Sunday, March 27, 2011

Carrot Cake.....the only carrot cake worth eating!

This carrot cake recipe has ruined all other carrot cakes for me. I have tried probably over 20 different pieces of cakes across the country, and I can never finish them because they don't come close to this recipe.

2 C grated carrots
1 C chopped nuts ( I use pecans, and have done walnuts too)
1 C vegetable oil
2 C sugar
2 C flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
dash of salt
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 300°
Grease a bundt pan really good. Or whatever kind of pan you are using.

Get a big bowl and a heavy spoon, no electric mixers for this one.
Put in grated carrots, and nuts, stir.
Add oil, stir.
Add sugar,stir.
Add flour, stir
Sprinkle with baking soda, cinnamon and salt, stir. Yes it is suppose to be REALLY thick at this point.
Now add ONE egg, stir till blended, add the second egg, stir till blended, add the third egg, stir till blended, now add the 4th egg and mix very well.
The batter should now be somewhat thick, but pourable as well. More like a cake batter.
Pour into greased pan.

Now bake for at least an hour. At this point it will be probably be tanish color, 

too light, needs 10 more minutes

 cook for another 10-20 minutes, depending on your oven. You want it a darker caramel color, it makes a HUGE difference in the flavor of the cake, and a difference you want too.
darker one, and see how it pulled from the sides of the pan?
 When it is done, (clean toothpick test, pulls from sides of pan, great darker caramel color), take it out and put it on a cooling rake for 10 minutes, then invert the pan on to your serving platter, and let it sit till cool. No peeking!  If you greased your pan good, the cake should come out completely. Now onto making the frosting.......

Cream cheese frosting:::::
Combine with an electric mixer
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 stick butter, softened
16oz of powered sugar (confectioner's)
2 tsp vanilla

When cake has cooled completely, frost it good, you should have plenty of frosting.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Creamy Alfredo Sauce

1 pint Heavy Cream
8 ounces shredded fresh parmesan cheese ( not powered)
8 ounces shredded fresh romano cheese
16 Tbsp butter ( 2 sticks) ( not margarine)
6-8 cloves garlic, crushed, pressed or finely chopped
1/4 sweet onion finely chopped
Patience, a lot of it

Melt butter slowly in a large saucepan on low. Add garlic and onion, raise temp to just above med low allowing garlic and onion to fry a little bit. then lower temp just below med low so the butter does NOT brown. Now add the heavy cream, and the parmesan and romano cheeses. Grab patience and hold it tightly to make you stand there for quite some time now. Stir, stir, stir it regularly, that is the trick, to stir it wait, stir it wait, stir it wait. Do NOT let it sit, it will scorch and then YUK! Keep stirring until there is no more solids, now pour over your favorite pasta or a pizza shell and enjoy.  Add chicken to your pasta for some fabulous Chicken Pasta Alfredo.

Halibut Bake

6 (4 ounce) halibut fillets 2 inches thick
1/2 C sour cream
1/3 C mayo
1/3 C grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp lemon pepper seasoning
1 dash ground red pepper (cayenne)
3/4 C Panko (Japanese style bread crumbs)

Heat oven to 425°  Place fish in 15X10X1 inch pan
Mix all remaining ingredients except Panko, spoon over fish then sprinkle with Panko
Bake 20-25 minutes or until top is golden brown and fish flakes easily with fork.

Mexican Chicken Pasta Salad

1/2 pound rotini or other spiral pasta

1 pound shredded roasted chicken meat
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 1/2 C frozen corn, thawed
1 1/3 C shredded carrots
1 small bellpepper chopped
1/4 C chopped red onion

1/2 C mayo
1/2 C sour cream
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
3/4 tsp chili powder
3/4 ground cumin

1 C fresh cilantro, chopped

Cook pasta in boiling salted water 8-10 minutes, or until al dente.  Drain and put in large bowl. Add next 7 ingredients and toss. Mix next 7 ingredients until very blended, pour dressing over pasta. salt and pepper to taste. and fresh cilantro and toss thoroughly.

You can do substitute another 1/2 C sour cream if you don't want to use the mayo.
Also you can add some salsa to it as well. We like to eat it cold.

Bourbon Chicken

2 pounds boneless chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp crushed garlic cloves
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 C apple juice
1/3 C light brown sugar
2 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
1/2 C water
1/3 C soy sauce

Heat oil in large skillet.  Add chicken pieces, cook till lightly browned.  Remove chicken.  Add remaining ingredients, heating over medium heat until well mixed and dissolved.  Add chicken and bring to a hard boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.  Serve over hot rice and enjoy.

