Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pound Cake

Pound Cake

After sharing my trifle recipe last week I thought it might be helpful to also share the pound cake recipe that I used for the trifle.  This pound cake is also awesome with whipped cream and strawberries too!!

When I made the pound cake, I doubled my recipe so I would have two loaves.  If you are looking to make a single loaf follow the recipe below.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare a loaf pan.  Mix together 2 1/4 c of flour, 1/4 tsp salt and 2 tsp baking powder and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine 1 c of butter that is at room temperature and 1 1/2 c sugar.  I use a hand held mixer when mixing these ingredients and I typically place the bowl in the sink to mix because the butter and sugar are pretty messy as they mix together!  Beat on a medium to high speed until it becomes light and fluffy.  One at a time, add an egg to the mixture until 5 eggs have been added.  Now add 2 tsp of vanilla to your mixture.  

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in one half of your dry ingredients until it is fully incorporated.  Add the remaining dry ingredients, folding in until the batter is smooth.  Do not fold the batter too much as it will become tough.

Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake the cake for 60-70 minutes.  Let the cake cool for about 5 minutes and then remove from its pan to completely cool on a rack.

Slice the cake to serve.

Fudge Brownies

Fudge Brownies

I love this brownie recipe.  It is my reliable, tried and true, go to recipe.  Who needs a boxed brownie when you can make them better?!

Heat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 8x8 square pan.  Heat 1/4 c of butter and about 6 ounces of chocolate chips in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until the chocolate is melted.  Once melted, remove the saucepan from the stove.  Continue to add the following to the saucepan- 3/4 c of sugar, 2/3 c flour, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/4 tsp baking powder and 2 eggs.  Stir all these ingredients into the melted chocolate and butter with a wooden spoon until well combined.  Once your batter is smooth, stir in another 1/2 c of chocolate chips.  Spread the batter into your pan and bake for 30 minutes.  

Once you make these from scratch you will never use boxed again!!

Spicy Burritos

Spicy Burritos

Lets be honest ... at the end of our day us Mommies are TIRED!  I was so excited to play around with this new find at the ever so faithful ... Trader Joe's- Chile and Onion Flour Tortillas.  

I didn't have much time on my hands, but I wanted something flavorful and filled with protein.  I used these ingredients- green chilies, enchilada sauce, chicken chili and black beans.

I filled my saucepan over medium heat with my chicken chili, green chilies and black beans.

After mixing these together, I added some vegetarian refried beans, seasoned it with some 21 seasoning salute and half this container of sour cream. I love that Trader Joe's has begun venturing out to the 'fat free' side of foods!!  AND yes, I DOES have great flavor- not all fat free is bad!!

Now that your mixture is prepared, set it aside and spray your pan to bake your burritos and begin filling!

I filled each of my tortillas with a mexican blend of cheese and about 1/2 c of my filling.  Roll your filled tortilla up and place in your pan.  After your pan is filled with your prepared burritos, top with enchilada sauce.  I prefer my burritos crispy so I baked them for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  

These burritos were so yummy with the added flavor in the tortillas and green chilies in the filling.  You can't go wrong when flavorful food is easy and quick to make!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Brownie Trifle

Brownie Trifle

Jeremy LOVES Brownie Trifles.  When making this dessert, you either have to make a specific effort to have A LOT of time on hand and ingredients ... or it is the best leftover recipe in the land of desserts- leftover cake and brownies always become a trifle.  Trifles are fun to make because you can't really go wrong when creating them- here is our families favorite option!

These are some staples for beginning ... pudding, cool whip and fruit.  I usually opt for both chocolate and vanilla pudding and I like to use frozen fruit so it preserves longer while assembled in the trifle bowl and is less apt to become soggy.  

I made a batch of brownies ...

and then a few loaves of pound cake ...

Slice your brownies and cake into pieces to better assemble your trifle.

This is when it gets fun and creative.  
Get your trifle bowl or tall glasses ready if you would prefer individual servings.

Use your ingredients and place them into the bowl, topping one ingredient with the next in this order ...
layer pound cake
chocolate pudding
cool whip
vanilla pudding
cool whip
 Finishing with cool whip it is a pretty topper with a clean look

Trader Joe's came out with this caramel sauce and it is AMAZING! 

