7/01/2016

Whopper Cake

Back in May, my oldest turned 16!! He is my sweet-tooth demon and he LOVES Whoppers. He also loves chocolate malt Ovaltine and other malted products. I usually ask the kids what kind of cake they want me to make for their birthdays but this year I had an idea based on a recipe I had seen and I wanted it to be a surprise. I saw the recipe posted on Facebook but it comes from the Add A Pinch website.

THE INGREDIENTS FOR THE CAKE


1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup malted milk powder
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp espresso powder
1 cup milk
1/2 cup canola oil
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Add dry ingredients to the bowl of your mixer (or a large bowl if hand mixing). Whisk them together until combined.


In a separate bowl, combine eggs, oil, milk and vanilla.


 Pour the mixture in to the flour blend and combine on medium speed until smooth.



Reduce speed and carefully add the boiling water. Beat on high for about one minute. The batter will be VERY THIN!


Pour into two prepared pans.


Place pans in preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 30-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.


Let the cakes cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then remove to cool completely. Look at that loveliness!!


PERFECTION!


THE INGREDIENTS FOR THE ICING
You didn't think you were going to slap store bought icing on this beauty, did you? Have no fear, it's easy!!


3 sticks butter, softened
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup malted milk powder
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp espresso powder

Put cocoa and malted milk powders in the bowl of you mixer and whisk to combine. Add the butter and cream together until well combined. Add sugar and milk alternately. Add one cup of sugar then one tablespoon of milk and mix at high speed for about a minute between each round.


When all the sugar and milk have been added, mix in the vanilla and espresso powder. If the icing is to dry add a bit more milk, a tablespoon at a time. If it seems to wet, add more powdered sugar, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.


Slather it on your cake layers and be ready for rave reviews! I had a little fun with Raley's cake and used some Whoppers to decorate.


This cake was so lovely and moist and RICH!


** A word about espresso powder: My husband HATES coffee so I was worried about this addition. I was careful not to mention it and hid the bottle while I made the cake. After he ate it and raved about it I asked him if he tasted any coffee flavor and he was SHOCKED that it had coffee in it. So, fear not!

6/30/2016

Salsa Verde Chicken

Another great recipe I found on Facebook. The website I found it on is called kevinandamanda.com but I think it was posted by a food blogger I follow. It is a nice change from Italian pasta flavors and I throw it in the mix once in a while.

THE INGREDIENTS


1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup salsa verde
1 cup heavy cream
3 cups dry penne pasta
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups shredded monterrey jack cheese (or pepper jack)

Cut chicken into bite-size pieces and cook in olive oil until golden. Remove from pan and set aside.


Add broth, salsa, cream, pasta and seasoning to pot and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes.


Turn off the heat and add chicken plus one cup of cheese to the pasta and sauce. Stir until smooth and creamy. Top with remaining cheese and serve!


Garlic Parmesan Noodles

This is another recipe I can thank Facebook for! It came from this blog and I am so glad to have found it. It's a very nice side dish for many different meals, or you could add some grilled chicken or shrimp to it and it would be a meal in itself.

THE INGREDIENTS:


2 tsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 pound dry pasta
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup heavy cream

I make a double recipe, so if in the pictures it looks like more than the amounts listed, it is! Recipe amounts above are for a single recipe. Add the olive oil to a saucepan or stockpot and saute the garlic for 1-2 minutes.


Add the butter and stir to melt. Then add seasonings and chicken broth.


Bring to a boil, then add pasta. I used angel hair this time, but have used spaghetti, linguini and fettucine as well. Use what you like!


Cook pasta for the time listed on packaging. If the noodles start to stick together or the liquid seems to be cooking out, you can add a little more. When the noodles are done to your liking, add the cream.


Then add the Parmesan cheese.


Stir to combine and serve!


We had it last night with some baked fish. It was wonderful!



4/28/2016

Baked Mini-Burgers


I saw this post on Facebook (I think it was on Tip Hero) and tried it last night. I loved it!! Everyone else said they were okay but I LOVED them! Did I mention I loved them? Moving on...


