Recent Recipes

Apple Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

Comments (0) | Monday, July 30, 2012

I often run across recipes that sound so incredibly good to me that I want so badly to make but never really have a need to.  I used to use Joe as my baking experiment tester.  When he worked in Portland I would try out new cookies, cakes and desserts... try one piece and send the rest to work with him.  He would then turn around and email me the chain of correspondence starting with his all-staff announcement that "my wife has made cookies and they are in the 6th floor lounge" and ending with a string of compliments that would make any baker beam.  It was therapeutic for me... I could try new things without wasting or eating more than humanly necessary and I got positive feedback for trying new recipes.  But now that we've moved to Bend and he works in an office of 4, this system no longer works for me.  Fortunately I work with a good number of coworkers who, for the most part, enjoy my experimentation.  UNfortunately, I work with nothing but women and I never know when, at any given time, all, some or none of them could be on some crazy diet for which I will be accused of sabotaging with my baking endeavors.

Day 1: took the cake to work and managed to pawn off about half of it to much appreciative coworkers.
Day 2: took it back home, Joe, Shawna (my niece) and I ate a piece for dessert
Day 3: Shawna and I ate a piece for dessert
Day 4: Shawna ate a piece for dessert
Day5: I threw a small leftover piece away

Not too bad, I suppose for such a large (and oh so delicious) cake...

Apple Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup finely chopped pecans
3 cups flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups peeled and finely chopped Gala apples (about 3 medium apples)

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar

Prepare filling: beat first 3 ingredients with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth.  Add egg, flour, and vanilla, beat just until blended.

Prepare batter: preheat oven to 350.  Bake pecans in a shallow pan 8-10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.  Stir together 3 cups flour and next 7 ingredients (through allspice) in a large bowl.  Stir in eggs and next 3 ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moist.  Fold in apples and pecans.

Spoon 1/2 of apple mixture into greased and floured 14-cup bundt pan.  Pour cream cheese filling over batter and swirl with a knife.  Top with remaining apple batter.   Bake at 350 for 1 hour, to 1 hour 15 minutes or until a long wodden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes then remove from pan to rack to cool completely.

Prepare frosting: bring 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter and 3 T milk to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly.  Boil 1 minute, whisking constantly.  Remove from heat; add vanilla.  Gradually whisk in powdered sugar until smooth.  Stir gently until mixture begins to cool and slightly thicken. Pour immediately over cooled cake (frosting sets up quickly!)

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Lemonade Frozen Yogurt

Comments (0) | Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I love that this is the time of year for frozen desserts.  I've torn out several recipes for mouth-watering frozen yogurts and ice creams but somehow seem to forget that I even OWN an ice cream maker.  But when I got this incredibly easy recipe in an email, it gave me the inspiration I needed to dig the darn thing out of the garage and get freezing!  The kids were thrilled to be making our "own" frozen yogurt and Brendan (as with nearly all of my food creations) proclaimed that it was better than any frozen yogurt he'd ever had.  Have I mentioned I love that boy? :)

I must admit that this requires an ice cream maker.  If you don't own one you can get one relatively cheap here at under $40.  My ice cream maker is simple.  Cuisinart brand, 1 1/2 quart capacity.  Store the freezer bowl in the big freezer.  Nothing fancy but SO worth the excitement of "homemade!"

Lemonade Frozen Yogurt

1 quart (32 oz.) vanilla low-fat yogurt
1 can (12 0z.) lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 cup half and half
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar

In a bowl, whisk together all ingredients.  Chill until cold, about 30 minutes.

Freeze mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions until motor stops or dasher is hard to turn.  Transfer to an airtight container and freeze until firm enough to scoop, about 2 hours (frozen yogurt will keep in freezer for up to 2 weeks.)

