Category Archives: Cooking

Food nourishes the soul as well as the body…

Chocolate Pudding Cupcakes with Strawberry Centers – for VDay

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Love at first bite

My mens were so happy when I made these treats for them, and oh boy do they deserve it! The cold months are always roughest on us financially, and they get a double whammy with V-Day, and my birthday, all in one month.  They have been working extra hours to get me a present, a memory card for my Nook. They deserve cupcakes, and so much more, for how sweet they both are to me!

Ingredients:
1 package cupcake mix, chocolate
1 package strawberries, cleaned and hulled
1 package pudding, chocolate
Fresh mint sprigs,optional but awesome

Directions:
1.Prepare cupcakes according to package and let cool. Using a paring knife, core out a well down into each cupcake, for your strawberry to fit into. Prepare your pudding according to the package.

2.Stick the strawberry pointy side down into your cupcakes. Top liberally with pudding in leu of frosting.


3. Add a sprig of mint if you like.  I think it adds a certain something, and my neighbor had some growing in her kitchen and shared…but don’t go out and buy some.

4. I cut each cutcake in half and set it on a plate, because presentation is everything with these suckers. They are DELICIOUS and super easy!

 

I love you, *DH and *MH! *kisses and hugs galore*    Now, eat a cupcake!  *shoves a cupcake into two open mouths*

Crock Pot Molten Lava Cake

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Crock Pot Molten Lava Cake

When I was younger, I worked for one of the church ladies, cleaning her house. She would make this on Sundays, for her husband. I could smell it cooking while I dusted and vaccumed, and once she invited me to have some…I HAD to have the recipe!

Thank you, Phyllis! This has become a family favorite with MY family now, too. Plus, very few dishes to wash!

Easy to make

Cake Ingredients:
2 C. Brown Sugar
2 C. All-purpose Flour
6 Tbsp. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
4 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Salt
1 C. Milk
4 Tbsp. Butter, melted
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 C. Semisweet chocolate chips.

Molten Lava Sauce Ingredients:
1 1/2 C. Brown Sugar
1/2 C. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
3 C. Boiling Water

You can see chocolate chips hiding in there

1. Combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in your crock pot. Stir in milk, melted butter and vanilla until combined. Spread the batter evenly over the bottom of the crock.

cocoa powder and brown sugar

2. Mix together the brown sugar and cocoa. Sprinkle mixture over the cake batter.

NOTE: If you are not a molten fudge type of person, and want a more subtle cake, omit the sauce step, move on to the next part. The result is a springy, sweet and spongy cake that is a hit with the “I don’t much care for chocolate” crowd.

DO NOT STIR

3. Pour the boiling water over the top. DO NOT STIR!

Not a great presentation piece but delicious nonetheless

4. Cover and cook on High for 2 – 2 1/2 hours.

Molten Lava Cake with vanilla bean ice cream

5. Turn off heat, and remove lid. Let sit approx. 20 minutes before serving, so its still warm and liquid but will not scorch your tongue!

This is what the cake looks like made without the sauce.

Comfort Food: Broccoli, Ham and Cheese Quiche

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French comfort food!

I am (mostly) French, so quiche is a familair dish for me. My dad made this for me on Saturday mornings when I was a little girl, and I would watch him chop and layer the ingredients with much interest. By that I mean, I was at his elbow, sneaking bits of veggie and bacon and getting scolded/comforted when he would, inevitably, elbow me in the face. 🙂

This is one of my favorite dishes to make when I need a little comfort. We serve it with a garden salad or fresh fruit. I plan on taking one to my mother in law’s house for Mother’s day brunch this year!  I  like to add mild cheddar cheese (sharp cheddar doesn’t melt as well). This recipe is GREAT for finishing up leftovers, and freezes well, for those of you who like to cook ahead.

A great way to use leftover veggies!

Ingredients:

1 frozen pie crust shell,thawed for 10-15 minutes on counter

1 cup leftover broccoli, chopped into bite size pieces

1 cup ham, cooked and diced

5 large eggs

1/4 cup milk (I used 1%)

1/4 teaspoon mustard

1/2 teaspoon dried minced Garlic

1/2 teaspoon dried chopped onion flakes

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon parsley (optional)

1 cup shredded mild Cheddar cheese or mozzarella. I also use ‘Italian blend’ and ‘taco blend’ occasionally.

Mild works better than sharp, half fat works better than fat free

Directions:

Heat oven to 375°.

