Monday, April 26, 2010

Brownies for a Big Crowd

I made these brownies today and they turned out great. I have another recipe posted here for brownies for a crowd so I'll called these brownies for a big crowd. This version is thicker and denser but both recipes are great and feed a crowd.
Brownies for a Crowd as seen at Real mom Kitchen
(printable version)
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups of butter , melted
  • 1 1/2 cups Hershey’s cocoa
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 4 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  1. Beat eggs with a mixer in a large bowl.  Then add sugar, salt, vanilla and beat for 1 minute.
  2. Add melted butter and blend.  In another bowl, mix flour and cocoa with a whisk until well blended,
  3. Add flour mixture to egg mixture and mix until well combined.
  4. Spread onto a greased jelly roll pan (12 x 17) and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Cool for 15 minutes and spread with frosting.
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • milk
Blend powdered sugar, butter, and cocoa along with enough milk to make the frosting a spreadable consistency.  Spread over the brownies after they had cooled for 15 minutes.  Keep spreading as the frosting melts making it nice and even on the brownies.  Allow brownies to continue to cool.  Makes 30 good sized brownies.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Banana Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Do you ever find yourself with  really ripe bananas but not in the mood for banana bread? So today I made this great cake instead ...... It is very moist and the Chocolate Frosting takes it over the top. Enjoy!

Banana Cake with Chocolate Icing

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter, softened
1½ cups sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk*
1½ cups mashed ripe banana

Chocolate Frosting
½ cup (1 stick) butter
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup evaporated milk or half-an-half
4 cups sifted confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

* If you don’t have buttermilk you can make your own by stirring 1½ teaspoons of vinegar or lemon juice into ½ cup of milk and leaving for 10 minutes.

To make the cake, heat the oven to 350F. Grease and flour two 9 inch cake pans. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and stir with a fork to combine well.

In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugar and beat well, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one by one, and then the vanilla. Beat well for 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally until you have a smooth batter.

Using a large spoon, stir in half the flour just until it disappears into the batter. Stir in the buttermilk and then the remaining flour the same way. Quickly and gently fold in the mashed banana and then divide the batter between the 2 cake pans.

Bake at 350F for 25 to 30 minutes until the cakes are golden brown, spring back when touched lightly in the centre, and begin to pull away from the sides of the pan.

Cool for 10 minutes in the pans on wire racks. Then turn out onto the racks to cool completely.

To make the frosting, combine the butter, cocoa and evaporated milk in a medium saucepan. Place over medium heat and bring to a gentle boil. Cook, stirring often for about 5 minutes, until the cocoa dissolves into a dark shiny essence. Remove from the heat and stir in the confectioners sugar and vanilla. Beat with a mixer at low speed until you have a thick smooth frosting.

To complete the cake, place one layer, top side down, on a cake plate and spread about 1 cup of frosting evenly over the top. Cover with the second layer placed top side up. Spread the rest of the frosting evenly first over the sides and then covering the top of the cake.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Lemon Poppyseed Cookies

My soon to be 8 year old daughter Alex loves poppyseed muffins. I knew when I saw this recipe that she would beg me to make them.  Well she did and I am glad we made them. They are a slightly chewy sugar cookie with a lemon poppyseed twist. 

Lemon Poppy Seed Sugar Cookies
from Melanie at My Kitchen Cafe
(Printable Version)
*Makes about 2 1/2 - 3 dozen cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
zest of one lemon

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and poppy seeds. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla and lemon zest and mix well. Add the dry ingredients and buttermilk. Mix well.

Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls onto a greased or lined baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are set. The cookies should be puffy and fairly light in color when they are finished baking. Remove from the oven and let cool for 1-2 minutes on the baking sheet. Move the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sticky Coconut Chicken

 My daughter Tari is visiting this week and has been doing alot of the cooking. She made this fabulous dish. Everyone enjoyed leftovers .
Sticky Coconut Chicken
from My Kitchen Cafe
(printable version)
6-8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 cup canned coconut milk
1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
Marinade chicken in coconut milk, ginger, pepper and red pepper flakes at least one hour (I let mine marinade four about four to five hours). Grill on barbecue.
3/4 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
While the chicken is grilling, bring above ingredients to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until mixture is reduced and thickened, about 8-10 minutes. Be patient because it takes a little while. But once it starts getting really thick, immediately take it off the heat! Glaze both sides of chicken the last few minutes of grilling and serve chicken over rice.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ham and Bean soup

If you have just had a big ham dinner don’t throw that ham bone away…..make Soup!!

