Sunday, October 12, 2014

Chicken and Rice

CREAMY CHICKEN AND RICE

I found this recipe on Pinterest.  I was to have someone come for lunch and thought I would try it out.  Unfortunately the lunch plans got cancelled so I made it for a weekend meal.  The recipe was posted Natasha's Kitchen.   It is an easy one-pot meal and goes together really quick.  I've listed the ingredients and steps that I used.  I would make this again.  Yummy.


1/4 cup olive oil
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1/2 large onion, finely diced
About 1 cup shredded carrots
3 large boneless chicken breasts cut into 1 inch pieces.
Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
1 cup Chardonnay white wine
4 cups hot reduced sodium chicken broth
2 cups Jasmine rice
1 head garlic
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, more for serving
Parsley (I didn't have any so I just chopped a little cilantro)

Using a Dutch oven, saute the onion and carrots in the olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter until soft. Add the chicken pieces and cook until no longer pink.  Add the wine and turn up to high and cook off the wine.  Pour in the hot chicken broth and rice.  Bring to a boil.  Cut the ends off the head of garlic and place down in the center of the pot.  Place a lid on top and simmer for 20 minutes until rice is tender.  Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons butter and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and stir.  You can squeeze the garlic out of the head and add if you like.  Sprinkle the parsley and more cheese on top and serve. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

S'Mores Cupcakes

I can't believe it has been 3 months since I posted to my blog.  Not much new baking going on in my kitchen.  I recently took a cupcake class and we made these S'Mores Cupcakes.  I took them to work for a breakfast and they went over well.

S'MORES CUPCAKES

Use your favorite recipe for chocolate cake, either from scratch or from a box.  Hollow out the middle of the cupcakes and fill with marshmallow cream.  Here in Texas we have a store named HEB that carries toasted marshmallow cream and I used that.  Make your favorite recipe for buttercream frosting.  Frost the cupcakes.  We learned how to use a piping bag, but my skills are still lacking there so just frosted with a spatula.  Sprinkle the frosting with graham cracker crumbs and put some marshmallows around.  You can toast the marshmallows if you have a torch, but it is hard not to burn them so I just put mini-marshmallows around.  Top with a Teddy Graham or a piece of graham cracker and there you go.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Cranberry/Orange Scones

On my recent trip to Washougal, WA we had a tea party.  Among the goodies we had were these scones.  I learned on this trip that the proper pronunciation of the word is "scahns" not scones that rhymes with bones.  It just doesn't sound right to me, so I'll probably still rhyme them with bones!


CRANBERRY/ORANGE SCONES


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1 stick butter cut into pieces
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup heavy cream.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  In a bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and orange zest.  Cut the cold butter into 1/2 inch pieces.  Cut butter into flour until it resembles small peas.  Add the dried cranberries and stir.  Pour cream and mix together just until moistened.  Pour onto floured board and pat down to about 1/2 inch thick.  Cut with a biscuit cutter or a cookie cutter in a shape you like.  You can also form it into a circle and cut into wedges.  Place scones on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Brush cream over tops and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake at 425 degrees for 13-17 minutes until golden brown.

Trip to Washougal, WA

It has been quite a while since I posted to my little blog.  Most things I have baked have been things that are already on my blog, so need to post those.

I recently got to escape the heat here on the Texas Gulf Coast for a visit with one of my best friends and her husband who live in Washougal, WA, just across the river from Portland, OR.  Oh, what a beautiful spot on this earth it is.  If I lived in a perfect world with the ability to live there, I do believe I would choose this place.  It is so peaceful and beautiful.

From my friend's home on a clear day you can see Mt. Hood.  What a grand mountain that can be seen whenever you are out and about on the roads.

The day after I arrived we took a day trip to Timberline Lodge which is at the summit of the mountain.  What a beautiful, historic lodge.  We had a delicious lunch there and enjoyed looking out at the mountaintop.


