lb cream cheese (at room temperature)
½ cup confectioners' sugar (sifted)


Break the digestives into the bowl of a processor, add the butter and a 15ml tablespoon of Nutella, and blitz until it starts to clump. Add 25g/3 tablespoons of the hazelnuts and continue to pulse until you have a damp, sandy mixture.

Tip into a 23cm/9inch round springform and press into the base either using your hands or the back of a spoon. Place in the fridge to chill.

Beat the cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until smooth and then add the remaining Nutella to the cream cheese mixture, and continue beating until combined.

Take the springform out of the fridge and carefully smooth the Nutella mixture over the base. Scatter the remaining chopped hazelnuts on top to cover and place the tin in the fridge for at least four hours or overnight. Serve straight from the fridge for best results.