Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I would love to hear from you!

So tell me what you think! :D I have posted several recipes and would love to hear from you. Please click on the comments link on each post to leave your comments. Are you looking for a particular recipe? Does a recipe you have not work for you and are looking for ways to improve? If you made any alterations to my recipes, let me know! I am always looking for ways to "spice" up a recipe or two. Also feel free to post your recipes on here to share with others (I will make sure you get full credit so be sure to email me your contact information) You can even create your own blog. It is easy! If you don't know how, feel free to email me and I will help you through the process.

Also, don't forget about my free toolbar! It will help you create awesome recipes, search videos on preparation and help you find great local coupons! DOWNLOAD HERE



Be well and happy cooking!
Crystal

Strawberry Cream Cake-Recipes for Baking



Another cake recipe for you from The Cupcake Lady. Yes, some of these recipes are from box mixes. I know, I know. I have found that many people really like the taste of box mixes since it reminds them of cakes their family used to make. It is hard to get from scratch cakes to taste like box mixes. Either way, this cake is super moist and full of strawberry flavor. Enjoy!



Strawberry Cream Cake

Ingredients
· 1 box Strawberry Cake Mix
· 1 stick of butter, softened
· 1 T sugar
· 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
· 1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries, thawed
· 1/2 cup whole milk
· 3 T sour cream
· 2 large eggs; 2 egg whites
· 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2-9” baking pans; set aside.
2. Place strawberries in a small food processor; process until pureed. You should have about 1/2 cup of puree, add a few more strawberries if necessary or save any extra puree for frosting; set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well combined and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until just blended.
4. With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture; mix until just blended. Add the milk, vanilla & strawberry puree; mix until just blended. Slowly add remaining flour mixture and sour cream, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary, until just blended. Add nuts.
Divide batter evenly among prepared baking pans. Transfer pans  to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch, 25 to 27 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack and let cakes cool completely in tin before icing

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Jackson Pollock Cake-Recipes for Baking

Recipes for Baking Series
Jackson Pollock is known for his abstract art that resembles splatter painting. This is a fun cake to make when you need a laugh! It is a super rich cake perfect for any occasion.

Printable Copy of Jackson Pollock Cake-Recipes for Baking

Ingredients
· 1 box yellow cake mix

· 1 stick of unsalted butter, softened

· 1 T sugar

· 1 T vanilla extract

· 3 eggs

· 1 1/3 c milk

· 3 T sour cream

· 1 can cherry pie filling

· (frosting) 1 stick unsalted butter

· (frosting) 1 T vanilla extract

· (frosting) 5 c powder sugar

· (frosting) 2-3 T milk



Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

2. Using a stand or hand mixer, whip butter and sugar until fluffy; add vanilla.

3. Add one egg at a time, mix on low speed.

4. Alternate cake mix and milk until completely blended.

5. Add sour cream. Do not over mix.

6. Spray 2 -9” round pans with nonstick cooking spray. Divide batter between pans and cook for 26-28 minutes.

7. Let cakes cool completely on cooling rack.

8. Time to make frosting! Whip butter in mixer until fluffy. Slowly add 2 1/2 cups of powder sugar , vanilla and 1 T milk.

9. Add remaining sugar and milk until you get a spreadable consistency. Set aside.

10. Place one cake on cake plate. Using decorating bag or Ziploc bag and pipe a thick layer of frosting around edge to form a barrier for filling.

