From The Kitchen Of Rachelle Underwood

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Family Favorite Fruit Dip

This is one of my favorite recipes. I don't know why I only make it during the holidays, it really can be enjoyed year around. I have tasted many versions of fruit dips at baby showers, and other parties but I like this recipe because it is simple, and perfect just the way it is. My favorite combination is dipping oranges into the dip, it tastes like a Creamsicle. The dip can be made in advance, and tastes better after it sits in the fridge for a couple of hours. I use the 1/3 less fat cream cheese, just so I feel better about eating it, and the flavor is still the same. Also, don't be afraid to whip this dip really well when combining it, so that the marshmallow creme and cream cheese become a cohesive, luscious, condiment. YUM, YUM, YUM!

Family Favorite Fruit Dip

1 8 oz. pkg cream cheese, room temperature
1 jar marshmallow creme
1 tbs. fresh lemon juice

In a medium bowl whip with beaters or kitchenaid the room temperature cream cheese, until completely smooth. Add marshmallow creme and lemon juice, and whip very well to combine until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight. Serve with cut up apples, oranges, bananas, strawberries, and melons.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Hot Chili Cheese Dip

This was the dip my mother would make for any occasions where she needed to bring something like an appetizer. I have always loved the taste of this dip, rich, tangy, and addictive! With New Years Eve coming up, I thought it would be an appropriate recipe to post. There are only 2 ingredients, and random as they might be (I posted pics so you know what to look for at the grocery store, click on picture for larger view.), they are so incredibly good together. The cheddar cheese spread can probably be found by Velveeta cheese in the grocery store. You can buy any brand of chili con carne with no beans, they will work the same. Sometimes you can't find no salt tortilla chips, so I have just gotten some regular tortilla chips. I sometimes double the batch, and put it into my small crock pot on low to keep it warm. So if you want an easy appetizer, that everyone will love, this is the one for you!

Hot Chili Cheese Dip

1 can chili con carne with no beans
1 jar Old English Cheddar Cheese Spread
1 bag tortilla chips (no salt)

Heat together cheese spread and chili con carne together in a medium sized bowl in the microwave or in a medium pot on the stove until smooth and hot. Serve with tortilla chips.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Moist Pumpkin Bread

This recipe is so easy, very pumpkinny, and makes alot! This is probably the most moist sweet bread recipe I have and I got it from my Aunt Kym years ago. You don't really need butter unless you are feeling sinful. I love to make this anytime during the year. I make mine in mini loaf pans (you can get them at the grocery store). These are perfect for bringing to brunch, or giving away to friends and family. You can leave out the nuts and raisins if you do not like them...the bread has enough flavor on it's own. Also, you may need to adjust cooking times depending on the size of pan you are using. If you are using a large loaf pan, turn the oven temp down 10 15 degrees to insure even cooking.

Moist Pumpkin Bread

1 c oil
3 c pumpkin (large can)
1 c walnuts, chopped
4 c. sugar
1 c. raisins
4 c. flour
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
4 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 340 degrees. In a very large bowl, combine pumpkin, oil, sugar, nuts, vanilla and raisins, mix well. Combine dry ingredients to the wet ones until well combined. Spray loaf pans with cooking spray (4 medium loaf pans or 8 small ones) and evenly divide batter between each pan. Bake for 1 hour. Let cool for 20 minutes, and then remove from pans.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

TDF Chewy Coconut Macaroons

I know I have been posting alot of goodies lately, but it is the season for treats. Everybody always needs new ideas right? Well, I have never made macaroons before, and I have checked out dozens of recipes, and thought "could a cookie be any easier?" After reading about probably 20 different ways to make macaroons, I finally got the recipe for my palate and maybe yours. I love sweetened condensed milk, although most macaroons are made with an egg white base, I'm particular to the flavor of the sweetened condensed milk as well as the texture which is chewy and rich! These are very comparable to the insides of Almond Joy, which I LOVE! You can add anything to these cookies, for instance: drizzle chocolate over the top or dip the bottoms in chocolate when they are cooled. You could also put chopped nuts in the batter, or place a nut on top using chocolate as the glue. The possibilities are endless! Seeing as I live in Hawaii, I though putting a macadamia nut on the top of each one would add a nice touch. These really are easy and since the cookies do not spread, you can bake a TON all at once. If you have problems with gluten, you could leave the flour out (I did a batch without flour, and they spread just slightly but still delish). Make sure when forming your balls, you pack the mixture together to get a dense chewy texture. I used my tablespoon cookie scooper, and packed it in with my fingers before putting it on the pan. TDF!

