Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Angel Food Cake

This Angel Food Cake topped with strawberries and whipped cream brings back childhood memories!

The Best Angel Food Cake Recipe Ever...

1 1/2 cups egg whites (10-12 large), room temperature

1 1/2 cups superfine sugar, divided

1 cup sifted cake flour

1 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt

2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla paste

1/2 tsp almond extract

Preheat oven to 325F.

In a small bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup sugar and the cake flour. Set aside.

Beat egg whites until frothy, the add cream of tartar and salt. Beat until fully incorporated then begin to add the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar 1-2 tablespoons at a time. When sugar has been added, beat egg whites to soft peaks. You will know when you have soft peaks because the egg whites will look like soft waves and when you lift the beaters, the peaks will droop back down into the batter. If your batter is falling in ribbons, it is not quite down. Don’t be afraid to slow down the mixer and check a few times as you get close. Do not beat all the way to stiff peaks. Once you have soft peaks, add the vanilla and almond extracts and beat for a few seconds to evenly distribute.

Sift the flour/sugar mixture over the egg whites in 6-8 additions (depending on your proficiency with folding flour into egg whites) and gently fold it in after each addition. It is better to take your time and do it gently than to rush and deflate the egg whites.

Spoon batter into an ungreased 9 inch tube pan with a removeable bottom. Smooth the top with a spatula and tap the pan on the counter once or twice to ensure that there are no large bubbles lurking beneath the surface. We used our little bundt pans.

Bake for 50-60 minutes, until the top springs back when lightly pressed. Mine took 55 minutes.

Remove from oven an invert pan over a bottle. Allow to cool completely or overnight.

Gently run a thin knife around the sides, then around the bottom, of the pan to release the cake when you are ready to serve it.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Steak Salad

This salad will satisfy any appetite!

Steak Salad

Ingredients •
• 1/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 3 limes)
• 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
• 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
• 1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
• 1 to 2 teaspoons chile paste with garlic
• Cooking spray
• 1 (1 1/2-pound) flank steak, trimmed
• 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
• 3 cups trimmed watercress (about 2 bunches)
• 1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
• 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
• 1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves (just 1/4 cup would have been fine with me)
• 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
• 1/2 cup julienne-cut carrot
• 2 tablespoons finely chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts
Preparation To prepare dressing, combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl; stir well with a whisk. To prepare steak, heat a large nonstick skillet or grill pan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Rub both sides of steak with pepper. Add steak to pan; cook 6 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove from pan; place on a cutting board. Cover loosely with foil; let stand 5 minutes. Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices. Place steak in a bowl. Drizzle with half of dressing, and toss well. To prepare salad, combine watercress and next 5 ingredients (watercress through carrot) in a large bowl. Drizzle with remaining dressing, and toss well. Divide salad evenly among 6 plates; arrange steak evenly over salad. Sprinkle each serving with 1 teaspoon peanuts.

Contributed by Becki Cutler

Cream Puffs

Do you need a sweet little treat? Something beautiful to serve at a party?
Try out these amazingly wonderful treats!

Cream Puffs

1 cup water
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
4 eggs

Heat water and butter to boil. Add flour all at once and stir vigorously over low heat until mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat and beat in eggs all at once. Continue beating until smooth and well blended. Drop dough by tablespoon on un-greased cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes until golden. Remove immediately and let cool on wire rack. Once cooled, slice puffs in half and remove residual dough leaving a hallowed out puff. Fill puffs with your favorite cream or use the following:

1 3 oz. package instant pudding (your favorite flavor -- lemon is excellent) made according to package and set until firm
1 8 oz container whipped topping

Combine after pudding is chilled and fill puffs. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or drizzle with chocolate frosting. Enjoy with fresh berries.
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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ginger-Peanut Chicken-Salad Wraps

1 teaspoon olive oil
6 (4-ounce) skinned, boned chicken breast halves
1 cup chopped seeded peeled cucumber
3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
8 (8-inch) fat-free flour tortillas
4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 5 minutes on each side or until done. Remove the chicken from pan; cool. Shred the chicken into bite-size pieces. Place chicken, cucumber, and bell pepper in a large bowl; set aside.

