From The Kitchen Of Rachelle Underwood

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Mexican Sweet Corn Cake

This recipe is from my sister Lana. Lana, when she tries has talent in the kitchen, even though she doesn't think so. So, thanks Lana for a wonderful recipe! This Mexican sweet corn cake is an exact match to what you get at El Torito or Chevy's. If you haven't ever been to either of those restaurants, let me describe it to you. It's a sweet corn pudding that is buttery and creamy and goes perfect with any Mexican meal. But, I actually think you don't HAVE to make Mexican food to have it. It is a wonderful side to any meal. There are never any leftovers, and it is very addicting.

Mexican Sweet Corn Cake

1 can sweet corn, drain, reserve 1/4 c. juice
1 stick butter
1/2 c masa harina
1/4 c evaporated milk
4 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp yellow cornmeal
1/2 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine butter and masa harina. Process until well blended. Add evaporated milk, cornmeal, baking powder and sugar, process to mix. In a blender, pulse corn and reserved juice to break up kernels. Add blended corn to flour mixture, mix well. Spread mixture into an 8x8 greased glass pan and cover with foil. Bake 25-35 minutes, or until set. Do not over bake! Serves 6-8.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Do you want a Pizookie, but don't have a babysitter?

I just had to post a comment about this recipe here. The brown sugar chewies recipe that I posted last month became a big hit of my sister Lana. She made them with chocolate, peanut butter, and butterscotch chips. She made them earlier in the day, and then for dessert that night she slightly warmed up the whole pan, cut them into squares, and put vanilla ice cream on top, along with magic shell....genius! She said it was just like a Pizookie...(my favorite word when it comes to desserts). If you have not had a Pizookie, your taste buds have not lived! It's a cookie pizza, get it...Pizookie. But the shape of the dessert is not what matters, it is the decadent, chewy, sinful cookie topped with cold, creamy ice cream, making the cookie slightly chewy combination that is TDF x 100. I'm excited to try a variety of combination's, anything you like in your cookies, add to the batter, and I'm sure it will be To Die For...

Here is the link to the recipe: Brown Sugar Chewies (Pizookie)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mini Cheesecakes

This recipe is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO easy, it should be in a kids cookbook. I almost feel a little silly posting it, but I figured, I might as well since the outcome turns out to be quite gourmet looking, and they taste FAB with little effort involved. I have made these for parties/functions, and everyone always thinks they are super cute/gourmet. This is a perfect way to have cheesecake at a party without needed a plate or a fork. I buy the foil cupcake tins, and cook them on a jelly roll pan...this works perfect, and it's the perfect wrapper for these. There are many variations you could do for flavors, such as adding pumpkin and cinnamon along w/a gingersnap cookie on the bottom, a couple of teaspoons of lemon peel for lemon cheesecakes, chocolate, crushed Oreos, raspberries, etc. The possibilities are endless. I usually garnish these with canned fruit topping, but if you had fresh fruit it would be even more delish! If you do try these let me know how you made them! I would love to hear your variations.
Mini Cheesecakes

2 (8 oz) cream cheese (can use the less fat kind too)
2 eggs beaten
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 c. sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
18 vanilla wafers
topping of your choice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat cream cheese, eggs, vanilla, sugar, and lemon juice. Place a vanilla wafer in the bottom of each muffin tin wrapper. Pour batter into tins, bake 12-15 minutes. Let cool, and then refrigerate for a couple of hours. Garnish with your desired topping.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Luscious Lemon Bars

This recipe has always been a family favorite. My parents like to make it at Christmas time, and when I was young that is the only occasion that we would have them. With my husband being such a lemon lover, and me realizing how easy this recipe was, I make them all the time, for ANY occasion. They are a HUGE crowd pleaser, and I know they sell them in pre-made packages at the store, but come on...everything tastes better homemade. Sometimes, I add the lemon zest of a lemon to the filling, but mostly I leave it out. I have also made this recipe with lime juice, and it was really good. Add a couple of drops to the lime juice mixture, so that you know they are lime and not lemon, since the juice practically looks the same. I still want to try and make them with orange, but I'm afraid they will be too sweet. Grapefruit may be a good one, if you like that flavor. Anyways, these really are TDF, and "look" and taste gourmet.
Luscious Lemon Bars

1 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. powdered sugar
2 c. flour
dash of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients, and mix well. Press dough into a 9x13 ungreased pan. Bake for 15 minutes, or until edged start turning golden.

