Thursday, September 30, 2010

Texas Sheet Cake

2 sticks oleo
1 cup water
6 Tbsp cocoa powder
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk (or almost 1/2 cup milk plus 1 Tbsp lemon juice)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup cocoa
1 stick oleo
1/3 cup buttermilk (or almost 1/3 cup milk plus 1 Tbsp lemon juice)
1 box powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Nuts, coconut, or both (optional)

Bring oleo and water to boil. Mix sugar, cocoa, and flour together. Pour oleo and water mixture over cocoa mixture. Add eggs, buttermilk, soda, and vanilla; stir. Bake at 350 until done, about 15-20 minutes.

Mix cocoa, oleo, buttermilk together. Bring to boil. Add powdered sugar a little at a time until smooth. Add vanilla and nuts or coconut. The frosting should be somewhat liquidy so add milk to get desired consistency if needed. Pour over warm cake and spread evenly.

Enchilada Lasagna

This recipe is a mix between an Enchilada Stack and Mexican Lasagna. It was super easy to make in the Crock-Pot. I'm going to post the recipe as a I made it for dinner, but below add suggestions for how I would change it next time I make it. Please be sure to read the notes under the recipe.

1 pound ground beef, browned and drained
1 small onion, diced fine
1 large can red enchilada sauce
6 large flour tortillas
2 cups shredded cheese

Once meat is browned and drained, return to pan and add onion. Allow to cook another 1-2 minutes. In the meantime, spray the Crock with cooking spray. Add a couple spoonfuls of enchilada sauce to bottom and spread into an even layer. Add remaining enchilada sauce to meat and onion mixture, stirring ingredients together. Layer a tortilla on top of the sauce in the crock. Layer enchilada mixture. Repeat the layers twice more. Add cheese on top of sauce layer, then another tortilla. Repeat until out of ingredients. Add cheese on top. Allow to cook in Crock on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-3 hours. To serve, try cutting the lasagna into pieces then scoop out. Top with ingredients you'd put on enchiladas (sour cream, jalapenos, taco sauce, salsa, etc.) Could serve with refried beans or Spanish rice for sides.

Notes: Making it this way was too acidic for me, so I recommend finding something to cut the enchilada sauce back a bit. Maybe combining with some sour cream or a can of tomato soup would help.

If everyone in the family enjoys refried beans, olives, or Spanish rice, it would be good to add these to the layers. It would make it more filling and eliminate the need for side dishes.

Adding cheese to each layer would make it yummier (I didn't, because we didn't have enough).

You could also substitute shredded chicken or pork for the ground beef. Any meat will do as long as it is cooked before adding it to the layers. If making chicken enchiladas, I would recommend using 1 small can of enchilada sauce and 1 can of cream of chicken soup.

Cheesy Baked Potato Soup

I whipped this up for dinner last night in the Crock Pot and it almost fed 5 adults with large servings. It's been too hot in Southern California to want to use the oven or stove, so the Crock is coming in handy. Triple digits in late-September is definitely not cool!! The previous night, I made Enchilada Lasagna which I will be posting immediately after this.

1 stick salted butter (or unsalted butter and 1/2 tsp salt)
1/2 medium onion, fine dice
12-14 medium Russet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1-2" chunks
2 Tbsp or 3 cloves minced garlic (I used the jar kind)
1 small can chicken broth or 1 3/4 cups water with 2 chicken bouillon cubes
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 cups milk
1 can cheddar cheese soup
2 tsp garlic salt (or garlic powder if it has enough salt)
2 Tbsp dried parsley
bacon bits, to taste
Shredded cheddar cheese

I think I used a 4 quart Crock Pot and it was about 2/3 full when done. Cut butter into pats and place on bottom of crock. Turn on high and cover with a lid to melt the butter. Peel and dice potatoes while waiting. Once butter has melted, add onion and garlic. Stir together then add potatoes. Next add chicken broth, 1 cup milk, and pepper. Stir until all potatoes are coated. Reduce heat to low and cook for 4 hours (or keep on high for 2 hours). Add cheddar cheese soup and let cook on low for another 1 1/2 hours (or high for 45 minutes). Using a potato masher, mash the larger chunks of potatoes to get a smoother consistency. Add another cup of milk, garlic salt/powder, parsley, bacon bits, and stir well. If you are going to eat this immediately, I would recommend adding shredded cheese then serving. Since we ate in shifts, each person added cheese to their bowl before eating.

