Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Oh Baby! Bundt Cake

Today it's a Carrot Bundt Cake with 
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting.
It has a secret ingredient that makes it so easy food!
 You can also use other flavors of baby food.
tip: take out the half stick of butter and half brick
of cream cheese now so that they will be softened 
when it's time to make the frosting.
 Mix the sugar and oil, then beat in the eggs.
 Mix in the baby food, 
 cinnamon, soda, and a pinch of salt.
 After the batter is well-mixed, add the flour
 and chopped pecans.
 Pour into a (greased/floured) sprayed pan.
Bake at 350 for about 50 minutes. Test after 45'
Sides will pull away slightly and the top will spring
 back when lightly pressed with a finger. Long 
toothpick will come out with a few moist crumbs
(not wet batter). You should be able to smell it!
That always tells me when it's done.
 While the cake cools, rinse out the bowl and
 beaters to make the lemon cream cheese frosting.
Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes, 
then invert onto a cake stand.
Whip until creamy.
 Line a short glass with a baggie, folding over 
the top and fill with frosting.
Zip it shut and snip off a little of the corner.
 You can also just dust the top of the cake with 
powdered sugar, but I like the drizzle of frosting. 
It's not too much.
 Squeeze the bag and pipe it on.
 Pretty enough to eat!
 Make a pot of coffee or tea and
cut yourself a piece of cake.
 I'll probable cut some pieces to freeze, 
after all there are only two of us.
 Or give a slice to whoever stops by.
That was the yard guy today. 
It's very easy, good, and moist. 
Lots of flavor options with just
2 jars of baby food. 
*Don't forget to save your jars!
Oh Baby! Bundt Cake
2 C sugar
1 C oil
3 XL eggs
2 small jars baby food 
(carrot ~ 4oz each)
2 t cinnamon
1 t baking soda
pinch salt
2 C flour
1 C pecans, chopped
Mix oil and sugar. Beat in egg.
Add baby food, cinnamon, soda, and salt.
When well mixed, add flour and nuts.
Bake in a well greased and floured tube or
bundt pan. Bake for 50 minutes, until 
sides pull away and toothpick has moist crumbs.
let cool in pan for 15  minutes then invert onto
cake plate. Let cool before frosting or just 
dust with powdered sugar.

note* you can make any flavor cake by using
different combinations of baby food. 
1 plum + 1 apricot w/ additional 
1/4t nutmeg or cloves
2 apricot or 2 peach
2 apple or 1 apple + 1 pear
you get the idea!

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
4 oz cream cheese (1/2 brick)
2 oz butter (1/2 stick)
1 t vanilla
1 T lemon juice
2 C powdered sugar
Have butter and cream cheese at room temp.
Beat with beaters. Add vanilla and lemon juice.
Beat in powdered sugar.
Scoop onto baggie and snip off tiny corner, 
then pipe onto cooled cake.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Homemade Rice-a-Roni

If you want something  a little more interesting 
than plain rice you can jazz it up 
with just a few simple ingredients.
This is good side to serve with grilled food like: 
chicken, salmon or flank steak.
You have everything you need in your pantry.
Snap spaghetti into small pieces until it fills 1/2C.
Measure out all the seasonings before starting. 
This makes it easier to add quickly.
You can adjust the seasonings to suite your taste.
Saute the broken spaghetti and rice in butter.
Stirring until golden.
It's already starting to smell good!
Stir in the seasonings.
Add the broth. You can use canned or bullion
 and water. I've made it with beef broth too.
Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low 
and simmer covered for about 20  minutes. 
Most of the liquid will have been absorbed.
Fluff and serve.
Leftovers are good too.