11. Spread cherry pie filling on top of cake. The frosting barrier will prevent filling from spreading out.

12.  Add second cake layer. Spread remaining icing over entire cake. Top and sides.

13. (optional) melt semi sweet chocolate and use spoon or small spatula to fling chocolate over cake.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Cake-Recipes for Baking

A few of you know that I was, for a short while, running a small in-home baking business called "The Cupcake Lady". Though I love baking, it got a bit time consuming with working a full time job and running my accounting business. So I closed up shop but I came across many of my recipes the other day while trying to "clean up" my computer files. I am going to post these recipes weekly for you to look over and maybe get inspired to bake. :D

Cupcake Lady: Recipes for Baking Series 
Printable Recipe for Pumpkin Spice Cake

Pumpkin Spice Cake


***Cupcake Lady Original***

2 c all purpose flour
1 t salt
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
2-3 T pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger)
1 c butter (2 sticks)
3 eggs
3 T sour cream
1 c sugar
1 c brown sugar
1 t vanilla
1 can pumpkin (Libby’s pure pumpkin)

Preheat oven to 350 F
Soften butter in microwave for 20 seconds on high. (You don’t want to completely melt the butter) Add to stand mixer. Beat on low until butter is fluffy. Slowly add sugars and mix on low. Add each egg one at a time and mix until smooth. Add vanilla.
Sift dry ingredients together and slowly add to liquid mixture while beating on low. Mix thoroughly. Add pumpkin and continue to mix on low.
Place cake mixture into sprayed cake pans and cook for 20-25 minutes.
Top with cream cheese icing for even more flavor! 

Tools Needed for This Recipe:

 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Broccoli and Wild Rice Soup

Broccoli and Wild Rice Soup
This one is not mine so I can not take credit. Thanks to the great folks at Taste of Home for this filling soup. I used 2% milk and full fat cream cheese. Thus, mine is not as low fat. But hey, I am a Southern girl, and us Southern girls love our creams.

My hubby cooked this meal and did a fantastic job! Now, keep in mind, the only dinners my husband will cook are Hamburger Helper or Spaghetti. If he can do it then so can you. He cooked the soup in the pressure cooker (High: 10 minutes) but I am providing the original stove-top recipe for those who do not have a pressure cooker.
(Note: I also changed the soup to cream of mushroom to stay true to a more veggie menu. The original recipe called for cream of chicken.)

Click Here for a Printable Copy

Broccoli and Wild Rice Soup
6 Servings
Ingredients
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 package (6 ounces) long grain and wild rice mix
  • 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) reduced-fat reduced-sodium condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
  • 1-1/2 cups fat-free milk
  • 1 package (8 ounces) fat-free cream cheese, cubed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
  • 1 large carrot, shredded (I use a zester for quick service)
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Directions
In a large saucepan, combine the water and rice mix with contents of seasoning packet; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the soup, milk, cream cheese and salt; stir until cheese is melted. Add broccoli and carrot; cook over medium-low heat for 5-6 minutes or until vegetables and rice are tender. Sprinkle with almonds. Yield: 6 servings.

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Tools recommended for this recipe:

Pressure Cooker (optional)
Saucepan
Zester






Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers

Full of flavor and then some! I was very happy with the way these guys turned out. I just put items in my pantry together, stuffed the peppers and cooked for about 3-4 hours on low heat. It was a breeze to make and didn't heat up the kitchen. Which is always a plus in my book.

I served the peppers with sour cream on the side. Very filling and tasty! Enjoy!


Slow Cooked Stuffed Peppers
Ingredients
  • 4 medium sweet red peppers
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 3/4 cup salsa
  • ½ c onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1 pack ready cooked rice, Mexican or Spanish rice style
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Reduced-fat sour cream, optional
Directions
  • Cut tops off peppers and remove seeds; place a small amount of cheese (a pinch) into each pepper; set aside. Sauté onion in olive oil for 2 minutes. Add corn and sauté for an additional 2 minutes. Add black beans, salsa, cumin, chili powder and rice to the pan. Simmer on medium low heat for about 3 minutes. Spoon mixture into peppers. Place in a 5-qt. slow cooker coated with cooking spray.
  • Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours or until peppers are tender and filling is heated through. Add remaining cheese to top of peppers for the last 15-20 minutes of cooking time. Serve with sour cream if desired. Yield: 4 servings.
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Tools Needed to Make this Recipe
Non-Stick Skillet
Cutting Board
Chef or Chopping Knife
Slow Cooker







Monday, August 22, 2011

Tropical Zucchini Bread

A friend of mine had given me a recipe many moons ago for a traditional zucchini bread. I adapted her recipe into a tropical bread. I use coconut oil and pineapple in this to give it a sweet and tropical flavor. Next time I might even add coconut flakes! I lowered a few of the calories by substituting applesauce for half of the oil and used Truvia instead of sugar.