4 eggs, beaten
1/4 c. flour
2 c. sugar
6 tbsp. lemon juice

Combine flour, and sugar; Mix with beaten eggs and lemon juice. Pour mixture onto partially baked crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until set. Dust with powdered sugar, and let cool completely before cutting them into squares.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Creamy Chicken Soup

This is another one of those recipes that is so easy to make, your kids will love, and if you have any leftovers, you will want to eat them the next day. Ordinary chicken soup can be such a bore, so I love this soup made with a little cream cheese to give it a creamy, zippy flavor. I use the 1/3 less fat cream cheese, just because you really can't tell the difference, and why not cut out fat? This goes well with a salad, or crusty bread, and will be a definite family pleaser!Creamy Chicken Soup

1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp. butter
3 c. chicken broth
2 stalks celery, sliced
4 carrots, sliced
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 c. chicken, cooked and cubed
2 tbsp parsley, minced (can used dried, but use 1/2 tbsp)
salt and pepper
1/4 c. flour
1 c.milk
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, cubed

In a large saucepan saute onion in butter. Add broth, carrots, celery and potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add chicken, parsley, salt and pepper and heat through. Combine flour and milk in a separate bowl until smooth, then add to the pot. Bring to a boil, cook and stir 2 minutes, reduce heat. Add cream cheese, and stir until melted. Makes 8 servings.

Friday, May 21, 2010

TDF Granola Bars

I'm so excited to post this recipe. I found this recipe on the internet here, that I guess originally came from Rachel Ray. Of course I changed a few things such as adding vanilla extract and a little salt. The outcome of this recipe was TRULY a success. I love the flavor and versatility of this recipe. For the topping on my granola bars I used semi-sweet chocolate chips and butterscotch chips. You could also use chocolate chips and marshmallows , with some crushed graham crackers for s'more granola bars. I also think nuts, M&M's, or chopped dried fruit would be excellent. These granola bars turned out chewy just like Quaker Granola Bars and the flavor was TDF! I had alot of fun making them with my four year old, and it probably only takes about 5 minutes to make. When buying granola, go with the most low fat, plain granola that you can find since you will be adding the flavor and fat when making your own granola bars. I found mine at our farmer's market called Henry's, in the bulk bin section. After cutting up the bars, I wrapped them in plastic wrap/wax paper, for my husband's lunch...what a treat and a money saver! If you would like a thicker bar, use a slightly smaller pan than a 9x13, say 9x9 or even an 8x8.
TDF Granola Bars

4 tbsp butter
1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 c. honey
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
2 c. plain granola
1 c. rice crispies
1/4-1/3 c. chocolate chips, dried fruit, etc.

Combine honey, butter and salt in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Stir until butter is completely melted, bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium low and let boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat, add vanilla, granola, and rice crispies. Pour mixture into an ungreased 9x13 pan lined with plastic wrap or wax paper. Press mixture evenly into pan, add toppings, pressing the topping into granola mixture. Note: I really pressed the mixture to make sure the bars we compact and dense. Put pan in fridge until set and firm, cut into 18 bars.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pork Chops with Savory Raspberry Sauce

I made this for dinner last night and it turned out delish! I had just bought yummy raspberry preserves from Costco and boneless pork loin from the store, and thought, doesn't fruit pair well with pork? So I experimented, and the outcome turned out GREAT! I have been watching what I eat lately, so I served this along with a a simple salad, and it was very satisfying and healthy. You can use what ever pork is on sale for the week, my pork was cut into 1 inch slices, but like I said, it doesn't really matter.

Pork Chops with Savory Raspberry Sauce

3-4 pork chops
season salt
olive oil

For the Sauce:
1 c. water
1 tsp chicken boullion
1/4 c. finely minced onion
3 tbsp. raspberry preserves (you could use any preserves you have)

Combine the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl or measuring cup, set aside. In a large saucepan, preheat 1 tbsp olive oil on medium high heat. Season both sides of pork with salt pepper, and season salt. Place pork in pan and brown on each side, cooking until done in the middle. Remove pork and set aside. While the heat is still on medium high, pour sauce mixture, scraping up all the leftover bits from the pork off the pan. Boil sauce mixture until it decreases by half. It will get slightly thicker, taste along the way to make sure the seasonings are correct. Serve sauce over pork chops.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Just Like Reese's Peanut Butter Candy

This recipe is so simple, my little 4 year old can make it. I actually think this tastes better than Reese's, but everything always tastes better homemade. The graham cracker is the unexpected ingredient that makes these so good. I prefer to use milk chocolate in this recipe, but if you are a dark chocolate lover, by all means use dark mother loves the dark chocolate. You don't even need to turn on the oven with this recipe, all you do is melt, mix, pour and then refrigerate. My family makes this during Christmas, but I have made it for all occasions, and people love them. This is a great sweet treat that you won't be able to stop eating.