Homemade Rice-a-Roni
1 C white (regular long grain) rice
1/2 C pasta, (spaghetti) broken into small pieces
2 T butter
3 C chicken broth
2 T parsley flakes
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/4 t pepper
1/4 -1/2 t seasoned salt (depending of saltiness of broth)

Melt the butter in a large skillet and saute the rice and pasta until golden, stirring often. Stir in all the seasonings, then add the broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer covered until the liquid had been absorbed and the rice and pasta are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Fluff with a fork a few times. If it is still too wet,  let it sit on low with the lid off a few minutes.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Shepherd's Pie (aka Hamburger Pie)

Are you in the mood for comfort food?
This hamburger pie is an old favorite casserole. 
Saucy ground beef topped with mashed potatoes
and sprinkled with shredded cheddar cheese.
What's not to love?

You can even make the beef filling ahead of time.
 Just bring it to room temperature before 
putting it into the oven. 
Simple ingredients. It's an old recipe from my
collection. It's from the 'BHG 100 Favorites'
 cookbook form the 70's.
It's retro!
 Brown the hamburger and onions.
 Add the seasonings, beans and tomato soup.
 Put into a greased pie dish. Sometimes I cover it
 at this point and refrigerate to bake later.
 Mash the potatoes while hot with the 1/2 C milk. 
 Whip in the egg.
 Season to taste with salt and pepper.
 Mound onto the hamburger.
Sprinkle with the 1/2 C shredded cheddar.
 Bake for 25-30 minuted.
 Enjoy a 'homey' dinner.
It's always good to have leftovers for lunch too.
Save this recipe for a day that has you
craving an old favorite.

Shepherd's Pie
(Hamburger Pie)
1 lb ground beef
1/2 C chopped onion
1t salt
1/2t pepper
1 can 16-oz green beans, drained
1 can tomato soup
Cook the meat with the onion until the meat  
is browned and the onion is tender. Season to 
taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the soup 
and green beans. Pour into a greased 
1-1/2 qt. casserole or deep pie dish. 
Add topping. 
5 potatoes, cooked
1/2 C milk
1 egg, mixed with fork
1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese
Mash the cooked potatoes while still hot with
 milk. Season with salt and pepper.
Soon in mounds around around casserole. 
Sprinkle the potatoes with cheese. 
Bake @350 for 25-30 minutes.


Monday, May 6, 2013

Roasted Shrimp, Roasted Peppers, Tomatoes and Feta

Another delicious shrimp dish. 
It's all roasted in the oven in under 30 minutes
 and that makes it easy enough for 
any night and special enough for entertaining.
It uses grape tomatoes and
 1/2 C of the jarred roasted red peppers that 
I used in my last shrimp and spinach recipe HERE
So, if you bought a jar of it for that dish 
here's another way to use it.
Of course it has garlic!  You'll also need feta
cheese, fresh parsley, lemon juice, 
 Rinse 2 pts grape tomatoes.
If you're lucky you have these in your garden. 
(Note to self: plant cherry tomatoes)
 Toss the tomatoes, chopped garlic, olive oil, 
salt and pepper in a 9x13 pan until well coated. 
Roast in a 450 oven for 15 minutes. 
 Peel 1/1/2 lbs raw shrimp, medium size
 (31/40 count).
 Stir in the shrimp and peppers.
 Bake another 10-15 minutes until the shrimp just 
turn opaque. Toss in the parsley, feta and
lemon juice.
Serve  with rice or orzo and crusty French bread.

Roasted Shrimp,Tomatoes and Feta
1-1/2 lbs medium shrimp-peeled
2 pt. grape tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 t kosher salt
1/2 t pepper
3 T olive oil
1/2 C jarred roasted red bell peppers, chopped
1/2 C chopped fresh parsley
1 4-oz package crumbled feta cheese
2 T lemon juice
Preheat oven to 450. Place tomatoes, garlic, salt,
 pepper, and olive oil in a 9x13 pan. 
Toss to coat. Bake 15 minutes.
Stir in shrimp and peppers. Bake another 
10-15 minutes, until shrimp are cooked and 
opaque. Toss in the parsley, feta cheese 
and lemon juice. Serve with orzo or rice and 
crusty French bread. Serves 4.