Click Here for Printable Copy

Tropical Zucchini Bread
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 c coconut oil (you can use other oils)
  •  ½ c applesauce
  • 2 cups sugar OR (1/3 c Truvia + 1 T or 24 packets)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups coarsely grated zucchini
  • 1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon (I put a smidge more since I like cinnamon)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger  
  • 1/2 c sour cream (shhhh secret ingredient. Don't tell) :D
Directions:
1.      Preheat oven to 350°F
2.      In a mixer, beat eggs. Aid oil, sugar, and vanilla; continue beating mixture until thick and foamy. With a spoon, stir in zucchini and pineapple.

      In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Add dry ingredients into wet a bit at a time and gently stir (by hand) after each addition. Add sour cream to mixture.  

 
           Divide the batter equally between 2 greased and flour-dusted 5 by 9 inch loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour. Cool in pans for 10-15 minutes. Turn out onto wire racks to cool thoroughly.

      
_______________________________________________________________________________
 _  Items needed to make this recipe:

     Stand Mixer or Hand Mixer
     Mixing Bowls
     Bread Pan

 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies-No Bake

I have been eating these yummy and super easy to make cookies for years now. Of course, when Mom used to make them, she used sugar and butter. All of the yummy stuff! Since I am trying to watch my sugar intake and experiment with coconut oil, I have changed her recipe up just a bit. (Note about coconut oil: Please do not try to go "cheap" here. Buy organic unrefined oil. It tastes and cooks the best. You can usually pick up a jar for about $10-$15) I thought the cookies turned out great!
Only problem......eating too many in one setting. :D




Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies-Skillet Cookies

Ingredients
  • 1 cups sugar (Truvia-24 packets or 1/3 cup + 1 T)
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1/2 stick butter or try ¼ c coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • ½  cup peanut butter
  • ½   tablespoon vanilla
  • 1.5 cups oatmeal
  • Waxed paper
Directions
In a heavy saucepan bring to a boil, the sugar, cocoa, butter and milk. Let boil for 1 minute then add peanut butter, vanilla and oatmeal. On a sheet of waxed paper, drop mixture by the teaspoonfuls, until cooled and hardened. Servings: Approx 20 cookies. 
_________________________________________________________________________
Tools needed to make this recipe:

Saucepan


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Salmon Croquettes with Remoulade Sauce

COOKING DISASTERS THAT CAN BE AVOIDED BY CAREFULLY UNDERSTANDING ALL INSTRUCTIONS:

Such a funny story. I have never made these bad boys before so I thought I would try something new. Most of you know I am veggie now but I will eat fish on occasion. Now, with this recipe, I was instructed to put oil in the pan and cook until brown on each side. Well, for some reason my brain told me to deep fry these guys. Nope, the first one I put in the deep fry oil completely fell apart. Then common sense came back to me and I realized you are simply going to saute or brown them. No more than a thin coat of oil in the bottom of pan. Geesh. Been a long week apparently. :D

The croquettes have a good flavor. The remoulade sauce turned out great! I served mine over a bed of red beans and rice. So yummy! Enjoy...




Salmon Croquettes with Cajun Remoulade Sauce

Salmon Croquettes:
2 (6-ounce) cans red salmon
1 minced shallot
1 large egg
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons breadcrumbs
Juice from 1/2 lemon

1 tablespoon of Cajun seasoning
 
Cajun Remoulade Sauce:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 celery stalk, minced
1 scallion, minced
1 tablespoon parsley, minced
1 tablespoon ketchup
A generous splash or 2 of Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tablespoon garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
  1. To make Salmon Croquettes: In a large bowl combine red salmon, shallot, egg, Dijon mustard, breadcrumbs, lemon juice and season with cajun seasoning, and mix.
  2. Add Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil to a pan and saute over medium heat until the croquette is nicely browned and cooked through.
  3. To make Cajun Remoulade Sauce: Start with Mayonnaise, celery, scallions, parsley, capers, ketchup, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic cayenne pepper and season with salt and pepper. Mix well.
Makes 4 servings.

