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More birthday baking

30 Oct

Well it’s been a while since I have posted anything on the blog. Sorry about that. Life and lots of crafts are getting in the way.

I have been busy making cakes, making quilts, sewing dresses, knitting and getting ready for Halloween. More about the crafts in the next post. First up Kizaiah’s birthday cake. He requested a chocolate cake with fudge cookies on top.  ki's cake ki's cake top

I used this chocolate cake and this ganache  that you use for the Snickers cake recipe. Baked it in a bundt pan and crumbled broken up fudge cookies on top. He loved it. That’s all that matters. I can’t believe how fast kids grow. ki's cake candles ki's cake candle blowing

 

My friend Donna had a birthday this month and requested the Snickers cake but with one slight modification. Instead of the nougat filling she requested vanilla ice cream. I have to tell you that modifications WAS FREAKING AWESOME. I don’t think that I will make it the original way again. The pictures don’t do it justice. I’m telling you, YOU MUST MAKE THIS CAKE NOW!!! I lined the same size cake pan with parchment paper, filled the pan with vanilla ice cream and froze it over night. When I was ready to assemble the cake I put a layer of cake on the bottom. I dunked the sides of frozen cake pan with the ice cream in a bowl of water just enough to loosen the ice cream, pop it out of the pan and place it on the bottom layer.  Next top ice cream with some caramel sauce and nuts, then the second cake. Put it back into the freezer to make it solid again. After and hour or so, pull cake out of the freezer and top with the frosting and ganache just like the original. So freaking good I tell ya!

snickers ice cream cake

snickers ice cream cake cutI will be posting about all the crafty goodness that has been going on in this house soon. Hope that everybody has a Happy and safe Halloween!

 

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Angel food cake for the Diva

3 Aug

hello kitty cierra candles

Well we have one more birthday under our belt and one more to go. Cierra turned a sassy 6 and she wanted another strawberry cake. I gave her other options but she insisted on strawberry. Even though the original strawberry cake was good I really didn’t feel like making it again, especially since she wanted it frosted exactly the same way and everything. We came to a compromise and she ended up deciding to have strawberry shortcake with homemade angel food cake. I was so nervous about making this cake and had it in the back of my mind that if it didn’t turn out right I could just go to the store and buy one. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised…so much so that I might end up making this cake a lot more often.

The hardest part was waiting for the darn egg whites to turn into peaks. I am not very patient I guess. As the mixer was doing all the work I cleaned up the kitchen a bit to try to pass the time.

hello kitty angel food cake topAngel Food Cake

Source: A taste of home

Ingredients

1-1/4 cups egg whites (about 9) (I used egg whites in the carton)

1-1/2 cups sugar, divided

1 cup cake flour

1-1/4 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

10 inch tube pan (*I used a bundt pan. It worked perfectly)

 

Directions

Place egg whites in a large small bowl; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Sift 1/2 cup sugar and flour together twice; set aside.

 

Place oven rack in the lowest position. Preheat oven to 350°. Add cream of tartar, extracts and salt to egg whites; beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar, about 2 tablespoons at a time, beating on high until stiff peaks form. Gradually fold in flour mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time.

Gently spoon into an ungreased 10-in. tube pan. Cut through batter with a knife to remove air pockets. Bake 35-40 minutes or until lightly browned and entire top appears dry. Immediately invert pan; cool completely, about 1 hour.

Run a knife around side and center tube of pan. Remove cake to a serving plate.

hello kitty angel food cake cut2

hello kitty angel food cake cut***For the strawberry sauce I just cut the tops off the strawberries, cut them up added some sugar and mashed them with a potato smasher. Topped everything with a heaping helping of whipped cream.

 

Long time coming

10 Jul

Well my husband is back for his deployment. YAY! We have been quite busy. We went to California for a month. Had tons of fun with family. Now we are back into the swing of things. We had friends over for the 4th and I cooked. I made pretzel dogs, which are always a big hit, my favorite fudge brownierecipe, grilled chicken marinated my favorite way, baked beans and Salted  Carmel Chocolate Chip cookies (my husbands request). I will post again soon. Lots of food will be getting made now that I actually have to cook again.

salted caramel chocolate chip cookie

I used my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and just adapted it a bit. If you are tempted to try the Salted Caramel version right out of the oven DON’T DO IT. I did they taste pretty salty if you don’t let them cool. They are great after they have cooled.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

original post for Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

2 1/8 cups all-purpose flour (about 10 1/2 ounces)

1/2 teaspoon table salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted and cooled slightly

1 cup packed light brown sugar (7 ounces)

1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cups milk chocolate chips

about 16 pieces of Caramel cubes. Take wrappers off and cut into 4 smaller squares.