TDF Chewy Coconut Macaroons

5 1/2 cups sweetened, flakes coconut (1 bag)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbs flour

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl combine coconut, flour and salt, mix well. Add sweetened condensed milk, and extracts, mix very well. Place coconut batter into the freezer for 15-20 minutes to firm up. Using a large cookie scoop or tablespoon, pack coconut batter into the scoop or spoon, then drop onto cookie sheet lined with foil, and sprayed generously with cooking spray. Bake 20 minutes or until lightly brown around the edges and on top. Let sit on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes, then remove them and place them on wax paper to cool completely.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Candy Cane Kiss Cookies

If you haven't seen the Candy Cane Hershey Kisses...look for them the next time you are at Walmart or the drugstore. They are white chocolate mint kisses, that are just creamy and divine. I made these cookies for a Christmas cookie exchange and they were so festive and yummy. The kids especially like them because pf how colorful they look. You will not be disappointed! (I put my cookies in the fridge to let cool so that the chocolate would harden up faster.)

Candy Cane Kiss Cookies

48 Hershey's Kisses Brand Candy Cane Mint Candies
1/2 c butter, softened
1 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
2 c flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbs milk
red, green, or white sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine butter, sugar, egg, milk and vanilla and combine thoroughly. Add flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix until combined. Roll dough into 1 inch balls, and then roll in sugar to coat. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven, and let sit 2-3 minutes. Unwrap peppermint kiss, and push them into the center of the cookies. Remove cookie onto a cooling rack. (Make sure you do not jiggle or move cookies as the kiss will be very melty, and you want them to keep their form)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Easy Dessert Bread Sticks

I made my Fast and Easy Bread Sticks recipe the other night, and had a lime in my fridge, and decided to make savory and sweet bread sticks at the same time. I grated the lime zest of one lime and combined it with a 1/2 of a cup of sugar. I stirred the sugar and the zest together so that they were combined. When rolling out the breadstick dough, prepare as listed in the recipe, brush with butter, and then generously sprinkle with lime sugar. Bake according to recipe. Prepare citrus frosting by combing the juice of one lime, 1 tbsp softened butter, a pinch of salt, and powdered sugar to desired "drizzle" consistency. Drizzle frosting over hot bread sticks when they come out. These came out incredible! I think I ate a dozen of them. I also like to make cinnamon sugar bread sticks, omitting the lime, and using a cinnamon and sugar mixture instead. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Butter Nut Balls

Tis' the season for holiday baking! I LOVE Christmas goodies, so expect a lot of recipes for the "goodie" category in the next couple of weeks. These cookie balls are so buttery, shortbread-like and delicious. They are very addicting, and I make them bite-size so you can pop them in your mouth in one bite! This is a family favorite of ours, and for as long as I can remember, my parents have been making these for goodie plates at Christmas time. I did however, in my usual way change them up a bit from my mothers recipe. Since I'm a HUGE fan of almond extract, I had to add a little bit to the recipe. I also sweetened the dough up a little bit more, so you don't have to double roll the cookie in powdered sugar to get them sweet enough. Less work, better flavor, equals one awesome cookie. Use whatever nut is your favorite. I like to use walnuts because they have a nice soft texture.

Butter Nut Balls

1 c. butter softened
3/4 c powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 c flour
1 1/2 c walnuts, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix butter, and sugar until creamy. Add extracts, salt and flour, mix until well incorporated. Add chopped walnuts until combined. Roll batter into 1 inch balls, place on ungreased cookie sheet. (You can place them close together, since they don't spread.) Bake for 12-15 minutes or until just starting to turn golden. When they come out of the oven immediately toss them in a bowl of powdered sugar, place on cooling rack.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Prailine Topping

TDF times 1,000,000! I'm posting this family favorite recipe that my mom starting making decades ago for Thanksgiving. I remember the recipe being cut out of a newspaper from somewhere. I have seen other sweet potato casserole recipes on the Internet, but I have not seen any that use the exact ingredients that my mom's recipe uses. Also, in my family (besides my husband) we are "topping" kind of people. Maybe I should call this recipe praline topping with sweet potatoes because the topping is the STAR! No dessert can have too much topping, crumble or frosting. So, my mother doubled the topping, and that is how I will be typing it up. (So don't double it yourself, or you will have a 4:2 ratio of topping to sweet potatoes) This really could be a dessert, but we like to serve it with our meal, because let's face it, dessert is accepted anywhere in any meal!

Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Praline Topping

Potato Mixture:
3 eggs
3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled, boiled and drained
2/3 c sugar
2/3 c butter, melted
1/2 c heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice

2 c. brown sugar
2/3 c flour
1 1/4 c pecans, chopped
2/3 c butter, cold, cut into small pieces

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. After potatoes have been cooked and cooled, beat potatoes with eggs until nice and fluffy. Add remaining ingredients, and mix well until potatoes are whipped. Spread mixture into prepared pan. Combine topping ingredients in a bowl, combining until mixture results into a crumbly mixture. Pour crumble on top of potato mixture evenly (it will seem like alot, but you will want it, trust me). Bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes until brown and bubbly. Makes 12-16 servings.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Chicken Vegetable Chow Mein

WOW! I made this tonight and it was so good I had to blog about it! I have always wanted to become better at cooking Chinese food, but have never really found the right recipes, and I never get the same flavor, taste and texture of Chinese take out. This recipe could be on Pick Up Stix, or Pei Wei's menu for sure. It was so incredibly easy and I was loving every bite I took. Living in Hawaii, there is a huge Asian influence, and so tonight I felt like the "Hawaiian Culture" was rubbing off on me. You can substitute whatever vegetable you want to use, but you must get the napa cabbage, it makes it very restaurant style.

Chicken Vegetable Chow Mein

1 pkg spaghetti (or udon noodles if you want to get fancy)
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into really thin strips
2 tbs cornstarch
2 tbs oil
1 small onion, cut in half, then sliced (half moon shaped)
3 garlic cloves, sliced
3/4 head napa cabbage, thinly shredded
1 1/2 c frozen Chinese snow peas (or any vegetable you want)
1 carrot, peeled, and sliced into matchstick size
2 1/2 tbs soy sauce
2 1/2 tbs rice wine vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
salt and pepper

Cook spaghetti according to package directions, making sure to add plenty of salt to the boiling water to flavor the noodles. While noodles are cooking season chicken with salt and pepper, and toss with cornstarch. Heat 2 tbs oil in wok or large skillet on high. Cook chicken until brown and crispy, (this takes about 10 minutes). Remove chicken onto a plate with slotted spoon. Add onion, carrot and garlic and stir fry for 3-4 minutes, then add cabbage, stir fry for 3 minutes or until tender. Add chicken, frozen vegetables, cooked, drained noodles, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, and soy sauce. Toss until noodles and vegetables are warmed through, about 3 minutes. Serve!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

French Onion Soup

I know for most of you, fall is in the air, and you want to make a hot soup for dinner, right? Well, I made this last week, and it was 80 degrees, humidity 90%, and I'm not going to lie, I was sweating the whole time, but it was so worth it. I have always wanted to make this soup since I have a love of caramelized onions, cheese and crusty bread. After making this soup, my husband and I both agreed that this was the best french onion soup we have ever had. I looked at a couple of recipes, and chose ingredients, and methods that I felt comfortable working with, and the soup was FAB! Leftovers were even better. We just had the soup for dinner, but a salad would be nice on the side as well. My kids gobbled this up. My 4 year old loved the cheese, and called the onions "noodles", whatever works!

French Onion Soup

5-6 yellow onions, cut in half and then sliced
2 bay leaves
1/2 c butter
2 c beef broth
2 c chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
crusty artisan bread (I got some at Costco)
grated mozzarella cheese, about 1 cup

In a large pot, that is oven safe, place sliced onions, and butter. Cook onion and butter in the pot with a lid on for 20 minutes on medium high heat. Heat over to 425 degrees, put pot of onions with the lid off into the oven, and let cook, stirring a couple of times until the onions are caramelized. (This could take up to an hour) The onions should look like light carmel color. Remove pot from oven, add broth, bay leaf, and garlic. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove lid and simmer another 15 minutes. Remove bay leaf, season with salt and pepper if needed. Toast slices of bread in the toaster until dry and crisp. Using oven safe bowls or crocks, place soup in each bowl, then slice of bread (make it fit), and then cover generously with cheese. Place bowls or crocks on a cookie sheet and broil the tops of the soup until cheese is melted and starting to turn brown. SERVE!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Peanut-Ginger Chicken with Cucumber Fruit Salsa