Place sugar and the next 6 ingredients (sugar through garlic) in a blender, and process until smooth. Add peanut butter and water; process until smooth, scraping sides. Add peanut butter mixture to chicken mixture; stir well. Add cilantro, and toss well. Warm tortillas according to package directions. Spoon 1/2 cup chicken mixture onto each tortilla; top each serving with 1/2 cup lettuce, and roll up.

Nutritional Information
280 (19% from fat)
5.9g (sat 1.1g,mono 2.7g,poly 1.6g)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Thai Stir Fry & Live Veggie Salad

This is a spectacular meal! Your body will appreciate it at a cellular level! This kind of food is sooo good for you!

Thai Stir Fry & Live Veggie Salad
1/4 cup creamy poppy seed dressing
2 garlic cloves
1 1-inch piece unpeeled gingerroot, grated and juiced
1 package fresh baby spinach leaves
1 package fresh broccoli slaw mix
1 medium cucumber, scored, seeded and sliced
1 small red pepper, sliced in this strips
Chicken Mixture:
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup snipped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup peanuts, chopped
For dressing, in 2 qt mixing bowl combine salad dressing and garlic. Grate gingerroot. Gather gingerroot in palm of hand and squeeze over bowl to release juice: discard flesh. Whick until well blended.
For salad, place spinach, slaw mix, cucumber and bell pepper in large bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.
For chicken mixture, heat skillet over medium high heat. Lightly spay skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Add chicken to skillet in single layer. Cook without stirring 2 minutes or until chicken begins to brown. Stir fry 2-3 minutes or until chicken is not longer pink: remove from heat. Add basil, peanuts and 1/4 cup of the dressing. Toss to coat. To serve, toss salad with remaining dressing: top with chicken mixture and serve immediately.
Taken from The Pampered Chef, contributed by Michelle Olsen.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Grilled Asparagus

This is a quick and easy side dish that is a compliment to any meal!

Grilled Asparagus 

1 bundle of Asparagus, ends trimmed
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 Clove Garlic, minced
Generous pinch of Kosher Salt

Toss all ingredients together.  Grill on a pre-heated grill for about 10 minutes, or until tender

Monday, March 23, 2009

Cheesy Potato Bake

For an easy, home cookin' side dish - try this cheesy potato bake.

Cheesy Potato Bake

6 Lg Red Potatoes, sliced
1 Can of Cream of Chicken Soup
1 8 oz Carton of Sour Cream
1/4 Cup Bread Crumbs
1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese
1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Cook Potatoes in boiling water until tender.  Drain.

Combine soup, sour cream, pepper, and cheese.  Mix Well.  Stir Cheese mixture into potatoes and transfer to a greased casserole dish.

Top with bread crumbs and parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Soda Can Chicken

A friend of mine recently served this delicious chicken at a dinner party, and I had to try it for myself.  This chicken is easy to prepare, and so tender and juicy!

Soda Can Chicken


1 Whole Chicken (4 to 5 lb size)
1/2 Cup Kosher Salt
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Ground Black Pepper
1/2 Cup Paprika
1 Can Soda (ginger ale, or flavored cola) - I used Cherry Coke Zero

1.  Preheat gas grill to 400 to 450 degrees.  Mix all dry ingredients and rub liberally on the chicken.

2.  Open the can of soda and pour out about 1/2 cup.  Punch some extra holes in the top of the can with a knife to make sure the soda flavoring spreads evenly through the chicken.

3.  Place chicken on the can so that it is standing up with the legs pointing down.

4.  Cook the chicken on the grill using indirect heat.  If you are using a gas grill, turn off the burners on one side and place the chicken on this side.

5.  Close the grill and cook the chicken for about 40 to 45 minutes, then rotate the chicken to ensure even cooking and cook for 40 minutes more.  Avoid opening the grill and peeking in at the chicken.