THE INGREDIENTS:



1 package Hawaiian rolls
1 pound ground hamburger meat
1 diced onion
sliced cheese of your choosing

The pictures kind of say it all, but the steps are simple enough...Brown the hamburger and saute the onions.


Cut the rolls in half and lay the bottoms in a 9x9-ish baking dish. Evenly crumble the hamburger on top of the buns.


Evenly distribute the cooked onions on top of the meat. Two of my clonies do not like onion so I made half and half.


Throw some cheese slices on top!


Crown them with the bun tops.


Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Mine got just a touch overdone. Not burnt or crisp but darker than I would have liked. Next time I will check on them at 20 minutes!


SO, SO GOOD!

4/22/2016

One Pot Creamy Spaghetti

A big favorite around Chaosville is Spaghetti. Plain and simple, store bought sauce or homemade doesn't seem to make much difference to the crew here. So I don't really take note of spaghetti recipes when I see them. This one caught my eye when I saw it in an e-mail from Pillsbury, because it said one pot. So glad I kept it and made it! It's delicious, easy and always a big hit around here!

INGREDIENTS


1 pound ground beef or Italian sausage or turkey
3/4 pound uncooked spaghetti
1 (28 oz) can of crushed tomatoes with basil, undrained
32 ounces chicken broth or stock
1/2 cup heavy cream


Brown meat in a large pot and drain any grease. Add remaining ingredients to pot and stir to combine. I like to break up the noodles just a bit.


Heat to a boil and cook for 15-20 minutes or until noodles are done to your liking. Turn the noodles a few times to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Top with Parmesan cheese, fresh basil or whatever you like. If you like things on the spicy side you can add crushed red pepper flakes with the other ingredients.



I forgot to take a picture when it was done so this one is after we had all gotten our servings. It makes plenty for my family of 5 but we usually do not have leftovers.

4/05/2016

Not Yo Mama's Banana Pudding (Paula Deen)

WARNING!! This will be the most delicious, highly addictive banana pudding you ever eat. Once you have it, you will not want any other! Don't say I didn't warn you! Paula Deen gets the credit for this one; you will not be sorry if you give it a try.

INGREDIENTS:


2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessman cookies
6-8 bananas, sliced
2 cups milk
1 (5 oz) pkg French vanilla flavor instant pudding mix
8 oz package of whipped cream cheese (or softened regular)
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
12 oz container of frozen whipped topping, thawed

I had trouble finding French vanilla pudding mix this time! I finally found two small boxes so I measured out the amount needed.


In a small bowl, combine milk and pudding mix until well blended and smooth. A hand mixer or stand mixer works well. Use the cookies to line the bottom of a 13x9 casserole dish. We were headed to a family dinner so I went for the throwaway aluminum pan.


Add a layer of banana slices to the top of the cookies. Try to slice the bananas in the same thickness. I only used about 4 of my bananas and usually slice them one at a time and place them so I don't end up with too much.


In another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk. Fold in the whipped topping and add in the pudding mixture. Stir until everything is blended together.


Pour evenly onto the banana layer.


Cover with another layer of cookies. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Be ready to fall in love!


Loaded Gnocchi

Looking for a side dish that will wow everyone? Here it is! Once again from the amazing team at Two Peas and Their Pod.

INGREDIENTS:


1 package mini potato gnocchi
2 Tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cups sour cream
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese, divided
salt and pepper, to taste
3 strips cooked bacon, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x9 baking dish with non-stick spray and set aside. Boil a pot of water and cook gnocchi according to package instructions. When cooked, drain and spread in a single layer in the prepared dish.


Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for about a minute.


Add flour to make a roux. Whisk and cook until thickened.


Add the milk and continue to whisk. Wait until this thickens as well. About 3 minutes.


Whisk in one cup of cheese and keep whisking until smooth, then remove from heat.


Add sour cream.


Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour over the gnocchi in the pan.


Add remaining cheese and all the bacon.


Bake for 25 minutes or until bubbly and melty. When you take it out of the oven, let it sit for about 5 minutes.


You can serve this with just about anything. We went SUPER FANCY and had it with grilled cheese sandwiches!!


Look at that perfection!


Not sure if the family liked it though...