I hope to be consistently back blogging since I have finally settled our family into our new house. My kitchen got bigger in this house, so I feel like I have alot of room to spread my wings and cook! I have made many new things these last 2 weeks, and can't wait to share them with you!
This recipe is incredibly light and delicious. It is a great meal if you are watching your calories or if you want to get out of the boring menu you have been making for your family. My kids loved it, I loved it, and my husband wants me to make it every week! The salsa is a must, must, must! Just put whatever fruit is on sale or in season. I think any fruit would work well besides bananas, or berries. You can also use a regular cucumber, just make sure you peel the skin off.

Peanut-Ginger Chicken with Cucumber Fruit Salsa

Marinade for chicken:
1/2 c boiling water
1/2 c creamy peanut butter
1/4 c bottled chili sauce (Think Siracha)
4 tbs soy sauce
2 tbs oil
2 tbs vinegar
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbs fresh grated ginger, or 3/4 tsp ground ginger
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3 pounds)

For the salsa:
1 c chopped fresh fruit (nectarines, oranges, peaches, plums, or pears)
1 c chopped, seeded cucumber
2 tbs green onion, sliced thinly
2 tbs cilantro, chopped
1 tbs sugar
1 tbs vinegar
1 tbs oil
1/4 tsp salt

Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl, and mix well. Place chicken in a zip-lock bag, and pour marinade over chicken. Let marinate over night from either 12 to 24 hours. Make salsa, about 1 to 2 hours before eating, combine all ingredients for the salsa, cover and let sit in the fridge until ready to serve. Grill chicken on bbq until done. Serve salsa on top or on the side of the chicken.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Candy Bar Crepes

I'm back!!!!!!!!! But, not full time yet. My family and I are moving into our house in Kailua, Hawaii this Tuesday. It is incredibly beautiful here, and I'm excited for what the future brings. I wasn't going to post anything until we got into our house and I could start cooking in a normal kitchen, but tonight I embarked on an amazing recipe. I didn't feel like making anything, and I originally was just going to make scrambled eggs. But, I thought, "ugh, I don't want plain old eggs!". So, I decided to make crepes. I altered a recipe I got online, and loved the way they turned out. Since my kids have a bunch of Halloween candy laying around, my husband thought it would be good to stick a Reeses Peanut Butter cup inside the crepe while it was still hot. So, I did, and it was TDF times 10! If I had whipped cream to go on top, that would just skyrocket this dessert. So, this would be good using any kind of candy bar, just cut it up into small pieces, and place inside the warm crepe...this is really a must.
If you don't want to go the candy route, fresh fruit, or something savory inside like shredded chicken are really good too for this recipe.

Candy Bar Crepes

2 eggs
3/4 c milk
1/2 c water
1 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs sugar
3 tbs melted butter

Mix all ingredients thouroughly until there are no lumps. The batter should be like creamy soup. Heat a non-stick skillet to medium high heat, butter or spray if nessessary. Using a 1/4 c measuerer, pour crepe batter into the middle ofthe pan and turn the pan around and around until batter has formed a thin coating . Flip crepe over onto other side after about 4 minutes, cook another 3 mintues. Serve warm, and fill with whatever you would like! (The first crepe never turns out for me, so don't get discouraged on the first one)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Off to Hawaii...

A message to my followers...
If you think that I will be neglecting my food blog in the near future, let me tell that there is good reason. My family and I are moving to Hawaii (Happy, happy, excited, thrilled...can't describe how I feel). Though I will have a computer and internet, I will be staying in a furnished rental for a month that does not have an oven and is quite cramped (think kitchenette style). I will also be living without ALL my favorite cooking utensils/items that make cooking so much fun and help my creative cooking juices flow.
I'm hoping that when I get settled, I will have lots of ideas and recipes to share with you. But for now, ALOHA! Check back in a couple of weeks for a new post...I promise I will be back! Thanks for reading, and following!


