Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Beef Enchilada's

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 small onion chopped
1 can enchilada sauce
10 corn tortillas
2 cups shredded cheddar
1 can black olives sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium skillet cook ground beef and onion until beef is evenly browned and onion is tender.

Pour 1/3 cup of the sauce in the bottom of a 9X13 baking dish.

On each tortilla place ground beef, olives and cheese (reserving some cheese for top) and place in baking dish.

Pour remaining sauce over top and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake 20 minutes.

White Chicken Enchilada's - Christi M.

2 Cups Cooked Chicken Shredded
4 oz. Green Chiles, diced
12 ounces Green Chili Salsa
1/2 tsp. Salt
2 Cups Heavy Cream
10 Flour Tortiallas
8 oz. Monteray Jack Cheese, Shredded

Mix chicken, chiles and salsa in a bowl. Dip tortillas in salt and cream mixture. Roll tortilla's with 1/3 cup chicken mixture inside each tortilla. Place in baking dish and pour cream over the top. Sprinkle with the cheese. Bake 350 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes.

You can make ahead of time but do not pour the cream over until ready to bake.

Serves 8

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Boilermaker Tailgate Chili - Allrecipes.com (Rhonda Heath)

2 pounds ground beef chuck
1 pound bulk Italian sausage
3 (15 ounce) cans chili beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) can chili beans in spicy sauce
2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with juice
1 (15 oz) cans diced tomatoes with juice
1 C water
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 green chile peppers, seeded and chopped
4 cubes beef bouillon
1 bottle beer
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce (e.g. Tabasco™)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 (10.5 ounce) bag corn chips such as Fritos®
1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese

1. Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Crumble the ground chuck and sausage into the hot pan, and cook until evenly browned. Drain off excess grease.
2. Pour in the chili beans, spicy chili beans, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Add the onion, red bell peppers, chile peppers, bouillon, and beer. Season with chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, oregano, cumin, hot pepper sauce, basil, salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, and sugar. Stir to blend, then cover and simmer over low heat for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
3. After 2 hours, taste, and adjust salt, pepper, and chili powder if necessary. The longer the chili simmers, the better it will taste. Remove from heat and serve, or refrigerate, and serve the next day.
4. To serve, ladle into bowls, and top with corn chips and shredded Cheddar cheese.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Lemon Chicken - Sheryl R.

4 chicken breast (boneless and skinless)
Seasoned Salt
Italian Seasoning
1 Tbsp of Oil
2 Tbsp of Butter
3 cloves of garlic minced
4 tbsp of lemon juice
2tsp or 2 cubes - chicken bouillon

In a frying pan add oil and heat. Sprinkle chicken with seasoned salt and Italian herbs to taste and then brown the chicken on both sides. Once browned remove from pan and add butter, garlic, chicken bouillon, and lemon juice. Add approx 1 to 1 ½ cups of water allow to come to a boil. Then add chicken back in and simmer for approx 35 min or till chicken is full cooked . Add chopped parsley last 5 min of cooking.

I always sever with rice and a salad…

Chicken Pasta Salad - Sheryl R.

1 pkg of Bow Tie or Spiral Pasta Cooked, Drained and Cooled
¼ cup of sesame seeds toasted (optional)
6 cups of Romaine Lettuce or Spinach
1 bunch of Green Onions Chopped
¼ Cup of Parsley
3 cups of Shredded Cooked Chicken Breast

½ cup of vegetable oil
1 tsp of sesame oil
1/3 cup of soy sauce
1/3 cup of rice wine vinegar
3 tbsp of sugar
¼ tsp of pepper
½ tsp of ground ginger

Cook chicken set aside and cool. Cook pasta and set aside to cool. Mix all the dressing ingredients and set aside. Chop the salad, onions, parsley, shred the chicken mix in the pasta add the dressing and sprinkle the sesame seeds. Mix thoroughly and serve.

Note- I will shred my chicken and put it in the fridge to cool sometimes I add a little dressing and let the chicken marinade.

Also you can mix the chicken, pasta, onions and the parsley with the dressing and put it in the fridge in advance, then mix the lettuce in when ready to eat later. This salad can be eaten without adding the lettuce or spinach and is great made ahead so everything marinades.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes - Sheryl R.

5 lbs of unpeeled red potatoes (Quartered)
3 cubes of butter
1/2 cup of parmesan cheese (Grated fine)
8-10 cloves of Garlic
2 1/2 tsp of salt
2 1/2 tsp of Italian herb spices

Boil the potatoes and the garlic. Drain and add the rest of the ingredients mash and serve.

these are Amazing - don't add milk trust me.......