My friend's aunt owns a cabin near the mountain.  Her back porch overlooks this beautiful stream.  The sound of this stream is so beautiful with the water rushing by.  I could listen to that sound all the time.  Just so peaceful and beautiful.  

My friend has a Tea Party business, Timeless Teacup where she rents all you would need for a beautiful tea party.  She invited her mom and a friend and we had a tea party.  Her things are so beautiful.  I will post some recipes of some things we had.  So fun.

On my friend's deck are two blueberry plants.  What a treat to be able to pick fresh berries right on your deck.  It doesn't get much easier than that!

Lacamas Lake is nearby.  I can never get enough of these beautiful trees. The lake is so peaceful and serene.

The beautiful Columbia River.  My friend's home overlooks this river.  Everywhere you go you see this river from different vantage points.  It is just the best.

Cottonwood Beach.  This beach beats the Gulf of Mexico on any given day!  Just beautiful and peaceful.  A bit colder than we have here though!

My last night there I saw a beautiful rainbow.  What a nice way to say goodbye!












Sunday, March 16, 2014

French Toast Casserole

A breakfast for a coworker recently at work who is changing offices.  I got this recipe from a message board I have read for years.  The ladies on there share some really good recipes.  This is one of those overnight casseroles that is so easy for a morning when you have things to do while it bakes.  A friend of mine and his wife sent me some wonderful genuine New York Maple Syrup.  Although this is sweet enough without, it was a great addition for those who wanted a little something extra.

FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE

1 loaf cinnamon bread ( I used Sara Lee) with or without raisins
6 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup 1/2 and 1/2
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

TOPPING:
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup nuts (I used pecans)

Spray a 9x13 pan with Pam.  Tear up the bread. Mix the eggs, milk, 1/2 and 1/2, vanilla and cinnamon together.  Pour over bread and press down to get break soaked. Cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, mix the topping ingredients until they crumb.  Sprinkle over the casserole. Bake 350 for 40 minutes until golden brown.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Key Lime Babycakes

I needed to make a dessert for a dinner party this past weekend.  I had searched for a key lime pie recipe and did some research and found recipes for not only key lime pie but key lime cheesecake.  My version is below.

KEY LIME BABYCAKES

Crust:
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 Tablespoons sugar
3/4 stick of butter, melted (6 tablespoons)
1/4 cup pecans, chopped very fine

Filling:
3 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
7 egg yolks
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup key lime juice (this took about 12 key limes)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Place a 9 x 13 pan on bottom rack of oven with boiling water half-way up.  Line 24 muffin tins with cupcake liners.

To prepare crust, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter until well combined and crumbly.  Put about a tablespoon of mixture in the bottom of each muffin cup, pressing down with fingertips.

In a mixing bowl mix cream cheese until creamy.  Add egg yolks one at a time, blending well.  Add sugar, condensed milk, and lime juice and mix until light and creamy.  Pour mixture into muffin cups just to the top.  Bake at 325 degrees for 24 minutes or until set.  Chill and serve with Cool Whip and graham cracker crumbs on top.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Auntie Crae's Plantation Chews

I've been absent from my blog for a few months.  I think I have been baking things I have already blogged about and not too many new things.  I'm not really sure how I happened upon this recipe from this site Rock Recipes.  It is an interesting recipe with the use of corn flakes instead of flour.  Believe me, the word chew in this cookie is an understatement.  These are almost as if there were caramel in them.  Interesting cookie for sure.  Below is my adaptation of the recipe listed in the link.

AUNTIE CRAE'S PLANTATION CHEWS

1 stick of butter, softened
2-1/4 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups cornflakes (not crushed)
1-1/4 cups coconut
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream butter and sugar until very fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla and mix until incorporated.  Add dry ingredients and beat on high speed for 12-14 minutes, scraping bowl often.  Scoop
out cookies onto parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  Flatten cookies with moistened fingertips.  Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown.  Let cool on pan until set.  They will be a little hard to take off the pan at first.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Green Chile Corn Bites

I recently went to a birthday party where they were serving chili.  I thought these would make a good addition.  I used Paula Deen's recipe for Green Chili Corn Muffins out of her Paula Deen and Friends cookbook and used my mini-muffin pan.  Just the right size.