Friday, September 24, 2010

Toffee Apple Dip

Think apple toffee cheesecake without baking a thing! This is such a good appetizer/snack/dessert. This is such a crowd pleaser and looks really elegant when you display all the apples on a platter. I like to buy a variety of apples that are crunchy for this dip. I use Pink Lady's (my favorite), Fuji, Gala, Granny Smith, and Honeycrisp. Use whatever is on sale, and arrange on a platter, they look fabulous. My trick to the apples not turning brown, is to cut them into slices, place them in a bowl, and squeeze fresh lemon juice or pineapple juice on them. (Fresh lemon juice tastes much better than bottled). Everything can be made in advance, and stored in the fridge until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Toffee Apple Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softened (I use 1/3 less fat kind)
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 pkg Skor toffee chips
Carmel syrup (optional)

Beat softened cream cheese, brown sugar,vanilla, and powdered sugar together until creamy and fluffy. Stir in toffee chips, and chill for a couple of hours. Serve with sliced apples. Top with carmel syrup and more toffee chips if desired.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

OMG! TDF is all I can say about these. I made them on Sunday for a family get together, and I loved how these turned out. They are moist, and fluffy and flavorful. The spiced cream cheese frosting just finishes the whole thing off. If you don't have pumpkin pie spice, you could use cinnamon instead. I also used the nuefatchel cream cheese (1/3 less fat), and you could not tell a difference, it just allows you to eat 2 cupcakes because you are saving on calories and fat! (That's how I justify having 2....:))

These really are very good and should be made any time during the year. Some of my friends have said that pumpkin is not available at their grocery store yet. My advice is to buy several cans, and keep it in your pantry for the off season times. Who says it needs to be fall to enjoy the deliciousness of pumpkin? (Double the batch to make 24 cupcakes)

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature

1 cup canned pumpkin purée (8 ounces), not pie filling

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 (8oz) pkg cream cheese

1 lb powdered sugar (more or less)

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/4 c butter, softened

1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners. Into a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. In a larger bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin purée, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vegetable oil. Add the flour mixture and stir until combined. Divide the batter among the prepared tins and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool completely. For the frosting, combined softened cream cheese, with softened butter, whip together until smooth. Add powdered sugar gradually, while beating. Add vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice. Adjust the sweetness of frosting you your taste, add more powdered sugar if needed. Spread frosting on cupcakes, be generous.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tortellini, Broccoli and Bacon Salad

I LOVE this recipe. The combination of the bacon and broccoli pairs so well with the tangy, sweet dressing. The flavors are awesome, and it gets better the longer it sits in the fridge. I have this salad as a side or a main dish with some cut up fruit. It is very filling with the tortellini, and is a perfect meal if you do not want to turn your oven on. I ALWAYS use Marie's Coleslaw Dressing found in the refrigerator section of the store where they sell all the Shi-Shi dressings. It is high quality and tastes best. Or you could make your own....I'm sure there is a recipe online somewhere. This makes a large amount, but the joy of it, is leftovers are better anyways!

Tortellini, Broccoli, and Bacon Salad

2 bags (19 oz each) frozen cheese-filled tortellini
4 broccoli florets, chopped into small bite size pieces
2 c. cherry tomatoes cut in half
2 tbs green onion, chopped
1 c. coleslaw dressing
1 lb bacon, crisply cooked, and then crumbled

Cook and drain tortellini as directedon the package. Rinse with cold water, and drain, let cool. In a large bowl combine tortellini, broccoli, tomatoes, chives and dressing. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour to blend flavors. Just before serving, add crumbled bacon, and mix well.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Orange Poppy Seed Bread

Many of you have probably tried this or maybe you haven't. Sometimes I'm timid in posting certain recipes, because I feel like it is not the latest and greatest recipe out there. But, with baking season around the corner, I felt this recipe was fitting. So, if you already have this one, just check back in a couple of days for a new recipe.
I love how incredibly moist this bread turns out. What makes this bread so good is the glaze that goes on the bread while it is still warm. A sugary combination of almond and orange soaks into the bread. I say anything that has frosting is delicious. It's funny, growing up I HATED frosting, and now I love it...(this isn't a good thing by the way). Sometimes I make these in mini loaf pans so that there is less surface area for the glaze to cover, YUM. (Adjust cooking time if making it in a mini loaf, fill mini loaf pan till about 1/2 full).
Make some for your friends, you will love this one, and so will everyone around you.