6.  Once it is done, the chicken should be almost black.  Remove the chicken from the grill and let it site upright - still on the can - for 15 minutes.  After it has rested, remove skin, carve, and serve.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


So simple and sweet even the little ones can help

Don't roll the dough out too many times - once it starts to flake don't use it anymore

They bake up perfectly soft and sweet and even stay soft for days

The more toppings to decorate it with, the better.

Let the kids decorate and sit back and enjoy!

2/3 cup shortening (1/3 cup butter crisco, 1/3 margarine)
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
4 tsp milk
2 cup sifted flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Cream shortening, sugar, vanilla. Add egg and beat until light and fluffy (2 minutes) then stir in milk. Sift all dry ingredients then add to the wet. Divide dough in half and roll in saran wrap and chill for 1 hour. Roll and cut - only 3-4 times on lightly floured surface 1/8-1/4 inch thick. Bake on greased cookie sheet 375 for 7 minutes


Honey Red Wine Vinaigrette
1/2 c. red wine vinegar
1/2 c. honey
1-2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped (really, that's pretty optional; it all goes in the blender)
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 c. canola oil

In a blender, combine vinegar, honey, garlic, salt, and pepper. Place lid on blender and blend on high. While blender is running, add oil in a steady stream. Store in refrigerator for about 2-3 weeks. Shake well before serving.

Candied Walnut Salad
2 heads of leafy greens; 1 can be a bag of spinach
3/4 c. Craisins
2 crisp apples
Orange juice (enough to toss apples in to prevent browning and add a little flavor)
2 oz. blue cheese or Gorgonzola or you can use Feta
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1/4 c. sugar

1. Wash and chop lettuce. Set aside to drain.
2. Combine walnuts and sugar in a medium skillet over medium heat. Stir constantly. After a few minutes, the sugar will look very fine and then a few minutes after that, it will start to liquefy. This is when you have to be absolutely vigilant about scraping the bottom of the skillet and making sure everything gets stirred around. The syrup will begin to darken and will coat the nuts. When they reach a golden brown color, remove from heat. Stir occasionally as the nuts begin to cool. After a few minutes, spread candied nuts onto a greased piece of parchment or wax paper or a greased cookie sheet and allow to cool completely. Set aside.
3. Chop Blue cheese into crumbles or use Feta
4. Chop apples and toss in orange juice.
When ready to serve, toss lettuce, cranberries, walnuts, apples, and blue cheese in a large bowl.
Add dressing

This salad is amazing courtesy of www.ourbestbites.com


Chicken Salad
This is a very low-fat version of a chicken pasta salad
5 Cups uncooked small shell macaroni
1 1/2 Cups fat free mayo
1 cup low-fat coleslaw (see recipe below)
6 cups cooked, diced chicken breasts
2 cans sliced water chestnuts cut into slivers
3 cups diced celery
1 bunch green onions thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups halved cashews
4 cups red grapes cut in half

3/4 cup miracle whip
1/2 T apple cider vinegar
2 T splenda
1/4 cup skim milk
whip together with a whisk until well blended and mix with fat free mayo

Cook macaroni until tender, rinse under cold water and drain well.
Combine shells, coleslaw dressing and mayo in a large mixing bowl.
6 Cups cooked, diced chicken breasts
2 Cans sliced water chestnuts
2 Cups diced celery
1/2 Bunch green onions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups halved cashews
3 Cups red grapes, cut in half

Make salad the night before serving.
20 1-cup servings.

Serve over lettuce as a wrap or in croissants

Broiled Sea Bass with Pineapple-Chili-Basil Glaze

This is an amazing fish recipe! Bringing Sea Bass to a whole new level!

Broiled Sea Bass with Pineapple-Chili-Basil Glaze

From Cooking Light

4 servings (serving size: 1 fillet)

• 3 tablespoons pineapple preserves
• 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
• 1 teaspoon chopped fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
• 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
• 4 (6-ounce) sea bass or other firm white fish fillets (about 1 inch thick)
• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
• Cooking spray

Preheat broiler.