Beef with Broccoli - Sheryl R.

Prep 15 min
Cook time- 6 min

1 pound of Rump Steak partially frozen
6 Tbsp of Soy Sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp of Corn Starch
1 1/2 Tbsp of Rice Wine or Dry Sherry
1 1/2 Tsp Sugar
1 1/2 Cups of Fresh Broccoli
6 Tbsp of Oil Divided
2 Tsp of Ground Ginger or more if Desired

1. Trim fat from steak and cut in thin strips across the grain

2. Combine the meat, soy sauce, corn starch, sherry, sugar, and ginger. stir well and let meat defrost.

3. Cut broccoli in even small flowerets. peel the stalks and cut into thin strips (optional i use more flowerets)

4. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in wok- Add broccoli sprinkle with a little salt.-cook the broccoli till dark green. DO NOT cook longer than 2 min remove and set aside.

5. Add remaining oil to pan- stir fry beef mixture for about 2- 4 min add the broccoli back in mix well heat for about 30 sec. and then serve. Do not leave on the heat the broccoli will get mushy. Serve with rice.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Spanish Rice - Pioneer Woman Cooks

2 Tablespoons Canola Oil
½ whole Large Onion, Chopped
3 cloves Garlic, Minced
2 cups Long Grain Rice
1 can Rotel (10 Ounce)
1 can Whole Tomatoes (14.5 Ounce)
2 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth (more If Needed)
1 teaspoon Cumin (more To Taste)
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
Fresh Cilantro, Chopped

Preparation Instructions
Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onions and garlic, then cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add rice and garlic. Stir constantly, making sure the rice doesn’t burn. Cook over low heat for 3 minutes. Add Ro-tel and tomatoes. Stir to combine and let cook for 2 minutes. Finally, add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 to 15 additional minutes or until rice is done. Add more liquid as needed; rice shouldn’t be sticky.

Just before serving, sprinkle lots of freshly chopped cilantro over the top. Serve immediately.

Sour Cream Enchilada's - Pioneer Woman Cooks

12 whole Corn Tortillas
Canola Oil, For Frying
1 can (20 Ounce) Enchilada Sauce
2 cups Sour Cream
3 cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Grated
1 cup Sliced/chopped Green Onions
½ teaspoons Ground Cumin
¼ teaspoons Cayenne Pepper

Preparation Instructions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix together sour cream, green onions 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar, cumin, and cayenne pepper.

Heat canola oil in a skillet over medium heat. Heat enchilada sauce in a separate skillet or saucepan.

Using tongs, fry tortillas one at a time, for only about five to ten seconds per side (don’t allow to crisp.) Remove from oil, then dunk tortilla in enchilada sauce. Lay tortilla on a plate, then spoon a good two or three tablespoons of the sour cream mixture in the middle. Roll tortilla, then place face down in a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Repeat with remaining tortillas and sour cream mixture.

Cover the dish with the remaining cheese, then bake for 15 to 20 minutes until bubbly.

Serve immediately. Place a dollop of sour cream on each serving, then sprinkle on sliced green onions.

Salsa Baked Goat Cheese - Chaos in the Kitchen Blog

Salsa Baked Goat Cheese
serves 4, prep 10 min, cook 20 min, adapted from Salsas That Cook

1/4 cup pine nuts or coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
4 oz goat cheese, softened
3 oz cream cheese, softened
2 cups Roasted Jalapeño-Tomato Salsa below or other favorite salsa
Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

1.Preheat oven to 350°F.
2.Toast the nuts on a baking sheet in the oven until lightly browned, about 7 minutes (the pine nuts will brown quicker than either of the others).
3.In a bowl, thoroughly combine cheeses and nuts.
4.Scoop it into the center of a baking dish, forming it into a flat disk. Pour salsa over and around cheese.
5.Bake cheese mixture just to warm it all the way through, 10 to 15 minutes.
6.Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with dippers.

It is great served warm or cold and can be made in advance.

Roasted Jalapeño-Tomato Salsa
makes about 2 cups, prep 10 min, cook 30 min, adapted from Salsas That Cook

1 1/2 pounds plum or roma tomatoes (about 10 medium)
1 to 3 fresh jalapeño chiles (1 to 1 1/2 ounces), stemmed
Half of a small white onion (2 ounces), sliced into 1/4 inch thick rings
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, loosely packed
1 generous teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar

1.Heat the broiler. Place whole tomatoes and jalapeños on a broiler pan or baking sheet.
2.Broil for about 6 minutes, until darkly roasted and even a bit blackened.
3.Flip over the tomatoes and chiles and roast the other side for another 6 minutes or so. Allow to cool.
4.Set the oven to 425 degrees. On a separate pan or baking sheet, combine the onions and garlic.
5.Roast in the oven, stirring occasionally, until browned and soft, about 15 minutes. Allow to cool.
6.Add jalapeños, onions, and garlic to a food processor and pulse to chop. Scoop out into a bowl.
7.Add tomatoes to the processor and pulse to a rough puree.
8.Pour tomatoes into the bowl with jalapeño mixture and stir. Add water if needed to thin.
9.Stir in cilantro, salt, and vinegar. Taste and re-season if necessary.

