Monday, July 27, 2009

Chocolate Velvet Pound Cake

Woah! What a Birthday cake!!! Uncle Bob's face was priceless when he saw this! His mouth just dropped open! I'm not sure if it was more out of surprise or OMG that looks soooo good!!

1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 (16 oz) package light brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 (8 oz) container sour cream
1 cup hot water
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar

1. Melt semisweet chocolate morsels in a microwave safe bowl at HIGH for 30 second intervals until melted (about 1 1/2 minutes total time). Stir until smooth.

2. Beat butter and brown sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer 5 minutes or until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add melted chocolate, beating just until blended.

3. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually add to chocolate mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Gradually add 1 cup hot water in a slow, steady stream, beating at low speed just until blended. Stir in vanilla.

4. Pour batter into a greased and floured 10 inch tube pan. Bake at 350 F or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on wire rack.

5. Sift powdered sugar over top of cake. Serve with chocolate garnish and ice cream. Garnish if desired.

Serves 12

Dill-and-Almond Green Beans

Quick and easy! This one is for Becca. After chatting online with her about the whole green bean recipe I decided to add it. ;)

1 Red bell pepper
1 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

1. Cook green beans in boiling water to cover in dutch oven over med-high heat for 10 minutes. Plunge beans into ice water to stop the cooking process; drain.

2. Saute almonds in hot il on large skillet over medium heat for 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Add garlic; saute 30 seconds. Stir in green beans, dill, salt, and pepper; cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

3. Serve!!

Overnight Brunch Egg Bake

Another one of those recipes that I just discovered while we were having our guests. Mom made this one for breakfast and from the time it came out of the oven to when it made it to my mouth everything about it was YUM! And I'm usually not thrilled about eggs either...the only way I'd ever eat it before now.. is if it was scrambled, with cheese and ketchup on top. I know a lot of you out there must think I'm absolutely nuts to put ketchup on my eggs, but if you are skeptical you have to try it, its really not as bad as it sounds! I promise!

24 oz (6 cups) shredded Colby-Montery Jack cheese blend
2 tbsp margarine or butter
1/3 cup sliced green onions
1/2 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 (4.5 oz) jar Green Giant Sliced Mushrooms, drained
8 oz. cooked ham, cut into thin bite-sized strips
8 eggs
1/2 cup Pillsbury BEST all purpose or unbleached flour
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 3/4 cups milk

1. Spray 13x 9 inch (3 quart) glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle half of cheese evenly into sprayed baking dish.

2. Melt margarine in medium skillet over medium heat. Add onions, 1/2 chopped bell pepper and mushrooms; cook until onions and bell pepper are tender. Arrange veggies over cheese in baking dish. top with ham strips. Sprinkle remaining cheese over ham.

3. Beat eggs in large bowl. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. Add flour, parsley and milk to eggs; blend well. Pour over mixture in baking dish. cover; refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

4. To serve, heat oven to 350 F. Uncover baking dish; bake at 350 F for 55-65 mintues or until mixture is set and top is lightly browned. Let stand for 10 mintues before serving. To serve, cut into squares. If dsired, garnish with red bell pepper and fresh parsley.

Packet Potatoes

This is one of my personal favorites! I'm not sure where my mom found the recipe initially, but my family begs her to make this one for dinner!

These potatoes are definitely not bland, but zesty and flavor filled. Once you try it, you'll find it hard not to fall in love with them to!

1 sheet (18x24") Aluminum foil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
4 medium red potatoes, cut in bite size pieces
2 Tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 tsp dried dill weed (optional)
1/4 tsp pepper

1. Preheat oven to 450 F (or grill to med-high)
2. Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray (or use glass dish and spray)
3. Center onion on foil. Layer potatoes evenly on top of onion. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with seasonings.
4. Bring up sides of foil and double fold (or cover glass pan with foil.) Double fold ends to form one large foil packet, leaving room for heat circulation inside packet.
5. Back 30 - 35 mintues on a cookie sheet in oven or Grill 15 - 20 minutes in covered grill.

Serves: 4

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Mom's Famous Pasta Salad

We had family visiting this weekend, and we were looking for an easy dish to add to our lunch menu...but something that would also feed a lot of people and taste just as good. Our solution was the "famous" pasta salad recipe that my mom had collected from one of her quilting bee members. Its a really easy salad to make, and there is not much to it and everyone, I mean everyone, who has ever tried it has absolutely loved it. The relatives staying with us this weekend even asked for the recipe. So, I decided to share it with all of you! I hope you guys find it to be just as good !! Enjoy!

Package of Wacky Mac pasta
Feta Cheese
Peppers (green or red works)
Black or green olives
Italian salad dressing

1. Boil and drain the pasta according to package
2. Cut desired ingredients (you can add or subtract what you want according to your own tastes - feel free to experiment with it!!)
3. Mix
4. Top with dressing and chill or eat right away.

*note: you may need to add more dressing if you let it sit in the fridge overnight, the pasta tends to soak in the dressing

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Family Favorite!! This is dish is usually gone the same day we make it! Great as an appetizer, side or if you just want to have it for lunch. Perfect for those hot summer days.

2 cucumbers
1 large tomato
1 small green pepper
1 small purple onion
1/3 cup veggie oil
3 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
3/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Chop cucumber, tomato, bell pepper and onion. Whisk together oil and next 4 ingredients in large bowl until sugar dissolves. Add cucumber mixture. Toss together. Cover and chill 3 hours.

Yields: 2 cups