Combine first 5 ingredients and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl.

Sprinkle the fillets with 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Place the fillets on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray; broil 5 minutes. Remove from oven; brush fillets evenly with glaze. Return to oven; broil for an additional 5 minutes or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

This is one amazing recipe!  Taken from Cooking Light.

Contributed by Becki Cutler

Friday, March 20, 2009

Baseball Cupcakes

One of the Mom's on our T-ball team brought these cupcakes for snack after the game. I thought that was the perfect treat for these little guys

These cupcakes were frosted and then the baker piped on the red icing. Red skinny licorish would work when cut up.

Just bake a regular cake mix (follow directions on the package), and frost away!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Strawberry Shortcake Trifle & Baby Shower Dessert!

We threw a baby shower for two friends that were expecting babies last week! The food theme was centered around trifles... so yummy! Here is one recipe, more will be coming!

Strawberry Shortcake Trifle

1 Angle Food Cake
1 8 oz. Cream cheese
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. powdered sugar
1 c. sour cream
8 oz. Frozen Whipped Topping (thawed)
2 large container of fresh strawberries

Wash strawberries and remove berry tops. Slice strawberries.
Sprinkle granulated sugar over strawberries. Cut Angel Food
cake into 1-inch squares. Set aside. Blend together cream
cheese, vanilla, powdered sugar, and sour cream until smooth.
Fold in Whipped topping. In a trifle bowl layer ingredients
starting with half the cake cubes, then half of the sliced berries,
and then half of the cream cheese mixture. Repeat layers and
garnish with strawberries. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Salmon Patties

The other day I was at my mother in laws house and she mentioned that all of her kids loved Salmon Patties!  I had never thought to make them, but after she mentioned it I thought I'd give it a try!  These are so easy, and so yummy.

Salmon Patties

1 15 oz Can Salmon, drained - make sure bones are removed
2 beaten Eggs
1 Cup Bread Crumbs
2 TBSP Olive Oil
lemon juice

1.  Combine Salmon, Eggs, and Bread crumbs and mix until well combined. 
2.  Form into patties
3.  Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.
4.  Brown patties in oil about 2 minutes each side.
5.  Top with lemon juice

Makes 4-5 patties

Friday, March 13, 2009

Cafe Rio Pork Salad & Rice

Cafe Rio Pork- cook in crock pot for at least 4 hours, shred with a fork and then put back in crock pot

Pork Tenderloin
1/2 C brown sugar
1 can of coke
1/2 C salsa

Cafe Rio Creamy Tomatillo Dressing

1 C sour cream
1 C mayo
2-3 tomatillos
1/2 bunch cilantro
juice of 3 limes
2 cloves garlic pressed
1 packet of Ranch Salad Dressing/Dip mix
1/2 Tablespoon Lawry's garlic salt - has to be Lawry's
If it seems to thick, add a milk a little bit at a time

Cafe Rio Rice- this rice has a mild flavor, but is good

1/2 a yellow onion chopped (about 1/2 Cup)
1/2 bunch of cilantro
clove of garlic or Lawry's Garlic Salt
1 Can Green chiles
1 tsp salt
1 T butter
4 tsp chicken bouillon powder, or dissolve 1 or 2 cubes of chicken bouillon, or use chicken broth instead of water

Blend the above ingredients, use some water or chicken broth to make it blend easier.
Add water or chicken broth to make the total amount of liquid is 4 cups

2 C rice (whatever amount of rice you use, just make sure the total liquid is at least double the amount of rice)
Put all ingredients in your rice cooker

Black Beans
Cans of black beans
Add some lime juice
Add some Lawry's Garlic salt

For the salad I put all the hot stuff on the bottom, and then layer cheese, lettuce, tomatoe. Just because that's what then do at the restaurant.

Contributed by Rachel Tollestrup

March Madness -- 7 Layer Dip

This appetizer is a A+ crowd pleaser!
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7-Layer Dip
3 ripe avocados
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon garlic salt
3 drops Tabasco
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 to 1 package (1 1/4 ounces) taco seasoning mix
1 can (30 ounces) refried beans
1 bunch green onion, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 can (2 1/2 ounces) sliced ripe olives
4 ounces medium or sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
Corn or tortilla chips

Peel, pit, and mash avocados; add lemon juice, garlic salt, and Tabasco. Cover and chill.