Sea salt for sprinkling the tops of warm cookies

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make sure an oven rack is in the center of the oven.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.

Either by hand or with an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars together until well mixed. Add the egg, yolk, and vanilla. Mix well until the batter has lightened slightly in color, about 2 minutes. Add the dry ingredients and chocolate chips at the same time. Mix until all the dry ingredients are incorporated.

Using a cookie scoop or about 1 Tbs portion of cookie batter place on a silpat mat of parchment paper. Once cookies have been placed on cookie sheet place 3-4 squares of caramel pieces into the cookie. I push them lightly into the cookie ball. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes until the edges are set and just lightly browned. Don’t overbake or else the cookies will be tough and hard. Once you pull the cookies out of the oven sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Allow cookies to cool for about 5 minutes on the cookie sheet before trying to remove. Remove cookies and place on a cooling rack.

Easter Doughnuts

30 Mar

Just a quick post before I head out to my friend’s house to have a little get together for our kids. I made Baked donuts. They were super easy to make. I hope they all love them. I also may cinnamon rolls or breakfast tomorrow but I will post more about those once they are baked. I picked up a Wilton’s doughnut pan at Hobby Lobby the other day. I was supposed to make cupcakes for the get together today but I think the donuts will be a nice treat for the kids.

Easter Doughnuts

Wilton’s Baked Doughnut

source: Recipe on the doughnut pan wrapper

makes 12 regular-sized doughnuts      
Ingredients:
2 cups cake flour, sifted
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp butter, melted
Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 425°F.  Spray the 6-cavity doughnut pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2.  Sift together cake flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt in a large mixing bowl.  Whisk in buttermilk, eggs, and butter and beat until just combined.  Fill each donut cup until about 2/3 full.
3.  Bake 7-9 minutes, or until the top of the donuts spring back when touched.  Cool in pan for about 4-5 minutes before removing from pan.  Complete donuts with either a dusting of powdered sugar, glaze, or cinnamon-sugar topping.  Best served fresh on the same day.
I took half of the donuts and topped them with powdered sugar. Just but about a 1/2 cup of powdered sugar in a plastic bag and place one doughnut at a time in the bag and shake gently. Tap the doughnut a bit to remove excess sugar.
Cinnamon Sugar topping:
2 Tbs. sugar
1 Tbs. ground cinnamon
2 Tbs. butter, melted

OMG Beef Broccoli

18 Mar

I have to start out by saying this was so darn good. I have been watching a lot of The Big Bang Theory in this house lately and every time they sit and eat Chinese food I get a hankering. I hopped on over to pinterest and looked for a new recipe to try. I modified the recipe slightly. I will post a link to the original if you’d like to give it a try.

beef n broccoli broccoliBeef with Broccoli

Original Source: Rainy Day Gal, 

(This is my modified version)

2 head broccoli, crowns only cut and rinsed.

1 1/2 lb. Flank Steak sliced thinly against the grain.

3 Tbs. vegetable oil

pepper to taste.

Marinade:

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp sugar

1 Tbs. corn starch

1 Tbs.water

Place all the ingredients in a large bowl, add the meat and toss together. Cover with plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator for about an hour.

Sauce:

1/4 c soy sauce + 1/2 c water ( I used this as a substitute for low sodium soy sauce)

3 Tbs. brown sugar

3 Tbs. flour

1 1/2 Tbs. sherry or rice wine

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

Mix all ingredients in a large measuring cup or bowl making sure to get clumps of flour incorporated. Set sauce aside.

Cooking Directions:

In a large pot/pan bring 1 inch of water to a boil. Add cut broccoli and cover with a lid. Steam for about 3 min. Pull out and set aside season with pepper. Dump water.

