Friday, August 26, 2011

Some of my new favorites

I have been way behind on Blogging, but I am caught up on cooking and here are some new recipes I am loving right now:

Blueberry Muffins
Category: Baked Goods
Sub Category: Muffins
Source: Self – Gwyneth Paltrow

½ c butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 eggs
½ c whole milk
2 c flour
¾ c plus 1 t sugar, divided
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
2 ½ c blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 375. Line 12 muffin cups with liners.

2. Whisk butter, eggs and milk. Combine flour, ¾ c sugar, baking powder and salt in another bowl. Stir wet ingredients into dry. Fold in berries.

3. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Sprinkle with remaining 1 t sugar. Bake 25-30 min until golden and a knife comes out clean.

Coconut Layer Cake
Category: Desserts
Sub Category: Cake
Source: More

3 ¼ sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 c cake flour
1 ¼ c sugar
4 eggs
1 ½ t vanilla
2 ½ t baking powder
3/4 t salt
3 c shredded sweetened coconut
¾ c milk
1 lb box powdered sugar
2-4 T coconut milk

1. Preheat oven to 350. Prepare two 9-in cake pans

2. Cream 1 ¼ sticks butter with the sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time. Add 1 t vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder, ¼ t salt and ½ c coconut. Add to mixer alternating with the milk just until combined. Do not over mix.

3. Divide batter among pans. Bake 25 min until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool.

4. Cream remaining 2 sticks of butter with powdered sugar, ½ t salt and ½ t vanilla until creamy. Gradually add enough coconut milk to reach spreadable consistency.

5. When cake is cool, spread 1/3 of the frosting on one layer all the way to edges and sprinkle with ½ c coconut. Top with other layer. Spread on 1/3 of the frosting and use the rest to cover the sides. Press 2 c coconut onto top and sides of cake.

Note: I don't do well with layer cakes, so I did this in a 9 x 13 pan and it worked great. I baked it an extra five minutes.

German Chocolate Cake
Category: Desserts
Sub Category: Cake
Source: Food and Wine

2 ½ c cake flour
1/8 t cinnamon
1/8 t nutmeg
¼ t salt
1 c buttermilk
1 t vanilla
1 t baking soda
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 c sugar
4 eggs, separated
6 oz semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1 c pecans, coarsely chopped
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 lb confectioners’ sugar
1 ½ T cocoa
1 t vanilla
¼ c hot coffee
½ c packed sweetened shredded coconut

1. Preheat oven to 325. Prepare two 9-in cake pans. In small bowl, whisk flour w/cinnamon, nutmeg & salt. In a cup, stir buttermilk w/vanilla and baking soda until combined. In stand mixer, beat butter & sugar until fluffy. Add egg yolks; beat until incorporated; beat in chocolate. Beat in dry and wet ingredients in three alternating batches.

2. Transfer batter to a large bowl and wash out mixing bowl. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold beaten whites into batter until no streaks remain.

3. Divide batter b/w pans and bake 45-50 min, until toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Cool completely.

4. Beat softened butter w/powdered sugar and cocoa until combined. Add vanilla & coffee; beat until fluffy. Fold in coconut and pecans. Frost layers and sides of cake.

Note: Don't make this if you are looking for style points. It is SO good, but it did not look very pretty. At first I thought it was because I have bad luck with layer cakes, but I tried it in a 9 x 13 and it still baked up weird. Again, it was very, very good, but not very pretty. I noticed that the magazine didn't have a picture, either, so I don't think it is just me.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Recipe Project

I have been working my way through the main dish recipes on Kelly's Blog. I have to say that I haven't been wowed by anything yet. I did do a remake on Kelly's Chicken Supreme. I turned it into a healthy casserole and it was really good. All three of us loved it and it was easy. I have to tweak it a little bit to get a better consistency, but I have high hopes. You can read about the original recipe here.

Here is the run down of the other recipes I have tried. Like I said, I have not been won over, but these have all been easy and inexpensive and probably things most kids would eat. That is likely the criteria in a lot of households, so these may work for you if you have similar standards.

Girl Scout Casserole - This was okay. My friend's 10 year old daughter was staying with us and she loved it - she took several servings home for her family. And Aaron enjoyed it, as well. My husband and I thought it was okay. It is definitely something kids will eat, but the top two layers are store bought biscuits and American Cheese slices. So I'm not sure if it's what you want your kids to eat. Being that the bottom layer is ground beef (no big servings of vegetables hidden in there) there just aren't a lot of redeeming qualities to this dish. If I did make it again I would make homemade drop biscuits and spread the dough on top of the casserole instead of using the store bought biscuits. The way this recipe comes out each serving has a big biscuit and a slice of cheese on top. I would probably also use shredded cheddar instead of American Slices.

Mexican Tortilla Stack - This recipe was posted by the same person who posted the Girl Scout Casserole. It was very underwhelming, but it was cheap and easy. There's nothing very healthy about it, but it's not horrible - it is beef, beans, cheese and tortillas. The only flavor comes from chili powder which I thought was a strange choice. It over powered the dish a bit. I cared very little for this and my husband thought it was okay, but dumping salsa on it helped tremendously.

Crescent Ring - Wow. This was posted as an entree and the recipe indicates that it serves 6. That means that each person is eating almost three store bought crescent rolls and three slices of bacon for dinner. That's just not dinner in the boring Allen household, so I made this as an appetizer for a group and turned it into 14 servings. It was popular, but I still wouldn't consider it an option for a meal.

Hawaiian Meatloaf - This was different. The recipe does indicate that this can be made into meat balls and I could see that as an appetizer at a party - a bit like Sweet and Sour Meatballs. But for dinner, it was a little strange. This is beef baked with pineapples and covered in a very sweet sauce. It was okay, but not something we would have again.

Pizza Bites - This is another one that seemed like an odd choice for an entree for me. It is basically pizza muffins. I made them for an appetizer for a group. They were alright, but no one asked for the recipe.

That's where I am so far. Hopefully soon I'll have some recipes I can recommend!