I poured some of this sauce over the cool whip to fancy it up a bit and the taste is incredible.

All finished!  Refrigerate and serve!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pesto and Alfredo Meatballs with Garlic Bread

Pesto and Alfredo Meatballs with Garlic Bread

Traditionally meatballs are tagged to different flavors such as swedish, sweet and sour, or in a tomato sauce- all are great, but I wanted something more unique.  As usual, I perused my pantry, freezer and frig to find out what I had on hand.  These were the base ingredients that I had to work with- turkey meatballs, parmesan cheese, pesto and cream cheese.

It was a rainy day yesterday so I didn't mind my crock pot being on- so to get started I placed my turkey meatballs in my crock pot on high with one chopped onion and about a cup of chopped bell peppers.  Now I need to make my alfredo sauce.  If you have a jar of pre-made alfredo pour that on top of your meatballs, if not follow my steps to creating your own sauce.

In a saucepan melt 1/2 c butter.  Once it is melted, add 8 ounces cream cheese and 2 tsp garlic powder, stirring well and consistently. 

Once well incorporated, stir in 2 c milk, 6 ounces of parmesan and a few dashes of pepper.  Stir and let it sit for a few moments to thicken. 

 Once you have achieved your desired consistency, pour over your meatballs in your crock pot.

Braydon was hanging out with me while I was making dinner and he was so smily!  I could resist taking his picture to show YOU what I was blessed to see while in the kitchen!!

Once you have poured your alfredo sauce into your crock pot, add an additional 1/4 c of milk.  Stir your onions, peppers, meatballs, milk and alfredo all together and cover.  Let cook on high for about 4 hours.  

I made a trip to Trader Joe's yesterday and in my search for new items and flavors, I came across this new wine.  We enjoyed this over dinner and it was a great light wine that complemented our dinner's flavors.

About 15 minutes before dinner was served, I add 3/4 of the pesto sauce jar ( 4 ounces) to my crock pot and stirred it well to makes sure it was well distributed.  While letting it cook, I made my garlic bread.  This garlic bread is tried and true, never any complaints ... best of all it is quick and easy!!

I used a loaf of par baked bread for Trader Joe's.  Slice the loaf in half and thinly coat it with butter.  Then apply another thin coat of crushed garlic.  Finally, top with some quattro formaggio cheese.  Set your oven to broil.  Place your two halves of bread in the oven for 6 or 7 minutes.  Pour your glass of wine, slice your bread and serve your meatballs alone or over fresh boiled noodles. 


Saturday, May 7, 2011

BBQ Chicken Pizza

BBQ Chicken Pizza

To begin making pizza, you will need to start with your dough.  If you prefer to buy your dough skip the process of preparing it yourself.  I made my dough by mixing 1 c water, 3 c flour, 1 tsp salt, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp sugar and 2 tsp yeast.  I set my bread machine to the pizza dough cycle and 50 minutes later my dough was kneaded and had risen.

While the dough was rising I prepared my sauce.  In a medium bowl I mixed 1 1//2 c BBQ sauce, 1/2 c ketchup, 1/2 c mustard, 1/4 c molasses, 1/4 c honey and a few dashes of red pepper.

Now, take 2 chicken breasts and cut them into cubes.  In a fry pan, start caramelizing 1/2 c of chopped onions and add your cubed chicken to the pan to begin cooking.  Season your chicken with some pepper, chili pepper, oregano, a bit of garlic, and liquid smoke for a mesquite flavoring.  Add these spices to your liking.  Once the chicken is cooked through, pour about 3/4 c of your sauce into your fry pan with your chicken and allow the sauce to glaze the chicken, continuing to let it cook.

Your dough should be ready at this time.  Get your pizza stone ready by covering it well with corn meal.

Roll out your dough to cover your pizza stone. 

Top your dough with the remaining sauce.

Top your sauce with shredded cheese of your choice, and then top the cheese with your BBQ chicken.

Place in your oven at 450 degrees for 25 minutes.

Slice and enjoy!!