Serving size = 1/2 cup

Cal: 190, Pro: 4.4g, Fat: 3.3g, Sat: 2.1g, Carb: 37g, Fiber: 0.1g, Chol: 11mg
*recipe courtesy of Sunset magazine*

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Artichoke, Lemon and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken

Comments (0) | Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I tried not to delay in posting this recipe.  If you're willing to put the time and effort into it, this meal will not fail to please.  I couldn't believe the amount of flavor (and the way the ingredients complimented each other) in the filling.  Seriously amazing.  I found myself feeling like it was a meal I ordered at a restaurant.  Brendan couldn't stop raving and happily cleaned his plate.  I served it with baked sweet potatoes and rice pilaf but really any side dishes would do... nothing could steal the spotlight from this outstanding main dish!

Chicken Breasts stuffed with 
Artichokes, Lemon and Goat Cheese

2 1/2 tablespoons Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 (6-ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 (3-ounce) package herbed goat cheese, softened
4 small (6-ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts

Preheat oven to 375.

Combine first 6 ingredients; stir well.

Pound each chicken breast to 1/4-inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin.  Divide filling evenly among breasts.  Roll up, tuck in sides and secure with toothpicks.

Heat a large oven-proof skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat.  Add chicken to pan and brown on all sides. Cover handle of pan with foil and bake at 375 for 15 minutes or until chicken is done.  Yield: 4 servings

*courtesy of Cooking Light*
Cal: 234, Fat: 7.8g (sat 3.5g), Protein: 33g, Carb: 7.2g, Fiber: 1.5g, Chol: 78mg  

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Oven-Fried Chicken Thighs

Comments (0) | Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I was pretty much in heaven and felt like I was indulging in some serious southern cooking.  These thighs were amazing, albeit not the healthiest option Cooking Light has ever offered.  But I reminded myself it was still a lightened version of the real thing, and really it didn't matter once I took my first bite... I was lost in the flavors and careless to fat and calorie content...

Oven-Fried Chicken Thighs with Buttermilk-Mustard Sauce

1/2 cup low fat buttermilk
2 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese
6-8 boneless skinless chicken thighs

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Combine first 6 ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl.  Spoon 1/4 cup of mixture into a shallow bowl; reserve remaining mixture.

Combine breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese in another shallow bowl.  Dip chicken in buttermilk mixture; dredge in breadcrumb mixture.  Place on a plate and chill 15 minutes.  Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and place in oven for 5 minutes.

Place chicken on baking sheet.  Bake for 12 minutes, turn each piece and bake another 12 minutes.  Microwave reserved buttermilk mixture on high 20 seconds or until warm. Drizzle sauce over chicken (best served atop mashed potatoes!)

*original recipe courtesy of Cooking Light*

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Grilled Chicken with Cola Sauce

Comments (0) |

So this is yet another one of my "oops" I didn't follow the recipe right stories.  The end result was so fabulous that I had a hard time deciding exactly how to post the recipe.  Since I am curious to try it the "right" way I will post the original recipe and then explain what I did wrong.  Although the recipe also only calls for chicken breasts, I had a mixture of boneless skinless breasts and thighs that I used... both equally delicious.

Grilled Chicken with Cola Sauce

2 teaspoons canola oil
2 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 cup cola (I used regular Coca-Cola)
1/3 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon sweet (I used smoked) paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
6 (6-ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts

Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add onion to pan; saute 2 minutes stirring occasionally.  Add garlic; saute1 minute.  Stir in cola and next 4 ingredients (through chili powder.)  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes or until sauce reduces to 3/4 cup, stirring occasionally.  Set 6 tablespoons sauce aside.

Combine sugar and next 3 ingredients (through cumin), stirring well.  Rub spice mixture evenly over both sides of chicken.  Arrange chicken on a grill rack; grill 5 minutes on each side, basting with remaining sauce (or until done.)  Serve with reserved sauce.

*courtesy of Cooking Light*

*So here's where I went wrong.... I must have been in an altered sleep state because I know in my heart of cooking hearts that the biggest mistakes can come from not pre-reading the recipe. So, as I was preparing the sauce in the saucepan, I just started adding all of the ingredients (through the cumin!!)  Once I realized my mistake I decided to just go ahead with it, use the sauce as it was and just sprinkle the chicken with a little salt and pepper (rather than the rub of spices that was incidentally in the sauce) before throwing it on the grill.  The result was still fabulous and Joe was utterly impressed when I told him I had made the bbq sauce from scratch!*

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