Friday, April 18, 2008

Lemon Blueberry Bundt

Spring has sprung or something like that. Lemons are sunshiny yellow and so is this cake! Starbucks has a low fat cake that has cherry running through it. It's quite tasty. This is a Lemon cake with Blueberry in it. Regular amount of fat and sugar though. Sorry.

Lemon Blueberry Bundt

One box yellow cake mix
One small box lemon pudding
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 cup olive oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
Blueberry preserves
a handful of dried blueberries
Cinnamon Sugar
Powdered Sugar and a little water to make a glaze

Preheat to 350 degrees F. In your mixing bowl combine two boxed items. Mix them up a bit. Add the hot water and mix until blended, add oil and mix some more. (I take the white cordy things off mine and mix 'em up a bit) Add an egg at a time (or equivalent of an egg) mixing after each addition. When cake mix is smooth add the sour cream until and mix until no sour cream swirls are present. Spray your favorite bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle bundt pan with cinnamon sugar. Pour half of the cake mix in the bundt pan. Spoon teaspoons of Blueberry preserves in the middle of batter all the way around, making sure no jam touches the bundt pan. Sprinkle the dried blueberries on top of the preserves. Pour remaining batter over preserve layer and level out with a spoon.

Bake for 45-60 minutes. Allow cake to cool and flip bundt onto serving plate. Sprinkle top of bundt cake with more cinnamon sugar. Glaze cake and sprinkle a little more with the cinnamon sugar. Serve alone or with fresh cut strawberries and ice cream or whipped cream. ENJOY.

A little humor. My friend drove me to pick up my truck from the shop the other day. I had two bags and this bundt cake to bring to work. Thankfully Marine was kind enough to be my taxi and provide the biggest laugh that day. I realized the cake had cracked and commented. In her "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" voice she says....


Oh Thank God for my friends!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Marinades for Meat or Chicken

I bought two Tri-tips at the market. One was $5.33 and the other $5.01! Only $1.99 a pound!!! Thank you Ralph's Markets! If only gasoline and diesel were that price again! );

I have been making my own Teriyaki sauce for the last decade or so. I love it! It is good on Meat or Chicken.

Teriyaki Marinade

3/4 cup Soy sauce
1/8 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 1/2 tablespoons Clover Honey

Mix together and use as marinade. I put my Tri-tip in a Ziploc bag and pour marinade over. I press all air out of bag, zip it, and refrigerate overnight or put it in the freezer.

One of the gals I used to work with made marinades with Orange juice. She rattled off how she did it. I never did get the exact recipe written down, but have tried many an OJ creation. This is one I like to use.

Orange Maple Marinade

3/4 cup orange juice
1/8 cup Maple syrup
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon Cajun Seasonings
one small onion sliced thin

Mix above together and use as marinade. Place Meat or chicken in a Ziploc, pour marinade over. Place the onion slices over meat or chicken Press the air out the bag and refrigerate overnight or freeze for a later use.

Chicken Tamale Casserole/Pie?

I had one of these types of meals at one of my high school friend's house back in the early 90's. It was so good. I got my friend's Mom's recipe. Tried to make it and it was totally disgusting. Her recipe called for cornmeal. I made it wrong, apparently all wrong.

When one of my friend's was on Maternity leave I created this as one of the meals to put in her freezer. So at a moment's notice she could just pop one of the frozen meals in the oven and wha-la dinner is ready. I was also inspired by that yummy concoction from the 90's and The Green Corn Tamales from El Cholo (they are only available like 3 months out of the year). This is my combo/dream creation of the two.

Chicken Cheese Tamale Casserole

2 boxes Jiffy corn muffin mix
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 small can green chiles or jalapenos (if you like it spicy hot)
a few shapes garlic salt
3/4 cup buttermilk or milk
2 eggs
2 chicken breasts cooked, seasoned and shredded
3/4 pound cheddar cheese or Spicy Jack (if you like it spicy) cubed
Save a 1/4 pound of cubes to top the Casserole/Pie

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease the bottom of a medium sized casserole dish or two smaller oven safe containers.

Pour contents of the two Jiffy boxes into a medium sized bowl. Add corn and chiles or jalapenos. Sprinkle salt. Pour buttermilk or milk onto the above mentioned and begin to stir. Stir until all ingredients are mixed. Spread 1/2 the mixture for one or a 1/4 of the mixture for two on the bottom of dish.

Sprinkle chicken on the muffin mix layer. Then press cheese cubes into mix. Spread remaining batter over chicken and cheese layer. Press remaining cubes into the top layer of muffin mix.

Bake 30-45 minutes until Casserole/Pie passes the toothpick test. I make this recipe into two, cook one and double wrap one to freeze to use at a later date. Bon Appetit!

