From The Kitchen Of Rachelle Underwood

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.