(Recipe adapted from CooksRecipes.com)


__________________________________________________________________

To make this meal you will need the following tools:
Cutting Board
Chopping Knife
Mixing Bowls
Non-Stick Skillet or saute pan







Friday, August 19, 2011

Slow Cooker Spinach and Artichoke Dip

The only other appliance or kitchen tool I love more than my slow cooker is my pressure cooker. During Summer in the South, the last thing you want is a hot kitchen from a hot oven. It is hot enough outside!

That being said, I made the best spinach dip yesterday. Put everything in the pot, gave it a quick stir, set on low for 3 hours, then had a very yummy lunch!

You can serve with crusty breads or crackers, tortilla chips or veggies.

Let me know what you think....






Slow Cooker Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Ingredients

• 1 can (14 ounces) water-packed artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and chopped
• 1-1/2 cup frozen spinach, chopped
• 1/2 cup sour cream, light
• 1/4 cup mayonnaise, light
• 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
• 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
• ½ block of cream cheese, cubed
• 1/3 cup onion, chopped
• 1 clove of garlic, minced
• 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
• 1 T Olive Oil
• Assorted crackers or breads


Directions

• Sautee onion in olive oil on medium heat for about 2 minutes, add garlic and spinach. Let simmer for about 5 minutes until spinach is wilted and onions are tender
• In a slow cooker, combine all remaining ingredients and spinach mixture. Stir until well blended. Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours or until heated through. Serve with crackers, breads, chips or veggies. Yield: 3 cups.

To make this meal you will need the following tools:
Cutting board
Chopping Knife
Non-stick Skillet
Slow Cooker





Thursday, August 18, 2011

Southwest Cornbread Bake


Southwest Cornbread Bake

1 can chili beans, undrained
1 can of black beans, drained
1 can cream style corn
½ c chopped onion
1 small can green chilies
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 t pepper
1 Box of JIFFY MIX
1 c Queso Blanco Cheese, crumbled or cheddar cheese
1 egg
1/4 cup milk

Directions

In a large bowl, combine the beans, onion and cumin. Transfer to an 9x13-in.baking dish coated with cooking spray. Lay layer of cheese on top of chili bean mix.

In another bowl combine egg (beaten) milk, oil, cream style corn, green chilies; stir in Jiffy Mix just until moistened.

Pour over chili mixture; carefully spread over the top. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Yield: 12 servings.

Veggie Time!

Been a while since I have typed. Hope this blog finds you all well! Alot has happened to me since May. The most significant being that I have become vegetarian. After watching a series of documentaries on Netflix, constantly feeling "bad", and in chronic pain, I decided to make a bold move in the world of food. Bye bye meat! Now, for the record, I will still eat some fish on occasion. (Salmon and Tilapia) I am not a die-hard veggie stating DOWN WITH MEAT!! I am simply doing this for an overall daily eating style. I am also trying to eat as much organic food as possible.

I have been doing the veggie thing for a month now and this is what I have found:
1. I feel great! My energy levels are through the roof
2. No more pain. I have not had any back or leg pain in weeks (note: this is also due to a light exercise routine)
3. Mental clarity. I seem to be more focused and driven.
4. Digestion. I will not get into detail here but lets say that all is going smoothly.
5. Pounds and Inches. Down 15 pounds, 3 inches in my chest, 4 inches in my waist and 3 inches in my hips. No joke! My weight is an interesting thing. I keep "bouncing" around. Up one day, down the next. I always do that though. As long as the inches keep coming off I am fine. :D

So I am glad I made the change.

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