Saturday, February 14, 2009

Cake Balls

I've been looking at this recipe on a few different websites for a while now, and decided to make them for Valentines Day. It really wasn't too difficult. We had fun making (and eating) them
I used red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting, but you can use any combination that sounds good. I used Wilton dipping chocolate that I found in the craft section of Wal-mart.
Make sure to cool the cake completely before adding the frosting. Also, you don't need to use the whole container of frosting if you think it's getting too gooey. I used just short of a whole container.
1 (18.25 ounce) package cake mix, flavor of your choice
1 (16 ounce) container prepared chocolate frosting, flavor of your choice
Dipping chocolate, white chocolate, chocolate, or both
1. After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl.
2. Mix thoroughly with 1 can cream cheese frosting.
3. Roll mixture into quarter size balls and lay on cookie sheet. (Should make 45-50.)
4. Freeze for a few hours.
5. Melt chocolate in microwave per directions on package.
6. Roll balls in chocolate and lay on wax paper until firm. (Use a spoon to dip and roll in chocolate and then tap off extra.)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Coconut Poke Cake

Quick, easy and yummy. You can find cream of coconut in the drink mixer section of your supermarket.
1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix
1 (14 ounce) can cream of coconut
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (8 ounce) package frozen whipped topping, thawed or whipped cream
Additional coconut, toasted or plain
Prepare and bake white cake mix according to package directions, using a 9x13 pan. Remove cake from oven. While still hot, using a utility fork, poke holes all over the top of the cake.
Mix cream of coconut and sweetened condensed milk together. Pour over the top of the still hot cake. Let cake cool completely then frost with the whipped topping and top with the flaked coconut. Keep cake refrigerated.

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

If you're looking for a meatless main dish, this is a good one. The recipe comes from Moosewood vegetarian Restaurant in New York.
Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah) is a grain with a lot of health benefits. I found mine in the bulk section at our health foods store.
1 cup raw quinoa
6 medium bell peppers
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
1 cup peeled and diced carrots
3/4 cup diced celery
1 cup diced zucchini (Optional)
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 (14 oz) can stewed tomatoes, blended
1 1/2 to 2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil a baking pan. Place the quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse well under running water. In a covered pot, bring the quinoa and 2 cups of water to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the quinoa is soft and the water absorbed.While the quinoa cooks, cut the bell peppers in half lengthwise and, leaving the stems on, seed them. Brush the bell pepper shells with about 2 tablespoons of the oil, inside and out. Place them cut side down on the prepared baking pan and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until softened and slightly browned, but not collapsed.
When the bell peppers are roasted, reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
Meanwhile, in a skillet, warm the remaining tablespoon of oil and saute the onions and garlic on medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the onions have softened. Stir in the cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, salt, carrots, celery, zucchini, and corn. Cover the pan and cook for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are very tender.Combine the sauteed vegetables and the cooked quinoa, stewed tomatoes and add salt to taste.
Turn over the roasted pepper shells and spoon filling into each half. Sprinkle each bell pepper half with some of the grated cheese and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted.

Mandarin Orange Cake

I've made this in a large jelly roll pan, 9x13, or layers. In the picture, I used 3 8 inch rounds. If you're going to make a layer cake, 20 oz of pineapple is too much. If you use about 15oz the topping should be thick enough to frost the sides of the cake. Sometimes I add toasted coconut to the top, as in the picture.
1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
4 eggs
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 (11 ounce) can mandarin orange segments
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice
1 (3.5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan.
In a large bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, oil and mandarin oranges with juice. Beat until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.
To make the topping: In a large bowl, beat together whipped topping, pineapple with juice and dry pudding mix until blended. Spread on cake.

Vegetable Meatball Stew

I like the variety of vegetables in this one.
4 cups water
2 medium peeled potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 medium carrots, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
1 large onion, cut into eighths
2 tablespoons beef bouillon granules
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 pound ground beef
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch slices
1 cup frozen peas
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cold water
Directions: In a large Dutch oven or soup kettle, bring water to boil. Add potatoes, carrots, onion and seasonings; return to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, egg and Worcestershire sauce. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into 1-in. balls; add to Dutch oven along with sweet potatoes and parsnips. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaf. Stir in peas. Combine flour, cold water and browning sauce if desired until smooth; gradually stir into stew. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Yield: 6 servings.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Chunky Apple Cake with Butterscotch Sauce

1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
6 cups chopped peeled tart apples
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Directions: In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well (batter will be stiff). Stir in apples until well combined (it looks like more apples than batter at this point). Spread into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until top is lightly browned and springs back when lightly touched. Cool for 30 minutes before serving. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine brown sugar and butter. Cook over medium heat until butter is melted. Gradually add cream. Bring to a slow boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat. Serve with cake.