Citrus Vinaigrette dressing (like Bonefish)

2/3 C extra virgin olive oil
1/4 C sugar
3 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
4 tsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard
2 tsp lime juice
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp minced fresh parsley
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Whisk all ingredients in a bowl

Microwave on high for one minute or until mixture bubbles rapidly

Whisk for one minute more until mixture forms an emulsion

Cover and chill for one hour before serving.

Note: we have just whisked it all together and used it like that too, tastes good that way as well.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Fabulous Grape Salad

This is a nice cool and refreshing salad for summer time, or any party or gathering. Warning, print the recipe on cards to hand out, because you will be asked for this recipe over and over again!! It is addicting too!

3-4 pounds green & red seedless grapes

Mix the following together really good:
1 8 oz block of cream cheese
1 8 oz tub of sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 C sugar

Put washed and dried grapes in a serving dish. ( I use a large casserole or a 13X9 cake pan)
pour sauce over grapes and CHILLLLLL!!!

Before serving sprinkle with about 1/2 C brown sugar and chopped pecans.

NOTE::: If you like more sauce or use HUGE grapes, double the sauce. MMMMMMMM

Friday, March 4, 2011

Fumi Salad

1 head of cabbage, shredded
1 pkg ramen (noodles only)
raw sesame seeds
slivered almonds

1/2 C oil
6 Tbsp rice vinegar (oriental section of grocery store)
3 Tbsp sugar

Brown sesame seeds and slivered almonds in oven. Stirring occasionally.
Take ramen , and beat pkg good to break up noodles into small bite size pieces, discard seasoning packet. Put shredded cabbage, broken noodles, cooled browned sesame seeds and almonds in bowl, mix well. Mix dressing till really blended good. We keep the salad and dressing separate and add dressing to each serving so it doesn't make the left over salad soggy in the fridge. If you are having a big dinner party, you may mix it all together and serve.

German Potato Salad

Boil 1.5 pounds of potato's with the peel still on. Let cool. After they have cooled, peel and then slice.
Dissolve 2 beef boullion cubes in 1/2 C water and pour over sliced potato's. Then mix dressing:

3 Tbsp oil
3 Tbsp cider vinegar
salt & pepper

Mix well and pour over potatoes and mix then serve.

Cauliflower Salad

This salad is great in the summertime because you can eat it hot or cold. We really like it cold.

Cut up a head of cauliflower and steam it, not too soft though. Let cool.

Then mix:
2 Tbsp oil
4 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1 small finely diced onion
1 Tbsp parsley
2 Tbsp evaporated milk (optional) my family likes is without.

mix the dressing well, till all blended then pour over cooled cauliflower and you can enjoy it warm or refrigerate before eating. Over night is great, lets the dressing flavor soak into the cauliflower.

Pasta Cabbage Stir Fry

Oh I love this stuff!!!!

8 ounces Linguine
1/2 Tbsp Olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
4 C shredded cabbage
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt, then drain.
Add oil to large non stick skillet over med heat. Add onion, cook 3-5 minutes till translucent.
Add cabbage and stir fry for 10 minutes until cabbage is softened and beginning to brown.
Add salt & pepper. Add cooked pasta and saute 3 more minutes. Enjoy!

Corned Beef Casserole

We ate this a lot as kids. It is very cheap to make that is probably why. We still love this now as adults.

This recipe makes a 13X9 pan, if you want an 8X8 pan, cut everything in half.

6-8 potatoes peeled & cubed
Put the cubed potatoes in boiling water cook till they are just getting soft, ( kinda 1/2 & 1/2) do not over cook. Then put into baking pan along with
2 cans Corned Beef
2 cans Peas (drained)
Mix lightly so it isn't all clumped one thing here and another there.

Then make this white sauce in a saucepan:
2 sticks of butter
4 Tbsp flour
salt n pepper to taste
4 C milk
Cook white sauce slowly till slightly thickened
Pour over corned beef, peas & potato mixture

Cook 1/2 hour or till potato's are tender @ 350°.

Red Cabbage

1/2 stick butter (4Tbsp)
3 Tbsp sugar
2/3 C Balsamic Vinegar
1 onion diced small
1 - 2 Tbsp Brown sugar
1/8 C Maple syrup
1 head of Red Cabbage