Orange Poppy Seed Bread

3 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 c sugar
1 tbs poppy seeds
3 eggs
1 1/2 c milk
1 tbs water
1/2 c butter, melted
1 c oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
For the glaze:
1/3 c orange juice concentrate
3/4 c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract

Grease 3 loaf pans and dust lightly with a mixture of flour and sugar. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl until combined then stir in poppy seeds. Blend together remaining wet ingredients, until well combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and stir until Incorporated. Pour into pans and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Remove from the oven. Make glaze, and then while the loaves are still hot, prick loaves several times with a fork, making sure to get all the way to the bottom. Pour glaze evenly over the top of the loaves. Allow loaves to cool before slicing.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Coconut Rice Pudding

This recipe is so incredibly good! It has such an amazing creamy coconut/almond flavor, it makes me think of the tropics. And, since I will be moving to Hawaii in 2 weeks, I thought I would share!
I'm a sucker for anything with almond extract in it. I also love rice, rice pudding, and coconut milk. So, that makes this recipe a winner in my book. I eat this rice without any toppings, but my sister sometimes tops it with crushed pineapple, or mango. This recipe is truly TDF.

Coconut Rice Pudding

1 can coconut milk
milk (enough to equal 4 cups of liquid when combined w/ coconut milk)
1 1/2 c cal-rose rice
1 c. sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp almond extract (or more if you want more almond flavoring)
toasted coconut for garnish (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a meduim pot. Bring all ingredients besides the almond extract to a boil. Turn down heat to low and let simmer for 40-45 minutes or until rice is done, stirring occasionally . (If you need more of a saucy texture, stir in some milk at the end to give it the right consistency.) Stir in almond extract, and serve warm garnished with toasted coconut.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Brazilian Limeade

My sister-in-law Diana used to work at a Brazilian restaurant, and would mix up the drinks that were ordered. She made this for a family get together, and it was so good. It is kind of fun to mix up a special drink to have with a Sunday meal, it just adds that extra special touch. You must have a really good blender to whip up the limes with skin on. If your blender kind of stinks, just juice the limes, and then blend.

Brazilian Limeade

4 small limes, juiced or left w/ skin on
1 c sugar
4 generous spoonfuls of sweetened condensed milk

fill blender with water, and blend all ingredients, adding more sweetened condensed milk if necessary. Strain, then serve chilled.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Pumpkin Pancakes

Tis the season for pumpkin! It's hard to believe that summer is over and we are heading into fall. (I know I'm jumping the gun a little) I REALLY love pumpkin anything. During the fall I try and cook with pumpkin as much as I can. Pumpkin makes these pancakes very moist, and pairs excellent with maple syrup or just some powdered sugar and butter...YUM! These are almost like a dessert to me, but I'm up for any kind of dessert for any meal of the day. I love to make these on Sunday morning before church, so that the whole family can enjoy. If you don't have whole milk, use whatever you have on hand. Don't skip beating the egg whites, this makes the pancakes light and fluffy. The texture is a moist airy pancake that tastes like a pumpkin pie in pancake form...P.S. my kids LOVED them!

Pumpkin Pancakes

1 1/4 c flour
6 tbs sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/3 c whole milk
3/4 c canned pure pumpkin
4 eggs, separated (room temperature)
1/4 c butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla

Whisk first 5 ingredients in large bowl to blend. Whisk milk, pumpkin, egg yolks, melted butter and vanilla in medium bowl to blend well. Add pumpkin mixture to dry ingredients; whisk just until smooth (batter will be thick). Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in another medium bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold whites into batter in 2 additions. Brush large nonstick skillet with oil; heat over medium heat. Working in batches, pour batter by 1/3 cupfuls into skillet. Cook until bubbles form on surface of pancakes and bottoms are brown. They may take a little longer to cook than regular pancakes, so turn down the heat so that they will not burn. Serve with syrup.

cooking spray
maple syrup

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Lemon Jell-O Cake

Since I have been neglecting the food blog lately, I decided to give my followers 2 new recipes today, so here you go! Thanks for following!