Prick the bottom of the thawed crust with a fork. Dice your ham and broccoli.

Saute the ham in a small  pan. This removes the excess moisture, and will keep your quiche from becoming soggy. Sprinkle your ham and broccoli in the bottom of the pie crust.

Sizzle!

Beat the eggs and milk until slightly frothy.Mix in the mustard,garlic,onion flakes,paprika and parsley(optional). Salt and pepper to taste. [I choose to not use any salt, since there is plenty of salt in the cheese.] Pour egg mix into the  pie crust over the ham and broccoli.

Just Beat It!

Sprinkle cheese over egg mixture. Bake at 375° for about 30 minutes, or until quiche filling is set and top is ever so slightly browned.

Eggy Pie!

HINT: tap your quiche. If it bounces back at you, its perfect!

Delicious with fresh fruit!

Lemon Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting (Icing)

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The most delicious of all frostings.

Standard yellow cake (my favorite, I am a bit of a purist!) cupcakes are made exceptional with lemon ginger cream cheese frosting.  I am not the world’s best cupcake decorator by a long shot, but the flavor of the frosting makes up for what I lack in decorating skills. 😉 This makes me feel like maybe, just maybe, Spring is around the corner…

Ingredients:
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)softened
8oz Philly cream cheese (1 package) softened
1 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp ground ginger
Grated zest of one large lemon (approx 1 1/2-2 tablespoons)
1 tsp lemon juice

Directions:
1. Make cupcakes according to package directions.
2. With a mixer, cream the butter and cream cheese together for approx. 2 minutes, on medium speed until smooth.
3. Add the lemon zest and juice. Mix to combine. Slowly add the icing sugar. Add the ground ginger and mix well.
4.Chill the frosting in the fridge for 1/2 hour.
5. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with the tip of your choice and use to decorate to your hearts content. I went Plain Jane on these babies.

Plain Jane Cupcakes but they taste DELICIOUS

One Pot Stacked Enchilada Pie

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Stacked Enchilada Pie

I borrowed my neighbors dutch oven for this recipe. I could have made it in a large sauce pot or a crock pot/slow cooker, but I felt like trying something new. 🙂 This is one of my favorite meals to make if we are having friends over for dinner. It is kid friendly too, and feeds a crowd!
Serves:8-10

Melty Goodness

Ingredients:
12 inch Dutch oven (or oven safe crock/pot)
2-pounds ground beef or ground turkey (I used beef)
1- large onion, chopped
1-package yellow or white corn tortillas
2- small cans diced chilies
1-large can enchilada sauce
1-8 ounce can sliced olives
2-packages of taco seasoning mix (I used mild)
4-cups (2 packages) of shredded taco mix cheese
2-Tbsp Canola or Vegetable oil

Not expensive to make if you shop the deals.

Directions:

1. Get Sizzlin’.    Warm your oil in your dutch oven/pot and add chopped onions. Cook on the stove top pver medium-low heat until the onions are half cooked. You can tell when they reach this stage because they will be limp but not see through.

Warming up,not quite tot the point of smoking.

Not quite tender enough yet

2.  Beef it up!     Add ground beef and brown until cooked through. Add your taco seasoning mix and stir thoroughly. Drain fat. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Add your meat when the onions are halfway cooked.

Smells delicious! Ready for layering.

3. Layers.   Time to start layering your stacked enchilada pie! This part is fun.  Take around one third of your meat and spread on bottom of Dutch oven/pot- keeping in mind that you will be making about three layers.

I love everything in this!

3B. Now spread one third of sliced olives, diced chilies, and enchilada sauce over the meat. Cover this with 5 to 6 of your tortillas and then cover your tortillas with one third of your cheese. Repeat this until all of your ingredients are in the pot!

Saucy!

Top layers of tortillas and cheese

4.  Bubble Bubble…  Move the dutch oven/pot to the actual oven. Cook for 40 minutes or until the cheese is melty and bubbly.

Smells Delicious!

This recipe is so versatile…you can swap ingredients to your personal tastes, and make the recipe your own! You could add corn, black beans, rice, diced tomatoes…you name it, I have probably added it at one point. Also a great way to use up leftover veggies!

Vote for me in the Pi day contest! Click photo to go to Instructables.com

This is guaranteed to make your family happy, or win you some hearts at a potluck. I might make this for the upcoming Teacher Appreciation Luncheon. Those lucky teachers!   😉