Monday, December 27, 2010

German Chocolate Cake Balls


German Chocolate Cake Balls
This is a really simple recipe. I used a boxed cake mix and store bought frosting, but it can be made from scratch too.
1 box German Chocolate Cake Mix
1 1/3 cups Water
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
3 Eggs
1 container Coconut Pecan Frosting
1 bag Milk Chocolate Chips

Follow the directions on the box for the cake and make it as directed. I used a 13 x 9 inch sheet pan. 
Let the cake cool then crumble it into a bowl; mix in the container of frosting. Roll into balls about the size of a walnut and place them on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.Put them into the freezer for about 20 minutes. 

While they are cooling, get a double boiler going and melt the chocolate chips. 

Then just roll the cake balls around in the chocolate and coat them evenly all over. Line them up on waxed paper and let them harden.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Sweet Potato Yeast Bread with Cream Cheese Nut Spread

I found this recipe in an issue of Taste of Home a few years back. I've always wanted to try it but baking bread isn't something you can just do on the spur of the moment. Luckily I've had problems sleeping lately so I put my insomnia to good use and made this amazing bread.

Sweet Potato Yeast Bread
2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
1 3/4 cups warm water (110 to 115 degrees F)
1 cup mashed sweet potatoes
(without added milk or butter)
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon butter,
softened, divided
1/2 cup honey
1 egg
2 teaspoons salt
3 cups whole wheat flour
  3 1/4 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Cream Cheese Nut Spread

1 cup butter, softened
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts,toasted

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add sweet potatoes, 1/2 cup butter, honey, egg, salt, and whole wheat flour. Beat until smooth. Sir in enough all-purpose flour to form a soft dough.
     Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. 

     Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Shape into loaves. Place in 2 greased 9-inch x 5-inch x 3-inch loaf pans. Cover; let rise until doubled, about 25 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees F for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown (cover loosely with foil if top brown too quickly). Remove from pans to wire racks. Melt remaining butter; brush over warm bread. Cool.

In a small mixing bowl, beat butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Stir in walnuts. Serve with bread. 
Yield: 2 loaves

Broccoli Cornbread

Broccoli Cornbread

This is a recipe my mom makes every holiday. It's so flavorful and really easy to make. If you don't like it, well then there's just something wrong with you. Just kidding. This is the original recipe. I haven't yet experimented with it to make a healthier version.

1/2 large onion, chopped fine
1 8oz frozen chopped broccoli,thawed and drained
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup cheese
1 stick margarine, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 package Jiffy Muffin Mix

Mix everything together except for the muffin mix, then add the muffin mix. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes at 350 degrees until it's golden brown.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Red Velvet Cake

I think a lot of people grew up with this cake and have fond memories of it as a child. If you ever mention Red Velvet Cake to my mom, you are guaranteed to hear the following story: One time she made the cakes and the cream cheese frosting, and left them out to cool while she went to church. When she got back, Daniel had eaten the entire bowl of frosting. I was about 12 and everyone has done that before, right?
Anyway, this is her recipe. My wife wanted this cake for her Birthday last week and I was more than happy to oblige her.


2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teas baking soda
1 teas salt
1 teas cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup butter milk
2 large eggs
2 Tbls red food coloring
1 teas distilled white vinegar
1 teas vanilla extract
chopped pecans for top

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 pound of cream cheese
4 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 teas vanilla extract

Preheat the oven the 350 degrees. Oil and flour three round cake pans. In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa. In another bowl, mix the wet ingredients together. Then mix the two together until the lumps are out, but careful not to over mix.
 PRO TIP: Turn the mixer off BEFORE you lick the beaters.

Pour the batter in the three pans and bake for about 30 minutes. Just use a tooth pick or something to check it. When the cake are done, take them out of the pans and let them cool.

 This is what the cakes look like if you forget the baking soda; about 1/2 inch thick. Still somewhat edible, but I had to start all over.

To make the frosting:
Mix the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and butter on medium speed until they are smooth. Add the vanilla and make sure it's mixed well.
Frost the cakes like you normally would. I just add pecans to the top, but you can go all the way around the cake if you're feeling feisty.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Baked Oatmeal

This recipe is from my wife's aunt Jenni. It's almost like a cake once it's been baked.

1 cup oil
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 cups quick cooking rolled oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup skim milk
1 apple, chopped (optional)

Mix oil, sugar and egg with a mixer until yellow and glossy.

Add remaining ingredients and beat on medium until blended. Mix in whatever fruit you want.

Pour into a 9x9 pan and bake at 400 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.

Serve with milk.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Greatest Cook of All Time.....

......My mom. I think the majority of people grow up thinking their mother is the best cook in the world. It's what we know and it's what we get used to. Not everyone grew up with the luxury of having a home cooked meal, either by mom or dad. I was one of the lucky ones. Sure there was bickering and some arguing, and sometimes it seemed like the perfect format to gripe at us, but for the most part I remember meal times fondly. Delicious, home cooked food with tons of flavor. And gravy. I remember lots of gravy.
  There were six people in my family growing up. We were not rich but mom and dad provided for us. My mom made $30 a week babysitting and that was where the majority of the grocery money came from. I can honestly say I never once went a day where I was hungry or didn't get enough to eat. She was a master at making things stretch to feed a whole family. And she could make anything taste good, even Spam. I've also noticed when I compare new recipes I find to the ones my mom used to make, her's has about five or six less ingredients than the new one, and tastes ten times better. All this with a very modest kitchen (not even an automatic dishwasher).

I'm pretty sure I got my GIGANTIC sweet tooth from her. She was and still is always making some kind of cake or cookie or pie. Her birthday cakes are better than anything you'll ever get from a store or bakery.

 My mom's house is the one where everyone goes for holidays, because of the quality and quantity of food. They have counted up to fifty people at Thanksgiving and Christmas. There are relatives, friends, neighbors of relatives, neighbors of friends, etc. She never has and never will turn anyone away.

So thank you mom, for my love of food and cooking (and possibly high cholesterol).

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Creamed Spinach

This is one of the Healthier versions of Creamed Spinach I've found. I came across this one on in a daily newsletter I subscribe to from Dr. Gourmet. I tweeked a couple of things to make it my own. Quick, tasty and healthy. Even my wife liked it.

1   10-ounce package frozen spinach (thawed)
1   tsp olive oil
1/2  small red onion, diced
1/4  cup 2% milk
1 ounce  reduced fat cream cheese (cut into 
               small chunks for easier melting)
1/8 tsp salt and pepper each (to taste)
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
parmesan cheese for garnish

Place the spinach in a strainer and press with a rubber spatula or spoon to remove all the excess water.
Place the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook for about 5 minutes until softened.
Add the spinach and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the milk, cream cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Cook until the cheese is melted and well blended into the spinach.

Makes about 2 one cup servings.

Calories 75; Total Fat 3g; Cholesterol 1mg; Sodium 300mg; Total Carbohydrates 8g; Protein 6g.