Combine sour cream, mayonnaise, and taco seasoning mix. Cover and chill.

To assemble dip: on a large round platter or serving dish, spread beans in an even layer, leaving 1-inch space around the edge. Top with avocado mixture, leaving bean layer exposed all around. Top with sour cream mixture leaving avocado mixture exposed all around. Sprinkle with green onion, tomatoes, ripe olives, and Cheddar cheese. Serve as a dip with corn or tortilla chips. (Recipe can easily be halved.)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Macaroon Bars

These taste a lot like a good candy bar!  Mounds anyone?

Chocolate Macaroon Bars

1 pkg. (450g) fudge brownie mix
2 egg whites
2 pkg. (200g each) sweetened flaked coconut
1 can (300mL) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 C. sliced almonds
1 square (1oz/30g) semisweet chocolate
1 tsp. vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 375°F. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions. Pour batter into a 9*13 baking dish. Bake 15-18 minutes or until brownie is set. Do not over bake. Remove to cooling rack.

In clean bowl, separate egg whites from egg yolks . (Set egg yolks aside for another use.) Fold coconut and sweetened condensed milk into egg whites. Spread coconut mixture over top of brownie base to within 2 inches of edge. Sprinkle with almonds. Return to oven and bake 25 minutes or until edges of coconut are deep golden brown. Remove to cooling rack. Finely chop chocolate. Melt chocolate with oil in micro-wave, uncovered, on MEDIUM 2 minutes, stirring once, or until chocolate is melted and smooth.

Drizzle with melted chocolate. Serve

TIP: Brownie base can be baked earlier in the day and cooled before finishing. Then top, bake and serve warm, if desired. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Feta Salad

Refresh yourself with this yummy salad!

Fruit and Feta Green Salad (with Brianna's Vinaigrette)

8 cups assorted greens

½ cup feta cheese, crumbled

1 (11 oz.) can mandarin oranges, drained

½ cup dried cranberries or cherries

1 small red onion, chopped

½ cup toasted pecans or almonds

Combine ingredients in large salad bowl and toss with Brianna's Vinaigrette just before serving.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Tuscan Bread Salad

I love this European Style salad!!!

Tuscan Bread Salad

1 loaf dense crusty bread
1 large ball of fresh Mozarella cheese
1 large tomato
1 yellow or red pepper
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
6 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons Balsamic or red wine vinegar

salt and pepper, to taste

Combine dressing ingredients and blend well; set aside. Cut cheese, tomato and pepper into 1-inch cubes and transfer to salad bowl with chopped basil. Pour dressing over cheese and veggies to marinate while cutting and toasting bread. Cut bread into 1-inch cubes and toast in oven until lightly brown. Add bread cubes to salad bowl and mix well to coat all pieces. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Chocolate Mint Brownies

The perfect St. Patrick's Day treat!

Chocolate Mint Brownies
Cake Layer:
1 cup flour
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 cube) butter softened
1 can (16oz) Hershey's syrup
Combine all ingredients in large bowl, beat until smooth. Spread into a 9*13 baking dish. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Cool completely in dish.
Mint Creme Center:
3 drops green food coloring
2 cups powdered sugar
1 T water
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 t mint extract
Beat above ingredients together until smooth. Spread on cooled cake layer.
Chocolate Topping:
6T butter
1 cup semis-sweet chocolate chips
Melt in small saucepan. Cool slightly. Pour over mint cream center. Refrigerate.
Note: Make sure each layer has time to cool before adding the next. It works best to refrigerate overnight after you finish the mint creme center and then add the chocolate topping the next morning. Leave ample time for the final chocolate layer to harden in the fridge as well. These can also be frozen.
Thank you to Katie Brown for this amazing recipe! It is one of my all time favorites!