Cheesecake Anyone?

I have tried and failed many a time making Cheesecake. I stumbled across a recipe from Paula Dean for Peanut Butter Cheesecake Minis from the Being a bit lazy and not having enough graham crackers... I improvised. I bought a Keebler Ready Crust Graham yesterday thinking I'd make an Ice Cream Pie or something. (I didn't) So I decided to make a Peanut Butter Cheesecake with it instead.

Peanut Butter Cheesecake

One Graham Keebler Ready Crust
9 Reese's Peanut Butter cups
(2 of them cut into pie shaped thirds)
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 cup flour
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg
Hershey's Syrup for decoration

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Take plastic cover/lid off crust. Place Peanut Butter cups upside down on crust. Six to go around and one in the middle. Use the thirds and wedge them between the six cups forming a circle around the inside of the pie crust. (Hopefully that makes sense.) Set Aside.

Beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add sugar, flour, cinnamon, and vanilla, mixing well after each addition. Add egg and mix until well incorporated.

Spoon cream cheese mixture over PB cups and make sure to cover exposed graham cracker crust. Bake until set approximately 20-25 minutes. Cool completely. When ready to serve cut pieces and drizzle Hershey's Syrup on top.

While at the market I saw the OREO Ready Crust on the top shelf of the Ready Crust section. Didn't buy one, but had fun trying to figure out what I could use it for. Below is a rich chocolaty fantasy come true!

Cookies and Cream Cheesecake

One OREO Ready Crust
7 Oreo cookies
1 (8 oz) package Cream Cheese at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 cup flour
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 egg
2 OREO cookies (crumbled)
1 tub of Cool-whip

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove plastic cover/lid from crust. Set aside.

Beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add sugar, flour and almond extract, mixing well after each addition. Add egg and mix until well incorporated.

Spoon a third of the cream cheese mixture onto the bottom of OREO crust. Place six of the cookies around and place one in the center. Pour the remaining cream cheese mixture on top of the cookies.

Sprinkle OREO crumbles on top of cheesecake. Place cheesecake in the oven and bake until set, 20-25 minutes. Cool completely. Cut and serve with Cool-whip.

Possible Variations

Substitute Peanut Butter cups or cookies and use either crust mentioned above...

2 Butterfinger bars broken into chunks
2 Heath bars broken into bits
1 Snicker's Bar sliced into 1/4 inch pieces

While at the market I also noticed a Shortbread Ready crust... After deciding to use Ready Crusts for Cheesecake for an easy way, I thought about that one and decided it would be really yummy with a fruit topping so here goes!

Strawberry Topped Cheesecake

One Shortbread Ready Crust
1 (8 oz) package cream Cheese at room temp.
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 cup flour
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 egg

1 pound fresh Strawberries cleaned, quartered and sugared a bit (keep in 'fridge)

Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Take plastic cover/lid off crust. Set aside.

Beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add sugar, flour, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Mix well after each addition. Add egg and mix until incorporated. Spoon cream cheese mixture over crust. Bake until set 20-25 minutes. Cool completely. Refrigerate. When ready to serve, cut and top cheesecake with fresh cut strawberries. Enjoy!

***Made and tried the Peanut Butter Cheesecake tonight. It was really good. My boyfriend and my Dad enjoyed it!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Strawberry Margaritas

Last weekend, I bought 4 pounds of Strawberries. Ralph's Markets had them 4 lbs for $5.00, I could not resist the sweet red gems. I panicked a bit once I bought them, thinking I must not let them go to waste. I had decided that at least one box would turn into Chocolate Covered Strawberries. So when I got home from the market, I searched the web for recipes including strawberries. I found one for Strawberry bread, a trifle, shortcakes and some other weird ones I would never try.

Anyway, on Sundays we go to my Boyfriend's Dad's house for family dinner. I heard there was going to be a Taco Bar. I don't drink often at all and a Strawberry Margarita sure sounded refreshing and sweet. I cleaned and chopped my berries. Got my clear plastic cups and lids from the cabinet and started to get my Margaritas ready for blending. Here is my recipe...

Strawberry Margarita

Orange Juice
honey (from our friends hive)
Margaritaville Silver Tequila
Bols Triple Sec

I used 2 of my clear cups full of ice, 1 cup worth of berries with orange juice poured over them, 1 cup half Tequila and half triple sec, and a heaping tablespoon scoop of honey. Blended it and then poured it into my four cups, put the lids on and put them in the freezer. I had one with the tacos and I have to say it was AMAZING. My friend topped hers with a bit more tequila and enjoyed two!

*For my friends who do not drink, omit the alcohol and add more orange juice.

Omitting the alcohol and adding a little yogurt! This combo would make a delicious smoothie!