Three jalapeños in this recipe is HOT. If you can’t handle hot, slice the jalapeños open vertically and remove the seeds before roasting or reduce the amount of jalapeños all together. We have come to really love this salsa and make it often. Three jalapenos for a double batch is the perfect amount of heat for us. If you are making this in order to make the salsa baked goat cheese be sure to make a double batch so you have extra for snacking! This salsa is also fantastic over a cheesy omelet or in migas.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Lazy Bolognese-Style Lasagna - Rachael Ray

•Salt and pepper
•1 pound wavy lasagna noodles, broken into irregular pieces
•2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
•1 1/2 pounds ground beef
•1 onion, finely chopped
•2-3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
•1 small carrot, finely chopped or grated
•1 sprig rosemary, finely chopped
•A sprinkle of ground cloves
•1/4 cup tomato paste
•1 cup white wine or an additional 1 cup beef stock
•2 cups beef stock
•3 tablespoons butter
•2 rounded tablespoons flour
•2 cups whole milk
•Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
•Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Serves 4

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook to al dente.

In a Dutch oven, heat the EVOO, two turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the beef and brown well. Add the onion, garlic, carrot, rosemary, cloves and lots of salt and pepper and cook until tender, 7-8 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste for 1 minute, then stir in the wine or vegetable stock for 1 minute. Stir in the beef stock and simmer for a few minutes longer.

Pre-heat the broiler and position a rack in the center of the oven.

In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, then the milk, and let thicken enough to coat a spoon; season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Toss the pasta with the meat sauce and arrange in a casserole. Pour the bechamel sauce over the top in an even layer. Top with a layer of Parmigiano Reggiano and broil in the oven to brown the top

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Flank Steak Marinade - Christi M.

3 Tbls Sesame Seeds
1/4 cup Oil
1/2 cup Soy Sauce
2 Cloves Garlic, Crushed
1/2 Tsp Black Pepper
1/2 Tsp Ginger, Fresh
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
2 Green Onions, Sliced
1 1/2 lbs Flank Steak

Mix all together. Add flank steak and marinate for 3 - 4 hours.

Turn grill on medium high when it is extremely hot, place the steak on a slight angle as this makes for more appealing grill marks. Cook without touching for about 1 ½ to 2 minutes. Rotate the meat about 45 degrees, keeping it on the same side, and cook for another 1 ½ minutes.

Now flip it to the other side. Cook using the same method on the other side, cooking for 1 1/2 minutes, then rotating it and finishing the cooking process. I cook the flank streak to medium rare, which usually takes about 5 to 7 minutes total cooking time. Remove the meat to a cutting board and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing.

When you’re ready, thinly slice the meat against the grain. That means find the directional striations/lines in the meat grain and slice perpendicular to it.

Bleu Cheese & Honey Baguette's - Erin H.

Bleu Cheese
Kosher Salt
Sliced Baguette

Lay sliced baguette on cookie sheet. Drizzle with honey, sprinkle with salt and top with bleu cheese. Bake at 350 until cheese is warm and soft.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Berry Cobbler #2 - Adapted from Pioneer Woman Cooks

Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 8

8 cups Frozen Costco Berry Medley
1 cups Plus 4 Tablespoons Sugar
6 Tablespoons Cornstarch
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
½ whole Zest Of Lemon
3 cups Flour
¼ teaspoons Salt
1 ½ Tablespoon Baking Powder
1/3 cups Crisco (vegetable Shortening)
6 Tablespoons Butter
1 whole Egg
3/4 cups Milk

Preparation Instructions
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine blackberries, ½ cup sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a mixing bowl. Stir and spread out in a buttered pyrex dish.

In a separate bowl pour flour, salt, baking powder, and 1 tablespoon sugar. Add shortening and butter and work mixture together with a pastry blender (or your fingers) until the mixture is coarse. Measure ½ cup milk, add an egg, and mix together. Pour into flour mixture, stirring as you go. Mixture should be smooth and not dry, but not over stickly.