In the same pot/pan add 1Tbs of vegetable oil to pot. Place an even layer of marinated meat to the pot. Cook over med/high heat. Do Not Move or flip the meat until the first side has gotten a nice crust on it, flip and cook the other side. Remove cooked meat and repeat the process adding oil as needed for the remaining batches. Once all the meat has been cooked dump the excess oil from the pot.

beef n broccoli meat

Put broccoli and meat back into the pot over low heat. Add Sauce to the pot and stir to combine. Leave the heat on just until it’s all heated through. Serve with or over white rice.

beef n broccoli dinner

In other news I did a little bit of sewing this past week. I made a skirt out of $1 bandana from WalMart for my daughter for St. Patrick’s day. 30 minutes of sewing time used some black and whited polka dot fabric from my stash. Can’t beat that. Cheep and cute. That’s how I roll. 🙂 Here’s a picture of “Little Miss Sassy Pants” in her Cheaply Cute skirt.

st patty's day skirt

Happy Cooking and Crafting.

 

 

 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

28 Dec

Just wanted to stop by and say Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everybody. This year I was busy making a lot of gifts for friends and family, and now that the packages have been opened I don’t have to keep them secret anymore.

Back in October my Mom asked me to make a quilt for my Grandma. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that. I enlisted my Parents, Sister and her family, Brother and His wife and my deployed husband, to send me their traced hand prints so that I could incorporate them into the quilt top. I used blocks from Fresh Lemons Quilt Summer Sampler Series and Solstice Star Series. Each unfinished block was 12 .5 inches square and the Hand print blocks were 13.5 inches…oops. So I added sashing to even up the quilt blocks.

grandma's quilt christmas 2012 007The majority of the fabric that I used was Heather Bailey’s Nicey Jane that I have had in my stash for a couple of years. It was intended for a quilt for myself but I think that my Grandma deserved this beautiful fabric. In fact I might have enough left for a quilt for myself too.

I also made a quilt for my daughter. She has been bugging me to make her one since I’ve made big quilt for both the boys and once I saw this quilt by Lovely Little Handmades using my favorite color combo and fabric line I had to make it. I substituted some light blue fabric with white polka dots that I had in my stash along with some red, pink, and aqua that I picked up from Joann’s fabric. I ordered this “Simple Life” fat quarter bunch by Tasha Horsley from Skye Reve Fabric online shop.

christmas 2012 125I used some Hello Kitty fabric that I found at Joann’s fabrics for the backing along with the leftover pink fabric and some pink fabric with little white polka dots that I had in my stash.I picked up some clearance red and white striped fabric for the quilt binding.  I love how it turned out. She was so excited. Her reaction totally makes all the late night sewing worth it.

christmas 2012 077

I also made some other gifts, I pad cases for my mom and dad.

christmas picturs take 2 2012 009 christmas picturs take 2 2012 010 dads ipad case

A coupon organizer, composition notebook cover and this thread catcher and weighted pincushion combo for my friend and her mom.

christmas 2012 035

Three of these ruffled mini wallets, only a picture of two of them I forgot to take a picture of the one I made for my niece and the bi-fold wallet that I made for my nephew.

I also made a super cute Bible Cover for my sister, with the help of my Brother in Law who took the measurements for me….heehee sneaky 😉 I love the little patchwork that I put on the front. I hope that it fits her Bible. I wont know till she gets home from her family vacations in California. Fingers crossed.

christmas picturs take 2 2012 002 christmas picturs take 2 2012 003 christmas picturs take 2 2012 006

I also made my niece a doll and my friends baby a hooded towel but I totally forgot to take pictures of those when they were done. Needless to say I was a busy little sewing fool here and I still have gifts for my boys that I have to make before they go back to school. Kizaiah wants a satchel backpack. I promised him one and I need to get sewing on that and I planned on making both boys lap desks but didn’t get a chance to make those. They did get an I.O.U. though, thank goodness they understand that they don’t need either of those gifts right away. I will post about those when they are done.

I hope everybody had a wonderful Christmas and may the next year be filled with lots of Love and Laughter.

 

Chili and Cornbread

3 Dec

I love when the weather changes from hot to cold. That’s probably one of the reasons I miss Washington so much, the rainy weather inspires me to cook something warm. Now we live in Oklahoma and today it was 82° outside…not exactly chili weather but sometimes I can’t help myself. Winter to me means staying indoors, doing something crafty and eating warm food. Chili and Cornbread fit the bill. This is a quick and easy recipe, you can make it ahead and let it simmer for 2 hours but sometimes I don’t start making dinner early enough. Tonight was one of those nights. I let it simmer for at least an hour. Still really tasty. I also freeze the leftovers for another day. Just put leftovers in a plastic freezer bag and lay it flat in your freezer. Once it’s frozen it doesn’t take up much space at all.