Since this is designed as a baked potato soup, it would be appropriate to garnish with sour cream, more bacon bits, chives or green onions, and shredded cheese. It's a matter of personal preference.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mexican/Spanish Dip

1 pound ground beef
1 cup Spanish rice
1 cup ranch style beans
1 cup medium enchilada sauce

Brown beef and drain grease off. Add rice, beans, and sauce; let simmer for a few minutes. Top with cheese. May be placed in a Crockpot to keep warm.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Pink Anniversary Punch

Yields: 20-5 oz servings

3 cups water
1 cup sugar
1-32 ounce bottle cranberry juice
2 cups pineapple juice
2/3 cup lemon juice
2-12 ounce cans lemon lime soda, chilled
Ice ring (pink punch w/ maraschino cherries and lemon slices)

In small saucepan over medium heat, stir water and sugar until sugar dissolves. Cover and chill. In large pitcher or glass container, stir together sugar syrup and juices. Cover and chill thoroughly. To serve, pour juice into chilled punch bowl. Stir in soda and add ice ring. Serve.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Golden Graham Squares

8 cups Golden Grahams
6 cups or 10.5 oz bag mini marshmallows
1½ cups milk chocolate chips
¼ cup corn syrup
5 Tbsp. real butter
1 tsp. vanilla

In microwave, melt butter, syrup, chips, and marshmallows. After melted, add vanilla and cereal. Mix together by hand (with gloves). Spread onto cookie sheet; press down with greased wax paper. Cool; sprinkle marshmallows on top before completely cool. Cut into pieces.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Grilled Pineapple Chicken Tenders

1 cup pineapple juice
½ cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup light soy sauce
2 pounds chicken breast tenders


In small saucepan over medium heat, combine all ingredients but chicken. Remove from heat just before mixture comes to a boil. Place chicken tenders in medium bowl and cover with pineapple marinade. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Preheat grill for medium heat. Thread chicken lengthwise onto wooden skewers. Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill tenders for 5 minutes per side or until juices run clear.

You may also add bell peppers or onions to skewers for kabobs.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Black Forest Tartlets

6 oz. (1½ c) dark chocolate chips, divided
4 tsp shortening, divided into equal parts
12 maraschino cherries with stems
½ c cherry preserves
1 T maraschino cherry juice
½ tsp unflavored gelatin
¼ c heavy cream

Combine half of the chocolate chips and half of shortening. Heat together in microwave until melted.

Use a pastry brush and brush the inside of 12 mini foil cups with chocolate.

Place in mini muffin tin then freeze for 1 hour.

Melt remaining chocolate and shortening. Add second coat to cups.

Dip cherries in remaining chocolate, keeping stems attached.

Freeze cups and cherries for at least 4 hours.

Peel liners from cups and return to freezer in muffin tin.

Heat preserves, juice and gelatin over low heat; cook until preserves are melted and gelatin is dissolved, 3-5 minutes.

Remove from heat and let cool.

Beat heavy cream until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. Fold into cooled cherry mixture and refrigerate 1 hour. Spoon filling into chocolate cups and garnish each cup with a chocolate cherry. Serve immediately.

Friday, September 24, 2010


1 package tortillas
1 tablespoon of margarine (or extra virgin olive oil)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 fresh glove of garlic, minced (or equivalent from a jar)
1- 4 ounce can diced green chiles, drained
1/2 cup sour cream
1- 10 3/4 ounce can condensed cream of chick soup
1 1/2 cups cubed skinless chicken breast
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup milk

*measurements do not have to be exact :-)

Remove tortillas from fridge and heat oven to 350. Cook chicken with onion and garlic in margarine or olive oil. Stir in chiles, sour cream, and soup. Mix well. Set some sauce aside (without meat). Add 1/2 cup of cheese. Warm tortillas, fill with chicken mixture, and roll. Place seam side down in a sprayed baking dish. Mix reserved sauce with milk and spoon over rolled tortillas. Top with remaining cheese. Bake 30-35 minutes, until cheese is golden and bubbly.

*For beef enchiladas, use burger instead of chicken and enchilada sauce or tomato soup in place of cream of chicken soup.

I often use mild enchilada sauce in place of soup for chicken or beef enchiladas. Given that, I don't add the milk and I reserve enchilada sauce only to top the enchiladas before baking.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Applesauce Cake with a Caramel Glaze

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups brown sugar
1 egg
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cloves
2 cups raisins
2 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 cups unsweetened applesauce
1 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup brown sugar
¼ cup evaporated milk
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour (or spray) a 10 inch tube pan.
2. Cream butter until smooth. Gradually add brown sugar. Beat until light and fluffy.
3. Add egg and beat well.
4. Sift together 2 cups flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Add to mix in batches alternating with applesauce, beating well each time.
5. Dredge raisins and walnuts in remaining flour. Fold raisins, nuts, and flour into batter.
6. Pour into pan and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until done.
7. Cool cake in pan 15 pins then invert to a rack to cool completely.
8. Prepare glaze by combining all ingredients in a small sauce pan.
9. Heat glaze, stirring constantly until mixture boils and sugar dissolves.
10. Cook and stir constantly until mixture reaches 240 then drizzle on cake.

-*-The first time I made this, I left out the raisins.

-*- I only had salted butter, so I used that in equal amounts, but omitted the salt in the cake recipe.

-*-The glaze will set up to a frosting consistency if you remove it from heat for awhile instead of drizzling immediately. I happened to like that much better than the glaze, but that’s simply my personal preference.