Take clumps of dough and place them on top of the blackberries. Lightly flatten dough with your fingertips. Sprinkle with 2 to 3 tablespoons of sugar and bake until golden for 30 minutes. Berry juice will be slightly thin, but don’t be afraid. It will gradually soak into the biscuity topping and make your life complete.

Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Oprah's Martini

1 part Citron Vodka (I used Absolut)
2 parts Pomegranate Juice (I used the Langers)
1/2 part Triple Sec

Mix together and shake in a Martini shaker

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sangria - Scrapbook weekend

4 cups Burgundy Wine (can be a cheap wine)
4 cups Water
1 cup Sugar
1 Lemon
1 Lime
1 Orange

Slice fruit and pour in with liquids.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Watermelon Mojito's - Barefoot Contessa

30 large fresh mint leaves, coarsely torn by hand
3 to 4 thick slices fresh watermelon
12 ounces light rum, such as Bacardi
1/2 cup simple syrup
6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (3 limes)
Sprigs of mint and spears of watermelon, for serving

Use a mortar and pestle to mash the mint leaves. Remove and discard the rind and seeds of the watermelon. Put the fruit into a food processor fitted with the steel blade and puree. Put the mashed mint into a large pitcher with 2 cups of pureed watermelon, the rum, simple syrup, and lime juice and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into a pitcher for serving.

Place ice cubes in 6 glasses and pour the mojito mixture into the glasses. Garnish with sprigs of fresh mint and spears of watermelon. Serve ice cold.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

My Chicken Picata - Pioneer Woman Cooks

Prep Time: 15 Minutes Cook Time: 15 Minutes Difficulty: Easy Servings: 4
4 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
Kosher Salt To Taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
4 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
5 Tablespoons Butter
4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 cup Dry White Wine
¾ cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1/2 - 1 whole Lemons
3/4 Cup Heavy Cream
Chopped Fresh Parsley
1 pound Angel Hair Pasta

Preparation Instructions
This is how you make Chicken Piccata when you’re out of capers and you have a pathological fear of cooking anything without adding heavy cream.

Have a pot of water simmering for the pasta.

If chicken breasts are overly thick, pound until slightly flattened. Sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides, then dredge in flour.

Heat 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry two of the chicken breasts at one time until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes on each side; a little longer if
breasts are thicker, a little shorter if breasts are thinner. Remove to a plate, then add the other 2 tablespoons each of butter and olive oil. Fry the other two breasts until golden, monitoring the oil/butter mixture to make sure it doesn’t burn. Decrease heat as needed!

After removing the chicken, have the heat on medium to medium-low. Pour in wine and chicken broth, and squeeze in the juice of two lemons. Whisk the sauce, scraping the bottom of the pan. Allow sauce to cook and bubble and thicken until reduced by about half. Sprinkle in a little salt and pepper as it’s cooking.

Reduce heat to low and pour in cream. Whisk together and allow to cook for a couple of minute until sauce thickens. Taste and adjust seasonings or other ingredients. Expect the sauce to have a real tang to it; counter it with a little more broth and cream if it’s too strong! Sprinkle in some chopped parsley and stir.

Right at the end, cook angel hair until al dente—do not overcook!

With tongs, place a medium-sized mound of pasta on a plate. Place a cooked chicken breast beside it, then spoon sauce over the chicken and the pasta. The sauce is strong, so no need to drown it. Sprinkle a little minced parsley over the top.

Lemon Chicken - Susan Branch Heart of Home Cookbook

4 chicken breasts (I used tenders)
1 1/2 cups flour (this is way too much - also it's easy to put in bag and shake to coat)
1/3 cup butter
2 TBSP olive oil
salt and pepper

Place chicken between wax paper and pound to flatten. Coat with flour and cook in butter and oil. Salt and pepper to taste.

4 TBSP butter
4 TBSP parsley, chopped
1 lemon

Melt butter in pan with drippings from cooking chicken. Remove from heat and add parsley and 1 TBS lemon juice. Pour sauce over chicken.
Hilary's Notes: This calls for a TON of butter. Can easily be cut back. I'd cut back when you make the sauce. Also, I used dried parsley (forgot to buy the fresh). I also thought, "Lemons, yum-- I'll double the lemon since I like lemon so much." Not a good idea! PUCKER UP SOUR! But really tender and moist and I'll definitely repeat - just won't use so much lemon!

Grilled Chicken with Lemon Basil Pasta - Pioneer Woman Cooks

•4 whole Grilled Chicken Breasts, Sliced
•1 pound Penne Pasta, Cooked Until Al Dente
•½ sticks Butter
•3 whole Lemons, Juiced
•¾ cups Heavy Cream
•¼ cups Half-and-half
•1-½ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese (or Romano)
•Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
•20 whole Basil Leaves, Chopped
Preparation Instructions
Cook pasta, reserving 1 cup of hot pasta water when you drain. Set pasta aside in a colander.