chili and cornbread

Chili with Meat and Beans

Ingredients:

1-1 1/2 lbs ground beef

1 can pinto beans, *I don’t drain or rinse mine but you can if you’d like

1 can kidney beans *I don’t drain or rinse

1 (28oz) can diced tomatoes

1/2 can tomato paste

1 small white onion, diced

2 TBS chili powder (*homemade or store-bought)

1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 1/2 tsp or 2 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp or a few dashes hot pepper sauce, like Tabasco

1/2 tsp basil

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp white sugar

shredded cheese and more diced onions for garnish

Directions:

In a large pot brown ground beef and diced onions. Once meat is cooked all the way through, drain off excess fat and place back into the pot. Then add all the other ingredients except cheese and onion garnish. Allow to simmer at least 1-2 hours stirring occasionally. Top with shredded cheese and raw white onion. Serve hot with cornbread.

*Homemade chili powder*

1 tsp paprika

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp oregano

2 tsp garlic powder

cornbread

Sweet Yellow Cornbread

Ingredients:

1 cup yellow cornmeal

1 cup All purpose flour

1/2 cup-1 cup white sugar (* We like our cornbread sweet, I use 1 cup)

3 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup oil

2/3 cup milk

2 eggs, beaten

Directions:

Pre heat oven to 400°.

Combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Mix oil, eggs, and milk together and add to the dry ingredients. Mix with a few stiff strokes only until just combined. Bake in a  9 x 9 x 2 inch baking dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

 

 

Super Quick and Easy Turkey or Chicken soup

28 Nov

Another way to use up turkey leftovers is to make a super quick and easy soup. I made this tonight. I can’t waste such a tasty bird. I’m sure there are a lot of recipes out there for Chicken/Turkey soup but here is what I did.

Quick and Easy Chicken/Turkey soup

Ingredients:

Leftover Chicken or Turkey Shredded

8 cups Chicken Broth (homemade, carton or 8 c. hot water with chicken bullion cubes; follow directions on package)

2 cups hot water

2-3 celery stalks chopped

1 small white onion

a couple handfuls of baby or regular carrots, sliced

1/2 pkg egg noodles

pepper

*salt if needed*

Directions:

In a large pot over high heat add chicken broth, hot water, shredded chicken/turkey, celery, onion, carrots and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 30-45 minutes or until carrots are cooked through. In the last 8-10 minutes of cooking add 1/2 package of egg noodles to the soup. Cook until noodles are done. Serve hot.

Alfredo, Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

7 Oct

I have made this recipe for years. It simple and delicious. Great for a make ahead meal and using leftover chicken or even Thanksgiving Turkey. I noticed that my sister posted this a while back and it has gotten over 48,000 pins, that’s crazy. So I thought that I would get it pinned a couple more times 😉 Originally this recipe was supposed to be for stuffed shells.  They are good but a lot of work. And lets face it some days you don’t want to have lots of work in the kitchen, so I decided to throw it all together in a baking dish. Still tastes just as good without the hassle of stuffing darn shells. Enjoy.

Alfredo, chicken and broccoli casserole

Ingredients:

1 pound box of shell pasta ( I use a little over half a box)
1 1/2 – 2 pounds bone-in skin on chicken breast ( chicken or even turkey works great)
1 – 14 ounce bag frozen broccoli florets
1 – 16 ounce jar alfredo sauce
1  – 8 ounce block of sharp cheddar cheese, grated(I’ve used colby jack too)
salt, pepper and olive oil for roasting chicken
lemon pepper or Mrs. Dash

Directions –

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Rinse and pat dry the chicken breasts then season them well with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 30 – 35 minutes. Let the chicken cool until you can safely handle it, then shred it  and set it aside.

Cook pasta according to package and drain.

Steam the broccoli in the microwave by dumping the bag in a microwave safe container. Add a little water then cover tightly with plastic wrap – don’t forget to poke a few holes to let steam out. Cook for 4-5 minutes– they don’t have to be completely cooked through.

Get a large bowl out and put pasta, shredded chicken, cheese, broccoli and alfredo sauce, then season well with lemon pepper and mix well. Spray a 13×9 baking dish with cooking spray and pour the pasta mixture then sprinkle the top with more cheese. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 25 minutes, then remove foil and bake for another 5 minutes.

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