GREEN CHILE CORN BITES

1/2 cup canola oil
4 ounce can chopped green chilies
1 cup sour cream
8 ounce can cream-style corn
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup stone-ground cornmeal
2   eggs, lightly beaten 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray miniature muffin tins with vegetable oil cooking spray.  In a small mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal, salt and baking powder, stirring with a metal spoon.  Add the cheese, corn, sour cream, and chilies. Stir until lightly combined. Add the oil and eggs and stir until everything is just combined; do not over mix. The batter will be very stiff.  Place about 1/2 tablespoon of batter into each muffin cup. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

PRALINE PUMPKIN POUND CAKE

It was Boss' Day this week.  We had several goodies to honor the bosses in our building.  Seems there was food for days.  This was my contribution.

PRALINE PUMPKIN POUND CAKE

1 stick butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
4 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 can Libby's pumpkin
3 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup buttermilk

Mix butter and sugars together until blended well.  Add eggs one at a time and mix well.  Add pumpkin and vanilla and blend well.  In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin spice together.  Add to wet mixture alternately with buttermilk.  Mix until blended well.  Pour into a prepared 10-cup bundt pan or angel food cake pan.  Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

Praline Glaze:

1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup brown sugar packed
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons milk or cream

Melt butter, brown sugar and milk in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Add vanilla.  Remove from heat and stir until mixture is thickened.  Pour over cake.  Add toasted pecans to top.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

PINK LEMONADE CAKE

Another birthday at work a few weeks ago.  Don't let the picture deceive you, this is a good cake.  I found the recipe from Better Homes and Gardens.  

PINK LEMONADE CAKE

1 cup butter softened
4 eggs
3-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups granulated sugar
3-4 drops red food coloring
1-1/3 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare a 9 x 13 pan with Bakers Joy or Pam. In a bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt.  In another bowl, beat butter for 30 seconds.  Gradually add sugar, beating until well combined.  Scrape down sides and beat for 2 minutes more until will combined.  Add food coloring until light pink.  Add eggs one at a time.  In another bowl stir together buttermilk, lemonade concentrate and vanilla. Mixture will look curdled.  Add dry ingredients slowly and combine until well mixed.  Pour into prepared pan and bake for  30-35 minutes until center is done.  

LEMONADE ICING

3 cups powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup lemonade concentrate, thawed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4-5 drops red food coloring, or to color desired.
Splash of milk or cream

Combine all ingredients until spreading consistency.  Spread over cooled cake.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

TRIP TO WASHOUGAL, WA

I recently took a trip to Washougal, WA which is right across the river from Portland, OR to visit one of my best friends and her husband. It was great to leave the hot, humid Gulf Coast to enjoy cooler temps and being able to sleep with the windows open. Nothing better. I believe the Pacific Northwest is one of the most beautiful places I've ever had the pleasure of traveling to. It was a rainy trip and some of my pictures had to be borrowed from my friend from a previous time. Despite the rain, I had such a wonderful time. The trees were just beginning to turn color and once in a while there would be a beautiful yellow or orange tree in the midst of the green ones. Such beauty. My friend's new home overlooks the Columbia River and on a clear day you can see Mount Hood. I am so lucky to have a friend who will share her beautiful world with me. I can't wait to go back!
Washougal River

Apple Orchard

Countryside



Beautiful fruits and vegetables.

Mount Hood

Apples

Outside Pittock Mansion

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Pumpkin Bread

We are a long way from anything that even resembles Fall here on the Texas Gulf Coast.  I took this to a family gathering Labor Day weekend.  I cobbled together a few recipes to come up with this one.  I have to admit I did not care for the sugar topping and would try something different next time.  No complaints though.

