Friday, December 23, 2011

Peppery Cheese Bread

I'm obviously on a cheese kick!  While this is baking in my oven, a batch of Cheddar Poppy Seed Crackers is chilling in my fridge!  This recipe is from a Southern Living Christmas Cookbook.  Let me just tell you that my house smells amazing!

Peppery Cheese Bread

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp cracked black pepper
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 8-oz container plain low-fat yogurt (I used sour cream)
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup milk
1 Tbsp spicy brown mustard.

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture.  Stir together eggs and next 6 ingredients; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened.
Lightly grease bottom of a loaf pan; pour batter into loaf pan.
Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes; remove bread from pan, and let cool 1 hour on wire rack.

Cheddar Poppy Seed Crackers

Pinterest is an obsession.  But, to the benefit of many this Christmas season, it has introduced new favorites in my recipe file!  I first saw this picture last night before I went to sleep and I had to click on the link to check the recipe.  I knew I had to make it when I thought about it while feeding Caleb in the middle of the night!  I ran it by my sister-in-law and her response sealed the deal!  And...the dough is chilling in my fridge right now!  I can't wait to cut them out with my mini cookie cutters!

Cheddar Poppy Seed Crackers

1 2/3 c flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp paprika
a pinch of cayenne pepper
a pinch of salt
1/2 tsp freshly grounded black pepper
1 1/2 sticks butter, at room temperature
6 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, freshly grated (Parmesan works great too)
2 Tbsp poppy seeds
1 large egg, beaten

1. Sift the flour, baking powder, paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper.
2. Mix the butter and cheese until well blended.  You can use a mixer or a sturdy spatula.  Add the dry ingredients, continue to stir until soft dough is formed.
3. Divide the dough in half and wrap in plastic wrap.  Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350.
4. Take out one ball of dough and on a generously floured surface roll out to 1/8 - 1/3 inch thick.  Sprinkle dough with 1 Tbsp poppy seeds.  Cover with plastic wrap and gently roll over the dough to embed the seeds.
5.  Cut with desired small cookie cutter and place on parchment lined baking sheet.
6.  Bake for 12 minutes.  The crackers should be dark golden and smell amazing!  Let cool completely before serving or store in an air-tight container.

***The original post includes how to make the crackers in a log and slicing them into thin circles.

I may be making a second batch of these soon!  Also, I think these would be exceptional in tomato basil soup!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Chocolate Cake in a Mug

Honestly, we had guests over for dinner last night and something had to give in the prep work.  It was all I could do to have the kids dressed, toys picked up, Christmas decorations in place (b/c my kids move them at least 4 times each hour), bathroom cleaned, a quick trip to the bank, table cleared off and cleaned...and well, I didn't even put makeup on!  So, I thought I'd branch out and try this recipe that cooks in the microwave.  As a general rule I don't try new recipes on first-time guests...but they are college students.  And, well, college students will eat anything!  It was a fun recipe and allows for a lot of customization: extra chocolate chips, pecans, candy pieces, etc.

Chocolate Cake in a Mug

3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
2 or 3 Tbsp sugar (I went with 3)
1 Tbsp flour
3 Tbsp milk
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 Tbsp egg whites
1/4 tsp vanilla
Goodies to mix in...choc chips, nuts, candies, etc.

Mix in a bowl for about 2 minutes- stirring vigorously!  Pour into a mug, add any toppings, and microwave for 2 minutes.

***I sprayed Pam on some and not on some.  Didn't make a difference.
***You may need to vary the cook time based on your microwave.  If it cooks too long the cake gets rubbery.

Here is the link to view the full blog post and see more info and pics.

Lime Chicken Tacos

This recipe is from Taste of Home via Pinterest. It's great because it only uses a few ingredients (pantry staples) and cooks in the crock-pot.  The chicken was very tender and moist.  It was not very limey, but not a disappointment.

Lime Chicken Tacos

1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 cup corn
1 cup chunky salsa

  • Place the chicken in a 3-qt. slow cooker. Combine lime juice and chili powder; pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until chicken is tender.
  • Remove chicken; cool slightly. Shred meat with two forks and return to the slow cooker; heat through. Stir in corn and salsa.
  • Cover and cook on low for 30 minutes or until heated through. Serve in tortillas with sour cream, cheese and lettuce if desired. Yield: 12 tacos.

***I did not add the corn.  We also had guacamole and black olives with our tacos!

Banana Bread (Diabetic Recipe)

Banana Bread

3 large very ripe bananas
1 egg
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp low-sodium baking powder
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour (to add fiber you can substitute half with whole wheat flour)

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray Pam in a loaf pan.
In a mixing bowl, mash bananas.  Add the egg, oil, milk, sugar, salt, soda, and powder.  Mix until just blended.
Slowly stir the flour into the mixture.  Stir until just moistened.
Pour into prepared loaf pan.
Bake for 45 minutes or until tooth pick inserted near the middle comes out clean.
Let cool for 5 minutes in pan and then remove.

***Based solely on the taste of the batter (!), this appears to be a fantastic recipe for diabetics!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Italian Cream Cake

This is a great find from The Pioneer Woman.  Enough said, right?

Italian Cream Cake

  • 1 stick Butter
  • 1 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 5 whole Eggs (separated)
  • 3 teaspoons Vanilla
  • 1 cup Coconut (from PW: If You Think You Hate Coconut, Trust Me: I Do Too, And I Love It In This Recipe)
  • 2 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 cup Buttermilk
  • _____
  • 2 packages (8 Oz) Cream Cheese
  • 1 stick Butter
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla
  • 1 package 2 Lb Powdered Sugar
  • 1 cup Chopped Walnuts
  • 1 cup Sweetened, Flaked Coconut

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 9-inch round cake pans.
Beat egg whites until stiff. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together butter, oil, and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg yolks, vanilla, and coconut.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
Alternate adding buttermilk and dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix until just combined, then fold in egg whites.
Pour evenly into the three prepared pans, then sprinkle the top of each pan with 1 (at least) tablespoon sugar.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto cooling racks and allow to cool completely.
In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Stir in chopped walnuts and sugared coconut. Spread between layers and serve.
Note: cream cheese frosting will soften at room temperature, so refrigerate if you won’t use it right away.

***It is a delicious cake!  A perfect compliment to a cup of coffee.  After enjoying a piece or two you'll be ready for a good long nap!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

White Queso

Finding a good white queso dip recipe has been a tough order.  This recipe is easy and very good.  Definitely a crowd pleaser!

White Queso (from Pappasito's)
1.5 lb white American cheese (NOT Velveeta, may have to get at the deli)
4 oz can green chilis, undrained
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 c diced onion
1/3 c whole milk
1/2 c diced ripe tomatoes
1/4 tsp garlic salt

Melt cheese and milk in a saucepan.  Stir until blended.
Add chilis, garlic, onions and garlic salt.  Stir until onions are transparent.
Remove from heat, add tomatoes before serving.

*I used a can of Rotel instead of green chilis and tomatoes.

Ooey Gooey Bars'
You should just go ahead and make them.  And, just a word of warning- they are SO good hot out of the oven!

Ooey Gooey Bars

1 box yellow cake mix
3 eggs
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, melted
4 cups (1 lb) powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 300 and spray a 9x13 dish with cooking spray.
Mix cake mix, melted butter and one egg to a soft dough.  Press into the bottom of the pan.
Mix remaining ingredients until smooth, about 2 minutes.
Pour on top of crust.
Bake for 40-50 minutes until top is golden brown.