Just Like Reese's Peanut Butter Candy

2 cubes butter or margarine, melted
1 pkg graham crackers, crushed
2 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 c. peanut butter, (I use smooth)
1 pkg. milk chocolate chips

Combine first 4 ingredients until completly incorporated. Spread mixture into an ungreased 9x13 pan. Melt chocolate and pour over peanut butter mixture, spreading evenly with a spatula. Cool completely and cut into squares. (I refrigerate them to speed up the cooling process.)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Teriyaki Brown Sugar Salmon

Tired of the same old ways you prepare salmon? Well, this recipe is so good, that I rarely prepare my salmon a different way. This recipe is ideal, because in 15 minutes you can impart wonderful flavor on your salmon, and there is easy cleanup after you have broiled the salmon. Broiling, also keeps the salmon moist, while crystallizing the brown sugar from the marinade which gives you a flavorful crust. Think savory salmon brulee...
Double, triple the recipe for what you need. If you don't have Montreal Chicken Seasoning, use some other herb seasoning you have on hand, preferably something with little salt, as the soy gives the fish enough salt.
Teriyaki Brown Sugar Salmon

2 salmon fillets
1/4 c. soy sauce
4 tbsp. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. Montreal Chicken Seasoning (or other herbed spice)

In a large zip-lock bag, combine soy, brown sugar, and Montreal Chicken Seasoning, close bag, and mix well squishing it with your hand. Place salmon fillets in the marinade, and let sit for 15 minutes or up to 30 minutes. Cover broiler pan, or cookie sheet with foil, place broiler temp on low, and position oven rack right under the broiler. Broil salmon on each side for about 6-7 minutes, or until the thickest part of the fish flakes. Avoid turning the fish more than once, as it will fall apart. (Oven broilers vary, adjust cooking time/temp according to what you have)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Vanilla Pudding Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ok, so I know I have said that I will never eat any other chocolate chip cookie , except for the chewy chocolate cookie recipe I have here. But, I saw this recipe on a couple of food blogs, and there were several different versions. I decided to change the recipe up a bit, and use salted butter for more flavor, as well as buttered flavored shortening for even more flavor (that is all I had on hand). The outcome turned out great! I love the addition of the vanilla pudding. The texture and flavor tastes like a high quality bakery cookie. There is not as much brown sugar flavor in these cookies in comparison to the chewy chocolate cookies that I love, but I'm not going to compare the two cookies anymore. This cookie has it's own unique spot in the category of "I can't stop eating these cookies, they are so good". I used chocolate chips and butterscotch chips, but these would be good with any kind of chips. 9 minutes in the oven, and they were perfectly done, and the recipe makes about 8 dozen, so you will have plenty to share. ENJOY!

Vanilla Pudding Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 c. salted butter, softened
1 c. buttered flavored shortening (you can also use regular)
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
3 eggs
3 tsp. vanilla
5 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt (I added just a pinch more)
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 small boxes of vanilla pudding, or one large one
1/2-3/4 of a bag of chips (butterscotch, chocolate, peanut butter, etc.)

Preheat oven 375 degrees. Combine butter, shortening, sugars, and pudding until creamed, Add vanilla and eggs, mix well. In a separate bowl combine flour, salt and baking soda. Add dry ingredients to wet, combine until well mixed. Add chips, and spoon batter about the size of a small apricot onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Asian Broccoli Slaw Salad

I LOVE THIS SALAD! I can't tell you how many times I have made this for our family and for get-togethers. Paula Deen made this recipe, but I altered it using green onions in the salad. This is the perfect salad to bring to an outdoor party, I LOVE it! Did I already mention that? I'm sure all of you have heard of the cabbage salad you make with the ramen noodles, and chicken. This is different because you use pre-packages broccoli slaw, it looks like this.
It is shredded broccoli stalks, and they taste delicious. There are all sorts of brands, just check in the prepackaged salad section in your grocery store. This recipe also uses the oriental flavor ramen, so there is the flavor of soy, seseme and ginger. You HAVE to make this the next time you have a get-together or on a hot summer night. I add chicken to it when I want to make the recipe main dish rather than a side dish. Everything in the salad can be done in advanced, and sit until you are ready to serve.
Asian Broccoli Slaw Salad

2 bags broccoli coleslaw
1/4 c. slivered almonds
2 bags oriental flavor ramen noodles, crushed
1 bunch green onion, sliced thinly
1/2 stick butter or margarine

1/4 c. sugar
2 pkgs oriental ramen flavoring (in the ramen bag)
1/2 c. canola oil
1/4 c. cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

In a large sauce pan, melt butter and add crushed ramen noodles along with slivered almonds. On medium heat, saute noodles and almonds until golden brown. Remove from pan and cool. Prepare dressing by combining all ingredients. In a large bowl combine broccoli slaw, green onions, noodles and almonds. Toss with dressing just before serving. This recipes makes a large quantity.

Greek Burgers

This recipe is REALLY simple. It just changes up the traditional hamburger patty that you would make on a weeknight dinner. The feta cheese really adds a punch! You could make your burger even more gourmet by making a flavored mayo, such as adding the zest of lemon to mayo. Or even adding pesto sauce to some mayo, the flavors will go very well together. Enjoy!
Greek Burgers

1 pound ground beef (I use extra lean, but use whatever is your preference)
1/2 tsp oregano (dried)
1 tbsp Montreal Steak Seasoning
1/4 c. feta cheese
2 green onion, finely chopped

Combine all ingredients, shape into patties, and cook on grill or pan.