PUMPKIN BREAD

1 cup vegetable oil
5 eggs
1 can 100% pumpkin
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 small package instant vanilla pudding (dry)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup toasted chopped pecans

In a mixing bowl add oil, eggs and pumpkin. Mix until smooth.  Combine dry ingredients and add to pumpkin mixture. Mix well.  Add pecans.  Pour into 2 large loaf pans that have been sprayed with Pam or Bakers Joy.  Sprinkle crumb topping on and pat down. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.

Crumb Topping:
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter

Mix together dry ingredients.  Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  

Thursday, August 15, 2013

VELVET BROWNIE SWIRL CAKE

Pardon the bad picture.  My camera battery was dead so I took this with my phone.  Birthday time at work again.  I found this recipe on a blog called A Spicy Perspective.  I took a few liberties with it and below is my adaptation.

VELVET BROWNIE SWIRL CAKE

1 cup oil
1-1/3 cups buttermilk
3 eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons cocoa powder

For the brownie swirl:
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup chocolate chips melted

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 12 cup bundt pan.

Using an electric mixer, beat the oil, buttermilk, eggs, vinegar and vanilla on low until well combined.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cocoa together. Slowly add them to the wet mixture until just combined. Scrape the bowl and mix again.

For the brownie batter: Separate out 1 2/3 cups batter. Whisk 3 tablespoons cocoa powder and the melted chocolate into the batter. Set aside.

Pour 2/3 of the remaining velvet batter into the bundt pan.

Add the brownie batter to the bundt pan and gently smooth over the top covering all areas. Do not swirl.

Pour the remaining 1/3 velvet batter over the brownie batter.

Bake for 55 minutes until set in the middle. After 55 minutes check the center with a wooden skewer. If it comes out clean, the cake is done.

Allow the cake to cool for at least 20 minutes in the pan. Then carefully flip it out onto a cake plate.  Allow it to cool completely before adding the glaze.

I just made a simple glaze with powdered sugar, butter, milk and vanilla.  I melted 1/2 cup chocolate chips and drizzled those as well.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Lemon Drop Cake

I found this recipe on 'Just a Pinch' website.  It's a great resource for home cooking type recipes.  I have made a similar cake to this using Jello mix rather than pudding.  The reviews on this one rave about how moist it is because of the addition of buttermilk.  I made it in my Nordicware Wildflower pan but the design didn't show well. 

LEMON DROP CAKE

1 Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe lemon cake mix
1 small package dry instant Jello Lemon Pudding mix
1 cup water
1/3 cup lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
1 cup water
1/3 cup oil
3 eggs
1 cup buttermilk

The ingredients are the same as the box ingredients with using 1/3 cup lemon juice for part of the water and adding 1 cup of buttermilk.  Mix all ingredients together and pour into a pan sprayed with Pam.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.  Make sure the center is done.  Turn onto plate and poke holes and drizzle glaze over cake while warm.

Glaze:
1 to 2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice

Mix together and drizzle over cake while warm.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

CHUY'S JALAPENO RANCH SAUCE

I'm having a birthday dinner this evening.  I am doing a 'taco bar'.  Taco shells, meat and all the fixin's, rice and beans.  We have a Tex-Mex chain here called Chuy's.  They serve a jalapeno/ranch sauce when they bring out their chips and salsa.  It's really good.  I went in search of a copycat recipe and I think this one is pretty close. I'll serve this with some chips along with some regular salsa.

CHUY'S JALAPENO RANCH SAUCE

1 whole jalapeno, chopped, deveined and seeded (less if you don't like a lot of heat)
3-4 tablespoons cilantro without stems
1 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup tomatillo sauce (salsa verde)
1 package Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix

In a mini food processor put mayonnaise, buttermilk, jalapeno, cilantro, and salsa verde.  Blend well until smooth.  Remove from processor and place in a bowl.  Add Hidden Valley Ranch mix and stir well.  Chill several hours before serving to allow flavors to blend.  Serve with chips or even as a dressing for salads.