In the same pot, melt butter over medium heat. Squeeze in the juice of 3 to 4 lemons. Whisk together. Pour in cream and half-and-heat. Whisk until hot. Dump in cheese and whisk until melted. Add salt and pepper. Check consistency, adding some of the hot pasta water to loosen the sauce if needed.

Pour pasta and sauce into a large serving bowl. Sprinkle remaining basil all over the top, then add sliced chicken breasts. Serve immediately!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Pasta alla Vodka with Chicken - Adapted from Pioneer Woman Cooks

1 pound Pasta
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Chicken breasts chopped in bite size pieces
1 whole Medium Onion, Chopped Finely
2 cloves (to 3 Cloves) Garlic, Chopped
¾ cups (to 1 Cup) Vodka
1 can (About 14.5 Oz.) Tomato Sauce
1 cup Heavy Cream or Half & Half
1 pinch Red Pepper Flakes
¼ teaspoons (to 1/2 Teaspoon) Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions, being careful not to overcook.

In a large skillet over medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter. When butter is melted, add in chopped chicken and cook until done. Remove chickent from pan. In same pan add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter. When butter is melted, add onion and garlic. Stir and allow to cook for two minutes. Pour in vodka. Stir and cook for three minutes. Add in tomato sauc and stir.

Reduce heat to low and stir in cream. Allow to simmer, being careful not to overheat. Stir in red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.

Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of pasta water in case sauce is too thick. Add cooked pasta to the sauce, tossing to combine. Splash in a little water if it needs it. Stir in Parmesan cheese.

Pour mixture into large serving bowl. Garnish with more Parmesan cheese.

Eat it out of the serving bowl. Faint. Repeat as needed.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Banana Banana Bread Recipe - Allrecipes.com

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas
3/4 - 1 cup of chopped walnuts
1 tsp. vanilla

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
2.In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs, vanilla and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
3.Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Hershey's One Bowl Chocolate Cake

2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

1 Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round pans, 25 cupcakes or one 13x9x2-inch baking pan.

2 Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of electric mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

3 Bake 30 to 35 minutes for round pans, 18 - 22 minutes for cupcakes, 35 to 40 minutes for rectangular pan or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. (Cake may be left in rectangular pan, if desired.)

Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting - Confessions of a Cookbook Queen

2 sticks of Butter, softened to room temperature (the regular ol' salted stuff)
1 - 2 TBLS Corn syrup
4 cups Powdered sugar (I buy huge bags at Sam's Club, but a regular small bag is fine)
1 TSP Vanilla (nothing fancy, I buy a big bottle of that at Sam's too)
2 TBLS Milk (I use 2%, whole would be great too. I don't recommend skim)

Put butter, milk, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer.

Mix on low speed until it just starts to come together, about a minute. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Increase to medium low speed and beat for about another minute. It should be almost combined but there will still be a bit of liquid at the bottom.

Increase mixer speed to medium high and beat for about another or minute or so. Add powdered sugar. Beat on low speed until sugar is just barely incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and increase speed slowly to medium. Beat for about a minute.

At this point, you want to check your consistency. This is very important because if your frosting is too thick, it will not spread well. If your spatula does not glide through the frosting, add about a tablespoon of corn syrup and beat on medium for about 30 seconds.

Add another tablespoon of corn syrup and beat on medium for 30 seconds. Repeat until the frosting seems to be of a good spreadable consistency. You don't want it too runny though, or it will just slide off the cake.

Once you get your frosting to a good, spreadable consistency, increase mixer speed to medium high and beat for one minute. This will get your frosting nice and fluffy.

Here's how to take your frosting a step further:

With an offset spatula, put a good - size blob of frosting on your cupcake.

Use your spatula to get it nice and flat. It's okay if it's not perfectly smooth, just make sure that it's spread to the edges of the cupcake.

Holding your spatula with it's edge along the side of your cupcake, give your cupcake a spin. This will take off the excess frosting and make your edges nice and flat.

Pour your favorite sprinkles onto a plate and roll the edges of the frosting in the sprinkles.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Brownies - Baker's Chocolate

4 squares BAKER'S Unsweetened Chocolate
3/4 cup butter or margarine
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)

Heat oven to 350°F.

Spray pan with cooking spray.

MICROWAVE chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 min. or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Stir in sugar. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Add flour and nuts; mix well. Pour into prepared pan.

BAKE 30 to 35 min. or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with fudgy crumbs. (Do not overbake.) Cool completely.
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