Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hedgehog's Yellow Cake

This is Olivia's new favorite recipe because it comes from her second grade reader and is attached to a story about a hedgehog whose friends help him bake a cake (very cute).  It's basic, but delicious, reminding me of good sugar cookies.  I can think of a lot of ways to dress this sucker up.  (Grandma Nielson's fudge frosting anyone?)

Hedgehog's Yellow Cake
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
3 eggs
1-1/4 cup self-rising flour (or 1-1/4 cup regular flour, plus 1/2 tsp. salt and 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder)
1 tsp vanilla (good vanilla--Watkin's is the best)
1. Ask an adult to set the oven to 350.
2.  Butter a 9-inch round pan.
3. Mix butter and sugar together in a bowl.
4.  Add eggs, one by one.
5.  Add vanilla.
6.  Mix in flour.
7.  Put batter into pan and bake for half an hour.
8.  Eat warm with a glass of milk.

To Detox from my vacation

You know after you've eaten at restaurants for a week, and you feel a little sluggish?  Well, this is the solution.  Yum!  It's a copycat version of a salad Mom and I shared at a restaurant (Pier in Petoskey--Petoskey?) last week in Michigan.  That was delicious.  This one isn't as perfect, but it still hit the spot.

Yummy Salad

1 box organic spring greens/spinach mix from Wal-Mart ($2.50--gotta love that)
1 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, diced (white is prettier, but I just had orange)
1 handful dried cherries
1 handful dried cranberries
1 handful sliced almonds, toasted
1 cucumber
1/2 loaf french bread, made into croutons (like this recipe)
2 chicken breasts, sauteed or grilled, and sliced into strips
1 recipe apricot vinaigrette, below

Toss everything together except the chicken, croutons, and dressing.  Arrange the chicken and croutons artfully on top. (Or don't put any chicken on, if your kids decide one night that they'd rather die than eat chicken.)  Drizzle with vinaigrette.  (Unless vinaigrette is also poison.  Which it might just be, if you are 7 years old.)

Apricot Vinaigrette

1/4 cup apricot preserves
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
dash of salt
sprinkle of pepper

Put all the ingredients in a blender and whir away until thoroughly combined.  I think this would probably work with any preserves (raspberry?  strawberry?  Yum.)

Very Helpful

This recipe is one of my new essentials.  It has less sugar, salt, and fat than store-bought spaghetti or pizza sauce, and it tastes much fresher and more tomato-ey.  Which I love.  (I was attempting to recreate Giordano's sauce, and I didn't quite succeed, but it's much closer than Prego or Ragu.)  Plus, it's cheaper, since I stock up on the Great Value brand tomatoes.

Pasta (or Pizza) Sauce

1 can (14 oz?--regular size) Italian style diced tomatoes (the kind with basil, oregano, and garlic)
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. minced garlic (which I get from a bottle for this recipe, but you could mince your own.  Maybe 1 clove?)

Toss everything in the blender and blend away.  I use it just like this, most of the time, but you can also cook it in a flat saucepan (heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil in the pan first) until it thickens a little.  That makes the tomato flavor more rich and less fresh.

This is the best sauce for a margherita-style pizza when it's winter and the fresh tomatoes are not-so-fresh and from somewhere like Chile.  :)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Susanne's Carmel Corn

I love the Fall!!!!! The leaves change, the temp. drops and it's time for Fall Treats:)

Carmel Corn
2 c. brown sugar
1 stick butter
1 c. Lt. karo syrup
1 can sweeten condensed milk
Dash or 2 of salt
4 bags microwave popcorn

Pop popcorn:)

Cook syrup and sugar on med. heat till sugar dissolves stirring constantly. Add butter and cook till melted then add milk. Cook on Med-high till sauce resembles soft ball then add salt. Adjust the amount if you used butter with salt or without salt.

Mix sauce with popcorn then lay flat on wax paper to cool. Yummers!!!

Next time we're going to sprinkle in some bacon:)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Frito Salad

I first had this at my Bridal shower and I loved it. Tomorrow is the ward social and I'm taking it:) I made it for a ward party last year and it was all gone. Which is what I like. There's nothing more embarrassing than taking home food from a social that was barely touched.

Frito Salad
2 can's Black beans, drained and rinsed
2 can's Red Kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 can's Pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 or 3 green onions, sliced thinly
2 Tomatoes, diced, not to small though
1 Bottle Catalina salad dressing
1 bag Frito's

Set Frito's aside. Mix remaining ingredients. Mix in Frito's just before serving. I'm also adding a can of sliced olives this time.

Peanut Butter Marshmallow Treats

I haven't tried them but they sounds yummy.

Peanut Butter Marshmellow Treats
1/4 c. regular butter
1 pkg. (10 oz., about 40) regular marshmallows OR 4 c. miniature marshmallows
1/4 c. peanut butter
5 c. Kellogg's Rice Krispies cereal
Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Cook 3 to 4 minutes longer, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
Stir peanut butter into marshmallow mixture.
Add Rice Krispies cereal. Stir until well coated.
Using buttered spatula or waxed paper, press mixture evenly into buttered 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan. Cut into squares when cool. Yield: 24 squares, 2 x 2 inches.
NOTE: Best results are obtained when using fresh marshmallows.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The best Rice Crispy Treats ever!

These are not difficult or really that different from regular RC Treats but I promise they will make you happy to eat them.

RC Treats
1 12 oz Box Crispy Rice Cereal
3 10 oz Bags of Lrg Marshmallows
1 Stick of Butter
2 Tsp Vanilla
Cooking Spray

Melt Butter and Marshmallows in Lrg Pot over low-med heat stirring regularly. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. Add Crispy Rice to Mallow-Butter and stir to coat evenly. Press into cookie sheet and let sit till completely cooled. Spray a Pizza Cutter with cooking Spray to prevent sticking and cut Treats to size.

The Yummy factor in this recipe is when executed properly the over abundance of Melted Mallow sinks to the bottom creating about 1/8 to 1/4 inch of chewy goodness at the bottom of each Treat. So chewy, so good. Also for an added kick you can add mini M&M's, chocolate chips and such but be careful cause the candy shell will bleed.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sun Dried Tomato/Roasted Red Pepper Marinara Sauce

I made this tonight and put it over a cheese stuffed ravioli type thing and it was sooooo good.

Sun Dried Tomato/Roasted Red Pepper Marinara Sauce
2 Slices of Bottled Roasted Red Pepper
3/4 C. Sun Dried Tomatoes with oil
1 small Sweet Onion diced (I used green onions cause they needed using.)
2 C. Tomato Sauce (I pureed canned tomatoes)
1 T. Lemon or Lime juice
1 T. Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp. or 1 T. hot sauce (depends on if you like it hot)
1/4 C. Butter
Oregano/Basil/Bay Leaf to taste
1 tsp. Fennel seeds
2 Cloves of Garlic (minced if you like but I kept mine whole. I also used 4 cause I like Garlic.)

Method: Chop Peppers and Sun Dried Tomatoes in a food processor to desired texture. I pureed them:) Melt Butter over med. heat in sauce pan. Add Onion and Garlic cooking till fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

I then put it over my pasta which required baking for 45 minutes giving my ingredients time to mingle. If your putting it over pasta that doesn't require that much prep time or your using it as a dipping sauce I'd recommend adding water and letting in simmer for 20 minutes or so then letting it rest for about an hour then reheat:)

Some of this I just eyeballed so I had to kinda guess what the measurements were which is why it says season to taste on the herbs. Sorry:)