Sunday, August 24, 2008

Best Cinnamon Rolls Ever

A couple of weeks ago, we got a phone call that would change our lives. It was our friend Patty. She had made Cinnamon rolls and was bringing them to us. If you think that a delivery of fresh, hot Cinnamon rolls isn't a life-changing event, you have not eaten these Cinnamon rolls. They are indescribably amazing. I plan to only put recipes on the blog that I have made at least once so that you know that if I can make it, you can make it. I haven't tackled this one yet, as I think we may have to annex some additional space in the kitchen to have room for all the rising and rolling, but I do plan to try. The recipe is from The Pioneer Woman's website and has excellent step-by-step instructions WITH pictures. Here it is:

Once I manage to make them, I'll type out the instructions.

Buttermilk Chocolate Cake

from Carolyn Wolfe

Cook: 1 cup water, 2 sticks butter, 4 heaping tablespoons of cocoa. Bring to a boil, then add to 1/2 cup buttermilk, 2 eggs, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (mix these three things before adding hot mixture). Mix 2 cups flour, 2 cups sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda. Add to liquid mixture. Pour into greased 9x13 pan and bake 25-35 minutes at 350 degrees.

Icing: 5 tablespoons buttermilk, 1 stick butter, 4 tablespoons cocoa. Cook briefly, then beat in 1 box powdered sugar.

My dad and David both get this cake for their birthdays. It disappears pretty fast at our house.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Aunt Connie's Chocolate Eclair Cake

16 oz. box honey graham crackers
2 - 3 and 3/4 oz. package instant French vanilla pudding mix
3 cups and 3 tablespoons milk
12 oz. carton Cool Whip - thawed
1 and 1/2 cup powdered sugar
6 tablespoons cocoa
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla

Place a single layer of graham crackers in bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. Combine pudding mix with 3 cups milk. Stir until thickened. Fold in whipped topping. Spread 1/2 of pudding mixture on graham cracker layer. Add another layer of graham crackers. Cover with remaining pudding mixture. Top with a layer of crackers. In a small saucepan, combine powdered sugar, cocoa, butter, remaining milk, corn syrup, and vanilla. Stir over low heat until just liquified. Pour over top layer of crackers. Refrigerate at least 24 hours. May be prepared up to two days in advance.

Christina's Alfredo Sauce

1/2 cup butter
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 cups milk
6 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Melt butter in a medium, non-stick saucepan over medium heat. Add cream cheese and garlic powder, stirring with wire whisk until smooth. Add milk, a little at a time, whisking to smooth out lumps. Stir in Parmesan and pepper. Remove from heat when sauce reaches desired consistency. Sauce will thicken rapidly, thin with milk if cooked too long. Toss with hot pasta and chicken to serve.

This is so good...even if you substitute low-fat cream cheese and use skim milk and margarine.

Mom's Mandarin Romaine Salad

2 stalks romaine lettuce (torn or cut in small pieces)
3 green onions with tops, chopped
1 cup chopped celery (optional)
Mix and refrigerate to keep crisp.

1 tsp salt - pepper
4 Tblsp. sugar
4 Tblsp. cider vinegar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 Tblsp. snipped parsley (optional)
Mix well. Refrigerate in a container you can shake occasionally to keep mixed.

Sugared almonds:
1/2 cup sliced almonds
3 Tblsp. sugar
Stir together over medium heat in skillet until sugar coated. Pour immediately onto waxed papered cookie sheet and cool.

To serve:
Five minutes before serving, stir on part of the dressing (probably won't need all of it) and 2 cans drained mandarin oranges. Stir in sugared almonds and serve immediately.

Variations: Can mix iceburg lettuce in with romaine especially to serve a larger group.
Can also add fresh sliced strawberries and/or blueberries in addition to the mandarin oranges for a colorful salad!!

Turkey Chili

I was hoping this would be edible (and hoping to sneak a low-fat meal in) and was pleasantly surprised. It's low-fat, until you add the toppings, but ridiculously high in sodium. Can't have it all!

1 pound ground turkey, browned and drained
1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 cans mild Rotel with liquid (for a milder chili, use a can of diced tomatoes in place of one of the cans of Rotel)
1 small onion (I used purple, but any would do)
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 cup water

Combine all in pot and simmer for 2 hours. If chili gets too thick, add a little more water. Serve over tortilla chips or cornbread and top with sour cream, shredded cheese, and chopped green onion. I think a can of corn might be a tasty addition next time.

Peach Blueberry Cobbler

Thanks to a combination of a recipe from my friend Patty and a recipe from, I made a tasty Peach-Blueberry Cobbler today. I don't especially care for blueberries, but this was really good.

5 fresh peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced
1 pint fresh blueberries, picked over
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons corn starch

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4 cup boiling water

Cinnamon Sugar for very top:
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
3 tablespoons white sugar

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees

2. Combine filling ingredients in a large bowl. Stir to coat and pour into a 2 quart baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes.

3. While the filling is baking, combine all topping ingredients except butter and water. Blend butter into the mix with finger tips or a pastry blender. Mixture should be chunky. Add 1/4 cup boiling water. Stir until just combined.

4. Remove filling from oven and drop spoonfuls of topping over it. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake until topping is golden - about 30 minutes.

Lemon Bars

1 and 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 and 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
Pinch of salt
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
6 tablespoons flour
6 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch pan. For the crust, combine the flour, powdered sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter to make a crumbly mixture. Press the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes.Make the filling while the crust is baking. Mix the eggs, sugar, flour, lemon juice, and lemon extract. Pour this over the baked crust and bake for 25 minutes longer. Sprinkle with powdered sugar when cool. These cut best if cooled completely before cutting.
**The original recipe is Paula Dean's from the Food Network. It calls for 2 cups flour, 2 sticks butter, and 1 cup powdered sugar in the crust. We thought that made the bars too "crusty" though. And we wanted them more lemony, so added the teaspoon of lemon extract.

Chili Cornbread

Fleischmann's 1-Dish Bake & Rise Batter:
Mazola Pure™ Cooking Spray
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
2 envelopes Fleischmann's® RapidRise Yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup very warm milk (120º to 130º F)
3 tablespoons corn oil
1 egg
1/2 cup whole kernel corn, frozen OR canned, drained

Chili Filling:
1 pound ground beef, cooked and drained
1/2 cup diced onion, fresh or frozen
1 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
1 package French's® Chili-O Seasoning Mix
1 can (15 ounces) dark red kidney beans, drained
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Mexican style cheese

Mix corn bread batter ingredients together in a pre-sprayed 8 X 8-inch baking dish. Add remaining chili mixture ingredients to browned hamburger in a large skillet. Cook and stir over medium-high heat about 10 minutes, until mixture simmers.

Top batter evenly with chili filling. Sprinkle with shredded cheese.

Bake by placing in a COLD oven; set temperature to 350º F. Bake for 30 minutes or until done.


Parmesean Chicken Strips

2/3 cup Bisquick or Jiffy baking mix
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt or Garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
3 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips
1 egg, slightly beaten
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1. Heat oven to 450ºF. Line cookie sheet with foil; spray with cooking spray.
2. Mix Bisquick mix, cheese, salt and paprika in 1-gallon resealable plastic food-storage bag. Dip half the chicken strips into egg; place in bag of Bisquick mixture. Seal bag; shake to coat. Place chicken on cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken. Drizzle butter over chicken.
3. Bake 12 to 14 minutes, turning after 6 minutes with pancake turner, until no longer pink in center.