So you are thinking this cake is going to be jiggly like jello huh? Nope. It's just the opposite. The lemon jello is used in the cake mix to flavor the yellow cake mix. It gives the cake a more authentic lemon flavor than an already flavored lemon cake mix. I have made this recipe with a lemon cake mix and a yellow cake mix and the yellow cake mix is hands down WAYYYYY better. If you are a lemon lover, you will absolutely fall in love with this lemon concoction. The lemon glaze gets poured onto a hot cake, so that you are left with a decadent, moist, tart dessert, that is incredibly simple to make.

Lemon Jell-O Cake

1 pkg yellow cake mix
1 small pkg lemon jello
3/4 c. water
4 eggs
3/4 c. oil
2 c powdered sugar
1/2 c. lemon juice

Mix jello package, eggs, water, oil, and cake mix for 4 minutes. Add 3/4 c. oil, mix until blended. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan or bundt pan. Bake cake at 325 degrees for 35-40 minutes (or slightly longer if using a bundt pan. While the cake is baking, mix powdered sugar and lemon juice to form a glaze. When you remove the cake from the oven, immediately prick cake all over with a fork. Pour glaze evenly over cake. Let cake cool completely before serving.

Southwestern Caesar Salad

This salad is a nice change from your regular Caesar salad. I love the use of the lime, garlic and cilantro to really give it a southwestern flair. To make this dish more of an entree I just add grilled chicken on top and it is TDF. Making your own croutons really adds an element to the TDF factor, so don't leave out that step. But, I guess if you are strapped for time you could always use store bought croutons. I LOVE the is FAB!

Southwestern Caesar Salad

1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. olive oil
1/4 c. fresh lime juice
1/4 c. cilantro, roughly chopped
2 tbs chili powder
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tbs minced chili pepper (such as jalapeno or Serrano)
salt and pepper to taste

1/3 c olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tbs cumin
2 c. bread cubes (1/2 inch)
1 head of romaine
2 avocados, sliced
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 small red onion, sliced thinly
1/3 c grated Parmesan cheese

For the salad dressing, whisk olive oil and sour cream together. Add remaining ingredients, and whisk until combined, season with salt and pepper. Set aside. To make croutons in a large bowl combine olive oil, garlic, and cumin and mix well. Add bread cubes and toss to coat. Put cubes on an ungreased baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes until crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Let cool. Assemble salad together, and top with croutons and dressing.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Basil Coconut Chicken

I found this recipe in a cookbook that I bought from a garage sale. It was in a prize winning recipe book, and the title grabbed my attention. At first I was skeptical of the ingredients, but after making it, I was so pleasantly surprised. If you don't have some of the spices, you can still make the dish and it will turn out. But the ones you WANT to have are cinnamon, turmeric, clove, and coriander. This is one of those dishes that is so easy, but people will look at you and say, "how in the world did you make this?" The leftovers are awesome, and reheat very well. Try this one, it is a winner!

Basil Coconut Chicken

1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp clove
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp chili powder
1 red onion finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 tbs olive oil
1 can unsweetened coconut milk
2 tsp cornstarch
3 tbs fresh basil, chopped
1 tbs ginger root, finely chopped
hot cooked rice

Combine spices together in a small bowl. Cut chicken into bite size pieces, pat dry. Place chicken in a bowl and sprinkle all of the spice mixture onto the chicken, stir to coat all the chicken. Cover chicken with saran wrap and let sit for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. Heat wok or large sauce pan to medium high heat. using 1/2 tbs olive oil, saute garlic, onion, and jalapeno pepper until tender. Remove this mixture from wok, set aside. Heat 1/2 tbs olive oil over high heat, and add chicken, cook until brown, and cooked all the way through. Combine coconut milk and cornstarch, add to chicken, add onion mixture, and ginger. Bring to a boil until slightly thickened. Add fresh basil, add salt to taste and serve over rice. (Serves 4)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mint Chocolate Cookies

I love the flavor or chocolate and mint together, it truly is TDF. I love experimenting with different chocolate chips in my cookies, because I get sick of the same old same old. You will find the chocolate base of the cookie here. Now, you have two choices when it comes to the mint/chocolate chips. Nestle brand has semi-sweet chocolate chip mixed with mint flavored chips. These work beautifully. Andes Mint brand (usually sold at Walmart) crushes actually Andes mints into baking chips. These work awesome as well. Whatever you can find, buy it, and make these. They are so good, and so's like eating an Andes Mint in cookie form....YUM!