Ham and Bean Soup
Things You'll Need:
  • 1 pound dry beans (Navy or Great Northern)
  • 8 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ham bone, with some meat on it
  • 1/2 pound carrots, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups chopped ham
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper (black or white)
Rinse the beans under cold water. This is best done in a Colander or a strainer so that you can sit the beans under running water while you sort through them. Remove any discolored beans, shriveled beans, or anything that is not a bean (sometimes natural things like rocks or sticks will get in the bag). Some people will tell you to take out any broken beans, too, but I have never done this. Keeping more beans in the pot means more bites to eat later!Put 8 cups of water into a large pot and bring the water to boil over high heat. When the water is boiled, add a pinch of salt (about 1/2 teaspoon at most) and the rinsed beans to the boiling water. Stir and quickly take the pot off the heat. Cover and let sit for 60 minutes or a little longer.
After the beans have finished soaking, put the rest of the ingredients in the pot: the ham bone, the vegetables, and the seasonings (hold off on the pepper for later). Make sure that the ham bone is as fully submerged as possible. You can add a little more water at this point if you want, but I wouldn't add more than a cup or two.Bring the pot back to a boil, stirring well. After it is boiling nicely, adjust the heat to low-to-medium-low (depending on your stovetop). You want the soup to simmer gently for another 60 minutes.Remove the ham bone from the pot and carve the remaining meat off of the bone. It will come off easier now that it has been cooking for a while. Dice up the meat and add it to the meat you are going to put in the soup. Throw the bone away!
Stir your cut up ham into the soup and let the soup simmer for about another 30 minutes - or until the ham is heated through. If you are in a hurry you could cut this time in half.
 Give the soup a taste! Does it need a little pepper? Add a few shakes of pepper and then try it again and see what you think. Or, you can let people add their own pepper at the table if you are feeding people with lots of different tastes.
Remove the bay leaves from the soup and discard. Whole bay leaves can cause problems because they are very sharp - you don't want someone to ingest it by mistake.
Serve and Enjoy! This soup is great with homemade biscuits, bread, or a side salad.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Shredded Potato Au Gratin

These potatoes were a perfect compliment to our Ham this Easter. I found the recipe at real mom kitchen.  I'm sure you have all experienced the Mormon Potatoes or Funeral Potatoes. These yummy potatoes are just as easy to prepare but without the use of the processed cream soups. If you haven't tried these you should. The cream makes them taste like a cheesey scalloped potato.

Shredded Potatoes Au Gratin
(printable version)
  • 4 cups of frozen shredded hash browns,thawed or 1 (20 oz) bag of refrigerated shredded hash browns  (like Simply Potatoes)
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided (I like to use sharp cheddar)
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray dish are dishes you are using with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Combine hash browns, cream, 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, green onion, salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Mix well
  3. Spoon or pour hash browns into prepared dish or dishes and sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Cook according to below times until bubbly and golden.
  • For (8) 1/2 cup ramekins bake 20-25 minutes
  • For (4) 1 cup ramekins bake 35-45 minutes
  • For 11x 7 baking dish bake 47-57 minutes

Carrot Cake

This carrot cake was the perfect ending to our Easter Meal . This is the best recipe for carrot cake and  cream cheese frosting. Try it you won't be disappointed. Thanks to Melanie at My Kitchen Cafe for this wonderful recipe.
 Simple Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
(Printable Version)
Cooks Illustrated (with my Melanies notes included)
2 1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces – I always weigh my ingredients if the option is given b/c it is a no-fail way to make sure you aren’t adding too much or too little)
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp table salt
1 lb. medium carrots (6 to 7 carrots), peeled
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar (10 1/2 ounces)
1/2 c. packed light brown sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
4 large eggs
1 1/2 c. vegetable oil , safflower oil, or canola oil
Frosting: (I doubled the recipe below to frost the two 9-inch cakes I made)
8 oz cream cheese, softened but still cool
5 Tbsp unsalted butter softened, but still cool
1 Tbsp sour cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 c. confectioners’ sugar (4 1/2 ounces)
Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 13 by 9-inch baking pan (I used two 9-inch round pans).
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt in large bowl; set aside. In a food processor fitted with large shredding disk (I used a fine shredding disk), shred carrots (you should have about 3 cups); transfer carrots to bowl and set aside.
In bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment (or in large bowl and using hand-held mixer), beat granulated and brown sugars and eggs on medium-high until thoroughly combined, about 45 seconds. Reduce speed to medium; with mixer running, add oil in slow, steady stream, being careful to pour oil against inside of bowl (if oil begins to splatter, reduce speed to low until oil is incorporated, then resume adding oil). Increase speed to high and mix until mixture is light in color and well emulsified, about 45 seconds to 1 minute longer. Turn off mixer and stir in carrots and dry ingredients by hand until incorporated and no streaks of flour remain.
Pour into prepared pan and bake until toothpick or skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 40 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking time (I didn’t rotate my 9-inch pans). Cool cake to room temperature in pan on wire rack, about 2 hours (I cooled my cakes about 30 minutes and then inverted them onto a wire rack to cool completely).
When cake is cool, mix cream cheese, butter, sour cream, and vanilla at medium high speed in clean bowl of standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment (or in large bowl using handheld mixer) until well combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Add confectioners’ sugar and mix until very fluffy, about 1 minute. Frost and eat!


Fabulous Sugar Cookies

 We made these tasty sugar cookies for Easter, the addition of the lemon zest was awesome. This cookie would be great as the "base" for a fruit pizza.

Fabulous Sugar Cookies
 (Printable Version)                           as seen on  "Good Things Catered"

1 1/2 c. butter
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. powdered sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 Tbsp lemon zest
5 c. flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Powdered sugar, for rolling

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
-Cream butter and sugars in a mixer for 5 minutes.
-Add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly.
-Add vanilla, almond, and lemon zest.
-Sift in flour, baking powder, and salt a little at a time.
-Do not over mix, this process should take about one minute.
-Chill dough for up to a week in the fridge, or roll out and cut right away.
-Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and bake cookies for 7-8 minutes.
-Wait until cookies are cooled before icing.

I found that this recipe made 30-32 big, thick cookies.  Frost the cookies with your favorite icing, I used this Glace` icing.